Rendle T. (2377) - Varnam L. (2167)

British Championship/Torquay (3.9) 2009


This is a game of exemplary control by Thomas Rendle. However hard Black tries, he is unable to equalize.

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. d3 Be7 5. O-O d6 6. a4 Na5 7. Ba2 c5 8. Nc3

8. Bg5 O-O 9. Nc3 Nc6 10. h3 Nb4 11. Bc4 Ne8 12. Bxe7 Qxe7 13. Nd5 Nxd5 14. Bxd5 Nc7 15. Bc4 Kh8 16. Re1 Be6 17. c3 f5 18. Bxe6 Qxe6 19. d4 exd4 20. exf5 Qxf5 21. cxd4 Na6 22. Re7 b6 23. Qe2 Nb4 24. dxc5 bxc5 25. Qe6 Qxe6 26. Rxe6 d5 27. Re7 Nd3 28. Rd1 Nf4 29. h4 d4 30. Re5 Rac8 31. b4 cxb4 32. Rxd4 b3 33. Kh2 a6 34. Re1 Rb8 35. Rb1 Ne6 36. Rc4 h6 37. Rc6 Nf4 38. Rxa6 Nd3 39. a5 Rb4 40. Rb6 Rxb6 41. axb6 b2 42. Nd2 Rf4 43. Kg3 Rb4 44. Kf3 Rxb6 45. Ke3 Nc5 46. Nc4 Rb3+ 47. Kd2 Na4 48. g3 Kg8 49. Ne3 Ra3 50. Nd1 1/2-1/2 Garcia Ortega Mendez,J (2223)-Palencia,W (2337)/Navalmoral 2008

8... O-O 9. Nd5

Occupation rather than control. Black has a misplaced Knight on a5,but you wouldn't think this gives White anything more than a minimal edge.

9. Re1 Nc6 10. Nd5 is similar to our featured game, but I like Rendle's approach. Why play Re1 if it isn't necessary? 10... h6 11. c3 Re8 12. Bd2 Bf8 13. b4 Be6 14. Nxf6+ Qxf6 15. Bxe6 Qxe6 16. b5 Ne7 17. c4 g6 18. Kh1 Bg7 19. Ng1 Rf8 20. Ne2 f5 21. f3 Rf7 22. Nc3 f4 23. Qe2 g5 24. a5 Ng6 25. a6 b6 26. Rf1 Raf8 27. Kg1 h5 28. Kf2 g4 29. Ke1 Bf6 30. Kd1 Rg7 31. Kc2 Kh8 32. Nd5 Bd8 33. Rg1 Nh4 34. Raf1 gxf3 35. gxf3 Rxg1 36. Rxg1 Qh3 37. Rf1 Rg8 38. Rf2 Rg1 39. Kb2 Kg8 40. Ka2 Kf7 41. Kb2 Ke8 42. Ka2 Kd7 43. Bxf4 Ng2 44. Bd2 Qxh2 45. f4 Qh1 46. Bc3 Nxf4 47. Nxf4 exf4 48. Rxf4 Bg5 49. Rf7+ Ke6 1/2-1/2 Das,A (2379)-Ganguly,S (2571)/Calicut 2007

9... Nxd5 10. Bxd5 Kh8

10... Be6 is a better stab at equality. White has a slight edge after 11. Bd2 Qc7 12. h3 Nc6 13. c3 Bxd5 14. exd5 Nb8 but it is only very small.

11. c3 f5 12. b4 cxb4 13. cxb4 Nc6 14. b5 Nb8 15. exf5 Rxf5 16. d4!

Opening the position at just the right moment.

16... exd4

16... Nd7 17. Be4 Rf8 18. dxe5 dxe5 (18... Nxe5 19. Nxe5 dxe5 20. Qh5) 19. Bb2

17. Be4 Rf8 18. Nxd4 d5 19. Bb1

Eight pieces on both queenside back ranks! Naturally the White Bishops are much more dangerous than anything Black can come up with.

