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16 Jan 2018

C68 Spanish Game: Exchange Variation, sidelines (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Bxc6 dxc6 5.d3 Bd6 6.O-O Bg4 7.h3 Bh5)

C68 Spanish Game: Exchange Variation, sidelines (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Bxc6 dxc6 5.d3 Bd6 6.O-O Bg4 7.h3 Bh5)

The first round of the Ruy Lopez tournament that is currently on its second round featured a game on its first round that I am sharing now. This is a game that has not been shared in this blog before. The first round went really well for me, I won 21 games out of 22 and on my last game against adamredsox24 we agreed to a short draw, due to the fact that it was the last game in progress on round one and the result of the game would not have changed the standings in any way. My opponent in this game was 2nd in the final standings of group 1 and also advanced to the second round. The tournament started on October 10th, 2014 and will likely not end during this year. The second round started on September 16th, 2016, so the first round lasted almost two years and the second round may take roughly that to finish. On round two I still have three games to finish, two of which are in progress and one of them has not even started yet.

The first move in this game that seems like a bad idea is 8.g4. Starting a pawn storm on the side you are castled, usually is not a good idea, because it makes it easier for the opponent to attack your king. That being said, adamredsox24 was nowhere close to losing the game after it, but position should have favored me after that. On move 10 adamredsox developed the bishop to g5, which did provoke me to reply with f6. The bishop then retreated to h4, which was not a good square for the bishop, since its scope was very limited there and it really did not do anything useful there.

If I were an attacking player, I might have realized that I should have developed my queen to d7, castled queenside and started to get rid of the pawn cover in front of adamredsox24's king by moves like h5. For some reason I decided to get my king out of the center quickly by castling on the kingside, but the move does not make any sense to me now at all and it did enable my opponent to get back into the game. The engine at depth 32 actually thinks that I would have had a winning advantage, had I continued the game with the move 11...h5. Due to my bad choice of moves, the game continued in a roughly balanced way up to the move 19.Ng1. I then played 19...Rad8, which was the only time during this game that I gave my opponent a chance for a clear advantage.

Alas for adamredsox24, he or she could not find the move 20.Qc3. With that move my opponent would have improved the location of the queen with a gain of time, because I would have needed to react to the threat against my bishop. Had the bishop then moved to b6, my opponent could have played 21.Rae1, which would have threatened the move d4, which would trade the bishop for three pawns. While materially the trade might be okay, positionally I would be the one who is defending. Adamredsox24 avoided the complications by playing 20.Nxf3 and the position after that was equal. I remember that my opponent offered a draw sometime during the next few moves, but I can't really remember the exact moment. Not that it matters, I declined the offer and continued the game, even though it was unlikely that I had more in that position than a draw. It does not always workout well when I decline these offers, because I may feel the pressure to show that the position is actually winning for me. I did get my reward this time though, in view of the huge blunder 29.c4.

The move 29.c4 gave me the option to win a free pawn with 29...Rxe4+ and obviously I took the pawn. I was clearly in the driver's seat after that and because my opponent never resigned, I needed to eventually mate my opponent with the move 63...Rb1#.

