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

In mid-October, Horsham 1 took on Horsham 2 in the first match of the season for both teams. In the end, Horsham 1 ran out comfortable winners by 4-1, although there were some tough contests on the individual boards.

In my game against Alex Taylor, things didn’t go my way early on, but I was able to gradually turn the game around as my opponent failed to make the most of his chances. In the end, he allowed me to take play into an endgame that was winning for me, and I duely did so.

I give the game below with some notes.

Mansson, James C – Taylor, Alex, Mid-Sussex League (Division 1) 2018.10.16

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?!

12… Nxd5 is more respectable.

13. Bc4?

This is the wrong way to put pressure on the Black centre. 13. Bg5 is good for White.

13… d4! 14. Bg5 Qc7 15. Bxf6 dxc3!?

This is interestering, but the simple recapture on f6 looks strong.

  • 15… Bxf6! 16. Ne4 Be7 and Black’s bishops and open lines on the queenside give him a strong attack.
  • 15… Qxc4? 16. Bxg7 dxc3 17. Bxf8 cxb2+ 18. Kxb2 Rb8+ 19. Ka1 Be6 20. Qa5 however, is not to be recommended for Black.

16. Bxg7 cxb2+!

  • 16… Qxc4? 17. Bxf8 cxb2+ (17… Qxa2 $4 18. Qxc3) 18. Kxb2 Rb8+ 19. Ka1 Be6 20. Qa5
  • 16… Kxg7? 17. Qxc3

17. Kxb2 Kxg7

Black’s position is preferable because of White’s exposed king. However, he allows White to consolidate his position somewhat over the next few moves.

  • 17… Qxc4? 18. Bxf8 Rb8+ 19. Ka1 Be6 20. Qa5

18. Bb3 a5 19. a4 Re8 20. Qe3 Be6 21. h4 Bxb3 22. cxb3 h6?!

This needlessly weakens the Black kingside.

  • 22… e4! 23. fxe4 Rac8 gives Black good play for the pawn.

23. h5 g5 24. Qe4

24. Rd5 is worth considering.

24… Rab8 25. Rhe1?!

This allows Black a promising possibility.

  • 25. Rc1 Qb6 26. Rc3 Qf2+ 27. Qc2 Qxc2+ 28. Rxc2 e4 is balanced.

25… Rb4 26. Qd5 Reb8

Black misses a chance.

  • 26… Rxb3+! 27. Qxb3 Rb8 and White has problems with his exposed king.

27. Rd3 f6?!

This weakens Black’s position.

  • 27… Rxa4 28. Qxe5+ Qxe5+ 29. Rxe5 Rh4 30. Rxa5 Rxh5 is balanced.

28. Qe6

28. Re4 is worth considering.

28… Rd4?

This leads to a bad endgame for Black.

  • 28… R8b7 is more solid, although White remains better after 29. Red1

29. Rxd4 exd4 30. Qe7+ Qxe7 31. Rxe7+ Kf8 32. Rd7

White seems to be winning this endgame.

32… Ra8

32… Re8 looks obvious, but then the surprising 33. b4!! is very strong.

33. Rxd4 Ke7 34. Rd5 Ke6 35. Rb5 Ra6 36. g4 Kd6 37. Kc3 Kc6 38. Kd4 Kd6 39. Ke4 Ke6 40. f4 gxf4 41. Kxf4 f5 42. Re5+ Kf6 43. Rxf5+ Kg7 44. g5 hxg5+ 45. Kxg5 Rb6 46. Rb5 Ra6 47. Kf5 Kf7 48. Ke5 Ke7 49. Kd5 Kd7 50. Kc4 Kc7 51. Rc5+ Kb7 52. Kd4 Ra8 53. h6 Rd8+ 54. Rd5 Rh8 55. Rh5 Kb6 56. h7 Kc6 57. Ke5 Kc5 58. Kf6+ Kb4 59. Rb5+ Kc3 60. Kg7 1-0

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