1.e4 g6 After replying with 1...c5 as his main defence to the Kings Pawn opening in the 1960s, Keith switched to replying 1...g6 early in the 1970s and stuck with this reply for at least the next 20 years or so. He fared far better with this flexible move which has many transpositional possibilities to other openings. Some times the game remained as a Modern, other times it became as Pirc, a Benoni, or a Kings Indian Defence.
2.d4 Bg7 3.Nc3 d6 [3...c6 is the other major way for Black to play in order to (a) dispense with d6 in favour of an early d5, or (b) play c6, and d6, often in conjunction with Qb6. These lead to the so-called Gurgenidze variation.]
4.f4 Nf6 Yielding a Pirc Defence, Austrian Attack variation. This is generally thought to be amongst White's most challenging lines agains the Pirc although in recent years (against a Pirc move order) the flexible 4. Be3 has been greatly favoured. In the current position after 4. f4 Black may instead choose to leave the king's knight on g8 for some time and keep the opening in the bounds of a Modern Defence. Thus Black commences an expansion on the queens-side and preferential development of the queens-side pieces commencing with 4...a6.
5.Nf3 0-0 [5...c5 is the other major division here which scores pretty much the same for Black as 5...0-0 at 44% according to the databases.]
6.Bd3 [Alternatively 6.Be3 c6 (6...b6 is also popular aiming for c5 instead of e5.) 7.Bd3 Nbd7 8.h3 e5 9.dxe5 dxe5 10.fxe5 Ne8 11.Bc4 Nc7 12.0-0 Ne6 13.Bxe6 fxe6 14.Qe2 Nxe5 15.Nxe5 Bxe5 16.Rad1 Rxf1+ 17.Qxf1 Qe7 Timmerman-Richardson, NBC-15 Volmac-A 1982-86.]
6...Na6 A sharp reply to the Austrian Attack. Another knight development has also been in and out of fashion and may also lead to complex play. Examples from personal experience of a loss against a soon to be GM, and a win against an FIDE Master, are as follows. [6...Nc6 7.0-0 (7.f5 Nb4 8.0-0 c5 9.fxg6 hxg6 10.d5 Bg4 11.Qe1 Bxf3 12.Rxf3 Qd7 13.Bg5 c4 14.Be2 Nxc2 15.Qh4 Nxa1 16.Rh3 Rfe8 17.Bh6 Qxh3 Weeramantry-Donnelly, Thornaby International Chess Festival 1973.) 7...Bg4 8.e5 dxe5 9.dxe5 Nd5 10.h3 Bxf3 11.Qxf3 e6 12.Rd1 Nxc3 13.bxc3 Qe7 14.Rb1 Rab8 15.Rb3 Rfd8 16.Ba3 Qe8 Miles-Donnelly, British U-21 Ch 1971.]
7.e5 An aggressive line but one which allows Black to demonstrate the resilience of the Pirc to such direct methods. Nevertheless GM Moskalenko (2013) still considers it an interesting try for White. [7.0-0 is a frequent White try too and play might go 7...c5 8.d5 Rb8 this in combination with b6 and a slow expansion on the queens-side has been played by Keith a couple of times but not too succesfully as in each case White obtained an attack. However, analysis in the last few years (ChessBase Common Analysis) suggests this idea is playable although the game is very double-edged. (Other Black alternatives here are 8...Nc7 played less than Rb8 and; 8...Bg4 played more than Rb8.) 9.Kh1 b6 10.a3 Nc7 11.Qe1 b5 12.Qh4 c4 (12...a5 13.f5 b4 (13...gxf5 14.Bh6 c4 15.Ng5 cxd3 16.g4 Nce8 17.gxf5 b4 18.Rg1 Bryson-Chapman, ENG-ch 1984.) 14.axb4 axb4 15.Ne2 gxf5 16.Bh6 Bxh6 17.Qxh6 Ng4 18.Qh5 Ne8 19.exf5 Nef6 20.Qh4 Bb7 21.Ng5 Franzen-Richardson, Wch12 final 1984-90.) 13.Be2 e6 14.dxe6 fxe6 15.e5 Casabona-Richardson, CCOL10 prelims ICCF 1982.]
