World Open: Part II

Round 4

I was paired with the Black pieces against GM Yudasin, rated 2522. We had played 12 moves of theory and then I offered a draw. It was clear that if we would be having a fighting game it would be a long battle. GM draw you say. We can call it that. But chess is about strategy. It’s not just about strategy in one game, but it is about strategy throughout the tournament. This was a morning game, and I felt like the short draw would give an energy boost for the evening game. At least that was the plan.

I found what happened around the board quite interesting. Everybody in the world of chess knows that Leonid Yudasin is one of the nicest people to meet. He is also an Orthodox Jew. Because of this, I did not know what to expect (if anything) from playing Leonid on a Saturday morning (Sabbath). As I arrived to the game, Leonid said that he cannot record the moves and use a digital clock during Sabbath games. Seems fair. So Leonid provided a manual clock for the game and also subtracted ten minutes from his clock for not writing the moves (as is apparently customary).

Round 5

I was paired against GM Zapata, rated 2472 for this round. I felt relatively well rested after the morning round. My play didn’t seem to agree…

[Event “?”]
[Site “?”]
[Date “2011.07.02”]
[Round “?”]
[White “Bluvshtein”]
[Black “Zapata”]
[Result “0-1”]
[ECO “A00”]
[PlyCount “108”]
[EventDate “2011.06.30”]
[SourceDate “2011.07.03”]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. Nf3 O-O 6. h3 Nbd7 7. Bg5 e5 8. d5 a5
9. Be2 Nc5 10. Nd2 Bd7 11. Rc1 c6 12. O-O a4 13. Qc2 Qb6 14. Kh1 Rfc8 15. f4
exf4 16. Bxf4 Ne8 17. a3 Qd8 18. Rce1 cxd5 19. Nxd5 Be6 20. Nc3 Nd7 21. Nxa4 b5
22. Nc3 bxc4 23. Nf3 Ne5 24. Qd2 Nxf3 25. Bxf3 Rab8 26. Rf2 Qa5 27. Rc1 Rb3 28.
Be3 Rcb8 29. Rc2 Be5 30. Bd4 Nf6 31. Bxe5 Qxe5 32. Qd1 Nd7 33. Bg4 Nc5 34. Bxe6
fxe6 35. Qf3 R3b7 36. Rf1 Nd3 37. Nd1 Qg5 38. Qe2 d5 39. exd5 exd5 40. Qe6+ Kg7
41. Re2 h5 42. Nc3 Rd8 43. Qc6 Rbd7 44. Nb5 Re7 45. Rxe7+ Qxe7 46. Qb6 h4 47.
Qd4+ Qe5 48. Qa7+ Kh6 49. Qa5 Re8 50. Nc7 Qe2 51. Kg1 Re5 52. Qc3 d4 53. Qxd4
Qxf1+ 54. Kxf1 Re1# 0-1

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. Nf3 O-O 6. h3 Nbd7 7. Bg5 e5 8. d5 a5 9. Be2 Nc5 10. Nd2 Bd7 11. Rc1 c6 12. O-O a4 13. Qc2 Qb6 14. Kh1 Rfc8 15. f4 exf4 16. Bxf4 Ne8 

We got an interesting position out of the King’s Indian. Each side has its pluses in this highly diverse position. Black intends to play a3 and fix the a2 pawn as a weakness. Neither side has any immediate threats. 17. a3!? White fixes the a4 pawn, but also fixes the b2 pawn as a weakness for as long as that g7 Bishop is breathing down the long diagonal. 17… Qd8! Black has no obvious plan except for simply capturing on d5, and so he prepares for it. 18. Rce1 cxd5 19. Nxd5 Be6 I suddenly realized that Black’s position is preferable. It’s hard for White to choose a plan. The White pieces are well placed optically, but are rather useless on a deeper look. 20. Nc3 Nd7 21. Nxa4 b5 22. Nc3 bxc4 I wanted to get some more imbalance in the position, but the process did more harm than good. White needs to be careful now. 23. Nf3 Ne5?! 24. Qd2? White lands himself in a slightly depressing position after the text. Necessary was 24.Nxe5!, after which White forces Black to have a pawn on e5, after which the b2 pawn is less vulnerable. White still cannot rely on an advantage, but equality is present on the board. I had more ambitious and unrealistic expectations and was still looking to complicate the issue in my favour. 24… Nxf3 25. Bxf3 Rab8 Now White needs to consolidate to stay alive. 26. Rf2 Qa5 27. Rc1 Rb3 28. Be3

