Andy Collins (161)
Tom Thorpe (185)

Leam A
Away Solihull

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 g6 5. Nc3 Bg7 6. Be3 Nf6 7. Bc4 O-O 7... Qa5 immediately forces a change of dynamic to the position 8. O-O has to be played and no longer will the potential same wild attacks happen (8. Qd2?! Nxe4 wins a pawn ) 8. Bb3 8. f3 the natural move is wrong 8... Qb6 a trap in the position 9. Bb3 Nxe4 10. fxe4 Nxd4 white can in fact play variations linked to this with equality, but that's not the point of the opening 8... d6 9. f3 Bd7 10. Qd2 Rb8 I'm quite sure this is still theory, but I'm on my own now 11. g4 and I decided to play the position like a standard dragon with a king side attack, but the position is not exactly the same and my bishop already being on b3 changes the nature of the game very quickly 11. a3 seems to be possible 11... Na5 12. Ba2 but slow in the positioni and often times if the knight lands on c4 I will have to take it anyway as per the game 11... Na5 11... Qa5 12. O-O-O b5 13. Kb1 and lines like this are thematic 12. h4 b5 13. Nd5 Nc4 14. Nxf6+ exf6 14... Bxf6 15. Bxc4 bxc4 15. Bxc4 bxc4 16. c3 I had my first reasonable length think here before playing this committal decision, 16. b3 cxb3 17. axb3 this line certainly would of been more natural than my choice, but it changes the game dynamic a lot and its not clear when my king is going to sit 16. Qc3 and I don't like my queen on this diagonal 16. O-O-O could be played and transpose to the game 16... Qe7 17. O-O-O Rb7 my opponent signals his intention to double on the b file and pick up on b2, here I had a 20 min think 18. Nc2 the nature of the position here is going to potentially change again, but I'm effectively taking momentarily advantage of the undefended pawn on d6 18. Rh2 Rfb8 (18... Qe5) 19. Qe1 too passive an approach and I think I will be much worse 19... Qe5 20. Re2 (20. Rhd2 Ba4) 18. b3 far to dangerous to consider 18... Rfb8 black really has to go through with this plan now, or d6 will fall for nothing 19. Qxd6 Qxd6 20. Rxd6 Rxb2 21. Nb4! 21. Rxd7?? Rb1+ 22. Kd2 Rxh1 21... Re2 22. Bxa7 and I understood that here I am never worse, black has one rook on the seventh but other than restricting my king its not doing too much, the other rook will have a very hard time of getting also to my seventh rank 22... Rb7 and now I understood that black has a potential back rank mate problem and will have to deal with the threat before its too late 23. Ra6 Bh6+ 23... h6 would solve the back rank mate threat 24. Bd4 f5 25. Bxg7 Kxg7 26. exf5 gxf5 27. gxf5 Bxf5 28. Rg1+ and blacks bishop gets very active, its not so clear what the evaluation should be 23... f5 my opponent suggested this after the game as a line, but I had already seen further 24. Bc5 Bxc3?? 25. Ra8+ Kg7 26. Bf8+ Kf6 (26... Kg8 27. Bh6+ and mate ) 27. Nd5+ a nice finish to the line and I win the bishop 24. Kb1 objectively I suspected the position was likely dynamicley equal, although my opponent still has to deal with my potential mate threat 24. Kd1 my opponent thought I was almost forced to play this way 24... Rxb4+?? my opponent goes all in, not out of a feeling of desperation, he assumes he is simply winning a piece in the line, but he just missed a critical point about the positon 24... Be3 solves the back rank problem in one move and the game would continue 25. cxb4 c3? unfortunately for my opponent this ensures that the material loss will be even greater 25... Be3 and black accepts that he simply blundered the exchange, but at least does not lose further material, and the conversion will be more difficult for me 26. Bc5! and had I not already seen this move I might have been worried 26... c2+ 27. Ka1 of course the only move and black has to give material next move 27. Kb2 c1=Q+ 28. Kb3 Qc2+ 29. Ka3 Qb2# 27... f5 the only move to stop mate and black will be a whole rook down 27... c1=Q+?? 28. Rxc1 Bxc1 unfortunately not possible due to forced mate 29. Ra8+ Kg7 30. Bf8+ Kg8 31. Bh6+ Be8 32. Rxe8# and my opponent when playing the exchange sac has missed this line 27... Kh8 28. Ra8+ Bf8 either way the piece is lost 28. Ra8+ Kg7 29. Bf8+ Kf6 30. Bxh6 I had about 5 mins here for 5 moves and of course up a whole rook my opponent should have no chance 30... fxg4 31. Bg5+ Ke5 32. Ra5+ Ke6 33. fxg4 33. f4 Rxe4 34. Re5+ Rxe5 35. fxe5 Kxe5 I briefly though about this line, but it gives black more play for no good reason 33... Rxe4 34. a3 Bc6 35. Rc1 Rxg4 36. Ra6 Kd5 37. Rxc2 Bb5 38. Ra5 another piece is lost and my opponent resigns, the strongest player I've beaten to date 1-0

Game(s) in PGN