Simutowe A. (2458)
Maiorov N. (2535)

Riviera Dei Cedri Open 2008 (9)

1. d4 I woke up 10 minutes before the game stated and tried to prepare....10 minutes later, I had to go for the game. I planned to play e4 the evening before....but changed my mind a few minutes before the game..... Having missed breakfast may have contributed to a headache and thus two mistakes which almost let a win slip away. 1... Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. f3 d5 5. a3 Bxc3+ 6. bxc3 O-O 7. cxd5 exd5 8. e3 c5 9. Bd3 b6 10. Ne2 Ba6 This position is quite similar to the one in Botvinnik - Capablanca 1938. Botvinnik tookona6 11. O-O Re8 12. Ng3 Bxd3 13. Qxd3 Nc6 14. Bb2 c4 15. Qd2 h5 16. Rae1 h4 I spent 25 minutes before going for the text move. Nh1, followed by Nf2 is another plan but black should be better after Na5, Nf2... Nb3 followed by ... Nh5 17. Nf5 17. Nh1 Na5 18. Nf2 Nb3 19. Qc2 Nh5 and 20. e4 would be less powerful as the tables would go in favour of black after 20... Nf4 17... Ne7 18. Qc2?! perhaps unnecessary. The idea of this move is to play g4 after Qd7 with the plan of playing e4 if black takes my night on f5 followed by Qd7. I may as well play g4 now and then Qc2 to carry out the e4 plan if black takes my night on f5 and then plays Qd7 18. Nxh4 loses a piece at once after 18... g5 18. g4 should have come immediately for the reasons explained above. If Black takes on f5, and then plays Qd7, I would be ready to carry out the e4 e5 plan i.e 18... Nxf5 (18... hxg3 is possible but 19. Nxg3 already makes the e4 advance good to go and this was more efficient on my side) 19. gxf5 Qd7 20. Qc2 Re7 21. e4 Rae8 22. e5 Nh5 23. Bc1 (23. f4 Nf6 24. Bc1 Ne4 25. Rxe4 dxe4 26. Qxe4 This position should be quite difficult for both sides though I would prefer white) 18... Qd7 19. g4

19... hxg3 20. Nxg3 Qh3 A move that clearly demonstrates the weakness of having played Qc2. The idea is for black to play..... Nh5 and exchange my Night with his. The e4- then e5 advance would be less powerful as the only remaining black knight would settle on f5. To make the e4 to e5 advance powerful, I have to keep my Knight on the board. In the case of black having exchanged his d5 pawn with my f3 to e4 pawn and then e5, my knight would play a more supportive role by settleling on e4 21. Qg2 is forced because I have to prevent ...Nh5 21... Qh7 21... Qxg2+ 22. Kxg2 Ng6 23. Bc1 Re6 24. e4 Rae8 25. e5 With the white Knight supporting the advance, this should be win for white. If black had taken on e4, then the white would have on the e4 after the e4-pawn advances to e5 22. e4 Ng6 23. Bc1 Nh4 24. Qf2 Qg6 24... dxe4 does not work because of 25. fxe4 Nxe4 26. Nxe4 Rxe4 27. Qxf7+ Kh8 28. Qf8+ Rxf8 29. Rxf8+ Qg8 30. Rxg8+ Kxg8 31. Rxe4 25. e5 Nh5 26. Kh1 Qh7 26... Nxg3+ is better for white after 27. hxg3 Nf5 28. g4 Qh7+ 29. Kg2 Nh4+ 30. Kg3 threatening Rh1 and so forth 27. Nxh5 Qxh5 28. f4 Nf5 29. Rg1 The knight has settled on f5, but in this case my Rooks on the g-file and the active bishop that would come out to a3 in future after a4 should offer enough compensation 29... Re6 30. Rg5 Qh3 31. Reg1 Kf8 32. a4 g6 33. Ba3+ Ke8 34. Qb2 Qf3+ 35. Qg2 Nh4

35... Qxc3 36. Rxf5 Qxa3 37. Rxf7

37... Kxf7 38. f5 gxf5 39. Qg7+ Ke8 40. Qg8+ Kd7 41. Rg7+ Re7 42. Qxd5+ Kc7 43. Qxc4+ Kb7 44. Qd5+ Ka6 45. Rxe7 Qxe7 46. Qxa8

should win for white 36. Qxf3 Nxf3 37. f5 Nxg5 38. Rxg5 Rc6 39. e6

only move and winning 39... fxe6 40. fxg6 Kd7 41. g7? I had intended h4 but I didn't understand why I played this move. 41. h4 Rg8 42. h5

This paralyses black and after advancing my King two or 3 steps ahead, I should push the 2 passed pawns. There is no way the King can be active because it has been cut my the g6 pawn and bishop in the diagonal 41... Rg8 42. Kg2 Ke8 43. h4 Kf7 44. Bf8 Rc8 45. Kf3 The tables have suddenly changed and the best I have to hope for is a draw. 45... a6 46. Kf4 b5 47. axb5 axb5 48. Ke5 Rcxf8 49. gxf8=Q+ Rxf8 50. Kd6 Rh8 51. h5 Rg8 My opponent returns the favour of the mistake I had made on my 41st move. We had both seconds remaining on the clock. It's perhaps why we had blunders from both sides over a range of 10 moves 52. Rxg8?? Kxg8 53. Kc5! 53. Kxe6?? is what my opponent assumed I would play so that he could wrap things up with 53... b4 54. cxb4 c3 53... Kh7 54. Kxb5 Kh6 55. Kc5 Kxh5 56. Kd6 Kg4 57. Kxe6

My opponent left without taking part in the analysis of this game. I would have appreciated his perspective 1-0 [Simutowe A.]

Game(s) in PGN