[Event "Oswestry Club Championship"]
[Date "2023.10.12"]
[Round "2"]
[White "Atherton, Marcus"]
[Black "Smith, Martin"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
1. d4 f5 2. Nf3 e6 3. Bf4 {London System vs Classical Dutch} (3. g3) 3... Nf6 4. e3 Be7 5. Nbd2 O-O 6. c3 d6 {23 % for Wh} (6... b6 {main, fighting for e4; 31 % for Wh}) 7. Be2 (7. Bc4) (7. Bd3 {alternatives}) 7... Qe8 $146 {A standard move in many Dutch lines; 7 different moves have been played here, the text is the top choice of Stockfish16} (7... Nc6 8. h3 {2 drws, 4 Bl wins. One of the problems with playing the London System against a Dutch is that the B on f4 becomes a target, from e5 & g5 , also also from an early Nh5}) 8. Qc2 {3rd line of SF16} (8. h3 {1st line, about the same evaluation}) 8... a5 9. Nf1 {the Wh pieces are beginning to get in each others way} (9. h3 Nc6 10. Bh2 Kh8 11. Bd3 Bd7 12. e4 Qh5 $11 {SF16}) 9... Na6 10. Ng3 c6 (10... Nd5 11. h4 h6 12. O-O $11 {SF16}) 11. Qb3 (11. e4 Nxe4 12. Nxe4 fxe4 13. Qxe4 c5 14. Bd3 Qh5 15. h4 $14 {SF16- Wh can quite safely 0-0-0}) 11... Kh8 12. Ng5 {the attack against the pawn is easily dealt with & the N will have to retreat with loss of time sooner or later} Nc7 $17 13. Qb6 $2 {adventures with a Q alone on the Q side seldom end well} (13. Nf3 h6 14. h4 b5 $17 {SF16}) 13... Ncd5 {( neither score specifies which N was played here, the QN feels to be one most likely} (13... Nb5 $1 {SF16} 14. Bxb5 Nd5 15. Bxc6 bxc6 16. Qb3 {the Q escapes, but Wh now loses a piece} e5 17. dxe5 dxe5 18. Nxh7 Kxh7 19. Bxe5 Bc5 20. Bd4 Bxd4 21. cxd4 a4 22. Qc2 Ba6 23. O-O-O Nb4 24. Qxa4 Nd3+ 25. Rxd3 Bxd3 26. Qd1 Bc4 $19 {SF16}) (13... Nfd5 14. Qb3 e5 15. dxe5 dxe5 16. Bh5 Qd7 {again wins a piece}) 14. Qb3 Nxf4 (14... e5 $1 {SF16 is still pursuing pieces, especially since Wh has lost time with single piece excursions on both sides of the board- thus also leaving his K in the middle} 15. dxe5 dxe5 16. Bxe5 Ng4 $19 {(a)} 17. Bxg4 (17. Nf3 {(b)} Nxe5 18. Nxe5 f4 19. O-O-O {as otherwise the K is in trouble} (19. exf4 Nxf4 20. O-O Bf6 {wins a piece anyway})) 17... Bxg5 18. Bxg7+ Kxg7 19. Bh5 Qe5 $19) (14... h6 {is also promising} 15. h4 Nxf4 (15... hxg5 16. hxg5+ Nh7 $17 {is playable , but Wh gets some counterplay after} 17. O-O-O) 16. exf4 Nd5 17. Nh3 e5 18. dxe5 dxe5 19. O-O Bxh4 $19 {SF16}) 15. exf4 a4 (15... Nd5 16. Nh3 e5 $19 {SF16- the Wh pieces are misplaced and Bl takes over in the centre} 17. dxe5 dxe5 18. O-O Be6 19. Qc2 e4 20. Rfe1 b5 {( the Wh Ns are horribly ineffectual especially compared with Bl's B pair.