In the Money

Hanover County Open – 12/01/12 Giofreda (1538) – NN (1300)

This is my game from the final round of a small, four-round tournament. I have 2.5/ 3 and my opponent has 2/3. The gentleman with whom I shared a contentious draw in the previous round won his fourth game quickly. To match his 3.5/4 I need a win.

1. c3 d5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. d3 e6 4. Nbd2 Be7 5. e4 dxe4 6. dxe4 O-O 7. Qc2 Nbd7 8.
Bd3 e5 (Be2 is better for white so that black cannot hound the bishop)

9. Nc4 Bd6 10. O-O b6 11. Nxd6 cxd6 12. Bg5 Bb7 (The bishop pair and the backward pawn look quite nice for white)

13. Rad1 Nc5 (b4 is better here, rather than delaying. The dorsal fin structure is solid. It is common to openings such as the Four Knights but it’s a redoubtable structure in other setups too. The light square bishop and pawn complement one another well here.

14. b4?! Ncxe4 (I am still surprised that I do not have full compensation for the pawn)

15. Rfe1 Nxg5 16. Nxg5 h6 17. Nh3 Re8 (White should play Nh7 since his knight has no future on h3. I consider myself fortunate that my opponent exchanged my knight. I played a piece down because of this strategic error.

18. Bb5 Re7 (It’s better for white to lift his rooks. Bb5 accomplishes little)

19. c4 a6 20. Ba4 Rc8 21. Bb3 Qd7 22. Qd2 (Can you find the sequence which grants black the victory? 22 try this…Bxg2 23. Kxg2 Qg4!)

22…Rd8 23. f3 Bxf3 24. gxf3 Qxh3 25. Re2 Qxf3 26. Rf1 Qg4+ 27. Rg2 Qd4+?? (The knight hangs!)

28. Qxd4! exd4 29. Rxf6 Kh7 (Black should double the rooks straight away.She has few long-term chances in the potential piece vs. pawns endgame.

30. Bc2+ Kg8 31. Rf4 Rde8 32. h3 Re1+ 33. Kh2 R8e2 34. Bb3 d3 (34… Re4 35. Rxe4 Rxe4 36. Rd2 g5 is a clever try)

35. Rxe2 Rxe2+ 36. Kg3 d2 (The pawn cannot promote. Do not underestimate the power of an extra piece against pawns, especially when they cannot move freely).

37. Rd4 Kh7 38. Bd1 Re1 39. Rxd2 Re3+ 40. Bf3 h5 41. Kf2 Re6 42. Bxh5 Re4 43. Be2 Rf4+ 44. Kg3 Rf6 *


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