chess opening

Chess Opening

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zdrak 303 ( +1 | -1 )
Yet another OTB game - enjoy! White: Urodin (2055)
Black: Yours Truly (1971)
Regional League, round 9

Those who have been paying attention to my previous posts will remember that I have already met this opponent. They'll also remember the mindblowing effect that his name had on me ... but this time I came prepared. I didn't let anything interfer with my mission of scoring a point for the team. Did it help? Wait and see ...

1. e4 c5
2. Nf3 d6
3. d4 cxd4
4. Nxd4 Nf6
5. Nc3 a6
6. a4 e5
7. Nb3 Be6

Usually Be7 is played here, and the development of the other bishop is delayed.

8. Be2 Be7
9. Be3 0-0
10. 0-0 Nc6

In this opening, the knight is normally developed to d7. But since white already played a4, the square b4 beckons ... that's why I prefered Nc6.

11. f4 exf4

Very interesting is 11...d5 12.f5 d4 etc.

12. Rxf4 Rc8

A theoretical novelty, as far as my database is concerned. So far only 12...Ne5 or 12...d5 was played here, with equality. By the way, I refrained from 12...d5 because I was afraid of 13.Nc5, but it's refuted by 12...d5 13.Nc5? d4 15.Nxe6 fxe6 16.e5 dxe3 17.exf6 Bxf6 and black is better.

13. Nd4 Ne5
14. Nf5?!

After 14.Nxe6 fxe6 white has the bishop pair, but black's central pawns control all the key squares and Ne5 is very strong.

14... Ng6
15. Rf2 Rxc3?

Black tries a standard Sicilian exchange sacrifice (see Junior-Kasparov, game 6), but he's missing something important ...

16. Nxe7+?

And white returns the favor! After 16.bxc3 Nxe4 17.Qd4! he wins a key tempo due to the attack on g7 and doesn't allow black to win a 2nd pawn for the exchange.

16... Qxe7
17. bxc3 Nxe4
18. Rf1 Nxc3
19. Qd3 Nxe2+
20. Qxe2 Ne5

Now black is clearly better.

21. Rf4 Rc8
22. Bd4 Qc7

Better was 22...Qg5

23. c3 Qc4
24. Qh5

A queens' exchange would favour black.

24... Ng6
25. Rf2 b5
26. axb5 Qxb5
27. Qd1

Again avoiding that exchange..

27... Bb3

An inaccuracy. After:

28. Qc1

I intended to play a6-a5-a4, but noticed in time 29.Qa3 with a double attack on d6 and a5. So I have to retreat the bishop.

28... Bc4
29. Qa3 Qd5
30. Rb1 Bd3
31. Rd1

Interesting is 31.Rb6 Qe4. After the game my opponent told me that he refrained from 31.Rb6 because of 31...Qxd4 "and wins" - but the c1 square is controlled by the white queen!

31... Bb5
32. Rfd2 Nf4
33. Re1

Not 33.Bxg7? Qg5 34.Bd4 Be2 and black is better.

33... Ne6
34. Be3 Qc4
35. Rxd6 Qxc3
36. Qxc3 Rxc3

So black finally got his queens' exchange... having an extra pawn on both wings, he's obviosly better. White, in spite of his extra exchange should be happy to draw this endgame.

37. Bd2 Rd3

Trying to exchange rooks from the other side doesn't work: 37...Rc6?? 38.Rd8+ Nf8 (38...Nxd8 39.Re8#) 39.Ree8 and wins. But the question is: why doesn black need to exchange rooks at all?? In retrospect, there were more winning chances with 37...Rb3 or something like that.

38. Rxd3 Bxd3
39. Rc1 f6
40. Kf2 Kf7
41. Ke3 Bb5
42. Rc8 h5?

Better was to move the f-pawn. Now black squandered the small winning chances he might have had.

43. g3 g5
44. Bb4 f5
45. Rh8 Kg6
46. Rg8+ Kf7
47. Rh8 Kg6
48. Rb8!? Bc6?

Time trouble is kicking in. Both sides are making sub-optimal decisions. First white declines a repetition of moves, and now black gives up a pawn without a reason. But the position still remains drawn.

49. Rb6 f4+
50. gxf4 gxf4+
51. Kf2 Bd5
52. Rxa6 Kf5
53. Be7 Ke4
54. Ra4+ Kf5
55. Ra5 Ke4
56. Bd6 h4

If black can advance this pawn to h3, he'll get some real chances - but white doesn't allow this.

57. h3 Ng5

The simplest way to draw.

59. Ra4+ Kf5
59. Rxf4+ Ke6

Now both Kxd6 and Nxh3+ are threatened, and white must give some material back.

60. Rxh4 Kxd6
61. Rh6+


Our team, alas, lost 1.5-2.5 ...
zdrak 9 ( +1 | -1 )
Sorry, noticed a small mistake copying the moves: white played Be2 on his 6th move, and a4 on his 8th, so it's:

6. Be2 e5
7. Nb3 Be6
8. a4 Be7