}) 16. Qc2 Nd5 17. Qd2 h6 {Wh has been allowed to retreat in good order} (17... e5 $1 18. fxe5 dxe5 19. dxe5 Bxg5 20. Qxg5 f4 21. Nh5 (21. Ne4 Bf5 22. Nd2 Qxe5 23. Nf3 Qe4 {and Wh will have to give up the B to get his K out of the centre before Bl throws all his pieces at it & protectors}) 21... Qf7 22. O-O h6 23. e6 hxg5 24. exf7 a3 25. bxa3 g6 $19 {SF16- exploiting the awkward placement of the Wh pieces}) 18. Nf3 b5 (18... a3 {retains some iniative for Bl} 19. b4 c5 20. bxc5 dxc5 21. O-O cxd4 22. Nxd4 (22. cxd4 Bb4 23. Qc1 Bc3 24. Rb1 Bb2 25. Qd2 Nc3 $17) 22... Qd8 23. Bf3 Qa5 24. Nge2 Rd8 $15 {SF16}) 19. O-O $11 Nf6 {retreating a wellplaced piece} (19... Bf6 {looks preferable}) 20. Rfe1 Bb7 (20... Bd7) 21. Qe3 (21. Bd3) 21... Bd8 (21... Nd5 22. Qd2 (22. Qxe6 $2 Bc8) 22... Bf6 23. Rad1 Qf7 $11 {SF16}) 22. Bd3 Bc8 (22... Nd5 23. Qd2 (23. Qxe6 Qxe6 24. Rxe6 Nxf4 25. Re3 Nxd3 26. Rxd3 g5 $17) 23... Qd7 $11 {SF16}) 23. h3 Nd5 24. Qd2 Bf6 $2 (24... Qf7 25. b4 Rg8 26. h4 $11 {Sf16}) 25. Bxf5 (25. Nxf5 Qd8 26. Ng3 Qc7 27. Bg6 $18 {SF16 preferred}) 25... Qf7 (25... Be7 26. Bxe6 Bxe6 27. Rxe6 Nxf4 28. Re3 Qf7 29. a3 Nd5 $14 {SF16- Bl has some attacking chances on the f file for the pawn down}) 26. Bd3 $16 (26. Bc2) 26... Bd7 27. Re4 (27. Rad1 Rae8 28. Ne2 Bd8 29. b3 axb3 30. axb3 Nxf4 31. Nxf4 Qxf4 32. Re3 g5 33. c4 $16 {SF16}) (27. Bc2 Bd8 28. Qd3 Qg8 29. Ne2 Nxf4 30. Nxf4 Rxf4 31. b3 $16 {SF16}) 27... Rae8 28. Rae1 Nc7 $18 {the Bl pieces are passive, Wh's active (with also an extra pawn} (28... Bd8 $16) 29. R4e2 (29. b3 {advancing towards the centre} axb3 30. axb3 c5 31. dxc5 dxc5 32. Ne5 $18 {SF16}) 29... Nd5 30. c4 (30. Ne4 Be7 31. Nc5 Bc8 32. Nxe6 Bxe6 33. Rxe6 Nxf4 34. R6e3 Nxd3 35. Qxd3 $18 {SF16}) 30... Ne7 (30... bxc4 31. Bxc4 Rb8 32. Bxd5 cxd5 33. Re3 Bd8 34. Ne2 Rb5 35. Rc1 Ba5 36. Qc2 Rb7 $16 {but the Bl pieces are getting some activity, with the Bl Bs quite useful in holding things together}) 31. cxb5 (31. Ne4 Nf5 32. c5 (32. g4 bxc4 33. Bb1 $18) 32... dxc5 33. dxc5 Rd8 34. Bb1 Bc8 35. Nd6 Qc7 36. Qc2 g6 37. Rd2 $18 (37. Nxc8 Rxc8 38. g3 Qf7 39. Rxe6 $18)) 31... cxb5 32. Rc1 (32. Ne4 Nc8 33. Bb1 g6 34. f5 gxf5 35. Qxh6+ Kg8 36. Neg5 $18 {SF16}) 32... Nf5 (32... Nd5 33. Be4 Bd8 34. Bxd5 exd5 35. Rxe8 Rxe8 36. f5 Bxf5 37. Qf4 Bg6 38. Qxf7 Bxf7 39. Nf5 Bg8 40. Kf1 Bf6 41. Nxd6 $18 {SF16}) 33. Bxf5 (33. Qb4 $18 {SF16- the d pawn can't be protected & then all the other Bl pawns are under fire}) 33... exf5 34. Rc7 (34. Rxe8 Rxe8 35. Rc7 Rc8 36. Rb7 Qe8 37. d5 $16) 34... Rxe2 35. Qxe2 (35. Nxe2 $16) 35... Bd8 (35... Rb8 36. Qd3 Bd8 $14) 36. Ra7 (36. Rb7 Bf6 37. Qe3 $18 {SF16- Bl is running out of good moves, though} g6 38. d5 Bxb2 39. h4 Bf6 40. h5 Kg7 41. hxg6 Kxg6 42. Nxf5 Kxf5 43. Rxd7 Qxd7 44. Nh4+ Bxh4 45. Qh3+ $1 {is a typically clever Engine sequence, that few humans would find}) 36... Re8 {best} 37. Qd3 (37. Qxb5 {Wh needs to play this at once- as inducing g6 , then playing it , leaves the R in peril} Bxb5 