[Event "Ruy Lopez - Round 1"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2014.10.10"] [Round "?"] [White "adamredsox24"] [Black "Vierjoki, Timo"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "C68"] [WhiteElo "1612"] [BlackElo "1823"] [Annotator "Stockfish 8 64 POPCNT (30s)"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "r1bqkbnr/pppp1ppp/2n5/1B2p3/4P3/5N2/PPPP1PPP/RNBQK2R b KQkq - 0 3"] [PlyCount "121"] [EventDate "2014.??.??"] 3... a6 4. Bxc6 dxc6 5. d3 Bd6 6. O-O Bg4 7. h3 Bh5 {C68 Spanish Game: Exchange Variation, sidelines} 8. g4 {White threatens to win material: g4xh5} ( 8. Be3 $5 $11) 8... Bg6 $15 9. Nc3 Ne7 (9... h5 $142 10. g5 h4 $17) 10. Bg5 $2 (10. d4 $142 $5 {is the best option White has} exd4 11. Qxd4 $11) 10... f6 $17 11. Bh4 O-O (11... Qd7 $142 12. d4 exd4 13. Nxd4 O-O-O $17) 12. Bg3 $15 Bc5 13. Nh4 Bf7 14. Nf5 Nxf5 15. gxf5 Qe8 16. Ne2 Bh5 17. Qd2 Bf3 18. Kh2 Qh5 19. Ng1 Rad8 (19... g5 20. Nxf3 Qxf3 21. h4 $11) 20. Nxf3 (20. Qc3 $142 $5 Bb6 21. Rae1 $16) 20... Qxf3 $11 21. Qd1 Qxd1 22. Raxd1 Rd7 23. f4 exf4 24. Bxf4 Bd6 25. Kg3 Kf7 26. Bxd6 cxd6 27. d4 Re7 {Black threatens to win material: Re7xe4} 28. Kf4 (28. Rf4 d5 $11) 28... Rfe8 29. c4 $4 (29. Rde1 $142 $11 {this is the best bet to save the position}) 29... Rxe4+ $19 30. Kf3 Re3+ 31. Kg2 R8e4 32. b3 (32. Rd2 Rh4 $19) 32... Re2+ 33. Kf3 (33. Rf2 {a fruitless try to alter the course of the game} Rxf2+ 34. Kxf2 Rf4+ 35. Kg3 Rxf5 $19) 33... R4e3+ 34. Kf4 Rxh3 35. Kg4 (35. Rh1 {cannot undo what has already been done} Rf2+ 36. Ke4 Rhf3 $19) 35... Rhh2 (35... Ree3 36. Rde1 Reg3+ 37. Kf4 d5 38. cxd5 cxd5 39. Re2 Rd3 40. Re7+ Kxe7 41. Re1+ Kf7 42. Re7+ Kxe7 43. Kg4 h5+ 44. Kf4 Rxd4#) 36. Rfe1 (36. a4 {hardly improves anything} h5+ 37. Kf3 Rb2 $19) 36... g6 (36... h5+ { seems even better} 37. Kg3 Rhg2+ 38. Kh3 Rxa2 39. Rh1 $19) 37. fxg6+ (37. Rxe2 {cannot change what is in store for White} Rxe2 38. d5 cxd5 39. Rxd5 Ke7 $19) 37... hxg6 38. Rxe2 Rxe2 39. a4 (39. Rh1 {is not much help} Kg7 $19) 39... f5+ 40. Kg5 (40. Kf3 {doesn't improve anything} Rb2 41. b4 Rxb4 $19) 40... Rg2+ 41. Kf4 Kf6 42. Rd3 (42. d5 {a last effort to resist the inevitable} c5 43. Re1 g5+ 44. Kf3 $19) 42... g5+ 43. Kf3 Rh2 44. Kg3 Rh4 {Black prepares the advance f4} 45. b4 f4+ 46. Kg2 d5 47. cxd5 cxd5 48. b5 axb5 49. axb5 