Monday, December 26, 2016

Budapest Spring chess Festival 2014 part 1

The next time I played chess was a full year later in the next edition of the Budapest Spring Chess Festival. It was a mixed bag, with one really memorable game, and a continued failed experiment with the Sicilian Grand Prix.

After a fairly simple win in round one, I tried out a different Sicilian than I usually play. I played it decently, with only one early move where I clearly didn't understand the line.

Bitran,Daniel (2133) - Cross,Ted (2034) [B99]
Budapest Spring Chess Festival Budapest (2), 15.03.2014

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 Be7 8.Qf3 Qc7 9.0–0–0 Nbd7 10.g4 b5 11.a3 Bb7?!
 Here is where I clearly didn't know the line, where Rb8 would have been equal, while my move leads to a small edge for white if he plays correctly.
 Which he didn't, thankfully.  [12.Bxf6 Bxf6 13.g5 Bxd4 14.Rxd4 0–0²]
12...Nc5 13.Rhe1 Rc8 14.Kb1 Qb6 15.Qe2 b4! 16.axb4 Qxb4 17.Bxf6 Bxf6 18.e5 dxe5 19.fxe5 Be7
 I had played well to this point and had a significant advantage. Be7 here still leaves me with an edge, though Bh4 was stronger. [¹19...Bh4 20.Rf1 0–0–+]
 White gives me an opportunity to gain a winning advantage. [¹20.Ne4 0–0µ]
20...Nxd3?! [¹20...Rb8 21.Na2 Qb6 22.Bc4 0–0 23.b3 h6–+]
 Which I promptly fail to see. Luckily I still have a nice edge.
21.Rxd3 0–0 22.Ne4 Bxe4?
 But here I blow most of my advantage. I'd have been winning with  [22...Bd5! 23.Nd2 Rb8 24.N4b3 a5 25.Rd4 Qb7–+]
23.Qxe4 Bc5?!
Now I let white get equality, while I'd still have a large edge with [23...Rc4! 24.Rfd1 h6µ] 
24.c3 Qa4 25.Rh3 g6 
The computer thinks g6 is fine but says a tiny fraction better is [¹25...h6 26.g5 Rb8 27.Rf2 Qd1+ 28.Ka2 Bxd4 29.cxd4 Rb4 30.gxh6 Rxd4 31.Qb7 (31.Qg2 g6 32.Qb7 Qa4+ 33.Ra3 Qc4+µ) 31...Ra4+ 32.Ra3 Rxa3+ 33.Kxa3 Qa1+ 34.Kb3 gxh6µ]
 26.Qf4 f5??
And I blow everything, giving white a winning game. The right way to play was [26...Rb8! 27.Rf2 (27.Qh6?? Rxb2+ 28.Kxb2 Ba3+ 29.Ka2 Bc1+–+) 27...Rb7 28.Rc2 Rfb8 29.Rf3 Bxd4 30.Qxd4 Qxd4 31.cxd4 Rb4³]
 Now it's just easy for white.
27.exf6 Qd7 28.Rd3 Rce8 29.Qe4 Qd5 30.Qxd5 exd5 31.Nb3 Bd6 32.Rxd5 Bxh2 33.g5 Re5 34.Rxe5 Bxe5 35.Nc5 Bd6 36.Ne6 Rf7 37.Nd8

So that was painful, to do so well in a new line only to throw it away with one bad move. The next round saw me continue my experimentation with the Grand Prix Sicilian. I was playing an International Master, so maybe I'd have been better off sticking to my normal opening.

Cross,Ted (2034) - Pirisi,IM Gabor (2258) [B23]
Budapest Spring Chess Festival Budapest (3), 16.03.2014

1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 g6 3.f4 Bg7 4.Nf3 Nc6 5.Bb5 Nd4 6.0–0 Nxb5 7.Nxb5 a6 8.Nc3 b5 9.d3 d6 10.Qe1 b4 11.Ne2 Nf6 12.h3 0–0 13.Qh4 e6 14.f5 exf5
Fourteen moves in and I'm doing fine. I had been studying a book by GM Perelshteyn, and though I didn't know it at the time here I was exactly following a Perelshteyn game. Only on the next move the GM played correctly while I went astray.
15.Bh6? [15.exf5 Nh5 (15...Re8; 15...Nd5) 16.Bg5 Bf6? (16...f6 17.fxg6 fxg5 (17...hxg6 18.Bd2 f5 19.Qc4+ Kh8 20.Nf4 Nxf4 21.Qxf4±) 18.gxh7+ Kh8 19.Qxh5 Qe8 20.Qxe8 Rxe8 21.Rae1±) 17.g4!? (17.Ng3 h6 18.fxg6 fxg6 19.Nxh5 gxh5 20.Bxf6 Rxf6 21.Qxh5±) 17...Bxg5 18.Nxg5 h6 19.f6 hxg5 20.Qxg5 Re8? (20...Ng7! 21.Rae1 c4 22.Ng3 Ra7 23.Qe3 Rd7 24.fxg7 Kxg7 25.dxc4±) 21.gxh5 Re5 22.Qg2 Ra7 23.hxg6 fxg6 24.Qxg6+ Kh8 25.Ng3 Qg8 26.Qxg8+ Kxg8 27.h4 d5 28.Rf4 Rh7 29.a3 bxa3 30.Rxa3 Kf7 31.Ra5 d4 32.b4 Rh6 33.Ne4 Bb7 34.Nd6+ 1–0 Perelshteyn,E (2360)-Montalvo,A (2235)/Mermaid Beach 1997/EXT 2001]

