Monday, 5 February 2018

Game 89 - club match. Weald of Kent v Swale

Weald of Kent vs Swale - Fuller Cup - Board One
Monday 5 February 2018
White: J. Hart-Dyke (140) - Black: K. Nevols (157)

One week later we were back in Cranbrook - same venue, different competition, same opponent, different colours.
And a very different game.

1. d4 f5
2. c4 Nf6
3. Nc3 e6
4. a3!?

Unexpected but White has a clever plan.

4. ... Be7
5. Nf3 d6
6. Qc2

Your Generated Chess Board

And this is it. White is trying to play e4 and places the queen on c2 to assist this. Often the queen then gets harassed by a knight going from c6 to b4, which in turn also hits a pawn on d5 should White advance there. The early a3 stops this and the queen can sit contently on c2.

I have to admit that this unsettled me and I thought long and hard here on how to meet 6. .. O-O 7. e4. I did not like 7. .. fxe4 8. Nxe4 as White could later have some pressure down the e-file. The real 'Dutch move' would be 7. .. e5 where a general exchange of pawns might open up the position with White's king still in the centre but a pawn up.

After 7. ... e5 White's best is 8. exf5 and Black can then choose between 8. .. e4 9. Nxe4 Bxf5 or 8. .. exd4 9. Nxd4 Nc6 10. Nxc6 bxc6 - neither of which looks promising. The computer recommends 8. .. Qe8 but just 9. Be2 seems to consolidate for White.

Instead I decided to develop a piece into the centre - the idea being to meet e4 with e5. Also to sacrifice a pawn temporarily to block White's central initiative.

6. .....   Nc6
7. d5 Ne5
8. Nd4 c5
9. Nxe6 Bxe6
10. dxe6 O-O

This was the position I had foreseen after 6. .. Nc6. Although a pawn down I thought I would have time to mop up that pawn on e6 and perhaps get an initiative going with the knights.

White could now play 11. Nd5 but Black has an interesting reply 11. .. b5!? with 12. Nxf6+ Rxf6 13. cxb5 d5 or 12. b3 bxc4 13. bxc4 Rb8.

11. Bf4

A slightly weaker move than 11. Nd5 which now allows me to gain some initiative.

11. ...  Ng6
12. e3 Nh5

After a long think, which left me only 25 minutes for 23 moves - and my opponent had 29 minutes so neither of us were playing particular quickly.

13. g3 Nhxf4
14. exf4 Qc8

Your Generated Chess Board

15. Be2?

White decides to give the pawn back but I think both of us overlooked 15. Qe2 Rf6 16. Bg2 and I can't take the pawn on e6 because of Bd5. So 16. .. Kf8 17. Bd5 and White has an overwhelming position.

15. ....   Qxe6

It was a relief to get this back in the bag.

16. O-O Bf6

Now with 21 minutes left but both of us speed up. (Well, we had to!). White has the better position because of Black's weak pawn on d6.

17. Bf3!

Grabbing the h1-a8 diagonal, controlling the d5 square, and preparing to take the e-file. What more could you want from a move?

17.     Qd7
18. Rad1 Bxc3
19. Qxc3 Ne7

I wanted to get my knight to the c6 square and perhaps d4. Also the knight is doing nothing from its present location.

20. Qe3 Rac8
21. Rfe1

Your Generated Chess Board

21. ....Rfe8?

A mistake. Black should play 21. .. Rf7 which looks ugly but stays on the board. Or 21. .. Rc7 which is a crafty defence based on 22. Qe6+ Qxe6 23. Rxe6 Nc8. I did not see either of these moves as it made sense to keep the rooks connected. Sometimes the most natural move is not the right one.

White wins a pawn by force.

22. Qe6+ Qxe6
23. Rxe6 Nc6
24. Rxe8+ Rxe8
25. Rxd6

Although I am a pawn down, this is somewhat negated by the fact that White has doubled f-pawns, so I still had some chances of a draw. Black could play 25. .. Rd8 with 26. Rxd8+ Nxd8 or 26. Rd5 Rxd5 27. Bxd5+/cxd5. In each case, White has the better chances.

Instead I decide to keep the rooks on and see if I could exchange some pawns - but end up losing another one.

25. ...    Re1+?
26. Kg2 Rb1
27. Bxc6 bxc6
28. Rxc6 Rxb2
29. Rxc5 Rc2
30. Rxf5 Rxc4
31. Ra5 Rc7

Your Generated Chess Board

And this was the position I had foreseen when playing 25. .. Re1+. White is two pawns up but my rook seems well placed for defence.

32. Kf3 Rc3+

After I played this I began kicking myself - as 32. .. Re7 seemed obvious to prevent the king coming over to the queenside. But White has 33. Rd5 or 33. Re5 and is still better.

33. Ke4 Rc7
34. Kd5 Rc2

A bit of a risk. Giving up the a-pawn to go after the kingside pawns. But I could not just sit still.

