[Event "Frederica Chess IM"] [Site "chess24.com"] [Date "2023.05.19"] [Round "5.1"] [White "Nilssen, Ellen Fredericia"] [Black "Van Foreest, Machteld"] [Result "0-1"] [WhiteElo "2114"] [WhiteTeam "Denmark"] [BlackElo "2299"] [BlackTeam "Netherlands"] [Annotator "Nilssen,Ellen"] [Variant "Standard"] [ECO "B40"] [Opening "Sicilian Defense: French Variation"] [Source "https://lichess.org/study/e8pUlx8p/6chAijfg"] [Orientation "white"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. g3 Nc6 4. Bg2 Nf6 5. Qe2 Be7 6. e5 Nd5 7. O-O d6 8. exd6 Qxd6 9. Nc3 O-O 10. Rd1 Rd8 11. d4 { Up until here, I was still somewhat in prep as she had had this position before. } 11... cxd4 { Unfortunately, I hadn't had time to check this natural move and was now on my own - which turned out to be a much bigger problem than it sounds. } 12. Ne4? { The result of utter confusion and not managing to see things clearly (look at the line of 12...Qd7 for a deeper explanation). } (12. Nxd4 Nxc3 13. bxc3 { During the game, the thought of these doubled-pawns didn't look appealing at all. However, what I failed to understand is that White's tremendous activity more than compensates, and Black has to be rather precise to not get worse immediately. }) (12. Nb5 { The more natural alternative if you ask me. Everything in my body told me to play this move but to me it didn't look like it gave White enough. Though, my thought process was tainted as the variation I checked before the game gave a substantial advantage to White. Oh well... Black still has to be a bit accurate here. } 12... d3! { The most precise. } (12... Qc5 13. Nbxd4 Nxd4 { It makes sense for Black to trade pieces when she has less space. } 14. Nxd4 $14 { White will most likely play a4 on the next move, and if the Knight on d5 ever moves, then the Bishop on c1 develops to e3. }) 13. Rxd3 Qc5 14. Rd1 a6! 15. Nbd4 b5 { When Black is completely okay. }) 12... Qb4 { I had barely considered this move and now I had a difficult decision to make. } (12... Qd7! { This was the variation that I spent the majority of the time calculating. It was also this line that had me confused whether I was in one line of my prep or another. Let me explain as after } 13. Nxd4 Nxd4 14. Rxd4 Nf4 15. Nf6+ { I had seen this "trick" in another variation of my prep where it was the only move to not lose. I got confused because I didn't understand why it also seemed to work here. I thought that maybe we had transposed to the other line of my prep by some kind of miracle. } 15... Bxf6 16. Rxf4 Qd1+ 17. Qf1 Qxf1+ 18. Bxf1 e5 $19 { To me, this resulting position didn't look pleasant for White but I still didn't understand why it was so similar to the other line of my prep. So I thought that there had to be something that I didn't understand and that White was completely fine here. As it turns out, of course, we hadn't transposed to the other line of my prep and White is doing terribly here. }) 13. c3! { I'm not going to lie, I was - and still am - a bit proud of this move. I admitted that something had gone wrong and decided that the only way was to try and sacrifice yet another pawn. } 13... dxc3 14. bxc3 Qa4 { Practically, it makes a lot of sense to not take the extra pawn. } (14... Nxc3 { Taking the extra pawn gives White good compensation. } 15. Nxc3 Qxc3 16. Bb2 Qb4 { White has a few options now. } 17. Ne5 { The most natural between the two. } (17. Rxd8+ { The other move, though I don't find it as natural. } 17... Bxd8 (17... Nxd8?! 