Saturday, August 8, 2009

Live from DATCC

I'm at the DATCC at Wilayah Kompleks in Kuala Lumpur observing the current match between "Tiger" Mok and "Buddha" Ooi. This is the position on the board.

A typical Modern Defence by the Tiger but White handling is rather unusual. Pushing the h5 pawn for a king-side attack is typical of Ooi, who seems to prefer tactical play. Mok is very good at this type of situation, where he sits and waits for his opponent to try something. This is going to be interesting.

Ooi Chern Ee - Mok Tze Meng [A42]
Malaysian Masters 2009 (Quarter-Final)

1.e4 g6 2.d4 Bg7 3.c4 d6 4.Nc3 Nc6 5.Be3 e5 6.Nge2 exd4 7.Nxd4 Nge7 8.h4 f5 9.h5 fxe4 10.hxg6

Black is spending some time thinking on his 10th move. Already he has spent more than an hour by now, White Time: 1.10 Black Time: 0:41. Black needs to develop his queen-side and castle that side as quickly as possible.

10...Nf5 !?

Very difficult move to find and white caught by surprise now. The d4 knight is threatened, the obvious 11. Nxf5 Bxf5, the bishop defends h7 pawn and Black bishops are on very strong diagonals.

11. Nxf5 Bxf5 12. gxh7

This is critical position. The next move will decide if white's attacking h4-h5 is correct.

12... Qf6!

Time: 0:56 0:31. Black is not afraid of 13.Nd5 Qf7 and I think Black is clearly better now.

13. Nd5 Qf7 14. Qh5

White still trying to force tactics in the position. White has to concede he has lost the opening fight. It's time to batten down the hatches , start digging trenches and all that. Mok can be very dangerous in these type of positions.
Time: 0:46 0:34

14..Bg6 15. Qg5

White realizes he cannot allow black to castle. So this is the point of 14. Qh5. Mok thinking for five minutes now. White is threatening Nxc7+. 15..Ne5 should be coming next.
Time: 0:44 0:29

15...Ne5 16 0-0-0

White replies immediately. Must be trying to capitalize on his time advantage. Black still thinking how to solve his king problem. 15...c6 16 Nf4 Bf6 17. Nxg6! Nxg6 (Bxg5 18. Nxh8 Bxe3+ 19. fxe3 Qg7 20. Ng6 white wins) 18 Qg4

16..Rxh7 17. Rxh7 Bxh7 18. Be2

Mok down to 8 minutes and still thinking. White has a healthy 44 minutes on the clock
Apologies, white actually castled queen-side on 16th move.

18.. Kd7 !?

I don't like this, there will be some tactical resources based on this king position. I would play 18...Kf8. Actually , black wants to bring his rook out, preferable to g8. But 18...Kd7 might allow 19. Bh5 Qf8 (19... Bg6 20. Nxg6 Qg4+ picks up the e-pawn) 20. f4! Nd3+ 21 Rxd3 cxd3 22. Bg4+ Kc6 23. Nb4 mate or another one is 22..Ke8 23. Nc7+ Kf7 24. Be6 mate

19. Bh5 Qf8

After 20. f4 black might try 20...exf3 to avoid the above line. He then has one move to fix his problems

20. f4 exf3 21 exf3 c6

Now white will play f4. I dont think Mok has enough time left to work out the tactics

22. f4

Time : 18 minutes for white, 5 minutes for black

22... cxd5 23. fxe5 Bxe5 24. Bg4+ Kc7

Trading knights have given the black king some breathing space. Now black has another enemy...the clock! Less than 5 minutes now for black.

25. cxd5 Re8

Mission accomplished. I think White's 24th move was too hasty. Black should have no problems now except for the clock...3 minutes left...

26. Be6 ? Qxf3

watch out for those black bishops!

27. Re1 ??

isnt' it a blunder? 27.. Rxe6! 28. dxe6 Qc6+

28...Rxe6 29. Qh4

Now 29...Bxb2+ should win handily

29...Bd3! 30. dxe6 Qc6 31 Bc5 Qxc5

White hopes to win on time ??

32. Kd2 Qc2+ 33. Ke3 Bg6 34. e7

Almost over now

34.. Kd7 35.Kf3 Qf5+ 36. Kg2 Qf4 37. e8=Q Bxe8 38. Qh3 Kd8 39. Re2 Bc6 40 Kg1 Bd4 White resigns


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