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1 Dec 2017

C26 Vienna Game: 2...Nf6, sidelines (1.g3 e5 2.e4 Nf6 3.Bg2 Nc6 4.Nc3 Bb4)

C26 Vienna Game: 2...Nf6, sidelines (1.g3 e5 2.e4 Nf6 3.Bg2 Nc6 4.Nc3 Bb4)

This is from the first round of the 2014 October Split II tournament that was held at Red Hot Pawn. The group 1 in which I played, had three winners, NN Cheap, aukermdr and me. All three players were able to get 56 points. That meant that there were three players that advanced to the second round from my group. The second round was played between four players and NN Cheap, 2185, ended up winning the whole tournament. I was third in the final standings of the group. The game below shows just one example of the imbalanced games that were played in this tournament. The first blunder of the game was seen when my opponent played 17.Nd5.

I replied correctly by trading the knights, which resulted in doubled pawns for my opponent. However, after the move 18.exd5, I made a slightly inaccurate move 18...Nf5, which let my opponent off the hook a bit. My best move according to Stockfish 8 64 POPCNT was 18...a5 at depth 31. However, it is not really clear to me why the move a5 is good in the position. Maybe the idea is to get the a-file open or preferably semi-open in order to get the rook from a8 into play. I think White should not then take on a5 because it would leave the a-pawn isolated and weak, the pawn would be a target for me to pressure. The next turning point came in the game when snjortp played 23.cxb5.

I replied with the obvious 23...axb5, so that I could start attacking the backward pawn on a3. Snjortp's 23rd move also made the doubled d-pawns isolated, so it clearly weakened my opponent's pawn structure. I also had a backward pawn at c7, but it was not as weak as the pawn on a3, since I could easily defend it. Then my opponent made another horrible move, 24.Qb3, after which I should have a winning advantage. The queen was placed to a much more passive square where it only protects pawns, but it also stops me from moving my c-pawn because it would be replied with dxc6+ and I would lose a queen for free. Next I played 24...Rf6, which was a reasonable move, but a much better idea would have been to play f4 and open a path for my queen to go to h3, while also maybe weakening the pawn cover in front of the enemy king. I was given another chance to play f4 when my opponent chose to play 25.Rfd1 and that time I finally decided to move my pawn to f4. After that it should be quite clear which side is dominating in the position. While I did not find the most accurate moves during the last few moves, I did see the mate in one that my opponent went to, when he or she played 29.Ne2.

[Event "Split"] [Site "http://www.redhotpawn.com"] [Date "2014.10.24"] [Round "1"] [White "snjortp"] [Black "Vierjoki, Timo"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "C26"] [WhiteElo "1350"] [BlackElo "1914"] [Annotator "Stockfish 8 64 POPCNT (30s), TV"] [PlyCount "58"] [EventDate "2014.??.??"] 1. g3 {Hungarian Opening: General} e5 2. e4 (2. a3 d5 3. Nf3 e4 4. Nh4 Be7 5. d3 {Hungarian Opening: Burk Gambit}) (2. Bg2 d5 3. b4 {Hungarian Opening: Buecker Gambit}) (2. Nf3 e4 3. Ng1 Nf6 4. b4 {Hungarian Opening: Reversed Brooklyn Defense. Brooklyn Benko Gambit}) 2... Nf6 3. Bg2 Nc6 4. Nc3 Bb4 { C26 Vienna Game: 2...Nf6, sidelines} 5. Nge2 O-O 6. O-O d6 7. d3 Bg4 (7... a6 8. h3 b5 9. Kh2 Bb7 10. f4 Bc5 11. g4 b4 12. Na4 Ba7 13. g5 Nd7 14. f5 f6 15. h4 Kh8 16. Ng3 Qe8 17. Qg4 Ne7 18. Bd2 Bc6 19. b3 Bd4 20. Rad1 a5 21. Rf3 Bxa4 22. bxa4 {Weyrich,M (2375)-Hummel,D (2270) Germany 1995 1/2-1/2 (71)}) 8. f3 ( 8. h3 Be6 9. Bg5 Qd7 10. Bxf6 gxf6 11. Nd5 Bxd5 12. exd5 Ne7 13. a3 Ba5 14. b4 Bb6 15. c4 {1-0 (15) Kovachev,R (1530) -Kisyov,P Plovdiv 2016}) 8... Be6 $146 ( 8... Bh5 9. Bd2 Nd4 10. Kh1 Bc5 11. Nxd4 Bxd4 12. Ne2 Bc5 13. f4 exf4 14. Bxf4 Ng4 15. d4 Bb6 16. c3 Qe7 17. h3 Nf6 18. Bg5 c5 19. Qd3 Qe6 20. Nf4 c4 21. Qc2 Qd7 22. Bxf6 {1-0 (22) Cuprova,I (1696)-Zerzankova,A (1294) Zlate Hory 2006}) ( 8... Bc5+ 9. Kh1 Be6 10. f4 Nd4 11. a3 Qc8 12. f5 Bd7 13. g4 h6 14. Ng3 Nh7 15. Nd5 Qd8 16. c3 Nb5 17. f6 c6 18. Ne7+ Kh8 19. fxg7+ Kxg7 20. Ngf5+ Bxf5 21. Nxf5+ Kh8 22. Nxh6 Ng5 23. Bxg5 {Valis,J (2060)-Grinacz,A (1471) Hunary 2012 1-0}) 9. Bd2 (9. f4 Bc5+ 10. Kh1 Nd4 $11) 9... Qd7 10. a3 Ba5 (10... Bc5+ 11. Kh1 $11) 11. b4 {White threatens to win material: b4xa5} (11. Kh1 Bb6 $11) 11... Bb6+ $11 12. Kh1 Nd4 13. Ng1 (13. Rb1 a5 $11) 13... a6 {Covers b5} (13... a5 14. Rb1 $15) 14. Nge2 Bh3 (14... a5 15. Rb1 $15) 15. Bxh3 Qxh3 {White king safety dropped} 16. Ng1 {White threatens to win material: Ng1xh3} Qd7 17. Nd5 ( 17. Bg5 $142 $5 {has some apparent merit} Ne8 18. Be3 $11) 17... Nxd5 $17 18. exd5 Nf5 (18... a5 19. c3 Nf5 20. Ne2 $17) 19. Ne2 Ne3 (19... a5 20. c4 $17) 20. Bxe3 $15 Bxe3 21. c4 b5 22. Qc2 f5 23. cxb5 (23. Rae1 $5 $15 {should be examined more closely}) 23... axb5 $17 24. Qb3 (24. Ra2 f4 25. Kg2 Ra6 $17) 24... Rf6 (24... f4 $142 $19) 25. Rfd1 $4 {strolling merrily down the path to disaster} (25. Nc3 $142 $17) 25... f4 $19 26. g4 (26. Qc2 {doesn't change the outcome of the game} fxg3 27. Nxg3 Rxf3 28. Rf1 $19) 26... Rh6 (26... h5 $142 { and the result of the game is clear: Black will win} 27. gxh5 Qh3 $19) 27. Ng1 (27. Ra2 Rh4 28. Qc2 h5 29. gxh5 Rxh5 $19) 27... Qe7 (27... g5 $5 28. Ra2 $19) 28. Ra2 $17 Qh4 29. Ne2 $4 {but even a better move would not have saved the game} (29. Rg2 $142 $17) 29... Qxh2# 0-1