[Event "Tradewise Gibraltar"]
[Site "Gibraltar"]
[Date "2014.01.31"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Spraggett, Kevin"]
[Black "Short, Nigel D"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C72"]
[WhiteElo "2544"]
[BlackElo "2683"]
[Annotator "postmortem"]
[PlyCount "43"]
[EventDate "2014.01.28"]
[EventType "swiss"]
[EventRounds "10"]
[EventCountry "GGB"]
[Source "CFC"]
[SourceDate "2015.06.27"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 d6 5. O-O Bd7 6. d4 b5 {Diagram [#] KS:
He played this against an Iranian grandmaster last year. I gave this up [as
Black] because I think ...b5 is a risky move. He's started to play this a few
times recently, but I think it's pretty dodgy, theoretically.} 7. Bb3 exd4 8.
c3 dxc3 9. Nxc3 Na5 10. e5 $1 $146 Nxb3 11. axb3 {Diagram [#] He started
thinking a long time here.} Be7 {I don't like this move. I thought he would
play either ...Be6 or ...Bc6, trying to force my play.} (11... dxe5 12. Nxe5
Nf6 13. Qf3 {and maybe Rd1. It's not so bad for Black, but he suffers. Maybe
he can get a draw somehow. - KS}) (11... Bc6 {I would have gone} 12. Nd4 Bb7
13. e6 $36 Nf6 14. Re1 {and it's very "dodgy". I think that's the word the
English would use. IK: I think that's the word Nigel would use.}) ({But this
is OK} 11... Be6 12. Nd4 dxe5 13. Nxe6 Qxd1 14. Nxc7+ Kd7 15. Rxd1+ Kxc7 16.
Nxb5+ {and I figured I must be pleasantly better here, but this looks very
good drawing chances for him, unless there's a knockout blow here.} Kc6 17. Nc3
{This is reasonable drawing chances [for Black], but I didn't think he played
this risky line for that...}) 12. Re1 Kf8 {KS: You're not allowed to speak at
the board, but I wanted to say "Steinitz" to him. IK: Steinitz? KS: He's
playing like Steinitz. It is very hard to defend this position, and Steinitz
would do these K moves... he would very often play Ke1-e2-f3.} (12... dxe5 13.
Nxe5 Nf6 14. Bg5 (14. Nd5 {I thought of this, but he wriggles out with} Be6 {
and I couldn't see a way to avoid the trades. I have compensation, but [not
more].}) 14... Be6 ({IK: and the point is that he can't castle or he loses a
piece:} 14... O-O 15. Bxf6 Bxf6 16. Nxd7 $18) {I would go} 15. Qf3 {And now if
he castles:} O-O 16. Nc6 Qe8 17. Nxe7+ Qxe7 18. Ne4 $40 {IK: ...and he just
gets mated on those dark squares.}) (12... Kf8 {was his best chance. - KS}) 13.
Bf4 {KS: Now he began to feel really uncomfortable. I began to think that he
was really in trouble here.} Be6 14. Nd4 $1 {IK: What's our main threat? Nc6?
KS: Yeah, Nc6 and then take twice on d6. And sometimes I go pawn takes pawn
and Rxe6.} d5 15. Qf3 h5 {Diagram [#] IK: That is a paradoxical move, because
now you can give a discovered check but it's not going to be very useful.} (
15... -- {IK: So, what is the point of ...h5? KS: I'm threatening,} 16. Nxe6+
fxe6 17. Bh6+ Ke8 18. Bxg7 {and with ...h5 the R doesn't get trapped on h8.})
16. h3 (16. Nxe6+ fxe6 {and your Bf4 has no good squares to go to. KS: I was
thinking of playing Nxd5... no here on ...Qxd5 I don't even have the
discovered check. Instead} 17. Bh6+ (17. Nxd5 $2 Qxd5) 17... Ke8 18. Nxd5 {but
it just doesn't work.}) ({KS: Here I thought of playing} 16. Rad1 {and just
giving up the exchange [to ...Bg4].}) 16... Ke8 ({IK: What happens on ...c5?
Can he use his pawn mass in the center? KS: I thought I would play} 16... c5
17. Nxe6+ fxe6 18. Red1 {KS: I'm not sure which R to d1, probably the Re1. And
then just sacrifice on d5.} Ke8 19. Nxd5 exd5 20. Rxd5 Qc8 21. Rad1 {...and
wait for him to bring his pieces out.} Ra7 22. Qe4 {[%cal Ge4g6] /\Qg6. KS:
It's very good compensation... and there's probably a better line in there
somewhere, this is just a general idea.}) 17. Red1 {Diagram [#] KS: With the
same ideas as above, to sac on d5.} Qd7 ({KS: And here, if he goes} 17... c5 {
I play} 18. Nc6 {and it doesn't matter where the Q goes:} Qc7 (18... Qd7 19.
Nxd5 Bxd5 20. Rxd5 {and again the Nc6 can't be taken} Qxc6 21. Rd8+ $18) 19.
Nxd5 Qxc6 20. Nf6+ $18) 18. Ndxb5 Rb8 ({KS: I suppose he has to go:} 18... c6 {
and I pop my knight in to d6} 19. Nd6+ Bxd6 20. exd6 Nf6 21. Na4 {and there
are too many threats. It's very bad luck for Nigel that all the tactics work
for me, and this one time Steinitz didn't work. :) - KS}) 19. Nxd5 {Diagram
[#] IK: So he didn't see this...? KS: Oh, he saw it... probably he didn't
want to see it. Everything's a nightmare.} axb5 20. Nxe7 Qxe7 21. Ra8 Rc8 22.
Qb7 {IK: Is this your first time in Gibraltar? I've never seen you here before.
KS: This is my fourth time. I haven't played here for seven years. IK: What
brought you back to Gibraltar this year? KS: I haven't been playing very much.
Last year I played very little and my form was terrible, so I figure this year
I want to play 80 games, and try to get some decent results and this is a
tournament you just can't miss. And also, I have two students with me from
Portugal, and so that's an extra reason. IK: So you live in Portugal these
days? For a long time now? KS: Yes, married for 25 years now. IK: Do you
miss Canada? KS: I miss the weather sometimes. IK: The cold and the snow?
KS: [nods] but in Portugal it snows sometimes, so I don't get so homesick. And
my family comes to see me sometimes, and I go see them sometimes. IK: But you
didn't bring your wife to this tournament? KS: No, she's given up chess, and
also she's working, she's a school teacher. So it's mostly for me to get
practice and bring my students out. IK: So you're happy here? KS: I'm very
happy here.} 1-0
[Event "Reykjavik Open"]
[Site "Reykjavik"]
[Date "2014.03.04"]
[Round "1.2"]
[White "Abrahams, Daniel"]
[Black "Li Chao"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "B59"]
[WhiteElo "2055"]
[BlackElo "2700"]
[Annotator "Daniel Abrahams"]
[PlyCount "93"]
[EventDate "2014.03.04"]
[EventType "swiss"]
[EventRounds "10"]
[EventCountry "ISL"]
[Source "CFC"]
[SourceDate "2015.06.27"]
{This is the story of my round one draw against a player much stronger than
myself... At the beginning of March I travelled with four other Hart House
hooligans to the Reykjavik Open chess tournament in Reykjavik, Iceland. None
of us are the quality of player that is generally thought of as travelling for
a tournament, but we figured that it would be a fun time and about as cheap a
vacation as we could manage while still leaving North America. As the day
of the tournament arrived, the final preregistration list left me at exactly
the middle of the table. Who did and did not take a bye in the first round
would determine whether I would play at the top of the table, or a local
unrated junior. This was particularly exciting to me as the only time I had to
then played a GM at a classical time control was Mark Bluvshtein at a junior
event nearly a decade ago. (He won handily, of course.) The opening
ceremony was scheduled for 4PM, two hours after registration closed. This
meant that, with the time needed to walk to the playing hall, we a little over
an hour to prepare once the pairings were posted. I was both excited and
relieved when I saw that I was paired against Li Chao – excited for reasons
I've already shared and relieved because I did not have to worry about
actually scoring in the first round. On the way to the tournament hall someone
asked me if I was worried and I responded that I was enjoying "the peace of
mind of someone who knows their fate." The top four boards were on an
elevated stage at the front of the hall, with a sizable gap before any other
tables so that the organizing committee could speak and pedestrians could pass
by at the same time. There was a webcam behind each board, and no shortage of
reporters who wanted pictures of the top boards for the tournament's official
site, ChessBase, or anywhere else. The chairs were very comfortable, with
wheels and the ability to recline. I almost fell off my chair during the
opening ceremony, testing just how far I could go. After the tournament, I
was told after the game Li had told the arbiter to keep an eye on me. While I
don't know that my play warranted suspicion, I can see how my action might
have. Instead of hunching over the board, agonizing over surely-worse
positions like most of my ill-fated compatriots on the top boards, I instead
spent most of my time leaning back, hands behind my head, looking out over the
playing hall. Since I had no expectations for this game, instead of stressing
over the board I resolved to enjoy myself and lord my position over the
majority of the players who would never get to have a game on the stage. I was
going to lose, of course, but this was still my moment and I was going to
enjoy it.} 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 d6 4. d4 cxd4 5. Nxd4 Nf6 6. Be2 e5 7.
Nb3 Be7 {Diagram [#] I got quite lucky here, as he played into a line of the
Boleslavsky that I have played against several other good (from my low
perspective) players: Canada's Andrei Moffat, as well as Australia's Andrey
Bliznyuk and IM Stephen Solomon. My play here is neither precise nor ambitious,
but it is familiar. This gives me two relative advantages. First of all, it
helps obviate Li's biggest advantage over me which is the massive comparison
class of games that he knows. Second is that I am familiar with the sorts of
weaknesses that will arise in my position. Around this time a woman wanders
into the playing hall, hollering loudly after Garry Kasparov. She begins
walking through the playoff hall shouting, before someone tells her to quiet
down.} 8. Bg5 O-O 9. Bxf6 Bxf6 10. Nd5 Bg5 11. Bg4 Be6 12. O-O Re8 13. c3 Ne7
14. Nxe7+ Qxe7 15. Qf3 Rad8 16. Rfd1 g6 17. Bxe6 {Diagram [#] From experience,
I want to delay this capture as long as possible. Black now has two plans of
attack: to use the semi-open f-file and to push in the centre. These are both
good plans and if White was good at openings then this option wouldn't be open
to Black. However, neither advantage is critical and White can defend
adequately (even though I did not). All I have to do, as White, is not take on
d5 if he pushes his pawn and find something good to do with my currently-bad
knight. The woman asking after Kasparov walks up to the first board and asks
Arkadij Naiditsch if he knows where Kasparov is, and when he will arrive.
Naidistch looks a mix of perplexed, amused, and unsure if this woman might be
dangerous.} fxe6 18. Qe2 Bh4 19. g3 Bf6 20. Rd3 Qc7 21. Rad1 Be7 22. Qg4 Qc4
23. R1d2 Kg7 24. Na5 Qc8 25. b3 b5 {Diagram [#] I had planned to play c4, but
here I realized that that move leaves my knight trapped. Despite the result, I
was not seeing the board perfectly.} 26. h4 h5 27. Qe2 Rd7 28. b4 Rc7 29. Rc2
Qb8 30. a3 Rcc8 {Diagram [#] At this point I realize that Li's imperfect
shuffling might have actually left me with some room for an advantage. He was
also quite tight on time, presumably from calculating variations that I did
not know to look for. This might be considered a case of me leveraging my
weakness into an advantage: not dwelling on what I do not understand and
letting him do the heavy lifting with respect to navigating variations. Had he
simply played garbage I probably would have lost swiftly. Of course, thinking
for the first time this game, I made a bad move that let him seize the
initiative and develop a winning attack.} 31. Rd1 Bd8 32. Nb3 Bb6 33. Qd3 d5 {
Diagram [#] A case of both familiarity and simple-mindedness benefitting me. I
do not even bother to calculate taking the pawn, and take as axiom that any
line where White plays exd5 is losing. Around this time every other game on
the top four boards is finished. This meant that it was evident that the
spectators were watching our game in particular, although I do not think that
there were any more than previous. The board was not very visible from the
floor, so anyone interested would have walked a dozen metres further to the
computer projection of the top active games. A few faces looked like repeat
visitors to the board, but I did not know any of their names. At some point a
photographer for the free national newspaper, the Frettablabbi, stopped by to
take our picture. It was used on the front page the next day.} 34. Kg2 ({KM:}
34. exd5 $2 e4 $17 35. Qxe4 Qxg3+ 36. Qg2 Rxc3 37. Rxc3 Bxf2+ {and Black has
good winning chances, e.g.} 38. Kh1 Qxc3 39. dxe6 Re7) 34... Rc4 35. f3 dxe4
36. fxe4 Rd8 37. Qf3 Rxd1 38. Qxd1 Rxe4 {Diagram [#] The computer says that
this move is losing. I did think that I was better at this point - the
immediate continuation was apparent - but not to the degree that computer
evaluations say.} 39. Qd7+ Kh6 40. Nc5 $1 Qa8 $1 ({KM:} 40... Re3 $2 41. Nxe6
Qg8 42. Rf2 $18) ({KM:} 40... Bxc5 $2 41. bxc5 Rg4 (41... Re3 42. c6 e4 43. c7
Qf8 44. Rf2 Rf3 45. Qd4 e5 46. Qe3+ $3 Kg7 47. Rxf3 exf3+ 48. Qxf3 Qc8 49. Qc6
{and White wins}) 42. Rf2 e4 43. Qd2+ e3 (43... Kg7 44. Qd6 $18) 44. Qxe3+ Kg7
45. c6 $18) 41. Kh2 Bxc5 42. bxc5 Qf8 {Diagram [#] Critical Position The key
moment of the endgame. I thought that I had winning chances, but I was not
sure. Black has a lot of options at his disposal and even if some of them are
basic and simply parried it is still a lot for a player of my caliber to keep
straight. The two moves I identified fairly quickly were Kg2 and c6. I ended
up choosing Kg2 because I felt it had the higher floor: if it did not win, I
had a clear and definite draw. On the other hand if I had miscalculated c6 and
was simply losing the pawn, then I would definitely be lost.} 43. Kg2 ({KM:
Throwing away the win, but an understandable move especially if time was a
factor:} 43. c6 $1 {"Passed pawns must be pushed"} Qf3 (43... Rc4 44. c7 {
threatening Qd8 and 1-0} Qc5 45. Qe8 Qxc7 46. Rd2 $1 {and Black will lose his
Queen defending his King.}) 44. Qd2+ Re3 (44... Kg7 45. c7 Rg4 46. Qd7+ Kh6 47.
Rg2 $18 {and the pawn will Queen}) 45. Qg2 Qf7 46. c4 $1 $18) 43... Rc4 44. Rf2
Qxc5 {I actually missed this move, which justifies the caution exhibited with
42.Kh2.} 45. Qd2+ Kg7 {Diagram [#] Here I took 15 minutes to check whether
there was any win, and then took another 15 to enjoy that I was double
checking to make sure I was not missing a win before taking a draw against a
2700.} 46. Qd7+ Kh6 47. Qd2+ {In retrospect, the game itself was not really
that good of a game: I did not play very well as White but the position was
stale enough that I managed to not lose quickly, and then I took advantage of
the one chance he gave me. In fact, outside of 40.Nc5 I did not find any
actually good moves, my opponent just blundered at the right time. The
rest of the tournament was not very notable - I played mostly poorly and may
have embarrassed myself in front of Kasparov - but this is the one result that
everyone will remember, and I am okay with that.} 1/2-1/2
[Event "Reykjavik Open"]
[Site "Reykjavik"]
[Date "2014.03.11"]
[Round "9"]
[White "Naiditsch, Arkadij"]
[Black "Hansen, Eric"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B40"]
[WhiteElo "2706"]
[BlackElo "2587"]
[Annotator "postmortem"]
[PlyCount "80"]
[EventDate "2014.03.04"]
[EventType "swiss"]
[EventRounds "10"]
[EventCountry "ISL"]
[Source "CFC"]
[SourceDate "2015.06.27"]
{This win is Eric's second in a row (both as Black) against Arkadij Naiditsch.
He annotated the previous win in the 2014.01 CCN. Eric is annotating this
game for the next issue of New In Chess, another well-annotated and
colourfully-illustrated chess magazine that some of you may have heard of.
The notes marked "EH" below are from Eric's post-game online commentary on the
Livestream feed. EH "It was a pretty crazy game."} 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. g3 (
3. d4 {was their previous game, see CCN 2014.01.}) 3... Nc6 4. Bg2 Nf6 5. Qe2
e5 {Diagram [#] EH: I've played this once before. I don't want him to play e5.
It turns it into a kind of Spanish structure. His Q can be misplaced on e2, so
I can get away with losing a tempo.} 6. Na3 d6 7. c3 Be7 8. O-O O-O 9. d3 Re8
10. Nc4 Bf8 {EH: I've played like this before. I want to play ...h6 and -- I
dunno -- develop; it depends on what White's going to do. You can tell that
White is going to try for a kingside attack, a kind of a King's Indian Attack,
since he isn't taking space in the center and is playing kind of slow.} 11. Ne3
h6 12. Nh4 g6 13. Kh1 Bg7 {Diagram [#]EH: I think my position is totally OK
here, which is why this isn't a mainstream opening for White.} 14. Bd2 Rb8 ({
EH: I thought for a long time here. It's already a critical position. If I
play something normal like} 14... Be6 {he won't go f2-f4, he'll play} 15. Nd5 {
and go for something slow, and my Be6 is misplaced: blocking my Re8 and I'm
not necessarily going to take on d5.}) 15. Rae1 b5 16. f4 {Diagram [#] EH: I
think White has played too slowly, and I've put my pieces on good squares. So
he gets in f4 but I should be OK. This is when the game went crazy, but he
has to do this, otherwise I'm just going to expand on the queenside with ...b4,
...Ba6, or even ...c4.} exf4 17. gxf4 c4 18. e5 {Diagram [#] EH: After this
I'm pretty much forced to sacrifice a piece.} dxe5 ({EH: I could play} 18...
cxd3 {but} {not} 19. Qxd3 $2 ({but} 19. Qf2 {and Black has to give up a N.})
19... dxe5 20. Qxd8 Nxd8 $19) 19. Bxc6 Re6 20. Bg2 ({EH: During the game I
didn't even consider this:} 20. fxe5 Nh5 21. Bd5 Qxh4 {and he can't take the R
because ...Ng3+ wins the Q.}) 20... exf4 21. Rxf4 {EH: When I originally went
into this [piece sac] I thought it was pretty good for me. I already have one
pawn for the piece, and I can win another, and his pieces are misplaced and
he's going to have trouble with the Nh4.} Nh5 22. Rg4 {Diagram [#]} cxd3 ({EH:
I thought I had things figured out here, but I made some miscalculations. I
was originally intending to play} 22... f5 23. Rxg6 Qxh4 {and I thought it was
just winning. But what I missed was} 24. Bd5 {and... unfortunately this
probably doesn't work for me.} Nf4 25. Rxg7+ {and it gets really messy. And my
plan was the opposite: I wanted to sacrifice a piece and have him the one
defending, becuase he likes to attack, and defending is most likely more
uncomfortable for him. So I thought sacrificing the piece was a good decision
because then I can dictate the pace.} ({editor - Eric was right that this line
doesn't work for him, but best for White is the spectacular 25.Nxf5!!, when
both sides have a Q and R hanging:} 25. Nxf5 Nxe2 26. Nxh4 $18 {and Black's
Re6 and Ne2 are both hanging.})) ({EH: I was going to play} 22... Re8 {when
his Rg4 has no squares, but after} 23. d4 Bxg4 24. Qxg4 {[%cal Ge1f1] he's
just going to reorganize with ...Rf1, and try to keep the pieces on, because
his bishops control a lot of squares.}) ({EH: I also considered} 22... Qxd3 23.
Qxd3 cxd3 {It looks a bit weird to exchange Qs when you've down a piece, but
what does he do? I'm threatening Rxe3 and the Rg4 has no squares. I don't know
if this is better... he's not very coordinated so this could be good. He has
Rb4, but I thought I could trap it. It looks like I have some compenstion
but it's hard to evaluate.}) 23. Qf3 {EH: I completely overlooked this. I was
always expecting Qd1, when I have pretty good compensation.} Bb7 {EH: Here I
have only two pawns for the piece, which is not enough. He should probably be
able to hold this. I played ...Bb7 because I thought it gives me practical
chances. Normally they say when you're attacking you shouldn't trade pieces,
but in this position his K is not necessarily the safest, so I decided to
trade the Bg2 so he would have to worry about checks on d5 or some
light-square weaknesses.} ({EH: I thought I could play} 23... Rf6 {when his
Rg4 is hanging. Until he played Qf3 I didn't realize Rd4 is his idea.} 24. Rd4
{And my R is only good on f6 if it's going to win an exchange. So this was a
really bad blunder.}) 24. Qh3 {Diagram [#]} Qe8 $13 {EH: My pawns are all very
good, and my pieces are well coordinated. If I can win another pawn it's
definitely very good.} ({EH: I didn't play} 24... Qe7 {which is a
natural-looking move, because I wan't him to take on b7 so I can bring my R to
e7, and because after} 25. Rf1 {there are some funny threats with Nf5, and he
would gain a tempo on my Qe7:} Re8 26. Nef5 gxf5 27. Nxf5 {and the Qe7 and Nh5
are attacked.}) 25. Bxb7 ({EH: If he doesn't take on b7 then I have a plan to
win his Bg3 for my N:} 25. Rf1 Nf6 26. Rgf4 Ne4 {and this position is just too
much activity for my bishops and pieces: threats of ...Nxd2, ...g5.}) 25...