35. Rxa7 Rxf2
36. Ke6 Re2+

Obviously 36. ... Rxh2??? walks into 37. Ra8 mate.

37. Kf5 Rxh2

OK, so that's one back. White would be advised to advance the a-pawn and, with the king, shepherd the kingside pawns forward. My king is hopelessly placed.

38. g4 Rc2
39. g5 Rc5+
40. Ke6 Rc8

Your Generated Chess Board

Forced. I need to get my rook behind his king again.

41. a4 Re8+
42. Kf5 g6+
43. Kg4 Re1
44. Kf3 Rh1
45. a5 h5

I felt uncomfortable with this but it got another pair of pawns off the board.

46. gxh6 Rxh6

47. a6 can be played to exploit the edge in time but while he was thinking I thought that 47. Ra6 wins with 47. .. Kg7 48. f5 Rh3+ 49. Kg4 followed by Rxg6+. 47. .. Kf7 would be better and 48. f5 Rh5! 49. fxg6+ Kg7 50. Kg4 Rd5! This would remind me of a Kasparov v Short game 1993 where Kasparov, two pawns against none, nearly allowed what the commentators said was 'a theoretical draw'. I don't know if I could have held it.

Your Generated Chess Board

47. Re7?

Inwardly I breathed a sigh of relief.

47. ....   Rh5
48. Re5 Rh7
49. Kg4 Ra7
50. f5 gxf5+

With less than five minutes on my clock, I stopped writing down the moves. Now we were down to just the a-pawn but I raced my king over to the queenside and my rook on the b-file managed to trap the White king on the a-file. We moved backwards and forwards a few times before conceding that the game is a draw. A fortunate escape.

This was my only game for Swale in the Fuller Cup - and the team got to the final where they drew the match but lost on board count. Thanks to this draw - the team were undefeated, as they were to remain so all season.

Weald of Kent v Swale

James Hart Dyke (140) 1/2-1/2 Keith Nevols (157)
David Warrick (107) 1/2-1/2 Andrew Gillard (107)
Clive Oram (106) 1-0 Anthony Fletcher (88)
Ian Latuskie (62) 0-1 Barry Sawyer (83)

Weald of Kent 2-2 Swale

Monday, 29 January 2018

Game 88 - club match. Weald of Kent v Swale

Weald of Kent vs Swale - Harvey Cup - Board Two
Monday 29 January 2018
White: K. Nevols (157) - Black: J. Hart-Dyke (140)

1. e4 e5
2. Nf3 d5?!

This is known as the Elephant Gambit. I had seen it before but knew absolutely nothing about it. White can play 3. Nxe5 where Black can reply with 3. .. Bd6, 3. .. dxe4 or 3. .. Qe7. I opted for the other way to take the pawn.

3. exd5

My logic was that after 3. .. Qxd5 4. Nc3 I was not doing too badly. Black could play 3. .. e4 4. Qe2.

3. ....  Bd6

I later discovered that this is the Elephant Gambit 'proper'. White is expected to play 4. d4 e4 5. Ne5 Nf6 6. Nc3 O-O 7. Bc4 with advantage. I did not know any of this and so just wanted to get the pieces out quickly.

4. Bb5+ Bd7
5. Bxd7+ Nxd7
6. Qe2 Qe7
7. d3

So far so good. I did not intend to defend the pawn on d5. My idea was to develop an attack to exploit the gain in time which Black would be using up in regaining the pawn.

7. .....  h6
8. Nc3 Ngf6
9. O-O O-O
10. Re1 Rae8

Your Generated Chess Board

I had expected the other rook to go on to e8 as Black looks quite boxed in. Now I was well placed to start my attack.

11. Nh4!

Heading for the f5 square.

11. ...Nxd5?

Best for Black would be 11. .. Bb4 both to pin the knight and allow some space for the queen, although White could force it away to the edge with 12. Nf5 Qc5 13. Be3 Qa5 14. Qf3! defending the pawn on d5 and threatening Nxh6.

After the text, White can win material by force.

12. Nf5

If 12 ... Qf6 then 13. Nxh6+ gxh6 14. Nxd5 Qg6 15. Bxh6! Qxh6 16. Qg4+ and White comes out two pawns up.

12. ......Qe6

And now the other way to win material.

13. Qg4 Qg6

If 13. .... g5 then 14. Nxd5 Qxd5 15. Nxh6+ or the immediate 15. Bxg5.
If 13. .... g6 then 14. Nxh6+ Kh7 15. Nxd5 and White is a piece and a pawn up.
Black had a long think on this move, leaving 34 minutes for 22 moves.

14. Qxg6 fxg6
15. Nxd6 Nxc3

15. .. cxd6 16. Nxd5 and White is a piece up.

16. Nxe8 Nd5
17. c4!

This resource helps me retrieve the knight.

