Round 7- close call

Today’s game was a real nail biter. Well, at least for the players it was. It had everything a chess game can have. Most of all, it showed how human Grandmasters can be. Here is the game.

[Event “?”]
[Site “?”]
[Date “2010.08.27”]
[Round “?”]
[White “Martinez Duany”]
[Black “Bluvshtein”]
[Result “0-1”]
[ECO “B08”]
[PlyCount “178”]
[EventDate “2010.08.20”]
[SourceDate “2010.08.27”]

1. e4 d6 2. d4 Nf6 3. Nc3 g6 4. Nf3 Bg7 5. Be2 c6 6. a4 O-O 7. O-O Nbd7 8. a5
e5 9. dxe5 dxe5 10. Bc4 Qe7 11. b3 Rb8 12. Ba3 c5 13. Qd3 b6 14. a6 Nh5 15.
Rfd1 Ndf6 16. Qd6 Qxd6 17. Rxd6 Ne8 18. Rdd1 Nc7 19. Nb5 Nxb5 20. Bxb5 Nf4 21.
Bb2 Bg4 22. Bxe5 Bxe5 23. Nxe5 Bxd1 24. Rxd1 Rbd8 25. Nd7 Kg7 26. Rd6 Ne6 27.
e5 Rh8 28. Kf1 Nc7 29. Bd3 Ne8 30. Rd5 Nc7 31. Rd6 Rhe8 32. Nf6 Rxd6 33. Nxe8+
Nxe8 34. exd6 Nxd6 35. f4 Kf6 36. Ke2 Ke6 37. g4 Kd5 38. Ke3 b5 39. c3 Kc6 40.
b4 Kb6 41. h4 h6 42. g5 hxg5 43. fxg5 c4 44. Bc2 Kxa6 45. Kd4 Kb6 46. Ke5 Kc7
47. Bd1 Kd7 48. Bf3 Ne8 49. Bd5 Ke7 50. Bc6 Nc7 51. Bf3 Kd7 52. Kf6 Ke8 53. Be4
a6 54. Bb7 Kf8 55. Bc6 Ne6 56. Bd5 Nd8 57. Be4 Ke8 58. Bf3 Kf8 59. Bd5 Ke8 60.
Bxf7+ Nxf7 61. Kxg6 Ne5+ 62. Kh7 Nd7 63. g6 Ke7 64. g7 Nf6+ 65. Kh8 a5 66. bxa5
b4 67. a6 bxc3 68. a7 c2 69. a8=Q c1=Q 70. Qb7+ Ke6 71. Qc6+ Kf5 72. Qc5+ Kg4
73. Qd4+ Qf4 74. Qg1+ Kh5 75. Qd1+ Kxh4 76. Qh1+ Kg5 77. Qg1+ Kh5 78. Qd1+ Kh6
79. Qh1+ Kg5 80. Qg1+ Qg4 81. Qc1+ Kh5 82. Qh1+ Kg6 83. Qb1+ Qf5 84. Qg1+ Qg5
85. Qb1+ Kh6 86. Qb7 Qg6 87. Qh1+ Qh5 88. g8=Q Nxg8 89. Qc6+ Kg5+ 0-1

The opening was the pirc. The title of the game could also be “The Experiment-continued (from round 5)”. The opening was going well until I decided to play 10…Qe7. I confused this position with another line I had looked at in the pirc. Such is life. Qc7 is the normal move. I might need to just think more in the opening. Once my opponent played 11.b3 though, I definitely used my time more wisely.

I was in trouble. I didn’t want to play Nc5 and get under the pin with Ba3. It’s not that I didn’t want to do it based on principle, I was trying to make it work, but it didn’t.

My alternative was playing the “not so pretty” (best way I can put it) 12…c5 idea. The move made my position a bit more solid. I realized I needed to follow it up with b6, hence Rb8. My knights would be doing some jumping. Best I could get out of the situation. My pieces are very scattered however.

