Ponziani Update 4

 

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Ponziani Update 4 [C44]
12.01.2001
[David Taylor]

Ponziani Update #4
by David Taylor

For this update we shall follow the game Jon Edwards (former United States Correspondence Chess Champ) - E. Martinovsky (former United States Correspondence Chess Champ), 8th North American Invitational Correspondence Chess Championship 1988, 1/2-1/2 

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.c3 Nf6 4.d4 Nxe4 5.d5 Ne7 6.Nxe5 Ng6 7.Qd4 [ 7.Nd3 Nc5 8.g3 Be7 9.Bg2 Nxd3+ 10.Qxd3 0-0 11.0-0 Ne5 12.Qc2 d6 13.Re1 Bg4 14.Nd2 and hopefully White's slow expansion will lead to some advantage. White will at some point attempt to drive Black away from key points. For example at some point White will play f4 attacking the N on e5] 7...Qf6 [ 7...Nf6 8.Be3? Hitselberger-Melton APCT Correspondence 1994 0-1 29 moves. ( However White could have gained the advantage with 8.Nxg6 hxg6 9.Bf4 ) ] 8.Qxe4 Qxe5 9.Qxe5+ Nxe5 10.Nd2 d6 11.Nc4 Nxc4 12.Bxc4 and here every book on the Ponziani says this position is equal. My opinion is White has some queenside space advantage and can play for the full point. 12...Bd7 [ here is a game between Dave Taylor and M Chess Pro 1993 12...Be7 13.0-0 0-0 14.Be3 Bf5 15.a4 starting a plan to force Black to play a6 15...Bf6 16.a5 a6 now White will have a long range plan to trade off Rooks and the dark squared Bishop and get his King to d4. White is also going to try and set up a particular Pawn structure on the Queenside 17.Rfe1 Rae8 18.f3 Re7 19.Kf2 h6 20.Re2 Rfe8 21.Rae1 Bh4+ One of the failings of computers is they are often unable to discern long range plans. They certainly calculate faster than humans, but we have the advantage is strategizing - at least at present 22.g3 Bf6 23.Ba7 with the idea of trading off the rooks 23...Rxe2+ 24.Rxe2 Kf8 25.Rxe8+ Kxe8 26.Ke3 Ke7 27.Bd4 Bxd4+ 28.Kxd4 White now aims for b4, followed by c4 and b5 28...Bc2 29.b4 Kf6 30.Be2 g5 31.c4 Bg6 32.b5 Now Black can't capture the pawn or White obtains the outside passer. Therefore, Black must wait for White's axb6, leaving him with the weak a6 pawn. 32...Bf5 33.bxa6 bxa6 34.c5 Bc8 35.c6 Kg7 36.Bd3 Kf6 37.f4 gxf4 38.gxf4 Ke7 39.Ke4 Kd8 40.Kf3 Ke7 41.Kg3 Ke8 42.Kh4 Kf8 43.Kh5 Kg7 44.f5 f6 45.Be2 Kh7 46.Kg4 Kg7 47.Kf4 Kf7 48.Bh5+ Ke7 49.Bg6 Kf8 50.Kg4 Kg7 51.Kh5 Kg8 52.Kxh6 Kf8 53.Kh7 1-0] 13.0-0 f5 14.Re1+ Kf7 15.a4 a6 16.a5 Be7 17.Bd2 Bf6 18.Re2 Rae8 19.Rae1 Rxe2 20.Rxe2 1/2-1/2 37 moves. 
[ Jon Edwards (who corresponded with me when I was developing the Ponziani book) later remarked "The queenless middlegame gives some excellent chances for White owing to control over the d file and space advantage on the queenside. Unfortunately, I missed the very strong 20.Bxe2 preventing 20...g5 with 21.Bh5+" ]