Sunday, November 18, 2012

TCCL 2013 round 3

Before the game:

I realized on Wednesday before the match that I had misidentified my next opponent as another. I played him in the 2012 Minnesota closed and have a good idea what he will play with black. I will review my Kavalek KID as white, but I could have used my time more wisely.

After the game:

We drew the match with 2 wins and 2 losses. We are still in first place but tied now. Four rounds to go and some stiff teams ahead.

My opponent did play the Kavalek as I suspected (1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c5 g6 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 O-O 5.d4 d6 6.O-O c6 7.Nc3 Qa5 8.e4 Bg4 9.h3 Bxf3).

I tried to mix it up a bit and surprise him with 10.Qxf3, as I had played Bxf3 in the last game. 10...Nfd7 11.Rd1 Nb6 12.Qe2 Qb4 13.Bf1 was my prepared line, but he then departed from  my preparation with the blunder 13...d5. His threat is dxc4.

white to move

It took me a bit to realize that I had 3 attackers on the d5 pawn, and he only had two defenders. A complete exchange would end with a fork of his queen and e7-pawn, but he does not have to take and  better is to drive off the defending knight. 14.exd5 cxd5 15.c5 N6d7? is another mistake. He had to play 15...Nc8 no matter how ugly it looks, or give up a piece to get some counter play with 15...Nc6. White would still have a tremendous advantage. 16.Nxd5 Qa5 to cover the c7-square. At this point, black is busted, as all reasonable moves give a great advantage for white. Houdini likes Nxe7+ best, but I played 17.Qxe7 to avoid possible counterplay by black, because I saw the coming combination (Bd2 and b4 are also good). 17...Nc6 18.Qxd7 Rad8 19.Ne7+ Nxe7 20.Qxe7 Bxd4

white to play
21,Rxd4 Rxd4 22.Bh6 puts black away. 22...Qd8 is the only move to prevent mate, then I chose the simplification into an easily won endgame with 23.Qxf8+ Qxf8 24.Bxf8 Kxf8, where I am a piece and a pawn up. The attack can be continued with 23.Qe5, which is what Houdini likes, but as fun as that might be I could not calculate a win OTB that was better than what I chose.

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