Thursday, 16 February 2017

Game 53 - club match. Swale v Hastings

Swale vs Hastings - Fuller Cup - Board One
Thursday 16 February 2017
White: J. Wheeler (151) Black: K. Nevols (134)

1. d4 f5

After deciding to give up the Kings Indian, I had decided to give the Dutch a try as my main defence to d4. My logic is that as White, I often end up playing f4, so why not try with f5? I purchased Simon Williams' DVD 'Killer Dutch' and went through the main principles of the opening.

Playing Black against a strong player, dare I give it a try? I decided I might as well - the only way you can learn from your mistakes is to make those mistakes in the first place!

2. e4

But White takes it into the Staunton Gambit. As luck would have it, I had seen the chapter regarding off-beat responses to the Dutch and decided to give Williams' suggestion  a try.

2. ....   fxe4
3. Nc3 Nf6
4. Bg5

This is the main line. Now 4. .. d5? is a mistake. 5. Bxf6 exf6 6. Qh5+ g6 7. Qxd5 Qxd5 8. Nxd5 forking c7 and f6.

4. ....  c6

But this is the move suggested. The point is to give the pawn back, exchange the dangerous bishop, and fortify the centre. By the amount of time he now thought, I do not think White has come across this before.

5. Bxf6 exf6
6. Nxe4 d5
7. Ng3

The knight is slightly offside here. 7. Nc3 and continuing to develop may have been more accurate. I now gave some thought about exchanging queens and entering an equal position. 7. .. Qb6 did not appeal due to 8. Qe2+ Be7 (8. ...  Kf7!?) 9. O-O-O and I am behind in development.

7. ....   Qe7+

The queen exchange is now forced. If Ne2 or Be2 then Qb4+ picks up a pawn.

8. Qe2 Qxe2
9. Bxe2 g6

Developing the bishop to g7 or h6, and limiting a white knight.

10. Nf3 Bd6

But I changed my mind. As White is missing his queen and dark-squared bishop I thought I would take some control.

11. O-O

I was pleased to see this move as I was a little apprehensive about 11. h4 and tried to calculate whether I could play 11. .. Bg4 or meet a future h5 with g5.

11. ....   Be6

To get the king safe.

12. Rfe1 Kf7
13. Bd3 Nd7

I felt comfortable now and continued with the defensive development.

14. Nf1 Rhe8
15. N1d2 Re7

The computer recommends starting a queenside offensive 15. .. a5!? I did not consider this.

16. h3 Rae8
17. c4

This was the purpose of White's knight relocation, to start a queenside offensive.

17. ...   dxc4

Now White could try 18. Rxe6 Rxe6 19. Bxc4 Nb6 20. Bxe6+ Rxe6 21. Re1 and a level position.

18. Nxc4 Bc7

Now White has an isolated queen pawn and Black's task will be to see how to play against that.

19. a4

Protecting the position of the knight.

19. .....  Bd5

Here 19. .. Nb6 could be better and then either exchanging a pair of knights or moving a horse to the d5 square.

20. Rxe7+ Rxe7
21. Nfd2 Nb6
22. Ne3 Be6

A similar idea to the last note but a long way round. I was trying to find the best squares for my pieces in anticipation of a White offensive.

23. Ne4 Rd7

Recommended is 23. .. Kg7 24. Nc5 Bc8

24. a5 Nc8
25. Nc2 Nd6?

Now 25. .. b6 is necessary to challenge the a-pawn and cover the c5 square.

26. Nc5 Rd8

White can take an advantage by 27. a6! with the following:

- 27. ....  bxa6 28. Nxe6 Kxe6 29. Nb4 Kd7 30. d5!
- 27. ..... b5 28. Nxe6 Kxe6 29. Nb4 Kd7 30. Rc1 ( ... Nc4 31. Bxc4 dxc4 32. Rxc4 Re8 33. g3 Re6 hanging on)
- 27. ..... b6 28. Nxe6 Kxe6 29. Nb4 c5 (29. ... Kd7 30. Rc1) 30. Re1+! Kf7 31. Rc1.

Fortunately he overlooks this possibility.

27. Nxe6? Kxe6

Another opportunity for 28. ..... a6 - still good but not as strong as before as Black now has the defence 28. .. Rb8.

28. b4

To my surprise, White now offered a draw! In the match, I knew we had won one game and were winning in another, and a draw would therefore seal the deal. Added to the fact that I had (in my opinion) the worse position and he was a stronger player than I. So I gladly accepted.

Agreed Draw.

The computer rates the final position as equal giving, as one line, 28. .. Kf7 29. g3 Nb5 30. Bc4+ Kf8 31. Bxb5 cxb5 32. a6 bxa6 33. Rxa6 Bb6.

Swale v Hastings

Keith Nevols (134) 1/2-1/2 James Wheeler (151)
Tyrone Jefferies (116) 0-1 Marc Bryant (141)
Andrew Gillard (113) 1-0 Umberto Jozwiak (78)
Anthony Fletcher (74) 1-0 Harry Stephens (60)

Swale 2.5-1.5 Hastings

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