17 Painful Moves | Road to GM, Game 98

The fifth game from Split Open was the biggest punishment of my narrow opening repertoire thus far. My opponent knew exactly what I was going to play and he prepared perfectly.

2019 Split Open, Round 5, 08/07/2019, S. Tomic (1920) vs J. Moreby (2108), Prins Sicilian

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6
5. f3 e5 6. Nb3 Be6 7. c4 Nbd7 8. Be3 b5
9. cxb5 d5 10. exd5 Nxd5 11. Bf2 Bb4+ 12. N1d2 Qg5
13. g3 e4 14. fxe4 Bg4 15. Be2 Ne3 16. Bxe3 Qxe3
17. Rc1 Ne5 0 – 1

The Prins Sicilian is a tricky variation for white. Well, at least more so than for black. White can end up a pawn up in many lines and black will get dynamic play as compensation for the pawn. The line that my opponent chose int his game is one of the best examples of that. Against the Maroczy bind setup with e4 and c4, black plays the early b5 without preparing it with a6. A pawn sacrifice.
White doesn’t have to take, of course, and both defending c4 and taking on b5 are ok moves.
I took and got a position in which I’m a pawn up but it’s harder to play for me.

His preparation paid off. He knew the position perfectly. He knew the plans and the patterns. He knew where I could go wrong. And he defeated me smoothly. Back to the drawing board! I have to expand my repertoire!

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