Sunday, August 9, 2009

Quarter Final Game 3

Today I can take a break and let someone else do the "live telecast" as Mr Shiraj so
comically put it. Yes, Hairulov is now at DATCC where the 3rd game is now on-going. I'm going to "feed" off him this time :)

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

1. d4 g6

"Tiger" Mok only have one reliable defence and this is it. I once told him he should widen his opening if he wants to reach IM. He just smiled.

2.c4 Bg7 3.e4 d6 4.Nc3 e5

It may be wise to avoid repeating yesterday's first game. You cannot believe Ooi did not come back with preparations.

5.Nge2 Nc6 6.Be3 Nh6

Black played 6...exd4 in the first game. Mok decides to deviate first.

7.f3 f5 8.d5 Ne7 9.Qd2 Nf7 10.g3 h5 11. h4

Otherwise Black continues ...h4 with play on the h-file.


Black needs to free some squares for his pieces at the cost of giving the white knight an excellent post on e4

12 Nxe4 Nf5 13 Bg5 ?!

Giving up this bishop is a strategical mistake. I really don't understand White's play. Now Black rules the black squares.

13...Nxg5 14. hxg5 Qe7 15. 0-0-0 Bd7 16 Bh3 0-0-0

Both sides have achieved some measure of what they set out for. White has the natural c5 break, but this needs some preparation. Black has closed the king-side and saddled white with weaknesses on the black squares and the pawn on g5.

My observation is that throughout the match , both sides have clear strategic plans in the middle-game. The reason that Mok is two points up is really due to better analysis skills. Lets see if the current game validates my observation.

17 Qd3 ?!

Why the queen goes to this square? It does not help the c5 break at all.


Mok knows this positions like the back of his hand. This is a good waiting move, bringing the king to the safety of the corner and avoiding any tactical possibilities on the h3-c8 diagonal

18. Kb1 a6

Another waiting move, but probably there is a better one. 18...h4 will show up the problems in white's positions. 19. g4 Nd4 leaves the white square bishop on h3 useless.

19. N2c3 h4! 20. g4

20. gxh4 Rxh4 and black just doubles up on the h-file


Black has the advantage now and with the two point lead, Mok can now sit pretty and wait for Ooi to take all chances.

21. Bg2 Rdf8 22. Rh3

In a normal situation, either side would offer to split the point here as it will be very risky to force matters. But white needs to win here, and we can expect some desperate measures to change the balance of the position

22...Rf7 ?!

I don't like this. Black intends to exchange the h4 pawn for f3 pawn. But while the f3 pawn might be defendable, the same cannot be said for the h4 pawn. White will choose the right time to trade into a favourable situation. 22... Rf7 23. Rdh1 Rfh8 holding the h-pawn is correct. White might try to bring another piece to attack h4 , but I am sure there are tactical reasons why this will not work.

23. Rdh1 Rhf8 24. Rf1

White can win the h4 pawn with 24. Ne2 and trading knights. Maybe he is worried about the long black diagonal e.g 24. Ne2 b6 25. Nxd4 exd4 26. Rxh4 Qe5.

24..Rh8 25. Qe3

Played to gain some time and think of the right plan? This move does nothing.


And neither does this :).
26. Rfh1 Qe8 27. Rxh4 Rxh4 28. Rxh4 Nf5. Now White can sac the exchange 29. gxf5 Rxh4 30. f6

26 Qe1 Rhf8 27. Qd1 Rh8 28. Re1 c5 ?!

Now I know I named him "Crouching Tiger" is not for nothing. Mok does not seem satisfied with just sitting on the position, even though he just needs a draw. Mok probably sees that Reh1 Qf7 keeps the status quo so why weaken the d6 pawn. I think he has a surprise up his sleeve, ....b5 is going to come at some stage and black will go on the offensive.

29. a4 b5

Not sure this is good now as the black king will be exposed after the exchanges

30. axb5 axb5 31. cxb5

Now the pawn cannot be re-taken and black remains a pawn down. 31... Bxb5? 32 Nxb5 Nxb5 33. Rd3 (Not 33 Qb3 Qb7 34 Bf1 Nc3+ 35.Kc2 Qxb3+ 36 Kxb3 Nxe4 good for black)

31...Kb7 32. Qa4 Ra8 33 Qc4 Rxe4!

As I said , "Tiger" tactics are superior to Buddha. 34 fxe4 Qxg5 picks up the g-pawn for two powerful passers

34. Nxe4 Bxb5 35 Qc3 Kb6 !?

Obviously to transfer the queen to a7 but I prefer the safer Kb8

36. Kc1 Ra4 37. Kd1 Rc4 -+ 38 Qa3 Ba4+ 39 Kd2 Rc2 40 Ke3 Qf7 ?

Probably they are in time scramble now. Another win would be 40...Rxg2 41. Qxa4 Nc2 forking the rook. The rest is easy

41. Qxa4 Qf4 42. Kd3 c4 43 Qxc4 Rxc4 44. Kxc4 Qf7
Missed another win. 44... Nc2 45 Re2 Qc1 46 Kd3 Nb4 mate!

45. Nc3 Qf4 46. Kd3 Qxg5 47. Ne4 Qe7 48. Rhh1 Qb7 49. Nc3? Qa6+ 50. Ke3 Nc2+ 51. Kf2 Nxe1 52. Rxe1 Qd3 53. Bf1 Qd4+ 54. Kg2 Qf4 55. Ne4 h3+ 56.Kf2 Qh2+ 57. Ke3 Bh6+ 58. g5 Qf4+ 59. Kf2 Bxg5 60. Ra1 Qh2+ 61. Ke1 Bh4+ 62. Kd1 Qxb2 63. Ra6+ Kc7 64. Rc6+ Kb8 65. Bxh3 Qb1+ 66. Ke2 Qe1+ 67. Kd3 Qd1+ 68. Ke3 Qe1+ 69. Kd3 Qd1+ 70. Ke3 Qe1+ 71. Kd3 Qd1+ 72. Kc4 Qe2+ 73. Kb4 Be1+ 74. Ka4 Qa2+ 75. Kb5 Qb3+ 76. Ka6 Qa4+ 77. Kb6 Qa5++ 0-1


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