Royal Hobart Regatta Weekend Extravaganza Wrap Up - try saying that 5 times fast...


Over the Hobart Regatta long weekend the HICC, now HCC (Inc.) hosted a chess extravaganza with no less than 3 individual tournaments.  The weekend consisted of a 7 round classical tournament of 90 minutes + 30 seconds, as well as an evening Blitz tournament on the 6th (3+2), and an evening Bullet tournament on the 7th (1+1).

The classical tournament was won by David Rolph on 5.5 out of 8. Dave took out the event a clear point ahead of equal second place getters Ian Little and Andrew Smith. William Rumley also performed well gaining 4 points, and had the opportunity to win the tournament in the last round when he played David Rolph.

With only 8 competitors for the tournament the event was a clean round robin with no byes. In his winner's speech, Dave remarked that this event was one of the best he'd attended in many years due to the friendly interactions between players and the helpful game analysis between rounds.

List of players

Final Standings



For your convenience all the games (without analysis) have been compiled into a single PGN for your download. This file will be compatible with all chess analysis software. 

Classical Tournament (90+30)

Round 1

Round pairings and results

Round 1 kicked off not too much behind time after everyone was directed to the correct building at the LINC centre, and the tournament was recreated as a Round Robin after 2 late withdrawals.

Unrated dark horse Eric Rayner held top seed Andrew Smith (1654) to a draw while David Rolph, Alex Nagy, and Ian Little defeated their opponents.


SMITH, Andrew (1654) - RAYNER, Eric [A24]

Royal Hobart Regatta Weekender Kingston LINC, Tasmania (1), 05.02.2016

Position after sideline 13.Bxf4

1.c4 g6 2.Nc3 Bg7 3.g3 Nf6 4.Bg2 e5 5.d3 0–0 6.e4 d6 7.Nge2 a6 8.0–0 c6 9.f4 Ng4 10.Kh1 b5 11.h3 b4?!

11...Nf6 retreating the knight may have been the safer option,. While white's mass of pawns looks scary, they can be dealt with. 12.g4 (12.f5 b4 now, forcing the knight to retreat, or go to the rim.) 12...exf4 13.Bxf4 (diagram right)

12.hxg4 bxc3 13.Nxc3 exf4 14.Bxf4

material is equal, and the doubled g pawns make a poor impression, but white has a massive lead in development, and open lines to the enemy king.

14...Bd4 15.Qf3

Position after 23.Qe7

15.g5! freezing the entire kingside with 1 pawn.

15...Be6 16.Bh6 Nd7 17.Bxf8 Qxf8 18.g5 h6 19.Ne2 Ne5

19...Bxb2! regains the lost material and sets some deep traps. 20.Rab1 hxg5 (20...Bg7 21.Nf4) 21.d4 (21.Rxb2?? Ne5 22.Qf2 Ng4 and the queen is lost.) 21...Rb8 22.Qd3

20.Qf6 Be3 21.Nf4 hxg5 22.Qxg5 Qb8? 23.Qe7 (diagram right)

after this both players play quite accurately into a drawn heavy piece ending.

23.Rae1 Bd2 24.Re2 Qxb2 (retreating the bishop doesn't work. 24...Ba5 25.Nxe6 fxe6 26.Bh3 with a crushing attack.) 25.Qe7 Bg4 26.Ref2 and white is winning.

23...Ra7 24.Qf6 Ng4 25.Qc3 Nf2+ 26.Rxf2 Bxf2 27.Nxe6 fxe6 28.Qf6 Rh7+ 29.Bh3 Rxh3+ 30.Kg2 Rh7 31.Qxf2


Round 2

Round 2 pairings and results

Round 2 was off and racing early on Saturday morning with a 9am start. The games went the way of rating in all but one encounter with Eric Rayner backing up his draw performance against Andrew Smith with a win against Chris Shepherd.


