Sunday, July 8, 2007

RBS, part 3

The last game I did some work at on-site was the following Catalan, an opening I have some experience with myself. Duong's Queen seemed uncomfortable in the early going, and Miton built up some nice pressure which resulted in either a win of a pawn or a destruction of Black's K-side. Black chose the latter and fought valliantly, but White's pressure extended into the endgame, and he won quite handily.

Board 4) Miton,K (2653) - Nha Duong,T (2300): Catalan

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.g3 Be7 5.Bg2 0–0 6.0–0 c6 7.Nc3 Nbd7 8.b3 b6 9.Qd3 Bb7 10.Rd1 Qc8?!

This looks a bit artificial, and indeed the Queen does prove uncomfortable on the c-file very shortly. 9...Ba6 and 10...Rc8, planning a hopeful ...c5 advance may have been a better choice in hindsight. White could opt for an e2-e4 break along the way, but after multiple exchanges on e4, White's advantage should be controllable.

11.Bb2 c5 12.cxd5 exd5 13.Rac1 Qb8 14.Nh4! Re8 15.Nf5 Bf8 16.dxc5! Nxc5 17.Qd4

White has skillfully achieved an advantage, with continued pressure against d5 and some K-side possibilities along the newly opened long diagonal.

17...Ne6 (DIAGRAM) 18.Nh6+ gxh6 19.Qxf6 Bg7 20.Qf5 d4 21.Nd5 Qe5

Black tries to stay afloat with activity, but Miton demonstrates that even the endgame is not a safe haven.

22.Qxe5 Bxe5 23.e3 Rad8 24.exd4 Bg7 25.Nc7 Nxc7 26.Bxb7 Nb5 27.Ba6 Nxd4 28.Ba3!

Even material, but the bishop pair and better pawns spell more woe for Black. Trust me, I know well the difficulty of making a draw with a determined GM from a level position, let alone a worse one!

28...Rd5 29.Bb4 Red8 30.Kg2 Bf8 31.Bc3 Bg7 32.Re1 R5d7 33.Re4 Ne6 34.Bc4 Bxc3 35.Rxc3 Nd4 36.Rg4+ Kf8 37.Bd3 f6 38.Bc4 b5 39.Bf1

Patient maneuvering. White's bishop will always be superior to the knight, and the pawn weaknesses are an additonal hardship.

39...a6 40.a4! Rd5 41.axb5 axb5 42.b4 f5 43.Rf4 Ne6 44.Rh4 Kg7 45.Rc6 Nf8 46.Rcxh6

The first of several pawns to finally give up the ghost.

46...R8d7 47.Rb6 Ng6 48.Rh5 Re5 and Black Resigned as a second pawn is about to drop.

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