Wednesday, September 20, 2017

2017 3 Tables - August Round 3 Anton Taylor, 1999 - Randas Burns, 1977 Sicilian: Hungarian (B27)

2017 3 Tables - August Round 3
Anton Taylor, 1999 - Randas Burns, 1977
Sicilian: Hungarian (B27)

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 g6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Bg7 5. Nc3 Nc6 6. Be3 Nf6 7. Be2 Bc4 is more common but I have better results in other variations with Be2. 7. ... O-O 8. Qd2 d5 9. exd5 Nxd5 10. Nxd5 Nxd4 11. Bc4 I thought quite a while on this move. The other option (Bxd4) was unsatisfactory to me. 11. ... Nf5 12. O-O-O Be6 13. Bc5?? The decisive error. I missed the upcoming Qc7 after the knight comes off. Bb3 and Qe2 are far better. 13. ... Bxd5 Qc8 is also stronger but this should be better for black anyway. 14. Bxd5 Qc7 15. Be3 The fact that this has to go back means that moving it was probably stupid. 15. ... e6 16. Bb3 Rfd8 17. Qe2 Qe5 18. c3 a5 19. Rhe1 Nxe3 20. Qxe3 Rxd1+ 21. Bxd1?? Right after my hand comes off the piece I notice the tactical theme that loses this game.  21. ... Bh6! 22. Qxh6 Qxe1 23. Qd2 Qxd2+ 24. Kxd2 Rd8+ 25. Ke2 Kg7 26. Ba4 e5 27. Bb5 f5 28. f3 Kf6 29. Bd3 h6 30. a4 Rd6 31. b4 b6 32. Bb5 e4 33. bxa5 bxa5 34. c4 exf3+ 35. gxf3 Re6+ 36. Kd3 Ke7 37. c5 f4 38. Kd4 Kd8 39. Bd3 g5 40. Be4 Kc7 41. Kc4 Re8 42. Kd4 Rb8 43. Ke5 Rb4 44. Kf5 Rxa4 45. Bd5 Rd4 46. Be6 Kc6 0-1

Friday, September 15, 2017

2017 3 Tables - August Round 2 CM Justin Arnold, 2073 - Anton Taylor, 1999 Nimzo-Indian: Kmoch (E20)

2017 3 Tables - August Round 2
CM Justin Arnold, 2073 - Anton Taylor, 1999
Nimzo-Indian: Kmoch (E20)

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. f3 O-O More common is d5 immediately contesting that big white stake in the center but this move is perfectly playable. 5. a3 Bxc3+ 6. bxc3 c5 A lot of different moves have been tried here with all kinds of ideas. d5, d6, b6, Nh5, and even Ne8. 7. e3? At some point white has to play e4 to justify f3. It even seems much stronger here than his lackluster choice. In fact as I look at the menace of e4 I'm reconsidering the c5 line in favor of the solid d5. Black seems a bit busted after e4 to the point of getting strnagled. 7. ... Nc6 A minor miscalculation. Better is d6 preparing e5 and not tempting d5. 8. Bd3 e5 This is my deviation from the database. I am curious why this move has never been tried before. It seems to be an unexplored option. There are a lot of transpositions from here though into more common territory (if a sideline can be said to be common at all) 9. Ne2 d6 10. O-O b6 11. d5 Na5 12. Ng3 Ba6 13. Qe2 Qd7 14. e4? Surely Black must be better if only slightly against the terrible white light-squared bishop. 14. ... Nb3 15. Bg5 Nxa1 16. Bxf6 gxf6 17. Nh5 Qd8? The evaluation is roughly equal until thhis point. Kh8 accelerates the rook getting into action and if black takes his "free pawn" he simply loses a rook. He cant forget that he's a rook down in this position. 18. Qf2 Kh8 19. Qh4 Rg8 20. Nxf6 Rg7 21. Rxa1 Qe7? b5 is a clever move order: 21... b5 22. cxb5 c4 23. Bxc4 Rc8 24. Bf1 Bxb5 25. Bxb5 Qb6+ Had I seen this it is a much preferable active continuation to the one I chose in the game. 22. Rb1 Rag8 Floundering going nowhere while white can improve his rook and the queenside in general. 23. g4 Bc8 24. Kf2 Bd7 No ideas are coming to me here so the analysis of this whole sequence of the last few moves gives me interesting new ideas to study. 25. Qh6 Rb8 26. h4? More direct is Rg1. The win gets further away from white though he is still in the drivers seat and should win. 26. ... a6 27. h5 b5 28. Nxd7?? White has been blundering his way through this ending only slightly less poor than black. This, however, releases some pressure off of white. 28. ...Qxd7 29. Qf6 Qd8 30. Qxd8+ Rxd8 31. cxb5 axb5 32. Bxb5 Rb8 33. a4 f6 34. h6 Ra7 35. Rh1 Kg8 36. Rh5 Kf7 37. Ke3 Rg8 38. Kd3 Rga8 39. Rh2 Rxa4?? In the rush to end this game I dive headlong into a lost ending. Keeping things as they are is the best chance to hold the draw in the complications and time trouble. 40. Bxa4 Rxa4 41. Rb2 Kg6 42. Rb6 c4+ 43. Kc2 Ra2+ 44. Kd1 Rf2 45. Rxd6 Rxf3 46. Kd2 Rf4?? throwing away the draw. Rf2+ thrown in here either nabs the c-pawn or puts the king one square further away from defending the e-pawn after Rf4. 47. Rc6 Rxe4 48. d6 Kf7 49. d7?? Rc7! wins immediately. 49. ... Ke7 50. Rd6 Kd8 1-0 The final recorded position should be drawn but in the scramble I lose it. 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

