Themes relating to alternation in the endgame, and some tactical maladies

Jan 31, 2011, 10:33 PM |
This game was played OTB last week at the Berkeley Chess club. The time control was G/90, with 30 minutes being added after each side had completed 30 moves. I was white, and opened with the non-descript 1. Nf3. I think my opponent might have been familiar with the Gruenfeld, and hence played d5. But I managed to kick his knight around, and settle for a Benoniesque formation with central pawns and space, giving him a queenside majority. Some tense and unclear moments ensue in the early middlegame, where my intention was to kick his pieces around a little, and to attain f4. I managed to stir up some positional complications with a pawn sac (which was rejected) in order to trade off his dark squared bishop on the long diagonal. Apparently, this is met with success, as the long diagonal B is traded off, and I set my central majority in motion. Also, as we have seen in so many games, the queen is superbly placed on the long diagonal, which then helps in creating some tactical threats. However, as is often the case in my games, I mistakenly choose static endgame advantages over the more immediate dynamic possibilities, only to give him counterplay. But it seems that white's position is able to stand it and trades are forced (quite nicely, I would say), following which white has a very pleasant endgame with an excellent bishop. Also, the central passers render black completely immobile watching over them. The resulting endgame was a exercise in fixing pawns on the color of the bishop, then using the passer as a decoy, and grabbing the fixed pawns. But even here, we shall see that inaccuracies were committed.