1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.c4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.Bg5 dxc4 It would not be surprising if croad had this line prepared specifically. Other options are 6...e6; 6...Be6; 6...Qa5
7.d5 7.Bxf6 exf6 8.d5 Ne5 9.Bxc4 Nxc4 10.Qa4+ Bd7 11.Qxc4 Rc8 12.Qe4+ Qe7 13.Qxe7+ Bxe7 14.Nge2 0-0 15.0-0 Rfd8 16.Rad1 Bd6 17.Rd2 f5 18.Rfd1 Kf8 19.Nd4 a6 20.Nce2 g6 21.g3 Ba4 22.b3 Bd7 23.Kg2 Be8 24.f4 Bb4 25.Rc2 Rxc2 26.Nxc2 Bc5 27.Kf3 b5 28.b4 Bb6 29.Ne3 Ke7 30.Nc1 Kd6 31.Nb3 Rc8 32.Rd3 Bd7 33.Nd4 Re8 34.Ndc2 Bc8 35.a4 Bd7 36.a5 Ba7 37.Nd4 Re4 38.Nec2 Be8 39.g4 Bd7 40.g5 Re8 41.Kg3 Rc8 42.Rd2 Rc3+ 43.Nf3 Bc8 44.Kg2 Bb7 45.Ne5 Bxd5+ 46.Kf1 ½-½ Cornford,L-Fairhurst,W/82nd NZ Chp, Dunedin 1975
7...Na5! The knight on the side of the board is doing an effective job holding onto black's extra pawn and forces white to give up his bishop pair for it. Another way to play is 7...Ne5 8.Qd4 h6 9.Bh4 Ng6 10.Bg3 e6 11.d6 Ne7 12.Rd1 Ned5 13.Qe5 Nd7 14.Qe2 Nxc3 15.bxc3 g6?! 16.Be5 Nxe5 17.Qxe5 Rg8 18.Bxc4 Bg7 19.Bb5+ Bd7 20.Bxd7+ Qxd7 21.Qe3 Qc6 22.Ne2 b6 23.0-0 0-0-0 24.c4 Kb7 25.Nd4 Bxd4 26.Rxd4 Rd7 27.Qxh6 e5 28.Rd5 Re8 29.Qd2 Re6 30.c5 bxc5 31.Rb1+ Ka8 32.Qb2 Re8 33.Rxe5 Red8 34.Qc3 Rxd6 35.Rf1 c4 36.Re7 f6 37.Qe3 R6d7 38.Rxd7 Qxd7 39.Qf3+ Qd5 1-0 Anand,V-Seirawan,Y/Amsterdam 1992/
8.Nf3 h6!? 8...e6 9.Bxf6 gxf6 10.Bxc4 Nxc4 11.Qa4+ Bd7 12.Qxc4 Rc8 13.Qh4 f5 14.Qd4 Rg8 15.0-0 Bc5 16.Qf4 Qf6 17.Ne5 Bd6 18.Nxd7 Kxd7 19.dxe6+ fxe6 20.Rad1 Rc6 21.Nb5 e5 22.Qa4 Ra6 23.Qb3 Qe6 24.Rd5 Rb6 25.Rfd1 Ke7 26.Qh3 Rd8 27.Qxh7+ Kf8 28.h4 Rd7 29.Qh8+ Kf7 30.h5 a6 31.Nxd6+ Rbxd6 32.Rxd6 Rxd6 33.Qh7+ Ke8 34.Rxd6 Qxd6 35.Qxf5 Qd1+ 36.Kh2 Qd4 37.g3 Qd2 38.Qxe5+ Kf7 39.Qf4+ 1-0 Grabarczyk,B-Czakon,J/Lubniewice POL 2005/
9.Bxf6 Practically forced if white wishes to gain back the pawn, for example. 9.Be3 e6 10.dxe6 Bxe6 11.Nd4 Bd7
9...exf6 10.Bxc4 Nxc4 11.Qa4+ Bd7 12.Qxc4 Bd6 12...Qe7+!? 13.Kf1 Qb4 14.Qe2+ Be7 15.Re1 Kf8= Not an easy position to play.
13.0-0 0-0 14.Ne4 Bf5 15.Rfe1 Re8 16.Nxd6 Qxd6
Black has finished development and succeeded in equalising, the game now focusses around the d5 pawn... strength or weakness. It must be said that if black was to win this pawn the game would still be a draw because of his wrecked K-side pawn structure, from my point of view to play a position with no real winning chances is always difficult.
