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19 Oct 2017

B92 Sicilian Najdorf: 6.Be2 (1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be2 b5 7.a3)

B92 Sicilian Najdorf: 6.Be2 (1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be2 b5 7.a3)

This was played in the fourth and final round of the WORLD OPEN RAPID tournament that was held at the FIDE Online Arena on March 18th 2015. The loss in this game meant that I finished the tournament with two wins and two losses, so not that good of a result but it could have been worse. Admittedly, the games I lost were against stronger players, so in that regard this was quite expected result. While it was me who lost the game, it was not me who first ended up going towards a loss, though only briefly. When my opponent played 11...Rc8, it was a small mistake that increased my advantage from small to a clear one.

Interestingly the best reply to 11...Rc8 is 12.Kh1, according to Stockfish 8 64 POPCNT at depth 36. Moving the king to h1 seems like a useful move to me, but I am not so sure if it is really the strongest move in the position. It does get the king off from the weakened diagonal g1-a7. I played 12.Ncd5 in the game because I wanted to improve the position of my knight and also control the square b6. It just started a couple of exchanges and I ended up having a pawn on d5, which was not what I wanted from the position. The game was fought evenly until my opponent played 29...Rb8.

Moving the rook to b8 is clearly worse than 29...Qb6 because in the game continuation I could have played 30.b4, both protecting the pawn and attacking the queen on c5. Had the queen moved to b6, it would have attacked both the bishop on a6 and the pawn on b2, and I would have been on the defensive, at least for awhile. In the game continuation I could have been the one on the offensive, but I chose to play the much more passive move 30.Rb1 instead. A few moves later I made a horrible move, 33.Kg1, after which I should have been completely lost.

My move was so terrible because the continuation 33...Qe3+ 34.Qxe3 Rxb1+ was possible and I would be down a rook. Luckily for me, Kadusic1963 missed his or hers chance to basically win the game and chose to move the bishop to d8 instead. I then finally traded rooks on b2, which should made the game easier to play for me, but it was with my 35th move Kf1 that I started my final decline towards a loss. My opponent did not play accurately the remainder of the game and one sloppy move on move 38 could have given me a chance, however small, to hold the game. I blundered immediately by playing 39.Bc6 and I continued the struggle all the way to the move 45...Qb4#.

