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1 Feb 2018

E17 Queen's Indian: 4.g3 Bb7 5.Bg2 Be7 (1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3 Bb7 5.Bg2 Be7 6.O-O O-O 7.Nc3 d5 8.b3 Nbd7 9.Bb2)

E17 Queen's Indian: 4.g3 Bb7 5.Bg2 Be7 (1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.g3 Bb7 5.Bg2 Be7 6.O-O O-O 7.Nc3 d5 8.b3 Nbd7 9.Bb2)

The game I am sharing today was played in a team match called Carpe Diem 4th Birthday Celebration Match and it was played between Carpe Diem and Battle For Victory on 99 boards. I played on board 29 for Battle For Victory and unfortunately lost both my games against kamabarus. However, even if I had won both my games, the winner of the match would have still been Carpe Diem as they won the match with a score of 105 - 93. The first move that may be criticized is 17.Ne5. The move seems, at first, like a good one, it blocks the rooks path, so that it does not protect the pawn on e4 anymore and it also attacks the pawn on c6. However, the pawn on e4 can't actually be taken with the bishop in view of the move f6 and my opponent would pay a heavy price for the pawn. The pawn on c6 is not really under a serious attack either, due to the continuation 18.Nxc6 Bxc6 19.Rxc6 Nb4 and my opponent would need to give back the pawn or lose the rook.

In the game I should have played 17...f6, but for some reason I thought that 17...e3 had more potential, so I chose that one instead. Obviously 18.fxe3 is unplayable because of the reply 18...Nxe3, forking the queen and the rook. While these are some improvements to the game continuation, neither 17.Ne5 or 17...e3 were horrible enough moves that the game should have been decided because of those two moves. The first move that could have been responsible for my loss was 19...c5.

It seemed logical to me to open the bishop's path, so that it would not seem like a tall pawn anymore, but because the bishop was not defended at b7, it meant that the knight on d5 could not safely move anywhere. This fact kamarabus tried to use to his or hers advantage. My opponent correctly played 20.dxc5, but then quickly lost the right path and I managed to equalize couple of moves later. The game continued 20...Bxc5 21.Qf5 Qe7 22.Qg4 Nf6 and I had successfully been able to get away from the pin on the long diagonal. Bad moves continued from both sides, but the game losing blunder came from me, when I played the horrible 24...Rxe7. On the previous move I had self pinned my knight again...

The reason why 24...Rxe7 was so bad is that it lost a piece by force, due to my badly placed pieces. Kamarabus was able to take advantage of my horrible position and played 25.b4. The position was quite resignable at that moment, but for some reason I liked to torture myself a few moves longer and only resigned after 29.Nc6 in a position where I would lose either a bishop or the exchange. Either way I would have been completely lost, since I was already down a knight for a pawn.

