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.

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Game 82 - club match. Rochester v Maidstone

Rochester vs Maidstone - Stephenson Cup - Board Two
Thursday 23 November 2017
White: A. Wisman (151) - Black: K. Nevols (157)

1. b3

Larsen's Opening. The plan is to simply fianchetto the queen's bishop, point it at where the White king might be, and gradually build up in the centre.

1. ...  e5
2. Bb2 d6

Not knowing much about this opening, I decide to set up the system I usually use against the English. However, as I cannot really move my kings bishop to g7 at some stage, it might have been wiser not to play this move which also limits its options.

3. e3 f5
4. d4 exd4
5. Qxd4 Nc6
6. Bb5 Bd7
7. Qd2

7. Qf4 is interesting. Black cannot immediately attack the queen and it might prove to be a pain situated there.

7. ....  Nf6
8. Nc3 a6
9. Be2 Qe7

Your Generated Chess Board

White has a clear edge in development and I was having a problem developing my king's bishop. One issue at a time - so I decide to get my king out of the way by castling queenside.

10. Nh3!

A knight on the rim is usually, so they say, a bit dim - but this deployment is quite effective, planning to come to f4 and peer at the d5 and e6 squares in the Black camp.

10.    ...   O-O-O
11. Nf4

It was time for a big think over the options. White is set to use those white squares - d5 and perhaps e6 - with a forthcoming Bc4. And I am still having problems developing that bishop on f8.

I considered 11. .. Ne4 12. Nxe4 fxe4 where White could keep up the pressure and advantage with 13. Nd5 or 13. Bc4 or by just castling. (And the computer likes 13. h4!? to keep the f4 knight where it is).

I also took a look at sacrificing a pawn with 11. .. d5?! 12. Ncxd5 Nxd5 13. Nxd5 Qf7 and freeing my pieces with a later Be6 or Bb4.

In the end I selected a move which would stop Bc4.

11. ....  Ne5
12. Ncd5 Nxd5
13. Nxd5 Qf7
14. O-O-O

Adding to the pressure on the centre and the game was getting very uncomfortable.

If 14. .. Be7 White wins with 15. Qa5! b6 and then there are lots of checkmates after 16. Qxa6+ Kb8 17. Nxc7!! (17. .. Kxc7 18. Qa7+ where there is quite a nice mate after 18. .. Kc6 19. Bb5+ Kxb5 20. Qa4+ Kc5 21. Ba3++ or 19. ... Kc5 20. Ba3+ Kxb5 21. Qa4++).

Or 17. Nxb6 cxb6 18. Qxb6+ Ka8 19. Rxd6! Bxd6 20. Qa6+ Kb8 21. Qxd6+ Kb7 22. Qa6+ Kc7 23. Be5++.

The quiet 14. .. Re8 is met by 15. Qa5 Bc6 and White can keep building up.

Perhaps the best move is the steady 14. .. Kb8 or the retreating 14. .. Nc6 where 15. Bc4 can be met with 15. ... Be6. Instead, in such a difficult position, it is no surprise that I make a mistake.

14. ... Be6?

My initial thought was that he can't play 15. Bxe5 because, after I retake with the pawn, I am opening an attack on his queen - until I realise that the rook on d8 is not defended by his friend because that awkward bishop has got in the way. To my horror I then saw 15. bxe5 dxe5?? 16. Nb6+ which wins on the spot.

(Black can minimise his losses by 16. .. Kb8 17. Qxd8+ Ka7 18. Kb1 cxb6 - with the two bishops Black has some swindling chances - but that is a bit desperate).

As I sunk into deep thought, I managed to discover the only way to get out of this - but it would mean shedding a pawn, and entering an ending.

15. Bxe5 Bxd5
16. Qxd5 Qxd5
17. Rxd5 dxe5
18. Rxe5

Your Generated Chess Board

OK - a fresh evaluation. I am a pawn down and behind in development. However now I can get my bishop out and try some counterplay.

