Blitz Adventures#7: Opposite Color Bishops

[Date “2017.12.25”]
[Black “Jtrot79”]
[Result “0-1”]
[ECO “D00”]
[WhiteElo “1018”]
[BlackElo “1013”]
[TimeControl “600”]

//www.chess.com/emboard?id=3771632

This was a fairly accurate game for the time controls and elo rating of me and my opponent, the only real time inaccuracies and mistakes became prevalent was in the late end game. The time was about a minute on both sides near the 55th move and demonstrates the difference in the color of the bishops even under time stress.

1.d4 d5 2.Nc3 [I expected some kind of transposition to a Queens Gambit however this move blocks any possibility of that happening]

…Nf6 3.Nf3 e6 [With e6 the position is nearly equal and white retains very little of his initiate with the first move. A superior option for white would be 3.Bg5 e5 4.e4 Be7 with the idea 5. e5 transposing into the main line of the French Defense. Personally I would try to avoid this as Blacks position is uncomfortably cramped and white still retains the opening edge]

4.Qd3 [This move tips the scale into blacks favor as one of the basic principals is to develop the Queen last as it can be exploited while giving tempi to the opponent]

…Bb4 5.Qb5+ [A beginners move to use the Queen to try to pin a piece so early in the opening, it allows Black to place his Knight where he already wanted to go and paints a target on the Queen once Black has castled. A better plan would be to move the pawn from e2 to e3 and support the center while bringing the bishop out to pin the Knight to the King]

…Nc6 6.e3 Bxc3+ [While not the most accurate move I enjoy the weakness of double pawns as targets and you’ll notice this is where all the play on my side happens and also where the game is won]

7.bxc3 a6 8.Qc5 Ne4 9.Qa3 Qd6 [Based on my opponents use of the Queen I doubted he would trade Queens and a central square for her to hold is ideal]

10.Bb5 Bd7 11.Bxc6 Bxc6 12.Qxd6 [The Queens come off after white traded one of their most active pieces for my Knight, something I accept willingly as both of my minors are more active]

…cxd6 13.Bb2 [This Bishop stares at its own pawn and doesn’t have much of a future]

….Bb5 [My bishop however looks to cut the King off from castling and keep him in the center of the board and also hinders the other rook from entering the game]

14.h3 Rc8 15.a4 Bc4 16.Nd2 O-O 17.Nxe4 dxe4 18.a5 d5 [While not the most exciting position I have a very solid setup which is what I strive for as Black. More space on the Queen and King side, more active pieces and a safer King]

19.Ra4 Bb5 20.Rb4 Rc4 21.Rb3 Rfc8 22.O-O [Some shuffling around allows White to get his castle in however in the process it allowed me to better position my pieces and get the coordination needed to cement it]

…R8c7 23.Rb1 [The first mistake in my eyes, lining the rook up in front of a pawn that its impossible to defend once the rook has found safety]

…Ba4 24.Rb4 Bxc2 25.Rc1 Ba4 26.Ra1 Rxb4 27.cxb4 Bb5 28.Ba3 Rc4 29.Rc1 Rc6 30.Rxc6 [I wanted to trade on my terms and I had thought about bringing the pawn closer to the center with the recapture however I figured better of it. Potential problems with the connected pawns on the edge with only one pawn there to defend. My connected pawns become all stars later on in the game]

…Bxc6 31.Kh2 f5 32.Kg3 g5 33.h4 h6 34.hxg5 hxg5 35.f4 gxf4+ 36.Kxf4 Kf7 37.g4 fxg4 38.Kxg4 Kf6 [The idea of these exchanges was to clear any problems that might arise from stray pawns on the king side while I focused my efforts on the Queen side, it also cuts the White King off from the action for the time]

39.Kg3 Kf5 40.Bc1 e5 41.Bb2 exd4 42.Bxd4 Bd7 43.Bh8 Ke6 44.Bd4 Kd6 45.Bc5+ Kc6 46.Bd4 Kb5 47.Bc3 Kc4 [A slow but methodical walk of the King to the area of importance, having secured my pieces on light squares I had very little to worry about]

48.Be1 Kd3 49.Kf2 Kc4 50.Ke2 d4 [An inaccuracy as (50… Bg4+ 51. Kd2 Kxb4 52. Kc2+ Kc4 53. Bc3 Kb5 54. Bd2 Be6 55. Be1) would have allowed me to easily pick up a pawn via the double attack on the bishop and pawn]

51.Kd2 Kxb4 52.exd4 Kxa5 53.Ke3+ Kb6 54.Kxe4 Kc6 [My whole goal was to have connected passed pawns and in the event the center white pawn got too close I would sac my bishop for it. The connected pawns would mean White only could capture one while the other promoted]

55.d5+ Kd6 56.Bb4+ Kc7 57.d6+ Kc6 58.Ke5 Bg4 [Here is where the power of an opposite color bishop really comes to light in the end game, if the pawn was ever pushed I could capture and have the King support the Bishop. Even without the Kings support the Bishop threat shut down whites hopes to get a promotion. White wasn’t able to find the proper counter play  which allowed me to work on the passed pawns]

59.Kf6 b6 60.Ke7 [The real nail in the coffin, the only attempt would be to use the King and Bishop together to stop the pawns but White has moved further away from where he needed to be]

…a5 61.Bc3 a4 62.Bd4 b5 63.Bc3 a3 [This was a mistake, not game losing but certainly it would have made things harder, 64. Bb4 attacking the a3 pawn and blocking my b5 pawn advance]

64.Ba1 b4 65.Bd4 b3 66.Bc3 b2 67.d7 Bxd7 [As I had said, this was never going to work but perhaps it would throw me off in the stress of time troubles]

68.Bb4 b1=Q 69.Bxa3 Qe1+ 70.Kd8 Qe8# [A swift end as my opponent cut a mate in 7 down to a mate in 1]

0-1

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