Canadian Open- Part III

Round 7

I was paired against IM Tomas Krnan, rated 2390. Tomas played on the Canadian Olympic Team some years ago but has not been very active outside of Canada due to his studies. Tomas is an aggressive player who likes to attack so I did not mind something of the more “positional” type.

[Event “?”]
[Site “?”]
[Date “2011.07.15”]
[Round “?”]
[White “Krnan”]
[Black “Bluvshtein”]
[Result “0-1”]
[ECO “A00”]
[PlyCount “96”]
[EventDate “2011.07.10”]
[SourceDate “2011.07.15”]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. O-O Nf6 5. d3 a6 6. a4 d6 7. h3 Be6 8. Bxe6
fxe6 9. c3 O-O 10. Re1 d5 11. Nbd2 Bb6 12. b4 d4 13. cxd4 Bxd4 14. Nxd4 Qxd4
15. Nb3 Qd6 16. Be3 b6 17. b5 axb5 18. axb5 Na7 19. d4 Nxb5 20. Qd3 Rxa1 21.
Rxa1 Nxd4 22. Bxd4 exd4 23. Qxd4 Qxd4 24. Nxd4 c5 25. Nc6 Nxe4 26. Rb1 c4 27.
Rxb6 Nxf2 28. Rb4 c3 29. Rc4 Nd1 30. Nd4 Rd8 31. Nxe6 Rd2 32. Rc8+ Kf7 33. Ng5+
Ke7 34. Ne4 Rc2 35. Rc7+ Kf8 36. Rc8+ Kf7 37. Rc7+ Kg6 38. g4 Rc1 39. Kh2 c2
40. Rc6+ Kf7 41. Kg2 Ne3+ 42. Kf2 Rf1+ 43. Kxe3 c1=Q+ 44. Rxc1 Rxc1 45. Kf3 h6
46. Nd6+ Kf6 47. Ne8+ Kg6 48. h4 Rc6 0-1

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. O-O Nf6 5. d3 a6 6. a4 d6 7. h3 Be6 8. Bxe6 fxe6 9. c3 O-O 10. Re1 d5 11. Nbd2 Bb6 12. b4

I played d5 a bit early and e5 could become a weakness soon. I had gone for this position considering my next move. 12… d4!? An attempt to complicate the pawn structure and take control of the d4 square. 13. cxd4 Bxd4 14. Nxd4 Qxd4 15. Nb3 Qd6 This is a crucial position. d3 and b4 are weaknesses, but Black’s doubled e-pawns are not something to be proud of. 16. Be3? 16.Ba3 b5 led to very unclear positions. Now, White is in trouble. 16… b6! Killing White’s Bishop. 17. b5 axb5 18. axb5 Na7 19. d4 Better was 19.Nd2 Qxd3 20.Qb1 Qxb5 21.Ra2, where White has strong pressure on Black’s extra pawns and might just be able to liquidate to a draw. 19… Nxb5 20. Qd3 Rxa1 21. Rxa1 Nxd4 22. Bxd4 exd4 23. Qxd4 Qxd4 24. Nxd4 c5! Trying to force 25.Nxe6 Re8 25. Nc6

I went for this endgame from far away. Black is up a pawn and if he can start pushing those pawns, things will turn out well. White hopes to pressure those pawns with the help of the Rook and Knight. 25… Nxe4 26. Rb1 c4! Passed pawns need to be pushed if possible. 26…Nxf2 is undesirable because of 27.Rf1, where Black needs to sacrifice the Knight on h3. 26…Rxf2 27.Rxb6 h6 was also possible 27. Rxb6 Nxf2?! 27…c3!? 28.Rb4 Nd2 29.Nd4 Rc8 30. Nc2 Ra8 would have been at least as strong as the text 28. Rb4 c3 29. Rc4 Nd1 30. Nd4 Rd8? Taking the wrong route with the Rook. 30…Rb8 31.Nxe6 Rb1 32.Kh2 Kf7 would have given Black a bigger advantage. 31. Nxe6 Rd2 32. Rc8+ Kf7 33. Ng5+ Ke7 34. Ne4 Rc2 I had originally gone for this position, believing that once I get Rc1 and c2 going the win would be easy. 35. Rc7+ Kf8 36. Rc8+ Kf7 37. Rc7+ Kg6 38. g4 Rc1

