Ezzy: Sasikiran,Krishnan (2700) - Short,Nigel D (2677) [A63] 10th Tradewise Festival 2012 Masters Gibraltar/UK (10), 02.02.2012
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 c5 <No Catalan for Nigel. He's going all out for the win. Nigel played the Catalan for the very first time in his career in round 1. I'm surprised he avoided it here. I thought it might be his new toy. :-)> 4.d5 exd5 5.cxd5 d6< Nigel's only played the benoni once in about 25 years. He played it in his match against Giri in 2010.> 6.Nc3 g6 7.Bg2 Bg7 8.Nf3 0–0 9.0–0 Nbd7 10.a4 h6 <Novelty. 10...a6 is almost universally played. Any other moves are pretty rare. But Nigel very rarely plays main line moves these days.> 11.Qc2 Qe7 12.Ra3< I don't think I would have opted for that move in a 'guess the move' competition.> 12...a6 13.Nd2 Rb8 14.a5 b5 15.axb6 Nxb6 16.b3 Ng4 17.Bb2 f5 18.e3 g5< Nigel's 'getting on' with his kingside play while Sasikiran is messing about with his rook, moving it up and down from a3 to a1>. 19.Raa1 Bb7 20.Rae1 Rbe8 21.h3 Ne5 22.f4< Necessary to stop Nigel's 22...f4 play.> 22...Ng6 23.Kh2 gxf4 24.gxf4?< 24 exf4 is better, then if Nigel trades his queen for 2 rooks, analysis shows that white eventually siezes the initiative [ 24.exf4 Qxe1 25.Rxe1 Rxe1 26.Nc4 Nxc4 27.bxc4 Re7 28.Na4 Then white brings his queen to b3 and b6, and black is tied to the defence of his d6 pawn.> 24...Kh7 25.Nc4 Nxc4 26.bxc4 Bc8< I like this move. It Protects the f5 pawn and also it frees the queen to go to h4 if it wants to. With the black bishop on b7 it can't because of tricks down the 'b' file with whites queen. [26...Qh4 27.Ne4 fxe4 28.Bxg7 Kxg7 29.Qb2+ Kf7 30.Qxb7+ Qe7 Nullifying black's attacking chances.down the kingside.> 27.Rf3 Rg8< Threatening 28...Nh4 29 Rf2 Bd4 30 Kh1 Qg7 with a winning attack.> 28.Rg1< Only move.> 28...Bf6< Threatening 29...Nh4 30 R1f1 Qxe3 31 Nd1 Qg3+ 32 Kh1 Bd4 with a winning attack.> 29.Bh1??< 29 Bf1 or 29 Ne2 defending the c4 pawn was necessary. It seems Sasikiran missed Nigel's next move.> 29...Ne5! 30.Rfg3< [30.fxe5 Bxe5+ 31.Rf4 Rxg1 32.Kxg1 Qg5+ 33.Kf1 Bxf4 34.exf4 Qxf4+ 35.Qf2 Qxc4+ 36.Kg1 with a winning position for black..] >30...Rxg3 31.Rxg3 Nxc4 32.Bc1 Bh4 33.Rf3 Qg7< This is the computer choice of disposing of black 33...Bd7 34.Nb1 Nb6 35.Rf1 Rg8 36.Rg1 Rxg1 37.Kxg1 Qg7+ 38.Qg2 Bf6 39.Bd2 Nc4 40.Bc1 Bb5 41.Na3 Nxa3 42.Bxa3 a5 43.Qxg7+ Kxg7 44.Bf3 Bd3 45.Kg2 Kf7 46.Kg3 Ke7 47.Bd1 Be4 48.Bf3 winning>34.Ne2 Nb6 35.e4 <A bit reckless. 35 Rf1 defending the d5 pawn with the bishop on h1 was necessary to keep some of the fight going.> 35...Rxe4 36.Rb3 Re8 <Ah ha, the knight on b6 can't be taken. 37.Bf3 [37.Rxb6?? Rxe2+ 38.Qxe2 Qg3#] >37...Bf2 <Threatening 38...Rxe2 and mate is unnavoidable> 38.Bg4 Qg6 39.Rxb6 fxg4 40.Qxg6+< No option, 40...g3+ and mate in 3 was threatened.> 40...Kxg6 41.Rxd6+ Kf7 42.Ng3 Re1 43.Bd2 Rg1 44.Rf6+ Kxf6 45.Ne4+ Kf7 46.Nxf2 Ra1 47.hxg4 Ra2 48.Be3 Bxg4 49.Kg3 Bf5 50.Bxc5 Ra5 0–1
Sweet revenge for Nigel, who lost with white against Sasikiran in the Corus B tournamennt 2009.
All or nothing game for Nigel. Nigel played the benoni, a very complex game occurred, and once again Nigel sifted through the quagmire of variations to emerge as the victor.
Not only did Nigel play magnificently, he also Shared the top spot with Yifan Hou with 8/10
It get's even better - HE WON THE PLAYOFF AND BECOMES GIBRALTER MASTERS CHAMPION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is Nigel's 3rd Gibralter title, but this one is the biggie, with a rating performance of 2838!! in an extremely strong field. One of Nigel's best results in recent years. Last year you had a TPR of 2883!!, BUT this was better because you WON the tournament.
Many congratulation Nigel; You've done us Northerner's proud.
They'll be hitting the Bolton bars tonight!