17. ....   Nb4
18. Nxc7

Your Generated Chess Board

18. .....Nc5

I had expected 18. ... Nc2 to get some material back, but after 19. Be3 Nxa1 20. Rxa1 I would still be a piece up.

19. Rxe5 Ncxd3
20. Re8 Nc2
21. Rxf8+ Kxf8
22. Rb1

OK, here is the plan. I am a rook and a pawn up. Black intends to use those knights to cause mischief and maybe find a fork or two. I had to get one of them off the board.

22. ......  Nd4
23. Be3 Nc6
24. Ne6+ Kf7
25. Nc5 Nde5
26. Nxb7 Nd3

After 26. .. Nxc4 I had intended 27. Rc1 N4e5 28. f4.

27. Nc5 Ne5
28. Rc1 a5
29. Bf4 Ng4
30. Rd1 Nf6
31. Rd6 Ne7
32. Ra6

Well, why not go after that pawn? Black decides to advance on the kingside.

32. ..... g5
33. Be5 Ng4
34. Bc3 Nf5
35. h3 Nf6


Your Generated Chess Board

36. Bxf6 gxf6
37. Rxa5 Nd4
38. Ra7+ Kg6
39. Nd3 h5
40. c5 Kf5
41. Nb4 Kf4
42. c6 g4
43. hxg4

Nothing wrong with the immediate 43. c7 - just being over-cautious.

43. .....  hxg4
44. c7 g3
45. fxg3+ Kxg3
46. Ra3+

Another overcautious move - 46. c8(=Q) is OK - but this is just to push the king away. Black now resigned.

Weald of Kent v Swale

Paul A Talsma (199) 1-0 Keith Hyde (166)
James Hart Dyke (140) 0-1 Keith Nevols (157)
Oleg Lyakh (104) 0-1 Vytautas Gedminas
David Warrick (107) 1-0 Tyrone Jefferies (116)
Clive Oram (106) 1/2/1-2 Andrew Gillard (107)
Geoffrey Broadhead 0-1 Duncan Marsh (100)

Weald of Kent 2.5-3.5 Swale

Saturday, 27 January 2018

Game 87 - County U-160 Championship - Kent v Middlesex

Kent v Middlesex - Board One
Saturday 27 January 2018
White: K. Nevols (157) - Black: P. Kennelly (158)

A re-match - we had played in Brent for the first Middlesex v Kent match where I had held a draw.

1. e4 e6
2. Qe2 c5

My anti-French moves to a closed Sicilian.

3. Nc3 Nc6
4. f4 d6
5. Nf3 Be7
6. g3 Nf6
7. Bg2 a6

Black delays castling and decides to advance on the queenside.

8. O-O Qc7
9. d3 b5
10. e5

I could have played this move on either of the last two moves but wanted to complete my development. Now I intended 10. .. dxe5 11. fxe5 and then perhaps Bf4.

Your Generated Chess Board

10.  ...  Nd7?!

But this is a mistake. White can now grab the initiative before Black has castled.

11. exd6 Qxd6

After 11. ... Bxd6 I had considered 12. Ne4 Be7, where I would have calculated the merits of 13. f5, and also whether 12. Ng5 would get anywhere.

12. Ne4 Qc7
13. f5!

I gave a lot of thought to this move. Black's best would be to decline the sacrifice with 13. .. e5 keeping lines closed. And then 14. Nc3 Nf6.

13. ....  exf5?
14. Bf4 Qd8
15. Nd6+ Kf8

Your Generated Chess Board

This was the position I had foreseen when playing 13. f5. I considered 16. Ng5 but could not see how to follow after 16. .. Bxg5 overlooking that White has 17. Bxg5 Qxg5 18. Qe8 mate, so Black would have to play either 17. .. f6 18. Bxc6 or 17. .. Nf6 18. Bxc6.

So after 16. Ng5 Black has to play 16. .. Qb6 then 17. Ndxf7 gets the pawn back and retains a strong attack.

Instead I decide to bring another piece into the attack.

16. Rae1 Nf6

Black needed to play 16. .. Ra7! to reduce White's tactical possibilities. Now White wins with 17. Ng5 - opening up an attack on the c6 knight. The attack is overwhelming. One line is Bxd6 18. Bxd6+ Qxd6 19. Bxc6! (19. .. Qxc6 20. Qe7+ Kg8 21. Qf7++; 19. .. Ra7 20. Qe8+).

But .... I simply do not see all this.

17. Nxf7? Kxf7
18. Ng5+ Kg6
19. Bxc6 Ra7

So material is now level but White is still better. How should he continue? I saw (or thought I saw) a combination to finish it off - and did not see that 20. Bb8 wins the exchange.

20. Nf3? Bd6
21. Bxd6 Qxd6
22. Ne5+ Kh6

Your Generated Chess Board

And now I was going to play 23. Nf7+ .... until I saw that the a7 rook was protecting that square. D'oh!!

