Monday, August 07, 2017

Stephen Rush games from Rounds 2 to 5

Here are Stephen Rush's games from Rounds 2-5 of the 2017 Championship, with his own annotations:
[Event "ECF-ch"] [Site "Llandudno"] [Date "2017.07.30"] [Round "2"] [White "Rush, Stephen"] [Black "Zakarian, David"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "A53"] [BlackElo "2360"] [Annotator "Rush"] [PlyCount "52"] [EventDate "2017.07.29"] [EventType "swiss"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "WLS"] {Not much to this one; I made a poor move early which he refuted and then I tried to make things messy and he refuted that too.} 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 d6 { He couldn't have picked a better 2nd move against me than this; it allows him to get to the King's Indian without allowing the system I normally play with e4 and f3; I resolved that if he played e5 next I would play a King's Indian with my pawn on e3, a way I used to play but that isn't really a great try for an advantage.} 3. Nc3 Nbd7 {Allowing me to transpose, more or less. To his credit I suspect he choose this over the normal e5 to avoid a drawish queen exchange if white wanted it, which I didn't.} 4. e4 e5 5. d5 Nc5 6. f3 a5 7. Be3 Be7 8. g4 ({I wanted to get this move in and I didn't want to allow him to play an early Nh5 first since after say} 8. Nge2 Nh5 {Nge2 Nh5 I cannot then play} 9. g4 {due to} Bh4+ {likewise with Qd2 Nh5; I knew it was early for it, but didn't see the refutation.}) 8... Nfd7 {He did; this simple undeveloping move threatens both h5 and Bh4; I must allow one.} 9. Qd2 Bh4+ 10. Kd1 h6 11. Nge2 Nf8 {Weird move; I actually recover a slight advantage now.} 12. Ng3 g6 { I saw the game continuation but wanted to mix things up; however, just accepting the mediocre position would clearly have been better in hindsight.} 13. Bxh6 g5 14. Bg7 Rh7 15. Nh5 Nfd7 16. Ne2 f6 17. Neg3 Bxg3 18. hxg3 Kf7 19. Bxf6 {I'd intended from the start of the tactic to allow him to recapture here and I'd have a pawn, a rook, and the h-file for two pieces, but in the moment I wanted to take the pawns for some stupid reason.} Nxf6 20. Qxg5 Bd7 {I realized here I was dead lost and played some random moves for no real reason.} 21. Qe3 Qh8 22. Bg2 Nxg4 23. Qg5 Rg8 24. Qh4 Nf2+ 25. Ke2 Nxh1 26. Qf6+ Qxf6 0-1 [Event "ECF-ch"] [Site "Llandudno"] [Date "2017.07.31"] [Round "3"] [White "Murphy, Conor E"] [Black "Rush, Stephen"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A00"] [WhiteElo "2154"] [Annotator "Rush"] [PlyCount "65"] [EventDate "2017.07.29"] [EventType "swiss"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "WLS"] 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Bd3 dxe4 4. Bxe4 Nf6 5. Bf3 c5 6. Ne2 Nbd7 ({Frustrating; my opponent is playing for a draw with white. The main continuation is} 6... cxd4 7. Nxd4 e5 8. Nb5 a6 9. Qxd8+ Kxd8 10. N5c3 {with a very drawish endgame (computer gives a hair of an advantage to black but realistically it's extremely drawish).}) (6... Nc6 {On the spot I try to come up with an alternative; I was familiar with the game Onischuk/Dronavalli and I know that correctly played that's another forced draw, but one that's much harder to play for black:} 7. Be3 cxd4 8. Nxd4 Ne5 9. Nc3 Be7 10. Qe2 Nxf3+ 11. Qxf3 O-O 12. O-O-O Bd7 13. g4 Qa5 14. g5 Nd5 15. Nf5 Nxc3 16. Nxe7+ Kh8 17. Bd2 Nxa2+ 18. Kb1 Qd8 19. Bf4 Qxe7 20. Bd6 Qe8 21. Rhe1 Rg8 22. Rd4 Bc6 23. Qh5 f6 24. g6 h6 25. Bf4 e5 26. Bxh6 Bf3 27. Bxg7+ Kxg7 28. Qh7+ Kf8 29. Rd7 Qxd7 30. Qxd7 Rxg6 31. Qf5 {Onischuk -v- Dronavalli, Abu Dhabi 2015, 1-0. Eventually I settled on the game continuation.