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[2006.06.22] BEE-SPLANE

[Event "Kolty Championship 2006"]
[Site "Kolty Chess Club, Campbell, CA"]
[Date "2006.06.22"]
[Round "1"]
[White "BEE, Ted"]
[Black "SPLANE, Mike"]
[Result "0-1"]  
[WhiteUSCF "1592"]
[BlackUSCF "2263"]
[WhiteNA "tedbee3 AT pacbell DOT net"]
[BlackNA "splane_m AT cob DOT sjsu DOT edu"]
[Board "?"]
[TimeControl "7200"]
[Annotator "SPLANE, Mike"]

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nc3 d5 3.e4 dxe4 This was my first tournament game against this gambit. I faced it once in a speed game and was badly beaten. The one thing I learned from that game was to not put my knight on c6. Black has to fight for the center using the c pawn.

4.f3 exf3 5.Nxf3 e6 The idea of 5... Bg4 and 6... Bf3 costs two tempos that Black can't afford when he is so far behind in development. The idea behind 5... e6 is to prepare 6... c5 without allowing d5 in reply. It's important for Black to get some open lines for his rooks to compensate for the open files that White has.

6.Bd3 c5 6... Bb4 and 7... Bxc3 just wastes tempos; Black needs to complete his development, not trade off his few active pieces.

7.Be3 cxd4 After the game I discovered that 7... Ng4 has been played here. I didn't even consider that move.

8.Bxd4 Nc6 9.Bxf6 gxf6 My opponent looked startled, and immediately made a bad move. This capture opens a line for my rook, and the pawn blocks pressure on f7 along the f-file, while preventing knight moves to g5 or e5. I can also advance this pawn to control the white squares in the center. I knew this pawn structure from similar positions that can arise in the Sicilian or in a French Defense. Recapturing on f6 with the queen simply helps White develop his initiative by castling with threats on the f-file. He should still castle anyway; it's too dangerous for Black to check on b6 and capture the b2 pawn because of Nb5.

10.a3 Bc5 11.Ne4 Bb6 12.Qe2 f5 I was worried that he would castle queenside, when the d6 square is beckoning to his knight, so I hastened to drive it away, even though it weakens my pawns.

13.Nc3 Qf6 14.Nd1 Now I was sure of winning. The pressure is off and I can utilize my positional advantages: center control, the two bishops, and extra material. White should be bringing up his rooks as reinforcements, but it may already be too late. If (14.O-O-O Nd4 15.Nxd4 Bxd4) and I'll capture on c3 or b2. The aggressive (14.Nd5 Qxb2 15.Nxb6) may be worth a try. If Black catches up in development, White has nothing to compensate for his material disadvantage, so sacrificing a bit more material may be the right idea.

14... Bd7 If he centralizes his rooks I'll want my king off the e-file. I don't have to use my queen to guard f5. I wasn't sure where my king belonged, so I delayed playing Rg8 and prepared queenside castling as an alternative.

15.c3 Rg8 16.Ne3 Ne5 Forcing simplification into a won endgame is much stronger than winning the g-pawn.

17.Nd4 If (17.O-O-O Nxf3 18.gxf3 Qh6) . On (17.Nc4 Nxc4 18.Bxc4 Bc6) , then Black's two bishops control the board.

17... Bxd4 18.cxd4 Qh4+ 19.Kd2 Qxd4 20.Nc2 Qf4+ After the game I was showing some of the variations I analyzed before playing this move. The spectator expressed shock at how much I was seeing. I was in great form and hadn't realized it before hearing her comment. I accurately analyzed 8 lines here, 122 ply total (I counted this out later), in about 6 minutes. Of course the endgame is won after trading on d3, but continuing the king hunt wins at least a piece. Some of my master colleagues tell me this is not a professional approach. They say that trading down prevents counter-play, and conserves thinking time and energy.

21.Ne3 If (21.Qe3 Nxd3 22.Qxf4 Nxf4) . If (21.Kd1 Nxd3 22.Qxd3 Rg2) or (21.Ke1 Nxd3 22.Qxd3 Rg2) then ...Qh4 and ...Ba4 will lead to a quick win. (21.Kc3) may be the toughest defense. I thought I would play (21.Kc3 Ba4) to prevent White's king hiding on a2.

21... Nxd3 22.Qxd3 Rxg2+ 23.Kc3 Qe5+ 24.Qd4 Rc8+ 25.Kd3 Bb5+ It's mate in 3 if he interposes the knight, with (25... Bb5+ 26.Nc4 Qe2+ 27.Kc3 Qxb2+ 28.Kd3 Qd2#) or mate in 2 if he interposes the queen, with (25... Bb5+ 26.Qc4 Rd8+ 27.Nd5 Rxd5#) 0-1