Shakmaty Bereolos - The Official Chess Site of Peter Bereolos

3/31/08 - Land of the Sky

The week after the North Tennessee Winter Open, I played the annual Land of the Sky tournament in Asheville, NC. Attendance was way up this year, cracking the 200 mark.

On Friday night, I faced Ryan Moon with the White pieces. I got a good position out of the opening, but had a decision to make after 16... Qd7

17. Bxf6 After considerable thought, I decided to win material, but keeping a positional advantage with 17. e5 may be stronger. 17... Bxf6 18. exd5 exd5 19. Nf4 Ne6 20. Ncxd5 Nxf4 21. Nxf4 b5 22. d5 Afterwards, he suggested 22. Kh1 to avoid the check in the next note, but Black has full compensation after 22..Rac8. White's pawn majority on the kingside is not significant, the d-pawn needs constant attention, Black's queenside majority is mobile, and the Black bishop is superior to the White knight. 22... Re5 23. Kh1 My intention had been to plant the knight on e6, but this fails after 23. Ne6 Rxd5 24. Rxd5 Qxd5 25. Nc7 Qc5+ 23... Rc8 24. d6 Rc6 25. Nd5 Qxd6 26. Nxf6+ Qxf6 regaining the pawn with a completely equal position. We eventually drew after a few time pressure adventures.

In round 2, I had Black against Gary Newsom. He declined an early pawn sacrifice, but had already landed in a difficult position after 17. N2g3

17...Nxe4 17... Bxe4 was probably cleaner, when it looks like White must try for 18. Nxe4 Qg6 19. Be7 Qxe4 20. Bxf8 Rxf8 and Black is winning 18. Nxf5 18. Nxe4 completely fails to 18...Qg6 19. Be7 Bxe4 18... Rxf5 18... Nxg5 19. Rhg1 Rxf5 20. Qxf5 h6 21. h4 Qf7 is also good for Black, but a bit more unbalanced. 19. Be3 White regains the piece because of the pin, but he had no compensation for the pawn after the desperado 19... Nxf2

I had dinner before the evening round with Miles Ardaman and Klaus Pohl. When it became known that Klaus and I had the same number of points, I predicted we would play since it seems that happens whenever I eat with someone I'm not traveling with. Sure enough, the round 3 pairing was Pohl-Bereolos. I finally prevailed in a difficult struggle. A search of my database shows that this is the first double knight ending I've ever played. After 46. Ke4

White seemed close to holding despite his material deficit, but I found a winning idea with a pawn sacrifice 46...d3 47. Nxd3 47. h4 Nc5+ 48. Kd4 b6 doesn't appear to help. 47... Nxd3 48. Kxd3 Ng5 49. Nd4 Nxh3 50. Nxb5 Ke6 51. Kd4 Ng5 52. Nc7+ Kf5 53. Nb5 Kg4 54. Nc3 Kf3! It was not too late to throw everything away with the hasty 54... Kxg3?? 55. Ne4+ Kf4 56. Nxg5 Kxg5 57. Kd5 h5 58. e6 Kf6 59. Kd6 and White wins 55. Kd5 h5 56. e6 Nxe6 57. Kxe6 Kxg3 and White is helpless against the Black pawns. 58. Ke5 h4 59. Ne2+ Kf3 60. Nf4 g5 61. Ne6 g4 62. Nd4+ Kg2 63. Kf4 h3 64. Nf5 h2 65. Ng3 b5 [0:1]

Before Round 4, organizer Wilder Wadford spoke on the recent passing of Bobby Fischer. I think a lot of players, myself included, echoed his view that we have to be able to separate the genius of his game and contributions to chess in America from his political views and antics.

In Round 4, I got a rematch with GM Alexander Ivanov, who defeated me on Board 1 in the final round last year. We were on Board 2 this year, but it was a similar disappointing result as he again outplayed me in an ending. I had a very promising position after 21...Nf6

I decided to improve my worst piece with 22. Bh4 but I should have gone for the thematic 22. e5 dxe5 23. fxe5 Nh5 24. e6 Nxg3 25. Kxg3 and White has a comfortable advantage 22... Nxe4 23. Bxe4 fxe4 This surprised me, I thought he would go 23... Bxc3 24. bxc3 fxe4 25. Rxe4 Rxe4 26. Rxe4= 24. Nxe4 Bd7 25. a5 This isn't a bad move, but may not be necessary. I was nervous about his bishop pair in a line like 25. Nxd6 Rxe2 26. Rxe2 Bxa4, but this is probably still equal. Perhaps the most accurate way to equalize is 25. b3 Rf8 26. g3 Rf5 27. Nxd6 Rxd5 Ne8 and Black will have to surrender one of his bishops. 25... bxa5 26. Nf6+?! more accurate is 26. Nxd6 Rxe2 27. Rxe2 after the text, Black has a slight advantage in the ending after 26... Bxf6 27. Bxf6 Rxe2 28. Rxe2 Kf7 29. Re7+ Kxf6 30. Rxd7 Kf5 31. Rxd6 Ke4 which he eventually converted into a win.

In the final round, I had White against Rusty Potter. There was a bit of color controversy on this pairing. Originally, I had Black, but before we started, TD Alan Kantor approached us and said that he had manually changed the computer pairing, which had me as White. Then, he had consulted the rule book and had now concluded that the computer pairing was correct. This turned out to be the same pairing rule that came up in my game with John Bick in last year's Space City Open. My colors had gone WBBW, while Potter had BWBW. The way the rule reads in this situation is that you go back to the latest round where we did not have the same color (Round 2) and then give the players their alternating color. Since I had Black in Round 2, while he had White, now I got White and he got Black. He wasn't too upset about this as now he could insist that we play on his wooden set instead of my plastic one. I built up a very nice position after 26...Ra2

Black should be close to lost here, since his queenside is completely paralyzed and his king without pawn cover, but I let him off the hook with 27. Bxd7? I saw the winning 27. Qg4+ but thought he could defend with 27...Qg7 missing the simple 28. Be6+ Kh8 29. Rxc6. The computer's suggestion of 27. Rf1 Kg7 (27...Rxe2 28. Qg4+) 28. Rbe1 also looks pretty overwhelming. Black is stuck with no counterplay whatsoever. 27... Bxd7 28. Rb8+ Kf7 29. Rb7 The pin along the 7th doesn't cause Black any problems, and he found the tactical shot 29...Qxf4 30. Nxf4 Raxh2 31. Nd3?! I saw the correct equalizer right after I moved, but he quickly returned the favor. 31... Ke7?! 31... Rh1+ 32. Kf2 Rxc1 still gives Black some chances, although the bad bishop and minimal # of pawns should give White good chances to hold. 32. Rxc6 What I should have played on the previous move, now Black has nothing better than perpetual check 32... Rh1+ 33. Kg2 R1h2+ 34. Kg1 Rh1+ 35. Kg2 R1h2+ [1/2:1/2]