1.e4 c6 This was the last round of the tournament and I needed to win.
2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Bf5 5.Ng3 Bg6 6.Nf3 a very old line [White usually plays 6.h4 h6 7.h5 Bh7~~ in order to weaken the K-side]
6...Nd7 7.Bd3 Ngf6 no need to take the bishop and develop White's queen for him.
8.0-0 Very safe. Black can only be in real danger if White castles Q-side and attacks with his K-side pawns. Bur of course this carries some risk for White as well.
8...e6 9.Re1 [9.b3= ]
9...Be7 10.a3 0-0 11.Bxg6 hxg6 12.Bg5 c5 13.Qe2 cxd4 14.Nxd4 White wants to attack using only his pieces. I ony have to make sure the sacrifice Ne6 doesn't work.
15.c3 Rac8 16.Rad1 a6 17.Be3 Qc7 I was wondering how I could play for a win, and decided if Black wins a Caro, it's usually in the endgame. So I planned a queen exchange.
18.h4 Suddenly White shows ambition.
18...Qc4 [18...Bd6!?= may be better, forcing the knight on g3 to retreat.]
19.Qf3 [19.Qxc4 Rxc4 20.Bg5= ]
19...Qd5? Placing the queen in a dangerous position and played very quickly. That's the trouble with having a plan ( exchanging queens) , you might follow it! While waiting for Tristan to move, I saw the combination he played, so I was able to make the following moves quickly, to pretend I had calculated them all along. [19...Ne5! was much better 20.Qxb7 (20.Qe2 Qxe2 21.Rxe2 Nd5=/+ ) 20...Rc7 21.Qb3 Qxb3 22.Nxb3 Nc4 23.Re2 Rb8=/+ wins the pawn back with the the initiative.]
20.Ndf5! Qxf3 21.Nxe7+ Kh7 22.gxf3 Rce8 23.Nxg6?+/- [Neither of us saw 23.Bf4! winning two pawns 23...e5 (23...Rxe7 24.Bd6+- ) 24.Bxe5 Rxe7 25.Bxf6 Rxe1+ 26.Rxe1 gxf6 (26...Nxf6 27.Re7 ) 27.Re7+- ]
23...Kxg6 White has an extra pawn, but the K-side structure is weak and doubled. If he tries to defend it, he wil be passive. Better to push the f-pawn to f4, then, when possible, f5 to exchange it.
24.Bg5 Rc8 25.Ne2?+/= [25.f4! Rc5 (else f5+ undoubles the pawns) 26.Rd4 Rfc8 27.h5+ Kh7 28.Red1+/- with strong pressure]
25...Rc4 the doubled pawns will be weakest in an endgame, so any piece exchanges favour Black.
26.Rd4?! Rxd4 27.Nxd4 Rc8 28.Kg2 Nd5 planning a Q-side attack while the pieces are tied up defending K-side pawns
29.Kh3 Nc5 [29...b5!? ; 29...N7b6!? ]
30.Rg1? [30.Rd1+/= stops the knight coming to d3]
30...Kh7? [30...Nd3 attacks two pawns. White can defend 31.Bc1+ Kh7 32.Kg3 e5|^ leaving Black with the initiative.]
31.c4+/- Nb6 32.b4? [32.b3! and everything is protected]
32...Nd3! 33.Be3? [33.c5 a pawn is lost, but it is better to lose a weak doubled one and keep the nice Q-side structure. 33...Nc4 34.Nc2 Nxf2+= ]
33...Nxc4-/+ 34.Rd1 Nxe3 35.Rxd3 [35.fxe3? Rc3-/+ attacking a3]
35...Nd5 what a great position for a knight
36.Kg3 Kg6 37.Nb3 b6 planning on restricting the knight
38.Nd2 f5?! That's the trouble with having a plan ( restricting the knight ) , you might follow it! [38...Rc1-/+ immediately was better]
39.f4?! this pawn is easier to defend on f3
39...Rc1 [39...Nf6!? ]
40.Nf3 Kf6 41.Nd2?? now the weak pawns drop off [41.Ne5=/+ (what a great position for a knight) makes g4 inaccessible to my rook.]
41...Rg1+-+ 42.Kf3 Rg4 43.Rd4 Rxh4 44.Kg3 Rh1 45.Nf3 Rc1 46.Rd3 [46.Ne5 g5+- ]
46...Rc4 47.Ne5 now I could see White was tempting me to take on f4, so I did.
47...Rxf4 48.Rxd5 exd5 49.Kxf4 g5+ the sting in the tail. 0-1
+/= White has a small advantage
+/- White has a large advantage
+- White has a winning advantage
=/+ Black has a small advantage
-/+ Black has a large advantage
-+ Black has a winning advantage
= The game is level
|^ with the initiative
© With compensation for the material sacrificed
RR Editor's comment