U140 KO Champion

November 22, 2009

Even though the other tournaments in this year’s internal competitions are 2 rounds away from completion, the U140 KO tournament was decided this past week! I had played my opponent once before a year ago, so I could prepare for his opening choice if I won the toss and played white – which I did.

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 g6 5. c4 Bg7 6. Nb3 Nf6 7. Nc3 O-O 8. Be2 d6 9. O-O b6 10. Be3 Bb7 11. f4 Rc8 12. Rc1 Nd7 13. Nd4 Nc5 14. Bf3 Nxd4 15. Bxd4 Ne6 16. Bxg7 Kxg7 17. f5
We had both played the opening reasonably well. Along with the text move here, I considered two main alternatives. 17. Nd5 Bxd5 18. exd5 Nc7 (18… Nxf4? 19. Qd4+, winning) seemed very promising for white. But Bxd5 wasn’t forced and I couldn’t see how I could push on with my attack. 17. Be2 didn’t offer me much hope either in opening up lines to his king.

17… Ng5 18. Qd4+ f6 19. Nd5
(19. Bg4 Qd7 20. Rcd1)

19… Nxf3+
19… e6 20. fxe6 Nxe6 was an option I thought he might go for, as the position is completely drawn.

20. Rxf3 Qd7 21. Nf4
If I could get my knight to e6, I would be winning. Or so I thought. Instead the position was now dead equal, and was going to remain so for the next several moves! 21. b4 Bxd5 22. exd5 gxf5 23. Qd3 or 21. Re1 were two ways to keep a (very slight) edge in the position.

21… gxf5 22. Nh5+ Kh8 23. Rxf5 Qe6 24. Ng3 Rc5 25. Rxc5 dxc5 26. Qd3 Rg8 27. Rd1 Bc6 28. b3 a6 29. Qe3 Qg4 30. Rf1 Rd8 31. e5 Qg5 32. Qxg5 fxg5 33. e6 Rd2?!
33… h5 34. Nxh5 Rd2 35. Rf2 Rd1+ 36. Rf1 Rd2 is a draw by perpetual. Now I could play for a win!

34. Rf8+ Kg7 35. Rf7+ Kg6 36. Rxe7?
This throws away the afore-mentioned win. 36. Nf5 Kh5 37. Nxe7 Bxg2 38. Ng8 Bc6 39. e7 Be8 40. Nf6+ Kg6 41. Rf8 Re2 42. Nxe8 Rxe7 43. Rf6+ Kh5 44. Re6 Rxe6 45. Ng7+ Kg4 46. Nxe6 is a line the computer spits out. I thought about 36. Nf5 but had trouble seeing the right follow-up. Instead, the text move could even be losing. But it required my opponent to see a tricky defense (and neither one of us saw it)!

36… Bxg2?
And I fully capitalize this time and bring in the full point! I was more worried about 36…Rxg2 37. Kf1 Rxh2. But this isn’t sufficient either. The really tricky move to find is 37… Rd2! 38. Rc7 Rd6 39. e7 Kf7 40. Nf5 Rf6 41. Kg1 and it is black that’s playing for a win!

37. Rd7! Rxa2 38. e7 Kf7 39. Nf5 Re2 40. Nd6+ Kg6 41. e8=Q+ Rxe8 42. Nxe8 Bh3 43. Rb7 Bf5 44. Rxb6+ Kh5 45. Rxa6 Bc2 46. Rb6 Kh4 47. Kf2 h5 48. Nf6 g4 49. b4 cxb4 50. Rxb4 Kh3 51. Nxh5 Kxh2 52. c5 Bg6 53. Ng3 Be8 54. Rxg4 1-0

In the endgame, I missed a couple of easier mating lines but the result was never really in doubt. Great to notch a tournament victory!


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