2012 US Class Championships

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(1) Toolin,Christopher (2272) - Hughes,Tyler (2383) [B22]
2012 U.S. Class Chess Championships Houston (5), 23.09.2012

1.e4 c5 2.c3 Nf6 3.e5 Nd5 4.d4 cxd4 5.Nf3 e6 6.cxd4 d6 7.a3 Nc6 8.Bd3 g6 9.exd6 Qxd6 10.Nc3 Bg7 11.0-0 0-0 12.Be4?! Seems unnatural to me. More logical would be to continue development with Re1 [12.Re1 ] 12...b6 [I rejected 12...Nxc3 13.bxc3 b6 becaus of 14.Ne5! Bb7 15.Bf4 after which I am forced to give up the 2 bishops with 15...Bxe5 16.dxe5+/= ] 13.Bg5 Bb7 14.Bxd5?! White has invested a lot of bishop moves to merely trade it away. [14.Re1= ] 14...exd5=/+ 15.Re1 Rfe8 16.Rxe8+?! It is imprecise to give up control of the e-file. It would be better to connect rooks with Qd2 in order to maintain the balance. [16.Qd2 ] 16...Rxe8 17.Nb5?! The start of a mistaken invasion that ultimately backfires for white. The knight is untenable on b5, and thus should have remained on c3. 17...Qd7 18.Bf4?! Continuing the mistaken invasion. [18.Nc3 Admitting the mistake with Nc3 was best, but it is difficult for most to play so humbly. ] 18...Ba6! Tempting white forward 19.Nc7? Now white lands in a bad position by force. [19.Nc3=/+ was still best!] 19...Be2! a key in-between move, utilizing the control of the e-file earlier ceded by White 20.Qa4 Re4! A second counter-attack, getting out of danger from Nc7 while forking Bf4 and the pawn on d4. 21.Rc1 [21.Bg3 was no good because of 21...Bxf3 22.gxf3 Rxd4-+ ] 21...Bxf3 22.gxf3 [22.Qxc6?? Qxc6 23.Rxc6 Re1# ] 22...Rxf4 23.Rxc6? the final mistake, losing further material. [23.Qxc6 Qxc6 24.Rxc6 Rxd4 Is still winning for Black, but offers more resitance than the game continuation.] 23...Rf6! I chose the materialistic win. [also good was 23...Rxd4 24.Qb5 Rd1+ 25.Kg2 Qf5! with a decisive attack.] 24.Nxd5 White's last trap. 24...Qxd5 [24...Rxc6?? 25.Qxc6! Qxc6 26.Ne7+ Kf8 27.Nxc6+/= ] 25.Rc8+ Bf8 26.Qe8 This looks scary, but Black as 2 adequate defenses 26...Qd6! [26...Qg5+ 27.Kh1 Qh6 This was also possible, but seemed rather passive. Not completely sure how Black will untangle from the pin.] 27.Rd8 This would be winning except for a key counterattack, which needed to be seen before playing 26..Qd6. 27...Re6! White is forced to trade queens into a piece-down endgame and thus decided to call it a day. 0-1

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