Nick Beqo's Games
Beqo - Meng [C54] - February 5th, 2002
For the Italian Opening, I would like to present the game I played for PoCo Team, which motivated me to come back to serious tournaments, after a period of 6 years break. PoCo Team played against Surrey Team, and the results in this event were as follows: Pascal Charbonneau was the first to finish the game, winning as black v.s. Fullbrook; Oliver Schulte drew v.s. Brian McLaren; Jack Yoos won v.s. Booker; Dragoljub Milicevic drew v.s. Sean McLaren; Luc Poitras won v.s. Weibe; Wayne lost v.s. Peter Yee, and myself v.s. Bobby Meng.
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 ...
Meng is a young talented player and Sicilian is his main opening against 1.e4. I decided to test his opening knowledge in some rare lines, so I did not play Ruy Lopez or Scotch.
3...Bc5 4.c3 ...
Maybe I should have gone for Evans' Gambit. Italian Game is a very solid system for black, but one reason some players do not play it is that they do not like the Evans' Gambit!
4...Nf6 5.d4 exd4 6.cxd4 Bb4+ 7.Nc3 ...
The main line is 7.Bd2, but you already know what I was trying to do.
7...Nxe4 8.0–0 ...
[This is better than 8...0–0 9.d5 Nxc3 (9...Bxc3 10.bxc3 Ne7 11.Re1 Nf6 12.d6²) 10.bxc3 Bxc3 and now both 11.Ba3 and 11.dxc6 give an advantage for white.; Or 8...Nxc3 9.bxc3 Bxc3? 10.Ba3 ...
(Well - known is 10.Qb3 d5 '!' (10...Bxa1 11.Bxf7+ Kf8 12.Bg5 '+-' Greco 1619' 12...Ne7 13.Ne5 Bxd4 14.Bg6 d5 15.Qf3+ Bf5 16.Bxf5 Bxe5 17.Be6+ Bf6 18.Bxf6 Ke8 (18...gxf6 19.Qxf6+ Ke8 20.Qf7#) 19.Bxg7 Powerfull Bishops, invented by Greco.) 11.Bxd5 (11.Qxc3 dxc4 12.d5! Ne7 13.Re1 0–0 14.Ba3 Nxd5 15.Qxc4 Nb6 16.Qe2 c6÷) 11...0–0 '!' 12.Bxf7+ Kh8 '!' 13.Qxc3 Rxf7 14.Qb3²)
10...d5 (10...d6 11.Rc1 Ba5 12.Qa4 a6 [12...Bg4 13.d5 Bxf3 14.dxc6 Qg5 15.cxb7+ Ke7 16.Rce1+ Kf6 17.Bb2+ Kg6 18.Bxf7+ Kxf7 19.Qd7+ Kg6 20.Qxg7+ Kh5 (Find mate in 5 after 20...Kf5 ) 21.Qf7+ Qg6 (Find mate in 5 after 21...Kh6 ) 22.Qxf3++-] 13.Bd5 Bb6 14.Rxc6 Bd7 15.Re1+ Kf8 16.Rxd6 cxd6 17.Bxd6+ Kg8 18.Bxf7+ Kxf7 19.Ne5+ Kf6 20.Nxd7++- 10...Ba1? reminds me a game I played in Hania Open 1994. GM Rajkovic was watching that game, and we discussed if I should have better played 10.Qb3) 11.Bb5 Bxa1 12.Re1+ Be6 13.Qa4 Qd7 14.Ne5 Nxe5 15.Bxd7+ Nxd7 16.Rxa1² Something I was hoping for.]
The main line here is 9.d5 Bf6 10.Re1 Ne7 11.Rxe4 d6 12.Bg5 Bxg5 13.Nxg5 This position is pretty equal according to the theory.]
I realized I had played the last move very fast! Now it is junior's turn to test me how am I going to play with a pawn down! The time control is 90 min for the whole game, and this is my first game I play after such a long time!
I played this move after I considered 10.Bb5, 10. Qc2 and even 10.Ba3. [10.Ba3 variation was used by Steinitz, but he lost both games in round 1 and 3 against Lasker, in World Championship in Moscow: 10.Ba3 dxc4 (10...Be6 11.Bb5 Nd6 12.Bxc6+ bxc6 13.Ne5 0–0 14.Nxc6 Qf6 1/2–1/2 Steinitz,W-Schlechter,C/Hastings 1895) 11.Re1 Be6 (11...f5 12.Nd2 Kf7 13.Nxe4 fxe4 14.Rxe4 Qf6 15.Qe2 Bf5 16.Qxc4+ Kg6 0–1 Steinitz,W-Lasker,E/Wch-Moscow 1896) 12.Rxe4 Qd5 13.Qe2 0–0–0 14.Ne5 Rhe8 0–1 Steinitz,W-Lasker,E/Wch-Moscow 1896]
10...0–0 11.Bxe4 ...
Here, I could have played 11.Qc2 Bf5 12.Rb1 Rb8 13.Bf4 With some Pet roff type of positions, but I was not sure if I had compensation for the pawn.]
11...dxe4 12.Ng5 Bf5 13.Re1 ...
My idea of this variation was to create some counterplay in the center and maybe making some mess with g4, Nh3-f4, Be3 etc.
I think this is a mistake. [Better was 13...Re8 14.d5 (14.Qb3 Qd7 15.Qxb7?? h6–+) 14...Na5 and black has a clear advantage. Maybe I would continue with 15.f3 as in the game.]
14.Qb3 Qxb3 15.axb3 Rfe8 16.f3 exf3 17.Rxe8+ Rxe8 18.Nxf3 ...
Exchanging pieces when you are a pawn down is usually a big mistake, but in this case the exchanges helped me to improve my position!
The idea of this move was attacking the weakness and trying to control the light squares, but black missed something. Better was 18... a6
19.d5 Ne7 20.Nd4 Bd3
Better was 20...Be4 After which I had 3 main choices 21.c4 (21.d6 cxd6 22.Rxa7; 21.Rxa7 Bxd5 22.Nb5) 21...a6 22.Bf4 c5 23.dxc6 Nxc6 24.Nxc6 Bxc6 25.Kf2]
I think I have compensation for the pawn in this position! After the game Yoos suggested 21.d6 cxd6 22.Rxa7 but I simply did not have time to calculate the back rank problems that I had.
21...Ng6 22.Bd2 ...
An unclear position with mutual chances arises after 22.Rxa7 Re1+ 23.Kf2 Rxc1 (23...Rf1+?? 24.Ke3+-) 24.Rxb7 but with such a time control I really had to develop the bishop, which is very rare in my games to develop the bishop in the 22nd move!
22...a6 23.Re1 ...
