(1) jariv (1712) - Moldovan,John (1814) [C18]
May Mania - Section B FICS (1), 04.05.2012
[Moldovan & Houdini 2.0]

Board 6 G/40+20 (increment) C18 French Defense Winawer Variation

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3
Somewhat of a surprise. He's played the Exchange and Advance more.

3...Bb4 4.e5 c5 5.a3
Another pleasant turn. Instead of taking a side street with Nf3, as in previous games, my opponent drives the main road. [RR 5.Nf3 Ne7 (5...cxd4 6.Nxd4 Bd7 7.Qg4 jariv -CarlosKerber : FICS Team League 01/17/2012 7...Ne7 8.Qxg7 Rg8 9.Qxh7 Qc7 ) 6.Bb5+ Bd7 7.0-0 Bxc3 8.Bxd7+ Nxd7 9.bxc3 cxd4 10.cxd4 0-0 11.Bd2 Nb6 12.Rc1 Nf5 13.Ba5 Qd7 14.Bxb6 axb6 15.c4 Rxa2 16.Qb3 Ra6 jariv - Gianuzio : G/20+20, FICS 09/22/2011]

5...Bxc3+
[5...Ba5 the Armenian Variation 6.b4 cxb4 7.Nb5 ; & 5...cxd4 6.axb4 dxc3 7.Qg4! are inferior. (7.bxc3 Qc7 ) ]

6.bxc3 Qa5
I now think this is the best approach... [... but will keep 6...Qc7 and 4...Qd7 & other lines in my bag of tricks ;-)]

7.Bd2 Qa4
This blockades the a4P and menaces the one on d4.

8.Qb1
White counters with a threat of his own: 9.Bb5+. But I can nullify that, keep his light-squared B out of d3 and safely castle on the K-side. [8.Qg4 looking to induce dark square weaknesses /\8...g6 (8...Kf8!? ) 9.Qd1 is probably best.; 8.Nf3 (?!) 8...b6! & ...Ba6, to trade-off the bad B, is good for Black.]

8...c4
[8...a6 9.Nf3 Ne7 10.Qb3 Qxb3 11.cxb3 Nbc6 12.Bd3 Na5 13.Bc2 c4 14.b4 Nac6 15.0-0 f5 16.h4 Bd7 17.a4 Nd8 18.g3 Nf7 19.Kg2 h6 20.h5 Kd8 21.Rh1 Kc7+/= Ljubojevic - Kavalek : Montreal 1979]

9.g3
[9.Ne2 /\ Ng3-h5; & the similar 9.Nh3 /\ Nf4-h5 seem more dangerous.; On the other hand, f4 + g4 & Bh3 (suggested by a post-mortem kibitzer at the Kenilworth CC) is too caveman-like. 9.f4 Nc6 10.g4 Nge7 11.Bh3 h5! is =/+.]

9...Nc6 10.Bg2
The B does little on g2 and eventually moves again. [I would have preferred 10.h4 Nge7 11.Bh3 ]

10...Nge7
[10...Bd7! /\11.Qxb7?? (>=11.Nh3 Nge7 12.Nf4= ) 11...Rb8 12.Qc7 Nge7-+ , threatening to trap the enemy Q with 13.-- Qa6 14.-- Rb7 15.Qd6 Nc8 16.Qc5 Rb5 , was a good alternative.]

11.Nf3 0-0
This is okay but castling on the other wing would likely have given me more active play. [11...b6 12.0-0 Bd7 13.Ra2 Gauthier - Lazo : Paris 2010 13...h6 /\ ...0-0-0 is one option.; 11...b5N /\ ...Bd7, ...Nc8-b6 and ...0-0-0 is another.]

12.0-0
Diagram

12...Rb8N
[This varies from the 12...h6 13.Qb2 b5 14.Rfe1 Bb7 15.h4 a6 16.Bh3 Rad8 17.Re2 Kh7 18.g4= of Neuvonen - Lumley : correspondence, ICCF 2000; If Black is okay with a draw, he can also play 12...Bd7 13.Qxb7 Rab8 14.Qxd7 Rfd8 15.Qc7 Rbc8 16.Qb7 Rb8 17.Qc7 Rbc8 , etc.]

