THE BRITISH CHAMPIONSHIP 2005

[Event "B.C.A. British Championship 2005"]

[Site "Morecambe, ENG"]

[Date "2005.08.13"]

[Round "1.1"]

[White "Ross, Chris"]

[Black "Thacker, Steven"]

[Result "1-0"]

[ECO "E12"]

[WhiteElo "2122"]

[BlackElo "1885"]

[Annotator "Chris Ross"]

[PlyCount "83"]

[EventDate "2005.08.13"]

{E12: Queen's Indian}

1. d4 Nf6

2. Nf3 e6

3. c4 b6

4. Nc3 Bb7

5. Bg5 Be7

6. e3 d6

{Slightly unusual and unwilling to enter into the main lines where white has good king-side attacking possibilities. Usual is d5 and the contast for the center, but white should stand fine as long as he doesn't allow himself to be distracted by black's central manouvring.}

7. Bd3 Nbd7

8. O-O h6

9. Bxf6

{A considerable consession.

I was paranoid that black was going to start some king-side attack here if I had simply retreated to h4, with g7-g5 etc. In theory this shouldn't be too worrying, but with the black king not yet committed, I thought a more gradual build-up through the center may be white's best.

9. Bh4 O-O 10. Bg3 Rc8 11. Qe2 d5 12. cxd5 exd5 13. Ba6 Bxa6

14. Qxa6 c5 15. dxc5 Nxc5 16. Qe2 Nfe4 17. Nxe4 Nxe4 18. Rfd1 Rc5 19. Qd3 Qc8

20. Be5 Rd8 21. Nd4 Bd6 22. Bxd6 Nxd6 23. f3 Re8

Hessselberg,L-Tidman,S/Copenhagen 2003/CBM 095 ext/0-1 (29)}

9... Bxf6

{Again, unusual. Black does not wish to enterr into the contast for central control by pawn positioning, but rather restrain white tactically with piece play.

9... Nxf6 10. Qc2 O-O 11. Ne4 c5 12. dxc5 bxc5 13. Rfd1 Qb6 14. Rd2

Rab8 15. Rad1 Rfd8 16. Nxf6+ Bxf6 17. Be4 Bc8 18. b3 a5 19. Rd3 Ba6 20. R3d2

Qc7 21. Rb1 Rb4 22. a3 Rb6 23. Rdd1 Rdb8 24. Rdc1 Bc8

Titz,H-Frosch,E/Austria 1995/EXT 99/1/2-1/2 (65)

9... Nf6 10. e4 O-O 11. Qc2 Nh5 12. Ne2 g5 13. d5 e5 14. g3 Bc8 15. Ne1 Bh3 16. Ng2 Kh8 17. Kh1 Qd7 18. Ng1 Rg8 19.

Nxh3 Qxh3 20. Qd1 Rg7 21. Ne3 Nf4 22. Be2 Nxe2 23. Qxe2 Rg6 24. Rg1

Hohlbein,J-Sehr,A/Germany 2002/EXT 2003/1-0 (53)}

10. Qe2 O-O

11. Rad1 Qe7

12. Bb1 a6

{Slow. Black has equalised here without too much trouble, similar to many formations by black that appear in the Nimzo and Bogo defenses, where the dark-squared bishop has been exchanged and the black pawns aim for dark-square control.

Black ought to consider 12... e5 here and make a bid for the center, when white would have a very difficult decision to make to whether he should play e3-e4.}

13. Nd2 g6

{Getting worried about the light squares. Black also wishes to preserve his dark-squared bishop if it is challenged by Ne4.}

14. Qg4

{Agressively played although it has very timid threats. Black must be wary of possible Bxg6 tactics but apart from that, the white queen is simply aiming for the king-side in preparation of white launching a pawn to soften black up.}

14... Bg7

15. Qg3

{Biding my time. I don't want the queen to have tempo gained on it with either h6-h5 or f7-f5, so the retreat and the question to black to see what his plans are is the idea.}

15... Qg5

16. Qh3

{Not the best square for the queen, but the best one if I want to keep queens on and maintain agressive intensions.

Now the black queen has to decide where she is best placed in view of the pending Ne4.}

16... f5?!

{Weakening black unnecessarily and making Qh3 look better than it actually is. The x-ray attack on the e6 square now gives white the chance to open things up.}

17. e4!

{Simply following the moto that flank attacks should be refuted by central thrusts.

Here, white is best placed to open up the game and curiously enough, the blocking up of the long h1-a8 diagonal is to white's advantage since Qxg2 mates are temporary avoided.}

17... Qg4

{17... Bxd4 18. Nf3 is the simple tactic here.

17... fxe4 18. Qxe6+ and then the snatch of the e4 pawn should bag white a clear pawn, that is if he didn't want to steal the stranded knight on d7.....}

18. Qxg4 fxg4

19. Nb3 e5

{Desperately attempting to blockade the position to render the light squared bishop on b1 poor.

