This game from the PanAm Team tournament is my first win against a GM with the Black pieces. Trying to avoid main lines White gets little out of the opening, makes an error near the opening-middle game transition, and then creatively sacrifices an exchange to create complications. Later the material is returned to get to a winning Bishops of Opposite Color (BOC) ending. The game is lightly annotated, trying mostly to convey my thought and feelings during the game and tournament.
1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 g6 3. Bg5 Bg7 4. Nbd2 d5 I play the Grunfeld and see Bg5 on move two or three fairly regularly. I've adopted an early d5 as my response with good results.
5. e3 c5 6. c3 O-O 7. Bd3 It is move seven and we are already down to 15 master strength CC games in the 2013 database with a 50% score.
7... h6 Jacquin had played this line twice before and I do not remember what caused me to choose h6, but I do tend to "put the question" to the bishop as soon a possible. I can not claim a novelty as I found two OTB games with h6. The two previous Jacquin games (given below) continued 7...Qb6 and 7...b6. I was hoping to follow the general ideas of Jacquin-Acevedo Villalba, playing Qb6, e5 and entering an Isolated Queen Pawn (IQP) game.
7... Qb6 8. Rb1 Nc6 9. O-O Re8 10. b4 cxb4 11. cxb4 e5 12. Nxe5 Nxe5 13. dxe5 Rxe5 14. Bf4 Re8 15. a4 Bg4 16. Qb3 Nh5 17. Bg5 Rac8 18. Rfc1 h6 19. a5 Qd6 20. Bh4 Be6 21. Qa4 g5 22. Bg3 Nxg3 23. hxg3 d4 24. e4 Qe7 25. Nc4 Rc7 26. Rc2 Bd7 27. Qb3 Rec8 28. Rbc1 Bb5 29. e5 Qe6 30. f4 Bf8 31. f5 Qd5 32. e6 fxe6 33. fxe6 g4 34. Qb1 Qxe6 35. Re1 Qa6 36. Qd1 h5 37. Bf5 Re8 38. Nb6 Rxc2 39. Bxc2 axb6 40. Bb3+ Kh7 41. Bc2+ Kg8 42. Bb3+ 1/2-1/2 Jacquin,R (2477)-Acevedo Villalba,A (2567)/ICCF email 2005/Corr 2008
7... b6 8. O-O Bb7 9. Qa4 Ne4 10. Bf4 Nd7 11. Rfd1 Ndf6 12. h3 a6 13. Be2 Rc8 14. Qb3 e6 15. a4 Re8 16. Rac1 a5 17. Re1 Bc6 18. Rcd1 h6 19. Nxe4 Nxe4 20. Bh2 Kh7 21. Qc2 Qd7 22. Ra1 Qe7 23. Red1 Red8 24. Ne5 Be8 25. Rab1 f6 26. Nf3 Nd6 27. Ba6 Rc6 28. h4 Kg8 29. Be2 Bf7 30. Bd3 g5 31. Bh7+ Kh8 32. hxg5 hxg5 33. Bxd6 Rcxd6 34. Bg6 g4 35. Ne1 f5 36. Bxf7 Qxf7 37. g3 Bf6 38. Nd3 1/2-1/2 Jacquin,R (2536)-Hoyos Millan,L (2556)/ICCF email 2008/Corr 2011
8. Bh4 cxd4 9. cxd4 Nc6 10. a3?! Qb6 11. b4?! e5! Because of 12...Ng4, I get to play e5 right away without preparing with Re8. White is still not castled and the Rook on a1 is a target as the long diagonal opens. I felt really good about the position here, it seems Black now has the initiative. It is not a big advantage, but about what I want to achieve when playing the White pieces.
12. dxe5 Similar to the game is 12. Nxe5 Nxe5 (12... Nxd4 is interesting but at best a draw. 13. exd4 Qxd4 14. Bg3 Ng4 15. Ndf3 Qc3+ 16. Kf1 Nxe5 17. Rc1 Qb2 18. Rb1)
13. dxe5 Ng4
12... Ng4! 13. Be2 Ngxe5 Another strength for Black in this IQP position is d4 is ready to play, liquidating the IQP, and giving the flexibility to head for a safe position.
