Variation in opening moves is significant

The Openings are the most analysed and dissected aspect of the chess game and constant efforts are made by established players to rake up novelties or new moves.

Often players resort to least played continuations which are termed ‘outside variations’ to surprise or shock their opponents, in order to get Opening advantage. In the game which follows, Black playing the French Defence opts for one such line and finds himself getting into a cramped position with his pieces unable to occupy vital squares from where they can play actively.  Thereafter Black is unable to get active and has to watch helplessly as White makes inroads into his territory to carve out a nice clinical win.

White: Boris Avrukh   (2625) – Black: Nedeljko Kelecevic (2414)
Biel, 2000
French Defence
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5
The French Defence which is a semi-open defence
3.Nd2 dxe4
This is not one of the usual lines of this defence
4.Nxe4 Bd7 5.Nf3 Bc6 6.Ned2 Nd7
Both players are playing conservatively preferring the safety of their territory
7.Bd3 Ngf6 8.0–0 Be7 9.Re1 0–0 10.Nc4 b6
Black can equalize easily with 10. ..Bd5. If 10...Bxf3 11.Qxf3 c6 12.c3 a5 13.Bg5 Nd5 14.Qh3 g6 15.Bh6 Re8 16.Qg3 Qb8 17.Qg4 Bf6 was played in a previous game
11.Nce5 Bb7
If 11...Nxe5 12.dxe5
12.Bb5
The game might not have gone along familiar continuation but so far the players were playing a game played before and now White plays a novelty. If 12.Qe2 Nxe5
12...Nb8
Retreating back! Black should have thought about 12...Nxe5 13.dxe5
13.Qe2 White can also play 13.c3
13. ..a6 If 13...c5 14.dxc5 bxc5 (14...Bxc5 15.Bg5) 15.Bg5
14.Bd3 Nc6 The knight comes out again. If 14...c5 15.dxc5 bxc5 (15...Bxc5 16.Bg5) 16.Bg5 and white is better
15.c3 Nxe5 16.dxe5 Nd7 17.Bf4 Nc5 18.Bc2 Qd7
Worth a look is 18...a5 19.Rad1 Qe8 20.Nd4 even though White stays better
19.Rad1
If19.Nd4 Qd5 20.Qg4 h5  21.Qg3 (21.Qh3 g5 22.Nf3 (22.Bc1 g4 23.Qg3 f5 and black gets very active play And if 22.Qg3 Qxg2+) 22...gxf4 23.Qxh5 f5 24.Qg6+ Kh8 25.b4 Ne4 26.Bb3 21...Bh4 (21...h4 22.Qg4) 22.Qh3 g5 23.Nf3
19...Qc6 If19...Qb5 20.b4 Na4 (20...Qxe2 21.Rxe2 Bxf3 22.gxf3 Nb7 23.Rd7) 21.c4 Qxb4 (21...Qc6 22.Qd3 g6 23.Qd7) 22.Rb1 Nc3 23.Qd3 Be4 24.Rxe4 Nxb1 25.Re1 g6 26.Rxb1
20.b4 Na4 21.Qd3
White is getting aggressive and trains his sights on the King
21. ..g6 22.Qd7 An almost a forced offer to exchange queens
22. ..Qxd7 23.Rxd7 Nxc3 24.Rxe7 Bxf3
Black could have offered a stiffer defence with 24...Nd5 25.Be4 Nxe7 26.Bxb7 Ra7 27.Be4 c5 (27...Nd5 28.Bxd5 exd5 29.Rc1) 28.bxc5 bxc5 29.Rc1 Rc8 30.Bd3 Nd5 31.Bh6
25.gxf3 Nd5
Diagram 1
26.Bg5
White rightly decides to give up the exchange and play with the bishop pair
26. ..Nxe7 If 26...h6 27.Bf6
27.Bxe7 Rfe8 28.Bg5 c5 29.bxc5 bxc5 30.Bd3 Reb8 Black desperately tries to gain some counter-attack
31.Re2 Rb4 32.Rc2 Ra4 33.Bc4 Rc8
If 33...Rb8 34.Be7
34.Be7 h6 35.Kg2 Kg7 36.Bd6 Rb4
If 36...g5 37.Rc3
37.Bxa6 and Black resigned preferring not to prolong the agony
1–0
Diagram 2
White to play and win 1.Ra7+ Kd8
If 1...Kc6 2.Rc7 checkmate
2.Bb6+ Kc8 3.Nd6+and White wins

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