So we finally got a way overdue victory against a Carolina. Let's review!
1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 3.c4 b6 4.g3 Ba6 5.b3 Bb4+ 6.Bd2 Be7 7.Bg2 c6 8.0-0 d5 9.Qc2 0-0 10.Bf4 Nbd7 11.Rd1 Ne4?!
Up to this moment, I was thinking that my opponent prepared for me. However, this last move (and my opponent thinking for some time still in the opening theory) made me think that my opponent expected my new addition to my white repertoire as I demonstrated over last few months.
Here I sat down to analyze why Ne4 is not played instead of Rc8. Rc8 had a vital role of protecting c-file of any invasion from white's queen. Additionally, white usually places knight on c3 blocking that idea but only after Rc8...
12.Nbd2 g5!? I saw this move but I pushed it to the back of my mind as I did not expect my opponent purposely weakening his position in such a drastic way. 13.Be3 f5 14.cxd5 cxd5 15.Qc6 I was really happy with this position to be honest. I thought I had really strong momentum here. However, I missed the simple 15...Kh8! and I can't take the pawn since the queen is suddenly trapped! 16. Qxe6 Rf6 17. Qxd5 Nc3. Oops?
Position after 17...Nc3
Luckily my opponent missed this fantastic resource and went for the move that I thought couldn't possibly work because so much would fall. My intuition was right. f4? 16.Qxe6+ Kg7 17.Nxe4 fxe3 17...dxe4 fails due to 18. Ne5! +/- 18.Nc3? Obvious blunder. I felt like there were just too many moves that were good and I must have went for the worst one out there. Lacking the great in depth calculative abilities I thought that line 18. Qxd5 Bxe2 19. Nexg5 Bxg5 20. Nxg5 exf2+ 21. Kh1 is a bit dangerous and pawn on f2 made me really uneasy. exf2+ 19.Kxf2 Nf6 20.Kg1 Bc8? Black returns the favor yet again!
20...Rc8! offered quite a bit of pressure and compensation.
Possibly black's last chance.
21.Qe3? This move is a blunder simply because I missed a clear win with 21. Qe5! h6 22. Nxg5! hxg5 23. Nxd5 and white wins. Ng4 22.Qd2 Bb4 23.a3 Bxc3 24.Qxc3 Ba6 25.h3 Nf6 26.Nxg5 Qe7 27.e4 I sat here for quite a while. My first consideration was 27. Qc7! but after I saw Nd7 I ruled it out as insufficient. Or to be more specific - downright scary. I just wanted to stay in control. h6 Obviously 27...dxe4 28. d5 +- 28.Qb4! I was really happy I found this move because it helped liquidate some material and make this game a lot easier. Qd7 29.e5 hxg5 30.exf6+ Rxf6 31.Re1 Re8 32.Rxe8 Qxe8 33.Re1 Re6 34.Rxe6 Qxe6 35.Qd2 Kf6 36.h4! Finishing blow. gxh4 37.Qh6+ Kf7 38.Qxe6+ Kxe6 39.gxh4 Be2 40.Kf2 Bd1 41.Bh3+ Kf6 42.b4 a5 43.Kg3 axb4 44.axb4 Bh5 45.Kf4 Bg6 46.Bg2 Bf7 47.Bf3 Be6 48.h5 Bf7 49.h6 Bg8 50.Bh5 Bh7 51.Bd1 Be4 52.Bf3 Bc2 53.Bxd5 Kg6 54.Be4+ Bxe4 55.Kxe4 Kxh6 56.Kd5 Black resigns 1-0
Quick notes on the other three games:
Ino is a nut job. And he somehow wins those positions! I, for one, don't know how! Game was insane and impossible to evaluate for a human. There is absolutely no point in running this game through a computer since it will show mistakes from as soon as complications started to until they died. Human element of chess cannot be accounted for. Maybe Ino will post his thoughts later. For Ron Simpson's analysis, click here.
Keaton...well as GM Dan said "Keaton I love you but your openings couldn't get any worse!"
Position after move 16. Qd1
22 moves later...
Move 39. How did THIS happen? I don't know either.
Last not but not least our hero for few matches himself lost and he couldn't have picked a better day! This game started off with fireworks right off the bat. 3. exd5 promised a super sharp play afterwards...wait...I am confusing variations here... it's the dreaded exchanged French! I for one, am not sure, how exchanged French is suppose to play for a win. Draw, maybe. Win? Unlikely.
Of course, Nelson took this game into his hands and made most of this dreadfully boring variation.
14...g5?! as the game proved seemed dubious at best. 14...Rb2! offered good chances and great counter-play.
Final note: I hope Ino (Julio for those who didn't catch on yet) wins or at least qualifies for some prize in this week's GOTW. The game is TOO crazy to not qualify!
Until the next blue moon...