Kf5 50. Rc3 Rh6 (50... g4 51. Rc8 f3+ 52. Kg3 Rh3+ 53. Kf2 Rh2+ 54. Kg3 Rg2+ 55. Kh4 f2 56. Rf8+ Ke4 57. b6 Kxd4 58. Rf4+ Ke3 59. Rf7 Rg1 60. Re7+ Kd4 61. Rf7 f1=Q 62. Rxf1 Rxf1 63. Kg3 Ke3 64. Kxg4 d4 65. Kh4 d3 66. Kg3 d2 67. Kh4 d1=Q 68. Kg5 Qd5+ 69. Kh6 Qg2 70. Kh7 Rh1#) 51. Rc5 $19 Ke4 52. Rc7 Rb6 53. Rg7 Kf5 54. Kf3 Rxb5 55. Re7 Rb3+ 56. Kf2 Kg4 {Black prepares f3} (56... Rb2+ 57. Ke1 f3 58. Rf7+ Kg4 59. Rg7 Kh4 60. Kf1 g4 61. Rf7 Kg3 62. Re7 Rb1+ 63. Re1 Rxe1+ 64. Kxe1 Kf4 65. Kd1 g3 66. Ke1 g2 67. Kf2 b5 68. Ke1 g1=Q+ 69. Kd2 Qb1 70. Kc3 f2 71. Kd2 Qb2+ 72. Kd3 f1=Q#) 57. Re5 (57. Rd7 {doesn't do any good} Rb2+ 58. Ke1 Kf3 59. Rxd5 g4 60. Kd1 g3 61. Kc1 Re2 62. Kd1 g2 63. Rg5 Ke3 64. Re5+ Kd3 65. Rg5 f3 66. Rg3 Re3 67. d5 f2 68. Rxe3+ Kxe3 69. Kc2 g1=Q 70. d6 f1=Q 71. Kb3 Qd3+ 72. Ka4 Qa1+ 73. Kb4 Qaa3#) 57... Rb2+ (57... Rb5 58. Re2 f3 59. Re1 Kf4 60. Rb1 Ra5 61. Rxb7 Ra2+ 62. Kf1 Kg3 63. Re7 Ra1+ 64. Re1 Rxe1+ 65. Kxe1 g4 66. Kd1 f2 67. Ke2 Kg2 68. Kd1 f1=Q+ 69. Kc2 Kf3 70. Kc3 Qc4+ 71. Kb2 g3 72. Ka1 g2 73. Kb1 g1=Q+ 74. Kb2 Qgc1#) 58. Ke1 f3 59. Kf1 (59. Rxd5 {doesn't get the cat off the tree} Kf4 60. Rd6 f2+ 61. Kf1 Kg3 62. Rf6 Rb1+ 63. Ke2 Re1+ 64. Kd3 f1=Q+ 65. Rxf1 Rxf1 66. Ke2 Rf3 67. d5 Kf4 68. d6 Ke4 69. d7 Rd3 70. d8=Q Rxd8 71. Kf2 Kf4 72. Ke2 g4 73. Kf2 g3+ 74. Ke2 Ke4 75. Kf1 Kf3 76. Ke1 Rd5 77. Kf1 Rd1#) 59... Kf4 60. Re7 (60. Re6 {doesn't change anything anymore} g4 61. Rf6+ Kg3 62. Re6 Rb1+ 63. Re1 Rxe1+ 64. Kxe1 Kf4 65. Kd1 g3 66. Kc2 g2 67. Kc3 g1=Q 68. Kb4 Qxd4+ 69. Ka3 f2 70. Ka2 Qc4+ 71. Ka1 f1=Q+ 72. Kb2 Qfc1#) 60... g4 61. Rf7+ Ke4 (61... Kg3 62. Re7 Rb1+ 63. Re1 Rxe1+ 64. Kxe1 Kf4 65. Kd1 g3 66. Kc2 g2 67. Kb3 g1=Q 68. Kb4 Qxd4+ 69. Ka3 f2 70. Ka2 Qc4+ 71. Ka1 f1=Q+ 72. Kb2 Qfc1#) 62. Rg7 (62. Re7+ {is no salvation} Kxd4 63. Rf7 Ke3 64. Re7+ Kf4 65. Ke1 g3 66. Rf7+ Ke3 67. Kd1 g2 68. Kc1 Re2 69. Re7+ Kd3 70. Rxe2 fxe2 71. Kb2 g1=Q 72. Kb3 e1=Q 73. Ka2 Qa1+ 74. Kb3 Qgb1#) 62... Ke3 (62... g3 63. Rxg3 Ke3 64. Kg1 Ke2 65. Kh2 f2 66. Rg2 Rb3 67. Rg3 Rxg3 68. Kxg3 f1=Q 69. Kg4 Qf6 70. Kh5 Qg7 71. Kh4 Kf2 72. Kh5 Kf3 73. Kh4 Qg4#) 63. Rxg4 (63. Re7+ {cannot change destiny} Kxd4 64. Rf7 Ke3 65. Re7+ Kf4 66. Ke1 g3 67. Rf7+ Ke3 68. Kd1 g2 69. Kc1 Re2 70. Re7+ Kd3 71. Rxe2 fxe2 72. Kb2 g1=Q 73. Kb3 e1=Q 74. Ka2 Qa1+ 75. Kb3 Qgb1#) 63... Rb1# 0-1