However, white is not obliged to fall into black's plans and can in fact, reopen the bishop on b1.}

20. Nd5! Bxd5

21. exd5 exd4

22. Nxd4 Bxd4

23. Rxd4 Ne5

{And black offered the draw.

Cool assessment would certainly suggest that black has more than enough here to draw the game. His control of the dark squares with his pawns is good and his outposted knight is strong, equal to that of the bishop.

If white had no chance at all to remove the knight from e5, then the game would be decided.

However, white can try and shift the knight and that g4 pawn doesn't look very secure.....}

24. Bc2 a5

25. Bd1 h5

26. f4

{Ambitiously played but white still has some winning chances. He must be exceedingly careful of the tactics with the knight, but cool calculation is the simple response to that.}

26... gxf3

27. gxf3 g5

{Helping white in a way to carry on opening things up.

Black should have sought another outpost for the knight, i.e. the f5 square via f7 and h6 perhaps. Once on f5, the knight can not be easily removed.}

28. h4 Rf5

29. hxg5 Rxg5+

30. Kh1

{Avoiding any checks by the knight. Advancing up the board would be nice but I have to watch Ng4+ or Nf3+ ideas. Patience.....}

30... Rf8

31. f4 Kh8?

{Blundering a piece by trying to avoid the king being exposed on the G file. Black wants to play Rgf5 but Rg1+ for white unpinning the f4 pawn would be on.

31... Rg3 32. Re4 is best but it is getting very complicated and black should be able to hold his own (32. Bxh5? Rh3+ 33. Kg2 Rxh5}

32. b3?

{Trying to be solid in a time scramble.

When a position is as complicated as this, simple solidifying moves tend not to be the most accurate.

Black is currently forked and Kh8 was to prevent Rg1+ unpinning themes. But what is wrong with the unpinning in the other rook direction?

32. Re1! Nd3 33. Rxd3 Rxf4 34. Rh3 avoiding mate and picking up the H pawn at some point.}

32... Rgf5

33. Kh2

{Now it is time to march the king.

This is also necessary to protect the f4 pawn if Ng6 is played.}

33... Nd7

34. Kh3 Ne5

35. Bc2 R5f6

36. Kh4

{The advancing king is starting to prove a pain for black.

The pawn on h5 is looking more and more vulnerable.}

36... Ng6+

37. Kg5 Kg7

38. f5

{Committing.

I was too intent on trying to win the H pawn and not really worried about the black resources.}

38... Ne7?

{38... Ne5! and black should be able to hold a blockade on f6. OK, I can win the H5 pawn but am I coming through anywhere?}

39. Rh4 Kf7

{Black decides to flee.

More stubborn was

39... Rg6+ 40. fxg6 Rxf1 41. Kxh5 Rg1

And with the g6 pawn pretty much stuck and the white rook having to act as a shield to the checks, there doesn't seem much white can do to progress.}

40. Rxh5 Ke8

{On the last move of the control, black crumbles.

40... Rg8+ 41. Kh4

And white needs to consider how he will get his king back to the support of the f5 pawn.}

41. Rh6

{Slightly more accurate was 41. Rh7 but it is pretty much irrelevant now.}

41... Rg8+?

{Blundering horribly.

41... Rxh6 42. Kxh6 Kf7 struggles on a few more moves.}

42. Kxf6 1-0

[Event "B.C.A. British Championship 2005"]

[Site "Morecambe, ENG"]

[Date "2005.08.14"]

[Round "2.1"]

[White "Chambers, Colin"]

[Black "Ross, Chris"]

[Result "1/2-1/2"]

[ECO "A46"]

[WhiteElo "1980"]

[BlackElo "2122"]

[Annotator "Chris Ross"]

[PlyCount "50"]

[EventDate "2005.08.14"]

{A46: Torre System}

1. d4 Nf6

2. Nf3 c5

3. c3

{Negatively played, but white is wanting to play solidly. The decline from entering in to the Benoni or other sharp continuations is not to white's style, and hence the text move. This pawn however proves to be white's thorn throughout the opening.}

3... e6

4. g3 b6

{Again, attempting to enforce a decision from white. The move order has been mixed up by black, but I simply intended to transpose back into the main lines of the queen's gambit, bbut where the pawn at c3 should be incorrectly placed.}

5. Bg2 Bb7

6. O-O Be7

7. b3

{Stating that his bishop is not well placed anywhere more effective than on the long diagonal. However, with the pawn on c3, the fienchetto is pointless, and hence, white is going to have to admit a sheer loss of a tempo and play c3-c4.}

7... O-O

8. Bb2 d5

{Reaching my objective. The normal queen's gambit declined line has been reached, similar to that of the hanging pawn formation etc. but where white's C pawn is incorrectly placed. In theory, this ought to be better for black due to the loss of the tempo. But, what to do with that all important tempo....}

9. Nbd2

{Trying to complete development, since the natural square, c3, has been took away from it.

