[Event "Frederica Chess IM"] [Site "chess24.com"] [Date "2023.05.21"] [Round "9.5"] [White "Nilssen, Ellen Fredericia"] [Black "Loftgaard, Mikkel Vinh"] [Result "1-0"] [WhiteElo "2114"] [WhiteTeam "Denmark"] [BlackElo "2258"] [BlackTeam "Denmark"] [Annotator "Nilssen,Ellen"] [Variant "Standard"] [ECO "B51"] [Opening "Sicilian Defense: Moscow Variation"] [Source "https://lichess.org/study/e8pUlx8p/nuXuz8h0"] [Orientation "white"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. Bb5+ Nd7 4. d4 cxd4 5. Qxd4 a6 6. Bxd7+ Bxd7 7. Nc3 e5 8. Qd3 { We have reached a Najdorf structure where White has traded the light-squared Bishop for one of Black's Knights. Black is completely fine but there is a trick in the position that you need to be aware of. } 8... Nf6?! { Walking head first into White's only trick. } (8... h6 { Is the main line, stopping Bg5 to prepare ...Nf6. }) (8... Rc8 { Black can also wait a little longer and begin with this move, preparing Be6 to gain control over c4. }) 9. Bg5! { After this White is already better. Black's problem is that he will lose too much control over the d5-square now that White can trade the chop the other Knight off the board. } 9... Be6 10. O-O Rc8 { A typical plan, gaining control over the c4-square. Here, I went wrong } 11. Nd2? { I knew the plan of Nd2-f1-e3, but here it was mistimed with the Rook still on f1. The White pieces will become somewhat uncoordinated } (11. Rfd1 { White should start with this move, and only later, if there's time, play Nd2-f1-e3. White will most likely take on f6 on the next move. } 11... h6 (11... Be7 12. Bxf6! { The best way to keep the pressure } 12... Bxf6 13. Qxd6 (13. Nd5 $14 { White can also try to maintain the pressure like this instead }) 13... Qxd6 14. Rxd6 { White has a pawn more, but Black will probably be able to create some counterplay with the Bishop pair. The game is far from over += / +/- }) 12. Bxf6! { The only move that makes sense. } (12. Be3? Be7 { Now Black has the Bishop pair and is ready to castle. Black is already somewhat better =+ / -/+ }) (12. Bh4? { Allows Black the chance to get out of the pin with } 12... g5! 13. Bg3 Be7 $17 { White's piece are misplaced and Black is better. }) 12... Qxf6 { White has a few options now } 13. Nd5 { Perhaps the most natural move. If Black take the Knight, White is able to take back with the Queen. } (13. Nd2 $14 { White can also go for the Nf1-e3 plan now. }) 13... Qd8 (13... Bxd5 14. Qxd5 $16 { c2 is hanging, but so is c7. }) 14. c4 $14 { This is a favourable structure for White. }) 11... Be7 12. Rfd1 { Here Black had an interesting idea to put some pressure on White } (12. Bxf6 { Is also a possibility, but it wasn't a move that I wanted to rush with as I thought I'd get plenty of opportunities to capture } 12... Bxf6 13. Nd5 O-O (13... Bxd5 { This looks sad for Black. } 14. Qxd5 { Black is in for a whole lot of suffering, but at least White has the Queen and not the Knight on d5 = / += }) 14. c4 { White has a strong Knight in the center and plans to expand on the Queenside, but Black has enough counterplay with the Bishop pair }) 12... O-O { Also a completely fine move, but now White can continue the Nf1-e3 plan unhindered } (12... Qb6 { White has to protect against both ...Qxb2 and ...Ng4 which is a bit awkward. } 13. Nd5 (13. Bxf6 Bxf6 14. Rab1 { When Black is completely fine. }) 13... Bxd5 (13... Nxd5 { Is more concrete where both sides are walking a fine line } 14. exd5 Bg4 15. Bxe7 Bxd1 16. Nc4! Rxc4! 17. Qxc4 Kxe7 18. Rxd1) 14. Bxf6! Bxf6 15. exd5 { Black can take on b2, but that will allow White some active play because of the Queen's misplacement on b2. } 15... O-O (15... Qxb2!? 