Silently kicking myself, I tried to see how to continue. Could I still attack his exposed king? Yes - is the answer.

23. Qe3+ g5 24. Bd7!! Qd4 25. Qxd4 cxd4 26. Bxf5 and I am a pawn up. I did not see 24. Bd7 at all. And began to get worried that my pieces were getting vulnerable.

23. Qd2+ g5

White should play 24. h4 but I was worried about the Black rooks coming to the g-file and the Black queen pointing at g3.
However White still wins in this line. 24. ... Rg8 25. hxg5+ Rxg5 26. Kg2! or 25. .. Kg7 26. gxf6+. or 24. .. Kg7 25. Qxg5+ Kf8 26. Qh6+ and a strong attack with either 26. .. Kg8 27. c4! or 26. ... Rg7 27. g4!

Unable to see all this - or be brave enough to try it - I consolidate my position.

24. Qg2? Kg7

Perhaps Black feared Qh3+ or was relieved that he looked like getting out of this alive .. but 24. .. Re7! and he takes over the advantage. 25. Nf3 Rxe1 26. Nxe1 Ng4! 27. Qf3 Qd4+ 28. Kh1 Qxb2 - and it is now Black who has the pawn lead.

25. Qd2 h6

With this move Black offered a draw which I accepted with a heavy heart. The position is indeed now equal but I had the sense that I had missed winning chances - and I was right.

Thursday, 25 January 2018

Game 86 - club match. Swale v Tunbridge Wells

Swale vs Tunbridge Wells - En Passant Cup - Board Two
Thursday 25 January 2018
White: R. Goodfellow (159) - Black: K. Nevols (157)

I had met my opponent before in my debut for Rochester (Game 46) and had a very good position before losing a rook ending. I anticipated another tough battle.

1. e4 d5

Not many people play 1. e4 these days but I get a chance to wheel out the Scandinavian again.

2. exd5 Qxd5
3. Nc3 Qa5
4. h3!?

An unusual move intended to shut the bishop out of g4 and allow the knight on f3 to avoid being pinned.

4. .....  Nf6
5. Nf3 Bf5
6. Bc4 e6
7. O-O c6
8. d4 Bb4

A familiar set-up for myself. I just need to castle and then develop the queen's knight. If 9. Bd2 then Bxc3 10. Bxc3 Qc7.

Your Generated Chess Board

9. Ne2!

But this is a good move which I underestimated. White exploits the fact that his queen's bishop is not yet developed and so can relocate the knight to leave Black's bishop just hitting air.

9. ...   O-O
10. Ng3 Bg6
11. Qe2

I was concerned about a White Bf4 which would leave my own bishops short of squares. Also c3 with Re1 and ideas of sacrifices on e6 are always a concern (although nobody has actually tried this against me yet). But 11. .. Nbd7 developing Black's last piece is fine.

11. .....  Nd5

While this knight holds the centre, it does allow White's h-pawn to run.

12. c3 Bd6
13. Ne5 Qc7
14. h4!

Not liking 14. .. Nd7 15. h5 Bf5 16. Nxf5 exf5 17. Nxd7 Qxd7 18. Qf3 I decided the bishop had to go.

14. ...   Bxe5
15. dxe5 h6
16. h5 Bh7
17. f4

White has built up a good position and tying Black down on the kingside. He will now force the exchange of my white squared bishop which will allow him to seize control of the b1-h7 diagonal

17. ....  Nd7

Your Generated Chess Board

18. Ne4 Bxe4?

I saw no alternative as I could not allow the knight to get to d6. However, 18. .. b5 is better. 19. Bb3 Bxe4 20. Qxe4 Nc5 would allow Black to eliminate White's white squared bishop - and 19. Bxd5 exd5 20. Nd6 f6 just about holds on. It is a mistake for Black to let go of his white squared bishop and allow White to keep his in this position.

19. Qxe4 Nc5
20. Qc2

20. Qd4 hitting the loose knight is interesting and if 20. .. b6 White could consider 21. Rf3. I would probably have played 20. .. Nd7 intending to exchange the queens with Qb6.

20. ...   Rfd8

A natural development to double the rooks while White thinks of something to do. 20. .. Qb6 21. Kh1 Qd8 22. Qf2 Qe7 is equal - with 23. f5 being answered by 23. .. Ne4.

21. Bd2 Rd7
22. a4?!

White may well have considered 22. b4 as the d7 retreat square is now blocked to push the knight back to a6. But he now has a plan to relocate the bishop. However I manage to counter with a strong attack.

22. ..   Rad8
23. Rad1? Nb6

I did not see 23. .. Nxa4 winning a pawn (24. Qxa4 Nb6 25. Qa5 Nxc4 26. Qxc7 Rxc7 27. Bc1). Instead I thought I was winning a pawn another way.

