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Joel Benjamin vs Xu Jun
US-China Summit (2001), Seattle USA, rd 1, Mar-14
Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation (B90)  ·  1-0

ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Kibitzer's Corner
Jun-14-08  tz061: 30.Ra8 what a great move.
Aug-11-17
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: Played in round 1 (of 4) of the 10 board match between the US and China won by China 21-19. As usual, Benjamin avoided mainline theory with 6 a4 arriving at a position that was a Najdorf-Dragon hybrid. The idea behind 10..Qb6? is logical when a4 and ..a6 have not been played but here does not work as after Benjamin's 11 a5 11..qxb2? 12 Na4..Qb4 13 c3..Qxa4 14 Bb6 is not playable for Black. At the 1999 World Open against Chang Benjamin had played 15 Bb6; here he varied with 15 c4. Perhaps 18..Rab8 followed by ..b6 would have been an improvement. After 21..b6 the players missed that White could have played 22 fxg..hxg 23 Rxf7!..Nxf7 24 Ne6 with a winning position. 34..Qc3 35 Rf3..Qxb4 36 Bf2 would not have helped Black. 36 Qh3?..Rh4 would not have worked for White. A quicker win would have been 39 Nxf7..Qxd5 40 Ng5+..Kxh6 41 Qh3+..Kxg5 42 Be3+..Rbf4 43 Qg2!.

Certainly one of Benjamin's better games.

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