(1) Gresham,Jonathan - Moldovan,John (2120) [C17]
ICCF FM/1194 ICCF (1.1), 2010
[Moldovan & Fire 1.31]

start date: 09/29/2010 last move: 12/28/2010 end date: 02/06/2011 C17 French Defense Winawer Variation

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e5 c5 5.Bd2 Ne7 6.a3
A relief. [6.Nb5 Bxd2+ 7.Qxd2 0-0 8.dxc5 Nd7 9.Qc3! was more of a concern although theory and practice say Black is fine.]

6...Bxc3 7.bxc3
[7.Bxc3 seems more logical. Few references bother to cover Px.]

Putting pressure on d4. [7...Qc7 8.Qg4 0-0 9.Bd3 b6 was an option but after 10.Nf3N threatening to sac on h7 10...Nf5 11.h4 h6 12.h5 I'd have to give up the ...Ba6 idea (it would lose a P to 13.Bxf5 exf5 14.Qxf5) with 12...Nc6 (or sac a tempo with 12...Qd7 ) ]

[8.Nf3 Bd7 9.Bd3 c4 10.Be2 Qa5 11.0-0 f6 12.exf6 gxf6 13.Bf4!? 0-0-0 14.Qd2 Nf5N 15.Rfb1 Qa4 16.Qc1 Rdg8 17.Rb4!? Nxb4 18.axb4 Qb5 19.Rxa7 was played in Etelli - Moldovan : NJ Amateur Championship, Westfield 03/21/1987.]

[More usual is 8...0-0 (Moles/Wicker's recommendation); or 8...Ng6 but the text is multi-dimensional (holds g7 & hits d4 again) and yields an improved form of 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.bxc3 Ne7 7.Qg4 Nf5 8.Bd3 h5.]

9.Bd3 h5

This leaves d4 insufficiently protected and gives me a P-up ending. [>=10.Qf4 cxd4 11.Bxf5?! dxc3! 12.Bxc3 exf5 13.Nf3 Be6=/+ Pimenov - A. Sokolsky : Moscow 1936]

10...Qxg5 11.Bxg5 cxd4 12.Bb5??
[My foe obviously missed 12.cxd4 Nfxd4-/+ but pinning the Nc6 isn't the answer, either.; Eliminating the other N and damaging my P structure with 12.Bxf5 exf5 13.0-0-0 dxc3 14.Ne2 (14.Rxd5 Be6 15.Rc5 b6! 16.Rxc3 (16.Rxc6? Bd5 17.Rxc3 Bxg2) 16...Nxe5-/+ ) 14...Be6 15.Nxc3 Nxe5 16.Nxd5=/+ was right.]

We're just a dozen moves in and White is already lost!

13.Ne2 Bd7 14.g4?
To be blunt, this is nonsensical and suicidal. It does nothing to help the Bb5 or e5P, weakens his K-side Ps, throws 2 more chips away, solidifies my Nf5 & develops my Rh8 for free. [14.Bxc6 Bxc6 15.0-0-0 (15.Nxc3 d4 16.Ne2 Bxg2 17.Rg1 Bf3 ) 15...0-0 16.Nxc3 was a much better try.]

Now I'm 3 Ps ahead & ...Nxe5 is still in the air.


/\ 16.Bxd7+ Kxd7 & full mobilization, in addition to the 17...Nf3+ 18. K moves Nxg5 menace.

16.0-0-0 Bxb5
[16...Rc8 , threatening to win a piece via 17...Rxc3, was one of several good alternatives.]

[>=17.Nxb5 Nf3 18.Bf4 (18.Nc7+ Kd7 19.Nxa8 Nxg5 as the Na8 is trapped) 18...Ke7 19.Kb2 ; If 17.Nxd5? then simply 17...0-0 (the complications of 17...exd5 18.Rxd5 also favor Black) 18.Nc7 Bc6 19.Nxa8 Bxh1 ]

[>=17...Nf3 18.Nxb5 Kd7 ]

18.fxe5 d4 19.Rhg1?
[>=19.Ne2 Bxh1 20.Rxh1 yielding an Exchange, rather than the N, or resigns.]

19...dxc3 20.Rxg4
[>=20.Rd3 Rxh2 21.Rgd1 with the threat of 22.Rd8+ Rxd8 23.Rxd8 mate although Black can simplify with 21...Rh1 ]

This forks White's unfortunate Rs, wins an Exchange and puts me a R + 2Ps ahead. For a player who describes his style as tactical (Source: http://www.ficgs.com/players/gresham_jonathan), my opponent misses a lot of stuff.

21.Rc4 Bxd1 22.Kxd1 Rxh2
[>=22...Rh5 /\23.Bf4 g5 24.Bc1 Rxh2 25.Bxg5 Rg2 26.Bc1 Rd8+ 27.Ke1 Ng3 ]

Gresham resumes after a long pause. The 48 days of reflection includes 14 days of double-time. [>=23.Rxc3 Rg2 24.Rh3 threatening to win the R on a8 (24.Bd2 allows Black to trade-down with 24...Rd8 25.Rd3 Rxd3 26.cxd3 Rxd2+ 27.Kxd2 Kd7 ; & 24.Bf4 is little or no better. 24...Rd8+ 25.Kc1 ) but after 24...Rc8 a pair of Rs would come off.; In answer to 23.Rg4? , Black had the forceful 23...Rd8+! 24.Bxd8 (24.Ke1 Rdd2! /\25.Bxd2 cxd2+ & mate next) 24...Ne3+ 25.Ke1 Nxc2+ 26.Kd1 (26.Kf1 Ne3+ 27.Kg1 Nxg4 ) 26...Ne3+ 27.Ke1 (27.Kc1 Rh1+ 28.Rg1 Rxg1# ) 27...c2 28.Rc4 Nxc4 29.Bg5 Rh1+ 30.Ke2 c1Q 31.Bxc1 Rxc1 ]

[>=23...Rxc2 24.Rc7 b5 but I wanted to chase the B away from d8 & make use of my extra R.]

This loses the B to an X-ray check. However, there was no good continuation (for him, that is!). [For example: 24.Bf4 Rxc2 25.Kd1 Rf2 26.Ke1 Rxf4! 27.Rxf4 Ne3 28.Re4 c2! and Black will make a new Q.]


And upon seeing this, White went silent again and eventually time-forfeited. Days left - Gresham 0, Moldovan 149 Days used - Gresham 150, Moldovan 1 [After 24...Rg1+ 25.Kf2 / Ke2 25...Rxc1 26.Rxc3 Rd8 Black will be up a R, N & 2Ps.] 0-1