14. O-O!? White is offering an exchange, allowing Nxf3+.
14... Bf5 I spent a lot of time on this move. The team had just lost a game due to a flag fall resulting in a search for a replacement player. I have a good position with the possibility of going up the exchange and am very motivated to get our point back.
Taking the exchange does not look very promissing right now. 14... Nxf3+ 15. Nxf3 Bxa1 16. Qxa1 Kh7 17. Bf6 Bf5 (17... a6 18. Rd1 Be6)
18. Rd1 Be4
15. b5!? or maybe ?!, I was surprised. White uses a tempo to hurry my Knight to a good square and pretty much force the win of the exchange. I was reminded I am playing a GM and he is searching for counter play. I know how much I hate defending a worse position for 30-40 moves, so the idea is reasonable. However, we now enter a game where there is a much bigger chance that someone will land a full point.
There are several ways to play after the expected 15. Rc1 I was thinking 15... d4 (15... Nd3 16. Bxd3 Bxd3 17. Re1 a5 18. Qb3 is also good with a very complicated game.)
16. exd4 Nxd4 17. Nxe5 Bxe5 18. Bc4 was best play and while Black is very active, White would have good chances to hold a draw because of the balanced pawn structure.
15... Nxf3+ 16. Nxf3 Bxa1 17. Qxa1 Na5 18. Bf6 Kh7 19. Bc3 Nc4 At this point we can evaluate the exchange sac. My feeling was that the dark square weakness around my King and IQP was not enough compensation. I felt like I had all of the winning chances, but there was enough compensation so it was going to be hard to convert.
20. Nd4 Be4 21. Rc1 Rac8 22. a4 g5 I am playing for a win and while this is aggressive compared to say Rfd8, it also opens g6 for the white-square Bishop if f3 is played.
23. Bg4 f5 24. Bh5 f4 25. exf4 Rxf4 Black's King is a little more exposed, while the IQP becomes a passed pawn. I looked long and hard a gxf5 but it seemed to bog down.
26. g3 Rff8 27. Bb4 Rg8 28. Bf7 Ne5 This gives back the exchange but I did not see any wins in Rg7. However, I was starting to see some promise in the ending after Ne5.
29. Bxg8+ Rxg8 Now we have a series of what appear to be "best moves" leading to the ending I was hoping to reach.
30. Bc5 Qf6 31. Rc3 b6 32. Bb4 Rg7 33. f3 Rf7 34. Qf1 Nxf3+ 35. Nxf3 Bxf3 36. Re3 Qf5 37. Bc3 Kg6 38. h3 Be4 39. Qxf5+ Kxf5 40. Bd4 Rc7 41. Rc3 Rxc3 42. Bxc3 This may have looked promising to White with the BOC, but Black's King penetration is a huge advantage.
42... Bd3 43. Kf2 So while Kf2 is better than g4+, Black eventually goes up a second pawn.
White wants my pawns on Black squares, so 43. g4+ seems a logical try, but winds up creating only passed pawns 43... Ke4 44. Bg7 Bc2 45. Bxh6 Bxa4 46. Bxg5 Bxb5 47. Kf2 d4 and for example 48. h4 a5 49. h5 Bc4 50. h6 Bg8 51. Ke2 a4 52. Be7 b5 53. g5 Bh7 54. Ba3 Kd5 After looking at these positions for awhile you come to the conclusion that the three passed pawns versus two passed pawns positions are lost for White.
43... Ke4 44. Ke1 Bc2 45. a5 bxa5 46. Bxa5 Kf3 47. h4 g4 Black wants to end up with the White Pawns on black squares and Black Pawns on white squares.
48. Bc7 White can not give away the g-Pawn.
48... h5 An important strategic step accomplished
49. Kd2 Ba4 50. b6 axb6 Black only now goes up the second pawn.
51. Kc3 b5 52. Be5 Ke4 Resigns, 53.Bg7 d4+ 54. Bxd4 g4+ wins.
[ Siefring ]