~bfiedler/website

0bb14422897ddc898a11894ab783e4a3b3bd0d67 — Ben Fiedler 2 years ago 5c7bf6e
Add second SMM game
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A content/chess/smm-2022-02.md
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---
author: "Ben Fiedler"
title: "SMM 2022 - 2nd round"
date: "2022-05-14"
tournament: "SMM 2022"
color: "white"
result: "1-0"
---

My second game for [SC Réti](https://screti.ch) in the 2022 SMM was played
against an opponent rated about 1450.

Time control is again 90 minutes per player from move 1, with a 30 second
increment from move 1 as well. Time control is reached after 40 moves, and both
players get additional 30 minutes.

# Analysis

We begin **1. d4 Nf6 2. Bf4 d5 3. e3 c6 4. c3 e6 5. Bd3 Bd6 6. Bg3 Bxg3**, and
White is very happy with this trade, opening the rook on the h-file. The game
continues **7. hxg3 0-0?**. I was winning here, but I completely missed this
opportunity. 8\. Bxh2! wins a pawn, and forces Black to walk his king to the
center after 8\. ... Nxh2 9\. Qh5 f6 10. Qxh7.

{{< fen pos="rnbq1rk1/pp3ppp/2p1pn2/3p4/3P4/2PBP1P1/PP3PP1/RN1QK1NR w KQ - 1 8"
    caption="White is completely winning after **7. ... 0-0**" >}}

I'm still better though, which matches my intuition during the game.

We continue **8. Nbd2 Nbd7 9. f4? g6**, better would have been 9\. g4, since it
exerts more pressure on the knight, and threatens g5 immediately. **10. g4 Kg7
11\. Qf3 Rh8** and my kingside knight can finally develop via e2 or h3. **12.
Nh3 Nf8 13. 0-0-0 b5**.

{{< fen pos="r1bq1n1r/p4pkp/2p1pnp1/1p1p4/3P1PP1/2PBPQ1N/PP1N2P1/2KR3R w - - 0 14"
    caption="Critical position after **13. ... b5**">}}

During the game, this felt like a critical position to me. My position is
clearly better: my pieces are much more developed than Black's and can join in
the kingside attack. But how should I continue? The candidate moves I found were
g5, f5 and e4. I was not able to evaluate the nuances of these moves. Best is
g5, followed by f5. 14\. g5 kicks out the Black knight and keeps the center
closed - exactly what I want when attacking the Black kingside. The move 14. ...
Nh5 is impossible because of 15. g4! trapping the knight.

14\. f5 is also interesting: taking on f5 leads to a series of exchanges which
end up which leave the Black king wide open: 14\. ... exf5 15. gxf5 gxf5 16.
Bxf5 Bxf5 17. Qxf5. I was unsure how forced this exchange was though, and I was
not sure what to do after 17. Qc8 Qg5+ Ng6. Black's position still looks pretty
bad, but there is no immediate win. There is also the possibility of 14. ... h5
15\. fxg6 hxg4 16. Qxg4, which keeps some tension but activates the Black rook
on the h-file.

I was not really happy with g5 or f5, which was stupid in hindsight, and chose
to play **14. e4** without much thought, a bad idea as it allows Black
unnecessary counterplay with **14. ... dxe4 15. Nxe4 Qd5**. The engine claims
that no advantage has been lost, but here I make another big blunder: **16.
Bb1??**. This move is spectacularly bad for two reasons: my king would much
rather defend a2 than my bishop, and during the game I had temporarily forgotten
that my queen was defended, so I was terrified to move my knight by accident and
"blunder" my queen. I realized this mistake a move later, once I saw that my
queen was actually defended by the pawn, but it is too late.

The most principled move is probably 16. Kb1. Stockfish wants 16. Nxf6, since
Black has to recapture the knight with the king to avoid losing a piece for
free. However, there is also 16. ... Qxa2, which is ok according to the engine
but gives activity to Black for no reason.

My opponent finally develops his bishop, and I offer him a queen trade **16\.
... Bd7 17. Nc5 Qxf3 18. gxf3 Nd5**.