Rxb7 26. Rgg1 Rbe7 27. Neg2 {EH: His plan is just to trade pieces, and two
pawns won't be enough for the piece. The perfect square for my N is e4, where
I could support it with ...f5, but I don't have time: the Pd3 is hanging.} Qd7
$6 {Diagram [#] EH: We were under 10 minutes here, which didn't make it nice
to calculate this position.} 28. Rxe6 ({EH: After the game he [Naiditsch] said
he could have played} 28. Re3 {which might be the correct move, because I
don't want to trade off Q's.} Rxe3 29. Qxd7 Rxd7 30. Bxe3 {he's going to play
Nf3, Rd1 and he's just going to win the Pd3.}) 28... Rxe6 {EH: I think I'm OK
here. His pieces are pretty uncoordinated, his R isn't doing anything on g1,
and I have some time to bring my pieces back into the game.} 29. Nf5 $6 {EH: I
thought this was a big mistake. I guess his point was that this was a way to
bring his Rg1 into the game.} ({EH: Now the Qh3 is hanging, so he can't play}
29. Rf1 Rf6 $1 {I was hoping for that :). He's not going to blunder like that,
but it's always going to be a problem with the N on g2.}) ({EH: I was
definitely expecting something like} 29. Qf3 {keeping my Q off d5, and I can
understand why he didn't play it, since} Re2 {looks pretty scarey. But after}
30. Rd1 {I wasn't convinced I have something concrete here, becuase I have no
more pieces to bring into the game. Unfortunately, if I play} Nf6 31. Nf4 {he
kicks me out.} {[Interviewer asks about ...g5 here, and Eric plays the
following moves quickly]} g5 32. Nxe2 dxe2 33. Qxe2 gxh4 34. Bf4 {I don't know
about this position... it should still be good for White.}) 29... Qd5 {Diagram
[#]Critical Position EH: Of course, I'm not going to take it. My Bg7 isn't my
most important piece; here it's all about the light-square control. And here
he spent a lot of time, which really got him into trouble later.} 30. Nfe3 ({
EH: He can't take on h6, since} 30. Nxh6+ $4 Bxh6 31. Bxh6 d2 {and there's no
way to stop ...d1.}) ({EH: If} 30. Nxg7 Kxg7 {[%cal Ge6e2] I'm going to play ..
.Re2, and so long as I keep the Q and R on he'll have an exposed K for the
rest of the game, and his Q and N are out of play, and we're in time trouble...
so this is pretty bad for him.} 31. Re1 {since} Rxe1+ 32. Bxe1 d2 $19) ({EH: I
didn't see Nd4 until the end of the game, but I don't necessarily think it's
better for White.} 30. Nd4 Bxd4 (30... Bxd4 31. cxd4 Qxd4) {Interviewer asks
if White can take on d3 instead, and they analyze this:} 31. Qxd3 $2 (31. cxd4
Qxd4) 31... Ng3+ $1 32. hxg3 Qh5+ 33. Nh4 Bxg1 34. Kxg1 Qd1+ {editor - they
ended their analysis here saying ...Re2 would be good, though it's still
unclear after} 35. Kf2) ({editor: In the above variation, Black has a nice win
with} 30. Nd4 Bxd4 31. Qxd3 {Diagram [#]} Ng3+ 32. hxg3 Re5 $1 {threatening ...
Rh5# and protecting the Qd5, and so renewing the threat of ...Bxg1.}) 30...
Qxa2 {EH: He's in time trouble so I'm just playing automatic moves. If the
pawn is hanging, I'm just going to take it, and let him decide what to do.
From a practical point of view I'm much better: I have three pawns and a good
structure and my K is safe and his is not.} 31. Qf3 (31. Bc1 d2 32. Bxd2 Qxb2 {
White will have serious problems with Black's a- and b-pawns.}) 31... Qxb2 32.
Rd1 Nf6 33. Nf4 Re8 {Diagram [#]} 34. Qc6 {EH: I think this move shows he was
really playing fo a win, because the only way I'm going to lose is if he can
get his Ns to d5 and somehow checkmate me. I expected Nxd3, getting rid of
the important Pd3. He should definitely have done this... it's three pawns for
a piece, but White has some chances.} Qb3 35. Rf1 Rf8 36. h4 $2 (36. Nxd3 $142
$13) 36... Qa4 {Diagram [#] EH: He was down to a few seconds, and made a big
blunder.} 37. Nfg2 $4 (37. c4 $142 $1 $13) 37... Ne4 $19 38. Be1 d2 39. h5
dxe1=Q 40. Rxe1 Ng3+ {EH: Probably an imprecise game, but practically it was
always easier to play for me and that's pretty much what I was going for. It's
a pretty fast time control and I've done that [sacrificed a piece] a few times
this tournament.} 0-1
[Event "Reykjavik Open"]
[Site "Reykjavik"]
[Date "2014.03.12"]
[Round "10"]
[White "Panjwani, Raja"]
[Black "Amin, Bassem"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "E61"]
[WhiteElo "2440"]
[BlackElo "2657"]
[Annotator "John Upper"]
[PlyCount "55"]
[EventDate "2014.03.04"]
[EventType "swiss"]
[EventRounds "10"]
[EventCountry "ISL"]
[Source "CFC"]
[SourceDate "2015.06.27"]
1. Nf3 d6 2. d4 Nf6 3. c4 g6 4. Nc3 Bf5 {Diagram [#]} 5. h3 (5. Ng5 $5 Bg7 6.
e4 Bd7 (6... Bg4 7. Be2 Bxe2 8. Qxe2 Nc6 9. d5 (9. Be3 e5) 9... Nd4 10. Qd1 c5
11. dxc6 Nxc6 12. O-O $11 {0-1 (50) Piasetski,L (2293)-Ibarra Jerez,J (2522)
Granada 2014}) 7. f4 $5 e5 8. fxe5 dxe5 9. dxe5 Ng4 10. e6 Bxe6 11. Qxd8+ Kxd8
12. Be2 Ne5 13. Bf4 h6 14. O-O-O+ Ke7 15. Nf3 (15. Nxe6 fxe6 16. Be3) 15...
Nxc4 $13 {(½-½, 57) Kramnik,V (2760)-Vachier Lagrave,M (2768) Tromso
Olympiad, 2014.}) 5... h5 {Rare but reasonable: playing to discourage g4.} (
5... Bg7 6. g4 Bd7 7. Bg2 O-O 8. O-O Nc6 9. Bf4 Re8 10. d5 Na5 11. Nd2 c5 12.
a3 Rc8 13. e4 h5 $1 14. Bf3 hxg4 15. hxg4 Nh7 $11 {(0-1, 37) Korobov,A (2713)
-Rapport,R (2687) Warsaw, 2013.}) 6. Ng5 Bh6 $146 (6... Bd7 7. g3 Bg7 8. e4 e5
9. dxe5 dxe5 10. Be3 O-O 11. Bg2 Nh7 12. Nf3 Qc8 13. Qc2 Re8 14. a3 Nf8 15. Rd1
Nc6 16. b4 Ne6 17. Ne2 $14 {(1/2-1/2, 63) Hammer,J (2636)-Krzyzanowski,M (2377)
Chotowa, 2010.}) 7. d5 (7. e4 $146 Bxg5 8. exf5 Bxc1 9. Rxc1 gxf5 10. Qf3 $13)
7... c5 {Diagram [#]} 8. e4 $5 {A nice pawn sac which leaves Black awkward and
behind in development.} Bxg5 9. Bxg5 (9. exf5 Bxc1 10. Qxc1 gxf5 11. Bd3 $14)
9... Nxe4 10. Nxe4 Bxe4 11. Qe2 Bf5 {Diagram [#]} 12. Bf6 $1 Rh7 13. O-O-O Kf8
14. Bh4 $5 (14. Bc3 $44 {looks much more natural.}) 14... Nd7 15. Qe3 f6 $1 16.
Be2 g5 17. g4 Bg6 18. Bg3 {Diagram [#]} Qa5 $6 (18... h4 $142 {sealing up the
kingside first leaves White's king more exposed.} 19. Bh2 Qa5 20. Bd3 (20. a3
Rb8 $36 (20... b5 21. cxb5 c4 $40) 21. f4 gxf4 22. Bxf4 b5 23. cxb5 c4 $1 24.
Qd2 $140 $4 Nc5 $1 $19) 20... Bxd3 21. Qxd3 Rf7 22. Kb1 (22. f4 b5 $132) 22...
b5 $36) 19. Bd3 Bxd3 20. Qxd3 Kg7 21. h4 $1 hxg4 22. Qf5 {Diagram [#]Critical
Position} Ne5 $4 (22... Qxa2 $3 {This may be the only way to stay in the game.}
23. Qxd7 Qxc4+ 24. Kb1 (24. Kd2 Qxd5+ {Black can take a perpetual or play for
more.}) 24... Qe4+ 25. Ka1 Rd8 $3 {But if Black could find this back at move
22 he wouldn't be "only" 2657!} 26. Qxd8 (26. Qb5 gxh4 $13 {e.g.} 27. Rhe1 $6
Qf3 28. Rxe7+ $2 Kg6 $19) 26... Qa4+ $11 {Black has a perpetual with checks
along the 4th rank, the Rh1 hangs with check if the White K tries to escape to
the kingside.}) (22... Qa4 23. b3 $1 {Unlike the line above, there are no good
checks and so no perpetual.} Qxa2 24. Qxd7 Qxb3 25. Qxe7+ Kg8 26. Qe2 $18) 23.
hxg5 $8 $18 (23. Bxe5 $2 fxe5 $8 $11) 23... Rxh1 24. Rxh1 Rh8 25. gxf6+ exf6 {
Diagram [#]} 26. Rg1 $8 (26. Rxh8 $4 Qe1+ 27. Kc2 Qe2+ 28. Kc1 Nd3+ {and White
has to give up the Q to avoid mate.}) 26... Nf7 27. Qxg4+ Kf8 28. Bxd6+ 1-0
[Event "NAYCC 2014 U12g"]
[Site "Tarrytown, NY"]
[Date "2014.06.16"]
[Round "8"]
[White "Tsypin, Allison"]
[Black "Kao, Camille"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C51"]
[WhiteElo "1320"]
[BlackElo "1887"]
[Annotator "Allison Tsypin"]
[PlyCount "89"]
[EventDate "2014.06.16"]
[EventType "swiss"]
[Source "CFC"]
[SourceDate "2014.06.15"]
[WhiteTeam "Canada"]
[BlackTeam "USA"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "CAN"]
[BlackTeamCountry "USA"]
{Camille Kao was the official representative of the USA in our Girls Under-12
group. She has already played in Under-12 in the 2013 NAYCC Toronto last year.
For me it was the first tournament in this category, because I am ten years
old. I am 1 year and 8 months younger than her!} 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5
4. b4 {Diagram [#] Camille has a USCF rating of 1887, and my CFC rating is
only 1211. Frankly, I was quite scared of her! When I saw her games in the big
American tournaments she won this spring, she played calm strategic positions.
I thought that my only chance was to do something sharp, so I chose Evans
Gambit.} Bxb4 5. c3 {There are three possible answers: ...Ba5, ...Be7 and ...
Bc5.} Bc5 6. d4 exd4 7. O-O {I decided to give another pawn for initiative,
trying to take my opponent away from what was comfortable for her.} Nge7 {It
seemed to work! Camille was thinking for a long time on that move, so I
understood she didn't know this opening; ...Ne7 is an imprecision.} 8. cxd4 Bb6
{Diagram [#] This position is better for me. Even though I am a pawn down, I
have the center, more space, more of my pieces are out, and her King is still
in the center. This is the key position. I didn't find the best move (9. Ng5)
until later on a computer.} 9. Nc3 {This is an imprecise move because I could
have attacked. The essence of any gambit is to keep the pressure. Instead, I
slowed down the attack and let Camille get her piece out. This was my weak
moment in the game. I had two better moves: 9. d5 to send her Knight to the
edge of the board, or 9.Ng5 with an attack.} (9. Ng5 O-O 10. Qh5 h6 11. Nxf7
$40) (9. Ng5 d5 $1 10. exd5 Nxd5 $140 $2 11. Nxf7 $1 Kxf7 12. Qh5+ $40) 9...
O-O 10. d5 {If she plays 10... Nb8, then I play 11. d6. If she plays 10... Nb4,
then I respond with Rb1. 10.Bg5 was also possible.} Na5 {Now Black's Knight is
not playing at all.} 11. Bd3 d6 12. Be3 {I hoped she would play ...Bxe3 and I
would get the 'f' file, but Camille was too experienced to fall for that.} Ng6
13. Rc1 {I wanted to attack the c7 pawn.} Bg4 14. h3 Bxf3 15. Qxf3 {Diagram [#]
I think in this part of the game her experience showed. Because I chose the
moves that were not strongest, Camille was able to exchange pieces, which
benefited her.} Ne5 16. Qe2 Nxd3 17. Qxd3 Bxe3 18. fxe3 {I captured with a
pawn rather than Queen because I really wanted that f-file and also didn't
want to let her Knight out. Interestingly, the computer indicates that this
was objectively worse than capturing with Queen.} c6 19. dxc6 {At home I saw
better moves on the computer: Rf5, Ne2. editor - FWIW, my computer says
Allison's move was best.} {Diagram [#]} Nxc6 {Camille was waiting for so many
moves to do something with her Knight, so she captured very quickly and there
was a big smile on her face. I think taking with a pawn, ...bxc6, would be
better for her because then _my_ Knight would be restricted! By capturing with
her Knight she gave me access to d5 and b5 squares. I was surprised by her
move. Maybe her impatience to get Knight into play impeded her chess judgment?}
20. Rcd1 {Diagram [#]} Qb6 {There was a lot of tension in that game. Initially,
Camille had to defend during the whole opening, and it was not plesant for her.
She was sitting hunched over the board and clenching her fists. By now, she
thought her position was equal or better. She relaxed, put her back against
the chair, and started making moves fast, looking confidently into my eyes and
pressing the clock firmly after every one. I clearly sensed that she was very
confident and believed she was on a path to victory over me. It was scary for
me... But I forced myself to concentrate on the moves, not her expression, and
I discovered that by moving so fast she was still leaving me chance to
continue my attack.} 21. Rfe1 Rad8 22. Nd5 {My Knight is very strong on d5
since it attacks both sides of the chessboard. Plus, this Knight blocks an
isolated pawn on d6.} Qa5 23. Qb3 b6 {I believe this move weakened the c6
square; ...Rd7 would be better for Black.} 24. Rc1 Ne5 25. Red1 {Diagram [#]
I'm controlling an open file and a lot of squares. It is very hard for my
opponent to play. The white Knight on d5 is better than the Black Knight on e5.
} Nd7 $2 {That was a blunder. Camille probably wanted to move her Knight to
d7-c5 to attack my Queen and pawn, but she didn't see my response.} 26. Ne7+
Kh8 27. Nc6 {Diagram [#] I am winning the Exchange and getting back the pawn I
sacrificed in the gambit. This was the moment when for the first time in the
game I let myself think that there is a real chance for me to win the game. I
was so excited I couldn't control my emotions. So I did as my Dad always tells
me: stood up, got away from the board and walked in the aisle, breathing
deeply until I regained composure.} Qg5 28. Nxd8 Rxd8 29. Rxd6 {Diagram [#] By
this moment Camille looked very upset. She was hunched over the board again
and was not making her move. She kept glancing at me frowningly every few
seconds. She is so much taller than me, I would feel intimidated were it not
for the situation on the board.} Ne5 $2 {This also feels like a blunder. 29....
Nc6 would attack the Queen gaining a tempo, and would block the c-file that I
controlled.} 30. Rxd8+ Qxd8 31. Qc3 h6 $2 {This is also a blunder. 31... Ng6
would at least save the Knight after 32.Qc8 Qg8 33.Qb7 etc., although White is
still winning. I think that Camille was very upset with her initial mistake 25.
... Nd7? She didn't want to resign but she was not putting up a defense that
would prolong the game.} 32. Qxe5 {I am winning the piece and the game. I was
able to convert my advantage quickly, although with one imprecision.} Kh7 33.
Qf5+ g6 34. Qxf7+ Kh8 35. Qb7 {Diagram [#] I remembered that while my opponent
still has her Queen, there is always a chance of perpetual check, so I didn't
want to let Black Queen away from the 8th rank. The computer later showed that
I could have won more quickly by playing 35.Rc7, but during the game I was
only thinking of restricting her Queen.} Qg8 36. Rc8 b5 37. Rxg8+ Kxg8 38. Kf2
g5 39. Kf3 h5 40. e5 b4 41. Ke4 b3 42. axb3 a5 43. Kf5 g4 44. Kg6 gxh3 45. Qg7#
{Camille was a very good sportsman and shook my hand firmly, even though she
had tears in her eyes. She ran away from the hall but I still sat at the table
and wanted to savour the moment. It felt so good! This is the strongest
opponent I ever beat. My two most memorable tournament games so far were when
I won against the President of the FQE in 101 moves when I was eight years old,
and when, needing only a victory (3.5 points against 4), I won with Black
against the leader in the fifth round of 2013 Montreal Open to win my section.
This victory against Camille felt as good! The best part was how all my
friends in Team Canada, both kids and adults, celebrated with me. Everyone was
so kind and congratulated me and my Dad: Victoria, Jennifer and James, Toto,
Christina, Alex and Marina. They called it the biggest point upset of the
tournament. I was so happy I was running and jumping all over the lobby with
my friend Kylie, who had a great tournament and became a champion in her
section! I learned from this game that if I choose the right strategy it is
possible to overcome even a much stronger adversary, but I need to always
stick to my plan. If I let down the pressure and allow the opponent to
equalize, she would turn on me. If I decided to attack, I have to do it all
the way.} 1-0
[Event "9th Edmonton International"]
[Site "Edmonton"]
[Date "2014.06.27"]
[Round "7"]
[White "So, Wesley"]
[Black "Pechenkin, Vladimir"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C11"]
[WhiteElo "2744"]
[BlackElo "2311"]
[Annotator "Vladimir Pechenkin"]
[PlyCount "218"]
[EventDate "2014.06.21"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "CAN"]
[Source "CFC"]
[SourceDate "2015.06.27"]
1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. e5 Nfd7 5. f4 c5 6. Nf3 Nc6 7. Be3 a6 8. Qd2 b5
9. a3 {Diagram [#] A modern treatment of the position. White takes preventive
measures against b5-b4.} Qa5 {Black renews the threat.} 10. Ra2 {The purpose
of this unusual-looking move is to defend the rook making ...b5-b4 less
effective.} Qb6 {The queen goes back to a normal square. Black's argument in
spending a tempo is that the rook on a2 is worse than on a1.} 11. Ne2 Qc7 {
Diagram [#] The computer likes this prophylactic move even though it does look
silly at first glance.} 12. Ng3 ({The point of Black's previous is that in
case of} 12. dxc5 $6 {the knight recapture} Nxc5 {becomes possible. The knight
is then ready to jump to e4. With the black queen on b6 White would win a
piece with a simple b2-b4.}) 12... h5 {Following the computer recommendation
again. Black kind of seizes space on the kingside and is about to kick the Ng3.
However, the long-term consequences of the pawn advance will favor White.} ({
Instead, Black may play in a standard fashion:} 12... cxd4 13. Nxd4 Bb7 {etc.})
13. c3 h4 {Otherwise, Black's previous doesn't make sense.} 14. Ne2 c4 {The
white pieces are heavily concentrated around the d4-square so Black decides to
make this concentration somewhat useless.} (14... Na5 {looks like a more
logical follow-up but White can neutralize the upcoming ...Nc4:} 15. Bf2 Be7
16. Qc2 Nc4 17. Nc1 {Nevertheless, this was probably the way to go.}) 15. Neg1
{Diagram [#]} Ne7 {Black is now too concerned with the fate of the brave
h4-pawn. Now White regroups and gradually takes control of the whole board.} ({
The correct way to treat the position is a slightly unusual} 15... Qa5 $1 {
emphasizing that White cannot prevent ...b5-b4. Play may continue} 16. Nh3 b4
17. Be2 Nb6 18. O-O bxa3 19. bxa3 Na4 20. Rc1 Rb8 {with sufficient counterplay
on the queenside.}) 16. Nh3 Nf5 17. Bf2 a5 18. Be2 Be7 19. O-O {Diagram [#]} a4
$2 {Obviously, this move can't be good.} ({I was afraid that after the natural
} 19... Nf8 20. Bd1 Ng6 21. Bc2 {my pieces may be too tied up, and White would
be able to favourably open up the position on the queenside at the right
moment.} {Certainly, this was way too pessimistic. Black could have played} Bd7
{keeping the options open for the time being.}) 20. Bd1 Nf8 21. Bc2 Ng6 22.
Raa1 {Now White has all the time in the world to prepare a breakthrough on the
kingside.} Bd7 23. Nhg5 Ra6 24. Rae1 Qc8 {Black anticipates that e6 is going
to be the key square and overprotects it as much as possible.} 25. Be3 {
Diagram [#]} f6 $2 {This impatient move gives White new options.} ({It is
indeed time to improve the position of the king but it should be done by} 25...
Kf8 {going to g8 next. White has got a lot of work to do to break through.})
26. Nh3 Kf7 27. Bf2 {Now Black has to worry about both e6 and h4, and it
quickly proves to be too much to handle.} Qg8 {The point of Black's maneuver.
Activating the queen looks like a good idea but the problem is that there is
no time for that.} 28. Bxf5 $1 exf5 29. Re3 {It turns out that Black cannot
defend his two weak spots.} Qh7 30. Rfe1 {Diagram [#]} Qh6 ({Relatively best is
} 30... Bd8 {although Black still loses the h4-pawn after} 31. Qe2 Nf8 32. Bxh4
) {Here Wesley spent quite a bit of time apparently choosing between two good
continuations.} 31. exf6 $6 {This wins a pawn but White was entitled for more.}
(31. Qe2 $1 Re6 32. exf6 Rxe3 33. Nfg5+ {is killing.} {Relatively best is} Kf8
34. fxg7+ Kxg7 35. Qxe3 Bd6 {but the absence of the key f6-pawn will not allow
Black to last long.}) 31... gxf6 32. Nxh4 Bd6 33. Nxg6 Kxg6 34. Bg3 {Diagram
[#]} Raa8 {In time pressure Black hurries to contest the e-file and
underestimates White's next.} ({Prophylactic} 34... Qh5 {is to be preferred.})
35. Ng5 Rae8 (35... fxg5 $2 {loses immediately to} 36. fxg5 Qh5 37. Bxd6) 36.
Ne6 Kf7 37. Nc5 Rxe3 38. Qxe3 ({Keeping the rooks on the board for the time
being} 38. Rxe3 Bc8 39. Re1 {looks a little more challenging.}) 38... Re8 39.
