Kotov vs Barcza, 1952. A fine performance.

Jun 10, 2011, 5:21 PM |

This game occurred at the Interzonal tournament in Sweden, 1952.  The middle game is of interest to me because it features a Maroczy Bind Pawn structure where White has fianchettoed his light squared Bishop. We could easily reach the position on move 7 via several transpositions, mostly from the English Opening.

Kotov follows a typical Maroczy Bind plan where Knights are placed on c3 and e3 creating an iron grip on d5 and the center.  Kotov's Knight sacrifice on move 21 is a great example of how to exploit weak dark squares on the Kingside.  Barcza's game thereafter was possibly playable, but the path was narrow and defense was not at all easy. All in all this is one of Kotov's finest performances.