[Event "Tournament 28038750"] [Site "online arena"] [Date "2015.03.18"] [Round "4"] [White "Vierjoki, Timo"] [Black "Kadusic1963"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B92"] [WhiteElo "1819"] [BlackElo "1933"] [Annotator "Stockfish 8 64 POPCNT (30s), TV"] [PlyCount "90"] [EventDate "2015.??.??"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be2 {Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation. Opocensky Variation} b5 (6... e5 7. Nb3 Be7 8. O-O Be6 { Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation. Opocensky Variation Modern Line} (8... O-O {Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation. Opocensky Variation Traditional Line})) 7. a3 {B92 Sicilian Najdorf: 6.Be2} Bb7 8. f3 e5 (8... Nbd7 9. O-O e6 10. Bg5 Be7 11. Qe1 Qb6 12. Qf2 h6 13. Be3 Qc7 14. Bd3 Rc8 15. Rac1 Ne5 16. Nde2 Nc4 17. Bxc4 Qxc4 18. Ng3 b4 19. axb4 Qxb4 20. Rb1 O-O 21. Bd2 Qc5 22. Qxc5 Rxc5 23. Be3 {Belli,A (1511)-Alessandro, S (1666) Gallarate 2015 0-1}) 9. Nf5 (9. Nb3 d5 10. exd5 Nxd5 11. Nxd5 Bxd5 12. Be3 Be7 13. O-O O-O 14. Rc1 Bc4 15. Bd3 Nc6 16. Qe2 Bxd3 17. cxd3 Nd4 18. Qf2 Nxf3+ 19. Qxf3 Qxd3 20. Rc3 Qd7 21. Rd1 Qe6 22. Bc5 Bxc5+ 23. Rxc5 e4 {Sedliacek,P (2090)-Sulko,J (2080) Slovakia 2004 0-1 (39)}) 9... g6 10. Ne3 Nbd7 11. O-O $146 (11. Ned5 Nxd5 12. Nxd5 Nb6 13. Nxb6 Qxb6 14. Qd3 Be7 15. Be3 Qc6 16. O-O O-O 17. c4 bxc4 18. Qxc4 Qxc4 19. Bxc4 Rac8 20. Rac1 Kg7 21. Rf2 f5 22. exf5 d5 23. Bd3 Rxc1+ 24. Bxc1 Bc5 25. fxg6 hxg6 {Mast,H (1741) -Beutelhoff,J (2129) Germany 2011 0-1 (54)}) 11... Rc8 12. Ncd5 (12. Kh1 $5 $16) 12... Bxd5 $11 13. Nxd5 Nxd5 14. exd5 f5 (14... Qb6+ 15. Kh1 $11) 15. Be3 $14 Bg7 16. c3 (16. a4 Rb8 $14) 16... O-O {Black prepares the advance f4} (16... Nb6 17. Rc1 $11) 17. Qd2 (17. a4 $5 $14 {deserves consideration}) 17... Nc5 18. Rad1 Qc7 19. Kh1 f4 {Black wins space} (19... Nb3 20. Qe1 $11) 20. Bxc5 $11 Qxc5 {Opposite coloured bishops appeared} 21. Qd3 Rc7 22. Qe4 Qa7 23. Rd2 Qa8 24. Rfd1 Qc8 25. Rc2 Rc5 (25... Qb7 26. b4 $11) 26. c4 bxc4 27. Rxc4 (27. Bxc4 $5 Qf5 28. Qxf5 gxf5 29. b4 $14) 27... Rxc4 $11 28. Bxc4 Qc5 29. Bxa6 Rb8 (29... Qb6 30. Qe2 e4 $11) 30. Rb1 $4 {forfeits the advantage} (30. b4 $142 Qb6 31. b5 $16) 30... Rxb2 $15 {Deflection: c1} 31. a4 (31. Rxb2 Qc1+ {Mate attack Deflection}) 31... Qa3 (31... Bf6 32. Qd3 $15) 32. Bb5 {A beautiful square!} Bf6 33. Kg1 $4 {forfeits the clear win} (33. Rxb2 Qxb2 34. g3 fxg3 35. hxg3 Kg7 $11) 33... Bd8 (33... Qe3+ $142 {and the result of the game is clear: Black will win} 34. Qxe3 Rxb1+ (34... fxe3 35. Rxb2 Bd8 36. Bd3 $18) 35. Kf2 fxe3+ 36. Kxe3 Rb2 $19) 34. Rxb2 $15 Qxb2 {Black has a mate threat} 35. Kf1 $2 (35. Qd3 $142 $15 {is a viable option}) 35... Bb6 $19 36. Qe2 $4 {the position was bad, and this mistake simply hastens the end} (36. Qe1 Qd4 37. Ke2 $19) 36... Qd4 37. Ke1 (37. Qc2 {does not help much} Qg1+ 38. Ke2 Qxg2+ 39. Kd1 Qxf3+ 40. Qe2 Qh1+ 41. Qe1 Qxh2 42. Qc3 $19) 37... Qg1+ ( 37... Ba5+ 38. Kf1 Qa1+ 39. Kf2 Bb6+ 40. Qe3 Qa2+ 41. Ke1 fxe3 42. Be2 Qd2+ 43. Kf1 Qc1+ 44. Bd1 Qxd1#) 38. Kd2 $19 Qxh2 (38... Qb1 $142 39. Qd1 Qb2+ 40. Qc2 Ba5+ 41. Kd1 Qd4+ 42. Kc1 Qa1+ 43. Qb1 Bd2+ 44. Kc2 Qc3+ 45. Kd1 Be3 $19) 39. Bc6 $2 (39. Kc2 $142 $17) 39... Qg1 $19 40. Kc2 Qc5+ 41. Kb3 Kg7 42. Qa6 $4 { simply worsens the situation} (42. Bb5 $19) 42... Qe3+ 43. Kb4 (43. Kc2 { the last chance for counterplay} Qf2+ 44. Kb3 $19) 43... Bc5+ 44. Ka5 (44. Kc4 {doesn't get the bull off the ice} Qe2+ 45. Kb3 Qd1+ 46. Kc3 Bd4+ 47. Kb4 Qd2+ 48. Kb5 Qb2+ 49. Kc4 Qc3+ 50. Kb5 Qc5#) 44... Qc3+ 45. Kb5 Qb4# 0-1