♡ 260 ( +1 | -1 ) Just a back-of-the-envelope analysis...1.Nf3 d5 2.Nc3 Nf6 This has been a fairly unusual choice for white, apparently ECO-classified as the "Van Geet." Note that black is occupying the key territory of the center, whereas in most opening systems white uses his first-move advantage to stake this claim first.
3.e3 c5 d4 might have been a better choice for white. Black's c5, while looking consistent with the attempt to seize territory, allows white's initiative-stealing Bb5+.
4.Bb5+ Nc6 5.Bxc6+ This is a poor exchange. Even if it were necessary, it did not need to be made immediately: d4 would have gone a long way toward restoring balance in the center. As it is, white cedes to black the advantage of the two bishops; and while black has a doubled c-pawn, his central complex at c6, c5, and d5 is fairly strong.
5. ... bxc6 6.O-O Bg4 While ...e6 can also be played, liberating the bishop and making way for kingside castling, this pin is not bad. The Nf3 stands in the way of black's ...e5, which would give black a menacing pawn front.
7.h3 Not to beat a dead horse, but d4 is playable here as well. White should at least keep this thrust in mind.
7. ...Bh5 8.g4 An overextension of the white king's key protector pawns. Black's bishop cannot be trapped, but can be exchanged for white's N via 9. Nh5. But this is not sufficient compensation for white's scattered pawns.
8. ...Nxg4 An interesting sacrifice, indirectly maintaining the pressure on the center and opening lines to white's K. Perhaps not best play, as so few of black's other pieces can join an immediate attack, but sound.
9.hxg4 Bxg4 10.d4 Yes, but white's K is seriously vulnerable. The lost move will come back to haunt white.
10. ... Qd6 11.Kg2 h5 12.Rg1 h4 13.Kf1 Bh5 The passed h-pawn is vulnerable, but the pin on white's Nf3 means it can advance without fear.
14.Rg5 Qf6 15.Rxh5 Rxh5 This is a fairly judicious return of material, given the circumstances. Never hang onto your material advantage if doing so will get you killed.
16.e4 White's attempt to challenge black and cause complications comes too late. The h-pawn is a fatal threat.
16. ... h3 17.Nh2 Rh4 18.exd5 cxd4 19.Ne4? A blunder, of course.
19. ... Rxe4 20.dxc6 Qxc6 21.Qf3 Qxc2 22.Bf4? The h-pawn must be stopped! Black has no immediate mating threats, and there is still much material in the disputed area. If white is tied up defending against the h-pawn's advance, however, black will have a freer hand.
22. ... Qc4+ 23.Kg1 d3 24.Be3 Rd8 25.Nf1 Rh4 White's last chance to take out the h-pawn has slipped by. Black now has two passed pawns, each backed by a rook. Even if one could be stopped, the other would probably get through. The rest is fairly academic.