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B26 Sicilian, Closed, 6.Be3
Sicilian Defense: Closed Variation
Hans-Joachim Hecht vs Raymond Keene, 1972
0-1, 32 moves ("To Hecht with It")
www.chessgames.com id =  1071329 (#309)
[Event "Teesside (England)"]
[Site "Teesside (England)"]
[Date "1972.??.??"]
[EventDate "?"]
[Round "?"]
[Result "0-1"]
[White "Hans-Joachim Hecht"]
[Black "Raymond Keene"]
[ECO "B26"]
[WhiteElo "?"]
[BlackElo "?"]
[PlyCount "64"]
1. e4 { Notes by Raymond Keene. } g6 2. Nc3 Bg7 3. g3 {3 d4, returning to the Pirc or Modern, is a more severe test of Black's resources.} 3...c5 4. Bg2 Nc6 5. d3 d6 6. Be3 Rb8 {I like this move very much. I first saw a similar idea in Christoffel - Petrosian, Zuerich 1961, and since then I have had several opportunities to use it in my own games. Black wants, ideally, to establish a queenside advantage rapidly, before committing the development of his kingside to any set pattern.} 7. Nf3 {Hartston - Keene, Hastings 1971/72 (a few months before this game) had gone: 7 Qd2 b5 8 Nge2 b4 9 Nd1 Qb6 10 O-O a5 11 f4 f5 12 Bf2 Nf6 13 Ne3 O-O 14 e5 dxe5 15 Nc4 Qc7 16 Bxc5 Rd8 17 Kh1 Ba6=/+, although White succeeded in holding the draw after 29 moves.} 7...Nf6 8. h3 b5 9. Qd2 b4 10. Nd1 {? The further course of the game reveals that the knight is badly placed on this square. 10 Ne2 was indicated.} 10...Ba6 {Aiming, eventually, for ...c5-c4 to hit at the base of White's pawn chain.} 11. Nh4 O-O 12. O-O c4 13. f4 Qc7 14. Rf2 {To unpin the d-pawn.} 14...Rfd8 {Only this plan, in connection with the sacrifice at move 17, leaves Black on top. If White could play d3-d4 free of charge and follow this with c2-c3, cementing the foundations of his centre, he could be winning.} 15. d4 {To advance the f-pawn would concede too many squares, e.g. 15 f5 cxd3 16 cxd3 Ne5.} 15...d5 16. e5 Ne4 17. Bxe4 c3 {! 17...dxe4? 18 c3 leaves White's centre like a rock and Black's queen's bishop totally out of play.} 18. bxc3 dxe4 {For his pawn Black has achieved two very important basic advantages: a) his pawn structure is superior (White's huge centre, with its unwieldy doubled pawns is subject to severe pressure) and b) his king is more secure. In addition, Black dominates the light squares and White's minor pieces are badly congested and incapable of cO-Ordination.} 19. Kh2 {To guard against ...bxc3 followed by ...Qd7, forking d4 and h3. If, instead, 19 cxb4 Nxb4 20 a3 Nc6 followed by ...Na5 heading for the weak c4 square.} 19...e6 20. Qe1 Bf8 21. f5 {?! A practical decision - White gives back the pawn to enliven his queen's bishop and create some counterplay. I had expected 21 Bd2 but then comes 21...bxc3 22 Bxc3 Nxd4! 23 Ba5 Nxc2 24 Bxc7 Nxe1 25 Bxb8 Rxb8 with such threats as ...e4-e3, ...Bc5 or ...Nd3.} 21...exf5 22. Bg5 bxc3 {! Another practical decision - I wanted to keep the initiative and wipe out White's centre without stopping to save the exchange, but 22...Be7 or 22...Rd7 were doubtless playable. Not surprisingly, my 22nd move was partly prompted by Hecht's habitual time shortage, which was not absent in this encounter.} 23. Bxd8 Qxd8 24. Qxc3 Rc8 25. Ne3 Qxd4 {25...Nxd4 is also excellent.} 26. Qxd4 Nxd4 27. Rd1 Nc6 28. Rd5 Re8 29. g4 {The best try in the circumstances.} 29...Bh6 30. Nexf5 {? In time-trouble it is difficult to make rational decisions, and after this a rout ensues. There was still tough resistance possible with 30 Nhg2 Nxe5 31 gxf5 Nf3+ 32 Kh1 Bf8 33 fxg6 hxg6 34 c4 Rb8 35 Rc2, although Black should win with 35...Bc5! planning ...Bd4 and an advance of the f-pawn. Note that 36 Rxc5 loses to 36...Rb1+.} 30...gxf5 31. Nxf5 Bf8 32. Nd6 Rxe5 0-1

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