(1) Moldovan,John (1800) - Zhurbinskiy,Ilya (1711) [A35]
Westfield Quads #92 Westfield (1), 04.01.2009
[Moldovan & Rybka 2.3]

G/40 + :05 delay A35 English Opening Symmetrical Defense 4 Knights Variation

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.Nc3 Nc6 4.e3
A quiet favorite with which I have lost just 3x in 16 tries (now 10-3-3).

4...g6
[For 4...d5 see my 2005 STCWC win vs. KillerQueen.; For 4...d6 ; & 4...e6 see my respective losses to Chieu (Springfield Swiss #2, 2003) & Kernighan (2008 KCCC). On 2nd thought, don't look at the latter; I lost in 18 moves!!]

5.a3!?
[The idea behind this waiting move is 5...d5 6.cxd5 Nxd5 & a better development for the Bf1; which could go to c4 or b5. I've also played 5.Be2 (2x); & 5.d4 here.]

5...Bg7 6.d4
[RR6.Be2 0-0 7.0-0 d6 8.h3 a6 9.d4 cxd4 10.exd4= Rb8?! 11.Bf4 Nd7 12.Qd2 e5 13.dxe5 dxe5 14.Bh2 Nc5 Moldovan - Andrzuu : G/11+6, Playchess 01/07/2008 15.Qe3+/= ]

6...cxd4 7.exd4
Diagram



7...0-0N
[>=7...d5 B13 Caro-Kann/D94 Gruenfeld 8.Be2 (8.cxd5 Nxd5 9.Bc4 Nb6 10.Bb5 0-0 11.Bxc6 bxc6 Hense - Fronczek : Weilburg 1998 12.0-0 Bg4 13.Bg5 h6 14.Be3 Nd5=/+ ) /\8...dxc4 9.Bxc4 Bg4 10.d5 Ne5 (10...Bxf3 11.Qxf3 Ne5 12.Bb5+ Nfd7 13.Qe2 ) 11.Be2= Now White gains space & an edge.]

8.d5 Nb8 9.Be2 d6 10.0-0
[10.h3 , preventing the following, was good too but we'll let Black yield the B pair, if he so desires.]

10...Bg4 11.Be3 Nbd7
I expect my foe to play against c4.

12.Rc1
[This takes the R out of the Bg7's range & defends c3 in case I want or need to play b3. But >=12.h3 Bxf3 13.Bxf3+/= ]

12...a6
[This safeguards his a-pawn ahead of ...Rc8 (& also prepares ...Qc7) but weakens the b6 square and was apparently unnecessary as 12...Rc8! /\13.Bxa7 Bxf3 14.Bxf3 b6 15.Nb5 Ne8 would've given compensation for the sacked chip.]

13.h3 Bxf3 14.Bxf3 Ne5 15.Be2 Rc8 16.Qb3 Qc7 17.Bb6 Qb8
Diagram



18.Na4
[This gives Black the e4 square & is no more than 2nd-best. I was worried about weakening g3 with 18.f4! but after 18...Ned7 (18...Bh6?? 19.fxe5 Bxc1 20.exf6+- ) 19.Bf2!+/= would've taken care of the problem.]

18...Ned7 19.Be3 Ne4 20.Nb6 Nxb6 21.Qxb6
[21.Bxb6? loses an Exchange to 21...Nd2 ]

21...Qc7 22.Qxc7 Rxc7 23.Bb6 Rcc8 24.Rc2 e6
[>=24...f5= ]

25.dxe6 fxe6 26.Bg4 Rfe8
Exactly was I was looking for. Now let's go back to the long diagonal & see how Black responds.

27.Bf3
Diagram



27...Ng5?
[This lets me steal the b7 P. 27...Nf6+/= over-protecting the Re8 & tactically defending the endangered b7 against 28.Bxb7? (28... 28...Rb8 29.Bc6 Rxb6=/+ ) was indicated. Now, I can steal the b7P beause the Re8 & N will hang.]

28.Bxb7 Rb8 29.Bc6 Rf8?!
[>=29...Re7+/- ]

30.Be3 Nf7
[>=30...Rfc8 31.Ba4 Nf7 32.Bd7 Rd8 33.Bxe6 Bxb2 breaking up my Q-side majority.]

31.b4 Ne5 32.Ba4 Rfc8 33.c5
Diagram

White has played a near-perfect game to this point but in the next few moves he comes back to his usual level.

33...a5?
[33...dxc5 34.Rxc5 Rxc5 35.Bxc5 Bf8 was the best try.]

34.b5?
[34.f4 Nf7 (34...Bh6? 35.cxd6 Rxc2 36.Bxc2 ) 35.bxa5 was much stronger.]

34...dxc5 35.Bxc5?!
[35.Rxc5 Rxc5 36.Bxc5+- was right.]

35...Nd3??
[This works out but only because I blunder. >=35...Nd7+/- ]

36.Bd6??
[This throws a half-point away & ultimately costs me $25 (A victory here would've tied for 1st). 36.Ba7 Rxc2 37.Bxc2 Rb7 38.b6+- would've won. Now White runs into an overload & fork.]

36...Rxc2 37.Bxc2 Rxb5 38.Bxd3 Rd5 39.Bc7
[Safest. After 39.Bxg6 hxg6 40.Bc7 a4 41.Re1 Rd3 42.Rxe6 Kf7 43.Rd6 Rxa3 Black's passer compensates for his pawn-minus.]

39...Rxd3 40.Bxa5 Rxa3 41.Bb4=
Drawn by agreement... ... because all the Ps are on one side of the board. But, with a 3 minute lead, Ilya could have played on in the hope that I would make more mistakes in time-pressure. Time left - Moldovan 2:36, I. Zhurbinsky 5:36 Estimated time used - Moldovan 42:24, I. Zhurbinsky 39:24 Longest think by White - 3 minutes at turns 16, 18, 22 & 25 Longest think by Black - 4 minutes at moves 15, 21 & 24 1/2-1/2