39. Kh2? The losing move. White should have played 39.Kf1! Ne3+ 40.Ke2 Nd5 41.Rc5 Nf4+ 42.Ke3 Nxh3 43.Rc6+ Kf7 43.Rc7+ Kf8 44.Nxc3, which would have given White good drawing chances. 39… c2 40. Rc6+ Kf7 41. Kg2 Ne3+ 42. Kf2 Rf1+ 43. Kxe3 c1=Q+ 44. Rxc1 Rxc1 The extra exchange is easy to convert. 45. Kf3 h6 46. Nd6+ Kf6 47. Ne8+ Kg6 48. h4 Rc6! Trapping the Knight and finishing the battle immediately. Otherwise, the Rook and King would have to work together to contain the Knight while pushing the White King back. 0-1

A high intensity game. Once again, I felt like I gave my opponent too many chances after getting a winning advantage, almost letting the win slip. This was an important win. Now it’s all about the last two rounds.

Round 8

I was paired against GM Rozentalis, rated 2571 in this round. I have known Eduardas for many years as he comes to Canada every summer. This was my first time on the White side of the board against him. Eduardas is known as a great technician, who excels in maneuvering and endgames. Of course, you don’t roam around 2600 for over 10 years by having serious weaknesses, but everybody has their specialty.

[Event “?”]
[Site “?”]
[Date “2011.07.16”]
[Round “?”]
[White “Bluvshtein”]
[Black “Rozentalis”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[ECO “E20”]
[PlyCount “125”]
[EventDate “2011.07.10”]
[SourceDate “2011.07.16”]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3 d5 5. a3 Bxc3+ 6. bxc3 c6 7. Nf3 O-O 8. Bd3
b6 9. cxd5 cxd5 10. Qe2 Bb7 11. O-O Qc8 12. c4 dxc4 13. Bxc4 Ba6 14. Bxa6 Qxa6
15. Qxa6 Nxa6 16. Bb2 Rac8 17. Rfc1 Ne4 18. Kf1 f6 19. Ke2 Kf7 20. Ne1 Ke7 21.
Nd3 Kd7 22. a4 Rc7 23. Rxc7+ Nxc7 24. f3 Nd6 25. Rc1 Rc8 26. e4 Nce8 27. Rxc8
Kxc8 28. Nf4 Kd7 29. Kd3 b5 30. axb5 Nxb5 31. Kc4 Nbd6+ 32. Kb4 Nc7 33. g4 Nf7
34. Nd3 Ng5 35. Ne1 g6 36. Bc1 Nf7 37. Nd3 Na6+ 38. Ka5 Nb8 39. Be3 Nd6 40.
Nc5+ Ke7 41. Kb4 Nc6+ 42. Kc3 a5 43. Nd3 Kd7 44. h3 Ke7 45. Bf2 Kd7 46. Kb3 f5
47. e5 Nb5 48. Kc4 Nc7 49. Bh4 Nb4 50. Nc5+ Kc6 51. Bd8 fxg4 52. fxg4 Nbd5 53.
Bxc7 Nxc7 54. g5 Kb6 55. Nd7+ Kc6 56. Nf6 a4 57. Kb4 a3 58. Kxa3 Nb5+ 59. Kb4
Nxd4 60. Kc3 Nf3 61. Nxh7 Kd5 62. Nf8 Nxe5 63. Kd2 1/2-1/2

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3 d5 5. a3 Bxc3+ 6. bxc3 c6 7. Nf3 O-O 8. Bd3
b6 9. cxd5 cxd5 10. Qe2 Bb7 11. O-O Qc8 12. c4 dxc4 13. Bxc4 Ba6 14. Bxa6 Qxa6

