Monday, April 10, 2017

2017 Red Bull Round 1 Lu Zhang, 1617 - Anton Taylor, 1999 Caro-Kann, Advance (B12)

2017 Red Bull Round 1
Lu Zhang, 1617 - Anton Taylor, 1999 
Caro-Kann, Advance (B12)

1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 c5 This move is a recommendation from GM Nigel Davies as an effort to avoid the heavier theory behind Bf5. 4. c3 Nc6 5. Nf3 Bg4 6. Be2 e6 7. O-O cxd4 The more common move is Bxf3 with the idea of then trading and after Qb6 white has problems. I could not remember that line because in the majority of games people avoid allowing Bg4. 8. cxd4 Qb6 9. Nbd2 Nh6 I thought of this move at the board and it happens to be the number one candidate in the position with a number of games (and mostly black victories). 10. Nb3 Nf5 11. Be3 Be7 12. h3 Bxf3 13. Bxf3 O-O This position is roughly equal. I liked my position until White's next move. Truthfully, I was not certain how best to meet the move ... 14. Bg4 Komodo recommend Nxe3 followed by a queenside expansion but this seems hopelessly equal with little counterplay. 14. ... f6!? There is an edge given to white here but it is very small and more than the bland Nxe3 this provides black with chances to win (and lose) ... eliminating the undesirable third result and leaving a complicated position on the board. 15. Bxf5 exf5 16. f4?? I did not look at the position long enough to see the winning idea 16. ... fxe5 17.fxe5 Nxe5! 16. ... Rac8?? 17. Qd3? Once again I miss a great move in 17. ... Nb4! when Qxf5 is met by Nc2! 17. ... g6? 18. a3 a5 I thought I was doing okay here and at least keeping equality with chances but Komodo very much dislikes this turn of events. Mainly the problem is that the threats on the white b-pawn are illusions. Black's own b-pawn would fall as well in most variations and allow White to penetrate into the black position with a rook. Fortunately, white thinks he has to defend this pawn and gives black tempo. 19. Rab1? Nd8? This of course is a mistake. As I looked at the position I completely underestimated the power of Nc5. My opponent seems to not have even considered the knight move if his eyes were an indication of his thoughts. 20. Bf2? Doing nothing. 20. ... Ne6 21. g3 Rc4 22. Rfe1 Rfc8 23. exf6? White's major trump is gone after this blunder. Black feels some relief and no pressure afterwards. 23. ... Bxf6 24. Qe2 Nxa4 is komodo's idea but after Nxf4 it leads to nothing. however, any other white move seems to give black an advantage. 24. ... Nxd4 In time trouble I miss Nxf4!. 25. Nxd4 Bxd4 26. Qe6+ Qxe6 27. Rxe6 Bxf2+? Rc1+ wins the b-pawn at least ... the mainline is 27. ... Rc1+ 28. Re1 Rxe1+ 29. Rxe1 Bxb2 The line I choose is winning anyway. 28. Kxf2 Re4 29. Re1 Rc2+ 30. Re2?? Rcxe2+ 0-1

My opponent resigns the game after slamming his palms on the table. I guess he thought he was winning the endgame until he blundered the rook but the endgame is completely lost. This game is a good example of my round one performances. Always a comedy of error where my calculations are too short and it is as if my mental chess engine needs to "boot up" to start running. Overall a terrible way for me to play and something that I need to work on.

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