144 ( +1 | -1 ) My two centsI leave opening nuances for others, since both players managed to get ok position (despite of few strange-looking moves!). But to start a discussion here are few quick comments (before reading them, please note I am not a strong player!):
(Why not 13...Nxe4? I cannot see any real compensation for the pawn. 13...d5 is a thematic Sicilian move but free pawn is better :-)))
(14...Nxd5 15.Bxd5! exd5 with pretty good IQP position IMO.)
15.Bf4 Bd6 16.Bg5
(Why not 16.Bxd6? Black has IQP so in general exchanging minor pieces is a good plan, especially if you can swap off the powerful dark-square bishop. For example after 16...Bxd6 17.Nxc6 Bxc6 18.Nd4 with excellent IQP position where Black has very little fun :-)))
16...Ne4 17.Be3 Ne7 18.Ng1 f5!?
(Looks a bit risky but nearly pays off.)
(Too passive IMO.)
(Hope chess :-))) This is good only if your opponent falls into a simple trap. 19...f4 looks good to me, with counterplay.)
20.Nde2 Bd6 21.Bxd5+
(Winning a pawn, but Black gets bishop pair and some counterplay.)
Nxd5 22.Qxd5+ Kh8 23.c3 Bc6 24.Qd3 Qb7
(I cannot find really effective attacking plans for Black - mainly because I am not a good attacker - but the next move takes the bite out of this maneuvre.)
(This makes defending easier.)
26.Nxg3 Bxg3 27.Ne2 Rad8 28.Bd4 Be5 29.Rad1 Bxd4?
(Giving up your better bishop pretty much kills all the counterplay you had. White has good position and extra pawn...)
126 ( +1 | -1 ) another two centsI think one of the "odd-looking" opening moves peppe_! mentioned was 10. ... Bd7?!
I'm not such a great player neither, but this move simple looks bad, because it's justdoing nothing at all, imho it would make a little difference if the Bishop was a pawn, since it is blocked by own pawn e6 and b5. 10. ... Qc7 -> 11. ... Bb7 looks more natural to me, since the Bishop is controlling a few more fields from this spot. 13. ... Nxe4 instead of d5 was already mentioned, after 13. ...d5 14. exd5 exd5 I think I would have preferred to play the white pieces in this position, because I don't like that Isolated black pawn on the d-file, thus in combination with the odd-looking bishop on d7 gives me the feeling that whites position is a little bit better, the displaced looking white Bishop on a2 is imo not that weak at all, since it's focused on the weak black pawn on d5 or might be later via Bb1 in combination with c3 rejoin the game. and I agree with what Peppe_! said, giving up the Bishops pair was probably not such a great idea. Generally speaking it is usually not that helpful too exchange that many pieces when you're down a pawn, it simplifies the position too much. An idea for black, hum by watching the game I was always tempted to try f4, but it's probably just blowing hot air.
303 ( +1 | -1 ) A pennies worth re early opening...I'll just mention re the early opening, to where Peppi & Basti started. In general, WT taking time to play both a3 and h3, and no f4 would lead me to feel BL should do fine with the opening. Additionally, 0-0-0 lines are more aggressive IMO.
You play 6...a6. A common Classical Scheveningen move, tho early. And I do find it interesting since you can play it here & kept WT wondering if you might go Najdorf. The Modern Scheveningen line theory says you never Have To play ...a6 in it. [An equalizing (rather drawish) BL idea in it is to wait for f4 & Qe1 to be played by WT then...d5 and Qonc7 permits ...Bc5 pinning Be3 to WT king to exchange. Or making him use Kh1 tempo instead of Qe1 to avoid it; also turns drawish. I mention this line in it as one you might want to look up for use as an equalizer vs higher rated players, if ever inclined to need a draw in such] As far as ....a6 in the ultimate sense, to me seems a matter of taste. Again, its interesting here.
7....a3. I tried this once in the NAjdorf vs an Expert and did not like the game I got. So have come to feel perhaps better just planning for Bb3 & saving the a3 tempo, tho the B may be subject to tradeoff. Unlike Ba2, which removes it from attack by BL QN or might allow Bb1 vs later....e5 and ....Be6 (thematic options in Scheveningen) since he's 0-0 and can move the c-pawn to unveil the Bh7 diagonal. But thats an awful lot of B-moving. Clearly he wants to save a tempo now tho, over Bb3 then a3. So he must be more concerned with your ....b5 than .....Nxe4, Nxe4 d5 possibility I'd guess.
10.h3 another tempo.
Your 10....Bd7 is common to Scheveningen. And often BL may play...NxNd4, ...Bc6. As Basti mentions, it IS rather unusual Here, with ....b5 having been played already and the Nc6 move unplayed. I assume you are worried about something like 10....Bb7 11.Bxe6 fxe6 12.Nxe6 Qd7(or Qb6) 13.NxRf7 ; and at a glance I too like the looks of WT there. But it seems like 10....Bb7 11.Bxe6 Nxe4 does play alright for you. And a little trap there 12.Bd5? Nxc3 13.BxBb7 NxQd1 14.BxRa8 then maybe Nxp. I didn't look for better.
Alternative to short-circuit the e6 sac potential would be play ...e5. But if so, I'd do it now, not after Bd7, since after ...e5, Nf5 you'll want to look at ...Be6 or ...Bb7 placements instead. Anytime Nf5 comes in similar lines, I always look to see if ....d5 is a strong reply or not as standard procedure.,also.
On to your 13....d5. Kindof interesting. But as Peppi says above, ...Nxe4 looks to be free pawn. (And then ....d5 is strong, with pawn in hand too) Generallly, myself I usually wait and at least play ...Rfd8, [maybe even ...Rac8 too] before I play ...d5 in the Be2...e5 Najdorf, or Scheveningen. Some lines of the latter, I play ...e5 instead or before ....d5 too.
Oh, one last thought: In Scheveningen with early Bc4 by WT, like this game, there is a variation played by ICCF Chess Master (also an ICCF World Championship Contender) Al Levine which involves very early ....e5; ...Be6, Bxe6 fxe6 that is a good equalizer (or was in the 90's. Unless that's changed) and yet looked to me to permit BL to play-on and try for more than a draw, unlike the line mentioned above. You might want to look into the variation or his games. Regards, Craig