}) 7. Nbc3 e5 8. d5 Bd6 {The idea is that white won't have to time to play Nb5 profitably, and I will blockade the d-pawn while claiming space quickly with my e and f pawns in conjunction if allowed. After thinking about it at length the computer is actually ok with the idea, and I might try it again in a similar situation.} 9. Ng3 {Accurate by my opponent I think.} O-O 10. Bg5 h6 11. h4 hxg5 12. hxg5 Nh7 ({More precise would be to play} 12... e4 {but I had seen from afar that the game continuation would be good and missed this better idea.}) 13. Be4 g6 14. Rxh7 { The point of his combination, if I take the rook he can force a draw after Qh5, Bxg6, Qxg6 perpetual.} Qxg5 15. Rh1 f5 ({Too aggressive, I had the idea that I should pounce while he is on the back foot but he is not without counterplay;} 15... a6 {preventing his game move grants a sizeable advantage)}) 16. Nb5 Bb8 17. Nxf5 {I actually expected this, but it's trash. I have a huge advantage now.} gxf5 18. Rh3 Nf6 19. Rg3 Qxg3 ({here I think between 2 wins, my intended } 19... Ng4 {or Qxg3, fxe4, but wait, why hadn't I thought to just take the rook then take the bishop with the knight; I play it and congratulate myself on my elegantly placed knight, his ruined pawns, lack of castling, and my material advantage}) 20. fxg3 Nxe4 $4 21. Qh5 {Ohh right, the whole point of pawn takes bishop was to leave the knight guarding the light squares from the queen's entry. Disgustingly, with only one attacker, against two defenders and everything defended I stand worse unless I play Kg7, which I did not find.} Rf7 $2 22. O-O-O Bd7 23. Rh1 Rg7 24. Qh8+ Kf7 25. Rh7 Rxh7 26. Qxh7+ Ke8 27. d6 Bxd6 $2 (27... Nxd6 {made the position survivable; I was disgusted with myself, and I don't think I was thinking straight.}) 28. Nxd6+ Nxd6 29. Qg8+ Ke7 30. Qxa8 Bc6 31. Qh8 Ke6 32. Qh6+ Kf7 33. Qxd6 1-0 [Event "ECF-ch"] [Site "Llandudno"] [Date "2017.08.01"] [Round "4"] [White "Longson, Sarah N"] [Black "Rush, Stephen"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "C18"] [WhiteElo "2074"] [Annotator "Rush"] [PlyCount "62"] [EventDate "2017.07.29"] [EventType "swiss"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "WLS"] 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e5 Ne7 5. a3 {A French Winawer, my favourite line in chess.} Bxc3+ 6. bxc3 c5 7. h4 {This is apparently a serious theory move played by GMs Caruana and Hansen, but I didn't know it and was a bit thrown off.} Qc7 8. h5 cxd4 9. cxd4 h6 {I can't allow white to pry up my g-pawn with my DSB gone.} 10. Bd2 Nbc6 $2 {No idea why I played this, my intention had been to play b6 and trade my LSB through a6 and in the moment I just moved. I had weird issues controlling some impulse moves this tourney for some reason, like I think I should have literally sat on my hands, I guess just nerves.} 11. Qg4 Nf5 {I'm OK here objectively, but I don't have any plan besides 'defend' now.} 12. Nf3 Bd7 13. Bd3 Nce7 {The computer hates this, and thinks I should have sacced on d4 with a slight disadvantage. I spoke to GM Luke McShane afterwards about it and he agreed, personally I have a hard time taking on positions with pawns over a piece, so I dismissed the move quickly after seeing Be3. I was under the impression I should maintain a knight on f5 and suss out defensive options such as Rg8, Kf8, and long castles as the game went on.} 14. Qf4 {Intending g4 which I will meet with g5.