A game from the Bury Congress

Stowmarket’s Dave Green (116) made a welcome return to chess a year ago, after ten years away from the board. He played in the Intermediate section of the Bury St Edmunds Congress in October and having won his first game with White, faced Robert Killeen (143) with Black in Round 2.

Here are the moves with Dave’s own notes. You can play through the game using the board at the bottom of the page.

White:  Robert Killeen (Brentwood)
Black:   Dave Green (Stowmarket)

1. e4 c5 2. b4  Oh well, that is my Sicilian opening book in the bin, so now I have to play on my wits.   My first long think, well about six minutes actually.   2… e5 3. bxc5 Bxc5  Looks like I have gained a tempo already.   4. Nc3 Nf6 5. Nf3 Nc6 6. Be2 O-O 7. O-O  Here again I had a long think (by my standards).   Just what is wrong with the ultimate Sicilian freeing move d5?   I could find no good reason not to play it, so … d5 8. exd5 Nxd5 9. Ne4  I thought the pin on the long diagonal would save the e4 pawn, so … Be7 10. Bb2  This looks a bit passive so do I defend e4 again or go for some space and activity in the centre?  … f5!?  Chucking the knight out.   11. Ng3   The knight runs to the only available safe square.  … e4  and kick the other knight whilst saving the e-pawn.   12. Ne5 Nxe5 13. Bxe5   I now have the chance to swap off this irritating bishop, develop my queen and occupy the long diagonal all together.   Doing three things in one move has to be good.   13… Bf6 14. Bxf6 Nxf6  and now a surprise.   15. f4   Whoa David.   What is this?   Thinking cap firmly on.   exf3 e.p. is nuts as it gives away all my advantage in the centre by freeing his knight and bishop.  No, it is time to develop and be awkward whilst doing so.   15… Be6 attacking the a-pawn, freezing his rook for a bit and stopping any checks on the a2-g8 diagonal.   Another case of doing three things in one move.   16. Kh1?   This looks so passive; it must be time to attack.   Now in the Sicilian the queen is usually good on c7.   Ok 16… Qc7 17. c4   Hmmm, can I artificially isolate this pawn and attack it?   Rd8 and the pin on the queen is a nuisance so now I have to choose a rook.   No problem, the f-rook will do well and the a-rook can then go to c8.   17… Rfd8   While he is thinking I took a long look around the board.   Black has more space, more active queen and rook.   My knight has useful squares whilst his knight has only one useless square.   My bishop is active on two diagonals.  His bishop runs into his own pieces or is harassed by my advancing pawns.  Two pawn islands for me and three for him, including the horrible isolated a- and c-pawns and the backward d-pawn.   Kings are equally safe.   I considered I was better in this position.   18. Qc2 Rd4   A rook lift.   GM Larry Christiansen is always in favour of rook lifts in his attacking chess videos on ICC, so here goes.   Yet more pressure on the c4 pawn.   19. d3   So where now?   Rc8 is solid and keeps up the pressure but his queen on c2 and his rook on f1 are ripe for a knight fork from e3.   How do I get my knight there?   Well, the c4 pawn is pinned to the queen, so … Nd5 20. Qb2  This move was a long time coming.  Now his clock is really helping me.   20… Qb6 defending the rook, attacking the queen and saving the cheeky knight.   21. Qxb6 Nxb6 22. dxe4 fxe4 and a powerful and well-supported passed pawn appears on e4.   23. c5 Nc4 24. Bxc4 Bxc4   The exchanges left me winning; bishop for knight with pawns on both sides of the board.   A centralised rook, better pawn structures and a monster passed pawn.   25. Rfe1 Bd3 26. Nf5 Rc4   Not Rd5 because of the fork on e7.   27. Rac1 Rxc1 Exchanging rooks increases my advantage.   28. Rxc1   Here I want to play Rc8 but the knight fork at e7 prevents this, so … g6 shifts the steed but it goes to a better square!   29. Nd6   I still cannot play Rxc1 so I push the e-pawn  … e3 30. Re1 e2 31. Kg1 Rd8   Letting the b-pawn go.   32. Nxb7 Rd7 33. Na5 Bb5 34. Kf2 Rd1   This was rushed; Rd2 was much better.   35. c6 Rd2   Correcting the last move.  36. Nb3 Rxa2   Now the Black a-pawn needs constant attention from White.   37. c7   Scary!   But … Ba6 holds all.   38. Nd4   Ponderously returning to the defence.  … Rd2 39. Ke3 Rd3+ 40. Ke4 Rc3 41. Ne6 Kf7 42. Ng5+ Kg7 43. g3   White was very short of time, while I still had 45 minutes on the clock.  … h6 44. Ne6+ Kf6 45. Ra1 Bb7+ 46. Kd4 Rc6 47. Nd8 Rxc7   Killing the dreaded c-pawn.   48. Nxb7 Rxb7 49. Re1 Re7   Rook and pawn endgame, but I have two passed pawns and one is on the seventh rank.  50. g4 a5 51. Kc4 Re4+ 52. Kd5 Re8 53. Kc4 a4 54. Kb4 Re4+ 55. Ka3 Ke6 and White resigned with next to no time on his clock and in a lost position.   The Black king can penetrate via d5, d4, e3 and f2.   Houdini says I am +7.22 ahead.  

Whoopee two out of two at the Congress!

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