Surprising a Master of Surprises

Surprising a Master of Surprises

| 51 | Strategy

The game I am about to discuss here was the final knockout match in the Carlos Torre Memorial Tournament 2007, in Merida, Mexico. I had won 3 knockout matches with the score 1.5-0.5 to reach final where I had to face Vasily Ivanchuk who was the world number 2 at that time.

I had lost my first game of the match against him as black in a Petroff Defence. I was very determined to level the score and take him into a tiebreak! This left me in a must-win situation.The fact that both classical games were played on the same day did not help! This means that you dont have enough time to prepare for the second game. And apart from this everyone knows that Ivanchuk can play absolutely anything from A00-E99!!! This makes him almost impossible to prepare for and guess what he has in mind against you on that particular day. So I chose a setup that did not involve great deal of exact preparation and interestingly also managed to take Ivanchuk by surprise.
I chose this game to show the readers that whomever your opponent may be, it is useful to impose your will on the game. By choosing the 3.Nbd2 setup I achieved the following things:
1. I managed to take him by surprise.
2. I steered the game into a position where I am more familar with the plans and ideas.
3. I saved a lot of effort by not working on remembering specific variations and moves before a crucial game.

I hope the readers enjoyed my first article for where I managed to hoodwink the great master of surprises :-)

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