[Event "Carpe Diem 4th Birthday Celebration Matc"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2016.06.16"] [Round "?"] [White "kamabarus"] [Black "Vierjoki, Timo"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "E17"] [WhiteElo "1853"] [BlackElo "1824"] [Annotator "Stockfish 8 64 POPCNT (30s)"] [PlyCount "57"] [EventDate "2016.??.??"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 b6 4. g3 Bb7 5. Bg2 Be7 6. O-O O-O 7. Nc3 d5 8. b3 Nbd7 9. Bb2 {E17 Queen's Indian: 4.g3 Bb7 5.Bg2 Be7} Re8 10. Rc1 (10. e3 c5 11. Ne5 cxd4 12. exd4 Rc8 13. Rc1 Bd6 14. Qe2 a6 15. f4 Rc7 16. g4 Bb4 17. g5 Bxc3 18. Rxc3 Ne4 19. Rh3 Nf8 20. Bxe4 dxe4 21. Qh5 b5 22. Rc1 bxc4 23. bxc4 e3 24. Rxe3 Ree7 {Hebert,J (2422)-Nogueiras Santiago,J (2521) Montreal 2003 1/2-1/2 (58)}) 10... Bf8 $146 (10... c5 11. cxd5 exd5 (11... Nxd5 12. Qd2 Nxc3 13. Bxc3 Bf6 14. Rfd1 cxd4 15. Bxd4 Bxd4 16. Qxd4 Nc5 17. Qf4 Qf6 18. Qxf6 gxf6 19. Nd4 Bxg2 20. Kxg2 Rad8 21. Nc6 Rxd1 22. Rxd1 a5 23. f3 Kf8 24. Kf2 Rc8 25. Na7 Rc7 26. Nb5 {Ferrara,A (2155)-Castelli,R (2200) Buenos Aires 1997 1/2-1/2}) 12. e3 Rc8 13. Qd3 c4 14. bxc4 Ba6 15. Nd2 dxc4 16. Qb1 b5 17. a3 Qb6 18. Rfd1 Bb7 19. Bxb7 Qxb7 20. Qf5 g6 21. Qxb5 Qxb5 22. Nxb5 Rb8 23. Nxa7 Rxb2 24. Nxc4 Rb3 25. a4 {Molvig,J (1964)-Skjoldager,P (2160) Helsingor 2016 1/2-1/2 (43)}) (10... Rc8 11. Ne5 Nf8 12. e3 c5 13. Ne2 Rc7 14. Rc2 Bd6 15. Nf4 Bxe5 16. dxe5 N6d7 17. cxd5 exd5 18. Nxd5 Bxd5 19. Qxd5 Ng6 20. Rd1 Qe7 21. f4 Nb8 22. Bh3 Nc6 23. Bc3 h5 24. Rcd2 h4 25. Bd7 {Molteni,C (1950)-Cattaneo,D (1508) Bergamo 2006 1-0 (39)}) 11. cxd5 exd5 12. Nb5 {White threatens to win material: Nb5xc7} c6 { Black threatens to win material: c6xb5} 13. Nc3 Ne4 14. Nxe4 dxe4 ({Inferior is } 14... Rxe4 15. Ne5 Nxe5 16. Bxe4 dxe4 17. dxe5 $16) 15. Nd2 Nf6 16. Nc4 Nd5 { Black intends e3. The knight is not easily driven from d5} 17. Ne5 {White threatens to win material: Ne5xc6} (17. f3 $142 e3 18. f4 $11) 17... e3 $4 { gives the opponent counterplay} (17... f6 18. Nc4 $15) 18. f4 (18. Qd3 Qe7 $16) 18... Rc8 (18... f6 19. Nd3 $15 (19. Nxc6 $143 Qd7 20. Ne5 fxe5 21. dxe5 Rad8 $17)) 19. Qd3 (19. Qc2 $142 $14) 19... c5 $4 {a transit from better to worse} ( 19... f6 $142 {was a good chance to save the game} 20. Nc4 b5 $11) 20. dxc5 $18 Bxc5 21. Qf5 (21. Rfd1 $142 {and White can celebrate victory} Nxf4 22. Qc4 $18) 21... Qe7 $16 22. Qg4 (22. Ng4 $142 Qe6 23. Qxe6 fxe6 24. f5 $16) 22... Nf6 $11 {Black threatens to win material: Nf6xg4} 23. Qg5 (23. Qh3 $142 $11) 23... Ne4 $4 {Black is ruining his position} (23... h6 $142 24. Qf5 Bxg2 25. Kxg2 Rcd8 $17) 24. Qxe7 $14 {White has a mate threat} Rxe7 $4 (24... Bxe7 $142 {this is the best bet to save the position} 25. Bd4 f6 26. Rxc8 Rxc8 $14) 25. b4 $1 $18 {Decoy: b4} Bxb4 (25... f6 26. Bxe4 Bxe4 27. Nf3 $18 (27. bxc5 $6 {is the less attractive alternative} fxe5 28. cxb6 Rxc1 29. Rxc1 axb6 $16)) 26. Rxc8+ Bxc8 27. Bxe4 f6 (27... Rc7 {doesn't get the bull off the ice} 28. Rd1 Bd2 29. Nf3 $18) 28. Bd5+ (28. Rd1 $5 {might be the shorter path} Kf8 29. Rd8+ Re8 30. Rxe8+ Kxe8 $18) 28... Kf8 (28... Be6 {is the last straw} 29. Bxe6+ Rxe6 $18) 29. Nc6 (29. Nc6 Bc5 30. Nxe7 Kxe7 31. Kg2 $18) 1-0

It is quite interesting to see that there have been strong Grand Masters who have also ended up in the position I had in the game above after 9.Bb2.

