Spread the News, Bos vs NY, draw
(Beat Reporter: Mark LaRocca)
Darn it… Boston vs New York was a draw. And the NY escape was very narrow. Did you notice?.... I can say New York without stuttering… Yes, I have overcome my disability that had plagued me at the Blitz website and I can pronounce these words without any hesitation. I even found myself humming a song when I woke up that noisy match morning…. Mmm… something about those little town blues melting away. So, I put on my vagabond shoes and strayed off to work… and later, on down to the Blitz week 6 encounter with… you know who.
Things didn’t start off so good… our King of the hill, A number one… board 1, Marc Esserman, (White) went down in flames to GM Tamaz Gelashvili… in a well deserved “Game of the Week”.
However, our board 2 savior, “It’s up to you, Denys Shmelov, Denys Shmelov” (Black), came through with a quick response…. Winning an exciting encounter… and instilling new hope to our remaining boards.
Meanwhile, NM Vadim Martirosov (White) played through equality to an inferior Rook endgame against FM Akshat Chandra. Luckily, he saw “Right through the very heart of it” and salvaged a draw,
Then it was up to NM Ilya Krasik (Black) to regroup… and “make a brand new start of it”… and win his second exchange up game in the last two matches… against NM Alex King. What’s with this alergy to being up the exchange? Yes, he broke out in spots again and drew…
And so, the match went. Boston (2 – 2)
Let’s take a peek at how we fared against… New York, New York…. Sing along if you know the words.
1.e4 e6 2.d4 b6! This turns things on its head... eventually the opening seems some sort of hybrid French.
3.Nf3 Bb7 4.Bd3 d5 5.e5 Ne7 6.c3 c5 7.0–0 Nec6 8.Re1 Ba6
For sure we're blazing new trails here.
9.Bc2… [9.Bxa6 Nxa6 10.Qa4± seems to pose more problems. But, saving the Bishop is reasonable.]
9...Be7 10.a3=… [Perhaps, the more agressive... 10.a4 0–0 11.Na3 keeps an edge for White.]
10...Nd7 11.Nbd2 g5 12.g4?... -/+ This is a stinker. It weakens the Kingside unnecessarily. Black has no real attack. But, how should White find a place for his King's Knight?... [12.dxc5 bxc5 13.c4 d4 14.Ba4 is complex and maybe slightly better for White as Black is the one who has damaged his own structure with no safe home for his King.]
12...h5 of course.... Black has a large advantage.
13.h3 hxg4 14.hxg4 Rc8?! I see no reason for Black to deny himself the option to castle queenside. Better was...[14...Qc7 15.Nf1 0–0–0-/+ and Black has a very strong attack.]
15.Nf1 Qc7 16.Bb1?... This loses. Simple and equal is...
[16.Bd3 Bxd3 17.Qxd3= White is equal... only because Black is not castled queenside.]
16...cxd4 17.cxd4 Bxf1 18.Rxf1...
Black to Move and win!
18...Ncxe5! (either Knight will do) 19.dxe5 Nxe5 20.Kg2?... a bad move in a bad position. Let's look at the options...
[20.Nxe5 Qxe5 21.Re1 (Watching this game, I thought the following was best... 21.f4 gxf4 22.Bxf4 Qxb2! This is the move I missed... Black is winning easily due to the threat of Bc5+. 23.Ra2 Bc5+ 24.Rf2 Bxf2+ 25.Kg2 Qd4 and White can resign.) 21...Qh2+ 22.Kf1 Qh3+ 23.Ke2 Qxg4+ 24.Kd2 Qf4+ 25.Ke2 Qe5+ 26.Kd2 Qf6 27.Rf1 Black has three pawns and an attack for the piece. It is just a matter of time... but, White can hope.]
20...Nxf3 21.Kxf3 Rh3+ Now, It is hopeless.