Qf2 Rxe1+ 40. Qxe1 Bc8 {Diagram [#] The time control passed, and I suddenly
realized that Black's position might not be as bad as I had thought. It is
true that the computer gives White a large advantage, but how can he make real
progress? His major problem is his seemingly beautiful knight is helplessly
stuck in the middle of the board. In fact, White was unable to solve this
problem till pretty much the end of the game.} 41. Qf1 Qh5 42. h3 Ke7 {The
king goes to c6 in order to overprotect the d5-pawn.} 43. Kf2 Kd8 44. Ke1 Kc7
45. Kd2 Kc6 46. Qf2 Bf8 {Black is in no real danger of getting into a zugzwang.
} 47. Qe3 Bd6 {Diagram [#]} 48. Qf2 (48. Ne6 {doesn't accomplish much as Black
has a cold-blooded} Qg6 {forcing the knight back.}) 48... Bf8 49. Bh4 Qh6 50.
Kc2 Qg6 51. Qe2 Bd6 52. Qf3 Bf8 53. Bf2 Bd6 54. Kd2 Qh6 {Diagram [#] Black's
defence isn't very difficult as there are only a couple of things to watch out
for.} 55. Ke3 Qg6 56. Qg3 ({White can try} 56. h4 {but this achieves even less
than the continuation in the game:} Qg4 57. h5 Bf8 58. Bg3 Qxf3+ 59. Kxf3 Kd6
60. Bh4 Ke7 {with a dead draw.}) 56... Qxg3+ {Black is happy to exchange
queens. The bishop pair should hold the position.} 57. Bxg3 Bf8 ({There is
absolutely no need to go for} 57... Bxc5 58. dxc5 Kxc5 {as the opposite-color
bishop do not guarantee a draw at all.} {After} 59. Bh4 {Black's position
looks worrisome.}) 58. Bh4 Bg7 59. Kf3 Kd6 60. g4 {Diagram [#] White finally
puts his kingside pawn majority into motion but Black is ready.} fxg4+ 61. hxg4
Ke7 62. Bf2 {A necessary precaution.} (62. f5 $2 {runs into} Bh6) 62... f5 {I
believed this to be an easy way to draw but wasn't entirely correct.} 63. Bh4+
Bf6 ({I certainly didn't like the fact that after} 63... Kf7 64. gxf5 Bxf5 65.
Na6 {the white knight flies out of the cage.}) 64. Bxf6+ (64. g5 Bh8 65. g6+
Kf8 66. Bd8 Kg7 {is a dead draw.}) 64... Kxf6 65. g5+ (65. gxf5 Kxf5 66. Kg3
Kg6 {is another dead draw and White doesn't even have any tricks.}) 65... Kg7
66. Kg3 Kh7 67. Kh4 Kg6 {Diagram [#] This should have been the end of the game
as Black's fortress is unbreakable. However, high-level chess implies that the
stronger side will try everything possible before acknowledging such a fact.
The following seemingly pointless maneuvering pursues two goals. The first one
is to show the opponent that White doesn't have any winning plan. When Black
is lulled into a false sense of security, White will try something unexpected
hopefully catching the opponent by surprise. The second goal is to cause to
Black to burn time thinking how to meet some imaginary threats. Then he won't
have enough time to calculate when it's really needed. Fortunately, the
position is too simple for either strategy to work successfully: the only
chance for White is b2-b3 so until that happens Black may play quickly gaining
time on the clock instead of spending it.} 68. Kh3 Kg7 69. Kg3 Kh7 70. Kf3 Kg7
71. Ke3 Kg6 72. Ke2 Kg7 73. Ke1 Kh7 74. Kd2 Kg6 75. Kc2 Kh5 76. Kd1 Kg6 77. Kd2
Kh5 78. Kc2 Kg6 79. Kd1 Kh5 80. Ke2 Kg6 81. Kf2 Kg7 82. Kf3 Kh7 83. Kf2 Kg7 84.
Ke3 Kg6 85. Kd2 Kh5 86. Kc1 Kg6 {Diagram [#]} {As far as I can tell, White
somehow managed to avoid a threefold repetition. The time has come for his
last resource.} 87. b3 axb3 ({It is interesting that} 87... cxb3 $2 {does lose
to} 88. c4 $1 {For example,} dxc4 89. d5 c3 90. d6 b4 91. axb4 a3 92. Nxb3 {
and wins.}) 88. Kb2 Kh5 89. Kb1 Kg6 90. Kc1 Kh5 91. Kd2 Kg6 92. Kc1 Kh5 93. Kb2
Kg6 {Diagram [#]} 94. Kb1 (94. Nxb3 $2 {is suicidal:} cxb3 95. Kxb3 Kh5 96. Kb4
Bd7 {and Black's f-pawn will decide the game.}) 94... Kh5 95. Kc1 Kg6 96. Kd1
Kh5 97. Kd2 Kg6 98. a4 bxa4 99. Nxa4 {Diagram [#] The knight finally gets a
taste of freedom. Black has nothing to worry about though as the b3-passer is
too strong. White plays on for a few more moves before accepting the
inevitable.} Be6 100. Nc5 Bg8 101. Nd7 Kg7 102. Ne5 Be6 103. Kc1 Kh7 104. Kb2
Kg7 105. Nc6 Kg6 106. Ne7+ Kf7 107. Nc6 Kg6 108. Ne7+ Kf7 109. Nc6 Kg6 {Black
claimed a draw by a threefold repetition.} 1/2-1/2
[Event "?"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "1990.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Ryabinin, N."]
[Black "?"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[Annotator "John Upper"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "4R3/r6k/2K5/8/6Pn/8/8/7n w - - 0 1"]
[PlyCount "15"]
[EventDate "1990.??.??"]
[EventType "game"]
[Source "CFC"]
[SourceDate "2015.06.27"]
{[#]based on V.Khortov (1976)} 1. Re5 Ng3 2. Re3 Nf1 3. Rh3 Ra6+ 4. Kb7 $1 Rh6
5. Rc3 $1 {Threatens a perpetual; supporting the R for checks from c8 is why
the White K had to go to b7.} Ng6 (5... Kg7 6. Rc7+ $11 {the only way to
escape the R checks is to cross the 6th rank, which allows White to exchange
Rs.}) 6. Rc5 Ng3 7. Rh5 $1 Nxh5 8. g5 {after gxh6 the NN v P ending is drawn.}
1/2-1/2
[Event "CYCC U14g"]
[Site "Montreal"]
[Date "2014.07.15"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Li, Catherine"]
[Black "Zhou, Qiyu"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C47"]
[WhiteElo "1296"]
[BlackElo "2295"]
[Annotator "Qiyu Zhou"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "5k2/6pb/3n3p/8/1P1Np1PP/2P1R1K1/6B1/2r5 w - - 0 40"]
[PlyCount "37"]
[EventDate "2014.07.??"]
[EventType "swiss"]
[EventRounds "7"]
[EventCountry "CAN"]
[Source "CFC"]
[SourceDate "2015.06.27"]
{Diagram [#]} 40. Ne2 $6 (40. Kf4 $142 {for example probably wins.}) 40... Rc2
41. Kf4 $2 (41. Nd4 $16) 41... Nc4 $13 42. Bxe4 Nxe3 43. Bxc2 ({editor -} 43.
Bxh7 Ng2+ 44. Kf3 Nxh4+ 45. Ke3 g6 $19 {traps the B.}) 43... Nxc2 44. b5 Ke7
45. b6 Kd7 46. c4 Bd3 47. Ng3 {Diagram [#]} g6 (47... Bxc4 48. Nf5 {is a draw
as well.}) 48. c5 Kc6 49. Ne4 Bxe4 50. Kxe4 Ne1 51. h5 {Diagram [#]Critical
Position} g5 $4 {I don't even know anymore.} ({I realized} 51... gxh5 52. gxh5
Nc2 53. Kf5 {was drawn, but for whatever reason I thought I could still win.
editor - Black has two way to draw this.} {The simplest draw is to defend the
h-pawn with the N from in front:} Ne3+ ({The more complicated defence draws
because a Knight can stop a King and rook pawn if the Knight can touch the h7
square; e.g.} 53... Nd4+ 54. Kg6 Ne6 55. Kxh6 Nxc5 $1 {Black has to get rid of
one of the pawns so that when she sacrifices her N for the h-pawn White's last
pawn (b6) will fall.} 56. Kg6 Ne6 57. h6 Nf8+ $8 $11 {[%cal Yf8h7,Gh7g5,Gg5e6,
Ge6f8] from here the attacking K can chase the N, but it will safely cycle
between f8-h7-g5-e6.}) 54. Kg6 Ng4 $11 {and the pawn duo on the h-file
prevents the attacking K from forking the N and P. If White's pawn was on h4
then Black could still draw, but only by using the more complicated method
described in the next note.}) 52. Kf5 Nd3 53. Kg6 Nxc5 54. Kxh6 Kxb6 55. Kg6
Nd7 56. Kg7 Kc6 57. h6 Kd6 58. h7 {I learnt some stuff through this game: 1.
I thought I was worse in the opening, spent a lot of time there, and got in
time trouble during the transition between the middlegame and endgame. 2.
Honestly, my positional judgement has been very off recently. 3. I pushed I
pushed too hard at inappropriate times, and slowly just lost the advantage.
And, of course, blundered the draw about 8 moves before the end of the game,
but not just that, I completely over-evaluated my endgame and thought I could
win, when it was most likely a draw.} 1-0
[Event "CYCC U18"]
[Site "Montreal"]
[Date "2014.07.17"]
[Round "5"]
[White "Knox, Christopher"]
[Black "Luo, Zhao Yang"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D02"]
[WhiteElo "2294"]
[BlackElo "2040"]
[Annotator "John Upper"]
[PlyCount "71"]
[EventDate "2014.07.??"]
[EventType "swiss"]
[EventRounds "7"]
[EventCountry "CAN"]
[Source "CFC"]
[SourceDate "2015.06.27"]
1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 c5 3. g3 Nc6 4. Bg2 Nf6 5. O-O e6 {Diagram [#]} 6. a3 {This
gives Black a choice of ways to equalize.} ({The mainline goes:} 6. c4 dxc4 7.
dxc5 $5 (7. Qa4 Bd7 8. Qxc4 b5 9. Qd3 c4 10. Qd1 Rc8 11. Nc3 b4 12. Na4 Be7 {
(½-½, 40) Gelfand,B (2740)-Anand,V (2780) Zuerich, 2013.}) 7... Qxd1 8. Rxd1
Bxc5 9. Nbd2 c3 10. bxc3 O-O 11. Nb3 Be7 12. c4 {and White keeps a slight but
annoying initiative; e.g.} Bd7 13. Bb2 Rfd8 14. Nfd4 Rac8 15. Nb5 b6 16. Nd6
Rc7 17. Ba3 Kf8 18. c5 Nb8 $2 (18... Nd5 $142) 19. Nb5 $18 {Cheparinov,I (2681)
-Ponomariov,R (2717) Tromso, 2014 (1-0, 37).}) 6... c4 $6 (6... cxd4 7. Nxd4
Bc5 8. Nxc6 bxc6 9. c4 O-O $11) 7. Nc3 Be7 8. Re1 O-O 9. e4 dxe4 10. Nxe4 Nxe4
11. Rxe4 $14 {Diagram [#]Black would actually be better if he could move his
pawn back to c5! As it is, the c4-pawn will need defending and White's d4-pawn
interferes with Black's development.} Bf6 (11... b5 $5 12. a4 b4 13. Ne5 Nxe5
14. Rxe5 Rb8 $13 {Black's queenside pawns might be a bit exposed.}) 12. Bf4 Qb6
13. Ne5 (13. Rb1 $14 {is OK too.}) 13... Bxe5 14. dxe5 Qxb2 15. Rxc4 {Diagram
[#]Critical Position What's better: ...Nxe5 or ...Rd8?} Rd8 $2 {No matter
what Black plays, White will end up with pressure against Black's undeveloped
queenside.} (15... Nxe5 $142 $1 {looks crazily risky, but it is tactically OK.}
{White can't deflect the black Queen away from the Ne5:} 16. Rb4 $5 (16. Rc7
Nc6 17. Rb1 Qd4 (17... Qxa3 $4 18. Bd6 $18) 18. Rxc6 $5 (18. Qxd4 $5) (18. Qxd4
) 18... Qxd1+ 19. Rxd1 bxc6 20. Bxc6 $13) (16. Rb1 $5 Qxb1 $8 (16... Nxc4 $2
17. Rxb2 Nxb2 18. Qd4 $18 {traps the N.}) 17. Qxb1 Nxc4 {I'd expect White's
queenside pressure and Bs to give some advantage, but if Black unwinds with ...
e5 he should be OK at least.}) 16... Qc3 17. Rb3 Qa5 18. Qh5 Nc6 19. Qxa5 Nxa5
20. Rd3 $32) 16. Qb1 $6 {Good enough for continued pressure, but White had
much better.} (16. Bxc6 $1 Rxd1+ 17. Rxd1 h6 (17... bxc6 $4 18. Rd8#) (17... g6
18. Bh6 Qb6 19. Rcd4 $18) (17... Bd7 18. Bxd7 $18 {White has a material
advantage and twice as many pieces to play with.}) 18. Rd8+ Kh7 19. Be4+ g6 20.
Rc7 Kg7 21. Re8 $1 $18 {preparing Ree7 and mate.} ({or} 21. h4 $18 {White will
win the Bc8 or Ra8 and is already threatening Bxh6+ with a mating attack.}))
16... Qxb1+ 17. Rxb1 {Diagram [#] Compare with the Cheparinov-Ponomariov game
above: more pieces have been traded but White still has strong pressure
against Black's undeveloped queenside.} Bd7 18. Rc5 (18. Rxb7 $5 Na5 19. Rbc7 (
19. Rxd7 $2 Nxc4 $17) 19... Nxc4 20. Bxa8 Rxa8 21. Rxc4 Rc8 $1 $14 {Black has
good drawing chances in the opposite-coloured B ending.}) 18... Rab8 19. Be3 h6
20. f4 Rdc8 21. Rd1 {Diagram [#]} Be8 $2 (21... b6 $1 22. Rc3 Be8 23. Bf1 $5 (
23. Rd6 Ne7 $11) 23... Na5 {White still has the Bishops, but Black's pieces
are finally all playing.}) 22. Rd6 $1 Rd8 23. Rc3 Rxd6 (23... Kf8 $2 24. Bc5
$16) 24. exd6 Rd8 25. Rd3 b6 {Diagram [#]} 26. c4 $1 {Trading a pawn will
bring both White's bishops into the game.} Na5 27. c5 Nc4 28. Bf2 Bb5 $6 (28...
bxc5 $142 29. Bxc5 $16) 29. Rd1 {Diagram [#]} (29. Rb3 $1) 29... Kf8 $2 (29...
bxc5 30. Bxc5 a6 31. Rd4 $1 $16 {threatening a4 leaves Black's position very
shakey.}) 30. Bf1 $18 Nxa3 31. cxb6 axb6 32. Bxb6 Rd7 33. Ra1 $18 {The N is
pinned to a back rank mate.} Rb7 34. Rxa3 Rxb6 35. Ra8+ Be8 36. d7 1-0
[Event "Canadian Open"]
[Site "Montreal"]
[Date "2014.07.22"]
[Round "5"]
[White "Kovalyov, Anton"]
[Black "Sambuev, Bator"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A84"]
[WhiteElo "2645"]
[BlackElo "2699"]
[Annotator "Anton Kovalyov"]
[PlyCount "65"]
[EventDate "2014.07.??"]
[EventType "swiss"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "CAN"]
[Source "CFC"]
[SourceDate "2015.06.27"]
1. Nf3 d5 2. d4 c6 3. c4 e6 4. e3 Bd6 5. Bd3 f5 {Diagram [#] This is a quite
interesting variation, and Bator and I have played it against each other
already several times in both blitz and classical time controls, so at this
point I was wondering if my opponent had come up with a new idea...} 6. O-O Nf6
7. b3 Qe7 {Diagram [#] An important move, avoiding the dark-square B trade
after Ba3.} 8. Bb2 ({Wesley So once played} 8. a4 {in this position against
Bator, who replied fast with} O-O {which I consider a huge mistake because of}
9. a5 $1 {gaining space in the queenside, but most importantly preventing
Black from playing ...b6 and developing his light-squared bishop to b7, which
is its best place in this position. Wesley played this move immediately, and
eventually won the game convincingly. This game inspired me to play this 8.a4
against Bator in a blitz game once, but after 8...a5! 9.Ba3 Bxa3 10.Nxa3 0-0
Black got a good position in my opinion.}) 8... O-O 9. Qc1 {This might look
like a very strange move, but trading the dark-squared bishops is White's main
idea in this position.} ({Some people just play} 9. Nc3 {followed by} Ne4 10.
Rc1 {and some point White plays Ne2 followed by Ne5 and f2-f3 to remove
Black's knight from e4 and at the same time gain some space in the center.})
9... dxc4 $5 (9... b6 10. Ba3 Bxa3 11. Qxa3 {gives White very good play on the
dark squares.}) 10. bxc4 c5 11. Nc3 Nc6 12. Nb5 Bb8 13. Rd1 Rd8 {Diagram [#]}
14. Be2 $6 {I can't really say that my 14.Be2 was bad, it was simply not the
best move in the position.} ({Bator and I played this position against each
other before, and I think the best move is} 14. dxc5 Nd7 15. Nbd4 $1 (15. Nd6
$2 Nxc5 16. Nxc8 Rxc8 {was played by me once in a classical time control game
against Bator (of course!) and it gave him a very pleasant position. I
eventually won because of my opponent's time trouble, but I remember having to
defend a worse but drawish ending, which something I would rather not repeat.
see: Kovalyov -Sambuev Montreal, 2012 (1-0, 70).}) 15... Nxc5 16. Nxc6 bxc6 17.
Bc2 Rxd1+ 18. Qxd1 {And I think White has a very nice edge. I remember
checking this position with the computer before, but I thought that Bator
might have prepared something since we played this in a blitz tournament once
(I went with my bishop to e2 though, instead of c2), and for this reason I
decided to play something new. It is worth mentioning that if Black now plays}
e5 {to stop white from gaining control of the center with Ne5 (which is the
main idea of the position), White can play the annoying} 19. Ba3 {with a very
nice edge.}) 14... b6 ({If} 14... a6 {I just go back with} 15. Nc3 {and this
can be only good for me because of the weakness created by black on b6 which
gives a posibility for a future Na4.}) 15. Ba3 Bb7 16. Qb2 {Diagram [#] This
was my setup idea, black can't really play ...a6 nor move the bishop from b8,
for this reason Bator played without much thinking...} Nb4 (16... Ne4 {was
another interesting move.}) 17. dxc5 (17. Qb3 {was the other move I was
thinking about, with the idea of just playing Bb2 back. I know that this looks
like very strange chess, but these kind of positions usually require some
maneovering skills, my queen is no doubt better placed on b3 than on c1.})
17... Rxd1+ 18. Rxd1 bxc5 19. Qd2 {Diagram [#] Surprisingly this is also the
main continuation of my computer. My idea is to gain control on the d-file,
and Nd6 is a quite annoying threat right now, for this reason my opponent
played...} Ne4 $1 {The best move in the position.} 20. Qd7 ({My engine's
recommendation is making a draw with} 20. Qd8+ Kf7 21. Kf1 Qxd8 22. Rxd8 Ke7
23. Rg8 Kf7 24. Rd8 Ke7 25. Rg8 $11) 20... Kf8 ({Better was} 20... Qxd7 $1 21.
Rxd7 Bc6 22. Rd8+ Kf7 {Analysis Diagram [#]Black threatens ...Bh2+ winning the
exchange.} 23. Bxb4 (23. Kf1 {was the move bothering Bator, but it seems that
after} a6 24. Bxb4 cxb4 25. Rxb8 (25. Nbd4 {is the best move, but after} Bc7 {
Black has nothing to worry about.}) 25... Rxb8 26. Ne5+ Kf6 27. Nxc6 Rc8 {
White has two pieces for the rook but Black is better because if} 28. Nba7 (28.
Nbd4 e5 {wins.}) 28... Rc7 {and White's knights are tied up.}) 23... cxb4 24.
Rxb8 Rxb8 25. Ne5+ Kf6 26. Nxc6 {this was my idea, and I thought I'm simply
winning here, but I missed} Rb6 $1 {Bator mentioned this line after the game
and we both came to the conclusion that White is in trouble; but then I
realized that I can still play} 27. Nxb4 {otherwise ...Ra6 was coming, and
once a2 falls I'm probably just lost. After} a6 {White gives back the N for
connected passers with} 28. a4 {and this position is given by the computer as
equal, but this ending is far more complicated than that.}) 21. Bb2 Nf6 {Only
move, Bxg7 was a strong threat.} 22. Qd2 (22. Bxf6 gxf6 {seemed OK for Black.
My computer says Kf1 is the only move to give White some edge, which is not a
very obvious continuation, to say the least.}) 22... Ne4 23. Qd7 Nf6 24. Qd2
Ne4 25. Qc1 {Diagram [#] I decided to play on, even though I knew this move is
not very good. As you can see my queen is now back on c1...} a6 (25... Nxa2 26.
Qa1 {threating both the knight on a2 and Bxg7, the position is unclear.}) 26.
