Wednesday, March 22, 2017

2017 Lakeway Spring Open Round 1 Allen Feng, 1061 - Anton Taylor, 1950 English, Anglo-Indian (A17)

2017 Lakeway Spring Open Round 1
Allen Feng, 1061 - Anton Taylor, 1950 
English, Anglo-Indian (A17)

1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 e6 3. g3 d5 4. cxd5 exd5 5. e3 c6 6. Bg2 Bf5 7. Nge2 Na6 This move popped into my head as a way to set the knight on a path to occupying e4. In hindsight I do not think e4 is quite so valuable as all those "gymnastics" (Na3-c5-e4). 8. a3 Qd7 Here I have the option to go ahead and play Nc5 continuing that path but it seemed that the extra moves of a knight wheel by Na6-c7-e8-d6-e4(or c4) is no better or worse that the thematic Nc5. The text is played against White's only active bishop and develops another piece to a good square. Black is a bit better due to the pathetic dark knight on white's side. 9. O-O Bd6 10. d4 O-O 11. Bd2? The immediate f3 poses more questions to black. 11. ... Bh3? I respond with a mistake of my own designed to make a quick attack on the enemy king but it is a positional mistake. My piece is far better and needs to be kept to hold things together. This is where Black begins to go wrong. 12. Re1 Rfe8 13. Nc1?? There are so many reasons why this is a bad move. There is no doubt that the knight is headed for the e5 outpost but that square is a bit shaky and not really in white's control. As it turns out this move is the fly in black's ointment because it's awkward position leads to mistakes in my calculations. Ironically it is easier to figure variations when pieces are on "normal" squares than on odd ones like this. 13. ... Bxg2 14. Kxg2 Black struggles here to find a continuation for his "attack". There just isn't one at this premature stage. As I said, the bishop exchange actually helps white here in some sense. In fact the only move here to play for a small advantage is the immediate Ne4 ... and it's ugly. I did not even consider it as a candidate during the game. 14. ... Qf5 15. f3 h5 Still wanting that non-existant attack on the king to work. 16. Qe2 When the right moves are such a narrow path it is easy even for a low rated player to find the right answers. 16. ... Re7?? A huge blunder and potentially a losing move. There are several roads to equality here. It is worth noting that Qd7 is one suggested move meaning that Qf5 earlier is porbably deserving of a ?. 17. e4 dxe4 18. fxe4 18. ... Qg6 seems to hold things together with a worse position but I go chasing ghosts and losing pieces. 18. ... Nxe4?? 19. Nxe4 Rae8 20. Qf3 Qd5 21. Nxd6 Qxd6 If not for the knight on c1 Black would have the queen winning trick Re2+! ... I notice in this position that what I had calculkated several moves earlier didn't work. The knight on the abnormal square cloaked himself in shadow in my mind's eye. 22. Rxe7 Rxe7 23. Bc3 c5 24. dxc5 Nxc5 25. Ne2 Ne4 26. Bb4 Nc5 27. Nc3 b6 28. Ne4 Qd5?? This final blunder should have lost my queen but white misses the tactic. 29. Bxc5 Rxe4 30. Be3 Qe5 31. Bc1?? Black gets back into the game with his activity with this move. Bf2 is far better. 31. ... Re2+ 32. Kh3?? I expected Kf1 when Re1+ snags back the extra piece (i.e. 32.Kf1 Re1+ 33.Kf2 Rxc1 34.Rxc1 Bxb2+) 32. ... Qe6+ 33. g4 hxg4+ 34. Qxg4 Rxh2+ 35. Kxh2 Qxg4 36. Be3 Qe2+ 0-1 I escaped with my skin but after such a horribly ugly game I expect that the rest of the days games would be complete disasters. I said laster that I was simply asleep during this game and woke up after it.

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