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Back to Basics Corporal Aventura’s Borodino By GM Lev Alburt


At Borodino (September 7, 1812) Napoleon, ill and uncharacteristically overcautious, allowed a Russian army under Kutuzov to escape to fight another day—a sort of chess draw.


The winner of this month’s award, Rene Aventura (U.S. Army) filled his annota- tions with military terms, which I found quite contagious.


(My further comments are in italics).


Slav Defense (D15) Enrico Balmaceda (2037, U.S. Navy) Rene Aventura (1720, U.S. Army) 2011 U.S. Interservice Chess Championship, 06.15.2011


1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Nf3 a6


The Slav Defense is not my favorite opening as black in response to 1. d4. I played this Slav simply because it was fashionable in the 2011 All Army Chess Championship held May 15-19.


5. e3 Bg4 6. h3 Bxf3 7. Qxf3 e6


rsn-wqkvl-tr +p+-+pzpp p+p+psn-+ +-+p+-+- -+PzP-+-+ +-sN-zPQ+P PzP-+-zPP+ tR-vL-mKL+R


After 7. ... e6


The Navy’s two-bishop advantage is purely academic.


8. cxd5 cxd5 9. Bd3 Nc6 10. 0-0 Bd6 11. Rd1 0-0 12. a3 Rc8 13. Bd2 Bb8


(see diagram top of next column) Around this time, I was quite happy


with my position as all my pieces are developed to reasonable squares. I felt that I had equalized the position.


14. Be1 g6 15. g3 Kg7 My opponent seems to be content with


46 Chess Life — February 2012


-vlrwq-trk+ +p+-+pzpp p+n+psn-+ +-+p+-+- -+-zP-+-+ zP-sNLzPQ+P -zP-vL-zPP+ tR-+R+-mK-


After 13. ... Bb8


the passive position after move 14, so I decided to make a weakening move 14. ... g6 in front of my king with the intention of positioning my pawn in support of my pieces to attack first before he can react. Mr. Aventura is quite correct in the


assessment of the game and in the chosen plan (to play ... h7-h5).


16. Bf1 At this time, I took a badly needed


break, closing my eyes for 25 minutes as my headache was unbearable and the medicine didn’t seem to work. The headache continued to linger with little relief. After the break I made the casual move … Re8.


16. ... Re8 17. Bg2


-vlrwqr+-+ +p+-+pmkp p+n+psnp+ +-+p+-+- -+-zP-+-+ zP-sN-zPQzPP -zP-+-zPL+ tR-+RvL-mK-


After 17. Bg2 17. ... Ne7


Signaling my intent to reposition my


knight in preparation for an attack against my opponent’s kingside.


18. Qe2 b5 19. Rac1 h5 20. h4 Qd6 21. Na2?!


-vlr+r+-+ +-+-snpmk- p+-wqpsnp+ +p+p+-+p -+-zP-+-zP zP-+-zP-zP- NzP-+QzPL+ +-tRRvL-mK-


After 21. Na2


At first, I was surprised to see the Sailor’s move, it does not seem right to retreat an active piece during the battle. History check! Navy Admiral Nimitz did not retreat during the Battle of the Mid- way, General MacArthur retreated to Australia in the Battle of the Philippines. I like 21. Na2, as it allows the activation


of the otherwise very passive bishop. The knight could be brought into the fray then.


21. ... Nf5 22. Bb4!


A nice counterattack from the Sailor, taking control of the a3-f8 diagonal. 22. ... Qd7 23. Qe1


-vlr+r+-+ +-+q+pmk- p+-+psnp+ +p+p+n+p -vL-zP-+-zP zP-+-zP-zP- NzP-+-zPL+ +-tRRwQ-mK-


After 23. Qe1 uschess.org


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