Patrick Grace leads the fight for the David Hughes Board on 3.5/4, while David continues to develop a reputation as ‘the drawing master.’ James Peirce continues to play excellent chess and is placed second, with Lenard Lange and Denis McMahon a point behind, but with 2 extra games to play. Here is James’ ‘upset’ win over Felix, together with two exciting draws from David.
ELLIS, Felix (1813) - PIERCE, James (1600) [A96]
DCC Championship 2015
1.d4 f5 2.c4 Nf6 3.g3 e6 4.Bg2 Be7 5.Nf3 0–0 6.0–0 d6 7.Nc3 Nbd7 8.b3 e5 9.dxe5 dxe5 10.Ng5 Nc5
White denies the exchange of queens and advances in the centre, until this point both players have developed naturally and the game is balanced. White has some pressure around blacks more open king position, but black has more space in the centre.
11.Nd5 Kh8 12.Bb2? (Diagram right)
A seemingly natural developing move with one large down side - it hangs a piece.
12. ... Nxd5 13.Bxd5 Bxg5 14.f4 exf4 15.Qd4 Ne6 16.Bxe6 Qxd4+ 17.Bxd4 Bxe6 18.gxf4 Be7 19.Rf3 Rad8 20.Bc3 Bc5+ 21.Kf1 Kg8 22.Rc1 Ba3 23.Rb1 Rd7 24.b4 Bxc4 25.Be5 Bxa2 26.Ra1 (Diagram Left)
White regains the piece, but in exchange for 3 pawns. At this stage of the game the pawns are worth more than the piece, there will be no stopping black's queenside pawn storm.
26. ... Bxb4 27.Rxa2 a5 28.Rb3 c5 29.Bc3 c4 30.Rxb4 axb4 31.Bxb4 Rc8 32.Bc3 b5 33.Rb2 Rb8 34.Ke1 Kf7 35.Kf2 Ke6 36.Kf3 g6 37.h4 Rbb7 38.Ke3 Rd1 39.Kf3 Kd5 40.Bb4 h5 41.Ra2 Rb1 42.Rd2+ Kc6 43.Bc3 Rb3
BOURKE, Dylan (1228) - HUGHES, David (1545) [A51]
DCC Championship 2015
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e5 3.Nf3 e4 4.Nfd2 Nc6 5.e3 d5 6.Qa4 Bd7 7.c5 Be7 8.Nb3 0–0 9.Be2 b6 10.Bd2 Ne5 11.Qb4 bxc5 12.Nxc5 Neg4 13.h3 Nh6 14.Bc3 Nf5 15.Nd2 Bd6 16.Qb7 Qe7 17.Nxd7 (Diagram below)
Perhaps not the most orthodox play from both players up to this point, but both players have reached a stable and equal position. White claims the bishop pair, but with the centre locked he will have to open the position for his bishops before being able to make anything of that advantage. This presents black with an option, to recapture with the knight or the queen. Qxd7 would keep the defence of the d pawn and give black equality. Nxd7 sacrifices the pawn and gives white a strong initiative.
17. ... Nxd7 18.Qxd5 Nxe3?
A bold sacrifice, but the ensuing invasion doesn't work.
19.fxe3 Qh4+ 20.Kd1 Qf2?
Only serves to worsen black's position as now his queen will be trapped.
21.Nxe4 Qxe3 22.Bd2 Nb6 23.Qxa8 Qxd4 24.Qc6 Qxb2 25.Bc3 Qa3 (Diagram right)
White is not a up a Rook and Bishop for 2 Pawns, and despite his king being trapped in the centre has the better coordinated pieces.
26.Ke1 Nc8 27.Qc4 Bf4 28.Qd4 Bh6 29.Rf1 Qe7 30.g4 f6 31.Rb1 Re8 32.Bd3 Nd6 33.Kd1 Nxe4 34.Bxe4 Rd8 35.Bd5+ Kh8 36.Re1 Qd7 37.h4 Qc8 38.g5 c6 (Diagram below)
Materially and positionally black is getting slaughtered, but time is his friend as some inaccuracies creep into white's game.
39.gxh6 Rxd5 40.hxg7+ Kxg7 41.Re7+ Kf8 Black offers a draw and white accepts. White is down to a minute on the clock, having been down to 23 seconds at one stage. A lucky escape for black by all accounts.
GRACE, Patrick - HUGHES, David (1545) [A52]
DCC Championship 2015
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e5 3.dxe5 Ng4 4.Nf3 Nc6 5.Bf4 Bb4+ 6.Nbd2 0–0 7.h3 Nh6 8.Bxh6 gxh6 (Diagram right)
White is a clear pawn ahead, and gives up the bishop pair to shatter the pawn structure around black's king, but white is far from being able to take advantage of it and must settle in for the long game.
9.a3 Be7 10.e3 d6 11.exd6 Qxd6 12.Qc2
The logical development of 12.Be2 fails to 12. ... Qg6! when the bishop must retreat and black starts to reclaim some initiative.
12. ... f5?! (Diagram below)
A risky move, opening the kingside and shutting out blacks own light-squared bishop.
13. Bd3 or even 13 O-O-O would place black's open kingside under some pressure. While the game move claims space on the queenside, it doesn't develop and ultimately leaves whites king trapped in the centre.
13. ... Qf6 14.Rd1 Be6 15.Nb3 Rae8 16.Nbd4 Nxd4 17.Nxd4 f4 (Diagram below)
Black has managed to develop and consolidate his pieces while white now is seriously behind in development. While being a pawn up, white has no advantage, and if he doesn't play carefully will come under fire in the centre.
Is a deadly mistake,
18. ... Bf5
gives white options, the immediate 18. ... Bxb4+ 19.axb4 Bf5+ 20.Qe2 Bg6 is deadly as black dominates the centre and kingside, and whites king is trapped. (Diagram Below)
now this comes with double check
20.Kf1 Qxd4 21.axb4 Bxd3+ 22.Rxd3 Qxf4 23.g3 Qe4 24.Kg1 Qe1+ 25.Kg2 Qe4+
Black can press on and force an end game being a pawn up with a queenside majority, but with best play white might be able to hold the end game owing to black's doubled h pawns.