[Event "Frederica Chess IM"] [Site "chess24.com"] [Date "2023.05.20"] [Round "6.1"] [White "Fries-Nielsen, Jens Ove"] [Black "Nilssen, Ellen Fredericia"] [Result "1-0"] [WhiteElo "2377"] [WhiteTeam "Denmark"] [BlackElo "2114"] [BlackTeam "Denmark"] [Annotator "Nilssen,Ellen"] [Variant "Standard"] [ECO "A06"] [Opening "Zukertort Opening: Old Indian Attack"] [Source "https://lichess.org/study/e8pUlx8p/yGlf9Uq0"] [Orientation "white"] 1. Nf3 d5 2. d3 Nf6 3. Bg5 e6 4. Nbd2 Be7 5. e4 c5 6. c3 Nc6 7. a3 { This is very similar to the King's Indian Attack, but here White has developed the Bishop on c1 to g5. This isn't necessarily an asset for White as the Bishop can help Black accelerate an attack with possibilities of ...h6 and ...g5. } 7... a5?! { There are both upsides and downsides to this move. While ...a5 is sometimes typical to both expand on the Queenside and slow down White's ideas of b4, it also does weaken the b5-square. I would have done better by delaying this move for a little while. } (7... O-O { Perhaps the most natural move, asking White what he wants to do next. I apologies in advance for going into a bit of detail here, but for the both of us, I think it's interesting in terms of understanding the position. } 8. Be2 (8. e5 { Does not work in White's favour, as Black will get a quick break in the center with ...f6. } 8... Nd7 9. Bxe7 Qxe7 { I'm not sure how White should continue here. } 10. d4 { As in the game, but with Black having castled instead of ...a5. This is a clear improvement. } 10... cxd4 11. cxd4 f6 $17 { Black can play ...f6 with or without the inclusion of ...cxd4, but as ...cxd4 most likely has to be played anyway, it makes sense to play it immediately to not give White extra options. Black is already better. }) (8. g3 { Playing in true King's Indian Attack style, but here the Bishop on g5 is misplaced. } 8... h6 { Asking the Bishop a question that is not pleasant to answer. } 9. Bxf6 Bxf6 $17 { With the Bishop pair, once again, Black is better. }) 8... h6 9. Bh4 (9. Bf4 Nh5 { Black can whole-heartedly go for the Bishop pair. } 10. Be3 { White can refuse to give up the Bishop pair, but here Black can break in nice fashion. } (10. Bg3 Nxg3 11. hxg3 { Black should not be scared about the open h-file as the attack far away. } 11... d4 $17) 10... f5! $15 { White is now the one fighting a tough battle for equality. }) 9... a5 $15 { Can be played now that Black has gotten the King to safety. Now there are no issues with the c6-Knight being pinned as we will see in the game. } (9... g5 { Another interesting option that the engine approves of. However, I don't find this line very practical due to the weakened King. } 10. Bg3 Nh5 { Attempting to get the Bishop pair, but in this line, I'm a bit more worried about the open h-file. } (10... Nd7 $15 { Going full out for f5 - I think I'd be a bit worried no matter which colour I played here. }) 11. Ne5! Nxg3 12. Nxc6 bxc6 13. hxg3 Kg7 (13... Rb8 { Believe it or not, but the engine is cold-hearted and even sugests this move. I'm blown away... } 14. Rxh6? Rxb2 (14... Kg7 15. Rh5 Rxb2 16. Qc1 Rb7 { According to the engine, there's quite a difference between including Kg7 and not including it due to the move } 17. c4 { I guess that the Rook isn't doing as much on the 7th rank now, and the King is more vulnerable on the long diagonal. Other than that, I think it would require deeper analysis to figure out why the difference in almost 0.5 pawn - and this line is already far away from the game, I just found it cool and thus wanted to include it, sorry! }) 15. Qc1 Rb7 $15 { I like this move to be able to protect along the 7th rank. }))) 8. e5 { After the 8th round game, I had a longer talk with my opponent about the strategic and positional aspects of the position. As mentioned earlier, the Bishop is usually not on g5 this early which provides for some interesting nuances in terms of possible trades. } (8. Be2 O-O { Shoud now be somewhat similar to the lines analysed in 7...0-0. }) 8... Nd7 9. Bxe7 Qxe7 10. d4! { Trying to solidify the center. } 10... b6? { I'm quite disappointed with this move to be honest. After so many years of playing the French, I should know better. } (10... cxd4 { Black can also choose to include .. .cxd4 first. On the positive side, White doesn't get the chance to take on c5, but on the other hand, the Rook on a1 gets a semi-open file. } 11. cxd4 f6 12. Rc1 { The downside of trading on d4 first. } (12. exf6 { Going into a typical French structure, but I like this for Black. } 12... Qxf6 13. Bb5 (13. Nb3? { The Knight is misplaced here as ...a4 is often a threat. } 13... O-O { Not getting greedy with ...a4 just yet. } (13... a4 { Seems a bit rushed. } 14. Nc1 O-O $15 { I think Black should have waited with ...a4 for a little while though Black is still the only one who can be better. }) 14. Be2 e5! { Even this move as White still hasn't castled. } 15. dxe5 Ndxe5 $17 { The d-pawn is not up for grabs just yet. Black has tremendous activity. }) 13... O-O $15 { The more ambitious approach. I like Black here. } (13... Nxd4 { Black can also decide to be greedy, but why? } 14. Nxd4 Qxd4 15. Qe2 { Now the e6-pawn is vulnerable even if White doesn't take it immediately. I think Black should have been a bit more ambitious. })) (12. Bb5 O-O 13. Qe2 { White should protect e5 now that Black has castled. } 13... fxe5 14. dxe5 g5! { I love this move - and people say that the French is boring! White is the one who is fighting for equality. }) 12... fxe5 13. dxe5 { Black can not capture the pawn on e5. } (13. Nxe5?! { With a bit more space, White should look to keep pieces on the board. } 13... Ndxe5 14. dxe5 { Again, Black shouldn't capture the pawn on e5. } 14... O-O $15 { With the typical French maneouevre ...Bd7-e8 to come. }) 13... O-O (13... Ndxe5 14. Nxe5 Nxe5 15. Qh5+! Nf7 (15... Ng6 16. Bd3 Qf6 17. Nf3 { Now castling is a bit awkward for Black due to Ng5. Once again, White has very good compensation for the pawn. }) 16. Bb5+ Bd7 17. Rc7 Rd8 { White has a lot of activity all of a sudden. }) 14. Bd3 g6 { White doesn't have the typical hold over the e5-square that you want in the French, but on the other hand, the Black pieces are a bit further from being optimally placed than they want to be. } (14... g5 { Even this is completely okay for Black. White has to be precise to not be worse! } 15. h3! { And the game continues. })) (10... f6 { With the Knights on c6 and d7 and the King closer to castling, Black is ready to challenge the center. } 11. exf6 (11. Bb5 { White is not obliged to take on f6. } 11... fxe5 (11... cxd4 12. cxd4 { This is a transposition to 10...cxd4. }) (11... O-O) 12. dxe5 O-O) 11... Qxf6 12. dxc5 { By not taking on d4, White gets this extra option. } 12... Nxc5 (12... O-O { and taking on c5 afterwards is also possible and might transpose. } 13. Bb5! (13. Nb3? { Now this doesn't come with tempo. } 13... a4! $19) (13. Be2?! { Is quite passive and blocks when White wants to place a Rook on the e-file. } 13... a4! $17 { Black has a good grip on the position. } (13... Nxc5?! { Is a bit hasty due to White's idea of bringing the pieces out with tempo. } 14. Nb3! b6 $15)) 13... e5 { Advancing in the center. Black will take on c5 sooner or later. White is fighting for equality. } (13... Nxc5 { Of course, also possible with e5 after. })) (12... a4?! { Black shouldn't play ...a4 to stop Nb3 after ...Nxc5 when White hasn't commited the Bishop to e2. } 13. Bb5! { And now Black actually has to fight for equality. }) 13. Nb3 { White is trying to bring the pieces out with tempo. } 13... Ne4 { More in my style. } (13... Nxb3 14. Qxb3 O-O { White has a few options that should all be fine. } 15. Be2 { The more solid approach. } (15. O-O-O { A bit more risky but I blieve this would be in my opponent's style. }) 15... a4 { The Queen should probably go to a square from where it attacks d5 to prevent Black from playing e5 immediately. } 16. Qd1 { To stop ...e5 as the d5 pawn is hanging. } (16. Qb5 Bd7) (16. Qc2 e5! $15) 16... Ra5 { I like this suggestion by the engine. The Rook protects d5 so that Black can play e5! } (16... Rd8 { I believe this is a bit more natural, but I like to keep the option of ...Re8 open. })) 14. Bd3 { The Bishop should go here or to b5. } (14. Bb5 Nd6) 14... O-O) 11. Bb5 Bb7?! (11... Ndb8 { The engine suggestion to play ...Ba6 next. I considered it, but it also just looks so sad to place a Knight on b8. }) 12. h4 f6 { I finally challenge in the center, but now it doesn't have the wanted effect anymore. } 13. exf6 gxf6 { I decided to spice things up. A good practical approach, I believe. } (13... Qxf6 14. O-O O-O $16 { Now my pieces are placed much worse than before for this structure. }) (13... Nxf6?! $16 { Feels, wrong. I liked the Knight on d7 better to keep control of the e5-square. }) 14. Qe2? { During the game, I was quite annoyed that my opponent didn't castle. I wanted to castle to the same side as him, but not give him the option to castle the opposite way of me. However, this move allows Black quick counterplay. } 14... Kd8? { Inspired? Tilted? Genius? Or just