I was glad to see that I was paired against a 2600 Ukrainian GM. I had the Black pieces and choose the Kings Indian Defence. It was a very exciting game and I came within a whisker of winning. Luckily for us the game was a draw and our team managed to win the match. Giving us a good chance at getting promoted. I have annotated the game below in text, a video will shortly follow.
I think you’ll agree, very interesting!
Sergey Ovsejevitsch 2600 - Simon Williams 2520? (not sure what it is at the moment! Too many lists to keep track of)
1 d4 Nf6
I like varying my openings nowadays. It helps me keep fresh, I am really trying to get in form for the British. So trying out new opening must help.
2 c4 g6 3 Nc3 Bg7 4 e4 d6
The Kings Indian really seems to suit my style I just need to learn some theory.
I was happy to see my opponent play this move. I have tried it out myself on a number of occasions and I do not believe that it offers White any advantage. The general idea is to move the knight around to g3 but this square seems rather passive for the knight and it can easily be hit with h5-h4 or f5-f4. This is what happens in the game.
5…0-0 6 Ng3 e5
Another good idea is 6…a6 followed up with …c5 and then …b5. Entering a good Benko gambit. I lost with this against Samuel Franklin at last years Hastings tournament.
7 d5 a5
Securing the c5 square for my knight on b8.
8 Be2 Na6 9 0-0
White can also play 9 h4 but the pawn is often weak on this square, for example, 9…Nc5 10 Bg5 Qe8! and Black will play …Nh7 and …f5 with a good game.
Not like me to push my h-pawn! I was already very comfortable here. My basic plan is to play …h4 …Nh7 and ….f5 with good chances on the kingside. My opening has certainly been a success.
To vacate the f1 square for White’s knight on g3.
10…Nc5 11 Bg5 Qe8!
This is an important move. The queen gets out of the pin so that Black can play …Nh7.
12 Qc2 Nh7 13 Be3 h4 14 Nf1 b6 15 h3 f5
Black must be better. I have active play on the kingside, just what you want in the Kings Indian!
16 Nd2 Qe7 17 a3 a4!
This is a good move. If White does not except the pawn sacrifice then I will have time to play …Bd7 when White is tied up on the queenside as well as the kingside. So the following is pretty much forced.
18 Bxc5 bxc5 19 Nxa4 g5!
This is is idea behind my play. With …g5 I ready myself to play …g4 to open up the kingside. I am also taking advantage of the misplaced nature of White’s knight on a4. I was starting to get excited around here as I could not see what my opponent could do!
This was the only move that I feared. Other moves do not take control of g4, for example, 20 b4 cxb4 21 axb4 g4! with a big attack. My dark squared bishop is a very good piece as it can enter the game via h6.
20…Bxf5 21 Qd1 e4!
Another thematic move that frees my bishop and threatens …e3. I also saw a very attractive sacrifice that I believed would give me a winning advantage.
This was the only move that I expected.
22…Bxg4 23 hxg4 Qd7
Attacking the knight on a4 but more importantly pointing at White’s pawn on g4. Another interesting idea was 23…Bd4 24 Nxe4 Qf7 with the idea of coming to f4 but I could not resist the following sequence!
24 Nc3 Rxf2!
Just like my game against Slavin I have managed to sacrifice my rook on f2. Fun and games ahead!
To be honest I did not believe that White could get away with this move. I had expected 25 Rxe4 when I would continue 25…Raf8 which I thought would be very good for me. My pieces are very active and my opponents king is looking very suspect.
The Kings Indian Bishop comes to life! White has to tread with extreme caution now!
26 Kf1 Rf8+ 27 Nf3
27…exf3 28 Re6!
This was White’s only defence he must stop my queen from coming to g4.
I thought this was very strong but White has some clever resources. Another idea was 28…Qf7!? with the idea of coming to f4.
29 Kxg2 Rf2+ 30 Kh1 Qf7
This was the basic position that I was aiming for. My plan is to play …Qf4 at some point when White will struggle to stop …Qh2++
31 Ne4 Rf3 32 Kg2!?
I had only banked on 32 Qe2 when 32…Qf4 should be winning for me. This is an interesting idea, White is trying to force me to play …h3+ when the square is no longer available for my rook.
I now had a big think but eventually I choose the wrong move.
I should have just played the simple 32…h3+ when I have very good winning chances, for example, 33 Kh1 Qf4! and White is pretty tied up. I had missed a tactic later that gave my opponent the draw.
33 Nxg3 Qf2+ 34 Kh1 hxg3
With some nasty threats!! …Qh2++ and …g2+ followed by …g1++ I thought that my opponents only defence here was 35 Re8+ Kf7 36 Qf1 but then I had worked out that I had a winning endgame after 36…Kxe8 37 Qxf2 gxf2 38 a4 Kd7 39 a5 Kc8 40 a6 Kb8 41 a7+ Ka8 and my king is just in time and I am now going to bring my knight into the game via f6 with a winning position. Unfortunately my opponent avoided this and instead played…
Which is the only defence but amazingly it looks like White is now drawing!!
I thought that this was my last chance at trying to get a win but it leads to nothing. The problem is that after 35…Qxb2 my opponent can play 36 Rf1!! (not 36 Rb1 g2+)
Which leads to a draw by perpetual!! White just plays Re8+ Re7+ Re6+ etc There is no way out!! Ouch!
36 Qg2 Qxg4 37 Rh6
The rook just about gets around in time to defend the h-file. 37 Rg6+ Kf7 38 Rh6 Nf6 was very similar.
With the idea of playing …Nh5 which blocks up the h-file but it is too slow the game now heads towards a draw.
38 Qh3 Qe4+ 39 Qg2 Qg4
And we agreed a draw which was a good result for the team.
Anyway a fascinating game. To be honest I am sure that I had a win somewhere along the line but nothing so obvious. Anyone out there like to point out any improvements to me??
Ginger GM supremo Grandmaster Simon Williams is the brains behind the Ginger GM operation.