A weird game

January 8, 2008

Here is a weird game I played as white against a much higher-rated opponent. My usual disclaimer, that this wasn’t checked against the computer, applies as always.

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Be2 O-O 6.Nf3 e5 7.O-O Nc6 8.d5 Ne7


We have reached a standard King’s Indian position. Black’s plan is to expand on the kingside, with f5 (after Nh5 or Ne8) and g5, and basically try and steamroll its way to the White king. White will try and play on the queenside with b4 and Nf3-e1-d3, preparing for the c5 break. White’s play may seem removed from the action while black generates an attack against its king, but the basic idea is to chop down the black army from the rear.

9.b4 a5?


This move doesn’t make sense. Instead of continuing with his plan for kingside expansion, black is wasting valuable time on the queenside.

10.Qb3 axb4 11.Qxb4 Nd7 12.Ne1 f5 13.Nd3 Nf6 14.f3 b6?


Once again, black suspends his activities on the kingside to move a pawn on the queenside. All this does is give me more targets to attack.

15.Be3 f4 16.Bf2 g5 17.a4 Ng6 18.a5 bxa5 19.Rxa5 Rxa5 20.Qxa5 h5 21.Nb5


With the time wasted by black, it is no surprise that white wins the race by breaking through first on the queenside.

21…c5 22.Qxd8 Rxd8 23.Ra1 Bf8 24.Ra8 Kf7


The king comes over to support the rook, and unpin the bishop in the process.

25.Nb2 Ke8 26.Na4 Bb7 27.Ra7 Rd7 28.Nb6 Rh7


Black has to be content with moving his pieces around, waiting for white to bring his pieces into the attack.

29.Bd1 Kd8 30.Ba4 Ne8 31.Be1 Rg7 32.Ba5 Nh8


Quite a funny-looking position. Both sides are struggling to find optimal squares for their pieces. White is still better as he is the only one playing for an attack.

33.Nc3 Ng6 34.Na8+ Kc8


Here I decide to give up my rook for two pieces.

35.Bxe8 Kb8 36.Rxb7+ Kxb7 37.Nc7


Black cannot return the favor by capturing twice on c7 because of his hanging knight on g6.

37…Be7 38.N3b5 g4 39.Ne6 Rg8 40.Bf7 Ra8 41.Bc3 Nh4 42.Bxh5 gxf3+=


Black slowly seems to be untangling himself. His rook and knight are on good, active squares again, and while his bishop looks very passive, it does a useful job of holding together the pawn structure. But I still prefer my position here. At the appropriate time, if I can sac a piece for a couple of his pawns and get my pawns rolling, it won’t be easy to stop them.

43.gxf3 Ra2 44.h3 Ra4


From this point onwards, for the rest of the game, the black knight stays trapped at h4. It has no squares it can move to, and if I can kick the black bishop off the diagonal, I can then round up the knight.

45.Nxc5! dxc5 46.Bxe5 Rxc4 47.Bxf4


I have achieved my goal. My connected passers on the d, e and f files are very strong, plus my dark-squared bishop is on the right diagonal to stop his c-pawn from queening.

47…Rb4 48.d6!+-


He cannot capture my knight as after dxe7, he cannot stop the pawn from queening.

48… Bd8 49.Nc7!


Again, he cannot trade his bishop for the knight, because after dxc7 followed by Bg4, black cannot stop the c-pawn from queening.

49… Rd4 50.Ne6 Rd1+ 51.Kf2 Bb6 52.Kg3


And here, black resigned. He is losing his knight and he faces an uphill battle trying to stop the avalanche of pawns.


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