Rounds 5-9

Round 5

I was paired against GM Vocaturo in this round. You might remember my crucial round 5 loss to the same opponent in Wijk aan Zee just months earlier. These things are not supposed to affect us chess players. But they might. Anyways, I went into this round with confidence against my opponent, who was generally struggling in the tournament.

 

[Event “?”]
[Site “?”]
[Date “2011.05.15”]
[Round “?”]
[White “Bluvshtein”]
[Black “Vocaturo”]
[Result “0-1”]
[ECO “A00”]
[PlyCount “78”]
[EventDate “2011.05.11”]
[SourceDate “2011.05.14”]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. f3 O-O 5. e4 d5 6. e5 Nfd7 7. f4 c5 8. cxd5
exd5 9. a3 Ba5 10. Nf3 cxd4 11. Qxd4 Nc6 12. Qd1 d4 13. Nxd4 Ndxe5 14. Nxc6
Qxd1+ 15. Kxd1 Nxc6 16. Be3 Re8 17. Bf2 Bf5 18. Bb5 Red8+ 19. Ke1 Nd4 20. Bxd4
Rxd4 21. Rf1 Re4+ 22. Be2 Rc8 23. Kd2 Rd8+ 24. Ke1 Re4 25. Kd2 Re6 26. Rfd1 Bc7
27. Nd5 Rce8 28. Bf3 Rd6 29. Re1 Red8 30. Kc3 Be6 31. Nxc7 Rc8 32. Rac1 Rxc7+
33. Kb4 Rd4+ 34. Ka5 b6+ 35. Ka6 Bc8+ 36. Bb7 Ra4+ 37. Kb5 Bd7+ 38. Bc6 Rxc6
39. Rxc6 Ra5+ 0-1

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. f3 O-O 5. e4 d5 6. e5 Nfd7 7. f4 c5 8. cxd5 exd5 9. a3 Ba5 10. Nf3 cxd4 

I went into a deep think. To put it gently, I am in trouble. I had mixed up something with my preparation. The idea here is that 11.Nxd4 Nxe5 12.fxe5 Qh4+ 13.Ke2 Bb6 leads to a strong attack and an advantage for Black. I had something similar in a fortunate win against Romanov back in 2005. 11. Qxd4 An attempt to minimize my loses. 11… Nc6 12. Qd1 12.Qxd5 is answered by 12… Ndxe5! 13.Qxd8 Nxf3+ with a horrible position for White. 12… d4 13. Nxd4 Ndxe5! 14. Nxc6 Qxd1+ 15. Kxd1 Nxc6 I went into a long think once again. Material is equal. We can look at that as a positive. Not much else is good. My King is stuck in the center. I need to connect my rooks and try to run to a safe place with my King. 16. Be3 Re8 17. Bf2 Bf5 18. Bb5 Red8+ 19. Ke1 Nd4 20. Bxd4 Rxd4 21. Rf1 I’m relatively solid after this move. My rook might get into the game with Rf3 later. However, my position is still lost if Black plays accurately. The importance of piece coordination is the decisive factor.  21… Re4+ 22. Be2 Rc8 23. Kd2 Rd8+ 24. Ke1 Re4 25. Kd2

25… Re6? Black releases some of the pressure. We had both underestimated 25…Rd4+! 26.Ke3 Bb6 27.Kf3 Rd2 which is close to winning for Black. 26. Rfd1 Bc7 27. Nd5 An attempt to create my own play. 27… Rce8 28. Bf3 Rd6 29. Re1 Red8 30. Kc3 Be6

The worst is behind me, unless I play the text. 31. Nxc7? Another lapse. I had missed how forced the text would be. 31.Rad1! Rc6+ 32.Kb4 Bd6+ 33.Ka4 is better for Black, no doubt. But the advantage is probably not decisive at this point. Surprisingly, White still seems to be holding on. As long as the Knight stays on d5, consequences are not going to be deadly.  31… Rc8 32. Rac1? Losing by force. Black also has a big advantage after 32.Kc2 Rxc7+ 33.Kb1 but it was still worth playing. 32… Rxc7+ The rest is forced and decisive. 33. Kb4 Rd4+ 34. Ka5 b6+ 35. Ka6 Bc8+ 36. Bb7 Ra4+ 37. Kb5 Bd7+ 38. Bc6 Rxc6 39. Rxc6 Ra5+ 0-1

No doubt a very disappointing game. It was painful to lose to the same opponent again. Fortunately, a rest day followed. If any positives can be drawn from this game it’s that I fought back to a playable position from one that seemed close to lost. I will not mention the negatives.