SMITH, Andrew (1654) - ROLPH, David (1638) [E72]

Royal Hobart Regatta Weekender Kingston LINC, Tasmania (2), 06.02.2016

Position after 10.O-O

1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 g6 3.g3 Bg7 4.Bg2 0–0 5.e4 d6 6.Nge2 c5 7.d4 Nc6 8.d5 Ne5 9.b3 Bg4 10.0–0 (diagram right)

10.h3 looks a little loosening, but it maintains equality here. 10...Bf3 (10...Nf3+ as in the game, and 11.Kf1 Bh5 12.g4 Nxg4 13.hxg4 Bxg4) 11.0–0 and white is fine.

10...Nf3+ 11.Kh1

11.Bxf3 Bxf3 12.Qd3 Bxe2 13.Qxe2 Nxe4 14.Qxe4 Bxc3 15.Rb1 with black up a clear pawn in exchange for less space.

11...Nxe4 12.Nxe4 f5?

is asking a little too much from the position.

Position after sideline 12...Bxa1

12...Bxa1 (diagram right) and black is winning.

13.N4c3 Nxh2 14.Kxh2 Bxc3 15.f3

15.Rb1 and white is still up a piece for 2 pawns with his heavy pieces having much more access into the position than black's

15...Bxa1 16.Bh6 Bg7 17.Bxg7 Kxg7 18.Nf4 Rf6 19.fxg4

white has 2 pieces for the rook and 2 pawns, but it's where those pieces can go that counts.

19...Qg8 20.gxf5 Rxf5 21.Ne6+ Kf7 22.g4 Rf6

22...Rxf1 23.Qxf1+ Ke8 24.Nc7+ Kd7 25.Nxa8 Qxa8

23.g5 Rf5 24.Bh3 h6 25.Bxf5 gxf5 26.Qh5+ Qg6

with Rf5 to follow, winning the queen, black resigned.


Round 3

Round 3 pairings and results

Round 3 saw a couple of upsets with William Rumley conquering Chris Shepherd with the black pieces and Ian Little defeating Andrew Smith.  But the most exciting game of the round was David Rolph against Eric Rayner.

Eric had already proved himself a contender with his drawing performance against Andrew Smith. In this game Eric wins an exchange and had plenty of chances to use his extra material and mate David.

In an end game full of missed chances David surfed the increment and forced Eric into the illusion of time pressure.  In the end the game was a draw, but it could have gone either way several times.


ROLPH, David (1638) - RAYNER, Eric [B06]

Royal Hobart Regatta Weekender Kingston LINC, Tasmania (3), 06.02.2016

Position after 3.f4

1.e4 g6 2.d4 Bg7 3.f4!? (diagram right)

an interesting and aggressive choice from white.  Standard development of the knights can lead to an almost dream position for black after c5, and it's still unclear where the bishops want to go.

3.Nc3 c5 4.d5 d6

3.Nf3 c5 4.d5 d6


3...e5 4.fxe5 (4.dxe5 Qh4+?! doesn't really work now. 5.g3 with an edge for white despite the lack of development.) 4...Qh4+ 5.Ke2 Qxe4+ 6.Kf2 the engine is telling me this is fine, but I don't think any human would go in for this.

4.Nf3 d6 5.Nc3 b5 6.Bd3 Nd7 7.0–0

Position after 9...c4

7.e5 is an interesting continuation as it blocks the long diagonal and puts the question to black's slow play.

7...c5 8.Be3 Ngf6 9.h3 c4 (diagram left)

white has allowed black's pieces to spring out into the position and with the c4 move black has equalised and is challenging white's central play with a queen-side expansion.

10.e5 cxd3 11.exf6 Nxf6 12.Qxd3 Bb7 13.Ng5 e6 14.Rae1 0–0 15.Nge4 Nd5

15...Nxe4 16.Nxe4 Rc8 was another way for black to handle the position.

Position after 19.Rxf1

16.Nxd5 Bxd5 17.a3? Bc4 18.Qd2 Bxf1 19.Rxf1 (diagram right)

black is now a clean exchange up and white has no compensation for the loss of material, but it's now up to black to prove his material advantage is enough to win.

19...Rc8 20.c3 Qe7 21.Qe2 h6 22.Qf3 Kh7 23.g4?!

possibly not the most accurate approach. White could potentially do well by sitting on the position.  However, it's often the case that sitting and "doing nothing" feels wrong, while counter-attacking feels right.  In this case playing g4 potentially gives black more hooks to open the position with.  Once this happens his rooks will most likely dominate white's knight.

