### (1) GM Kosteniuk,Alexandra - Steiner,Tim [B76]

Simul; National Elementary 2010 Atlanta, GA, 07.05.2010

* [Tim Steiner]*

**
**What a treat. I was going to play a current reigning world chess champion. I was looking forward to this match for many months. I beleive I was the first person to sign up. I had mixed emotions as I had a lot of things on my mind that day with my students and I certainly wanted to show the kids I know how to represent. What a great feeling to have won and played a theoretical gem and entertaining game. You can't ask for more than that. I was seeded on board 1.

1.e4
c5
2.Nf3
d6
3.d4
cxd4
4.Nxd4
Nf6
5.Nc3
g6
6.Be3
Bg7
7.f3
0-0
8.Qd2
Nc6
9.0-0-0
d5
10.Kb1
This move used to get a !? note, but I suppose it's popular enough and well tested to have that label removed. Truth be told it is a perfectly acceptable alternative to the main moves. I recall many years ago, this move was extremely popular at the club level. I sincerely doubt that white understood the concepts of this line but I suppose they were just hoping to get lucky with the sharp tactics that ensue. Anyways, I felt I had a good grasp of this position.

10...Nxd4
Rb8 and e5 are perfecly playable for Black as well. 10. ...Nd4 is the overwhelming favorite though

11.e5
Now this is the interesting part where theory is concerned. I recall books of well respected authors that indicated that the only move now for black was 11. ...Nxf3!?. There were some wins, some draws, and losses. Well over time, Black accrued to many losses and had to come up with different plans. For many years this variation was not holding up for Black until one day. I recall leafing through a Paul Motwani book one day called H.O.T. Chess and in it there was a game quoted where someone used an immense amount of creativity. This is where I first saw this line, when that book came out in the late 90's. I had been playing the Dragon for the better part of 10 years and I had never seen this variation and I found it absolutely delicious. There's a long story behind this particular line. Apparently, some weaker player used it against a stronger player and wiped him off the board. For the life of me I can't recall the players, but I do know it was some sort of speed game or quick chess. Can you believe it? Over the board inspiration in a speed game where the idea actually rewrote the opening books. They asked the guy after the match how he came up with such a strange, effective move. He said that everything else had been tried before so he was just horsing around. It was only a speed game, so it wasn't that important.

11...Nf5!
Back in the late 90's I'm sure that move got a (!!) under the circumstances. The move is great, I agree, but in reality it probably isn't worth 2 exclams. With best play White should be able to hold his own without particular worry.

12.exf6
Bxf6
12. ...ef is also perfectly playable and at the moment the most popular

13.Nxd5
Qxd5!
And now we are at the crux of Black's idea. Sacrificing the queen in exchange for space, time and development and long-term prospects.

14.Qxd5
Nxe3
15.Qd2
Nxd1
16.Qxd1
Be6
Now I had known a game by Ivanchuck that I was using as my main line. The other lines I was unaware of.

