Friday, March 17, 2017

2017 Lutz, Get Out Round 5 LM Davis Whaley, 2321 - Anton Taylor, 1928 Catalan (E00)

2017 Lutz, Get Out Round 5
LM Davis Whaley, 2321 - Anton Taylor, 1928
Catalan (E00)

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. g3 The Catalan move order makes deciding to avoid the pitfalls of b6/Bb7 easier. 3. ... d5 4. Nf3 c6 5. Bg2 Nbd7 6. Qc2 Ne4 7. O-O Be7 8. b3 O-O 9. Ba3 f5 10. Qb2 This move I did not expect and it seems strange to offer to trade queens here. In fact trading at all seems wrong with such a rating disparity. I suppose I should feel honored to get this kind of respect from Davis. then again there is quite a bit of history between us where he is consistently higher rated and yet I have managed several draws (before he broke the NM Title, just to be clear). 10. ... b6 11. Bxe7 Qxe7 12. Qa3 Qxa3 Technically, black has an advantage playing c5 here but I would be happy with the queens off ... assuming greater safety. In retrospect I'm uncertain objectively which is better. I probably will investigate c5 further but will take the trade for practical reasons in our next encounter. 13. Nxa3 Ba6 14. Rac1 Rac8 15. Rc2 Kf7 16. Rfc1 Ke7 17. e3 Kd6 18. Bf1! I am still unclear as to whether c5 at some point would have been good for me. Davis seemed to think so after the game but i am not convinced that it offers black anything. However, this king meandering (especially the last move) is a complete waste of time. When I formulated the plan several moves earlier I had completely missed the counter-intuitive "backward" move Bf1. It leads to black difficulties. 18. ...  Bb7 19. b4 Ndf6?? This move leads to problems for black. The most important of which is that it allows Ne5 ... positional suicide. 20. c5+ Ke7 21. Ne5 b5 22. Nb1 Ng5 23. Nc3 a5?? I missed the power of a6. If instead I had played Nf7 the game would continue. 24. bxa5 Ra8 25. a6! 1-0 The game continued for several more moves that I played in time trouble. Essentially 26.a4! is a knockout after Rxa6 and Nxc6 is coming after Bxa6. Nasty.

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