Round 5 Ennis GAME

Here is the annotated Game between Gawain and GM Vlad Jianu – Hopefully we will be able to upload the video of their endgame in the next week!
Press the speech bubble to see the annotation.
I noticed that Vlad was exclusively a Dragon player (and always played this rather odd …Qc7) so I decided that it would be interesting to try it out on the White side.
###pgn###[Event “Ennis Open”] [Site “?”] [Date “2011.05.22”] [Round “5”] [White “Jones, G.”] [Black “Jianu, V.”] [Result “1-0”] [ECO “B77”] [WhiteElo “2596”] [BlackElo “2545”] [Annotator “GJ”] [PlyCount “183”] {I noticed that Vlad was exclusively a Dragon player (and always played this rather odd …Qc7) so I decided that it would be interesting to try it out on the White side.} 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 g6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Bg7 5. Nc3 Nc6 6. Be3 d6 7. Qd2 Nf6 8. f3 O-O 9. Bc4 Bd7 10. h4 Qc7 $5 {His speciality but I’m sceptical of its merits. As Chris Ward has observed, the queen cannot be readily sacrificed on c3!} 11. Bb3 Na5 12. O-O-O Nc4 13. Bxc4 Qxc4 14. h5 b5 $5 {Vlad repeats a pawn sacrifice he played last time he reached the position.} ( 14… Rfc8 {is the other possibility but} 15. Bh6 {is very dangerous for Black. I actually annotated the game Kekelidze-Gorman earlier on the ChessPublishing website which instead continued 15.Kb1 but I analysed all the alternatives. The critical line runs:} Bh8 16. Bg5 $1 b5 17. hxg6 (17. Bxf6 $5 {has also been underestimated by theory – but you’ll have to subscribe to ChessPublishing to get all my secrets!}) 17… fxg6 18. Bxf6 Bxf6 19. Nd5 Rf8 { which Vlad has all played recently. I believe White should be better but there’s life left in the position.}) 15. b3 Qc7 ({Last time he reached this position Vlad tried} 15… Qb4 {but it fails to defend the pawn and} 16. hxg6 fxg6 17. Ncxb5 $1 Qxd2+ 18. Rxd2 {left Black with little to show for the pawn. Dvirnyy,D (2459)-Jianu,V (2492) Baia Sprie 2010.}) 16. Ncxb5 Qb7 17. Nc3 Rfc8 18. hxg6 fxg6 {So I’ve gained a pawn but Black hopes to get some counter-chances on the queenside. I could have tried to consolidate my extra pawn but instead decided to continue in similar vein to the note to Black’s 14th.} 19. Bh6 Bh8 20. Bg5 Rf8 21. Bxf6 ({The computer prefers} 21. Rde1 { stating Black has nothing for the pawn but I do like to attack!}) 21… Rxf6 22. Nd5 Rf7 23. Qg5 Re8 24. f4 $1 e6 25. f5 $1 {In for a penny…Black’s defence is extremely tough.} exf5 (25… exd5 26. fxg6 hxg6 27. Qxg6+ Bg7 ( 27… Rg7 28. Qh5 $1) 28. Rh7 Kf8 29. Rdh1 $1 {and 30.Rxg7 followed by 31.Rh8+ is decisive.}) 26. Rxh7 $1 {I thought long and hard about this rook sacrifice but it seemed right to blow open Black’s king. Unfortunately I didn’t follow it up correctly.} Kxh7 (26… Rxh7 {loses instantly to} 27. Qxg6+ Rg7 28. Nf6+ Kf8 29. Qh5 {when the h8 bishop is trapped and I’ll win back the material with interest while his king is still running free from any protection.}) 27. Rh1+ $2 {But unfortunately this obvious move not only throws away all my advantage but also gives Black a winning position.} ({Instead I really should have found } 27. exf5 $1 {when Black’s defence is very tough.} Kg8 {This seems forced} ( 27… Bxf5 28. Rh1+ Kg8 29. Nxf5 {is utterly hopeless.}) 28. Qxg6+ Bg7 29. Ne6 {when I have fantastic play for the rook in the shape of three pawns, fantastic knights and a very strong attack. Practically Black has no chances here.