[Event "Hastings 8081"] [Site "Hastings"] [Date "1980.??.??"] [Round "11"] [White "Andersson, Ulf"] [Black "Liberzon, Vladimir M"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "E17"] [WhiteElo "2590"] [BlackElo "2545"] [PlyCount "41"] [EventDate "1980.12.??"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventRounds "15"] [EventCountry "ENG"] [EventCategory "10"] [SourceTitle "MCD"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "1999.07.01"] 1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. g3 d5 4. Bg2 Be7 5. d4 O-O 6. O-O Nbd7 7. b3 b6 8. Bb2 Bb7 9. Nc3 c5 10. cxd5 Nxd5 11. Nxd5 Bxd5 12. Rc1 Rc8 13. Qd3 cxd4 14. Qxd4 Bf6 15. Rxc8 Qxc8 16. Qd2 Qb7 17. Rc1 Rc8 18. Ne1 Rxc1 19. Qxc1 Bxg2 20. Nxg2 h6 21. Bxf6 1/2-1/2 [Event "Mexico City Independencia Cup GM"] [Site "Mexico City"] [Date "2016.09.15"] [Round "4"] [White "Hernandez Guerrero, Gilberto"] [Black "Gonzalez Zamora, Juan Carlos"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "A14"] [WhiteElo "2506"] [BlackElo "2502"] [PlyCount "35"] [EventDate "2016.09.14"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "MEX"] [EventCategory "7"] [SourceTitle "Mega2016 Update 52"] [Source "Chessbase"] [SourceDate "2016.10.02"] 1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. g3 d5 4. Bg2 Be7 5. O-O O-O 6. b3 b6 7. Bb2 Bb7 8. d4 Nbd7 9. Nc3 c5 10. cxd5 Nxd5 11. Nxd5 Bxd5 12. dxc5 Nxc5 13. Rc1 Bf6 14. Bxf6 Qxf6 15. Qd4 Qe7 16. Qe3 Qb7 17. Rfd1 Rac8 18. Ne1 1/2-1/2 [Event "London Classic 8th"] [Site "London"] [Date "2016.12.10"] [Round "2"] [White "Kramnik, Vladimir"] [Black "Aronian, Levon"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "E17"] [WhiteElo "2809"] [BlackElo "2785"] [PlyCount "63"] [EventDate "2016.12.09"] [EventType "tourn"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "ENG"] [EventCategory "22"] [SourceTitle "Mega2016 Update 64"] [Source "Chessbase"] [SourceDate "2016.12.24"] 1. Nf3 d5 2. g3 Nf6 3. Bg2 e6 4. O-O Be7 5. c4 O-O 6. b3 b6 7. Nc3 Bb7 8. d4 Nbd7 9. Bb2 Rc8 10. cxd5 Nxd5 11. Nxd5 Bxd5 12. Qd3 c5 13. e4 Bb7 14. Rad1 cxd4 15. Nxd4 Nf6 16. Qe2 Qe8 17. a3 a5 18. Rfe1 Bc5 19. Nb5 Qe7 20. e5 Bxg2 21. exf6 Qb7 22. Nd6 Bxd6 23. Rxd6 Bh1 24. f3 Qxf3 25. Qd2 Qg2+ 26. Qxg2 Bxg2 27. fxg7 Rfe8 28. Re2 Bf3 29. Rf2 Be4 30. Re2 Bf3 31. Rf2 Be4 32. Re2 1/2-1/2 [Event "FIDE World Cup"] [Site "Tbilisi"] [Date "2017.09.20"] [Round "6.2"] [White "Ding, Liren"] [Black "So, Wesley"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "E17"] [WhiteElo "2777"] [BlackElo "2810"] [PlyCount "116"] [EventDate "2017.09.03"] [EventType "k.o."] [EventRounds "7"] [EventCountry "GEO"] [SourceTitle "Mega2017 Update 49"] [Source "Chessbase"] [SourceDate "2017.09.29"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. g3 d5 4. Bg2 Be7 5. Nf3 O-O 6. b3 b6 7. O-O Bb7 8. Nc3 Nbd7 9. Bb2 c5 10. Ne1 cxd4 11. Qxd4 Bc5 12. Qf4 Bb4 13. Nd3 Bxc3 14. Bxc3 Qc8 15. Rfc1 dxc4 16. Bxf6 Nxf6 17. Rxc4 Qb8 18. Qxb8 Rfxb8 19. Ne5 Bxg2 20. Kxg2 Ne8 21. Nc6 Rb7 22. Rd1 Kf8 23. e4 Nf6 24. f4 b5 25. Rcd4 g6 26. Ne5 h6 27. Rc1 Ke8 28. Kf3 Nd7 29. Nd3 a5 30. Rc6 Ke7 31. a3 Raa7 32. Ke3 Nb8 33. Rc8 Nd7 34. Rc6 Nb8 35. Rc8 Nd7 36. Nc5 Nb6 37. Rc6 Rc7 38. Rxb6 Rxc5 39. e5 g5 40. Rd3 gxf4+ 41. gxf4 Rc2 42. h3 Ra2 43. b4 axb4 44. axb4 Rh2 45. Ke4 Rc7 46. Rxb5 Rc4+ 47. Rd4 Rc7 48. Rc5 Rxc5 49. bxc5 Rc2 50. f5 exf5+ 51. Kxf5 Rxc5 52. Rd6 Rc1 53. Rxh6 Rf1+ 54. Ke4 f6 55. exf6+ Rxf6 56. Rxf6 Kxf6 57. h4 Kg6 58. h5+ Kxh5 1/2-1/2