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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Minor Investment

Faced with an offbeat line of the Sveshnikov variation, Black comes up with a pawn sacrifice. The game reaches a strange balance, Black is a pawn down, but in way of compensation has a protected passed pawn and an uncastled White King hinders the coordination of White’s rooks. Black ensures that White will not be able to castle and slowly wrests the game from White. In the end, with the clocks advancing, Black prevents perpetual check as he guides his remaining pawns to the 1st rank.

White – Rasheen de Silva Black – Naditha
Inter Club Super League 2005 Colombo 24th March 2006
B33: Sicilian: Lasker-Pelikan and Sveshnikov Variations

This game was played in the first round and at that time we did not know much about the young team from Galle, Ruhunu Chess Academy except that they had some quite fearless attackers. I was to play Rasheen de Silva, who within the year won the inaugural Galle Majors and played reasonably at the National B. The game was one of the few that went right for me in 2006.

Since our main rivals Passed Pawns and Kandy CC were playing each other we felt an early lead would be useful, as the lack of teams meant that they would play the weaker teams later, when we played the stronger ones. I had seen Rasheen play once before, conducting a good attack against Romesh, so I knew I will have a tough game ahead of me.

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 e5 6. Ndb5 d6 7. Nd5 Nxd5 8. exd5 Nb8 9. Be3 Be7 10. Qd2 a6 11. Na3

In my games Database I found 4 games that have previously reached this position, with all of them ending in victories for white.

Over the Board I was uncomfortable with the White Knight coming to c4 and played 11... b5N ?!
White immediately challenged the control of c4 with 12. c4!
I realized I could not maintain the control of c4 and decided to sacrifice a pawn. 12… f5 13. f3 0–0 14. cxb5 Bh4+ 15. Bf2
The alternate 15. g3 f4 16. Bf2 Bg5 is given as equal by Junior.
15... Bxf2+ 16. Qxf2 e4 17. f4 Nd7 18. Rc1 Nf6 19. Bc4
Junior suggests 19. Qd4 Qa5+ 20. Qd2 Qxd2+ 21. Kxd2 axb5 22. Bxb5 Bb7 that leads to equality.
19... Ng4 20. Qe2
Better is 20. Qd4 axb5 21.Nxb5 (21. Bxb5 Rxa3 22. bxa3 Qa5+ 23. Qb4 Qb6=) 21 ...Qa5+ 22. Nc3 with equality.
20... axb5 21. Nxb5
Qb6 22. Rc3

On 22. h3 Ne3 23. Na3 Qb4+ 24. Kf2 Nxc4 25. Nxc4 Rxa2 gives Black a nice game.
22... Ba6 23. a4 Rfc8 24. h3 Bxb5 25. Bxb5 Rxc3 26. bxc3 Nf6
Junior gives 26... Rc8 27. hxg4 Rxc3 28. gxf5 as the strongest line.
27. c4
27. Qd2 Rc8 28. Ke2 Nh5 leads to equality.
27... Ne8 28. g4
Nc7 29. Bc6 Rb8 30. Rf1??
30. Bb5 Qd4 31. Qc2 Qe3+ 32. Kf1 Qxf4+ 33. Qf2
30... Qd4 31. Bb5 Nxb5 32. cxb5 Rc8 33. Qd2 Qxa4 34. Rf2 Qxb5
Concerned with pawn snatching, I over looked 34... Qa1+ 35. Ke2 Qb1! when white resistance is over.
35. Re2 g6 36. gxf5
gxf5 37. Rg2+ Kf8 38. Qd4 Qb1+ 39. Kf2 Rc2+ 40. Kg3 Qe1+ 41. Kh2 Rxg2+ 42. Kxg2 Qh4

42... Kf7 43. Qh8 Qe2+ 44. Kg3 Qf3+ 45. Kh4 Qxf4+ 46. Kh5 Qg3 47. Qxh7+ Kf6 48. Qh8+ Qg7 49. Qd8+ Ke5
43. Qh8+ Kf7 44. Qc8 Qf6
Not 44... Qxf4?! 45. Qd7+ Kg6 46. Qe6+ Kg5 47. Qe7+ Kh6 48. Qe6+ Kh5 49. Qf7+ Kh4 50. Qxh7+ Kg5 51. Qg7+ Kh5 52. Qf7+ Kh6 53. Qe6+ Kg5 54. Qg8+ Kf6 55. Qe6+ Kg7 56. Qe7+ Kg6 57. Qe6+ Kh7 58. Qf7+ when Black’s King has no shelter from the avalanche of checks. I was looking for a Queen trade and was trying to interpose my Queen into a check with a check of my own.

45. Qd7+ 45... Kg6 46. Qe8+ Kh6 47. Kf2 Qd4+ 48.Kg3
48. Kg2 Qd2+ 49. Kg1 Qxd5 50. Qf8+ Kh5 51. Qe8+ Kh4 52. Qe7+ Kg3 53. Qg5+ Kf3 54. Qg2+ Kxf4 etc.
48... Qe3+

Oops 48...Qg1+ 49.Kh4 Qf2#
49. Kg2 Qf3+ 50. Kg1 Qg3+ 51. Kf1 Qxh3+ 52. Ke1 Qg3+ 53. Ke2 Qg2+ 54. Ke3 Qf3+ 55. Kd2 Qxf4+ 56. Kc2
56. Ke2 Qh2+ 57. Ke3 f4+ 58. Kd4 Qd2+ 59. Kc4 Qd3+ 60. Kb4 e3
56...Qf2+ 57. Kc3 Qc5+ 58. Kb2 Qxd5 59. Qf8+ Kg5 60. Qg7+ Kf4 61. Qxh7 e3 62. Qh4+ Ke5

The next moves were made during the last five minutes of a guillotine finish and the correct sequence of moves could not be reestablished. I remember getting a second queen while a team mate remarked that I over looked both a chance to win the white Queen and failed to spot an illegal move.
0–1

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