John Gibson, ICJ 8/89: Tony (Irish Champion over-the-board in 1975) does not use opening books but prefers to work out lines himself. This policy suits him and since he never lost an international CC game until the 1990s this policy was quite successful for him. Opening specialists would play 3 b3 to render less effective continuations with ... dxc4 and also to assist the play against an early ...b5.
Tony favours the Catalan rather than the English/Reti line 6 b3.
Gibson: Not best. If Black wishes to capture the c4-pawn he should delay ... Be7 and capture on move 4 when the Qc2 idea is not viable.
A. O'D: I haven't seen any games with this. It seems logical to prevent ...c6.
Black changes plans
25...Rxc6 meets the same sacrifice as in the game.
25... Rxc6 meets the same sacrifice.
The inescapable threat is Rxd6+.1-0 [Gibson/O Duill]