Nikolay Monin, International Master
Revelation of the analyst, Part 3
N.Monin continues his story about Mc.Ketchon counter-attack.
The decision came into my mind at the beginning of 80-ies. After 9.h4 c5 10. Bd2 Nxd2 11. Kxd2 Nc6! 12. Rh3 c4 13.Be2 b5! (instead of 13. Ne7) 14.Rg3?! Rg8 15.a3 a5 Black is successfully counter-attacking successfully. In a number of my games it happened 16.Nh3 Bd717. Nf4 Ne7! 18. Nh5 Nf5. White's attack is beaten off, a black rook and a pawn, are under strike, and no defending from b5-b4. Zoltan Almashi and Firyuza Velikhanly are my "victims" in this variation. Up till now this continuation serves me on trust and truth, to my pupils and me. Here is for example, how easily one of the strongest Russian juniors was laid low.
Lanin A. - Zhukov K. [C12] St.Petersburg, 2002
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.Bd3 Nxd2 10.Kxd2 c5 11.Nf3 c4! (certainly, not 11. Nc6? Because of 12.dxc5 how it was played in the recent game of P.Leko-R.Hubner) 12.Be2 b5 13.h4 Nc6 14.Rh3 Bd7 15.a3 a5 16.Rg3 Rg8 17.Qf4 b4
Up to here Black did not exert himself too much. He repeated the game R.Bymler-N.Monin (St.Petersburg, 2001) where I succeed in achieving an immense superiority after 18.axb4 axb4 19. Rxa8 bxc3 + 20.Kxc3 Qxa8 21. Kd2 Qa5 + 22.Kd1 Ke7 23.Qd2 c3 24.Qc1 Rb8 25.Bd3 Nb4 26. Rxg7 Nxd3 and Black won soon. And A.Lanin was bright in nothing.
18...bxc3+ 19.Ke3 Ne7 20.Kf3 Nf5 21.Rg4 Ba4 22.Bd1 Qb6 23.h5 Qb2 24.Qc1 Rb8 25.Nf1 Qxc1 26.Rxc1 Rb2 27.Ng3 g5 28.hxg6 fxg6 29.Ne2 g5 30.Ng3 Be8 31.Ke2 h5 32.Nxf5 hxg4 33.Nh6 Rh8 34.Nxg4 Bg6 35.Ne3 Ke7 36.Ra1 Rhb8 37.a4 R2b4 38.g3 Be8 39.f4 gxf4 40.gxf4 Rxa4 0-1
In the conclusion I tell you one thing: Mc.Ketchon variation is alive and quite sound. It has brought me, in the main, positive emotions for 40 years. I hope it will bring them to you as well.