22.Ke2 Qc4+ 23.Bd3 Qxg4+ 24.Kd2 Rxd3+ 25.Kxd3 Qe4+ 26.Kd2 Rc4 0–1
It is ironic... Marc is the greatest advocate of development I know... see his book, Mayhem in the Morra... yet look at White's development here. A very nice game by GM Gelashvili and deserving winner of Game of the Week.
Boston (0 – 1)
1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 Denys heads for an advanced French... with Black a tempo down... somehow this doesn't make much sense... yet, it is theory.
4.dxc5 e6 5.a3 [5.Nf3 Bxc5 6.Bd3 tests Black's theory. White goes for development a tempo up.]
5...Nc6 6.Nf3 Bxc5 7.b4… The point of 5.a3... I guess... and still book. But, I don't like this much. The game is now equal.. . maybe better was...
[7.Nc3 f6 8.Bb5 But, this whole a3... line seems passive.]
7...Bb6 8.Bb2 Nge7 9.Bd3 Ng6 10.g3 f6?!
Just because White dares Black to play this... is no reason not to... or, so Denys's reasoning seems to imply. In truth, this is probably equal... but in an edgy way. I would prefer White. Other possibilities were... [10...h5 11.h4=; 10...0–0 11.0–0=]
11.Bxg6+?=/+ and White goes wrong almost immediately... chucking his best piece for Black's not so good Knight. [11.exf6 gxf6 12.Nc3 is slightly better for White.]
11...hxg6 12.0–0 Kf7 [12...g5 13.exf6 gxf6 14.Qd3 Kf7= Black has more control of the center and space.... but, far less King security. The game is balanced and it is a matter of taste as to who one prefers.]
13.h4=/+… Evidently, White thinks he is attacking. But, this is just loosening. Development was the way to go. Black is better.
13...Bc7 14.Re1 Rh5 15.exf6 gxf6 16.g4 Re5?! Wow! Who needs equality?
17.g5?... This is a bit much... Better was taking the material and suffering a bit.
[17.Nxe5+ Nxe5 (17...Bxe5 18.Bxe5 Nxe5 19.Nd2 Qh8 20.f4 Nc6 21.Nf3+– Black does not have enough for hte exchange.) 18.Nd2 Qh8 19.Kg2 Is this what Black missed? the h-pawn cannot be taken. 19...Qxh4 20.Rh1 Qg5 21.Rh7+ and the Bishop falls.]
17...Rxe1+ 18.Qxe1 e5-/+ Black has a nice advantage.
19.b5?... [19.Nbd2 is best... When in doubt... develop.]
19...Qd7! Exxxcellent (see Mr. Burns, Simpsons TV show).... But what about Black's Knight you say?
20.Nbd2… [20.bxc6 Qg4+ well, that wasn't too hard to see. 21.Kf1 Qxf3 White is losing major material. 22.Qe3 Qh1+ 23.Ke2 Bg4+ 24.f3 Bb6 25.Qd3 Qg2+ 26.Kd1 Bxf3+ mate in 20!!]
20...Qg4+ White is lost.
21.Kf1 e4 22.bxc6 exf3 23.Qe3 bxc6 24.c4 Ba6 25.Nxf3 Bxc4+ 26.Ke1 Re8 0–1
Boston (1 – 1)
Well, that goes to show the value of a shocking move... i.e., 16....Re5?! Nice game Denys... and, finally, after your 5th Black in 6 outings... I think we can safely say you've had enough practice on defense. The problem is... Do you still remember what you play as White?
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5… No surprise here... Vadim's trusted anti-Sicilian.
3...d6 4.0–0 Bd7 5.c3 Nf6 6.Re1 a6 7.Bxc6 Bxc6 8.d4… a known pawn sacrifice. Also possible was... [8.d3 e6 9.Nbd2=; or, 8.e5 dxe5 9.Nxe5 Qd5 10.Nxc6 Qxc6=]
8...Bxe4 9.Bg5 Bg6 10.Nbd2… This is, indeed, one of those strange gambits. Black is struggling for equality, as he does in all sicilians, but, he has an extra pawn... and White doesn't seem to have a dangerous attack... as, for example, in the Morra.
