The Metropolitan Grand Prix is in full swing! This game is from the tournament we held on May 16th. A returning player by the name of Nathan Parr is racking up the points and scaring the regulars. Nathan Parr (784) – Matt Thomas (1067) The opening is the Pirc. I studied this system and used it with success while moving from 1600–1800. When you make a choice of openings, you must learn the thematic moves and thrusts! If you play the Sicilian, you must understand the rook sac on c3 for black and the piece for 3 pawns sac on b5 for white. In this Pirc you must understand the fight for the dark squares and the battle on opposite wings of the board. White isn’t really presenting black with many problems! Black loses this game because they keep missing thematic thrusts! 1.d2-d4 g8-f6 2.b1–c3 g7-g6 3.g1–f3 f8-g7 4.e2-e4 d7-d6 5.c1–e3
Here I used to play Ng4?! That move is not that strong because it’s time consuming! Moving a piece twice by the 5th move without an obvious mistake by your opponent can never be good! 5…0–0 6.f1–c4?= This allows that equalizing combination that we should all be familiar with…6….Ne4!? The correct or thematic move is 6. Be2. [6.f1–e2 e7-e5 7.d4-e5 d6-e5 From here, white has 11 good choices. The 12th and the weakest throws away the advantage and let’s players know how much you know about this opening! 8.f3-e5?! f6-e4 9.c3-e4 g7-e5 10.c2-c3=] 6…c8-g4?! Black has to know where white is castling, or make a try for space in the center before developing the bishop. 7.c4-e2?! [7.h2-h3] 7…c7-c6 8.d1–d2 d6-d5 9.e4-e5 f6-e4 10.c3-e4 d5-e4 11.f3-g5 g4-e2 12.d2-e2 It’s important to note that moves 8–11 have been top engine choices! If we understand what we are playing, we can make top choices more frequently!
This is thematic thrust time. Black needs to play 12…c5! Look at this possible variation. 12…c6-c5! 13.d4-c5 g7-e5 14.c2-c3 d8-d5 15.0–0 h7-h6 16.a1–d1 d5-c6 17.g5-h3 g6-g5 18.f2-f4 e4-f3 19.e2-f3 f7-f5 Complicated but still equal! 12…d8-d5? 13.b2-b3? [13.c2-c4] 13…b8-d7?? The complications are taking their toll on the players. This is the 3rd game of the day, fatigue is setting in. White has just missed a thematic c4. Now black misses the thematic …f5 and …c5. Most thematic moves that are seen in the opening books actually get played in the middlegame. Watching grandmaster games from the openings you play will improve your thematic awareness and timing! ] 14.0–0–0 [14.c2-c4] 14…b7-b5
15.f2-f3 [That was one of white’s choices for move 15. Here is another, 15.e2-g4 f7-f6 16.e5-f6 e7-f6 17.g4-e6 g8-h8 18.e6-d5 c6-d5 19.g5-e6 f8-c8 20.e6-c5 d7-b6 21.h2-h4. With a relatively equal position. The next choice is the best and is Extremely complicated. 15.e3-f4! f7-f5! 16.h2-h4 h7-h6 17.g5-h3 d7-b6!! (all other moves allow the coming move by white to have more impact!) 18.h4-h5! g6-g5 19.h3-g5!! Look at the position below!!
Playing both sides of this position for practice will teach you all you need to know about destroying this type of pawn structure!!] Back to the game. 15…e4-f3 16.g2-f3! e7-e6? [16…f7-f6! Thematically speaking, it’s time for this f pawn to move! 17.e5-f6 e7-f6 18.g5-h3 a8-e8 19.h1–e1 And black is stealing the initiative!] 17.f3-f4 a7-a5?? [17…h7-h6 18.g5-f3=]
18.c1–b2?? [18.c2-c4 The queen is dead! 18…d5-h1 19.d1-h1 a5-a4 20.b3-b4+-] 18…a5-a4 19.b3-b4?? [19.e2-f3 h7-h6 20.f3-d5 c6-d5 21.g5-f3 f8-c8 Things are looking up for black!] 19…a4-a3 20.b2-a1 a8-a4 21.c2-c3 d7-b6 22.h2-h4 b6-c4?! [22…h7-h6 23.g5-f3] 23.h4-h5–+ g7-h6?? 24.h5-g6 c4-b2 [24…f7-g6 25.h1-h6 a4-a7+-] 25.g6-h7+ g8-g7 26.e2-h2 Game over mate is unavoidable 26…h6-g5 27.h7-h8(Q) f8-h8 28.h2-h8 g7-g6 29.h8-h7# 1–0
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