Friday, March 27, 2009

Reykjavik Open 2009 Rd. 3

What a terribly distressing game today. I finally outplayed a strong titled player only to throw all of my hard work away in one instant of blindness when the game was finally all but winning for me.

[Event "Reykjavik Open 2009"]
[Site "Reykjavik, Iceland"]
[Date "2009.03.26"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Cross, Ted"]
[Black "Johannesson, FM Ingvar Thor"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "A08"]
[WhiteElo "2076"]
[BlackElo "2345"]

1. e4 e6 2. d3
I was in the mood for something more solid today.
2...d5 3. Nd2 c5 4. Ngf3 Nc6 5. g3 g6 6. Bg2 Bg7 7. O-O Nge7 8. Re1 h6 9. c3 Qc7 10. Nf1
This is apparently a novelty, at least according to my database. I had an idea to play for an attack due to the pawn on h6 being a little weak.
10...O-O 11. Ne3 Rd8 12. e5!
I really liked this move. It blunts the power of the rook on d8 and gives some kick to my kingside attack.
You can see the point of 12. e5 if he had played 12...Nxe5 13. Nxe5 Bxe5 14. Ng4 Bg7 15. Nxh6+ Kf8 16. Qf3 Nc6 17. Bg5 with a good advantage to white.
13. Ng4 dxc3 14. bxc3 Nf5 15. Nf6+ Kh8 16. g4!?
I was in the mood for attack and attacking is always easier. A more solid advantage could have been gained by 16. Bf4 b6 17. Qa4 Bb7 18. g4 Nfe7 19. g5 h5 20. Rad1.
16...Nxe5 17. Nxe5 Bxf6 18. Bf4
Here I thought I was flat out winning, but I overlooked his next move.
18...Nd6 19. Qf3
I wanted to build up pressure, especially since he was getting into time trouble. Probably best was simply 19. Bxh6.
A better defense for him would be 19...g5 20. Bg3 Kg7 21. Rad1 with an unclear game.
20. Qh3!?
Again I wanted to keep adding to the pressure. Better is probably just 20. Nc4 Kg8 21. Bxd6 Rxd6 22. Nxd6 Qxd6 23. Rac1. The computer calls this equal, but I have to believe white has the advantage here.
20...Kh7 21. Bxh6
Crazy complications arise after 21. Nc4!? e5 (21... Bxc3 22. Qxh6+ Kg8 23. Rac1 Bxe1 24. Rxe1 and white wins.) 22. Nxe5 g5 23. Bxg5 f6 24. d4 fxg5 25. Qd3+ Nf5 (25...Kg8 26. Bd5+ wins.) (25...Kh8 26. Ng6+ Kh7 27. Re7 wins.) 26. gxf5 Bxe5 27. f6+ Kh8 28. Qg6 Bxh2+ 29. Kh1 Bf5 30. Qxf5 Bd6 and white has a large edge.
21...Bxh6 22. g5 Nf5 23. gxh6 Rh8 24. Re4 Qe7 25. Bf3
I had two things in mind when I played this. First I wanted to begin opening the g file for a rook. Second, I was concerned about black playing f6, and this move prevented it.
You see, if he had played f6 there could have followed a nice queen sac: 25...f6 26. Nxg6 Rg8 27. Qxf5 Rxg6+ 28. Kh1 e5 29. Qxg6+! Kxg6 30. Rg1+ Kh7 31. Rg7+ Qxg7 32. hxg7 Rb8 and white is better.
26. Kh1 Kg8 27. Rg1 Rxh6 28. Nxg6
I thought that this gave me the edge, but according to the computer black ends up better with correct play.
He should have played 28...Rxh3 29. Nxe7+ Kf8 30. Bg2 Rxd3 31. Nxf5 exf5 32. Rh4 Ke7 33. Re1+ and black has the edge.
29. Ne5+! Kh8 30. Nxd7?
This felt so right at the time, but the right way to win here is 30. Qg2! Bc6 31. Ng4! Nh4 (31...Rg8 32. Nxf6 Rxg2 33. Bxg2 Rxf6 34. Rg4 Bxg2+ 35. Kxg2 Rh6 36. Rb1 Nd6 37. Ra4 a6 and white should win.) 32. Nxf6 Nxg2 33. Ng4 Bxe4 34. Bxe4 Rh5 35. Bxb7 Rd8 36. Bxg2 Rxd3 37. Nf6 Rg5 38. Rb1 Kg7 39. Ne4 and white wins.
30...Rxh3 31. Nxf6 Rxf3 32. Reg4??
Aaaaaaaagh!! I still had around twenty minutes on my clock so this is hard to explain. Basically I flat out overlooked that once his knight moved my own knight would be hanging on f6. I literally thought the game was over; that after my move (which threatens mate on g8) he could only play 32...Nh6 and then I would mate him with Rh4. Obviously once he played his move I saw that I had blown it. I still could have had good winning chances with 32. Ng4 Rxd3 33. Ne5 Rxc3 34. Nxf7+ Kh7 35. Ng5+ Kh8 36. Nxe6 Rg8 37. Re5 Rxg1+ 38. Kxg1 Nd4 39. Rxc5 Rxc5 40. Nxc5 b5 41. Kf1 Kg7 42. Nb3 Nc2 43. Ke2 Kf6 44. Kd2 Nb4 45. a3 Nd5 46. Kd3 Ke5 47. h4 Nf4+ 48. Kd2. I had to leave out many possible variations in order to keep this manageable, but they all led to a white edge. How come my opponents never blunder like this against me?
I could have just resigned right here, but I was stunned to suddenly go from believing I was won to having to accept that I had lost.
33. Nd7 Nxg4 34. Rxg4 Rxd3 35. Rh4+ Kg7 36. Rg4+ Kh8 37. Rh4+ Kg7 38. Rg4+ Kh6 39. Ne5 Rd5 40. Nxf7+ Kh5 41. Re4 Rf8 42. Ne5 Rxf2 43. Re1 Rdd2 0-1
A humiliating disaster!


Ingvar said...

Can't argue that white was much better most of the game. Wasn't as bad as I thought though and of course a better game doesn't ensure victory. After 16.Bf4 or 19.Bxh6 I think white has a very safe and good edge but the game isn't over by any means.

The only big chance missed was Qg2 which certainly would have been next to impossible to meet with my clock situation.

According to my scoresheet you had 20 minutes left when you made the losing move Reg4. I can't agree that you were winning there. The line you give is a bit co-operative. After 32.Ng4 black just goes 32...Nd6 and it looks equal to me.

knight_tour said...

Hey, thanks for posting, and say 'hi' to Steve Farmer for me. I agree that there are many more options in that last line; to avoid keeping making it clunky I only used what my (admittedly old) Fritz said was best. Absolutely I could have messed things up further and not won. I just can't believe that I overlooked the hanging knight on f6!

knight_tour said...

Oh, by the way, I agree with your comment about it not being as bad as you thought. I had thought I had a strong advantage for quite a while, but examining it with the computer surprised me with how much smaller my edge was than I believed. Thanks for telling me about the clock; I don't keep notation, so I was just guessing about the amount left. I have corrected that.