Position after sideline 25...Bh8

23.Re1 asking black what he'll do. 23...e5 is no way to open the position. 24.f5 Qc7

(24...d5 is the computer's move (and it looks like a computer move), but it works as the following shows. 25.f6 dxe4 26.fxe7 exf3 27.exf8Q Rxf8 28.dxe5 Bxe5 29.gxf3= black can claim a symbolic edge over white due to the pawn structure, but if white defends accurately this is a drawn game.)

25.f6 Bh8= (diagram left) and with his bishop buried black's advantage is gone.

23...f5 24.Ng3 fxg4 25.hxg4 e5 26.f5 exd4 27.Bxd4 Bxd4+ 28.cxd4 Kg7

as the position has opened so black's rooks have come to life.

29.Ne4 Qh4

it is now that the open lines start to work for black, with simple ideas like Rc2 with mate threats on h2.

Position after 32.Qf4

30.f6+ Kh8 31.f7 Rc2

white is in serious trouble, and was also under serious time pressure.

32.Qf4? (diagram right)

overloading the queen voluntarily, stopping the mate, but dropping the f pawn.

32...Rxf7 33.Nf6 g5?

black cracked, despite having comparatively a lot of time on the clock, he succumbed to the pressure of feeling the need to play quickly to keep his opponent in time trouble. While this seems like a logical plan, it gives white just enough to squeeze out a draw.

33...Qh3 and white can shake hands. 34.Rf2 Rfc7 35.Ne4 the best try, but still not good. (35.d5 Rc1+ 36.Rf1 R7c2 with unstoppable threats.) 35...Rc1+ 36.Rf1 Rxf1+ 37.Qxf1 Qxg4+ 38.Kh1 Qxe4+

Position after 34.Qxd6

34.Qxd6 (diagram left)

with mate threats of white's own.

34...Rc8 35.Qe5 Kg7 36.Ne4+

36.Nh5+ wins instantly, but white only had seconds on the clock, not enough time to consider all the options. 36...Kg8 37.Qe6!

36...Kf8 37.Rxf7+ Kxf7 38.Qf6+

38.Nd6+ Kg6 39.Qe6+ and once again white is dominating.

38...Kg8 39.Qe6+ Kg7 40.Qf6+ Kg8

with a draw agreed.


Blitz! (3+2)

Despite low numbers for the Regatta Blitz, there was fun over the board in this 3+2 event. Only 5 entrants in the competition meant we had time to play a double round robin.  Peter Wagg and David Rolph destroyed the competition taking only a point off each other.

Peter annihilated Dave in their first game with Dave scrimping, scrounging, and swindling his way to a win in the second game. However, a point is a point, and that meant Peter and Dave shared first place on 7 from 8.

William Rumley was the best of the rest, schooling Ian Little in how to lose a won position, twice. That put Will in second place with 4 leaving his sister Rebecca and Ian to bring up the rear.


Round 4

Round 4 pairings and results

In round 4 the star of the show was young William Rumley, after his inspiring performance in the blitz tournament the previous evening Will came to the board fresh to defeat Eric Rayner, the unrated contended who in the previous rounds had managed to keep the top 2 seeds to draws.

In the early game Eric played the aggressive Samisch variation of the King's Indian Defence, but Will held strong and then hit Eric with a tactical sequence to go up an exchange. The rest was a matter of proving Will had the technique to take home the point.


RAYNER, Eric - RUMLEY, William (873) [E86]

Royal Hobart Regatta Weekender Kingston LINC, Tasmania (4), 07.02.2016

Position after 5.f3

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f3 (diagram right)

white chooses the aggressive Samisch variation.

5...0–0 6.Be3 c6

black replies with the more quiet and flexible Byrne system.

other ways to approach the position include. 6...c5; 6...e5; 6...Nc6

7.Qd2 e5 8.Nge2 Re8 9.d5 Qc7 10.Bh6 Nbd7 11.h4

11.Bxg7 Kxg7 12.g4 is slightly more accurate and harder for black to counter.

