Archive for the ‘DC’ Category


A great endgame to analyse

November 26, 2008

I played in the second of two games mentioned here on the 17th, again as black. White gave up a pawn in the opening in exchange for the center. I was always looking to return the pawn under favorable circumstances but my opponent didn’t want to cede the initiative to win the pawn back. We finally got into a very tricky bishop vs knight endgame which I managed to eke out. Here is the game.

1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 e6 3. c4 c6 4. Nc3 Nf6 5. g3 Nbd7 6. Bg2 dxc4 7. O-O Be7 8. e4 O-O 9. Qe2 Nb6

I also thought about playing b5 here but was worried about the weakness of c6 and a8. On hindsight though, I should have probably played that – to expose the c6 weakness, both the pawn on e4 and the knight on f3 would need to go to e5. With that not possible, I should have been safe!

10. a4 a5 11. Rd1 Nfd7 12.  Ne5 Nxe5 13. dxe5 Qc7 14. Be3 Rd8 15. h4?!

At the time I thought the idea with h4-h5-h6 was quite slow. This gives me the time to unravel myself somewhat and trade off some pieces. He explained later that he believed that with pawns on h6 (and probably f6), my king would have a hard time getting into the game and that he would hold the advantage.

15…Bd7 16. h5 c5?! [Be8] 17. f4 Bc6 18. h6 g6 19.  Nb5 Bxb5 20. axb5 Rxd1+ 21. Rxd1 Rd8 22. Rxd8+ Qxd8 23. f5 Qd7

My opponent later said that he was expecting Qd3 here with an advantage for white and that Qd7 was almost losing. The two moves were also my main options – I went with Qd7 because I was worried I wouldn’t be able to hold on to the extra pawn after the swap of queens. It turns out that after 23…Qd3 24. Qxd3 cxd3 25. Kf2 a4 26. Bf1 Nc4 27. Bxd3 Nxb2 28. Bb1 Nd1+ 29. Kf3 a3, black’s passed a-pawn is very strong.

24. Bh3 exf5 [Qd3] 25. exf5 Qd5?!

Again, Qd3 was the only way to maintain the advantage.

26. fxg6

f6! was probably stronger, like he had been intending to play a few moves earlier (see notes to white’s 15th move)

26…fxg6 [hxg6!] 27. e6 Qe5?

Nc8, bringing it back into defense was better.

28. Qf3 Bf6 29. g4?

This again tilts the balance in my favour. Fritz shows 29. Bf2 Nd5 30. Bf1 and the black queen-side pawns are collapsing and the bishops then attacking the king-side with even more venom. As it is, white’s move allows some simplifying tactics from black.

29…Qxe3+ 30. Qxe3 Bd4 31. Kf2  Kf8 32. Bg2 Ke7? [Bxe3+] 33. Bxb7?

33. Bxe4 Bxe3+ 34. Kxe3 c3 35. bxc3 a4 36. Bxg6 a3 37. Bb1 Kxe6 should lead to a draw with correct play.

33…Bxe3+ 34. Kxe3 Kxe6?

34…c3 bxc3 was much stronger, creating a passed a-pawn.

35. Ke4??

The last move to make the time control, with seconds left on the clock. Be4 was much better.


Returning the favour with a lot more time left on my clock to make the time-control. Analysing after the game, we deemed this now to be a draw. Again, Fritz shows the line 35… a4 36. Ke3 c3 37. Be4 cxb2 38. Kd2 Nc4+ 39. Kc3 a3 40. Bb1 Na5, and black has a completely won game.

36. Bd5+ Kd6 37. Bxc4  Nxb2 38. Ba2?

The start of a wrong plan. The draw could have easily been gained by 38.Bg8 c4 39. Bxh7 c3 40. Ke3 Nc4+ 41. Kd3 Ne5+ 42. Kxc3 Nxg4 43. Bxg6 Nxh6

38…a4 39. b6?

Completely losing the plot. Now I can just walk over and grab the pawn with no delays in tempo.

38…Kc6 40. Ke3 Kxb6 41. Kd2 Kb5?

Now, giving up the win and allowing a forced draw. 41…c4, preventing the bishop from going to g8 was critical.

42. Bb1?

Not taking advantage. 42. Bg8 Nc4+ 43. Kc3 Ne3 44. Bxh7 Nxg4 45. Bxg6 Nxh6 46. Be8+ Ka5 47. Bxa4 Kxa4 48. Kc4 is a dead draw. Now, the win is quite easy.

42…Nc4+ 43. Kc1 Ne5 44. g5 Kb4 45. Be4 c4 0-1