1.e4 Nf6 2.e5 Nd5 3.d4 d6 4.c4 Nb6 5.exd6 cxd6 6.Nc3 g6 7.Be3 Bg7 8.Rc1 I was sitting next to Paul at a 4NCL match and he remarked after the match "They all play Rc1 now". The main point is to consolidate the queenside so that after ...d5 White can play c5 and the Knight cannot go to c4. Also after exchanges in the centre White can play c5 and Bc4 (check), with a comfortable game. Paul avoids this approach, but gets very cramped
8...0-0 9.b3 f5 Threatening f4, but I had prepared against this.
10.g3!? Nc6 11.Nge2 Nd7?! Probably the last chance to play ...e5, but the White squares look weak.
12.Bg2 Nf6 13.d5! The square e6 is going to be a real problem, but so is the queenside. The long diagonal is open to the Black bishop, but because of Rc1 it is pretty innocuous.
13...Ne5 14.0-0 Neg4 15.Bd4 Bh6 16.f4 Nd7 17.h3 Always a useful move; and the Black king's bishop looks misplaced
17...Ngf6 18.b4 b6 Fritz prefers ...a5 followed by Nb6, but White is well on top.
19.Qb3 Rb8 20.Nb5! Now e6 and c6 are both weak squares.
20...a6 21.Na7 Qe8 22.Nc6 Rb7 23.Qe3 Rf7 24.a3 There were probably more direct moves to win - but why not consolidate while Black squirms (and consumes time)?
24...Bg7 25.Rfe1 Nh5 26.Bxg7 Nxg7 27.Ned4 Nf8 28.c5! Bringing the last piece into the attack, and exposing the weakness of d6 (the threat is simply cxd).
28...bxc5 29.bxc5 dxc5 30.Rxc5 Nd7 31.Rc2 Nf6 32.Ne5 Rf8 33.Rec1 Bd7 34.d6! Rb8 35.Nxd7 Qxd7 36.dxe7 We have reached the first time control and White has won a big pawn. I must be careful not to lose it!
36...Rf7 37.Rc7 Qa4 38.Ne6? Bc6 is tempting, but I was not sure after Qa5, and the rooks are a bit awkward. [I missed the direct 38.Rc8+ Rxc8 39.Rxc8+ Nfe8 (or 39...Nge8 ) 40.Bc6+- (RR 40.Bd5!?+- ) ]
38...Nge8 39.Ng5!? A little bit more flamboyant than necessary, but I had seen to the end.
39...Nxc7 40.Rxc7 Qd1+ 41.Kh2 Ne8 42.Qe6 Qb3 43.Rc4 Nd6 44.Qxd6 Qxc4 45.Qxb8+ 1-0
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