3 Tables - August Round 1 FM Matt Hassen, 2315 - Anton Taylor, 1999 Caro-Kann: Advance/ Bayonet Variation

3 Tables - August Round 1
FM Matt Hassen, 2315 - Anton Taylor, 1999
Caro-Kann: Advance/ Bayonet Variation

1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 Bf5 4. g4 Bg6 5. e6 fxe6 6. h4 Qd6 7. h5 Bf7 8. f4 Nd7 This is where I was a bit lost. Nf6 or Nh6 are the recommended moves by Komodo but I'm not convinced that these moves go anywhere either. To have an equal position and be a pawn ahead means that black has done something wrong here. It is sharp and double-edged and has the potential for being completely lost or completely won. Essentially choosing this continuation by both players eliminates the drawn result. 9. Nc3 g6 10. hxg6 Bxg6 11. Bd3 Nf3 and g5 are better ways to handle the awkward position of the bishop or grip e5. 11. ... Bg7 12. Bxg6+ hxg6 13. Rxh8 Bxh8 14. Qd3 O-O-O 15. Nf3 Ngf6 The c5 break has to happen sooner or later. It probably should have been played here. Komodo likes Nh6 followed by e5 if white takes the g-pawn ... equal. 16. Ne5 Rg8 17. g5 Nf8?? I elect to give up the material but it was unnecessary. Instead, Komodo spots an interesting resource I had not even considered. Ne4 gives away the extra pawn but there is actually a slight advantage to black after the eminent trade. 18. gxf6 exf6 19. Ng4 Bg7 20. Bd2 g5 21. fxg5 f5 22. Nf2 Qh2 23. Ne2 Ng6 24. Qh3 Qc7 25. O-O-O Rh8 26. Qe3 e5 27. dxe5 Bxe5 28. Bc3 Re8 29. Bxe5 Rxe5 30. Qf3 Qe7 31. Nd3 Qxg5+? 31. ... Rxe2 32. Qxf5+ Qe6 seems better for black but I got cute. 32. Kb1 Re8 33. Rg1 Nh4 34. Rxg5 Nxf3 35. Rg2 Rh8 36. b3 Rh2 37. Rxh2 Nxh2 38. Nd4 Kc7 39. Nxf5 Nf3 40. Kb2 b6 41. Nf4 Ng5 42. Kc3 Nf3 43. Kd3 Ne1+ 44. Kd2 Nf3+ 45. Ke2 Ng5 46. Ke3 Kd7 47. a3 Kc7 48. b4 Ne4 49. Kd4 Nd2 50. a4 a6 1-0

The final moves are unrecorded but this has been obviously lost for quite a while.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

