Sunday, March 16, 2008

An oddball from Zurich 1953

The match between Najdorf and Kotov in round 11 of the Zurich International Chess Tournament of 1953, was a little odd since most of these games are Queen pawn ( mostly consisting of QGD) games and those that had 1.e4 were Sicilians. But this game in particular was the only Caro-Kann. Bronstein narrates that Najdorf was anticipating Kotov to play into a Sicilian ( Najdorf variation) but was surprised to see the c6 response.

As I traveled back in time, trying to imagine what the eleventh round would have been like at this event, I imagined I was looking over the shoulder of these two players. Early on, I looked at moves like 7.Bd3 and how Kotov DIDN'T exchange the bishops. Something I would have done. Since, its a pain in the ass in C-K and an opportunity to exchange for White's King side Maurader, I always tend to welcome ( to a fault).Rather, A couple moves later, AFTER he castled short, White decides to exchange.

Bronstein commented later that the pawn majority on Kotov's King side versus the Q-side pawn majority of Najdorf's meant a better end game for white and how the queen exchange was not a good plan for black. I have to agree. However, had Black exchanged bishops on move 7 instead of weakening the kingside pawns ( or even by move 10 prior to castling) might the situation had been better. Then the queen exchange might have worked.

I'm open for some ideas on this one.


Anonymous said...

Black was lost after 1... c6.

Anonymous said...

undoubtedly a mouse slip (c6!?)