Here are some examples of actually good players reaching the position after 7...Bh5.

[Event "BEL-chT 0910"] [Site "Belgium"] [Date "2010.03.07"] [Round "10"] [White "Feygin, Michael"] [Black "Van den Doel, Erik"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C68"] [WhiteElo "2529"] [BlackElo "2580"] [PlyCount "43"] [EventDate "2009.09.27"] [EventType "team-tourn"] [EventRounds "11"] [EventCountry "BEL"] [SourceTitle "EXT 2011"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2010.11.26"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Bxc6 dxc6 5. O-O Bg4 6. h3 Bh5 7. d3 Bd6 8. Be3 Ne7 9. Nbd2 c5 10. Re1 Nc6 11. Nf1 Nd4 12. Bxd4 cxd4 13. Ng3 Bg6 14. c4 dxc3 15. bxc3 O-O 16. Qb3 Rb8 17. Rad1 Re8 18. h4 h5 19. Nf1 c6 20. g3 Bc5 21. d4 exd4 22. cxd4 1/2-1/2 [Event "Zadar op-A 18th"] [Site "Zadar"] [Date "2011.12.14"] [Round "6"] [White "Kovacevic, Aleksandar"] [Black "Szabo, Krisztian"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C68"] [WhiteElo "2563"] [BlackElo "2548"] [PlyCount "89"] [EventDate "2011.12.11"] [EventType "swiss"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "CRO"] [SourceTitle "CBM 145 Extra"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2012.01.03"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Bxc6 dxc6 5. O-O Bg4 6. d3 Bd6 7. h3 Bh5 8. Nbd2 Ne7 9. Nc4 f6 10. Be3 c5 11. c3 Nc6 12. Qb3 b6 13. Ncd2 Bf7 14. Qc2 Be6 15. d4 cxd4 16. cxd4 Nxd4 17. Bxd4 exd4 18. Nxd4 Qd7 19. Nxe6 Qxe6 20. Nc4 Bc5 21. b4 Bxb4 22. Qa4+ b5 23. Qxb4 Qxc4 24. Qxc4 bxc4 25. Rfc1 O-O-O 26. Rxc4 Rhe8 27. Rac1 Re7 28. R1c2 Rd1+ 29. Kh2 Red7 30. f3 Kd8 31. Kg3 R1d2 32. Rxc7 Rxg2+ 33. Kf4 Rxc2 34. Rxc2 Rd6 35. h4 g6 36. h5 gxh5 37. Rh2 Ke7 38. Rxh5 Ke6 39. Rxh7 Rd2 40. Rb7 Rxa2 41. Rb6+ Kf7 42. Kf5 Ra5+ 43. Kf4 Ra1 44. Kf5 Ra5+ 45. Kf4 1/2-1/2 [Event "CZE-ch"] [Site "Ledec nad Sazavou"] [Date "2013.05.22"] [Round "2"] [White "Polak, Tomas"] [Black "Rausis, Igors"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "C68"] [WhiteElo "2502"] [BlackElo "2518"] [PlyCount "72"] [EventDate "2013.05.21"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "CZE"] [SourceTitle "CBM 154 Extra"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2013.06.25"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Bxc6 dxc6 5. O-O Bg4 6. h3 Bh5 7. d3 Bd6 8. Be3 c5 9. Nbd2 f6 10. a4 Ne7 11. Qb1 O-O 12. Nh4 Qd7 13. Kh1 Kh8 14. a5 b5 15. Rg1 Bf7 16. Qd1 Rad8 17. Nf1 Be6 18. g4 c4 19. dxc4 bxc4 20. Ng3 Qb5 21. Qe2 Qxb2 22. g5 Qb7 23. Kh2 Qc6 24. gxf6 Rxf6 25. Rg2 Rf4 26. Bxf4 exf4 27. e5 fxg3+ 28. Rxg3 Bc5 29. Rag1 Rf8 30. Rf3 Qe8 31. Rgg3 Bd5 32. Rxf8+ Qxf8 33. Kg1 Qf4 34. Rg4 Qc1+ 35. Qf1 Qxc2 36. Rf4 g5 0-1