I don't get a chance to play many tournament games these days. Weekend tournament games always seem to interfere with summer BBQs and weekend football games. So its always fun to play for the Seattle sluggers and play some fresh up and coming plays via the internet.
Tonight I played Jerry Wheeler in an a fairly 'tame' sicilian. Going into the round, I had asked a friend of mine to tell me what Jerry played against e4 and d4. The results were sort of disturbing in that against e4 he seems to be play either hyper-accelerated dragons (1..c5 and 2..g6) or 1..g6 moderns. While neither is terrifying, they both leave a lot of room for creativity and are hard to prepare concrete lines for.
Based on this I decided to do my usual crappy preparation by picking 3 opening books from my shelf and leaving them in my bathroom. My wife always seems to complain about how long it takes me to go the can and it is usually attributed to me finding some interesting line and me scribbling some notes in the margin.
Last nights 'bathroom' notes were as follows:
1e4 c5 2Nf3 g6 (Jerry) 3c3 Bg7 4d4 cd4 5Bc4!? Without fritz or chess base this seemed like a fun line to try for the chess league since it stoped 5..d5 (which is the usual move after 5 cd4 d5). It also seemed that 5..dc3 6Nc3 transposed into a super sharp and risky fiancheto line for black in the Smith Mora. I had good dreams last night...
John Ready ruined my prep by saying 5 minutes before the round that if he had black he would either play 5..d3 or 5..d5!? (anyway!).
Jerry plays 2..d6 in the Sicilian. While I did see Jerry had a few dragon games back in the late 90's this made me thing that their team had prepared some lines in either the Najdorf or the Rauzer (both of these I have had some published games against GM's the last few years...).
1e4 c5 2Nf3 d6 3Bb5+ I should also mention I picked up Richard Palliser "The Bb5 Sicilian" in 2006 while at the National Open. This made it to my bathroom shelf as well....3..Bd7 4Bd7 Qd7 5 c4 (The old main line and quite safe of preparation. Now days 'the Rub' prefers 5 c3.)
5..g6 (I was sort of hoping for 5...Qg4 6 0-0 Qe4 7d4 with compensation) 6 0-0 Bg7 7 d4 cd4 8Nd4 Nf6 9f3!? (Around here I was remembering the recent Kamsky game and a Rub. game where black easily equalized with 9Nc3 0-0 10f3 Rc8! 11b3 d5! I did not want this happening and had not really prepared anything....)
9...0-0 10Be3!? (10Nc3 see above) Rc8 (I wonder was my opponent thinking this was the Kamsky game?!) 11 b3 a6!? (It seems this is interesting and fine, but also playable is 11..Nc6 with +=/= game.) 12Nc3 (Rightly or wrongly not worrying about ..b5) 12...b5 (..Nc6) 13Nd5 Qb7 (13..Nd5 seemed slightly better for white with little risk). 14a4!? (Perhaps 14 Rc1 is more acurate since the ..bc4 is bad currently because of the positio of the black queen on the b-file after 15bc4 and Rb1.
14..e5!? This was a supprise but both fritz and crafty rank this move high.) I was thinking more along the lines of either 14..bc4 15bc4 Nd5 16 cd5 += or 14..b4 15Qd2 Nd5 16cd5 Nd7 +=
14Ne2 Nd5 15 Qd5 += Qd5 16cd5 ba4 17Ra4 Nd7 18Rfa1 (Perhaps black should have tried 18..f5 first?) 19..Rc2 (This looks agressive but there are may lines where the black back rank is weak or it alows Rc1 ideas and favorable trades.)
20 Kf2 Nb8 (20..Rb8 21 Ra6! Rb3 22Rc6 a key idea when I was thinking about these lines.+/- This will win the d-pawn at the minimum.)
21b4 ( I like this move. It seems cleaner than 21 Rc1 which is also good.) 21..Rb2 22Rc1 Nd7(box) 23Rc7 Nf6 +/- 24Rb7 This seems stronger to me than the fritzy 24Bc1 Rb3 25Rc6
24..Rc8? The move I was hoping for. Still the position is difficult for black. 24..h6(fritz) 25b5 a5 26b6 Rc8 27Rc7 Rc7 28 bc7 Rc3 29Bb6 Ne8 30Ke3! Nc7 31 Kd3 Na8 32Kc2 Nb6 33Ra6 +-
25Ra6+-Rc2 26 Ra8+ Bf8 27Bh6 Re2 28 Kf1 1-0
I think I'll add a few more books to the bathroom collection before next week.....