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  1. Forum
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  3. Exemplary Games: Tomczak vs Annaberdiev (Warsaw, 2017)

I invite you to leave some comments about this exemplary game:

Jacek Tomczak vs Meilis Annaberdiev, Warsaw (Najdorf Mem Open A 2017).

21.Rd4 looks like an amazing move to me! I have no familiarity with the sharp Sicilians so I'm not sure what to say...It looked great, though. I really like white's 10.Bb5 move, shutting black's queenside play down.

GG ! Professor The Best ! ;)

The difference between this black setup and normal Najdorf lines is that black plays Nc6 and a5 here and a6 and Nbd7 there. a6 and Nbd7 seems to be the better setup, black still has the option to play b5-b4 and the Nd7 is placed more flexible, eg it can go to a4 or c4. GM games have shown that white has nothing here.

In the game white showed how to first block blacks play on queenside with Bb5, Bxa7 and a4, and then where to put the pieces in the resulting pawn structure with a white pawn on d5. After the exchange sac black is helpless against Nxd4-e6, Qh4, Bd3 and f4-f5.

In general the f3, Be3 setup is only promising for white if black has played Nc6 already.

Nice game !

Forgive me for oversights, I did not use an engine for analysis.
I deleted a few pages to cut it down to size.


I don't see a5 and Bb5 everyday, so I'll start there.

At first I thought that Bb5 was eligible as the star of the show here. It was an interesting way to prosecute the ... a5 anomaly.

With that said, it's really only when we find 11. ... Na7?!, that Black's position appears corrupted.

Until Na7, Black looks better.

Black, simply sitting on this position, would have led to white's ruin.

To my understanding, a5 would normally be countered by white's 0-0 where white asks, "whatcha attacking little pawn?" or "was that the best use of a tempo in these early stages?"

So the choice to castle 0-0-0 here...I find highly questionable.

Also, without the white B on the a2-g8, Black's eventual freeing d5 push becomes more viable after an eventual ... Ne8-Nc7.

It's important to note that Bd3 is often justified as well, because after Black's freeing move d5, after exd, Bd3 is pointed straight at Black's castle. So the a2-g8 isn't the ONLY diagonal to EVER put that bishop. There are other good tries...but I'm a little bit cynical about Bb5 being one of them, even after a5 where a6 can't kick fact...after reviewing this game...ESPECIALLY after a5 (Nf6-Ne8-Nc7!?).

Note, Ne8-Nc7, besides helping control the center, will put the question to white's Bb5, where white will have to prove that bishop's efficacy.

Most likely, white would condemn the idea of BxNc6, after evaluating that it would only bring one more strong attacker to the center after b7xBc6, as well as concede the B pair in what would no doubt become a fully open game.

So allowing the Ne8-Nc7 maneuver to end with NxB, (once again conceding the B pair), would at least prevent the b pawn coming to c6. Black would still have the advanced a-pawn aimed at the 0-0-0, the B pair, and the open file(s) aimed at the 0-0-0 would be a static problem...these are all not only static threats, but static threats pointed directly at white's king. There would be tactics-a-plenty, and it would be amazing play for white to get a chance to begin an attack on Black's king, much less a successful one.

So the final alternative would be to not only back track the Bb5 and lose a tempo...but to also put it on questionable squares where it would have to be a bad B, at least for the time being. Maybe just Be3 or Bc4, in the first place, would have been better?

Again. I like none of these to much as I like the ingenuity of white's Bb5, I feel as though it's actually Black's a5 push, that baits white's B into the Bb5 square, that had the potential to be the star of the show.

The idea of 0-0-0 play was a little bit ambitious, and it was only Black's cooperation, playing Na7 immediately (or at all), with no preparation, that justified the solidity of the 0-0-0.


Just as white stopped to take a look at the strangeness of ...a5, Black too, should have taken a look at Na7, realized that it broke general fundamentals (N on the rim is dim (address the center)), and it should have been crossed off as a candidate move after careful consideration as to if the benefits would outweigh the costs.


Interesting to note, on move 26. Qh4, ... Bg7 is impossible, but so is doubling the rooks on the c-file.

So I'd have to say that the real star of the show?

27. f4!

Yes. A meager mild modest pawn push gets the star of the show.

Why? The understanding that white has here regarding the solidity of his position, Black's horrendous bishop, Black's incapacity to activate it's rooks, the understanding of the amount of time and safety and confidence in the position, the understanding that g6 is the target, especially considering a white B is left to help aid on the attack of the g6 square, along with pinning themes...understanding that an opponent's temporary bad bishop, and a single pawn, in opposite colored B endings, is not necessarily enough for a clear advantage or a win...

Yes. According to my analysis, it's f4 that proves white's understanding of the position and provides the opportunity for the final attack.

Of course alongside fundamental adherence, there were some doozy tactics, like Rd4!, that got us to this point; but, in my estimation, I need to give f4 the star of the show.

I would be amazed if the computer gave anything else for white to do.

Where someone underrated may appreciate the complexity of white's advantages on move 27, they may very well have issues understanding, "OK what's next? I sense I'm better here...but what now?"

To me, "f4" answers that question with a thunderous "!!".

Bd3 + Nf4 seems like a strong prosecution as well.



"GM games have shown that white has nothing here."

I think I have to agree with you here.

To my understanding, it was the traitor knight moving to Na7, that cooperated with white and allowed everything that ensued.

Would that be your impression as well?


10 ... Na7 and 10 ... Be6 are more or less the only two played moves in this position (most often it is move transposition). The idea Ne8-c7 has not the desired effect as white can play Bb5-a4 and both b5 and d5 stays under control. It has also never been played.

a5 was a hype for a while but i think that Bb5 is the way to go against it. i would guess that white gets a slight advantage. It is difficult for black to free his position, b5 turns out to be too weak. The engine gives around +0.3 for white and i think that fits.

after 0-0 instead of 0-0-0 white loses the possibility to push his pawns on kingside. He will sooner or later have to play a4 and then, after Nd5 Nxd5 exd5 blacks pawn majority on kingside is more flexible than whites on queenside due to (after white c-pawn moves) the weaknesses on b3/b4.

0-0-0 is therefore better. The Bb5 blocks blacks counterplay and white has the time to mate him on the other side of the board, like seen in the game.

0-0-0 ing 'into the attack' is not always that bad. It depends on the concrete position. For example it is also often a good move in some Kings Indian style lines of the Modern, where white then even plays his usual attack with b4 and c5. The reason is that his space advantage and/or his pieces protect his king, which is not subject to the usual black attack on kingside. He will also be placed good in the endgame.

@no_bullet_thanks I haven't studied ANY openings in depth, so I'll have to take your word for it.

Looking at it fundamentally, there is no way that white should survive this. He's done nothing but give up tempo, and space, and allowed x amount of pieces to eyeball is king.

Blacks attack is nearly immediate and white has no apparent compensation for any of the aforementioned.

I'm not convinced that b5 stands up. It looks as though Black can always bring more attackers than white can defenders...and at no cost.


Way I see it? Studying endgames will bring me +100 points. Studying openings will bring me another 100points...especially if these kinds of openings are objectively equalish.

It's hard to believe that everything I've pointed out here, is only veneer for Black.

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