Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Reykjavik Open 2009 Rd. 8

I finally managed to play a pretty good game from start to finish. I am happy with this one. I learned my lesson from two rounds ago and decided to play a brand-new opening line so I would avoid my opponent's preparation. It is strange playing something that you don't know, but I don't think I made too many mistakes.

[Event "Reykjavik Open 2009"]
[Site "Reykjavik, Iceland"]
[Date "2009.03.31"]
[Round "8"]
[White "Thorsteinsdottir, Hallgerdur"]
[Black "Cross, Ted"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B22"]
[WhiteElo "1951"]
[BlackElo "2076"]

1. e4 c5 2. c3
I knew from the databases to expect either an Alapin Sicilian or a Rossilimo Sicilian, so I prepared for both. This is the Alapin.
My surprise! I have never played this variation before. I prepared as best I could, but there is just too much to actually learn in one day.
3. e5 Nd5 4. d4 cxd4 5. Nf3 Nc6 6. cxd4 d6 7. Bc4 e6 8. O-O Be7 9. exd6
This is where she took me out of my preparatory knowledge.
9...Qxd6 10. Nc3 a6
Other moves played here are 10...O-O or 10...Nxc3.
11. a3
This is a novelty according to my database. 11. Ne4 has been played previously.
11...O-O 12.Qd3 Rd8 13. Bg5 Bxg5 14. Ne4 Qe7
The computer really likes black now and likes a line beginning with 14...Nf4. I actually considered this move, but it looked far too complicated to actually try in this situation. The mainline analysis runs 14...Nf4 15. Nxd6 (15. Qb1 Qc7 16. Nexg5 h6 17. Qh7+ Kf8 18. Qh8+ Ke7 19. Qxg7 hxg5 20. Nxg5 Rxd4 21. Rad1 (21. Qxf7+ Kd6 22. Rad1 Qxf7 23. Nxf7+ Ke7 24. Rxd4 Nxd4 25. Rd1 Nf3+ 26. gxf3 Kxf7 and black wins.)) 15...Nxd3 16. Nxg5 (16. Bxd3 Bf6 17. Ne4 Bxd4 18. Nxd4 Nxd4 with a large edge for black.) 16...Nxb2 17. Ngxf7 Nxc4 18. Nxd8 Nxd6 19. Nxc6 bxc6 and black has a large advantage.
15. Nexg5 f5!?
Much safer is 15...Nf6.
16. Rfe1 Qf6 17. Rad1 h6 18. Nh3 g5 19. Ne5 Bd7 20. Bxd5 exd5 21. Qb3 Rab8
I knew I had to give up the central pawn, but I thought I saw more than enough compensation for it.
22. Qxd5+ Be6 23. Qc5 Rd5 24. Qc3 Rc8 25. Nxc6 Rxc6 26. Qe3 f4 27. Qe4 Rcd6
Amazingly, all of these past moves are the computer's first choice!
28. f3 Bxh3 29. gxh3
White had a better play for equality here. The line is long and there are many possibilities, so I will just give the computer's main line: 29. Qe8+ Qf8 30. gxh3 Qxe8 31. Rxe8+ Kf7 32. Re4 Rb5 33. Rd2 Rb3 34. Kf2 Rdb6 35. Ree2 Re6 36. Rxe6 Kxe6 37. h4 gxh4 38. d5+ Kd6 39. Kg2 a5 40. Kh3 Rxf3+ 41. Kg4 Rf1 42. Kxh4 Rc1 43. Kh5 Rc5 44. Kxh6 Rxd5 45. Rf2 Rf5 46. Kg6 Rf8 47. h4 Ke5 48. h5 Rg8+ 49. Kf7 Rh8 50. Rh2 f3 51. Kg7 f2 52. Rxf2 Rxh5 =.
This had to be played or I could get into serious trouble.
30. Qe6+ Qxe6 31. Rxe6 Rxd4 32. Rxd4 Rxd4 33. Rxh6 Rd1+ 34. Kg2 Rd2+ 35. Kg1 Rxb2
I was certain I could win this endgame.
36. Rg6+ Kh7 37. Rxg5 Rb3 38. Rf5 Rxf3
I overlooked the more convincing 38...Rxa3 39. Rxf4 b5 and wins. However, I am still winning.
39. Kg2 Rxa3 40. Rf7+ Kg6 41. Rxb7 a5 42. Rb5 a4 43. Ra5 Ra1
This wins because once the pawn comes to a2 I can move the rook with check against her king (at the right moment). If she tries to avoid this, then I get to move the 'f' pawn down.
44. h4 a3 45. Ra6+ Kh5 46. Kh3
This is a very good try for her, looking for stalemate.
This must be played. Pushing the pawn to a2 would be a terrible mistake: 46...a2?? 47. Rxa2 =.
47. Ra5+ Kh6 48. Ra6+ Kg7 49. Ra7+ Kf6 50. Ra6+ Ke5 51. Kg3 a2 52. h5
If she tried 52. Kf2 then 52...Rh1 wins due to the skewer of the king and rook once she takes on a2.
52...Rg1+ 0-1
I am very happy with my play. My opponent didn't make any major mistakes (the theme for this event!), yet I was still able to find enough pressure to earn the win.

No comments: