Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Round 2: Martirosov-Williams 1/2

bishop - black
Who says draws can't be exciting? White's early kingside demonstration is effectively refuted by Chris' (temporary) bishop sac on the other side of board. After the tactics quiet down, Black is left a pawn up in an endgame which should provide strong winning chances. However, it is White who manages to dictate the play and it looks for moment like he may be the one to breakthrough. Finally, rooks are exchanged and a draw agreed in a bishops of opposite color ending.

[Event "BCC Championship"]
[Site "Somerville, MA USA"]
[Date "2004.10.01"]
[Round "2"]
[White "Martirosov, Vadim "]
[Black "Williams, Chris”]
[Result "1/2"]
[WhiteUSCF "2198 "]
[BlackUSCF "2053"]
[ECO "D35"]
[Opening "Queen’s Gambit Declined"]
[Variation "Exchange"]

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Be7 4.cxd5 exd5 5.Bf4 Nf6 6.e3 0-0 7.Bd3 Nbd7 8.Nf3 c6 9.Qc2 h6 10.g4!?

[An all-out move, 10.0-0 was a calmer alternative]

10...Ne4 11.Nxe4

[Fritz believes that White must continue in uncompromising fashion, 11.h4!?, to retain a modest advantage]

11...dxe4 12.Bxe4 Nf6 13.0-0-0 Qa5

[13...Nxe4! immediately may have led to a larger advantage for Black, e.g., 14.Qxe4 Be6 15.Nd2 (15.Qe5 Bxa2 -/+; 15.Be5 Bxa2 -/+) 15...Bd5 -/+ Fritz]

14.a3 Nxe4 15.Qxe4 Be6 16.Rhg1 Bxa3!

Martirosov-Williams after 16...Bxa3

17.bxa3 Qxa3+ 18.Kd2 Qb4+ 19.Kc1 Bd5 20.Qb1 Qxb1+ 21.Kxb1 Bxf3

[It certainly seems as though Black should have good winning chances in this ending, but White manages to get counterplay and takes advantage of the opposite colored bishops to draw]

22.Rc1 Rfd8 23.Rc3 b5 24.Bc7 Rd7 25.Ba5 b4 26.Rc5 Rb8 27.Kb2 Rd5 28.Rxd5 Bxd5 29.Ra1 Rb7 30.Ra4 b3 31.Bb4 Be6 32.Bc5 Bxg4 33.d5 Bd7 34.d6

[34.Rxa7 Rxa7 35.Bxa7 cxd5 36.Kxb3 looks like an easier draw, though Vadim may have been playing for complications]

34...f6 35.Bxa7 c5 36.Ra5 c4 37.Bd4 Kf7 38.Rc5 Be6 39.f4 Ke8 40.f5 Bf7 41.e4 Kd7 42.e5 fxe5 43.Bxe5 h5 44.h4 Ra7 45.Kc3 Rb7 46.Kb2 Ra7 47.Kc3 Bg8 48.Rc7+ Rxc7 49.dxc7 Bf7 50.Kb2 ½-½


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