Friday, April 27, 2007

Oliver - Smerdon, 1-0 Annotated

SIO 2007
Oliver, Gareth
Smerdon, David
Annotations by Gareth Oliver

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. Bd2 Nb6 6. Nf3 Nc6 7. e4 Bg4
7...Nxd4 is not good for black because of 8. Nxd4 Qxd4 9. Nb5 Qxe4+ 10. Be2 and black has big problems on c7 8. Be3 Bg7 9. d5 Ne5 10. Be2 Bxf3 11. gxf3 O-O 12. Qb3 This is already a very comfortable position for white.

After 12. Qb3

12...Qc8 12... f5 We analysed this alternative after the game with the idea 13. f4 Ned7 14. e5 g5?! Where black has good play. However simply 13 0-0-0 should give white a fine position.

13. h3 Preventing Qh3 and allowing f4 to be played without it being followed by Ng4 13...c6 14. Rc1 David had missed this move in the game. Now cxd5 can be met strongly with Nxd5 giving black no easy way to weaken the strong white centre. 14...Kh8 15. f4 Ned7 16. Bf3 Rd8 17. O-O 17. dxc6 and taking the f pawn may also have been strong. 17...e6?!

After 17...e6?!

Desperately attempting to break the centre and gain some counter play. 18. dxe6 fxe6 19. Qxe6 Ne5 20. Bg4 20. Qxc8 Nxf3+ 21. Kg2 Nh4+ 22. Kg3 Raxc8 23. Kxh4 Which is a worse version of the game. 20... Qxe6 Removing the white squared bishop first with Nxg4 may have been a good idea given how troublesome it was later on. 21. Bxe6 Nd3 22. Rc2 Re8 22... Nxb2 23. Bxb6 axb6 24. Rxb2 Bxc3 25. Rxb6 Here white is better, however the endgame would still be very difficult to win.

23. f5 gxf5? This gives away the e4 square allowing the white knight to activate 24. exf5 Nxb2 Here David believed that the position would transpose into the previous line, only having given white doubled pawns however 25. Ne4! Threatening both Nd6 and Ng5. 25...N2c4 26. Bc5 Ne5 26... h6 27. Kh1 appears to be very strong for white, for example. Kh7 28. Rg1 Bh8 29. a4 Ne5 30. Rb1. 27. Nd6 Re7 28. f4 Nd3 29. Ba3?!

After 29. Ba3?!

29. Bxb6 axb6 30. Nf7+ Rxf7 31. Bxf7 was stronger than the game continuation 29... Bd4+? 29... Nd5 This would have been very irritating, while white still appears to have large amounts of pressure, there is no longer a clear win. 30. Kh1 c5?? while this appears to be the logical move, the position falls apart quickly from here. Again Nd5 would have been stronger, although the bishop check has improved white's position. 31. Rd2 Rd8 32. Nf7+ 32. Ne4! This is a bit stronger as the black night is now trapped! 32...Nb4 (32... Be3 33. Bb2+ Rg7 34. Rxd3 Rxd3 35. f6) 33. Bxb4 cxb4 34. Rfd1 32... Rxf7 33. Bxf7 Nb4? a final blunder that allows a nice finishing finesse, although the position is losing anyway. 34. Bxb4 cxb4 35. Be6! 35...Bf6 36. Rxd8+ Bxd8 37. Rg1 1-0

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