Keeping an eye on c7 pawn, I went again for another exchange even being a pawn down! It is good to know that every rule has its exceptions!
I liked this as the strongest move played by Bobby in this game.The position of his bishop makes big difference, as after the rook exchange his bishop on e4 attacks my pawn on g2.
24.Rxe4 Bxe4 25.Ba5 b6 26.Be1 Nf4 27.Bg3 g5 28.Kf2 Kf8
Here I got a feeling I was going to win this game, although there were only 15 minutes left in my clock. In my opinion white has a better endgame, and Bobby that had played fast so far, thought for almost 20 minutest at this moment.
29.h4 h6 30.hxg5? ...
This move gives the advantage away! [After 30.Nf3 Bxf3 31.Kxf3 Ke7 32.Bxf4 gxf4 33.Kxf4 white is clearly winning!]
30...hxg5 31.Nf3 Bxf3 32.Kxf3 Ke7 33.Kg4 Kd7
An interesting endgame happens after 33...Nxg2 34.Kxg5²] 34.Bxf4 gxf4 35.Kxf4 Kd6= 36.g4 b5 37.cxb5 axb5 38.Ke4 Kc5 39.Ke5 Kb4 40.Kf6 Kxb3 41.Kxf7 b4 Here Bobby offered draw and after 42.g5 Kc4 I agreed. Bobby did not fell for the losing move Kc2. Good game by Bobby and good warming up for me! ½–½
Caro-Kann (Advanced Variation)
Beqo - Davies [B12] - March 2nd, 2002
1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 [ 3...c5 is good only as a surprize] 4.Nc3 Qb6 5.Bd3 ...
I like to exchange this bishop if black tries to play on Queen side. I like to exchange this bishop if black tries to play on Queen side. '!?' Andrianov,N. [5.Nf3 e6 6.Be2 Nd7 7.0–0 Ne7 8.b3!?÷]
5...Qxd4 '?!' 6.Nf3 Qg4. After I checked Kotronias' book and some games in database with this variation I think I can prove that white has compensation for the pawn. 7.h3 Qh5 (7...Qxg2 8.Rg1 Qxh3 9.Bf1 Bxc2 10.Qe2 Qh5 11.Rg5 Qh1 12.Qxc2 Qxf3 13.Bg2) 8.0–0 Bxd3 9.cxd3 e6 10.Ne2! '+/-
6.Qxd3 e6 7.Be3!?N ....
This is my novelty. The idea is to develop the bishop and also to try to stop c5. [The other moves that had been played in this position are 7.Nf3; 7.Nge2; 7.Nce2; 7.h4]
[7...c5 8.Qb5+! The point of my novelty! 8...Nc6 9.dxc5 Qxb5 10.Nxb5]
Controlling h4, although first I had planned to play Nge2.
8...Nf5 9.g4 [¹9.0–0] 9...Nxe3 10.fxe3 ...
10...Qxb2 ? 11.0–0 with more than enough compensation for the pawn.
11.Qb5+ Qxb5 12.Nxb5 Na6 13.e4!?
[13.Ke2 Be7 14.h4±]
13...dxe4 14.Ng5 Be7 15.Nxe4 0–0 16.0–0–0² Rfd8 17.Nbd6 ...
Here I was not sure which Knight to bring on d6, and finally I followed the principle of centralizing.
17...Bxd6 18.exd6 Creating a free pawn. 18...c4 19.d5 f5 20.Ng5! ...
[20.dxe6? fxe4 Nc5 comes 21.Rd5? Nc7]
20...Rxd6 21.dxe6+- Rad8 22.gxf5 h6 23.Nf7 Rxd1+ 24.Rxd1 Rxd1+ 25.Kxd1 Nc7 26.Nd6 Nd5 27.Nxc4 Kf8 28.Kd2 Ke7 29.Ne3 Nb6 30.c4 Kd6 31.b4? [Here I missed 31.c5+ - ] 31...Nc8 32.Kd3 Ke5 33.Nd5 Kxf5 34.e7 Nd6 35.Nc7 1–0
Beqo - Steininger [A46] - "Keres Memorial" May 17th, 2002
This is the first game I played in "Keres Memorial 2002, and also the first game without my dad in my life, who I learned the first moves from. Last month he passed away at age 63, a teacher by profession, and a very smart man! My Dad sacrificed so much to make sure that all his children (me, my two younger brothers and my sister) obtained University degrees, and be independent in life. He was also a strong chess player, and I could not win against him until I was 15. It sounds strange, but I felt my dad's presence during the whole tournament, and that's why I got lucky in some games. Also, not long time ago, grandmaster Tony Miles passed away in a very young age. He was one of my coaches, so I chose Tony's favorite openings, in his memory as well.
1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 3.Bf4 c5 4.c3 Nc6 5.e3 d5 6.Bd3 ...
The London system; passive but solid. Another main line is 6...Qb6 7.Qc1 (7.Qb3 c4 8.Qxb6 axb6 9.Bc2 b5) 7...Bd7 8.0–0 Rc8 9.Nbd2 Be7 10.h3 with the idea Qb1,dc5,e4etc.
Maybe I should have waited a little for castling, but I cannot criticise this move.
7...a6 8.Nbd2 Nh5 9.Bg3 ...
[Here I was considering 9.dxc5 Nxf4 10.exf4 Bxc5 11.Qc2³; and 9.Be5 ]
9...Nxg3 10.hxg3 c4 11.Bc2 f5?!
Where is my opponent going without developing pieces? One principle in opening is to avoid playing with pawns. Maybe he has an excuse, since my opening is toothless, but I, personally, do not like Black's bishop on c8.
12.b3² xBc8 12...b5 13.bxc4
The losing move. [¹13...dxc4 14.a4 Bd7 15.Qe2²]
14.Ba4 Bd7 15.Bxc6 Bxc6 16.Ne5 Qc7 17.Qh5++- g6 18.Nxg6 hxg6 19.Qxh8+ Kd7 20.Qg7 Qa5 21.Nf3 Re8
I like it when my opponent does not resign in a lost position. It just gives me a satisfaction, and it makes mehappy!