2017 Cleveland Open Round 5 Adam Gerver, 2050 - Anton Taylor, 2002 Caro-Kann: Advance (B12)

2017 Cleveland Open Round 5
Adam Gerver, 2050 - Anton Taylor, 2002
Caro-Kann: Advance (B12)

1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 c5 I'm still favoring this move over the classic Bf5 but it has developed a dubious relationship with my repertoire. It works out in the case of this game, however. 4. dxc5 Nc6 5. Nf3 Bg4 6. Be2 This move is suspect and leads to more than a few problems for white. Bb5 seems more consistent with an open game. 6. ... e6 7. a3?? leads to a loss. After the game I discussed this move with my opponent. Essentially he had mixed up the plans for this type of position (it boils down to either keeping the e-pawn or the c-pawn but white can't keep his extra pawn without problems. 7. ... Bxf3 8. Bxf3 Nxe5 This is still very good for black but probably Bxc5 is more accurate still threatening the e-pawn and developing another piece. 9. b4 Qf6 10. c3? Be2 is given as equal by Komodo but it looks like an unhappy risk to allow black to win the exchange even if Bb5+ looks menacing. 10. ... Nxf3+ 11. Qxf3 Qxf3 12. gxf3 g6 Be7 is more flexible but this has the same idea of controlling the long diagonal. 13. Bf4 It's hard to suggest a better try. Komodo gives the best chance to Kd1-Kc2-Bb2-Nd2 but that is so defensive that black must be winning by a wide margin. This move, however, makes white completely bankrupt directly (but keeps things complicated and potentially leaves winning chances on the table. It's not going to work but I applaud the last round aggression. 13. ... Bg7 14. Bd6 Nh6 15. Kd2 Nf5 This is completely winning but I missed the even more clear a5! forcing white to advnace the pawn and further weakening the advanced c-pawn. 16. Bf4 d4 17. Kc2 dxc3 18. Be3 O-O-O Rc8 was a move that Komodo seems to like but that I never really looked at. In conjunction with b6 it is a quite powerful variation. 19. Nxc3 Bd4 20. Rhe1 Rd7 21. Rab1?? Black was slowly allowing white to slip out of his grip but this is too much. contesting the file by Rad1 was necessary. 21. ... Bxc3 22. Kxc3 Rhd8 23. Kc2 Nd4+ 24. Bxd4 Rxd4 The rest is an instructive rook and pawn ending with full advantage to black. 25. Re2 Rd3 26. Re3 Rd2+ 27. Kb3 Rxf2 28. Rh1 Rdd2 29. h4 Rh2 30. Rxh2 Rxh2 31. Re4 Rh3 32. Rf4 f5 33. Rd4 Rxf3+ 34. Ka4 Re3 35. b5 Re4 36. Rxe4 fxe4 37. Kb4 Kd7 38. Kc3 e5 39. Kd2 Ke6 40. Ke3 Kd5 41. b6 a6 42. c6 Kxc6 43. Kxe4 Kd6 44. a4 Ke6 45. a5 h6 0-1