16. c4 Qd4! { I'd say that all results are still possible } (16... O-O 17. Ne4 { Leaves Black with an annoying question to answer about what to do with the Bishop })) 16. c4 Bd8 { Planning to reroute the Bishop when the position remains complex. }) 13. Nf1 { Now White continues the plan of bringing the Knight to e3 } 13... b5? { In the Najdorf, it usually makes sense to gain space on the Queenside, but here it doesn't really generate any specific counterplay and White is allowed to improve the Knight on f1 without having to answer any questions. } (13... Rc4!? { Is an interesting idea to play against the idea of Ne3. White has a few different way of playing here. } 14. Bxf6 { Keeping it simple and walking out of all possible captures on e4. } (14. Ne2 { It's not too desirable to move the Knight further away from the d5-square, but now the Rook is also a bit misplaced on c4 when it doesn't have access to the d4-square. Black shouldn't take on e4. } 14... Nxe4?! (14... Rxe4? { This is more straight forward } 15. Bxf6! $18 { When White wins a piece }) 15. Bxe7 Qxe7 16. b3! Nc5 (16... Rb4 17. a3 Nc5 18. Qxd6 Qxd6 19. Rxd6 $16 { Gives White a nice endgame as the Black pieces are not well coordinated }) 17. Qd2 Rg4 18. Qxd6 $14 { Black has an option between ...Qxd6 or ...Qg5, but White will be more comfortable either way }) (14. Ne3?! { Now this doesn't work so well for White } 14... Rd4! 15. Qe2 Nxe4 { This is definitely not what White wished for } 16. Rxd4! exd4 17. Bxe7 Nxc3 18. bxc3 Qxe7 19. cxd4 { The engine say that the position is level but - at least for me - it would probably be difficult to play for both sides. Intuitively, I'd pick Black because of the Bishop, but the Knight doesn't look all that bad here either. }) 14... Bxf6 15. Qxd6 Rd4! { A clever idea } 16. Qxd8 (16. Qc5 { Also an option and just a matter of preference }) 16... Rfxd8 { Black has plenty of counterplay for the pawn }) 14. a3?! { I think the theme of this game was: "Ellen is not in the mood to calculate and doesn't want to allow any counterplay". When I saw ...b5 on the board, I actually thought it was a bit annoying - and I thought that if I played a3 at least I wouldn't have to deal with it for a while. Maybe not the best mindset, but oh well... } (14. Ne3! { The most natural move and also the best move. There wasn't really any reason to not play it. } 14... b4 { Doesn't help Black because White will now establish a very nice Knight on d5 after } 15. Bxf6! Bxf6 (15... bxc3 16. Bxe7 Qxe7 17. b3! $16 { Black is clearly suffering as the Bishop on e6 is completely restricted by the White pawns, and Black has many weaknesses. }) 16. Ncd5 $16) 14... Bc4 (14... Rc4 { Was possible again with the same ideas as in 13...Rc4. }) 15. Qd2 Bxf1? { I think my opponent was hit by some tilt and some tiredness as I know that he usually would not miss (or misevaluate) my next move. } (15... Rc6! { Anticipating Bxf6 by protecting on d6 was the best way to go. }) 16. Bxf6! { Once again, I wasn't in the mood to allow any exchange sacrifices on c3, and besides, this looked quite sad for Black. } (16. Kxf1? { Now Black is allowed back into the game. This was probably what my opponent hoped for } 16... Rxc3! 17. Bxf6 { Objectively and practically the best. } (17. Qxc3 { White probably shouldn't play like this, but it does reach an interesting endgame } 17... Nxe4 18. Bxe7 Nxc3 19. Bxd8 Nxd1 20. Be7 Nxb2! { The only way that Black is not losing immediately, but also a strong move nevertheless } 21. Bxf8 Kxf8 { Black has two pawns for the exchange and is the one pushing here, though it should objectively still be a draw. }) 17... Rc6 18. Bxe7 Qxe7 19. c3) (16. Rxf1?! { Better than Kf1, but still not as good as Bxf6. Now Black shouldn't sacrifice on c3 as the Rook won't be hanging on d1. } 16... Ne8 { The point! Now Black can avoid Bxf6, but White will still be better. } (16... Rxc3? 