17 April 2016

Annotated Game #155: Wrong side of a Stonewall

The following third-round game had me on the "wrong" side (White) of a Stonewall.  Of course I was fine on principle in the opening, but it's often tough to play against defenses that you yourself use.  In this case, the game becomes quite sharp in the early middlegame and Black takes over the initiative.  Instead of finding some interesting tactical options (especially on move 18, with a deflection possibility), I play some "obvious moves" (as in Annotated Game #149) and get in trouble in the complications.  Despite some desperation-type pressure from my end, my opponent consolidated in time trouble to the point where the win was obvious, so I resigned.  Not my best effort, but it was a useful learning experience in dealing with an unfamiliar opening setup (Semi-Slav versus the English, which morphed into a Stonewall).

ChessAdmin - Class A

Result: 0-1
D45: Semi-Slav: 5 e3
[...] 1.c4 ¤f6 2.¤c3 e6 3.¤f3 d5 4.e3 c6 this is the first time I've encountered a Semi-Slav type setup against the English. 5.b3 ¤bd7 6.¥e2 this may be a premature development of the bishop. 6...¥d6 7.O-O O-O 8.d4 this move puts the game firmly in Semi-Slav territory (although not for long). Alternate approaches may be better. Here's one from Mikhail Tal:
8.£c2 ¦e8 9.¥b2 e5 10.cxd5 ¤xd5 11.¤e4 ¥c7 12.a3 a5 13.¥c4 ¤f8 14.¤g3 ¥g4 15.¤e1 ¤g6 16.h3 ¥e6 17.¤f3 ¤f6 18.¥xe6 ¦xe6 19.¦ad1 ¦e8 20.e4 ¤d7 21.d4 exd4 22.¤xd4 ¥xg3 23.fxg3 £b6 24.¢h2 £c5 25.£e2 ¤de5 26.¤f5 ¦ad8 27.¦xd8 ¦xd8 28.¦d1 £f8 29.¥d4 ¦d7 30.¥c3 ¦xd1 31.£xd1 h6 32.h4 f6 33.h5 ¤e7 34.¤h4 £b8 35.¥xe5 £xe5 36.£d7 ¢f8 37.¤g6+ ¤xg6 38.hxg6 £h5+ 39.¢g1 £xg6 40.£xb7 £xe4 41.£a8+ 1/2-1/2 (41) Tal,M (2560)-Bagirov,V (2505) Riga 1981
8...£e7 9.¥b2 ¤e4 10.£c2 f5 now we have a classic Stonewall Dutch formation for Black. 11.¤xe4 starting a somewhat complex sequence. I had to think here for a while and also again on move 14 to make sure that I had it right. 11...fxe4 12.¤e5 the only move that doesn't give Black a positional edge. 12...£g5 the counter-threat by Black, which requires White to further support the Ne5. Exchanging on d7 is possible, but just benefits Black by freeing up the Bc8 and connecting his rooks. 13.£c3 ¦f5 increasing the pressure again on Black's side. 14.f4 exf3 15.¦xf3
15.¤xf3!? is the other major option. I thought that the text move seemed to keep the balance more easily.
15...¤xe5 16.dxe5 ¦xe5 17.¦g3 an obvious move with an obvious threat that I made quickly. I should have considered other options as well, since there's no urgency to play the text move. For example, Black's Re5 is awkwardly placed and is a target for White's bishops.
17.¥d3!? starts a wild line: 17...¦xe3 18.¥xh7+ ¢h8 19.¦xe3 ¥c5 20.¦ae1 d4 21.£d3 dxe3 22.¥e4²
17.c5 is a safer version of the idea. 17...¥c7 18.¥d3 and Black's Re5 is trapped and will have to give itself up for the exchange, although this is not losing.
17...£e7 18.¦f1 another "obvious" move played when there was a not-so-obvious good alternative.
18.¥a3 deflection tactic. 18...¥xa3 19.£xe5 ¥d6 20.£g5 £xg5 21.¦xg5
18...¦g5 Black now effectively takes over the initiative. His pieces are well placed to make threats on the kingside, while mine are not coordinating as well. 19.¦xg5 £xg5 20.¥h5 I did well to find this move, although I followed up on it poorly, essentially overestimating my threats and underestimating Black's. 20...¥xh2+ 21.¢h1??
21.¢xh2 I dismissed this move since I thought it just lost a pawn, but it keeps the position equal due to White's threats on the f-file and against the g7 square. 21...£xh5+ 22.¢g1 £g5 23.£b4 £xe3+ 24.¦f2
21...¥g3−⁠+ only now did I see the problem of the mate threat. 22.¥f7+ the best practical chance for White, although I am already lost by this point. However, my opponent was running very low on time in the first time control, so I played on and tried to complicate matters as much as possible. 22...¢h8 23.¢g1 ¥d7 24.¥e8 ¦xe8 25.¦f7 e5 26.¦xd7 £f5 the game is effectively over, due to Black's mate threats. Under time pressure, however, he decides to pick up the material and just play safely. 27.£d2 £xd7 (27...¦f8 28.£e1 ¥xe1 29.¥xe5 ¥f2+ 30.¢h1 £h5+ 31.¥h2 £d1+ 32.¥g1 £xg1#) 28.e4 d4 29.£d3 £g4 30.¥a3 ¥f4 31.¢f1 ¥e3 32.£e2 £f4+ 33.£f3 £xf3+ 34.gxf3 h5 at this point Black could easily make random moves to reach the time control successfully, so I resigned.
Powered by Aquarium

No comments:

Post a Comment