(4) Moldovan,John (1811) - Renna,Joe (1304) [A02]
5th Checkmate Championship Springfield, NJ (1.4), 18.01.2009
[Moldovan & Rybka 2.3]

G/40 + :05 delay A02 Bird's Opening

[With at least 3 Whites in the next 4 weeks (between this event & the KCCC), I probably should've opted for 1.e4 & kept my flexible Van't Kruys in reserve. ]

1...e6 2.f4 Nf6 3.Nf3 Bc5!?
[This seems very artificial & will almost certainly saddle my foe with a bad B. >=3...d5 4.b3 Be7 5.Bb2 0-0 6.Be2 b6 7.0-0 Bb7= Moldovan - Sherry : G/5+5, Springfield 04/16/2006; or, if Black doesn't want to sac the e5 square, 3...b6 4.b3 Bb7 5.Bb2 Be7 as in (with transposition) Mangion - Moldovan : Kenilworth Summer Tournament 08/28/2008]

4.b3 d6N
[We're already on fresh ground. There have been 3 games with 4...Nc6 ; 1 with 4...b6 ; & 1 with 4...0-0 ]

With the cheap threat of 6.d4 Bb4+ 7.c3 Ba5 8.b4 Bb6 9.a5 +-, trapping the oddly-developed cleric.

A simple way to nullify the elementary plot.

6.Bb2 Bd7!
By going to the long diagonal, the good B will at least partially compensate for his scope-less sidekick.

[7.d4 Bb6 8.Nbd2 /\Bc6 9.Bd3 0-0 (9...Na6 10.c3!+/= ) 10.0-0 Nbd7 11.Qe2 is more harmonious yet only a marginal improvement.]

7...Bc6 8.0-0 Nbd7

[White will soon regret not having P-control of d5. >=9.c4 0-0 10.Nc3 e5 11.fxe5 Nxe5 12.Qc2 /\ Nd5.]

9...0-0 10.d4 Bb6 11.Qd3
[This isn't a particularly good spot for the dame but the more natural 11.Bd3 (+ Qe2); or 11.Qe1 are little or no better.]

11...Qe7 12.Kh1
[12.Ba3 Nd5 13.Nxd5 exd5 14.Ne5! (found by Rybka) 14...Nxe5 15.fxe5 was preferable.]

...Nd5 would've halted my e-pawn & maintained the balance.

[This is superfluous preparation. >=13.e4 & a slight edge.]

Again, ...Nd5 = was indicated.

This is even better than it was at move 12 since there won't be any pressure against f4.

[>=14...Nb8 15.e4 Na6 16.d5 Bd7+/= ]

[15.Ne5! Nxe5 16.fxe5 would've given White a clear plus.]

15...exd5 16.Nxd5 Qe4?

[>=16...Qf7= ]

[17.Qxe4 fxe4 18.Bc4!+/- /\exf3?? 19.Ne7+ Kh8[] 20.Ng6# was missed by both sides.]

17...Nxb6 18.Qc3 Kh8?
[>=18...Nf6= ]

19.Bd3 Qe6?
[>=19...Qe7+/= avoiding another N for B swap & covering g7 ahead of Bb2.]

20.Bb2 Nf6 21.e4?
[This simply drops a P. 21.Nd4 , as pointed-out by NM Mark Kernighan, would've won one.]

[Black should have played 21...fxe4 (Kernighan) & forced White to prove he has compensation.]

22.exf5 Nbd5 23.Qd4?
[This keeps the Q active but >=23.Qd2+/- /\ Nd4-e6]

[23...Qh5+/- , preventing the following, was correct.]

[>=24.Ne5! dxe5[] 25.fxe5+- /\ Nf moves 26.e6, regaining the piece.]

24...c5 25.Qg1 Kg8
[Lining-up opposite the White Q & on the c4-g8 diagonal is asking for trouble. The Ng6 fork was best avoided by >=25...Rfe8 ; or 25...Kh7 ]

[This thoughtless move throws away most of Whte's advantage. 26.Bc4 Bc6 27.Qf2+- was right.]

[26...Nb4+/= was right. The text threatens to win with 27...Nxf4+ but is foiled by...]


[This loses. 27...Bxb5 28.axb5 Rae8 29.g5 hxg5 30.fxg5 Nh5[] 31.c4 Ndf4[]+/- was a better try.]

28.Bxc6 Nxf1
[28...Nxc2 29.Re6 bxc6 30.Bxf6 ]

29.Bg2 Nxh2
[In time-trouble and realizing that 29...Nd2 30.g5! hxg5 31.fxg5 would be worse ( 31...Nfe4 32.Rxe4 Nxe4 33.Bxe4 /\d5 34.Qd1!! dxe4 35.g6 ), Renna makes lemonade.]

[30.Kxh2 Nxg4+ (or 30...Rfe8 31.Kg3! ) 31.Kh3 Nf6 32.Bxf6 Qxf6 33.Bxb7 was stronger.]

[30...Rfe8 31.Rg1 Nxg4 32.Qg3 Nf6 would've offered more resistance.]

31.Qg3 Qh5?
[This drops heavy material & makes the mop-up easy. 31...h5 was necessary.]

32.Bd5+ Kh7
[>=32...Rf7 33.Rg1 g5!? /\34.fxg6?? (34.Qxg4+- , forcing the Qs off & emerging 2 pieces to the good, settles the matter.) 34...Qxd5+ swindling a half-point.]

[>=33.Re7 was even more decisive.]

Now this attempt fails because the e.p. capture comes with check.

34.fxg6+ Qxg6 35.Nxg6
& Black time-forfeited. With Joe recovered from his cold & me feeling more relaxed, this was a much better game than Thursday's KCCC opener; my many middlegame mistakes (5) notwithstanding. Time left - Moldovan 5:59, Renna 0:00 Estimated time used - Moldovan 36:56, Renna 42:55 Avg. per move - Moldovan 1:03.31, Renna 1:15.74 Longest think by White - 4 minutes at turns 11, 18 & 27 Longest think by Black - 6 minutes for 20...Qe6? 1-0