Sunday, 1 February 2015

Three recent games

A choice of three recent games to view today:

  • A Martin Harris miniature from the CRGS/Colchester C match - showing how to play a gambit
  • John Duff-Cole's win from the Maldon C/Colchester C match - featuring a killer pin
  • A Nathan Barnes game from a recent Suffolk League match (playing for Clacton) - against an opponent with a FIDE rating of 2027

Select a game from the pull-down list.

[Event "Suffolk League Division 2"] [Site "?"] [Date "2015.01.27"] [Round "?"] [White "Feavyour, John"] [Black "Barnes, Nathan"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "D02"] [Annotator "Barnes, Nathan"] [PlyCount "96"] [EventDate "2015.??.??"] {D02: 1 d4 d5 2 Nf3 sidelines, including 2...Nf6 3 g3 and 2...Nf6 3 Bf4} 1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 {I hadn't expected this - in preparation for this match I had looked up some of John's games and saw that he normally played the mainline against the Slav and that is what I had prepared for.} Nf6 3. g3 Bf5 4. Bg2 c6 5. O-O e6 6. Nbd2 Na6 $146 {I had been trying to transpose to a Slav, but having failed to do so I decided to play a move that would be okay but not in the book - thus reducing any advantage my opponent would have from playing an opening I was not familiar with. According to my database it is a novelty - but probably not one that will have many future adherents!} (6... Bd6 {is the normal move in this position.}) 7. a3 {Not necessary, ...Nb4 is harmless.} Be7 8. Ne5 Nd7 9. Ndf3 f6 10. Nxd7 Qxd7 11. b4 $6 {Looks agressive but it creates a hole on c4 and a backwards pawn on c2.} Nc7 {The correct response - rerouting the knight to take advantage of the new weak point in White's setup.} 12. Bb2 {The bishop doesn't do much here but White's plan is to open up the centre when the b2 bishop could support a kingside attack.} Nb5 13. Nd2 Nd6 { The knight has already moved 4 times.} 14. f3 Bg6 {The e4 pawn push can't be prevented but moving the bishop back first means that play isn't as forced. This also frees up the f5 square for the knight - threatening to win the exchange with the knight fork on e3 (if White doesn't play e4).} 15. e4 b5 16. Qe2 Nc4 {I was a bit unsure what to do here and decided to stick with my original plan of occupying c4 - if White captures then there is an imbalance in the pawn structure which keeps the game interesting. I also considered the sensible option of castling kingside - which the computer prefers.} 17. Nxc4 bxc4 18. Rae1 Kf7 $1 {While Bf7 is okay, Kf7 is the best way of shoring up the defences.} (18... -- 19. exd5 $1 {was the main move I was worried about} (19. Bh3 $1 {was another decent move.} f5 $1 {the only move that keeps Black in the game} 20. exd5 exd5 21. Qe5 {looked uncomfortable for Black.}) 19... cxd5 ( 19... exd5 20. Bh3 Qb7 {I didn't like the Black position here - the open e-file looks very dangerous.} (20... Qxh3 $4 21. Qxe7#)) 20. Qxe6 {White has won a pawn and has a better position}) 19. Bh3 f5 $1 {Played instantly - all other moves lead to a winning advantage for White. I had planned this move - and also my next three moves before playing 18...Kf7. The speed these moves were played at meant I was able to build up a good advantage on the clock.} ({ For example,} 19... Qb7 $2 20. Bxe6+ $1 Kxe6 21. exd5+ Kf7 22. Qe6+ Kf8 23. d6 Bd8 24. d7 Bc7 25. Qe7+ Kg8 26. Qe8+ Rxe8 27. dxe8=Q+ Bxe8 28. Rxe8+ Kf7 29. Rxh8 {is one line that shows how White can obtain a decisive advantage.}) 20. Bc1 Rae8 21. g4 Rhf8 22. Qf2 $2 Kg8 $6 {Completing a manual castle but missing a chance to gain an advantage on the board - though the speed the last few moves were played at had allowed me to gain a good advantage on the clock.} ( 22... fxe4 $1 23. g5 Kg8 24. Qh4 {Black will hold onto the pawn advantage - I had seen this line, but (incorrectly) felt that the position was a bit dangerous for Black. I am not convinced I would have stayed on the right path in this line - too many chances to go wrong.}) 23. e5 $6 {Taking some of the tension out of the position - but more importantly this move increases the power of the Black bishop on g6 considerably.} Qd8 {Reasonable, but the computer points out that ...fxg4 was the best choice in this complicated position - eventually Black will win a pawn.