13.Nh4 Ng6 14.Nxg6 hxg6
[>=14...fxg6 15.h4 Bd7 16.Qd1 Rf5 giving my Rs some space.]

15.Qd1 Bd7 16.h4 Ne7 17.g4
This is double-edged. [17.Ra2 Qa5 18.h5 was more circumspect.]

17...Qa5 18.h5 gxh5 19.gxh5 Nf5
>= Kh7 =, here or next.

20.Bh3 Qd8
Diagram

21.Qg4
This obstructs the Bh3. [21.Bxf5 exf5 22.h6 g6 23.h7+ Kh8 24.Qf3 would have given him an edge.]

21...Qh4 22.Kh1
[I thought he was going to play 22.Kg2 Qxg4+ 23.Bxg4 /\ Rh1 & h6.]

22...Ba4 23.Rg1?
White over-rates his attack. With the Qs coming off, there was no good reason to sac the c2P. [>=23.Rac1= ]

23...Qxg4 24.Rxg4 Bxc2 25.Rag1 Be4+
[25...Bd3 may improve.]

26.Kh2 Kh7 27.Rg5?
[>=27.f3 Bd3 (27...Bxf3 28.Rg5 Kh8 29.Bxf5 exf5 30.Rxf5 Be4 31.Rf4 ) 28.R4g2 Rg8 29.Bxf5+ Bxf5 ]

27...Rg8?
[>=27...Nh4! 28.Rxg7+ Kh8-/+ with ...Nf3+, picking-up an Exchange, to follow.]

28.Bxf5+
White offered a draw here, probably expecting a mass trade-off starting at move 29. [>=28.f3 Bd3 (Not 28...Bxf3? 29.Bxf5+ exf5 30.Rxf5 Be2 31.Rxf7 Bxh5 32.Rd7+/= ) 29.Bxf5+ Bxf5 30.R5g2=/+ ]

28...Bxf5 29.h6?
Diagram [>=29.R5g3=/+ ]

29...g6!
[29...gxh6? 30.Rxg8 Rxg8 31.Rxg8 Kxg8 32.Bxh6 & an opposite Bs ending.]

30.Ra1
[>=30.R5g2 ]

30...Rbf8
[>=30...Rgc8-/+ ]

31.Rgg1 f6 32.exf6 Rxf6 33.Bg5 Rf7 34.a4 Rgf8 35.a5 Be4 36.f4
Diagram

36...Rxf4?
This Exchange-sac fails to get the desired 3 Ps in return because if I take the h-pawn, he gets 2 for 1 on the Q-side. [>=36...Rc8=/+ ]

37.Bxf4 Rf7??
A horrendous mouse-slip. [Of course, I meant to play 37...Rxf4 38.Raf1 Rf5 ]

38.Rg3
??!! Instead of retreating his B and forcing my resignation, jariv, being a very good sport, circumvents the event's no-takeback rule and lets me capture it.

38...Rxf4 39.Rh3 Bf5
I offered a draw here and after 40...Rg4+ but he wanted to play on.

40.Kg3! Rg4+
Gotta keep White's K out of my territory.

41.Kf3 Rg5 42.Rh2 Be4+ 43.Ke2 Rf5
Diagram [>=43...Rg3 ]

44.Rf1??
This loses the f-Rook & the game. [>=44.Rf2 Rh5 45.Rf7+ Kxh6 46.Rxb7 Rh2+ 47.Ke3 Kg5 48.Rxa7= with chances for both sides.]

44...Bd3+[]
White resigned. I feel bad about winning after the mulligan. In retrospect, I should have offered a draw before playing the skewer. Time left - jariv 3:27, Moldovan 7:29 Time used - jariv 51:13, Moldovan 47:11 Longest think by White - 5:19 for 27.Rg5 Longest think by Black - 3:48 for 12...Rb8 Start 11:02 a.m. EDT End 12:41 p.m. Duration 1:39:12 0-1