Round 6

I was to play GM Leon Hoyos in this round. Manuel is well known for being Ivanchuk’s second for some years now as well as being the top player in Mexico.

 

[Event “?”]
[Site “?”]
[Date “2011.05.17”]
[Round “?”]
[White “Leon Hoyos”]
[Black “Bluvshtein”]
[Result “0-1”]
[ECO “A00”]
[PlyCount “70”]
[EventDate “2011.05.11”]
[SourceDate “2011.05.16”]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Qc2 O-O 5. a3 Bxc3+ 6. Qxc3 d5 7. Bg5 dxc4 8.
Qxc4 b6 9. Rd1 Ba6 10. Qa4 Qd7 11. Qc2 Qc6 12. Qxc6 Nxc6 13. Bxf6 gxf6 14. Nf3
Na5 15. b4 Nb7 16. Rc1 Rfc8 17. a4 Nd6 18. e3 Bb7 19. a5 bxa5 20. bxa5 c5 21.
Rxc5 Ne4 22. Rc4 Rxc4 23. Bxc4 Rc8 24. Be2 Rc1+ 25. Bd1 Bd5 26. Nh4 Rxd1+ 27.
Kxd1 Nxf2+ 28. Ke2 Nxh1 29. Kf1 Kf8 30. Kg1 Ke7 31. Kxh1 Kd6 32. Kg1 Kc6 33.
Nf3 Bxf3 34. gxf3 Kb5 35. Kf2 Kxa5 0-1

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Qc2 O-O 5. a3 Bxc3+ 6. Qxc3 d5 7. Bg5 dxc4 8.
Qxc4 b6 9. Rd1 Ba6 10. Qa4 Qd7 11. Qc2 Qc6 12. Qxc6 Nxc6 13. Bxf6 gxf6 14. Nf3

This is still a theoretical position from Wang Hao-Kramnik and Dreev-Movsesian. 14… Na5!? A novelty. A good thing about novelties is the element of surprise. 15. b4? The most forcing, but a mistake. 15.e3 seems to be more appropriate without expanding on the Queen side. 15… Nb7! The move my opponent had missed. The Knight is going to d6 where it is ideally placed. 15…Nc4 16.e3 gives White an advantage. 16. Rc1 Rfc8 17. a4 Nd6 18. e3

18… Bb7! An important move in an attempt to fight for the advantage. White needs to consolidate. Black threatens a5 and a strong initiative on the side with all his pieces.  19. a5! Stopping Black from playing a5. 19… bxa5 20. bxa5 c5 It’s important to open up the position before White is able to develop his King side. 21. Rxc5?? 21.dxc5 Ne4 still forces White to try to neutralize Black’s activity, which he should be able to do with accurate play. The text is already the losing move.

21… Ne4! The move that my opponent missed. Black takes control of the c-file and invades White’s position with all his pieces. 22. Rc4 22.Rxc8 Rxc8 23.Be2 Rc1+ transposes to the text. 22… Rxc4 23. Bxc4 Rc8 24. Be2 Rc1+ 25. Bd1 Bd5! We are not in a rush. White is up a pawn but he is completely dominated. 26.0-0 loses a piece to 26…Nc3. 26.Nd2 loses to 26…Nc3. 26. Nh4 Desperation. 26… Rxd1+ Transposes into a winning endgame. Other moves also win. 27. Kxd1 Nxf2+ 28. Ke2 Nxh1 29. Kf1 White is forced to go after the trapped extra piece. 29… Kf8 30. Kg1 Ke7 31. Kxh1 Kd6 Material is even once again. However, black grabs the a-pawn and White’s Knight is trapped on h4. Black is completely winning. 32. Kg1 Kc6 33. Nf3 Bxf3 34. gxf3 Kb5 35. Kf2 Kxa5 0-1

A pleasant win. I can’t say that I did anything impressive. It’s always nice to play novelties having analyzed them before. Recovered from the round 5 loss nicely.