[10.d5 Qd7 11.Nbd2 Rd8 12.Qb3 Qb5 Black is slightly better.]
10...Qc7 11.Nc4… We're out of book here... but no worse. Black has an edge. Previously played... [11.Bxf6 gxf6 12.d5 also, with an edge for Black.]
11...e6?! I don't like this move... although it is no less than equal. But, Black can try for advantage... [11...d5 12.Ne3 0–0–0 Although White has some compensation.]
12.Bxf6… [12.d5 gains equality. 12...0–0–0 (12...e5? 13.Nfxe5 dxe5 14.Rxe5+ Kd8 is a disaster for Black.) 13.dxe6 d5 14.Nce5 fxe6 15.Nxg6 hxg6 16.Rxe6 Qf7 17.Re2 with few pieces left... it looks like a draw... but an endgame guy like Vadim would enjoy the White side.]
12...gxf6 13.d5 e5 [slightly better is.. . 13...0–0–0 14.Nh4 to eliminate the two Bishop edge. (14.dxe6 fxe6 15.Rxe6 Bf7 loses an exchange.) 14...Kb8 and Black has a very slight edge.]14.Nh4 b5 15.Ne3 Bh6 16.Qf3 Bg5 17.Nhf5 Qd7 18.h4?! [Immediate counterplay on the queenside seems best... 18.a4 Bf4 19.Ng3= is less weakening.]
18...Bf4 19.Ng3 h5 20.a4 Ke7 21.axb5 Bxe3?!= [21...axb5 22.Rxa8 Rxa8 23.Nxh5 is better for White.; Taking the other Knight was best as it eliminates the attack on the h-pawn. 21...Bxg3! 22.Qxg3 axb5 23.f4 Rhg8 Black is a little better... White still doesn't have his pawn back.]
22.fxe3 axb5 23.Rxa8 Rxa8 24.Rf1?=/+ a bit eccentric... simple equality was best...
[24.Nxh5 Qf5 25.Qxf5 Bxf5 26.Ng3 Bh7=]
24...f5 25.Nxh5 Rh8 26.Ng3 Rxh4 27.Nxf5+ Qxf5 28.Qxf5 Bxf5 29.Rxf5 Ra4
Black is the only one with chances here. -/+ (1.00)
30.Rf2 Ra1+ 31.Rf1 Ra2? missing a chance to go to a fine King and pawn ending... which looked to all of us to be winning for Black.... let's see...
[31...Rxf1+ 32.Kxf1 e4! going after the d-pawn.
Analysis Position after 32...e4!
33.Kf2 Kf6 34.b3 c4! assuring the d-pawn weakness. 35.b4 Ke5 36.Kg3 f5 37.Kf2 (37.Kh4 f4 wins easily.) 37...Kxd5 38.g4 fxg4 39.Kg3 Ke5 40.Kxg4 d5 41.Kg5 Ke6 42.Kg4 Kf7 Black tries to get the opposition. 43.Kg3 (43.Kf5 d4 wins for Black.) 43...Kg6 44.Kf4 Kf6 45.Kg4 but the opposition does no good. The game is a draw.]
32.Rf2 f6 33.b4? This loses a pawn.
[33.g3 Kf7 34.Kg2 is better for Black but White has chances to hold.]
33...Ra3? not the most convincing way to win the pawn. Best was...
[33...Ra1+ driving the King away. 34.Kh2 (34.Rf1 Rxf1+ is a winning version of the previously analyzed endgame.) 34...cxb4 35.cxb4 Rd1 36.e4 giving up the d-pawn is hopeless. 36...Rd4
Analysis Position after 36...Rd4
Is Black winning?