18. ...  Ba3+
19. Kb1 Rd2

If 20. Bd3 Rxf2 21. Bxf5+ Kb8 22. Be4 and White is still a pawn up and now has a passed pawn.

He goes the other way allowing me to keep the f5 pawn and prevent a passed pawn. If I could exchange all the queenside pawns then a 4v3 on the kingside must give me chances of holding a draw.

20. Bf3 g6

I expected 21. Rf1 to be played now when I planned 21. .. Rhd8.

21. Ra5?

This did not worry me as I had seen that White could not go after that bishop and now I was going to get my pawn back.

21. ...  Bb4
22. Ra4

But he did go after the bishop! Maybe Black would have best played 22. Re5 to give the pawn back and then 22. .. Rxf2 and we are looking like a draw.

22. ......  a5

Trapping the rook - I am about to win the exchange.

23. a3

The computer gives the line 23. Rf1 b5 24. Rxb4 axb4 25. Bc6 Rhd8 26. Kc1 and Bxb5 - so White would have two pawns for the exchange.

White though chooses a sequence where he can get compensation for the exchange by way of an outside passed pawn.

23. ....  b5
24. axb4 bxa4
25. bxa5 axb3
26. cxb3 Rxf2

Your Generated Chess Board

Back in the game - but not over yet. The a-pawn is now three steps from queening and White controls the a8 square. I thought I might have to give the exchange back with Rxf3 to round up the a-pawn and try to be a pawn up in a rook ending - and after a bad defeat earlier in the year, rook endings are now something I try to avoid.

27. Rd1 Re8

Activating the other rook.

28. Rd3 Re5
29. b4 Rb5
30. Rd4 c5!

Better was 30. Rb3 - now I get another pawn.

31. Rd5 Rxb4+
32. Kc1 Rc4+
33. Kd1 Ra2
34. Be2 Rc3

Playing 34. ... Rcc2 may have been more clinical.

35. a6 Kc7
36. Re5 Kd6

With the a7 square covered, the king can move forward to a good post.

Your Generated Chess Board

37. Re8 Rb3
38. Kc1 Rxe2

38. .. Kd7 is considered more accurate with 39. Rh8 Rxe3 40. Rxh7+ Kd6. But it is often hard to resist a piece, and I have made the decision to enter a pawn ending two pawns up.

39. a7 Ra3

The plan was 40. a8(=Q) Rxa8 41. Rxa8 Rxg2 which I am confident I could win. But White decided to resign.

Rochester v Maidstone

Keith Hyde (166) 1/2-1/2 Cliff Chandler (204)
Keith Nevols (157) 1-0 Arnaud Wisman (151)
Vytautas Gedminas (130) 0-1 Robert Lane (149)
David Page (122) 1/2-1/2 Barrington Beavis (147)
Tyrone Jefferies (116) 0-1 David Heath (144)
Aurimas Liuberskis (110) 1-0 Christopher Wise (88)

Rochester 3-3 Maidstone

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Game 81 - Swale Club Championship 2017-18 - Round Five

Swale Club Championship - Round Five
Thursday 16 November 2017
White: K. Nevols (157) - Black: T. Jefferies (116)

I had made a great start in the club championship with four wins but knew this would be a difficult challenge as my opponent is famously tough to beat.

1. e4 e6
2. Qe2

Presently my favourite anti-French move.

2. ....  b6

Black decides to set up a Queens Indian style defence.

3. Nc3 Bb7
4. d3

Whereas I decide to establish a closed Sicilian attack type set-up but without the Black pawn on c5.

4. ....  Nc6
5. f4 Be7
6. Nf3 Nh6!?

An unusual placement of the knight, presumably to keep the future options of f5 and Bh4+.

7. g3 a6
8. Bg2 Bc5

The main difference with the closed Sicilian is that there is no pawn on c5 to stop the bishop taking the square instead. This move stops me castling so I decide to change the bishops.

9. Be3 Bxe3
10. Qxe3 Ng4
11. Qe2 Nf6
12. O-O O-O

Your Generated Chess Board

Black has adjusted his defence and both sides are now developed.

