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Paul McMahon annotates

Cooke,Charles - McMahon,Paul [A52]
4NCL Cambridge, 21.03.2009
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e5 3.dxe5 Ng4 4.Nf3 Bc5 5.e3 Nc6 6.a3!? Be2 or Nc3 is usual here 6...a5 7.b3 Ngxe5 [7...0-0 8.Bb2 Re8 is the recommended way to play this] 8.Bb2 d6 9.Nxe5 Nxe5 10.f4? Bxe3? There is no need for this. I just thought that the weakening move 10.f4 ought to be punished. Unfortunately this is not the way to do it. [10...Ng4 11.Bxg7 Nxe3 (Or even 11...Rg8 12.Bd4 Nxe3 13.Bxe3 Bxe3-/+) 12.Qe2 Rg8 13.Bc3 Bg4-+] 11.fxe5 Qh4+ 12.g3 Qe4 13.Qd3? It was while White was contemplating this move that I noticed the resource 13.Qd5 and I prepared the response 13...Bf5. However Fritz finds its way through the complications. [13.Qd5 Bf5 (13...Qc2 is objectively better but not good enough for equality. 14.Qg2 Qxb3 with compensation) 14.exd6 c6 15.Qxe4+ Bxe4 16.Ke2 Bb6 17.Bh3 Bxh1 18.Nc3+- and Black's bishop is lost.; Finally, a 3rd option for White. 13.Qe2 Bg4 14.Nc3 Qxh1 15.Qxe3 0-0-0 with an unbalanced game.] 13...Qxh1 [13...Qf3 14.Qe2 Qxh1 is the same; 13...Bf5? 14.Nc3 Qxd3 15.Bxd3 Bxd3 16.Nd5 Bb6 17.exd6+/-] 14.Qxe3 White offered a draw here. According to the cold calculations of the computer, the position is 0.37 in White's favour, but Black judged (incorrectly) he was better. 14...0-0 15.Nd2 Qxh2 [15...Re8 16.Nf3 Bg4 17.Kf2 Bxf3 18.Qxf3 Qxh2+ 19.Bg2 Qh6 20.Rh1+/=; The correct move here appears to be 15...f6! 16.e6 (16.exf6?! Bg4) 16...Re8 17.0-0-0 Bxe6 and both sides have chances in this unbalanced position] 16.exd6? This allows black to trap the White king in the centre where there is no escape. [better was 16.0-0-0 Re8 17.Qf3+/=] 16...Bg4! 17.d7 Rad8? This careless move almost lets Black's advantage slip away in view of White's next. [Clearer was 17...Ra6! where the trickiest continuation seems to be 18.Bxg7! Re6 19.Ne4 Kxg7 20.d8Q! Rxd8 21.Qg5+ Kf8 22.Qxd8+ Re8 23.Qd4 Qxg3+ 24.Kd2 Qf4+ 25.Kd3 Rxe4-+; The obvious 17...Bxd7 allows White to solve all his problems with 18.0-0-0+/=] 18.Bxg7! A bolt from the blue!


18...Rxd7 the only move [18...Kxg7?? is losing to 19.Qd4+ f6 20.Qxg4++/- however White indicated afterwards he would have taken the draw by perpetual instead] 19.Bf6 [if 19.Bxf8 Kxf8 20.Ne4 Re7-/+ and White has no defence to the threat of 21...f5 regaining the sacrificed material with interest.; Instead a good try here is 19.Bd4 f6 (19...Rxd4 allows a draw by perpetual 20.Qg5+ Kh8 21.Qf6+=) 20.Ne4 Rxd4 21.Qxd4 Re8; Another good defensive attempt is 19.Bh6 Re7 20.Ne4 (20.Qxe7?? Qxg3#) 20...Re6 21.Bxf8 f5 22.Nf6+ Kf7 23.Nxg4 fxg4 24.Bc5 Rxe3+ 25.Bxe3 Qxg3+ 26.Kd2 h5-/+] 19...h6 20.Ra2? This loses quickly, but White's position was already difficult [20.Ne4 Re8 21.Bd4 Kf8-/+; 20.Be2 Bxe2 21.Qxe2 Qxg3+-/+] 20...Rd6 21.Nf3 Qxa2 22.Qxh6 Re8+ 0-1

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Division 1

Pride and Prejudice
Barbican 4NCL 1
White Rose 1
Guildford-A&DC 1
Cambridge Univ. 1
The ADs
Barbican 4NCL 2
Oxford 1
Pandora's Box Grantham
S. Wales Dragons
Guildford-A&DC 2
Poisoned Pawns 1
Jutes of Kent

Division 2

Sambuca Sharks
Warwickshire Select 1
e2e4.org.uk 1
Barbican 4NCL Youth
AMCA Dragons
Kings Head
Poisoned Pawns 2
Anglian Avengers
Wessex 1
Celtic Tigers 1
Bristol 1
White Rose 2
Brown Jack
Guildford-A&DC 3
FCA Solutions 1

Division 3

Rhyfelwyr Essyllwg
Sambuca Black Sheep
Cambridge Univ. 2
Wessex 2
Warwickshire Select 2
KJCA Kings
FCA Solutions 2
The Full Ponty
Sussex Smart Ctls.
e2e4.org.uk 2
Nottinghamshire 1
Nottinghamshire 2
Oxford 2
AMCA Rhinos
Braille Chess Assoc.
AMCA Hippos
Glos. Gambits
Bristol 2
KJCA Knights
Guernsey Mates
Bristol 3
e2e4.org.uk 3
Beauty and the Beasts
Celtic Tigers 2
Oxford 3
Guildford-A&DC 4
AMCA Cheetahs