Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Alex's annotations to Round 3: Cherniack-Slive

A while ago, Alex Slive wrote detailed notes on his 3rd Round game with Alex Cherniack. I have posted them below as annotations to the game. Why Gumby? See Alex's note to move 21:

Some comments on
my Rd. 3 game with Alex Cherniak. Even though my score so far hasn't been so good, I feel like I'm in the games. This is a good example, a tough fighting game all the way through.

[Event "BCC Championship"]
[Site "Somerville, MA USA"]
[Date "2004.09.22"]
[Round "3"]
[White "
Cherniack, Alex"]
[Black "
Slive, Alex”]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteUSCF "
[BlackUSCF "
[ECO "
[Opening "English"]
[Variation "
Flohr-Mikenas System"]
[Annotator "Alex Slive"]

1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 e6 3.e4 d5 4.e5 Nfd7

[Black could have played 4...d4 5.exf6 dxc3 6.fxg7 cxd2+]

5.cxd5 Nxe5 6.d4 Ng6 7.Bb5+

[I found a game - 7.dxe6 Bxe6 8.d5 Bc8
Onischuk-Mitkov. Black won in 26 moves]

7…c6 8.dxc6 bxc6

[8...Nxc6 leads to a simpler game]

9.Bc4 Be7

[After 9.Bc4 and for the next few moves, ...Ba6 right away was possible. Instead I went for 9...Be7, so I could get castled quickly. Cherniak's comment was that this was like waving a
red flag in front of a bull. He's got a good point. He starts the attack immediately with 11.h4]

10.Nf3 0-0 11.h4 Bf6

[Black tries to give his Ng6 an escape square with 11...Bf6. However, 11...Qc7 was better; if 12.h5 Nf4]

12.Ne4! Ba6 13.Bxa6 Nxa6 14.h5 Ne7

[14...Nh8 sure looks depressing, but I wonder if it's possible]

15.Nxf6+ gxf6

[After 15...gxf6, the theme of the game appears: will Black's control of d5 balance White's attacking chances?]


[Cherniak thought for a long time considering the immediate 16.Bh6 Re8 17.Ne5!? fxe5 18.Qg4+ Ng6 19.hxg6 fxg6 (19...hxg6). He rejected this and ended up playing 16.Kf1 because of 20.dxe5 Qa5+ and takes the e-pawn. This line still might be good however;
Bob Fuhro suggests 20.0-0-0 as a way to keep the attack going]

16…Kh8 17.Qe2

[17.Qe2 starts a series of pretty-much forced moves]

17…Nb4 18.Bh6 Rg8 19.Ne5 Qe8 20.Ng4 Nbd5 21.Ne3 Qd7

[I should have played 21...Nxe3 22.Bxe3 with equal chances. My thinking during the game provides a lesson for me - BE FLEXIBLE WITH YOUR IDEAS. I rejected 21...Nxe3 because I was too wrapped up in keeping my hold on d5 in front of the isolated pawn. I didn't want White to answer 22.fxe3 connecting his pawns. But Cherniak showed me that 22.fxe3 is no good - 22...Nf5 23.Bf4 e5! (not 23...Ng3+?? 24.Bxg3 Rxg3 25.Qf2 and wins)]

22.Qf3 Rgd8 23.Nxd5 Nxd5 24.Rc1 Rab8?

[24...Rab8? drops the exchange to a nice tactic. Almost any other move is OK; but I don't really know how to improve my position]


Cherniak-Slive Rd. 3 Diagram

[25.Qg3! wins the exchange]

25...Rg8 26.Bg7+ Rxg7 27.Qxb8+ Rg8 28.Qb3

[After 28.Qb3, it's still kind of a ballgame because of the good Nd5. However, White's rooks eventually will operate on the outside files out of the reach of the knight and the value of the exchange will tell in the end]

28…h6 29.Qf3 Qd6 30.a3 Rg5

[30...Rg5 starts a little demonstration, but Cherniak plays correctly]

31.g3 Rf5 32.Qd3

[Not 32.Qg2?? Ne3 or 32.Qe2?? Qxg3. By the way, both sides started to get into a little time pressure about here]

32…Kg7 33.Rh4 Ne7 34.Qe4

[34.Qe4 invites 34...Qxg3?? 35.Rg4+]

34…Rd5 35.Qf4

[With 35.Qf4!, Cherniak gives up a pawn for the "
boa constrictor" endgame mentioned … by Glickman. It was hard to not take the pawn, but the question is: Is 35...e5 better?]

35…Qxf4 36.Rxf4 Rxh5 37.Rc5 Rh1+ 38.Ke2 Rb1 39.b4 Ra1 40.Ra5
Nd5 41.Rg4+

[Cherniak sealed 41.Rg4+. Adjournment analysis was tough. All the lines seemed to let Black just hang in the game by a fingernail, but eventually end up losing. I guess the standard chess piece values are correct: only one pawn is not sufficient compensation for the exchange. By the way, I had to look at 41.Rf3 as a possible sealed move. Cherniak's move was better. After 41.Rf3, Black can harass the king a little and maybe play against the pawn at d4]

41...Kf8 42.Rxa7 f5

[There's a surprising pretty mate after 42...Nxb4. 43.Ra8+ Ke7 44.Rgg8! N moves 45.Ra7+ Kd6 46.Rd8++]

43.Ra8+ Ke7 44.Rgg8 Ra2+ 45.Kf1 Rd2 46.Rgb8 Rxd4 47.a4

[After 47.a4, do you see what I mean about the rooks operating on the outside files away from the knight? Black just doesn't have enough resources]

47…Rd1+ 48.Kg2 f4 49.a5 fxg3 50.Kxg3 Nc7 51.Ra7 Rd7 52.Rab7 f6 53.Rb6 Rd3+

[Cherniak plays the endgame very well. If 53...Kd6, 54.Rc8 is pretty much zugzwang]

54.f3 Kd7 55.Rh8 Rb3 56.Rb7 1-0


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