I find it somewhat surprising that there are in fact games in the database that support this position. White almost always heads for the immediate occupation of the outpost at e5:

9. Ne5 Nc6 10. Nxc6 Bxc6 11. Nd2 Rc8 12. Nf3 cxd4 13. Nxd4 Ba8 14. Rc1 Ne4 15.

e3 a6 16. Qe2 b5 17. Rfd1 Nd6 18. Ba3 Qa5 19. Bxd6 Bxd6 20. c4 Ba3 21. Rc2 e5

22. Nf3 dxc4 23. bxc4 Be4 24. Rcd2 bxc4 25. Ng5 Bd3 26. Qh5

Macsik,T-Orso,M/Hungary 2003/EXT 2005/0-1 (31)

9. Ne5 Nc6 10. Nxc6 Bxc6 11. Nd2 Qc7 12. Rc1 Rfd8 13. Qe1 Qb7 14. Nf3 Rac8 15. Ne5 Qa6 16. a3 Be8 17. Qd2 Qb5 18. b4 Qa4 19. f3 a5 20. Nd3 Bb5

21. dxc5 bxc5 22. Ra1 Nd7 23. Rfb1 Nb6

Fraguela Gil,J-Darga,K/Lanzarote 1976/MCD/0-1 (36)}

9... Nbd7

{Although I can not directly criticise this move, I find it an important stage in the game where black goes astray. At the time, I realised that the development of the queen's knight was important, but couldn't decide whether the c6 square was too loose for it and whether I wanted to block in the bishop at b7 and thereby, restrain my control of the e4 square.

As I was trying to muggle my way through the decision, I was getting majorly distracted by some persistent chattering from the table next to me. I found this increasingly annoying and ended up with the d7 square, wholely intending to chop on c5 with the knight, thinking that its pathh to e4 would be the best route. But as the game shows, c5 was never its immediate target in any case and when it got there.....

9... Nc6 10. c4 Rc8 11. Rc1 dxc4 12. Nxc4 b5 13. Ne3 Qb6 14. Nc2 Rfd8 15. dxc5 Bxc5 16.

Qe1 Ne4 17. e3 b4 18. Nfd4 Ne7 19. Kh1 e5 20. Nf3 f6 21. h3 Nf5 22. Kh2 a5 23.

Rd1 Nfd6 24. Nd2

Benini,C-Keller Hermann,E/Moscow 1950/MCD/0-1 (48)}

10. Rc1 Rc8

11. dxc5 Bxc5

{This shows that Nbd7 is in fact incorrect. If Nbd7 is right, then Nxc5 has to be played, but if black is striving for activity and the exploitation of the extra tempo, this has to be played. The intension is simply to remove white's best attacking bishop - the queen's bishop.}

12. c4 Qe7

13. cxd5 Bxd5

14. e3

{Providing a square for the queen at e2.

All other squares are unavailable. White also wishes to restrain the bishop's power on c5 and to gain complete control of the d4 square.}

14... Ba3

15. Bxa3 Qxa3

16. Rc2

{Accurately realising that the white queen is best placed on b1 for defensive purposes.

Once on b1, black will find it difficult to creat any weakness in the white pawn formation.}

16... Qa6

{Initially, this looks a bit bizarre, but the queen has a purpose of controling the light squares, now the dark-squared bishops have been traded.

The immediate control of c4 prevents Nc4 without white ending up with an isolated pawn, which would be a major weakness, and also prepares Qb7 adding extra power to the battery on the long diagonal.}

17. Rxc8 Rxc8

18. Qb1 Nc5

{Trying to control the e4 square and get some possible tactics weaving around the white queen-side.

However, this does weaken the e5 square and forces off more exchanges. Black's tiny advantage has now been somewhat disapated.}

19. Rc1 Nce4

20. Rxc8+ Qxc8

21. Nxe4 Bxe4

{Possibly Nxe4 is on, but I was never convinced. White can avoid all the tactics simply enough and the white queen's protection of the queen-side pawns is more than enough to equalise for white.}

22. Qb2 Qb7

23. Ne1 h6

24. Bxe4 Qxe4

25. Qc2

{And now black has to be careful of the white queen penetrating into black's 8th and 7th ranks.

Playing on in the knight ending will give some chances, but white should not have any difficulties at all. Hence.....}

25... Qxc2 1/2-1/2

[Event "B.C.A. British Championship 2005"]

[Site "Morecambe, ENG"]

[Date "2005.08.15"]

[Round "3.1"]

[White "Ross, Chris"]

[Black "Irving, Alastair"]

[Result "1-0"]

[ECO "E73"]

[WhiteElo "2122"]

[BlackElo "1450"]

[Annotator "Chris Ross"]

[PlyCount "25"]

[EventDate "2005.08.15"]

{E73: King's Indian: Averbakh Variation}

1. d4 Nf6

2. c4 g6

3. Nc3 Bg7

4. e4 d6

5. Be2

{Presuming that my opponent had thoroughly booked up on me, I decide to play a line that I have been considering for some time, which, I guess somewhat surprised him.}

5.... O-O

6. Bg5

{Indicating that I was not prepared to transpose back into the Classical Petrocian, which is my usual weapon....}

6... Nbd7

7. Qc2

{Again, making my own way through. Qd2 is normal, but I didn't want to hack, I wanted good old positional stuff here.....}

7... c5

{Black's first strange decision.