I now think it is time to grab some space in the centre.

13. e5 Ne8?!

After 13...  Nd5 I had intended 14. Ne4 f5 15. Nf2 preparing g4. This could be a bad square for the knight where it blocks the rook and may find itself restricted by the e5 pawn.

14. Ng5

My intention here was just to provoke the h-pawn and then return to base.

14. .....  h6
15. Nf3 Ne7
16. Ne4

Black would now be advised to strike out with d5 and then c5 to grab some space. If 16. .. d5 I would have probably played 17. Nf2 and see if I could make anything out of an offensive based around g4.

16. ....   Nf5?

At this point I saw a nice sequence which would loosen the defences around Black's king. I examined the possibilities carefully and decided play it.

17. g4 Nh4

I had expected this. Going back with 17. .. Ne7 would be rather pointless although perhaps slightly better.

18. Nxh4 Qxh4

Your Generated Chess Board

The computer recommends 19. f5 and then Qe1 to swap off the queens and concentrate on the initiative via the e- and f-files, but I could not resist this small trick.

19. Nf6+ gxf6

Better is 19. ... Nxf6 20. Bxb7 Rab8 21. Bf3 (21. Bxa6 Nxg4) Nd5 and the position is equal - Black's queen is well placed.

Another line is 19. .. Nxf6 20. exf6 Bxg2 21. fxg7 Bxf1 22. gxf8(Q) Rxf8 23. Rxf1 f5! and the ending is anyone's guess.

20. Bxb7 Ra7
21. Bg2 fxe5
22. fxe5

This was the position I had foreseen at move 17. Black's pieces are slightly misplaced, the king is a bit open, and there are chances of using the f-file and the f6 square. I needed to bring the rooks into the action.

22. ....  Qg5
23. Rf3! d6

Of course, if 23. .. Qxg4 then 24. Rg3 wins at once.

24. exd6?!

24. d4 was better - White gives up the pride of his position. After 24. .. Nxd6 the position is equal.

24. ...   Qc5+?!

This helps me - as not only does Black keep his knight on the back rank - considering perhaps coming to g7 - but it clears the g1 square in case I choose to put a rook there.

25. Kh1 Qxd6

Your Generated Chess Board

26. Raf1 c5

Having been nudged to the a7 square through my earlier combination, the rook is well-placed to add to Black's defence. So I decide to zone in on Black's one weakness.

27. Qe3 e5?

Better is 27. .. Qd4! 28. Qxh6 Qxb2 29. Rh3 Qg7 although it is quite understandable that Black would want to defend the h6 pawn. However I was quite pleased to see this move as it gives me the use of the f5 square.

If now 28. Rh3, it is not possible to defend the h6 pawn. 28. .. Kg7 29. g5! Rh8 30. gxh6 Rxh6 31. Rxh6 Qxh6 32. Qxe5+ Kf8 (32. .. Nf6 33. Rg1) 33. Qb8 Re7 34. Be4.

But I decide to go for an immediate win.

28. g5

If now 28. .. hxg5 then 29. Qxg5+ Qg6 30. Qxg6+ fxg6 31. Rxf8+
or 28. .. Ng7 29. Rf6 with Be4/d5 and Rg1 will win.

Black could try 28. .. Qd4 with 29. gxh6 Qxe3 30. Rxe3 Re7 31. Bd5 keeping the pressure on.
Or 28. .. Re7! - not easy to spot but planning to come to e6. 29. Rf6! Re6 30. Rxh6 or 29. gxh6 Kh8! and Black might just about hold.

28. .....   h5
29. Rf5 Re7
30. g6!

The winning move. I can break through on the f-file or come over onto the h-file. If .. 30.. Qxg6 then 31. Rg5.

Your Generated Chess Board

30. ...    Ng7
31. Qh6!

Black has to give up a rook to avoid mate.

31. .....  Qxg6
32. Qxg6 fxg6
33. Rxf8+ Kh7
34. R8f6 Nf5
35. Be4 Kg7
36. Rxb6 Nd4
37. Rg6+

And here Black resigned.