17.h3 Red8?! Black plays a very tempting move but one which has drawback's. The rook is now passively placed and I see no reason to remove it from e8. Better is 17...a6 Qb3 can now be met with b5
18.Qb3 Rd7 19.Rad1 Rc8 20.Qe3 Rc5 Black has achieved his setup (starting with 17...Re8) with regards to grabbing the pawn on d5.
21.Nh4 Bg6? Black misses the fact that white has a forced combination after this to force the pawn forward. 21...Bc2 and 22...f5 practically force the draw. Active defense must be preferred, Croad must enjoy defending because he hasn't played a single attacking move! [21...Bc2! 22.Rd2 f5 23.Ng6!? If white wishes to play for a win this may be best, if a little risky. 23...Kh7 (23...Qxg6 24.Qxc5; 23...fxg6 24.Qe8+ Kh7 25.Re6+-) 24.Nf4 Rc4 25.Rd4 Rxd4 26.Qxd4 Be4 Even now it is hard for white to get an uneven position and black should draw without difficulty.
22.Nxg6 White now force's his d pawn forward one square making it more visually powerful. 22...fxg6 23.Qe8+ Kh7 24.Re6 Qc7 25.d6 Qc6 26.Re7 Rxe7? Black had a better try. 26...Rc1! 27.Qxd7 (27.Rxc1 Qxc1+ 28.Kh2 Qf4+=) 27...Rxd1+ 28.Kh2 Qxd6+ 29.Qxd6 Rxd6 30.Rxb7 a5 whhite still has a slight edge] 27.Qxc6! [27.Qxe7?! Rd5 28.Rxd5 Qc1+ 29.Rd1 Qxd1+ 30.Kh2 Qd4!= Black will force perpetual!]
27...bxc6 28.dxe7 Re5 29.Rd7 a5 30.Ra7 Kg8 31.Rxa5 Rxe7 32.Kf1
So white has transformed his d-pawn into the destruction of black's pawn structure. The main weakness being the lonesome c6 pawn versus the connected a and b pawns. The passed a pawn is the most dangerous.
32...Kf7 33.Ra6 Rc7? Black should not defend a horrible pawn in such a way when he has a chance to get active . [33...c5 A) 34.Rc6 Ra7 Black will manage to get either the a or b pawn for his c. 35.Rxc5 Rxa2 36.Rc7+ Kf8 37.Rb7 (37.b4 Rb2 38.Rb7 g5 39.b5 f5 40.g4 g6 41.b6 Ke8 42.Rb8+ Kd7 43.b7 Kc7 44.Rh8 fxg4 45.hxg4 Rxb7 46.Rxh6 Rb6=) 37...g5 38.Ke2 f5 39.Kd3 g4 40.hxg4 fxg4 41.Ke4 h5 42.Kf4 Ra5 43.b4 g5+ 44.Ke4 Ra2 45.Kf5 Rxf2+ 46.Kxg5 Rxg2 47.Kxh5 g3 48.Kg4 Ke8 49.Kf3 Rb2 50.Kxg3 Kd8 51.Kf3 Kc8 52.Rb5 Kc7 53.Ke3 Kc6 54.Rb8 Kc7 55.Rb5 Kc6=; B) 34.b3 34...g5 35.Rc6 Ra7 36.a4 Rb7 37.Rxc5 Rxb3=]
34.b4! Locking in the pawn weakness and the rook to the defence of it.
34...Ke7 35.Ke2 Rb7 36.a3 Kd6 37.Kd3 Rb5?! Black now decides it is time to play more actively in defence and as Murphy's Law would have it... 37...Kd5 was a stiffer defensive try. 38.Kc3 g5 39.a4 h5 40.Ra8 Rd7 41.a5 White will win with best play but black can resist for a while at least.
38.Ra7 Rd5+ 39.Kc3 Rg5 40.g4 h5 41.Ra5! Forcing a won K+P ending.
41...c5 [41...Rxa5 42.bxa5 Kc5 43.a4 hxg4 (43...Kd6 44.a6 Kc7 45.a5 Kb8 46.Kb4 Ka7 47.Kc5 Kxa6 48.Kxc6) 44.hxg4 g5 45.Kd3 g6 46.Ke4 Kd6 47.a6 Kc7 48.a5 Kb8 49.Kd4 Ka7 50.Kc5 Kxa6 51.Kxc6 f5 52.Kd6+-]
42.Rxc5 Rxc5+ 43.bxc5+ Kxc5 44.a4 h4 45.f4 f5 46.g5 Kb6 47.Kb4 Ka6 48.Kc5 Ka5 49.Kd6 Kxa4 50.Ke6 Kb4 51.Kf7 Kc4 52.Kxg7 Kd4 53.Kxg6 Ke4 54.Kh5 Kd5