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Todd On Tulsa Print E-mail
By FM Todd Andrews   
April 3, 2008
Toddslide.jpgIn the Frank Berry  U.S. Championship Qualifier Open, Nashville based FM Todd Andrews earned 5/7, but his tiebreaks were not high enough to earn him a spot in the big one. Here Todd annotates the high and low points of his result in Tulsa, a tough, controversial loss to GM Alexander Ivanov, and a sparkling victory over the young talent Darwin Yang.

My game against Ivanov was a great battle with mistakes on both sides, which led to a bizarre endgame with a material imbalance. Unfortunately, the spirit of the game was marred by when an unclear technicality came into play. It seems that many people do not understand the new FIDE time control. Do you have to keep score when you are under five minutes or not?



 My plan for this game was to play very straightforward in a classical manner.
 1...g6 2.d4 Bg7 3.Nf3 d6 4.Nc3 c6 5.a4
A preventive measure against ...b7-b5 which is what the early ...c7-c6 signals.
 My research after the game showed that this is the Grandmasters pet line. Out of all the games I found, he is the leading authority. We followed Porubskzi - Ivanov from St. Martin 1991, except the moves Rfe1 and ...Nd7 are included.
 6.Be2 d5 7.Be3 e6 8.0–0 Ne7 9.Re1
This appears to be the first new move. I do not see how the inclusion of this move could not be positive. It sticks to my plan to play in a classical style.
9...0–0 10.a5
 The rook pawn takes up space on the queenside and looks to lodge a wedge in the black queenside pawn structure by advancing to a6. If black prevents the advance by playing ...a7-a6, he risks weakening his queenside dark squares. Denying the black knight or queen access to b6 is a perk as well.
10...Nd7 11.Qd2 Re8 12.h3
12.Bh6?! This was the other line that I considered. I figured he might retreat the bishop to h8 (the reason for the earlier ...Rf8-e8), but by transferring his knights to the kingside and center via f5 and f6, black seems to get plenty of counter play. 12...dxe4 13.Nxe4 Bxh6 14.Qxh6 Nf5 15.Qf4 Bxf3 16.Bxf3 e5 is one possible line where black should have equalized.
 12...Bxf3 13.Bxf3 dxe4 14.Nxe4 Nf5 15.a6
15.Bg5 was a strong consideration trying to entice black to play ...f7-f6 and weaken his structure. 15...Qc7 16.c3 and white holds a slight advantage.
15...b6 16.c3 Nxe3 17.Qxe3 Qc7
This was a difficult move to come up with. I knew it was important to take the sting out of the ...e6-e5 push for black. The opening of the e-file would benefit black. So I started coming up with ways to answer ...e5 with d4-d5. 18. Rad1 seemed the most natural, but I thought in the long run my a-pawn might get hunted down. I felt the two white rooks should remain on the queenside anyway to possibly assist the majority down the board.
18.Red1 Rad8

Position after 18...Rad8

Maybe this was overly aggressive, but I wanted to try and pose problems for the grandmaster on both sides of the board.
19...h6 20.c4
20.h5 g5 21.Nxg5!? I went through these variations in my head quite a few times during the game, but finally disregarded it all. It seemed to me that black was able to bring enough of his pieces in to aid in the defense. The only reason it is making it into this analysis is because the computer suggested it! 21...hxg5 22.Qxg5 f6 23.Qg4 Kh8 24.Qg6 Nf8 25.Qe4 Rc8 26.Qh4 Kh7 27.Re1 and it is very difficult for black to unravel.
20...c5 21.dxc5 Nxc5 22.Nxc5 bxc5 23.Rab1
With this move I offered a draw. I regret doing it, because it affected me negatively. I immediately made a bad move when I felt that my position was quite comfortable.
23...h5 24.Bb7?
24.Qb3 was better.
Taking advantage of my back rank weakness.
 25.Rxd8 Rxd8 26.Bf3 Rb8 27.Qg5?
The action started speeding up and I began to play superficially looking for cheap ways to get back in the game. My threats are easily dealt with.
 27...Kg7 28.Qd2 Qe5 29.Re1 Qc3 30.Qxc3+ Bxc3 31.Rc1 Rb3 32.Bc6 Bf6 33.Rd1 Bd4 34.Rd2
 Black is winning, but the time that pressure that the 90 minutes + 30-second increment has brought on keeps white in the game.
34...Rc3 35.Bb5 Rc1+ 36.Kh2 Rf1 37.Kg3 e5 38.Kf3 Rh1?
 38...f5 and black just gradually works his way forward.
My only chance to get back in it! However, my counter play against the a7 pawn and the grandmaster found a lot of good moves in time pressure.
39...Rxh4+ 40.Kd5 Rh2 41.Kc6 Rxg2 42.Kb7 h4 43.Kxa7 h3 44.Bc6 Rg1 45.Kb7 Rb1+ 46.Kc7 Ra1 47.Kb7 f5 48.Rd3 Rb1+ 49.Kc8 Ra1 50.Kb7 Bxf2 51.Rxh3 e4 52.a7 g5 53.Rh1