19... Qe8 20. Bb2

20. Ba3 Bxa3 21. Rxa3 Qe5 22. Re1 Qd6 23. Rf3 also looks very dangerous to Black.

20... Bf6 21. Ba3 Rg8 22. Re1 Qf7 23. Qf3

Move by move Rendle improves his position and Black likewise deteriorates.

23... Re8 24. Ba2

24... Nd7 25. Qxd5

Little can help Black now. The problem of his retarded queenside development cannot be addressed.

25... Qg6 26. Qf7 Qxf7 27. Bxf7 Rxe1+ 28. Rxe1 g6 29. Nf3

29. Re8+ Kg7 30. Be6 Bxd4 31. Bxd7

29... Kg7 30. Bb3 a6 31. b6! Nxb6 32. a5 Nd7 33. Re8

Quite horrible for Black,who hardly has a good move to his name.

33... b6 34. Bd5 Ra7 35. axb6 Rb7 36. Rg8+ Kh6 37. Bc1+ Kh5 38. h3

Quality play by White!

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Eggleston D. (2341) - Gordon S. (2537)

British Championship/Torquay (4.5) 2009


1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be3 e5 7. Nb3 Be6 8. f3 h5!?

As g2-g4 is such an integral part of White's plan, Black goes to remarkable lengths to stop it! This approach has been scoring pretty well for Black in recent years and has found favour with many top Grandmasters.

9. Qd2 Nbd7 10. O-O-O b5

Other moves have been preferred,but it's hard to say why. With 10...b5,Black gets on with his queenside counterplay without delay.

10... Qc7 11. Kb1 Rc8 12. Nd5 Bxd5 13. exd5 g6 14. c4 b6 15. c5 bxc5 16. Bxa6 Rb8 17. Qe2 Bg7 18. g4 Nb6 19. Bb5+ Kf8 20. Bc6 e4 21. h3 exf3 22. Qxf3 Nfd7 23. Bd2 Ne5 24. Qg2 Nbc4 25. Bc1 Qc8 26. g5 Kg8 27. Rhf1 Kh7 28. Rf4 Rf8 29. Qc2 Qa6 30. Rf6 Rfc8 31. Bf4 Bxf6 32. gxf6 Rc7 33. Rg1 Ra7 34. a4 Nxc6 0-1 Popovic,A (2325)-Damljanovic,B (2573)/Kragujevac 2009

10... Be7 11. Kb1 (11. h3 Rc8 12. Be2 h4 13. Rdg1 b5 14. g3 hxg3 15. Rxg3 g6 16. Bg5 Nb6 17. Kb1 Qc7 18. h4 Na4 19. Nxa4 bxa4 20. Nc1 Qb6 21. Nd3 Rb8 22. Qc3 a3 23. b3 Rc8 24. Qd2 a5 25. h5 Rxh5 26. Rxh5 Nxh5 27. Bxe7 Kxe7 28. Rg1 Qd4 29. Qg5+ Ke8 30. f4 Nxf4 31. c3 Rxc3 32. Nxf4 Rxb3+ 33. Kc1 Rb1+ 34. Kc2 Rxg1 35. Qf6 Qb2+ 36. Kd3 Rg3+ 37. Bf3 Rxf3# 0-1 Harmon Vellotti,L-Asanov,T (2422)/ICC INT 2009) 11... b5 12. Nd5 Bxd5 13. exd5 Nb6 14. Bxb6 Qxb6 15. Na5 Rc8 16. Nc6 Nxd5 17. Nxe7 Nxe7 18. Qxd6 Qxd6 19. Rxd6 Nc6 20. Rd2 Ke7 21. Bd3 Rhd8 22. Rhd1 g6 23. a4 Rb8 24. axb5 axb5 25. Be4 Rxd2 26. Rxd2 Nd4 27. b4 f5 28. Bd3 h4 29. c3 Ne6 30. Bf1 Nf4 31. Kc2 Kf6 32. g3 hxg3 33. hxg3 Nh5 34. Rd5 Nxg3 35. Bxb5 e4 36. fxe4 Nxe4 37. Bd3 g5 38. Bxe4 fxe4 39. Kd2 g4 40. Ke3 Rc8 41. Kxe4 Rxc3 42. Kf4 1/2-1/2 Dominguez Perez,L (2717)-Anand,V (2791)/Linares 2009

