My Simult With IM Attila: An analysis of the a6 Slav
Saturday, I participated in IM Attila Turzo's weekly Simult. Its really a great service that Attila is providing in offering these simults as he gives weaker player a chance to play a longer time control game against a strong opponent. More than that, he offers live post game analysis, the results of which I would like to share.
Going into the match, Attila offered to play an opening of my choice, which I declined in favor of trying to create a real game situation and quickly found myself in a Chebanenko Slav. I used to play the a6 slav as Black but switched to a mainline Slav (after a short affair with the Semi-Slav) because I was frustrated with the symmetrical pawn structure which commonly arose after the mainlines with b5.
However, Attila choose another solid option with Bg4 and already I was out of book. Let's have a look.
However, instead of 6. h3, Attila so a similar idea related to g4 push from above that is more direct: 6.Qb3 which also deals with the pin, and also creates so problems for black to solve. An interesting game between Krasenkow and Oll from the Rubinstein Memorial in 1998 nicely demonstrates the ideas behind Qb3.
Alas, I didn't go down these lines, and instead went for a much more modest development with a simple idea of going for e4 as soon as it was a possible move.
I found a nice game played by Algirdas Bandza which nicely demonstrates the idea of holding back e4, and simply improving the rest of your pieces before committing to a central break.
As the game went, I allowed several trades leading to an equal endgame. I had some chances to push but I didn't take any of them; instead I was shamelessly playing for a draw. It was only when Attila pressed himself and gave me winning chances which I was able to capitalize on. At nearly any point, I would have accepted a draw if Attila had offered. I only didn't offer one myself as the weaker player since I thought it would be rude.
As an example to demonstrate my fears, have a look at this game where White still believed his position was strong, and attempted to press for an attack when he should have been playing more defensively.
Now that we've seen what I was afraid of, I think my play for the rest of the game is clear however unambitious it may have been.
A lucky win! The entire process of getting to play the game and then getting analysis with Attila afterward was highly instructive and time well spent. As Attila hosts these simults weekly I would strongly encourage anyone wanting to improve to take advantage of this opportunity. Click HERE for details on the next Simult taking place 8/1/15.
Thanks for reading guys! I hope this was as instructive for you as it was for me! Be sure to add me as a friend in order to be notified of my next blog entry!