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White: GM Igor Novikov

Black: Peter Bereolos

2001 Chicago Open

Round 2 Board 2

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f3 O-O 6.Bg5 Na6!?

A move I first tried in this position against Tom Rowan in the 1997 Knoxville City Championship. Like many of the Na6 lines of the Kings Indian, the idea is to play e5 and pressure the d4 square which has been slightly weakened by the White bishop going to g5 instead of the usual e3.

7.Qd2 e5 8.Nge2

I couldn't find any other examples of this move, so it may be a novelty. White stays flexible, but it shouldn't trouble Black too much as the White kingside is now underdeveloped. Rowan tried 8. dxe5 which gives Black no problems at all. 8. d5 would lead to play similar to my game with David Burris in the 2000 Knoxville City Championship.


8. . . h6 deserves attention.

9.O-O-O Qa5

The start of an ill conceived plan of queenside expansion. Better is 9. . . Qe8 with a normal game.

10.Kb1 Re8?!

I wanted to cover e7 so the knight could move, but this turn out to be a very unfortunate square for the rook.

11.d5 cd?

loses material to an elementary tactic, but White already has a comfortable position. Black's pieces are in poor positions to play the Old Benoni structure with 11. . . c5.

12.Bxf6 Bxf6 13.Nxd5 Qd8

a)13...Qxd2 14.Nxf6+ and b)13...Bd8 14.Qxa5 Bxa5 15.Nf6+ both highlight the problems with the Re8

14.Nxf6+ Qxf6 15.Qxd6 Qxd6

15...Be6 16.Nc3 coming to d5 looked even worse as my queen will be more passive than his.


Black can often get away with a sacrifice leading to this type of pawn structure in the Kings Indian. However, in those cases, Black usually has better development, great dark square control, and control of the d- file. I have none of those here. I could have possibly put up more resistance, but the position is basically lost at this point. Novikov shows good technique the rest of the way and gives me no chances.

16....Be6 17.Nc3 Rac8 18.Nb5 Bxc4 19.Nxa7 Rc5 20.Bxc4 Rxc4 21.Rc1 Rxc1+ 22.Kxc1 Nc5 23.Nb5 f5 24.ef gf 25.Rd5 b6 26.Nd6 Rf8

26...Rd8 27.Nxf5

27.b4 Na6 28.a3 e4 29.Rxf5 Rxf5 30.Nxf5 ef Nc7 32.Kb2 Kf7 33.a4 Ke6 34.Ne3 b5 35.f4 ba 36.Ka3 [1:0]