Black doesn't thrust out in the normal central method with e7-e5 but decides to strike from the other side. The position massively resembles a Benoni, but the major question is whether the bishop at g5 is correctly placed or not....

7... e5 8. d5 a5 9. h4 c6 10. h5 Nc5 11. h6 Bh8 12. Nf3 Bd7 13. Nd2 Qc7 14. Nb3 Na6 15. a4 Nb4 16. Qd1

Rae8 17. Rc1 b6 18. Nd2 Bc8 19. dxc6 Qxc6 20. Nd5 Nd7 21. Be7 Nc5 22. Bxf8

Bareev,E-Damljanovic,B/Belgrade 1993/CBM 039/[Glatman]/1-0 (41)}

8. d5 Nb6?

{Illustrating comprehensively that he does not know the intricies of the Benoni.

Fundamentally, black has to control the b5 square with a7-a6, almost forcing a2-a4, giving a safe square for the black queen at c7, where it has possible tactics with c5-c4 and Nc5 ideas etc, as well as holding up the e4-e5 central thrust by white.

Also, black has to challenge the center, without fail. E7-e6 and then chopping on d5 with pressure on the e4 pawn is black's only hope of any counter-play.

8... Ne5 9. h3 h6 10. Bd2 g5 11. g3 Ng6 12. f4 Nh7 13. Nf3 gxf4 14. gxf4

e5 15. f5 Nh4 16. O-O-O Nxf3 17. Bxf3 Nf6 18. Rdg1 Kh7 19. Rg3 Bd7 20. Rhg1 Rg8

21. Be3 a6 22. Qd2 b5 23. Nd1

Van Tilbury,C-Yahya,H/Moscow 1994/CBM 044 ext/1-0 (32)

8... a6 9. a4 (9. Nf3 Qc7 10. O-O Re8 11. Rad1 e6 12. dxe6 Rxe6 13. Bf4 Ne5 14. h3 Re8 15. Rd2 Be6

16. Nxe5 dxe5 17. Be3 Rad8 18. Nd5 Bxd5 19. cxd5 b5 20. b3 Rc8 21. Rc1 Bf8 22.

Qd3 c4 23. bxc4 bxc4

Garcia Gonzales,G-Zapata,A/Bayamo 1980/EXT 99/1/2-1/2 (56)

8... a6 9. a4 Re8 10. Nf3 Nf8 11. O-O Qc7 12. h3 Bd7 13. Bd3 Rab8 14. Rfe1 e6 15. Be2 e5 16. Bd3 h5 17.

Reb1 N8h7 18. Be3 a5 19. Qe2 b6 20. Nb5 Bxb5 21. cxb5 Qe7 22. Nd2 h4 23. Nc4

Patino,F-Sarquis,M/Escobar 2004/CBM 098 ext/0-1 (47)}

9. f4 Nfd7

10. Nf3 Qc7?

{Black manages to crumble within a few moves. His position is extremely awkward, if not lost, but this blunder leads to further disaster.}

11. Bxe7 Re8??

{Making the end mercifully quick. Black was going to be slowly squished with the loss of the exchange, the loss of the center and the total missplacement of his pieces. Now, the black queen gets ensnared.}

12. Nb5 Qb8

13. Bxd6 1-0

[Event "B.C.A. Championship 2005"]

[Site "Morecambe, ENG"]

[Date "2005.08.16"]

[Round "4.1"]

[White "Gallagher, John"]

[Black "Ross, Chris"]

[Result "1/2-1/2"]

[ECO "E38"]

[WhiteElo "1890"]

[BlackElo "2122"]

[Annotator "Chris Ross"]

[PlyCount "51"]

[EventDate "2005.08.16"]

{E38: Nimzo-Indian: Classical}

1. d4 e6

2. c4 Nf6

3. Nc3 Bb4

4. Qc2 O-O

5. e3 c5

6. Nge2

{Normally, white attempts to mix things up here, not always successfully, but his dark squared bishop is a worry; where does it belong?

6. dxc5 Na6 7. Nf3 Nxc5 8. Be2 Nce4 9. Bd2 Nxd2 10. Nxd2 d5

11. O-O Bd7 12. Rac1 Bc6 13. Rfd1 Qe7 14. Bf3 Rad8 15. a3 Bd6 16. g3 g6 17.

cxd5 exd5 18. Nb3 Qe5 19. Nd4 h5 20. Bg2 Ng4

Justo,D-Slipak,S/Buenos Aires 1992/EXT 2003/1/2-1/2 (45)}

6... d5

{Striving to open up the center since white is lacking somewhat in development.

6... Nc6 7. a3 Bxc3+ 8. Qxc3 Ne4 9. Qd3 Qa5+ 10. Bd2 Nxd2 11. Qxd2 Qxd2+ 12.

