Horsham Club Championship 2018-19: Marshall – Mansson

The result of my first game in the rook this season was a little disappointing, as I was held to a draw by John Marshall, against whom I have generally done well. I don’t think I reacted as well as I could to his choice of an unusual sideline, and in the end I was perhaps a little relieved that it ended up as a draw.

I give the game below with some brief notes.

Marshall, W John – Mansson, James C, Horsham Club Championship (Rook) 2018.10.02

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Nxe4 6. d4 b5 7. Bb3 d5 8. dxe5
Be6 9. c3 Bc5 10. Nbd2 O-O 11. Nxe4

This is an uncommon line, as White shouldn’t get anything following the simplification.

11. Bc2 is more usual.

11… dxe4 12. Qxd8 Raxd8 13. Ng5 Bxb3

13… Nxe5 is also worth considering.

14. axb3 e3

14… Nxe5 15. Nxe4 Bb6 16. Rxa6 f5 gives Black compensation for the pawn.

15. Bxe3 Bxe3 16. fxe3 Nxe5 17. Rxa6 Ng4

17… Rd2 18. Rf2 Rd1+ =

18. h3

18. Re1 Rd2 with compensation.

18… Nxe3 19. Re1 Rfe8

19… Nd1 is also worth considering. White has no convenient way of defending

20. Ra7 h6 21. Nf3 c5?!

This gives White more chances as Black now has to give up a pawn.

21… Nd5 was safer.

22. Rb7 b4 23. cxb4 cxb4 24. Rxb4 f5 25. Rd4 Rb8?!

25… Rxd4 26. Nxd4 Rd8 and now:

  • 27. Rxe3 Rxd4 leads to a level rook and pawn endgame.
  • 27. Ne6 Rd3 28. b4 Nc2 and Black’s activity and the weakness of the White b-pawns should compensate Black for his pawn.

26. b4 g5 27. g3 Kf8 28. Rd6?!

This is misguided as the b4-pawn is clearly more valuable than the b-pawn.

28. Rc1 is stronger, when Black has problems because of the White passed b4-pawn and vulnerble position of the Black knight on e3.

28… Rxb4

The position is now clearly level and is soon drawn.

29. Rxh6 Kg7 30. Rd6 Rxb2 31. Rd2 Rxd2 1/2-1/2

I give the game below with some brief notes.


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