The following notes are based on the commentary of IM Emory Tate. He showed this game in the skittles room and it was audio recorded with his knowledge. The game is against a very talented 15-year old International Master.
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Qc7 3. c4 e6 4. Nc3 a6 5. d4 Backdoor in to a Kan Sicilian.
5... cxd4 6. Nxd4 So all the drama is over after takes, knight takes, we're in a Kan. It's looks like a long, theoretical struggle ahead.
6... Nf6 After 6...Nf6 I decided to test the waters of
7. Qe2!? Unusual-looking move. The threat of e5 is real. We have one bishop left to develop on the flank.
7... d6 After ...d6, I curtail the activity ot the f8-bishop and I'm halfway home.
8. g3 b6 Immediately fighting for the diagonal... not a bad idea. I thought it was too routine to play 9.Bg2 so I went with 9.Bg5 to make him determine his knight's position.
9. Bg5 Nbd7 Now the novelty...
Unusual development... stopping 10...Be7
10... Bb7 If 10... Be7 11. Bxe6! wins three pawns for the pieces with a raging game. Eschews the Be7 move and plays the Bb7 instead.
11. O-O Now I can't really sacrifice effectively although it's unclear it's probably not the best continutation. 11. Bxe6 fxe6 12. Nxe6 13. Nd5 It's very artistic, but in a game of such importance I decided not to delve into these complications. Castled short. Even though I knew he would have a chance for his own initiative.
11... Ne5 Since 10... Be7 is ruled out, his spirited try is almost forced... starts with immediate pressure on c4.
12. b3 I even had time for
12. Rac1 I could have taken time out but I decided not to. I had been wanting these complications as badly as he.
12... b5 He's got real pressure on c4... virtually winning a pawn, but I get rid of one more of his developed pieces with
13. Bxf6 gxf6 14. Qh5!? and he has a separate problem of his own... e6 mainly. I thought he may play Ng6 to take the heat off the position. Qh5 is a nice counter threat. It's very difficult to defend e6 with the pin in the air. He doesn't want to back the knight out of the center (14...Ng6) although it's a playable move maybe.
14... Ke7 14... O-O-O is ruled out because I just take 15. cxb5 and he can't take because of the c-file.
15. Rac1 Nd3 There are many moves here. If he plays 15... b4 he's going win the e-pawn and I hadn't decided where to put my knight yet. I might go 16. Na4 (16. Nce2 with the idea of f4 or Nf4 with sacrifical possibilities (on e6) in the air. So he's got to be quite careful here.)
16... Bxe4 17. c5 He decided not to try to win the e-pawn because of unstable king on the e-file.
15... bxc4 16. bxc4 (16. Rfd1 Nd3?? 17. Rxd3 cxd3 18. Nd5+ drops the quee n. So I can centralize forcefully with my two rooks... and with his king out of play to give him real trouble. He decided not to test those waters either. What he played might not be better either. He played Nd3 right away. In his own words, he thought he was confusing my rooks. He thought he had some good infusion possibilities on c4. He overlooked the simple exchange sacrifice.)
16... Nxc1 17. Rxc1 I have a pawn for the exchange and an attack on the c-file.
17... Qb6 Sidesteps the tempo.
18. Na4! counter tempo
18... Qd8 18... Qxd4 19. Rc7+ Kd8 20. Rxb7 wins because f7 can't be held. The long variation goes (20. Qxf7 Bc8 21. b6! Key move. Now the rook is protected so I can take on f6 if his queen wanders. I'm threatening 22.b7 with mate on d7-square. He's almost out of moves. Last but not least I have Bxe6 hanging in the air. 21... Rb8 (If he tries 21... Qa1+ 22. Kg2!)
Now with the threat of 22. Bxe6! in the air... and b7 in the air, the position can hardly be held. So I was going to triple-check everything, but it looks like a winning attack all the way around. I played the first step in 18.Na4 and I knew that I could win by either taking on b7 immediately or capturing on f7 in the more complicated line... either or. So the Na4 move is tremendously strong.)
19. bxa6 Rxa6 19... Bxa6 20. Nc6+ is conclusive.
20. Qb5! Attacking most of his pieces. I expected Ra7 when I prepared Qc4 move. The nice part about Qc4 is I'm threatening to break in on e6 with a mating attack. I'm also threatening Nb5 chasing the rook off and Qc7+ collects material on the 7th rank. Some interesting queen moves are played... the game is very fascinating.
20... Qd7 21. Bf1! This move to find even for a professional. Now down the exchange, he realizes he can't trade queens because Bxb5 is punishing... Rc7 in the air.
On 21... Qxb5 22. Bxb5 Ra7 23. Rc7+ Kd8 24. Rxf7 and none of pieces can move... e6 can't be defended, my knights are invading on b6 and e6. He can even get mated here. Some nice minor piece mates can crop up. Those pieces are out of play... key factor. Luckily... the fact remains that he can't trade queens. (...Rxa4) Nice sharp move which seems to save him. His idea is to devalue my pawns one way or another and collect on e4.
22. Qb6 You can imagine his surprise. I noticed a mild surprise... he tried to hide his emotions, but I know he didn' t see this 'creeping move.' They say creeping moves are the hardest to see. Now c7 can't be defended easily. No time to sacrifice the rook because queen hangs... everything is hanging with check. He gets even mated in some lines.
22... Rb4 computer-looking move
23. Qxb4 Bh6 and suddenly it looks like he's breathing. A vital tempo. If he gets in Rc8, he'll be in the game with two bishops.
24. Bb5 His queen runs low on squares.
24... Qd8 Instead of passive moves... e4 hit, I play
25. Rc6! Absolute paralysis!! Now what? His queen can't move away from the d6-square; he can't touch the rook and he can't sit still forever either. His rook is out of play. So he played the very brilliant
25... Qd7 into the discovery.
26. Rc4 Qd8 27. Qc3
Penetrating on the c-file... he realized the game is over and resigned after Qc3.
27. Qc3 Kf8 28. Rc7 is the end of the world as you know it. 28... Bxe4 (28... Qa8 29. Nxe6+ fxe6 30. Qxf6+)
29. Rc8 So it was truly resignable.
[IM Emory Tate]