My opponent offered me a draw after his last move. In a way, I lost the opening battle. My opponent got the type of a position that he wanted. White’s position might still be a bit more comfortable, but nothing tangible. I did not think about the draw offer very long and tried to create as many problems for my opponent as possible. 15. Qxa6 Nxa6 16. Bb2 Rac8 17. Rfc1 Preparing a route for the King. 17… Ne4 Black prepares f6 followed by a King march. 18. Kf1 f6 19. Ke2 Kf7 20. Ne1 There is not enough poison in the position to try to win after 20.Nd2 and the exchange of Knights. 20… Ke7 21. Nd3 Kd7 22. a4 Rc7 23. Rxc7+ Nxc7 24. f3 Nd6 25. Rc1 Rc8 26. e4 Nce8 27. Rxc8 Kxc8 It was clear to me from far away that it would get to this. Black is rock solid. How to break through? Well, there is no direct way to break through, just need to improve the place of the pieces, one at a time. 28. Nf4 Kd7 29. Kd3 b5 This is a tough position to play for Black as well, as there is no clear plan. My opponent decides to create a passed pawn, but at the price of weakening some squares. 30. axb5 Nxb5 31. Kc4 Nbd6+ 32. Kb4 It’s not clear where the King is going just yet, but it is clear that he might be powerful “around that area”. 32… Nc7 33. g4 A bit loose. 33.Nd3 would have been preferred. I wanted to force some sort of a weakening of the King-side. 33… Nf7 34. Nd3 Ng5 35. Ne1 g6 I finally got that weakening. 36. Bc1 Nf7 37. Nd3 Na6+ 38. Ka5 Nb8 39. Be3 Nd6 What now? I decided to bring the King back. 40. Nc5+ Ke7 41. Kb4 Nc6+ 42. Kc3?! a5?! The text is not a bad move, but Black could have forced a draw with 42…e5 43.d5 Nd4 44.Bxd4 Nb5+ 45.Kd3 Nxd4 46.Ke3, where the game will very soon end in a draw. 43. Nd3 Kd7

I assumed that my opponent will just stay in one place from now on. Once again, I need to focus on baby steps. Cannot try to win this immediately. Can I improve my position in any way? 44. h3! Any way you look at it, my pawn is better placed on h3. No rush. Moves like this can also give an opponent a headache. 44… Ke7 45. Bf2 Kd7 46. Kb3!? Thinking about playing Ka4 next. 46… f5 Pressure is building and Black has trouble staying still. 47. e5!? A practical decision, trying to complicated matters. 47.Nc5+ Ke7 48.gxf5 gxf5 49.Ka4 fxe4 50.fxe4 leaves very little material on the board to try to win. 47… Nb5 48. Kc4 Nc7? White would be unable to find a good plan after 48…Na3+ 49.Kc5 Nc2 49. Bh4 Now White has access to a lot of important squares. 49… Nb4 49…Na6, trying to contain White would have been stronger. 50. Nc5+ Kc6? 50…Ke8, leaving the c6 square for the Bishop would have still been hard to crack.

51. Bd8? I had completely miscalculated the endgame that is to come. 51.Be1! Nbd5 52.Bxa5 would have left White up a pawn with good winning chances. 51…Nba6 52.Nxa6 Nxa6 53.Bxa5 would have also left Black in serious trouble. A missed opportunity. 51… fxg4 52. fxg4 Nbd5 53. Bxc7 Nxc7 54. g5 Kb6 For some reason, I had calculated that White is winning in this endgame. However, there is not even a hint of a win on the horizon. The rest is straightforward. 55. Nd7+ Kc6 56. Nf6 a4 57. Kb4 a3 58. Kxa3 Nb5+ 59. Kb4 Nxd4 60. Kc3 Nf3 61. Nxh7 Kd5 62. Nf8 Nxe5 63. Kd2 1/2-1/2

I played this game well up until the 51st move. Black was forced to deal with a lot of over the board problems and made some mistakes due to this. This one got away.

Round 9

Last round morning games are not great for professional chess players. It’s not about being lazy or liking to sleep in. Chess players get into a routine that helps them perform best at the time of the round. This can include meals, naps, preparation, walks, etc. The early last round has become a tradition in a lot of tournaments. The above is really about something more important than morning rounds. If you are serious about playing chess, then your tournament lasts 24/7, as you do everything you can to perform your best during your game by developing an optimal daily routine. Morning rounds can throw it off.

I was paired against IM Samsonkin, rated 2378, in the final round. I knew that I needed to win to try to catch up to the leaders. I was also informed that Artiom needed a win to get a GM norm so I thought he would play aggressively. Things got interesting early on.

[Event “?”]
[Site “?”]
[Date “2011.07.16”]
[Round “?”]

