Friday, January 6, 2017

2017 2nd Smokey Mountain Open Round 1 Anton Taylor, 1895 - IM Ronald Burnett, 2416 Robatsch (Modern) Defense (B06)

Anton Taylor, 1895 - IM Ronald Burnett, 2416
Robatsch (Modern) Defense (B06)

1. e4 d6 Before the round commenced I had looked up Ronald in a database. I noticed he played the Robatsch/Modern quite often so this was no surprise. 2. d4 c6 3. Nf3 Qc7 4. Nc3 g6 5. Bc4
The position after this move is given a huge plus for white by komodo and yet it doesn't appear anywhere in the database. I find that bizarre as after Bc4 white considered to be almost winning. 5. ... b5 6. Bb3 Bg7 7. O-O b4 8. Ne2 Nf6 I spent several minutes looking at 9. e5 here and could not determine if it was a good or bad option. I chose instead to keep the tension unsettled in the center and went with a more solid option. However, the e5 path is given a +0.8 evaluation by Komodo ... so almost outright winning. My safe move Ng3 is given +0.5 so here is the key moment where the advantage begins to slip (but white is still better). 9. Ng3 O-O 10. Bd2 a5 When I had looked at e5 earlier I had determined that there was a better chance of success down that path with one more piece attacking the square. That is why chose the variation/maneiver to get the Bishop to c3. It is not a bad idea but it does lead to a further dwindling of White's advantage. 11. c3 I did not even look at this position and trusted in my analysis on move 9. Had I looked harder at this position I would have found 11. a3 followed by Rxa3 and another of White's pieces joins the fight with a strong influence and a clear advantage. 11. ...bxc3 12. Bxc3 Nbd7 13. Rc1 Qa7 14. Ba4 c5 15. e5?? 
This was my plan from earlier. Don't think I "saw" everything that has transpired but the move e5 has been there in my mind floating just waiting to be played and I choose to play it here. Unfortunately the immediate reply gives Black not only equality but great comfort or even a slight edge. Better was 15. d5 shutting down Black's queenside counterplay and keeping a small edge for White. 15. ... Nd5! 16. Bc6 Nxc3 17. bxc3 Rb8 18. Re1 dxe5 19. d5?!
This move is a terrible blunder according to Komodo but here is where machines are not like humans. the pawn is a cramping complication that Black no doubt felt he should keep a sharp eye on. Objectively the pawn will never make it to the queening square but it "looks" quite scary. 19. ... Qc7 20. Qa4 Nb6 21. Qxa5 Nxd5 22. Qxc7 Nxc7 23. Nxe5 Rb6 24. Bd7?? and here is a giant howler to end this game. I completely miscalculated this move completely missing 25. ... Bxg3 in my mind's eye. I asked my opponent after the game if Ba4 was any better. He showed me the main variation and indeed I had to agree it is very bad for White even in that case, a completely lost position. 24. ... Bxe5 25. Bxc8 Bxg3 26. hxg3 Rxc8  0-1 So ended my first game against an IM. I was very happy and left smiling. I may have lost this game but I had made an important discovery. IMs are humans. They could be beaten. They could get into losing positions against little old insignificant me. The way I put it to a friend was "They can bleed".

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