**Quote:**

I hope someone will point out if I am wrong, but I have some hopes for 11...b6. I have no idea if it has ever been played. I do note that it is not in Monson's book.

MONSON:

While it's true that 11...b6 was not examined in my book, it is nevertheless not an entirely new move, and it has had practical tests in strong correspondence competition, including in a game in which I was a participant (see below).

I have three games to contribute, in the order in which they were played:

** GAME #1 ** Barnsley,T (2450) - Reijnen,M [C47]

1st Master Norm Tnmt., 1998

Notes by Tony Barnsley

**1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.d4 exd4 5.Nd5 Nxe4 6.Bc4 Be7 7.0-0 0-0 8.Re1 Nf6 9.Nxe7+ Nxe7 10.Qxd4 d5 11.Bd3 b6N ** A new move, but perhaps a little too slow.

** 12.Bg5 c5 13.Qe5 ** Or 13.Qh4 Ng6 14.Qg3 Nh5 (14...Bb7 15.h4 d4 [15...Qb8 16.Bxf6 Qxg3 17.fxg3 gxf6 18.h5 Ne5 19.Nxe5 fxe5 20.Rxe5 +/=] 16.Nd2 Nh5 17.Bxd8 Nxg3

18.Be7±) 15.Bxd8 Nxg3 16.Bxb6 axb6 17.hxg3 Bd7 with equality.

** 13...Nc6 14.Qf4 Nb4 15.Rad1 Nxd3 16.Rxd3 Be6 17.Nd2 Qb8 ** On 17...h6? 18.Bxh6! gxh6 (On 18...Nh5? 19.Qe5 gxh6 20.Qxh5 Qf6 21.Rf3 Qxb2 22.Rxe6! fxe6 23.Rg3+ Qg7 24.Qxh6+-; or 18...Ng4? 19.Rxe6+-) 19.Qxh6 Bf5 (19...Ng4 20.Rg3) 20.Rg3+ Bg6 21.Re6! Re8 (21...Rc8 22.Nf3! [22.Rh3 Nh5 23.Rxg6+ fxg6 24.Qxg6+ Ng7 25.Qh7+ Kf7 26.Rf3+ Ke8 27.Qxg7 Rxf3 28.Nxf3 Qd7±] 22...Rc7 23.Ne5 Qe8 24.Rxf6! Qxe5 25.Rgxg6+ fxg6 26.Rxf8#; 22.Rxg6+ fxg6 23.Qxg6+ Kh8 24.Rxf6 Re1+ 25.Nf1 Re7 26.Qh5+ Rh7 27.Qe5 Rg7 28.Rh6+ Kg8 29.Qh5+-

** 18.Qh4 Nd7 19.f4 Re8 20.Rde3 d4 21.R3e2 Rc8 22.Qf2! h6 ** On 22...Bf5 23.c3 (23.Ne4 Bg4 24.Qg3 (24.Rd2 Re8 25.Qg3 f5) 24...Bxe2 25.Nf6+ Nxf6 26.Bxf6 g6 27.Qg5 Qd6 28.Rxe2 Re8 29.Be5 Qe6; Or 23...d3 (23...h6 24.Bh4 Qd6 25.h3 Qg6 26.Kh2 dxc3 27.bxc3 b5 28.Re7) 24.Re7 Nf8 25.R7e5 Be6 26.f5 Bxa2 27.Qg3 Nd7 28.Bf4 Qb7 29.Bh6 g6 30.fxg6 fxg6 31.Re7 Qd5 32.c4±

** 23.Bxh6!! gxh6 24.Qg3+ Kf8 25.Rxe6! fxe6 26.Rxe6 Re8 27.Rxh6 Qd8 28.Nc4 Qe7 ** On 28...Nf6 29.Ne5 Ke7 30.Qg7+ Ke6 31.Rxf6+ Qxf6 (31...Kd5 32.Qb7#) 32.Qd7#

** 29.Rh8+ Kf7 30.Rh7+ Kf8 31.Rxe7 Rxe7 32.Qh4 Rg7 33.Qh8+ Rg8 34.Qh6+ ** 1-0

** GAME #2 ** Monson,B - Barnsley,A [C47]

TGT ICCF email, 1998

** 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.d4 exd4 5.Nd5 Be7 6.Bc4 0-0 7.0-0 Nxe4 8.Re1 Nf6 9.Nxe7+ Nxe7 10.Qxd4 d5 11.Bd3 b6!? ** First played in Barnsley-Reijnen, 1st Master Norm CC, England, 1998

** 12.Bg5 c5 13.Bxf6!?N ** This is one of my own innovations that I feel is correct despite the fact that I eventually lost this game. White gains R+N for the queen and sets up a binding position where his knight has a dominating post on d4, his Bd3 is better than black's and the rook(s) will control the open e-file. It should be noted that it is precisely because black is left with Q+B, rather than Q+N, that this plan works, since the Q+B combination is clumsy due to black's restrictive d5-pawn.

** 13...cxd4 14.Bxe7 Qc7 15.Bxf8 ** Here white may also play 15.Nxd4 after which 15...Re8 (15...Bd7 16.Bxf8 Kxf8 17.c3 transposes to the game; 15...Qe8 16.Ba3!? Be6 17.Ng5 g6 [17...h6? 18.Nh7! +/-] ) 16.Bd6! Qd7! (16...Qd8?! 17.Bc7! Rxe1+ 18.Rxe1 Qf8 19.Bd6! Qd8 [but not 19...Qxd6?? 20.Re8+ Qf8 21.Bxh7+! +-] 20.Nc6 Qd7 21.Bb5 Ba6 22.Ne7+ Qxe7 23.Rxe7 Bxb5 when the opposite bishop and rook ending is slightly better for white, though surely drawn with best play.

