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Michael Adams vs Colin McNab
Staunton Memorial (2007), rd 10, Aug-17
Modern Defense: Standard Defense (B06)  ·  1-0


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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: The critical position looks to be after 19....Bg4. I would expect something like 19...Nxg4 20. hxg4 Bxd4 21. Nxd4 Ng7. Instead Black plays 19....c5, after which there followed 20. Bxe5 Rxe5 (20....dxe5, to prevent White's 22nd move, looks better to me) 21. Bxh5 gxh5 22. Nf4, leaving Black's pawn on h5, and his kingside in general, looking indefensible. Would 19....Nxg4 have been better? Or was it already hopeless for Black?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: 19...Nxg4 20.fxg4 Bxd4 21.Nxd4 Ng7 22.h5 (with Qh4 following) seems hopeless for Black, as does 19...Nxg4 20.fxg4 c5 21.Bxg7 Nxg7 22.h5 gxh5 23.Qf6; Black's best try was probably 19...Nf6. This game shows clearly how easy it is to be blown off the board when playing the Robatsch on these levels, unless you're a real expert in handling it.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Eyal> I was looking at 22. h5 Qe7; 23. hxg6 Qxg5 24. gxf7+ Rxf7 25. Rh8+ (25. Qh2 Rf6) 25....Kxh8 26. Qxf7 Qh6, or 23. Qf4 gxh5. Unfortunately 24. Qh2 instead of 24....gxf7+ looks absolutely killing: 24...fxg6 25. Qh8+ Kf7 26. Rdf1+ Nf5 27. Rh7#.

McNab is entitled to be considered an expert on the Robatch if anyone is, though, since he plays the Pirc/Robatsch constantly and wrote a book about it.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Eyal: <keypusher: <Eyal> I was looking at 22. h5 Qe7; 23. hxg6 Qxg5 24. gxf7+ Rxf7 25. Rh8+ (25. Qh2 Rf6) 25....Kxh8 26. Qxf7 Qh6> Btw, this is also clearly winning for White after 27.Nf5! or even simply 27.Qxb7. And well, If McNab IS actually considered an expert on the Robatch, it didn't really show in this game...
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Aha, I didn't notice the rook was hanging after 27. Nf5 Nxf5...well, I post lines in the hope of being right, but also in the hope of being corrected if I am wrong, so thanks.
Aug-20-07  euripides: Could Black play Nh6 at around move 10 and castle queen's side ?

Black's setup here is like the Byrne system in the King's Indian, but there b5 attacks the pawn on c4 so Black gets some attack very quickly. Maybe that difference makes the whole opposite-side castling approach problematic.

Aug-20-07  euripides: ... on reflection if 10....Ngh6 then 11.e5 looks difficult to meet. 8.Ng5 can hardly be outright winning, but it seems to pose Black some difficult problems.
Aug-20-07  euripides: ... I find that 8.Ng5 has been played quite a few times followed by 9.a4, but then White isn't castling queen's side. Adams' approach here ressembles D Gormally vs J Cobb, 2006, where Gormally went queen's side and Robb also castled queen's side after protecting f7 with Qe7 and e6. He lost, but it looks a better option than McNab's plan.
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