The 4 Nations Chess League
2008 - 2009

[Event "4NCL/DIV3/WWKS2 VS. BCA"]
[Site "Daventry, ENG"]
[Date "2009.05.02"]
[Round "9.2"]
[White "Ross, Chris"]
[Black "Lunn, Timothy"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B31"]
[WhiteElo "2197"]
[BlackElo "2066"]
[Annotator “Chris Ross"]
[PlyCount "91"]
[WhiteTeam "Braille Chess Association"]
[BlackTeam "Iceni“]
1. e4 c5
2. Nf3 Nc6
3. Bb5 g6
4. Bxc6
{OK, let's start there and consider the whole objectivity of this move, as the whole game hinges on this single positional move and the plan is formed.
I. White gives up his light-squared bishop. This means that he is heading for a good knight - bad bishop game, where he hopes to restrict the black light-squared bishop and hope to find excellent outposts for his 2 knights. In this regard, the pawn structure is extremely important: White must put pawns on light squares to hinder the bishop and the white knights need outposts to stand on.
II. White shatters the black pawn structure. This will mean that the black double "C" pawns are a target, whether it be the c6 or c5 pawn. As c5 is at the front, that is the easier target to hit.
Following all these positional elements, the game can almost play itself.}
4... dxc6
5. h3
{Normally Pawn-to-Rook-3 moves aren't necessary, but here, it is a positional ploy to restrict the bishop on c8. Note how white dominates the light-squares in the near facility of the light-squared bishop.}
5... Nf6
6. d3 Bg7
7. Nc3 Nd7
{A common enough maneuver. Black intends to stick a knight on the d4 square, which is an excellent outpost for that piece. Naturally, it takes 5 moves to get there, which gives white plenty enough time to neutralize it's effect.}
8. Be3 e5
9. Qd2 Qe7
10. O-O Nf8
11. Bh6
{A new idea for me, inspired by the great Anand himself. Previously, I have played Nh2, Ne2, a3 and b3. All perfectly good enough plans, but as Anand has demonstrated, white might as well get rid of the dark-squared bishop immediately, heading for that desirable ending and facilitating f2-f4 moves later, without having to worry about the "Dragon" bishop on g7. So, I decided to emulate the great man himself.}
11... Ne6
{Black may do best to take on h6, as the white queen is somewhat out of play on h6. It depends on where black wants to castle. Castling queen's is possible, but dangerous.}
12. Bxg7 Nxg7
{Fienchettoed knights can't be a good idea, but it's been seen before!}
13. Ne2 O-O
{Black has to stop white from getting in f2-f4 at all costs and attempt to take over the control of the dark squares, as was shown in Anand-Ivanchuk 2002
13... f6 14. Nh2 g5 15. a3 a5 16. c3 O-O 17. Ng4 Bxg4 18. hxg4 h5 19. b4 axb4 20. axb4 cxb4 21. cxb4 hxg4 22. Ng3 Ne6 23. Nf5 Qd7 24. Qe2 Nd4 25. Qxg4 Nxf5 26. exf5 Rad8 27. Ra3 Kg7 28. d4 Anand,V (2752)-Ivanchuk,V (2711)/Prague 2002/1/2-1/2 (50)}
14. a3
{Playing across the board, demonstrating that white can instigate activity on whichever side he wishes to work. The sign of a good position is that you can play across the board, from the queen-side, through the centre or on the king-side. So, another pawn-to-rook-3 move. What's it's purpose this time? OK, it is to avoid the pawn being en prise to a future Be6 by black. Also, it is preparing the push b2-b4, thereby targeting the vulnerable c5 pawn. Yes, this may "undouble" the pawns, but by doing this, I open up the "A" file for my rook, leaving the black A7 pawn very weak indeed, and more importantly, I am preventing the black pawn majority from advancing advantageously. White may even have a "minority" attack possible, if black isn't careful. There were other ways to play this, but there are so many possibilities for white to play effectively and logically, all ideas must be good for him, as long as they abide by his game-play, as illustrated above.
14. Nh2 Be6 15. f4 exf4 16. Nxf4 Rad8 17. Nxe6 fxe6 18. Rxf8+ Rxf8 19. Rf1 Rxf1+ 20. Nxf1 Qd6 21. c3 e5 22. Ne3 b5 23. Ng4 Nh5 24. Qg5 Qxd3 25. Qxe5 Qb1+ 26. Kh2 Qxa2 27. Nh6+ Kf8 28. Qh8+ Ke7 Harila,P (2083)-Szilardfy,G (2123)/Budapest 2005/1-0}
14... Rd8
