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14 Nov 2017

B73 Sicilian Dragon: Classical System without 9.Nb3 (1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be2 d6 7.O-O g6 8.Be3 Bg7 9.f4 O-O 10.Kh1)

B73 Sicilian Dragon: Classical System without 9.Nb3 (1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be2 d6 7.O-O g6 8.Be3 Bg7 9.f4 O-O 10.Kh1)

This is my second challenge game against quagliarellasabino and my second win against this player and at this point I thought that I could win games against almost anybody. I had quite good results in games that were finished on one sitting. The first position that I will take a look at is the one seen after the move 10.Kh1. In the game quagliarellasabino played e5, which would have allowed me to destroy my opponent's pawn structure, had I went for the continuation 11.Nxc6 bxc6 12.fxe5 dxe5 13.Bg5 and then my opponent would have had some problems with the knight on f6. It would have been clear at that point that I would be the one with the initiative.

I should really remember this idea when I end up in a similar position in the future, because I have instinctively moved my knight to b3 in these types of positions before. The position should be roughly even after my 11th move Nb3. Then my opponent made an even bigger blunder than on the previous move, and moved the queen to c7. Much better alternatives for quagliarellasabino were 11...exf4, 11...b5 and 11...Re8. In order to take advantage of the blunder, I needed to reply with 12.fxe5 and the idea is that my opponent can't really take back the pawn because if he or she does, quagliarellasabino would lose even more material. An example line might go 12...dxe5 13.Rxf6 Bxf6 14.Nd5 Qd8 15.Bb6 Qd6 and after 16.Bc7 I would end up in a position that would be easily winning. I obviously missed this great opportunity and instead connected the rooks with the move 12.Qd2. I should still be in the favorable side of the board even after the game continuation, but the likely result would probably a draw. That is if neither side blunders, like my opponent did in the game by playing the move 12...Be6.

I had third consecutive chance to get a good advantage, but once again I failed to see the correct idea, this time my path towards victory would have started with the move 13.f5. The reason I probably decided not to play 13.f5 was that I disliked the look of 13...gxf5 14.exf5, which creates a protected passed pawn for my opponent. It would have also ruined the pawn cover in front of quagliarellasabino's king. Maybe I also thought that maybe my opponent can play Kh8 and Rg8 and maybe use the opened g-file for attack. That being said, it does seem rather silly to me now. In the game I played 13.Bf3, with the idea of getting the square d5 more firmly in my control. The bishop unfortunately is not well placed at f3 and it is almost like a tall pawn there and it also blocks the path of my rook. It did not take long for the next horrible move to be seen on the board, the move 15...Rfd8 created some problems once again for my opponent.

Again I had the possibility to play f5, but instead I played 16.Qf2, which threatened the move 17.Bb6. It was a good move, but not as strong as 16.f5. Quagliarellasabino saw the threat of Bb6, but replied to it incorrectly by moving the queen to e7. The best move, according to the engine seems to be 16...exf4, but even that continuation should clearly favor me. I would have probably then played Bb6, which actually is not as good as taking on f4. Keeping the good dark-squared bishop alive and not trading it to the passive rook seems to be the right idea. With correct play I should be winning after my opponent's 16th move, but I kept ignoring the strongest move f5 and went to a more evenly fought continuation by placing my f-rook to e1. Then the game continued to be played evenly up to the move 29.Rb4, which was surprising, considering the amount of mistakes during the first 16 moves.

Quagliarellasabino played in the game 29...b6, which placed the pawn on a more shaky square. It was rather well protected at b7, since there was no easy way for me to attack the pawn there, but on b6 it became much more vulnerable attacks. It also took away some squares from the rook on c6, a fact that I could have taken advantage of by playing Bb5, followed by Be3, for instance, but in the game I preferred to play Be3 first for some reason. Maybe I thought that I can do it in this order too, but I was mistaken and Bb5 is clearly the better move to make. Both players avoided making mistakes up to the move 36...Qb3 and for the first time in the game I was the one who ended up being clearly lost when I moved my rook to e1 on move 37.

My move was so bad because my opponent could have replied with the crushing move 37...Qb8!! I would have likely resigned the game, had I seen that move. Quagliarellasabino did not see that and played 37...Be5, which is a strong move, but not as game ending as 37...Qb8. I wanted to hold on to the material, so moved my queen to h4, thinking that I may survive after all. Actually my best chance was to take the bishop. Had I done that though, I might have just resigned. My opponent should have then played 38...Bf6 and I would have likely continued with Qg3, which would have allowed Qb8 to be played once again. Luckily for me, quagliarellasabino chose to trade the rooks, after which the position had become even again. On move 40 it was my opponent's turn to blunder and my journey towards a win could have started for one more time.