Nc3 Nxc3 $2 {This move just gives up the whole game.} ({After the game Bator
found} 26... Nf6 {which was a very simple move we both missed, the position is
now more or less balanced.}) 27. Qxc3 {Diagram Critical Position [#]Now White
has a very dominant position plus some tricks, and it seems that Bator missed
the most important of them...} Nxa2 {I would give this move a double question
mark but since this was the only idea behind playing 26...Nxc3 I can't, since
any other move is also bad for black. At least ...Nxa2 gives Black some hope
that I might miss my next move (which was a continuation I saw when I still
had my queen on d7).} 28. Rd8+ $1 {This is killing.} ({Bator told me after the
game that he paid attention only to} 28. Qxg7+ Qxg7 29. Bxg7+ Kxg7 30. Rd7+ Kf6
31. Rxb7 a5 {but this ending is obviously really bad for White.}) 28... Qxd8
29. Qxg7+ Ke8 {Diagram [#]} 30. Bf6 $5 ({I knew that} 30. Ne5 {was probably
better (it's mate in 8 according to my engine), but I liked my continuation
more because it seemed more straightforward.}) 30... Qc7 (30... Qd6 31. Ne5 {
just mates.} (31. Qg8+ Kd7 32. Qd8+ Kc6 33. Ne5+ {is the same as in the game.})
) ({Probably} 30... Qxf6 {is the best to avoid mate, but before playing such a
move resigning is probably even better.}) 31. Qg8+ Kd7 32. Ne5+ Qxe5 33. Qd8+ {
White wins material and keeps a mating attack. Black resigned.} 1-0
[Event "41st Olympiad Tromso"]
[Site "Tromso"]
[Date "2014.08.06"]
[Round "5.18"]
[White "Sambuev, Bator"]
[Black "Akobian, Varuzhan"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "E55"]
[WhiteElo "2528"]
[BlackElo "2653"]
[Annotator "Bator Sambuev"]
[PlyCount "75"]
[EventType "team-swiss"]
[EventRounds "11"]
[EventCountry "NOR"]
[Source "CFC"]
[SourceDate "2015.06.27"]
{When I found out our pairings I was sure that I would play against Onischuk.
But I was very happy to get Akobian. This doesn't mean that I think Onischuk
is stronger, he's just extremely solid. Akobian, on the other hand, plays very
lively chess. And I've got the impression that the opening is not his
strongest side.} 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3 O-O 5. Bd3 d5 6. Nf3 c5 7.
O-O dxc4 8. Bxc4 Nbd7 {Diagram [#] That's why I choose this opening. I feel
very comfortable in this line of Nimzo.} 9. Qe2 a6 10. a3 Ba5 ({The
alternative is} 10... cxd4 11. axb4 (11. exd4 $5) 11... dxc3 12. bxc3 Qc7) 11.
a4 $5 {Diagram [#] Rare, but nevertherless, quite a logical move. Much more
popular is 10.a4 immediately, but I think that Black's bishop is placed much
better on b4, where, in the case of taking on d4, it may go back to e7. In the
following course of the game all my strategy based on this bad bishop.} b6 ({
I don't like this move. More logical, from my point of view, is} 11... Qe7 {
followed by} 12. Rd1 e5 13. dxe5 Nxe5 14. Nxe5 Qxe5 15. Nd5 Nxd5 16. Rxd5 Qe7 {
When, unlike the main game, Black can develop the dark-squared bishop:} 17. Bd2
Bc7 18. Rc1 Be6 19. Rh5 g6 20. Bxe6 $1 gxh5 21. Bf5 Bxh2+ $1 22. Kf1 $1 Be5 23.
Qxh5 f6 24. Rxc5 Rf7 25. Rd5 Qe8 26. Bd7 Qe7 27. Bf5 Qe8 28. Bd7 {(1/2-1/2)
Portisch -Polugaevsky Budapest 1963, 2003.}) 12. Rd1 Bb7 13. d5 $1 {Now
Black's dark-squared bishop is doomed to watch from the sidelines.} exd5 14.
Nxd5 Nxd5 15. Bxd5 Qc7 16. e4 Bxd5 {Diagram [#]} 17. Rxd5 ({I think this is
stronger than} 17. exd5 {Moreover, Black could take on d5 immediately, so I
just followed main course.}) 17... Rfe8 (17... Nf6 {looks natural. I don't
know why he didn't play this; probably he didn't like} 18. Rf5 $5 {but this
can't be dangerous for Black.}) 18. Bg5 $1 {Now White is obviously better.} Nf8
19. Rad1 h6 20. Bc1 $1 {This modest move launches an attack on the kingside,
where Black created a weakness with ...h6.} Qc6 21. Ne5 $5 {This move looked
too tempting. To be honest, something simple like 21.Qc2 or 21.b3 was stronger.
} Qxa4 22. Qf3 Re7 {Diagram [#]} 23. h4 ({At least I am playing consistently
for an attack. White switches to a pawn attack and secures a flight square for
the king, which is very important in many lines. After:} 23. b3 Qe8 24. Nc4
Rxe4 25. Be3 {White has sufficient compensation but apparently not more.})
23... Qe8 $2 ({But this move is a decisive mistake. Necessary was} 23... f6 24.
b3 Qe8 25. Ng4 Rxe4 26. Bxh6 Bc3 $1 {Remember me? The off-side B returns with
every chance to parry the attack.}) 24. Ng4 Rxe4 25. Bxh6 {I believe White
should be winning now - there are too many pieces in the attack.} Qe6 26. Rg5
Ng6 {Diagram [#]Critical Position} 27. h5 $8 $40 {A very picturesque position.
One my friend would call a "caveman attack!"} ({editor -} 27. Ne5 $143 gxh6 $8
(27... Rxe5 $4 $18 28. Qxa8+) 28. Qxe4 Re8 29. Rxg6+ fxg6 $13) 27... Rf8 28.
hxg6 fxg6 29. Qg3 {Diagram [#]} b5 (29... gxh6 30. Nxh6+ Kh7 31. Rd6 $18) 30.
Ne3 {Now White's just piece up.} ({Of course, not} 30. Rd6 $4 Re1+ 31. Kh2 Bc7
{and the bad Bishop is back with a vengance!}) 30... Rf6 31. Nd5 Rf5 32. Rxf5
Qxf5 33. Bg5 Kf7 34. Ne3 Qe5 35. Rd7+ Kg8 36. Qf3 Qe8 37. Ra7 Kh7 $2 38. Bf6
1-0
[Event "41st Olympiad Tromso"]
[Site "Tromso"]
[Date "2014.08.08"]
[Round "6.1"]
[White "Gelfand, Boris"]
[Black "Kovalyov, Anton"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "E08"]
[WhiteElo "2753"]
[BlackElo "2622"]
[Annotator "John Upper"]
[PlyCount "235"]
[EventType "team-swiss"]
[EventRounds "11"]
[EventCountry "NOR"]
[Source "CFC"]
[SourceDate "2015.06.27"]
[WhiteTeam "Israel"]
[BlackTeam "Canada"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "ISR"]
[BlackTeamCountry "CAN"]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 b6 4. g3 c6 {Gelfand had never played this position
before, but this is Anton's pet system so Gelfand would have been prepared...
and it will be interesting to see what he has come up with} 5. Bg2 d5 6. O-O
Be7 {Diagram [#]Gelfand can not have been surprised to see this position: with
18 games in ChessBase Mega 2015 featuring him as Black -- and no losses (+5
=13 -0) -- Anton is probably the world's foremost expert on this opening,
which I'll call: The Kovalyov System The upcoming pawn levers in the center
(c4/d4/e4 vs d5/c5; or c4/d4/e4 vs d5/b5) create tension which can be resolved
in very different ways, so it's not possible to give a general strategic
summary of Black's setup based on pawn structure. Instead, it might be helpful
to think of this a Cautious Queen's Indian: Black plays ...d5 early to prevent
White's anti-QID gambits with d4-d5, and is prepared to spend an extra tempo
with ...c7-c6-c5 or ...b7-b6-b5 to break in the center when his pieces are
ready... and yet the only price I can see for this security is that it takes a
bit longer to equalize! Is it possible that this is the Berlin Wall that
kills the Catalan?} 7. Qc2 (7. Nc3 O-O 8. b3 Ba6 9. Nd2 Nbd7 10. Bb2 b5 $1 11.
cxb5 cxb5 12. a3 Nb6 13. Nf3 Qc8 14. Rc1 Qb7 15. Na2 Rfc8 16. Nb4 Rxc1 17. Qxc1
Rc8 18. Qb1 Nbd7 19. Qd3 Qb6 20. Nxa6 Qxa6 {White had the B pair, but couldn't
find anything useful to do with the one on b2, in Bruzon Batista,L (2691)
-Kovalyov,A (2606) Montreal COQ, 2013 (1/2-1/2, 40).}) 7... O-O 8. Rd1 Nbd7 {
Diagram [#]} 9. b3 ({If White plays Nc3 then Black plays Ba6 to pressure c4:}
9. Nc3 Ba6 10. b3 Rc8 11. Bb2 Qc7 12. e4 dxc4 13. Nd2 e5 14. d5 b5 $15 {(0-1,
41) Kavutskiy,K (2272)-Kovalyov,A (2612) Dearborn, 2013.}) 9... a5 $5 {Gaining
space and developing the Ra8 while waiting to develop the Bc8 once White has
decided between Nbd2 and Nc3.} (9... Ba6 10. Nbd2 (10. a4 Bb4 11. Bd2 Qe7 12.
Bxb4 Qxb4 13. Nbd2 c5 $1 14. e3 (14. e4 $5) (14. a5 $5) 14... Rac8 $1 $11 15.
Rdc1 Rfd8 16. Bf1 cxd4 17. exd4 Nb8 18. a5 Qe7 19. axb6 axb6 20. Qb2 Bb7 21.
Bg2 Rc7 22. Nf1 h6 23. Ne3 Rdc8 24. Re1 Qd8 25. Rad1 {1/2-1/2 Spraggett,K
(2597)-Kovalyov,A (2571) Figueira da Foz, 2008.}) 10... Rc8 11. e4 c5 12. exd5
exd5 13. Bb2 Re8 14. Rac1 {Diagram [#]} cxd4 (14... Bb7 $5) 15. Nxd4 b5 16. Qf5
bxc4 $1 17. Bxd5 Nxd5 18. Qxd5 Rc5 $1 $13 19. Qg2 cxb3 20. Nc6 Rxc1 $6 (20...
Qb6 $5) (20... Qc8 $5) 21. Rxc1 Qb6 22. Qd5 (22. Qe4 $1 bxa2 23. Bd4 $16) 22...
Nf6 23. Nxe7+ Rxe7 24. Bxf6 gxf6 25. Nxb3 Bb7 {1/2-1/2 Arencibia Rodriguez,W
(2526)-Kovalyov,A (2614) Montreal COQ, 2012.}) (9... Bb7 10. Nc3 Ba6 $5 {even
at the cost of a tempo!?} 11. Bb2 b5 $1 12. Ne5 Qc7 {Diagram [#]} 13. e4 (13.
cxd5 $5 cxd5 14. Rac1 Rac8 (14... Rfc8 $2 15. Nxd5 $16 {XRa8}) 15. Nxd5 $5 Qxc2
16. Nxe7+ Kh8 17. Rxc2 Rxc2 18. Ba3 $13) 13... dxc4 14. Nxd7 Nxd7 15. bxc4 bxc4
$15 {(1/2-1/2, 58) Sargissian,G (2684)-Kovalyov,A (2636) Wheeling, 2014.}) 10.
Nbd2 (10. Nc3 Ba6 11. Nd2 Rc8 12. e4 c5 13. exd5 cxd4 14. dxe6 fxe6 (14... dxc3
$2 15. exd7 cxd2 16. dxc8=Q dxc1=Q 17. Qxd8 Qxc2 18. Qxe7 $18) 15. Nce4 b5 $5
$132) (10. Bb2 Ba6 {Maybe a waste of time when White has Nbd2?} 11. Nbd2 Qb8
12. e4 Rc8 13. Rac1 Bb7 14. Qb1 Rd8 15. e5 Ne8 16. cxd5 cxd5 17. h4 h6 {It
looks like White ought to be better here, but (again) Anton diffuses whatever
plus White might have.} 18. Ne1 a4 19. f4 Nf8 20. h5 Qa7 21. Nd3 Ba6 22. Bf1
Qd7 23. Nf3 Nc7 24. g4 Rdc8 25. Qc2 {(½-½, 25) Berczes,D (2501)-Kovalyov,A
(2617) Richardson UTD, 2014.}) 10... Bb7 {With the Nd2 the Pc4 is well
protected and so Black plays Bb7.} 11. e4 a4 12. Bb2 {Diagram [#]} a3 {FWIW,
Komodo and Houdini both prefer capturing twice on e4.} 13. Bc3 Qb8 14. e5 Ne8
15. b4 (15. cxd5 cxd5 $14) 15... dxc4 16. Nxc4 Nc7 17. Rab1 {Diagram [#]It
really feels like White should be better here, but maybe Black's position is
as resiliant as the Hedgehog!? Can White take advantage of Black's lack of
space and congested queenside is to switch to a kingside attack with h2-h4,
Nh2-g4 and maybe Bd2-g5 preparing to sac a piece on the dark squares? Or will
the threat of ...c5 tie White's hands?} Qa7 ({Anton's round 9 game at the
Olympiad continued:} 17... Rd8 18. Bd2 h6 19. Rb3 Nb5 20. Qb1 ({The
not-so-mysterious} 20. Rdb1 $5 {would seriously discourage ...c5, and may give
White time to switch to the kingside.}) 20... Ra4 21. Rc1 Qa8 $1 {Diagram [#]
Reti Lives!} 22. Be3 c5 $1 23. bxc5 Be4 $8 (23... Bxf3 $4 24. Nxb6 Nxb6 25.
Bxf3 Qxf3 26. cxb6 $18) 24. Qa1 Bxf3 25. Bxf3 (25. Nxb6 $4 Nxb6 26. Bxf3 Qxf3
27. cxb6 Rb4 $8 $19 {saving the N and stopping the Pb6; this is why Black had
to play 23...Be4 before capturing on f3.}) 25... Qxf3 26. Rxb5 bxc5 (26... Rxc4
$5 27. Rxc4 Nxe5 $13) 27. dxc5 Qe2 $1 $15 {(1/2-1/2, 55) Leitao,R (2649)
-Kovalyov,A (2622) Tromsoe Ol, 2014.}) 18. Bd2 Qa4 19. Rb3 Nd5 20. Nd6 (20. Ng5
$1 Bxg5 21. Bxg5 Nxb4 22. Qb1 Nd5 23. Rc1 $36) 20... Bxd6 21. exd6 Rfd8 22. Ne5
f6 23. Nc4 Ba6 {Diagram [#]} 24. Re1 (24. Rc1 $1 {defending the Nc4 to free
the Q to go to e4.}) 24... Bxc4 25. Qxc4 Nf8 26. Bc1 Rac8 27. Kf1 Rxd6 28. Rxa3
{Diagram [#]} Qb5 (28... Qxb4 $4 29. Bxd5 $18) 29. Qxb5 cxb5 30. Bxd5 Rxd5 31.
Ra6 Nd7 32. Be3 Kf7 33. Ra7 Kg6 34. Ke2 h5 35. Kf3 Kf5 36. h3 Rc3 37. g4+ Kg6
38. Ke4 hxg4 39. hxg4 {Diagram [#]Black's queenside is a bit weaker, and the
Nd7 doesn't have as many prospects as White's B. It is impressive how Gelfand
turns this into a very-nearly winning position.} Rc4 (39... Rd6 $142 40. Rc1
$140 f5+ $1 41. gxf5+ exf5+ 42. Kf3 Rxc1 43. Bxc1 Rxd4 {and Black is on the
better side of a probable draw.}) 40. Rc1 $1 {Trades Black's best piece.} Rxc1
(40... Rxb4 $2 41. Rcc7 $18 {wins the N, since Rxg7 would be mate.}) (40... Kf7
41. Rxc4 bxc4 42. a4 $1 {/\Rc7 Xc4.}) 41. Bxc1 Kf7 42. Bf4 Ke8 43. Ra8+ Kf7 44.
Ra7 Ke8 45. Ke3 e5 46. dxe5 fxe5 47. Bg3 Rd4 48. Ra8+ Ke7 49. Bxe5 Rxg4 50. Bd4
Kd6 51. Rg8 g5 52. Rg7 Ke6 53. a3 Rg1 {Diagram [#]} 54. Ke2 $1 $16 Kd6 55. f3 {
Attacking the Rg1 and forcing it to abandon the g-pawn.} Rb1 $1 {The only
active line.} (55... Rg3 $143 56. Bf2 {leaves the Black R much less active.})
56. Rxg5 Rb3 57. Rxb5 Rxa3 58. Bxb6 {Diagram [#]Black's only chance is to sac
his N for both pawns, reaching a known draw.} Rb3 59. Bc5+ Kd5 60. Be7+ Ke6 61.
Bg5 Ne5 62. f4 Nc6 63. f5+ Kd6 64. Be3 Rb2+ 65. Kf3 Rb3 {Diagram [#]} 66. Ke2
Rb2+ 67. Kd3 Rb3+ 68. Kd2 Nxb4 $1 69. Bc5+ Kc6 70. Rxb4 Rf3 71. Bd4 Rxf5 {
Diagram [#]R+B v R is a known draw, and from here on the tablebases rate the
position as 0.00, which is another way of saying that Anton plays the rest
perfectly.} 72. Rb6+ Kd5 73. Kd3 Rf3+ 74. Be3 Rf5 75. Ra6 Re5 76. Bf4 Rf5 77.
Ra4 Rf7 78. Ra5+ Ke6 79. Ke4 Kd7 80. Ra6 Re7+ 81. Kd5 Rf7 82. Bd6 Rf5+ 83. Be5
Rf7 84. Bf6 Ke8 85. Ke6 {Diagram [#]Critical Position} Re7+ $8 {A stalemating
offer Boris eventually accepts.} 86. Kf5 Rb7 87. Rd6 Rd7 88. Re6+ Kf7 89. Be5
Re7 90. Rh6 Rd7 91. Bd6 Ke8 92. Rh8+ Kf7 93. Ke5 Kg6 94. Rg8+ Kf7 95. Rf8+ Kg7
96. Rf1 Rf7 97. Rg1+ Kh7 98. Ke6 Rg7 99. Rh1+ Kg6 100. Be7 Rg8 $8 101. Rh2 Rg7
102. Bf8 Rg8 103. Rf2 Kh7 104. Bd6 Kg6 105. Rh2 Rg7 106. Bf4 Rg8 107. Rg2+ Kh7
$8 108. Bg5 Kg6 109. Rg1 Kh7 110. Kf5 Rg7 111. Rh1+ Kg8 112. Bf6 Rh7 $8 113.
Ra1 Kf7 114. Ra6 Rh5+ 115. Bg5 Rh7 116. Bh6 Kg8 117. Kg6 Rg7+ $8 118. Bxg7
1/2-1/2
[Event "41st Olympiad Tromso"]
[Site "Tromso"]
[Date "2014.08.08"]
[Round "6.2"]
[White "Hansen, Eric"]
[Black "Smirin, Ilia"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B41"]
[WhiteElo "2593"]
[BlackElo "2656"]
[Annotator "Eric Hansen"]
[PlyCount "65"]
[EventType "team-swiss"]
[EventRounds "11"]
[EventCountry "NOR"]
[Source "CFC"]
[SourceDate "2015.06.27"]
[WhiteTeam "Canada"]
[BlackTeam "Israel"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "CAN"]
[BlackTeamCountry "ISR"]
{Israel decided to sit their high-performing board 2 Rodshtein for this match.
I found it peculiar as Rodshtein is more solid while Smirin is shaky. Maybe
Israel wanted to have chances against me with Black. I decided to go with this
theory and was quite motivated to prove their lineup wrong.} 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6
3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 a6 {Diagram [#] Smirin sticks with his trusty Kan, which
also happens to be my main weapon as Black. I had something up my sleeve for
this game} 5. c4 {The least common of the three main moves here, but not
without venom. It's a natural fit for me seeing as I employ Maroczy Binds in
many of my other openings. I also suffered two painful losses with Black at
the Quebec Open in 2012, so I was eager to test it out from the other side.}
Nf6 6. Nc3 Bb4 (6... Qc7 7. a3 b6 8. Be3 Bb7 9. f3 d6 10. Be2 Nbd7 11. O-O {
Turns into a classical Hedgehog position.}) 7. Qd3 {Diagram [#]} d6 {I knew
Smirin sometimes went for riskier lines and this played into my opening choice.
Here he goes for one of the known moves, but theoretically not the best: the
bishop risks being reduced to passivity once ...d6 has been played.} ({7...Nc6
is more popular, as is} 7... Qc7 8. a3 {when Black should recoil into a
Hedgehog, since} Bxc3+ $2 {runs into a theoretical trap:} (8... Be7 $142 {
Hedgehogging.}) 9. Qxc3 Nxe4 10. Nb5 axb5 11. Qxg7 Rf8 12. Bh6 Qc5 13. f3 $16)
8. Nc2 Ba5 (8... Bxc3+ 9. Qxc3 O-O 10. f3 Nc6 11. Be3 Qc7 12. O-O-O e5 13. Nb4
Ne7 $14 {(1/2-1/2, 40) Arencibia Rodriguez,W (2536) - Istratescu,A (2636)
Montreal, 2008.}) 9. b4 Bb6 {Diagram [#] I noticed in preparation that Smirin
had agreed to a quick draw as Black in this position against Yuniesky Quesada
in the 2014 World Open, which Smirin won. I was very happy to see him repeat
this because I had some ideas prepared.} 10. Be2 Nc6 11. Be3 {I thought it
would be pretty simple here to try to trade off dark squared bishops then aim
for the weak d6 pawn. I can't complain about having more space and easy play!}
Ne5 (11... Bxe3 12. Qxe3 O-O 13. Rd1 Qc7 14. f4 $14 Rd8 (14... b6 15. O-O Bb7
16. Na4 Nd7 17. Qd2 $16) 15. O-O Bd7 16. Rd2 Be8 17. Rfd1 $14 {Very
comfortable play for White. Some sort of penetration on the dark squares
eventually.}) (11... O-O 12. Rd1) 12. Qd2 Bxe3 13. Nxe3 {I think my position
is really harmonious with the knight on e3 so it's clear the opening was
successful.} Qb6 (13... O-O 14. Rd1) 14. a3 a5 {Diagram [#]} 15. b5 {Not usual,
but here Black is way behind in development, so there will be no time for him
to outpost on the dark squares properly.} Ned7 (15... O-O 16. Rd1 Rd8 17. f4
Ng6 18. e5 $16) 16. Rd1 Nc5 17. Bf3 {My bishop will not be doing anything on
e2.} (17. Qxd6 Qxd6 18. Rxd6 Ncxe4 19. Nxe4 Nxe4 20. Rd4 Nc5 $11) 17... Ke7 18.
g4 $1 {Diagram [#] I saw this move when I played Bf3. I want to undermine the
knight on f6 as it will allow knight forks on d5. One important point is that
the Rh1 is protected in case I have to open the h-file. It wasn't hard to spot
once I realized I needed to attack now before Black will consolidate with ...
