Shakmaty Bereolos - The Official Chess Site of Peter Bereolos

White: GM Carlos Hevia
Black: FM Peter Bereolos
2018 US Masters
Round 1, Board 25

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.g3 0-0 5.Bg2 d6 6.d4 Nbd7 7.0-0 e5 8.e4 exd4 9.Nxd4 Re8 10.h3 a6 11.a4 This has been played, but usually White waits for Black to commit his rook to b8. 11...c6 11...Nc5 12.Re1 a5 13.Ndb5 interferes with Black's development, but can still be played 12.a5 Ne5 13.Qb3 c5 14.Nc2 Be6 15.Nd5 Nfd7 16.Bd2 Rb8 17.Nce3 Bxh3

Black wins a pawn, but the h-pawn isn't that big of a loss as I knew from a game I played a few years earlier against Alexander Ivanov. Here, thanks to the light square control, White has full compensation. 18.Bc3 of course not 18.Bxh3? Nf3+ 19.Kg2 Nxd2 18...Bxg2 18...Be6 to fight against the light square grip also deserves consideration. 19.Kxg2 Nc6 20.f3 Nd4 Black could also consider exchanging 20...Bxc3 since controlling d4 by 21.bxc3 costs another pawn after 21...Nxa5 21.Qd1 Ne5 22.b3 Nec6 23.Ra2 f5 probably a bit too impatient, creating some weaknesses around the king. I was clearly struggling to find a plan here. I spent 8 minutes on f5 taking me down to 16 minutes plus 30 seconds per move to get to move 40. I also considered just gaining space with 23...h5 but after 24.Rh1 it still isn't clear how Black should proceed. 24.exf5 Nxf5 24...gxf5 deserved more consideration. Black's Nd4 and Bg7 are serving more useful purposes than their counterparts on e3 and c3. 25.Nxf5 gxf5 26.Bxg7 Kxg7 27.Rh1 Re6 28.Rh5 Nd4 29.Rd2 Qe8 30.Nf4? defending Rh5 and covering e2, but Black had another threat. 30.Rxd4 Re2+ 31.Kf1 Qxh5 is also insufficient for White. He probably had to be content with approximate equality after 30.Rg5+ Rg6 31.Rxg6+ hxg6

30...Re1 31.Rxd4 Rxd1 32.Rxd1 Even here with a queen and pawn versus only a rook and knight, it is not clear that Black is winning. Nf4 can't be dislodged and Black has weak pawns on h7, f5, and d6, plus a loose king. 32...Qe5 33.Kh3 It was probably better to pick up the f-pawn without an exchange of rooks by 33.Rd5 Qb2+ 34.Kh3 Qxb3 35.Rdxf5 33...Rf8 34.Rd5 Qe1 35.Rdxf5 Rxf5 36.Rxf5 Qxa5 37.Nh5+ 37.Ne6+ Kg6 38.g4 Qe1 39.Nf4+ Kg7 40.Nh5+ Kg8 37...Kg6 It might be better to immediately run with 37...Kg8 38.Nf6+ Kf7 38.Rf6+?? Black still has some technical difficulties to solve after 38.g4 h6 (38...Qc3 doesn't seem to do the trick 39.Nf4+ Kg7 40.Ne6+ Kg6 (40...Kh6? 41.g5+ Kg6 42.Rf6+) 41.Nf4+) 39.Rf6+ Kh7 40.Rxd6 although 40...Qc3 should eventually bring home the point 38...Kxh5 39.f4 Qc3 0-1