24. Ba2!

I only considered 24. Bb3 and gobbled up the pawn.

24. .....  Ncxa4
25. Rf2 Nc5
26. Bb1 Nd3

This is what I had been banking on. Now I am a pawn up with a well-placed knight.

27. Rf3

Now things were getting complicated. I am targeting the b-pawn.

27. .....  Nc4
28. Bc1

Your Generated Chess Board

28. ....   Qb6+?

28. .. Ndxe5! wins another pawn for nothing. 29. Qh7+ Kf8 leads nowhere. White has to play 30. Rff1 when 30. ... Qb6+ 31. Kh1 Nd3 keeps the advantage,

29. Kh2 Ncxb2?

Not only missing another chance to play 29. .. Ndxe5 but losing all the advantage.

30. Bxb2 Qxb2??

Three blunders in a row. Black had to play 30. .. Nxb2 when after 31. Qh7+ Kf8 32. Qh8+ Ke7 33. Rxd7+ Rxd7 34. Qxg7 when, according to the computer, the position is equal, although White's h-pawn would worry me.

That would be better than just losing a piece!

31. Rfxd3

The game is now lost. Exchanges are forced which leave me with two pawns for the bishop.

31. ....    Qxc2
32. Bxc2 Rxd3
33. Rxd3 Rxd3
34. Bxd3 b5

Your Generated Chess Board

White finds the correct plan to bring the king over and consolidates. There is nothing Black can do.

35. Kg3 Kf8
36. Kf3 a5
37. Ke4 Ke7
38. Kd4 a4
39. Kc5 Kd7
40. Kb4 Kc7
41. c4 a3
42. Kxa3 bxc4
43. Bxc4 Kb6
44. Kb4 c5+
45. Ka4 Kc6
46. Ka5 Kd7
47. Kb6 f6
48. Kxc5

I could have resigned several moves earlier but now did so. One of my worst games of the season.

Swale v Tunbridge Wells

Keith Hyde (166) 1/2-1/2 C Lucjan Karpinski (164)
Keith Nevols (157) 0-1 Russell Goodfellow (159)
Vytautas Gedminas (130) 0-1 Hugh Tassell (135)
David Page (122) 0-1 David Tidmarsh (132)
Tyrone Jefferies (116) 1/2-1/2 Thomas Stevens (128)
Dennis Simpson (109) 0-1 Stephen Bond (116)

Swale 1-5 Tunbridge Wells

Thursday, 4 January 2018

Game 85 - club match. Swale v Weald of Kent

Swale vs Weald of Kent - Harvey Cup - Board Two
Thursday 4 January 2018
White: K. Nevols (157) - Black: M. Horner (108)

1. e4 e6
2. Qe2

My standard anti-French.

2. ....  b6
3. Nc3 Bb7
4. d3 Be7
5. f4 h6?!

Black delays the development of the knights. Not sure why.

6. Nf3 d6
7. g3 Nbd7
8. Bg2

I gave some thought to 8. Bh3 with f5 in mind to try to take advantage of the lead in development. But the opposing bishop on b7 might give some tactical opportunities for Black and that concerned me.

8. .....   h5!?

The second move of the h-pawn and Black shows his hand - he intends to attack the open position on the White kingside. I had seen this interesting plan after my own move, and had decided that I would try to get the king over the other side quick.

Your Generated Chess Board

9. h3

In order to meet 9. .. h4 with 10. g4.

After playing this, I did wonder if 9. Be3 might have been better, preparing to drop back to f2 if necessary. Black could follow with 9. .. Bf6 and 10. .. Ne7 - so the bishops would be well placed even if the knights are not.

The computer knows no fear and recommends 9. O-O and meeting 9. .. h4 with 10. Nxh4 Bxh4 11. e5. But in principle I do not like castling when the opponents' h-pawn is halfway down the board.

9. ....   Nf8

This reminded me of the earlier game against Rainham where Black placed his knights on the back rank prior to a kingside pawn storm. Time to continue development.

10. Bd2

My preference to Be3 - this defends the knight against any Bf6 plans - and I could get the option to play Bc3 myself.

10. ....   c5

We are now in a sort of closed Sicilian position that I like.

11. O-O-O

By now I had used up 27 minutes and had 48 for the next 24 moves - the next two White moves invest thirteen more minutes as I try to find a plan.

11. ....    Bc6
12. d4 Nf6

My problem is how to attack. I could base plans around d5, e5 or f5 but could not decide.

Your Generated Chess Board

- 13. e5 dxe5 14. dxe5 Nd5 did not look much.
- 13. d5 exd5 14. exd5 Nxd5 is a pawn sacrifice but with nothing to show for it - although White could throw in 15. Ne5!? dxe5 16. Nxd5 (16. .. Bxd5? 17. Bc3) with some pressure for the pawn. (I did not see this at the time).
13. f5 exf5 14. exf5 opens up some diagonals and after 14. .. Qd7 there is 15. dxc5 bxc5 16. Bf4! and White has a strong initiative.

