Time Controls: 5 min (no increment) Winner: IM Daniel Naroditsky (on time)
Daniel opens with d4 and I respond with the Najdorf variation of the Sicilian defense. Naroditsky plays the Be2 line, quickly moving to Bf3 to establish firm control of d5. Karpov employed similar plans with be2-bf3, and g3 nearly 40 years ago – attempting to reduce black’s dynamic tactical possibilities and allow white to attempt a positional grind based on his slight space advantage and better static pawn structure. I think I employed an inaccurate grouping of my pieces with 14. …Rfd8?! – better was 14. …Qc4 to put more pressure on white’s e4 pawn and on the c-file as well. I wasn’t terribly impressed by 17. g4, as it seemed to be more of a weakness than a strength for white. I think a better plan for white is to either trade off the rooks or play the immediate nd5. Also possible for white is 17. f4!? I could have played an interesting exchange sac with 18. …Rd4!?, taking firm control of the d-file or the dark squares. 22. …Bxe3?! was unnecessary and inaccurate, with 22. …Kg8 to be preferred. Also, 28. …Nd4 could have been a mistake, maybe 28. …Nf4+ 29. Kf1 Qc6 – to stop 30. Qxc3 with 30. …b5. At this point, we entered a time scramble and I was unable to break through white’s position. A solid game by Naroditsky.
My apologies for the framerate, I did this video on an old computer on the road and it didn’t encode properly (being as it was a live blitz game I couldn’t redo it).
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