(12) Russell,Hanon - Lowinger,Daniel [A07]
FCC Quads, 12.09.2010

During round 1 I strolled over to Hanon's game to have a look at what opening he played. I noticed an unusual opening, but I greatly preferred the position Hanon achieved (to his opponent's). I made a mental note of this.

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.g3 d5 3.b4!?
and characteristically, completely forgot about it! This was the move I recalled Hanon employing in round 1 to achieve an advantage. I had completely forgotten my mental note! Now what do I do?!

3...Bg4 4.Ne5 Bh5 5.Bg2 e6 6.a3 Bd6 7.Bb2 Nbd7 8.Nxd7 Qxd7 9.c4 c6 10.0-0!?
I was grateful for this move as it allowed me to grab the c-pawn. Although White has positional compensation, this was the first moment that I felt that black could fight for a win.

10...dxc4 11.d3!?
Hanon did not take long on this interesting sacrifice, mobilizing his queen and opening the d-file for active operations.

11...cxd3 12.Qxd3 Bg6 13.e4 Be5!
I was proud of this concept (formed when playing my previous move) as trades are now forced; either I will trade White's very strong dark-squared bishop raking, as it was, through the center, or I will get a trade of queens, accelerating an endgame in which my extra pawn could be decisive. Hanon chooses to keep his bishop, for the time being.

14.Qxd7+ Nxd7 15.Nc3
[15.Bxe5 Nxe5 16.f4 Nc4 ]

targeting the soft point c4 and causing trouble to White's queenside configuration. My pieces are beginning to coordinate nicely, and my dark-square bishop is now not weaker than White's minors.

A difficult choice to make, but Black's threatened coordination was quite serious. [16.Rac1? Nc4 17.Ba1 Nxa3 ; 16.a4?? Nc4 17.Rab1 Nxb2 18.Rxb2 Bxc3 etc.]

16...Bxb2 17.Nxb2 Rd8 18.Rfd1 Ke7 19.Nd3!
Hanon locates Black's weakest point - the b7 pawn, and immediately begins counterplay against it. FCC camp participants will remember my frequent exhortations regarding "the middle pawn"

19...Nc4! 20.a4 Rd6!
Before this move I spent 10 or so of my remaining minutes calculating a lengthy combination. Fortunately for me, the entire combination transpired on the board!

21.Nc5 b6 22.Rxd6 Nxd6 23.e5 Nc4 24.Nb3 Nxe5 25.f4 Nd3
The end of the combination I foresaw, and the move that preserves my now 2 pawn advantage.

26.Bxc6 Nxb4 27.Bf3 Nc2 28.Rc1 Rd8 29.Kf2 Rd3!
A nice blow, highlighting the precariousness of the Nb3 and White's suboptimal piece coordination.

[30.Rxc2 Rxf3+! 31.Kxf3 Bxc2 winning.]

30...Rd2+ 31.Kg1 Nd4
Black's pieces coordinate nicely.

32.Bd1 Be4 33.Nb3 Rxd1+ 34.Rxd1 Nxb3 35.Kf2 Bc6
The White pawn cannot be defended. 0-1