A win against IM Vladimir Eljanov August 24, 2007Posted by dorigo in chess, computers, games, internet, personal.
It is always nice to win a game against a titled chessplayer, even if it is only a blitz game (5 minutes per player) and it is played online in the Internet Chess Club, thus preventing you from receiving a fair handshake at the end.
It happens rarely to me, but mostly because getting to play with international masters or grandmasters is tough even on the ICC, where many titled players are logged at any given time of the day. And then again, of course 90% of the times they dispose of me as quickly as you can dump the garbage.
To get the honor of playing against an IM or a GM you have to first boost your rating to a level which allows the automatic pairing system to give you that chance. It happened tonight, when I was lazily playing 5-minute chess while my wife was telling a story to the kids to get them to sleep. My opponent, patola(IM) on ICC, does not have a top notch rating for blitz games online, but has a FIDE rating of almost 2400, which is rather average for International Masters. He is the father of Pavel Eljanov apparently – and Pavel is a strong grandmaster.
Anyway, here is the game. Apparently, I managed to surprise him in the opening with a risky and bold pawn sacrifice… And then things snowballed for him, until he managed to mend his position to a level which still allowed him to hope. But with a few precise moves, I came out on top.
patola(IM)-tonno, ICC 5 0 – 24/8/2007
1.c4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Qc2 g6 5.cxd5 Bf5!?
(see diagram 1 below)
A risky move, and not a totally correct one, but quite viable in blitz games, where the surprise factor is very important. My opponent indeed started to think… He knew h could take the pawn, but he would thus give black some play… On the other hand, if he did not take the pawn, he would have to lose a tempo with the queen… So he went for it. 6.Qb3 Nxd5 7.Qxb7 Nd7 8.Qb3 here 8.a3 would have brought white a small but steady advantage after 8… Rb8 9.Qa6 (but worse is 9.Qxa7 e5! with some play against the white queen, exemplifid by 10.dxe5? Ra8 11.Qd4 Nb4!) Rb8 9.Qd1 Bxb1!
(see diagram 2 below)
Here is the surprise! White loses the exchange. 9.Qa4 would have amounted to the same thing (9…. Bxb1 10.Rxb1 Nc3) and even the stubborn 9.Qc4 would have left black on top after 9…. Nb4! 10.Na3 Be6 11.Qc3 Nxa2 12.Qc2 Nxc1 13.Rxc1 Qa5, where black has gotten even with pawns and retains the bishop pair, the initiative, and a better overall structure. 10.Rxb1 Nc3 11.bxc3 Rxb1 12.e3 Qa5 13.Qc2 Ra1 14.Bc4 Nb6 15.Bb3 Nd5 16.Bxd5 cxd5
(see diagram 3 below)
17.a4? But here white had a chance to obtain some dynamical compensation by means of 17.Qb2! Rxa2 18.Qb8+. I do not really know what would have happened in that case, but for sure I was glad to see him playing the pawn instead. After this missed chance, the game goes downhill for Eljanov. Probably he played 17.a4 to divert my queen from the attack of c3, but it is an inaccurate move. 17…. Qxa4 18.Qb2! Still good now, but it does not win a tempo by attacking the rook any longer, so that black has time to create an escape for the king!(see diagram 4 below)
18…. f6! the last required accuracy. Now black is really safe. Other means of defending against the impending sortie of the white queen would have been much more troublesome. f6 creates the f7 square for the king, and avoids any knight jumps to e5 and g5. 19.0-0 Kf7! 20.Qb7 Qa5 21.e4 dxe4 22.Qxe4 Qxc3 23.Bd2 Rxf1+ 24.Kxf1 Qc4+ 25.Kg1 e6 26.h4
(see diagram 5 below)
A desperate attempt, but black’s position is easy to play and I by now had even more time on the clocks… 26…. Be7 27.h5 Qd5 28.Qf4 Bd6 29.Ne5+ Bxe5 30.dxe5 Qxe5 and in this hopeless position white allowed his time to end. A nice game, although admittedly not too well played by either of us. I am curious to know whether 5. …Bf5!? is a novelty or if it has been played before. My guess is that it must have been played, if only by another fool. The database of my fritz 8 is not working for some reason. Carl, can you search the position for me ? :)