Icy45 (2536) - Flying Saucers (1771)
4th PAL-CSS Freestyle Final (CSS Freestyle Tournament), 10/20/2006

Round 1 [Dagh Nielsen] [A07]

Start Position My opponent was Auno Siikaluoma from Finland. I knew in advance that he is currently very active in correspondence chess, and that he would probably play some "irregular" Nf3 opening, against which it would be difficult to prepare something concrete. I think the game can best be characterised as a nervous affair, where first white and later black had huge winning chances, but it was eventually a fair draw.
1.Nf3 [%emt 0:00:04]
1...d5 [%emt 0:00:07]
2.g3 [%emt 0:00:11]
2...Nf6 [%emt 0:00:37]
3.Bg2 [%emt 0:00:08]
3...c6 [%emt 0:00:45]
4.O-O In my preparation, I had looked a bit on both Bf5 and Bg4, and decided that I would be better able to decide the further course of the game if and when that position actually arose on the board. [%emt 0:00:11]
4...Bg4 [%emt 0:02:40]
5.d3 [%emt 0:00:14]
5...Nbd7 [%emt 0:00:43]
6.Qe1 More commo n is 6.Nbd2. Since my opponent played a tempo, while I was in unknown waters, I of course felt a little uneasy. [%emt 0:00:09]
6...e5 [%emt 0:01:34]
7.h3 [%emt 0:00:10]
7...Bh5 [%emt 0:00:41]
8.e4 [%emt 0:00:11]
8...dxe4 [%emt 0:00:13]
9.dxe4 [%emt 0:00:10]
9...Bc5 [%emt 0:02:13]
10.b4 [%emt 0:00:14]
10...Be7 [%emt 0:10:34]
[10...Bd6 11.Nh4 a5New opening move
(11...O-O 12.Nf5 Bc7 and Rybka likes
12.Nf5 Bxb4 13.Nxg7+ Kf8 14.c3 Kxg7 15.cxb4 Bg6 was "too unclear" for my taste.]
[10...Bb6 and I felt that white would get too easy initiative after either of the indicated moves.
11.Na3New opening move
(11.Nbd2New opening move)]
11.Bb2New opening move [%emt 0:02:04]
[11.Nh4 O-O!?New opening move
11...a5 [%emt 0:04:41]
[11...Qb6 12.Nxe5 I did not like giving up the e5 center pawn and opening up the b-file for white at the same time.]
12.bxa5 This turned out to be a critical moment. 12. bxa5 came as a complete surprise for me, and usually, one should follow the sensible advice of being very careful in such a situation. Secondly, I have tried to build up the habit of always considering the various alternatives if the time allows it. Sometimes one is a little tempted to just follow the immediate engine suggestion. I replied too fast and can best explain it by "first game nerves" and the fact that I was already down on time in a game "on my opponent's territory". [%emt 0:01:40]
12...Qxa5 [%emt 0:00:48]
[12...Bxf3 was prudent, when after
13.Bxf3 Qxa5 14.a4 Bb4 15.c3 Be7 16.Nd2 O-O 17.Nc4 Qc7 black should be OK.]
13.Qxa5 [%emt 0:01:15]
13...Rxa5 [%emt 0:00:04]
14.Bc3 [%emt 0:02:13]
14...Rc5 [%emt 0:00:47]
15.Nfd2 [%emt 0:01:47]
15...Nf8 [%emt 0:00:41]
16.Re1! With the idea of Bf1-d3 and harassing black's misplaced rook on c5. I discovered this idea also while my opponent was pondering the move. With the back against the wall, I decided to try and take the time necessary to get my act together instead of panicking and giving white an easy way forward. I think I succeeded fairly well in finding perhaps the only way to achieve a still playable position. [%emt 0:08:32]
16...Ne6 [%emt 0:13:36]
17.Bf1 [%emt 0:00:16]
17...Nd4 [%emt 0:00:13]
[17...O-O 18.Bb4 Rd8 19.Kg2 and black ends up an exchange down for pretty much nothing.]
