Lev Feldman (2054) – Mike Splane
Kolty Chess Club January 28, 2010
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. d5 d6 4. Nc3 g6 5. e4 Bg7 6. Nf3 0-0 7. Be2 e6 8. 0-0 ed 9. cd Re8
Lev and I played this same opening line a year ago. In that game I forgot the correct move order and played 9. … Na6. The idea behind the rook move is to force White to either misplace his queen or block the development of his queen bishop.
10. Nd2 Na6 11. f3 Nc7
White is going to post the d2 knight on c4 and bring his bishop to f4. To counter this plan Black needs to challenge the knight on c4. He can do it with …Nc7, …b6 and …Ba6, or with …Nd7 and …Ne5. I was intending the latter plan. Nc7 doesn’t waste a tempo, because White has to play a4 to stop …b5. After the game I did some research on the opening and learned that Fischer and Tal both left the knight on a6 when playing this opening. I think that is a more precise move order than what I played.
12. a4 Nd7 13. Nc4 Ne5 14. Be3 ?!
This move took me by surprise. The main line is 14. Ne3 f5 15. f4 Nf7 16. ef . Now I am on my own and I immediately made a blunder. The bishop is not optimally posted here, so Lev said next time he would play …Bf4 instead
14. … f5?
Unnecessarily weakens the c4-g8 diagonal. This is the standard move after 14. Ne3. What I didn’t understand is that the f-pawn threatens to go to f4 after 14. Ne3 so White has to reply f4. With the bishop on e3, f4 is not a threat, so White doesn’t have to weaken his center by pushing the f-pawn. In my research after the game I learned that Black should play 14. … Nc4 followed by the … Nc7, …a6, …b5 plan.
15. Ne5 and 15. ef are mistakes that help Black by weakening the d5 pawn and giving Black a nice square for his bishop.
15. … b6 16. Bf4 Nc4 17. Bc4 a6?
Black can’t win a pawn with 17. … Bc3 18. Qc3 fe 19. fe Re4 because of 20 Bh6, threatening Qg7 and Rf8.
I thought I could play the …b5 pawn break before he could get e4-e5 in, but I was wrong, so this is the losing move. I had to play 17 … Ba6 here to get rid of his bishop.
18. Rae1 Bd4+ 19. Kh1 Qf6
I thought I was better here, White can not stop …b5, so I thought White would try to force a draw with 20. Bg5 Qg7 21. Bh6 Qf6 22. Bg5.
Now I saw that I was busted, but it is too late to recover. After White doubles rooks I can’t stop e4-e5 and my game collapses.
20. … Rb8 21. Rfe1 b5 22. e5 de
White also crashes through after 22. … Be5 23. Be5 Re5 24. f4 Re8 25. e5
23. d6+ Ne6
I saw that 23. … bc 24. dc Rb7 25. Be5 Re5 26. Re5 Be5 27. Qd5+ is hopeless. White can pickup the weak queenside pawns or maybe even win a piece, so I interposed the knight, hoping that some saving move would turn up.
24. Be5 Be5 25. Re5 Bd7?
25. … bc 26 d7 Bd7 27. Qd7 Rbd8 looked good at first, but then I realized that I wouldn’t have a saving check on d1, but I had to try this.
26. ab ab
After I moved the bishop to d7 I saw that 26 Nd5 Q moves 27. Ne7+ wins a piece. Since he missed it the first time I gambled that he would miss it again.
27. Nb5 Bb5
Playing for one last trap.
28. Re6 Re6 29. Re6 Qf7 30. Rg6+ hg 31. Bf7+ Kf7 32. Qd5+ Kf6 33. Qc5 Bd7
One of the spectators pointed out the “crushing” 34. Qc7 which looks like it is winning a piece. That was what I was hoping for because 34. … Rc8, with a back row mate threat, wins the queen.
This eliminates any counter play so I resigned. A very well played game by Lev.