|keypusher: National Open Round 4 6/8/08
Bernard Parun 1944 -- Thomson
My only draw of the tournament. The sort of game that gets called "a comedy of errors" except that while you're playing it, it's just not funny at all.
1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Nd5 3. d4 d6 4. c4 Nb6 5. f4 dxe5 6. fxe5 Nc6 7. Be3 Bf5 8. Nc3 e6 9. Nf3 Be7 10. a4?! Nb4 11. Rc1 c5!
...Nb4 and ...c7-c5 was Alekhine's original idea for breaking down White's center. Since White has wasted a tempo with a2-a4, I thought it would work.
12. Qd2 cxd4 13. Nxd4 Bg6 14. Ncb5? Na2?
Hard to resist such a move, but simply 14....Nxa4 is stronger.
Instead 15. c5 and then Ra1 gives White the advantage.
15....Bb4 16. Nc3 Nxc3 17 bxc3 Be7?
17....Qh4+ 18. g3 Qe4 19. Rg1 Ba5 picks up the pawn on e5.
Instead 18. c5 and 19. c6 is strong.
18....Nd7 19. Bf4
And here 19. a6, with the same idea of conquering c6 for White's knight, is better.
And here 19....Be4 threatening ...Bh4+ is a more dynamic way of safeguarding c6. Looking at your own games with an engine is a very humbling experience.
20. Be2 Nc5 21. 0-0 0-0 22. Kh1
Black has a very clear visual advantage. His pieces all have nice comfortable squares (no small thing when playing Alekhine's Defense!) and his pawns are much better than his opponent's. But how does he <win>? It's hard for black to bring pressure to bear on the isolated a- and e-pawns, and his own knight shields the doubled c-pawns. Meanwhile White's strong knight on d4 seems unassailable.
22....Qc7 23. Qe3 Rac8 24. Rfd1 Rfd8 25. h3 h6 26. Rd2? Bg5?
A nice idea, poorly executed. The way to take advantage of White's error is 26....Ne4 27. Rb2 Bc5 (threatening ...Nxc3) 28. Bf3 Bxd4 29. cxd4 Qxc4 30. Bxe4 Bxe4 31. Qxe4 Rxd4 32. Qxb7 Rxf4 with an extra pawn. But that won't be easy to win!
27. Bxg5 hxg5 28. Rb2? (28. Bf3 is better) 28....Qe7? (Again ...Ne4, setting up ...Qxe5, is the move) 29. Rb6 Rc7 30. Rb4 f6 (Black is now trying to set up an attack on the kingside, but is inflicting dangerous weaknesses on himself in the process) 31. Ra2 Kf7 32. Kg1 Rh8 33. Ra1 f5 34. Bf1?! Rcc8?!
White's careless last move allowed 34....g4 35. hxg4 Qh4 36. Qh3 fxg4 37. Qxh4 Rxh4 with a better ending for Black. Obviously the exchange of queens is something he should strive for. ...g5-g4 remains a possibility for several more moves, but Black does not take advantage.
35. Ra2 Rh7?! 36. Rab2 (White could have played 36. Nb3! Nxb3 37. Rxb3 with Qa7 threatened) 36....f4 37. Qe1 Qc7 38. Rb6 Re8 39. Qf2? (setting a trap with a hole in it) 39....Qxe5? (39....Be4 first was the refutation) 40. Nf3! Qf5
click for larger view
I had seen this far.
41. g4! But not this far.
41....fxg3 42. Nxg5+ Kg8 43. Qxf5 Bxf5 44. Nxh7 Kxh7
Luckily in what followed, my opponent proved just as unable as I had been to capitalize on his advantage. No matter how well White plays, though, this should be very hard to win.
45. Rd2 Be4?
To prevent White's KB from taking over the long diagonal. But Black should try to keep his own strong bishop on the board. Now Black is on the brink of defeat.
46. Bg2 Bxg2 47. Kxg2 Re7 48. Re2 Kg6 49. Kxg3 Kf6 50. Re3 Rd7 51. Rb1 Rc7 52. Rf1+ Ke7 53. Rf4 Nd7 54. Rfe4 Rc6 55. Rg4 Kf7 56. Rd4 Nf6?
The king should have gone back to e7.
57. Re5! Rc7 58. h4 Ke7 59. Kh3
Instead 59. h5 Rc8 60. Rg5 Kf7 61. Kf3 Rc7 62. Ke3 Re7 63. Rd1 Rc7 64. Rdg1 Kf8 65. Kd4 Rd7+ 66. Ke5 is the simplest path to victory, but this is not so easy to see. In any event, White's last move doesn't spoil anything.
59....Kf7 60. Rg5 Rc6
I think we each had half an hour for the rest of the game from this point. We were both pretty tired.
Presumably with the idea Rd4-d6 and eventually c5-c6.
61....Rc7 62. Rf4
Beginning to drift. White can't play 62. Rd6 immediately because of ...Ne4, but he can try to set the move up.
62....Rd7 63. Rd4 Rc7 64. Rf4 Rd7 65. Rd4?? Rc7<??>
We both thought the position had repeated only twice, but in fact I could have claimed the draw here -- see for yourself after Black's 61st, 63rd, and 65th move.
66. Rd1? (66. h5 should still win) 66....Ne4 67. Rg2 Nxc5 68. Rdg1 Kf8 69. Rf1+ Kg8 70. Rgf2? (giving up most of White's remaining advantage) 70....Nb3 71. Rf8+ Kh7 72. R1f3 Nxa5 73. Re8 Nc6 (73....Nc4 was stronger) 74. Rxe6 Rd7?! 75. Kg4 Kg8?
We agreed to a draw after a few more meaningless moves. It was midnight and we had the giant playing room practically to ourselves. My opponent was very angry with himself. If he had been calmer, he might have seen 76. Re8+ Kh7 77. Rff8 Re7 78. Kf5 Rxe8 79. Rxe8 and White should be able to win after all!