11...Nb6 12.Ng1?

protecting the c pawn, but this is an ugly move. Perhaps a better way to approach the threat was b3, then g4, with the option to either castle queen-side, or put the king on f2.

Position after sideline 13...a5

12.b3 Bxh6 13.Qxh6 a5! (diagram left) a fantastic move, threatening the simple a4 and busting open the queen-side; white has no time to connect his rooks. 14.Qg5 Qd8 15.Ng3 a4 16.b4 a3 the engine puts this as slightly better for white, but I think any human would prefer black in this position.

12...Bd7 13.Rc1 Rac8 14.h5 cxd5 15.cxd5 Na4 16.hxg6 fxg6 17.g4

white's attack is a little ambitious, despite the open lines to the king-side; black's development is far superior with pressure down the c file.


17...Bxh6! 18.Rxh6

Position after sideline 21...Nxf6

(18.Qxh6 Qa5! 19.g5 the direct brute force attack just won't work as white's exposed king will be cut to pieces by black's open lines and counter-play; if black holds his nerve and finds the right lines. 19...Nxc3 20.gxf6 (20.bxc3 Rxc3 21.gxf6 Rxc1+ 22.Kf2 Qe1+ 23.Kg2 Qxf1+ 24.Kg3 Qe1+ 25.Kg2 Rc2+ 26.Qd2 Rxd2+ 27.Ne2 Rxe2#) 20...Nxe4+ 21.Rc3 Nxf6 (diagram right) some fantastic geometric patterns in that sequence. The knight on a4 went on a journey around the board to finish on f6 and replaces the knight lost in white's attack.  The h file is now secure for good, and white's king will soon come under a merciless attack from the queen-side.)

18...Qb6 19.Nge2 Nxb2 20.Rb1 Nc4 21.Qg5 Qd8 this is a safer line for white, but his attack is all but snuffed, and black will always have sufficient counter-play on the queen-side should white ever get too frisky around the black king.

Position after 24...Qxf3

18.Nge2 Nc5 19.Ng3 Qb6 20.Rc2 Na4

the position is quite complex, and over the past few moves both players have "tested the waters" and the better side of equality has swayed between them. It is now that white feels he can execute his attacking sequence.

21.Bxg7 Kxg7 22.Qh6+ Kf7 23.g5

this appears strong, but white's drafty king will prove a problem.

23...Qe3+ 24.Re2 Qxf3? (diagram left) 25.Rf2?

25.gxf6 and white's attack should prove decisive. 25...Qxg3+ (25...Kxf6 26.Re3 Qg4 27.Bh3 and the queen is trapped. 27...Qg5 28.0–0+ and mate to follow soon after.) 26.Rf2 Ke8 27.Qg7 with no sensible defence to Qe7

25...Qe3+ 26.Nge2 Qxf2+ 27.Kxf2 Ng4+ 28.Ke1 Nxh6

a crushing tactical sequence that should see black take home the point.

Position after 33.Kd2

29.Nxa4 Bxa4 30.Nc3 Bd7 31.gxh6 Ke7 32.Be2 a6 33.Kd2 (diagram right)

black is an exchange and a pawn up, and goes on to invade the white position with ease.

33...Rf2 34.Ke3 Rcf8 35.a4 Rg2 36.b3 Rg3+ 37.Kd2 Rh3 38.Rxh3 Bxh3 39.Ke3 Rf6 40.Nd1 g5 41.Nf2 Rxh6 42.Kf3 Rf6+ 43.Kg3 Bd7 44.Ng4 Bxg4 45.Kxg4 h6 46.Kh5 Kf7 47.Bg4 Kg7 48.Bf5 Rxf5 49.exf5 Kf6 50.Kg4 h5+

white resigned here, there is no hope after Kxh5, Kxf5 with 2 passers running home down the board.


Round 5

Round 5 pairings and results

Round 5 seemed to be the "tired" round, decided by many a blunder rather than anything else. The most interesting game, despite its abrupt blunderous finish was between Eric Rayner and Ian Little. The game is interesting because it features a pure Hippo from black.