} a6 {I thought a long time on this move; I'm solidly worse, and I don't want to play g5 before g4 as I think g4 is not so useful a move except in that it forces g5. Eventually I settle on this as it threatens to trade LSBs or allow a light squared battery if the white's LSB retreats or trades after Bb5. After a4 at least my useless bishop is looking at something.} 15. c3 $2 {She was afraid that after she forced the action on the kingside at some point I would have Qxc2 followed by a move to the kingside to defend. This is exactly the kind of move I needed to have any chance though.} Bb5 {She looked very surprised by this, which is odd. I might even make this move if somehow it lost my 2 Qside pawns instead of doubling them; my LSB is terrible.} 16. Bxb5+ axb5 17. g4 g5 { Solidly the best reply, but I very interested to see that the computer also sees b4!, a move I had not even come close to considering.} 18. Nxg5 $2 { She must have missed that her c3 pawn is hanging with check if the bishop moves.} hxg5 19. Qxg5 Nh6 20. Qf6 Rh7 21. Rg1 {The beginning of a very bad plan; she needed to play f3 and accept that she has to defend now. Any capture of my knight is met by Qxc3 and Ng8.} Kd7 22. g5 Nhf5 23. g6 fxg6 24. hxg6 Rg7 25. Rc1 Rag8 26. Rh1 Rxg6 27. Qf7 Rg1+ 28. Ke2 Qc4+ 29. Kf3 Qd3+ 30. Be3 Qe4+ 31. Ke2 Rxh1 0-1 [Event "ECF-ch"] [Site "Llandudno"] [Date "2017.08.02"] [Round "5"] [White "Rush, Stephen"] [Black "Grant, Jonathan"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "E37"] [BlackElo "2187"] [Annotator "Rush"] [PlyCount "104"] [EventDate "2017.07.29"] [EventType "swiss"] [EventRounds "9"] [EventCountry "WLS"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Qc2 {I don't normally play this line, but I saw he had a questionable game in it earlier.} d5 5. a3 Bxc3+ 6. Qxc3 Ne4 7. Qc2 c5 8. dxc5 Nc6 9. Nf3 a5 $2 {Why on earth would you play c5 and not follow it with Qa5 shortly after; it's literally the only reasonable continuation.} 10. cxd5 exd5 11. e3 Qe7 12. b4 $2 ({I had been making a point of showing aggression at every reasonable point out of the opening this tourny, but this it taking it too far; simply} 12. b3 {retains a fine advantage, this move hands it to him)}) 12... axb4 13. Bb2 O-O 14. Be2 Qxc5 15. Qxc5 Nxc5 16. axb4 Rxa1+ 17. Bxa1 Nxb4 18. Nd4 Ncd3+ 19. Bxd3 Nxd3+ 20. Ke2 {Perhaps I shouldn't be yet, but I'm playing this endgame for a win. The engine rates it at 0.00.} Nc5 21. Rc1 b6 22. Rb1 Na4 23. Nc6 Re8 24. Rb4 b5 25. Kd2 Ba6 26. Bd4 f6 27. Rb1 Kf8 28. Rc1 Rc8 29. Nb4 Rxc1 {Now I have the advantage due to his sidelined knight and paralyzed weak pawns.} 30. Kxc1 Bb7 31. Kc2 Ke7 32. Kb3 Kd6 33. Nd3 Bc6 34. Kb4 Be8 35. Ne1 $4 {Stupid. Until this move I stood well, but in my greed I thought 'why abuse the pawns when I may be able to win the knight outright if I land my knight on a3? if he isn't careful'. I also thought if he played the game continuation through Bd3 the game would just end in a draw, completely forgetting that he can lose time with his bishop on that diagonal, but I can't do likewise, resulting in zugzwang.} Kc6 36. Nc2 Bg6 37. Na3 Bd3 38. h4 h5 39. f3 {I start a plan to trade as many pawns as I can.} Nb6 40. g4 hxg4 41. fxg4 Nc8 42. g5 fxg5 43. hxg5 g6 44. Kc3 {Not much to say; I'm crippled. He proceeds accurately from here.} Bf5 45. Kb4 Nd6 46. Be5 Bd3 47. Kc3 Bc4 48. Kb4 Ne4 49. Bf4 Nc5 50. Nxc4 dxc4 51. Bg3 Nd3+ 52. Kc3 Kd5 0-1

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