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zdrak 341 ( +1 | -1 )
OTB game #4 As you remember, our team was doing quite well in the first rounds of the regional league. This time we were to play the best team of the league. In fact, these guys are rated so high that they could easily be mistaken for a national-level team. What are they doing in the regionals, you ask ? Well, most of their high-rated players don't like to show up to games! So they are usually playing with low-rated subs. BUT!! In this game against us, ALL their top players decided to show up! They were outranking us on every board by 300-500 points. David vs Goliath. Was there a happy end? Read and see!

White: Yours Truly (1961)
Black: E. Porper (2456)
1. e4 c5
2. Nf3 Nc6
3. d4 cxd4
4. Nxd4 Qc7
5. g3?

I intended to play the 5.Nc3 Nf6 6.g3 variation, but screwed up the move order! The IM is quick to punish me.

5... Qe5!
6. Nb5

Probably the lesser evil. For the pawn, white will get something that at least resembles compensation.

6... Qxe4+
7. Qe2 Qxe2+

7...Qxh1 would be too risky due to 8.Nd6+. But now I'm simply a pawn down. Oh god, this is embarassing - to lose so soon!?

8. Bxe2 Kd8?

The IM is also a human! 8...Rb8 was much better - no need to forfeit castling rights voluntarily.

9. N1c3 Nf6
10. Be3 d6
11. h3

To stop Bg4 and Ng4.

11... g6
12. O-O-O Bg7
13. Bf3 Bd7!?

It was better to put this bishop on e6, then play Nd7, and slowly start repelling the white pieces.
Time: White 1:10 Black 0:45

14. g4 h6
15. Rhe1 Kc8
16. a4 a6
17. Na3 Be6
18. Bg2 Kc7
19. f4 Nd7
20. Nd5+ Bxd5
21. Bxd5 e6

In spite of white's best efforts, black is slowly stabilizing his position, and is ready to take the initiative.

22. Bb3 Rhe8
23. c3 b6
24. Nc2 Nc5
25. Bxc5 bxc5

Different-colored bishops are usually a good sign for the player who's fighting for a draw, but in this case black's central pawns are just too strong. The positions of all my teammates, by the way, also suck.

26. Ne3 d5
27. f5!?

A desperate attempt to confuse the opponent. Time: White 1:36 Black 1:15

27... gxf5
28. gxf5 Rab8!?

Somewhat careless, and allows white to rattle his saber a bit. Why not 28...d4 ?

29. f6! Bh8

After 29...Bxf6 30.Bxd5 or 29...Rxb3 30.fxg7 white has a fighting chance.

30. Kc2 c4
31. Ba2 Ne5
32. b3

Maybe white should have sacrifices an exchange: 32.b4 Nxd3 33.Rxd3 cxd3+ 34.Kxd4 with technical difficulties for black. One of my teammates resigned. At least I'm not the first one to lose.

32... Nd3
33. Rf1 cxb3+
34. Kxd3 bxa2
35. Rd2 Rb1
36. Rxa2 Rxf1
37. Nxf1

White is still a pawn down, but doesn't he have counterchances due to the containment of Bh8 ?

37...Rg8!

Nope, not really. Black will release the bishop and pick f6 as well.
Time: White 1:57 Black: 1:32

38. Rb2 Rg6
39. a5 Rxf6
40. Ne3 Rf3
41. Rb6 Bxc3
42. Kxc3 Rxe3+
43. Kd4 Rxh3
44. Rxa6 Kb7

Well, black is already three pawns up. Is it the end ? Not quite!

45. Rb6+ Ka7
46. Rd6 Rb3
47. a6 Rb6
48. Rd7+ Kxa6
49. Rxf7 Kb5?

Why allow white to block the central pawns? 49...Rb4+ followed by 50...Re4 leads to an easy win. All my teammates lost their games already, and I'm the team's last hope for an honorary half-point.

50. Ke5 Kc5
51. Rc7+ Rc6
52. Rh7

Suddenly white has some drawing chances!

52... d4 ????

Four question marks do not do injustice to this move. Now the position is drawn!

53. Rd7! Ra6
54. Rxd4 Ra1
55. Rh4?

With my flag hanging on a thread, I didn't find 55.Re4! with a certain draw. The text move still doesn't relinquish the draw, but makes it a bit harder to attain. Ok, a LOT harder.

55... Re1+
56. Kf4 Rf1+
57. Ke5 Re1+

He's repeating moves! The renown International Master realised he cannot win on the board, so all his left for him is to run me out of time!

58. Kf4 Kd4
59. Rxh6 Rf1+
60. Kg3 e5
61. Rd6+ Ke3
62. Ra6!

Checking from the a-file is the way to go. At this time I had mere seconds left on my clock and he had 15 minutes.

62... Rd1
63. Ra3+ Rd3
64. Ra1 e4
65. Kg2 Ke2
66. Ra2+ Rd2
67. Ra3 e3
68. Ra1 Rd1
69. Ra2+ Rd2
70. Ra1 Rb2
71. Rc1 Kd2
72. Ra1

The position is of course a theoretical draw (72...e2 73.Kf2). Unfortunately, at this point my flag refused to cooperate with my efforts to save the game....

0-1 (time)

No happy end this time...
amleto 11 ( +1 | -1 )
are there not... rules that state you can claim a drawn position if your opponent is just playing for time?