|IM Malcolm Pein
November 26, 2023
Daniel Dardha became the youngest player ever to win the Belgian Chess Championship in 2019 at the age of 13.
Now 18, he plays on top board for his country and won the bronze medal for his individual performance at the European Team Championship that concluded last Monday.
It’s been pretty much established that you can play h2-h4 in almost any position after 1.d4, but playing both a2-a4 and h2-h4 in an open game seems a bit of a stretch.
N Georgiadis – D Dardha
Switzerland vs Belgium
Ruy Lopez Berlin
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.d3 Ne7 (Avoiding damage to the pawn structure after Bxc6 and giving Black the good option of c6 with more control of the centre. The knight heads for g6)
5.Bc4 (Not 5.Nxe5 c6 6.Bc4 Qa5+)
5...c6 6.a4?! (6.Nc3 d5? 7.Bb3 Ng6 8.exd5 cxd5 9.h4! Bg4 10.h5! is good for White after 10...Nxh5 11.Nxd5)
6...Ng6 7.h4?! h5 8.Bg5 d5!
9.exd5 cxd5 10.Bb5+ Bd7 11.0–0 (11.Bxf6 gxf6 12.Nc3 a6 13.Bxd7+ Qxd7 14.0–0 0–0–0 gives Black an oven-ready attack down the g-file with a central pawn roller as backup)
11...a6 12.Bxd7+ Qxd7 13.Nxe5? (13.d4 e4 14.Ne5 Qe6 was best)
13...Nxe5 14.Re1 Nfg4 15.d4 f6 16.Bf4 0–0–0! (Black secures a big advantage in development and a huge attack down the f-file)
17.dxe5 Bc5 18.Bg3 fxe5 19.Nd2 Rhf8 20.Re2 Rf6 21.c4? Nxf2! 22.Bxf2 Rxf2 23.Rxf2
Black to play and pin and win:
23...dxc4 (Winning all the material back with interest)
24.Qxh5 Bxf2+ 25.Kxf2 Qxd2+ 26.Kg1 Qxb2 27.Re1 Qd4+ 28.Kh2 Qf4+ 29.Kh1 g6 0–1 30.Qxe5 Qxh4+ 31.Kg1 Qd4+ is a trivially won endgame.
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