Friday, June 30, 2017

2017 Summer Party Round 3 Anton Taylor, 2026 - CM Billy Woodward, 1990 Sicilian: Moscow Variation (B51)

2017 Summer Party Round 3
Anton Taylor, 2026 - CM Billy Woodward, 1990
Sicilian: Moscow Variation (B51)

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. Bb5+ Nc6 4. Bxc6+ This trade is not usually taken until the capture is forced but here the bishop does at least a bit of structural damage on its way out. 4. ... bxc6 5. O-O Nf6? This is an innaccuracy that leads to a slight advantage for white. black should play e5 here to keep his center strong. 6. e5 White wins 70% of the games in the database after this move order. (34 games in chessbase) 6. ... Ng4 There are no white losses after this move. Nd5 is far more common. 7. exd6 Qxd6 8. Nc3 Here we come to the end of the database games. the two moves in the collection are g3 and d3. Neither of those moves further White's overall goals in my opinion to the text. Black's pawn weaknesses are chronic and so White needs to quickly develop to press his advantage. It shouldn't actually matter the move orders. The advantage is pretty wide in my mind. 8. ... Bf5 9. d3 g6? This move does not address the black positional problems but it is hard to recommend an alternative. White is winning. 10. h3 Re1 and Bg5 are great alternatives that all follow the same theme. Using white pieces to control e-file squares. 10. ... Nf6 11. Be3 this move is inaccurate but still uyseful development. I missed the e-file theme with the moves Re1 and Bg5 thrown in and instead opt for a plan to try and target the double pawns. 11. ... Bg7 12. Nd2 Nd7? Nd5 amazingly hold things together because of the active bishop on g7 but that's not easy to see from here. 13. Nc4 Qc7 14. Na4 ? Qc1! is spotted by komodo fairly quickly but it was never even one of my candidates. The plans of that move are straightforward. harass the queen on c7 by Bf4 and trade away the stronger bishop on g7 by Bh6. Also, the small sidestep guards the b-pawn to free up the c3 knight for useful action (clearing the pin). 14. ... Be6 Nb6 more or less forces the trade of the c5 pawn for white's on b2. Which would be a major victory for black. All white's play has been trying to win the weak pawns. If black can liquidate the weaknesses what is white's plan afterwards? He will have to take extra time to find his way to some new plan. 15. Nxc5 Bxc4 16. dxc4 Nxc5 17. Bxc5 Bxb2 18. Rb1 Bf6 19. Qf3 O-O 20. Rfd1 Qa5 21. Qa3 up to here the game is drawish. Black will not be satisfied with the queen trade falling into the draw and so concedes a small advantage by mistake. 21. ... Qc7? 22. Rb3 Rfd8 23. Rbd3 Rxd3 24. cxd3 a5?? The ending was still drawish until this little gem of a time-waster. Black assumes the e-pawn is untouchable. He is wrong. 25. Re1 h5 26. Bxe7 Re8 27. Bb4 Ra8 28. Bc3 Qf4 29. Bxf6 Qxf6 30. Re4 This is the last move I recorded because the time trouble was real and I mange to throw things away even after this winning position. The text move Re4 is an inaccuracy. Moving the rook off of my back rank gives black counter chances that weren't necessary. Better is the simple g3 removing all mating nets with rook+queen or the even more active Qc5 which I would have probably played with more time to think. 0-1 I'm not altogether dissatisfied with the moves I made in this game but the real issue I have is with the finishing technique. By the text I should have been able to close this out with little difficulty but I failed to convert a nice ending. Winning the won game is a big challenge for all chessplayers.

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