Monday, 11 February 2013

Resistance or Defence ? (Part 2/3)

This is position from my game from round number 5 in Prague.
I was White, and I had big problems to break hard resistance of my opponent, Russian WGM Irina Semenova.
I just won a pawn, but it is clear that she got a lot of compensation.
I have some problems of coordination of my pieces due to pinning on the first rank.
My task is very difficult because there are some pawns hanging as well, so the first thing is how to stabilise the position.
There is something very interesting that can be understand wrongly, and I want to explain.

When one player is in defence, it does not means that he stands worse.
It can be that one have material advantage, and has to defend against opponents initiative and than he would stand better.
Sometimes, it is not necessary that a player in defence has material advantage. It can be positional advantage or just that after successful defence on one part of the board he will get an favourite position on other part of the board.
The last case is example of dynamic positions, which is very good explained in Evgeny Bareev´s book, From London to Elista.

In this particular position, I have advantage of one pawn, but if I look at positional elements, than she should have a full compensation for a pawn.
My king is open, my extra pawn is backward on d-file and she controls d4 square very well.
My pawns are mostly on the same colour as my bishop which, in combination with her control on dark squares, restricts my possibilities.
Her knight has a good outpost on g4 which can create a lot of problems for my king.

All this is not sufficient for a full compensation, just because of one reason.
If we exchange the queens, endgame would be easily winning for White.
His pawn is weak on h5 and bishop is much better in this kind of situations.
Even if I loose d-pawn and exchange queens, with my king reaching fourth rank, that position would still be winning for me.

Let´s look how game went.


As you can see on the number of moves, we were in the time trouble.
The first thing for me was to protect my bishop in order to activate my queen.

36. Kg1, b6

This is almost only move by my opponent.
However I made one mistake now.

37. a4?

I should play: 37. Qg5 cutting off her king.

38. Qe3, a5?

Very interesting that she made the same sort of mistake as me.
However, it is logical too. We were in time trouble and the first thing is to protect your material...
If she played 38...Qd1  she would get a full compensation.

We reached this position.
No pawns are hanging now, and I need to improve my position further.
In order to protect against Qd1 I need to have some answer to that. I want to make possible to play Be2.

39. Kg2!

Now, I have an answer to Qd1+

40. Be2, Kf7

If she takes:
41. Qg5+, Kf7
42. Bxh5+, Nxh5
43. Qxh5+
This position is very close to winning because my passer on h-file is very dangerous.

Now she thought that I do not have a good way to protect b3 pawn, but....

41. Qf2!

Unpinning my bishop and at the same time I want to take on h5 (her knight is pinned now).

42. Bd1

Now is everything protected, but how to improve further...

43. Qe3+, Kd6
44. Kg3

This position is some sort of zugzwang.
She does not have a good move.

45. Bf3, Qc3

So, she just repeated the position, and now I have to answer a question how to protect my b3 pawn.

We can see just looking at diagrams how much White improved.
What to do now?

46. Kf4!

Now I protect my b3 pawn indirectly with potential Qe5+.
My next move (if she just plat Qb2 for example), is Kf5.

47. Qe4

Here I could play 47. Bxh5 but I was worried by 47...Qh8. Computer accurately calculates that White is winning but I was not sure during the game.
I think that my move is more practical.

48. Kg3, Qg7+
49. Kh3

Now there are no threats to my pawns and my king is very safe. I can just try to win a pawn on h5 and everything would be over.
She tried with some counterplay....

50. Bxh5, Qf1+
51. Qg2, Qxd3+
52. Qg3+

I exchanged queens and my position is elementary winning.
She resigned on move 67.

I like this game, as I think that I showed patient and a good technique.
If this sequence has something to do with my subject readers can decide by themselves.

For those who are curious, there is the whole game in chess viewer.

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