Friday, April 28, 2017

2017 3 Tables - April Round 3 Anton Taylor, 2017 - FM Matt Hassen, 2288 Pirc (B07)

2017 3 Tables - April Round 3 
Anton Taylor, 2017 - FM Matt Hassen, 2288 
Pirc (B07)

1. e4 d6 I never know what to expect from Matt. 2. d4 e5 3. dxe5 dxe5 4. Qxd8+ Kxd8 5. Bc4 Be6 6. Bxe6 fxe6 7. Nf3 Bd6 8. Bg5+ This is the first deviation from mainline theory. There are maybe a dozen games on chessbase and the results vary meaning that it is probably just as equal "with chances" for both players. 8. ... Nf6 9. Nbd2 Nd7 10. O-O-O b5!? Ke7 is the database recommended move here but there is nothing wrong with the text exactly. It just looks bizarre. 11. c4 I felt as though this was the most direct way to challenge the b-pawn and since black can't capture without weakening his a-pawn and c-pawn it seems awkward for him. There is no path to victory in this complication and the more conservative moves like c3 or h3 just passing the turn over to black work just as well. 11. ... a6 12. Kc2? Rhe1!? seems to be a better path to follow. It isn't groundbreaking but it can be underestimated. the plan is something like Rhe1-e3-b3 or d3 depending and white has a wrokable edge. Moving the king closer to the action for the endgame isn't bad though. 12. ... Ke7 13. a3? This is just a useless move. Komodo recommends either h3 or Rhg1 as interesting moves. 13. ... c5 14. h3? Now Nb3 is possible which I missed and is probably winning. It certainly offers a decent edge for white. I missed that 14. Nb3 bxc5? 15. Na5 Nb6? 16. Nc6+! Had I seen that result of bxc5 I would have played Nb3 here. 14. ... Rhf8 15. Rhe1? Be3 and Nb3 both look appealing for white in this position as Komodo points out. However, that makes me curious. Does this mean then that Bg5+ was not particularly useful even if it forced black to make a certain kind of development (which he may have played anyway)? It is worth consideration, thought, and experimentation. The text is only good enough for equality now. It should have been played much sooner. 16. ... Nb6 16. cxb5? b3 was far better but the text still isn't losing. 16. ... axb5 17. Nh2 h6 18. Bxf6+? This is the concession that starts black on a downward spiral. Bh4 holding onto the bishop and planning to attack e5 is the best way to hold everything together. Truthfully, I had always planned to make the trade and never really considered anything else. Mistakes were made. 18. ... gxf6 19. Re3 c4 Matt told me afterwards that after he freed the bishop to go to c5 he felt as though he was winning. He is absolutely correct. White is completely lost here. But perhaps the real mistake then goes all the way back to white's move 16 ... unblocking the bishop by trading pawns instead of the solid b3. 20. Rg3 Rg8 21. Nb1 Bc5 22. Rd2 b4 I expected Rxg3 here because it is hard for white to hold onto his isolated e-pawn and I assumed it would be lost. Black chooses and more aggressive looking but less precise method (but perhaps a more practical and easily calculated line). 23. axb4 Bxb4 24. Re2 h5 25. Nf1 h4 26. Rxg8 Rxg8 27. f3 Rd8 28. Ne3 Kf7 29. Nd2 Rc8 30. Nb1 Going back where the knight came from can't be productive. However, I felt there was nothing better and Komodo agrees. 30. ... Kg6 31. Ng4 Kg5 32. Nc3 Rd8 33. Na2 Be7 Even up to this point komodo's evaluation is rough equality. I felt the king march was winning for black and it is clear that Matt did as well but it just doesn't seem to be enough to win. 34. b3?? Here is the losing howler. There are numerous winning paths once the position inevitably opens up. 34. ... Kf4 35. bxc4 Nxc4 36. Nc3 f5 37. exf5 exf5 38. Nf2 Ne3+ 39. Kb3 Bc5 40. Na4 Ba7 41. Kc3 Nxg2 42. Nd3+ Kxf3 43. Ra2 Bd4+ 44. Kc4 Ne3+ 45. Kb5 e4 46. Nf2 Nd5 47. Nd1 e3 48. Nxe3 Kxe3 49. Nc5 Nc3+ 0-1 There is some exceptionally poor technique in the last several moves but the game is lost regardless. Move 34 is the real loser for white. 

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