both of us really need to play better with black. the series is at 2½-2½ and white is scoring 4½-½ (the only blemish, my QID the first game)
E25 - Nimzo-Indian : Samisch Variation
This game wasn't really fair. It was supposed to start at 8 a.m. and Kirk basically slept in, woke up at 9 and started making coffee and stuff. My plan was to slowly build up a position rather than do the usual 20-30 game finish that happens in our games. God forbid me and Kirk ever get an endgame! 1.d4 e6 I had a bad premonition of him going into a Slav and me having to decide whether to play the Slav Exchange or go into the Botwinnik. 2.c4 Nf6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.f3 I'm gonna keep on playing this until he finds an antidote. 4...d5 [I seriously thought he was going to benoni me 4...c5. After the game he said that he didn't even remember the line and thought that he beat me last time I played 4.f3 ] 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.bxc3 c5 7.cxd5 exd5 White has to be better here on general principles alone. He has traded his b-pawn for White's glorious e-pawn and has the bishop pair. In annotating the game Junge-Bogoljubov, Alekhine gave this move an exclam and thought Black was better after 8.e3 Bf5! [7...Nxd5 is the main main line. 8.dxc5 (but I likely would've went for 8.c4 and gotten on with it) 8...Qa5 and this is butt ugly]
after 8.e4 Alekhine commented that White has an "excellent game". 8.Bg5 [8.e3 was theory, but i was confused on how i would get any of my pieces developed. Seriously, how many moves is it gonna take to get my dark squared bishop developed? plus he's gonna castle and then my lack of development is gonna screw me. One of these games my lack of development is gonna get me regardless.] 8...0-0 [8...h6 was played in Botwinnik-Kotov 9.Bxf6 Qxf6 10.e3 0-0 11.Ne2 Re8 12.Kf2 Qe7 13.Qd2 Nd7 14.Nf4 Nf6 15.Bd3 Bd7 16.h3 Qd6 17.Rhb1 b6 18.Bf1 Re7 19.a4 Rae8 20.Re1 c4 21.g4 g5 22.Ne2 Rxe3 23.Ng3 Qxg3+ 24.Kxg3 Ne4+ 0-1 Nice finish by Kotov.] 9.e3 Qa5?! [A little too ambitious by Kirk, but I think he had the right idea. I am a few moves from castling so why not try to put the screws to me. 9...c4 immediately may be better. 10.e4 dxe4 11.fxe4 looks pretty good though 11...Re8 12.e5 Qa5 and there's lots of messy play. I was hoping to keep the position relatively closed, that's why i hung back and avoided e4.] 10.Qc2 [I was thinking about 10.Bxf6 Qxc3+ 11.Kf2 gxf6 with play similar to the game, but i think this line is better as after 12.Ne2 I get a tempo on the queen 12...Qa5 13.dxc5 Qxc5 14.Qd4 and i'm good i think] 10...Re8 11.Bd3? [The immediate 11.Bxf6 was better but i was worried about 11...Rxe3+ although after 12.Kd2! I'm solid gold] (Best for Kirk would be 11...gxf6 12.Kf2 that square again 12...c4 13.Ne2 with play similar to the game.) 11...h6? [11...cxd4! was much better. Look at all the pins!] 12.Bxf6 gxf6 13.Kf2! I was happy with this move. WIth all the Bc4 King's Gambit's I've been playing I'm happy enough with the uncastled king, and it's necessary in this position. Notice how in most of the sidelines, and this line, how the king was safest on f2 of all places. 13...c4 14.Bf5? [I had perpetual with 14.Bg6 fxg6 (14...f5 15.Bxf5 Bxf5 16.Qxf5 Qxc3 17.Re1) 15.Qxg6+ Kf8 16.Qxf6+ Kg8 17.Qg6+;
Fritz liked 14.Bf1 but i'm a bit clausterphobic.] 14...Bxf5 15.Qxf5 Qxc3 16.Re1 Qxa3 17.Qxf6? [17.Qxd5 was stronger. That passer is gonna be strong. My idea was that I would always have the draw in hand by perpetual with that f-pawn gone.] 17...Qb2+ 18.Re2 [18.Ne2 may have been better] 18...c3?? Going for the glory without calculating anything. A terrible blunder. [18...Qb6 was likely better and he's got a lot of queenside pawns after 19.Qxb6 axb6] 19.Rxb2 cxb2 20.Nh3 Black resigns Not the best game by Kirk but I did my little part and won. 1-0
maybe next week we'll get an endgame!