Rd8- Bd7-Be8-Kf8.} h6 19. h4 Qd8 20. g5 hxg5 21. hxg5 Rxh1+ 22. Bxh1 Ne8 23. e5
a4 {Diagram [#]} (23... Kf8 24. f4 $18) 24. Ke2 (24. f4 Qa5 25. exd6+ Kf8 26.
Ne4 Qb6 27. Nxc5 Qxc5 28. Kf2 $18) ({I spent some time looking for a forced
win with:} 24. exd6+ Qxd6 (24... Nxd6 25. Qd4 $18) 25. Qb2 Nd3+ $1 (25... Qh2
26. Qb4 $36 Qxh1+ 27. Kd2 Qh2 28. Qxc5+ Qd6+ $8 29. Qxd6+ Nxd6 30. c5 Ne8 31.
Ke2 Bd7 32. Nc4 $18) 26. Rxd3 Qxd3 27. Qb4+ Qd6 (27... Kd8 28. Ncd5 exd5 29.
Nxd5 Bd7 30. Qe7+ Kc8 31. Nb6+ Kc7 32. Nxa8+ $18) 28. c5 Qe5 29. c6+ Qd6 30.
cxb7 Qxb4 31. axb4 Bxb7 32. Bxb7 Rb8 33. Ba6 Nc7 $16) 24... Kf8 25. f4 Bd7 (
25... Nb3 26. Qd3 Kg8 27. exd6) 26. Ne4 {No rush. I trade off Black's best
piece.} Nxe4 27. Bxe4 {Diagram [#] White gets ready to take on d6 followed by
Rh1 with a decisive attack} d5 28. Rh1 ({White can go for the two extra pawns
with:} 28. Bxd5 exd5 29. Qxd5 Qe7 (29... Qb6 30. Qxd7 $18) 30. Qxd7 Qxa3 31.
Rh1 Kg8 32. g6 $18) 28... Qa5 (28... dxe4 29. Rh8+ Ke7 30. Qb4+ Nd6 31. Qxd6#)
(28... Kg8 29. cxd5 Bxb5+ 30. Kf3 exd5 31. Nxd5 Bc6 32. Rh8+ Kxh8 33. Qh2+ Kg8
34. Qh7+ Kf8 35. Qh8#) 29. Qd4 {Diagram [#]} (29. Rh8+ Ke7 {And the queens get
traded, albeit with a winning position.}) 29... Rc8 (29... dxe4 30. Qxd7 g6 (
30... Kg8 31. g6) 31. Rh7 $18) (29... g6 30. Qc5+ Kg7 (30... Kg8 31. Rh8+ Kxh8
32. Qf8+ Kh7 33. Qxf7+ Ng7 34. Qxg6+ Kg8 35. Nf5 exf5 36. Bxd5+ Kh8 37. Qh6#)
31. Bxg6 $1 Bxb5 (31... Kxg6 32. Qf8 {#2}) (31... fxg6 32. Qe7+ {#3}) 32. Bd3
Bxc4 33. Rh7+ $8 Kg8 34. Rh8+ Kxh8 35. Qf8#) (29... Ke7 {is no better than the
alternatives,} 30. Bxd5 exd5 31. Nxd5+ Kd8 32. Nb6) 30. Rh8+ Ke7 {Diagram [#]
Critical Position} 31. Bxd5 $1 {All the pieces join. On this day every move
just appeared at my fingertips.} ({editor -} 31. f5 {is a more pedestrian way
to win} dxe4 32. f6+ gxf6 33. gxf6+ Kd8 34. Qd6 {followed by Rxe8+ and Qe7#.})
31... b6 (31... exd5 32. Nxd5+ Kd8 (32... Ke6 33. f5+ Kxf5 34. Ne7+ Ke6 35.
Rxe8 Rxe8 36. Qd6#) 33. Nb6 Rc7 34. g6 fxg6 35. e6 $18) (31... Bxb5 32. f5 $18)
32. f5 exf5 (32... exf5 33. g6 fxg6 (33... Be6 34. gxf7 Kxf7 (34... Bxf7 35.
Nxf5+ {#4}) 35. Bxe6+ Kxe6 36. Qd5+ Ke7 37. Nxf5#) 34. Qh4+ Nf6 35. exf6+ gxf6
36. Rh7+ Kd6 37. Qxf6+ Kc5 38. Kd3 Qe1 39. Qe7#) 33. g6 {Black had huge
problems out of the opening which allowed me a very nice lead in development
and initiative that I did not relinquish for the rest of the game. The best
attacks happen after you find good squares for your pieces. A very satisfying
victory over a dangerous opponent.} 1-0
[Event "41st Olympiad Tromso"]
[Site "Tromso"]
[Date "2014.08.14"]
[Round "11"]
[White "Yuan, Yuanling"]
[Black "Repkova, Eva"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C11"]
[WhiteElo "2241"]
[BlackElo "2350"]
[Annotator "Yuanling Yuan"]
[PlyCount "65"]
[EventType "team-swiss"]
[EventRounds "11"]
[EventCountry "NOR"]
[Source "CFC"]
[SourceDate "2015.06.27"]
{Team Canada was in a terrific position heading into the last round of the
Olympiad: 6.5 match points and paired with Slovakia on board 13. A win in the
ultimate round would place us top 15 overall, as well as put us in serious
contention for the Category B Gold Medal. I was more than ready to fight for
my team and country.} 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. e5 Nfd7 5. f4 a6 6. Nf3
c5 7. Be3 Nc6 8. Qd2 b5 9. dxc5 Bxc5 {Diagram [#]Critical Position What
happens if 10.Bd3} 10. Bd3 {I had prepared for this line well before the game.
My opponent threw me a questionable look after I played Bd3, clearly thinking
that I had just blundered; but she did spent 15 minutes before replying with
the natural move... Negi's book has excellent short strategic summaries.
About this position he writes: "When going through the variations ahead, you
should keep in mind that White's main strategic plan involves playing against
Black's 'bad' light-squared bishop. As long as Black's counterplay (such as ...
f6 or ... g5) can be kept under control, virtually any endgame with a white
knight established on d4 and the black bishop still on the board will be more
pleasant for White. The computer does not always agree, and I cannot say if
the machine is objectively right or not. What I do know is that a practical
game, such positions are always easier to play with White, who can improve his
position slowly, while Black's position can feel suffocating." - Parimarjan
Negi, GM Repertoire 1.e4 vol.1 (Quality Chess, 2014).} d4 $2 {A move that
turns out to be a mistake.} (10... Qb6 {is the correct response for Black.
editor - Negi's book gives several pages of analysis here, beginning with: 10..
.Qb6 11.Bf2! Bb7!? (or 11 ...b4, or 11...00) 12.a3!N.}) 11. Nxd4 {After I
played this she spent 30-40 minutes thinking, during which I toured the
playing hall and watched some of the final battles of the Olympiad.} Nxd4 12.
Ne4 {Diagram [#] This is the critical response, threatening Bxd4, followed by
Nd6 and Be4, with a double-attack on the Bd4 and Ra8.} Qh4+ ({editor -} 12...
Bb6 13. Nd6+ Kf8 14. Be4 $18) ({editor -} 12... Qb6 13. Nxc5 Nxc5 (13... Qxc5
14. c3 $16) 14. Bxd4 Nxd3+ 15. Qxd3 {and White is just up a P.}) 13. Bf2 Qg4 ({
editor -} 13... Nxc2+ $146 14. Bxc2 (14. Qxc2 $2 Bb4+ $15) 14... Bxf2+ 15. Qxf2
Qxf2+ 16. Kxf2 {"Black falls a long way short of equality in the endgame" -
Negi.} Ke7 {White has a big lead in development and some weak dark squares to
go after, but Black might still hold - editor.}) 14. Bxd4 Bxd4 15. Nd6+ Ke7 16.
Be4 $18 Bxb2 17. Rb1 {Diagram [#]} Ra7 (17... Ba3 18. Bxa8 Bc5 19. Bf3 Qg6 20.
Ne4 Rd8 21. Rd1 Bb6 22. Qb4+ {1-0 Karjakin,S -Topalov,V Kiev (rapid), 2013.})
18. Rxb2 {The last few moves were forced.} Rc7 19. O-O Nc5 $2 {Another blunder.
However, White was already much better in this position.} 20. h3 (20. Bf3 $1
Qg6 21. Nxb5 Rd8 22. Qa5 Rcd7 23. Nd6 $18) 20... Qg3 {Diagram [#]} 21. Nf5+ $1
{The win was simple from here on.} exf5 22. Qd6+ Ke8 23. Bc6+ Bd7 24. Qxc7 Qe3+
25. Kh1 Qd4 {Diagram [#]} 26. Bxd7+ (26. Rb4 Qxb4 27. Rd1 {is how a computer
would have done it.}) 26... Nxd7 27. Rbb1 Qc5 28. Qb7 Ke7 29. Rbd1 Qc8 30. Qa7
Rd8 31. Rd6 Qxc2 32. Rfd1 Qc8 33. Qd4 {threatening ...e6 and then ...Qxg7 then
...Rxe6#. My opponent resigned. This game was perhaps the most seamless
and effortless one I played throughout the entire tournament. Preparing for a
few hours before each game eventually pays off. The team lost 1.5-2.5 but
as the Board 1 player, I was nonetheless extremely proud of my team for our
performance this year. It was definitely the best Olympiad I personally played
in, finishing 7.5/11 and shy of a WGM norm by half a point. I want to also
take this opportunity to point out the fact that the Canadian women's team
outperformed the men's team this year and on behalf of my teammates, thank
everyone for their continued support of Canadian women's chess!} 1-0
[Event "41st Olympiad Tromso"]
[Site "Tromso"]
[Date "2014.08.14"]
[Round "11"]
[White "Machalova, Veronika"]
[Black "Zhou, Qiyu"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C88"]
[WhiteElo "2214"]
[BlackElo "2109"]
[Annotator "Qiyu Zhou"]
[PlyCount "157"]
[EventType "team-swiss"]
[EventRounds "11"]
[EventCountry "NOR"]
[Source "CFC"]
[SourceDate "2015.06.27"]
{This was the final game in my first Olympiad, so I was determined to finish
well. Our opponents were from Slovakia, and on average about a hundred points
higher.} 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3
d6 8. a4 {Diagram [#] This move came as a slight surprise to me.} Rb8 9. c3 O-O
10. axb5 axb5 11. h3 b4 12. Bd5 (12. d4 {for White was better.}) 12... Qd7 13.
Bb3 {White wasted tempi moving the bishop back and forth.} Bb7 14. d3 h6 15.
Nbd2 Ra8 16. Rxa8 {Diagram [#]} Bxa8 ({I spent some time debating this move}
16... Rxa8 17. cxb4 Nxb4 18. Bxf7+ Kxf7 19. Qb3+ Nfd5 20. exd5 Qa4) 17. Nc4 Qc8
(17... Rb8 {looks better.}) 18. Ne3 Qb7 19. Nf5 bxc3 20. bxc3 Rb8 {Diagram [#]}
21. Bc2 {The bishop shouldn't have left the diagonal a2-g8.} ({White should
try to keep the bishop on the diagonal to put pressure on Black's kingside with
} 21. Nd2) 21... Bf8 22. Nh2 Ne7 23. g4 {White was being too aggessive at this
point, and should have played slowly.} Nh7 ({Better was} 23... Nxf5 $1 24. gxf5
d5 $15) 24. h4 d5 {I played this eventually anyway.} 25. Nf1 Nxf5 26. gxf5 Qc6
27. Bd2 Be7 28. Qg4 Rb2 29. Bd1 {Diagram [#]} dxe4 (29... Nf6 $142 $1 {and
Black has a large advantage.}) 30. dxe4 Qf6 ({This was better} 30... Nf6 31.
Qg2 Kh8 32. Qh2 Bd6 $17) 31. h5 Bc6 32. Bc1 Rb8 33. Bc2 {Diagram [#]} Qh4 ({
There was no reason to exchange queens so soon, I should have activated my
pieces first.} 33... Bb5 34. Ne3) 34. Qxh4 Bxh4 35. Nh2 Bg5 36. Nf3 Bxc1 37.
Rxc1 f6 (37... Nf6 $15) 38. Ra1 Be8 39. Ra7 Bxh5 40. Nh4 {Diagram [#]} c6 (
40... c5 41. Rc7 Ng5 42. Rxc5 Kh7 {may have provided Black with a bit more
activity.}) 41. Ba4 Be8 42. Ng6 Bxg6 43. fxg6 Nf8 44. Bxc6 Nxg6 45. c4 {
Diagram [#]} Kf8 $2 (45... Rb1+ $1 {was much more active:} 46. Kh2 Rc1 47. Bd5+
Kh7 48. Rc7 Nf4 49. c5 Rf1 $17 50. Kg3 $140 $2 h5 $19) 46. Bd5 Ne7 47. c5 Rc8 (
{Bringing the king closer was more logical.} 47... Ke8) 48. Be6 Rb8 49. Bd7 g6
({I should have tried this instead} 49... Kf7 50. c6 Rb1+ 51. Kg2 Rc1 52. c7
$140 Kg6 $1 $11) 50. c6 {Diagram [#]} Nc8 $6 ({Giving better chances for Black
was:} 50... Rb1+ 51. Kg2 Rd1 52. c7 (52. Be6 Nxc6 53. Rf7+ Ke8 54. Rxf6 Ke7 55.
Rxg6 Rd6 56. Bf5) 52... Rxd7 53. c8=Q+ Nxc8 54. Rxd7 Ne7 $11) 51. Rb7 $16 Ra8
52. Be6 Nd6 53. Rh7 ({editor -} 53. Rd7 $142 $18) 53... Ra1+ 54. Kg2 Rc1 ({
Another possibility I considered was} 54... Nxe4 55. c7 Nd6) 55. c7 Ke8 56.
Rh8+ Ke7 57. c8=Q Nxc8 {Diagram [#]} 58. Rxc8 $2 (58. Bxc8 $142 {taking with
the bishop would have provided White with a lot more chances to win the
endgame.}) 58... Rxc8 $1 59. Bxc8 Kd6 60. Kf3 Kc5 $2 {Diagram [#]} (60... h5)
61. Ke3 $2 (61. Be6 $142 Kd4 62. Bf7 $1 {editor - once Black's pawns have been
stopped on dark squares White can repeatedly oscillate the B to gain the
opposition and force the Black K back, eventually winning Black's
backward-most pawn,} g5 63. Bg6 Kd3 64. Kg4 Ke2 (64... h5+ 65. Kxh5 (65. Kf5
$18) 65... Ke2 66. Kg4 Kxf2 67. Bh5 Kg2 68. Kf5 Kg3 69. Bd1 $18) 65. f3 Kf2 66.
Bh5 Ke3 67. Kf5 $18) 61... Kd6 62. Kd3 h5 63. Bh3 Kc5 64. Be6 h4 65. Bh3 Kb4
66. Bg4 Kc5 {Diagram [#]} 67. Ke3 (67. Kc3 $1 Kb5 68. Bh3 Kc5 69. Bf1 {and
Black will be in Zugzwang soon, letting White move her king in; e.g.} g5 70. f3
Kd6 71. Kc4 Kc6 72. Bh3 Kd6 73. Kb5 Kc7 74. Kc5 $18) 67... Kc4 68. Be6+ Kc3 69.
Bf7 g5 70. Be6 Kc2 $8 {Diagram [#]} 71. Bg4 ({editor -} 71. Bh3 Kc3 72. Kf3 Kd3
73. Bg2 Kd2 74. Kg4 Ke2 $11 75. f3 Kf2 76. Kh3 (76. Bh3 Ke2 $11) 76... Kg1 $22
77. f4 $8 $11) 71... Kc3 $8 72. Bh3 ({editor -} 72. Bd1 Kc4 73. Kf3 Kd3 74. Bb3
h3 75. Bd5 h2 76. Kg2 Ke2 $11 77. Bc4+ Ke1 $8 78. f3 h1=Q+ 79. Kxh1 Kf2 $11)
72... Kc2 73. Kf3 Kd3 74. Bf5 Kd2 75. Be6 {Diagram [#]} Ke1 76. Bh3 Kd2 77. Bf5
Ke1 78. Bh3 Kd2 79. Bf5 {I was actually surprised when my opponent offered a
draw at this point, as I thought I was losing. However, I gladly accepted it,
and when I checked at home I found out White cannot in fact win this endgame.}
1/2-1/2
[Event "World U16 Olympiad"]
[Site "Gyor"]
[Date "2014.12.18"]
[Round "7.26"]
[White "Gedajlovic, Max"]
[Black "Kula, Dominik"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A80"]
[WhiteElo "2104"]
[BlackElo "2018"]
[Annotator "John Upper"]
[PlyCount "59"]
[EventDate "2014.12.??"]
[EventType "team-swiss"]
[EventRounds "10"]
[EventCountry "HUN"]
[Source "CFC"]
[SourceDate "2015.06.27"]
{The following game won a brilliancy prize for round 7 at the U16 Teams
Championship. It was lightly annotated by GM Mihail Marin on the event
website: http://wyco2014.chess.hu/news/
max-gedajlovic-of-canada-3-takes-one-of-the-seventh-round-brilliancy-prizes/
?cikk=70} 1. d4 f5 2. Bg5 g6 3. Nc3 {Diagram [#] "With this flexible set-up,
White always keeps some pressure." - Moskalenko, The Diamond Dutch (NiC, 2013).
} Bg7 4. h4 $5 h6 5. Bf4 Nf6 6. e3 d6 7. Qf3 {Diagram [#]There aren't many
games from this position, but Black scores badly in every one except 7...0-0.}
e6 $6 (7... O-O 8. Bc4+ e6 9. Nge2 Nc6 10. a3 Kh7 {(Moskalenko gives this a
"?" in his book and says Black must play 10...Qe8!?)} 11. Bg5 $1 Qe8 12. Bxf6
$1 Bxf6 13. O-O-O $36 {(|^ Moskalenko)} e5 14. Nd5 (14. h5 $146) 14... Bd8 15.
Ba2 Be6 16. Kb1 Qf7 17. Ndc3 Bxa2+ 18. Nxa2 e4 (18... h5 $1 $15 {Kinderman
(Leningrader System, 2002)}) 19. Qh3 $14 {(1-0 (+), 38) Fressinet,L (2606)
-Kindermann,S (2520) Germany, 2002.}) 8. Qg3 $5 {A nice finesse, forcing Black
to go uncastled. This doesn't refute the line, since White will (probably)
have to lose a tempo to move the Qg3 again, but it improves on a game played
four days earlier by Black in round 2. That game was a bit of a bloodbath on
the light-squares too. It continued:} (8. Bc4 Qe7 (8... d5 9. Qg3 $1 dxc4 10.
Bxc7 $16 {and Bxb8.}) 9. O-O-O O-O 10. Nge2 Nc6 11. a3 Bd7 12. Bg3 Kh7 13. Nf4
d5 (13... e5 $142 $1) 14. Bd3 Be8 $2 {Analysis Diagram [#]Critical Position
And now -- just like Max's game -- White suddenly explodes Black's
light-square "stonewall".} 15. h5 $1 $40 Nxh5 (15... g5 $2 16. Nxe6 $1 $18) 16.
Nxh5 gxh5 17. Bf4 {I don't think Black can save his h-pawns.} Bg6 18. Qh3 Bf6
19. Bg3 (19. g4 $3 $18 {Blasting the light squares.}) 19... Nd8 20. Ne2 Bg5 21.
Bh4 $6 (21. Nf4 $18) 21... c5 22. dxc5 Qxc5 23. Kb1 b5 24. Bxg5 hxg5 25. g4 $1
h4 26. f4 $1 Qe7 27. fxg5 Qxg5 28. Rdg1 f4 29. exf4 Qe7 30. f5 $1 {(1-0, 30)
Juhasz,A (2268)-Kula,D (2018) U16 Teams Gyor, 2014.}) 8... Kf7 9. Qf3 $146 (9.
Be2 $5 $146) (9. O-O-O Qe7 10. Bc4 Nbd7 11. Bb3 Nb6 12. Qf3 a5 13. a3 a4 14.
Ba2 Bd7 15. Qxb7 Rhb8 $44 {(½-½, 42) Admiraal,M (2336)-Van Oosterom,C (2384)
Haarlem, 2014.}) 9... Nc6 10. O-O-O Bd7 11. Bc4 d5 12. Bb3 a6 13. Nge2 b5 {
Diagram [#]} 14. Be5 ({Computers prefer} 14. a3 {keeping the B after ...Na5;
though I expect their human opponents would be happy to see the hook on a3 and
continue with ...Rb8 or ...a5 and ...b4 soon.}) 14... Nxe5 15. dxe5 Ng4 {
Diagram [#] GM Mihail Marin: "An original opening has led to an unusual
position. Black was forced to give up the right of castling, but if he manages
to keep the position closed his chances would be at least equal. The main
question is whether White can activate his b3–bishop for attacking purposes."