Onlooker David Rolph and Ian himself confessed they'd never actually seen the system played in a serious game. While I still can't bring myself to recommend the system, its flexibility and "come on then, come get me" attitude proved more than Ian could manage.


LITTLE, Ian (1591) - RAYNER, Eric [C01]

Royal Hobart Regatta Weekender Kingston LINC, Tasmania (5), 07.02.2016

Position after 10...Bd7

1.e4 e6 2.d4 Ne7 3.Nf3 d6 4.Be2 Nd7 5.0–0 a6 6.a4 b6 7.c4 g6 8.Bg5 Bg7 9.Qd2 h6 10.Be3 Bb7 (diagram right)

black achieves a perfect Hippo formation, not a common thing to see in tournaments, even at club level.

11.Nc3 c5 12.Rfd1

12.d5 was the move here, locking up the centre and shutting out the light-squared bishop. Black can't castle king-side without dropping the h pawn or spending another move playing h5 or g5, meanwhile white can play Rab1 and think of opening the position on the queen-side while black's king is still in the centre.

12...Qc7 13.Rab1 g5 14.dxc5 dxc5 15.Qc2

Position after  16.Na2

15.a5 bxa5 16.h4! this is a very computer line, but white has full compensation for the temporary pawn sacrifice purely because black's pieces all seem to be tripping over themselves.  Now, castling king-side is out, again, and castling queen-side seems dubious due to the open lines and quick counter-play down the b and d files. 16...0–0–0

15...Nc6 16.Na2 (diagram left)

white is wanting to push the b pawn and force things on the queen-side, but this plan is simply too slow.

16...g4 17.Ne1 Nd4 18.Bxd4 Bxd4 19.Nc3

immediately bringing back the wayward piece to help with defences.

Position after sideline 29.Bf1

19.Bxg4 grabbing the material was another option as Bf3 stalls the immediate attack.  However, the jury is still out on if this is good enough for white to regroup and stall the king-side attack. 19...Qf4 (19...Rg8 20.Bf3) 20.Bf3 Ne5 21.Nc3 Rg8 22.Kh1 Nxf3 23.Nxf3 Bxc3 24.Qxc3 Bxe4 and white might have to invest some material just to stay in the game.

19...Rg8 20.g3 h5 21.Ng2 Nf6 22.Bd3 Qc6 23.Re1 Nh7 24.Ne2

24.Nh4 was the better move, with the following sequence the most accurate way for white to fend off the attack. 24...Ng5 25.Bf1 f5 26.Bg2 f4 27.Ne2 f3 28.Nxd4 cxd4 29.Bf1 (diagram right)

Final position.

24...Bf6 25.Nef4 Ng5 26.Nh4 Nh3+ 27.Nxh3 gxh3 28.Nf3 h4 29.Qe2 0–0–0 30.b4?

not the decisive blunder, but the prelude to it, white's plans of queen-side expansion do not offer the counter-play he was hoping for after the following sequence.

30...hxg3 31.fxg3

31.hxg3 is an option, but it doesn't allow the pawn on b4 to be captured. 31...cxb4 32.Kh2 (32.Rxb4 Qc5 33.Rb3 Rxg3+ 34.Kh1) 32...Bc3 and white's problems have gone from bad to worse.

31...cxb4 32.Rxb4?? Qc5+ (diagram left)


Bullet! (1+1)

Again the numbers were low for the Regatta Bullet tournament, but we did get 1 more than the Blitz. At 1+1 we could afford to run a double round robin and the entire tournament was done and dusted in less than 45 minutes.

Peter Wagg crushed everyone with a perfect score of 10 out of 10, though he did give his opponents some chances; at one point leaving his queen en prise with his opponent too focused on something else to see it. Ian Little improved on his performance on the Blitz scoring a point against David Rolph, and only allowing Will Rumley to thrash him once.

Newcomer George French picked a hell of a tournament to enter the over-the-board scene confessing that faster chess was not his strong point. Despite losing all his games on time, he was certain he'd drop by the HCC sometime in 2016; we look forward to seeing him there.


Round 6

Round 6 pairings and results.

