Canadian Open- Part II

Round 4

I was paired against GM Perelshteyn, rated 2534. I had played Eugene several times before, but not since either one of us became a GM.

 

[Event “?”]
[Site “?”]
[Date “2011.07.12”]
[Round “?”]
[White “Perelshteyn”]
[Black “Bluvshtein”]
[Result “1-0”]
[ECO “A00”]
[PlyCount “83”]
[EventDate “2011.07.10”]
[SourceDate “2011.07.12”]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 c5 4. d5 exd5 5. cxd5 d6 6. e4 g6 7. f4 Bg7 8. Bb5+
Nfd7 9. Nf3 a6 10. Bd3 b5 11. O-O O-O 12. Kh1 Re8 13. a3 c4 14. Bc2 Nc5 15. f5
Nbd7 16. Bg5 Bf6 17. h4 Rb8 18. Qd2 a5 19. Qf4 b4 20. axb4 axb4 21. Na4 Bxg5
22. Nxg5 Qe7 23. Nxc5 Nxc5 24. fxg6 fxg6 25. e5 Rf8 26. exd6 Rxf4 27. dxe7
Rxh4+ 28. Kg1 Bd7 29. Ra5 b3 30. Bxg6 hxg6 31. Rxc5 Re8 32. Rc7 Rxe7 33. d6 Re2
34. Rxd7 Rg4 35. Rd8+ Kg7 36. Rf7+ Kh6 37. Nh3 Rgxg2+ 38. Kf1 g5 39. Nf2 c3 40.
bxc3 Kg6 41. Rff8 b2 42. Rb8 1-0

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 c5 4. d5 exd5 5. cxd5 d6 6. e4 g6 7. f4 Bg7 8. Bb5+ Nfd7 9. Nf3 a6 10. Bd3 b5 11. O-O O-O 12. Kh1 Re8 13. a3 c4 14. Bc2 Nc5 15. f5 Nbd7 16. Bg5 Bf6 17. h4

A sharp Benoni. The position is a theoretical one where White has been scoring well. Judit Polgar played this position on the Black side around the same time as me. Polgar played 17…gxf5 here. 17… Rb8 The more solid 17…Bb7 followed by Qe7 and Rac8/d8 is more solid. It is hard to find a clear plan for Black there, but it is also hard for White to break through. The text plans a5 and b4. I had actually anticipated 18.Nd4 Bxg5 19.Nc6 Qf6, where Black sacrifices the exchange for a pawn but has excellent compensation. 18. Qd2 a5 19. Qf4 b4? Too loose. The brave 19…Bxg5! 20.Nxg5 Ne5 was better than the text, although there is always the somewhat justified fear that I might get mated. 20. axb4 axb4 21. Na4 Bxg5? 21…b3 was necessary as the position is very complicated after 22.Nxc5 bxc2. 22. Nxg5 Black is in serious trouble now. 22… Qe7 23. Nxc5 Nxc5 24. fxg6 fxg6

25. e5! The winning move. White breaks up Black’s position. I tried to go for complications. The rest is really just technique. 25… Rf8 26. exd6 Rxf4 27. dxe7 Rxh4+ 28. Kg1 Bd7 29. Ra5! Not giving Black any chances, since the Knight has no other good squares. 29… b3 30. Bxg6 hxg6 31. Rxc5 Re8

32. Rc7 The most efficient way to conclude the game. 32… Rxe7 33. d6 Re2 33…Rg7 34.Rb7 wins for White. 34. Rxd7 Rg4 35. Rd8+ Kg7 36. Rf7+ Kh6 37. Nh3 Rgxg2+ 38. Kf1 g5 39. Nf2! A standard trick that works well against rooks. 39… c3 40. bxc3 Kg6 41. Rff8 b2 42. Rb8 1-0

This game does not have a lot of annotations because there was not that much of a fight. I lost the game with my 19th and 21st moves and the rest was just good converting by my opponent. A disappointing loss for sure, but it happens when playing for a win in every game and risking a lot. In openings like the Benoni, the price of every move goes up, especially for the Black side. Those two mistakes cost me the game. The game was also somewhat of a representation of form.

Round 5

I was paired against Victor Plotkin, rated 2243 in this round.

