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Graham Morrison annotates

Morrison,Graham (2347) - Bates,Richard (2384) [E99]
2008/2009 4NCL (10), 03.05.2009

Going into this game I had already gained a 9 round IM Norm (by losing in round 9! - but my score from the first 8 rounds was sufficiently good). A draw was good enough to gain me a 10 round Norm but IM Richard Bates is a strong and traditionally combative opponent. 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Nf3 00 6.Be2 e5 7.00 Nc6 A big surprise! [Richard Bates 'always' plays the system 7...Na6 What evil preparation had he done?] 8.d5 Ne7 9.Ne1 Nd7 [9...Ne8 is a completely different system. The g4 plan is then less attractive but White has other nice options based on black's lack of control of c5 and e5] 10.f3 f5 11.g4 Benko's plan. The idea is to close up lines on the kingside and restrict the scope of black's pieces - then come back to winning on the queenside! 11...Kh8 The modern way [11...Nf6 followed by 12...c6 is the old main line] 12.h4 a5?! Slow. This was played once before against me by Martin Mitchell in the 2005 British Championship. It became apparent by the clock time that Richard was using up that I had not fallen for 'evil preparation' and that I was probably a lot more familiar than him with the key features of this system [12...Ng8 is the main line, with a very complex position arising after: 13.g5 h6 14.Kg2 f4 15.Rh1 Rf7 16.Nd3 Bf8 17.Qg1! hxg5 18.hxg5+ Kg7 19.Kf1 Be7 I did a lot of work on this line as prep for the Martin Mitchell game in 2005!] 13.Nd3+= b6 [My game against Martin Mitchell went: 13...Ng8 14.g5 h6 15.Kg2 f4 16.Rh1 Rf7 17.Qg1 Bf8 18.Kf1 Note that in comparison with the 12...Ng8 line, black has wasted a move on a5 which does nothing to address the critical kingside situation and weakens b5 18...Rh7 19.Bd2 hxg5 20.hxg5 Rxh1 21.Qxh1+ Kg7 22.Qh4 Be7 23.Nxf4! exf4 24.Bxf4 c5 25.Kg2 Ne5 26.Bd2 Bd7 27.Rh1 Kf8 28.f4 Nf7 29.Nb5 Bxb5 30.cxb5 Ke8 31.Qh7 Kf8 32.Qxg6 Qe8 33.Rh7 Bd8 34.Bh5 10 Morrison,G (2322)-Mitchell,M (2172)/Douglas 2005] 14.Kg2 Nf6N [14...Nc5 is the natural follow-up to 13...b6. In a previous game GM Bologan lost after: 15.Rh1 Bd7 16.Be3 Ng8 17.Nxc5 bxc5 18.h5 f4 19.hxg6 h6 20.Bf2 Bf6 21.a3 a4 22.b4 axb3 23.Qxb3 Bg5 24.a4 Nf6 25.Kf1 Kg7 26.Ke1 c6 27.dxc6 Bxc6 28.Bd3 Qd7 29.Nb5 Qb7 30.Kf1 Rfd8 10 Rodshtein,M (2614)-Bologan,V (2663)/Moscow 2008 (52)] 15.Nf2 Neg8 16.Rh1 f4 17.Bd2 [17.h5!? may be a stronger plan, eg: 17...gxh5?! 18.g5+/-] 17...h5 18.g5 Nh7 19.Nh3 Now if black wants to sacrifice on g5 he probably also needs to do Bxh3+ first - which deprives him of his key attacking white square bishop 19...Bd7 [19...Bxh3+?! 20.Rxh3+/- Nxg5? 21.hxg5 Qxg5+ 22.Kh1+-] 20.Be1 Rf7 21.Bf2 Bf8 22.Qc2 Be7 Richard Bates offered a draw here. Although I only needed the draw for a 10 round IM Norm, I felt that I was well in control of this position and had good prospects of effectively clinching an 11 round Norm by winning 23.Rag1 Qf8 24.b3 Bd8 25.a3 Ne7 26.b4 Now c5 is coming with powerful effect 26...axb4?! This must be wrong - opening lines on the area where he is defending [Perhaps Black should try to 'hang tough' by 26...c5 though the position after 27.dxc6 Nxc6 28.Nd5 Rb8+= is not a good advert for the King's Indian!] 