{{< fen pos="r4n1r/p2b1pkp/2p1p1p1/1pNn4/3P1PP1/2P2P1N/PP6/1BKR3R w - - 1 19"
        caption="After **18. ... Nd5**, what is the bishop doing on b1?" >}}

I felt like I lost my advantage after e4, but here it really starts looking
unpleasant for me. **19. Rde1 a5 20. Nxd7 Nxd7**. An unfavorable trade, as the
bishop was really doing nothing on d7, while my knight had a good outpost on c5. 
**21. f5 exf5 22. gxf5 N7f6 23. fxg6 hxg6 24. Kd2 Rae8 25. Ng5 Rxe1 26. Rxe1
Rh2+ 27. Re2 Rxe2+ 28. Kxe2**. I think my opponent should have brought his rooks
on the open files much sooner, something like 21. ... Rae8, and not trade as
aggressively. One possible variation is 27. Nf4, preparing the move Rh2+ because
I cannot block the check with my rook that way, and my king would be confined to
the first rank.

{{< fen pos="8/5pk1/2p2np1/pp1n2N1/3P4/2P2P2/PP2K3/1B6 b - - 0 28"
        caption="Our endgame after **28. Kxe2**" >}}

After trading the rooks I felt like the game was equal again, and potentially
even allowing me some long term winning chances because I have a bishop and
knight instead of two knights. We continue **28. ... Nf4+ 29. Kd2 N6d5 30. Ne4
f6 31. Nd6 Kf8?**. I feel good in this position, Black's king is far away from
the action and my king and isolated pawn are excellently positioned against
Black's knights: neither knight can easily check my king or threaten my pieces.

**32. c4 bxc4 33. Nxc4**, threatening the pawn on a5, **33. ... a4 34. Bc2**, again
threatening the pawn. My opponent tries to resolve this threat aggressively,
however the c6 pawn will fall after the a4 pawn, giving me a clean pawn
advantage. **34\. ... Nb4 35. Bxa4 c5??** a pretty bad blunder. Instead letting
me take the pawn with my bishop, I can take it with my d-pawn, bringing it
closer to promotion and allowing the b-pawn to defend it in the future.

{{< fen pos="5k2/8/5pp1/2p5/BnNP1n2/5P2/PP1K4/8 w - - 0 36"
        caption="Black allows my d-pawn to re-enter the game after **35. ... c5**" >}}

**36. dxc5 Nxa2 37. c6 Nd5 38. Ne3 Nb4 39. Nxd5 Nxd5 40. b4 Ke7 41. b5 Kd8** The
knight cannot take on b4 because the pawn is unstoppable 40. ... Nxb4 41. c7!
... 41. c8=Q. Now I have two connected passed pawns that force Black's king to
constantly stay close to the b and c files. Exchanging knight for bishop would
be winning for me, as Black has to prevent my connected passed pawns from
queening and I can go take all of Black's pawns in the meantime.

{{< fen pos="3k4/8/2P2pp1/1P1n4/B7/5P2/3K4/8 w - - 1 42"
        caption="Black is down a pawn and I two advanced passed paws" >}}

**41. Bb3 Nb6?** is the final nail in the coffin. According to Stockfish the
knight should have gone to e7 to help out with the defense of the black pawns
and simultaneously prevent the b-pawn from walking. With the knight on e7
Black's position, while very unpleasant, may be holdable.

{{< fen pos="3k4/4n3/2P2pp1/1P6/8/1B3P2/3K4/8 w - - 3 43"
        caption="Apparently Black can hold this endgame" >}}

From here on out it is a matter of technique: **42. Kd3 Kc7 43. Kd4 Nc8 44. Kd5
Kb6 45. Bc4 Kc7 46. Ke6 f5 47. Kf6 Nd6 48. Bd3 Kb6 49. Kxg6**. Black cannot take
on b5 because the c-pawn will queen: 49\. ... Nxb5?? 50. Bxb5 Kxb5 51. c7.
Therefore, Black has no option but to continue shuffling **49. ... Kc7 50. Kf6
Kb6 51. Ke6 Nc8 52. Kxf5 Nd6 53. Ke6** and Black resigns.

{{< fen pos="8/8/1kPnK3/1P6/8/3B1P2/8/8 b - - 2 54"
        caption="The final position" >}}

This game felt very similar to my first game: I had a huge advantage out of the
opening, traded into a disadvantageous middlegame and then won due to endgame
opponent's blunders. In both of my games I had very good attacking chances -
this game I should have kept everything closed with f5 or g5 instead of playing
time I opened the center instead of playing 14\. e4.

Thanks to my team captain Raphael M. and my fellow chess players Raphael S.
and Iversen at [SC Réti](https://screti.ch) for analyzing my game with me and
showing me how to improve my game!