Being unable to choose between three plans, I decide to choose none of them.

13. Rhe1

The computer now recommends 13. .. Ng6 to get some play and try to castle, or 13. .. a6 to prevent a future Nb5.

13. ....   N6d7

I am well-positioned to open up the centre and so get on with it.

14. d5 Bb7
15. e5! dxe5
16. dxe6

Opening up the d-file although 16. Nxe5 might be stronger, with threats around Nxf7 and/or Nb5. Then 16. .. Nxe5 17. fxe5 Qc8 (to defend the bishop and get off the d-file) 18. d6 Bd8.

16. .....  Nxe6
17. Nxe5 Bxg2

After 17. .. Nd4 there is 18. Qf2 with Be3 to come.

18. Qxg2 Nxe5
19. Rxe5

The rook is well-placed here to come to d5 or threaten an f5 push. Black decides to sacrifice a pawn to get some king safety - although 19. .. Kf8 might have been better towards this objective. If Black plays 19. .. Bf6 then White keeps a big advantage 20. Rd5 Qc8 (20. .. Qc7? 21. Rxc5) 21. Qe2 Kf8 22. Rxh5 Rxh5 23. Qxh5 g6 24. Qd5.

Your Generated Chess Board

19. ...  O-O?!

20. Be3 is a good alternative but I like to grab a pawn when I see it.

20. Rxh5 Bf6
21. Qe4

Never any harm to threaten mate in one.

21. ....   g6
22. Rd5 Qe7
23. Qf3?!

23. f5 is much better. If 23. .. Ng5 then 24. Qxe7 Bxe7 25. f6 picks up the knight on g5, and 23. .. gxf5 24. Rxf5 Ng7 25. Qxe7 Bxe7 and White consolidates his pawn lead. I did not want to change queens at this point.

23. ....  Rad8

Black wants to exchange off the active rook. 23 .. Nd4 or 23. .. Nc7 might have been an improvement.

24. Rxd8 Rxd8??

24. .. Qxd8 is required with Nd4 coming up. But this move loses material.

25. Nd5 Rxd5
26. Qxd5 Nd4

Your Generated Chess Board

At last, Black reaches this square but with less pieces it lacks the firepower and the knight now becomes a target for attack. Having said that, Black is now down a pawn and the exchange so advice is difficult.

27. Re1 Qc7
28. c3 Ne6
29. f5 Ng5

The final mistake. 29. .. gxf5 30. Qxf5 would have stayed on the board. My first thought was 30. fxg6 Nxh3 or Qxg3 and then I saw Bf4. I also noticed that the queen is now short of squares. After 30. Bf4 it can only go to c8. (30. .. Qd8 31. Qxd8+ Bxd8 32. Re8+) but then I could see how I could take the c8 square away from the queen.

30. Re8+ Kg7
31. Bf4

With his queen now trapped, Black resigned.

Swale v Weald of Kent

Keith Hyde (166) 1/2-1/2 James Hart Dyke (140)
Keith Nevols (157) 1-0 Mark Horner (108)
David Page (122) 1-0 David Warrick (107)
Tyrone Jefferies (116) 0-1 Oleg Lyakh (104)
Kevin French (98) 1/2-1/2 Julian Squiers (90)
Barry Sawyer (83) 1-0 Geoffrey Broadhead (75)

Swale 4-2 Weald of Kent

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Game 84 - club match. Rochester v Tunbridge Wells

Rochester vs Tunbridge Wells - Stevenson Cup - Board Two
Thursday 7 December 2017
White: J. Anstead (164) - Black: K. Nevols (157)

1. f4

This is known as Bird's Opening, named after the 19th century player, Henry Bird. The idea is to control the e5 square, and White's following two moves add to this.

1. ...   d5
2. b3 Nf6
3. Nf3 e6
4. e3 c5

Not knowing a great deal about this set-up I decide to position a sort of reverse-Dutch.

5. Bb2 Nc6
6. Be2

Continuing development with Bd6 or Be7 might be sensible here, but I could not resist putting a spoke in the wheel.

6. ....  d4!?
7. exd4 cxd4

My idea was to hold up White's development and just to be annoying.

Your Generated Chess Board

Best for White is now 8. Bb5 Bc5 and he could think about 9. b4!? or 9. Qe2. Instead White brings his knight into the action with four consecutive moves.

8. Na3 Bc5
9. Nc4 O-O

The computer recommends 9. .. Nc5 10. g3 f6 or even the fun line 10. ... d3 11. Bxd3 Nxf4 12. Bxh7 Rxh7 13. gxf4 leading to a position where both sides could have chances.
10. Nce5 Qb6
11. Nd3 Rd8

I was quite content with my position building up around the d4 pawn, although the bishop on c8 looks like it could be a problem.