Position after 53.Rh1

It was right around this point in the game where I started to notice that the grandmaster was not recording the moves and had several move pairs missing from his scoresheet. It was my understanding that you had to always keep score when playing with the 30–second increment. I had been told so before in a previous experience myself with this new time control. Ivanov was down to less than one minute on his clock, so I told him that he had to complete his scoresheet before he proceeded with the game. I thought that I was completely acting within the rules to require my opponent to follow a the same rules we are all suppose to follow. What followed was a scene. If my opponent had had to use his remaining time to complete his score, maybe the result of the game would have been different. Who knows? But there needs to be some clarification for everyone.
53.Rh5! puts up the most resistance, but the black pawns turn out to be too strong.
53...e3 54.Bf3 g4 55.Be2 Kg6 56.Rh8 g3 57.Rg8+ Kf7 58.Rg5 Kf6 59.Rg8 Ke5 60.a8Q Rxa8 61.Kxa8 Kd4 62.Kb7 Kc3 63.Kc6 Kd2.
53...Ra3 54.a8Q??

54.Rh5 would transpose into the previous variation.
54...Rxa8 55.Kxa8   55...e3 56.Bf3 g4 57.Be2 g3 58.Bf3 e2 59.Bxe2 g2 60.Rd1 g1Q 61.Rxg1+ Bxg1 62.Kb7 Kf6 63.Kc6 Ke5 64.Bf1 f4 65.Bh3 f3 66.Bf1 Bd4 0–1


I take a particular pride in taking on the up-and-coming youngsters. I know that someday they will all be beating up on me, but this was not that day.
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 b5
When debating my opening choice before the round, I turned to my Tennessee Tempo USCL teammates FM John Bick and FM Jerry Wheeler and we all agreed, "Benko for sure, I gotta stick with what got me here!" I will take my chances in an opening system that I have been playing longer than my opponent's 11 years on this planet.
4.cxb5 a6 5.b6 e6!

Position after 6...e6

I am making it official that this is simply the best way for black to fight the b6-declined variation. Without creating too many problems, all the black pieces develop the type of counterplay that Benko-gambiteers thrive on.
6.Nc3 Nxd5
6...exd5?! 7.Bg5!
7.Nxd5 exd5 8.Qxd5 Nc6 9.e3?!

Of course, the main lines are with 9.e4 and 9.Nf3. This push is more solid, but more passive as well.
 Necessary so that when white plays...
10.Bc4 ...black can...
 ...to deal with the f7 threats.
11.Nf3 Rb8 12.0–0 Rxb6 13.Ne5?

Reasons to trade pieces: 1. To avoid losing time 2. To gain time 3. To free up space 4. To create some positional advantage 5. To weaken your opponent's king. 6. Because you can't find anything else to do? This does not accomplish any of those (well maybe one) and just ends up costing white a whole lotta time.
13...Nxe5 14.Qxe5 Bb7 15.Bd2?
 It is normal to play Bd2-c3 in these systems, but I had a feeling that this was a little bit more about the cheap-O skewer at a5. My opponent had accumulated d 4 or 5 extra minutes at this point thanks to the increment. I had been observing this young man throughout the tournament, because he was sitting near me during a few rounds and I got the impression that he is a nice boy, but he has caught a little bit of the epidemic that follows a lot of young chess talents around: the swelling of the head. To move so quickly and confidently against an experienced master was a serious weakness in Darwin's play this game. 
15...Rg6 16.e4
16.g3 d5 17.Bd3 Bf6 18.Qf4 Rh6 leads to an interesting position where Black should hold a slight edge.
The killer bishops aim at the white kingside and you can see where this is headed.
Position after 17.Qf5

 The beginning of a 10–move combination that in the end will win 5-pawns!
18.Kxh2 Qh4+ 19.Qh3
19.Kg1 Rxg2+ 20.Kxg2 Bxe4+ 21.Qxe4 Qxe4+ 22.f3 Qxc4–+
 19...Qxe4 20.Bd3 Rxg2+ 21.Kh1

Position after 21.Kh1

Now the bishop on b7 rules the roost.
22.Qxd3 Rxf2+ 23.Kg1 Rg2+
 The windmill tactic! Yet another fantastic lesson that I recall from my youthful study of My System.
24.Kh1 Rxd2+ 25.Qf3 Bxf3+ 26.Rxf3 Rxb2 and Black went on to win. 0–1