18. Rd1! { With Ne5 coming when White has fine compensation for the pawns. }) 18. Rd1 Bb6 { Now the Bishop has rerouted to the long diagonal. } 19. Ne5 $17 { White has compensation but Black is still better after the Knight trade on e5. }) 17... Nd4! { Forces White to give up the strong b2-Bishop as the Queen doesn't have anywhere good to go. } (17... Nxe5?! 18. Bxe5) 18. Bxd4 Rxd4 19. Qe3! $15 { And while Black is still better, White has Rab1 coming with pressure on the h1-a8 diagonal, a lead in development, and a strong Knight on e5. =+ / -/+ }) 15. c4 f5? { This allows White several moves to get back into the game. } (15... Nb6 { Simply going back with the Knight was a better option. } 16. Rxd8+! Nxd8 { The point is that the Knight protects f7, so White can no longer play Nfg5 due to the c4-pawn hanging. } (16... Bxd8? { This allows White a lot of counterplay. } 17. Nfg5 { Qh5 is a big threat and Black has to be precise. } 17... Bxg5 18. Nxg5 h6! { Now White has to find a good continuation to keep the balance. } 19. Nxf7! Kxf7 20. Qh5+ Kf8 (20... Ke7 21. Qc5+ Kf7 (21... Kd8? 22. Qf8+ Kc7 23. Qxg7+ $18 { And suddenly, White is in the driver's seat. }) 22. Qh5+) 21. Bxh6! { With a perpetual to come. }) 17. Bf1 { White protects the pawn. } 17... Bd7 { Black prepares to develop more pieces. } 18. Bf4 $17 { Black is still a pawn up but the game keeps going. }) 16. Neg5? (16. Nfg5 { This is the one I probably like the most. } 16... fxe4 (16... Nc7?! 17. Nd6! $16) (16... h6? 17. cxd5 fxe4 (17... hxg5? 18. Nxg5 $18 { Black's King is too vulnerable. }) 18. Bxe4 hxg5 19. Bb2!! { Being a piece and a pawn down, White's attack is simply irresistible. Black can't defend! } 19... exd5 20. Rxd5 Be6 21. Bh7+!! Kxh7 22. Qh5+ Kg8 23. Qg6 Ne5 (23... Bf8 24. Qxe6+ Kh7 25. Rxg5 $18 { White is too close to checkmating the black King. }) 24. Bxe5 Bf8 25. Qxe6+ $18 { White has restored material balance and has a much safer King and better pawn structure. }) 17. Qh5 h6 (17... Bxg5 18. Bxg5 g6) 18. Qf7+ Kh8 19. Bb2! e5! (19... Bf6?? 20. Rxd5! { Now Black is actually mated in 5 moves, for example } 20... exd5 21. Bxf6 Rg8 22. Qg6 Qd1+ 23. Rxd1 hxg5 24. Qh5#) 20. Qg6 Bxg5 { Critical. } (20... Nf6 { Now White has a perpetual. } 21. Nf7+ Kg8 22. Nxh6+ Kh8 23. Nf7+) (20... hxg5? 21. Rxd5! $18 { With Bxe4 to come. }) 21. Rxd5! { White is threatening Bxe4. } 21... Be6 (21... Nd4 22. Rxd8+ (22. Bxe4 { Can now be met with } 22... Bf5 23. Bxf5 Nxf5 24. Qxf5 Qxc4 25. Rxe5 { And after all this mess, the material balance is restored and White can press from this position. }) 22... Bxd8 23. Bxd4 Qc6!! (23... exd4? 