Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Gordon Hoskyn Memorial Rapid

One game I found interesting from the GH Memorial Rapid showing the top seed didn't have it all his own way.

McDonald,J - Dive,R [A11] (4.1), 14.06.2008

Both players are devotees to 1.c4
1...c6 2.g3 White decides to keep the position more in the spirit of the English opening
[2.e4 is what dive played against Spain at the NZ Congress 08 winning a nice game. 2...d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.cxd5 Nf6 5.Bb5+ Nbd7 6.Nc3 a6 7.Qa4 g6 8.Nf3 Bg7 9.0-0 0-0 10.Bxd7 Nxd7 11.d4 b5 12.Qb3 Nb6 13.Bg5 h6 14.Bh4 g5 15.Bg3 Bb7 16.h4 gxh4 17.Nxh4 Bxd5 18.Nxd5 Qxd5 19.Qb4 Qxd4 20.Qxe7 Qxb2 21.Rad1 Nc4 22.Nf5 Qf6 23.Qc5 Kh8 24.Bh4 Qb6 25.Qd5 Qe6 26.Qf3 Rae8 27.Qh3 Qe4 28.Bf6 Bxf6 29.Qxh6+ Kg8 30.Qxf6 Qe5 31.Qg5+ Kh7 32.Rd3 1-0 Dive,R-Spain,G/Auckland 2008 (32)]
2...d5 3.cxd5 [3.Bg2 This can lead to a Catalan type position 3...Nf6 4.Nf3 dxc4 5.0-0 Nbd7 6.Qc2 Nb6 7.a4 a5 8.Na3 Qd5 9.Ne1 Qd6 10.Nxc4 Nxc4 11.Qxc4 e5 12.Nf3 Be7 13.Qc3 e4 14.Ng5 Bf5 15.d3 Qb4 16.Nxe4 Bxe4 17.dxe4 Qxc3 18.bxc3 Nd7 19.Rd1 Nc5 20.Be3 0-0 21.Rdb1 Rab8 22.e5 Rfc8 23.Kf1 Rd8 24.f4 g6 25.Bf3 Bf8 26.Ra2 Rdc8 27.Kg2 Be7 28.g4 Bf8 29.Kg3 Be7 30.h4 Bf8 31.h5 Re8 32.hxg6 hxg6 33.g5 Rec8 34.Bd4 b6 35.e4 Rd8 36.f5 Nd7 37.Rh2 c5 38.Rbh1 Bg7 39.f6 cxd4 40.Rh7 Ra8 1-0 Matamoros Franco,C-Miljkovic,M/Predeal ROM 2007]
3...cxd5 4.Bg2 Nc6 5.Nf3 Nf6 6.0-0 h6 Setting up a possible retreat square for the white squared bishop. 7.b3 Bf5 8.Ba3

Qb6?! Black has strong control over the centre but white has given black some tricky problems of how to extradite his King to a safe place, black chooses an inferior plan and soon finds himself at a disadvantage. [8...g6!? 9.d3 Bg7 10.Bb2 0-0 Black is better in this position]
9.d3 Nb4 This idea of Qb6 and Nb4 just gets black into trouble.
10.Qd2 e6 11.Nc3 Be7 Black is lagging a bit in development but is hoping his central square control will counter act this.

12.Na4! The only move to put black under pressure.
12...Qa5 13.Bb2 b5 14.Bc3 [White had an interesting option in... 14.Nc3!? Nc6 (14...0-0? 15.Nd4 Qb6 16.Nxf5 exf5 17.a3 Nc6 18.Nxd5+-) 15.e4 dxe4 16.dxe4 A) 16...Nxe4 17.Nxe4 Bxe4 18.Qf4 Bd5 19.Bxg7 Rh7 20.Ne5! A1) 20...Nxe5 21.Bxd5 exd5 (21...Rd8 22.Bxe5 Rxd5 23.Qe4 f5 24.Qe2 Kf8 25.Bf4 Qa6) 22.Qxe5; A2) 20...Rxg7 21.Nxc6 Bxc6 22.Bxc6+; B) 16...Rd8 17.Qe2 Bh7 18.Rfc1 0-0 19.e5 Bd3 20.Qe1 Nd7 21.Qe3 Bg6 22.Ne2²]
14...bxa4 15.a3 axb3 16.Rfb1 0-0 17.axb4 Qb6 18.Rxb3 White has a definite advantage but black's next move is a critical mistake.

18...a5? Clearly better is 18...a6 To stop white from playing b5 freeing his bishop on c3. 19.h3 Stopping Ng4 when queen and Knight hit f2. 19...Rfc8 20.Ra5 White has the better play in this position.

19.Rba3 Suddenly the pin on the b3 rook is now gone and white will win a pawn due to the pin on the a-file.
19...Rfc8 20.Rxa5 Rxa5 21.bxa5 Qa6 22.h3 Ne8?! 22...Nd7 This is a better square for the knight covering the b6 square from a rook invasion, and stalling the pawn's advance atleast for the moment.
23.Rb1 Nd6 24.Rb6 Qa7 White is now winning comfortably the a pawn is extremely powerful. 25.Bd4 Qc7 26.a6 Ra8 27.Ne5! White is now threatening e4 to open up his beautiful bishop on g2 which will also cover the queening square of the a pawn.
27...Nc8 Another option is 27...f6 28.Nc6 Bf8 29.Qc3 but Black is just helpless and can do nothing but wait for white to find the winning continuation.]
28.Rb7 Qd6 29.a7 f6 30.Nd7 Qc6 31.Rb8 Bd6 White has played a excellent game. After the opening Black just never seemed to equalise white's play can hardly be improved on and you would think he is the one with the International Master title. Black made a rash pawn move (18...a5) and in doing so gave white a strong outside passed pawn and was unable to come up with a good defence. Perhaps white was heavily influenced by the rating difference of over 300 points and was happy with a draw and just didn't consider the possibility of actually winning! Time must have been a factor but how often is Russell Dive one of the best players in NZ in a losing position against anyone? let alone someone 300 points lower rated!
32.Rxa8 The game was agreed drawn here.

The winning line goes 32.... Qxa8 33.Qa5 Kf7 34.Qd8 Be7 35.Qc7+- The threat is Qb8 forcing the pawn forward so black must give up a piece and the game!


Justin Davis said...

Both players were down to about 12 seconds each, hence the draw

A great result for John


Mathew said...

Definitely a great result for John but it is interesting how the psychology of being the lower rated player takes effect.