} 16. h5 $1 {Chipping away at the light-square stonewall.} (16. Nxd5 $2 Nxe5 $8
17. Qg3 c5 $1 {(to shut out the Bb3)} 18. f4 $1 Ng4 19. Nb6 $1 Ra7 20. Nxd7
Rxd7 21. c3 h5 $15 {Black has stablized the kingside and can look forward to
queenside play.}) 16... g5 $2 {It's hard to believe, but this move critically
weakens the Pf5.} (16... Nxe5 $142 17. hxg6+ Kg8 18. Qh5 $13 c5 (18... Be8 $140
$4 19. Rxd5 $1 $18) 19. Bxd5 exd5 20. Nxd5 $13) {[#]Critical Position} 17. Rxd5
$1 $16 Nxe5 (17... exd5 $2 18. Qxd5+ {is mating.}) 18. Rxd7+ $1 (18. Rxe5 $143
$5 Bxe5 19. Rd1 $1 $36 (19. Qxf5+ $2 Qf6 $15)) (18. Qxf5+ $143 exf5 19. Rxd7+
Ke8 20. Rxd8+ Rxd8 $13) 18... Qxd7 19. Qxf5+ Ke7 $8 20. Qe4 $1 {Diagram [#]
White has a pawn for the exchange, the better structure and the safer king.} c5
21. f4 $1 b4 $2 (21... gxf4 22. exf4 c4 23. fxe5 cxb3 24. axb3 $18 {For the
exchange, White has two pawns, an exposed enemy K, and some fine squares for
his Ns.}) (21... c4 $142 22. fxe5 cxb3 23. axb3 {is similar to 21...gxf4, but
White doesn't have Nf4-g6.}) {[#]} 22. Rd1 $8 $18 (22. Na4 $143 Qc6 $1 {forces
a Q exchange, after which Black's K will be much safer, though White will get
another pawn (or two).}) 22... Qc7 ({Unlike the previous note, now} 22... Qc6 {
doesn't force a Q exchange, and White has the choice between winning
prosaically with fxe5 or energetically with Nd5+.}) 23. fxe5 (23. Bxe6 $1 bxc3
24. Nxc3 Kxe6 25. fxe5 Qxe5 26. Qc6+ Kf7 (26... Kf5 27. Rf1+ {mates.}) 27. Rd7+
$18 {wins the Ra8 or the Q and B.}) 23... bxc3 {Diagram [#]White is winning
and Max stays alert enough to keep all Black's tricks relegated to the
variations.} 24. Rd6 $8 $18 {The only move to win.} (24. Nxc3 $4 Rad8 $13)
24... cxb2+ 25. Kb1 $8 (25. Kxb2 $4 Qxd6 $19 {Ouch.}) 25... Raf8 26. Ng3 $1 (
26. Qg6 $4 Rf1+ 27. Kxb2 Bxe5+ $19 {Double ouch.}) 26... Bxe5 27. Rxe6+ Kd8 28.
Rxe5 {Diagram [#] White has "only" two pieces for the R, but Rooks are
notoriously bad defenders, and all four of White's pieces are attacking
monsters, so Black's K is a sitting duck.} Rh7 29. Be6 Qb7 30. Rd5+ {White
will win the Rh7 without slowing his attack.} 1-0
[Event "2014 US Masters"]
[Site "Greensboro"]
[Date "2014.09.01"]
[Round "8"]
[White "Preotu, Razvan"]
[Black "Shimanov, Aleksandr "]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B12"]
[WhiteElo "2418"]
[BlackElo "2635"]
[Annotator "Razvan Preotu"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "4k2r/1p3ppp/p1r1p1b1/P2pP3/5QP1/2P1P2q/1P2B2P/R4RK1 b k - 0 19"]
[PlyCount "58"]
[EventDate "2014.08.28"]
[EventType "swiss"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "USA"]
[Source "CFC"]
[SourceDate "2015.06.27"]
{The following game and notes first appeared in Chess Canada 2014.11. This
was my round eight game against GM Aleksandr Shimanov in the US Masters held
in Greensboro, North Carolina. After having a slow start scoring 1.5/3 in the
first three rounds, the win in round seven against GM Marin Bosiocic gave me
good chances for my third and final IM norm. With 5/7 it looked like I needed
to get 1 point out of the last two rounds to get the norm. 6/9 might seem like
a lot for an IM norm, but because of my slow start, my opponents’ average
rating was fairly low. [#] Despite the damaged pawn structure, the pawns
provide open files for the white rooks. They can't be attacked as well, so
technically they aren't weaknesses.} 19... h6 (19... O-O 20. Rf3 Qh4 21. g5
Qxf4 22. Rxf4 $11 {it is better taking with the rook, leaving the fourth rank
open for a rook transfer.}) 20. Ra4 (20. Bd3 {was a nice idea, deflecting the
bishop from the defence of the f7 pawn. However, White has only a draw there:}
Bxd3 21. Rf3 $1 {It's important to chase the queen away so that e3 isn't
hanging.} Qh4 22. Qxf7+ Kd8 23. Qxb7 Be4 $1 24. Qxc6 Bxf3 {now White has to
force a perpetual after} 25. Qd6+ Ke8 26. Qxe6+ Kd8 (26... Kf8 $4 27. Rf1 $18 {
as g4 is defended.}) 27. Qd6+ Ke8 $11) 20... O-O 21. Rb4 Rc7 22. Rb6 Be4 23.
Qg3 {Diagram [#] The queen was very annoying, and White should force the queen
exchange despite damaging the structure.} Qxg3+ 24. hxg3 $15 {White's pawn
structure is damaged which gives Black a slight advantage, but the active
rooks make it hard to improve.} Re8 25. Bf3 Bxf3 26. Rxf3 {Diagram [#]} Ree7 (
26... g5 $1 {stopping the transfer of the rook to the kingside made more sense.
The white rook would have to transfer to the queenside through d4, which would
take longer and allow Black to activate his pieces.} 27. Rf1 Ree7 28. Kg2 (28.
Rd1 $2 {loses a pawn due to} Rc5 $1 29. Ra1 Rc4 $17) 28... Rc4 29. Rd1 Rxg4 30.
Rd4 Rxd4 31. exd4 $15 {Black is up a pawn, but with the white rook being very
active and having no weaknesses it will be very difficult to win.}) 27. Rf4 Kf8
(27... Kh7 {transfering the king to the kingside made more sense.}) 28. Kf2 Ke8
29. Ke2 Kd8 30. Kd2 Rc5 31. b4 Rc8 32. e4 dxe4 33. Rxe4 $11 {Diagram [#] If
White can advance the queenside pawns it will become a very dangerous position
for Black. However Black can stop them easily and I was expecting a draw soon.}
Rd7+ 34. Kc2 Rdc7 35. Rd4+ Ke8 36. Rd3 {Diagram [#]} Kf8 $6 {The start of a
wrong plan. We were both low on time and needed to get to move 40, and my
opponent was probably unsure about the possible pawn endgame.} ({It was better
to trade rooks with} 36... Rd8 37. Rxd8+ Kxd8 38. Rd6+ Ke7 39. Kd3 Rd7 40.
Rxd7+ Kxd7 41. Ke4 Kc6 42. c4 Kd7 $11 {which leads to a pawn endgame where
White can't improve because of the possibility of ...f6 creating a passed pawn.
}) 37. Kb3 Kg8 ({It is too late to go back with} 37... Ke7 $6 {since after} 38.
c4 Rd8 39. Rdd6 $16 {followed by c5 leads to a very bad passive position.}) 38.
Rbd6 Kh7 39. Rd7 {Diagram [#] Advancing the queenside pawns will become much
more dangerous with only one pair of rooks on the board.} Kg6 40. Rxc7 Rxc7 41.
c4 {Diagram [#]} Kg5 $2 {The decisive mistake.} (41... f6 $1 {creating the
passed e-pawn as soon as possible was the way to defend.} 42. b5 (42. exf6 Kxf6
43. b5 e5 44. bxa6 bxa6 45. Rd6+ Kg5 46. Rxa6 Kxg4 47. Re6 Kxg3 48. Rxe5 g5 $11
{leads to a big pawn race in which Black is just in time.}) 42... fxe5 43. b6
Rc6 {Analysis Diagram [#]} 44. Kb4 (44. Rd7 e4 {Black's e-pawn is just in time
with counterplay.} 45. Rxb7 e3 46. Rxg7+ (46. Kc3 $4 Rd6 $19) 46... Kxg7 47. b7
e2 48. b8=Q e1=Q 49. Qb7+ Kf6 50. Qxc6 Qb1+ $11) 44... e4 45. Re3 Kf6 46. Rxe4
Ke7 $11 {the queenside pawns are stopped and White can't improve.}) 42. b5 $1 {
In pawn races the most important thing is how far they are advanced, not the
number of pawns.} (42. Rd4 $2 f6 $11 {and Black gets enough counterplay.})
42... axb5 43. cxb5 $18 {Diagram [#]} f6 (43... Kxg4 44. b6 Re7 (44... Rc5 45.
Rd4+ Kxg3 46. a6 $1 bxa6 47. b7 Rb5+ 48. Rb4 $18) 45. Rc3 {the rook invasion
is decisive.} Re8 46. Rc7 Rb8 47. Kb4 Kxg3 48. Kb5 h5 49. Rxb7 Rxb7 50. a6 $18)
44. b6 Rf7 (44... Rc5 45. Rd7 {and the threat of mate gives an important tempo.
} fxe5 46. Kb4 $18 {the pawns on the queenside are decisive.}) 45. exf6 e5 46.
Rc3 Rxf6 47. Rc7 Rf3+ 48. Kb4 {An important win which guaranteed the IM norm,
as with 6/8 I would be playing with another high-rated opponent in the final
round. I was paired against GM Kayden Troff rated 2514, and even if I lost I
would get the norm. This definitely helped since there was no more pressure
anymore and I was able to play a very good game. I quickly equalized as Black
and was better throughout most of the game, even winning at one point. However,
Troff defended very well and one mistake on my part allowed him to draw.
With 6.5/9 I was able to be part of a massive tie for 3rd, which won me $850.
But the thing that I will be remembering the most is getting the final IM norm,
and the IM title with it!} 1-0
[Event "Kitchener ChessFest"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2014.08.03"]
[Round "5"]
[White "MacInnis, Jamie"]
[Black "NN"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C34"]
[Annotator "John Upper"]
[PlyCount "15"]
[EventDate "2014.??.??"]
[Source "CFC"]
[SourceDate "2015.06.27"]
1. e4 e5 2. f4 exf4 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. d4 d5 5. Nc3 $2 (5. exd5 $14) 5... dxe4 6.
Nxe4 {Diagram [#]} Nf6 (6... Qe7 $142 $17 7. Qe2 $140 Bf5 $1 8. Nc3 Nb4 $1 $17)
7. Qe2 Nxd4 $4 8. Nxf6# 1-0
[Event "41st Olympiad Tromso"]
[Site "Tromso"]
[Date "2014.08.04"]
[Round "3.4"]
[White "Starr, Nava"]
[Black "Pires, Luzia"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C46"]
[WhiteElo "2145"]
[BlackElo "1538"]
[Annotator "John Upper"]
[PlyCount "16"]
[EventType "team-swiss"]
[EventRounds "11"]
[EventCountry "NOR"]
[Source "CFC"]
[SourceDate "2015.06.27"]
[WhiteTeam "Canada (W)"]
[BlackTeam "Angola (W)"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "CAN"]
[BlackTeamCountry "ANG"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 Bc5 4. Nxe5 {Diagram [#]} Bxf2+ $2 {No strong
players choose this: in return for some short term incovenience with the K,
White gets a central majority, the B pair, and a lead in development.
Interestingly though, among lower-rated players Black actually scores an Elo+
after Bxf2.} (4... Nxe5 $142 5. d4 Bd6 6. dxe5 Bxe5 7. f4 (7. Bd3 d6 8. Bd2 Ne7
9. f4 Bd4 10. Qf3 Nc6 11. O-O-O $14 {(1/2-1/2, 43) Fressinet,L -Bacrot,E
Villandry (rapid), 2012.}) 7... Bxc3+ 8. bxc3 d6 9. Qd4 Qh4+ 10. g3 Qe7 11. Bg2
Nf6 12. O-O O-O 13. Ba3 c5 14. Qd3 $13 Rd8 15. Rab1 Rb8 16. c4 b6 17. Rbe1 Ba6
18. Bh3 Re8 19. e5 dxe5 20. fxe5 Rbd8 21. Qc3 Nh5 $2 (21... Nd7 $8) 22. g4 Rd4
$4 23. Qxd4 cxd4 24. Bxe7 Rxe7 25. gxh5 Bxc4 26. Rf4 {1-0 Paulsen,L-Anderssen,
A Leipzig, 1877.}) 5. Kxf2 Nxe5 6. d4 {Diagram [#]} Qf6+ (6... Ng6 7. Be2 N8e7
8. h4 $1 h6 9. h5 Nf8 10. Qd3 Ne6 $2 11. d5 $1 Ng5 12. Bxg5 (12. Qd4 $1) 12...
hxg5 13. Qg3 f6 14. d6 $1 cxd6 15. Qxd6 O-O 16. Rad1 (16. h6 $1) 16... Kh7 17.
Bg4 f5 18. Bxf5+ Nxf5 19. Qg6+ Kg8 20. exf5 Rf6 {Diagram [#]White is up a pawn,
can win another on g5, has all his pieces developed, and (as if to rub Black's
nose in it) hasn't even had to move his K from f2. Spraggett finishes in
style:} 21. Nd5 $3 Rxg6 22. hxg6 d6 23. Rde1 {1-0 Spraggett,K (2530)-Rodriguez
Vargas,O (2440) Platja d'Aro, 1994.}) 7. Kg1 Ne7 {Diagram [#]} 8. dxe5 $4 {
This will be the fourth game in the Megabase where White has lost this way.} (
8. Be3 $16) 8... Qb6+ {It's mate next.} 0-1
[Event "2014 Battle of Alberta"]
[Site "Red Deer"]
[Date "2014.09.13"]
[Round "2.7"]
[White "Shi, Diwen"]
[Black "Gardner, Robert"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B07"]
[WhiteElo "2194"]
[BlackElo "2225"]
[Annotator "John Upper"]
[PlyCount "27"]
[EventDate "2014.09.13"]
[EventRounds "2"]
[EventCountry "CAN"]
[Source "CFC"]
[SourceDate "2015.06.27"]
[WhiteTeam "South"]
[BlackTeam "North"]
[WhiteTeamCountry "CAN"]
[BlackTeamCountry "CAN"]
1. e4 d6 2. d4 Nf6 3. Nc3 g6 4. Bg5 Bg7 5. Qd2 {Diagram [#]} O-O ({Black
usually chases the B with:} 5... h6 6. Bh4 g5 7. Bg3 Nh5 8. O-O-O c6 9. Nce2 $5
{stops ...Qa5 and if ...Nxg3 then Ne2xg3 heading for h5.} Qb6 10. e5 dxe5 11.
Bxe5 Nf6 12. h4 $36 {(1-0, 75) Motylev,A (2676)-Kasimdzhanov,R (2687) Wijk aan
Zee, 2009.}) 6. O-O-O c5 $2 ({Black's usual recipee is to play for a pawn
expansion on the queenside with:} 6... c6 7. Kb1 b5 8. f3 Nbd7 9. e5 b4 $5 {
(Vigus, Pirc in Black and White)} (9... Ne8 10. h4 f6 11. exf6 exf6 12. Be3 d5
13. h5 $36 {(1-0, 61) Motylev,A (2634)-Sturua,Z (2545) Dubai, 2003.}) 10. exf6
exf6 11. Bf4 bxc3 12. Qxc3 {Black will have to give up a center pawn since he
can't hold them after} Qc7 13. Qa3 $16 {and it doesn't look like he gets much
for it.}) 7. dxc5 Qa5 8. cxd6 {Diagram [#]} Nxe4 $2 {Not Black's day.} (8...
exd6 9. Bc4 Nc6 {Black doesn't even have a slight development advantage to
make up for the pawn minus and bad structure.} 10. Nf3 (10. f3 $16) 10... Bg4 {
(0-1, 49) Fercec,N (2492)-Bosnjak,N (2186) Sibenik, 2010.}) 9. Nxe4 Qxa2 (9...
Bxb2+ 10. Kxb2 Qe5+ 11. Qd4 {defends everything.}) 10. Qb4 $18 {Defends b2 and
creates an escape square on d2. Black is losing.} Bf5 11. dxe7 Nc6 12. Qa3 Qe6
13. exf8=Q+ Bxf8 14. Nf6+ 1-0
[Event "Montreal op"]
[Site "Montreal"]
[Date "2014.09.07"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Hambleton, Aman"]
[Black "Sambuev, Bator"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D32"]
[WhiteElo "2616"]
[BlackElo "2672"]
[Annotator "John Upper"]
[PlyCount "95"]
[EventDate "2014.09.05"]
[EventType "swiss"]
[EventRounds "5"]
[EventCountry "CAN"]
[Source "CFC"]
[SourceDate "2015.06.27"]
{When I first played through this game I thought Bator had over-pressed when
he should have forced a perpetual, after which Aman won with no trouble. In
fact, White had to play a whole series of "only moves" to avoid losing, and
then more "only moves" to win the ending.} 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 c5 4. cxd5
cxd4 {Diagram [#]The Hennig-Schara Gambit. Black gives up a pawn but gets a
big lead in development. In this game White plays the theoretically approved
mainline, which features opposite side castling and pawn stroms. 2700s don't
play it as Black, but below that level there's plenty of trouble for White to
cope with Black's play, and that suits Bator's style.} 5. Qa4+ (5. Qxd4 Nc6 6.
Qd1 exd5 7. Qxd5 {gives Black the choice of transposing to the mainline with ..
.Bd7, or an endgame with} Be6 8. Qxd8+ Rxd8 $32) 5... Bd7 6. Qxd4 exd5 7. Qxd5
Nc6 8. Nf3 Nf6 {Diagram [#]Still the main line. In "Starting Out: The Queen's
Gambit", John Shaw writes: "I should confess my bias here - I don't believe in
the Hennig-Schara Gambit.... White's completely solid structure should be too
strong to crack.... I still find it shocking that the Hennig-Schara has a main
line!"} 9. Qd1 (9. Qb3 Be6 {What happens on Qxb7?} 10. Qa4 (10. Qxb7 Nb4 {
threatening mate on c2 forces a draw:} 11. Nd4 (11. Qb5+ Bd7 12. Qe5+ $8 Be6
13. Qb5+ $8 $11) 11... Rb8 12. Qxa7 Ra8 $11) 10... Bc5 11. e3 a6 12. Be2 O-O
13. O-O b5 14. Qh4 h6 15. Rd1 Qb6 16. b3 $14 {(½-½, 29) Gerzhoy,L (2478)
-Rakhmanov,A (2603) Continental Class, Arlington, 2013.}) 9... Bc5 10. e3 Qe7 {
Diagram [#]} 11. Be2 (11. a3 $5 O-O-O 12. Qc2 g5 13. Be2 g4 14. Nd2 $14 {(0-1,
40) Braun,A (2564)-Nisipeanu,L (2674) Germany, 2014.}) 11... O-O-O 12. O-O g5
$1 {Taking this pawn would be nuts.} 13. b4 $1 {Diagram [#] The theoretically
approved line: White gives back the pawn to develop his Bc1 on the long
diagonal (weakened by ...g5) and open c1 for a Rook. After ...Bxb4 material
will be equal, but White has a half-open b-file to attack Black's K, which is
protected by only two pawns while the White K is protected by four.} Bxb4 14.
Bb2 ({Here's a fun simul game by The Beast:} 14. Qc2 g4 15. Nd4 Nxd4 16. exd4
Kb8 17. Bf4+ Ka8 18. Nb5 Bxb5 19. Bxb5 Rxd4 20. Be3 Rdd8 21. Rac1 Bd6 22. Qa4
Bb8 23. Rfe1 Qd6 24. g3 h5 {Diagram [#]Critical Position} 25. Rc6 $3 Qe5 26.
Ra6 $1 Rd4 27. Qxd4 {1-0 Kasparov,G (2825)-Netzer,J (1730) Colmar simul, 1998.}
) 14... g4 15. Nd4 Kb8 16. Ncb5 {Diagram [#]} Nxd4 $146 (16... Ne5 17. Qb3 Rhg8
$4 {Diagram [#]Critical Position} 18. Rad1 $2 (18. Ne6 $142 $3 $18 Bxe6 19.
Bxe5+ Ka8 20. Qa4 a6 21. Nc7+ Ka7 22. Bxa6 $18) 18... Rg5 19. Ba3 Bxa3 20. Qxa3
Qxa3 21. Nxa3 Ne4 $11 {(0-1, 69) Shishkin,V (2492)-Fodor,T (2502) Baia Sprie,
2012.}) 17. Nxd4 h5 18. Qb3 Ne4 19. Rfd1 $5 {Stops ...Nd2, but weakening f2
gives Black chances to force a draw; OTOH, Rad1 makes it harder for White to
increase queenside pressure.} Bd6 {Diagram [#]} 20. Nb5 $4 {Opens an attack on
the Rh8 and the Bd6, but it leaves the Be2 unprotected and should lose the
game.} (20. Rac1 $142 {though} Bxh2+ {lets Black force a draw.}) 20... Bxb5 $4
{Black misses a win. The complete analysis can be found in Chess Canada 2014.