27.axb4+/- c5 28.Ra1 [28.Nb5!?; 28.dxc6!? Nxc6 29.Nd5+/-] 28...Rxa1 [28...Bc7!?] 29.Rxa1 cxb4 30.Nb5 Nc8 31.Qb2 Qe7 [31...Bxb5!? 32.cxb5 Ra7 33.Ra6+/- seems dire for black] 32.Ra8 [32.Qxb4!?] 32...Rf8 [32...Bxb5!?] 33.Bf1 [33.Qxb4!?] 33...Bg4?! A tricky move threatening (in some lines) to play Bxf3+ combined with Qd7-g4 [Objectively better is 33...Bxh3+ but black stands very poorly after 34.Kxh3 Qb7 35.Qa1 b3 36.Nxd6 Qd7+ 37.Kh2 Nxg5 (37...Nxd6?! 38.Qxe5+ Kg8 39.Bd4+-) 38.hxg5 Nxd6 39.Bxb6+/-] 34.fxg4!+- I did not believe black's kingside attack at all - especially without the white square bishop! 34...Qb7 [34...hxg4 35.Rxc8 gxh3+ 36.Kh2+-] 35.Rxc8 [35.Qa1!?; 35.Nxf4!?] 35...Qxc8 36.Nxd6 [36.gxh5! is better since it reduces the number of dangerous pawns at black's disposal on the kingside. The pawn on d6 will not go away, eg: 36...Qg4+ 37.Kh2 Bxg5 (37...Nxg5 38.hxg5 Bxg5 39.Nxd6+-) 38.hxg5 Nxg5 39.Nxd6+-] 36...Qxg4+ 37.Kh2 Nxg5 38.hxg5 Bxg5 39.Nxg5 Qxg5 40.Bh3 [The immediate 40.Qxb4! is better since the Bishop does a good job on f1 after 40...f3 41.Qxb6+-] 40...f3 41.Qxb4! [41.Bg3 was the move I wanted to play. The trouble is that I cannot take on e5 after 41...Kh7 42.Qxe5?? Qd2+=] 41...h4 42.Qe1 [42.Qxb6?? leads to a draw after 42...Qf4+=] 42...Qf4+ 43.Kh1 Ra8 I had a very long think (maybe 40 mins) round about here. I thought that I had lost control of the game over the last few moves and felt that I really needed to figure out a clear path to either a win or (if necessary) a draw. After looking at many unfavourable lines it seemed to me critical to 1) get coordination between my Knight on d6 and my King's Bishop 2) arrange things such that I could stop his avalanche of pawns with Nf7 and Qg1 3) get my c or d pawns rolling towards the 8th rank 4) get my queen into his position along with at least 1 minor piece to create mating threats or at least a perpetual. So: 44.Be6! Ra2 45.c5! Kh7 [He cannot take the pawn since white's Queen gets in on the act after 45...bxc5 46.Qb1 Ra8 (46...Rxf2 47.Qb8+ Kg7 48.Qg8+ Kf6 49.Qh8+ Kg5 50.Nf7++-) 47.Nf7+ Kh7 (47...Kg7 48.Nxe5! Ra7 (48...Qxe5 49.Qb7++-) 49.Qb2+-) 48.Nxe5! Ra7 49.Ng4+-] 46.cxb6 h3 [46...Rb2!? 47.b7 g5 48.Qg1 Kh6 (48...h3 49.Bf5+ Kg7 50.Bxh3+-) 49.Bf5 Kg7 50.Bd7+-] 47.Qf1 [47.Bxh3?? Qh6 48.Bh4 (48.Kh2?? is a blunder to compound the first blunder since it loses to 48...Qh4+) 48...f2=] 47...Rc2 I now saw a forced win and quickly executed [47...Rxf2 48.Qxh3+ (48.Qxf2 Qc1+ 49.Kh2 Qf4+ 50.Kxh3+-) 48...Kg7 49.Ne8+ Kf8 50.Qh8+ Ke7 51.d6+ Kxe6 52.Qh3++-; 47...Kg7 48.b7 Rb2 49.Nb5 Rxb5 50.Qxb5 Qc1+ 51.Kh2 Qf4+ 52.Bg3 Qd2+ 53.Kxh3+-] 48.Qxh3+ Kg7 49.Ne8+ Kf8 50.Qh8+ Ke7 51.Bh4+ g5 52.Qg7+ [Missing a quicker win by 52.Bxg5+! Qxg5 53.Qh7+ Kxe8 54.Qf7+ Kd8 55.Qd7#] 52...Kxe8 53.Bd7+! [53.Bd7+ Kd8 54.Bxg5+ Qxg5 55.Qxg5+ Kxd7 56.Qf5++- and the f-pawn drops] 10

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