William Rumley was the star again in round 6 scoring an upset win over Andrew Smith. Andrew blundered a piece in the early stages of the game, but it wasn't that simple as complications arose and white regained chances in the later game. However, Will survived the complications and ended up sacrificing a rook for a mating combination.

The other games from round 6 went the way of rating with Ian Little defeating Alex Nagy, and David Rolph conquering Chris Shepherd's early piece sacrifice. Chris sacced a bishop for 2 pawns and pulled Dave's king into the centre, but David proved the extra piece was worth more than the pawns when Chris couldn't keep the initiative going. Eric Rayner scored the point in the battle of the unrateds.


SMITH, Andrew (1654) - RUMLEY, William (873) [A21]

Royal Hobart Regatta Weekender Kingston LINC, Tasmania (6), 08.02.2016

Position after 14.Bg5

1.c4 e5 2.g3 f5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 Nc6 5.Nd5 e4 6.Nh4 d6 7.d4 exd3 8.Qxd3 Ne5 9.Qc2 g6 10.Bg2 Bg7 11.0–0 c6 12.Nxf6+ Qxf6 13.Nf3 0–0 14.Bg5??

simply losing a piece as Nxf3 with check removes the defender from g5.

14...Nxf3+ 15.Bxf3 Qxg5 16.Rad1 Rd8 17.Rfe1 Qf6 18.Rd2 Be6 19.Red1 Bf7 20.Qb3 Rab8 21.Qa3 Bxc4 22.Qxa7 d5 23.b3 Bb5 24.Qb6 Bh6 25.e3 Bf8 26.Bxd5+ Kg7 27.a4 Bxa4 28.Qc7+

playing this move with the d file blocked by the bishop allows the accurate text reply.

Position after 33.Rxd8

28.Bf3 this move before Qc7+ offers better resistence. 28...Rxd2 29.Rxd2 Bd6 covering the c7 square. (29...Bb5 saving the bishop allows 30.Qc7+ forking the king and rook. 30...Kg8 31.Qxb8) 30.bxa4 white has regained the lost material and has good drawing chances here.

28...Qe7 29.Qf4 Bb5 30.Be6 Qf6 31.Qc7+ Be7 32.Rxd8 Rxd8 33.Rxd8 (diagram left)

it appeared that black had just lost a rook, but William pulled out the following forced continuation.

33...Qa1+ 34.Kg2 Qf1+ 35.Kf3 Be2+ 36.Kf4 Qxf2+ 37.Ke5 Qxe3#



Going into the final round rising star Will Rumley played David Rolph for the chance to finish first. Unfortunately for Will, Dave secured the top spot with a miniature.  This left David Rolph as the outright winner, but the battle for the second and third spots was still on.

Andrew Smith had an easy last round win over fellow junior Sean Carpenter, which left the standings down to the game between Chris Shepherd and Ian Little. A win for Little would secure him outright second, a draw would see Andrew and Ian share the second spot, while a win for Chris would relegate Ian large middle pack and give outright second to Andrew.

So, the stage was set...


SHEPHERD,Chris (1160) - LITTLE,Ian (1591) [B35]

Royal Hobart Regatta Weekender Kingston LINC, Tasmania (7), 08.02.2016

Position after 7.Bc4

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 g6 5.Nc3 Nf6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.Bc4 (diagram right)

a strong way to play against both the dragon and accelerated dragon. Bc4 is aimed at preventing the equalising d5.

7.Be2 0–0 8.Qd2 d5 the point of the Accelerated Dragon. If white sticks to the usual Yugoslav ideas, black can hit back with d5 in one go.

7.f3 preventing Ng4 this way with the idea of putting the bishop on c4 and the queen on d2, still allows an early d5. 7...0–0 8.Bc4 (8.Qd2 d5 9.Nxc6 bxc6 10.0–0–0 Qc7 11.exd5 Nxd5 12.Nxd5 cxd5 13.Qxd5 Bf5 (diagram below) black is fully compensated for the pawn sacrifice with open lines to the white king and white having no attack at all.) 8...d5 9.exd5 Nb4 10.Nde2 Qc7 11.Bb3 Rd8

Position after sideline 13...Bf5

7.Qd2?! Ng4 and black loses the dark-squared bishop.