37.Ra2 Rxe4 38.Ra7+ Kd8 39.Ra8+ Kc7 40.Ra7+ Kb6 41.Rd7 Rxb4 42.Rxd6+ Kc5 43.Rxf6 Rd4 Should be winning for Black. But.... it is a Rook endgame,]
34.bxc5 dxc5 35.Rb2 Ra5?=
[35...Kd6 36.e4 Ra4! 37.Rxb5 (37.Re2 Rc4 38.Re3 f5!) 37...Rxe4 38.Rb6+ Kxd5 39.Rxf6 Re3 Black has winning chances.]
36.e4 Kd6 37.Rf2 Ke7 38.Rb2 Kd7 39.Rf2 Ra3 40.Rb2 Rxc3 41.Rxb5 Rc4 42.Rb7+ Kd6 43.Rb6+ Kd7 44.Rxf6 Rxe4= The game is a draw.
45.Rc6 Rc4 46.Kf2 Rd4 47.Rxc5 Kd6 48.Ra5 Rxd5 49.Ra6+ Kc5 50.Ke3 Rd4 51.g3 Kd5 52.Ra5+ Ke6 53.Kf3 Kf5 54.g4+ Rxg4 55.Rxe5+ Kxe5 56.Kxg4 ½–½
Boston (1.5 – 1.5)
Now, it was all up to Ilya... who, once again, had the match in his grasp.
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 0–0 5.Nc3 d6 6.Nf3 c6 7.0–0 Qa5 8.e4 e5 9.h3 Nbd7 10.Re1 exd4 11.Nxd4 Nb6 A bit of a surprise... usually, Black plays... [11...Ne5 which seems to force the awkward.... 12.Bf1=]
Now, White has the option of harassing the Queen.
12.Nb3 Qh5 13.g4?!=… This seems to weaken White's structure and allow equality. Better would be to move to an endgame with... [13.Qxh5 Nxh5 followed by either... 14.Na5 or, (14.Bf1 with a small advantage... 14...Re8 15.Bd2 a5 16.c5) ]
13...Qe5 We were all expecting a Black sacrifice here...
[13...Bxg4 14.hxg4 Nxg4 Black has some compensation... but, White's has many options... for example... 15.Qd3 Qh2+ 16.Kf1 f5 17.Qh3 Nxc4 Black has three pawns for the piece... +/= (0.35) is the computer eval... is it enough?... I guess it depends on your technique... I call it unclear.]
14.f4 Qe7= We'll give a slight ad to White with more space. But, as Ilya shows, pawns are needed for defense... and they can't move backward.
15.Bf1?!... maybe a very slight mistake. I think White should just sit tight and over-defend his pawns with... [15.Qd3 and if... 15...Be6 16.Na5 a Knight on the rim is dim... except when it ties the opponent down. 16...d5 17.exd5 cxd5 18.cxd5 Rad8=]
15...Nfd7 When I saw this move, I thought that it just can't be right. Black needs to finish development and he was given that chance. That said, the game is still nearly equal. perhaps better was...[15...Be6 when the computer gives a wild equalizing move... 16.Nd5 (16.f5 Bxc4 17.g5 Nfd7 18.f6 Nxf6 19.gxf6 Bxf6 wins a piece, but seems too dangerous. Let's call it dynamically equal as Black has 3 solid pawns and a weak White King to attack.) ]
16.Be3 Re8 White is better.... more space and complete development.
17.Qd2= [17.Qc2 would lessen the affect of Black's next move.]
17...g5! an exclamation only because of its shock value... and the guts to play it. Is it valid... let's see...
18.c5?... a return shocker... but, not good. Best was...
[18.e5 and if... 18...dxe5 19.fxg5 White is much better. He threatens Ne4...]
18...gxf4 19.Bxf4 dxc5 Black has a pawn and the e5 square.
20.Qf2 Be5 [20...c4 21.Nd4 Ne5µ keeps the pawn and the tactics seem better for Black.]
21.Be3 [21.Bxe5 Qxe5 22.Rad1 with only a small advantage to Black.]
