Roussel-Roozmon Versus Saric (by IM Thomas Roussel-Roozmon)

I (MB) will provide some background on this game. Canada was to play Croatia in round 6. As you saw from my annotations for my own game against GM Stevic, I lost my game pretty “convincingly”. Our whites were to save the day. Thomas played an exciting and fearless game against GM Saric, rated 2567. This game brought Thomas one (big) step closer to the GM title.

The game has a mix of great moves as well as clear mistakes. Such is life when the game takes up such a complicated battle. It was a very exciting game. Thomas provides in-depth analysis below. It should be noted that everything always looks much easier with a computer engine running in the background;).

EDIT

<First I will post the game copy-pasted in pgn format and then with comments.

[Event “Olympiades”]
[Site “Khanty-Mansiysk”]
[Date “2010.09.27”]
[Round “6”]
[White “Roussel-Roozmon, Thomas (MI)”]
[Black “Saric, Ivan (GM)”]
[Result “1-0”]
[ECO “E81”]
[WhiteElo “2484”]
[BlackElo “2567”]
[PlyCount “117”]
[EventDate “2010.09.21”]
[EventType “team”]
[EventRounds “11”]
[EventCountry “RUS”]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 O-O 5. f3 d6 6. Be3 Nbd7 7. Qd2 c5 8. Nge2
Qa5 9. Rd1 a6 10. dxc5 Nxc5 11. Nd4 Bd7 12. Be2 Rfc8 13. O-O Na4 14. Nb3 Qd8
15. Nxa4 Bxa4 16. Qb4 b5 17. e5 Ne8 18. exd6 exd6 19. cxb5 Qe7 20. Qd2 axb5 21.
Bf2 Qe6 22. Rfe1 Bxb3 23. Bxb5 Bxd1 24. Rxe6 fxe6 25. Qxd1 Bxb2 26. Be3 Rc3 27.
Qb1 Rxe3 28. Qxb2 Ng7 29. Bc6 Raa3 30. Qb8+ Kf7 31. Qc7+ Kf6 32. Qd8+ Kf7 33.
Qc7+ Kf6 34. Qd8+ Ke5 35. Qh8 Ra7 36. Qxh7 Rc3 37. Bb5 Rc1+ 38. Bf1 Rb7 39. Qh6
Rd1 40. Kf2 Nf5 41. Qh8+ Ng7 42. a4 Rd2+ 43. Ke3 Ra2 44. Bb5 Rxg2 45. f4+ Kf6
46. Qa8 Nf5+ 47. Kd3 Rxh2 48. Qxb7 Rh3+ 49. Kd2 Nd4 50. Be8 Kf5 51. Bxg6+ Kg4
52. Qe4 Nb3+ 53. Kd1 Nc5 54. Qd4 Rh1+ 55. Ke2 Rh2+ 56. Kf1 Kf3 57. Bh5+ Rxh5
58. Qd1+ Ke4 59. Qe2+ 1-0

>

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 O-O 5. f3 d6 6. Be3 Nbd7 7. Qd2 c5 8. Nge2
Qa5 9. Rd1 a6 10. dxc5 Nxc5 11. Nd4 Bd7 12. Be2 Rfc8 13. O-O Na4 14. Nb3 Qd8
15. Nxa4 Bxa4 16. Qb4

{The first critical moment of the game. Black has a
choice between taking on b3 and accepting a slightly worse position (White
then has a lasting positional advantage with the bishop pair and better pawn
structure), or going for wild tactical complications with

16…b5!?

My opponent is a sharp young croatian GM and he does not think twice about the
opportunity of fishing in muddy waters.} 16…b5 !? {I am now faced with a very
difficult practical choice. The two main moves that have to be calculated are
17.c5 and 17.e5, but I also considered the quiet move 17.Rc1, which keeps the
tension. In the game I could not come up with any clear advantage for White,
and even now with Fritz running I am not quite sure if White has anything
convincing in this position. All in all, I’d say that 16…b5!? was a very
good practical choice by my opponent.} (16… Bxb3 17. axb3 white is slightly better (17. Qxb3 white is also slightly better))
(16… Qe8 17. Rc1 white has a comfortable edge)

17. e5

{This move will prove to be unconvincing, but
as I said the other two options do not seem significantly better.} (17. c5 Ne8
18. Qa3 $5 Qd7 19. cxd6 Nxd6 20. Rd2 {Threatening Nc5.} Bxb3 21. Qxb3 Qe6 22.
Qxe6 fxe6 {and black is very close to equality.}) (17. Rc1 {might well be
White’s best option, but deeper analysis is required. Here is a quick
variation.} a5 18. Qa3 Qe8 19. cxb5 Bxb5 20. Bxb5 Qxb5 21. Rxc8+ Rxc8 22. Qxa5
Qd3 23. Qa7 Rc2 {and although White is a pawn up here, Black is very active.
In practice it is very hard to go for this kind of position when playing White.
})

17… Ne8 18. exd6

(18. f4 a5! 19. Qa3 Rab8 {Black is very
active here.} 20. Rd2 bxc4 21. Qxa4 cxb3 22. axb3 Rb4 23. Qa3 Qc7 with an unclear position)

18…exd6 19. cxb5 Qe7 20. Qd2 axb5 21. Bf2 Qe6

{Second critical moment in the game.
During the last 4-5 moves I have clearly lost control of the position and
Black has taken advantage of my uncertain play to seize the initiative. I am
now faced with some very unpleasant threats against my vulnerable queenside
pawns. At first sight, the pawn structure seems to favour White, but the most
important factor in the position is the activity of Black’s pieces. On top of
this, I am about half an hour down on the clock at this point, with less than
10 minutes left to reach move 40. Under significant pressure, I come up with a
very interesting tactical idea.}

