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Mariano Sana vs Alfonso Romero Holmes
XXV Open de Gros (2015), San Sebastian, Spain, rd 6, Jun-30
Old Indian Defense: Ukrainian Variation (A54)  ·  1/2-1/2



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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: 7.Bxf6 was weak. The bishop pair more than compensates for the doubled pawns and black obtains comfortable piece play.

I expected 15...f6, but the GM overlooked 16.Nd5. Giving up the exchange was not really necessary, and white got advantage.

30.f3 complicated things unnecessarily. I overlooked the intermediate 31...Bf5+

34.Nxb5+ (made when we both had about five minutes for the rest of the game, w/30-second increments) was a dramatic moment:

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I had seen 34...Kb6 35.Rf2 Rxe2 36.Rxe2 Bd5+ 37.Ka1 and white holds on to the material advantage. But then, while he was thinking, I saw there was no need for the check. What if 36...Kxb5?

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I was pondering this, quite worried, when he played 34...Kb7. Later he told me he played it out of instinct because he didn't like self-pinning the knight with 34...Kb6. As it turns out, in the diagram, white has 37.Ka1! and black has to drop the material he just gained!

The computer says that instead of 35.Rf2, I had to play 35.Rgh2 and let black push my king into the middle of the board under serious harassment (but, as the computer knows but I wouldn't, no real threat). That would have kept white's advantage, but I played the human move, which strikes me as the most sensible to play against a GM when you both have only a few minutes on the clock!

Jul-13-15  Pulo y Gata: Hi, Fussili. That was quite a game. I thought 21. Nd2 is strong and would have given you a good chance of converting the advantage.

White still threatens Rh1 (and Ne4, depending on subsequent moves) and I think black has a difficult defense.

Good game!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <PyG> Thanks, and actually, Romero Holmes agrees with you! He was worried about 21.Nd2. It would have been stronger then than when I played it two moves later.
Jul-13-15  Pulo y Gata: Because after Nd2 black needs to worry about that h-pawn and that g-pawn could be a problem in the long run. I also looked at your Sicilian game (looks like it transposed into French at some point) and I thought you were doing really well with white up to a certain point. Interesting games. Keep pushing! ;-)
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