38. Rxf7 g6 39. Rb7 Bc4 40. Rb8 Bxa2 41. h4 h5 42. Nf1 $16 {SF16}) 37... g6 (37... Re7 38. Ra8 Re8 39. d5 $16 {SF16}) 38. Qxb5 $2 {now leads to a disadvantage} (38. Qa3 $1 Qe7 39. Qb4 Rg8 40. Rb7 Rg7 41. d5 Kh7 42. Nd4 $18 {SF16- keeping up the bind & bringing in the Ns}) 38... Bxb5 39. Rxf7 Be7 $19 40. Nh4 $2 (40. Nxf5 {best try} gxf5 41. Rxf5 Rb8 $18 {the Wh pawn mass on the Kside might be able to to advance with some practical chances of success, though Bl's 2Bs should be able to hold them up. Unknown territory especially in time shortage}) 40... Bxh4 41. Rb7 Bc6 (41... Bxg3 42. fxg3 Re1+ 43. Kf2 (43. Kh2 Bc6 44. Rb6 Be4 45. d5 Re2 $19) 43... Re2+ 44. Kg1 Rxb2 $19 {SF16}) 42. Rb6 Bxg3 {the B is best retained as it is a far better piece than the clumsy N stuck on g3} (42... Re1+ 43. Kh2 Be8 44. Rxd6 Kg7 $19) 43. fxg3 Bd5 44. Rxd6 Be6 (44... Bf7) (44... Bxa2 45. Rxg6 Kh7 46. Rf6 Bb1 47. Ra6 Re2 48. g4 Be4 $19 {SF16}) 45. d5 Bf7 46. Kf2 Kg7 (46... Rb8 $1) 47. b3 axb3 48. axb3 Kf8 (48... Rb8) (48... Re4 49. Kf3 Rb4 50. g4 Rxb3+ 51. Kf2 fxg4 52. hxg4 Rb2+ 53. Kf3 Rd2 $19 {SF16}) 49. g4 fxg4 (49... Re4 50. g3 (50. Kf3 Ke7 51. Ra6 Bxd5) 50... fxg4 51. hxg4 Kg7 52. Rd7 Rb4 $19 53. f5 Rxg4 54. fxg6 Kxg6 55. Rd6+ Kg7 56. Rb6 Bxd5 $19 {SF16- though Bl must retain the last pawn. Fortunately the B can cover the Queening square, If it didn't then a R swap would be a draw}) 50. hxg4 Rb8 51. f5 gxf5 (51... Kg7 52. fxg6 Bxg6 {SF16- is securer, the B blocks the two g pawns freeing the K as well}) 52. gxf5 (52. Rxh6 $11 fxg4 53. Kg3 Rb4 54. Rh4 Bxd5 55. Rxg4 {SF16- the last pawn goes}) 52... h5 (52... Kg7 53. g4 Rxb3 54. Ra6 Rd3 (54... Bxd5 55. Rg6+ Kh7 56. g5 h5 57. Rh6+ Kg7 58. Rxh5 $11) 55. d6 Be8 56. Ra7+ Kg8 57. Ra8 Kf8 58. Ra6 Bb5 59. Rb6 Bd7 60. Ke2 Rg3 61. Rb8+ Kf7 62. Rb4 {SF16- and Bl is unable to make progress} Kf6 63. Rb7 Rxg4 64. Rxd7 Kxf5 65. Rf7+ $11) 53. Rh6 (53. g4 {simplest ( too optimistic a view- oneof the resulting lines can get very nerveracking)} hxg4 (53... h4 54. g5 {this Wh trying to win} (54. Rh6 {eliminates the h pawn}) 54... Rb4 55. Rf6 Ke8 56. d6 Bd5 57. Rh6 Kd7 58. Ke3 h3 59. Kd3 Rb5 (59... Rxb3+ 60. Kd4 Bg8 61. Ke5 Rb5+ 62. Kf4 $11) 60. Ke3 Rb4 61. Kd3 Bg2 62. f6 Ke6 63. d7 Rb8 64. Rh7 Rd8 65. Re7+ Kd6 66. Rh7 Rxd7 67. g6 Rd8 68. g7 Ke6+ 69. Kc3 Kxf6 70. Rh8 h2) 54. Kg3 Rb4 55. Ra6 Bxd5 56. Ra4 Rxb3+ 57. Kxg4 $11) 53... Rxb3 $19 {cuts the K off, so the g4 idea no longer viable} 54. d6 Ke8 $11 (54... Kg7 $1 55. d7 Rd3 56. Rb6 Rxd7 $19 57. g4 $5 (57. Kg3 Rd4 $19 {but it will still take a while} 58. Kh3 Rg4 59. Rd6 Bb3 60. Rb6 Bd5 61. Rb2 Be4 62. Rf2 Kf6 63. Kh2 Bxf5 64. Rb2 {it will be won for Bl, but it takes a lot of time- Syzygy tablebases confirm there is a win . However in the original Lomonosov tablebases one could easily see the number of moves it would take, but these are no longer easily available. They are built into modern engines, but again just the conclusion, not the number of moves it would take. It might be a valuable exercise to look at this position oneself, using the table bases - they are available eg on lichess.or googled.