Quagliarellasabino played 40...Qe6, which was not a good idea because I could have brought my bishop into play via c5. Instead I played 41.c4, which made the advancement of the pawns a bit difficult. It lead into an even position and we kept making good enough moves to hold the equality up to the move 49.Kc3. With my opponent's 49th move Qc1+, quagliarellasabino's final downhill began.

Even though I replied with the rather bad move 50.Kd3, I should still be clearly better. B3 was actually a much better square for the king. Quagliarellasabino replied by moving the queen to g1, which was the final nail in the coffin, after that it was clear that I am going to win the game, well up to the move 54...Bd6 at least.

The last move of the game, 55.Qd2, is actually only good enough for a draw. Unfortunately for my opponent, he or she lost the game on time.

[Event "Challenge 32697460"] [Site "online arena"] [Date "2015.08.22"] [Round "1"] [White "Vierjoki, Timo"] [Black "quagliarellasabino"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B73"] [WhiteElo "1789"] [BlackElo "1738"] [Annotator "Stockfish 8 64 POPCNT (30s), TV"] [PlyCount "109"] [EventDate "2015.??.??"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 {Sicilian Defense: Old Sicilian. Normal} 5. Nc3 a6 (5... e5 6. Ndb5 (6. Nf3 {Sicilian Defense: Lasker-Pelikan Variation, Retreat Variation}) 6... d6 7. Bg5 a6 8. Na3 b5 (8... Be6 {Sicilian Defense: Lasker-Pelikan Variation, Bird Variation}) 9. Nd5 {Sicilian Defense: Lasker-Pelikan Variation, Sveshnikov Variation, Chelyabinsk Variation}) 6. Be2 d6 7. O-O g6 8. Be3 Bg7 9. f4 O-O 10. Kh1 {B73 Sicilian Dragon: Classical System without 9.Nb3} e5 (10... Nxd4 11. Bxd4 b5 12. e5 dxe5 13. fxe5 Nd7 14. e6 fxe6 15. Bxg7 Kxg7 16. Rxf8 Qxf8 17. Qd2 Nf6 18. Bf3 Ra7 19. Ne4 Rd7 20. Qe2 Qd8 21. Rf1 Qb6 22. Ng5 Rd6 23. Bg4 h6 24. Ne4 Rd5 25. Bf3 {Ruxton,K (2325) -Borge,N (2245) Arnhem 1989 0-1 (65)}) 11. Nb3 (11. Nxc6 bxc6 12. f5 d5 13. Bc5 Re8 14. fxg6 hxg6 15. Bf3 Be6 16. Qe2 Nd7 17. Ba3 Nf6 18. Rad1 Qa5 19. Qe1 d4 20. Nd5 Qxe1 21. Nxf6+ Bxf6 22. Rdxe1 Be7 23. Bxe7 Rxe7 24. Be2 a5 25. a3 Rb7 { Farnault,E (2032) -Wolff,M (1643) Berlin 2015 0-1 (57)}) 11... Qc7 12. Qd2 { White has an active position} Be6 $146 (12... b5 13. a3 Bb7 14. fxe5 Nxe5 15. Bd3 Neg4 16. Bf4 Nh5 17. h3 Ne5 18. Bh6 Ng3+ 19. Kh2 Nxe4 20. Bxe4 {0-1 (20) Arnav,D-Ulhas,V (1867) Nagpur 2008}) (12... Ne7 $142 $16) 13. Bf3 $4 {gives the opponent new chances} (13. f5 $5 Bxb3 14. axb3 $18) 13... Rac8 (13... exf4 14. Bxf4 Ne5 15. Be2 $11) 14. Rad1 (14. f5 Bc4 15. Rfd1 b5 $14) 14... Bxb3 ( 14... exf4 $5 15. Bxf4 Ne5 $11) 15. axb3 {White has the pair of bishops} Rfd8 ( 15... exf4 16. Bxf4 Ne5 17. Be2 $14) 16. Qf2 (16. f5 gxf5 17. exf5 d5 $18) 16... Qe7 (16... exf4 17. Bxf4 Ne5 $16) 17. Rfe1 (17. f5 $142 {and the scales tip in favour