Accelerated Fianchetto 
Maroczy Bind 6.Be3 Nf6 

James Lawson 144

Neth B v HV scr Bd 2
Netherton, 2005

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 g6 3. d4

Okay it's an open Sicilian. Black exchanges a side pawn for a centre pawn and has the central pawn mass. Its utility/advance is problematic, however.

3... cxd4 4. Nxd4 Bg7

It's the Sicilian Accelerated Fianchetto - White hot sharp !!! The bad news for White is the the Dragon King Bishop will be the most effective minor piece on the board. No other piece can compete with it. White will normally try to exchange it with Be3, Qd2 and Bh6.

5. c4

Here Nc3 is most popular, going for quick development and piece play. This line (Maroczy) is recommended by "old" theory. The idea is to prevent Black's d5 counter. However this weakens the dark squares, particularly d4 and restricts White's King Bishop which is a poor piece in this variation.

5... Nf6

Now 6. e5 ? runs into Qa5+.

6. Nc3 Nc6 7. Be3 O-O

Black has no weakness

In just 7 moves Black has completed his K-side development, castled, and has no weakness.

8. Qd2

I was shocked by this move. It has only been played 4 times in the two thousand times this position has occurred. Last time James played f3/Be2 which is normal. He is probably trying to improve on his play but the move is known to be suspect because of ...

8... Ng4! 9. Nxc6

forced, but now Black's centre is strengthened. I'm laughing because I'm =+ and I've used no time on the clock.

9... bxc6

I've got the central pawn mass, and if White loses his dark squared Bishop he will be positionally busted.

9... dxc6 is inferior 10. Qxd8 Rxd8 11. Bc5 Re8 12. f3 b6 13. Bg1 Ne5 14. f4 Ng4 15. h3 Nf6 16. g4 e5 17. f5 Bh6 18. Rd1 Bb7 19. Ke2 Rad8 20. Rxd8 Rxd8 21. Be3 Bf4 22. Kf3 g5 23. Be2 h5 24. Rd1 Rxd1 25. Bxd1 hxg4+ 26. hxg4 Bxe3 27. Kxe3 Kf8 28. b4 Ke7 29. Be2 Kd6 30. a3 Bc8 31. Na4 Bd7 32. c5+ Kc7 33. Bd1 Be8 34. Be2 Nd7 35. Bd1 Kd8 36. Bb3 Kc7 37. Bd1 Kb7 38. cxb6 axb6 39. Nb2 Kc7 40. Kd3 Nb8 41. Nc4 f6 42. Bb3 Na6 43. Kc3 b5 44. Ne3 Kd6 45. Bd1 Bd7 46. Bb3 Bc8 47. a4 bxa4 48. Bxa4 Bb7 49. Nc4+ Kc7 50. Bc2 Nb8 51. Nb2 Nd7 52. Na4 Kd6 53. Bd3 Ba8 54. Kc4 Bb7 55. Kc3 1/2-1/2, Fusi Christopher (AUT) 2210 - Znamenacek Kvetoslav (CZE) 2340, Oberwart (Austria) 1992

10. Bd4

Again forced.

10... Bh6!

10.... e5? runs into Bc5. Black ensures he will give the White Queen Bishop some harrassment.

11. Qe2

-0.38 Tiger 15.0

11. Qc2!? d6 12.h3 Ne5 13.Be2 {-0.26 Tiger 15.0

11... d6

Defending the Knight and threatening to kick the Bishop with e5 or c5. White is already on the defensive.

12. f3

Again forced.

12... e5

Here c5 runs into Bxc5, or White can play Bg1 and then he has b5 and / or d5 for his Queen Knight. However on post game closer analysis c5 appears better.

12... c5! 13. Bg1 (13. Bxc5 dxc5 14. Rd1 Qa5 15. fxg4 Rb8) 13... Ne5 14. Be3 Bg7 15. Qd2 Be6

13. Bg1 Nf6

White has undeveloped his pieces ! Black has a threatening pawn mass. He will prepare d5 counter when White will be positionally lost.

14. Rd1

Absolutely essential. White's trump card is the d-file. He must occupy it and pressure d6.

14... Qc7

I finally use up some thinking time. So far I've only used a couple of minutes. White was threatening Qd3 winning the d6 pawn. However I could have sacked it any way.

14... Be6!? 15. Bc5! (15. Qd3 Qa5 16. Qxd6 Rad8 =+) 15... Ne8 16. Bxd6 Nxd6 17. c5

15. Be3!

a good move that lets White untangle himself to a certain extent.

15... Bg7

15... Bxe3!? 16. Qxe3 Be6 17. Bd3 Qb6 +0.31 Tiger 15.0

16. g4

The optimism of youth. This is typical aggressive style of James Lawson. But White should be trying to consolidate his development. And what about his King position ? I almost laughed at this move, but one must be polite.

