(1) Stephenson,Norman - Harding,Robert [C06]
Thornaby v Middlesbrough, 04.04.2017
[Norman Stephenson]

I am beginning to think that it is perhaps too difficult for White to keep tactical control in this line of The Tarrasch [Bd3/Ne2] versus the French Defence. The -Rxf3 exchange sac is hanging over White in all the variations.

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 Nf6 4.e5 Nfd7 5.c3 c5 6.Bd3 Nc6 7.Ne2 cxd4 8.cxd4 f6 9.exf6 Nxf6 10.0-0 Bd6 11.Nf3 Qc7 12.Bg5
[12.Bd2!? I think this might be another way to go - in the past, I liked - and taught - b3 & Bb2 here. Well, now the P could go to 'c3' and the R to 'c1'. 12...g5 ]

12...0-0 13.Bh4
[On reflection, it might be better to play 13.Rc1 Berg analyses it thoroughly - pp 351-9 in his wonderful trilogy on the French Defence (Vol III). OK, I wouldn't be seen dead in some of his chosen lines - but that's a personal choice [as an amateur!].]

13...Nh5 14.Nc3 a6 15.Rc1 g6 16.Na4 Bf4?!
Since the Rxf3 exchange sac is not now available this gives White more options than [16...b5 for example 17.Nc5 and now 17...Rxf3 18.Qxf3 Bxh2+ 19.Kh1 Bf4 which Berg thinks is at least equal for Black.]

17.Rc3 Qg7
[Or 17...b5 18.Qc2 Bd7 19.Nc5 Nb4 (19...Rac8 20.Qe2 with pressure may still be Black's best option.; 19...Rfc8 20.Bxg6 hxg6 21.Qxg6+ Ng7 22.Bf6 Be8 23.Qxg7+ Qxg7 24.Bxg7+- ) 20.Qb3 Nxd3 21.Nxe6+- ]

18.Nb6 Rb8 19.Bxa6
Mickey Adams has played this very combination.

19...Qc7 20.Nxc8 Rbxc8
[20...bxa6 21.Rxc6+- ]

21.Bb5 Qd6 22.Bxc6 Rxc6 23.Rxc6 Qxc6 24.Re1 Ng7 25.Bg3 Bxg3 26.hxg3 Rc8 27.Qb3 Rc7 28.Qe3 Qc2 29.Qa3 h6 30.Qb4 Rf7 31.Qb6 g5 32.Rf1 Qc7 33.Qb3 Qc4 34.Qa3 g4
Robert had less than a minute remaining when he played this, White had over 20 minutes, but there is nothing any better for Black.

35.Ne5
Now 35...Qxd4 36. Nxf7 Kxf7 37. Rc1 is hopeless for Black. 1-0