11. f4

11. Nd5 Bxd5 12. exd5 Rc8 13. g3 Qc7 14. Kb1 Nb6 gives rough equality.

11... Be7 12. f5 Bc4 13. Qe1

13. Bxc4 bxc4 14. Na1 Rb8

13... Rc8 14. Kb1 Qc7

Gordon has emerged from the opening in good shape. Black is active and may even castle soon. The main positional point is that the Knight on b3 is poorly placed , a target for advancing Black pawns

15. Bxc4 Qxc4 16. Nd2 Qc6 17. a3 a5 18. Rc1 b4 19. axb4 axb4 20. Na2

20. Nd5 Nxd5 21. exd5 Qxd5 22. Qg3 Ra8! 23. Nb3 O-O is convincing enough,when Black is material ahead with an attack to boot.

20... Qa4 21. b3 Qa3 22. Nc4 Rxc4!

Very nice! Gordon eliminates the defender, creating an unstoppable attack on the a file.

23. bxc4 O-O

Well-timed!

24. Ba7 Qxa7 25. Nxb4 Qa3 26. Rd1 Ra8 27. c3 Qb3+ 28. Kc1 Nxe4

A worthy winner of 'Game of the Day' for Round Four

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Summerscale A. (2454) - Jones G. (2554)

British Championship/Torquay


The following game will show what a fine line White is walking in the Mar del Plata variation. Aaron Summerscale has played this variation successfully for many years with White, yet one small imprecision here and the Black attack crashes through.

1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. d4 O-O 5. e4 d6 6. Be2 e5 7. O-O Nc6 8. d5 Ne7 9. Ne1 Nd7 10. Be3 f5 11. f3 f4 12. Bf2 g5 13. a4 Rf6 14. a5 Rh6!

Direct. Black intends ...Qe8-h5 and then on with the show. There is no need to push ....h7-h5 and ...g5-g4.

15. Kh1

15. Nd3 has been more popular,with good results for White: 15... Qe8 (15... Nf6 16. Be1 Rg6 17. g4 h5 18. h3 Rh6 19. Kg2 Kf7 20. Bf2 Bd7 21. Rh1 Ng6 22. Qb3 Qc8 23. c5 hxg4 24. hxg4 Nxg4 25. c6 bxc6 26. fxg4 Bxg4 27. dxc6+ Be6 28. Qb7 g4 29. Qxc8 Bxc8 30. Nd5 f3+ 31. Bxf3 gxf3+ 32. Kxf3 Rb8 33. Rxh6 Bxh6 34. Bxa7 Rb3 35. Ra3 Rxa3 36. bxa3 Bd2 37. N3b4 Ne7 38. Nxe7 Kxe7 39. Nd5+ Kd8 40. Bb6 cxb6 41. axb6 Ba5 42. b7 Bxb7 43. cxb7 Bc7 44. Nb4 1-0 Ostenstad,B (2465)-Nataf,I (2440)/Asker 1997) 16. Kh1 (16. Be1 a6 17. b4 Kh8 18. Rc1 Ng8 19. Nf2 Rg6 20. Na4 h5 21. c5 Nh6 22. cxd6 cxd6 23. Kh1 Qg8 24. Rc7 Bf6 25. b5 Bd8 26. Rxc8 Rxc8 27. bxa6 bxa6 28. Bxa6 Rb8 29. Be2 g4 30. Nd3 gxf3 31. Bxf3 Ng4 32. Bd2 Rh6 33. Qe2 Qg5 34. Nf2 Ndf6 35. Nh3 Qg7 36. Ra1 Bc7 37. a6 Rg8 38. a7 Nxh2 39. Kxh2 Qg3+ 40. Kg1 Rhg6 41. Kf1 Ng4 42. Bxg4 hxg4 43. Be1 Qb3 44. Nf2 f3 45. Qd3 Qb7 46. gxf3 gxf3 47. Qxf3 Qa6+ 48. Qd3 Qxa7 49. Qh3+ Kg7 50. Ra3 Rf8 51. Nb2 Qd4 52. Nbd3 Rf7 53. Ra8 Rh6 54. Qg4+ Rg6 55. Rg8+ Kxg8 56. Qxg6+ Kf8 57. Ke2 Qc4 58. Bd2 Rxf2+ 59. Kxf2 Qxd3 60. Bh6+ Ke7 61. Qe6+ Kd8 62. Bg5# 1-0 Olsson,L (2377)-Backmann, M (2115)/Taby 2007) 16... Qh5 17. Bg1 Nf6 18. Nf2 Qe8? (18... Qh4 19. Ng4! is the point of White's play, a Knight manouevre which gives pause for thought.) 19. Ng4 Rg6 20. Nxf6+ Bxf6 21. Nb5 Qd8 22. c5 h5 23. cxd6 cxd6 24. Qc2 g4 25. Qc7 Qf8 26. Nxd6 g3 27. Rfc1 Bh3 28. Bf1 gxh2 29. Bxh2 Bg4 30. Rc3 Rg7 31. Qc5 b6 32. axb6 axb6 33. Rxa8 Qxa8 34. Qa3 Qb8 35. Bb5 Kh7 36. Ne8 1-0 Freitag,M (2408)-Schwarhofer,C (2227)/Leoben 2008

