Following my debacle against Ian Comley, it was good to get things back on track in the club championship with a win over Paul Taylor. I was Black in a Queen’s Indian, and the position was roughly level out of the opening, but following some innacuracies, my opponent found himself in a difficult position, from which he was unable to extract himself.
I give the game below with some notes.
Taylor, Paul – Mansson, James C, Horsham Club Championship (Rook) 2018.02.06
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 b6 4. g3 Ba6
This is Black’s sharper option. It is surprising awkward for White to defend the c-pawn.
4… Bb7 is the traditional main line.
5. Qa4 Bb7
Having lured the White queen to a worse square, the Black bishop moves back to the long diagonal.
6. Bg2 c5
This exploits the chief weakness of 5. Qa4, namely that it leaves d4 undefended,
while not supporting the thrust d5.
7. O-O cxd4 8. Nxd4 Bxg2 9. Kxg2 Qc8 10. Nc3 Qb7+ 11. Nf3
This impedes White’s fight for the e4 square.
11. f3 is more normal.
11… Be7 12. Bf4 O-O 13. Rad1 Na6 14. Kg1
14. Bd6 Bxd6 15. Rxd6 Nc5 16. Qc2 Nce4 17. Nxe4 Nxe4 18. Rd4 f5=
14… Nc5 15. Qc2 Rfd8 16. Rfe1
16. Bd6 Bxd6 17. Rxd6 Rac8 intending …Nce4 18. Rd4 d5=
16… Nce4 was possible, stopping White from playing e4.
White should take the opportunity to put a pawn on e4.
17. e4 d6 leads to a typical Hedgehog position; note that 17… d5 18. exd5 exd5 19. cxd5
does not really work for Black because of 19…Nxd5 20. Rxd5! Rxd5 21. Rxe7!
17… d5 18. cxd5 Nxd5 19. Nxd5 Rxd5 20. e4?!
This creates weaknesses in the White position.
20. Be3 was more solid.
This is not the strongest. Black should try to double on the d-file to exploit White’s
20… Rd7! intending …Rcd8, looks good:
- 21. f3? e5! 22. Bxe5 Ne6 23. Qf2 Bc5 wins material.
- 21. e5 Rd5 22. Qe2 Rcd8 23. Nb5 Nd3 24. Nd6 Qa6 leaves White in trouble.
21. Qe2 a6 22. f3 Bf6 23. Be3 Nd7 24. Nb3 Ne5 25. Rxd8+ Rxd8 26. Rd1?
This leads to a position where White’s weaknesses on b2 and the kingside become a factor.
26. Rc1 avoiding the exchange of rooks, was better.
26… Rxd1+ 27. Qxd1 Nc4 28. Bc1 h6 29. Qc2 b5 30. Qf2 Qd7 31. Kg2?
This just allows the Black queen in.
31. Qe2 had to be tried.
White is now completely tied down.
Naturally, Black does not allow White to play e5.
33. f5 a5 34. Be3
This loses material, but there is nothing better.
This hits both of White’s weaknesses: b2 and e4.
35. Nc5 Nxe3+ 36. Qxe3 Qxb2+ 37. Kh3 Qd4
I played this knowing my opponent would not want to exchange queens.
37…Qxa2! is however more clearly winning. 38. Qd3 White would like to check
on the back rank, then play Nd7-f8+, but the bishop on f6 covers d8, so this
takes too much time. 38… Qc4:
- Now the exchange of queens is definitely no good, e.g. 39. Qxc4 bxc4 40. Kg2 Be7 41. Na4 Bb4 42. Nb2 c3 43. Nd3 c2 44. Kf3 Bd2 and White will be forced to give up the knight.
- 39. Qd6 White pushes on with his plan, but there is a direct refutation. 39… Qf1+ 40. Kg4 h5+ 41.Kxh5 Qh3#
38. Qxd4 exd4 would require some work by Black but ought to be winning.
38… a4 0-1
White decided that he had no sensible answer to …Be7, among other things, and so resigned.