Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Movsesian - Kasparov (2000), Rxc3 in the Najdorf

Movsesian - Kasparov (2000)
A game too good not to annotate!

I stumbled on this game the way any Najdorf player would: by typing in 'Kasparov 0-1' and clicking wildly. What really gets me about this game are two things:
  1. After the Rxc3 exchange sac, what wins the game is typical Najdorf play- the exchange sac simply makes the usual themes stronger.  
  2. The old cliché "use every piece in the attack" is demonstrated pretty damn well!
  3. And... In every club you have players who pick "systems" against a range of openings. Against the Sicilian the most common approach of a player who wants to get by with as little opening theory as possible is to play f3, 0-0-0, Kb1, and g2-g4-g5. This game shows that against the Najdorf, "slow", unchallenging play can often see the black pieces come to life and take over the position. 

White's d2 knight and c1 Bishop defend key squares, but they also block white's Queen on e2 defending along the second rank and black's d1 Rook can't defend the open c-file. Black's play demonstrates how to take advantage of these weaknesses and use every piece in an attack.

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