Iva Annotates

It is not everyday that you see a rook trapped at the center of the board. WGM Iva Videnova was kind enough to annotate the following marvelous game:
Videnova,Iva (2301) - Bezgodova,Maria (2200) [C92]
EU-ch (w) Gaziantep (10.35), 12.03.2012

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0–0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.c3 0–0 9.h3 Be6

Quite rare line - Kholmov Variation in Ruy Lopez. May be the most frequent follower among Grandmasters is Predrag Nikolic.]

10.d4 Bxb3 11.axb3 Qc8 12.d5 Nb8 [12...Nd8 is another option: 13.c4 c6 14.Nc3 b4 15.Na4! Qc7 16.dxc6 Nxc6 17.Bg5 Nd7 18.Bxe7 Nxe7 19.Qd2 targeting pawns b4 and d6. 19...a5 20.Rad1 and White is somewhat better.]

13.c4 Nbd7 14.Nc3 Nc5 White keeps some advantage in case of [14...b4 15.Na4!? aiming c4–c5.]

15.b4 Ncd7 16.cxb5 axb5 17.Bd2

Better was the more active: [17.Be3!? Rxa1 18.Qxa1 c5 19.bxc5 Nxc5 20.Qa7 with advantage for White.]

17...c5 18.dxc6 Rxa1 [18...Qxc6 19.Ra5 is good for White.]

19.Qxa1 Qxc6 20.Qd1 Rc8 21.Qe2 Qc4 22.Nxb5 Qxe2 [22...Nxe4? loses in view of 23.Qxc4 Rxc4 24.b3±]

23.Rxe2 Rc4 Black misses a good chance-[23...Rc2 24.Ne1 Rxb2 25.Nd3 Rb3 26.Nc1 Rb1 27.Na3 Ra1 28.Nc2 Rb1 29.Na3= and draw could be fixed.]

24.Re3 Rxe4 25.Rc3

The rook is suddenly in danger despite the many squares that it possibly hits. The problem is that almost all of them are already taken... 25...d5 26.Rc8+ Nf8 The rook is trapped in case of:[26...Bf8 27.Nd6 Re2 28.Kf1]

27.Na7 Bxb4 28.Nc6 [28.Bxb4 Rxb4 29.Nc6 Rb7 the only move 30.Nfxe5 and although Black's position looks crumpled, after 30...g6= White pressure would hardly bring it to the win.]

28...Bd6 [28...Bxd2?? 29.Ne7+]

29.b3! [trying to surround the rook on e4.]

[29.Nfxe5 Rxe5 30.Nxe5 Bxe5 31.Bb4 N6d7 32.Bxf8 Nxf8 33.b4 f5 34.b5 Kf7 35.b6 Nd7 36.b7 Ke7]

29...N6d7 30.Kf1 f6 31.Ba5

31...Rf4 32.Bd2 Re4 [32...Rf5 33.Ng1 with the idea g2–g4. 33...Rh5 is the only move, as if- (33...Bc5 34.Be3 Bxe3 35.Ne7+ Kf7 36.Nxf5±) 34.g4 Rh4 35.Nf3 (35.Kg2 e4 36.Nd4 g6 37.f3 Kf7 38.Be1 Rh6 39.Bd2 Rh4=) 35...Rxh3 36.Kg2 Rxf3 37.Kxf3 and White is better. Despite the fact that Black has 2 pawns for the exchange, "b"-pawn may cause problems.]

33.g3 [taking away the last squares from the rook on e4.]

33...Nb6 [Better was 33...d4 34.Ne1 threatening f3. 34...Nc5 (34...Nb6 35.Rd8 Bc7 36.Re8±) 35.Bb4 (‹35.f3? Nxb3 36.fxe4 Nxd2+ 37.Ke2 Nxe4 and only Black can try to win.) 35...Rxe1+ 36.Bxe1 Nxb3 37.Rd8 Bc7 (37...Bc5 38.f4±) 38.Rd5 Ne6 39.Bb4 Black has two pawns for the exchange and should normally be out of trouble. However, as the knight on b3 is cut from the main camp Black still needs to prove equality.]

34.Rd8 Bc7 35.Re8 Bd6 [35...Nbd7 36.Bb4 Kf7 37.Re7+ Kg6 38.Ba3 f5 39.Nd2]

36.Ba5 Kf7 37.Rxf8+?! [Inaccurate play in a key moment that could have costed half point.]

[37.Rd8 was winning immediately: 37...Bc7 38.Bxb6 Bxd8 (38...Bxb6 39.Rxd5 Ke6 40.Rb5) 39.Bxd8 Ke6 40.Be7+– Ng6 41.Bc5 Kd7 42.Na5]

37...Bxf8 38.Bxb6 Bb4?! [With clever manoeuvre Black could save the game: 38...Ke6 39.Ba5 Kd7 40.Nb8+ Kc8 41.Nc6= funny, but the knight cannot escape.]

39.Be3 Bc3 40.Bd2 d4 41.Bxc3 [41.Nd8+ Ke7 42.Nb7]

41...dxc3 42.Ne1 Ke6 43.Nc2 Kd5 44.N6b4+ Kc5 45.Nd3+ Kd5 46.f3

Mission accomplished - the rook is finally captured.]

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