Friday, February 17, 2017

2017 Crooked Diagonals Round 4 Anton Taylor, 1910 - CM Billy Woodward, 2015 Ruy Lopez, Schliemann Defense (C63)

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 f5!? Billy is known to play some interesting openings and I had never seen this move even in blitz. When you're playing from intuition on move three you may have a bad time. 4. Bxc6 Nc3 is by far the preferred move in the database and by Komodo. 4. ... dxc6 5. Nxe5?! This is too ambitious and is the characteristic of all my games in this event. Nc3 is again a recommended move. 5. ... Qe7?? Komodo gives this +-0.77 for White at a 20 move depth. That's amazing and I miss the winning idea. Most of the advantage stems from the stubborn knight which in this game does not realize its potential due to my sub-par play. 6. d4 Nf6 From here White is still given a pretty significant advantage and it becomes even more clear to me why. After O-O, an inevitable trade on e4, and f3 white will have all the play and black will be passive until death. I did not think of this sitting at the board. 7. Bg5? I still do not like this move and I was not satisfied during the game. Of course now the simple Nc3 immediately becomes apparent but given black's response this is fine. 7. ... fxe4 8. Nc3 White mostly wins in this position so it is likely that black must find some specific moves in response to simple white moves but the position is probably equal. 8. ... Bf5 9. Qe2 O-O-O 10. O-O-O h6 11. Be3 g5
This position is fairly lackluster for white. The best effort might be h4 but it is not sufficient. I realize how little I actually calculated here. I simply assumed by intuition that the e3 bishop was tied down to the defense of d4 and so my next move is inspired by the desire to both attack and resolve the defense of d4. However, the weakness of this is that the e5 square is going to be contested and I do not have time to support the knight there. It runs out of squares. 12. Na4? Qe6! 13. Kb1 forced 13. ... Nd5 14. g4 Bh7 15. b3?? This is the real blunder that loses the game. The b3-c4 plan is WAY too slow. h4 is recommended here but it will lead to nothing but distractions for black while white musters his forces for a draw. Black has the advanatge in that case but after this howler black is just clearly better. 15. ... Bd6? This is the result of both of us getting low on time (G/30 no delay) black misses the immediately winning b5!. 16. c4 Nf4 17. Bxf4 gxf4 18. Nd3 Qf6 19. Ndc5 The time scramble begins and we both blunder in and out but since black has already achieved a position where basically any move is clearly winning the result is expected. 0-1

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