[I was hoping for a nice finish 22...Rf8 23.Ne5+ Kd6 24.Qxe7+ Kxe7 25.Nxc6+]
23.Ne5 Ba4 24.Rab1 1–0
In this tournament I had an opportunity to try other Mile's openings, such as 1.e4 Nc6 , 1.e4 Nf6 and 1.e4 c5 as Black, and both 1.d4 and 1.e4 as White. I tried 1.e4 against an old man, thinking that I would outplay him in theory, but it was funny because he surprised me with Latvian Gambit. I won the game, and the next day my opponent, Mr. Zemitis, brought me a collection of 6 chess magazines " Latvian correspondence chess & Latvian Gambit" for Year 2001. He said that he was impressed by my novelty in move 8! As a matter of fact, the "novelty" was not in move 8, and I got a bad position from the opening. I just got lucky :)
Beqo (2198) - Yoos (2437) [B76] - BC Closed, October 15th, 2002
Only two days before the tournament I found out about it, and decided to play. This is how it happened: I was on the phone with Yoos, and he asked me if I was going to Victoria for the BC Closed. I told him that I did not know it was for the Thanksgiving long weekend, besides, I like 7 or 9 rounds tournaments. He said that they changed the format from 5 to 7 rounds, so without any preparation at all, I decided to go even I was very sick. This lead to another usual fight with my wife, but at least I was able to make arrangements from work in such a short notice!
My coughing every 2-3 minutes during my games was annoying for everybody. I had to take medication which helped a little, but it made me feel dizzy and fall asleep. Finding an excuse for being sick, always reminds me what Tal said once: "All my opponents that I beat were sick, but they all told me that after the game!" Actually, I do not know if my performance would have been better or worse if I was not sick, but I am sure it would had been better if I had been prepared for such a strong event. In some games I lost material from the openings and I had to fight for a draw later on. Playing two 6-hours games a day was also tiring, and I showed some fatigue by playing my best game in the first round and the worst one in the last round.
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6
Hmmm, I did not know Jack plays Dragon as Black. Let's see which line he is going for...
6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 0–0 8.Qd2 Nc6 9.0–0–0 Nxd4
Interesting. He did not play d5 variation. What is he up to?
10.Bxd4 Be6 11.Kb1 Qc7 12.Nd5 Bxd5 13.exd5 Rac8
This is it! Now I know what is going on. He saw my game against Tang in March Open, and in the playing hall I told him my ideas. His answer was " I am impressed". Now he is playing this against me?
Tang played Rfc8, so Jack's last move is obviously his home preparation. [13...Rfc8 14.Rc1 a5 N (14...a6?!±; 14...Qd7?! - 37/(235); 14...e5 Golubev,M) 15.a4?! Qd7! 16.Bb5 Qf5 17.Rhe1 Bf8™ 18.Qf2 h5! 19.Bd3 Qxd5 20.Bxf6 exf6 21.Be4 Qc5 22.Qxc5 Rxc5 23.Bxb7 Ra7! (23...Rb8 24.Ba6) 24.Be4 f5 25.Bd3 Bg7= Golubev,M-Stisis,Y/Biel 1994 (25)]
Irealized that this move should be played first and then c4. [Maybe Jack had seen the following game 14.c4 b5 15.Rc1 Qb7 16.h4 (16.cxb5 Rxc1+ Followed by Rc8) 16...Rc7 17.h5 Rfc8 18.hxg6 hxg6 19.Bd3? bxc4 20.Be4? c3 21.Rxc3 Rxc3 22.Bxc3 Nxe4 0–1 Hatipoglu,Metin - Vasilev,M (2449) GP Izmir TUR (1), 28.08.2002]
This is a tricky move and I have to find the idea behind it. Normally they play a6 and b5. Wait a minute, Qd7 supports b5 too! That is smart, since Black will be faster in his attack against my King by playing a5 in one move, rather then a6, b5 and a5. [Dancevski,O (2429) - Stanojoski,Z (2455) in XI ch-MKD Gevgelija MKD (7), 07.04.2002 continued: 14...a6 15.g4 e5 (15...b5 16.g5 Nh5 17.Bh3 Bxd4 18.Bxc8 Bxb2 19.Kxb2 Rxc8 20.c4 bxc4 21.Rhe1 Qb7+ 22.Ka1 Rc5 23.h4 Rxd5 24.Rxe7 Rxd2 25.Rxb7 d5 26.Re1 c3 27.Kb1 d4 28.Rb8+ Kg7 29.Ree8 ...41.Rc4 1–0 Bratanov,Z (2438) - Bergez,L (2351) Open Championships Paris FRA (5), 10.07.2002) 16.dxe6 fxe6 17.h4 Nd5 18.Bxg7 Kxg7 19.h5 Nf4 20.hxg6 hxg6 21.Bd3 e5 22.c4 Rh8 23.Rhd1 Rcd8 24.Be4 b6 ...52.Rh5 Kd6 1/2–1/2]
An interesting idea of playing on your kingside when castling in opposite, and that is why I put the exlamation mark. This is also a move that I could not find in Database, so I believe it is a novelty, and I am happy with this move because it protects my d5 pawn, and it reduces the space for Black in his attack against my King. This is another concept of defence that is not seen very often in practice. [15.g4 b5 16.g5 Nh5 17.Bxg7 Kxg7 18.h4 Qb7 19.Bh3 Rc5 20.Rcd1 f5 21.Rh2 Rfc8 22.Bf1 Kf7 23.Qd4 a5 24.a3 1/2–1/2 Vasiesiu,D (2435) - Golubev,M (2531) Supercom Cup Bucharest ROM (9), 26.03.2002]
15...b5 16.g4 ...
Now I do not care anymore about my King, he should be safe for a while. Time to pay a visit to Black's majesty!
16...Qb7 17.h4 a6 18.h5 bxc4 19.Bxc4± ...
Thanks Jack for developing my last piece! My judgement is probably not fair, but I do not fear even grandmasters here. I love my position, and that is why I evaluate this as a clear advantage for white.
Of course I had seen this coming, as Black had nothing else to play. It is probably the only way to continue, although this is desparate.
20.Rxc4 Qxd5 21.Qe2 e5 [21...Nxh5 22.Rd1] 22.Bc3 Qb5 23.a4 Qb7 24.hxg6 hxg6 [24...fxg6!?] 25.Rd1 Rd8
Jack is a tactical player, and especially in this position where he is much worse, the only way is to try to mix things up.
Simple and plain. This is a safe way of maintaining the advantage. [26.Bxe5 Qe7 27.Rcd4 Ne8 28.f4 f6 29.Qc4+ Kf8 30.Bxd6 Rxd6 31.Rxd6 Nxd6 32.Qxa6± Qe4+? 33.Qd3+-]
Here my opponent offered draw. Of course, if I would accept it, I would have shown my chess ignorance. The position is simply lost for black. Do I have to respect his rating? Yes, I should, but from the March Open he also declined my draw offer in the last round, when both of us needed only half a point each to secure first place for him and second for me. It is not always good to have a strong memory(!), however, this was not about a revenge. I had decided to play in this tournament simply to practise. After all, I think I lack the sense of revenge, and that is why I prefer teaching to playing.
