White: Abdullah Khairi Kz
Black: Nor Azmi Mohd Nor
[C54] Italian Game
Blitz, Staff Inter Varsity UNIMAP, 2007
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 Nor Azmi is very well versed with the Italian game and this may be the first time that his theoretical knowledge would be tested in UNIMAP, and it is in 5 minutes game!!
4.c3 Nf6 5.d4
During the game, I instantly recalled what had been described by Anatoly Karpov in one of his Classic book, " The Open Game In Action". He wrote that (in my own words) the text move had not been the choice of GMs because it only involve memorising of theory. The one with the better memory should be successful. Nevertheless he did cited a game with 5.d4 in his book. [5.d3 was Karpov's peference] 5...exd4 6.cxd4 Bb4+ 7.Nc3 [7.Bd2 is another popular line. Nor Azmi is well versed with it and with both colours! 7...Bxd2+ 8.Nbxd2 d5 9.exd5 exd5 10.Qb3 Na5 11.Qa4+ Nc6 12.Qb3 Nce7 (12...Na5 13.Qa4+ ½–½ Nor Azmi Mohd Noor-Halim Shuhaimi/27th Inter-Varsity Staff Games 2002/[UIAM] (13)) 13.0–0 0–0 14.Rfe1 Nb6 15.Bd3 Bf5 16.Ne4? (16.Rxe7! is the correct move 16...Bxd3 17.Rae1 Bg6=) 16...Nc6 17.Neg5 Nxd4 18.Nxd4 Bxd3 19.Qxd3 Qxg5 20.Nf3 Qf6 21.Qc2 c6 22.Re2 Rfe8 23.Rae1 Rxe2 24.Qxe2 g6 25.Qe7 Qxe7 26.Rxe7 Rd8 27.g3 Rd7 28.Re8+ Kg7 29.Ne5 Rd1+ 30.Kg2 Nd5 31.Rb8 Re1 32.Nc4 b6 33.Rc8 Re7 34.a3 c5 35.Rd8 Nc7 36.Ne3 Ne6 37.Rd6 Nd4 38.Rd8 h6 39.h3 h5 40.h4 Nc6 41.Rd6 Nd4 42.Rd8 Nb3 43.Rd5 f6 44.g4 hxg4 45.Nxg4 Kf7 0–1 Mohd Hafez Hilmi Harun-Nor Azmi Mohd Noor/27th Inter-Varsity Staff Games 2002/[UIAM] (45)]
7...Nxe4 8.0–0 Bxc3 9.d5 Bf6 10.Re1 Ne7 11.Rxe4 d6 12.Bg5 Bxg5 13.Nxg5 h6 14.Qe2! hxg5 15.Re1 Be6 16.dxe6 f5?!
[16...f6 was the standard theory cited by Karpov in his aforementioned book]
17.Re3 d5 18.Rh3 Rf8
[White's Rook is taboo, for example 18...Rxh3 19.gxh3 dxc4 20.Qh5+ g6 21.Qh8+ Ng8 22.Qxg8+ Ke7 23.Qf7+ Kd6 24.Rd1+ Kc6 25.Rxd8 Rxd8 26.e7]
[19...g6 may be imperative]
20.Qh5+ g6 21.Qxg5
This is the different! Had the black pawn on f6 instead on f5, it would be not possible to capture via Qxg5
21...0–0–0 22.Rh7! Rde8 23.Rf7! Rh8
[23...Rxf7 is suicidal as 24.exf7 Rf8 25.Rxe7 wins for white]
25.Qf6 a6 26.Rf8!
A gross blunder. 26...Qd8 is the most obstinate defence 27.Qxh8
Abdullah Khairi registered a victory over Nor Azmi. However, Nor Azmi went on to win the first prize in this blitz tournament.