18.Bd3 [%emt 0:00:25]
18...Nd7 Over the next 10-15 moves or so, both white and black has to decide between several different continuations giving white a certain endgame edge. [%emt 0:00:14]
19.Bxd4 [%emt 0:01:59]
19...exd4 [%emt 0:00:15]
20.Nb3 [%emt 0:01:58]
20...Ne5 [%emt 0:00:43]
21.Kg2 [%emt 0:00:48]
21...Nxd3 [%emt 0:00:10]
22.cxd3 [%emt 0:00:25]
22...Rc2 [%emt 0:04:29]
[22...Rb5 23.N1d2 Bb4
(23...Rb4 24.Nc4 Ra4 25.Nxd4 b5 26.Nf5 bxc4 27.Nxg7+ Kd7 28.Nxh5)
24.a4 Rb6 25.g4 Bg6 26.a5 Ra6 and there was too much harmony in white's position for my taste.]
23.Nxd4 [%emt 0:01:37]
23...Rb2 [%emt 0:00:16]
24.g4 [%emt 0:02:59]
24...Bg6 [%emt 0:03:44]
[24...Bc5!? 25.Ne2 Bg6]
25.Nc3 [%emt 0:00:33]
25...Kd7 [%emt 0:00:12]
26.Re2 [%emt 0:01:49]
[26.Reb1!? Rxb1 27.Rxb1 b5 and for example
28.Nce2 Ra8 29.Rb2 f6 30.Rc2 Ra6 31.Nc1]
26...Rb4 [%emt 0:03:31]
[26...Rxe2 27.Ncxe2 Ra8 28.a4]
27.Nc2 [%emt 0:01:59]
27...Rb2 [%emt 0:00:15]
28.f4 [%emt 0:00:26]
28...f6 [%emt 0:00:15]
29.Nd1 [%emt 0:06:55]
[29.Ne3!? Rxe2+ 30.Nxe2 Ra8 and for example
31.a4 b5 32.a5 Ra6 33.Nf5 Bb4 34.Nxg7 Rxa5 35.Rxa5 Bxa5 36.Kf2 c5 37.Ke3 Bf7]
29...Rb6 [%emt 0:00:09]
30.Nce3 [%emt 0:02:46]
30...Rd8 [%emt 0:00:33]
31.Nf5 [%emt 0:01:56]
31...Bf8 [%emt 0:00:14]
32.Nc3 [%emt 0:01:37]
32...Rb4 [%emt 0:00:11]
33.Rd1 [%emt 0:01:01]
33...Kc7 I think black has defended quite well for the last 10 moves or so, and his pieces are now well placed to neutralize white's advantage of an extra pawn. [%emt 0:00:24]
34.Nh4 This move came as a complete surprise, and in hindsight I cannot agree with it. While white may still not be objectively worse, the table seems to be turned in a practical sense. [%emt 0:00:22]
34...Rbd4 [%emt 0:01:07]
35.Nxg6 [%emt 0:00:10]
35...hxg6 [%emt 0:00:03]
36.Re3 [%emt 0:00:08]
36...Bc5 [%emt 0:00:16]
37.Kg3 [%emt 0:01:01]
37...b5 [%emt 0:00:43]
38.g5 [%emt 0:00:11]
38...R4d7 [%emt 0:00:39]
39.Rf3 [%emt 0:00:21]
39...Ra8 [%emt 0:00:11]
40.Rd2 [%emt 0:00:15]
40...Kb6 [%emt 0:02:16]
[after 40...Bb4 41.d4 Ra3 42.Rc2 Bxc3 43.Rfxc3 Rxc3+ 44.Rxc3 Rxd4 I did not believe that black had any real winning chances.]