7...Nd7 8.Be3 The steady approach from White. Alternatives look threatening but are Ok for Black. Some examples of play are [8.e6 fxe6 9.Ng5 (9.h4 goes all out but 9...c5 counters effectively-Moskalenko.) 9...Nf6 10.Qe2 Nb4 (10...c5 is another way proposed by Moskalenko.) 11.Bc4 d5 12.Bb3 Qd7 is a line given by GM John Nunn as unclear.; 8.Ne4 a second move of the knight doesn't really add pressure to Black's centre and several ways are available to obtain a decent game. 8...c5 (or simply 8...Nb4 ) 9.c3 cxd4 10.cxd4 dxe5 11.fxe5 Nb4= ; 8.Qe2 featured in another of Keith's games from the same tournament as the main game. 8...c5 9.Be3 (9.e6 fxe6 10.Qxe6+ is good for Black.) 9...cxd4 10.Bxd4 Ndc5 11.Bc4 Be6 12.0-0-0 Rc8 13.Bb3 Bxb3 14.axb3 Ne6 Svenningsson-Richardson.; 8.Ne2 whilst allowing White to support the centre with c3 seems too slow and Black got a nice game in the following encounter 8...c5 9.c3 cxd4 10.cxd4 Nb4 11.Bb1 Nb6 12.Bd2 Nc6 13.Be4 dxe5 14.dxe5 Be6 Rittner-Richardson, CCCA-60 1981-85.; 8.Ng5 looks aggressive but may be met by 8...dxe5 9.fxe5 Nb6 10.Ne2 f6 11.exf6 exf6 12.Nf3 Nb4 Muir-Richardson, CCOL8 final-01 ICCF 1977.; Finally White may immediately go all out with 8.h4 but again 8...c5 scores very well for Black in countering in the centre.]
8...c5 the most complex tactically although the more positional move [8...Nb4 is also feasible for Black.]
9.exd6 Not a blunder but after this release of the tension in the centre Black has a comfortable game. [9.Bxa6 is mostly played here but is not really a major problem for Black due to the intermezzo 9...cxd4 (or even simply 9...bxa6 when, although Black's pawns are broken a subsequent Bb7 will add extra pressure on the White centre to compensate, as occurred in Bulski-Butkiewicz, Legnica Voivoda Cup 2010.) 10.Bxd4 bxa6 11.exd6 Nf6 12.dxe7 Qxe7+ with play for the pawn sacrificed as in Glek-Fridman, ACP Blitz 2004.]
9...exd6 10.Qd2 With the possibility of f5 and Bh6 although White never gets a chance to play this attacking line. [10.Be2 was more solid but Black was fine after 10...b6 11.Qd2 Nf6 12.h3 Bb7 13.Bxa6 Bxa6 14.0-0-0 Qc7 15.f5 Rfe8 in Wisniewski-Dobrowolski,POL-Tch Wisla 1998.; The most frquent move played here is the natural 10.0-0 although Blacks gets a decent game with either 10...Re8 (or with 10...Nb4 ) ]
10...Nb4 A good move which gives the option of eliminating White's most effective piece.
11.0-0-0 This seems a logical plan when White may eventually hope to start an attack on the kings-side. In addition, White can aim to play Kb1 and a3 forcing a decision about the threatening knight on b4. [Efforts to save the bishop with 11.Bc4 can be met by 11...Nb6 ; and 11.Be4 with 11...Nf6 12.dxc5 Re8 in each case with the initiative for black.; 11.a3 immediately allows a promising pawn sacrifice with 11...Nxd3+ 12.Qxd3 Nf6 13.dxc5 Bf5 14.Qxd6 Ng4 ]
11...Qa5 12.a3 Nb6 Fine play initiating a strong attack involving the sacrifice of the Nb4. Of course if [12...Nxd3+ 13.Qxd3 and White has escaped the worst.]
