Sv.Johnsen - Akharaboollasez
BCC Thailand Open 2009 (2)
1.d4 Nf6 2.Bf4
This occasionally leads to a more interesting game than 2.Nf3 followed by 3.Bf4 does.
2...e6 3.e3 c5 4.c3 Be7 5.Nd2 d5 6.Bd3 b6 7.Ngf3
This is the right moment to enter the more traditional London lines as 7...Nh5 now can be met by 8.Bxb8 and a check on b5, forcing Black to move his king and lose time with his misplaced knight.
7...Bb7 8.Ne5 0–0 9.Qf3 Nbd7 10.Qh3
This attacking formation is one of the main ideas behind the classical London System. But with his bishop on b7 and his knight on d7, Black's e4 control may just be sufficient for equality.
Probably 11.Ndf3 is better 11...Ne4 which I thought looked annoying is well met by 12.Nxd7 Qxd7 13.Ne5. If my memory had been better I might have remembered the continuation of Blackburne-Harmonist, Breslau 1889: 13...Qd8 14.f3 Nf6 15.Ng4 g6 16.Bb5 Nd7 17.Nh6+ Kg7 18.Nxf7 Bh4+ 19.Bg3 Kxf7 20.Bxh4 with a clear advantage to White. This is Illustrative Game 3 in ’Win with the London System’. The London is easy to learn superficially but exact knowledge takes a bit more as the many similar positions can easily be confused.
This is an important defensive resource.
12.Ndf3 Ne4 13.g5!?
I considered 13.Bb5 but found that 13...f6 14.Nc6 Qc8 15.Nxe7+ Rxe7 was a bit unclear. Doda-Kraidman, Siegen 1970 continued 16.g5 Ng6 17.gxf6 Nxf4 18.exf4 Nxf6 19.0–0–0 Ba6 20.Bxa6 Qxa6 21.Kb1 with a small advantage to White.
13...cxd4 14.exd4 Bxg5 (D)
I considered this too risky on general grounds but was not sure how Black could save himself. I thought that after 14...Ng6 15.Nxg6 hxg6 16.Rg1, Black was helpless against the plan Rg4-h4. Rybka, however has no problems finding 16...Qc8 17.Rg4 e5 18.Nxe5 Ba3! with quite difficult play.
A much stronger continuation is 15.Nxg5 Nxg5 16.Qh5 g6 17.Qxg5. What I missed was that 17...f6 18.Qh6 fxe5 19.Bxe5 gives White a deadly attack, e.g. 19...Qe7 20.Rg1 Rac8 21.Bxg6 Nxg6 22.Rxg6+ hxg6 23.Qh8+ Kf7 24.Qg7 mate.
15...Kxf7 16.Bxg5 Nxg5 17.Qh5+ g6 18.Nxg5+?
I wanted to play for mate but Black can defend quite easily. After 18.Qxg5 Qxg5 19.Nxg5+ Kg7 20.f4 White would have had a very nice positional plus.
18...Kg7 19.Qg4 e5 20.0–0–0 e4
After 20...h6 I considered 21.h4!? hxg5 22.hxg5 with a lot of possibilities but nothing that really works for White. One reasonable line is 22...e4 23.Bb5 and now 23...Re7 24.Qh3 Qd6 25.Qh8+ Kf7 26.Rh7+ Nxh7 27.Qxh7+ Kf8 28.Qh8+ leads to a drawing mechanism I noticed during the game. A better try for Black may be 23...Qd6 24.Bxe8 Rxe8 when he probably is a little better. Consequently White probably should play 21.Nh3 when 21...Bc8 must be a little better for Black than the game.
21.Bb5 Bc8! 22.Qf4 Re7
Rybka at first prefers 22...Bd7 but after a while finds that White wins after 23.Qf7+ Kh6 24.Rdg1 Bxb5 25.Rg4 Be2 26.Rh4+ Bh5 27.Rg1 Qe7 28.Qf4 Kg7 29.Rxh5 (but even then there are some long semi-forcing lines after 29...e3).
23.h4 Qc7 24.Qe3 h6 25.Nh3 Rf7 26.Be2 Nh7?!
This looks wrong. 26...Bxh3 27.Rxh3 Qf4 28.Qxf4 Rxf4 29.f3 e3 30.Re1 Re8 is roughly equal.
27.Rdg1 Bxh3 28.Rxh3 Qf4 29.Rhg3 Qxe3+ 30.fxe3 Rf6 31.Kd2 (D)
This looks like a very good reversed French for White. Black's central pawns are weak.
31...b5! 32.Bxb5 Rb8 is a much better chance.
This does nothing positive for Black's position.
33.Rg4 Rc8 34.a4 Rfc6 35.Bb5 Rf6 (D)
My lacking sense of danger strikes again! This is the wrong moment to act.
36...h5! 37.Rf4 Rxf4 38.exf4 dxc4 is only a little better for White.
37.Rxe4 Rc7 38.Kc3 Rf1 39.Re6 Nf6 40.Bc6 Rc1+ 41.Kd2 Rh1?
41...Rf1 42.e4 Rf4 43.e5 Ng4 is a little better but still probably winning for White. The rest is simple.
42.Rxg6+! Kxg6 43.Bxh1 Kf7 44.Rxb6 Re7 45.Bf3 h5 46.Rb5 Ng4 47.Rxh5 Nxe3? 48.Rh7+ 1–0