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Gordon Lyall v Guy Burns (2-7-2019)

This is the first of two games from Round 1 of the 2019 Winter Cup. Guy Burns, playing black against Gordon Lyall goes for a Sicilian, with Gordon opting for the Grand Prix attack, 1. e4 c5 2. Nc3, Nc6, 3. f4.

White is slightly better after 8.Qe2! however, he should follow up with e6 on move 10 or 11.  Black quickly equalises with 11…Bxf3! when White should recapture with the queen 12.Qxf3= Nxe5 13.Qg3.  Black continues to defend accurately and his pieces are more active after 17….Ne5. Black seizes the initiative with 18…f5 when his pieces are starting to co-ordinate better. Once the Black king slips to f7 on move 19, connecting the rooks, Black has a clear initiative.
White has not been able to create any play on the open g-file, and the pawns on f3 and h5 will be a liability in the endgame.
White follows the correct strategy and forces the exchange of major pieces with 23…c4, and avoids the capture on f3 which is inferior (23…Qxf3 24.Rde1=). After the rooks are exchanged on d-file after 29…Bxd8, Black has a won endgame which he converts well.