Sadorra Annotates A Win on his Way to GM
March 20, 2011
University of Texas at Dallas sophomore Julio Sadorra scored his final GM norm at the UTD Invitational (March 12-19). He annotates his crucial win over GM Alexander Shabalov. The event was sponsored by Turner Construction and pitted visiting GMs against the UTD team. Despite Sadorra's accomplishment, the visiting GMs scored a resounding 42.5-29.5 victory. Find full details on the official website.


Before this game, I had six points with three more rounds to go. I decided not to take unnecessary risks because draws would be enough to clinch my final norm.
1. Nf3 d5 2. c4 c6
I, along with the rest of the world, know that Alex has a lot of experience with the Slav so I tried to keep him away from well-trodden paths. Thus I decided to continue play in the spirit of my childhood opening--Reti.
3. g3 Nf6 4. Bg2 dxc4
This made me think that he wants to play for a win.
5. O-O Nbd7 6. Qc2
6. Na3 is also possible.
6... Nb6 7. a4 a5 8. Na3 Qd5

8... Be6 9. Ng5 Qd7 9... Bd5 10. e4 10. Nxe6 Qxe6 11. d3 cxd3 12. exd3 and White has good compensation for the pawn due Black's lag in development.
9. Ne1 Qe6
9... Qc5 10. d3 (bad is 10. Nd3 Qd4 because Black holds on to the pawn while keeping his queen centralized) 10... g6 11. Be3 and White is better.
10. d3
Here my opponent sank into deep thought.
10... cxd3?
I think this is where things become really difficult for Black--I get a strong initiative for the pawn. It is safer to return the pawn and continue development with: 10... g6 11. dxc4 Bg7 12. Nd3 O-O 13. e4 but the precarious position of the Black knight on b6, misplaced queen and cramped position still gives White the upper hand. Nbd7 (13... Qd7 14. c5) 14. c5 and White's position is more comfortable and easier to play.
11. Nxd3 Nfd5 12.Nf4!

Exchanging off Black's only developed pieces benefits White because he's ahead in development.
12...Nxf4 13. Bxf4 g6 14. Qc3!
provoking a weakness in the enemy camp which will give rise to tactical motifs.
14... f6 15. Rfd1 Bg7 16. Qd4 Nd7
16... Ra6 17. e4 O-O 18. Bf1 f5 19. Qe3
17. Rac1
Let's take stock of the situation. White is down a pawn but all of White's pieces are optimally placed and ready to invade anytime, black's king is still in the middle his queenside is riddled with problems therefore White must be better. Now castling is bad due to the weakness created along the a2-g8 diagonal.

17... Qb3 18. Bh3
17... O-O 18. Nb5 f5 (18... cxb5 19.Bd5) (18... Qf7 19. Nc7 e5 20. Qd6 with unpleasant pressure) 19. Nc7 Bxd4 20. Nxe6 Bxb2 21. Rc2 Ba3 22. Rcd2)
18. Bxe5 fxe5
18... Qxe5 19. Qxe5 fxe5 20. Rxc6 bxc6 21. Bxc6+ Bd7 22. Bxa8 Bxa4 23. Rd5 O-O 24. Rxa5 is a winning endgame for White.
19. Qd8+ Kf7 20. Qc7 Rf8 21. Nc4 e4 22. Rd8

22. Nb6 is bad due to Be5
22... Rxd8 23. Qxd8
White's invasion is decisive.
23...Qd7 24. Rd1 Qxd8 25. Rxd8, 23... Qd5 24. Qxd5+ cxd5 25. Nb6 Ra6 26.Nxc8 Bxb2 27. Rc7 Ba3 28. Bh3, 23... Bf6 24. b3.
24. Bh3! Qxh3 25. Nxe5+ Ke6 26. f4 exf3 27. exf3

and Black resigns 1-0 due to 27...Kxe5 (27...Qf5 28 Re1) 28 Re1 Kf5 29 Qf8 Kg5 30 Qf4 Kh5 31 Re5 Bf5 32 g4 Kh4 33 Qh6#