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5 Dec 2017

C65 Spanish Game: Berlin Defence (3...Nf6), unusual lines and 4.O-O Bc5 (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Bc5 4.c3 Nf6 5.O-O O-O 6.d4 exd4 7.cxd4 Bb6 8.e5 Nd5)

C65 Spanish Game: Berlin Defence (3...Nf6), unusual lines and 4.O-O Bc5 (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Bc5 4.c3 Nf6 5.O-O O-O 6.d4 exd4 7.cxd4 Bb6 8.e5 Nd5)

This is the 28th game in the 100 game match between me and Tomi. With this win I was able to even out the score again and the score after this game was 14 - 14. My 6th move, exd4, was already a mistake. In the game continuation Tomi was able to get the center under his control and more space for his pieces than I was able to get. The line that is considered to be theory up to the move 8...Nd5 is not something you should go for when you control the black pieces.

That being said, I was given a chance to get back into the game when my opponent played 9.Qd3. The queen started to eye on h7, but it was not possible to generate a dangerous attack if I just defend properly. I should have replied with 9...d6, which would have opened a diagonal for my bishop, so that I could get it into play. The pawn on d6 might also weaken the control over the center that my opponent had. Instead I played the weak move 9...a6, which only briefly attacked the bishop at b5.

Tomi ignored the threat to the bishop completely and moved his knight to g5, and in doing so threatened a mate in one. It was not hard to see that my only decent move was 10...g6, so I played it. The game then continued with natural and good moves 11.Qh3 h5, but then my opponent made a horrible blunder 12.Bd3. This 12th move started a series of bad moves. I would have had a winning advantage or very close to it, had I just taken the pawn on d4 with my bishop. I did have time to do that since Tomi did not actually threaten anything with the move and my king was adequately protected.

I was overly passive and played 12...Kg7 in order to move my rook to h8 if required. It was then replied with another really bad move 13.Ne4, which ended the series of bad moves for the time being. A better idea would have been to play 13.Qg3. Tomi's 13th move should have been replied with 13...d6, so that I could finally get my light-squared bishop into play. In my foolishness I went for the material instead and took a free pawn from d4 with my bishop. It did give me the advantage, but not as strong than it would have been after 13...d6, which would have meant close to a winning advantage for me. A few moves later I went from a favorable position to a lost position when I moved my king to h6 on move 16.

Out of the three options that I had for the king, I went for the second worst move. Only moving the king to h7 was worse, because that would have resulted in a forced mate in two. I am not sure why I preferred the square h6 over g8, since on h6 the king is much more exposed to attacks than it would be at g8, at least for the time being anyway. Strong replies for Tomi would have been 17.Qh4, 17.Qg3 and 17.g4. Alas, Tomi chose none of those and developed a knight to c3 instead, which seems like a natural move to play in order to stop Bxb2. I had a chance to turn the tide in my favor with 17...Qe6, but for some reason I preferred to play 17...d6 in the game. 17...d6 may seem like a good idea at first, since it is a discovered attack on the queen and it may seem that Black wins a second pawn. However, the move could be destroyed with two replies 18.Qh4 and 18.Qg3, the latter move was chosen by my opponent. The next turning point in the game was seen when Tomi played 20.Qh4.

With his 20th move Tomi went from a winning position to being clearly worse. Unfortunately I did not find the best move 20...f5, but instead moved my king to g8 and I was in a losing position once again. It was replied by 21.Rae1, which was another bad move that could have given me another chance to play 21...f5 and maybe save the game. Tomi should have played 21.f4. I was not able to take advantage of the sloppy move and played 21...Qe6, after which my position went down the drain again. A lot of bad moves were seen also in the remainder of the game, but I am not going to go through them all. The final downhill for Tomi started with the move 37.a3.

The move played in the game allowed me to play 37...Nd3, which wins either the b-pawn or the e-pawn. Tomi preferred to save the isolated e-pawn with the move 38.Ke4, but it probably does not matter all that much which pawn is saved. Tomi could not get back in the game again, but he made things completely lost for him, when he played 41.Kc4, which lost a second pawn. The rest of the game was smooth sailing for me.