27.Rb4 Qa8 28.Rb6 Nd5? 29.Rxa6 Qb7 30.Qb5 Ne3 31.Qxb7 Rxb7 32.Ra8+ Bf8 33.Rxd6 Kg7 34.Rdd8 Be7 35.Rg8+?! Kf6 36.Ra6+ Kg5 37.Bb6? [¹37.Rg7] 37...Kf4 38.a5 Kxf3 39.Ra7+- Rxa7 40.Bxa7 Nd5 41.Rg7 f5 42.gxf5 gxf5 43.Bg1 Bd8 44.a6 Bb6 45.Bxb6 Nxb6 46.Rb7 Na8 47.Kc2 [47.Rb8 Nc7 48.a7 e4 49.Rc8] 47...e4 48.a7 e3 49.Kd3 f4 50.Rf7 Nb6 51.Rf6 e2 52.Re6 1–0
Beqo, N - Milicevic, D [B01] - BC Closed, 2002
1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Nf6 3.d4 Nxd5 4.Nf3 g6 5.c4 Nb6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.h3 0-0 8.Be2 Nc6 9.Nc3 e5 10.d5 Ne7 11.0-0 c6
This move looks like a novelty, and I think Milicevic was in a hurry to play it because of the bad experience he had a couple of months ago, against Spraggett:
11...Nf5 12.Bg5 f6 13.Bc1 c6 ( 13...c5 14.Ne4 Nd7 15.b4 cxb4 16.a3 b3 17.Qxb3 Qb6 18.Qc2 Nc5 19.Rb1 Qc7 20.Nxc5 Qxc5 21.Rb5 Nd4 22.Nxd4 Qxd4 23.c5 1-0 Spraggett, K-Milicevic, D/ch-CAN, Richmond CAN 2002 (41)) 14.dxc6 ( 14.Qb3 Kh8 15.Rd1²) 14...bxc6 15.Ne4
I was told that this old master is a strong endgame player, so I went for a challenge
13.Bc5± looks better.
13...Rxd8 14.Rfd1 Be6 15.b3 ...
Better was 15.Rxd8+ Rxd8 16.Ng5 Bf5 ( 16...Bxc4? 17.Bxb6!+- is a tricky line.) 17.g4 Bc8 18.Bc5 and so on.
15...h6 16.Rac1 Nf5 17.Bc5 Nd7 18.Ne4 Nxc5 19.Nxc5 Nd4 20.Nxd4 exd4 21.Nxe6 fxe6 22.Bd3 Kf7
This equal position that might be boring to some chess players, is very interesting to me.
My strategy lies on queenside, but I am not in a hurry.
23.Be4 Rac8 24.Rd3 c5 25.f4 Bf6 26.Re1 Rc7 27.Re2 Re7 28.Kf1 Rde8 29.Rg3 Rg8 30.Rf3 Rge8 31.Ke1 Kg7 32.Kd1 e5 33.f5 g5 34.Kc2 h5 35.Kd3 Rh8 36.a3 a5 37.Rf1 Ree8 38.Bc6 Rb8 39.Rb1 Rb6 40.Bb5 Ra8 41.Ke4 Rd8 42.Rd2 Rb7 43.b4 cxb4 44.axb4 axb4 45.Rxb4 Be7 46.Ra4 Kf6 47.Ra6+ Rd6 48.Rxd6+ Bxd6 49.Ra2 Rb6 50.g4 hxg4 51.hxg4 Bb4 52.Rh2 Bf8 53.Ra2 Bb4 54.Ra4 Be7 55.Ra8 Rd6 56.c5 Rd8 57.Ra6+ Kg7 58.c6+-
In this position I was expecting him to resign, especially for the fact that he had only about 3 minutes left, whereas I had more than 30 minutes! The time control is 2 hours for 40 moves and 1 hour for the whole game. As a matter of fact, Milicevic never resigns, no matter how lost his position is, and I do not blame him. At this point I played very fast, tried to blitz him out, and I played all kind of stupidities.
58...Rc8 59.Kxe5? [ ¹59.Kd5] 59...Bf6+ 60.Ke4 [ ¹60.Kd5+-] 60...Re8+ 61.Kd3? [ ¹61.Kd5] 61...Re3+ 62.Kd2 [ ¹62.Kc4 d3 63.Ra7+ Kh6 64.Rd7] 62...Rc3 63.Ra7+ Kh6 64.Rd7 Be5 65.Re7 ...
A friend of mine, Grandmaster, analyzed this game and told me: "Since that point I liked your play. You did everything absolutely right. I'm glad. It's a pity you didn't do just several moves to win the game. [ 65.Bd3 Rxc6 ( 65...Bf6 66.c7) 66.f6 Rc7 67.Re7]".
65...Bf4+ 66.Kd1 d3 67.Bxd3 Rxd3+ 68.Kc2 Rd6 69.c7? [ 69.Rc7 Rd5 70.Rc8 Kg7 71.Kc3 Be5+ 72.Kc4 Rd4+ 73.Kb5 Rxg4 74.c7 Bxc7 75.Rxc7+ Kf6 76.Rc8 Kxf5-+] 69...Rc6+ 70.Kd3 Rxc7 71.Re6+ Kg7 72.Ke4 Kf7 73.Rh6 Rc1
After a couple of moves I took g5 pawn and with a R +2 connected pawns vs R+B I could win on time, although I finished the game with a draw. ½-½
Sevillano (2565) - Beqo (2211) [B02] - Las Vegas 27.12.2002
In the first round I was paired to play on board 5 against IM Sevillano. There were neither pieces nor a clock on the table, so I notified one of the tournament directors. To my surprise he told me that in US tournaments, the organizers do not supply even a single clock or chess set.... Unfortunately, I did not know anybody in person at this tournament, and I could not disturb people that had already started to play. I was already frustrated that there was no phone number available to ask someone for further tournament details before I left Canada. Anyway, my opponent showed up almost one hour late, and by that time, there was finally a parent that offered me a chess clock and set. Guess what? The tournament director deducted half an hour from each of us! This is "great!" You wait one hour for your opponent, play with half an hour less, with Black pieces, against a 2565 ELO rated player, and in a terrible mood.
This mark of course, is not related to the opening, but to the choice of it under the circumstances at hand. I like Alekhine Defence, even it is not highily respected. This year I used it twice: In Keres Memorial, where my opponent lost, and in B.C. Closed, where I drew. In general, I think Alekhine Defence is a good choice against lower rated opponents, especially with a classical time control. Fischer used it with success, and so did Bagirov and Miles. Some other experts are Vaganian, Alburt, Baburin and so on.
