[Event "Frederica Chess IM"] [Site "chess24.com"] [Date "2023.05.19"] [Round "4.4"] [White "Brynell, Stellan"] [Black "Nilssen, Ellen Fredericia"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [WhiteElo "2403"] [WhiteTeam "Sweden"] [BlackElo "2114"] [BlackTeam "Denmark"] [Annotator "Nilssen,Ellen"] [Variant "Standard"] [ECO "D30"] [Opening "Queen's Gambit Declined: Capablanca Variation"] [Source "https://lichess.org/study/e8pUlx8p/MWvPqRM2"] [Orientation "white"] 1. Nf3 d5 2. d4 Nf6 3. c4 e6 4. Bg5 { There's nothing like getting surprised on move 4. Here, I had quite the mental struggle. } 4... h6 { Winging it! } (4... Be7 5. Nc3 { Would transpose into a QGD that I had absolutely no interest in playing. }) 5. Bxf6 Qxf6 6. Nc3 c6 (6... Qd8? 7. cxd5 exd5 8. Qb3 c6 9. e4 { Is very dangerous for Black. }) 7. g3 { This isn't played very often as it's tough to see what the Bishop will be doing on g2. } (7. e3 { Is the most normal way of playing the position. The main line continues } 7... Nd7 8. Bd3 dxc4 9. Bxc4 g6 10. O-O Bg7 { When Black should be doing fine. }) 7... Nd7 8. Bg2 Bb4 { Playing in more in the style of a Nimzo-opening. I hestitated on where to put the Bishop but I felt that I had to move it sooner or later. I wasn't very comfortable with placing it on e7 as the Queen wouldn't have many moves afterwards. } (8... dxc4 { Playing in normal Catalan fashion is probably a little bit better and perhaps practically easier. } 9. O-O Be7 { While this felt uncomfortable to me, it's completely okay for Black. } 10. Ne4 Qf5 11. Ned2 { More than 50 games have reached this position. }) 9. O-O Bxc3?! (9... O-O { Just castling was the better option but I felt the Bishop on b4 was misplaced, and I wanted to do something about that before castling. } 10. Qd3 { Here I wasn't quite sure how to continue, and the Bishop on c8 is terrible. } 10... Rd8 11. e4 { Black is still okay but probably has to make a few good moves. }) 10. bxc3 dxc4 { Black has several problems. I can't keep the pawn on c4 for long, and the Bishop on c8 still hasn't developed. } 11. Nd2 O-O 12. f4?! { A very natural move, but now it actually gets easier for Black. } (12. Nxc4 e5 { Trying to create counterplay. } (12... Nb6 { Is another option but I prefer for Black to create immediate counterplay before it's too late. } 13. Ne5 $16) 13. e4 c5 $16 { White is better but Black still has something to fight for. }) 12... c5?! { I tried to create counterplay with ...c5 since my idea of ...e5 had gotten stopped, but this was a bit mistimed. The next few moves are going to be difficult for Black. } (12... Nb6 { This seems to be the more natural - but yet rather scary - way. } 13. e4 Bd7 14. a4 a5 { According to the engine this is completely fine for Black despite White's enourmous center. Black will play for ...Qe7 and then try to break with either ...f5 or ...c5. If the Knight on b6 is attacked, Black will protect it with ...Qd8. }) (12... Qd8 13. Nxc4 b5 14. Bxc6 Rb8 15. Ne3 Qc7 16. Bxd7! Bxd7 $14 { When Black has sacrificed a pawn to free the pieces. This should bring compensation but White is still the one pressing. }) 13. Nxc4 Rb8 14. e4 Qe7? { The wrong square for the Queen. } (14... Qd8 { The whole point of ...Qd8 is to stop the Knight on c4 from going to a5! Now Black will play ...cxd4 or ...b5 next. } 15. e5 cxd4 16. cxd4 b5! 17. Nd6 Nb6! { Beautiful! This still looks a bit scary for Black but sooner or later the Knight will land on c4 to challenge the d6-Knight. Black is doing fine here. }) (14... cxd4 { It was also possible to include ...cxd4 first. } 15. cxd4 Qd8 { And Black is close to being okay with either ...b6 or ...b5 and ... Bb7 to come. }) 15. e5! { Now it's very difficult for me to free myself. } 15... cxd4 (15... b5 16. Nd6 cxd4 17. Qxd4!) 