22. Rfe1!? Bxb3 23. Bxb5!

{This intermezzo
is the point of White’s previous move. I am in a sense “sacrificing” two rooks
for a queen with the intention of radically changing the flow of the game
(hopefully in my favor).} Bxd1 ({Black could also dodge the complications by
playing}

23… Qd5

{in which case the game would very likely peter out to a
draw following some massive exchanges.} 24. Qxd5 Bxd5 25. Bxe8 Bxa2 26. Bd7 Rc2
27. Rxd6 Rxb2=)

24. Rxe6 fxe6 25. Qxd1

{During the game, I felt like
this position was completely unclear, but I was uncomfortable due to the fact
that I was down to my last minutes on the clock while my opponent still had
around 35-40 minutes. Now I think that objectively White is probably somewhat
better (and Fritz seems to agree). There is one thing for sure : it is much
easier to coordinate a queen with minor pieces than to coordinate two rooks
with minor pieces. Hence white’s position is easier to play in practice,
especially in time trouble.}

25…Bxb2 26. Be3

(26. Qb3!? {was probably stronger.})

26… Rc3 27. Qb1 Rxe3 28. Qxb2 Ng7 29. Bc6 Raa3 30. Qb8+ Kf7 31. Qc7+ Kf6?

{Black is pushing too hard for a win, trying to make use of his advantage on
the clock. It is time for black to settle for a perpetual check with 31…Kg8.}

32. Qd8+?!

{I’m playing with seconds on my clock and at this point I’m just
happy repeating moves and getting closer to move 40.} (32. Qxd6! {is much
stronger, with very serious winning chances for White.})

32… Kf7 33. Qc7+ Kf6
34. Qd8+ Ke5?

{Wow! Now that is just madness. My opponent is going crazy
trying to win this position by taking advantage of my time pressure (he is
also getting very low on the clock at this point). Black’s last move is
horrible, putting the black king in a very ackward spot, especially
considering the misplaced knight on g7. At this point, I felt like there
should be many ways of winning tactically for White, but with 30 seconds on
the clock I could not find the most accurate moves.}

35. Qh8?

(35. Qf8! {is completely winning. The ensuing king chase will cost black his knight and
the game :} Nf5 36. Qh8+! Kf4 37. g3+ Kg5 38. h4+ Kh6 39. Qf8+ Kh5 40. Qf6
Kh6 41. g4 where white is winning) (35. f4+! {wins by force as well.} Kxf4 36. Qxd6+ e5 37. g3+
Kg5 38. Qe7+ Kh6 39. g4! where white is winning)

35… Ra7 36. Qxh7 Rc3 37. Bb5?!

(37. Ba4!{was stronger.})

37… Rc1+ 38. Bf1 Rb7 39. Qh6 Rd1 40. Kf2??

{Here comes the classical 40th move blunder…} (40. Qe3+ white is slightly better) (40. g4 =)

40… Nf5??

{…my blunder was immediately answered by a blunder from my opponent !} (40… Rb2+ 41. Be2
Kf6! {was winning by force :} 42. Qh8 g5! 43. Qd8+ Kf7 44. Qc7+ Kg6 {
followed by Rdd2 and white loses the bishop and the game.})

41. Qh8+ Ng7

{White is now firmly back in control of the position. Black does not have any
coordination between pieces and the weakness of his king mixed with the passed
a-pawn is just too much to handle.}

42. a4

(42. g4!? {to further restrict the
black knight, was also very interesting.})

42… Rd2+ 43. Ke3 Ra2 44. Bb5 Rxg2??

{Just a bad tactical oversight that loses on the spot.} (44… Ra3+ 45. Kf2
Ra2+ 46. Kg3 g5 {and I still have some technical problems to face before I can
win this position.})

45. f4+ Kf6 46. Qa8!

{A simple but quite aesthetic
tactic. White wins a full rook and the game. Black could resign at this point.}
Nf5+ 47. Kd3 Rxh2 ({Black can’t even sack on b5 because of mate on f8 !} 47…
Rxb5 48. Qf8#) 48. Qxb7 Rh3+ 49. Kd2 Nd4 50. Be8 Kf5 51. Bxg6+ Kg4 52. Qe4 Nb3+
53. Kd1 Nc5 54. Qd4 Rh1+ 55. Ke2 Rh2+ 56. Kf1 Kf3 57. Bh5+ Rxh5 58. Qd1+ Ke4
59. Qe2+ 1-0

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3 Responses to Roussel-Roozmon Versus Saric (by IM Thomas Roussel-Roozmon)

  1. Denton Cockburn says:

    Hey Mark,

    When you post games in broken paragraph format, can you post a PGN along with it?

    You’d put your games in one block, so it was pretty easy to just copy it and paste it into Chessbase to look over. When it’s broken up into sections like this one, we have to manually enter the moves.

    Do you know what your new rating is now? I’m assuming you’ve gained a good amount of points in the last few months.

  2. Hey Denton,

    Good advice, the PGN format makes life easier for everybody. I don’t post all the annotations in there because they don’t appear the same way as they do in chessbase, with lots of $ signs and numbers instead of ! and ?…

    My new rating will show a 4 point increase on November 1st. It’s hard to increase rating at this level. Outside of my game against Topalov, I had a below average Olympiad…

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