July 21, 2010

(358) Mabe, Chris (2250) - Kekelidze, Mikheil (2570) [A37]
World Open (6), 04.07.2010

This is my sixth round game from the World Open tournament in Philadelphia. This tournament happens around July 4th every year and is one of the largest in the world. It's expensive but there is no doubt that the competition is strong and there is a lot of good chess. At this point in the tournament I had a score of 3 out of 5 and was actually competing for a high spot on the crosstable. This was the beginning of a bad streak for me as I wasn't able to recover psychologically from this loss. I lost my remaining games. 1.Nf3 I played this first move because I want a planning game and not a theoretical battle. 1...c5 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.g3 Nc6 5.Bg2 d6 6.0-0 e6 7.a3 [7.e3 Nge7 8.d4] 7...Nge7 8.Rb1 b6 9.b4 Diagram This is a typical plan to gain space on the queenside. 9...Bb7 10.Na4 I was happy with this move because it is an exception to the rule: knights on the rim are dim. It is true that this guy is misplaced but e6 weakened the dark squares on the kingside, so it is important to exchange the dark squared bishops. The threat here is to take twice on c5 since the Bb7 is loose. 10...Qd7 11.Bb2 Bxb2 12.Rxb2 [12.Nxb2? cxb4 13.axb4 Nxb4] 12...Nd4 I expected this move. I don't think my opponent appreciated the weakness of the f6 square at this point though. 13.e3 [13.bxc5 Nxf3+ 14.Bxf3 Bxf3 15.exf3 dxc5 This is terrible for white. The d4 square will be a chronic weakness.] 13...Nxf3+ 14.Bxf3 Bxf3 15.Qxf3 0-0 [15...Qxa4?? 16.Qxa8+ Kd7 17.Qxh8] 16.Nc3 f5 It is neccesary to control e4 or remove the rook from a8. Controlling e4 makes the most sense but is also committal. [16...cxb4? 17.Ne4! f5 18.Nf6+ Rxf6 19.Qxa8+; 16...Nc6 17.Ne4 (17.d3 Ne5 18.Qe2 f5 19.d4 cxd4 20.exd4 Nf7 This is good for white. The black center is vulnerable to attack along the central files.) 17...f5 18.Ng5 is nothing for white] 17.d4 Diagram I did not find other moves inspiring, so I spent around 15 minutes trying to judge the resulting positions. The game continuation makes the most sense and I judged it to be fine for white. It seems a bit odd to allow the black pawn to f4, but it does let me to place pieces on the e4 square. I decided the pawn could become weak in the future. I am trying to sharpen the game. 17...cxd4 18.exd4 Rac8 19.Qe2 f4 Diagram I had seen that in this position I could fight for the initiative because of the weak e6 pawn. 20.Re1 Nf5 [20...f3 21.Qd3 Nc6 22.Re3 e5 23.Rxf3 Nxd4 24.Rxf8+ Rxf8 25.f4 Is about equal.] 21.Rd2 I thought it was very important to open things up slowly so I protected my d4 pawn and got my rook in the game. [21.Qxe6+ Qxe6 22.Rxe6 Nxd4 23.Rxd6 Rxc4 The white pieces are not coordinated very well in this position, so black probably has a slight advantage. ] 21...Qc6 22.Qxe6+ Kh8 23.Re4 Diagram Without this move Rce8 would be a problem. At this point I am beginning to make black relieve the tension between the f4 and g3 pawns. The next 10 moves or so will all be about who blinks first. 23...Qxc4 24.Qxc4 Rxc4 25.Rd3 Rfc8 26.Nd5 I want him to take on g3 and he wants me to take on f4. [26.Ne2 This is possible but the knight is much worse on this square as opposed to d5.] 