Na3!?

“A knight on the rim is dim.” – Chess proverb

In 2014, Boris Savchenko won with 2. Na3 but I waited until the sixth move to play it last night.

This was another phase of my struggle against the reality that in many positions arising after 1. g3 White has no better plan than to transpose into a pretty conventional King’s Indian Attack, Nb1-d2, e2-e4, etc.

Instead, I sent the queen’s knight to the rim for some fancy footwork. The knight certainly was dim, but he was dedicated and laboriously made his way to b5, after which roundabout journey he managed to trade himself off for Black’s last active minor piece just in time to pacify the ending.

Black’s 8… a5 didn’t improve his game much: instead, playing in the center and ignoring White’s fiddling on the b-file should have led to an initiative.

Instead, the pieces traded and after White’s mediocre 33. Qe2 when 32. Qg5 might have kept the game somewhat artificially alive, the draw hove into sight.

The takeaway? I feel good that this week calm, at least, if not brilliance, seems to have returned to my game.

Jacques Delaguerre