}) 57... hxg4 58. Kg3 Rd4 $19 {SF16}) 55. Rh7 Rd3 56. Rh6 Kd7 57. Rh7 Ke8 58. Rh6 (58. Rh8+ Kd7 59. Rh7) 58... Kf8 59. f6 {looks ok at first glance, but apparently should lose.} (59. g4 $1 {SF16- is the only way to draw} hxg4 60. Rh8+ Kg7 61. Rh4 g3+ 62. Ke2 Rxd6 (62... Ra3 63. d7 Ra8 64. Rg4+ Kf6 65. Rxg3 $11) 63. Rg4+ Kf6 64. Rxg3 $11) 59... Rxd6 {but then this should only draw} (59... Kg8 $1 {prevents the check & ties the R down, so the d pawn can be taken at ease, while g4 is no longer a drawing possibility} 60. d7 Rxd7 61. g4 hxg4 62. Kg3 Rd4 63. Rh4 Be6 $19) 60. Kg3 $2 {Wh misses the two drawing lines} (60. Rh8+ Bg8 61. Rxh5 {simplest}) (60. g4 hxg4 61. Rh8+ Bg8 62. Kg3 Rd4 63. Kh4 (63. Rh4 $2 Be6 $19) (63. f7 Kxf7 64. Rh4 Kf6 65. Rxg4 $11) 63... Rb4 (63... Kf7 64. Kg3) 64. Kg3 {repetition}) 60... Rd4 (60... Kg8 $19) 61. Rh8+ Bg8 62. Rxh5 {this should now be drawn as endgames with R & B vs R are mostly not winning and quite tricky to play for both sides. Here Wh has two pawns , the one on g2 sheltering his K} Kf7 63. Rf5 Kg6 64. Rf2 (64. Rf4 {but was Wh playing for a win here? It comes close}) 64... Be6 (64... Rd6 {just removes the most dangerous pawn for a draw, but perhaps Bl was still being hopeful?}) 65. Kh2 Bf5 {looks good, but quite risky, Bl can just survive} 66. f7 $1 Rh4+ (66... Kxf7 67. Rxf5+ Kg6 {simplest}) 67. Kg1 Rh8 68. g4 $1 Kxf7 69. Rxf5+ Kg6 {with R & P vs R, if the opposing K is in front of the pawn, then it is drawn. In order to have a win that K must be cut off the R from approacng the pawn, and then the other can come up & escort the pawn to promote.} 70. Kf2 Rh3 71. Kg2 Ra3 72. Rf3 Ra4 (72... Rxf3 {is also a drawn ending- the Wh K has to be in front of its own pawn in order to win through.} 73. Kxf3 Kg5 74. Kg3 Kg6 {the reserve blockade square} 75. Kf4 Kf6 {taking the opposition} 76. g5+ Kg6 77. Kg4 Kg7 78. Kf5 Kf7 79. g6+ Kg7 80. Kg5 Kg8 $1 {other moves lose eg} (80... Kf8 81. Kf6 Kg8 82. g7 Kh7 83. Kf7 Kh6 84. g8=Q) 81. Kh6 Kh8 82. g7+ Kg8 83. Kg6 {stalemate Many people are under the impression that in an ending it is all about slowly and positionally advancing with the extra material. Sometimes that is indeed the case , however, as in this games, tactics are frequently rife, especially in the most unexpected places. A tremendous battle by both players doing their best to win, in one of the most complex games I have annotated.}) 1/2-1/2