Mid-Sussex League Division 1 2018-19: Horsham 1 – Brighton 2

Last Tuesday, Horsham 1 scored a 4.5-0.5 win over Brighton 2. My game against Joe Everett was a comprehensive victory in 26 moves; after missing his chance on move 12, my opponent’s position rapidly went downhill.

I give the game below with some notes.

Mansson, James C – Everett, Joe, Mid-Sussex League (Division 1), Horsham 1 – Brighton  2 2018.11.27

1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 Bf5 4. Nf3 e6 5. Be2 c5 6. O-O

6. Be3 is the main alternative.

6… Nc6 7. Be3 cxd4 8. Nxd4 Nge7 9. Bb5 a6 10. Bxc6+ bxc6 11. c4 Qd7 12. cxd5 cxd5?

This is natural, but Black now faces potential difficulties along the a4-e8 diagonal, as the game demonstrates.

12… Nxd5 is the recommended move, when the strong knight on d5 compensates for Black’s weakened pawn structure. Play usually continues 13. Nxf5 exf5 14. Bd4 Rb8 with an unclear position.

13. Nc3 Bg6 14. Na4!

The threat of playing Nb6 or Nc5 is now very problematic for Black.

14… Nc8

14… Rb8 $2 15. Nc5 Qa7 16. Qa4+ wins easily.

15. Rc1 Be7?!

This allows a small combination that forces a clearly winning advantage for White.

15… Qb7 was the best try, but then 16. Nc6 Ne7 17. Na5 Qb4 18. Nb6 Rb8 19. Nb3! Rxb6 20. Bc5 Qb5 21. Nd4 Qxb2 22. Qa4+ wins in any case.

16. Rxc8+! Rxc8

16… Qxc8 17. Nb6 Qb7 18. Qa4+ Kf8 19. Nxa8 Qxa8 20. Rc1 Qb7 transposes to the game.

17. Nb6 Qb7 18. Qa4+ Kf8 19. Nxc8 Qxc8 20. Rc1 Qb7 21. Qc6

This is safe enough, as White’s advantage persists into the endgame, due to Black’s poor development.

21. Qa5! followed by Rc7 was another approach, which was more clearly decisive.

21… Qxc6 22. Rxc6

White should now win, although Black could mount a more robust defence than he did.

22… Ke8?!

22… f6!? 23. Rc8+ Be8 24. Nxe6+ Kf7 25. Nc7 fxe5 26. Nxd5 followed by Ra8xa6 leaves White two pawns up.

23. Rxa6 Bd3 24. Ra7 Rf8?! 25. Nc6 Bd8 26. Bc5 1-0

Black could see no defence, so resigned.

26… Rh8 27. Nxd8 Kxd8 28. Ra8+ wins the rook.

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