Round 7

I was paired against the top seed, GM Quesada, in this round. We tied for first at the Continental Championships in Mexico just weeks earlier.

 

[Event “?”]
[Site “?”]
[Date “2011.05.18”]
[Round “?”]
[White “Bluvshtein”]
[Black “Quesada”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[ECO “A00”]
[PlyCount “11”]
[EventDate “2011.05.11”]
[SourceDate “2011.05.18”]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Nf3 b6 5. Qb3 c5 6. Bg5 1/2-1/2

We agreed to a draw. Nothing to be proud of. As a chess professional, you sometimes have to do what should work out better in the long run. The fact that I have been having trouble with White was also a factor. I was glad to have the day off after playing 6 games all-out.

Round 8

I was to play the bottom seed, the only player who is not a GM in the Premier Group in this round. FM Espinosa, rated 2467, started the tournament very well but appeared to be wearing down against higher rated competition.

 

[Event “?”]
[Site “?”]
[Date “2011.05.18”]
[Round “?”]
[White “Espinosa”]
[Black “Bluvshtein”]
[Result “0-1”]
[ECO “A00”]
[PlyCount “94”]
[EventDate “2011.05.11”]
[SourceDate “2011.05.18”]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. O-O Nxe4 5. d4 Nd6 6. Bxc6 dxc6 7. dxe5 Nf5
8. Qxd8+ Kxd8 9. Nc3 Bd7 10. b3 Kc8 11. Bb2 Be7 12. Rad1 Nh4 13. Nd4 c5 14. Nd5
Bd8 15. Ne2 a5 16. a4 Ra6 17. c4 Re8 18. Ng3 Nf5 19. Ne4 Rc6 20. f4 b6 21. Rd3
Rg6 22. Rfd1 Be6 23. R1d2 h5 24. Kf1 h4 25. Kg1 Rh8 26. Kf1 Nh6 27. Kg1 Bf5 28.
Re3 Re6 29. Re1 f6 30. Rde2 Rhe8 31. Nf2 Bh7 32. Kf1 c6 33. Nc3 fxe5 34. fxe5
Nf5 35. Nce4 Rf8 36. Rd2 Be7 37. Kg1 Nd4 38. Bxd4 cxd4 39. Rxd4 Rxe5 40. Red1
c5 41. R4d2 h3 42. Nd6+ Bxd6 43. Rxd6 Bc2 44. Rc1 Re2 45. Rf1 hxg2 46. Kxg2 Kc7
47. Rd5 Be4+ 0-1

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. O-O Nxe4 5. d4 Nd6 6. Bxc6 dxc6 7. dxe5 Nf5 8. Qxd8+ Kxd8 9. Nc3 My opponent offered a draw, which I declined. 9… Bd7 10. b3 Kc8 11. Bb2 Be7 12. Rad1 Nh4 A novelty according to my database. 13. Nd4 c5 14. Nd5 Bd8 15. Ne2 a5 16. a4 

We arrived at a typical Berlin position. Black has the doubled c-pawns but also has the two Bishops. I could undouble my pawns by playing 16…c4, but then my King becomes vulnerable on the half-open c-file. 16… Ra6 The most logical move. Black activates his rook and thinks about switching it to the other side. 17. c4 Re8 18. Ng3 Nf5 19. Ne4 Rc6 20. f4 b6 21. Rd3 Rg6 22. Rfd1 Be6 Black is rock solid. So is White. White is unable to find a useful plan. 23. R1d2 h5 24. Kf1 h4 25. Kg1

