PawnSac: < fisayo123: And if 10.Na4! is a novelty, then even more impressive, because Teimour blunders with 11.Ne4?! which gives him terrible tripled pawns. >
10.Na4 IS an interesting novelty! But i would not be so quick to severely criticize 11. ..Nxe4 as a blunder. Yes, it was a risky strategy, but in the spirit of the Schliemann, some risk is usually involved. The position has to be evaluated dynamically. Black is playing for middle game complications and advantage. Consider that..
a) In spite of the pawn damage, the bishops of opposite color suggest that when the heavy artillary is exchanged off, black still has drawing chances, but in the ensuing game, the relative value of the bishops could mean the turning point of the game. AND..
b)Teimor DID in fact get some good dynamic middle game compensation for the pawn weakness in the form of considerable kingside pressure with some strong squares.. For example, note the position after 28..Rdf7 . black threatens a powerful rook sac on f3. Blacks pawn formation does constitute and end game disadvantage, but white has to GET to the end game! In the meantime he must still play cautiously, since breaking out against the A and rear C pawns could leave his king very vulnerable. AND..
c) it was not until move 39 that Fab began to break out his attack against the weak pawns. Before that, Fab had to try and exchange queens and possibly a pair of rooks to neutralize some threats before his K position could be considered safe enough. Fab's bishop maneuver Be5-c3-e1, revealing the weakness of the H pawn helped to induce the desired exchanges. So in retrospect, it was the combination of white's good defense of f3 and the bishop attack on ph4 that steared the game towards the ending where white could prove his pawn advantage.
SO, i think before condemning 11. ..Nxe4 we have to demonstrate black did not have a stronger continuation in the latter part of the middle game. Could he have avoided exchanges with a different strategy? Something like Qh6 and g7-g5 designed to defend h4 and keep the pressure on key dark squares? I don't know. I'm just throwing that out there. It could be a totally bad idea, and i have given it no serious thought. I'm just saying.. can black's middle game be strengthened? And if so, Nxe4 can be fully justified! Remember also that in these gambit style lines the whole point is to trade something.. not material, i mean POSITIONALLY. The old adage you have to give something to get something. If black was successful his Nxe4 would have been considered unorthodox and brilliant!
If it is demonstrated that black can NOT improve his play in the moves between 30-38, then of course the opening variation needs some serious consideration.