(1) W,Bill - Patrick,Melvin [C46]
Norwalk Senior Match Norwalk, 02.08.2010



1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Bc5 4.Nxe5!
Who said older folks are less alert tactically?!

4...Nxe5
Maybe black could consider Bxf2+. Since black will be losing his piece back any way, it might make sense to displace the king. On the other hand, it will be more difficult to attack that king without the bishop!

5.d4 Bb4?!
I'm not sure the pin on the c3 knight justifies the loss of a pawn. Perhaps black could have played... [5...Bd6 6.dxe5 Bxe5 recovering his pawn.]

6.dxe5 Ne7 7.e6?!
Having won the pawn by clever means, I think White should have tried to keep it!

7...dxe6
An interesting decision, fastforwarding to an endgame.

8.Qxd8+ Kxd8 9.e5!?
An interesting move. White grabs space but concedes the d5 square to black's knight.

9...Nd5 10.Bd2 Nxc3!?
Perhaps Bxc3, keeping the well posted knight, was to be considered.

11.bxc3 Bc5 12.Bg5+ Ke8 13.Rd1
with the threat of checkmate!

13...Bd7 14.Bd3 h6 15.Bh4 Be7 16.Bxe7 Kxe7
now black's king is well-placed and it is easy for him to complete his development.

17.0-0!?
There is a truism that in the endgame the king belongs in the center. The dispute usually concerns what constitutes the "endgame". There are some humorous Grandmaster examples where the GM mistimes the endgame, rushing his king into the center and succumbing to a brutal mating attack. White decides here that the time for his king is still to come.

17...Bc6
a nicely placed bishop. Maybe white could have prevented this maneuver with Be4.

18.c4
"bad bishops protect good pawns". Well, not sure how good this pawn is, being doubled, and not sure it needed protecting at the cost of limiting the bishop's scope. Maybe playing to double rooks on the d-file would have been more fruitful, or rushing the f-pawn forward - the "develop by staying in place" strategy.

18...Rad8 19.c5
The bishop's scope is improved at the cost of making the pawn more vulnerable.

19...Rd5
a timely double attack tactic. black shows a keen eye.

20.Rfe1 Rhd8 21.Be2 Rxe5
and cashes in.

22.Rxd8 Kxd8 23.Rd1+ Rd5
it is often said that you need 2 advantages to win an endgame - principle of two weaknesses. Here black is up a pawn and White has a compromised pawn structure. Is it enough? Time will tell.

24.Rxd5+ Bxd5 25.a3 Kd7
did I mention the King in the center is useful in endgames?

26.Bb5+ c6!?
blocking the king's path forward. Maybe Bc6, staking claim to the mini-diagonal a4-c6, followed by Ba4 (in the event White does not trade), would clear the path for the King.

27.Be2 b6
White will trade his doubled pawn rather than lose it to the King's march. Kudos to White! Nevertheless, White maintains a compromised pawn structure and his king is still farther from the action than its counterpart.

28.cxb6 axb6 29.c3 Kd6 30.c4 Be4 31.f3!
an excellent move, speeding along the development of White's king.

31...Bg6 32.Kf2
on the right path but...

32...Kc5
still a step behind

33.a4
oh no! opening the gate for a decisive penetration. How was black to make progress on Ke3?! [33.Ke3 shutting black's king off on both paths]

33...Kb4 34.a5 bxa5 35.Ke1 a4 36.Kd1 Kb3 37.Kc1 a3
and White graciously resigned. 0-1