plainly stupid? Anyway, it was my compromise as I didn't know what to do of my opponent's lack of castling. } (14... e5! { What I wanted to play, but fear stroke me. } 15. dxe5 fxe5 16. c4 { This was what I was unhappy with. } 16... Nd4 { This move, I don't think I spotted. } (16... d4 { I felt that I was losing control in the center, but Black is completely fine. }) 17. Nxd4 exd4 { Had I seen this, I probably would have gone for e5 as this feels safe for the black King compared to other variations. Black is the one pressing though the position is level. }) 15. dxc5? { White is losing control in the center with this move, but, of course, it was without an idea. } 15... bxc5 16. O-O { Here, I should have been much better at spotting my opponent's idea. Maybe then, I would have managed to play the right move. I was mostly just relieved that my opponent finally castled so that I wouldn't have to worry about it anymore, but at the same time, my King also gets more vulnerable when his King is on the other side of the board. } 16... Kc7? (16... a4! $14 { Correctly assessing that White wants to play b4. This was the right way to go. }) (16... e5?! { Besides ...Kc7, I considered this move. I rejected it - but on the wrong grounds. } 17. Rfd1! $16 { A weird move, but the correct one. White intends to play either Nf1-e3 to put pressure on the d5-pawn or b4 to open up the Queenside where the King is vulnerable. } (17. c4? { Without the inclusion of dxe5 ...fxe5, this doesn't make much sense. } 17... d4 $17 { Now Black has a strong hold in the center. })) 17. b4! $16 { Now Black is in trouble. I struggled a lot finding something I was happy with here. } 17... axb4 { This should only be played if followed up by the right move. } (17... c4 { Strategically the most sound. Why open up the side of the board where your King is placed? It seems more logical to close it down. } 18. Bxc6 Bxc6 19. Nd4 { I wasn't happy with this position and thus rejected ...c4. } 19... Rhe8 $16 { But after this, the game continues though White is very comfortable - and probably close to strategically winning. }) 18. cxb4 cxb4? { A strange decision. Now the game should both be practically and objectively over. } (18... c4 { Was necessary to close down the Queenside, but I rejected this on similar grounds to 17...c4. } 19. Bxc6 Bxc6 20. Nd4 { This was the lesser evil, but to me the lines seem very unnatural for Black. } 20... Rac8 { The computer wants this to give the a8-square for the Bishop and the b8-square for the King. } 21. Nxe6+ (21. b5 Ba8 $16) 21... Kb8 $16) 19. axb4?! { Not the most precise as Black can possibly get chances of survival in some lines, but it should still be good enough for White. } (19. Rfc1 $18 { White could have gone for the King immediately when Black has no good defence against the threat of Nd4. }) 19... Rxa1 20. Rxa1 Nce5?! { Not the most challenging. } (20... Ra8 { It makes sense to try to trade more pieces. } 21. Rb1! { To protect the b4 pawn from the Queen's attack (White might trade on c6) in some variations. } (21. Re1 e5 $16 { Gives Black a nice center. } 22. Bxc6 { Now this is not as strong as with the Rook on b1. } 22... Bxc6 23. Nd4 Qxb4 $16 { Black has some counterplay now. }) 21... e5 22. Bxc6! Bxc6 23. Nd4!) 21. Nd4 Qxb4 22. Nxe6+ Kd6 23. Rb1 Qc3? { After this there were no more chances in the game. } (23... Qg4! { This was the best chance but it's easy to miss the key idea. } 24. Qxg4 Nxg4 25. Bxd7 { And now Black has to find } 25... Ba8!! { White is still doing very well after } 26. Ba4 (26. Nf8 { Is a cute trick, but Black still wins the piece back. } 26... Ne5 27. Rb8 (27. Rb6+ { Objectively, this is better than Rb8. } 27... Ke7 28. Bf5 Rxf8 $16 { White is till pressing. }) 27... Nxd7! 28. Nxd7 Rxb8 29. Nxb8 Bb7! $14 { With ...Kc7 and ...Kxb8 to come. White is pressing in the endgame, but objectively Black should be holding. How difficult it is, I don't know. I think the passed d-pawn provides for good counterplay. }) 26... Kxe6 27. Rb6+! Kf7 $16 { But the game is still going. }) 24. f4 Kxe6 25. Bxd7+ Kxd7 26. Rxb7+ Kc8 27. Qa6 { I had seen this but hoped I had a perpetual - which to be fair would have been a weird outcome. Of course, this didn't work but mainly because of a nice move in the end of the variation. } 27... Qe3+ 28. Kh1 Qe1+ 29. Nf1 Qxh4+ 30. Kg1 (30. Nh2 Qe1+ { White would have to transpose back into the game with } 31. Nf1 Qh4+ 32. Kg1 $18) 30... Nf3+ 31. gxf3 Rg8+ { And now a nice resource that ended the game immediately. } 32. Rg7+ { 1-0 White wins. } 1-0