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View Full Version : Tony Dowden vs Bruce R Watson, NZ Champs 2008



Kevin Bonham
11-03-2008, 10:06 AM
1. c4 e5 2. g3 Nf6 3. Bg2 Nc6 4. Nc3 Bb4 5. Nd5 Bc5 6. e3 O-O 7. a3 a5 8. Ne2 Ba7 9. O-O d6 10. d3 Ne7 11. Nxf6+ gxf6 12. Nc3 f5 13. f4 f6 14. Kh1 c6 15. b3 Be6 16. d4 Qc7 17. Ra2 Rad8 18. Re1 Bf7 19. Bf3 Qb8 20. d5 Kg7 21. Rd2 e4 22. Bxe4 fxe4 23. Nxe4 cxd5 24. Nxf6 Kxf6 25. Bb2+ d4 26. Qg4 Bg6 27. exd4 Nf5 28. d5+ Kf7 29. Qg5 Kg8 30. Re6 Qc7 31. g4 Qf7 32. Rf6 Qe7 33. Re2 Be3 34. Rxe3 Qg7 35. gxf5 Rxf6 36. Bxf6 1-0

(posted here as it was discussed in the Tas Champs thread.)

Tony Dowden
13-03-2008, 08:52 AM
Some comments on Dowden,T (2170) - FM Watson,B (2293), 2008 NZ Chp

22.Bxe4? Unfortunately the whole concept seems to be unsound. But I must say it was a whole lot of fun playing the attacking side!
26.Qg4 I had seen this far and the possibilities looked so enticing I could resist saccing. In particular after the apparently logical 26--Qc8 or 26--Rg8 White can continue 27.Rxd4!! Q/Rxg4 28.Rad6+ Kf5 29.Rf6 or 29.e4 (Jono) is mate!
31---Qf7? Black finally goes astray (In the game I felt that Bruce had defended depressingly well up to here). Here the relatively simple 31---Ng7 32.Re7 Rd7! defends - but in time trouble both sides overlooked that Rd7 defends the g7 square and shields the queen from the Re7 attack. In the game I was actually also considering 31---Ng7 32.f5!? Nxe6 33.dxe6 but afterwards we found that Black can cunningly combine threats on White's king via Qc6 or Qc5 with his defence.
33---Be3?? White's rook sac takes black by surprise and Black's stern defence suddenly collapses. From memory I think Black can give up his queen with 33---Rxf6 then after 34.Rxe7 Nxe7 35.Bxf6 White retains an initiative but Black has avoided being steam-rollered. [Oops, White's 35th is a blunder! See KB's question below (I think). How does Black win this position?! The correct line is 35.f5 and without an engine I'm claiming it as 'unclear'.]
36.Bxf6 Black is about to suffer catastrophic material loss.

Kevin Bonham
13-03-2008, 11:16 AM
I think exd4 before Qg4 is much harder for black to deal with. It eliminates the defence of ...Bg6 then ...Nf5 as played in the game (26.exd4 Bg6 27.Qe2! or 26.exd4 d5 27.Qg4 Bg6 28.Qg5+ wins knight) and means that black has to rely on 26...d5 27.Qg4 Ng6 (at least for serious winning chances). A computer may say Black is +1.5, +2 or whatever but I think it is a very unpleasant position to defend.

Tactics quiz time:

If Black plays 33...Rxf6 instead of the clearly losing Be3?? then he has a truly astonishing resource. What is it?

("Best play" in positions like this under tournament conditions is more or less impossible. These "unsound" double piece sacs quite often come off.)

Capablanca-Fan
13-03-2008, 04:59 PM
Some comments on Dowden,T (2170) - FM Watson,B (2293), 2008 NZ Chp

22.Bxe4? Unfortunately the whole concept seems to be unsound. But I must say it was a whole lot of fun playing the attacking side!
Most unexpected, especially with the second sacrifice. White's pieces seem superficially passive and huddled on the low ranks, but they spring to life here.

All the same, could White have played 22. Bg2, with the idea of 23. g4 fxg4 24. Nxe4 with similar threats but less risk?


26.Qg4 I had seen this far and the possibilities looked so enticing I could resist saccing. In particular after the apparently logical 26--Qc8 or 26--Rg8 White can continue 27.Rxd4!! Q/Rxg4 28.Rad6+ Kf5 29.Rf6 is mate!
Presumably you would have played 29.e4# (otherwise the K goes there). Was there any safety net, Nunn's term for a way to bail out with, say, perpetual check if the line turned out not to be as good as you thought?


31---Qf7? Black finally goes astray (In the game I felt that Bruce had defended depressingly well up to here). Here the relatively simple 31-- Ng7 32.Re7 Rd7! defends — but in time trouble both sides overlooked that Rd7 defends the g7 square and shields the queen from the Re7 attack.
That's the thing: will defenders find the right saving sequence in the time available? And the switch from a slow, maneuvring game to a sharp tactical slugfest would have disturbed his equilibrium.

Tony Dowden
13-03-2008, 06:57 PM
I think exd4 before Qg4 is much harder for black to deal with. It eliminates the defence of ...Bg6 then ...Nf5 as played in the game (26.exd4 Bg6 27.Qe2! or 26.exd4 d5 27.Qg4 Bg6 28.Qg5+ wins knight) and means that black has to rely on 26...d5 27.Qg4 Ng6 (at least for serious winning chances). A computer may say Black is +1.5, +2 or whatever but I think it is a very unpleasant position to defend.

Tactics quiz time:

If Black plays 33...Rxf6 instead of the clearly losing Be3?? then he has a truly astonishing resource. What is it?

("Best play" in positions like this under tournament conditions is more or less impossible. These "unsound" double piece sacs quite often come off.)
My b2 bishop 'disagreed' with 26.exd4 on positional grounds. In the game I did actually see 26.exd4 d5 27.Qg4 Ng6 28.Qg5+ Kg7 29.f5 but decided it wasn't what I was looking for. With the benefit of hindsight I admit it might have been White's safest option (not that I think I'd enjoy handling the White side after 29.f5 though).

See my "Oops" comment above - presumably we are referring to the same resource?

Tony Dowden
13-03-2008, 07:07 PM
All the same, could White have played 22. Bg2, with the idea of 23. g4 fxg4 24. Nxe4 with similar threats but less risk?

Was there any safety net, Nunn's term for a way to bail out with, say, perpetual check if the line turned out not to be as good as you thought?


Yes, 22.Bg2 is fine (better, in hindsight) but I smelled blood!

Yes and no. At a certain point during the game in the game (I can't remember when!) I thought 29---Kg8 might be too risky after 30.Re6, so a perpetual check would therefore result after 29---Qc7 (or 29---Rfe8) with Qf6-h8-f6-h8-f6, but 29---Kg8 turned out to be the main line.

Kevin Bonham
13-03-2008, 09:31 PM
See my "Oops" comment above - presumably we are referring to the same resource?

I think so. It's in white text in gap below (run cursor over it to see text) for those who want to see what I'm referring to:

33...Rxf6 34.Rxe7 Nxe7 35.Bxf6 looks good for white but is refuted by 35...h6! (anything else and white wins easily). If White saves the queen he is mated, completely against the run of play, by 36...Be4# So all White has is 36.Qxg6+ Nxg6 37.Bxd8 with three pawns for the knight, but after ...a4! shattering White's pawn structure, white is probably lost.

I've looked at 35.f5 and also 35.h4 with engine - they appear to also lead to black wins with perfect play though I am not certain about this - and for practical purposes anything could happen.