However, as this game had to be played with time deducted, and my opponent is higher rated, a better choice would be to answer with 1...e5. There is absolutely nothing wrong with 1...e5. Many top grandmasters play 1...e5, including Kramnik. In Keres Memorial I also had 1.e4 e5 in my repertoire, as I had studied the opening repertoire of GM Miles. He often used to transpose to 1.e4 e5 game via 1.e4 Nc6 move order. Other grandmasters with 1.e4 e5 repertoire that I like, are GM Ibragimov that I got to know in early 90's Open tournaments in Greece, and my countryman, GM Erald Dervishi, the only Albanian Grandmaster so far.
2.e5 Nd5 3.c4 Nb6 4.c5!? ...
In my opinion this is a risky line for White, and of course, if you want to try to win, you have to take some risks. Alekhine players are normally happy to play this variation, since there are many pleasant lines for Black out there, except for the one I chose in this game.
4...Nd5 5.Bc4 c6 6.Nc3 e6
After the fourth round, I discussed this game with Grandmaster Palatnik, and he showed me one of his games: 6...d6 7.Qb3 dxe5 8.Nxd5 cxd5 9.Bxd5 e6 10.Bxb7 Bxb7 11.Qxb7 Qd5 12.Qc8+ Ke7 13.Qc7+ Kf6 14.d4 Nc6 15.Nf3 Nxd4 16.Bg5+ Kg6³ etc. I found the training session with GM Palatnik, very pleasant and interesting! If you want to try his chess lessons, GM Palatnik can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
, although I have not been able to reach him at this e-mail yet; unless he has ignored my e-mail :)
My student sent me these annotations from Graham Burgess book:
6... e6 a specialty of Kengis [6...d6 7.Qb3 Nd7 8.Nxd5 Nxc5 9.Nc7+ Kd7 (9...Qxc7 Probably the most natural move ever to be given a "N" symbol in Informantor. 10.Bxf7+ Kd8 11.Qe3) 10.Qe3 Kxc7 11.d4 Be6 (11...d5) 12.b3 d5 13.Be2 Nd7 14.f4 This has been reckoned to give White compensation 14...Bf5 15.Nf3] 7.Qg4 f5 8.Qg3 b6 9.cxb6 axb6 10.Nge2 Ba6 11.d3 Qe7 12.0–0 Qf7 13.Bxd5 cxd5 14.Na4 Nc6 15.Bd2 [15.Nxb6 considered by Blatny as necessary 15...Rb8 16.Na4 Nb4] 15...b5 16.Nac3 b4 17.Nd1 Be7 18.b3 0–0 19.Nb2 Bb5 20.Rfc1 Ra3 gave Black excellent play in Sveshnikov-Gluzman, Bern 1992
Thank you Mark!
7.d4 b6 8.cxb6 axb6 9.Qg4! N ...
This is what you are going to expect when playing against 2500+ ELO players!
Now, there is a difference between the 7.Qg4 line, and 9.Qg4. A player that learns openings by heart, would probably answer with 9...f5. I spent some time trying to figure out the pros and cons of this new move. After the game, my opponent told me that he had some trouble with 9.Nf3 line, and since he switched to this Queen sortie, he had been happy. Of course, this novelty might have also some drawbacks, and the first reaction would be Nb4, but I was not in the mood for complications, besides I would be in his home preparations. After thinking for about 20 minutes, I finally played
9...Nxc3 10.bxc3 Ba6 11.Bxa6 Nxa6?
My idea was b5, Nc7-d5 and my knight would rrock! However this move is to be criticised!
This is a critical position for me. How am I going to castle? If you have any idea, please e-mail me.
I have received one e-mail so far, suggesting h6 with the idea g6 and Bg7, and I like it.
12...Nc7 13.0–0± g6?
I was not happy with my position at all, and as I could not find anything else better than this positional error, I went for it and prayed! After the game my opponent suggested to me 13...f5 but I am not trained to open the position when I am behind in development. Maybe he was right, but in my level is not easy yet to understand when there are exceptions to the chess fundamentals, and when not.
White could also play 14.c4, but I am responsible for my moves, not for my opponent's moves.
14...h5 15.Qf3 b5
After this move I started to feel just a little bit better.
16.Ne4 Be7 17.Bg5 ...
Tricky position, but I was cool with
Both 17...Nd5 18.Nd6+; and 17...Bxg5 18.Nd6+ lead to mate. This is very easy to see.
18.Nf6+ Kg7 19.Qg3 Rh8
Here, I was thinking I could hold the game, and if it goes to the endgame? Oh, boy! Only if I could exchange my Bishop for his Knight and install my Knight on d5, and then, bye-bye Charlie. Finally, my opponent started a typical attack which I respected, and made me stop dreaming.
That's it, f-pawn forward! In my website I had some examples of such a typical attack against the Black King, and here is another one! After the game my opponent said to me that it was his last chance to try against my defense.
20...Ne8 21.f5! Nxf6
The only move. 21...exf5?? 22.Rxf5!+- gxf5 leads to a mate in three moves.
I criticize this move basically because I played it "by hand." Better was 22...Nd5 23.Rxf7+ Kg8 with complications, but I am not sure if Black can survive this or not, although Deep Fritz 7 evaluates the position as equal. Forget about Fritz. I asked for help a very tough grandmaster, and his analyse shows that white is the one to fight for a draw after 22... Nd5! White's best move was not 22.fxg6 but 22.fxe6! To explain this difference, it's exactly the same as to explain the difference between a NM level and a GM level!
23.Rxf7 + - ...
Of course, before I played Ne4 I calculated 23...Kxg6?? 24.Rg7+! followed by mate. I told my opponent after the game that Rg7 was nice after Kxg6, and he answered: "That is why I took so much time for the move f4-f5, because I could not find what to play after Kxg6, until I saw Rg7". It is normal for a 2500+ player to calculate that long. I saw Rg7 line only after white played f5.
24.Bxe7 Nxg3 25.Bxd8 Nf5??
Played by hand, but the position is lost any way. Here I had to resign because I recognized a lost rook endgame after 25...Rxd8 26.hxg3 Rh6 27.Rf6 Kg7 28.a4+- although it appeared better than my other move I played by hand Nf5.
26.Bg5! h4 27.Rxd7 Rh5 28.Bd2 Kf8 29.Rc7 Ne7 30.Rf1+ Rf5 31.g7+ Ke8 32.Rxf5 exf5 33.Bg5
In general my opponent played very well during the entire tournament. After this game I went to a gambling machine and won $100.00. Not that bad, but I only hoped I would stay away from the gambling machines until I would take off to Vancouver.