 

[Event “?”]
[Site “?”]
[Date “2011.07.13”]
[Round “?”]
[White “Bluvshtein”]
[Black “Plotkin”]
[Result “1-0”]
[ECO “A00”]
[PlyCount “87”]
[EventDate “2011.07.10”]
[SourceDate “2011.07.13”]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 exd5 5. Bg5 c6 6. e3 Be7 7. Qc2 Nbd7 8.
Bd3 Nf8 9. Nge2 Ne6 10. Bh4 h6 11. f3 O-O 12. O-O c5 13. Bxf6 Bxf6 14. dxc5
Nxc5 15. Rad1 Nxd3 16. Qxd3 Be6 17. f4 Bg4 18. Nxd5 Bxb2 19. Rd2 Bf6 20. Qb5
Rb8 21. e4 a6 22. Qb4 Bxe2 23. Rxe2 Re8 24. h3 Be7 25. Qb3 Bc5+ 26. Kh1 b6 27.
Rf3 Kh8 28. Rg3 Bf8 29. e5 Qc8 30. Qc2 Qxc2 31. Rxc2 Bc5 32. Rd3 Red8 33. g4
Rbc8 34. Kg2 Kg8 35. Kf3 Kf8 36. Ke4 Bg1 37. Rdc3 Rxc3 38. Rxc3 Bc5 39. a4 a5
40. Rd3 Ke8 41. f5 Rc8 42. Rc3 Kd7 43. Nxb6+ Bxb6 44. e6+ 1-0

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 exd5 5. Bg5 c6 6. e3 Be7 7. Qc2 Nbd7 8. Bd3 Nf8 9. Nge2 Ne6 10. Bh4 h6 11. f3 O-O 12. O-O

Everything has been quite standard up until now. White slowly prepares e4 while Black either prepares c5 or just stays solid. 12… c5 That’s one way to force the issue. It feels a bit loose though. 13. Bxf6 Bxf6 14. dxc5 Nxc5 15. Rad1 Playing strictly against the weak d5 pawn. 15… Nxd3 16. Qxd3 Be6 17. f4!? I had originally intended to play 17.Nf4 but thought that winning would always be very difficult after 17…Be5 18.Nfxd5 Bxc3 19.bxc3 Bxd5 20.Qxd5 Qb6 21.Qd4 Rfc8! 17… Bg4 18. Nxd5 Bxb2 19. Rd2 White is slightly better, but Black is very solid. The two Bishops don’t appear to be very strong, but the only good piece I have is my Knight on d5. 19… Bf6 20. Qb5 Rb8 21. e4 a6 22. Qb4 Bxe2 23. Rxe2 Re8 The Bishop is coming to c5 through e7. 24. h3 Be7 25. Qb3 Bc5+ 26. Kh1 b6 27. Rf3? 27.f5!? was very interesting, but it’s hard to weaken those dark squares permanently. My rook lift does not seem all that promising either on a second look. 27… Kh8 28. Rg3 Bf8 29. e5 Now that plan is to bring the Queen to e4. 29… Qc8

White still appears to be slightly better, but there is nothing clear and Black should be able to hold on if little changes. Black has no weaknesses. The Rook on g3 is misplaced. I made a very practical decision. 30. Qc2! My opponent did not have much time on the clock and I knew he would exchange Queen, otherwise I have a good outpost for her on e4. The endgame is a very easy one for White to play. 30… Qxc2 31. Rxc2 Bc5 32. Rd3 The plan is easy, play g3/4 and march the King to e4, guaranteeing an advantage. 32… Red8 33. g4 Rbc8 34. Kg2 Kg8 35. Kf3 Kf8 36. Ke4 Bg1 37. Rdc3 Rxc3 38. Rxc3 Bc5 39. a4! Forcing Black’s next move and increasing the dominance of the Knight over the Bishop. 39… a5 Now time is on White’s side, as Black is not going anywhere. 40. Rd3 Ke8 41. f5 Rc8

42. Rc3 This move was a “half trap” 42… Kd7?? 42…Rd8/Rb8 43.e6 would still be much better for White. 43. Nxb6+! Bxb6 44. e6+ 1-0 White wins the exchange and the battle is over.

I played a decent game here. My opponent fought well. Exchanging Queens was a very practical decision that simplified my task and made my game much easier.

Round 6

I was paired against FM Bindi Cheng, rated 2385 in this round. Congratulations to Bindi for getting the IM Norm at the event!