13.Be2 [13.axb4 is too risky as Black invades into the heart of White's position although play is rather complex. Some possibilities are 13...Qa1+ 14.Nb1 c4 15.Be2 (15.Bxc4 Nxc4 16.Qc3 Be6 17.Ng5 (17.Nfd2 Nb6 18.Qa3 (18.b3 Qa6 with a rapid Rc8 leads to a crushing attack.) 18...Ba2-+ ) 17...Bd5-+ ) 15...Na4 16.c3 Bf5-+ ; 13.Rhe1 completing development is probably the best hope although Black is still winning after 13...c4 14.axb4 Qa1+ 15.Nb1 Na4-+ (15...cxd3 is less clear since after 16.Qxd3 Be6 17.Qa3 Ba2 18.b3 Nd5 and White is hanging on via 19.Kd2. (but not 18...Qxb1+ 19.Kd2 Bxb3 20.Rxb1 Nc4+ 21.Kd3 Nxa3 22.Rxb3 Nb5 23.c4 which is good for White who has repulsed the attack and gained a large space advantage.) ) ]
13...Bf5 A nice follow up increasing the pressure and still offering the Nb4.
14.Nh4 [14.axb4 is now clearly bad due to 14...Qa1+ 15.Nb1 Na4 16.c3 (16.b3 Qb2# ) 16...Qxb1# ]
14...Bd7 Leaving the knight stranded off-side on h4 whilst Black has connected rooks. Not so effective is [14...Bxc2 15.axb4 cxb4 16.Kxc2 bxc3 17.bxc3 Qa2+ 18.Kc1 forcing Black to take a draw with (instead 18.Kd3 is strongly met by 18...Qe6 when the king is in danger for instance if now 19.Kc2 Rfc8-+ ) 18...Qa1+ 19.Kc2 Qa2+= ]
15.Kb1 Finally threatening to take on e4 perhaps?
15...Rfe8 But no Black will have none of it and continues to develop pieces to active squares.
16.axb4 [Finally taking the bait after which White eventually struggles. Despite the extra piece White is not able to prevent the slow build up of Black's forces against his king indicating Black had very deeply analysed this position. Better instead was the quiet defensive move 16.Bf2 removing the bishop from a Black attack with tempo by Nd5, guarding the loose knight on h4, and allowing Rhe1 to try and exchange pieces on the e-file. Still, Black has the better chances after 16...Rac8 17.Rhe1 (17.axb4 is still bad due to 17...cxb4 18.Na2 Nd5-+ ) 17...cxd4 18.axb4 dxc3 19.bxa5 cxd2 20.Rxd2 Na4 21.Rxd6 Bxb2 22.Rxd7 Bc3=/+ ]
16...cxb4 17.Na2 Nd5 18.Bf2 Rac8 19.Bf3 Ba4 Whilst the White knight stays inactive on h4 the bishop now joins the attack.
20.Bxd5 [If White tries to minimise pressure on c2 with 20.b3 then c3 is fatally weakened 20...Nc3+ 21.Nxc3 bxc3 22.Qd3 loses the queen but no better is (22.Qc1 Bxb3 23.cxb3 c2+ 24.Kb2 cxd1Q 25.Qxd1 Qc3+ with a winning attack as Rc5 follows wherever the White king goes.) 22...Bb5-+ ]
20...Bxc2+ 21.Ka1 [21.Kc1 loses immediately to 21...Bf5+-+ ]
21...Qxd5 Much stronger than [21...Bxd1 22.Bxf7+ Kxf7 23.Qxd1 as then Qb3 holds on for White albeit in an inferior position.]
22.b3 [If 22.Nxb4 Qa5+ 23.Na2 Qa4 threat Bb3 24.Qb4 Bxd1 with a decisive win of material.; or 22.Nf3 Rc6 23.Qxb4 Ra6 24.b3 Bxb3 again winning material.]
22...Bxb3 the most straightforward win. Also good enough was the more tricky [22...Qxb3 23.Rde1 (23.Qxb4 Bxd1-+ ) 23...Rxe1+ 24.Qxe1 a5 guarding b4 so threatening to play Qa4 and b3. (or 24...Bd1 25.Qxd1 Rc2 26.Qb1 Qc4 winning as f2 and d4 falls.) ]
23.Nc1 [23.Rc1 does not help much as Black has 23...Bxa2 24.Qxa2 b3 25.Qb2 when 25...Qb5 wins as Re2 soon follows.]
23...Qa5+ 24.Kb1 [If 24.Na2 then 24...Rc2 is terminal.]
24...Qa4 [After 24...Qa4 25.Nxb3 Qxb3+ 26.Qb2 (26.Ka1 Rc2 wins the queen.) 26...Qxb2+ 27.Kxb2 Re2+ wins a piece. A fine example of a sustained attack, with long term sacrifice of material, when kings are castled on opposite wings.] 0-1