(3) Moldovan,John (1822) - Sturniolo,Lou (1404) [A04]
Kenilworth Summer Tournament Kenilworth, NJ (11.2), 12.08.2010
[Moldovan & Firebird 1.2]

G/55+5 (increment) A04 Reti Opening Dutch Defense

1.Nf3 f5 2.d3

I don't see how this natural reply can be bad but it wasn't mentioned in Nigel Davies' Chess Publishing coverage of 2.d3 and Simon Williams gave it a "?" in Play The Classical Dutch.

3.Nc3 e6
/\ 4...d5 & a Stonewall but my next prevents that. [For 3...d6 see my 2010 USATE win vs. Makatenas.]

[This improves upon the 4.Bg5 I used against estepona in the 2008 STC Gauntlet.]

4...fxe4 5.dxe4 Bb4

[>=6.Bd3 ; or 6.Bd2+/= when White can meet 6...Bxc3 (6...0-0 7.Bd3 Nc6 8.e5+/= Holub - Hrabal : Czechia 2003) 7.Bxc3 Nxe4?! with 8.Bxg7 Rg8 9.Bd4 ]

6...Bxc3+ 7.bxc3 h6 8.Bxf6
Lou said this surprised him but I was not going to gambit my e-pawn.

8...Qxf6 9.e5
[9.Qd4 was an option but I didn't want an endgame.]

9...Qf4 10.Bd3 0-0
[10...b6 11.g3 Qg4 12.h3 Qh5 13.Be4 Nc6 was an option.; But 10...Nc6 11.Bg6+ would have been +/=.]

11.Qe2 Nc6 12.Be4 d5
[12...Kh8 13.g3 Qg4 ; & 12...g5!? 13.h3 Kg7 14.g3 Qf7 were okay, too.; Of course, if 12...Nxe5?? then 13.Nxe5+- /\Qxe5? 14.Bh7+ Kxh7 15.Qxe5 ]

13.exd6 cxd6

[14.c4!= restraining the d-pawn, was right.]

[Gaining center-control and threatening to win a piece with 14...d5 15.Bd3 e5 would have given Black an advantage. Now the game turns in my favor.]

15.c4 Rf4?
[>=15...Qh5+/= ]

16.Rfe1 Bd7?
This weakens b7 & leaves Black unable to defend d6. [>=16...e5-/+ ]

17.Rab1 b6?
[>=17...Raf8 18.Rxb7 Be8 was a better try.]

Looking to trap the enemy Q with 19.h3... [... However, >=18.Rbd1!+- winning the d-pawn.]

This should have lost. [18...e5+/- was indicated.]

[19.Rxe5!+- , as suggested by NM Mark Kernighan, would have won on the spot.; and 19.Bxa8 Bxb5 20.cxb5 would have done so as well.]

19...Qxe2 20.Rxe2 Rxe4!
Damn. Missed this intermezzo. Now all I can get is a crummy P-up R-ending. [20...Bxb5?? 21.Bxa8 dxe5? 22.cxb5 was expected.]

21.Rxe4 Bxb5 22.cxb5 dxe5

Black should have no problems drawing this but he is down to 3:02. White has 12 minutes remaining.

[>=23.Ra4+/= ]

[23...Rc8 Kernighan]

24.Kf1 Kf7
[>=24...Rc8 25.Rxe6 Rxc2 26.a4 Kf7 27.Rd6 Ke7+/= ]

25.Ke2 Rd4 26.Re3 Ra4 27.a3 Rc4 28.Kd2 Rc5

[>=29.a4+/- /\Rc4 30.a5 ]

29...Rxb5 30.Rc7+ Kf6 31.Rxa7 Rh5 32.h3 Rg5 33.g3 Rf5 34.f4 Rd5+ 35.Ke3 Rc5 36.Kd3 Rd5+ 37.Kc3 Rc5+ 38.Kb3 Rb5+ 39.Kc4

[>=39...Rc5+ & it would appear that White cannot make headway.]


[>=40...Rb1+/= ]

41.Rb7 g6?
After this I'm winning. [>=41...Rc5++/- ]

42.a4+- Rc5+ 43.Kb3 Rc6 44.c4 e5 45.fxe5+ Kxe5 46.Kb4 Kd4?
[>=46...Rf6 Kernighan]

47.Kb5 Rxc4 48.Rxb6 Rc5+ 49.Ka6 Rc4 50.a5

50...Rc3 51.Rxg6 Ke4 52.Rxh6 Rxg3 53.h4 Kf5 54.h5 Ra3 55.Rh8 Kf6 56.h6 Kg6 57.Kb6
Now having less than a minute left, I stopped keeping score & concluded matters by building a bridge with something like...

57...Rb3+ 58.Ka7 Ra3 59.a6 Ra2 60.Rb8! Kxh6 61.Rb6+ Kg5 62.Kb7 Rh2 63.a7 Rh7+ 64.Ka6
Black resigns. Time left - Moldovan 0:43, Sturniolo 0:14 Estimated time used - Moldovan 59:37, Sturniolo 60:01 Longest think by White - 7 minutes for 14.0-0? Longest think by Black - 9 minutes for 6...Bxc3+ 1-0