(1) Selway,A - Baruch,A [B06]
4NCL, Div 2 (2), 20.11.2016
[M.J.Donnelly]



1.d4 g6 2.e4 Bg7 3.Nc3 d6 4.Be3 a6
Signifying Black, most probably, intends a Modern Opening rather than a Pirc Defence to which the game would immediately transpose to after 4...Nf6. The following few moves see a major battle for position. Black delays Nf6 and castling kings-side in order to promote queens-side play. This will be especially effective should White castle on that side of the board. White has a number of set ups to choose from but selects the sharp Samisch line aiming to start a vigorous attack with Bh6 and/or h4/g4 should Black castle on that side of the board.

5.Qd2 b5 6.h4 Bb7 7.f3 h5 8.0-0-0
Certainly not bad but commital in giving Black a target. Instead [8.a4 attacking Black's queens-side pawn formation (although this is more usually carried out on move 6) is another way for White to play this position. One top game went 8...c6 9.Nh3 Nd7 10.Ng5 Ngf6 11.Bd3 and Black can now castle with a good position as in Timofeev-Hillarp Persson, Gothenburg 2005.; but 8.Nh3 with the idea of 8...Nd7 9.Ng5 looks more flexible (as White retains the options of Bd3 or Be2 and knight manoeuvres such as Nd1-f2) when the Ng5 occupies an active post but Black still has a decent game.]

8...Nd7 9.Nh3 Qc8N
An inventive new move in this position. Many games have continued here [9...Rc8 for example 10.Nf2 (10.Ng5 c5 11.dxc5 Nxc5 12.Kb1 Qc7 13.g3 Nf6 14.Bh3 b4 15.Ne2 Rb8 16.Rhg1 Na4 17.Bd4 0-0 18.g4 e5 19.Ba7 Rbd8 20.gxh5 Nxh5 21.Be3 d5 22.Qxb4 Bc6 23.b3 Rb8 24.Qa3 d4 Movsziszian-Aabling Thomsen, Granada 2006.) 10...c5 11.g4 hxg4 12.Nxg4 Qc7 13.dxc5 Nxc5 14.Bd4 Ne6 15.Bxg7 Nxg7 16.Bg2 Rh5 17.e5 dxe5 18.Rhe1 b4 19.Ne4 Ne6 20.Ng5 Nd4 21.Nxe5 b3 0-1 Nielsen-Andreasen, Ballerup 2009.]

10.Nf2
[if 10.Ng5 then 10...Ngf6 transposes to a number of games such as 11.g3 c5 12.Bh3 cxd4 13.Bxd4 Qc7 14.Bxd7+ Qxd7 Baur-Ballmann, SUI-tch 2012.]

10...Ngf6 11.g3
The theat to inconvenience Black with Bh3 is not a major issue for that player and the move weakens f3 and also means if White ever plays g4 a tempo will be lost. Possibly, therefore, the standard "safety-first" move [11.Kb1 transposing to games previously played, is more flexible awaiting events: 11...c5 12.dxc5 Nxc5 13.Nd5 Nxd5 (13...Bxd5 14.exd5 Qc7 15.Be2 (15.Bd4!? neutralising the Bg7 looks more accurate here.) 15...Rc8 16.Rc1 Qb7 17.Rhd1 Na4= Vlahos-Krupei, GRE-ch Piraeus 1982.) 14.exd5 Qf5 15.Be2 (15.g4!? is interesting with the idea of 15...Qxf3 16.Be2 Qf6 17.c3 Qe5 18.gxh5 (Here 18.Bd4 is poor due to 18...Qxd5 19.Bxg7 Qxd2 20.Rxd2 Rh7-/+ ) 18...gxh5 19.Bxc5 dxc5 20.Rhe1 with good play for the pawn.) 15...Rc8 16.g4 hxg4 17.fxg4 Qe5= Giulian-McNab, SCO-ch 1988.]