16. Qd2!? Rd8 17. Be2 Be6 18. O-O

16... Be6

If Black can achieve the d5 counter then White is positionally busted.

17. h4

The Optimism of Youth

This is going nowhere and a storm is brewing at d5.

17. b3!? Qa5 18. Qd2 Rfd8 19. Bg2

17... h5!

This counter stroke puts White in a quandary. g5 will obviously block up the K-side. Then he has no attack and he has to worry about Black's eventual d5 hit.

18. gxh5?!

-0.17 Tiger 15.0

18. g5!? Ne8 (18... Nd7 19. Qd2 Rfb8 20. b3 Bf8) 19. c5 f6 20. Bh3

18... Nxh5

White's "attack" is nowhere, and he'd better start worrying about his king position.

19. Qd2

19. Qd3!? Rfd8 20. Bh3 Bxh3 21. Rxh3 -0.17 Tiger 15.0

19... Rfd8

the Rook moves to get behind the d6 pawn

20. Bh6?


Here b3 had to be played. This does not really achieve anything.

20... Ng3!

This wins a pawn and gets at the White King, but unfortunately it unblocks the White h4 pawn, giving it a sniff of an advance. But... you cannot have everything.

21. Bxg7!

sets a cunning trap !

21... Kxg7

But I decline to fall for it !

21... Nxh1? loses 22. Bf6!! Blocking the f6 pawn and threatening Qh6 , now.. 22... Qb6 forced 23. Bxd8 Rxd8 24. Qg2 White is better.

22. Rh2 Nxf1 23. Kxf1 Bxc4+

The point ! Black has won a pawn, is harrassing the White King and now is able to make the d5 break.

24. Kg2 d5

A triumph for strategy

The threat is dxe4

25. exd5 Bxd5


Here cxd5 was positionally better, but I wanted my Rooks in the game on the d file. Also the Bishop is more aggressively placed on d5. White will have to take the Bishop soon because of threats against the White King.

25... cxd5!? 26. h5 d4 27. Ne4 Qb6 -0.91 Tiger 15.0

26. Qe3 f6!

important ! Black prepares to answer a h5 push with g5, but also solidifies e5 pawn freeing the Queen for action.

27. Kh1


White runs for cover. He realises Black had Qd7 to g4 check.

27... Qd7!

Black threatens Qf5 (not Qg4 now as this loses to Nxd5)

28. h5 Qf5

White's King position is still under threat.

29. Nxd5



29... Rxd5?!


My computer likes the positional cxd5 but the Rooks...the Rooks !

29... cxd5!? 30. Rc1 Rh8 -1.26 Tiger 15.0

30. Rg1?!

-1.19 Tiger 15.0

30. h6+!? Kh7 31. Rc1 Rd3 32. Qe4 Rad8 33. Qxf5 gxf5 34. Rxc6 Rd1+ 35. Kg2 Rg8+ 36. Kh3 Rg5 37. Rxf6 Rh5+ 38. Kg3 f4+ 39. Kg2 Rd2+ wins

30... g5!


White has sweet FA and the Q Rook is coming to d8.

30... Rd3 was also strong, but I did not like leaving the g6 pawn under pressure. 31. Qf2 (31. Qe4 Qxe4 32. fxe4 g5) 31... Rxf3 32. Qc5 Rf1

31. Rc1

It's difficult to suggest a move for White.

31... Rad8!

Finally Black has got his big guns into position, and is a pawn to the good.

32. Qxa7+?


I could see that this lost, but by now James was struggling for time.

32. h6+ Kh8 33. Rg1 Rd1 34. Qe4 Rxg1+ 35. Kxg1 Rd1+ 36. Kg2 Qxe4 37. fxe4 Rd2+ is an easy win.

32... R8d7!


White is now in big trouble.

33. Qf2?!

-6.01 Tiger 15.0

33. Qe3!? Rd1+ 34. Rxd1 Rxd1+ 35. Kg2 g4 wins 36. h6+ Kh8 37. f4 Qd7 38. fxe5 Qd5+ 39. Kg3 Rd3

33... Rd1+!

This takes White out.

34. Rxd1 Rxd1+ 35. Kg2 Qf4


This is an absolute killer as the threat of Rd2 cannot be answered. The computer rating of -7.16 after looking 14 ply ahead shows there is no escape. Some of the variations are given below. Yup - another Peake classic.

36. h6+ (36. Qa7+ Kh6 37. Rh3 (37. Qf7 Rd2+ 38. Kf1 Qxf3+ 39. Ke1 Rd1#) 37... g4 38. Rg3 Rd2+) (36. h6+ Kh8 37. Rh1 Rd2 -7.16|d14 Tiger 15.0) 36... Kh8 37. Kh3 g4+ 38. Kh4 (38. Kg2 Rd2) 38... g3+

0-1 [Geoff Peake]

Game(s) in PGN