My opponent played the next series of moves very fast, not doing much with his advantage. I felt very good about being able to neutralize his advantage. By 21…Bg4, the position is about equal. I assumed he would play 22.Rd6 Bxf3 23.gxf3 Rfd8 24.Rad8 Ne6, followed by a liquidation into a drawn endgame. On 25.Rd7 there is Nd4!

My opponent played the mind boggling 22.Bxe5? which came to me as a serious shock. I am not sure why he played it, but after this move, he is just worst.

The problem was that I landed myself in time trouble after trying to recover from the opening. I was not playing accurately at all and let him back into the game. 27…Rfe8 could be an improvement, as well as 32…Rh8. However, I confidently went into the knight versus bishop endgame, thinking I am better.

I probably was better, but not the way that I started playing it. My opponent offered me a draw after my 34th move. A strange act. You are supposed to offer a draw after you make a move. I can’t say it proudly, but I visibly laughed off the draw offer and said no. The not proud part is for the laughing, not the rejecting.

Converting the advantage is not easy. I was trying to do so way too leisurely. I should have played 38…c4 for better chances.

After my opponent played 41.h4 I realized life is not as great as it once was. His pawns are coming pretty fast at me.

Anyways, I’ll skip to the next crucial part. Then we went into the position where all the pawns are fixed. I am up a pawn, so I shouldn’t be losing. But my knight and king are very passive, so there is no way I can even attempt to win. After playing my 50th move, I offered my opponent a draw, which he did not react to. Could be in response to my earlier rejection.

After 52 moves, I only had 6 minutes left. I was left to play the rest of the game with a few minutes on the clock. Of course, the 30seconds added per move came in use.

I had about a minute and the half, and my opponent decided to sacrifice the bishop on f7. I thought to myself “this shouldn’t be good, but neither is my situation on the clock”. Here the human side of the players came out. My opponent needed to play 62.Kf6 where his pawns are rather strong.

In the game, 62…Kf7 63.h5 Nc6 64.g6+ Kf6 65.g7 Ne7 66.g8Q Nxg8 67.Kxg8 Kg5 is just winning for me. Would have been an easier win. Well, with no time I was pretty happy with what I found. It was not easy to calculate all of the complications, but I saw as far as both of us queening when I played 62…Nd7.

When we each got another queen on the board, my opponent did not play very well. He needed to queen his g-pawn somewhere. Move 73 was an option. It might still not be a draw, but the game left him with even less chances. I was just happy to be the one playing for a win again.

I did have a pretty finish with getting his king in a mating net. My opponent resigned because I am able to trade the queens off. Well fought game. When he resigned, my opponent was left with over 40minutes on the clock. I had about 1minute. This could have been the deciding factor in the game.

Overall, this was a tough game. I play chess to compete with Grandmasters. This was definitely a good experience and by far the longest game of the tournament for me so far. A lot of mistakes on both sides, which need to be analyzed more in depth. A lot of my own mistakes need to be attributed to the time trouble I was in for such a long time. This was the first time I was low on time the whole tournament. I didn’t work out too badly.

The confusion in the opening can’t be a good thing, but I was able to stir the game into some unclear waters. Some of it was certainly due to my opponent’s help.

Time to get some rest and get ready for the next one…

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3 Responses to Round 7- close call

  1. It was a bit scary to see how you played with 1 minute left with your opponent having 50 minutes. I am glad you won in this difficult situation.

  2. lihnuxguy says:

    A rather remarkable win for being in time-pressure.

    I only went over the game very quickly, but was your opponent not looking for 3-fold repetition? I am probably wrong, but it looked like there could have been one with queen and king moving back and forth.

    I play at a very low club level, but often find it irksome when an opponent plays quickly in my time-pressure and illegally stops keeping score. This game has that feel of your opponent playing quickly in your endgame, although a magnificent game, nonetheless.

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