Yesterday I ended my last post with the beginning of my last round game. It started out 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Bf5 5.Ng3 Bg6 6.Nf3 Nd7 7.Bc4 e6 8.h4 h6 9.h5 Bh7. This morning I was taking a quick look at Neil McDonald's book, "main line Caro-Kann" and was pleasantly surprised that we two class D players started out with a position similar (not exact) to some high level games. Bc4 is not the most common, and there often is an exchange of White-squared Bishops via Bd3, Bxd3, Qxd3. However, it is a solid position for each of us.
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We continued with 10.Ne2 Bd6 11.Nf4 Qf6 12.Rh4 O-O-O 13.Be3 Ne7 14.Qd2 Nd5 15.O-O-O. As the f4 Knight was well guarded, and I could not capture nor chase away the f3 Knight guarding the Rook on h4, I tried a luring move to change his Pawn structure. 15...Bb4 16.c3 Bd6.
Chris changes the dynamics of the position with 17.Bd3 Bxd3 18.Nxd3 Qe7 19.c4. I consider my next move a critical error in my play. 19...N5b6?
19...Nxe3 would have been fine, but I invited complication for myself with Chris having a great attack.
20.c5 Nc4 21.Qb4 Nxe3 22.cxd6!!!
This was my first move in the whole tournament where I felt a sense of panic. The best thing to do in this situation is to calm down as much as possible, evaluate the threats and the likely continuations, and think of your own defense and possible counterplay. The Pawn on d6 was a nasty Pawn, and his Queen was also well placed. I knew I had to keep my eye on that Pawn and hopefully kill it before very long.
After an eleven minute think, I played the logical 22...Qf8 keeping my Queen trained on the Pawn. Of course he plays 23. fxe3. I play Nb6 training two pieces on the Pawn now. He plays 24. Nde5. I play Kb8 to avoid 25. d7+ with the possible capture of my Queen which is keeping me alive.
Looking at the game now, I didn't quite get his 25th move, e4. Perhaps it was a waiting move. I play Rxd6 quickly (I'm down to 45 minutes, with Chris at almost 72), and he springs the excellent Nxf7 on me!
26...Qxf7? would lead to Qxd6, for which I would be down a Rook instead of the Knight I lost earlier. I quickly found 26...c5. The result was 27.dxc5 Rxd1+ 28.Kxd1 Qxf7 29.cxb6 Rd8+ 30.Kc2 Rc8+ 31.Kb1 axb6 32.Qxb6 Qd7!, with the threat of 33...Qd1#. I was happy to have turned my situation around, even though I was still behind by a Knight and a Pawn.
He prevents the back row mate, but I keep the pressure on. We get to this after 33.Rh1 Qd3+ 34.Ka1 Qc2 35.Rb1 Qxg2 36.Ne5 Qd2 37.Qxe6 Rc1 38.Qd5.
I couldn't find a perpetual here to save the game with a draw, so I proceeded to finish by exchanging Rooks, Queens, and get into a Knight and Pawn endgame.
After 38...Qe1 39.Qd3 Rxb1+ 40.Qxb1 Qa5 41.Nc4 Qxh5 42.Qe1 Qc5 43.Nd2 g5 44.e5 Kc8 45.e6 Kd8 46.e7+ Qxe7 47.Qxe7+ Kxe7, we had the following:
Well, in this game, victory went to the young. I had ten minutes left to finish the game. We played out eleven more moves before I resigned.
I shook Chris' hand with the best handshake and smile I had, as I realized I won to a very good player. Though I lost this tough game, I felt good that we fought it out the way we did.
Here is the entire .pgn. It's in play-by-play mode in this posting.
[Event "Minnesota Class Championships, Class D"]
[Site "Radisson Conference Center, Plymouth, MN"]
1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Bf5 5.Ng3 Bg6 6.Nf3 Nd7 7.Bc4 e6 8.h4 h6 9.h5 Bh7 10.Ne2 Bd6 11.Nf4 Qf6 12.Rh4 O-O-O 13.Be3 Ne7 14.Qd2 Nd5 15.O-O-O Bb4 16.c3 Bd6 17.Bd3 Bxd3 18.Nxd3 Qe7 19.c4 N5b6 20.c5 Nc4 21.Qb4 Nxe3 22.cxd6 Qf8 23.fxe3 Nb6 24.Nde5 Kb8 25.e4 Rxd6 26.Nxf7 c5 27.dxc5 Rxd1+ 28.Kxd1 Qxf7 29.cxb6 Rd8+ 30.Kc2 Rc8+ 31.Kb1 axb6 32.Qxb6 Qd7 33.Rh1 Qd3+ 34.Ka1 Qc2 35.Rb1 Qxg2 36.Ne5 Qd2 37.Qxe6 Rc1 38.Qd5 Qe139.Qd3 Rxb1+ 40.Qxb1 Qa5 41.Nc4 Qxh5 42.Qe1 Qc5 43.Nd2 g5 44.e5 Kc8 45.e6 Kd8 46.e7+ Qxe7 47.Qxe7+ Kxe7 48.Kb1 g4 49.Nf1 Kf6 50.Kc2 h5 51.Kd3 h4 52.Ke4 Kg5 53.b4 h3 54.Ng3 h2 55.a4 Kh4 56.Kf4 Kh3 57.a5 1-0
(Finally, I ran the endgame through my chess computer. It was a drawn endgame! Arghh, but I suspected that with my talk with my opponent after the game. I had to attack his last Pawns instead of trying to promote one of the kingside pair.)
Tags: chess, chess tournament, Minnesota