Kxd2 b6 13. Rc1 Ba6 14. Rc3 Rac8 15. b3 f5 16. g3 cxd4 17. Nxd4 Nxd4 18. exd4

Bb7 19. Rg1 f4 20. g4 f3 21. Re3 Rf4

Garcia Cervigon,C-Pogorelov,R/Villalba 1997/EXT 99/0-1 (32)

6... Nc6 7. Bd2 cxd4 8. exd4

d5 9. cxd5 Nxd5 10. a3 Be7 11. Nxd5 Qxd5 12. Nf4 Qxd4 13. Be3 Qe5 14. Rd1 Rd8

15. Rxd8+ Bxd8 16. Be2 Nd4 17. Qd2 Bb6 18. Nd3 Qf6 19. h4 e5 20. Nb4 Qg6 21.

Kf1

Daroczy,S-Pap,J/Hungary 1999/EXT 2000/0-1 (34)}

7. cxd5 cxd4

8. exd4 Nxd5

{Reaching an QPI position which was my intension after 6... d5.

However, it is different to normal QPI positions, since the knight at e2 is normally at f3 and the queen might not be so brilliant at c2. Agreed, my bishop on b4 is wrong, but I was intending to simply retreat it.}

9. a3 Be7

10. Nxd5

{Striving for an opening advantage. Recapturing on d5 with the ppawn would ensure total equality and probably a long drawn-out game ultimately ending in a boring draw.}

10... Qxd5

11. Be3 Nc6

12. Nc3 Qa5

{Bad as the white queen's position is, the black queen has similar problems. There is no real good square for her.

Although the knight at c6 poses some tactical threats, it may have been best to route it via d7 to f6 to hold up the d4 pawn. Also, my queen's bishop has a miserable time now with the b7 pawn been pinned down to defense of the c6 knight.}

13. Rd1 Bf6

14. Bd3 g6

15. Be4!

{Powerfully outposted!

The bishop not only moves away to allow the rook to defend the d4 pawn, but threatens to smash open black's pawn structure and give him massive positional weaknesses.

Black is now struggling for a decent plan.}

15.... Bd7

16. O-O Ne7?!

{An unsound pawn sack.

Black is striving desperately to create some countter-play, throwing in a pawn for a gain of two tempi.

Black now threatens to untangle his pieces by the occupation of the C file and the c6 square with his Bishop.

The down-side of all of this is that white is perfectly placed, his pieces are very stable, well coordinated and he can snatch the pawn and hold a solid position in the meantime. White remains cool and calculated.}

17. Bxb7 Rab8

18. Be4 Rfc8

{Black has some activity but not enough for the pawn. White simply side-steps all the tactics and exploits the badly placed black queen.}

19. Qd2 Bg7

20. Nd5 Qd8

21. Nxe7+ Qxe7

22. Rc1

{Again, cool and calculated. White simplifies.}

22.... Bb5

23. Rxc8+ Rxc8

24. Rc1 Rxc1+

25. Qxc1 Qd7

26. Qd2

{And to my amazement, white offered the draw! This must be winning for white, and the extra pawn may tell, may not, but white has absolutely nothing to loose by playing on in this position. White got paranoid and offered the draw and since black is in, effectively, a lost position, there was little choice.}

26.... 1/2-1/2

[Event "B.C.A. British Championship 2005"]

[Site "Morecambe, ENG"]

[Date "2005.08.17"]

[Round "5.1"]

[White "Ross, Chris"]

[Black "Hilton, Stephen"]

[Result "1-0"]

[ECO "B52"]

[WhiteElo "2122"]

[BlackElo "2045"]

[Annotator "Chris Ross"]

[PlyCount "67"]

[EventDate "2005.08.17"]

{B52: Sicilian: Moscow Variation, Maroczy Bind}

1. e4 c5

2. Nf3 d6

3. Bb5+ Bd7

4. Bxd7+ Qxd7

5. c4 Nc6

6. Nc3 g6

7. d4 cxd4

8. Nxd4 Bg7

9. Be3 Nf6

10. f3 O-O

11. Rc1 Rfc8

{So far so good, an ordinary maroczy bind where white has rid himself of the horrible light squared bishop. Strangely enough, black has refused to chuck in the move a7-a6 at an early stage, somewhat unusual for the Maroczy bind.

11... a6 12. a4 Ne5 13. b3 Qd8 14. O-O Nfd7 15. Rf2 Nc5 16. Rd2

a5 17. Ndb5 Ned7 18. Nd5 h6 19. Qc2 Na6 20. Rcd1 Ndc5 21. Qb1 Rc8 22. Bf2 Nb4

23. Na7 Nxd5 24. Rxd5 b6 25. Nxc8 Qxc8 26. Qc2

Hebert,J-Schleifer,M/Montreal 2002/CBM 086 ext/1-0 (50)}

12. b3 Qd8 13. Qd2 Qa5

{Again, black refuses to transpose into the normal lines of the Maroczy. This ultimately leads to an interesting and complex decision for white to debate:

13... a6 14. O-O Rab8 15. Nxc6 bxc6 16. Rfd1 Nd7 17. Na4 c5 18. Qf2

Qc7 19. f4 Nb6 20. Nc3 Qc6 21. Qf3 a5 22. Nd5 Nxd5 23. cxd5 Qa6 24. Rc4 Rb4 25.