17. Qxc3! Nxe4 18. Bxe7 Nxc3 (18... Qxe7 19. Qc6 $18 { White is clearly winning. }) 19. Bxd8 Ne2+ 20. Kh1 Rxd8 $18 { White should also be winning this when Black only has a pawn for the exchange. }) 17. Bxe7 Qxe7 18. Nd5 $16) 16... Bc4?! { This just sacrifices a pawn for almost no counterplay. } (16... Bxf6 { This was better to not sacrifice the pawn, but it still looks very sad for Black. } 17. Kxf1! { I like this move, the Rook is good on d1. } 17... Be7 18. a4 $16 { White will play this position forever. } (18. Kg1 $16 { White can even just improve the position of the King and wait with the more concrete moves. })) 17. Bxe7 Qxe7 18. Qxd6 Qg5 19. Qd2 (19. Qxa6? { Of course, White shouldn't be greedy and fall for Black's cheap tricks. } 19... b4! 20. Nb5 Be2 21. Re1 Rxc2 $19 { Out of nowhere, Black is the one who's pushing, and White is proabably close to just lost. }) 19... Qg6 20. Rac1 Be6 21. Qe3 f6 22. Rd6 Qf7 23. Qb6 { I decided to just enjoy my one extra pawn for a little while, and then only calculate a bit around the end } (23. Rxa6 { Snapping a second pawn off the board was even better. } 23... Rfd8 { This is no worry for White. } 24. h4 $18 (24. Nxb5 { Even this is possible, but let's not allow Black any hint of hope with } 24... Rxc2)) 23... Bc4 24. Rcd1 Rb8 25. Qe3 a5 { It wasn't exactly on purpose that I allowed him to push his Queenside pawns, but it doesn't change the evaluation } 26. Rd7 Qh5 27. Qa7 Ra8 28. Qc5 Rac8 29. Qe7 Qh6 { Just a wee bit of manouevering before I finally pulled myself together and calculated a bit } 30. b3 Rfe8 (30... Bxb3 { Black can win back the lost pawn but it is completely suicide } 31. cxb3 Rxc3 32. Rd8 g5 33. h4 $18 { Any move to gain luft for the King was possible, but I like just attacking the weaknesses as Black can't take the pawn. Black is completely tied down, and White will soon play Rxf8 followed by Rd8 winning. }) 31. Qd6 (31. Rd8?? { Would be a grave mistake due to back-rank problems. The following line is forced for both sides } 31... Rcxd8 32. Rxd8 Qc1+ 33. Nd1 Qxd1+! 34. Rxd1 Rxe7 35. bxc4 bxc4 36. Kf1 $14 { This last move isn't exactly forced but it's important to bring the King in the endgame. This Rook endgame is not even close to what White wanted. }) 31... Bf7 (31... Bxb3 { Once again, this doesn't work } 32. cxb3 Rxc3 33. Qd5+ Kh8 { White has many possible continuations to be completely winning. Rd8 and Qxb5 are the most natural. } 34. Rd8 $18 (34. Qxb5 $18)) 32. Nxb5 { Snacking on a pawn to bring the Knight closer to the attack } 32... Rxc2 { Black might as well take, there's not much hope left } 33. Nc7 Rf8 34. Rd8 g5 35. Ne6 Re8 { Here I actually failed to find the forced mate in 6. I calculated both Qd7 and Qe7 but somehow got confused - it's probably good that I didn't enter many crazy lines full of calculation this game } 36. Qd7 { Good enough. } (36. Qe7 { Is the mating line } 36... Rc8 37. Rxc8 Rxc8 38. Rd8+ Rxd8 39. Qxd8+ Be8 40. Qxe8+ Qf8 41. Qxf8# { This shouldn't be a difficult line. }) 36... Qg6 { What I had missed in my calculation - but it doesn't change anything. } 37. Qe7 Rc8 { And now the game soon ended } 38. Rxe8+ (38. Rxc8 { Transposes to the game } 38... Rxc8 39. Rd8+ Rxd8 40. Qxd8+ Be8 41. Nc7 $18) 38... Rxe8 39. Rd8 Rxd8 40. Qxd8+ Be8 41. Nc7 Kf8 (41... Qxe4 { Being completely honest, I probably spent a bit too much time calculating this. I had plenty of time and didn't really want to mess anything up } 42. Qxe8+ Kg7 43. Ne6+ Kh6 44. Qf8+ { I calculated a bit more than this, but I don't think there's any need to enter more lines at this point. }) 42. Qxe8+ { And the extra pawn ends up deciding the game! } 1-0