Chris Bak (1969) vs Johan Sigeman (2164)
Reykjavik Open | ? | 15 Mar 2016 | Round 9
920307
[Event "Reykjavik Open"] [Site "?"] [Date "2016.03.15"] [Round "9"] [White "Chris Bak"] [Black "Johan Sigeman"] [Result "1-0"] [WhiteElo "1969"] [BlackElo "2164"] [ECO "C45"] [Opening "Scotch: 4.Nxd4 Nf6"] 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nxc6 bxc6 6.e5 Qe7 7.Qe2 Nd5 8.c4 Ba6 9.b3 g6 10.f4 Bg7 11.Qf2 Nb6 12.Ba3 d6 13.c5 { A very sharp option that I had looked at before the game.} Bxf1 (13...Bxe5 { is black's best try according to my notes. I was mostly ready for this, although I deemed it very unlikely that my opponent would have known or found it.} 14.fxe5 Qxe5+ 15.Kd1 Qxa1 16.Kc1 Bxf1 17.Rxf1 Rf8 {I had remembered up to this point, knowing only that taking the knight was bad because white will be obliterated on the a-file. Perhaps the correct move is} 18.cxd6 { and this is getting into computer chess territory.} (18.cxb6 axb6 {White can trade queens with Qb2, but I fancy black's chances in the endgame. Otherwise, black is going to grab on a2 with huge pressure, while black's king has plenty of pawn cover.})) 14.Kxf1 dxc5 15.Nd2 {There is no need to capture on c5 until black is threatening to play c4. More important is catching up in development!} Rd8 16.Ne4 Qd7 {I had a strange feeling that I had to take my chance here and play something concrete. I searched for a while but couldn't find anything convincing, so I went for a normal move.} 17.Re1?! (17.Nxc5 Qd4 {is pretty messy. I couldn't find anything concrete here, while the endgame after} 18.Qxd4 Rxd4 19.g3 {is a battle of activity versus pawn structure. If black can strike quickly while white is undeveloped, he should be better, but the immediate f6 fails to Ne6 so white might be OK if not better.}) (17.Qxc5 {is the strongest move. Black is severely restricted, but I rejected this because of} Qd3+ (17...Qe6 18.Qc2 {is also much better for white.}) 18.Kf2 Qd4+ 19.Qxd4 Rxd4 {This endgame is, in fact, a much better version of the endgame after 17. Nxc5. After} 20.Rhe1 $16 {it will be very difficult for black to challenge white's strong pawn centre.}) 17...O-O 18.Bxc5 (18.Nxc5 Qd4 {and it looks like white should be winning something, but I didn't see it. White's main problem is that the black rook on d8 always has a tempo move, either Rd2+ or Rxf4+ to avoid any double attacks.} 19.Nb7 Qxf2+ 20.Kxf2 Rd2+ 21.Ke3 {wins an exchange. I did not see this far in my calculation. Black's compensation is insufficient after} Rxg2 22.Bxf8 Bxf8 $16) 18...Rfe8 {Black is at least equal now.} 19.h4 Qg4 {A very annoying move! How to deal with Rd1?} 20.Rh3 Nd5 (20...Rd1 21.Rf3 Rxe1+ 22.Qxe1 {was my intention.}) 21.Rf3 a6 (21...f6 {Generally, if black can successfully play this, then he should be at least equal. I think this was his only chance.} 22.exf6 (22.f5 {would be ideal if not for} Rxe5) 22...Nxf6 $11) 22.Bd4 { Now f6 is not possible. My opponent starts to drift here, unable to find a good plan.} Bh6?? {A losing move. It's often a good idea to consider the space "left behind" by a move. Black's last move adds pressure on f4, but more importantly removes pressure from e5. If this point is observed, then the winning move will at least enter white's consciousness.} 23.g3? {A bad move in the sense that it's not 23. f5, but white solidifies and keeps a large advantage.} (23.f5 $18 {White simply runs over black. A sample line is } Bg7 24.e6 f6 {Stockfish recommends the mysterious 25. Kg1, but a more human move is} (24...fxe6 25.f6 {is even worse.}) 25.Nc5 {adding some protection to e6 with an overwhelming position.}) 23...Bg7 {Perhaps my opponent had seen the possibility of white pushing f5. Or maybe he just intended to provoke g3 and go back.} 24.Kg2 {I wanted to play g3 and Kg2 anyway, so I was grateful for the free tempi!} Qf5 25.Qb2 Qd7 26.Nc5 Qg4 27.Rf2?? {It looks like white has all the time in the world to come up with a plan, but this allows a surprising resource, after which the evalation swings in blac's favour. 27. Qf2 is the computer recommendation.} Ne7 $15 {Whoa! Suddenly Nf5 is coming, with threats on d4, h4 and g3! White cannot defend all the squares in two moves! Part of the reason is that the white knight no longer defends g3. Perhaps black's apparently mindless back-and-forthing had a purpose?! I spent a large chunk of my remaining time trying to find a solution. At one point I thought I was losing, but then I saw something.} 28.Qc3 Nf5 29.Rd2 {I knew I had to give up the h4-pawn, but it took me a while to find the idea of freeing f2 for the king. If not for that, Nh4-f3 would be devastating.} Nxh4+ 30.Kf2 Nf5 31.Red1 {Now I was very happy with my position. Black grabbed a pawn, but in that time white has reached almost perfect coordination.} Rd5 32.Qf3?? { This was my plan from one move ago, but I failed to realise that this blunders a whole piece!} (32.Nxa6 {and I was afraid of} g5 {which creates huge complications. White can get away with greed:} 33.Nxc7 (33.Qf3 {is the safe option.}) 33...gxf4 34.Nxe8 {with a complete mess, but white is objectively OK.}) 32...Qxf3+ 33.Kxf3 Red8?? {Neither had my opponent! He had five minutes left to my one, but he was clearly nervous and was blitzing as quickly as me!} (33...Nxd4+ 34.Rxd4 Rxc5 $19 {and white resigns.}) 34.Bc3 {What I had seen is that the knight is not hanging because of the pin on the d-file. Fortunately my brain did not connect this theme to the position two moves ago. Both of us were oblivious to the fact that black could have won the game immediately, which was good for both of us from a psychological perspective!} Bf8 35.Nxa6 {White now has a winning position.} Ba3 36.Rxd5 {This gives black a passed pawn to play with, but practically speaking I think this is a good decision. I saw that I could contain the pawn very easily, especially given the proximity of my king. I was probably right.} cxd5 37.Nxc7 d4? { A natural move to make in time pressure, but the pawn is far too weak on d4. The rest is easy.} (37...Ne7 {would have been more resilient because it's much harder for white to attack the pawn. The knight gets kicked with Rd7 and black can fight for a long time. I have no doubts that white is winning though. }) 38.Be1 Ne3 39.Rd3 Bc5 40.Nb5 h5 41.Bf2 Nf5 42.Ke4 {A remarkable position. The d4-pawn is hit by every piece on the board except the black king! And so the pawn shall fall, and with it black's small hope of saving the game.} Kf8 43.Bxd4 {#r} 1-0
1-0
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