Sadler_K - Sadler_C
December Match Internet Chess Club (5), 31.12.2005
C82 - Ruy Lopez : Open, St. Petersburg Variation
1.e4 The fifth (and deciding) game of our December match. All i needed was a draw 1...e5? The question mark was purely for non-chessical things. Sure I had been studying the Karpov-Korchnoi match (hence the Open Lopez) but I had been working on the Sicilian for weeks and weeks and this is supposed to be my main weapon. 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Nxe4 6.d4 [One of the main reasons I don't play this OTB is 6.Re1 where I can't find a really good respone for it. 6...Nc5 7.Bxc6 dxc6 8.Nxe5 and White is good enough to me.] 6...b5 [An interesting line here is the Riga Variation (which allegedly was refuted by Capablanca). It continues 6...exd4 7.Re1 d5 8.Nxd4 Bd6 9.Nxc6 Bxh2+ and if 10.Kxh2 (Capablanca's variation was 10.Kh1 Qh4 11.Rxe4+ dxe4 12.Qd8+ Qxd8 13.Nxd8+ Kxd8 14.Kxh2 with an interesting game. Maybe I'll try it sometime ;)) 10...Qh4+ 11.Kg1 Qxf2+= with perpetual]
7.Bb3 d5 8.dxe5 Be6 9.c3 Bc5 [The other line is 9...Be7 allowing the knight to retreat to 10.-- Nc5 , but i preferred to try and go for the throat. maybe not the best idea in a match where a draw will suffice, but i had fire in the belly today] 10.Nbd2 0-0 11.Nxe4? [11.Bc2 is the main line when I can either play 11...Bf5 (or 11...f5 ; or the Dilworth Variation (a favourite of mine) with 11...Nxf2 12.Rxf2 f6 13.exf6 Bxf2+ 14.Kxf2 Qxf6 and sharp play) which was Korchnoi's choice in the game I was currently studying 12.Nb3 Bg6 13.Nfd4 Bxd4 14.cxd4 a5 with an interesting game.] 11...dxe4 12.Ng5 Bxb3 13.Qxb3 Nxe5? [Much better was the blocking of his forces with 13...e3! 14.Nxf7 (14.Nf3 exf2+ 15.Kh1; 14.Ne4) 14...exf2+ 15.Rxf2 (15.Kh1 Rxf7 16.e6 Rf5 17.e7+ Qd5 18.Qxd5+ Rxd5 19.b4 Bxe7 20.Rxf2 Rd1+) 15...Bxf2+ 16.Kxf2 Qh4+ 17.g3 Qxh2+ 18.Ke1 Qxg3+ 19.Ke2 Rxf7] 14.Nxe4 Bb6 15.Bf4 Nd3 16.Rad1 Nxf4? [Much, much better was 16...Qe7! threatening something. 17.Rxd3 Qxe4 and then after 18.Rf3 his pieces are tied up and I'm definitely better. Not sure why I missed that relatively easy move] 17.Rxd8 Raxd8 18.Rd1 Rde8 19.Ng5 Nd3? [I made some strange decisions this game. Obviously I wanted to attack f7 but something like 19...h6 first was much better. 20.Nf3 Re2] 20.Kf1? [20.Qc2! threatening mate on h7 was best. What do I have? 20...h6 21.Qxd3 hxg5 for instance? I'm not particularly happy with my position.] 20...Nxf2 Rook+bishop+pawn = queen right? I was happy enough with my position, but I definitely wanted to keep the rooks on if possible 21.Rd7 Ne4 [21...Ng4 was better, actually threatening something. The idea of Ne4 was the fork on c5. He almost had to exchange now;
I was planning on holding off on the knight move hoping for something like 21...-- 22.Nxf7 Ne4! etc.] 22.Nxe4 [22.Rxf7 Nd2#] 22...Rxe4 23.Qd5 Rf4+ To guard f7, freeing up the other rook. 24.Ke2 Re8+ [24...Rf2+ instead, winning a pawn?] 25.Kd3 Re3+ 26.Kc2 Re8? Allowing him to trade off rooks. [26...Rf2+ 27.Kb3 g6 giving myself some luft.] 27.Rd8 Rfe4 28.Qxe4 I almost resigned here, but Kirk said he wanted to play on 28...Rxd8 29.Qe7 Rf8 [Too passive. More active was something like 29...Rb8 ] 30.Kb3 g6 31.h4?! Kirk got impatient I think. His advantage would turn out to be on the queenside in the upcoming endgame. [31.c4 was better in my patzer opinion] 31...c5? [And again, my advantage was on the kingside so I should've played to my advantage with 31...f5 ;
31...c5 32.g4 I of course was hoping for something like 32...c4+ 33.Kb4 a5+ missing that it wasn't mate and he could just play 34.Kxb5] 32.Qb7 c4+ 33.Kc2 Bc5? Hoping for some kind of perpetual. My play was ridiculous [33...Bf2 was better aiming for the h-pawn.] 34.Qxa6 Re8 35.Qxb5 Re2+= and I offered a draw which Kirk smartly declined 36.Kd1 Re5 Nicely played game by Kirk, I basically threw myself on his sword. Hopefully I can play stronger with Black in 2006, neither one of us had more than a draw in our weekly matches. 1-0
so my training schedule for 2006 is firstly to finish off the Karpov book and then to go through tactics and art of attack. my new policy is not to buy a new book until i have finished two.