12. O-O Nd5
13. Kh1 Ndb4?!

It might be a mistake to exchange off this well-placed knight and 13. .. Be7 or 13. Bd6 may have been better, but I was concentrating on the initiative.

14. Nfe5 Nxd3
15. Bxd3

Your Generated Chess Board

Of course my eyes were now on my kingside defences. If, for example, 15. .. Nb4 then White wins with 16. Bxh7+ Kxh7 17. Qh5+ Kg8 18. Qxf7+ and then 19. Rf3 - or 16. ... Kf8 17. Qh5 Qc7 18. Nxf7.

So I decide to block the diagonal and relocate the bishop to add to the defences, while also offering to exchange the other bad bishop.

15. ...  g6
16. Qe2 Bd7
17. Rf3 Bf8
18. c4

This move surprised me. I had been concerned about a possible g4-f5 attack but instead White opens a front over the other side. I had continually avoided Nxe5 because I did not like the idea of fxe5 which would open the f-file and give White some good squares on f6 and d6 to consider.

18. ....   Bg7
19. Ba3 Qc7
20. Nxd7 Rxd7

Exchanging his well-placed knight for my bad bishop was a deal I was pleased with. However the computer rates it as White's best move.

21. b4 a5

Active defence. I wanted to swap off one more bishop before I could feel safe.

22. b5 Nb4
23. Rb1 Nxd3

The computer prefers 23. .. Bf8 and then 24. Bxb4 axb4 25. Rb2 Bd6 which opens the a-file and centralises the bishop.

24. Qxd3 Re8!

I was quite pleased with this. White's position is slightly un-co-ordinated and a counter offensive in the centre could make some progress.

25. b6 Qc6
26. Qf1

A sign that White was running out of ideas. 26. Kg1 preparing g4 is an option. 26. Bb2 can't be played as it loses the b-pawn. It is also difficult for White to attack the black pawn on a5. 26. Rb5, for example, is met by 26. .. e5 27. fxe5 Rxe5.

The queen drop back is to allow the pawn on c4 to be defended by another pawn.

26. ....  e5

Grabbing the initiative.

27. fxe5 Rxe5
28. d3

Your Generated Chess Board

28. ......   Re3?

Although, at the time, I liked this move, it is a mistake. 29. Rxe3 fxe3 30. Qf4! and the tables are turned with the threat of Qb8+. Black must play 30. .. Rd8 and then 31. Qxe3. Black can get the pawn back by 31. .. Qd7 (32. Re1 Qa4 wins a piece) but any winning chances would be with White.

Black should play 28. ... Qa4!. If 29. Qc1 then 29. ... Re2 exploits White's un-co-ordination. If 29. Rb3 Black can choose between 29. .. Bf8 30. Bxf8 Qxa2 31. Rb5 Rxb5 32. cxb5 Kxf8 - where he is a clear pawn up and a passed-a pawn - or the difficult move to see, the computer move, 29. ... Rd8 planning Rde8 and threats along the top two ranks.

Fortunately White overlooks 29. Rxe3 and my initiative continues.

29. Bc1? Rxf3
30. Qxf3 Qxf3
31. gxf3 Re7

Black is now better and intends the invasion. White decides to counter by queenside play.

32. c5 Re1+
33. Kg2

While 33. ... Bh6? looks like it will win a piece, White has 34. c6! and Black will have to bail out with 34. .. Bf8 35. c7 Re2+ 38. Kh3 Rc2 39. Bf4 - and White has the advantage.

Short of time, I had not considered Bh6 and always intended to use the following tactic to pick up the dangerous pawn.

33. .....  Re2+
34. Kg3 Rc2
35. Bf4

At the time, I was not sure what to do after 35. Ba3 but Black can defend with to do 35. .. Rxa2 and 36. Bb2 Be5+ or 36. c6 Rxa3 with either 37. cxb7 Be5+ or 37. c7 Re3.

35. .......  Rxc5
36. Rc1

Offering a bishop ending a pawn up. Black can decline with 36. .. Rc3 but then 37. Re1 gives White some counterplay.

Your Generated Chess Board

White could have played 36. Re1 with 36. .. h5 37. Re8+ Kh7 38. Re7. Then Black has the great resource 38. ... g5 (which is not possible in the above line after 36. .. Rc3 as the g-pawn would not then be defended) 39. Bd2 Kg6 when 40. Rxb7 Rc2! places the white King in a mating net.

Confident that I would not lose this position, I enter the ending.

36. ....   Rxc1
37. Bxc1

Black is a pawn up and White has isolated pawns. I was not sure I could win but decided to advance the king and see how we go.

37. ..  Bf8
38. Bd2 a4
39. f4?

A mistake - not only blocking the routes for White's bishop but putting it on a square where Black can attack it.

