Thursday, June 8, 2017

2017 Kentucky Open Round 2 Mike Thomas, 1977 - Anton Taylor, 2030 Richter-Veresov System (A45)

2017 Kentucky Open Round 2 
Mike Thomas, 1977 - Anton Taylor, 2030 
Richter-Veresov System (A45)

1. d4 Nf6 2. Nc3 I took a moment here. I have never played a tournament game against the Veresov. I have seen it many times in blitz games over the internet but I never bothered to study any of the openings's variations. As it turns out I follow a sideline but it works out. The only problem with my approach was that time was spent on the earlier moves where it might have been saved had I done my homework. 2. ... d5 3. Bg5 Nbd7 4. Qd3 c6 5. Nf3 h6 6. Bxf6 Nxf6 7. e4 dxe4 8. Nxe4 Nxe4 9. Qxe4 Qa5+ 10. c3 Bf5 There are a couple of master games in this position but in both of those white plays Qe5 and the games eventually dwindle into a draw. 11. Qf4 e6 12. Bc4 g5 Rd8 followed by Bd6 gives black a comfortable lead in development. The text was played in order to make kingside castling somewhat distasteful for white. However, it does not turn out so useful. The weakness of the black king leads to a drawn ending where there might otherwise have been a win. 13. Qe3 Bd6 14. a4 b5 15. Bb3 O-O 16. Ne5 Qc7? this is actually a mistake. b4 was better fixing the a-pawn on an awkward square and restricting white's counterattack options. 17. h4 g4 18. axb5 cxb5 19. O-O a5 20. Bd1 Bxe5 21. dxe5 Rfd8 22. Qxh6? It would be better to solidify the e-pawn and then force black to defend his h-pawn. Qxe5 23. Qg5+ Qg7 24. Qf4 a4 As is often the case in these types of positional problems I move the "wrong pawn". But truthfully the symmetry is suggestive of a draw. 25. Re1 Rd5? Useless. It is better to go ahead and play a3 to liquidate the pawn islands. The current state of things will result in white building up an attack on both the b and g pawns. 26. Be2 Rad8 27. Red1 Qf6? At a depth of 20 or so Komodo claims that the only move that isn't losing here is Kh7. 28. g3 Rxd1+ 29. Rxd1 Rxd1+ 30. Bxd1 a3 31. bxa3 Qxc3 32. Bxg4 Bd3? At the time I thought this was a saving move. My opponent apparently suffered under the same delusion. The correct white reply is 33.Bh5! when all black replies fail and he is lost. 33. Qg5+ Kh8 34. Qh6+ Kg8 35. Qg5+ 1/2-1/2 and we agree to a draw.

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