11. One key point is that leaving White's B on e2 gives Black extra threats in
the following lines:} (20... Bxh2+ $1 $19 21. Kxh2 Qh4+ 22. Kg1 Qxf2+ {
Analysis Diagram [#]} 23. Kh1 (23. Kh2 Qg3+ (23... Rhe8 24. Bd4) 24. Kg1 f6 $1
$40) 23... f6 $1 {in addition to having two pawns for the piece, the Be2 is
hanging.} 24. Bc4 (24. Qa3 {threatening mate on a7 gives Black a reason to
take on b5, and so indirectly saves the Be2, but} Bxb5 25. Bxb5 Qh4+ 26. Kg1 g3
$19) (24. Qa4 Bxb5 25. Bxb5 (25. Qxb5 Ng3+ {Black wins back his piece with a
winning material advantage.}) 25... Qh4+ 26. Kg1 g3 {defends the Ne4 and
creates a mating net.}) 24... Bc6 $1 $40 {is simplest: White's K is too weak.})
21. Qxb5 $8 (21. Bxb5 $2 Bxh2+ 22. Kxh2 Qh4+ 23. Kg1 Qxf2+ 24. Kh1 Qh4+ $8 25.
Kg1 g3 26. Bd4 {Lets the K escape across the d-file, but not for free...} Qh2+
27. Kf1 Qh1+ 28. Ke2 Qxg2+ 29. Kd3 Nc5+ $19) 21... Bxh2+ 22. Kxh2 Qh4+ 23. Kg1
Qxf2+ 24. Kh2 $8 Qg3+ {Diagram [#]} 25. Kh1 $8 (25. Kg1 $2 Qxe3+ $19 {Black
has an extra pawn and the attack.}) 25... f6 26. Bd4 Qh4+ 27. Kg1 Qf2+ 28. Kh2
Rxd4 {Diagram [#]} 29. Rxd4 $8 (29. exd4 $2 Qg3+ 30. Kh1 (30. Kg1 Qe3+ 31. Kh2
g3+ 32. Kh1 Nf2+ 33. Kg1 Nh3+ 34. Kh1 Qg1+ 35. Rxg1 Nf2#) 30... Nf2+ 31. Kg1
Nh3+ 32. Kh1 Nf4 33. Bf1 Qh4+ 34. Kg1 g3 $19) 29... g3+ (29... Qg3+ $11) 30.
Kh1 $8 $14 (30. Kh3 $2 Ng5+ 31. Kh4 Qxg2 $19) 30... Qxe3 $8 {Diagram [#]} 31.
Rxe4 $8 (31. Bf3 $2 Nf2+ 32. Kg1 Nd1+ {or smothered mate with ...Nh3+.}) 31...
Qxe4 32. Qc4 $8 (32. Qd3 $4 Qh4+ 33. Kg1 Qh2+ 34. Kf1 Qh1#) 32... Qxc4 33. Bxc4
Rc8 34. Bb3 b5 35. Kg1 a5 36. Kf1 Rc5 37. Ke2 {Diagram [#]} Rf5 $2 (37... a4
$142) 38. Rf1 $1 {White correctly judges that the B vs pawns ending is winning.
} Rxf1 (38... Re5+ 39. Kd3 f5 40. Kd4 Re2 41. Bd5 Rf2 42. Rh1 $18) 39. Kxf1 Kc7
40. Ke2 a4 41. Bf7 h4 (41... b4 42. Kf3 $18) 42. Kf3 f5 $1 {Diagram [#]
Critical Position} ({Black can immediately resign if he doesn't stop Kg4,
which wins all his kingside pawns.} 42... b4 43. Kg4 $8 $18) 43. Be8 $8 $18 (
43. a3 $2 Kb6 44. Be6 b4 $8 $11 45. axb4 a3 $8 46. Bc4 $8 Kc6 $11 {White's K
has to stay close to the Pg3 or ...h3 wins.}) (43. Kf4 $2 b4 44. Be6 (44. Kxf5
$4 h3 $19) (44. Be8 $4 b3 $19) 44... h3 45. Kxg3 $8 hxg2 46. Kxg2 b3 47. a3 (
47. Bxb3 axb3 48. axb3 $11) 47... Kd6 48. Bxf5 Ke5 49. Bg6 Kd4 $11 {and White
will have to give up the B for the b-pawn.}) (43. Bg6 $2 {(or Be6)} b4 $8 44.
Bxf5 b3 $8 45. axb3 h3 $8 (45... axb3 $2 46. Kg4 $1 $18 {prevents Black from
turning White's g-pawn into an unpromotable h-pawn.}) 46. gxh3 axb3 $11 47.
Kxg3 Kd6 48. Kf4 Ke7 $8 $11 {and Black's K gets to h8 for the draw.}) 43... Kb6
44. Bd7 $8 (44. a3 $4 b4 $8 $19 45. axb4 a3 46. Bf7 Kb5 {and Black will force
White to give up his B to stop the a-pawn, and then walk across the board to
win on the kingside.} 47. Kf4 Kxb4 {Once again, White can't take on f5 with
the King because Black creates an unstoppable passer with ...h3:} 48. Kxf5 h3
$19) (44. Kf4 $2 {just loses a tempo, since White can't take on f5 with his K:}
Ka5 $11 45. Bd7 (45. Kxf5 $4 h3 $19) 45... b4 46. Bxf5 b3 $8 $11 47. a3 (47.
axb3 a3 $8 48. Bb1 h3 $1 $11 {simplest.}) 47... b2 48. Bb1 Kb5 {Diagram [#]}
49. Ba2 (49. Kg4 Kc4 50. Ba2+ Kc3 51. Kxh4 Kc2 52. Kxg3 b1=Q 53. Bxb1+ Kxb1 {
and both players promote.}) 49... h3 50. Kxg3 hxg2 51. Kxg2 Kc5 52. Kf2 Kd4 53.
Ke2 Kc3 54. Kd1 b1=Q+ $1 55. Bxb1 Kb3 $11) 44... Kc5 45. Bxf5 b4 {The
trickiest. Here we see the difference between 43.Bg6 (which draws) and 43.Be8
(winning): White is up one critical tempo, having captured f5 before Black had
a chance to play ...b4. White won the tempo because after Be8 Black had to
make two ultimately useless moves with his King to save his a- and b-pawns,
which gave White an extra move to prepare to take on f5 with his Bishop (since
his K can't do it).} (45... Kb4 46. Kg4 Ka3 47. Be6 b4 48. Kxh4 $18) 46. Bc2 h3
47. gxh3 $8 b3 48. Bxb3 $8 ({The extra pawn is winning, an extra B is not:} 48.
axb3 $4 axb3 49. Bxb3 Kd6 $11 {and White's last pawn is in the wrong corner
for the B.}) 1-0
[Event "WYCC U10"]
[Site "Durban"]
[Date "2014.09.22"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Arul, Samesh"]
[Black "Zhong, Wenxuan"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B30"]
[Annotator "John Upper"]
[PlyCount "14"]
[EventType "swiss"]
[EventRounds "11"]
[EventCountry "RSA"]
[Source "CFC"]
[SourceDate "2015.06.27"]
1. e4 c5 2. Bc4 Nc6 3. Nf3 a6 4. Ng5 $2 {Diagram [#] I get the sense that
White has not seen anything other than 1...e5 defences before.} e6 $1 ({
Improves on Kraemer,F-Song,R (1275) Koblenz, 2006, which ended:} 4... h6 5.
Bxf7# {1-0}) 5. Qf3 $4 Qxg5 6. d3 Qxc1+ 7. Ke2 Nd4# 0-1
[Event "FRA-ch U10 Girls"]
[Site "Calvi"]
[Date "2005.04.21"]
[Round "6"]
[White "Bertrand, Oriane"]
[Black "Zhou, Qiyu"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C55"]
[Annotator "Qiyu Zhou"]
[PlyCount "28"]
[EventDate "2005.04.??"]
[EventRounds "9"]
[EventCountry "FRA"]
[Source "CFC"]
[SourceDate "2015.06.27"]
{I didn't write or keep any scoresheets when I was 5, so what games I could
find are courtesy of the databases. Sometime in 2005 I won the open section
in the Finnish Youth Chess Championship, and being the official representative
I played my first international tournament at the age of five. Back then, they
didn't have any U8 sections, so I was stuck playing in the U10 against people
five years older than me. According to the tournament details (which isn't a
whole lot) of this game, it was played in the French Youth Championship.} 1. e4
e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 {Diagram [#]} Bc5 ({I had learned from the qualifier} 3...
Nf6 4. Ng5 {what can I say? This move was quite popular among the juniors 10
years ago.} d5 5. exd5 Nxd5 ({Now I know to play} 5... Na5) 6. Nxf7 Kxf7 7.
Qf3+ Ke8 (7... Ke6 {keeping the knight obviously. However} 8. Nc3 Ncb4 9. a3
Nxc2+ 10. Kd1 Nxa1 11. Nxd5 {still looks sketchy for Black.}) 8. Bxd5 Nd4 9.
Qf7# {1-0 Brunet Malines, P - Zhou,Q/Calvi 2005. In my defense, I was five.})
4. O-O Nf6 5. Ng5 {I'm pretty sure if I played the same girl now she would not
make this move.} O-O 6. Nc3 d6 7. Nf3 Bg4 {Diagram [#]} 8. d3 ({Probably this
would've been better} 8. h3) 8... Nd4 9. h3 Nxf3+ 10. gxf3 Bxh3 11. Re1 Nh5 12.
Be3 Bxe3 13. fxe3 Qg5+ 14. Kf2 Qg2# {A short game. To be honest I would not
have changed much even if I had played it today. I tied for second in this
tournament.} 0-1
[Event "WYCC 2008 Girls U8"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2008.10.30"]
[Round "11"]
[White "Zhou, Qiyu"]
[Black "Mammadzada, Gunay"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D53"]
[Annotator "Qiyu Zhou"]
[PlyCount "107"]
[EventDate "2008.??.??"]
[Source "CFC"]
[SourceDate "2015.06.27"]
{This game was one of the highlights of my childhood. I was representing
Finland at this stage. Being the last round of the tournament, it was crucial.
It was especially crucial because it was a podium-deciding game in the World
Youth. Just a note: I was eight, playing the U-8 Girls section. The
tournament itself was held in Vung Tau, a beach city on the southern side of
Vietnam. I was eight at this time, so I didn't care much for things such as
tanning, but I did enjoy the warm weather and the waters.} 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3.
Nf3 Nf6 4. Bg5 c6 5. e3 Be7 6. Nc3 b6 7. cxd5 exd5 8. Be2 Bb7 9. O-O O-O 10.
Rc1 {Diagram [#] I remember prepping until here.} Nbd7 11. a3 c5 12. Nd2 a6 13.
a4 {I don't really understand why I played this.} ({I would consider} 13. Re1 {
here}) 13... Rc8 14. Bf3 Bc6 15. Re1 Re8 16. Nf1 Nf8 17. b3 N8d7 18. Ng3 h6 19.
Bxf6 Nxf6 20. Qc2 {Diagram [#] I have no idea what I was trying to do with the
queen. But c2 seems like an awkward place to put it.} ({If I really wanted to
go to a2 I should have tried} 20. Qd2) 20... Bb7 21. Nge2 Qd7 22. Qa2 Bd6 23.
Red1 cxd4 24. Nxd4 Be5 25. Nce2 Nh7 26. g3 Ng5 27. Bg2 Bf6 28. b4 {Diagram [#]
I guess the queen on a2 is useful after all.} Qd6 29. Nc2 Rc4 {This move
really shocked me at first. I mean, it is a free rook. So after thinking for
five minutes (and practically jumping in my seat) I took it.} 30. Qxc4 Qe6 31.
Bxd5 {Diagram [#] Somewhere around this point the Finnish team captain came
over to look at my game. However, due to the fact that we were playing on an
elevated stage, he could not see the position clearly. After the round he told
me he thought I was only up a pawn, when in fact, it was a whole rook} Bxd5 32.
Qxd5 Qh3 33. Qg2 Qg4 34. Ncd4 Bxd4 35. Nxd4 Rd8 36. Re1 Rd6 37. Qa8+ Kh7 38.
Qc8 Qh5 39. Qf5+ g6 40. Qc2 Rf6 41. f4 Nh3+ {Diagram [#]} 42. Kh1 ({I would
have definitely played} 42. Kg2 {now. The knight is practically trapped.})
42... Qd5+ 43. Qg2 Nf2+ 44. Kg1 Qxg2+ 45. Kxg2 Nd3 46. Kf3 Nxe1+ 47. Rxe1 Rd6
48. Rc1 Rd7 49. Rc6 Rb7 50. Ke4 Kg7 51. Kd5 Kf8 52. Kd6 Rb8 53. Kc7 Rd8 54.
Kxb6 {Now for the painful waiting game. The thing was, the result on board
three was important for me. If Wang Kelly from Canada had won her game against
Nominerdene Davaademberel (I've met and played against her a couple times
since then), I would have come third on tiebreaks. In the end, with 0.5 ahead
of third and fourth place, I finished with 8.5 and came second. The podium
winners; Abdumalik Zhansaya is now a WGM. Zhansaya, me, and Mammadzada kept
playing each other year after year. I believe we've all been at the same World
Youth 5 times. So now I have won my first international medal. I can wait 6
years for my next one. The second one would come 6 years later.} 1-0
[Event "Nordic School Championship"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2009.02.13"]
[Round "2"]
[White "Qiyu, Zhou"]
[Black "Aryan, Tari"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "B22"]
[BlackElo "1876"]
[Annotator "Qiyu Zhou"]
[PlyCount "141"]
[EventDate "2009.02.13"]
[Source "CFC"]
[SourceDate "2015.06.27"]
{So now I am one year older, playing the Nordic School Chess Championships on
a little beautiful island in the middle of the Atlantic called Faroe. Tari
Aryan is still one of the strongest juniors in Norway, now a IM, soon to
become a GM.} 1. e4 c5 2. c3 d5 3. exd5 Qxd5 4. d4 e6 5. Nf3 Nf6 6. Be3 cxd4 {
Diagram [#]} 7. Bxd4 {Kind of a strange move. Maybe taking with the knight at
least would have made sense.} ({I would have definitely taken with the c-pawn
now.} 7. cxd4 Bb4+ 8. Nc3 O-O 9. Bd3 b6) 7... Nc6 8. Be2 Be7 9. O-O O-O 10. Be3
b6 11. Qc2 Bb7 12. Rd1 Qe4 {Diagram [#]} 13. Qxe4 ({I would have played} 13.
Bd3 {nowadays. The queen exchange doesn't favour White that much.}) 13... Nxe4
14. Rd7 (14. Nbd2 {my nine-year-old self had this in my notes. I probably
thought I should have developed first.}) 14... Rab8 15. h3 Bd6 16. Ng5 (16.
Nbd2 {would have been better} Nxd2 17. Rxd6 Nxf3+ 18. Bxf3 $14) 16... Nxg5 17.
Bxg5 Be5 18. f4 f6 {Diagram [#]} 19. Bc4 {I messed up the order.} (19. fxe5
fxg5 20. Bc4 Rfe8 21. Rd6 Kf7 {and White is doing decently well;} 22. Na3 Nxe5
23. Rf1+ Kg8 24. Bxe6+) 19... Bc8 20. Rd1 (20. Bxe6+ Kh8 21. fxe5 Bxd7 22. Bxd7
Nxe5 {would have been very interesting, and possibly slightly better for White.
}) 20... Bc7 21. Bh4 Bxf4 22. Na3 Ne5 23. Bb3 a6 {Diagram [#]} 24. Bf2 Re8 25.
g3 Bh6 26. Nc4 Nxc4 27. Bxc4 b5 28. Bb3 Kh8 29. Rd6 e5 30. h4 Bb7 31. Rad1 e4
32. Bf7 Rf8 33. Bc5 {Diagram [#]} Be3+ (33... Rxf7 $4 34. Rd8+ $18) 34. Bxe3
Rxf7 35. Bf4 Re8 36. Be3 h6 37. Rd7 Ree7 38. R7d6 Kh7 39. h5 Re5 40. Rd7 Rxd7
41. Rxd7 Bc8 42. Rc7 Bg4 43. Rc5 Rxc5 (43... Rxh5 44. Rxh5 Bxh5 {same thing
really}) 44. Bxc5 Bxh5 {Diagram [#] I'm down two pawns in an opposite-coloured
bishop ending. It could have been worse.} 45. b3 Kg6 46. Be3 f5 ({Perhaps
bringing out the king first} 46... Kf5 47. Bc5 g5 48. Bf8 e3 49. Bxh6 Kg4 50.
Kg2 Bg6 51. Bf8 Be4+ 52. Kf1 Kxg3 53. Be7 f5 54. Bxg5 f4 {This looks really
shaky, and I think White is practically lost.}) 47. c4 bxc4 48. bxc4 Kf7 49. c5
Ke6 50. Bd4 g6 51. Bg7 Kd5 52. Kf2 Kxc5 53. Bxh6 a5 54. Ke3 Kc4 55. Bf8 a4 56.
a3 {Diagram [#]} Kc3 57. Bb4+ Kc2 58. Bc5 Kd1 59. Bb4 Kc2 60. Bc5 Kc3 61. Bb4+
Kc4 62. Bd6 Kd5 63. Be7 Ke6 64. Bg5 Kf7 65. Kf4 Kg7 66. Ke3 Kf7 67. Kf4 Ke6 68.
Ke3 Ke5 69. Bh4 f4+ {Now it is a draw for sure.} 70. gxf4+ Kf5 71. Bg5 {We
both still remember this game.} 1/2-1/2
[Event "WYCC U U10g"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2010.10.30"]
[Round "11"]
[White "Zhou, Qiyu"]
[Black "Nominerdene, Davaademberel"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B50"]
[BlackElo "1755"]
[Annotator "Qiyu Zhou"]
[PlyCount "52"]
[EventDate "2010.??.??"]
[EventType "tourn"]
[EventCategory "11"]
[Source "CFC"]
[SourceDate "2015.06.27"]
{I had won against Nominerdene the previous time I played her (in 2008). This
was the last round of the 2010 World Youth, and it cost me a spot on the
podium.} 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. b3 {Diagram [#] I haven't played this move ever
since.} d6 4. Bb2 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. d4 cxd4 7. Nxd4 Qc7 8. Be2 Be7 9. O-O b5 10.
a3 Bb7 11. Bd3 Nbd7 12. Kh1 O-O {Diagram [#]} 13. f3 ({Today I probably
would've played} 13. f4 {here}) 13... d5 14. Re1 (14. exd5 $142 Nxd5 15. Nxd5
Bxd5) 14... Bd6 $2 {Diagram [#]} 15. h3 $4 ({Simply winning was} 15. Ncxb5 axb5
16. Nxb5 Qb8 17. Nxd6 Qxd6 18. e5 Nxe5 19. Bxe5 Qe7 {with a powerful set of
passed pawns.}) 15... Be5 $17 16. Bf1 $2 Rfd8 ({Black wins with} 16... Qc5 $142
17. Nde2 (17. Nce2 dxe4) 17... dxe4) 17. exd5 Nxd5 18. Nxd5 Bxd5 19. Bd3 ({
editor -} 19. Qe2 $142) 19... Bf6 20. Rb1 Nc5 21. Ne2 {Diagram [#]} Bh4 $1 22.
Rf1 Bxb3 $1 {I'm actually so lost.} 23. cxb3 Nxd3 24. Bd4 Nf2+ 25. Rxf2 Bxf2
26. Rc1 Qb7 {First place went to Nominerdene, and if I had won, I would have
come second. However, that did not happen, and Zhansaya (the girl who won the
U8 in 2008, and multiple times after that) came second.} 0-1
[Event "2013 Canadian Open"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2013.07.20"]
[Round "9"]
[White "Matsytsyn, Vitaly"]
[Black "Zhou, Qiyu"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B70"]
[BlackElo "2160"]
[Annotator "John Upper"]
[PlyCount "48"]
[EventType "game"]
[Source "CFC"]
[SourceDate "2015.06.27"]
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 g6 6. Bb5+ Bd7 7. Bg5 Bg7 8.
Qe2 O-O {Diagram [#]} 9. O-O (9. O-O-O a6 10. Bxd7 Nbxd7 (10... Nfxd7 $5) 11.
h4 Rc8 12. Rh3 b5 (12... Qa5 13. Kb1 Rfe8 14. Nb3 Qc7 15. h5 Qc4 16. Qxc4 Rxc4
17. hxg6 fxg6 18. f3 $13 {(0-1, 64) Floyd,B-Ochkoos,J Labour Day Open, 1992.})
13. Nd5 Rc4 14. Nxf6+ $15 {(0-1, 40) Southam,D-Kiviaho,B Ontario, 1992.}) 9...
Nc6 10. Nb3 Rc8 11. Rad1 Ne5 {Diagram [#]} 12. f4 $2 Bg4 $1 13. Qe3 Bxd1 14.
fxe5 Ng4 $8 (14... Nd7 $2 15. exd6 $18) 15. Qxa7 (15. Qd2 Bxc2 16. Qxc2 Qb6+
17. Kh1 Qxb5 $19 {e.g.} 18. Qd1 Qd7 (18... Rxc3 $19) 19. Nd5 f6 $19) 15... Bxc2
$8 16. Qxb7 Bxb3 17. axb3 Rc7 (17... Bxe5 $1 18. Nd5 $140 Rb8 $1 $19) 18. Qb6
Bxe5 19. Nd5 {Diagram [#]Critical Position} Rc5 $3 $19 {Blocks the white
Queen's defence of the a7-g1 diagonal, attacks the undefended Qb6, attacks the
Bb5... and commits Black to a Queen sac.} (19... Rc8 $4 20. Nxe7+ {and the Ne7
moves with check allowing Bxd8.} Kh8) (19... h6 {lets Black untangle, but
doesn't win:} 20. Bxe7 Rxe7 {(Black can toss in ...Bxh2+ anywhere here.)} 21.
