Monin Nikolay, International Master
Revelations of the analyst.
Practically in the beginning of my chess career I applied regularly the French Defence. Certainly I studied the games by M.Botvinnik, certainly, but I did not begin "to imitate the luminary", - I wanted to play the rare variants making my opponents use their brains. At the variant of Tartakover it attracted my attention: 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5 Be7 5.e5 Be4. My first analysis proved a failure. A chain of moves was 6. Bxe7 Nxc3 7. Bxd8 Nxd1 8. Bxc7 Nb2 9. Rb1Nc4 10. Bxc4 dxc4 11. Rb4? Na6 12. Rc4 b5 13. Rc3 b4 14. Rc4 Bc7 and there was no protection from threats 15...Bg2 or 15...Bd5. I began to catch my partners on own development with the great enthusiasm, but at first "the production did not hasten into the placed networks", and secondly, having opened once book by P.Keres " The French Defence " I found out with disappointment that "it had been already", and not with anybody, but with M.Chigorin himself (black - Levit, Ostende, 1906). This case became a good lesson for me and further on I analysed variants as a rule, trying previously to study all accessible primary sources. The variant of I played with variable success and soon, without the great regret, I switched for Mc.Ketchons counter-attack a true knight of which I remain up to this day. In the sixties of the XX-th century the variant 8...Kf8 was regularly applied only by a well-known chess player , Moscow master Taras Prokhorovich. I could take up the torch from him. I hope You will like the next game.
A.Nikiforov - N.Monin C12
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 Bb4 5.e5 h6 6.Bd2 Bxc3 7.bxc3
Ne4 8.Qg4 Kf8! 9.h4
Play also 9. Bd3, and sometimes 9.Bc1
Max Euve's move! Variant from the book of P.Keres 9... h5 10. Rh3 Qa5 11. Bd3 Nxd2 12. Rg3! g6 13. Kxd2 cxd4 14. Qxd4 I leave without the comments while.
10.exf6 Qxf6 11.Nf3 Nc6 12.Qf4 Nxd2 13.Qxd2 e5 14.Bb5
Or 14.dxe5 Nxe5 15.Qxd5 Nxf3 16.Qxf3 Qxf3 17.gxf3 Be6 18.0-0-0 Kf7 19.Rd4 Rhd8 20.Bc4 Bxc4 21.Rxc4 c6 22.Rd4 Rxd4! 23.cxd4 Rd8 24.c3Rd5 with advantage for black B.Belokopyt-N.Monin, by correspondence, 1974.
14...exd4 15.Bxc6 dxc3 16.Qxd5 bxc6 17.Qc5+ Qe7+ 18.Qxe7+ Kxe7
Novelty, at least for me. I expected 19.0-0-0 Be6 20. Ne5, as it was in the game I.Liberzon- T.Prokhorovich, a Moscow, 1959. Here T.Prokhorovich missed a case to become "immortal", not having played 20... Rab8!! For example, 21. Nc6 Kf6 22. Nxb8 Rxb8 23. Rde1 Bxa2 24. Kd1 Bc4 25. Kc1 Ba2.
Better 20. Re1 with equality.
20...Rd8 21.Nxc6 Rd2 22.Rfd1 Bf5 23.Rxd2 cxd2 24.Rd1 Be4 25.Nd4
It is not better 26. Rd2 c5 27. Nb3 Rd2 28. Kd2 Bc2 with idea Ke5-d4-c3-b2.
26...c5 27.Nb3 c4!-+ 28.Nxd2
Lose also 28.Nd4 Rxd4! 29.cxd4 c3; 28.Na1 Rb8; 28.Rxd2 cxb3! 29.Rd8 b2.
If 28...Bc2?? 29.Ne4+!
29.Kf1 Bd3+ 0-1
The continuation follows. Till new meetings, sirs!