Horsham Club Championship 2017-18: Mansson – A.Taylor

My final club championship game to finish was against Alex Taylor. I was White; the opening was the Sicilian Dragon. My opponent choses an inferior continuation and I was soon able to win a pawn; mutual innaccuracies followed before I was eventually able to consolidate a winning advantage by the time we reached the time control. My opponent chose to adjourn; we did not have the opportunity to resume the game for a long time, but eventually my opponent decided it was not worth it and resigned in any case.

I give the game below with some notes.

Mansson, James C – Taylor, Alex, Horsham Club Championship (Rook) 2018.03.13

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 g6 6. Be3 Bg7 7. f3 O-O 8. Qd2
Nc6 9. O-O-O d5 10. Qe1 e5 11. Nxc6 bxc6 12. exd5 cxd5

This is the more obvious recapture, but the d-pawn is now very vulnerable.

12… Nxd5 13. Bc4 Be6 is more common and stronger.

13. Bg5 Be6 14. Bc4 h6?!

This allows White to win a pawn. Moving the queen to c7 or b6 was better.

15. Bxf6

15. Bxd5 is the simpler way to win a pawn:

  • 15… hxg5 16. Bxe6
  • 15…Bxd5 16. Rxd5 Qc7 17. Bxf6 Bxf6 18. Ne4 Smirin – Kosanovic, Pula 1989

15… Qxf6

15… Bxf6 16. Bxd5 Bxd5 17. Nxd5

16. Bxd5 Bxd5

16… Rab8 was less cooperative. 17. Bb3 is preferable for White but there
is still plenty of play.

17. Nxd5 Qe6 18. Kb1

18. Nc7 Qxa2 19. Nxa8 h5 looks unattractive over the board and in subsequent analysis. White may be able to hold the balance but can’t expect more.

18… Rab8 19. c3

19. Qe4 at once was also possible.

19… Rfc8 20. g4?

White hoped to discourage …f5 but in fact the move remains a possibility, while White weakens his kingside.

20. Qe4 seems stronger.

20… Rb5?

20… Rc5! 21. Qe4 f5 22. gxf5 gxf5 23. Qd3 e4 24. fxe4 fxe4 25. Qg3 Rb7 gives Black good counterplay.

21. Qe4 a5

21… f5 22. gxf5 gxf5 23. Qd3 looks good for White due to the exposed Black king.

22. c4?!

22. Rhg1 was stronger. Then …f5 is not an attractive option; otherwise White maintains his bind on the Black position.

22… Rbb8?!

22… f5 23. gxf5 gxf5 24. Qe2 Rb7 25. Rd2 is better for White but still a little murky.

23. Ka1?!

23. Rhg1 is again stronger.

23… f5!?

Black played this not seeing 25 Qxf5, but in fact it is a decent try if followed up correctly.

24. gxf5 gxf5 25. Qxf5! Qxf5 26. Ne7+ Kh7?

This is not a good square for the king, as after Nxf5 and Rd7, the bishop on g7 is pinned.

26… Kh8 is better. Then 27. Nxf5 Rxc4 28. Rd7 is better for White, but Black is clearly still in the game.

27. Nxf5

White wins a second pawn. Black struggles on but White keeps things together to consolidate his winning advantage.

27… Bf6 28. Rd6 Rf8 29. b3 e4+ 30. Kb1 a4 31. Kc2 exf3 32. Rf1 Rf7 33. Rxf3 axb3+ 34. axb3 Rbf8 35. Ng3 Be5 36. Rxf7+ Rxf7 37. Rd2 Rf3 38. Re2! Bg7

  • 38… Rc3+ 39. Kd2 Bg7 40. Re3 wins
  • 38…Bxg3 39. hxg3 Rxg3 40. c5 wins

39. Ne4 Rf1 40. c5 Ra1 41. Kd3 Rb1 42. Kc4 Rc1+ 43. Kb5 1-0

White sealed this move. Black resigned without resuming as there is no way to stop the queenside pawns.

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