Groningen's Best Effort

The following game was played in round seven of the tournament:
Bojkov,Dejan - Bok,Benjamin [C45]
Schaakfestival 2010 Open A Groningen (7), 28.12.2010
[Dejan Bojkov]
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 Played for the first time in my life. But there is always a first time. 3...exd4 4.Nxd4 Bc5 5.Nxc6 Qf6 6.Qf3 bxc6 7.Nd2 d6 8.Nb3 Bb6 9.a4 a5 10.Bd2 Qxf3 11.gxf3 Ne7 12.Rg1 Ng6 Another possible plan is: [12...0–0 13.Be3 Bxe3 14.fxe3 as Anand-Aronian, Bilbao 2008 is more usual, but as a whole this line is still in developing progress.] 13.Be3 Bxe3 14.fxe3

14...Bd7 The beginning of a wrong idea. The bishop is vulnerable on d7. The simple: [14...Ne5 is more to the point, for example: 15.Be2 g6 16.f4 Nd7 17.Bf3 c5 18.e5 Ra7 19.exd6 cxd6 20.Nd2 with a slight pool for White occured in Radjabov,T (2744)-Aronian,L (2737)/Bilbao 2008/CBM 126 (34)] 15.f4 0–0 16.0–0–0 c5 17.Nxc5 Bc6 The point behind Black's play. However, it seems that he underestimated the follow up: 18.Na6 Ra7 Both: [18...Rfc8 19.Bh3; 18...Bxe4 19.Rd4 cannot be recommended.] 19.e5 Bad is: [19.Rd4 Rfa8 20.Rg5 Rxa6 21.Bxa6 Rxa6і; But serious attention deserved: 19.Rg5!? Rfa8 20.Rxa5 Bb7 21.Nxc7 Rxa5 22.Nxa8 Rxa8 23.b3 Bxe4 24.Rxd6 and as the pawns become more valuable in the endgame, White has the better chances.] 19...dxe5 20.f5 Nh4 21.f6 g6 [21...Ng6 22.fxg7 Kxg7 23.Nc5±] 22.Nc5 Nf5

So far the game for more or less forced. Black needs to make one more move-Nf5-d6 to put his pieces together, after which he will be out of danger. Therefore: 23.Bb5! Much better than: [23.e4 Nd6 24.Bg2 Raa8 and Black is only marginally worse.] Temporarily sacrificing the pawn I manage to get the maximum of my pieces, while keeping the rook on a7 in a "box". 23...Bxb5 24.axb5 Nxe3 25.Rd7 With the threat b5-b6. 25...Nc4 26.b3 [26.Re7 a4] 26...Nb6 27.Re7 a4 White's idea is supported tactically: [27...Nd5 28.Nd7! Nxe7 (28...Rfa8 29.Rxe5±) 29.fxe7 Rfa8 30.Nf6+ Kg7 31.e8Q Rxe8 32.Nxe8+ Kf8 33.Nf6+-] 28.bxa4 Nxa4 29.Nd7 ! I was also considering the position after: [29.Nxa4 Rxa4 30.Rg5 Rf4 31.Rxc7 Rxf6 32.Rxe5 with an advantage for White but then realized that the move in the text is even stronger.] 29...Rfa8 [29...Rd8 30.Nxe5 Nc3 31.Nc6+-] 30.Rg5 Not the most accurate. Better is: [30.Nxe5 Nb6 31.Rg4 Ra1+ 32.Kd2 Rd8+ 33.Ke2 when White keeps all his active pieces on the board. ] 30...Nb6 I spent most of my time calcuating the line: [30...Nc3 31.Rgxe5 h5

32.Rxf7! Kxf7 33.Re7+ Kg8 34.f7+ (34.Rg7+? Kh8 35.Ne5 Ra1+ 36.Kb2 Nd1+ 37.Kb3 R1a3+ 38.Kb4 R8a4+ 39.Kc5 Rc3+ 40.Kd5 Ne3+ 41.Ke6 Re4 42.Kf7 Rxe5 43.Rg8+ Kh7 44.Rg7+ Kh6 45.Rxg6+=) 34...Kh8 35.Re8++-] 31.Nxb6 [31.Nxe5 Ra1+ 32.Kd2 Rd8+ 33.Ke2 Ra2 34.Rxc7 Nd5 35.Rd7 Rxc2+ 36.Ke1 Rc1+ 37.Kd2 Rcc8 is not something that you would like to enter in the coming time-trouble.] 31...cxb6 Black can also keep the second rook, but his situation is no better: [31...Ra1+ 32.Kd2 cxb6 33.Rgxe5 Rd8+ 34.Kc3 Raa8 35.Rc7±] 32.Rxa7 Rxa7 33.Rxe5

The arising endgame is technically won for White. He has more active pieces, and will soon organize a strong distant passed pawn. 33...Ra8 [33...Kf8 34.Rd5 Ke8 35.Rd6 Rb7 36.Kb2 g5 37.c4 g4 38.Kc3 h5 39.Rd5 (39.Kb4 Rb8 (39...h4 40.Rd4) 40.Rd5 (40.c5 bxc5+ 41.Kxc5 Rc8+ 42.Kd5 Rc2 43.b6 Rd2+ 44.Kc6 Rc2+ 45.Kb7 h4 46.Rc6 Rd2 47.Kc7 Rd7+ 48.Kb8 Rd2 49.Rc4 Kd7 50.Rxg4 Rxh2 51.Rd4+ Ke6 52.b7 Rb2 (52...h3) 53.Rxh4 Kxf6 54.Rh5 Ke6 55.Ra5 f5 56.Ka8 f4 57.b8Q Rxb8+ 58.Kxb8+-) ) 39...Ra7 40.Rxh5+-] 34.c4 Kf8 [34...Rc8 35.Kd2 Kf8 36.Kc3+-] 35.Kc2 Rd8 36.Kc3?! [36.c5! bxc5 37.Kc3 is more precise.] 36...Rd6 37.c5 bxc5 In time trouble Bok did not find the best defense: [37...Rxf6! 38.Kc4 Rf4+ 39.Kd5 f6 40.Re2 Rf5+ 41.Kc6 Rxc5+ 42.Kxb6 Rc3 43.Ka6 Ra3+ 44.Kb7± compared to the game, Black will have several extra tempi.] 38.Kc4 Rxf6 39.Kxc5 Rf2 40.b6 Rb2 [40...Rxh2 41.b7 Rb2 42.Kc6 Rxb7 43.Kxb7+-] 41.Kc6 f6 42.Rb5 Rc2+ 43.Kd7

Now there is not even a reason to win the rook immediately, as Black will not have any counterplay. 43...Rd2+ 44.Ke6 Rd8 45.b7 Rb8 46.Kxf6 Ke8 47.Ke6 h6 [47...Kf8 48.Kd6 Kf7 49.Kc7 Re8 50.b8Q Rxb8 51.Kxb8 Kf6 52.Kc7 g5 53.Kd6+-] 48.h4 Kf8 49.Kf6 g5 50.Rc5 I believe this was my best game in Groningen. 1–0

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