I played this past weekend at the Virginia Closed State Chess Championships and finished 7th with a score of 4.0/6, a half-point above my goal going into the tournament. My only loss was against Grandmaster Sergey Erenburg, as I had 2 draws and 3 wins.
I thought I had some really good games this tournament, so I’ll be showing individual rounds in the next few blog posts.
Chrisney – Steincamp (Virginia Closed, 2014)
I think I finished the tournament with my strongest game with the Black pieces. I like this game because I achieved my dream position in the endgame and won.
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 g6 3.c4 Nc6 4.d4 cxd4 5.Nxd4 Bg7 6.Be3 Nf6 7.Nc3 d6 8.Be2 O-O 9.O-O Bd7 10.Rc1 Nxd4 11.Bxd4 Bc6 12.f3 a5 13.b3 Nd7
14.Kh1 My preparation for this game ended here, as I was anticipating either 14. Be3 or 14. Bxg7. The idea behind 14. Kh1 is that White doesn’t have to worry about a forced queen trade later if I get my queen on c5.
14…Nc5 15.Bxg7 Kxg7 16.Qd4+ Kg8 17.Rfd1 Ne6 18.Qe3
18…Qb8 It took me a while to find this move. I think this was the best way to find counter play with …Qa7 and prevent white from playing c4-c5 immediately.
20.Rxd5? For some reason I thought that my opponent would take this way, but I thought 20. exd5 was the only way to maintain any advantage. This is because 20… Nc5 21. Re1 (not 21. Qxe7?? Rfe8 -+) and white puts pressure on e7. I think in these lines, I need to play …e7-e6 ideas, but that still leaves me with an isolated pawn on d6.
20…Qa7 21.Qd2 Rfc8 22.f4
22…Rc5 My compute likes 22… Nc5, but I think I like my move more because an endgame favors me. After I played 22… Rc5 I was prepared to play 23. f5 Nc7 24. Rd3 b5 with strong play on the queenside.
23.Rf1 Rxd5 24.Qxd5 Qe3!
25.Qd3 The best and safest move. Black has to trade queens but…
26…Nd4! The whole point in the Maroczy Bind for Black, now I just need to secure this square and the game is mine for the taking.
27.Kg1 I thought that this move did not really challenge me. I expected 27. e5 dxe5 28. fxe5 Nc6 Black is better because of black’s hyperextended e-pawn (which is not a light square, the rook will be stuck protecting it), but I thought it would be not as clear for me.
27…e5 28.fxe5 dxe5 29.Rf6 Ne6 30.Kf2 Kg7 31.Rf3 Rd8 32.Re3?
32…Nf4! The key tactic, as white is completely defenseless. 33. Be2 is forced because all other moves lose material to Rd2+ with no counter play.
34.a4 If White tries 34. g3 Ne6 is winning because 35. a3 Rb2 36. Kg1 (if 36. Kf1 the h-pawn is unprotected Nd4 37. Bd1 Rxh2) Nd4 37. Bf1 Rd2 38. Re1 Ra2 39. a4 Ra1 and White cannot stop Nxb3 without losing the bishop. I saw this during the game, so I was ready for these lines.
35…Ne6! White is trying to be tricky, as 35… Nxe2?! 36.Rxe2 Rxb3 37.Rd2 Rb4 38.Rd5 leads to complicated variations. Seeing as dominating, I continued my maneuver back to d4.
36.Kf1 Nd4 37.Bg4 Rxb3 38.Re1 Rb4 39.Bc8 b6 40.Ra1 Rxc4 41.Bb7 Nb3 42.Ra3 Nc5 43.Bd5 Rxa4 44.Rf3 f6 0-1
A good game for me, my opponent played aggressively in the opening, but I took advantage of 24. Qxd5 with …Qe3.
I’ll be back soon with another one of my wins from this past weekend, where an 1850+ rated player tried to scholar’s mate me!
Feel like I missed something? Feel free to comment below!