Qxd8 Rxd8 22. Nxe7+ Kg7 23. h3 Bd4+ 24. Kh1 Nf2+ $15) 20. Nxe7+ (20. Qxd8 Rxd8
21. Bc4 Ra8 22. Nxe7+ Kh8 $19 {both sides have loose pawns, but Black is up an
exchange.}) 20... Kh8 $8 (20... Kg7 $4 21. Nf5+ $18 {turns into a much better,
probably winning BB vs R ending:} gxf5 22. Bxd8 Bd4+ 23. Kh1 Nf2+ 24. Rxf2 Rc1+
25. Rf1 Rxf1+ 26. Bxf1 Bxb6 27. Bxb6 fxe4 $16) (20... Qxe7 $2 21. Bxe7 Bd4+ 22.
Kh1 Nf2+ 23. Rxf2 Rc1+ 24. Rf1 Rxf1+ 25. Bxf1 Bxb6 26. Bxf8 {and White has the
better side of a draw.}) 21. Nxg6+ (21. Qxd8 Rxd8 22. Nxg6+ fxg6 23. Bxd8 Rxb5
$19 {the attack on the Bb5 was essential.}) 21... fxg6 $8 {Diagram [#] The
attack down the open f-file leaves White's back rank too weak.} 22. Bxd8 Bd4+ (
{The Rf1 is protected by the Bb5, so this loses:} 22... Bxh2+ $4 23. Kh1 Rxf1+
24. Bxf1 $18) 23. Kh1 (23. Rf2 Rc1+ 24. Bf1 Bxf2+ 25. Kh1 Rxf1#) 23... Nf2+ 24.
Kg1 Nd3+ {Blocks the defence of f1 and forces mate.} 0-1
[Event "RACC Eric Hansen Simul"]
[Site "Ottawa"]
[Date "2014.04.17"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Hansen, Eric"]
[Black "Zhou, Qiyu"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C93"]
[Annotator "John Upper"]
[PlyCount "72"]
[EventDate "2014.04.17"]
[EventType "simul"]
[EventCountry "CAN"]
[Source "CFC"]
[SourceDate "2015.06.27"]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O b5 6. Bb3 Be7 7. Re1 d6 8. c3
O-O 9. h3 {Diagram [#]} h6 {The Smyslov Variation is Black's fifth most
popular move here. It's regarded as a bit slow to play a move whose only
immediate purpose is to prevent a possible repetition following:} (9... Re8 10.
Ng5 Rf8 11. Nf3 {. But it is no worse scoring than the other main moves:}) (
9... Na5 {Chigorin}) (9... Nb8 {Breyer}) (9... Bb7 {Zaitsev}) (9... Nd7 {could
also be named after Smyslov, but Karpov played it four times in his 1990 match
vs Kasparov.}) 10. d4 Re8 11. Nbd2 Bf8 12. Bc2 {Diagram [#]The Lopez is such a
rich opening in part because the queenside pawn structure remains
indeterminate for so long -- White having choices of d5, a4, b3 and b4 -- but
also because it's one of the only openings where all the pieces are still on
the board after a dozen moves.... or 20, as in this game.} Bd7 (12... Bb7 13.
d5 (13. a3 Nb8 14. Nf1 $2 (14. b3 $142 {or b4 or a4.}) 14... exd4 15. Qxd4 $6 (
15. Nxd4 Nxe4 16. a4 $1 $44 {/\ Nf5 |^>>}) 15... c5 $1 16. Qd1 Nxe4 $17 {(0-1,
48) Ding,K (2012)-Zhou,Q (2119) NAYCC U14g, Toronto 2013 (see: CCN Oct 2013)})
13... Nb8 14. b3 c6 15. c4 Nbd7 16. Nf1 Rc8 17. Ng3 Qc7 {and Black had decent
queenside and central pressure in Hracek,Z (2631)-Fressinet,L (2707) Trzcianka
(rapid), 2015. (0-1, 45)}) 13. Nf1 Na5 14. Ng3 c5 15. b3 {Diagram [#]} Qc7 (
15... g6 16. Be3 Nc6 17. d5 Ne7 18. Qd2 Kh7 19. Bxc5 $5 dxc5 20. Nxe5 Nc8 21.
f4 $36 {(1-0, 41) Tal,M-Ghitescu,T Miskolc, 1963.}) 16. Bb2 Nc6 17. Qd2 Rad8
$146 (17... Rac8 18. Bd3 g6 19. b4 c4 20. Bc2 Nxb4 $1 $17 {(1-0, 59) Blomqvist,
E (2449)-Lindberg,B (2404) Stockholm, 2010.}) 18. Rad1 (18. d5 Ne7 19. Nh4 {
blocking the Rd8 and discouraging the normal ...Ng6 is a reasonalble
alternative for White.}) 18... Bc8 19. a4 Qb6 20. axb5 axb5 {Diagram [#]} 21.
b4 $2 (21. Ra1 cxd4 22. cxd4 d5 $1 $15) (21. d5 $5 Ne7 {all four Bishops look
bad, but White has a bit more freedom to try something on the queenside (Qe3
then b4) or maybe the kingside.}) 21... exd4 $1 (21... c4 22. d5 Ne7 23. Ra1
Bb7 {is still pretty close to equal.}) 22. bxc5 dxc5 23. cxd4 cxd4 24. e5 (24.
Nxd4 $4 Bb4 $19) {Diagram [#]} 24... Nd5 (24... d3 $1 25. Bxd3 Bb4 26. Qe2 (26.
Qc2 $2 Bxe1 27. exf6 Rxd3 $8 $19) 26... Bxe1 $15) 25. Bb1 {Second best, but it
leaves White clearly worse.} (25. Qd3 $142 g6 26. Ne4 Ncb4 $11 {e.g.} 27. Qb3
Nxc2 28. Qxc2 Bf5 29. Rxd4 $11) 25... Bb4 26. Qd3 g6 $8 {Diagram [#]} 27. Re4 (
27. Rf1 Nc3 $19 {kills White's hopes for an attack and leaves Black up a clear
pawn with better developed pieces.}) 27... Nc3 $1 $19 28. Rh4 (28. Bxc3 dxc3
29. Qe2 Rxd1+ 30. Qxd1 Bc5 $19 {Black has an extra pawn and her queenside
passers are very strong.}) 28... Nxd1 29. Qxd1 Nxe5 30. Ne4 Nxf3+ 31. Qxf3 {
Diagram [#]} Bf5 $1 {Defends f6 and prepares to trade White's most dangerous
minor before advancing her passsed pawns.} (31... Kg7 {is good too.}) 32. Rxh6
Bf8 33. Rh4 Bxe4 34. Bxe4 Bg7 35. Rf4 Qc7 36. g3 d3 $1 0-1
[Event "WYCC U14g"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2014.09.25"]
[Round "7"]
[White "Vaishali Ramesh, Babu"]
[Black "Zhou, Qiyu"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C50"]
[WhiteElo "2124"]
[BlackElo "2119"]
[Annotator "Qiyu Zhou"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "rq6/r2n3k/1p1p1p1p/1PpPp1pP/P1K1P1P1/R4P2/R2B4/Q7 b - - 0 54"]
[PlyCount "21"]
[Source "CFC"]
[SourceDate "2015.06.27"]
{Diagram [#]} 54... Ra5 {I had been playing on increment for the last few
moves, and I was quite worried for some reason about whether this move would
work. However, logically, White cannot do anything once the bishop takes the
rook.} 55. Qe1 Kg7 56. Bxa5 Rxa5 57. Rf2 Qa8 58. Qa1 Qe8 59. Qc3 Qa8 60. Kb3
Qe8 61. Qd3 Qf7 62. Re2 Qe8 63. Qc4 Qf8 64. Ra1 Qf7 1/2-1/2
[Event "WYCC U14g"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2014.09.27"]
[Round "9"]
[White "Shuvalova, Polina"]
[Black "Zhou, Qiyu"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C48"]
[WhiteElo "2257"]
[BlackElo "2119"]
[Annotator "Qiyu Zhou"]
[PlyCount "86"]
[Source "CFC"]
[SourceDate "2015.06.27"]
{This was one of the most critical games of the tournament, being the only
game I won in the second half of the championship.} 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3
Nf6 4. Bb5 Nd4 5. Nxe5 Qe7 {Diagram [#]} 6. f4 Nxb5 7. Nxb5 d6 8. Nf3 Qxe4+ 9.
Kf2 Ng4+ 10. Kg3 Qg6 {Diagram [#]} 11. Nh4 Qh5 ({Another interesting
possibility was} 11... Qf6 12. h3 g5) 12. h3 Qxb5 13. a4 Qc6 14. hxg4 {Diagram
[#]} d5 ({I could have tried} 14... h5 $5 15. gxh5 Be7 16. Nf3 Qd5) 15. Re1+ (
15. Qe2+) 15... Kd8 16. b3 (16. Nf3 {White may want to have the knight
controlling the centre of the board before advancing any pawns.}) 16... h5 $1
$36 17. gxh5 Qf6 18. d4 {Diagram [#]} g5 $6 ({The better alternative was} 18...
Bd6 19. Rh1) 19. Nf3 ({As a matter of fact, white could have achieved a better
position with} 19. fxg5 $1 Bd6+ 20. Re5 Rg8 (20... Bxe5+ 21. dxe5 Qxe5+ 22. Bf4
$16) 21. Nf3 Qh8 22. Kf2 Qxh5 23. Rxd5 $14) 19... gxf4+ 20. Kf2 Bg4 21. Rh1
Rxh5 22. Bb2 {Diagram [#]} Qh6 (22... Rxh1 23. Qxh1 Bxf3 24. gxf3 Qf5 $17 {
also gives Black an easy plus.}) 23. Rxh5 Qxh5 24. Qe2 Be7 25. Ke1 c6 26. Kd2
Bf6 27. Re1 Kc7 28. Kc1 {Diagram [#]} Rh8 29. Bc3 Bf5 30. Qd2 Qg4 31. Ne5 Qg3
32. Nxf7 Rh2 33. Re2 {Diagram [#]} Be4 ({Simply winning was} 33... Bg4 34. Rf2
f3 35. Bb4 fxg2 36. Rxg2 Rxg2 $19) 34. Bb4 Kd7 35. Bd6 $6 ({To be fair,
White's other (decent) choice was:} 35. Kb2 Rxg2 {and Black simply wins a pawn.
}) 35... Qg7 36. Qb4 Rh1+ 37. Kd2 Qxf7 38. Qxb7+ Ke6 39. Qxc6 Kf5 40. Rf2 Bg5 {
Diagram [#]} 41. Be5 (41. Qc8+ Kg6 42. Kc3 Bf5 43. Qc5 Qe6 $19) 41... Kg4 42.
Kc3 Kg3 43. Re2 Bxg2 0-1
[Event "Quebec Amateur"]
[Site "Montreal"]
[Date "2014.10.11"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Zhou, Qiyu"]
[Black "Sambuev, Bator"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "A84"]
[WhiteElo "2111"]
[BlackElo "2569"]
[Annotator "Qiyu Zhou"]
[PlyCount "138"]
[EventDate "2014.??.??"]
[EventCountry "CAN"]
[Source "CFC"]
[SourceDate "2015.06.27"]
{This was the second game of the day, so I didn't really have time to prepare
anything. I checked the usual lines shortly beforehand.} 1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 c6 3.
c4 e6 4. e3 Bd6 5. b3 f5 {Diagram [#] To be honest I wasn't expecting ...f5.
editor - She should have: it transposes into a line Bator has played five
times in CanBase (see below) including games against GMs Wesley So and Anton
Kovalyov, the latter of which was annotated by Anton in Chess Canada 2014.07.}
6. Bd3 Nf6 7. O-O Qe7 8. Bb2 O-O {Diagram [#]} 9. Ne5 ({editor - Some of
Bator's other games from here have continued:} 9. Nc3 a6 10. Rc1 b5 11. Ne2 Bb7
12. c5 Bc7 13. b4 {(0-1, 58) Hebert,J (2410)-Sambuev,B (2531) Canadian
Championship Montreal, 2012.}) (9. Qc1 dxc4 10. bxc4 c5 11. Nc3 Nc6 12. Nb5 (
12. Rd1 Rd8 {(0-1, 36) Masse,H (2244)-Sambuev,B (2588) Pere Noel Montreal,
2013.}) 12... Bb8 {(1-0, 33) Kovalyov,A (2636)-Sambuev,B (2526) Canadian Open,
Montreal, 2014.}) 9... b6 10. Nd2 Bb7 {Diagram [#]} 11. Qe2 ({More precise was
} 11. Rc1) 11... Nbd7 12. Rac1 Rac8 13. Rfd1 Rfd8 14. cxd5 cxd5 15. Ba6 Nb8 16.
Bd3 Ne4 {Diagram [#]} 17. f3 ({I could have also tried} 17. Ndf3) 17... Nxd2
18. Qxd2 Bxe5 19. dxe5 Ba6 20. Bb1 Nc6 {Diagram [#]} 21. Qf2 ({Perhaps I
should have fought for the c-file} 21. Rc2) 21... Rc7 22. e4 $6 {This gives
Black a passed pawn and me a pair of doubled pawns. Not the best idea.} ({I
should have sought to control the c-file} 22. Rd2) 22... fxe4 23. fxe4 d4 24.
Rc2 Nxe5 25. Bxd4 {Diagram [#]} Rcd7 (25... Ng4 26. Qg3 e5 {and Black has a
small advantage.}) 26. Rcd2 Qg5 {Diagram [#] At this point I thought I was
actually fairly in danger because my position looked really shaky.} 27. Qe3
Qxe3+ {This queen trade made me quite happy, because I don't have to worry
about tactics anymore.} ({Keeping the queens in this position would have
served Black better;} 27... Qh5 28. Bxe5 Rxd2 29. Rxd2 Rxd2 30. Qxd2 Qxe5 31.
Qd8+ Kf7 32. Qd7+ Kf6 33. g3 h6 $15) 28. Bxe3 Rxd2 29. Rxd2 Rxd2 30. Bxd2 Bd3
31. Bxd3 Nxd3 32. Be3 {Diagram [#] I considered it fairly drawish and offered
a draw at this point.} Kf7 33. Kf1 Ke7 34. Ke2 Nb4 35. a4 Kd6 36. Bd4 g6 37.
Kd2 Nc6 38. Kc3 Nd8 39. Kc4 Kc6 40. b4 Nf7 {Diagram [#]} 41. Kd3 {I was
playing for a draw at this point. Theoretically a bishop is a bit better than
a knight in a position with pawns on both sides of the board, so I could have
tried to play for an advantage.} (41. b5+ {fixing Black's pawns on the dark
squares, possibly giving White a chance to win.}) ({Or:} 41. Bf2 h5 (41... Ne5+
42. Kd4) 42. b5+ Kd6 43. a5 $14) 41... a6 42. Bg7 b5 43. a5 e5 44. Bf8 Nd8 45.
Bc5 Ne6 46. Be3 Kd6 47. g3 Nd8 48. Bc5+ Ke6 49. Ke3 {Diagram [#]editor - From
here on the position is 0.00 all the way.} Nb7 50. Bb6 Nd6 51. Kd3 Nc4 52. Bc5
Kf6 53. h3 Kg5 54. Be7+ Kh5 55. Bf6 Kh6 56. Be7 Kg7 57. Bc5 Kf7 58. Bf2 Nd6 59.
Bc5 Ne8 60. Ke3 Ng7 61. Kd3 Ne6 62. Be3 Kf6 63. Ke2 h5 64. Kf3 Nd4+ 65. Kf2 g5
66. h4 gxh4 67. gxh4 Ke6 68. Bxd4 exd4 {Diagram [#]} 69. Ke2 $8 {editor - the
d3 and e5 squares are "mined" -- whoever steps on them loses -- but if neither
does it's a draw.} Kd6 {As of the time of annotating this game, I've played
six times against Bator. This is my only draw against him. :)} 1/2-1/2
[Event "Cappelle la Grande"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2015.03.03"]
[Round "5"]
[White "Zhou, Qiyu"]
[Black "Mekhitarian, Krikor Sevag"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "D02"]
[WhiteElo "2182"]
[BlackElo "2556"]
[Annotator "Qiyu Zhou"]
[PlyCount "104"]
[EventDate "2015.??.??"]
[Source "CFC"]
[SourceDate "2015.06.27"]
{This was the fifth round of the Cappelle la Grande Open. The tournament
system is rather interesting, because one round you could be playing a 1800,
and the next you could be playing a 2500! I really enjoyed the tournament
because of the friendly atmosphere and interesting people.} 1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 g6
3. Nbd2 d5 4. e3 Bg7 5. b4 O-O 6. c4 a5 7. b5 c5 {Diagram [#]} 8. Bb2 Nbd7 9.
Rc1 {Pretty normal opening so far.} b6 10. Be2 Bb7 11. O-O e6 {Diagram [#]} 12.
a4 {Not really needed. Black's ...a4 isn't really a threat and the b5 pawn
doesn't need support right now.} ({Any developing move would've been more
helpful} 12. Rc2) 12... Rc8 13. Rc2 Re8 14. Qa1 cxd4 {Diagram [#]} 15. exd4 ({
Taking with the Knight should have been almost automatic. My dark-squared
bishop would actually do something.} 15. Nxd4 $142 Nc5 (15... e5 16. N4f3 {
[%cal Ya1h8]}) 16. Rd1 Nfd7 17. cxd5 Bxd5 18. Bf3) 15... dxc4 {[%csl Yd4]
Taking with the pawn wasn't the brightest idea. Now my dark-squared bishop has
no potential} 16. Rxc4 Nd5 17. Rfc1 Nf4 18. Bf1 Rxc4 19. Rxc4 Bd5 ({Black
could have played} 19... g5 {straightaway.}) 20. Rc2 g5 {Diagram [#]} 21. Qc1 {
For some reason I did not see Black's threat after ...g4.} ({I think I had to
play this} 21. Ne5 Nxe5 22. dxe5 Qb8 23. Bd4) ({Also interesting would've been
} 21. g3 g4 22. Ne1 Ng6 (22... Nh3+ 23. Bxh3 gxh3 24. Nef3) 23. Nc4 Nf6) 21...
g4 22. Ne5 $2 (22. Ne1 {is passive but at least it doesn't drop the g-pawn.
Black can choose to force a draw} Bxg2 23. Nxg2 Nh3+ 24. Kh1 Nxf2+ $11) 22...
Nxe5 23. dxe5 {Diagram [#]} Bxg2 $1 {I definitely did not see this.} 24. Nc4
Bh6 ({An interesting finish would have been} 24... Nh3+ 25. Kxg2 Qd5+ 26. Kg3
Qf3+ 27. Kh4 Nf4 28. Qe3 Ng6+ 29. Kh5 {practically all forced} Qf5+ 30. Qg5
Qxc2 {No mate for Black, but White drops the exchange and loose pawns
everywhere.}) 25. Ne3 {Somewhere at around this point I was playing on
increment, seeing as how I managed to spend about 90 minutes on the first 25
moves.} Bxf1 26. Qxf1 Nh3+ 27. Kg2 Qh4 {Diagram [#] Around here we were both
practically playing with seconds on our clocks.} 28. Rc4 Nf4+ ({Really putting
White in a bind was} 28... Bf4 29. Qe1 Rd8 30. Re4 Rd3) 29. Kh1 Kh8 30. Ng2 Qh3
31. Rc3 Qh5 32. Rc4 Nh3 33. Bd4 Rb8 34. Rc6 Qf5 35. Rxb6 Rg8 36. Qe1 Qf3 {
Diagram [#]} 37. Rc6 (37. Qf1 Nf4 {[%cal Yg4g3] with the threat next move
being ...g3.}) 37... Nf4 38. Qf1 {Diagram [#]} g3 ({My opponent told me simply
didn't see this} 38... Nxg2 39. Qxg2 Qd1+ 40. Qg1 Qxd4 {and White is just down
a bishop.}) 39. Rc3 Qe4 40. fxg3 Nxg2 ({Definitely cleaner was} 40... Qxd4 41.
Rc4 Qd5 $19) 41. Qd3 Qxd3 42. Rxd3 Ne1 43. Rc3 Rd8 {Diagram [#]} 44. b6 $2 {
the game is just over.} ({The last chance I had was} 44. Bb6 Rd1 45. Bxa5 {
Analysis Diagram [#] and it actually gets quite unclear. In our post-mortem
analysis we did not come to a clear conclusion, but decided Black should be
able to hold against the passed pawns, and potentially win.} Kg7 (45... Bd2 46.
Rc8+ Kg7 47. b6 Bxa5 48. b7 Nd3+ 49. Kg2 Rd2+ 50. Kh1 (50. Kh3 Nf2+ 51. Kh4 Kh6
{and White gets mated.}) 50... Rd1+ (50... Rb2 51. b8=Q Rxb8 52. Rxb8 Kg6 53.
Ra8 Bc3 54. a5 Nxe5 55. a6 Bd4 56. Rd8 Be3 {White can probably hold this to a
draw.}) 51. Kg2 Rd2+ 52. Kh1 {ends in a draw.}) 46. Rb3 Nd3+ 47. Kg2 Nc5 (47...
Nxe5 48. Bc3 Rd5 $8 49. b6 Be3 50. b7 Ba7 51. a5 $16) 48. Rb4 (48. b6 Nxb3 49.
b7 Nxa5 50. b8=Q $19 {but Black still has a rook and two minors for the queen.}
) 48... Rd2+ 49. Kh1 {Analysis Diagram [#]} Ra2 50. Rg4+ (50. Bb6 Nxa4 51. Bd4
Bd2 52. Rb3 (52. b6 Bxb4 53. b7 Rd2 54. b8=Q Rxd4 $19 {These ideas never seem
to work down a piece.}) 52... Ba5 53. b6 Nxb6 54. Bxb6 Bxb6 55. Rxb6 Ra5 $17)
50... Kh8 51. Bd8 Bg7 (51... Rxa4 52. Bf6+ $18) 52. a5 Nb7 53. a6 Nxd8 54. Rd4
Nc6 55. bxc6 Bxe5 56. Rd7 Rxa6 57. c7 Bxc7 58. Rxc7 $17 {this may have been my
best shot.}) 44... Rxd4 45. b7 Rb4 46. Rc8+ Kg7 47. b8=Q Rxb8 48. Rxb8 Bd2 49.
Rb2 Bb4 50. Re2 Kg6 51. h3 Nd3 52. Re3 Nc5 0-1