Friday, August 25, 2017

2017 Cleveland Open Round 4 Anton Taylor, 2002 - Kevin Ho, 1934 Sicilian: Moscow (B51)

2017 Cleveland Open Round 4
Anton Taylor, 2002 - Kevin Ho, 1934
Sicilian: Moscow (B51)

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. Bb5+ Nd7 4. a4 I'm becoming quite comfortable in this position. I made a note in an earlier game that this is a sideline played several times by World Champion Magnus Carlsen. 4. ... a6 5. Bc4 e6 6. Nc3 Be7 7. O-O b6 8. d4! This is by far the best move in the position. trading the pawns improves white's control of the center and leaves several squares still very weak (d5, c6, and b6 and probably more but these are the worst). 8. ... cxd4 Unhappy choice but there is nothing better. Black may already be committed to weak moves. 9. Qxd4? An error letting the advantage slip a bit. Better is Nxd4 because it is difficult to extricate this knight. e5? would lead to both Nf5 and/or simply jumping a knight into d5 and white gains a big advantage. 9. ... Ngf6 10. Bg5 Qc7 11. Rfe1 Bb7 12. Rad1 O-O 13. Bf1? As it turns out it is hard to find a clear plan for white here for me. I spent a decent amount of time on this move. The bishop must either be moved now or be forced to move with tempo later after black plays either rook to the logical c8. f1, however, is the wrong square. I came to the conclusion later on that e2 was better and this is confirmed by komodo. I was afraid for the pawn on e4 but Nd2 holds all things together in equilibrium. 13. ... Rfd8 14. Nd2 Re8? This move is completely unnecessary and I was happy to see it. I needed some time. Komodo recommends h6 but I think any advantage for black in that case is only slight. 15. Nc4 d5 Immediately after playing this move my opponent offered me a draw. I had told him before the game began that I was playing for a win. I politely declined after thinking for a good long time (he asked on my time, not the first or last mortal sin committed by this opponent in this game). 16. exd5 Nxd5 17. Bxe7 Rxe7 18. Nxd5 Bxd5 19. Ne3 Nf6 20. Nxd5 Nxd5 21. Bd3? Letting black's mistake playing d5 at the wrong time slip away. Qe4! here probably wins or at least presents enough problems that black must create a weakness or two to solve. 21. ... Rd7?? I felt this was losing for black but I did not see the winning combination. 22. Qe4! Rdd8 23. Qxh7+ Kf8 24. Qh4 The silicon monsters can easily justify grabbing the second extra pawn but during the game I could not see how to proceed and survive opening the files in front of my king. It just seemed that discretion was the better part of valor in this case. It is worthwhile to note that white gains time after chasing the black king to e7 by Qd4 (threatening to win the knight) to see this check this variation: 24.Qh8+ Ke7 25.Qxg7 Rg8 26.Qd4 and the needed time saving the queen and threatening the knight is achieved. Had I seen this I would have dived into the captures. 24. ... Nf6? 25. Qb4+? 25. Qh8+ Ke7 26. Qxg7 Rg8 27. Rxe6+!! Kxe6 28. Re1+ and the king hunt is terminal. 25. ... Kg8 26. g3 Rac8 27. c3 a5 28. Qh4 Rd6 29. Bc2? g4! wins. Rc2 should also be winning but g4 is much more precise and to the point. 29. ... Rcd8 30. Qg5 Rd5 31. Qe3 Ng4 32. Qe2 Nf6 33. Bb3 R5d6 34. Rxd6 Rxd6 35. Rd1 g6 36. Qf3 Kg7 37. Rxd6 Qxd6 38. Qb7?? I knew I had blown things immediately after I played this move and should probably be worse afterward. However, my opponent misses the correct reply and I'm still in the game. Bc4 to allow Qe2 if necessary and/or Bb5 covering everything and then advancing the inevitable passed pawn is winning for white. 38. ... Nd7? Qd2! 39. Qe4 Nc5 My opponent seemed happy with this fork but in my opinion this helps white. Is the endgame long and difficult? yes. Is white still winning? technically. It's a long hard road but I needed the win and knights complicate things for me. 40. Qc2 Nxb3 41. Qxb3 Qc5 42. Qb5! If black takes this trade he will lose quickly. So, the queen keeps her dominance on the queenside for white. If the white king can keep cover white wins. 42. ... Qd6 43. b4 axb4 44. Qxb4? Obviously wrong but the rigors and the time situation were getting to me. Also, every other move at this point I was getting draw offers. A floor TD stood nearby waiting for my complaint but I wanted to beat the loudmouth by ignoring him ... not let him win the psychological war by enlisting a TD. 44. ... Qd1+ 45. Kg2 Qd5+ 46. f3 Qd2+ 47. Kh3 e5? Qe2 holds. 48. Qxb6 Qh6+? "Monkey sees check, monkey makes check" as the saying goes. The rigors of this ending are getting to him too. Qxc3 was the move I expected. 49. Kg2 Qd2+ 50. Qf2 Qxc3 51. Qa2? Qe2 is more precise ... threatening the e-pawn and if 51. ...Qa5? Qb5! 51. ... Qa5 52. h4 f5 53. Kh3 Qe1 54. Kg2 Qa5 55. Qc2 Kf6 56. Qc6+ Kf7 57. Qd7+ Kf6 58. g4 fxg4 59. fxg4 Qa8+ 60. Kg3 e4 61. Qd4+ Ke6 62. Kf4 Qf8+ 63. Kxe4 Qf1 64. Qe5+ Kd7 65. Qb5+ Qxb5 66. axb5 Ke6 67. g5 Kd6 68. Kd4 Kc7 69. Ke5 Kb6 70. Kf6 Kxb5 71. Kxg6 Kc6 72. h5 Kd6 73. h6 Ke5 74. h7 Kf4 75. h8=Q Kg4 76. Qf8 Kh4 77. Qf4+ Kh3 78. Kh5 Kg2 79. Kg4 Kh1 80. Kg3 1-0