Rensch - Beqo [D15] - Las Vegas 28.12.2002
This is the third game of the tournament. I am skipping game 2 as my opponent was 1750 ELO, and I am not proud of paying big bucks to play in rated section against such a low rating. Everything over 2000 ELO should be OK, but not lower than that, when there are other section available: Under 2200 ELO section, Under 1800 ELO section , etc. Nothing to do with my opponent, he was very nice. Anyway, why should people show only the games that they win? I always wondered about that. Isn't it more instructive if you show the games that you lose?
Back to round three: Before the round started I asked around as a beggar for a chess set and clock. Finally someone offered me the set, and someone else offered me a clock. I set up the pieces and adjust the clock, and my opponent just showed up, saying that he wanted to use his clock, because it had time increments. I said: "No! I am black and I have the right of choosing the clock. Otherwise talk to the tournament director." He did, and to my surprise the tournament director told me that I was wrong. I was so pissed off! First of all he shows up late, and second, the time control of this tournament does not contain increments! I wanted to quit the tournament, something never done in my life, but I would not get the refund! Finally they told me that my opponent agreed to play with the clock I had already started.
1.Nf3 d5 2.c4 c6 3.d4 Nf6 4.Nc3 a6 5.a4 e6
Another variation is 5...Bf5 6.Qb3 Ra7 and so on.
I did not follow the main line 6...Nbd7 7.e3 Qa5 since I like to unpin the knight in one move, and I do not mind if White gives me his active bishiop for my knight.
7.Bxf6 gxf6 8.Nd2 f5 9.e3 Nd7 10.Bd3 Nf6 11.0–0 Rg8 12.f3?! Bh6 13.Qe2 Qd8 14.b4?! f4 15.cxd5 fxe3?!
That was a mistake. Because of what happened in the beginning of this game, my feelings were not under control yet, and I was going for unneccessary complications. Better was the simple 15...cxd.
Playing in the same spirit. Again the simple play 16...exd5 or 16...cxd5 was better.
17.Nxe3 Nf4 18.Qc2 Nh3+ 19.Kh1 Bxe3 20.gxh3 cxd5 21.Ne2 Qh4?!
Now, I cannot beleive I neglected the development 21...Bd7 22.Bxh7 Rh8. I was not focused on the position yet.
22... Qxh3 ?
Chess is a game of mind, and you cannot play in an angry mood! The pawn on h3 belongs to me, no matter what. Wy not waiting? It does not go anywhere! This was the best time to finish my development with 22...Bd7 and Black has a clear advantage!
Another mistake. After 23...Bxd4 I am still better.
24. f4?! .Bxd4 25.Nxd5 Kf8 26.Nc7 Rb8 27.Be4...
Interesting game! I have not completed my development yet, I have problems with Bc8 and the Queen's Rook, my King does not feel very safe, however, my position is not worse!
Maybe 27...Kg7 was better.
28.Qd3 Qf6 29.Rd1 Ba7 30.Bf3 Rg6 31.b5 axb5 32.Nxb5 Bc5
33.Rc1 Qe7 34.Be4 b6 35.Rcd1 Bb7 36.Rfe1 f5 37.Bf3 ...
I was not impressed by white's play either. As a 2290 USCF player, and playing white, I had not expected my opponent to help me regroup my pieces and finish my development.
37...Bxf3+ ? - +
I was playing every move in a "hurry". Apparently, I am too quick in making decisions, and most of the time, the fastest decisions are not the best decisions. I had to wait for this exchange, even time pressure was coming for both, me and my opponent!The position is still winning for Black, but I could have played a simple move like 37...Ra8–+ or 37...Rg4–+ .
38.Qxf3 Qb7 39.Rd8+ Kg7 40.Qxb7+ Rxb7 41.h3 ...
My opponent played this move very fast. I was about to go to washroom, and take a break, since I made the time control, when I noticed in my opponent' score sheet that the last move was 39th. I was sure, I had not written any extra move in mine, but you never know. It can be a trick played by my opponent, but it can also be a mistake in his writing. The best thing to do is not to look at your opponent' score sheet at all! Instead, I sat back and played quickly the following stupidity:
I dropped a very important pawn! 41... Re7- + Black is still winning. My bishop is stronger than his Knight.
42.Rxe6 Rxh3+ 43.Kg2 .....
At this point my opponent offered me a draw. I beleived my position was still better, and I decided to play for a win. When I showed this game to GM Sam Palatnik, he approved my decision too. Sam told me also a story from a Soviet Union Championship. A journalist asked Petrosian about a game that was being played , and Petrosian said: "I think Black has an extra pawn." Then, the journalist commented: "According to Petrosian's opinion, black has an extra pawn!"
I was thinking between the text and 43...Rb3 with the idea Rb4, which of course was better continuation.
44.Rxh6 Kxh6 45.Rd5 Kg6?
Playing too fast, and overlooking my opponent's next move.
Here I started to smile with my stupidity, and with a sense of humour returned the draw offer back. This was another type of mistake that I should not have made, although, having a kind of confidence in the endgame, I was hoping for a draw anyway. The problem is that I had to switch from a "winning moode" into a "Defending moode", and I failed to do that.
46...bxa5! 47.Rxc5 Rd7?
My last chance to draw the game was 47...a4! 48.Nd6 Ra7 49.Nxf5 a3 50.Nh4+ Kf7 51.Rc1 a2 52.Ra1 Ra3. This position is very difficult for white to win.
48.Nc3 Rd3 49.Ne2 a4 50.Ra5 a3 51.Ng3 Rd2+ 52.Kf3 Rd3+
The rest is a simple win for white. After 52...a2 53.Nxf5 a1Q 54.Nh4+ winning.
53.Kf2 Rc3 54.Ra6+ Kf7 55.Nxf5 h5 56.Nd6+ Ke7 57.Ne4 Rb3 58.f5 h4 59.f6+ Kf8 60.Ng5 Rb8 1–0
What can I do? I am a human being, like every other chess player! Next time I have to control the mood and the feelings better.
Beqo - Mandeci [B42] - Las Vegas 29.12.2002
1.e4 e6 2.Nf3 ...
For this tournament, I had prepared a special variation for the French opening, which I borrowed from Grandmaster Arthour Kogan.
2... c5 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 ....
Finally, there is going to be an Open Sicilian.
4...a6 5.Bd3 Qb6
Who thinks of Black's last move as a mistake, is wrong. The idea is the same as the most popular's 5...Bc5 - losing a tempi, in order to remove my knight from the centre.
6.Nb3 Qc7 7.0–0 Nf6 8.c4 ...
Normally I prefer developing with 8.Nc3 here, however, due to my poor results in the previous rounds of this tournament, I decided to take my opponent into a positional play, something I have noticed as a weakness in players that are rated under 2200 ELO. By the way, my opponent's rating was somewhere around 2100 USCF.
8...Be7 9.Nc3 Nc6 10.f4 d6 11.Be3 b6 12.Rc1 ....
