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MACA Chess Horizons Magazine Article
 Ivanov Annotates
 GM Alexander Ivanov
  July 2010
White: Ivanov (2597)
Black: Esserman (2507)
[B91] Sicilian Najdorf Defence, Zagreb (fianchetto) 
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.g3 My favorite move. Objectively White doesn't get much in this system. 6...g6 This is less common than 6...e5 or 6...e6, but perhaps just as good. 7.Bg2 Bg7 8.h3 Usually White castles first. 8...0-0 9.0-0 Nc6 10.Be3 [10.Nde2 Ne5 is unclear.] 10...Bd7 11.Nd5 Rc8 [After 11...Nxd5 12.exd5 Nxd4 13.Bxd4 Bxd4 14.Qxd4 Qc8 White still has a plus after 15.Rfe1 Re8 16.g4 , for example, 16...Qxc2 17.Rac1 Qa4 18.Qxa4 Bxa4 19.Rc7 , but; 11...e6 was playable: 12.Nxf6+ Qxf6 13.c3 Qe7 14.Qd2 Rfd8=] 12.Ne2 White tries to avoid exchanges to use his space advantage. The alternatives were: [12.Nb3 b5 (12...Nxd5 13.exd5 Na5 14.Nxa5 Qxa5 15.c3) 13.Nb6 a)13.a4?! Nxd5 14.exd5 Ne5 15.axb5 Bxb5 16.Re1 Nc4; b)13.Bb6 Qe8 14.Qe2 (b)14.Nc7 Qd8 15.Nd5=) 14...Ne5 15.Bd4 Nc4!? 16.Nxf6+ Bxf6 17.Bxf6 exf6 and Black has time to get rid of the weakness on d6 18.Rab1 d5 19.Rfe1=; 13...Rb8 14.Nxd7 Nxd7 15.c3 Nde5=; 12.c3 Ne5!?] 12...b5 13.c3 Ne5 14.b3 Bc6 15.Qd2 Re8?! It was safer to avoid the following tactical exchange by [15...Ned7!?=] 16.Bb6 Qd7 17.f4 Qb7 The only move 18.fxe5 Nxd5 [18...Bxd5? 19.exf6 Qxb6+ 20.Kh1 loses a piece] 19.Bd4 Nb6?!
Black could do better sacking a Pawn with [19...Nc7 20.exd6 exd6 (20...Ne6) 21.Bxg7 Kxg7 22.Qxd6 Ne6 (Black has compensation for the sacrificed material) 23.Nf4 (23.Rae1!? Kg8!=) 23...Nxf4 24.Rxf4 Rcd8 25.Qf6+ Kg8 26.Raf1 Rd7=] 20.e6! This is what I prepared getting into the complications. Black pieces are crowded on the Queenside, White grabs the initiative. [20.Qe3?! Nd7 21.e6 fxe6 22.Bxg7 Kxg7 23.Nd4 Nf8; 20.exd6 exd6 21.Bxg7 Kxg7=] 20...f6 Relatively the best [20...fxe6? 21.Bxg7 Kxg7 22.Nf4 Qd7 (22...Kg8! The most stubborn defense found by the computer. 23.Nxg6 (23.Nxe6 Bd7 24.Ng5+/=) 23...hxg6 24.Qh6 Rf8 25.Qxg6+ Kh8= 26.Rf4! Rxf4 27.gxf4 planning Kh2, Rg1, Bf3 and White’s attack decides acording to Rybka +-.) 23.Nh5+!+- this is the point 23...gxh5 24.Qg5+ Kh8 25.Rf7 Rg8 26.Qh6+-; 20...Bxd4+!? 21.Nxd4 f6+/=] 21.Nf4 Na8 22.Qe2 Nc7 23.h4 Bh6 24.Qg4 Rf8 [24...Bxf4 25.Rxf4+/=; 24...Bxe4? 25.Nxg6+-] 25.Rae1 d5? This move loses. Humans are not computers and it’s psychologically hard to defend passively, but after Rybka’s quiet [25...Kh8!? direct attempts to break through don’t seem to work for White: 26.Nxg6+ (26.h5 g5 27.Nd3+/=; 26.Rd1!?+/=) 26...hxg6 27.Qxg6 Bg7 28.Rf5 (28.Bh3 Be8!; 28.h5 Nxe6!? 29.h6 Rg8 30.hxg7+ Rxg7<=>) 28...Nxe6 29.Rh5+ Kg8 30.Bh3 Nxd4 31.cxd4 Bd7 32.Rh7 Rf7 33.Bxd7 Qxd7 34.h5 Rc3!? and 35.h6? loses to (35.Kg2!?) 35...Rxg3+!] 26.exd5+- Bxd5 [26...Nxd5 27.Nxg6! hxg6 28.Qxg6+ Bg7 29.Be4+-] 27.Nxd5 Nxd5 28.h5 f5 [28...Rcd8 29.c4+-; 28...Bg5 29.hxg6 hxg6 30.Qe4+-] 29.Qf3 Rcd8 30.Re5 1-0