11...c5 12.Bh3 Qc7 13.g4
Black is fine after this advance since he has not yet castled kings-side so the move is not too much of a threat. In fact the Rh8 is now pressuring h4 whilst Black's king remains secure, at the moment, in the centre. [As the Bh3 is not fulfilling a major function it seems best to exchange it for one of Black's potentially attacking pieces via 13.Bxd7+ ]

13...hxg4 14.Nxg4
[Worst are 14.Bxg4 Nb6 threatening the awkward Nc4 and; 14.fxg4 leaves Black with several good lines eg 14...b4 (or again 14...Nb6 ) 15.Na4 (15.Nb1 Nxe4 wins a pawn.) 15...Bc6 (15...Rxh4 is less clear after 16.g5 Nxe4 17.Nxe4 (but not 17.Bxd7+ Qxd7 18.Nxe4 Rxh1-+ ) 17...Rxe4~~ ) 16.g5 Bxa4 ]

14...Nxg4 15.Bxg4
[Less advisable is 15.fxg4 which gives Black several good options such as 15...Qa5 (15...Nb6 ; and 15...Rc8 ; but grabbing the h-pawn with 15...Rxh4 16.g5 Rh5 17.Bxd7+ Qxd7 18.Rxh5 gxh5 just leaves Black with a weak extra pawn.) ]

15...Nf6 16.Bh3
An ineffective retreat which leaves h4 vulnerable. White should have taken the opportunity to simplify the game with exchanges by [16.dxc5 dxc5 17.h5 but with no more than an equal game.]

16...cxd4 17.Bxd4
[17.Qxd4 Kf8 leaves the queen exposed to a knight move and possible down-grading of pawn structure after a subsequent Bxc3.]

17...Bh6 18.Be3 Bxe3 19.Qxe3 Rh5
A nice idea blockading the h-pawn and providing for the option of the rook going to the queens-side to aid an attack. Of course the h-pawn is taboo at the moment due to [19...Rxh4 20.Bd7+ ]

20.Nd5?
White tries to justify his queens-side castling set up with aggressive moves but it was time to bail out and keep the game level with the calm Ne2.

20...Nxd5 21.exd5 Rxd5
[21...Qc5 is a safer way to take on d5 since 22.Rhe1 (22.Qxc5 dxc5 23.Bg4 (23.d6 does work due to 23...Bxf3 ) 23...Rxd5 24.Rxd5 Bxd5 and now 25.h5 also doesn't work as Black has 25...f5 when the Ra8 is guarded so 26.hxg6 fxg4 27.g7 Kf7 is possible.) 22...Qxe3+ 23.Rxe3 Rxd5-+ (23...Bxd5?! is a mistake that justifies White's 20th move due to 24.Bg4 Rxh4 25.Rxd5= ) ]

22.Rxd5 Bxd5 23.Qd4?
This looks dangerous attacking d5 and h8 but Black, with careful play, can defend. Better was [23.h5 which would have lead to a messy game with White surviving into a level ending. 23...gxh5 24.Rg1 e6 25.Rg8+ Ke7 (25...Kd7 is surprisingly bad as White has the tactical blow 26.Bxe6+ fxe6 (26...Bxe6 27.Rxa8 ) 27.Rg7+ ) 26.Qg5+ Kd7 27.Qxh5 Rxg8 28.Qxf7+ Kc6 29.Qxg8= ]

23...e6
Now Back is a safe pawn with the better pawn structure to boot.

24.Re1
[24.h5 Rc8 25.c3 gxh5 leads nowhere for White.]

24...Rc8 25.c3
[25.Qd2 doesn't help as Black has time to take another pawn with 25...Bxa2 26.Re3 Qc5 since 27.b3 can be answered by (and 27.Rc3 by 27...Qg1+ ) 27...Qa3+ ]

25...Qc5
Black finishes the game efficiently.

26.Qd3
[26.Qxc5 again drops a second pawn via 26...Rxc5 27.Bg2 Bxa2-+ ]

26...b4 27.Qxa6 bxc3 28.Qa4+ Ke7 29.Qa3 cxb2+
This opens the king up to a murderous attack.

30.Kxb2
[30.Kd2 also loses quickly as White has zero time to take on b2 and defend the king after 30...Qf2+ 31.Kd3 Bc4+ 32.Ke4 Qxe1+ 33.Kf4 g5+ 34.hxg5 e5+ 35.Kg4 Be6+ 36.Kh5 Rh8# ]

30...Rb8+
[30...Rb8+ is more than good enough 31.Qb3 (31.Ka1 Qd4+ ) 31...Bxb3 32.axb3 Qf2+-+ ; but Black also can win easily with 30...Qf2+ 31.Re2 Qxe2+ 32.Ka1 Rc1+ 33.Qxc1 Qxa2# ] 0-1