As a friend of mine pointed out, Black has committed a series of opening inaccuracies and is already facing some problems. For example, now he has to remove his queen from the c-file to prevent a Nd5 tactic. In these structures, particularly given White's significant lead in development here, Black does better to develop the Nb8 to d7.
12...Qb8 13.Kh1 ...
This is a standard move in Maroczy positions, and when GM Palatnik asked me: "What is the purpose of this move, I need to know your idea". My answer was: "Simply waiting, and checking my opponent's 'pulse'", and GM Palatnik said, " OK". However, a more aggressive way was to play 13.Qf3, with the idea e5, but I was in a "careful" moode in this game. You will notice this in my following moves. Unfortunately, I am not a computer so I can arrange my mood according to the position! I am only a national master!
13...Nd7 14.Nd2 Bb7 15.a3 0–0
As a result of my positional, but passive play, Black is given a chance to minimize my advantage.
16.Rf3 Re8 17.Rh3 g6 18.Nf3 Bf6 19.Bb1 Ne7
Here, I was expecting 19... Bg7. I still do not know what was the intention of 19... Ne7, but my guess is that Black was simply waiting and defending, as he was probably run out of plans. Another purpose of this move could be to stop my e4-e5 plan, which I was preparing very carefully.
The better alternative was 20.b4.
20...Nc6 21.Nde2 Ra7 22.Bf2 ....
The Rook's holidays on h3 are over, and it is time for it to get back to work; the target d6 is waiting.
22...Ne7 23.Rd3 Nc8 24.b4 a5?
My opponent finally cracked. The pressure was too big for his level to play every move without a mistake. This one was a serious mistake that looses the game on the spot. In general, Maroczy and hedgehog positions are difficult even for my level. It takes too much experience, knowledge and patience. From Canadian players, only GM Spraggett is the one that can handle them well.
25.Nb5 ... 25. e5 wins the game in the same fashion.
25...Bxe4 26.Rd2 Bxb1 27.Nxa7 Be4 28.Nxc8 1–0
Aquino, M - Beqo, N [A81] - BC Closed 11.10.2003
Lately, The Slav Defense had been my main opening against 1.d4, but because I lost in the first round, I decided to try something sharper.
2.g3 Nf6 3.Bg2 g6 4.c3 Bg7 5.Nh3...
It is the first time I employ the Leningrad Variation of the Dutch Defense in a serious tournament. In the past I used to play the Ilyn-Zhenevski system, which I did not find very sound. Anyway, white is playing very tricky move order. He is hoping for me to castle and start an attack against my king with Nf4 and h4-h5, supported by Qb3.
Developing the pieces and playing for the centre. I prefer to play sound chess rather than tricky chess.
First, I pushed the pawn to 6...e5, which would have lead to another interesting game, but then I decided not to rush things. As I was holding the pawn I dragged it back to e6 square. 7.Bxc6?! dxc6 8.dxe5 Qd5 9.Nf3 Qxd1+ 10.Kxd1 Ng4.
This move should be a novelty, because to my surprise I did not find any game with it in my database. 7...d6 followed by a later ...e5 is probably a better way of chasing the Knight from f4. 8.e4 e5 9.dxe5 dxe5 10.Nd5 0-0 11.0-0 Be6 12.Nxf6+ Qxf6 13.exf5 gxf5 14.Nb3 Rad8 was played in the game Romanishin, O-De la Riva Aguado, O/Zaragoza 1996.Black won in move 74.
8.Nd3 d6 9.h4 [ 9.e4 e5÷] 9...g4
After the game, Milicevic told me that this pawn was very strong.
10.e4 e5„ 11.0-0 0-0
In general, when I have Black pieces, I normally castle after white castles. In this position I think I have equalized. In " my book", if Black equalizes in the opening, it means that Black is already better!
Knowing when to open and close the center is a very important concept.12.dxe5 dxe5÷
12...Ne7³ 13.c4 Ng6
In the game I considered 13...f4 14.gxf4 Ng6 15.f5 ( 15.fxe5 Nh5³) 15...Nxh4 but even the position is ok for Black, I did not like to close the diagonal for Bc8.
14.exf5 Bxf5 15.Qe2 e4 16.Ne1 ...
Is Black losing the pawn on e4? The normal move to protect the pawn would be 16...Re8 where Black has a clear advantage. However, I thought to save Re8 for now.
16...Ne5!µ 17.Nxe4? Nxe4 18.Bxe4 Re8!-+ 19.Bg5 Bf6?!µ
19...Qb8-+ was the move that I was about to play 3 times, but then I declined it as I found the Queen on b8, kind of ridiculous. Well, that was the right move!
20.Bxf5 Nf3+ 21.Qxf3 gxf3 22.Nxf3³ White is in the game.
No matter what white plays, my next move is Nf3. Black is winning. I was expecting my opponent to resign here, and I thought that the rest of the game is not very important.
21.Bxf5 Nf3+ 22.Qxf3 gxf3 23.Be6+ Kh8 24.Nd3 Rxe6 [ 24...Qd4] 25.dxe6 Qxe6 26.Rfe1 Qxc4 27.Re3 Rf8 28.Rc1 Qg4?
Here, I realized that if I would keep playing like this, I might end up even losing this game! 28...Qxa2 29.Rxc7 b5-+
White is helping. It is not easy to play the best moves after coming out of a bad situation. That is the moment that even top players often go wrong. After 29.Rxc7!÷ White has chances to play even for a win!
29...c5-+ My game is on queenside! 30.b3 b5 31.Rc3 Qh3+ 32.Ke1 Qh1+ 33.Kd2 Qa1 34.Nc1 Qb2+ 35.Rc2 Qd4+ 36.Ke1 c4 37.Rd2 Qc5 38.bxc4 bxc4 39.Rc3 d5 40.Nd3 Qa5 0-1
Beqo, N - Davies, N [A00] - BC Closed 11.10.2003
I had played Sokolski opening a couple of times when I was a junior, and I decided to try it again, since I am playing against a junior today. It does not offer any advantage for white, but it keeps the position unbalanced, and reduces the drawing chances. In North America they call this opening with monkey names.
1...d5 2.Bb2 Nf6 3.Nf3 g6 A very good choice. 4.e3 Bg7 5.Be2 0-0 6.d3 ...
6.0-0; In one game I found in my database, white played 6.c4 but I think this is kind of premature. The game continued 6...dxc4 7.Bxc4 Nbd7 8.d4 Nb6 9.Be2 c6 10.a4 Ne4 11.Nc3 Nd6 12.Nd2 e5 13.dxe5 Bxe5 14.Qc2 Bf5 15.e4 Be6 etc. 0-1 Danielian, E-Zhu Chen/Medellin 1996/Juniors (31)]
6...c5!? 7.bxc5 Qa5+ 8.Nbd2 Qxc5 9.0-0 Nc6 10.a4 Bf5 11.Ra2?! ...
