Annotated Game #13 from the 1998 New York Open

annotations by NM Steve Mayer

GM Onischuk, Alexander  (2615) - GM Milov, Vadim  (2635)  [B33]

1998 New York Open (Round 7)    20.03.1998


1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Qb6

What is this? Doesn't Milov know that he 'shouldn't' move his queen so 'early'? Of course he does, but he also knows the 'exceptions' to the 'rules.'

5.Nb3 Nf6 6.Nc3 e6 7.Be3 Qc7 8.Bd3 a6 9.O-O b5 10.f4 d6

Would you believe me if I were to assert that this position can also arise- and frequently does- out of the Richter-Rauzer, the Sozin and the Schevenigen? It does and anyone who plays the Sicilian for either side should be able to work out appropriate examples where 'this' position arises (and also those
with an additional tempo for one side or the other).

11.a4 b4 12.Nb1

The knight may re-emerge via d2 at c4 or perhaps at f3. But again, there is a big difference between the meanings of 'undeveloped' and 'unmoved.'

12…Be7 13.a5

14_1.jpg (31909 bytes)

This is an example of 'artificially isolating' the b-pawn; it also 'fixes' the a-pawn as a target. But none of the above 'means' that either side has made a 'mistake' or 'has the advantage.'

13…O-O 14.N1d2 Bb7 15.Qe2 Rfe8 16.Rfc1

Onischuk hopes to 'take play to the queenside.' This will backfire on him in horrific fashion, but don't be 'so sure' that his plan is a 'mistake.' In the Sicilian, there is always a principle of entropy at work…White's position gradually winds down and time is nearly always 'against' him.

16…e5

Milov smashes back in the center. If this works, then White is in a great deal of trouble. By the way, it 'works.'

17.f5 d5 18.Bb6 Qd7

There has been nothing to speak of in the way of 'complications' and White has an awful position! What happened? Onischuk will work out this 'problem' for himself before the next time he plays against the Sicilian.

19.Re1 Bd6 20.Qf3 Ne7

A very pretty idea; f5 is a fixed target and will be destroyed…unless, of course, Onischuk wishes to make his position even worse by defending f5.

21.Nc5 Bxc5+ 22.Bxc5

So now White has the bishops. So what?

22…Rac8 23.Bb6

14_2.jpg (31440 bytes)

'Tactics' are so trivial and yet so 'important.' White simply drops 'major material' after 23.Bxb4 dxe4, as Black's queen can reach d4 with check.

23…dxe4 24.Nxe4 Nxe4 25.Bxe4 Bxe4 26.Rxe4 Nxf5

End of game? More or less. Milov applies Fischer's 'principle of the transformation of positional advantages' to make his work easier in the ensuing endgame.

27.Qd3 Qxd3 28.cxd3 b3 29.Rb4 Rc2 30.Rxb3 Nd4 31.Bxd4 exd4

'Believe me' when I say that Onischuk knew that his game was still lost here…perhaps even 'more lost' than it was at move 26.

32.Rb4 h5 33.Kh1 Ree2 34.Rg1

14_3.jpg (29009 bytes)

Yuck! 'The game is over' but some positions must be played out for awhile. Milov is not one to mishandle technical advantages.

34…Rxb2 35.Rxd4 Rb5 36.h4 Rxa5 37.Kh2 Rd2 38.Kg3 Ra3 39.Kf4 Raxd3 40.Rxd3 Rxd3 41.Ra1 Rd4+ 42.Kg3 Rd6 43.Kf3 Rf6+ 44.Ke4 g6 45.Ra4 Kf8 46.Rb4 Rf5 47.Rb6 Rb5 48.Rxa6 Rb4+ 0-1

We all await the big matchup between Milov and Georgiev with bated breath.