24. Bxe4 { Black is now getting mated on the light squares. } 24... Kg8 25. Bd5+ Kh8 26. Qf7 Be6 (26... Kh7 27. Be4+ Kh8 28. Qf8#) 27. Qf8+ Kh7 28. Bxe6 $18 { It won't be long until the made arrives on the board. })) 22. Qxe6 { Black is up a pawn but White's compensation is obvious. }) (16. cxd5 { Probably the most simple solution. } 16... fxe4 (16... Qxe4 17. Be3! { Black's pieces are very uncoordinated and now White is the one calling the shots. } 17... exd5 18. Ng5! Qe5 19. Qh5 $16 { Black has to be careful from now on. }) 17. Ng5 exd5 (17... Bxg5 18. Bxg5 Rxd5 19. h4 { Black has two pawns, but White has a better pawn structure, the Bishop pair, a more safe King, and more development - so needless to say, yes the compensation should be enough. }) 18. Qh5 Bxg5 19. Bxg5 Rf8 (19... Be6 { Black can also try to sacrifice an exchange. } 20. Bxd8 Rxd8 21. Rab1 { The engine says that the position is level, but in a practical game it seems like a very complicated position where it's possible to play for all results. }) 20. Rxd5 { Now White is only a pawn down and has very active pieces. There should be a lot game to come. }) (16. Nc5 { It was late into my think that I discovered this move, but around that time my brain was already overheating from many other variations, so I only considered it briefly. } 16... Nc3! { Black has to play like this } (16... Bxc5? 17. cxd5 exd5 18. Bg5! Rf8 19. Rxd5 $16 { The very active pieces and safer King provide for more than enough compensation for the missing pawn. }) 17. Rxd8+ Bxd8 (17... Nxd8 { Is very similar to Bxd8. } 18. Qd3 Qd1+ 19. Qxd1 Nxd1 20. Bg5! { A cool move, and the game continues. }) 18. Qd3 Qd1+ 19. Qxd1 Nxd1 20. Bg5 { Once again, White should be able to prove compensation for the missing pawn. }) 16... Bf6? { We switched turns making mistakes. } (16... Nc3! { The only way to keep the advantage, and also the move I feared during the game. } 17. Rxd8+ Bxd8 (17... Nxd8 18. Qd2 { Please don't ask me about the differences between putting the Queen on d2 or d3 in different variations - to me that's a complicated enough decision. } 18... Qd1+ 19. Qxd1 Nxd1 { And apparently, White has to find the super cool } 20. Nxh7 Nxf2 (20... Kxh7? { Fails to } 21. Bg5!! { When White regains the piece. }) 21. Kxf2 Kxh7 { Once again, Black is up a pawn, but White should be able to get counterplay with } 22. Bg5) 18. Qd3 Bf6 (18... Qd1+ { In this endgame, White should be close to okay. } 19. Qxd1 Nxd1 20. Bd2 Nb2 21. Re1! $15)) 17. Bb2? { Now the game gets very difficult for White } (17. cxd5! { The path to an advantage is narrow and weird. } 17... Bxa1 18. Re1! (18. Rd2 { Is also good enough for an advantage but not as good as Re1. }) 18... Bc3 (18... Rxd5 { I'm not sure whether this or ...Bc3 is the most natural. } 19. Nxe6 Qe4!) 19. dxc6 bxc6 (19... Bxe1? { Doesn't work. } 20. cxb7 Bxf2+ 21. Kxf2 Bxb7 22. Qxe6+ { While this wasn't forced, it certainly is pretty as most of us probably know what's coming next. } 22... Kh8 23. Nf7+ Kg8 24. Nh6+ Kh8 25. Qg8+ Rxg8 26. Nf7#) 20. Rf1! { We have reached a position where White has two pieces for a Rook and two pawns. According to the engine, White is better - which I think makes sense due to the piece activity and safer King - but I also believe that it is very complicated and that the game is far from over. }) (17. Nxh7?! { Good enough to not be worse, but it doesn't give an advantage either. } 17... Kxh7 18. cxd5 Bxa1! (18... exd5? 