This move allows black to break down white's center. Better is 10.dxe6 Bxe6 11.cxb5 axb5 12.Qe2 b4 13.Rd1 White succeeds in keeping an edge. Black's king is still in the center and because of the coming e5 pawn push black will be hard pressed to hold his position togeather. black's best is probably 13...Ne7 (13...Bxa2?! 14.e5 d5 15.e6!) 14.e5 0-0 15.Ne4 Bc4 16.Qe1 Bd5 17.Nxd6 White has an edge but the position is still quite tricky.
Good for white is 13...Qc7 14.Ng5 Ne7 15.Nxe6 fxe6 16.Bh3 Qd7 17.Nb3±
11.e5 This doesn't work anymore 11...bxc4 12.Nxc4 Nxc4 13.Qxc4 exd5 14.Qf4 Nf5
11...exd5 12.exd5 0-0 13.Rd1 axb5 14.Qxb5 Bd7
Also good is 14...Nexd5 15.Ne4 f5 16.Nc3 Ba6 17.Qb3 Bc4 18.Qc2 Nb4 19.Qb1 Re8
15...c4 16.Qf1 Qc7 17.Ng5 Rfe8 White's pieces are unable to coordiante and the d5 pawn is falling.
16.Re1 Nexd5 17.a3 Qd7 18.Rb1 Bb5 19.Qc2 Rfe8 20.Ne4 f5 21.Neg5?
21.Nc3 had to be played
21...h6! 22.Nh3 g5 23.Rxe8+ Rxe8 The knights wil be forked.
The pressure of this game is clear. White now gives black a second chance to win a piece. 23.Bd2 is better where Black is still better but not winning.
The pressure is now reaching critical mass and Steadman plays an inferior move, but in all fairness the position is still quite compliceted and black has some tricky threats to deal with.
Winning is 30...Qg7! Perhaps not played because of 31.Nxf5 But 31...Bxf2+! Leads to mate in 13! 32.Kxf2 Qb2+ 33.Ke1 Qc3+ 34.Kd1 (34.Kf2 Qd2+ 35.Kg1 Qe1+ 36.Bf1 Qxf1#) 34...Qa1+ 35.Kc2 Qa2+ 36.Kc1 Qxa3+ 37.Kd2 Qb2+ 38.Ke1 Qb4+ 39.Kd1 Qb1+ 40.Kd2 Nc4+ 41.Ke2 Nce3+ 42.Kf2 Qc2+ 43.Kg1 Qxg2#
31.Qg6+ Qg7 32.Qxf5
32.Qxg7+ Kxg7 33.Ne6+ Kg8 34.Nxf5 White has won another pawn but the position is now simplified and black should win without too much difficulty.
32...Bd7 33.Qf4 Be5
33...Ng4 34.Ne4 d5 35.h3 dxe4 36.hxg4 Qxg4 Is an easy win.
34.Qc1 Ng4 35.h3 Nh6 36.f4 Bd4+ 37.Kh2 Nf7 38.Ngf3 Bb2 39.Qe1 Qc3
39...Bxa3 40.Qb1 Bb4 41.Nf5 Qf6-+
40.Qe4 Qf6 41.Qb7 d5 42.Ng5 Bxa3?!
Black has enough material advantage now was the time for piece trades.
42...Nxg5 43.fxg5 Qe6 (43...Qxg5 44.Qxb6) 44.Nf5 Bxa3 45.Ne7+ Kg7
46.Nxd5 Nxd5 47.Qxd5 (47.Bxd5 Qxh3+-+) 47...Qxd5 48.Bxd5 Bb5 49.h4 c4 50.Be4 Be8 51.Kh3 c3 52.Bc2 Bg6 53.Bb3 Be7 54.Kg4 c2 55.Bxc2 Bxc2 56.h5 Bd1+ 57.Kh4 Kg8 58.g4 Kf7 59.Kh3 (59.h6 Kg6) 59...Bxg5-+
43.Bxd5 Nxd5 44.Qxd7 Ne7
Now the win for Black is no where is sight and more importantly White has taken the initiative and the change from a lost position to unclear has given white a confidence boost while Steadman must be wondering how his won game has turned into this.
45.Ne6 45...c4 46.g4 Ng6?
46...Bd6 47.Kg1 Qa1+ (47...Bxf4 48.Nxf4 Qxh4 49.Qe8+ Kg7 50.Nh5+ Kg6 51.Nf4+ Kf6 52.Nh5+ A draw again or black can risk it with 52...Ke5 53.Qxf7 Qe1+) 48.Kf2 Qb2+ 49.Kg3 Qc3+ 50.Kg2 Qd2+ 51.Kf1 Qc1+ (51...c3 52.Qe8+ Kh7 53.Qxf7+ Kh6 54.g5#) 52.Kg2 Qd2+ 53.Kf1 Qd3+ 54.Kf2 Kh7 55.Nf5 Black has a perpetual and at a glance I couldn't find anything better. With time I am sure better moves will be found.
47.Nxg6 Qxg6 48.Qc8+ Kh7
The table's have turned and white now has a definate advantage in his 3 connected passed pawns on the K-side. Black's c-pawn was not just a pawn it was an important source of diversion it was after all 3 squares away from becoming a Queen.
49...Bd6 50.Kg2 Qf6 51.Qe4+ Kg8 52.g5 Qb2+ 53.Kg3 Qb3+ 54.Kh4 Nh8 55.g6?! 55.Nd4 This should win. 55...Qf7 56.f5 Be7 57.Ne6 Qe8 58.Kg4 White must not rush the pawn advance, black is toast.
better is 56.Ng5 although most variations lead to a draw Bxg5+ 57.Kxg5 Qg3+ 58.Kf6 Qh4+ 59.Ke5 Qxh3 60.f5 Nxg6+ 61.fxg6 Qc3+ 62.Kf5=; 56.Kg4 Qd1+=
An epic battle where either side could have won. I imagine Scott will be devastated for a long time losing in such a way.
Congratulations to Michael Steadman on achieving the FM title and more importantly stopping another Australian getting one!