39. ....  Bc5

The computer recommends fixing the f-pawn with 39. .. f5 but I wanted to force his bishop to a poor square.

40. Ba5 Kg7
41. Kg4 Kf6
42. h4

Delighted to see another pawn on a black square. It was not clear how White intended to defend all these pawns.

42. .....  h5+
43. Kf3 Kf5
44. Kg3 Ke6
45. Kf3 f5

Taking a chance. By closing down the queenside, I stopped any avenues for his king but also any way forward for my own.

46. Ke2 Kd5
47. Kd1 Kc6
48. Kc2 Kb5
49. Bd2 Kxb6
50. Kb2 Kb5

Now two pawns up I had to find a way through.

Your Generated Chess Board

51. a3 Bb6
52. Bb4 Bd8
53. Be1 Ba5
54. Bf2 Kc5
55. Ka2 Bd2
56. Bg3

OK, a bit of jigging about and I have forced his bishop out of the game. Time to advance the other pawn.

56. .....   b5
57. Kb2 b4
58. axb4 Kxb4
59. Kc2

Does 59. ... a3 win? I gave a lot of thought to that question .... and the answer is yes. 60. Kxd2 a2 or 60. Kb1 Kb3.

But the other way is good enough too.

59. .....  Bc3
60. Bf2 Ka3

No, that's not right. Go back and try again.

61. Bg3 Kb4
62. Bf2 a3

That's right. White now resigned to end a tough battle.

Rochester v Tunbridge Wells

Keith Hyde (166) 1/2-1/2 C Lucjan Karpinski (164)
Keith Nevols (157) 1-0 Jerry Anstead (164)
Vytautas Gedminas (130) 1/2-1/2 Robin Wilson (163)
David Page (122) 1/2-1/2 David Tidmarsh (132)
Tyrone Jefferies (116) 0-1 Thomas Stevens (128)
Aurimas Liuberskis (110) 1/2-1/2 Richard Woodfield (123)

Rochester 3-3 Tunbridge Wells

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Game 83 - Swale Club Championship 2017-18 - Round Six

Swale Club Championship - Round Six
Thursday 30 November 2017
White: K. Nevols (157) - Black: B. Sawyer (83)

1. e4 g6

Not sure what to make of this so just develop as normal and we get into a King's Indian type position.

2. d4 Bg7
3. c4 e6
4. Nc3 d6
5. Nf3 Nd7

I take the chance to cause a weakness with a tempo.

6. Bg5

The point is that Black cannot now play either knight to f6 because 7. e5 wins material. So I was expecting 6. .. Ne7 after which I was considering 7. Qd2 h6 8. Be3 and Black cannot castle kingside.

6. ....   f6?!

This move blocks in the kings' knight and those four pawns lined up side-by-side just do not look right.

7. Be3 Qe7
8. Qd2

A nice little move which stops Nh6 and holds up Black's kingside development by being unable to move the knight. Black could now consider 8. .. f5, to make some space, or 8. .. a6, to prevent the forthcoming knight move.

8. ..   Qf8?

But this is a mistake. The c7 square is left unguarded and gives me the chance to dislodge the king and get some initiative.

9. Nb5 Kd8
10. c5

The plan is to open up the centre and see if I can get some play against the king. White is not yet fully developed but Black is behind. The computer favours development with 10. Bd3 and castling.

Your Generated Chess Board

10. ....  a6
11. Nc3 Bh6

An unexpected defence is the computer's suggestion of 11....  b5!? 12. cxb6 Nxb6 with Bb7 and Ne7 to come. Probably White should keep developing with 13. Bd3 and then castling.

12. cxd6

Staying with my plan to open up the centre. Black overlooks a check and ought to pay 12. .. cxd6 where I would choose between 13. Bd3 or 13. Rc1.

12. ...  Bxe3?
13. dxc7+ Kxc7
14. Qxe3

So I am a pawn up. Still behind in development, Black decides to run with the king.

14. ...  Kd8
15. Be2

15. Bc4 might have been more aggressive with 15. .. Nb6 16. Bb3 but I opted for the quieter move as I wanted to castle and develop the rooks while the Black king is in the centre.

15. .....   Ne7
16. O-O Ke8
17. d5!

I thought this was well-timed myself. I intend to open some files before bringing the rooks in.

17. ...  e5

And Black opts to keep the files closed. Here I considered bringing the rooks to the c- and d-files but was aware that Black may be aiming for counterplay based around f5 or blockading the d-pawn.

Your Generated Chess Board

18. d6 Nc6
19. Rfd1 Kf7
20. Nd5 Rb8

Of course if 20. ... Qxd6 then 21. Nb6 wins at once.

21. Nc7 b5?

21. .. Nd8 is an attempt at defence but Black is hopelessly behind now.

22. Qb3+

Black resigned. 22. .. Kg7 23. Ne6+ wins the queen.