**Sicilian Najdorf, 6. Bg5 **

**NM J. Meyer (2281) “Capablanca Champions” vs Mark Ginsburg (2212) “OTB Gang”
**

DC Chess League August 5, 1977

National Master John Meyer is the brother of Eugene Meyer who went on to become an IM and even score a GM norm in a CCA tournament in New York in the early 1980s. My battles vs Eugene in a Kan theme match (we both played the Kan so we alternated colors) paved the way for my 1979 win over GM Dzindzihashvili; more about that in another installment. The Meyer brothers were quite active tournament players in the DC area. John wore suspenders quite a bit and his pet Colle line (involving Bc4 and Bf4) became affectionately known as the *Suspenders Attack*.

**1. Nf3 c5 2. e4 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bg5 e6 7. f4 Nbd7**

I was winging it here. It’s funny because many years later I would introduce a novelty *on the White sid*e in this line to defeat GM Dmitry Jakovenko in an ICC blitz game. More on that in the “Fabulous 2000’s” installment.

** 8. Qf3 Qc7 9. O-O-O Be7 **Transposing to another line. In this particular move order,** **9…b5! is the critical move here. GM Boris Gelfand has championed that line for several decades. For example, 10. Bxb5!? axb5 11. Ndxb5 Qb8 12. e5 Bb7 with insane complications, Naiditsch-Gelfand Sparkassen 2006 (1/2, 27). ** **

**10. Be2 b5 11. Bxf6 Nxf6 12. a3**

This slow treatment is unlikely to cause Black any problems. However, black lives after 12. e5 Bb7 13. Qg3 dxe5 14. fxe5 Nd7 15. Qxg7 Qxe5 with an equal game.

**12…Bb7 13. g4?! **13. Qg3 looks stronger.** 13…Rc8 14. Rd2 **14. g5 Nxe4! 15. Nxe4 e5! 16. Rhe1 d5! leads to an incredible position where after 17. Nd6+ the chances are about level.

**14…Qb6 15. Bd3 O-O 16. Nce2 d5 17. e5 Ne4 18. Bxe4 dxe4 19. Qe3 **

**19…f6?! **The obvious 19…b4! here builds black’s attack most efficiently.

**20. exf6 Rxf6 21. Rhd1 Qc5? ** Can you guess the right move? 21…b4! generates a big attack. It must have been my unfamiliarity with the Najdorf that caused me to keep missing this.

**22. g5 Rf7 23. Qh3 e5 24. Nf5 Bf8 **24…exf4 was fine too.

** 25. fxe5 Qxe5 26. Ned4? **26. g6! is about equal. **26…Rc4? **26…b4! is obvious.

** 27. Ne3 Rcc7 28. Kb1?! **Again, 28. g6!? keeps it level.** 28…Bc8 29. Qg2 b4 30. axb4 Bxb4 31. c3 Bf8 32. h4 a5 **White’s slow play allows black to start a new attack.

** 33. h5 g6 **

The game is still approximately equal. Since move 50 is the time control, naturally there is a lot of drama ahead.

**34. hxg6 hxg6 35. Rh1 Rh7 36. Rxh7 Rxh7 37. Nc6 Qe8 38. Nxa5 Rh****5? **Here, 38..Bh3! was correct. For example, 39. Qg3 Be6! with excellent play. White can also try the tricky 38…Bh3 39. Ng4!? Bxg2 40. Nf6+ Kf7 41. Nxe8 Bf3 with dynamic play.

** 39. Nd5 Bg7 40. Nc6 Kh7 **

**41. Ncb4? **A miscue. 41. Nce7! is hard to handle, e.g. 41…e3 42. Re2 Qa4 43. Nxe3 with a big white edge.

**41… Qe5 **Now the chances are level again in this see-saw game.

**42. Nf6+?! **42. Nc6!? is more circumspect.** **

**42…Bxf6 43. gxf6 e3! 44. Re2 Bf5+** Now black has a strong attack.

** 45. Kc1? **Superior is the cold-blooded and only optically dangerous 45. Ka2! Qa5+ 46. Kb3 Be6+ and now surprisingly 47. c4 holds; 47…Bxc4+ 48. Kxc4 Rh4+ 49. Qd3 Qf5+ 50. Kxe3 leads to an equal game as does 49…Qxb4 50. Qd5.** **

**45…Be4 46. Nd3? **White must have been tired in this 50 move in 2 hour game; he had 8 minutes left at this point.

White has chances to survive if he plays 46. f7! Bxg2? 47. f8=Q Rh1+ 48. Kc2 and now 48…Bd5, hoping for 49. Nxd5?? Qe4+ winning can be met by 49. Nd3 and white can defend. It’s not clear where 48…Be4+ 49. Kb3 leads either. The winning move would be 46. f7! Kg7! simply halting the pawn with the king.

**46…****Qf5 **Played with only one minute left to reach move 50, but now black simply wins a piece. Of course, Black could also play 46…Bxd3 straightaway since 47. Qb7+ Kh6 wins.

**47. Qg3 Bxd3 48. Rxe3 Bb5 **Fortunately black’s king can run safely after white’s next few checks.** **

**49. Qc7+ Kh6 50. Qg7+ Kg5 **

Black’s king has a safe haven on h4 so the battle is over.** **

**51. Rg3+ Kh4 52. Qxg6 Qf4+ ** Picking up the loose rook.

** 0-1**

A pretty good positional accomplishment for an 18 year old with some tactical weaknesses here and there.

Now let’s switch to a 1977 game with Eugene Meyer.

**Mark Ginsburg (2212) – Eugene Meyer (2374)**

**Easter Chess Congress, George Washington University, Washington DC.**

**Round 3, 40/100 **

**Delayed Benko Gambit**

** **

**1. c4 g6 2. Nc3 Bg7 3. d4 Nf6 4. e4 O-O 5. Bg5 d6 6. Be2 Nbd7 7. Qd2 c5 8. d5 a6 9. Nf3 Qa5**?! Interesting here is 9… Ng4 10. h3 Nge5. The text aims for a dubious Benko gambit delayed.** **

**10. O-O b5 11. cxb5 axb5 12. Bxb5 Ba6 13. Bxa6 Rxa6 **Black doesn’t have enough here because white’s development is not hampered as in the regular Benko.

** 14. Rfe1 Rb8** Black couldn’t avoid white’s next thematic breakthrough.

** 15. e5! dxe5 16. Nxe5 Nxe5 17. Rxe5 Rab6?! **17…Qc7 is a little tougher.

** 18. Rxe7 Rxb2 19. Qe1 Rc2 20. Rxf7?? **For no reason, white goes for a drawing combination. Too much respect for his opponent? The simple 20. Rc1! Rxc1 21. Qxc1 Nh5 22. g4! Bxc3 23. gxh5 Qb4 24. Qf4! will win in the ending. I probably did not notice the 22. g4! resource. On the other hand, the tricky 20. Bf4?! hoping for 20…Rbb2?? 21. Re8!+ and wins, is instead met by 20…Rf8 21. Be5 Qd8! with some counterplay.

** 20… Qxc3 21. Rxg7+ Kxg7 22. Qe7+ Kg8 23. Qe6+ 1/2-1/2**

A fairly bad bungle in a not very difficult position. Replay this game.

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