Tag Archives: US-China match

Greatest Hits of the 2000s, Game 2

The trophy at stake (picture from FM Jonathan Berry) doubled as a functional teapot

In my last post, I detailed how I started off against Bu Xiangzhi in the US-China Chess Summit of 2001. After that embarrassing start, team captain GM Nick De Firmian showed some faith and sent me back out the next day to board 1. This time I got the white pieces.

A 3.Bb5+ Sicilian arose (1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bb5+), but Bu avoided the main lines with 3…Bd7 4.Bxd7+ Nbxd7. After 5.0-0 Ngf6 6.Qe2 g6 (6…e6 is much more popular), I played 7.c3. The game continued with 7…Bg7 8.d4 cxd4 9.cxd4, and it already looks to me like White is better. Black either has to allow e4-e5 (and maybe e5-e6), or he continues as Bu did with 9…e5.

(FEN: r2qk2r/pp1n1pbp/3p1np1/4p3/3PP3/5N2/PP2QPPP/RNB2RK1 w kq e6 0 10)

Now that I look at it, Black was 2-0 with this line at the time our game, so maybe it was part of Bu’s preparation. I only played 1.e4 back then, with a couple anti-Sicilians as part of my repertoire. Of them, the Rossolimo/3.Bb5+ lines were my most serious lines, so this line couldn’t have been a surprise for him.

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