26...g5 [26...f3 This variation was critical to the assessment of the whole position. Fortunately it is good for white but it still requires accurate calculation. 27.Rxf3 Nxd4 28.Rff4 (28.Rf7?? This looks attractive, going for the arabian mate, but it doesn't work tactically. 28...Nf3+ 29.Kg2 Rxe4 30.Kxf3 Rec4 31.Nf6 R4c7) 28...Nf3+ 29.Kg2 Rxe4 30.Rxe4 Ne5 31.f4 Rc2+ 32.Kh3 Nf3 33.Re8+ Kg7 34.Re7+ Kf8 35.Rxa7 Rxh2+ 36.Kg4 This is a typical computer line but not impossible for a human to find. I didn't calculate this far in the game. After I reached Rff4 I decided the position was promising for white.] 27.Kg2 King safety first. [27.gxf4 Nh4 28.Re1 Rc1 29.Rdd1 Nf3+ 30.Kg2; 27.gxf4 Rc1+ 28.Kg2 Nh4+ 29.Kg3 Rg1+ 30.Kh3 Nf3 This looks dangerous for white] 27...Rc2 This is too much. He should have relieved the tension with fxg3. Now the pawn is just hanging. 28.gxf4 Rg8 29.Nf6? The game move is the first example of me getting too excited with my position and losing objectivity. The arabian mate was calling my name but I ended up just wasting time. It is very important to do things the correct way in chess. Wasting time like this is not good. [29.fxg5 Rxg5+ 30.Kf3 This position is just good for white and is what I should have played. ] 29...Rg6 30.fxg5 Rxg5+ 31.Kf3 Kg7 And here is the free move I gave him. Now my knight has to go to the silly g4 square. 32.Ng4 d5(+) Diagram This is a bad move but we are both in severe time trouble though his is worse than mine. 33.Re5 h5 34.Ne3 Nh4+ 35.Kf4 Rxe5 36.dxe5 Ng6+ 37.Kg3 I missed that he has h4+. [37.Kg5! Rxf2 38.Rxd5 Rxh2 39.Rd7+ Kf8 40.Kxg6] 37...h4+ 38.Kg4 Nxe5+ 39.Kxh4 Rxf2 40.Rxd5 Ng6+ 41.Kg5 Diagram [41.Kg3 This is much better but I still did not have control of myself. I was very excited with how the game was going. As a result of playing Kg5 I will have trouble protecting the h2 pawn. That problem will lead to a bit of frustration which in turn will lead to a calculation error and a blunder. I should be thinking of consolidation.] 41...Nf8 42.Nf5+?! Correct was Re5. [42.h4 Nh7+ 43.Kg4 (43.Kh5 Nf6+) 43...Nf6+; 42.Rf5 Rxh2; 42.Ng4 Rf3; 42.h4] 42...Kf7 43.Nh6+ Ke7 44.Nf5+ [44.Re5+; 44.Ng4 Rf3 (44...Ne6+ 45.Kh4) ] 44...Ke6 45.Rd6+?? I could have still had an equal position after Nd3 Rxh2. 45...Ke5 [45...Kf7 46.Rf6+] 46.Ng3 [46.Rf6 Nh7+] 46...Ne6+ Diagram I resigned at this point since I will lose the exchange and the rook will gobble my queenside pawns. This was a very important game for me. It taught me that if I work hard enough at the board that I can compete with stronger players. I think this is true for most players and if you go into a game ready to calculate everything and be extra careful the you will have good results. It also taught me the importance of being objective during a game. It is very important to always think of your opponent and appreciate their ideas. 47.Rxe6+ This is the reason of my resignation. Rxe6 is forced. [47.Kg6 Rf6+ 48.Kh7 Ng5+ 49.Kg7 Rxd6] 47...Kxe6 Knights are terrible against rooks. 48.h4 Rf3 49.Ne4 Ke5 50.Nd2 Rg3+ 51.Kh6 b5 52.h5 Rd3 53.Nf1 Kf6 54.Nh2 Rxa3 55.Kh7 Rh3 56.Ng4+ Kf5 57.Nh6+ Ke6 58.Ng4 Rh4 59.Nf2 Rxh5+ 0-1

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