Rdc1 a4 26. Rxb4 cxb4 27. Rxc8+ Qxc8 28. Qd1

Georgiev,B-Bonev,T/Velingrad 2004/CBM 099 ext/0-1 (39)}

14. Nde2

{Played after some considerable thought.

White stands well, his pieces are ideally placed, but Nd5 tactics always fail forhim due to the loose nature of his knight on d4.

Since a6 has not been played for black, the usual Na4 ideas don't apply here, and white must find a kind of waiting move before committing himself. Black has declared that he is willing to stray away from the main lines and white must find a suitable refutation for it.

Hence, the text move, which intends to remove the loosely placed knight from the line of attack to a better square, and principly, to aim for the targetted d5 square.}

14... Ne5

{Stating categorically that black is willing to dabble in tactical warfair.

The main idea behind the move, apart from rerouting the knight is to provide nasty tactics on the d3 square:

15. Nd5? Nd3+! where the white queen is unfortunately pinned by the black queen on a5 and can not take the checking knight.}

15. Nf4

{Continuing with the plan of establishing this knight on d5 and defending d3 as a nice side-line. Black has a nasty decision to make now, whether to allow the well travelled knight to reach its outpost, or to take drastic measures to complicate matters. Should he sit back and allow himself to be squashed or to take the fight to white?!}

15... g5?!

{Played very ambitiously!

Black decides to weaken his own king's position to activate his pieces. At the same time, he reintroduces nasty little tactics for white to be very aware of:

16. Nfd5? Nxd5! 17. Nxd5?? Nd5+! and the pinned queen is still a problem.

16. Nfd5 Nxd5 17. exd5 b5! and tactics on the c3 knight are looking very good for black.}

16. Nfe2!

{Positionally played! Not many folk can see that sometimes the best retreat for a piece, once attacked, is actualy the square from whence it came. In this case, it is not only the best square, but in fact, it is indeed the best route back to the ideal square where it is now destined. The g6-g5 thrust has now weakened the f5 square and the knight, having provoked the black queen's knight to wander from the attack of the d4 square, is headed back there to attack the newly weakened f5 outpost.}

16... g4

{Having created a weakness that is easily attacked by white's battery on the c1-g5 diagonal, the pawn push is inevitable. Black aims to open up the position to avoid being persistently cramped by the maroczy bind. However, white can maintain the closed nature of the position.}

17. f4 Ng6

18. O-O

{The style of the position and the tactics having reached a peak, white now commits his king, which previously, in the normal Maroczy bind situation is vbest placed on d2. Now though, black intends to attack and the king must flee for safety as the queens must be retained for defensive purposes. White hopes that black's aggressive intensions will soon prove fruitless and that his positional superiority will soon tell.}

18... h5

{Having started the king-side attack, black must proceed, otherwise, his G pawn is just stupidly placed and his attack non-existent. Complete aggression must be his policy here.}

19. Nd4

{As there is no immediate danger, white continues with his plan of establishing his knight on the powerful outpost at f5.}

19... h4

20. Qf2

{Tactics are abundant with 20. Nf5 Nxe4 which ultimately, should be ok for white when he has Nxe7 as a zwischenzyug, but the unpinning of the knight on c3 and the defensive switch to the king-side is more appealing as g4-g3 sacks are now less effective.}

20... Qh5

21. Nf5 Bf8

{Desperately attempting to keep the pieces on. Nxg7 was always on if black wanted Nxe4 tactics in the offing but now g4-g3 is now prevented permanently, black has little hope of any advantage now.}

22. Bd4

{Having driven the black bishop away from the long diagonal, white seizes on it and introduces tactics of his own into the rich position.

The threatened Bxf6 and Nd5 invading all the weakened light squares is too much for black to bare!}

22... g3

{Black has to bank his chips. Simple retreat with 22... Qh8 is just too submissive.}

23. hxg3 Ng4

24. Qf3e5

{Desperately attempting to complicate matters.

Tactics are now flowing and white must be completely on his guard not to be outwitted here.

24... hxg3 25. Qxg3 e6

was not in the question for black as he will simply get outplayed eventually.

However, has the bishop got a satisfactory retreat?!}

25. Nd5!

{The climax to white's excellent positional play. The d5 square has always been an advantage for white since the opening and the knight could have travelled there at any point during the game, most likely leading to a material or positional disadvantage in the main, but when tactics are flowing, the outpost proves its weight in gold. Point to learn here is that the outpost should be used at its ultimate point and not immediate. Never seek immediate fruit from a positional plus.