} 24. Qe3 (24. -- Bh4 $1 {was the threat White had to deal with, skewering the queen and rook.}) 24... Bh4 {... fxg4 was still best} 25. Re2 f4 26. Qc3 a6 {A move that I knew was completely innocuous - played very quickly to try and increase my time advantage.} 27. a4 Be7 28. Ba3 a5 $5 {Not the best move in the position, but one designed to try and unbalance the game so that I could try and increase the small advantage I had and go for the win.} 29. bxa5 {Move 29 and we have the first pawn capture of the game} Bxa3 30. Qxa3 Qxa5 {Time control reached - White has 17 minutes left for the rest of the game, Black about 25.} 31. Rb1 { White has a passed pawn - but I thought that Black's pawn on c4 was stronger than the a-pawn due to White's weak c-pawn.} Qa7 $1 {Found after a bit of thought - much better than my original plan.} (31... Rb8 {was my original plan when I played 28...a5. However, I now saw that after the White queen moves into d6 there is no advantage for Black.} 32. Rxb8 Rxb8 33. Qd6 $11) 32. Rd2 { White must protect the pawn on d4} Qa5 $5 {The queen is better on a7 than here but this move was played for psychological reasons. White was the higher-graded player and would probably want to avoid a draw by repetition so I played this move to see if it might provoke a mistake - I prefered my position but (correctly) did not think I had a winning advantage. I could still return my queen to a7 again without creating a three-fold repetition.} 33. Qb4 $2 {The ploy worked - this is the losing mistake} Qxb4 $1 34. Rxb4 Rb8 (34... c3 $1 {was even better} 35. Re2 Rb8 36. Rxb8 Rxb8 37. Bf1 {and White will lose at least two of the pawns on c2, a4 and d4}) 35. Rxb8 Rxb8 36. g5 $6 (36. c3 {would make the win more difficult.}) 36... Kf7 37. c3 Rb3 38. Ra2 Rxc3 39. a5 Rb3 (39... Bb1 $1 {was a move I considered. It does lead to a quicker win but by this point I was starting to run short of time - I had already calculated that ...Rb3 was sufficient to win.}) (39... Rxf3 $4 {the a-pawn is too strong and Black will struggle to hold on for a draw}) 40. a6 Rb8 41. a7 Ra8 42. Kf2 Ke7 43. Ke2 Kd7 44. Kd2 Bf7 45. Kc3 Kc7 46. Kb4 Kb7 47. Bf1 Rxa7 48. Rxa7+ Kxa7 {I stopped recording moves here - the game went on for quite a few more moves but the endgame is a fairly straightforward one for Black.} 0-1 [Event "NECL Div 3: Maldon C v Colchester C"] [Site "?"] [Date "2015.02.01"] [Round "?"] [White "Duff-Cole, John"] [Black "Perfect, John"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B06"] [Annotator "Duff-Cole, John & Barnes, Nathan"] [PlyCount "45"] [EventDate "2015.01.23"] 1. e4 g6 2. Nf3 Bg7 3. d4 e6 4. Bg5 f6 {first positional weakness, but not fatal} 5. Be3 c6 6. Be2 Ne7 7. O-O O-O 8. Nbd2 d5 9. c4 e5 {a pawn stand-off} 10. dxe5 fxe5 11. cxd5 cxd5 {this is how I had predicted the sequence to go} 12. Qb3 {a pin on the pawn} Be6 $2 {protecting the pawn with the bishop} 13. Ng5 $1 Qd6 $2 {NB: letting the pawn go with ...Bc8 was better (though still losing)} 14. Nxe6 Qxe6 15. exd5 Nxd5 16. Bc4 {pin restored} Rd8 17. Ne4 Kh8 18. Bg5 Nc6 {NB: looks like an error - but is actually Black's best choice (though White still has a huge advantage)} 19. Bxd8 Rxd8 20. Bxd5 Rxd5 {fear of Na5 attacking queen and bishop prompted this exchange} 21. Qxb7 Rd4 22. Ng5 Qd6 $4 {thank you} 23. Nf7+ $1 {Black resigned a few moves later} 1-0 [Event "NECL Division 3: CRGS v Colchester C"] [Site "?"] [Date "2015.01.29"] [Round "?"] [White "Harris, Martin"] [Black "Hirani, Shivan"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C21"] [Annotator "Harris, Martin & Barnes, Nathan"] [PlyCount "35"] [EventDate "2015.01.29"] 1. e4 e5 2. d4 exd4 3. c3 dxc3 4. Bc4 cxb2 5. Bxb2 Bb4+ 6. Nc3 Nf6 7. Nge2 { The computer says Black is winning already - but White has a significant lead in development} Nxe4 8. O-O Nxc3 9. Nxc3 O-O 10. Nd5 Nc6 $4 (10... Qh4 $1 {the only move that keeps Black alive}) 11. Qg4 g6 12. Nf6+ Kg7 13. Qh4 h6 14. Ng4+ Kg8 15. Nxh6+ (15. Qxh6 {leads to mate} Bc3 16. Bxc3 Ne5 17. Bxe5 Qf6 18. Nxf6# ) 15... Kh7 16. Qh3 Qg5 17. Ng4+ {missing a quicker mate - but the move played is more than sufficient to win} (17. Nxf7+ Qh5 18. Qxh5+ gxh5 19. Bd3+ Kg8 20. Nh6# {is an attractive finish}) 17... Qh5 18. Nf6+ 1-0

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