28… Rcb8 29. Rc2 Be5 30. Bd4 White has been dreaming of exchanging these Bishops for quite some time now. 30… Nf6 31. Bxe5 Qxe5 32. Qd1 Nd7 33. Bg4 Nc5 34. Bxe6 fxe6 35. Qf3 I am suddenly creating my own threats. Even though they are not deadly, it’s better than passive defense. 35… R3b7 36. Rf1 Nd3 37. Nd1 Qg5 Black has been making mistakes in time pressure. 38. Qe2? 38.Ne3 would have led to an approximately even position. 38… d5 39. exd5 exd5 40. Qe6+ Kg7 I went for this position quite willingly and I assumed that I could take advantage of Black’s weak King. Black’s Knight is a monster on d3 and it stops a lot of White’s ideas. 41. Re2 h5 42. Nc3 Rd8 43. Qc6 Rbd7 44. Nb5 Re7

I had managed to activate my pieces, and most importantly my knight. But here, it was time to settle for equality and not push for more 45. Rxe7+? I saw that after 45.Re6 Rf8 46.Rxe7+ Qxe7 47.Rxf8 Black will have nothing more than just a perpetual, yet I rejected the idea. My decision making was not ideal during this game… I thought I could try to find more. 45… Qxe7 46. Qb6 h4 47.Qd4+ Qe5! 48.Qxh4 is bad because of 48…Rh8, as 49.Qg4 is answered by 49…Nf2+, and Black winning the exchange. 48. Qa7+ Kh6 49. Qa5? What kind of a move is this? Necessary was 49.Qf7, and if 49…Nxb2 50.Rf4, where White appears to maintain the balance with threats to Black’s King. The text leads the Queen off the board. Re8 50. Nc7 Qe2 51. Kg1 Re5! Black threatens the deadly 52…Rg5! 52. Qc3 d4 53. Qxd4 Qxf1+ 54. Kxf1 Re1# 0-1 A pretty way to finish the game. Some might ask why I didn’t resign. Why wouldn’t I let me opponent finish the game with a nice mate? Pretty mates would certainly add to the idea that chess is partially an art…

Overall, this was one of the worst games I can recall in a long time. I played poorly after the opening and I missed a lot of opportunities to get half a point in the end.

Round 6

I took a half point Bye in this round. The Bye was taken before the first round and the plan was to take a break before the last three rounds, as well as avoid having another double round day. Logic was good on paper. The current tournament situation did not agree with it though.

Round 7

I was paired against IM Kleiman, rated 2375 for this round. This was no doubt a must-win with the Black pieces.

[Event “?”]
[Site “?”]
[Date “2011.07.04”]
[Round “?”]
[White “Kleiman”]
[Black “Bluvshtein”]
[Result “0-1”]
[ECO “A00”]
[PlyCount “104”]
[EventDate “2011.06.30”]
[SourceDate “2011.07.04”]

1. e4 d6 2. d4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. Be3 Nf6 5. h3 c6 6. f4 Qa5 7. Bd3 e5 8. fxe5
dxe5 9. dxe5 Qxe5 10. Nf3 Qg3+ 11. Bf2 Qc7 12. e5 Nd5 13. Ne4 O-O 14. Bc5 Re8
15. O-O Nd7 16. Bd6 Qb6+ 17. Kh1 Nxe5 18. Nxe5 Bxe5 19. Qd2 f5 20. Rae1 Bg7 21.
Ng5 Bd7 22. c4 Ne3 23. Rf3 h6 24. Rfxe3 hxg5 25. b3 Rxe3 26. Rxe3 Qd4 27. c5
Re8 28. Bc4+ Kh7 29. Qxd4 Bxd4 30. Rxe8 Bxe8 31. Be6 Kg7 32. g4 Kf6 33. Bc8 b6
34. cxb6 axb6 35. Bc7 Bf7 36. Bd8+ Ke5 37. gxf5 gxf5 38. Bxg5 f4 39. Kg2 Bd5+
40. Kf1 f3 41. Bh4 b5 42. Ba6 Be6 43. Bf2 Bxh3+ 44. Kg1 b4 45. Bb7 Bd7 46. Kf1
Ke4 47. Bh4 Kd3 48. Ba6+ Kd2 49. Bf2 c5 50. Bc4 Bf5 51. Bd5 Bd3+ 52. Kg1 Ke2
0-1