[Event "Challenge 32128888"] [Site "online arena"] [Date "2015.07.31"] [Round "1"] [White "Tocklin, Tomi"] [Black "Vierjoki, Timo"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "C65"] [WhiteElo "1811"] [BlackElo "1722"] [Annotator "Stockfish 8 64 POPCNT (30s), TV"] [PlyCount "98"] [EventDate "2015.??.??"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Bc5 4. c3 Nf6 5. O-O {Spanish Game: Classical Variation. Zukertort Gambit} O-O 6. d4 exd4 (6... Bb6 7. Bg5 {Spanish Game: Classical Variation. Modern Main Line}) 7. cxd4 Bb6 8. e5 Nd5 {C65 Spanish Game: Berlin Defence (3...Nf6), unusual lines and 4.O-O Bc5} 9. Qd3 $146 { Black has a cramped position. Black's piece can't move: c8} (9. Bc4 Nce7 (9... Nde7 10. Bf4 d5 11. exd6 cxd6 12. d5 Na5 13. Bd3 Nxd5 14. Bxh7+ Kxh7 15. Qxd5 Kg8 16. Nc3 Be6 17. Qxd6 Qxd6 18. Bxd6 Rfd8 19. Bf4 Rac8 20. Rac1 Nc4 21. b3 Na5 22. Na4 Rxc1 23. Rxc1 Bd4 24. Nxd4 {Spiriak,V (2060)-Slivka,D (1581) Slovakia 2016 1-0 (40)}) 10. Bg5 c6 (10... Qe8 11. Re1 h6 12. Bh4 c6 13. Nbd2 Nf5 14. Ne4 Ba5 15. Ned2 Qe6 16. Bg3 b5 17. Bb3 Bb6 18. Ne4 a5 19. a3 Ba6 20. Rc1 a4 21. Ba2 Ba5 22. Nc5 Qe7 23. Re4 Bb6 24. Bb1 Bxc5 25. dxc5 {Jaquez,J (2195)-Del Rosario,R (1968) Santo Domingo 2016 0-1 (66)}) 11. Bxd5 cxd5 12. Nc3 f6 (12... h6 13. Bxe7 Qxe7 14. Nxd5 Qe6 15. Qb3 Ba5 16. Rfc1 d6 17. Qb5 Bd8 18. Nc7 Bxc7 19. Rxc7 dxe5 20. Nxe5 Qd6 21. Qc5 Qxc5 22. dxc5 f6 23. Ng6 Rf7 24. Ne7+ Kf8 25. Rxc8+ Rxc8 26. Nxc8 Rc7 27. Nxa7 {Soumya,S (2318)-Kucuker,A Konya 2014 1-0}) 13. exf6 gxf6 14. Bf4 d6 15. Qb3 Be6 16. Rfe1 Qd7 17. Qb5 Nc6 18. Nxd5 Bxd4 19. Nxd4 Nxd4 20. Qxd7 Bxd7 21. Bxd6 Rf7 22. Rad1 Nf5 23. Bb4 Bc6 { Castaner Harster,X (2120)-Rodriguez Redondo,A (1757) Santa Cruz de Tenerife 2016 1-0 (43)}) (9. Bc4 Nce7 10. Bg5 Qe8 $16) 9... a6 {Black threatens to win material: a6xb5} (9... d6 10. Bg5 Nde7 11. Bxc6 bxc6 12. Nc3 $11) 10. Ng5 $14 { White has a mate threat} g6 {White has a very active position} 11. Qh3 h5 12. Bd3 $4 {releasing the pressure on the opponent} (12. Bc4 Nde7 13. Qb3 Nxd4 14. Nxf7 Rxf7 15. Bxf7+ Kg7 $14) 12... Kg7 $4 {White has an active position. not a good decision, because now the opponent is right back in the game} (12... Bxd4 $5 13. Nc3 Nxc3 14. e6 dxe6 15. bxc3 $17) 13. Ne4 $4 {with this move White loses his initiative} (13. Qg3 $142 Nde7 14. d5 $16) 13... Bxd4 14. Bg5 Qe8 15. Nf6 Nxf6 16. Bxf6+ Kh6 $4 {stumbles just before the finish line} (16... Kg8 17. Nc3 Bxe5 18. Rfe1 $17) 17. Nc3 (17. Qh4 $142 {and White has reached his goal} Qxe5 18. Bxe5 Bxe5 19. Nc3 $18) 17... d6 $4 {Black loses the upper hand} (17... Qe6 $142 18. Qf3 Qg4 $17) 18. Qg3 (18. Qh4 $5 {might be the shorter path} Bg4 19. Nd5 Bxe5 20. Qg5+ Kh7 $18) 18... Kh7 19. Ne4 $4 {weakening the position} ( 19. Nd5 $142 {keeps an even firmer grip} Bxe5 20. Qg5 $18) 19... Bxe5 $4 { causes even greater problems.