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22 Dec 2017

C54 Giuoco Piano: 4.c3 Nf6, main lines with 5.d4 and 5.d3 (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.O-O d6 5.h3 Nf6 6.Re1 O-O 7.c3 Be6 8.Bxe6 fxe6 9.d4)

C54 Giuoco Piano: 4.c3 Nf6, main lines with 5.d4 and 5.d3 (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.O-O d6 5.h3 Nf6 6.Re1 O-O 7.c3 Be6 8.Bxe6 fxe6 9.d4)

This one was played in a tournament called 2014 September Grand Seven Fourteen III at Red Hot Pawn. I was 4th in the final standings and I managed to gather 99 points in 40 games. A player called kopsov (1858) won the tournament. Kopsov gathered 114 points. The first position to look at came after my move 22...Rxd5. I had just won a pawn, but maybe my opponent had some compensation for the pawn, mainly the better placed bishop. It was not that easy to get that extra pawn matter that much because my pieces were not well placed to support the advancement of the pawns.

Thaba played 23.f3, which I guess was played in order to improve the control over the square e4, but it does weaken the pawn cover in front of the king a bit. It was not the best move, but neither was the move that I played in reply, 23...Bc5. I played it so that I can get rid of my bishop and so that I can get my rook to the c-file, which I thought was the right idea. The bishop trade did indeed happen and my rook did get to c5, but since my rook on f5 was still out of play, Thaba did have quite good compensation for the pawn. I did manage to eventually improve my position and get my extra pawn become dangerous asset, but the result of the game was not clear before my opponent made the final blunder 36.Rxd7.

Trading the rooks was a huge mistake because it made winning the game much more simpler for me. Removing the more active of Thaba's rooks meant that there really was no counterplay possibilities left for my opponent. It would have been rather easy to convert the advantage into a win, but my opponent made it even easier by moving the king to f2 on move 37. I was given the choice of winning either the pawn on a4 or the one at h4. I decided that the more important pawn to take was the a-pawn, because then my queenside pawns can easily decide the game. Losing the second pawn was enough for Thaba to resign.

[Event "Grand Seven Fourteen"] [Site "http://www.redhotpawn.com"] [Date "2014.09.11"] [Round "1"] [White "Thaba"] [Black "Vierjoki, Timo"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "C54"] [WhiteElo "1449"] [BlackElo "1895"] [Annotator "Stockfish 8 64 POPCNT (30s)"] [PlyCount "74"] [EventDate "2014.??.??"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. O-O d6 5. h3 Nf6 6. Re1 O-O 7. c3 Be6 8. Bxe6 fxe6 9. d4 {C54 Giuoco Piano: 4.c3 Nf6, main lines with 5.d4 and 5.d3} exd4 10. cxd4 Bb4 {Black threatens to win material: Bb4xe1} (10... Bb6 11. Bg5 Qd7 12. Nc3 Rae8 13. Na4 Ba5 14. Re2 b5 15. Nc3 a6 16. a3 Bb6 17. Bxf6 Rxf6 18. d5 Na5 19. dxe6 Qxe6 20. Qd5 Nc4 21. Ng5 Qxd5 22. Nxd5 Rg6 23. Nxb6 Nxb6 24. h4 h6 25. Nh3 {Novak,R (1707)-Zilava,K (1424) Tabor 2013 1/2-1/2}) 11. Nc3 $146 (11. Bd2 Bxd2 12. Qxd2 e5 13. dxe5 dxe5 14. Qc3 Qe7 15. Nbd2 Rad8 16. Rad1 Nd4 17. Qc4+ Kh8 18. Rc1 Nxf3+ 19. Nxf3 c6 20. Rcd1 Nd7 21. Qc3 Rde8 22. Qd2 Nf6 23. Qd6 h6 24. Qxe7 Rxe7 25. Nh4 Kh7 {Kannenberg,C (1972)-Riha,P (1823) Frankfurt 2007 1-0 (45)}) (11. Bd2 Bxd2 12. Nbxd2 Qd7 $14) 11... Qe8 12. d5 exd5 13. exd5 Ne5 14. Nxe5 dxe5 {White has a new backward pawn: d5} 15. a3 {White threatens to win material: a3xb4} (15. Qb3 Bd6 $14) 15... Bd6 {The black bishop is safe in front of d5} (15... Bxc3 16. bxc3 Qb5 17. Bg5 Qxd5 18. Qxd5+ Nxd5 19. Rxe5 $11) 16. Ne4 (16. Bf4 Nh5 17. Bh2 Qf7 $14) 16... Nxe4 (16... Qf7 17. f3 $11) 17. Rxe4 $14 Qb5 18. b4 Rf5 19. Be3 a5 20. bxa5 (20. a4 $5 {should be considered} Qe8 21. b5 $14) 20... Rxa5 $11 21. a4 (21. Rb1 Qa6 22. a4 Rf8 $11) 21... Qxd5 22. Qxd5+ (22. Qc2 Rf8 $11) 22... Rxd5 $15 23. f3 (23. a5 Rf8 $15) 23... Bc5 ( 23... Rf8 $5 $17) 24. Bxc5 $11 Rxc5 {A double rook endgame occured} 25. Rb1 b6 26. Rd1 (26. Rb5 $5 {is noteworthy} Rc1+ 27. Kf2 Rc2+ 28. Re2 Rxe2+ 29. Kxe2 $11) 26... g6 27. Rd7 Rf7 28. Rd8+ Kg7 29. Kh2 (29. Re8 Kf6 $17) 29... Kf6 30. Ra8 Rd5 (30... Rd7 31. h4 $17) 31. Ra7 (31. Rc4 Ke6 $15) 31... Rd4 (31... Ke6 $5 $17) 32. Re2 $15 Ke6 33. Rc2 (33. a5 Rd5 34. axb6 cxb6 $15) 33... Kd6 (33... c5 34. Rxf7 Kxf7 35. a5 $19) 34. Kg3 (34. a5 b5 35. a6 Rc4 $15) 34... Rd7 ( 34... Rd5 35. Ra8 $17) 35. h4 (35. a5 Rd5 36. a6 Ra5 $15) 35... c5 $17 36. Rxd7+ $4 {leads to further unpleasantness} (36. Ra6 $142 $17) 36... Kxd7 $19 37. Kf2 (37. a5 {is the last straw} Kc6 38. axb6 Kxb6 39. Rb2+ Kc6 40. Kf2 $19) 37... Rxa4 (37... Rxa4 38. Re2 Kd6 $19) 0-1