** 15...Kxf8 16.Nxd4 Bd7 ** The attempt to infiltrate with 16...Qf4? 17.c3 Qd2 is easily parried with 18.Bb5 Bg4 19.f3 Bh5 20.Re2 Qg5 21.Rae1 +/-)

** 17.c3 g6 18.g3 Re8 19.Rxe8+ Bxe8 20.Re1 Bd7 21.Kg2 a5 22.a3 Kg7 23.f4 Qd6 24.Re5 f6 25.Re3 Kf7 26.Be2? ** This is the beginning white's troubles. The idea was to reposition the Bishop on f3 and transfer the rook to d3 (d2) to pressure d5, which may or may not be plausible, but my execution of hit certainly was not.

But there were other alternatives to legitimately press for an advantage, and with virtually no risk of losing whatsoever. For example, 26.h4!? when 26...h5 is met with 27.f5! gxf5 28.Bxf5 Bxf5 29.Nxf5 Qc5 30.Rd3 b5 31.Ne3 Ke6 32.Kf3 Qc6 33.Rxd5 a4 (of course not 33...Qxd5+?? 34.Nxd5 Kxd5 35.g4 +-) when a Zugswang position arises after 34.Ke2! (better than the immediate 34.Ke4 or 34.g4) 34...Qe8 35.Kf2! after which it is doubtful black will be able to hold the position.

** 26...Qc5 27.Bf3 Qc4 28.Re2 Bc8 29.Rd2 Qc5 30.h4 ** The problem with the seemingly strong 30.Nb3, which accomplishes the task of winning the d5-pawn, is that after 30...Qe3 31.Bxd5+ Be6 32.Bxe6+ Kxe6 33.Nd4+ Kd5 34.Ne2 Qd3, white is not losing, but neither are there any realistic prospects for an advantage.

** 30...Kg7 31.h5 Bd7 32.hxg6 hxg6 33.Nc2 Be6 34.g4? ** This is ultimately the culprit for white's loss in this game. Obviously, I was pressing for an advantage, but in doing so the kingside pawns become weakened, and thus vulnerable as targets.

** 34...Bc8!? 35.Rxd5? ** Committed to playing for a win, white is now on the road to defeat. Better was 35.Nd4 Qc7 36.Ne2 Ba6 37.Nd4 Kh7 (obviously not 37...Qxf4?? 38.Ne6+) 38.Ne6 Qd6 39.f5 Bc4 40.fxg6+ Kxg6 41.Be4+ Kf7 42.Bf5 Qe5 43.Nd4 and the position should be a draw.

** 35...Qc4 36.Nd4 Bxg4! ** By exchanging his lame d-pawn for white's g-pawn, black now has excellent winning chances due to the possibility of creating a passed pawn, and though this may or may not be enough to win, the remainder of the game is quite instructive in how Mr. Barnsley (a corr. IM) ultimately does realize this advantage.

** 37.Rb5 Bxf3+ 38.Kxf3 Qd3+ 39.Kf2 Qe4 40.f5 Qf4+ 41.Ke2 Qh2+ 42.Kd3 Qh3+ 43.Ke4 Qh1+ 44.Ke3 Qe1+ 45.Ne2 g5 46.Rxb6 g4 47.Rb7+ Kh6 48.Rf7 Qh4 49.Rf8? ** Up to this point white has managed to hold the position together, but this move allows black the chance to reposition his queen to a more active position and ultimately win by force. Correct was 49.b4! when 49...Qg5+ 50.Ke4 g3 51.Nxg3 Qxg4+ 52.Kd5 Qxg3 53.Rxf6+ Kh5 54.Rc6 Qf3+ 55.Kd6 when white should do no worse than a draw.

** 49...Qg5+ 50.Ke4 Qg7! ** Demonstrating how important it was for white to keep g7 guarded. Now the queen's full range of motion comes into effect.

** 51.Re8 Qb7+ 52.Ke3 Qf3+ 53.Kd2 Qxf5 54.Re3 Qb1 55.b4 Qa2+ 56.Kd3 Qxa3 57.Re6 axb4 58.Rxf6+ Kg5 59.Rb6 bxc3 60.Rc6 c2+ 61.Rc3 c1Q 62.Nxc1 Qd6+ 63.Ke3 Qe5+ 64.Kd2 g3 65.Ne2 g2 0-1 ** Black threatens Qxe2+, of course, while 66.Re3 is answered by 66...Qb2+ followed by Qxe2, etc.; and 66.Rc1 fails to 66...Kg4 67.Rg1 Kf3, etc.

In an OTB game I would have played 66.Re3 and made black prove he could win with Q vs R against the "3rd rank defense," but in a correspondence game there was no point in continuing the struggle.

** GAME #3 ** Simmelink,J (2337) - Efendiyev,E (2310) [C47]

LM.1999.0.00002 IECG Email, 11.09.1999

** 1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Nf3 Nc6 4.d4 exd4 5.Nd5 Be7 6.Bc4 0-0 7.0-0 Nxe4 8.Re1 Nf6 9.Nxe7+ Nxe7 10.Qxd4 d5 11.Bd3 b6 12.b4 a5 13.b5 ** (an interesting possibility here is 13.Bg5!? axb4 14.Bxf6, ruining black's kingside pawn structure--Monson)

** 13...c5 14.bxc6 Nxc6 15.Qh4 Nb4 16.Bg5 Nxd3 17.cxd3 h6 18.Bxf6 ½-½ **