OTB Game Analysis 13

Round 2 against an 1850

This game is from the second round of a recent OTB tournament. My opponent was rated about 100 points higher than me so I was looking forward to a tough fight. After my somewhat mediocore performance in round one I knew that I had to play better in order to get winning chances.

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Bg5

I don't know much theory in this line. I dislike the mainline and feel more comfortable in blitz with this line.


(4...Bg7!? 5.Bxf6 Bxf6 6.cxd5 c6 7.e4 O-O) This is a common gambit for black which is quite interesting

5.Bh4 Nxc3 6.bxc3 Bg7 7.e3 c6 8.cxd5

I played this after only 3 minutes but now it seems like a strange decision to me. White could have just continued with the development before releasing the tension.

8.Nf3 O-O 9.Be2 dxc4 10.Bxc4 White is slightly better

8...cxd5 9.Bd3 Nc6 10.Nf3 Qa5

I think that black should have castled before getting aggressive with their queen.

10...O-O 11.O-O b6 12.Re1 Bb7 White has a slight edge

White to play


This is a bit inaccurate

11.O-O Qxc3 (I briefly thought about that pawn sac but it didn't think that white had enough compensation) 12.Rc1 Qa3 13.Qd2 O-O 14.Rc3 White has enough compensation according to the engine

11.Qb3 e5 12.Nxe5 Nxe5 13.dxe5 Bxe5 14.Bb5+! (Preventing Black from casteling) Kf8 15.O-O White has an slight edge

11...e5! 12.Nd2!

12.O-O (This piece sacrifice looked interesting during the game) 12...e4 13.Bxe4 dxe4 14.Qxe4+ Kf8 15.d5 Bf5! I found this move during the game which ensures black's advantage

Black to play


I fully expected this move during the game and thought that it makes sense, but it turns out to be a mistake. Black gains space in the centre, but White can break with f3 and c4 and Black's centre turns out to be weak.

12...O-O 13.O-O Be6 14.Nb3 Qa3 15.Nc5 White has a slight edge

13.Be2 Be6 14.O-O Rc8

White to play


This throws away most of White's advantage. During the game, I felt like I had to do something and played this commital move after only 8 minutes. White could have improved the position before pushing the pawn 15.Rab1 Qc7 16.Qb3 b6 17.c4 dxc4 18.Qa3! Bf8 19.Qb2 Bg7 20.Bxc4 Bxc4 21.Nxc4 +/-

15...Qc7?! (15...O-O! 16.Nb3 Qa4 17.c5 b6 +=) 16.Rac1

This looks a little strange since white should put a rook on the b-file
(16.Bg3 Qd7 17.Nb3 dxc4 18.Nc5!

16...Ne7 17.Qa4+ Nc6

17...Bd7 18.Qa3 (White threatens mate) 18...Bf8 19.cxd5 +-
17...Qc6 I was unsure what to play here but I thought that I can take on a7 which is true and White has a big advantage

18.cxd5 Bxd5 19.Rc5 Qd7 20.Rfc1

Black to play


Now it's completely over

20...O-O 21.Qb5 a6 22.Qb1 Qe6 23.Bc4 Bxc4 24.R1xc4 b5 25.Rc1 Na5 26.Nxe4 Nc4 White is clearly better but there is no immediate win

21.Nxe4! Bxe4 22.Re5+ Be7 (22...Nxe5 23.Rxc8#) 23.Bxe7 Qxe7 24.Rxe7+ Kxe7 25.f3 Bf5 26.d5 Ne5 27.Qb4+ Kf6 28.Qd6+ Kg5 29.Rxc8 Rxc8 30.Qxe5 Rc1+ 31.Kf2 1-0