Shakmaty Bereolos - The Official Chess Site of Peter Bereolos

8/31/04 - Battle of Murfreesboro

I played in the 12th edition of the Battle of Murfreesboro the Saturday before last. There was once again excellent turnout despite the tournament being held in its 4th location in as many years. It sounded like this time they may have found a home for it.

In the first round, I had White against Mark Leamon. He made a mistake in the opening against the 4 Pawns Attack after 8. O-O

8...Re8?! He needed to grab a stake in the center with 8... c5 or 8... e5. The text move is reminiscent of my game with Alex Kvit in the 2001 Land of the Sky tournament. Here, it is even worse since not only are Nd7 and Re8 taking away squares from the knight, but so is Bg4. 9. e5 dxe5 10. fxe5 Nh5 11. h3 Also strong is 11. Ng5 Bxe2 12. Qxe2 f5 (to stop g4) 13. Ne6 followed by Nd5 11... Ng3 11... Bxf3 was a little better when there are some complications such as 12. Bxf3 Ng3 13. Bxb7 (13. Rf2!?) 13... Nxf1 (13... Rb8 14. Rf2!? Nxe5!? (14... Rxb7 15. Qf3) 15. Bf4) 14. Bxa8 Qxa8 15. Qxf1 c5 12. hxg4 Nxf1 13. Qxf1 with clear advantage to White, which I went on to win.

In Round 2, I had Black against Matthew Human. We reached a typical ending from the exchange variation of the Ruy Lopez after 17... Rhe8

Black's two bishops give him compensation for his damaged pawn structure. He tried to exchange one of the bishops with 18. Bf4? but this allows a tactical sequence that nets Black a pawn. Also bad were 18. Rd2? Bxd5 19. Rxd5 Bxh2+ or 18. Rd3? Bxd5 19. exd5 c4 20. Rc3 b5. I expected 18. c4 when 18... f5 gives Black a comfortable position. 18... Bxd5 19. Bxd6 Bxe4 20. Bxc5 Rxd1+ 21. Rxd1 Bxc2 22. Rd2? now he loses a second pawn and has no hope in the ending. There might have been chances to defend with 22. Rc1 Re2 23. Bf8 (23. Bd4 c5 24. Bc3 Kb7 25. Re1 Rxe1+ 26. Bxe1 is another way to try this) 23... g6 24. Bg7 f5 25. Bc3 with the idea of playing a purely opposite colored bishops ending after an exchange of rooks on e1. That ending would be extremely similar to the famous ending Ljubojevic-Karpov, Milan 1975. Karpov won, but Dvoretsky has indicated some resources for White. I hope to post more on this ending at a later date. 22... Bb1 and Black won

In Round 3, I had White against Lee Miller. In the exchange variation of the Queens Gambit, we reached a normal position after 11....g6 although strangely enough his last move is not given in the latest edition of ECO.

12. e4 I was successful with the slower buildup via 12. Rae1 against Denis Strenzwilk in the 2000 Chicago Open, but decided to play directly in the center in this game. 12... dxe4 13. fxe4 Ne6 14. Bxf6 Better seems to be 14. Be3 Black can still grab the bishop pair with 14... Ng4 but this would be better than the game continuation where the Black bishop on f6 immediately forces White to make concessions with his pawn structure. 14... Bxf6 15. d5 not a move I particularly wanted to make after trading my dark squared bishop, but 15. e5 is refuted by 15... Nxd4 15... Nd4 16. Nxd4 Bxd4+ 17. Kh1 Bxc3? This is a really bad move, giving up the main trump in the Black position. He would have a comfortable game with 17... Be5 or 17... Qh4 18. Qxc3 cxd5 19. exd5 Bd7 perhaps he only now realized that 19... Qxd5 is met by 20. Bc4 20. Qd4 with a clear advantage to White. He has more space a passed d-pawn and the dark squares around the Black king are weak and I managed to convert it without much difficulty.

In round 4, I had Black against Brian Smith. We played a very maneuvering game with only one set of pawns exchanged after 21. Qd1

