64th Hertfordshire Congress

Open, Round 3

David Redman (207) v Chris Rice (191)

Game annotated by Chris Rice

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 dxc4 5.a4 Bf5 6.e3 e6 7.Bxc4 Bb4 8.0–0 0–0

8...Nbd7 is my core repertoire move, especially after the difficulties I experienced in this game. 9.Qb3 a5 10.Na2 This was the line I was concerned about but Black can just play 10...Be7 White can go (Black could even try going for more than a draw with 10...Bd6 11.Qxb7 Rb8 12.Qa6 (12.Qxc6 Rb6) 12...0–0 13.Be2 (13.Bd3?? Nc5!) 13...Qc7 14.Nc3 Rb4 Threatening ...Nb8 15.Bd1 e5 with nice positional compensation.) 11.Qxb7 with a draw. 11...Rb8 12.Qa6 Ra8 13.Qxc6 Rc8 14.Qb5 Rb8 15.Qa6 Ra8.

9.Qb3 Qe7 10.Ne5

I sank into thought for over half an hour here and really couldn't find a satisfactory line.

10...a5 11.f3 Na6?!

11...Nfd7 12.Nd3 Bxd3 13.Bxd3 was relatively best but I thought White would just be a helluva lot better and I have no counterplay at all.

12.e4 Bg6 13.Bg5

Have to admit I didn't see this move at all. I was expecting 13.Na2 when I can't go back to d6 because I would lose a piece so would have to concede the two bishops anyway.

13...Qc7 14.Bxf6?!

Surprised at this, he should just sit on me as I can't do a bloody thing. Simply move the rooks to central files and he's laughing.

14...gxf6 15.Ng4 Kg7 16.Ne2 f5 17.Ne5 Nc5

  This was my big idea though the computer doesn't like it going for ...c5 or ...fxe4 stuff.

18.Qe3 Nd7 19.Nxg6?!

  Again a bit surprised. 19.Nd3 looks good keeping pieces on.

19...hxg6 20.Nf4 Rfe8

  This was ok but 20...e5 looked stronger. I was worried about him going 21.Nh5+ and I have to go 21...Kh7 (as 21...gxh5 22.Qg5+ Kh8 23.Qxh5+ Kg7 24.Qg5+ Kh8 25.f4 with Rf3 coming looks almost impossible to deal with. I also considered 20...Rh8 but was put off by the possible sacrifices on e6 but I probably shouldn't have been 21.Bxe6 Bd6 22.e5 Nxe5 23.dxe5 Bxe5 for example but it all looks very murky.

21.Kh1 Nf6 22.Rac1 Qb6

  Again 22...Rh8 was better but I shunned the complications for a 'safe' move.


  23.e5 was better though after either 23...Nd7 (or 23...Nd5 Black is OK.)

23...exf5 24.Qb3?!

  24.Qf2 would have kept the d-pawn.

24...Qxd4 25.g3 Re3 26.Qa2 g5 27.Rcd1 Qe5 28.Ng2 f4 29.gxf4 gxf4 30.Nxe3?

  30.Rg1! would have been very powerful.

30...fxe3 31.Rg1+

  Missed that one too and thought I might be losing but I'm OK.

31...Kf8 32.b3 Ke7 33.Rg7 Nd5 34.Qg2 Rf8

  34...Rh8 or; 34...Bd2 are level and better than the text which causes me more difficulties in defence.

35.Rg5! f5 36.Rg7+ Kd6 37.f4?

  My opponent told me afterwards that he had simply missed my reply and thought he was winning. In retrospect he could have cold bloodedly taken the b-pawn but these things aren't easy to see in the heat of battle. We were both down to living off the 20 second increment by now and the game descended into utter chaos. 

37...Qe4 38.Rg6+?

  38.Qxe4 fxe4 39.Rxb7 Rxf4 40.Rg7 was better.

38...Kc5 39.Qxe4 fxe4 40.Re6

  In the mad time scramble that followed I lost track of the moves and had to put them together afterwards.

40...Rxf4 41.Re5 Bd2 42.Rf1 Rxf1+ 43.Bxf1 Kd4 44.Re6 Kc3 45.Rxe4 Kxb3 46.h4 Nc3 47.Re6 Kxa4 48.h5 Kb3 49.Kg2 b5 50.h6 e2 51.h7 exf1Q+ 52.Kxf1 a4 53.Rxc6 a3 54.h8Q a2 55.Ra6 Na4 56.Qg8+ Kb2 57.Rxa4 bxa4 58.Qb8+ Kc2 59.Qh8 Bc3 60.Qh7+ Kb3 61.Qb7+ Kc2 62.Qg2+ Kb3 63.Qb7+ draw