16. cxd4 Rd8 { I had a difficult time finding a proper plan - the only plan I could think of was to sacrifice the exchange whenever the Knight landed on d6. } (16... b5 17. Na5! $18 { Black is in serious trouble! }) (16... Nb6 { I considered this move, but after } 17. Nd6 { Black should play } 17... Bd7 { When I missed that White can't capture on b7. } 18. Nxb7?? Bb5! $19 (18... Ba4?? 19. Qf3! $14)) 17. Qb3 { During the game, I thought this was a very strong move. On Nd6 instead, I wanted to play Nb6, but with the Queen on b3, I thought I would have to get a more misplaced Knight if I ever wanted to sacrifice the exchange. } 17... Nf8? { Not a move I wanted to play as the Knight would have been better on b6 after the possible exchange sacrifice. } (17... Nb6! { I actually did consider to sacrifice a pawn with this move instead, but I misevaluated the occuring position if White takes a pawn. } 18. Nxb6 (18. Nd6! { I actually the right way to play for White. }) 18... axb6 19. Qxb6 Bd7 { It seems a bit curious to me that I was more than ready to sacrifice the exchange, but the thought of sacrificing a pawn seemed like way too much even though Black has plenty of compensation in this position. The Bishop might come to c6 to exchange itself for the Bishop on g2 - even at the cost of a pawn - when the King on g1 is weak and Black occupies many files. }) 18. Nd6 Rxd6? { It didn't take me long to chop off the Knight. } 19. exd6? { However, it didn't take my opponent long to capture my Rook either. We both missed a beautiful idea by White after which I could safely resign. } (19. Qa3! { Amazing. Black's forces are extremely uncoordinated. } 19... Rd7 { Doens't help Black the slightest. } 20. Qxa7! $18 { White will end up being an exchange and a pawn up on the next move. }) 19... Qxd6 { While White should still be winning, the game is more tricky now. } 20. Rfd1 b6 { I need to exchange that Bishop on g2 if I want any hopes of attacking the white King and creating some counterplay. } 21. Rac1 Bb7 22. Bxb7 Rxb7 23. Qf3 { After I played ...b6 the c6 square weakened, so this makes a lot of sense too. } (23. d5! { Practically speaking this is a great move. It makes a lot of sense to open up the files for the Rooks. }) 23... Rd7 24. Rc8 (24. Qc6? Qa3! $14 { This allows some counterplay for Black. }) 24... Kh7 25. Qe4+ Ng6 26. h4?? { Suddenly, the tables turn. White weakens his King even further and now I can even, in some variations, sacrifice a Rook if it allows me to bring the Queen in to attack g3. } (26. f5! { Would have been a better way. } 26... exf5 27. Qxf5 $18 { The game is getting closer and closer to its end now. }) 26... f5! 27. Qf3 (27. Qc6 Qa3! { Capturing the Rook would allow a perpetual check. White can try to play on in other ways but Black has too much counterplay now. } 28. Qc3 (28. Qxd7 Qxg3+) (28. Kf2 { The King can't try to escape. } 28... Qxa2+ 29. Ke3 (29. Kf3 Qb3+ 30. Ke2? (30. Kf2 Qxd1 31. Qxd7 Qd2+) 30... Qxg3 $19) 29... Ne7 { A very nice manouevre. } 30. Qxd7 Nd5+ 31. Kd3 Nb4+ 32. Kc3 Nd5+) 28... Qxa2 { Black's next idea is to play ...Ne7-d5. } 29. Qc4 Qa3 { It's also possible to keep the Queens on the board with an attach on g3. } (29... Qxc4 { Black could even consider the endgame now. })) 27... Ne7! { Now that the Knight gets to d5, Black is completely fine. } 28. Rc2 Nd5 29. Rc8 Ne7 30. Re8 Nd5 31. Rc8 { With ...Ne7, I was about to claim a draw but my opponent didn't disagree. I think it was a good call from his side, as White is the one with the weaknesses and Black establishes a very nice Knight on d5. In some cases, Black can think about playing on, but I was more than happy getting my first half point! } 1/2-1/2