After 11.c4² white has a pleasant position.
Hoping to get some initiative after 11...Nb4 12.Ra3 Qxc2 ( 12...Nxc2 13.Rc3) 13.Qxc2 Nxc2 14.Rb3ƒ
The position is getting a little bit tricky.
12...Qd6 13.c4 ...
This is one of the ideas in Sokolski's opening. Black is not worse, but white seems to have a clearer plan in the middle game.
13...Qd7?! 13...dxc4 14.Nxc4 Qd7 15.Rc1÷
14.Bxf6 Bxf6 15.cxd5± with a clear advantage for white. I mixed the move order, and I have no explanation for that. I had planned to take on d5 after the exchanges on f6.
14.cxd5? Nxd5 15.Bxg7 Kxg7÷ 16.e4? ...
Blunder. I had seen that the fork does not work anymore, however, I decided to play it anyway, just because I got upset. This way, I ruined my position, by playing this anti-positional move. My other following moves reflect my bad mood as well. After 16.Ne4 the game is still interesting for white.
16...Nf4 17.Nc4 Be6 18.Rc1? [ ¹18.Re1³] 18...Rfd8 19.Bf1 f6 20.Rd2? ...
Another mistake. However, even after 20.Rb2 b6 21.Ne3 black is still better.
20...Nd4?! [ 20...Bg4µ] 21.Nxd4 Qxd4 22.Rcd1 [ 22.Ne3 b6 23.Qa1 Black is better.] 22...Bg4 23.Rc1 Be6 24.Rcd1 ...
I played this move again, because I needed some more time to calculate the variation starting with g3. I thought the position would be repeated only twice, and besides, Black will try to play for a win, because his position looks more promising.
24...Bg4 25.Rc1 ...
Here my opponent t stopped the clock and claimed to the adjudicator, Lynn Stringer, that the position was repeated three times. First of all, he had not recorded the game properly in his score sheet, in order to support this fact, and I had missed a move in my score sheet too! Second, he started to claim the position with my rook on d1, which was not repeated three times, but only twice, and third, his mother was misbehaving against me, so I left. Lynn asked Berry Jonathan for his opinion, and finally the decision was for a draw. I did not agree, because as far as I know, a player cannot claim a three time repetition if he has not recorded the moves properly, but maybe I am wrong. Who cares! It's just a game. The variation I was trying to calculate was 25...Be6 26.g3 Bxc4 27.gxf4 Be6 [ 27...Bxd3? 28.Rxd3+-; After 27...Ba6 28.Rdc2 Rxc2 29.Qxc2 b6 30.Qc7 Rd7 31.Qc3 Qxc3 32.Rxc3 Black seems to have a better endgame, but if I bring my King on e3, things are not that clear.] 28.Rxc8 Rxc8 [ ¹28...Bxc8 29.Rc2 Qxa4 30.Rc7©] 29.Qxb7 where I am not claiming that white is better, but the fight would go on. Besides, I managed to control my feelings and settle down, and the position is so difficult for both sides that only experience would decide in the outcome of the result. The junior would have learned more if he would have kept playing. I never teach my students to offer or claim draws in playable positions! ½-½
Beqo, N - Goutor, V [B76] - BC Closed 12.10.2003
This was round 5, and started at 4: 00PM. My opponent is a junior, again! What to do? It looks like BC Championship has been mistaken for Juniors Championship. I played 4 juniors out of my 6 games, and the last round they forced me to get a bye!!
I have played Valentine only once, as far as I can remember, and that was in an active tournament, where I won as Black. I think it was a French opening.
1...c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 0-0 8.Qd2 Nc6 9.0-0-0 Nxd4 10.Bxd4 Be6 11.Kb1 Qc7 12.g4 ...
12.Nd5 is the line I played against Yoos in BC Closed 2002 and brought me victory. I save this line for special occasions.
12...Rfc8 13.h4 Qa5 14.Qg5 ...
GM Larry Christiansen recommended me to use this line when playing against juniors, as it takes all Black's fun away. For Keres 2003, I had prepared 14.a3 as a second choice.
14...b5 is probably the best way for Black to complicate things and play in the spirit of the Dragon. However, a pawn is a pawn so Black must know what he is doing.
15.hxg5 Nd7 16.Bxg7 Kxg7 17.Be2 Ne5
The main line goes 17...f6 18.gxf6+ Nxf6 19.Nb5 Rc5 20.Nd4
This passive move has to be played only when it's necessary, otherwise white takes the initiative. One of the games in my database went 18...Bc4 19.Rdh1 Rh8 20.Bxc4 Nxc4 21.Kc1 Nb6 22.Kd2 White won in move 65. 1-0 Gesos, P-Stanojoski, Z/Athens 1999/EXT 2000 (65)]
19.f4 Nc6 Another passive move. [ ¹19...Nc4] 20.f5± Bd7 21.Nd5 ...
As an analytical player, I consider the game of chess as a battle of ideas, and not as a battle for life or death. In this variation of Dragon, I think White has won the opening debate, and the game is over for Black. The rest is a matter of style. A killer player would find the quickest way to finish the opponent off, whereas I would prefer to keep my advantage and have fun, while my opponent makes a choice, to suffer, or resign. This is a weakness of mine, because some players do not mind suffering, and they just pray for a miracle to happen. In some cases their prayers are answered, like it happened last year, in BC Closed 2002. Milicevic had a hopeless game against me, and as I was expecting him to resign, unfortunately, I gave him chances for counterplay, and the game ended in a draw. That was a lesson for me, so I have to be careful.
21...f6 To tell the truth, I did not anticipate this move, but in any case Black has a very difficult position.
Good was also 22.gxf6+ exf6± xd6
23.gxf6+? Kxf6 24.Rxd6+ Kg5µ
23...Ne5 24.gxf6+ Kf7 25.g5 Bc6 26.c3 with the idea of Bd1-b3
After 26...a5 I would continue 27.Re6 as in the game.
27.Bd1 Rae8 28.Bb3+ Kf8 29.Re6!+- h5 30.Rxe5! Rxe5 31.fxg6 Rxg5 32.g7+ Rxg7 33.fxg7+ Kxg7 34.Bd5 ...
The endgame is hopeless for Black. I do not have the rest of the moves, and unfortunately this game was missing in the database of the BCCF website, as it always happens with my best games:). Black kept playing on until I promoted the e-pawn. Either my opponent did not understand that the position was lost, or she has taken chess lessons from Milicevic... Just kidding. 1-0