White: Peter Bereolos
Black: GM Alex Yermolinsky
Land Of The Sky, 1999
Round 5 Board 1

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f4 0-0 6.Nf3 a6!?

A flexible move order. If White plays 7.Be2 then 7...c5 8.d5 b5 9.cxb5 axb5 10.Bxb5 White has lost a tempo compared to the line 6...c5 7.d5 b5 8.cxb5 a6 9.a4 axb5 10.Bxb5. I go for an extreme approach instead.

7.a4 Bg4

The inclusion of a6 and a4 favors Black in this line.

8.Be2 Nc6 9.d5

Before Black can play ...e5 and ...Bxf3 gaining a foothold on d4.

9...Nb4 10.Be3

10.a5 is probably the best move here, but I couldn't bring myself to make another pawn move.

10...a5

cementing the knight into b4.

11.0-0 e6 12.h3 Bxf3 13.Bxf3 c6 14.dxc6 bxc6 15.Qd2 Qc7 16.Rad1 Rfd8 17.Qf2 Rab8

18.Rd2

18. Kh1 may be slightly better, see the notes at move 26.

18...d5

Black has achieved his maximum so breaks open the center.

19.exd5 cxd5 20.cxd5 Nfxd5 21.Nxd5 Nxd5 22.Bxd5 Rxd5 23.Rxd5 exd5 24.Bd4 Rb4 25.Bxg7 Kxg7 26.f5

Threatening 26.fxg6 or 26.f6+ with a powerful attack.

26...Qb6

My original thoughts on this position were that Black had to go for the exchange of queens in order to avoid 26. f6+ or 26. fxg6. That is why I suggested 18. Kh1 so that this move would not be a pin and White could continue with f6+. However, I may have been too optimistic about White's attack. Instead, Black could try 26... Rxa4!? 27. f6+ (27. fxg6 hxg6 28. Qf6+ Kg8 doesn't seem to leave White with a good followup) 27... Kg8. It looks like White can still draw after 28. Qe3 Qd8 29. Qh6 Qf8. Now, the most forcing way to reach a draw is the pawn down rook ending after 30. Qxf8+ Kxf8 31. b3 Rb4 (31... Ra3 32. Rd1 Rxb3 33. Rxd5 Ke8 34. Rxa5 Rb6=) 32. Ra1 Rb5 33. b4! Rxb4 34. Rxa5 Ke8 35. Rxd5 Rb6 36. h4 but that might not be everyone's cup of tea, so White could try to maintain his active queen with 30. Qg5 when Black has the option of repetition with 30...Qd6 31. Qh6 or trying for more with 30...d4. There doesn't seem to be any significant difference in these variations if the White king is on h1.

27.Qxb6 Rxb6 28.fxg6 hxg6 29.Rd1

Normally, in a rook ending you wouldn't force your opponents rook behind his passed pawn. Here, however, this maneuver lets me liquidate my pawn weakness.

29...Rd6 30.Rb1

>A better way of enforcing b4 than 30.Rd4 where the rook would be exposed to ...Kf6-e5.

30...Rc6 31.b4 axb4 32.Rxb4 Rc1+ 33.Kf2 Kf6 34.a5 Ra1 35.Rb6+ Ke5 36.a6 Ke4 37.Rf6 d4 38.Rxf7 Rxa6 39.Re7+ Kd3 40.h4 Kd2 41.g4 d3 42.h5 gxh5 43.gxh5 Rh6 44.Re5 Kd1 45.Kg3 Rd6 46.Kg4 d2 47.Ra5 Ke2 48.Ra1 d1=Q 49.Rxd1 Rxd1 50.h6 Ke3 51.Kg5 Ke4 52.h7 1/2:1/2

Not a bad Sunday for me. However, Ivanov beat Hikaru Nakamura in the last round to take clear first. Yermolinsky, myself, and a couple of others had to settle for shares of second.

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