24. Be3? h3! 25. gxh3 Qxh3 and 26. Qg2 is forced dropping major material.

The retreat to f2 is possible but again, after the advance to h3 and the multi-exchanges, f4 could be left en prise. So, the knight entry onto d5, not only introduces fresh tactics, but in fact defends f4 to allow the retreat, Bf2. Quality positional chess!}

25... exd4

{Suddenly giving up the ghost for a fight. There doesn't seem to be many more tactics for black to deal with here, and there seems no good continuation apart from simple retreat. Black enters into the ending hoping to defend a hopeless position.}

26. Qxg4

{The point of the conbination. The black king's exposure allows simple tactics.}

26... Qxg4

27. Nf6+ Kh8

28. Nxg4 hxg3

29. Rf3

{Bizarrely enough, white is now going for mate!

He not only intends to mop up all of black's loose pawns, he intends Nf6 and Rxg3 and Rh3 mate! The black king has very few squares to run to, and hence black's decision to give up more material to avoid the mating nets....}

29... Bg7

30. Nxd6 Rc7

31. Nf5 Re8

32. Nxg3 Nh4

{Desperate measures only. White must remain steady and calm and defend and convert quietly now.}

33. Rd3 Ng6

{And with 6 moves to go to the time control, I decide not to meddle in tactics, but play simply and slowly. Black is now two pawns down, b5 is his only real chance of creating counter-chances, so cancel all that out and he has nothing....hence.....}

34. Rf1 1-0

[Event "B.C.A. British Championship 2005"]

[Site "Morecambe, ENG"]

[Date "2005.08.18"]

[Round "6.1"]

[White "Armstrong, William"]

[Black "Ross, Chris"]

[Result "1/2-1/2"]

[ECO "A46"]

[WhiteElo "1985"]

[BlackElo "2122"]

[Annotator "Chris Ross"]

[PlyCount "16"]

[EventDate "2005.08.18"]

{A46: Colle}

1. d4 e6

2. Nf3 Nf6

3. e3 Be7

4. Bd3 d5

5. O-O O-O

6. Nbd2 c5

7. c3

{Not the most ambitious, but white is wanting to remain solid through the center and attempt to generate some attacking possibilities on the king-side.

7. b3 cxd4 (7... Nc6 8. a3

cxd4 9. exd4 h6 10. Bb2 Bd6 11. Re1 Qc7 12. Ne5 a6 13. f4 Ne7 14. g4 g6 15. Qf3

Kg7 16. c4 b6 17. b4 Bb7 18. c5 Bxe5 19. fxe5 Nfg8 20. Qg3 b5 21. Nb3 Nc6 22.

Bc3

Belzner,H-Stecher,B/Erlangen 2003/EXT 2005/1-0 (58)

7. b3 cxd4 8. exd4 b6 9. Qe2

Nbd7 10. Bb2 Re8 11. Rae1 a6 12. Ng5 Nf8 13. f4 Ra7 14. Ndf3 h6 15. Ne5 hxg5

16. fxg5 Rc7 17. gxf6 Bxf6 18. Rf2 Bg5 19. g3 f5 20. Bxa6 Bxa6 21. Qxa6 Qa8

Jussupow,A-Martini,M/Chicago 1983/EXT 99/1-0 (43)}

7... b6

8. Ne5

{Illustrating that white wants to be aggressive by blasting the F pawn, Rf3, Rh3 and the king-side hack.

8. Qe2 a5 9. dxc5 bxc5 10. e4 Nc6 11. e5 Nd7 12. Re1 Qc7 13. Nf1 f6 14. Qc2 f5 15. Qe2

Rb8 16. Rb1 c4 17. Bc2 Nc5 18. Nd4 Bd7 19. f4 Nxd4 20. cxd4 Nd3 21. Bxd3 cxd3

22. Qxd3 Bb5

Baumhackel,M-Schwarz,P/Weilburg 1995/EXT 97/1/2-1/2 (47)}

8. e4 Ba6 9. Bxa6 Nxa6 10. Qe2 Nb8 11. e5 Nfd7 12. Rd1 Nc6 13. Nf1 cxd4

14. cxd4 Rc8 15. Bd2 Qc7 16. Rac1 Qb7 17. Ng3 b5 18. Nh5 Qa6 19. a3 Nb6 20. Bg5

Bxg5 21. Nxg5 h6 22. Qg4 Nxe5 23. dxe5

Wippich,M-Sprenger,W/Bayern 2002/EXT 2003/1-0 (24)

8. e4 cxd4 9. Nxd4 Bb7 10. e5 Nfd7 11. f4 Ba6 12. Bxh7+ Kxh7 13. Qh5+ Kg8 14. Rf3 Bc5 15. f5 Be2 16. f6 Bxf3 17.