He was already starting to get a bit short of time at this point. 21...Qd7 better was 21... Bh6 22. Ng5 22. Bxh3 Qxh3 23. Ng5 Qd7 would gain a tempo over the game 22... Bxg2 23. Kxg2 Bh6 24. gxf4 Bxg5!? playing on my opponent's time pressure I prepare an exchange sacrifice instead of the more solid 24... Ne7 with approximate equality 25. fxg5 Ne6 26. f4 Because of the time situation he elected not to go for 26. Nf6+ Rxf6 27. gxf6 Nf4+ 28. Kh1 when White is objectively better, but his position is tricky to play with little time. 26... Nxf4+ 27. Rxf4 Rxf4 28. Nxf4 exf4 29. Bf6 Ne5 30. Rb3? necessary was 30. h3 to control the g4 square 30... f3+ 31. Kh1 Qg4 32. Qf1 Rf8?! this was based on a good idea (to eliminate Bf6), but the execution was wrong. Better was 32... Qf4 preparing Ng4 as well as threatening to push f2 33. Rb7 Nd7? Black could still crash through with 33... Rxf6 34. gxf6 Nxd3 instead White gets one final chance. 34. Qf2? 34. h3 Qe6 35. Qxf3 Nxf6 36. gxf6 Rxf6 would give White a tenable position, but given the time situation, it would still be difficult to defend. 34... Nxf6 35. gxf6 Rxf6 and Black soon won

The final round came down to a battle between myself and Todd Andrews. I had a half point lead as he was nicked for a draw by Wally Jordan in the previous round, but decided to still play aggressively with the White pieces. 1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nc3 e6 4. e4 dxe4 5. Nxe4 Bb4+ 6. Bd2 Qxd4 7. Bxb4 Qxe4+ 8. Be2 Nh6 this seems to be a novelty, but I doubt it will catch on. I see very little upside to this move over 8...Ne7 9. Qd2 9. Qd6 Nf5 is the point, but the knight also reaches f5 from e7 and can end up out of play on h6. 9... Nd7 10. O-O-O a5 11. Ba3 Qe5 12. f4 I had a wide range of choices here. I addition to the text, I also considered 12. Nf3 followed by 13. Rhe1 as well as 12. Bd6 Qf6 13. g4 12... Qc7 13. Bd6 Qb6 14. g4 f6 Probably the critical position. I tried to blow him off the board with 15. f5 Completing development with 15. Nf3 was probably better 15... e5 16. g5 Nxf5 17. gxf6? There was still equality after 17. Bg4 Nxd6 18. Qxd6 Qe3+ 19. Rd2 Qe1+ with perpetual check 17... Nxf6 I missed this obvious recapture in my calculations. I was too engrossed in calculating variations like 17... Qe3 18. Qxe3 Nxe3 19. fxg7 Rg8 20. Bh5+ Kd8 21. Rd3 Nf5 (21... Nxc4 22. Bf7) 22. Bxe5 I was pretty disgusted with myself here. I burned up a huge amount of time realizing that things had turned the wrong way. I finally played 18. Bc5 which at least keeps the game unbalanced. Instead 18. Bxe5 O-O just leaves White a pawn down without compensation. 18... Qxc5 19. Qd8+ Kf7 20. Qxh8 Qe3+ 21. Kb1? The first of many blunders by both players. 21. Rd2 Ne4 (21... b6 22. Qd8 Ne4) 22. Bh5+ is better for Black, but the text should loose in simple fashion. 21... Nd4 simplest was 21... Qe4+ 22. Bd3 Qxh1 when my idea to take advantage of the pin on Bc8 with 23. Bxf5 is refuted by the fact that 23... Bxf5+ is check 22. Bd3 e4?! Here I expected the devastating 22... Bg4 23. Qxa8 Bxd1 23. Be2! Ne6 White is back to life after 23... Nxe2 24. Nxe2 Qxe2 25. Rhg1; Black does better with the in between move 23... b6 threatening Bb7 capturing on e2 only after 24. Qd8 Nxe2 25. Nxe2 Qxe2 with slight advantage to Black. 24. Rf1 Nf8? still trying to trap the queen, but now Black's king gets in some trouble. He needed to come back forward with 24... Nf4 blocking the f-file 25. Bh5+ Ke6 25... Ng6 26. Ne2 is also good for White 26. Ne2 Bd7 26... Nxh5 27. Qxf8 (27. Ng3!?) 27... Qxe2 28. Rf7 gives White a tremendous initiative. 27. Qxg7 Nxh5 28. Qf7+ Kd6 29. Qxh5?! For the first, but not the last time this game, I fail to throw in the check 29. Rd1+ +- 29... Qd3+ 30. Ka1 Qxc4 31. Nc3 a4 32. Qh6+ 32. Rd1+ 32... Ne6 33. Qxh7 33. Rd1+ 33... Nc5

34. Rf7?? Finally "preparing" Rd1, but walking straight into mate. As Todd pointed out afterwords, 34. Nxe4+ wins the house and the broken record 34. Rd1+ was a decent alternative. 34... Nb3+ I saw this, but hallucinated that I was covering d3, which I would have been if I had thrown in Rd1 at some point! 35. axb3 axb3+ [0:1]