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 ...
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 ...
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.
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.
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.