Danish Championship – Round 5

Today’s opponent is one of my really good friends. Last time we met, in the 2012 championship, I had no fight left in me and we made a draw. But all our other games have been hard fought, with a score of 1-1 with a few draws on top. Still the danish state bookmaker Oddset were fearing foul play when more than 90% of all bets put on the game were put on it being a draw. Maybe this was influenced by the fact that we were playing tennis at 10am! But this means nothing, we are playing again tomorrow…

Lars Schandorff (2531) – Jacob Aagaard (2520) [D35]
DEN-ch 2014 Skørping (5), 16.04.2014

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.cxd5 exd5 5.Bg5 c6 6.e3 Qb6!?
A silly move suggested by Nikos as a surprise weapon.
7.Bxf6 Qxb2 8.Qc1 Ba3 is a famous mess.
7…Ne4 8.Bf4 Na6 9.f3
During the game I feared White would be better after 9.Nxe4 , but the computer gives a nice line: 9…Nb4 10.Qb1 dxe4 11.Qxe4+ Be6 12.Nf3 Nd5 13.0–0–0 Nxf4 14.Qxf4 Qa5 15.a3 Bxa3 with perpetual check.
9…Nd6 10.a3 Bf5 11.Qd2
11.e4 Bg6 is better for White according to Komodo, but I am happy be be Black here.
11…Be7 12.b4 Qd8
12…0–0 made more sense. I did not want to give White a chance to put the knight on a4 before taking on c5. Only later I realised the knight is better on c3.

Played with a draw offer. Lars was clearly unhappy. If he had played 13.Bxa6 bxa6 14.Bxd6! I would have taken it, although I am not worse as I was thinking. 14…Qxd6 15.Nge2 0–0 16.0–0 a5 17.b5 Rac8 with about even chances.
13…Nc7 14.Kf2
Lars could not find a plan.
14…0–0 15.g3 Ncb5!
With his last move Lars indirectly decided to take on d6 with the bishop. As this knight is my best piece, I decided to support it!
16.Nc5 b6 17.Bxd6 Nxd6 18.Nb3 Re8
Threatening …Bg5.
Here Lars was down to 5 minutes. I really lost my cool entirely. I did not think long and clearly enough to realise that I have to win on the queenside only and that the kingside is irrelevant. Thus the right move is 19…a5!.

19…g5? 20.hxg5 Bxg5
I am still better, but why did I weaken my position. Lars now found a few good moves quickly.
21.Re1 a5?!
Trying to bring in the remaining piece.
21…Qf6 22.Kg2 Re6 was a more natural way to play.
21…Nc4 22.Bxc4 dxc4 23.Nc1 c5 24.bxc5 bxc5 25.d5 Re5!? was a strong option suggested by Schandorff.
22.Nh3! axb4
I did not want to take on h3, as the bishop needs to defend h7 and the king.
During the game I thought 23.Nxg5 Rxa3 24.e4 dxe4 25.fxe4 Bxe4 26.Nxe4 Nxe4+ 27.Rxe4 Rxe4 was overwhelming, but I did not see 28.Bd3 when White is back in the game.
23…Ra3 24.Nxg5 Rxb3 25.Nh3 Qf6?
To be honest, I completely missed my opponent’s next move.
26.Nf4 b5!

I managed to recover and keep some advantage.
Apparently this does nothing for White’s position.
27…Bg6 28.Kg1 Nc4 29.Bxc4 bxc4 30.Nxg6 Qxg6 31.Qh2 Rxb4
With an extra pawn and a clear advantage, I won on time. Not a great game. Actually, a really poor game, ruining by White’s bad clock handling.


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