Round Five: Pirc Defense
Atomic Patzer (USCF 1307) - Ziping Liu (USCF 1461), U.S. Amateur East 5/28/2007
1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.Be3 O-O 6.Qd2 Re8
Black plays this move to meet 7.Bh6 with 7...Bh8. But Black can exploit White's omission of h3 by harassing the dark-squared bishop with 6...Ng4.
This pawn move looks premature. First, Black should complete his development by 7...Bg4 8.h3 Bxf3 9.Bxf3 Nc6.
8.dxe5 dxe5 9.Qxd8 Rxd8 10.Rd1 Rxd1+ 11.Kxd1 Nc6 12.Bc4 Bg4 13.h3 Bxf3+ 14.gxf3 Rd8+ 15.Kc1 Nd4
Despite some inaccuracies in the opening, Black has achieved a good middlegame position.
16.Rd1 Nh5 17.Nb5 a6 18.Na3 b5 19.Bf1 Rd6 20.c4 Rc6 21.Nc2 Nxc2 22.Rd8+ Bf8 23.Bh6 Ng7 24.Kxc2 Ne6
Black is living dangerously here. Instead, 24...g5 25.Bxg7 Kxg7 would break the bind and threaten 26...Bc5.
This should have lost a pawn after 26.Kb1 Ne6 27.cxb5 axb5 28.Bxb5.
26.Kc3 b4+ 27.Kd3 Ne6 28.Ke3 a5 29.b3 Rd6 30.Bxf8 Nxf8 31.Be2
White is too cautious. Instead, he gets the better endgame after 31.Rxc7 Rd1 32.Be2 Ra1 33.Rc5.
31...Rd7 32.Ra8 f5 33.exf5 gxf5 34.f4 exf4+ 35.Kxf4 Rd2 36.Ke3 Rxa2 37.Bd3 Ra3 38.Bc2 Kg7 39.Ra6 Kf7 40.Kd2
The correct move is 40.Kd4.