The game Jakovenko-Harikrishna from a few days ago in Shenzhen was quite interesting to me for a couple of reasons.
Here’s one of them. In a Taimanov Sicilian this position is reached with Black to move:
Here the normal move is 8…Ne5. Instead, Harikrishna plays 8…Nxd4 9.Bxd4 Bc5 10.Bxc5 Qxc5 and now after 11.Na4 Qc7 White gets a Maroczy setup with 12.c4
So this is one part of the game that I found interesting. I’m not sure what Black gets out of this, although I suppose it’s equal and that’s what Black has been trying for.
Then down the road a piece this position is reached, this time with White to move:
One of the maxims that we are taught as post beginner’s is that when you’re queen is lined up on the same file as an enemy rook it’s a good idea to move it, but here Jakovanko plays 15.Qd4
OK, so it seems to me like if Black plays 15…e5 here, then White is doing OK since Black has given himself a backwards pawn. As Black I don’t think I’d play 15…e5. But…I’m not a super GM, because what does Harikrishna play? You guessed it…he plays 15…e5
Clearly there are some strategic themes I am not understanding.
Til Next Time,
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