Wednesday, April 12, 2017

2017 Red Bull Round 3 Meghan Waters, 1736 - Anton Taylor, 1999 Caro-Kann Panov-Botvinnik Attack (B13)

2017 Red Bull Round 3 
Meghan Waters, 1736 - Anton Taylor, 1999 
Caro-Kann Panov-Botvinnik Attack (B13)

1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. c4 Nf6 5. Nc3 e6 6. Nf3 Nc6 7. Bd3 Be7 8. O-O O-O 9. a3 Meghan has done some studying in this variation I think. If my memory serves me (I could look back to check but I'm fairly certain) Meghan played a different move in this position and this was my recommendation from my analysis of our previous game. 9. ... dxc4 10. Bxc4 Na5 This move was one I criticized in my previous analysis but I had a change of heart even in this version of the position after a3 has been played. The mainline recommendation is a6 but I'm not clear what black is doing after a4 (preventing the b5 advance at least for the moment and that development is very annoying. I prefer this lesser used method. 11. Ba2 b6 Out of only three master games each with lower rated black players (significantly) Black scores an impressive two draws and one loss here. The position is "equal but unbalanced" ... the perfect way to play for a win. 12. Re1 There is nothing inherently wrong with this move as it is a development of the rook. However, I am indeed curious about moves like Qe2 preparing to put a rook behind the isolated pawn and playing d5 at some point in the near future if allowed. The textbook recommendation is probably Bf4 here connecting the rooks after eventually moving the queen as well (perhaos Qe2 in that case as well). 12. ... Ba6 I remembered from our previous encounter that a trade on c4 (which I had avoided) was actually a key maneuver. I gambled a little that it could be important here as well. 13. Ne5 Rc8 14. d5 This seems to equalize in the eyes of the silicon monster but I'm not entirely convinced. sure, the main weakness is now gone after the pawns get traded but surely black must be slightly better due to his better development. Bg5 was probably slightly better (but as I said this move is just fine, it just isn't to my taste). 14. ... exd5 15. Nxd5 Nxd5 16. Bxd5 Bf6 17. Ng4 I did not consider this move when I calculated after d5. I think it is slightly inaccurate. True enough, it is given an equality score by komodo BUT the move allows black to take over c4 which was part of his original plan by playing Na5 and Ba6 anyway. The knight just moves away from guarding that square. again, black must be slightly better. After the knight trades for the bishop what is white's plan? I don't think he has one here. 17. ... Bc4 18. Nxf6+ Qxf6 19. Qf3? This concedes to black the control of c4 and leads to a loss of material as a result. 19. ... Qxf3 20. Bxf3 Nb3 21. Rb1 Bd3 22. Bg5 Bxb1 23. Rxb1 Nd4? h6! instead planning after Be3 or Bf4 to play Rfd8 and threaten the Nd2 fork was the correct path. Sure, this is winning too but it is far more difficult. 24. Bg4 f5 25. Bd1 f4 26. f3 Rf5 27. Be7 Kf7 28. Bb4 Rb5 29. Ba4 Rxb4 Several of the moves I have made since move 22 are inaccurate. I am floundering trying to make something of my material advantage and it just isn't working out. Add that to the time trouble I'm starting to feel and you see why I want to eliminate the bishop pair. The simpler endgame is much easier for me to calculate as I get low on time and it is winning as well. 30. axb4 Rc4 31. Kf2 Rxb4 32. Bd1 a5 33. g3 fxg3+ 34. hxg3 a4 35. Ke3 Nf5+ 36. Kd3 Nxg3 37. Kc3 Rf4 And I go on to win the clearly superior ending with the extra two pawns. 0-1

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