15...Nh5 16.Bxg7 Qxh4 17.Nxh4 Nxg7 18.Ng3?!
I'm in trouble no matter what, but slightly better was [18.exf5 Bxf5 (18...Nxf5 19.Nxf5 Bxf5 20.Ng3 Be6 21.Ne4 Rfd8 22.Rae1µ) 19.Ng3 Be6 20.Ne4 Ne8 21.a3µ]

18...f4 19.Ne2 g5 20.Nf3 h6 21.Rae1 Bb7 22.g3 fxg3 23.Nxg3 f5 24.exf5 Nxf5 25.Nxf5 Rxf5 26.Nd2 Rxf1+ 27.Rxf1 Kg7 28.Re1 Kf6 29.Ne4+ Bxe4 30.Rxe4 d5 31.Re2 Ra7 32.Re8 Re7 33.Rc8 Re2 34.Rxc5 Ke5

After all this fairly straightforward maneuvering, I actually dared to think I might be able to save the game at this point. The computer laughs at my naive thinking! I failed to understand how deadly black's kingside pawns would be.
Even the better [35.a3 b3 36.cxb3 Re3 37.Kg2 Rxd3 38.b4 Rd2+ 39.Kf3 h5–+] fails.

35...Rxb2 36.Rxd5+ Kf4 37.Ra5 Kg3 38.Kf1 Kf3 39.Kg1 h5 40.c5 g4 41.hxg4 hxg4 42.c6 Rb1+

So after a win followed by two losses in a row, I needed to get back on track quick. My next opponent was a Swede that I had played in the same tournament in 2003.

Pesola,Jyrki (1863) - Cross,Ted (2034) [B98]
Budapest Spring Chess Festival Budapest (4), 17.03.2014

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6
Again I try the Najdorf Sicilian even after my loss two rounds previously.
6.Bg5 e6 7.f4 h6 8.Bh4 Be7 9.Qf3 Nbd7 10.0–0–0 Qc7 11.Bf2 b5 12.Bd3 Bb7 13.a3 Nc5 14.Rhe1 Rc8 15.Qe2 Qa5
I had played the opening well, gaining a slight edge to this point,and now my opponent gave me a dangerous opportunity.
16.Qd2? e5?
Which I failed to see. Best was [16...b4! 17.axb4 Qa1+ 18.Nb1 Ncxe4 19.Qe2 0–0µ]

Luckily for me he messed up for a second move in a row, and this time I didn't let the chance escape me! [17.fxe5 Ng4 (17...dxe5 18.Nf5 b4 19.Bxc5 bxc3 20.Nxg7+ Kf8 21.Bxe7+ Kxe7 22.Qf2 cxb2+ 23.Kxb2 Rc3 24.Nf5+ Kf8 25.Ra1²) 18.exd6 (18.Kb1 Nxd3 19.cxd3 dxe5 20.Nf5 Bxa3 21.bxa3 Qxa3 22.Na2 g6 23.Ne3 Qb3+ 24.Qb2 Qxb2+ 25.Kxb2 Nxf2 26.Rd2 Nxd3+ 27.Rxd3 Bxe4 28.Rd6 Ke7 29.Rxa6 Rhd8 30.Re2÷) 18...Bg5 19.Be3 Nxe3 20.Rxe3 0–0 21.Rde1 Rce8 22.Qf2 b4 23.axb4 Qxb4 24.Nf5 Nxd3+ 25.cxd3 g6 26.Ne7+ Kh7µ]

17...b4 18.Nd5??
Even without his blunder here he was lost [18.fxe5 bxc3 19.Qxc3 Qxc3 20.bxc3 Nxd3+ 21.cxd3 dxe5 22.Nxe7 Kxe7–+]


I'll get to the really memorable game that I mentioned above in the next post.

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