{A weak move, that contributes nothing to black's play. The idea of the move is to facilitate a c5-c4 push, ridding himself of his bad pawn and giving white a backward "D" pawn, which would be good for black. However, a one-move threat can be easily be avoided. The rook moves away from the king-side, where it is needed for defensive purposes. There is no future on the D file at the current moment, so black should concentrate on freeing up his pieces. e5 is naturally en prise, so the consolidating f7-f6 move is a perfectly acceptable response, allowing a future g6-g5 blockading move if he so desires.}
15. Qc3
{Removing the queen off the "D" file, preventing c5-c4 moves and also pressuring e5, which is now attacked twice, forcing the f7-f6 move in any case. More importantly, there is now more pressure on the c5 pawn.}
15... f6
16. Nh2 Ne6
{Black has some incredibly difficult decisions to make now. Should he blockade with 16.. g5? I'm not sure. The f5 square then becomes an outpost for a white knight but getting there via g3 or g4/e3 may allow simple exchanges. The question is then to whether the f4 square could be used by black, for his knight. Does white chop it, or play h3-h4 and g2-g3 somehow? This would certainly give white pause to think, but in the meantime, he could continue his operations on the queen-side unhindered.}
17. f4
{I think this is just about forced. If black has not taken the chance to prevent this, then white should certainly play it. Pieces are exchanged and tactics now become relevant, with the additional exposure to both kings, but white still has a considerable lead in development and the better piece play, so, all must be ok for him.}
17... exf4
18. Nxf4 Nxf4
19. Rxf4 Rf8
{Meekly defending. I had more concerns about 19.. f5 and the possibility of black playing g6-g5 and f5-f4 blockading it all and the position becoming very unbalanced. If I was forced to take this with 20 exf5, then Qe3+ ideas, Bxf5 and it was incredibly difficult to figure out which was the most important file, the "F" file [if so, would I be forced into g2-g4 to evict the bishop away], or the open "E" file, which wouldn't be easy to get onto, with my poorly positioned rook on f4. Black may be able to swap everything off and hope to hold the ending.}
20. Raf1 Kg7
{Again, too passive. Putting the king on the long diagonal is too risky. Black had to take the risk and open up with f6-f5 and try to get his bishop into the game by forcing exchanges on f5. The black king is exposed, but I don’t' think Qb3+ or similar tactics help white all that much.}
21. Nf3
{Bringing the knight back into the game. Putting it on g4 allows it's exchange, which goes against the white game-strategy [especially with queens on the board]. This also allows white to begin operations on the king-side, as g6-g5 moves are prevented, as Nxg5 is possible, with the f6 pawn being pinned - Another disadvantage of Kg7.}
21... Be6
{Black seems to have achieved development now. The white advantage still holds, but it is not as discernable as before. White must still play on both sides of the board, distracting black from which side is to be concentrated on. Another factor here is that the position has opened up somewhat and exchanges, especially of the heavy pieces, seems inevitable. White's next move must have come as a bit of a shock for black!}
22. h4
{A multifaceted move, with a couple of specific purposes. Principally, it has the intent of opening up lines on the king-side. The idea of h4-h5 and h5xg6 with Rh4 and attacks down the open "H" file is particularly worrying for black. Also, the rook on f4 is secured from any attacks with g6-g5 and the blockading up of the dark squares is prevented. The pawn also secures the g5 square, making f6-f5 less effective, since the white knight can settle on g5, being a nice outpost. Finally, the pawn stands on a dark square, preparing for the end-game, where the white pawns should stand on dark squares, to prevent them from being attacked by that "bad bishop".}
22... h6
{A concession. Black wishes to stop any king-side advancement by white [as g6-g5 is now possible], but the g6 pawn has been weakened, an important factor as the f5 square could be potentially weak now, especially if h4-h5 has been played to lure the g6 pawn away from that square's protection. OK, now having made a move on the king-side, time for the queen-side again!}
