Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Game 18 - club match. Maidstone vs Swale

Maidstone vs Swale - Board Three
Friday 3 February 2016
White: B. Beavis (151) - Black: K. Nevols

Back to Maidstone and tucked away once again in a small room. The venue was a sports centre and the smell of the swimming pool bought back some horrible memories of school.

Again I found myself facing a highly graded formidable opponent.

1. d4 Nf6
2. c4

I gave a few moments thought to 2. ... c5. I had refreshed on the Benko Gambit and was keen to give it a go but decided in a team game it would not be on to sacrifice a pawn as Black against a 151 opponent - I ought to aim for at least a draw. I now regret this as it could not have been worse than what did happen - and I ended up sac-ing a pawn anyway.

2. .... g6

So instead it is a Kings Indian - but I have now decided to give this opening up as I am never happy with what I get.

3. Nc3 Bg7
4. e4 d6
5. Bg5 O-O

Maybe 5. ... e5 is better.

6. f4 c5
7. d5

Now you can see the reason for my disenchantment with this opening. Just seven moves in and I am already very restricted in space.

(The computer disagrees and comes up with the imaginative 7. ... Ng4! 8. Qd2 Bd4 hitting the weakened e3 and f2 squares. Indeed 9. Nf3 f6 10. Bh4 Be3 wins a pawn. I did not see this at all!)

7. ... Qa5

To threaten Nxe4

8. Qd2 Nbd7
9. Nf3 h6
10. Bh4 Re8
11. Bd3 a6

White is set up very nicely and can take his time castling and advancing in the centre. I decide the only way I can get counterplay is with a b5 advance and sacrifice.

12. a4 b5!?

This is best played before White castles and while the queen's rook is undefended.

13. cxb5 Nb6
14. bxa6 Bxa6

This was the plan. In return for the pawn I get some space and some play. I am now thinking of c4 and then Nfd7-c5-d3. A better plan may have been Reb8-b4.

15. O-O c4?

Fatally giving away control of the d4 square. Although I saw the possiblity of Nd4, I did not think there was a lot that White could do with it. A better line might have been 15. ... Bxd3 16. Qxd3 Nh5. Then 17. g3 cuts out the bishop while 17. Nd2 and Black might get some play with 17. ... Bd4+.

16. Be2 Nfd7
17. Nd4

Now the knight has arrived, I realised that c4 had been a mistake. The immediate threat is Nc6 Qc5; Bf2. So I had to give up the bishop. Best now might be 17. ... Bb7.

17. ... Bxd4
18. Qxd4 Nc5

My knights were beginning to get active and I had high hopes of getting the pawn back.

19. Rb1 Nb3
20. Qe3 Nxa4
21. Nxa4 Qxa4

The queenside seems to be holding together ... but ...

22. f5!

Completely overlooked. White exploits the absence of the bishop to launch the final attack.

22. .    Kh7

If 22....  Kg7 I was concerned about 23. Qc3+ f6 24. fxg6 but this would have been preferable to what happened.

23. fxg6+ fxg6
24. Rf7+ Kg8
25. Qxh6!

White finished in fine style.

25. ... Kxf7
26. Rf1+

My only consolation is that I saw a mate in two (26. Qh7+ Kf8 27. Rf1) and White did not.

26. .... Kg8
27. Qxg6+ Kh8
28. Rf7 Resigns

A shocker! One of those games you like to forget.

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