of White} d5 18. Nxd5 Nxd5 19. exd5 $18) 17... exf4 $14 18. Bxf4 {Attacking the isolated pawn on d6} Ne5 {A valuable piece} 19. Nd5 (19. Bg5 $5 {must definitely be considered} Rf8 20. Nd5 $14) 19... Nxd5 $11 20. Rxd5 { The rook dominates} (20. exd5 Qf6 21. Bxe5 dxe5 22. g4 $15) 20... Rc6 (20... Nxf3 $142 $5 21. gxf3 Bxb2 $17) 21. c3 $11 Rdc8 22. Red1 Qe6 23. h3 {Secures g4 } h5 24. Be2 Kh7 25. Qg3 Rb6 (25... Re8 26. Qe3 $14) 26. b4 $14 Rbc6 27. b5 axb5 28. Rxb5 R8c7 29. Rb4 b6 (29... Nc4 30. Qf2 $11) 30. Be3 (30. Qe1 Ra7 $16) 30... Nc4 31. Bxc4 (31. Bg1 $142 $5 $16) 31... Rxc4 $11 32. Rxb6 {Increasing the pressure on the isolated pawn on d6} Rxe4 33. Bf4 {White threatens to win material: Bf4xd6} (33. Bg1 Be5 34. Qf3 Rf4 $11) 33... Rd7 (33... Rc5 34. Rb4 $15 (34. Rbxd6 $2 {doesn't lead to anything significant} Qf5 35. Be3 Be5 $19) ( 34. Rdxd6 {once again taking the pawn is naive} Qf5 35. Rb4 Rxb4 36. cxb4 Rc4 $19)) 34. Rbxd6 (34. Bxd6 Be5 35. Qd3 Bxd6 36. Rxd6 Re1+ 37. Kh2 Qe5+ 38. Qg3 Qxg3+ (38... Rxd1 $6 {is a bad alternative} 39. Qxe5 R7xd6 40. b4 $11) 39. Kxg3 Rxd1 $19) (34. Rdxd6 $4 Rxd6 35. Rxd6 Qf5 $19) 34... Rxd6 35. Bxd6 {White has a new protected passed pawn: c3} (35. Rxd6 $4 Qc4 36. Rd1 Rxf4 $19) 35... Re2 { Black threatens to win material: Re2xb2} 36. Ba3 Qb3 37. Re1 $4 {White lets it slip away} (37. Rf1 $142 $11 {and White hangs on}) 37... Be5 $17 38. Qh4 $2 ( 38. Qxe5 $142 Rxe5 39. Rxe5 $17) 38... Rxe1+ $4 {gives away a clear win} (38... Bf6 $142 $1 {finishes off the opponent} 39. Qxf6 Rxe1+ 40. Kh2 Re2 $19) 39. Qxe1 $11 Qd5 40. Qe2 Qe6 (40... Bb8 41. Kg1 $11) 41. c4 (41. Bc5 $142 $5 Qf5 42. Bg1 $16) 41... Qf5 $11 {Black has a mate threat} 42. g4 {White threatens to win material: g4xf5} Qf4 43. gxh5 Qc1+ 44. Kg2 Qg5+ 45. Kf2 Qg3+ ({Worse is } 45... gxh5 46. Qe4+ Kh8 47. Ke2 $16) 46. Kf1 Qxh3+ {Black forks: h5} 47. Ke1 Qh1+ 48. Kd2 Bf4+ (48... Qxh5 49. c5 $11) 49. Kc3 (49. Kd3 $142 Qh3+ 50. Kc2 Qxh5 51. Qd3 Qh2+ 52. Kb3 $11) 49... Qc1+ (49... gxh5 $142 $5 {should not be overlooked} 50. Qd3+ Kg8 $11) 50. Kd3 (50. Kb3 $142 g5 51. Ka4 $16) 50... Qg1 $4 {another step towards the grave} (50... Qb1+ $142 51. Kd4 Qg1+ 52. Ke4 g5 $16) 51. hxg6+ $18 Qxg6+ (51... Kxg6 52. c5 Qc1 53. Bb4 $18) 52. Kc3 (52. Qe4 Bc7 53. c5 f5 54. Qe7+ Kh6 55. Qxc7 f4+ 56. Kd2 Qg2+ 57. Kc3 Qf3+ 58. Kb4 Qe4+ 59. Ka5 f3 $18) 52... Qf6+ 53. Kb3 Qb6+ (53... Kg6 54. Qd3+ Qf5 55. Kc2 $18) 54. Bb4 Bd6 (54... Bc7 {there is nothing else anyway} 55. Qe4+ Kg7 $18) 55. Qd2 (55. Qd2 Bc5 56. Ka4 Qc6+ 57. Ka3 Qa6+ 58. Kb3 $11) (55. Qd3+ f5 56. Qxf5+ Kh6 57. Qe6+ Kh7 58. Qd7+ Kg8 59. Qxd6 Qe3+ 60. Bc3 Kh7 61. Qc7+ Kg6 62. Qg7+ Kf5 63. Qf6+ Kg4 64. Qd4+ Qxd4 65. Bxd4 Kf4 66. c5 Kf5 67. c6 Ke6 68. Bc5 Kd5 69. c7 Kxc5 70. c8=Q+ Kd6 71. Qf5 Ke7 72. Kc4 Kd6 73. Kb5 Kc7 74. Qe5+ Kb7 75. Qe7+ Kc8 76. Kc6 Kb8 77. Qb7#) 1-0