17.Bb5
We whipped though these moves without even breaking a sweat. I was talking to some other parents for most of the first 1.5 hours in between my moves. I can't remember for my life which game was quoted in the book. So I provided two below and I'm pretty sure it's one or the other. Anyways, this guy doesn't really get the credit. There were just a handful of players who used this line as black in the past. But this gentleman gets the glory becuase he was the first person to win with it. [17.Bd3
Rfd8
18.Qe2
Rd6
19.Rd1
Rad8
20.f4
Rb6
21.b3
Rbd6
22.g4
a5
23.Rg1
a4
24.f5
axb3
25.fxe6
Rxe6
26.Qf1
bxa2+
27.Kxa2
Ra8+
28.Kb3
Rb6+
29.Bb5
Ra1
30.Qd3
Rxb5+
31.Qxb5
Rxg1
32.Qc5
Rb1+
33.Kc4
g5
34.Qd5
Kg7
35.Qf3
Rb2
36.Kd3
Rb4
37.h3
b6
38.Qc6
h6
39.Qb7
b5
40.Ke2
Rb1
41.Kd3
b4
42.Kd2
e6
43.Ke2
Bc3
44.Qc6
Re1+
45.Kf2
Re5
46.Qb7
Rd5
47.Kf3
Rd4
48.Qc6
Rf4+
49.Ke2
h5
50.gxh5
Kh6
51.Qe8
Kxh5
52.Qg8
Kh4
53.Qh7+
Kg3
54.Qh5
f6
55.Ke3
Bd4+
56.Kd3
e5
57.Qh6
Rf3+
58.Ke4
Bc3
59.Qh5
f5+
60.Kd5
Kf4
61.Ke6
e4
62.h4
gxh4
63.Qxf5+
Ke3
64.Qg5+
Ke2
65.Qg2+
Kd1
66.Kd5
Re3
67.Qf2
Re2
68.Qxh4
Kxc2
69.Kc4
Bd2
70.Kd4
b3
71.Qg4
Re3
72.Qc8+
Kb1
73.Qb7
b2
0-1 Magomedov,M (2540)-Valenzuela Fuentealba,L (2405)/Elista 1998/CBM 066 ext; Relevant: 17.Be2
b5
18.Qd2
a5
19.Bxb5
a4
20.g4
Rab8
21.c4
Rfd8
22.Qe2
Rd6
23.Bxa4
Rxb2+
24.Qxb2
Bxb2
25.Kxb2
Bxc4
26.Rc1
Bd5
27.Rc3
Kg7
28.Rd3
Kf6
29.Bb3
e6
30.Bxd5
exd5
31.a4
d4
32.a5
Ke5
33.Ra3
Ra6
34.Kb3
Rc6
35.Kb4
Kd5
36.Ra1
Rc8
37.a6
Rb8+
38.Ka5
d3
39.a7
Ra8
40.Kb6
Kd4
41.Kb7
Rxa7+
42.Rxa7
Ke3
43.Kc8
f5
44.gxf5
gxf5
45.Rd7
f4
46.Kd8
d2
Popov,I (2582)-Savchenko,B (2638)/Ulan Ude 2009/CBM 132/1-0]

17...Rfc8
I had second thoughts about this move. White's plan became evident. She will just back the bishop up to trade my bishop to take away my bishop pair. [17...a6
18.Ba4
Rfd8
19.Qe2
Rd4
20.Bb3
Bxb3
21.axb3
Rad8
22.g3
b5
* (*Predecessor (47): *22...R8d5
23.f4
e6
24.Rf1
Rd2
25.Qc4
b5
26.Qc8+
Kg7
27.Qxa6
Rxh2
28.g4
h6
29.Qc6
Rhd2
30.b4
g5
31.fxg5
hxg5
32.Rh1
R2d4
33.Qe8
Rd8
34.Qxb5
Rxg4
35.Qb7
Kg6
36.Qf3
Rf4
37.Qe2
Kg7
38.c3
Rf5
39.Kc2
Rdd5
40.Kb3
Rde5
41.Qh5
Kf8
42.Ra1
Rd5
43.Ra7
Bg7
44.Ra8+
Ke7
45.Qh7
Be5
46.Qg8
Bf4
47.Re8+
Kd6
48.Qg7
Kd7
49.Qf8
Kc7
50.Rc8+
Kd7
51.Qd8#
*1-0 Svetushkin,D (2560)-Polzin,R (2494)/Paleochora 2010/CB30_2010*) *23.h4
h6
24.Qe3
a5
25.Qxh6
a4
26.Qe3
a3
27.c3
Rd3
28.Qb6
axb2
29.Kxb2
Bxc3+
30.Kc2
Bg7
31.Qc7
Rd2+
32.Kc1
Bb2+
33.Kb1
Ra8
0-1 Tirard,H (2370)-Gachon,L (2285)/Montpellier 1997/EXT 2003]

18.Ba4
b5
I did know some of the themes for Black. The two queenside pawns typically become quite active. Honestly, I didn't see any way to avoid exchanging bishops without weakening my position so I just rolled with the punches.

19.Bb3
Obviously 19. Bxb5 leads to all sorts of complications that will definitely favor black. For example: [19.Bxb5
Rab8
20.a4
* (20.c4
Bf5+
21.Ka1
Rxc4-+
) *20...a6
21.Bd3
* (21.Bxa6
Rxb2+
22.Kc1
Ra8
23.Bb5
Rxb5
24.axb5
Bc3-+
) *21...Rxb2+
22.Kc1
Bc3-+
]

19...Bxb3
I took here on purpose because I had an idea. It was very similar to the idea in the above quoted game.

