Philadelphia Open Round 3. Holt vs Kats
In this round, we have a Meran Defense. In the hunt for an IM or GM norm, Holt chose the uncommon, but dangerous 8.Be2 line. Kats played it "safe" with 8...a6 and ended up with the worst of it. The lesson for Meran defenders is that Black needs to be persistent on the Queenside in this line or there will be trouble.
I think Black still had chances to hold equality and maybe a draw at move 21 with 21...Qc6, but this was not an easy plan to find. Holt's technique through "Error Alley" was good enough to force a decisive error on move 32.
If we ever meet over the board and I have the black pieces, I sure hope Holt tries this line against me. I'll take him deep and give him a run for it.