7...0–0 8.0–0 a6

8...Nxd4 9.Bxd4 d6 10.f4 Qc7 is a solid way for black to play the position. White's attack looks scarier than it is, as long as black can hold his nerve.; 8...d6 straight away allows the light-squared bishop some scope, and deters any e5 ideas.

9.f4 b5 10.Bb3 Nxd4

10...b4 11.Nd5 is an interesting continuation that can lead to some sharp positions.

11.Bxd4 Bb7

11...d6 now was certainly the time for d6, though white has the initiative in this position. 12.e5 (12.f5 e6 13.fxe6 (13.fxg6 hxg6 and the black king can hide still.) 13...Bxe6 14.Qf3) 12...dxe5 13.fxe5 Ng4 14.Re1

Position after 17...gxf5

12.Bxf6 Bxf6 13.e5 Bg7 14.Qg4 d6 15.Rad1 Qb6+ 16.Kh1 dxe5 17.f5 gxf5 (diagram right)

despite the ugly appearance of black's structure, this position is okay for black. Black will be a pawn up with the bishop pair on an open board.


18.Rxf5 Bc8 19.Nd5 Bxf5 20.Nxe7+ Kh8 21.Nxf5 Qg6


18...e6! powerful in its simplicity, move gains a tempo and blunts the bishop. 19.Qg4 Rad8

Position after 24...Bf6

19.Qxg6 hxg6 20.Rd7 Bc8 21.Rxe7 Be6 22.Ne4 Bxb3 23.axb3 f5 24.Ng5 Bf6 (diagram left)

black has a solid edge here, despite the material equality. If all the rooks came off this would be a win for black.

25.Re6 Kg7 26.h4 Bxg5

26...Rh8 instantly winning a pawn by threatening to win the knight. White can regain the pawn, but with pawns on both sides of the board, the bishop will dominate the knight. 27.Kg1 Rxh4 28.Nf3 Rhh8 29.Nxe5 Rae8 30.Rxe8 Rxe8 31.Nd3 Bd4+ 32.Kh2 Re2

27.hxg5 Rfe8 28.Rf6 Rh8+ 29.Kg1 Rh5 30.Rd1 Rxg5 31.Rdd6 Rg4

Position after sideline 36...e4

31...a5 should have been played now, it was played too late in the game. 32.Ra6 Rc8 33.Rfc6 Rd8 34.Rd6 white must prevent black from penetrating. If black does it will be more effective due to white's lack of pawn cover around the king. (34.c3 Rd1+ 35.Kf2 Rd2+ 36.Kf1 Rgxg2) 34...Rxd6 35.Rxd6 f4 36.Kf1 (36.Rd5 going after the pawns too eagerly can lead to trouble. 36...f3 37.g3 Kh6 (37...Rxg3+ 38.Kf2 Rg2+ 39.Kxf3 Rxc2) 38.Kf2 e4) 36...e4 (diagram right) black is pressing his advantage, and should take home the point in this case.

32.Rfe6 Rc8 33.c3 Ra8?!

going backwards was not the way forward.

33...e4 looks like it places the "active" rook offside, but after b4, that rook can access the position via g3 34.Rxa6 b4 35.c4 Rd8 36.Rad6 Rxd6 37.Rxd6 Rg3 38.c5 if white chooses to race here, he'll lose. 38...Rxb3 39.c6 Rxb2 40.c7 Rc2 41.Rd7+ Kf6

Final position

34.Kf2 Kf7 35.Rxe5 a5? 36.Rxb5 a4 37.Rb7+ Ke8 38.Re6+

38.bxa4 Raxa4 39.Rh7 Rgf4+ 40.Ke3 Rae4+ 41.Kd3 Rh4 42.Rxh4 Rxh4 43.Rxg6 and now it's black who is in big trouble.

38...Kf8 39.Rd6 axb3 40.Rdd740.Rxb3 Ke7 41.Rbb6 Ra2 42.Rd2 and the game could grind on for some time to come.

40...Re8 (diagram left)

here the draw was agreed, white was unsure if it was as a draw, but both players were in no mood to grind out the remaining moves. After Rxb3 though, it's only white playing for the win.