Thursday, March 26, 2009

Reykjavik Open 2009 Rd. 2

At last year's Reykjavik Open I never had to play down during the entire event. In the second round I had to play against an unrated player. There were very few games in the database, but he seemed to be a pretty strong player, and about the only preparation I could do was to assume he would play 1. e4. I am always very nervous in such situations because I really don't like to lose to lower ranked players. The game ended up being a mess, where the computer sees better moves for both sides on nearly every move at one point when we were in time trouble.

[Event "Reykjavik Open 2009"]
[Site "Reykjavik, Iceland"]
[Date "2009.03.25"]
[Round "2"]
[White "Unnarsson, Sverrir"]
[Black "Cross, Ted"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B33"]
[BlackElo "2076"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 e5 6. Ndb5 d6 7. Bg5 a6 8.
Na3 b5 9. Bxf6 gxf6 10. Nd5 f5 11. Bd3 Be6 12. c3 Bg7 13. O-O O-O 14. Nc2 Rb8 15. Nce3?!

The first doubtful move of the game. Other games have gone (15. Qh5 f4 16. g3 Qd7 17. f3 fxg3 18. hxg3 f5 19. Nce3 f4 20. gxf4 exf4 21. Nf5 Rxf5 22. exf5 Bf7 23. Qg5 Bxd5 24. f6 Ne5 25. Be4 Bxe4 26. fxe4 Rb7 27. fxg7 Qh3 28. Qd8+ Kxg7 29. Rf2 Nf3+ {Klundt,K-Maugg,L/Bad Woerishofen 2003/CBM 93 ext/1/2-1/2 (33)}) or (15. Nde3 f4 16. Nd5 Bxd5 17. exd5 Ne7 18. Qh5 f5 19. f3 Qd7 20. g4 fxg3 21. hxg3 Nxd5 22. Rae1 Rbe8 23. Kf2 Nf6 24. Qxf5 Qxf5 25. Bxf5 a5 26. Re2 Re7 {1/2-1/2 Bergen,K-Deutschmann,R/Graz 2002/EXT 2003 (26)})
15...fxe4 16. Bxe4 f5 17. Bc2 e4?!
I was playing to try to trap his knight in the center with f4, but this move just throws the initiative to white. Better was 17...Qd7 18. Bb3 Rf7 19. f4 b4 with an unclear game.
18. Bb3 Kh8 19. Nf4 Bxb3 20. axb3 Be5?!
Although this move is doubtful, it at least attacks, while white still retains an advantage after the supposedly better 20...Qc8 21. b4 Be5 22. Ned5.
21. Ned5
I was happy to see this. I had feared 21. Ne6 Qh4 22. g3 Rg8 23. Nxf5?, but this actually loses to 23...Qh3 24. Ned4 Nxd4 25. cxd4 Bf4. White has a clear edge after 23. Rxa6 instead.
I keep attacking. I could have had equality with 21...a5 22. Qh5 Qe8 23. Qh6 Qf7.
22. Qh5
Better here is 22. Rxa6! with an advantage.
A bad move, showing how my mindset was just to attack. I could have held white's advantage to a minimum with 22...Qc8 23. Qh6 Qb7 24. f3 b4.
23. Rxa6!?
Now he could have had a winning advantage with 23. Qxf5 Qg8 24. h3! Rg5 25. Qxe4 Re8 26. Qf3.
23...Qc8 24. Rxc6
Better was 24. Rfa1 Bxf4 25. Nxf4 Rxf4 26. Rxc6 Qxc6 27. Ra7 Rb7 28. Ra8+ Kg7 29. Qg5+ with a big advantage.
24...Qxc6 25. Qxf5 Rbg8 26. g3?
A mistake. Still winning is 26. Nf6! Bxf6 27. Qxf6+ R8g7 28. g3.
I was trying to be tricky, hoping he would take the e4 pawn so I could win the knight on f4. Better is 26...R4g5 27. Qe6 (27. Qxe4? Bxf4) 27...Re8 28. Qh6 Rg7 29. Re1 Bxf4 30. Nxf4 Qb6 31. Qf6 Kg8 32. Rd1 e3 33. fxe3 Rxe3 34. Qd4 Qxd4 35. Rxd4 Rd7 an white has a tiny edge. Note that white was in significant time pressure somewhere around here.
27. Ra1?!
White could get back a significant edge with 27. Re1 b4 28. Qxe4 bxc3 29. bxc3 Qxb3 30. c4.
My heart's in the right place, but this is not a good move. I actually could have taken over the advantage with 27...R4g5 28. Qe6 Rf8 29. Kf1 e3.
28. fxe3 R4g5 29. Qd3 Qg7 30. e4 Qh6 31. Ne7?
This is when I finally felt I would win. He was in terrible time pressure and just threw this move out. 31. Rf1! keeps an edge for white.
31...Bxf4 32. Nxg8 Rxg8 33. Qf3 Be3+ 34. Kh1 Rf8 35. Qg4 Bc1
I really liked this move. I wasn't going after the pawns really; I was cutting off the rook on the file so that my queen and rook could better pressure his king. Luckily for me, with his next move he made this plan work even better.
36. Ra7? Bxb2 37. Rc7 Qc1+ 0-1
If the king moves then Qf1 is mate.

I wasn't happy with how I played, but it was a relief to get a win. Now I just hope I can do better next round.

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