41.Ne2 [%emt 0:00:51]
41...Rda7 [%emt 0:00:10]
42.Nc1 [%emt 0:00:38]
[42.d4 Bb4 43.Nc3 Bxc3
(43...f5 44.exf5 gxf5 45.h4 and white is probably close to a draw.)
44.Rxc3 Rxa2 45.Rxa2 Rxa2 46.gxf6 gxf6 47.e5 fxe5 48.fxe5 Rd2 49.Kf3 Rxd4 50.e6 Kc7 51.e7 Kd7 52.Rxc6 with a draw]
42...Ba3 [%emt 0:00:41]
43.Rc2 [%emt 0:00:10]
[43.Ne2 Bb4- / +]
43...Bxc1 [%emt 0:00:17]
44.Rxc1 [%emt 0:00:09]
44...f5 at some point over the next 10 moves, white crosses the line from a draw to a loss. [%emt 0:00:25]
[44...Rxa2 45.f5=]
45.Re3 [%emt 0:00:11]
[45.exf5 gives rise to some beautiful stalemate draw variations.
45...gxf5 46.d4 Ra3
(46...Rxa2 47.Rc5)
47.Rxa3 Rxa3+ 48.Kh4 g6 49.d5
(49.Re1 looks OK for white also.)
(49...cxd5 50.Rc6+! Kxc6 and stalemate!)
50.Re1 c4 51.Re6+ Kc5 52.Rc6+ Kxd5 53.Rc5+ Ke4 54.Rxc4+ Kf3 55.Rc6 and white is close to a draw.]
45...Rxa2 [%emt 0:00:15]
46.exf5 [%emt 0:00:21]
46...gxf5 [%emt 0:00:08]
47.Re6 [%emt 0:00:20]
47...Rc8 [%emt 0:01:16]
48.h4 [%emt 0:01:40]
48...Rd2 [%emt 0:00:55]
49.h5 [%emt 0:00:48]
49...Rxd3+ [%emt 0:00:50]
50.Kh4 [%emt 0:00:08]
50...Rf3 [%emt 0:00:05]
51.h6 [%emt 0:00:25]
[51.g6!? Rxf4+ 52.Kg5]
51...Rxf4+ [%emt 0:00:05]
52.Kh5 [%emt 0:00:31]
52...gxh6 [%emt 0:00:08]
53.g6 black has an obvious potential winning plan in sacrificing a rook for the g-pawn and rolling down with the b- and c-pawns. I was aware of this plan, but hoped that my engine would find it on its own if it worked, even though I was not using TBs. With only 6 mins left on the clock, I thought I could not really investigate various candidate moves in depth at any point. As it is, the immediate b4 is probably winning on both move 53 and 54. [%emt 0:00:16]
53...Rg4 [%emt 0:00:30]
[53...b4 and for example
54.g7 Rg4 55.Rg6 Rxg6 56.Kxg6 Kb5 57.Rf1 b3 58.Rxf5+ c5 59.Rf2 Rg8 60.Kh7 Rxg7+ 61.Kxg7 c4- +]
54.Kxh6 [%emt 0:00:09]
54...Rc7 [%emt 0:00:39]
55.Rf6 [%emt 0:00:09]
55...b4 But now it is too late. [%emt 0:00:19]
56.Rb1 [%emt 0:00:09]
56...Kb5 [%emt 0:00:51]
57.Rf7 [%emt 0:00:37]
57...Rc8 [%emt 0:00:05]
58.Rb7+ [%emt 0:00:40]
58...Ka4 [%emt 0:00:19]
[58...Kc5 59.g7=]
59.Ra7+ [%emt 0:00:27]
59...Kb5 [%emt 0:00:05]
60.Rb7+ [%emt 0:00:11]
60...Ka4 [%emt 0:00:03]
61.Ra7+ [%emt 0:00:26]
61...Kb5 [%emt 0:00:04]
62.Rb7+ (Lag: Av=0.21s, max=1.0s) [%emt 0:00:19]


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