 

[Event “?”]
[Site “?”]
[Date “2011.07.14”]
[Round “?”]
[White “Cheng”]
[Black “Bluvshtein”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[ECO “A00”]
[PlyCount “79”]
[EventDate “2011.07.10”]
[SourceDate “2011.07.14”]

1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 c5 3. d5 e6 4. c4 exd5 5. cxd5 d6 6. Nc3 g6 7. e4 a6 8. h3 b5
9. Bd3 Bg7 10. O-O O-O 11. Bf4 Qb6 12. a3 Nbd7 13. Re1 Nh5 14. Be3 Bb7 15. Rc1
Rac8 16. Qd2 Qd8 17. Bg5 Bf6 18. Bh6 Bg7 19. Bg5 Bf6 20. Bh6 Re8 21. g4 Ng7 22.
Bf4 Ne5 23. Nxe5 dxe5 24. Be3 Qd7 25. Bf1 Red8 26. a4 b4 27. Nd1 Qxa4 28. Rxc5
Be7 29. Rxc8 Rxc8 30. Bb6 Ne8 31. Ne3 b3 32. Ba5 Nd6 33. f3 Nb5 34. Bxb5 axb5
35. Kh1 Bd6 36. Rg1 b4 37. Nf5 Bc5 38. d6 Bxg1 39. Qh6 gxf5 40. Qg5+ 1/2-1/2

1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 c5 3. d5 e6 4. c4 exd5 5. cxd5 d6 6. Nc3 g6 7. e4 a6 8. h3 b5 9. Bd3 Bg7 10. O-O O-O 11. Bf4 Qb6 12. a3 Nbd7 13. Re1 Nh5 14. Be3 Bb7 15. Rc1 Rac8 16. Qd2 Qd8 17. Bg5 Bf6 18. Bh6 Bg7 19. Bg5 Bf6 20. Bh6

Take or avoid the repetition? If it doesn’t hurt my position “much”, then it’s a simple decision in this scenario. 20… Re8 21. g4 Ng7 22. Bf4 My opponent has been playing fast (and very logical) up until now. I decided to change the structure of the battle. 22… Ne5 22…c4!? was also interesting. My main problem in this position is the Knight on g7, and I was hoping to find a solution to that riddle. 23. Nxe5 dxe5 24. Be3 Qd7 The plan is to play Red8 and Ne6, or Ne8-d6. 25. Bf1 25.b3! Red8 26.Qe2 would have been precise, as 26…Ne6 is not good after 27.dxe6 Qxd3 28.Qf3. 25… Red8 26. a4 b4 27. Nd1? 27.Nb1 would have been stronger, defending the Queen. The Knight would be awkwardly placed for some time though.

The position has become very complicated. 27… Qxa4?! 27…Ne6! would have been better as the Knight is going to d4 and 28.dxe6 Qxd2 29.Bxd2 Rxd2 30.Bc4 Kf8 31.exf7 Rcd8 would leave White tied up. 28. Rxc5 28.Bg5 would have given White a very strong compensation for the pawn. 28… Be7 29. Rxc8 Rxc8 30. Bb6 Ne8 31. Ne3 b3 A move that my opponent missed, which really complicates the matter. 32. Ba5 Nd6 33. f3? We both managed to miss 33.Qb4! which would have given White an advantage. 33… Nb5 34. Bxb5 axb5 Now it’s only White who might be in trouble 35. Kh1? 35.d6 Bxd6 36.Qxd6 Qxa5 37.Rd1 would have left the position close to equal. 35… Bd6! 35…b4 36. d6! only helps White. Now White’s Bishop is trapped on a5 and it’s hard to find counter play. 36. Rg1 b4 37. Nf5

White is going for an attack which should not work. 37… Bc5? I had calculated 37…Bf8 for a long time but could not find anything simple after 38.Bb6, even though Black’s position is clearly better after 38…Qa6 and 38…Qb5. The text is some sort of a hallucination that removes the last defender from the King.  38. d6 White forces a perpetual. Black has no choice but to take material. 38… Bxg1 39. Qh6 gxf5 40. Qg5+ 1/2-1/2

Disappointing outcome after outplaying my opponent. White fought hard, but Black needed to be more careful on his 37th move. It felt like I let half a point slip here. With 4.5/6 I knew I needed to finish strong.

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