N2xf3 Nxf6 18. exf6 Qxf6 19. Be3 Nd7 20. b4 Bxd4 21. Bxd4 Qh6 22. Qg4 Nf6

Hellstrom,A-Johansson,G/Haninge 1997/EXT 99/0-1 (42)}

8... Ba6

{And here, I did something very unlike me. I studied the results, the possible draw and the likely outcomes. I figured that at least 1 point from the last two rounds would guarantee me of 1st place, even if I got the title on the tie-break. I had the black pieces, I had a long boring struggle against the Colle, was probably going to have to defend a hack, my chess wasn't firing and I was likely to make a mistake or miss-judge a defence.....so, I bottled out of the fight.....}

9. 1/2-1/2

[Event "B.C.A. British Championship 2005 "]

[Site "Morecambe, ENG"]

[Date "2005.08.19"]

[Round "7.1"]

[White "Ross, Chris"]

[Black "Lovell, Stan"]

[Result "1/2-1/2"]

[ECO "A04"]

[WhiteElo "2122"]

[BlackElo "1765"]

[Annotator "Chris Ross"]

[PlyCount "35"]

[EventDate "2005.08.19"]

{A04: Dutch Defence: Stonewall}

1. Nf3 Nc6

2. c4 e6

3. g3 f5

4. Bg2 Nf6

5. O-O Be7

{Solid enough, but the game has gone a bit weird already. My intension was solely to throw my opponent somewhat and attempt to positionally outwit him.

5... a6 6. d3 Rb8 7. a3 b5 8. cxb5 axb5 9. b4 Be7 10. Bb2 O-O 11. Nbd2 Bb7 12. Nb3 Ba8 13. Rc1 Bd6 14. e4 fxe4 15. Ng5 exd3 16. Bxc6 Bxc6 17. Rxc6 dxc6 18. Nxe6 Qd7 19. Nxf8 Rxf8 20. Qxd3

Diekmann,J-Reddmann,H/Hamburg 2004/EXT 2005/1/2-1/2 (20)}

6. Nc3 O-O

7. a3

{Again, more mind-games.

White wishes to prevent Nb4 tactics, as the white queen is probably best placed on c2. White wishes to expand on the queen-side and is awaiting black to make a decision, for it isn't clear whether d3, or d4 ought to be played.

7. b3 d6 8. d4 Ne4 9. Bb2 Bf6 10. Rc1 Qe7 11. a3 Nxc3 12.

Bxc3 a5 13. d5 Bxc3 14. Rxc3 Nd8 15. dxe6 Nxe6 16. Nd4 Qf6 17. Nxe6 Qxc3 18.

Nxc7 Rb8 19. Qxd6 Qf6 20. Qd2 Qe5 21. Nd5 b6

Plum,M-Sakalinskas,H/Mount Snow 2002/EXT 2005/1/2-1/2 (22)}

7... a5

8. b3

{Typical way to prevent a5-a4 clamping white's queen-side down. Also, the bishop is probably besd on the long diagonal, since black may wish to launch a king-side attack with h6 and g7-g5, and the bishop has no good squares on the c1-h6 diagonal.}

8.... Ng4?

{Frankly speaking, this is a waste of two tempi, since the knight has absolutely no purpose on the g4 square. The white king-side is far too well defended for any attack to come through without a pawn break being made. The route to the e5 square is possible, but this simply decides white to the problem of his D pawn.}

9. d4 d5

{Preventing white from expanding through the center himself. The bishop on c8 doesn't have many squares now though......}

10. Rb1 Nf6

{Having realised the fruitlessness of the knight's position, black decides to retreat it to a more effective outpost, e4.}

11. Qd3 Ne4

12. Nb5

{At this point, I was starting to realise that John Gallagher was going to loose his game, since he was major material down, but he wasn't resigning, and I wasn't overly confident that his opponent was going to knack it up! This meant that I had to keep my game alive until that finished, and if it ended up a loss for Gallagher, I could offer the draw and take clear 1st. Difficult position!

The text-move is meant to make black think a while. The knight is well outposted, defends d4 and is preparing the move Ne5, which was possible on this move, but many complicated tactics were involved with dxc4 gainging time on the white queen with the d4 pawn en prise. I didn't want to risk anything with the whole tournament hanging on a little thread. So, solid, but effective moves were in order, striving to maintain an advantage but not push too hard!}

12... Na7

13. Nxa7 Rxa7

14. c5

{Critical position.

I realised that this was risky and that it was probably going to mean I was losing a minor advantage. However, I wanted the center blocked and was hoping that the queen-side action would resolve in nothing for both sides. If I could get b4-b5 in and gain space there, I had the option at any time of re-opening the center with f2-f3 and e2-e4 striving for the advantage.

More cautious play here, keeping the tension was e2-e3 but I was getting impatient with Gally's game!}

14... b6

15. Ne5?!

{Hastily played. The immediate occupation of the outpost isn't necessary. The threat it carries is easily parried and the black queen is driven to a better square.}

15... Qe8

16. b4 Ba6

{Achieving equality.

Black has now activated his poor piece and its found a decent diagonal with gain of tempo.

White still has the plan of re-opening the center with f2-f3 and e2-e4 but its going to be risky. I would play it if necessary to go for the win, but Gally resigned shortly after my next move. Hence, I could offer the draw and take clear first place.}

17. Qc2 axb4

18. axb4 1/2-1/2

Final score: 5/7 1st Place

Chris Ross

August 2005

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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