Knight

GM N.Pert v S.Crockart

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GM N.Pert
S.Crockart
4NCL Guildford v Bristol, 2007

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 b6 4. Nc3 Bb4 5. Bg5 h6 6. Bh4 Bb7 7. Nd2 So far following standard theory although I have never played against Nd2 before as it is relatively new 7... O-O although this is a book line it is not the best, the other line I had considered was c5 with the idea of exploiting White's abandonment of the centre with his knight retreat; this would have been more solid 8. e4 Forcing Black to win the e pawn or else give up complete central control to White. Black gets his extra pawn and White receives the initiative 8... g5 9. Bg3 Bxe4 I preferred this capture to the Knight take as it gave me the opportunity to utilize the Bishop in defence of my King - the storm is brewing 10. h4 I had been playing blind to this point, and after the game Nick had told me that these moves had been seen before 10... Bg6 11. hxg5 hxg5 12. Qf3 Nc6 I had visualised this position before playing B-g6 but missed White's next move 13. Bxc7! Nxd4 14. Qh3 Bh5 An extremely cunning defence retaliating against his mate threats with some of my own, unfortunately I think I was virtually lost after 0-0 and so all that was left was resilient defence 15. Nde4 An extremely accurate move; at this point both players had to find accurate moves or the game could change in an instant 15... Bxc3+ 16. Qxc3 Nxe4 17. Qxd4 Qxc7 18. Rxh5 Nick thought I had to lose here but I had seen a bit further and found a defensive resource but unfortunately it would not be enough 18... f5! 19. Rh8+ Kf7 20. Rh7+ Ke8 21. Qg7 Qd6 I had thought that my defence was intact and I could force an exchange; I should have realised my predicament - it is never good to allow your opponent to have pieces on the seventh 22. Be2! A bolt from the blue and a quite move that completely scuppers Black 22... Nf6 23. Rd1 1-0