Friday, June 1, 2007
ICCF WS/O/109 Game: Kyhos - Owens
[White "Kýhos, Alois"]
[Black "Owens, Steve"]
[Opening “Sicilian: Nimzovich-Rossolimo attack (without ...d6)”]
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 e6
The Nimzovich-Rossolimo has the benefit of removing Black from his pet variation of the Sicilian while still retaining White's first move initiative.
4. O-O Nge7 5. Nc3 Ng6 6. Re1 Be7 7. d4 cxd4 8. Nxd4 O-O 9. Be3 Qc7 10. Bd3 a6 11. Qh5 Qe5 12. Qxe5 Ncxe5 13. Be2 b5
This is a mistake. I lost sight of the fact that c6 will be weakened when the d pawn moves. a6 had already stopped the Knights and light Bishop from Queen side mischief. I was overly worried about a Knight maneuver via a4 and b6. With b5 I had in mind, and did in fact play, the Bishop to b7. There it is misplaced and not a contributor to the defense as it would have been at d7. I had planned to post the Bishop there, but varied from the plan, a basic error.
14. Rad1 Bb7 15. f4 Nc6 16. Nb3 d6 17. a3 Rac8
The Rook would have been better placed at d8. I was leery of Bb6 after Rad8, another impact from the b5 move.
18. Bg4 Rfe8 19. Rf1 b4
I could find no decent defensive moves or anything that would consolidate the position so I looked for something dynamic to see if I could manufacure an advantage, or at least equalize. 19...b4 will eventually lose the a pawn to a Rook attack, but I thought I could trade off some of his more active pieces for my less active pieces. At this point I want to trade the light Bishops, and see if he will trade the dark Bishops, too.
20. axb4 Nxb4 21. Rd2 Bf6 22. Bd4 Bxd4+
I'm only too happy to see the two dark Bishops leave. My outlook has improved considerably. My light Bishop, once buried, has a long diagonal, though it is tied to defense of the a pawn. My Knight on b4 bothers his Queen side. The a pawn can't be adequately defended, but I can get some compensation for it.
23. Nxd4 Rcd8 24. h3 Ne7
24...Nxf4 25. Rxf4 e5 might have been better. With 24...Ne7 I'm trading the a pawn for the f pawn and hoping I can then stop the passed b pawn before it causes trouble.
25. Ra1 e5 26. Nb3 exf4 27. Ra4 Nbc6 28. Be2 Ne5 29. Bxa6 Bxa6 30. Rxa6 Nc4 31. Rd4 Rc8
The d pawn is immune. White has active Rooks but he can't make decent use of them. The b pawn is held in place and I hope to soon lop it off.
32. Nb5 Kf8 33. c3 Rb8
White chose not to isolate his passed pawn with a Knight capture on d6.
34. Nc7 Red8 35. Rxc4 Rxb3 36. Nd5 Nxd5
Perhaps 36. Rd4 would have been better with wholesale exchanges at d6. At this point I knew I had the draw in hand.
37. exd5 Rxb2 38. Rxf4 Re2 39. c4 Rd7
40. Rc6 Ke7 41. Rf2 Re1+ 42. Kh2 h5 43. g4 1/2-1/2
He offered a draw and I accepted. Black may actually have a small advantage in this position. I could not find that it led to a victory unless White made a blunder, even with the possibility of gaining a passed pawn on the King side.