23. b4
{Black must have been scrabbling around, wondering on what side of the board he should be concentrating, as white is happily switching from one to another. The other positional aspect of the doubled c5 pawn comes under attack. With the queen on c3, the pawn is now actually en prise.}
23... b6
{After which, black is positionally lost. Black didn't like the idea of 23.. cxb4 24. axb4 and with Ra1 ideas, forcing a7-a6 and then Ra5 ideas, with a domination of the 5th rank and the dark-squares, he didn't think he would have much play. As played though, he just allows exchanges and permits white to enter into his sought-after ending [of Good Knight v Bad Bishop.]}
24. bxc5 Qxc5+
25. Qxc5 bxc5
26. e5
{Time to put those pawns on dark-squares and make that bishop as miserable as possible. The 4th rank is cleared for the f4 rook's escape [g6-g5 was threatened]. Also, the white knight needs pathways into the centre and queen-side to exploit those doubled, weak pawns on the "C" file. Naturally, rook exchanges will only favour white.}
26... f5 27. Ra4 Rfb8
28. Nd2 g5
{Black tries to break out. 28... Rb2 is only illusionary activity as 29. Rc1 secures the c2 pawn, before Nc4 comes in to evict the rook. Note that the exchange of the knight for the bishop isn't a disaster now, since the rook ending is always good for white, with the black pawns being so weak.}
29. hxg5 hxg5
30. Nc4 Kg6
{30... a5 may have been an attempt, to stop the rook from forcing more defensive moves after Ra6/Ra5 ideas. The a5 pawn may be immune to capture. White would have to probe with Nd6 and get g2-g4 in at some point and give himself the e4 outpost.}
1. Ra6 Bd5
32. Ne3 Rb6
33. Ra5
{Good enough to win a pawn. The computer prefers 33. Rxb6 axb6 34. Rxf5 but I think any method is good enough to convert this ending.}
33... Be6
{33... Rb5? 34. Rxb5 and the bishop on d5 drops off.}
34. Rxc5 Rc8
35. Rc3 Rb5
36. d4 f4
37. Nc4 Rc7
38. Nd6 Rb2
{38... Rd5 put up more resistance.}
39. g3
{More breaking up of the pawn chain and destroying all the cover for the black king. This also frees up any possible mating ideas black had on the g2 square or down the "H" file. More importantly, the "F" file must become open now to allow the white rooks to deliver the coup de grace.}
39... Bh3
{39... Rh7 40. gxf4 gxf4 41. Rxf4 Rb1+ 42. Rf1 Rh1+ 43. Kxh1 Rxf1+ 44. Kh2 brings nothing for black.}
40. Re1 fxg3
41. Rxg3 Rh7
{If the bishop moves away, the rook steps back onto the F file with decisive affect. The f6 square is the entrance square for the white rook.}
42. e6 Kf6
{The passed pawn can't be stopped now.}
43. Rf3+ Ke7
44. Rf7+
{The computer wants to play it the other way, but either was good enough. I took the easy option, wanting an immediate resignation from my opponent.
44. Nc8+ Kd8 45. Rxh3 and the pawn crashes through.}
44... Kxd6
45. Rxh7 Bxe6
46. Rh6 1-0

Results and reports of the 2008-2009 season.

Round 1

Braille Chess Association

3.5 – 2.5

Halesowen

View the games

Round 2

Cambridge University 2

5.5 – 0.5

Braille Chess Association

View the games

Round 3

Braille Chess Association

4-2

Littlethorpe 2

View the games

Round 4

KJCA Kings

2-4

Braille Chess Association

View the games

Round 5

Metropolitan

3-3

Braille Chess Association

View the games

Round 6

Hackney

3-3

Braille Chess Association

View the games

Round 7

Braille Chess Association

2-4

Warwickshire Select 2

View the games

Round 8

Gloucestershire Gambits

3 – 3

Braille Chess Association

View the games

Round 9

Iceni

2.5 – 3.5

Braille Chess Association

View the games

Round 10

AMCA Dragons

3.5 – 2.5

Braille Chess Association

View the games

Round 11

Braille Chess Association

3.5 – 2.5

Guildford-ADC 4

View the games

If you would like to know any further information on this matter, or would like to be considered for our squad, do not hesitate to contact the captain by email.

B.C.A. 4NCL Captain


Results and reports

B.C.A. 4NCL Homepage

Download Games in PGN

Click here to view some annotated games from this season's 4NCL

 


B.C.A. 2002 - 2009