Betaneli-Levin, 1993 U.S. Open

1. c4 e6 2. g3 d5 3. Bg2 c5 4. Nf3 Nc6 5. O-O Nf6 6. d3 Be7 7. Na3 O-O 8. Nc2 e5

9. Ne3 d4 10. Nc2 Bf5

The game has transposed precisely into a Benoni with colors reversed, White having lost two moves with his Queen's knight and Black having expended an extra move with his e-pawn. My experience having indicated that the Benoni is difficult for Black to handle, I was happy to effectively have White in this opening.

11. Nh4 Be6 12. f4

It is doubtful that the advance of this pawn will provide enough play to offset the weaknesses thereby created (especially the e-pawn and e3-square). White's pieces are not able to quickly reach the kingside. 12. e3 seems better.

12...exf4 13. gxf4 Ng4 14. Nf3 Qc7

Black plans ...Nh6 followed by ...Nf5, blockading the f-pawn while bearing down on the e3-square. Rather than be hogtied, White decides to mix things up.

15. b4?! Nxb4 16. Nxb4 cxb4 17. Nxd4 Qb6 18. e3 Bc5

19. f5?!

19. Nxe6 would have been met by 19...Nxe3! (19...Bxe3+ would lose material after 20. Kh1!) 20. Bxe3 Bxe3+ 21. Kh1 fxe6 winning a pawn, but perhaps the pressure along the h1/a8 diagonal as well as the solid posting of the bishop at the e4-square, would have provided some compensation to White.

19...Bxd4 20. Qxg4 Bxa1 21. fxe6 fxe6 22. d4

In heading toward this position, Black reckoned that the imprisonment of his bishop would be offset by that of its White counterpart.

22...Rxf1+ 23. Bxf1 Rf8 24. Bd3 Rf6 25. c5 Qd8 26. Be4

26...Bxd4! 27. exd4 Qxd4+ 28. Kg2

28. Kh1 walks into a lethal skewer after 28...Rf1+ 29. Kg2 Rg1+.


Quickest and prettiest, although 28...Qf2+ is also more than adequate, winning back a bishop after 29. Kh1 Qe1+ or 29. Kh3 Qf1+.

29. Bg5 Rxg5! 30. Qxg5 Qxe4+

Forces the exchange of queens and an easily won pawn ending for Black after 31. Kf1/f2/h3 Qf5+ or 31. Kg1/g3 Qg6.