Theo Slade v Rudy von Saldern
Guernsey Open 2014
This was a very tough tournament for me as I was the lowest rated player in the section, but I was doing enough to keep my head above water. In this game, however, that changed and I played one of my best ever games to reach 50% at the eleventh hour, which was a fantastic result. During the game I played very quickly, which may sound odd but when playing well you do not need too much time to think.
Back in 2012 I was predominantly a 1.d4 player.
This got a big boo from the crowd at the Gala Dinner, but back then I was in love with the Colle-Zukertort System, so I did not see the problem.
This has been called a, "mature decision," but to be honest I think it is very natural. If black dispenses with ...c5 then it makes sense to gain space in the centre.
This was not a very difficult decision as if black recaptures with a piece then I may get a pawn roller in the centre but if he plays...
then he will eventually end up with either hanging pawns or an IQP, neither of which are particularly favourable.
This does not seem to be a very good move and indeed it seems to be the cause of black's future downfall...
I really want to annotate this move as a, "!!," but it is probably best to remain humble for the time being...! Nick Pert recommended 15.Nxe4 dxe4 16.Bc4 , when black is in serious trouble. It may not look like it at first sight, but this is already very good for white- maybe even winning. White is threatening Ne6, he has pressure on the c and d files, all of his pieces are working together in unison and the a1-h8 diagonal is very weak. I missed this sequence of moves, but if I had have played it then this game would not have been a brilliancy!
This is the plan, taking advantage of the c6 hole, when there are some mating motifs on the long diagonal. I can imagine some players thinking that I'm just a misguided youth relying too much on calculation, but as the old Russian proverb goes, "chess is a concrete game!" Take that, Gostelow!
It looks ridiculous to leave the knight stranded on a7, but nevertheless let's see what happens...
The adrenaline coursing through my veins almost caused me to drop the rook on the wrong square, but that would not have been fair- I deserved to win this game!
White will emerge a piece up once the dust has settled and even I could win that one.
Notes by Theo Slade