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Kevin Bonham
22-05-2004, 04:48 AM
This game (G90) suitably confused the spectators and put me into =1st after a couple of early draws in my club champs. As usual, I forgot theory and played some seriously mediocre stuff in the middlegame, but hey, if I can see 12 moves ahead in messy tactics things can't be all that bad. Comments on the analysis (some derived from my opponent's notes) welcome. Opponent is unrated but is performing around 1800 having dropped one other point from 10-12 games.

Bonham, Kevin - Billam, Peter
HICCCC 2004

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 e6 4.O-O Nge7 5.d4 {No opponent had allowed me to play the Rossolimo for 18 months and I`d forgotten all my theory. Normally I`d play Re1. This, while rare, isn`t that awful.} Nxd4?!
{5...cxd4 6.Nxd4 Qb6 7.Nxc6 bxc6 8.Bd3 Ng6 9.Nc3 Be7 10.Na4 Qa5 Barua-Galliamova, 1992. This kind of setup suits my style so I would have been happy with a line like this.}
6.Nxd4 cxd4 7.Qxd4 a6 8.Be2 {Bd3 is more vigorous.-PB} Nc6 9.Qc3 Qf6 10.Qg3 {White should call Black`s bluff with 10.Qxf6 gxf6 11.Be3 - PB, when Black is in deep positional trouble with a gaping hole on d6.} Be7
11.c3 O-O 12.Na3 b5 {Would you take the knight? It`s playable but White gets a fair amount of play with the two bishops.}
13.Nc2 d6 14.Be3 Bb7 15.Rad1 Rac8
16.f4 e5 17.fxe5 {OK but I missed stronger moves, eg Bg4 with Bf5 to follow looks nice.} Qxe5 18.Bf4 Qc5+ {The e-pawn is extremely poisonous.} 19.Kh1 Ne5 20.Be3 Qc7
21.Bf3 {I was happy for Black to take this giving me play on the g-file and against his bad d-pawn.} f5? {Too sharp, the critical error.
The best defence seems to be ...Rfe8 with maybe ...Bf8 and ...Re6, even then ...Rg6 to follow.
White has pressure but nothing too dangerous looking and Black may later free himself with ...f5.
I think this would all be about equal.} 22.Nd4! fxe4 23.Ne6 {Mate and the queen are on, and Black can only get almost enough for the queen.} Bh4! {Best} 24.Qxh4 exf3 25.Nxc7 fxg2+ {25...Ng6 26.Qd4 fxg2+ 27.Kg1 gxf1=Q+ 28.Rxf1 Rxf1+ 29.Kxf1 Rxc7 30.Qxd6 Rf7+ 31.Ke2 is not too difficult for White to win.}
26.Kg1 gxf1=Q+ 27.Rxf1 Nf3+ 28.Rxf3 Rxf3 29.Ne6! {I dismissed 29.Bd4? without any real analysis because of 29...Rcf8 and the rooks are extremely dangerous.}
Re8 {29...Rf6!} 30.Ng5 Rfxe3 31.Qxh7+ Kf8 32.Qh8+ Ke7 33.Qxg7+ Kd8 34.Qxb7 Re1+ 35.Kf2 R8e2+
36.Kf3 Rd2 37.Qc6 Rdd1 38.Nf7+ Ke7 39.Qc7+ Ke6 40.Nd8+ Kd5
41.Qf7+ Kc5 42.b4+ 1-0

Rhubarb
27-05-2004, 03:58 AM
Hi Kevin, thanks for the game and well calculated at the end.


White should call Black`s bluff with 10.Qxf6 gxf6 11.Be3 - PB, when Black is in deep positional trouble with a gaping hole on d6.

I didn't really understand this comment. Why is d6 a gaping hole? A weakness is only a weakness if it can be exploited. After 11.Be3 d5! 12.cxd5 Nb4 Black immediately solves his problems.


Would you take the knight? It`s playable but White gets a fair amount of play with the two bishops.

