A Forgotten Showman by Edward Winter

By Edward Winter

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Qe1 This looks quite odd, but White defends the e4-pawn whilst keeping the option open of playing d2-d4 in one move rather than first putting the pawn on d3. d3 see McShane-Bacrot. Nd7 I think this is the simplest and most economical approach for Black. Be6 looks okay even though I don't especially like the position of the bishop on this square. Qe2 b5?! b4 , with lots of space. But Black can improve on his 12th move, as noted. c5 rules out d2-d4 by White. Rxe3 4 0-0-0 and Black may have had an edge in Blatny-Ehlvest, New York 2003, although he lost after having tried too hard to win.

Ng3 g6 could claim full equality. That he later lost the game had nothing to do with the opening. Bc2 b4! bxc3 c4 and Black stood well in Davies-Short, Hastings 1987/88. d4 is quite a major and complex alternative that has a game to itself in Vokac-Haba. cxd4 loses the bishop on c2. Bc2 c4 Apparently a new move, although I was unaware of this at the time. h3 Nh5?! Nf1 stood slightly worse. It makes much more sense for Black to play on the queenside, at least for the time being. Ne6, I prefer Black again.

Exd5 , but after Na5! Bc2 Re8 Black will recover his pawn with a good game. a4 b4! f6? Rc1 f4! Nf7+? Polgar-Spassky, Budapest 1993, and now Qc7! Bxa6 Ng4 would have been good for Black. h3 Bh5 leads back into the game. g4 , although Black is fine there too. dxc5 Bxc5+ and the chances were about even in Varavin-Onischuk, Alushta 1994. Bf4 doesn't make much sense because it is yet another piece that obstructs the f-pawn. exf6 Bxf6 Black stood well in Socko-Liwak, Lubniewice 2002. Nd8 This may be Black's best - the knight heads for the nice blockading square on e6.

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