My opponent spent a lot of time on the clock before he started moving his King back and forth. Black needs to rearrange his pieces in a constructive way in an attempt to breakthrough of the King-side. Both sides need to keep the f6 break in mind. 25… Rh8 26. Kf1 Nh6 27. Kg1 Bf5 The Bishop is optimally placed on the h7-b1 diagonal for now. 28. Re3 Re6 29. Re1 f6 Forcing White to consolidate on the e-file now. 30. Rde2 Rhe8 31. Nf2 Bh7!? Preparing Nf5. 32. Kf1 c6 33. Nc3 fxe5 34. fxe5 Nf5 35. Nce4 Rf8 36. Rd2 Be7 37. Kg1 Nd4 38. Bxd4 cxd4 39. Rxd4 Rxe5 Black is clearly better due to the two Bishops. White is tied up  40. Red1

The 40th move is crucial in many games. There is a shift in mentality as one changes gears and 30min are to be added to the clock. 40… c5? 40…Bb4! 41.h3 Kb8 wins quickly. White simply runs out of moves and his pieces are stuck unable to move in the middle of the board. I had missed my opponent’s reply. 41. R4d2! I went into a deep think. Black is still better but a lot of work needs to be done. I get right back to creating problems for my opponent. 41… h3!? 41…Bxe4? 42.Re1 allows White to regain the piece and then most likely hold on to the draw. 42. Nd6+?? White needs to try to hold on after 42.Re1. White cracked under the pressure. 42… Bxd6 43. Rxd6 Bc2 44. Rc1 Re2! Black’s pieces dominate the board. 45.Nxh3 loses to 45…Be4! 45. Rf1 hxg2 46. Kxg2 Kc7! Simple and to the point. This move reminds me of Navara-Bluvshtein, where I missed my opponent’s 41st move and my opponent’s King trapped my rook in similar fashion. 47. Rd5 Be4+ 0-1

A smooth positional win with the Berlin. This finished my games with Black for the tournament, with a score of 4.5/5! I was going into the last round tied for first place.

Round 9

I was paired against GM Corrales in the last round of the tournament.

 

[Event “?”]
[Site “?”]
[Date “2011.05.21”]
[Round “?”]
[White “Bluvshtein”]
[Black “Corrales”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[ECO “A00”]
[PlyCount “13”]
[EventDate “2011.05.11”]
[SourceDate “2011.05.20”]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Bxc6 dxc6 5. d4 exd4 6. Qxd4 Qxd4 7. Nxd4
1/2-1/2

Once again, nothing to be proud of. There were many quick draws throughout the event. Fighting spirit was often missing from the Premier Group. I feel like I needed the break. I knew that I would be playing in Israel only 6 days later. That’s where I am right now… More on that at a later date.

I finished tied for first place with GM Cordova, 2nd on tiebreak. I still can’t find the final standings for the Premier Group. Has anybody been able to find it?

Generally, the level of play in the Premier Group seemed quite low. A lot of blunders from many of the players. Many low quality moves. I scored well in the tournament mainly because of persistence and a very strong fighting spirit. I didn’t shed any points and I milked every half point I could from the positions I had. My games with White were a problem.

To come are some photo impressions from the tournament.

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3 Responses to Rounds 5-9

  1. Fred McKim says:

    http://www.capablanca.co.cu/?q=node/1832

    You might be interested in my International Calendar web site.

  2. elio says:

    congrats mark
    I really thought that u were overrated but I have changed my mind. In 6 months u will be ~2650

    a cuban

  3. Ed Clarke says:

    I don’t understand your score for Round 5. You have in both the game score and the annotations 21…Re4+ 22.Be2 Rc8 23.Kd2 Rd8+ 24.Ke1 and now 24…Re4 25.Kd2. But one Black rook is already on e4 after 21…Re4+ and after 23…Rd8+ 25.Kd2 would be illegal. And the diagram after 25.Kd2 shows one Black rook on c8 (the one that checked on 23…Rd8+). It’s as though 23…Rd8+ 24.Ke1 had never happened. But then the move numbering is off. There must be an error in there somewhere.

    Another Cuban.

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