Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Drawback concept almost produced a brilliant game!

This game really tested me. My opponent, IM Julio Sadorra, is a very strong IM with two GM norms. My preparation indicated that he excelled in complicated positions. So I steered away from 1.e4 and played 1.c4. I was hoping to see Julio repeat the opening moves from his game against Warren Harper. But no such luck.

Julio lived up to my expectations with regard to playing style. We entered complications quickly and I was unable to rest. Each move felt like a game ending combination was about to happen.

The internal struggle for me was exhausting. Chess principles, the Drawback concept, and my intuition were just not in harmony. Let us look at the game:

The opening moves were played quickly which indicated we were both happy.
(To see the game, click here)

1.c4 e6 2.g3 d5 3.Bg2 Nf6 4.Nf3 c5 5.d4 Be7 6.0-0 0-0 7.Qc2 Nc6 8.Rd1 Nb4

I felt comfortable when black began to attack my queen with 8…Nb4, because I believed that my forces would be pulled forward and I would get the better of the maneuvers. My optimistic view may sound crazy and during the post game analysis my team found my confidence to be extremely funny. The jokes were continuous. Teammates Craig Jones and Jonathan Schroer said; ”Ron you’re a whole rook down and you think your winning?” more laughs. My team was exhausted and at first glance the position does look a little suspect.

9.Qb3 dxc4 10.Qxc4 b5 11.Qxb5 Nc2 12.Nc3 Nxa1

OK, look at the position below and try to find a good move for black. Problematic isn’t it. I concluded that I can’t be worse because the knight is trapped and materially speaking once I capture the knight I will have more than enough compensation. But why capture the knight? Surely there must be better. What do you think?

13. dxc5
Black to move

However, bad habits die hard. Playing down a rook did take a toll on my nerves but what really started to affect me were my desires. I wanted everything; the knight on a1, the rook on a8, promoting my pawns, etc… I could feel the strain from calculating line after line. I simply couldn’t relax and let the drawback concept guide me.

13…Qc7 and the drawback was clear that the Queen on c7 was going to allow my Bishop to develop with Tempo. But I didn’t want to give up my beautiful passed c-pawn. Emotionally I just didn’t want that to be the reality and thus the beginning of my inability to listen to the position. My desires were simply getting out of control.

OK 14.b4 was me satisfying my desire to hold my pawn but after 14…Nc2 the edge may belong to black. I am not convinced and my confidence centered on my belief that the knight was trapped on c2 with no way out. My hope was that my pawns would just prove to be too much.

14….a5 and White is back in the driver’s seat.

Ok, 15.Bf4 and the drawback to the Queen on c7 becomes a reality.

15....Qa7 The Q goes to a7 and my mind is filled with ideas.

Calculations, calculations, what is the drawback of Qa7? My knight can go to c6 and fork the queen and the Bishop on e7!

I must be winning and my emotions are going wild, but I need to work out the details.I am now breaking down and I just can’t keep analyzing all the lines.

16. Nd4 and all of my pieces are working. The knight on a1 is trapped and I am hitting the rook on a8, my pawn is advancing along the c-file and my position is looking sweet.

Wouldn't you agree?

16.Nd4 , Black to move

16…Bd7 and the drawback is obvious, my pawn simply advances to c6 with tempo.

Now look at what I missed after

17.c6 Bc8 18.c7 Bd7

Just take a moment and ask yourself what is the drawback to this move. Keep in mind some of the other drawbacks previously mentioned leading to the position below.

Wow! I am simply shocked that the answer to the drawback of 18…Bd7 is simply its existence on the square. The Bishop can be taken and just look at what could have happened!

19 Qd7!! Nd7 20. Nc6 ab4! (if black tries to move his queen Ne7 and Ba8 just wins ) 21. Na7 Ra7 22.Nb5! and black has to play like a 3100 rated computer to keep from losing.
( 22... Rxa2 23. Rxd7 g5 24. Bd2 Nb3 25. Be3 Ra1+ 26. Bf1 Na5 27. Rxe7 b3 28. Bd4 Rd1 29. Rd7 Nc6 30. e3 b2 31. Na3 Nxd4 32. exd4 Rc1 33. Kg2 Kg7 34. Ba6 g4 35. Bb7 Kf6 36. h4 gxh3+ 37. Kxh3 Rg8 =)

The discipline to seek the “Drawback” on each move is the key. In the above position I simply didn’t look for the drawback because of my previous calculations. I had concluded that after 18.c7 that Bd7 could be met with Bc6 satisfactorily. Reevaluating the moves just didn’t happen. My calculations followed the line: 19.Bc6 axb4 20.Bxd7 bxc3 21.Nc6 Qc5 22.Nxe7+ Qxc7 23.c8 (Q) Rfxc8 24.Bxc8 Rxc8 25.Rxa1 with a very playable game.

But the text somehow looked better to me. I was wrong and the game played out in black’s favor.

I learned a valuable lesson with this misstep:

Check for the drawback on each move!!

The actual game continued: 19.Bc6 axb4 20.Na4 Qxa4 21.Qxa4 Rxa4 22.Bxd7 Nxd7 23.Nc6 Bf6 24.Rxd7 Rxa2 25.Bd6 Re8 26.Bxb4 Rc2

Once my opponent worked out the details and captured my a-pawn with 24…Rxa2 My hopes appeared to be gone. 27.Be7 and it is just not enough. I did manage to get a Queen and at first glance it looks like I am back into the game.

Bxe7 28.Rd8 Bxd8 29.c8Q Rf8

Move 30.Qd7 and I am just mentally exhausted. My time is very low and my opponent is just much better. After a few tricks Julio finds the thread and ends my resistance nicely.

In all I enjoyed this game and if I had found 19.Qxd7! Oh what a beautiful game.

Simpson,Ron (2330) - Sadorra,Julio (2471)
USCL Dallas vs Carolina, 9/27/2010

1.c4 e6 2.g3 d5 3.Bg2 Nf6 4.Nf3 c5 5.d4 Be7 6.0-0 0-0 7.Qc2 Nc6 8.Rd1 Nb4 9.Qb3 dxc4 10.Qxc4 b5 11.Qxb5 Nc2 12.Nc3 Nxa1 13.dxc5 Qc7 14.b4 a5 15.Bf4 Qa7 16.Nd4 Bd7 17.c6 Bc8 18.c7 Bd7 19.Bc6 axb4 20.Na4 Qxa4 21.Qxa4 Rxa4 22.Bxd7 Nxd7 23.Nc6 Bf6 24.Rxd7 Rxa2 25.Bd6 Re8 26.Bxb4 Rc2 27.Be7 Bxe7 28.Rd8 Bxd8 29.c8Q Rf8 30.Qd7 Bf6 31.e4 Bc3 32.Qd6 Ra8 33.Qd7 Rf8 34.Qd6 g6 35.Qd3 Ra8 36.e5 Be1 37.Ne7+ Kf8 38.Qf3 Bxf2+ 39.Kf1 Rb8 40.Qf6 Rb1+ 41.Kg2 Bg1+ 42.Kh3 Rxh2+ 43.Kg4 h5+ White resigns 0-1

Ron Simpson