Daily Games #1: Unfamiliar Territory

In this game I play white in a Rossolimo Attack with 3…Nf6 which is unfamiliar territory for me. I was reviewing a few games by the great attacking Tal and this opening seemed to do well against the Sicilian and it fit my more aggressive opening style as of late.  In the opening book the 3…Nf6 with 4.Nc3 and e5 seems to give white fairly good winning chances and I would have to agree after the capture of Bxc6 forcing Black to stack pawns early on. The game is fairly even as I am better in the opening and my opponent in the middle game, however as the late middle game comes around the advantage switches back. Some critical mistakes are made in the end game and it allows me to find a mate in 5 as my opponent plays the losing move out of 2 possible moves.

//www.chess.com/emboard?id=3552644

[Date “2017.07.13”]
[White “Jtrot79”]
[Result “1-0”]
[ECO “B30”]
[WhiteElo “1628”]
[BlackElo “1339”]
[TimeControl “1 in 1 day”]

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.Nc3 e5 5.Bxc6 bxc6 6.Nxe5 Bd6 7.Nf3 O-O 8.e5 Re8 9.O-O Bxe5 10.Nxe5 Rxe5 11.f4 Re8 12.d3 d5 13.h3 Qd6 14.a3 h6 15.Re1 Ba6 16.b4 c4 17.dxc4 Bxc4 18.f5 Qg3 19.Bb2 d4 20.Rxe8+ Rxe8 21.Qxd4 Bd5 22.Nxd5 Nxd5 23.Qf2 Qe3 24.Bd4 Qxf2+ 25.Kxf2 Re4 26.Rd1 Rf4+ 27.Kg3 Rxf5 28.Bxa7 Nc3 29.Rd8+ Kh7 30.Bd4 Ne2+ 31.Kh2 g5 32.Rh8+ Kg6 33.Rg8+ Kh5 34.g4+ Kh4 35.Rh8 Ng3 36.Rxh6+ 1-0

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 [A more aggressive opening against Blacks’s Sicilian. I believe this move is a good counter to the unbalance Black looks to create by playing on the Queen side, it removes the Knight which is a primary piece and in place will allow White to trade and stack Blacks pawns]

….Nf6 [This move makes sense to me. Black looked to play on the Queen side but the threat of White trading the Bishop off and dampening the initiative may make Black feel as he needs some pressure on the other side of the board]

4.Nc3 e5 5.Bxc6 bxc6 [Stacking pawns early gives me a weakness to target and I will nearly always look to inflict something early on to exploit later. The line recommended here is dxc6  and generally goes against the idea of always taking toward the center and if you will notice the pawn on e5 is hanging, the reason dxc6 is recommended is that it allows the Queen to enter the fight in the middle which will ensue. The main lines get incredible sharp and most people who play the Sicilian at a lower level may not know them. (5… dxc6 6. Nxe5 Nxe4 7. Nxe4 Qd5 8. d3 Qxe5 9. f4 Qd5 10. Qe2 Be7 11. c4 Qe6 12. Be3 b6 13. O-O Qg6 14. Ng3 Qg4 15. Rae1 Qxe2 16. Rxe2 Be6 17. Ne4)]

6.Nxe5 Bd6 7.Nf3 [I’ve gained a pawn and retreated to a position that suits the Knight better and will allow me to defend the e5 square again]

…O-O 8.e5 [As stated with in the previous move of Nf3]

…Re8 9.O-O Bxe5 10.Nxe5 Rxe5 11.f4 Re8 12.d3 d5 13.h3 Qd6 14.a3 h6 15.Re1 Ba6 16.b4 c4 17.dxc4 Bxc4 [These moves have all been slow and developing. Over the course of this however I gave Black some initiative back and the position looks better to be in their favor. Black has more active pieces and his Bishop is much better than mine is]

18.f5 [ A mistake on my part, this move really accomplishes nothing besides freeing the Bishop from guard duty which is what I wanted to accomplish. A better move would have been Be3 getting the Bishop to an active square and clearing out my back rank to where I can connect my Rooks]

…Qg3 [This is a mistake on my opponent, Black should have played d4 attacking the Knight and threatening to trade rooks with check. This would allow a piece to be won]

19.Bb2 [My initial plan when I moved 18.f5, I wanted the Bishop on the long diagonal towards Blacks King]

….d4 [My opponent plays d4 now but only for it to become a mistake, now I have the Rook check and force trade which allows me to capture the undefended pawn on  d4]

20.Rxe8+ Rxe8 21.Qxd4 [The aforementioned line which Black allowed me to play]

…Bd5 [Here Black threatens mate on g2, trading is in my favor as the Bishop was a very active piece and I wanted to free my own Bishop]

22.Nxd5 Nxd5 23.Qf2 [Blacks pieces were coordinating quite well and I wanted to relieve the pressure by forcing a Queen trade]

…Qe3 [Delaying the trade was actually a poor choice on his part it allowed me to get the Bishop active]

24.Bd4 Qxf2+ 25.Kxf2[The line Black chose gave me the opportunity to get my Bishop to a more active square and also my King closer to the center which is important in an end game situation]

…Re4 26.Rd1 [Simply defending and brining my Rook to a more active file, simple yet effective]

…Rf4+ 27.Kg3 Rxf5 28.Bxa7 Nc3 29.Rd8+ Kh7 30.Bd4 Ne2+ 31.Kh2 [A fairly standard line of moves both sides taking pawns and bettering the position]

…g5 [A key move which had long term consequences]

32.Rh8+ Kg6 33.Rg8+ Kh5 [It was here in which the mate in 5 became possible, the alternative move would have been Kh7 which lead to an endgame where I was up two pawns but Black still has chances]

34.g4+ Kh4 35.Rh8 Ng3 36.Rxh6+ 1-0

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