[Event "Durham County U-18 Championship"] [Site "?"] [Date "1968.02.07"] [Round "?"] [White "Donnelly, M.J."] [Black "Elliott, E.A."] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "D20"] [Annotator "MJDonnelly"] [PlyCount "38"] [EventDate "1968.??.??"] [SourceVersionDate "2008.05.10"] {[%evp 0,38,29,15,15,3,25,1,40,33,30,35,52,41,67,62,65,42,42,38,41,-22,6,28,16, 37,52,20,21,36,14,8,7,15,15,-14,-12,-14,14,8,8]} 1. d4 {As opposed to the 1.e4 of the game against Rusk which had commenced first of the two game "simultaneous". Both games were easily within view of each other but nevertheless my opponent had risen from his seat to check my opening move. Another reason for the switch to 1.d4 in the current game was that I had played Elliott the previous year, in one of my first ever "top board" encounters, but had gotten nowhere with 1.e4. In that game my opponent displayed better opening knowledge and I recall being informed afterwards he had made a special study of the move 3...Nge7, known as the Cozio Defence to the Ruy Lopez. That game went} (1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nge7 4. O-O a6 5. Ba4 Ng6 6. c3 d5 7. exd5 Qxd5 8. Bb3 Qd6 9. d4 Be7 10. Re1 O-O 11. Na3 exd4 12. Nc4 Qd8 13. Nxd4 Nxd4 14. cxd4 Bb4 15. Bd2 {Donnelly-Elliott, Teesside Schools League (Bede Hall G.S. v West Hartlepool G.S., Bd1.) 1967.}) 1... d5 2. c4 dxc4 3. Nc3 $5 {A move played even by the likes of Kasparov and Karpov on occasion although both 3.Nf3 and 3.e4 are by far and away the most common choice by the player of the White pieces in this position.} Nf6 {Possibly the most sensible reply. Play can become very complex if Black tries to hold the c4 pawn eg} ( 3... e5 4. d5 (4. e3 {was the more solid option preferred by Firouzja against Carlsen in a Internet Blitz game 2021.}) 4... a6 5. e4 b5 6. a4 { was Golombek-Alekhine, Margate 1935.}) ({or if} 3... a6 4. e4 b5 5. Nf3 { which is an unclear gambit.} ({whilst somewhat unusual is} 5. a4 b4 6. Na2 { Sokolov-Kramnik, Pamplona 1992.})) 4. e3 e6 5. Bxc4 Bd7 $5 {This game seems to be an early example of this interesting move. It predates those in ChessBase MegaDatabase and the bishop move has been played a number of times since. Normally the Black queen's bishop can be difficult to develop in the QGA and requires Black to push the queen's side pawn to make available the b7 square. Here the bishop can go to c6 and may in certain circumstances be able to allow b5 to be played, securing the c4 pawn.} ({Instead} 5... c5 6. Nf3 a6 {would transpose to more usual lines of the QGA.}) 6. Nf3 {The most natural when White is just a little better. Similarly White had a small edge after} (6. e4 Bb4 7. e5 Ne4 8. Qd3 Nxc3 9. bxc3 Ba5 10. Nf3 {Santos E Sousa-Bocca, Goiania open 2016.}) ({Other moves played here, however, have given White nothing such as} 6. Qb3 Bc6 7. Bb5 Qd7 8. Nf3 Bd6 9. O-O a6 10. Bxc6 Qxc6 {Al Hindawi-Scarf, NZL-ch Major open 2003.}) ({or} 6. Qc2 Nc6 7. Nge2 a6 8. Bd2 {Brough-Venturas, LSS e-mail 2010.}) 6... Be7 {The most solid assisting rapid kings-side castling. Black has also tried many other reasonable looking moves here, amonst which are fast development with 6...Nc6 and fighting for control of e4 with 6...Bb4 but 6...c5, immediately attacking the White centre without first moving the king's bishop, is perhaps the most interesting.} 7. O-O {securing the king's safety before undertaking any central activity but} (7. e4 { Zvadsky-Maparara, Powell Memorial San Francisco 2006 is also promising for White.}) (7. Bd2 {has been played a couple of times but is far too stolid to achieve much for White,}) 7... O-O {A position that has been reached several times by Wilfried Jakobi in some important ICCF E-mail events.} (7... Bc6 { although controlling e4 seems a little too slow. Now} 8. Re1 {is very powerful} ({Alternatively} 8. Ne5 {is also promising but following} O-O 9. Nxc6 Nxc6 { Black eventually turned the tables and won in Kubelka-Obertan, Ostrava Konik open-B 2011.}) 8... Bb4 9. e4 Bxc3 10. bxc3 Bxe4 (10... Nxe4 {is no good either after} 11. Qd3 Nf6 12. Ba3) ({and if} 10... O-O 11. Bg5 {then White had command of the centre as in Mongeau-Trundel, Quebec Ch (Women) 1998.}) 11. Ba3 {Franke-Aldrich, Eastpoint ch-MI 1994.}) 8. Re1 {This seems a novelty but is too careful a preparation for e4. In fact this move, freeing the Bc1 could be played immediately.} ({One of several games now continued} 8. e4 Bc6 9. Qc2 b6 10. Rd1 Nbd7 {when} 11. Ng5 $1 h6 12. Nxf7 {which gave White a winning attack in Salonen-Jakobi, EU A-Cup ICCF 2019.}) 8... c5 9. b3 {Play was proceeding much more rapidly in the other game to which somewhat more attention was being paid as it was judged to be reaching a stage where White was obtaining an edge. } ({Still even after} 9. e4 cxd4 10. Nxd4 Nc6 {Black has a quite reasonable game. Another important factor here was that if the current game was drawn a replay would be neccessary albeit with colours reversed. In contrast, in the relatively more important team match the result of the match stood with no replays.}) 9... cxd4 10. Nxd4 (10. exd4 {doesn't really offer more chances of playing for a win, by utilising the attacking potential of the resulting IQP on d4, as after} Bc6 11. Ne5 Bb4 {Black is fine.}) 10... Bb4 11. Bb2 Nc6 12. a3 Ba5 13. Rc1 {Again solid play} (13. b4 Bc7 14. Rc1 {is slightly more ambitious but White is only slightly better, with more space, but must look out for tactics based on the Black attack against h2.}) 13... Nxd4 14. Qxd4 Bc6 { With these exchanges followed by Bc6 Black has equalised completely. There are no tactical tricks for White to force mate on g7 arising from the line up of queen and bishop on the long digonal.} 15. Red1 {Unpinning and re-activating the rook. Around about here the other game was won potentially allowing sole concentration on this game. However, this is all too late and my frustrated opponent exchanges queens to reduce the game to a dead level ending.} Qxd4 16. Rxd4 Rfd8 17. Rcd1 Rxd4 18. Rxd4 Rd8 19. Rxd8+ Bxd8 {Here the game was agreed drawn with more than a little complaining from both opponents! Postscript: My old score books indicate the very next game recorded was the replay of this U-18 championship game with colours reversed. In this my opponent went for it and played the Kings Gambit!...but lost. I then proceeded to the final of the event and drew two games with A.Donkin of Sunderland to share the trophy.} 1/2-1/2