Thursday, May 25, 2017

2017 3 Tables - May Round 2 Anton Taylor, 2011 - Randas Burns, 1992 c3 Sicilian (B27)

2017 3 Tables - May Round 2
Anton Taylor, 2011 - Randas Burns, 1992
c3 Sicilian (B27)

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 g6 3. c3 Bg7 4. Bc4 Nc6 I had followed this path as white mainly to take Randas out of his book knowledge. I fell pray to his intuition in his pet accelerated dragon in our previous encounter and I did not want a repeat. 5. O-O I'm content not to exchange on d4. Instead, I decide to stunt the bishop's diagonal and build a kingside attack. 5. ... d6 6. d3 e6? If Black intended d5 then he should have played e6 on his previous move. this idea now just wastes a tempo. 7. Nbd2 Nge7 8. Re1 O-O 9. Nf1 The common reorganizing of this knight in such positions is a clear path for white. I would argue that black has had no clear plan. 9. ... a6 10. h4 d5 11. exd5 exd5 12. Bb3 h6? This is a reflexive reaction to h4. It seems like such moves can only create weaknesses when they don't attack pieces to gain time. 13. Bf4 Just completing developing pieces until I can crack open the black kingside. The plan is to play Qd2 and start an attack on the black h-pawn. 13. ... Be6 14. Qd2 Kh7? An inaccuracy. I had expected Nf5. Talking with Randas after the game he did not think he could keep the knight on that square and so quickly decided to make the thematic king move.  15. h5 Qd7 This is an interesting position. White has one major weakness and set about a plan to eliminate it. The bishop on b3 needs to find greener pastures and control more squares. 16. d4 cxd4 17. cxd4 Nf5 Too little too late. 18. Ne5! Black would have an equal position if he could make something out of his central attack. This move and the plan to recapture with the d-pawn ensures that that counterplay goes nowhere. 18. ... Nxe5 19. dxe5 komodo feels that Bxe5 is superior and that may very well be true but I see no harm in the move. Perhaps it is best to compromise and call this a slight inaccuracy. 19. ... g5 20. Bh2 The only move. The tempting Bishop sacrifice on g5 doesn't work. 20. ... Rfd8 21. Bc2 Kg8 22. Qd3 It's interesting how badly komodo assesses white to be here. Perhaps this counterplay on the open file is exactly why the machines did not like dxe5? 22. ... Rac8 23. Rac1 Rc7 24. f4? This turns out in analysis to be foolishly optimist or at least premature. I felt I was winning here but with correct play white is just holding on and fending off black's counterplay in the center. 24. ... Qe7?? Rdc8 was both necessary and probabl;y winning. This is the decisive blunder. 25. g4 Qc5+ 26. Kh1 Nh4 27. f5 Qf2 28. Re2 Qf3+ 29. Qxf3 Nxf3 30. fxe6 fxe6 31. Bh7+ 1-0

In the face of being so much material down Randas throws in the towel. My foolish optimism in the attack could have cost me this game. My positional evaluation after 19. dxe5 was flawed and that complicated my life considerably. You can even see in the annotation that I start out liking the move and gradually come to the realization that it was a turning point in the game where I nearly spoiled the good idea of 18. Ne5.

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