IM Amon Simutowe (2424)
Jose Alayola (2184)

XVI Carlos Torre Mem (1)
Merida MEX, 2003

Most of us have won at least a game with the help of pattern recognition. I had this opportunity in the first round of the Merida Tournament. Forget the opening if you don't play this type of opening and the fact that my opponent had a lower rating. We all have different tastes of openings. There are several ways my opponent could have avoided the pattern; nevertheless, I managed to achieve it.

1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. Nc3 d5 Surprise! I had expected 3... g6 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. d4 I looked at this variation a long time ago. 5... e6 6. e4 Nxc3 7. bxc3 cxd4 8. cxd4 Bb4+ 9. Bd2 Bxd2+ 10. Qxd2 At this stage, I remembered that one of the ideas in this variation is to play d5 at some point and then e5 preparing the threats you will see in the actual game but my memory betrayed me regarding the exact moves. 10... O-O 11. Be2?! I played this move quickly. I didnt think about why 11. Bc4 could be a better option on the board. Here is the game I wished I had remembered during the game. 11... Nc6 12. O-O b6 13. Rad1 Bb7 14. Rfe1 Rc8 15. d5 Na5 16. Bd3 exd5 17. e5!

The idea which I had an opportunity to use. 17... Nc4 18. Qf4

18... Nb2 19. Bxh7+

19... Kxh7 20. Ng5+

20... Kg6 21. h4!! Rc4 22. h5+ Kh6 23. Nxf7+ Kh7 24. Qf5+ Kg8 25. e6 Qf6 26. Qxf6 gxf6 27. Rd2 Rc6 28. Rxb2 Re8 29. Nh6+ Kh7 30. Nf5 Rexe6 31. Rxe6 Rxe6 32. Rc2 Rc6 33. Re2 Bc8 34. Re7+ Kh8 (34... Kg8) 35. Nh4 f5 36. Ng6+ Kg8 37. Rxa7 1-0 Polugavesky- Tal 1969. This is the game I had forgotten though I remembered the main ideas of the variation during the game 11... b6?! Black misses an opportunity to equalize 11... Nc6 12. O-O e5! 13. d5 Bg4 14. dxc6 Qxd2 15. Nxd2 Bxe2 16. Rfe1 Ba6 17. cxb7 Bxb7 18. Rac1 Rac8 19. Nc4 Rfd8 20. f3 f6= Cebalo-Farago 1981 After the game, I searched this position in several databases and books. This evaluation was by Alexander Khalifman.The actual game ended 0-1 12. O-O Bb7 13. Qe3 Nd7 14. Rfd1 Nf6 15. Bd3 Rc8 16. d5 exd5 17. e5

Despite the flawed 11Be2 in the opening, I managed to achieve e5! check the similarity with the position in the first game though the pieces are positioned differently 17... Re8 17... Nd7 18. e6 fxe6? 19. Ng5 18. Qf4

18... Nd7 19. Bxh7+!

simi lar pattern with the first game. The sacrifices were sound in both games! 19... Kxh7 20. Ng5+

20... Kg6 20... Kh8 21. Nxf7+ 20... Kg8 21. Qxf7+ Kh8 22. Qh5+ Kg8 23. Qh7+ Kf8 24. Qh8+ Ke7 25. Qxg7# 20... Kh6 21. Nxf7+ 21. Qxf7+ Kxg5 21... Kh6 22. Rd3 22. Rd3 Nxe5 23. Rg3+ Kh4 24. Qxg7

24. Qf5 also forces mate. I used just above thirty minutes on my clock to achieve this position. Lucky day! 1-0 [Simutowe A.]

Game(s) in PGN