Strange, but I kind of disliked Four Knights game, never played it as White, not often got it as Black, never studied it.
Preparing for the yesterday’s game I found that one of my possible opponents plays it, so I looked a bit into it and decided to encounter his 4.g3 with 4…d5.
It proved useful, since though I got another opponent he still played Four Knights game, the same variation 4. g3, here is the game
It seems me that he wasn’t very familiar with my 2nd choice 4…d5, because his continuation 6. Nxd5 had only 20% score for White on http://www.chesslive.de
. Maybe because of being unfamiliar with this opening I decided to change queens, it left his king without castle, not bad actually – two losses for White in DB.
Soon he decided to sacrifice a pawn (if it was a sac, I don’t know). I took the pawn, trying to play safe at the same time.
Then I had a feeling that I am under some pressure, though Fritz says that I was better. I’ll trust him on that.
My weak move 18…f6 was made from positional point of view – planning g5, but Bf5 by Fritz was much better, it’s me who has pressure here. The same happened with 22…a5, it was intended against b4 (after Be3, c5), but I missed that I lose this pawn after 23. Be3 c5 24. Bf4+ Ka7 25. Bc7. He didn’t take a pawn and tried to pursue my rook, forcing it eventually to h6. I expected him to play 31. Bf5 and planned to sacrifice a pawn on h7 to activate my rook after 31…Rf6 32. Bxh7 Rf3+, exactly as Fritz suggests.
Suddenly he played 31. Bd5 and I saw the pin almost right away. After I played Rd6 he resigned. He had 20 minutes left vs. my 30 at that moment.
We had a nice post-mortem, when I tried to prove him that he had a good draw chances ( maybe I did it because of his blunder), he wasn’t sure about that. I told him that I would take the pawn on a5, Fritz by the way supports it. Generally speaking I found this position wit R+2B vs. R+2B pretty interesting despite of apparent simplicity.
Funny that my guy recently played another Four Knights game, where his 1800+ opponent played 4…Bc5 (1st choice) instead of 4…d5. He won on 18th move due to opponent missing queen fork and losing a piece.