21...Qf6= 22.Nxc5 Nxc5 23.Bxc5 Nd7 24.Be3 Nf8 [24...Qxf2+ 25.Kxf2=]
25.Rad1 Ng6 26.Bxa7 Nh4…
[26...Qh4 wins the exchange by force... 27.Bd4 (27.Qxh4 Nxh4 White is losing the exchange with an even worse position. 28.Bc5 Nf3+ 29.Kf2 Nxe1 30.Rxe1 Rd8) 27...Bg3 28.Qf6 Qxf6 29.Bxf6 Bxe1 White does not have enough for the exchange.]
27.Rd3?... White is losing... he had to play...
[27.Be2 Be6 28.Bd4 Bxd4 29.Rxd4 Qe5 And it is White with the extra pawn... but still far from a win. +/=]
27...Rxa7 28.Qxa7 Nf3+ [28...Bd4+ 29.Qxd4 Nf3+ 30.Rxf3 Qxd4+ Should win for Black, but is still a tough middle/endgame. White has Knight, Rook, and pawn for the Queen.]
29.Rxf3 Qxf3 30.Bg2 Qg3 31.Re3 Qh2+ 32.Kf2 Rd8
Although this should win... it is not the strongest. And that keeps White fighting.
[32...h5! gets the other Bishop into the game. 33.g5 (33.gxh5 Kh8 is not possible.... as Rg8 will be the end.) 33...Qf4+ 34.Rf3 Qd2+ 35.Kf1 Be6 Wins for Black.]
33.Ne2 Rd2? This is only equal. Black misses the spectacular shot...
Analysis Position after 33... Bxg4!
[33...Bxg4! 34.Qa5 (34.hxg4 Qh4+ 35.Ng3 Rd2+ 36.Kf1 Bxg3 and it's over.) 34…b6! 35.Qxb6 Rd2 36.Ke1 Rd6 37. hxg4 Qh4+ and Black wins]
34.Qa5 Rd7 35.Qb4 Rd6 36.Rf3 Kg7 37.b3 b5 38.Qe1 Bf6 39.Kf1 Be5 [39...b4! 40.Qxb4 Ba6 Wins for Black... any time Black gets the White squared Bishop into the game he is better.]
40.Qh4 f6 [40...h6 would prevent White's next -/+]
41.g5 b4?? But now, this should lose...
Position after 41...b4?
Do you see the Winning move?
42.gxf6+=… This is just equal.
[42.Qh6+! Kf7 (hopeless is 42...Kg8 43.gxf6 Rxf6 44.Rxf6 Bxf6 45.Qxf6) 43.Qxh7+ Ke8 44.Qg8+ Kd7 45.Qg7+ Kd8 46.gxf6 Rd1+ 47.Kf2 Bd6 48.Qg5 Kc7 49.f7 Bf8 50.Qf4+ Qxf4 51.Nxf4 Up 3 pawns... White is winning.]
42...Bxf6 43.Qg3+ Qxg3 44.Nxg3 Ba6+ 45.Kg1 Rd1+ 46.Bf1 Bd4+ 47.Kg2 Rd2+ 48.Kh1 Bc8 49.Rd3 Rxd3 50.Bxd3 Bxh3 51.Kh2 Be6 52.Nf5+ Bxf5 53.exf5 Kf6
Even in pawns and Bishops of opposite colors... the draw is certain.]
54.Kg3 Kg5 55.f6 Kxf6 56.Bxh7 Ke5 57.Kf3 Bb2 58.Ke3 Kd5 59.Kd3 Kc5 ½–½
Boston ( 2 – 2)
So much for winning won games. It ain’t over ‘til it’s over, a famous NY’er once said. But, I’m not giving up on the season. After all, CON lost and “I want to be a part of it”… So, “Start Spreading the….. News!”... two, three, four… put your tap shoes on and come on down to…
Harvard SOCH building, 59 Shepard St. Cambridge, MA, Tuesday, 8:30pm
For the Blitz vs San Francisco Mechanics…
Now, Let’s see… how does that go?...
I… Left… My… Heart…. Do-do-dee-do… dee-do…
I know you know the words…