Sunday, September 16, 2007

A Texas Two-Step

Here are some brief notes on my week 2 game …

IM Vinay Bhat – IM John Bartholomew [B01]

USCL (2), 05.09.2007

1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qa5 4.d4 c6 5.Nf3 Nf6 6.Bc4 Bf5 7.Bd2 e6 8.Nd5 Qd8 9.Nxf6+ Qxf6 [9...gxf6 is the other option for Black here. Both moves seem to be equally popular, although this was the recapture I was expecting.] 10.Qe2 Bg4 (Diagram)


[10...Nd7 looks like the usual move here, with the idea that on 11.d5 , Black can play (Thus, 11.0–0–0 is the normal move, after which we can transpose back into the game with 11...Bg4 12.d5) 11...cxd5 12.Bxd5 Qxb2 with a relatively comfortable position.] 11.0–0–0 I spent about 20 minutes before making this move. I was trying to figure out whether to castle long or play d4-d5 immediately. As it turns out, d5 is the theoretically approved continuation. [11.d5! Bxf3 12.gxf3 cxd5 (12...Qxb2 13.0–0 cxd5 14.Bxd5 Nc6 transposes.) 13.Bxd5 Qxb2 14.0–0 Nc6 - the problem for me here was to try and figure out whether White was actually better in this position. After my long think, I wasn't able to make clear progress, and so I decided to just castle and bide my time. 15.Rab1!? (15.Be4!? Qb6 16.Rab1 Qc7 17.Qc4 with pressure.) 15...Qxc2 16.Rxb7 with some initiative.] 11...Nd7 [Having already set up the pin on the Nf3, I thought Black might go with 11...Be7!? , so as to cut out any d5 tricks. Still, the bishop on e7 doesn't make a great impression, and although Black will have the slightly better pawn structure after exchanges on f3, White can benefit from the two bishops, the open g-file, and the precarious position of the Black queen. For example, 12.h3 (12.Qe4!?) 12...Bxf3 13.gxf3 Nd7 14.Rhg1 g6 15.Bc3 Qf4+ 16.Qe3 Qxe3+ 17.fxe3 with a minimal advantage.] 12.d5 Now, by transposition, we've got back into normal waters, except with the caveat that I had lost 20 minutes by this point. 12...Bxf3 13.gxf3 cxd5 14.Bxd5 0–0–0 15.Be4 Qe5 16.Bc3 Qc7 17.Kb1 Sidestepping any potential checks on the c1–h6 diagonal. White is clearly better thanks to the active bishop pair and Black's development issues on the kingside. 17...f6 18.Rhg1 Tying Black's bishop down to the defense of the g7-pawn. 18...Nc5 [The pawn is taboo: 18...Qxh2? 19.Ba5! Re8 20.Qb5 and Black is toast.] 19.Rxd8+ Kxd8 [19...Qxd8 20.Qc4 Qc7 21.Bd4 offers the potential to transpose back into the game.] 20.Bd4 Bd6 [Once again, the pawn cannot be taken safely: 20...Qxh2 21.Rd1 Kc8 22.Qb5 and Black can't cover all his weaknesses.] 21.Bxc5 The knight on c5 is essential for holding Black's position together, so it's important to eliminate it. [21.Qb5 a6 doesn't appear to get White anywhere.] 21...Bxc5 22.Qc4 Kc8 [22...Re8 23.Rd1+ Ke7 (23...Kc8? 24.Bxb7+! Qxb7 (24...Kxb7 25.Qb5+ , picking up the rook on e8.) 25.Qxc5+ picks up a key pawn.) 24.Bxh7!? (24.Bxb7 Rd8 25.Rxd8 Kxd8 26.Be4 is probably not quite enough for White.) ] 23.b4?! After a decent think, I lashed out with this move, but I missed a simple defensive idea for Black. [The simple 23.Qxe6+ was probably better - 23...Kb8 24.Rd1 Rd8 25.Rxd8+ Qxd8 26.a3 and White has some pressure. Whether it's enough to win or not is a whole different story, but White can probably press for a little while.] 23...Bd6 24.Qxc7+ Bxc7 25.Rxg7 f5 26.Bd3 Bxh2 27.Bc4 Be5 [I had only considered 27...Re8 , when 28.Rxh7 Bf4 (28...Bg1 29.Rh6 reaches an endgame similar to that in the game after about 35 moves. Black can't save the e6/f5 chain with 29...Kd7? because of 30.Bb5+) 29.c3 with advantage to White. During the game, I thought this sort of endgame held as much promise as the Q+B endgame described in the note to White's 23rd move.] 28.Bxe6+ Kb8 29.Rf7 f4 30.Rf5 [30.c4 was better. White doesn't have time to swing the rook to h5 (to block the progress of the pawn), and so he might as well leave it on the 7th rank.] 30...Bd6 31.a3 h5 Given that Black hit the b4-pawn with gain of time, White could have had something similar with the rook on f7 and pawn on c4 here. 32.Rd5 Bc7 33.Kb2 (Diagram)