15. Nb5 Nf6 16. c5 (16. Nxa7 Bd7 17. Nb5 g4) 16... g4 17. cxd6 cxd6 18. fxg4 Nxe4 19. Bxa7 Ng6 20. Ra3 Qh4 21. Rh3 Qe7 22. Rxh6 Bxh6 23. Bb6 Bd7 24. Qc2 Nf6 25. Qc7 Bxb5 26. Bxb5 Kh8 27. Qxe7 Nxe7 28. g5 Bxg5 29. Nf3 Bh6 30. Bc7 Nf5 31. Nxe5 dxe5 32. Bxe5 Kg7 33. d6 Kf7 34. Bc4+ Kg6 35. b4 Re8 36. Bxf4 Re4 37. Bxh6 Rxc4 38. Bf4 Rxb4 39. g3 Nd4 40. Bd2 Rb2 41. Be3 Nf5 42. Bb6 Rd2 43. Rc1 Nxd6 44. Rc7 Nfe4 45. Re7 h5 46. Re6+ Kf5 47. Rh6 Kg4 48. Kf1 Rxh2 49. Bc7 Rd2 50. Ke1 Rd5 51. Rg6+ Kf3 52. Bb8 Nf5 0-1 Tovsanaa,N (2321)-Krakops,M (2530)/Bled 2002

15... Nf6 16. c5 Qe8 17. Ra3 Qh5 18. Bg1 Qh4

Intending ...Nh5 and then ...Ng3 mate. It is as brutal as that.

19. Bb5

Maybe 19. Bc4 but still 19... Nh5 20. Ne2 Ng3+ 21. Nxg3 fxg3 gives cause for concern. Whatever happens on the queenside is balenced by the kingside position,where the White forces are paralysed.

19... Nh5 20. Ne2 Ng3+ 21. Nxg3 fxg3 22. Nd3

22. cxd6 cxd6 23. Rc3 Qf4 24. Rxc8+ Rxc8 25. h3 g4 26. Bd7 gxh3 27. gxh3 (27. Bxc8 hxg2+ 28. Kxg2 Nxc8) 27... Rf8

22... Ng6 23. c6 Nf4 24. Nxf4 Qxf4 25. Qe1 bxc6 26. Bc4

26. Bxc6 Rb8 27. b3 Ba6

26. dxc6 Be6 27. b4 a6 28. Bd3 Bf8 29. Rc3 d5

26... c5 27. Rb3 Bd7 28. Qe3??

28. Rb7 keeps the game going,but White cannot use his Queen to any effect,because of the same tactic that is about to occur. 28... Bf6 29. Rxc7 Bc8 30. Rc6 Bd8 31. Ba6 Bd7

28... Rxh2+!

There is no defence whatsoever now.

29. Bxh2 Qh4 30. Qg1 Rf8 31. Rb7 Rf4 32. Rxc7 Qh6 0-1