Thursday, August 5, 2010

Game of the Week

In which I continue my exploration of the Slav Defense and fail, once again, to knock Steve McWhirter off the top of the ladder.

Route 20 Chess Club
Freeport, Illinois, Aug. 3, 2010

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e3 Bf5?
This is thematic to the Slav, but it doesn't fit this particular line because of the pressure on d5: 5.cxd5 cxd5 6.Qb3, and black must reply 6...Qd7 or lose either d5 or b7; white then plans 7.Nf3 and 8.Ne5. Ugh. Black's most common play is 4...e6, but 4...a6 may offer slightly better chances, though I'll be darned if I can figure out why.

5.Nf3 Nbd7
Still neglecting ...e6. This is gonna hurt.

6.Qb3 Qb6
After I play this move, both Gary and I begin to think I should have played 6...Nb6 instead, both shielding b7 and defending d5. However, this fails to 7.c5 Nbd7 8.Qxb7. My queen move, which maintains equality, is best.

7.Qa4 c5

An unfortunate choice that kicks off my downhill slide. Rather than take a defender away from d5, I need to add one with 7...e6.

8.Nxd5 Nxd5 9.cxd5 Qb4+
I should not be inviting trades.

10.Qxb4 cxb4 11.Bb5 a6 12.Ba4 b5 13.Bb3 e6
Again! Better is 13...Nb6 or 13...Nf6 14.Ne5 Be4 15.f3 Bxd5 16.Bxd5 Nxd5 17.e4 Nb6. Another option is 13...Rc8 14.Ne5 Nxe5 15.dxe5 e6.

14.dxe6 Bxe6 15.Bxe6 fxe6 16.Ng5 Be7?
Overlooking the threat to e6. Better is 16...e5.

17.Nxe6 Kf7 18.d5 Rac8 19.0-0 Ne5? (19...Nf6 20.Rd1 Nxd5 21.Nxd7 Rhd8) 20.Rd1 Rc2 21.h3 Rhc8 22.b3
22.Nd4 kicks out the intruder.

Hems in the intruder.


Seals the intruder's fate. From here it's just undignified wriggling on my part, which I won't bother commenting on:

23...Rxc1 24.Raxc1 Rxc1 25.Rxc1 Nd3 26.Rc7 Ke8 27.Nf5 Bf6 28.d6 (28.Nxg7+ Bxg7 29.Rxg7 h5) Kd8 29.Nxg7 Bc3 30.Ne6+ Ke8 31.d7+ (31.Re7#) Kf7 32.d8Q+ Kxe6 33.Re7+ Kf6 34.Qf8+ Kg6 35.Qf7+ Kg5 36.f4+ Kh6 37.Qxh7# 1-0


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