}) 27… Kg8 28. Qxg6+ Bg7 29. Nf4 {Threatening 30.Qh7+ and 31.Ng6 mate but he keeps up a correct defence.} Rf6 30. Qh7+ Kf8 31. Nh5 Bc8 $1 {I missed this move when I played the rook sacrifice. At the cost of the exchange Black exchanges off into what should have been a winning endgame.} (31… Re7 {might also be good but it’s not as clear as the game.}) 32. Nxf6 Bxf6 33. Nxf5 Qxh7 34. Rxh7 Bxf5 $1 35. exf5 Bc3 {The mate threat forces me to go extremely passive and now I was expecting to go down but as we both started to get short on time I tried to make it tricky. Black only has two pawns left after all.} 36. Rh1 Re2 37. Rg1 Kf7 38. g4 Kf6 39. a3 Bd4 ({The straightforward} 39… Kg5 {probably should have won. I was planning on trying} 40. Rd1 Be5 41. Rd5 Kxg4 42. b4 Kxf5 43. Ra5 {but objectively this is hopeless.}) 40. Kd1 $5 { Complicating as much as possible.} Re4 (40… Bxg1 41. Kxe2 {is complicated but I’m probably holding the draw.}) 41. Re1 Ke5 ({It appears that} 41… Rxe1+ {was winning but short on time it wasn’t so easy to calculate. One sample line: } 42. Kxe1 Kg5 43. Kd2 Kxg4 44. Kd3 Bb2 45. Ke4 Kg5 46. Kd5 Bxa3 47. Ke6 Bc5 48. f6 Kg6 {and Black’s winning.}) (41… Rxg4 42. Re6+ Kxf5 43. Rxd6 {would at least reduce him to one pawn.}) 42. Re2 ({Perhaps} 42. Rxe4+ Kxe4 43. Kd2 { was possible, I’ll leave it to you guys to work out if I could hold a draw here but with my king so passive it felt unlikely.}) 42… Be3 43. c3 {At least my king can now get active. Vlad was down to less than five minutes by now (+10 seconds a move increment) and the next few moves saw him slipping till suddenly I had the advantage.} Bg5 44. Rg2 d5 45. Kc2 Re3 46. Rd2 Re4 47. Rg2 Re3 48. Rd2 Bf6 49. Rd3 Re2+ 50. Rd2 Re3 (50… Rxd2+ 51. Kxd2 Kf4 52. Kd3 Kxg4 53. c4 Kxf5 54. cxd5 Ke5 55. Kc4 Kd6 {is winning for Black as it’s impossible for me to trade the final pawn.}) 51. Rd3 Re2+ 52. Rd2 Re4 53. Rg2 Bg7 54. Kd3 Kf4 55. Rf2+ Kg3 56. Rf1 Kg2 57. Rd1 Kf2 (57… Rxg4 58. Kc2 Rg3 59. Rd2+ Kh3 60. Rxd5 Rxc3+ 61. Kd2 {and Black still needs to show a lot of technique for the win.}) 58. Rd2+ Kf3 59. Kc2 Re5 60. c4 $1 {One objective is successful. Black’s down to one pawn.} dxc4 61. bxc4 Re7 $2 {Completely losing the thread} 62. g5 $1 {With the pawns motoring suddenly I have all the winning chances.} Be5 63. f6 Rc7 64. Kb3 Ke4 65. Rf2 Rf7 66. c5 Bd4 67. g6 $5 {With only a couple of minutes left I couldn’t resist queening a pawn!} ({However Sue pointed out that} 67. Re2+ $1 {was probably better as} Kd5 68. Re7 {is highly unpleasant}) 67… Bxf2 68. g7 $1 {a weird looking move but now the pawn cannot be stopped.} Bxc5 69. g8=Q Rxf6 {An interesting endgame. I believe the game should still be drawn but Black was obviously demoralised after the turnaround and I could play risk-free.} 70. Kc4 Be3 71. Qd5+ Kf4 72. Kd3 Bb6 73. a4 Rf5 74. Qe4+ Kg5 75. Qe7+ Kg6 76. Qe6+ Kg5 77. Ke4 Rf6 78. Qe5+ Kg6 79. a5 Bf2 80. Qe8+ Kg7 81. Qd7+ Rf7 82. Qg4+ Kf8 83. Kd5 Be1 84. Qc8+ Kg7 85. Qg4+ Kf8 86. a6 Bf2 87. Qg5 Bb6 88. Ke6 Rf2 89. Qh5 Kg7 90. Ke7 {Attempting a zugzwang but Black has one move to survive.} Rg2 $4 {But not this!} (90… Kg8 {should hold as my king is blocked off from creating any mating threats from the f2 rook.}) 91. Qe5+ $1 {Now Black loses the rook by force.} Kh6 (91… Kh7 92. Qe4+ Rg6 93. Kf7) (91… Kg6 92. Qe4+) 92. Qh8+ 1-0%%%pgn%%%

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