Shakmaty Bereolos - The Official Chess Site of Peter Bereolos

5/31/08 - Nashville Open

A couple of weeks after Land of the Sky, Cajun Chess organized their first tournament in Nashville. I really enjoyed this tournament despite not having a great result. One thing in particular that I liked was that there was plenty of spacing between the rounds. Even though the time control was G/2, the organizers provided 5.5-6 hours between rounds, which allowed everyone to get decent meals and rest instead of potentially 8-12 hours of constant playing.

I elected to play the Friday night round and got White against Varadaraj Srikar I thought I had a nice edge with my space advantage after 22...Rad8

I had a decision on how to step up pressure on f7. I chose 23. Qb3 hitting b7 and allowing the queen to swing to the kingside along the third rank. The other possibility was 23. Qc4, which would prevent his next move. 23... Nxd4!? I didn't think this was possible at all. 24. Nxd4 Rxd4 25. Rxf7 Qe6 26. Qg3 After 30 minutes of thought the best I could come up with was to try the double rook ending. When playing Qb3 I had counted on the variation 26. Rf8+ Kh7 27. Qg8+!!? Kg6 28. Rxe8 which of course is not possible. The engine likes 26. Qxb7 Qxf7 27. Rxf7 Kxf7 28. Qxc7+ Re7 29. Qb6 which was difficult to assess over the board. On general principles I didn't like giving up two rooks for the queen, but here Black's king is a bit exposed and White may pick up the a6 pawn or retain his passed e-pawn. 26... Qe5 27. Qxe5 27. Qg6 Rxe4 didn't seem to lead to anything. 27. Rxc7 Qxg3 28. hxg3 Rexe4 29. Rxb7 is another possibility, but Black should still hold with accurate play. 27... Rxe5 28. Rxc7 Rdxe4?! 28... Rexe4 29. Rff7 Rg4 30. h3 Rg5 31. Rxb7 Rd2 32. Rf2 transposes into the game, but Black should just ignore the e-pawn for the time being. 28... Rd2 29. Rff7 Rg5 30. g3 Rxb2 31. Rxb7 Ra2 is equal. 29. Rxb7 Re2 30. h3 Rg5 31. Rf2 Re1+ 32. Kh2 and I ground out the win with the extra pawn.

The next morning I was really surprised at my pairing, White on Board 1 versus Todd Andrews. It seemed way too early in the tournament for us to be playing, but an extraordinary number of players had taken half-point byes for round 2. I got a slight initiative out of the opening, but he played accurately to neutralize it and we reached an approximately equal position after 18...fxg6

from which I completely self-destructed. 19. Ne6? A couple of weeks later, I talked with Todd on ICC and he suggested 19. Nf7 as equal. I think 19. Ne4 is a simpler way of implementing that idea. 20. Bd4? Re8 21. Nxg7? on either of the last two moves, I could have retreated the knight surrendering the h-pawn with a lost position, but I was too disgusted with Ne6 to try and grovel. 21...Rxe1 22. Kxe1 Ng8 and I resigned shortly as he collected the trapped knight.

In the evening round, I had a complicated fight with Black versus James McLaughlin. After 29...N6h5

He thought for a while, but couldn't find a defense to Nxg2 and resigned [0:1]. I didn't see a defense at the time, but of course the engine suggests the slippery 30. Ra1 making a flight square at e1 Now, 30... Nxg2 31. Kxg2 Nf4+ 32. Kf1 and it isn't clear how Black pursues the attack (although how White can consolidate his extra piece isn't clear either. Instead, 30... Ne2+ 31. Bxe2 Rxe2 maintains pressure.

The next morning I got another tough pairing, Black against Miles Ardaman. We reached a very unusual looking position after 24. Ng4

24...Qe7 Black could try to take advantage of the odd configuration of White pieces on the queenside with 24... Nd4!? 25. exd4 exd4 26. Kf1 Qe7 27. Qd1 Qxg5 with two pawns and pressure for the piece. Instead, the game ended in a nervous repetition after 25. Kd2 Bc8 26. Bf3 Bb7 27. Be2 Bc8 28. Bf3 Bb7 29. Be2 [1/2:1/2]

Miles withdrew after that round, which ended up giving me another tough opponent in the last round, Carl Boor. I got a great position out of the opening, which forced him to try to complicate by giving up two pieces for a rook. I totally butchered the ending, but still had chances late after 47...b5

48. Bxb5? Instead, 48. Kg4 b4 49. Kh5 maintaining a pawn would still give White some winning chances. 48... Rxh7 49. Bc4 Ke7 50. Kg4 Trying to draw immediately with 50. Ng5 runs into 50...Rxh6! (50...fxg5 51. Kxg5 is a draw) 51. Nxe6 Rh4+ winning 50...Rxh6 51. Nd4 Rg6+ 52. Kf3 e5 53. Nf5+ blockading the pawns. While he thought this ending should be winning for Black, he didn't manage to come up with a plan and I was able to sacrifice a piece for 2 pawns as soon as they advanced. I didn't find any practical examples of this type of position. I found several with the right material, but none with the pawns blockaded. Check out game 13 of the Zukertort-Steinitz world championship match for an example of the winning method without the pawns blockaded.