[White “Samsonkin”]
[Black “Bluvshtein”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[ECO “A00”]
[PlyCount “63”]
[EventDate “2011.07.10”]
[SourceDate “2011.07.16”]

1. e4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. f4 d5 4. fxe5 Nxe4 5. Qf3 Nxc3 6. dxc3 Be6 7. Bf4 Nc6 8.
Qg3 Ne7 9. Nf3 Qd7 10. Nd4 Nf5 11. Nxf5 Bxf5 12. Bd3 Be6 13. O-O-O O-O-O 14.
Kb1 h6 15. Rhf1 Be7 16. Be3 c5 17. Be4 g5 18. Bxd5 Bxd5 19. c4 Qe6 20. cxd5
Rxd5 21. Rxd5 Qxd5 22. Qh3+ Kb8 23. Qh5 Rf8 24. Qxh6 Qxe5 25. Bf2 Qe2 26. Bg3+
Kc8 27. Rc1 Qxg2 28. Re1 Qd5 29. a3 Qd7 30. Qg7 Rd8 31. Qxf7 Bd6 32. Qf6
1/2-1/2

1. e4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. f4 d5 4. fxe5 Nxe4 5. Qf3 Nxc3 6. dxc3 Be6 7. Bf4 Nc6 A rare move. 8. Qg3

My opponent’s last move is a novelty. 8… Ne7? A strange move. I had originally intended to play 8…d4! 9.0-0-0 Qd5, where it is White who needs to focus on equalizing. Not sure what I saw to deter me from this. 9. Nf3 Qd7 10. Nd4 Nf5 11. Nxf5 Bxf5 12. Bd3 The last few moves have been very natural. White has more space and more potential for his pieces. White also has more weaknesses. 12… Be6 A very positionally sound move, as this Bishop needs to hold Black’s position together. Black is very solid. 13. O-O-O O-O-O 14. Kb1 h6 A bit slow. On a second look, the more aggressive 14…h5 shows more potential. 15. Rhf1 Be7 16. Be3

16… c5?! Creating weaknesses unnecessarily. 16…Kb8 is more sound. I had underestimated my opponent’s reply. 17. Be4! This move puts Black on his heels, as Bxd5 followed by c4 is a threat. 17…Qc6 18.Bf5 is exactly what White wants-to exchange the light squares Bishops. 17… g5! Good reaction, keeping the position very dynamic. 18. Bxd5 Bxd5 19. c4 Qe6 A part of me wanted to play 19…Bxc4 20.Rxd7 Rxd7 and sacrifice the Queen. However, there was a consensus within me that I would have to fight hard and only in the hopes of a draw in what would follow. 20. cxd5 Rxd5 21. Rxd5 Qxd5 This has all been forced. Now the position is very dynamic but still close to equal. 22. Qh3+ Kb8 23. Qh5 We had both spent a lot of time on 23.Qf5 Qxg2 24.e6 f6 and both thought that it is White who is on the ropes there. 23… Rf8 24. Qxh6 Qxe5 25. Bf2

The moment of truth. 25… Qe2 I should have probably played 25…f5 26.Re1 Qd6, where the position is dead equal. I was playing for more. 26. Bg3+ Kc8 There is nothing pleasant about 26…Ka8 27.Re1 Rd8 28.b3! 27. Rc1 After 27.Re1 Rd8 White needs to find 28.Qh3+ g4 29.Qh6! with an equal endgame. When I went for this position from far away, I thought it would be only me who is playing for a win. As it turns out, the Black King compensates for everything that is bad in White’s camp. 27… Qxg2 28. Re1! Now Black needs to be careful. 28… Qd5 29. a3 Qd7 30. Qg7 Black is all tied up and has to give the pawn back. 31.Qe5 is a deadly threat. 30… Rd8 31. Qxf7? 31.Qe5 Bd6 32.Qxg5 would have given White a slight edge which he can try to convert. 31… Bd6 32. Qf6 1/2-1/2 My opponent offered me a draw which I accepted. Neither side can seriously fight for a win after 32…Bxg3 33.hxg3 Qg4, but it is certainly White who is not risking anything at all here.

I needed to win this last round to tie for first place, which makes the result a disappointing one. I should have taken my chances on the 8th move. After that the fight seemed to balance off. Overall, my opponent played well and didn’t let the position slip in dangerous times.

Next is a review of the tournament as a whole.


Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: