Sunday, August 23, 2009

DATMO 2009 R2: Heartbreak round

How do you lose a winning game? If you are me, its easy :)

[Event "DATMO 2009"]
[Site "Treo"]
[Date "2009.08.23"]
[Round "2"]
[White "Jimmy Liew"]
[Black "Xiu Deshun"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "D38"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 d5 3. c4 e6 4. Nc3 Bb4 5. Bg5 Nbd7 6. e3 c5

A bit of a surprise, I had expected 6...c6 transposing to the Cambridge Springs Defence.

7. cxd5 exd5 8. Qc2 Qa5 9. Bd3 c4

This opening hinges on control of the e4 square and the pressure on c3. I had to spend a lot of time as I was already out of book on the seventh move while my opponent hardly spent any time at all.

10. Bf5

The bishop must remain on this diagonal

10... O-O 11. O-O Re8 12. Rfc1 g6

Black had a long think here before playing this move. Obviously black has some problems with his piece placement, once he cannot gain control of e4.

13. Bxd7 Nxd7 14. Ne2!

I think this caught him by surprise as he had another long think. I was catching up on time now.

14... f6

I'm not sure this is a good plan. The f6 square is going to become a target

15. Bh4 Kg7 16. a3 Bd6 17. b3

I was considering between this and 17. Nc3. Somehow during the analysis I mixed things up. 17. Nc3 is better as it prevents black's next move.


If 17...cxb3. 18. Qxb3 and there are weaknesses on d5 and b7.

18. a4 Nb6 19. axb5 Qxb5 20. bxc4 dxc4

My opponent does not have a title but already rated 2500+ and recently won a tournament in the Philippines ahead of many grandmasters. So I was quite pleased that I had a achieved a better position by playing normal moves. It shows how difficult it is for black to equalise in the opening without resorting to riskier openings such as Benoni or King's Indian.

I had expected 20...Qxc4 when I planned 21. Qd2 Qb4 22. Rc7+ Re7 23. Rc6! Qxd2 24.Bxf6+ Kxf6 25. Rxd6+ winning a pawn.

Now I started a long analyse. The c4 pawn looks dangerous and restricts my pieces so I started a combination to exchange it

21. Nc3 Qc6 22. d5!? Nxd5 23. Nd4 Qb7

23..Qc5?? 24. Ne4 Qc7 25 Nb5 wins a piece.

24. Ncb5 Be5 25. Qxc4 Bd7 26. Rcb1 Nb6 27. Qd3 Red8 28. Qb3 Qe4 29. f4

This is a riskier move, but I wanted to get rid of that strong bishop on e5.

29... Bxd4 30. Nxd4 Re8 31. Re1 Qd5

Black was really short of time and understandably tries to simplify. But he misses a move.

32. Qxd5 Nxd5 33. Ra6! 33.. f5 34. Rd6 Nb6 35. Rb1 Bc8?

This should have allowed a powerful reply 36. Rc1 which should be winning for white. Now I make a series of terrible moves which threw away all my advantages.

36. Bf6+? Kf7 37. Nf3? Re6

I mistaken thought this was not possible due to Ng5, but now I noticed my bishop on f6!

38. Rxe6 Kxe6 39. Bd4 Nc4 40. Ng5+ Kd5 41. Rb5+ Kd6

Objectively, white still have the better of it due to his active pieces. But somehow I started playing as if I was in a daze.

42. Nxh7 a5 43. Rc5 Nd2 44. Ng5 a4 45. Nf7+ Ke6 46. Ng5+ Kd6 47. Nf7+ Ke6 48. Ng5+

I offered a draw as I did not think my position was worse. I was surprised my opponent shook his head. Surely he did not think he was actually winning?

48...Ke7 49. Rc2 Nb3 50. Bc3 Kd6 51. Nf7+ Kd5 52. Ne5 Ke4 53. Kf2 Be6 54. Nf3??

I totally did not see any of black's moves.

54... Rc8 55. Ng5+??

Last chance to hold the game was 55. Ne1

55... Kd3 56. Ra2 Rxc3 57. Rxa4

57. Nxe6 Rc2+ and the pawn queens.

Rc2+ 58. Kg3 Bd5 59. Nf3 Bxf3 60. gxf3 Kxe3 61.
Ra6 Nd4 62. Ra3+ Ke2 63. Ra6 Rc3 64. Ra2+ Ke3 65. Ra6 Ne2+ 66. Kh4 Nxf4 67. Kg5
Kxf3 68. h4 Kg3 69. Ra4 Ng2 0-1


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