Games, analysis and discussion

Two Ottawa Spring Open games

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[Event "Ottawa Spring Open"]
[Site "Ottawa CAN"]
[Date "2013.02.17"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Zhang, Z"]
[Black "Pacey, K"]
[Result "0-1"]

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.c3 d5 4.exd5 exd5 5.d4 Bd6 6.dxc5 Bxc5 7.Bb5+ Nc6 8.O-O Ne7 9.Nbd2 O-O 10.Nb3 Bd6 {Reaching a position from the 3...c5 4.exd5 exd5 Tarrasch French where White has in effect played the very quiet move c2-c3 too early to hope for an advantage against best play, according to theory. However, it's a bit hard for Black to win in this isolated d-pawn French setup even against a slightly lower rated opponent.} 11.Nbd4 Bg4 12.Be2 a6 13.Bg5 Qc7 14.h3 Bd7 {14...Bh5 would be the more normal retreat} 15.Rc1 {A strange choice. If White was thinking of c3-c4 in order to render the pawn structure symmetrical he never gets to acheive it.} h6 16.Bd2 {Another strange choice.} Rad8 17.Bd3 Qb6 {17...Rfe8 would be equal according to my engine.} 18.Qc2 {18.Qb3 invites an exchange of queens leading to a queenless middlegame that's rather dull but probably safe enough for Black} Nxd4 19.Nxd4 Bb8 20.Ne2 {The game begins to slip away from White. Instead 20.Rfe1 is still equal.} Ng6 21.Be3 Qd6 22.Ng3 Nf4 23.Bxf4 {My engine thinks 23.Rfe1 is a bit better} Qxf4 {=/+} 24.Bf5 Ba4 {Both 24...Bc6 and 24...Bxf5 25.Qxf5 d4 were also interesting} 25.b3 Bb5 {25...Bc6!?} 26.c4? dxc4 {-/+} 27.bxc4 Rd2 28.Qe4 {28.Qb3!?} Bc6 29.Qxf4 Bxf4 30.Rc2 Rfd8 31.Re1 {Better 31.Ne2} g6! {-+} 32.Be4 {32.Nf1 gxf5} f5 33.Rxd2 Bxd2 34.Bxc6 Bxe1 35.Bxb7 Rd2 36.Bxa6 Bxf2+ {The rest is very easy for Black, although he makes a couple of major inaccuracies when White does the same.} 37.Kh2 Rxa2 38.Bb5 Bc5 39.h4 {Better 39.Bc6} Kg7 {Better 39...f4! intending ...f3 and ...f2} 40.Bd7 {Better 40.Bc6} Bd6 41.Bc6 Ra3 42.Bf3 Rc3 {42...g5!} 43.Kh3 Bxg3 44.Kxg3 Rxc4 45.Kh3 Kf6 46.g3 Rc3 47.Kg2 Rc2+ 48.Kf1 Ke5 49.Be2 g5 {49...Ke4} 50.hxg5 hxg5 51.Kf2 {51.Bd3} Ke4 52.Kf1 Ke3 53.Bh5 g4 54.Bg6 Kf3 55.Ke1 Re2+ 56.Kd1 Re5 0-1


[Event "Ottawa Spring Open"]
[Site "Ottawa CAN"]
[Date "2013.02.17"]
[Round "5"]
[White "Pacey, K"]
[Black "Pichardo, A"]
[Result "1-0"]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 {IM Day once recommended playing Catalans before the last round, then playing the Big Clamp against the Sicilian in the big money games. Nevertheless FM Gordon Taylor used to clean up with the Catalan at every chance.} d5 4.Bg2 Bb4+ 5.Bd2 Qe7 {Transposing to a quiet and slightly inferior Bogo-Indian line (or arguably still a Catalan line) may not be the best idea if Black is hoping to win money in the last round. Instead 5...Be7 would be more combative} 6.Nf3 Nc6 7.O-O Bxd2 8.Nxd2 O-O 9.Qb3 {A novelty that my engine likes, though I didn't know that 9.Rc1 and even 9.Qc2 had been much played, or that Petrosian once won an old game with 9.Re1.} Ne4 10.e3 Nxd2 11.Nxd2 Na5 12.Qc3 Nxc4 13.Nxc4 dxc4 14.Qxc4 c6 {14...e5 15.d5 +/=} 15.f4!? {My engine likes restraining Black this way, though there is some risk that later Black may get a chance to break with ...f6 and ...e5 effectively. Instead 15.Rfd1 gives White a slight edge anyway.} Bd7 16.Rac1 Rfd8 17.Qc5 {17.b4 is liked by my engine, but I wished to preserve options for strictly piece play on the queenside.} Kf8 {The endgame after 17...Qxc5 18.Rxc5 also favours White.} 18.Qc2 {Beginning some cat and mouse play. White is in no hurry to try to increase his edge.} g6 {It was likely better to go back with 18...Kg8} 19.Qc3 {My engine prefers 19.a3.} 19...f6 {Not required here (e.g. 19...a5 is possible, when 20.d5 Kg8 21.dxc6 Bxc6 22.Bxc6 is met by 22...Rdc8), but this move suited both players in a way.} 20.a3 Be8 21.g4 {21.Rfd1!?} Bf7 22.Rf2 {22.b4!?} Rd7 {22...Kg8 may be better} 23.h3 {23.Qa5!?; 23.h4!?} Re8 {23...Kg8 24.Rfc1 or 24.Bf1!?} 24.Qa5 e5 {With both players short of time Black tries his luck. Instead 24...Ra8 (or 24...a6) 25.g5 would allow White to nip the possibility of ...e5 in the bud (if 25...fxg5 26.Qe5).} 25.fxe5 fxe5 26.Rcf1 Qd8 {Strangely passive, as is Black's next move. More active was 26...Qd6 +/=; If 26...Qg5 27.Qxa7 when 27...Qxe3 fails due to 28.Bxc6 +-} 27.Qxa7!? {27.Qxd8 Rexd8 28.d5 favours White too, but I had somewhat more time than my opponent on my clock, and so wished to stay in a middlegame where I had at least as much play as my opponent.} Qb8? {Now White is winning. Instead 27...Kg8 leaves White only slightly ahead in a tense position, despite his extra pawn.} 28.Qxb8 Rxb8 29.d5 cxd5 {29...c5 would have much prolonged the game.} 30.Bxd5 Rxd5 31.Rxf7+ Kg8 32.Rc7 {32.Re7 is also good, but I wished to grab the open file just in case.} Rd3 33.Rff7 {Here my opponent kindly resigned, though his cause is ultimately hopeless. I tied for second and third place in this event as a result, winning 150 dollars.} 1-0

Updated 01-25-2014 at 09:10 PM by Kevin Pacey

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