20.axb3
a5
I'm simply going to pry open the a-file and hope for the best.

21.Qd5?
It was here that I thought she should have slowed down a little bit and tried to figure this out. What I think happened is she ran out of her set of knowledge on this line. Her manager came up to me after the game was over and expressed his displeasure over this move. While I agree this was not a terrific move it didn't completely jeopardize her position. The position is mostly equal now. At the time, I thought this move was pretty good for her. I wasn't sure what exactly I would do if I dropped one of those pawns. I felt I needed both to do some damage.

21...a4!
Didn't really have to give this tremendous thought. I just felt it was the right thing to do. From what I know about the Dragon: He who strikes first usually will win.

22.Ka2?
Again, she moved very quickly. Probably used less than 5 seconds. I was completely shocked. This had to be an awful move. I was really excited about my position. However, the more I looked at this position the more it felt like she just swindled me. I really wanted to take that pawn, but I calculated that it was bad for me. She was just about finished with her 48th board and she was about to walk over to my board. I still hadn't decided on a move. Then at the last second I saw the tactics in the position were in my favor. [22.bxa4
bxa4
23.Rc1
Rab8
While not an appetizing position for White, it was probably best in this situation]

22...a3
The only move that retains the advantage for Black. I felt like this was the little pawn that could. She can't do pawn takes pawn becuase of ...Rc2+ with devastating effect. Now my threats are extremely serious. And she finds the best move which I also predicted.

23.Qxa8!?
When's the last time you saw a double intentional queen sacrifice in a game? Bravo!!

23...Rxa8
24.bxa3
I'm sure she felt she had a fighter's chance at this point in time. If she could keep two extra pawns over on the queenside then she probably has good chances to draw. Except for the fact that she will lose on of those pawns, which took me a little bit to figure out.

24...e6
25.c4
I didn't like this for her, but she was desperate and she was still moving quite quickly. I think she thought she would have to blitz me out to win this thing. Unfortunately she never got that chance as she was tied up in her remaining games.

25...Be7
[25...b4
26.a4
Rd8
Apparently the computer likes this particular continuation for Black. I did look at this but then got a little worried when I give her two protected pased pawns. But I guess I keep her so tied up she never gets a chance to push them.]

26.cxb5
Rxa3+
27.Kb2
Ra5
28.Rb1
Rxb5
Here I felt I had the game in the bag. I have at least a draw in my sleep and very good chances for the win. Now it's just a matter of technique as they say in the books.

29.Kc3
Kf8
I couldn't make up my mind if I wanted to try the other variation which follows. [29...Kg7
30.b4
Kf6
31.Kc4
Rxb4+
32.Rxb4
Bxb4
33.Kxb4
Ke5
34.Kc4
Kf4
35.Kd3
Only one extra pawn, however I have a strong position. But then again, one tiny slip and this is a draw. I didn't want that on my conscience.]

30.b4
Ke8
31.Kc4
Rb7
32.b5
Kd7
33.Ra1
Rc7+
34.Kb3
Kc8
35.Ra4
Kb7
36.Rf4
Bd6
37.Rh4
f5
38.Ra4
Bxh2
39.Ra6
Re7
40.Kc4
Bg1
41.f4
Bb6
42.Ra2
e5
43.fxe5
Rxe5
44.Rd2
Kc7
45.Ra2
h5
46.Ra8
Re4+
not necessary [46...Re2
]

47.Kd5
Re2
All I gotta do is just a little bit more defending and this should be sealed.

48.Rg8
Rxg2
49.Rg7+
Kc8
50.Kc6
Bd8
51.Rg8
g5
52.b6
Rb2
Alexandra was very gracious after the match and was all smiles. Her manager(I think her father) was also very nice to me after the game. She signed my scoresheet and I was the recipient of one of her DVD's. Overall, I would say she looked a little deficient with her strategy. I expected her to dispatch the mostly 1000 rated players in about 20 moves, but they hung around and made life difficult for her and then she wasn't able to focus on me. Although she did beat the Expert sitting on the board next to me. I was the last game to finish and it took 3 hours 45 minutes.** 0-1**