h1

My first game of the year

January 24, 2010

What a horrible way to start off the new year – a bad loss, personally, and for our team (we lost 4.5-0.5). My opponent and I shared the same rating, and its the first time in many months that I lost to someone not higher rated than me! Anyway, you can replay the game here (I play black).

1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. cxd5 cxd5 5. g3 g6 6. Bg2 Bg7 7. O-O O-O 8. Nc3 Nc6 9. a3
How much more boring can an opening be? I take efforts to spice up the game a little!
9…Ne4 10. e3 Nxc3 11. bxc3 Qc7 12. Nd2 Rd8 13. e4 dxe4 14. Bxe4
I had looked at 14. Nxe4 Nxd4 15. cxd4 Bxd4 as leading to an interesting position where I get the queen and 3 pawns for a rook, knight and bishop, or win the a1 rook. Thankfully for me, my opponent chose not go into this line because if we had, he would most likely have found 16. Bd2! Bxa1 17.Qxa1.
14… f5
The beginning of my troubles. I should have just stuck to staking my claim in the centre with e5. Both of these lines leave me with a slight plus. 14… e5 15. d5 Na5 or 14… Bh3 15. Re1 e5 16. Nf3 exd4 17.Bf4 Qd7 18. cxd4
15. Qb3+ Kh8 16. Bg2 Na5
(16… e5)
17. Qb4 Be6 18. Nf3 Rac8
(18… Nc6 19. Qb5 a6 20. Qe2 Bd5 21. Bf4 Qa5)
19. Bf4
(19. Re1 Nc6 20. Qb5 Bd7 21. Bf4)
19… Qxc3
During the game, I thought that this was the blunder that caused all my trouble later in the game. But the computer suggests this was possibly the best move I had at this point in time and actually points to my 22nd move as the real blunder. All in all, I think I should have never allowed myself to get into this position!
20. Qxc3 Rxc3 21. Bd2 Rxf3 22. Bxa5 Rxd4?
(22… b6 23. Bxf3 bxa5 24. Rfe1 Bxd4 25. Rac1 Bg8 26. Rxe7 Bb2 27. Rb1 Bxa3 28. Rxa7 Bb4) (22…Rd5 23. Bb4 Rd3 24. Rae1 Bg8 25. Bxd5 Bxd5 26. Bxe7 Kg8 27. Rd1 Rb3)
23. Bxf3 Ra4 24. Bd8
(24. Rae1 Bc4 25. Bb4 Bxf1 26. Rxe7 Bf6 27. Re8+ Kg7 28. Kxf1)
The rest of the game was probably needless – I could’ve resigned right here. But with my opponent in time-trouble until the very end, I decided to drag it out – not one of my best moments!
24… Bxa1 25. Rxa1 Kg7 26. Bxe7 Rc4 27. Bg5 b6 28. Re1 Kf7 29. Rc1 Rd4 30. Rc7+ Kf8 31. Rxa7 Rd3 32. Be3 Rb3 33. Ra8+ Ke7 34. Ra7+ Kd6 35. Bf4+ Kc5 36. Rc7+ Kd4 37. Be3+ Ke5 38. a4 g5 39. Bd1 Rb4 40. Bxg5 Kd6 41. Rc1 Bd5 42. Bf4+ Ke6 43. Be3 Kd6 44. h4 Bc6 45. Ra1 Be4 46. Bh6 Rb2 47. Kf1 Kd5 48. Ke1 Bd3 49. Bg7 Rb4 50. Ra2 Re4+ 51. Kd2 Bc4 52. Rb2 Re6 53. Bf3+ Kc5 54. Kc3 b5 55. axb5 Bd5 56. Bxd5 Kxd5 57. b6 Re7 58. b7 Rxb7 59. Rxb7 Ke4 60. Bd4 h5 61. Rh7 f4 62. Rxh5 1-0
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