Tuesday, 29 September 2009

The Semi-Slav for the totally clueless

The title of this blog post is the title of an opening book I would be well qualified to write. Having decided to broaden my opening repertoire in the lead up to last years Olympiad, I thought the dynamism of the Semi-Slav would suit my style. However failing to learn the ins and outs of the sharpest lines meant that my results have been pretty poor. It turns out I know just enough theory to get to a position where the wrong move, which I invariably choose, causes the maximum damage to my position.
My game against Kerry Stead, from the SI International, was the latest example of this problem. I knew that 10. ... Nbd7 was theory in the position, but thought that 10. ... Be7 was also playable. It resulted in an unhappy position for me, saved only by the fact that Kerry didn't finish me off when he had the chance. It turned out that the position was such that I was able to generate some counterplay, to the point where I was actually ahead material. But given my position in the tournament I was happy to to agree to a draw, rather than play it out (and cause Kerry to miss his flight back to Australia!)

Stead,K (2087) - Press,S (2076) [A00]
Solomon Islands International Honiara, Solomon Islands (8.1), 28.09.2009

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 c6 5.Bg5 dxc4 6.e4 b5 7.e5 h6 8.Bh4 g5 9.Nxg5 hxg5 10.Bxg5 Be7 11.exf6 Bxf6 12.Bxf6 Qxf6 13.g3 Bb7 14.Bg2 Qe7 15.0-0 b4 16.Ne4 Nd7 17.Rc1 Nb6 18.Qf3 Nd5 19.Nc5 c3 20.bxc3 bxc3 21.Rb1 Bc8 22.Qd1 Qc7 23.Qa4 Kf8 24.Rfc1 Rb8 25.Nd3 Rxb1 26.Rxb1 Kg7 27.Ne5 Bd7 28.Qc4 Rd8 29.Bxd5 exd5 30.Qxc3 f6 31.Nf3 Re8 32.Re1 Rxe1+ 33.Qxe1 Qd6 34.Kg2 c5 35.Qa5 c4 36.Qxa7 Qe6 37.Qc7 Kf8 38.Qf4 c3 39.Qc1 Qc6 40.Ng1 Qc4 41.Qe3 Bb5 (D)
42.Ne2 Qxe2 43.Qxc3 Qe4+ 44.f3 Qe2+ 45.Kh3 Bd7+ 46.g4 Qf1+ 47.Kg3 Qg1+ 48.Kf4 Qxh2+ 49.Ke3 Qg1+ ½-½

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