Swale vs Medway - Fuller Cup - Board One
Thursday 27 October 2016
White: P. Foster (126) - Black: K. Nevols (134)
First match of the season.
1. e4 d5
2. exd5 Qxd5
3. Nc3 Qa5
4. d4 Nf6
The main line for the Qa5 Scandinavian.
Normally here I play 5. .. c6 but I decided to try something different. Sometimes 5. .. c6 leads to 6. Ne4 Qc7 7. Nxf6 exf6 which is OK but does not secure the d5 square like the opening usually does with pawns on c6 and e6. I asked myself, do I really need to play this so early?
5. .... Bf5
So instead I continued with development. My intention now after 6. Ne4 was to play 6. ... Qb6 and then 7. Nxf6 Qxf6. Next could be 8. Nf3 e6 9. Bg5 Qg6 or 8. Nf3 Qb6 9. Bc3 e6. The queen moves waste time but Black could stay solid. I might try this out some time.
Instead White keeps the option of the discovered attack.
6. .... c6
I decided I had tempted fate too much and that I would note the above for a later study. If 6. .. e4 7. Ne4 Qb6 8. Nxf6+ gxf6 9. Bc3 the computer recommends 9. .. Nc6 with castling queen side.
7. Bc4 e6
8. O-O Bb4
9. a3 Bxc3
10. Bxc3 Qc7
Now we are back into a familiar position. White has the edge with 11. Ne5 and the two bishops.
Some time ago I looked at lines where White plays d5 before Black has castled and thus the e-pawn is pinned. But I've got to castle some time.
11. . O-O
12. Nh4 Bg4?!
Playing 12. .. Bg6 might be better. After the text, White now has the option of 13. f3 Bh5 14. g4 Bg6 15. Nxg6 hxg6 16. Qd2! with the possibility of Bb4 or Ba5 working up an initiative while Black's queen's knight is still not yet developed.
Instead White undevelops the bishop which gives up some of his advantage.
13. ... Bxe2
14. Qxe2 Nbd7
Now the position is completely equal.
15. Nf3 Nd5
16. Bd2 h6
I was a bit worried about Ng5 and everything piling up on the e6-point so decide to pre-empt this.
Black often encourages this move because now the d4 pawn is undefended and can be attacked by a pile-up of rooks on the d-file followed by a c5 move.
17. .... N5f6
18. Bc3 Rad8
19. Rad1 Rfe8
Securing the centre and considering operations elsewhere. White could consider playing 20. Ne5 - nothing is immediately threatened but the knight looks good there.
20. h3 Qb6
Glancing towards the queenside - however I wonder if 20. .. Qf4 is worth a thought to activate and possibly exchange the queen. 21. Bd2 Qf5 22. Nh4 Qc2 23. Bb4 Qxe2 24. Rxe2 Nb6 is one line.
21. Qd2 Qb3
Noticing the loose c-pawn and deciding to be annoying. Now if 22. Qd3 then I quite liked 22. .. Nc5.
22. Qe2 Nf8
Clearing the d-file and planning to come to g6. Although if White now plays 23. Ne5 Black does not have much better than putting either knight back on the d7 square.
At this stage, I was struggling to see now I could get an advantage.
But this surprised me. White has consistently avoided playing Ne5 and now decides to rotate the knight round to the e4 square expelling the queen at the same time. However I decide to take the opportunity to either exchange queens or move the queen over to the kingside.
23. .... Qc2
If now 24. Nf3 then 24. .. Qxe2 25. Rxe2 Ng6. White will have to play 26. g3 and I could try 26.... Rd7. Then if 27. Ne5 Nxe5 28. Rxe5 Red8. Still equal but thinking of plans around a c5 move or Nh7-g5.
White avoids the exchange and allows me to place the queen in a more active position.
24. ... Qf5
25. Nf3 Ng6
I now went off to get a drink and came back for a serious ponder. I immediately saw White could not play 26. g4 and tried to think how I could build up an attack against the king. Could I play Nf4? Would h5-h4 be any good? Can I somehow get the rooks over? Is Kh8 with Rg8 and g5-g4 as daft as it looks?
White's best here is the solid 26. Qe3. If 26. .. Nf4 (with the threat of Nd3) then 27. Nh4 would be a mistake (27. .. Qg5 28. Qg3 Qxg3 29. fxg3 Nd3 or 28. g3 Nxh3+ 29. Kg2 Qxe3. 28. Nf3?? is an early nighter with 28. ... Qg2 mate). So after 26. ... Nf4 then the belated 27. Ne5 is the better option - defending the d3 square. Black may well then play 27. .. Ng6 and offer the draw.
While I was satisfied that I would be unlikely to lose from here, I was still struggling to see how I could get the advantage and unbalance things. My thoughts were interrupted when he played the move I had already ruled out.
Simply loses a pawn.
26. ... Nxg4
Now White would be well advised to say 'oops' and play 27. Qe4 to exchange the queens. Black would then have to prove he could win with the extra pawn.
Instead another pawn goes - and although my knight has gone, I could see how I could get it back.
27. ... Qxg4+
28. Kh1 Nf4
This is what White has overlooked. Black threatens the queen and also Qg2 mate. If 29. Rg1 then simply Qh3+ picking up the queen next go. To defend against the threat, White has to let the knight go and become reconciled to the fact that he is two pawns down.
29. Qf1 Qxf3+
I now tried hard to see if I could finish the game immediately - and simply did not see 30 .. Nd3 forking the rooks which may well have forced resignation. (If 31. Re3 then 31. ... Qf4+. Had White played 30. Kg1 then the Nd3 option would not have been possible due to 31. Re3 Qg4+ 32. Rg3).
30. ... Qh5+?!
However I am two pawns up and now my thoughts are to consolidate that lead by exchanging pieces. I also had to beware of a possible attack by his pieces along the open g- and h-files. I settled down for what I thought would be a lengthy process to get over the line.
31. Kg3 Qg5+
32. Kf3 Ng6
Withdrawing the knight to safety and adding to the defence. I could see he was intending to run his king over to the queenside.
33. Ke2 e5!
Opening lines while his king is in the centre. 34. exd5 Nxd5 threatens a killer discovered check while 34. .. Rxd5 is even better with 35. Bxe5 Rd2+ 36. Kf3 Nh4+ 37. Ke4 f5 mate.
34. Kd1 exd4
Now three pawns up.
35. Rxe8+ Rxe8
Obviously 36. Bxd4 walks into 36. .. Qg4+.
36. . ..Qf5
Although White's king is now safe, Black is three pawns up and White decided to resign.
I was quite pleased with this win - my rather dull defence placed me in no danger, always with a draw in hand, and providing White with a temptation he was not able to refuse.
Swale v Medway
Keith Nevols (134) 1-0 Paul Foster (126)
Ian Lappin (125) 1-0 Alan Evans (87)
Karl Lewis 1-0 (90) 1-0 Isaac Oluwole (87)
Ted Vidyartmi (60) 0-1 Barry Hampton (83)
Swale 3-1 Medway