26 September 2019

Annotated Game #221: The saving exchange sacrifice

This third-round tournament game features a saving exchange sacrifice by White (me) after a missed tactic by Black. Unlike the second-round game (Annotated Game #220), this one is not nearly as much of a swindle, although under a strict definition it might fall into that category. Some other familiar recent themes crop up as well:
  • Inferior opening play that results in increasingly difficult or simply bad choices while under pressure.
  • Tactical recovery after an opportunity is spotted. In this case, it is the theme of an exchange sacrifice against a castled king position, doubling the pawns and opening up the defenses. More typically this is seen in the Sicilian, when Black sacrifices a rook for a knight on c3 after White has castled queenside. This game is the mirror image of that.
  • An "obvious move" being in fact a mistake, in this case leading directly to the loss.
  • Consciously choosing to win safely and simply, rather than trying to win by finding the "best" line. You don't get extra credit in a tournament for winning faster or more brilliantly.

[Event "?"] [Site "?"] [Date "????.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "ChessAdmin"] [Black "Class B"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A11"] [Annotator "ChessAdmin/Komodo 11.2"] [PlyCount "45"] {[%mdl 8192] A11: English Opening: 1...c6} 1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. e3 c6 {indicating that Black is heading for a Semi-Slav setup.} 5. b3 Bd6 6. Bb2 Nbd7 7. Be2 a6 (7... Qe7 8. Qc2 O-O 9. O-O Ba3 10. Bxa3 Qxa3 11. d4 Qe7 12. e4 dxe4 13. Nxe4 c5 14. Rad1 cxd4 15. Nxd4 Nxe4 16. Qxe4 Qc5 17. Nb5 Nf6 18. Qe3 Qxe3 19. fxe3 Bd7 20. Nd6 b6 21. Bf3 Rab8 22. Rd2 {Koneru,H (2614)-Ruan,L (2479) Rostov on Don 2011 1-0 (49)}) 8. O-O {this is playable, but d4 likely has to be played anyway, so perhaps now would be a better time.} (8. d4 b5 9. O-O O-O 10. Qc2 Bb7 11. c5 Bc7 12. b4 e5 13. a4 Ng4 14. h3 Nh6 15. axb5 axb5 16. Rxa8 Bxa8 17. dxe5 Nxe5 18. Nxe5 Bxe5 19. Bd3 f5 20. Ne2 Qf6 21. Bd4 Bb7 22. Qb2 Nf7 {Darban,M (2300)-Eren,A (2064) Istanbul 2017 1-0 (38)}) 8... e5 9. cxd5 (9. d4 $5 e4 10. Nd2 $11 {White has more play here than in the actual game.}) 9... cxd5 10. d4 $146 {after Black's natural follow-up move, he then has a strong center, a space advantage, and most of the play in the position.} (10. d3 {is no better.} O-O 11. Rc1 Qe7 12. Qc2 b5 13. a4 b4 14. Na2 Bb7 15. d4 e4 16. Ne5 Rac8 17. Qd2 a5 18. Nxd7 Nxd7 19. Rxc8 Bxc8 20. Rc1 f5 21. g3 g5 22. f4 exf3 23. Bxf3 Nf6 24. Qd3 Bd7 {Taimanov,M (2407)-Marchio,E (2272) Germany 2003 0-1 (54)}) (10. b4 $5 {is Komodo's suggestion for a pawn sacrifice, although it can be safely ignored by Black.} O-O (10... Bxb4 11. Qb3 Qa5 12. d4 e4 13. Ne5 $11) 11. b5 e4 12. Nd4 $11) 10... e4 11. Nd2 Qe7 12. Kh1 {not a horrible move, but White is already having problems finding any good moves. I was fearful of potential tactics involving ...Bxh2+ and decided to move the king as a precaution.} (12. a4 $5 {restraining ...b5, which would allow Black to develop the Bc8 and Nd7.} O-O 13. Re1 $11) 12... O-O 13. f3 $2 {in some cases, this is a useful freeing move by White. However, I have not done the necessary preparation for it, namely protecting e3.} exf3 $17 14. Bxf3 Qxe3 15. Nxd5 {This was my original idea behind initiating the sequence, regaining the pawn and freeing my pieces up for more activity. However, it has a major flaw.} Nxd5 16. Bxd5 Nf6 $2 {my opponent misses the available tactic and instead presents me with a welcome opportunity to sacrifice the exchange for counterplay.} (16... Qh6 {threatening h2 should put Black comfortably ahead.} 17. g3 Nf6 {now the Bd5 and the g3 pawn (due to the pin on the h-pawn) are both hanging.} 18. Rxf6 Qxf6 $19) 17. Rxf6 $11 gxf6 18. Ne4 {a strong follow-up, forking d6 and f6. In calculating it, I also noticed the fact that the Black queen has very few squares left. My opponent now plays the "obvious move", removing the Bd6 from threat and protecting f6, which however loses.} Be7 $4 (18... Qf4 {defends and keeps things relatively equal, although I still prefer to play White.} 19. Qg1 Be7 20. Rf1 Qh6 21. Ng3) 19. Bc1 $18 {a backwards bishop move that returns it to its original square, making it more difficult to see/visualize. Our natural mental assumption is that pieces move forward and don't un-develop themselves.} Qxe4 20. Bxe4 {with a queen for a rook and Black's open king position, the win is essentially trivial from here.} f5 21. Bd3 {a simple way to continue winning. I thought for a bit before retreating the bishop, since there are some tactical possibilities available. However, it did not seem worth the effort to calculate multiple sacrificial lines to try to 'win better'.} (21. Qf3 $5 {is the computer line.} fxe4 22. Qg3+ Bg4 (22... Kh8 23. Qe5+ f6 24. Qxe7 $18) 23. Qxg4+ Kh8 $18) 21... Be6 22. Qf3 Rad8 23. Bh6 {with either further material loss or mate coming, Black resigned.} 1-0

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your comments and ideas on chess training and this site are welcomed.

Please note that moderation is turned on as an anti-spam measure; your comment will be published as soon as possible, if it is not spam.