Cross-Vibbert 1/24/15

Annotations by Sean Vibbert

1.c4 I was expecting to see the English opening at some point in this tournament, and I had plans to not allow the symmetrical variation.

1…c5 2.g3 Nf6 3.Bg2 Nc6 4.Nf3 d5 This is one of the only lines that avoids the symmetrical variation and gives an imbalance to the position.

5.0-0 Normally, white takes on d5 and moves Nc3. Since he castled, black may have no choice but to go into a closed position.

5…e5 6.d3 Be7 7.Bg5 Up until this point, I did not want to move d4 and create a closed position. However, after the move Bg5, it is the only move that gives black a good advantage.

7…d4 8.Bxf6 Bxf6 9.Nfd2 This move activates the bishop on g2 and allows for some f4 pawn push ideas. My plan here was to move all of my pieces off of the dangerous h1-a8 diagonal.

9…0-0 10.Na3 White’s plan here was to prepare the b4 pawn push and weaken my center. This idea will not work, as black has an easy response.

10…Be7 11.Nc2 Be6 12.Rb1 Qd7 13.a3 a5 This is the response that shuts down white’s plan. It also doubles as a future attacking pawn.

14.Nb3 Nb3 is a dangerous move to make. It is an undefended target that is only blocked by an attackable pawn.

14…b6 15.e4 b5 This move may not make a lot of sense because I had just pushed my pawn to b6. The position now allows for the move b5 because white just moved his pawn to e4, blocking his deadly bishop.

16.Nd2 a4 Now my plan was to put as much pressure on the c4 pawn as possible.

17.Ne1 Na5 I cannot take the pawn immediately because it allows white to place his knight on d3.

18.f4 f6 19.Rc1 Rab8 20.Rc2 Rfd8 21.fxe5 fxe5 22.Qh5 Normally this move would be fantastic for white because it puts so much pressure on my e5 pawn. However, it does not work, because I can trap his queen after Bf6 and Bg4.

22…Bf6 23.Qd1 He has no choice but to retreat his queen. The extra tempo he lost here was enough for me to win.

23…bxc4 24.Nxc4 Nxc4 25.Rxc4 White was probably hoping to place his knight on d3 and defend.

25…Bxc4 26.dxc4 d3 27.Qd2 Qd4+ Now there is nothing that white can do to survive. Black will win the b2 pawn and finish the game by promoting his d3 pawn. 0-1

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Updated: February 1, 2015 — 7:31 pm

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