Run Over by Robson

Run Over by Robson‎

GM vbhat
17 | Middlegame

In my last article, I showed my game with GM Josh Friedel from round 2 of the World Open in Philadelphia. The following day, I had the black pieces against IM Ray Robson, the 2009 Samford Fellowship recipient. I had planned to play a Winawer French, and that is what I got, but Ray had prepared the main line of the Poisoned Pawn, a variation I hadn't seen him play as white before. The game took on the nuttiness that is characteristic of that variation, and brought about the exciting game I'd like to share with you today. Along the way, I'll try and explain some of the basic themes of this opening as well.


Question 1: What would you play as Black after 18.Ba3?


Question 2: What would you play as White after 21...Nc4?


Question 3: What would you play as Black after 25.Rb4?


Question 4: What would you play as Black after 28.Qc5?


Question 5: What would you play as Black after 33.Bd3?

I thought I played reasonably well in this game, coming up with some good ideas (especially the knight maneuvers, from c4 back to c6 and from g6 to d7 to f6), but the time I spent coming up with them cost me in the end. With more experience in this line (this was only my 3rd game in the Poisoned Pawn Winawer), maybe I'll be able to play some of the same ideas a little faster next time.

On a side note, congrats to Ray for making his first GM norm in Norway just a couple days ago!

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