Bloody oath! I would have taken that a3 knight off the board before your hand left the horse. Black has weak black squares centrally, but his kingside is as solid as a silicon outhouse. With 12...Bxa3 13.bxa3 Qg6 and if now 14.Qh3 d5! (or even 14...e5!) Black can start playing to win.


15...Rac8 Don't like this; I think this rook is better on d8. An unusual position - a Sicilian by any other name and Black would be better, but his queen is so hopelessly misplaced maybe White is better!


OK but I missed stronger moves, eg Bg4 with Bf5 to follow looks nice.
Is this right? This is a very artificial manoeuvre, but if it works tactically... Does White have anything after 17.Bg4 Rcd8 18.Bf5 g6 ?


White has pressure but nothing too dangerous looking and Black may later free himself with ...f5. I think this would all be about equal.

Ulf "in-sheep's-clothing" Andersson has made a living out of winning such positions with Black. If the position is balanced, it is Black who has the clearer positional plans, based on the immutable stronghold e5 (admittetdly, White's Q-side position is more favourable than usual).

Kevin Bonham
28-05-2004, 12:30 AM
Hi Greg,

Thanks very much for the comments. Interesting ...


I didn't really understand this comment. Why is d6 a gaping hole? A weakness is only a weakness if it can be exploited. After 11.Be3 d5! 12.cxd5 Nb4 Black immediately solves his problems.

I didn't actually look at this idea at all, if someone tells me I've missed a positional crush I generally don't have too much trouble believing them. Doesn't Black still need to be careful after 13.Nc3 Nxc2 14.Rac1 Nxe3 15.fxe3 (hitting f5) - probably 15...Bc5 16.Kf2 (don't like Rf3) and the white knight is rather strong? Still, doesn't exactly look fatal, always nice to have a "missed opportunity" refuted or blunted. :)


Bloody oath! I would have taken that a3 knight off the board before your hand left the horse.

:D Actually I would have done the same in about two seconds too but that's the way I play. (Allowing ...Bxa3 was just brainfade, but as I waited to see if he took it I figured it wouldn't be the end of the earth.)


With 12...Bxa3 13.bxa3 Qg6 and if now 14.Qh3 d5! (or even 14...e5!) Black can start playing to win.

Don't laugh too loud but I was actually considering taking that queen on g6, playing 15.Rd1 and, well, if he can find a way to get that awful-looking thing on c8 into any kind of play without dropping a pawn then good luck to him.


Is this right? This is a very artificial manoeuvre, but if it works tactically... Does White have anything after 17.Bg4 Rcd8 18.Bf5 g6 ?

I just like the idea of using that tempo to put that white B somewhere more active than f3, though I'm not sure f5 is right. If he plays ...g6, I could even just drop the B back to g4 although there are other options (like fiddling around . I don't think White's threat of f5 can be taken lightly by Black if Black has played ...g6 and the f-file is clear of the white bishop. He also has to be careful about exchanging queens - d6 looks dodgy.


Ulf "in-sheep's-clothing" Andersson has made a living out of winning such positions with Black. If the position is balanced, it is Black who has the clearer positional plans, based on the immutable stronghold e5 (admittetdly, White's Q-side position is more favourable than usual).

I wonder if 21.Bf3 was a mistake and if I should have done something a bit more active like 21.Rd4 instead of playing so hard for a k-side attack rightaway.

Rhubarb
31-05-2004, 12:56 AM
Doesn't Black still need to be careful after 13.Nc3 Nxc2 14.Rac1 Nxe3 15.fxe3 (hitting f5) - probably 15...Bc5 16.Kf2

Yes this isn't at all clear - maybe Black has to play 16...Be7 here.


Don't laugh too loud but I was actually considering taking that queen on g6, playing 15.Rd1 and, well, if he can find a way to get that awful-looking thing on c8 into any kind of play without dropping a pawn then good luck to him.
I'd still rather be Black here but this is probably more due to personal preference than anything objective.