Tuesday, July 13, 2010
BEATEN BY A LAZY VARIATION
Just got hold of a copy of GM Tiger Hilarp Persson's Chess Book
" Tiger's Modern ". The book is well written and mainly focus on
the 4...a6- Modern system. There is also a discussion on variations
where Black does not play 4...a6, one of which is the so called Lazy
variation. After a quick look of Chapter 9 of the Book, I was amused
to find-out that the so called Lazy variation was the one employed
against me by IM Oliver Barbosa during his 2009 Toril simul exhibition.
For more detailed result of the said simul plus pictures just click
( IM OLiver Barbosa making his move against Caissa's Father during
the 2009 Toril Simul ).
I am hereby posting the game with some annotations.
[Event "2009 Toril Chess Simul"]
[Site "Toril District Plaza, Toril, Davao City, Philippines "]
[White "IM Oliver Barbosa"]
[Black "Atty. Jong Guevarra Jr."]
1. e4 g6!?
I discarded my favorite Sicilian Dragon in favor of the more solid
Modern Defense. I was somewhat intimidated by IM Barbosa's stature
and accomplishments ( 2009 New York International Open champion )
and was afraid to lose early. At hindsight, the strategy was wrong.
According to NM Alex Lupian who watched the simul, the players
should strive for a complicated position so that the Master would
spend time finding the correct move, considering the number of his
2. d4 Bg7 3. c3 d6 4. Nf3 Nf6 5. Bd3 O-O
This is the so called Lazy variation against the Modern.
GM Persson: The c3- lines are the least ambitious of White's choices
against the Modern, but that does not mean they are all bad. By
pampering the d-pawn early on White is free to finish development
behind the centre and does not worry too much about what Black is
6. Bg5 h6 7. Bh4 Re8 8. O-O e5 9. Nbd2 Nc6
GM Persson: The Knight at c6 is not a very good square of the knight.
Instead, it is better at Nbd7 supporting the push e5. The Re8 should
also be avoided due to the push d5, when the rook is badly placed on
e8 and - at some point - will have to go back to f8, eventually losing
In his book, GM Persson prefers the move 10. d5. He further stated
that it is generally to Black's advantage if White exchanges on e5.
10...dxe5 11. Nc4 a6 12. Ne3 b5
GM Larsson: The only condition for the a6-b5 system to work is that
White has played Nc3 or else b5 will strike thin air and c5 will be
easily met by c3.
In other words, the 4...a6-b5 system is not advisable against the
Lazy variation as it merely weakens Black's queenside. The b5 pawn
would be vulnerable to White's attack as what happened in this game.
13. Qc2 Bb7 14. b4! Nb8 15. a4! c6 16. c4 Nbd7 17. Rfd1 Rc8
18. axb5 axb5 19. c5 Ra8 20. Nf1 Qc7 21. N1d2 Nf8 22. Nb3 Ne6
Black has emerged from the opening with a solid but passive position.
White continues to maneuver his pieces to improve his position while
Black tries to find ways to hold the position.
23. Bf1 Rxa1 24. Rxa1 Ra8 25. Rxa8+ Bxa8 26. Ne1 Bb7
27. f3 Nh5?
This move started Black's downfall. I should have played 27...g5 first
before playing Nh5. This omission proves fatal as the game wears on.
28. Qa2 Bc8 29. Qa8 Kh7 30. Na5 Bd7 31. Be7!
If Black had only played 27.. g5 then the White bishop could not have
reached e7. Now it had joined the action to further suffocate Black's
31... Nd4 32. Bd6 Qc8 33. Qxc8 Bxc8
After the exchange of Queens I thought that I can still hold the
position. My position was still passive but White would be hard
pressed to penetrate my position. The rest of the participants
were also struggling with their games thus maybe IM Barbosa would
be kind enough to allow me a draw, or so I think.
34. Nd3 f6 35. Kf2 g5 36. Nc1 Nf4 37. g3 Nfe6 38. Bh3 Kg8
39. Ncb3 Nxb3 40. Nxb3 Kf7 41. Na5 Bd7 42. Bg4
Black is now in a virtual zugzwang. Only his g7 bishop can be
moved without losing the game. In the other boards, Adrian Llanos
who is a varsity player of the University of Mindanao just scored
a draw while in another board IM Barbosa was a pawn down in an
opposite bishop ending. At this point there were only three players
including me whose gave was not yet finished. My chance to hold a
draw has became more dimmer.
Bh8 43. h4 Bg7 44. Bh5+ Kg8 45. hxg5 hxg5 46. Bg4 Kf7
47. Nb7 Bc8 48. Nd8+ Nxd8 49. Bxc8
At this point I stopped recording the moves. I resigned a few moves
later as White's King was able to penetrate my position via the Kg2-
h3-g4-f5 route. At any rate Black's chance to hold the position is
quite remote considering that there were only two players including
me that were left battling it out with IM Barbosa thus his entire
concentration could now be focused in our game. Incidentally, IM
Oliver Barbosa scored 15 wins and yielded only 2 draws in the said
Replay the game below.