1. e4 d6 2. d4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. Be3 Nf6 5. h3 c6 6. f4 Qa5 7. Bd3 e5 8. fxe5 dxe5 9. dxe5 Qxe5 10. Nf3 Qg3+ 11. Bf2 Qc7 12. e5 

Nothing like a Pirc. I got the type of a position that I was hoping for, risky and double-edged. Now I just need to make sure I don’t get mated. 12… Nd5! Not playing the greedy 12…Nd7?, after which 13.e6 fxe6 14.0-0 would give White a better game. The text forces White to make a decision. 13. Ne4 13.Nxd5 cxd5 14.Bb5 Bd7 is just about equal. O-O 14. Bc5 Re8 15. O-O Nd7 16. Bd6 Qb6+ 17. Kh1 Nxe5 Decisions, decisions. The greedy 17…Ne3, winning an exchange, just doesn’t look right. The Knight on d5 is the only good piece I have, and I shouldn’t get rid of it while also activating White’s remaining pieces. Taking the pawn is more sensible. 18. Nxe5 Bxe5 19. Qd2 f5

White will not have much compensation if he exchanges Bishops and retreats with the Knight. 20. Rae1! Bg7! 20…fxe5 21.Rxe4 looks dangerous for Black, so I decided to keep my best defender close to what it needs to defend. 21. Ng5 Bd7 22. c4 Ne3 23. Rf3 h6 Taking advantage of White’s Knight, which is trapped on g5. 23…c5 was an interesting alternative. 24. Rfxe3 hxg5 25. b3 Rxe3 26. Rxe3 Qd4 27. c5 Re8 28. Bc4+ Kh7 29. Qxd4 Bxd4 30. Rxe8 Bxe8 I managed to get into a Bishop endgame up a pawn, partially because both players are in some sort of time trouble. Conversion is never easy due to White’s threats with the Bishop and Black’s doubled g-pawns. 31. Be6 Kg7 32. g4 Kf6 33. Bc8 b6 34. cxb6 axb6 35. Bc7 Bf7!? An interesting idea. I willingly gave back the pawn to activate all of my pieces. 36. Bd8+ Ke5 37. gxf5 gxf5 38. Bxg5

Each side only has three pawns and two Bishops. Not much material. But each of Black’s pieces is better than its counterpart. The f-pawn also has potential. It’s important to contain the opponent. 38… f4 39. Kg2 Bd5+ The King will remain passive on the back-rank forever. 40. Kf1 f3 41. Bh4 b5 42. Ba6? The losing move. White kills his Bishop, which appears to be lost behind my pawns. More importantly, there are now potential mating threats! 42… Be6 43. Bf2 White gives up a pawn, after which his position is lost. Not any better is 43.Bg3+ Ke4 44.h4 Bh3+ 45.Ke1 Kd3! 46.a4 f2+! 47.Bxf2 Bc3+ 48.Kd1 Bd2!, followed by 49… Bg4 mate. 46.Bf2 is answered by the same idea with Bc3-d2, followed by Bf1-e2 mate. This was a nice line to see during a game. 43… Bxh3+ 44. Kg1 b4! The most obvious win. Black will eventually trade off the dark squared Bishops, so it only makes sense to make a2 a permanent weakness. It did not get to that though… 45. Bb7 Bd7 46. Kf1 Ke4 Always important to activate the King. 47. Bh4 Kd3 48. Ba6+ Kd2 Going back to mating ideas. 49. Bf2 c5 50. Bc4 Bf5 51. Bd5 Bd3+ 52. Kg1 Ke2 0-1 White resigned.

A nice looking endgame, but the middle game has its highs and lows.

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