19. Ng5+ { It turns out that White's attack is very strong after } 19... Kg6 20. h4!! { To say that I would have a difficult time spotting this during a game is probably an understatement. } 20... Qc4 { Black wants to trade Queens } 21. h5+ { The point of h4 } 21... Kh6 22. Nf7+ Kh7 23. Qxc4 dxc4 24. Nxd8 { Now Black loses material. } 24... Nxd8 (24... Bxa1 25. Nxc6 bxc6 26. Bf4 $18 { With the threat of Bxc6 and Rxa1. }) 25. Rb1 $18 { Black has a difficult time coordinating, and White will probably win the b7-pawn and thus end with an exchange up. }) 19. Ng5+ Kg8 20. Qh5 Bf6 21. Qf7+ Kh8 22. Qh5+) 17... Bxb2 18. Qxb2? { I automatically recaptured and didn't think about my other options. Now the game is difficult for White. } (18. Nxe6! Bxa1 19. Nxd8 Nxd8 20. Ng5!! { The key move. White wants to take on d5 with the Bishop. } 20... Bf6 21. Bxd5+ Kh8 22. Nxh7! { Now Black can't recapture due to mate, and the defence now gets difficult for her. } 22... Be6 23. Nxf6 gxf6 { White can't take twice on e6 as the Rook on d1 is hanging, so White has to try and keep the pressure } 24. Rd4 Bxd5 25. Rxd5 { The engine gives this position as level but there are not any immediate perpetuals. Due to Black's uncoordinated pieces, White will most likely win the piece back, and afterwards there is still a long game ahead. }) 18... Qxc4 19. Rac1 Qb4 (19... Qa4? { Allows White immediate counterplay with } 20. Ne5!) 20. Qe2 (20. Qxb4!? { This counter-intuitive move was the best chance, but the idea is not easy to spot. } 20... Ncxb4 (20... Ndxb4? 21. Rxd8+ Nxd8 22. Rd1 { With Nd4 to come and despite being two pawns down, the engine says that the position is roughly level. }) 21. a3 Nc6 22. Re1! { The point, Black has a difficult time defending the e6 pawn. } 22... Rd6 (22... Nc7? 23. Ne5) 23. Ne5 $17 { With some compensation for the two missing pawns, but White is still the one who has something to prove here. }) 20... Qe7 21. Re1 Re8?! 22. Qc4? { I was solely playing for tricks now. } (22. Nd2 { Trying to reroute the Knight to a better square. } 22... Qxg5 { Would be met with } 23. Bxd5 $16) 22... Bd7 (22... h6 { Kicking the Knight away to avoid all Nxe6 tricks seems like the most solid option. }) 23. Qb3 { Trying to get away from all ...Nb6 ideas, but now Black has too much development and Nxe6 should never work. } (23. Nxe6! { This was my plan at the beginning, but after spotting 23.. .Nb6 I figured that I would have to keep on playing for tricks. This shouldn't change the outcome of the game, but it's the best practical try. } 23... Nb6 { I didn't play it due to this move. However, here I missed a trick. } (23... Bxe6 24. Rxe6 Qxe6 25. Ng5) 24. Nc7+! Nxc4 25. Rxe7 Nxe7 26. Nxa8 Rxa8 27. Rxc4) 23... h6 24. Nxe6 Bxe6 25. Rxe6 Qxe6 26. Ng5 Nd4 27. Qxb7 { Now there is no hope left in the game as White is simply down too much material. } (27. Nxe6 { I did not consider this much during the game, but the line is actually rather fascinating. White is lost but only by a slim margin. } 27... Nxb3 28. axb3 Nb6!? { The only move to keep the advantage because of a hidden idea. } (28... Rxe6 { Of course, this does not work. } 29. Bxd5) 29. Nc7 Rac8 30. Bxb7 Na8!! { The point of ...Nb6, what a stunner. } 31. Bxa8 Re7! { Black will emerge with a piece more. From far away this line is not easy to see, but I think that Black should get there move by move in a practical game rather easily. }) 27... Rab8 28. Nxe6 Ne2+ 29. Kf1 Rxb7 30. Re1 Rb5 (30... Nec3 { To me, this seemed a bit more solid, but the game was also more than good enough. }) 31. Bxd5 Rxd5 32. Nc7 Nxg3+ { 0-1 Black wins. } 0-1