33...Re8? Black offered a draw here - Stopa had already won on board 3, and the Dallas team had to be happy with their positions on boards 1 and 4. Unfortunately, this is a huge mistake after which Black is on the ropes. 34.Rxh5! [The drawing idea behind the rook move is: 34.Bf7 Re5] 34...a5 [34...Rxe6? 35.Rh8+ Bd8 36.Rxd8+ Kc7 37.Rf8 with a relatively easy win for White in the rook and pawn endgame.] 35.Bc4 axb4 36.axb4 Re5 37.Rh8+ Ka7 38.Rh7 Bd6 39.c3 The endgame now is pure torture for Black, and is almost certainly losing. 39...Re7 40.Rh5 Re5 41.Rh7 Re7 42.Rh5 A couple repetitions to get some time back. 42...Re5 43.Rh6 Bc7 44.Bd3 Rd5 45.Be4 Rd7 46.c4 Rd4 47.Bd5 Rd2+ 48.Kb3 Rd1 49.Rh7 Kb8 50.Rh8+ Ka7 51.Rh7 Kb8 52.Be4 Rd8 53.c5 Kc8 54.Bf5+ Kb8 55.Be4 Kc8 56.Kc4 Rf8 57.Bd5 Rd8 58.Be6+ Kb8 59.Bd5 Kc8 60.b5?! [60.Rh6! with the idea of b5-b6, without allowing ...b7-b6 in response, was even cleaner.] 60...b6 61.Rh6 bxc5 62.b6 [was more prudent, in order to save myself the trouble of dealing with this pawn later on. I thought it might come in handy to have the c-pawn blocking some diagonals for me, but that was a little too deep a thought for the position. 62.Kxc5 ] 62...Bd6 63.Bc6 Be5 64.Rh7 Rh8 65.Rf7 Bd6 66.Bb7+ Kb8 67.Bd5 Kc8 68.Be6+ Kb8 69.Kd5 Rd8 70.Kc6 Be5 71.Rb7+ Ka8 72.Ra7+ Kb8 73.Kb5 [73.Bd7 was slightly more accurate, as it cuts Black's rook off from coming to the d1 and giving some checks from behind.] 73...c4 74.Bd7 c3 (Diagram)


75.Bc6? After all the previous moves, I was always on the lookout for some way to deliver checkmate in the corner, but here I let it slip. [75.Ka6! c2 (75...Rxd7 76.Rxd7 Kc8 77.Rd5 is the end.) 76.Rb7+ Ka8 77.Bc6! , and it doesn't matter what Black does - mate will be coming in short order. 77...c1Q 78.Ra7+ Kb8 79.Ra8#] 75...Kc8 76.Be4 Rf8 77.Ra8+ Bb8 78.Ra3 Be5 79.Kc6 Rf6+ 80.Kd5 Bd6 81.Rxc3+ Kb7?? [81...Kb8 was necessary, after which White still has some work to do. He's up two pawns, but the doubled f-pawns aren't all that useful at the moment.] 82.Rc6 Black resigns, as whatever he does, he's going to drop a piece. 1–0


At 9:24 AM, Blogger BlueEyedRook said...

It might be a problem on my end (i.e., my computer), but I can't get your chess diagrams to show.

Other than that, loved the post.

At 9:51 AM, Blogger Vinay Bhat said...

You're right - it's not showing up on my computer here at work.

It probably has something to do with the font used was a ChessBase font, so if it's not installed on the computer, it won't be able to make sense of that part.

I'll try and fix that part when I get back home.


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