} (19... Nxe5 $142 20. Rac1 Kg8 21. Rxc7 Bf5 $16) 20. Qh4 (20. f4 {and White can already relax} Bd4+ 21. Bxd4 Qxe4 22. Bxe4 Nxd4 $18) 20... Kg8 $4 {makes life more difficult} (20... Bf5 21. g4 Bxe4 22. gxh5 Kg8 23. hxg6 fxg6 24. Bxe5 Qxe5 (24... Nxe5 $6 25. Bxe4 Nf3+ 26. Bxf3 Rxf3 27. Rfe1 $11) 25. Qxe4 Rf4 26. Qxg6+ Qg7 27. Qxg7+ Kxg7 $17) 21. Rae1 (21. f4 $142 {it becomes clear that White will call all the shots} Nb4 22. Bb1 $18) 21... Qe6 $4 (21... Bf5 $142 {saving the game} 22. Bxe5 Qxe5 23. Nf6+ Qxf6 24. Qxf6 Bxd3 $14) 22. Bxe5 $18 dxe5 (22... Nxe5 {cannot undo what has already been done } 23. Nf6+ Qxf6 24. Qxf6 Nxd3 $18) 23. f4 (23. Nf6+ $142 {seems even better} Kg7 24. Nxh5+ gxh5 25. Qg5+ Qg6 26. Bxg6 fxg6 27. Rxe5 Nxe5 28. Qxe5+ Kg8 $18) 23... Kg7 $4 {a weak move, ruining a winning position} (23... f5 24. Rc1 Kg7 $15 (24... fxe4 $4 {would be a terrible mistake} 25. Bc4 Qxc4 26. Rxc4 $18)) 24. Ng5 (24. f5 $142 {and White has prevailed} gxf5 25. Ng3 $18) 24... Qg4 ( 24... Qd6 $5 25. Qg3 exf4 26. Rxf4 Bd7 $19) 25. Qxg4 Bxg4 26. fxe5 (26. h3 $5 Bd7 27. fxe5 $17) 26... Rae8 27. Bc4 $2 (27. Be4 $142 Nd8 28. Bf3 $17) 27... Be6 $4 {forfeits the clear win} (27... Rxe5 $142 {and the rest is a matter of technique} 28. Rxe5 Nxe5 $19) 28. Bxe6 $11 fxe6 29. Rxf8 Kxf8 30. Rf1+ Kg8 31. Rf7 Re7 32. Rxe7 {White forks: c7+e6} Nxe7 33. Nxe6 Nd5 (33... Nc6 $5 $11) 34. Kf2 $14 Kf7 (34... Nb4 $14) 35. Ng5+ $4 {there were better ways to keep up the pressure} (35. Nd8+ $142 {a shame that White overlooked this excellent chance} Ke7 36. Nxb7 $18) 35... Ke7 $11 36. Kf3 Nb4 37. a3 (37. Ke4 $142 $5 $11 { and White has air to breath}) 37... Nd3 $17 38. Ke4 (38. b4 Nxe5+ 39. Ke4 Kd6 $17) 38... Nxb2 39. Kd5 (39. Kd4 b5 $17) 39... Nd3 40. g3 c6+ (40... Nf2 $142 $17) 41. Kc4 $4 {further deteriorates the position} (41. Kd4 $142 Nf2 42. Kc5 $17) 41... Nxe5+ $19 42. Kc5 (42. Kd4 {a fruitless try to alter the course of the game} Nd7 $19) 42... Nd7+ 43. Kc4 (43. Kd4 {doesn't improve anything} Kf6 44. Nf3 Ke6 $19) 43... Kf6 44. Ne4+ (44. Nh3 {doesn't do any good} Kf5 $19) 44... Ke5 45. Ng5 (45. Kd3 {doesn't get the bull off the ice} c5 $19) 45... b6 (45... Kf5 $142 {and Black wins} 46. Nh3 b6 47. Ng1 $19) 46. Nf7+ Ke4 47. Nh8 ( 47. Nd8 Ne5+ 48. Kb3 $19) 47... Kf5 48. Nf7 Ne5+ 49. Kb4 Nxf7 (49... Nxf7 50. a4 a5+ 51. Kc3 Kg4 52. Kd3 Kh3 53. Ke4 Kxh2 54. Kf3 Kh3 55. Kf2 Ng5 56. g4 h4 57. Ke2 Kxg4 58. Ke1 h3 59. Kf2 Nf3 60. Kf1 Kg3 61. Ke2 h2 62. Kd1 h1=Q+ 63. Kc2 Qa1 64. Kd3 Qb2 65. Ke3 Qd2+ 66. Ke4 Qe2#) 0-1