Andrew Greet v Chris Dorrington
Cornwall v Lncolnshire, 2015/16 (Bd.1)
Comprehensive notes by IM Andrew Greet on his fine win on top board in the Lincolnshire match.
7...c6 is more logical. My opponent's move gives Black a slightly dodgy version of a Queen's Indian.
This structure can be reached via a Queen's Indian, as well as a 1.Nf3/2.c4 move order. In both cases, Black usually waits for White to put his rook on e1 (threatening e2-e4) before playing ...d5 - and even then White has decent prospects for an advantage. Here I haven't had to waste time on Re1, so I was already more than content with my position.
12.Bxc7!? Qxc7 13.Nxd5 is tempting, and I spent a while thinking about it. The critical line continues: 13...Qd6 14.Nxe7+ Qxe7 15.Rc7 Bd5 (15...Bc8? 16.Ne5 Qd6 17.Qc2+/- was great for White in Hoareau - Hutois, Le Grand Bornand 2007) 16.Ne5 Bxg2 17.Rxd7 Qe6! 18.Kxg2 f6! (Otherwise White would be two pawns up.) 19.f4 fxe5 20.dxe5 I managed to calculate this far and thought White could be slightly better, but I wasn't convinced that it was worth simplifying to this degree when I already had a pleasant game. 12.e3!? and 12.Be5!? were interesting alternatives.
Black takes a defensive stance in the hope of freeing his position later. 12...c5 13.dxc5 Nxc5 Of course 13...bxc5? would lose the d5-pawn thanks to the misplaced knight on h5. 14.Nxd5) 14.Nd4 gives White a pleasant position playing against the IQP.; 12...f5 seems too loosening, and White can develop strong pressure with 13.b4 or 13.Ne5
This active move emphasises the misplaced knight on h5; if Black exchanges on e5, then his knight will require additional time to get back into the game via g7.
When annoting the game, I found a previous encounter which continued: 13...Nxe5 14.dxe5 g6 15.f4 Ng7 16.Bf2 Ne6 (Baumbach - Sarbok, Germany 1995.) Here I think the best plan would have been: 17.Qc2 White intends Rfd1 and, after suitable preparation, an e4 pawn break.
I was quite happy to see this, as it loosens Black's queenside. 14...Qe7 seems like a better way to restrain b2-b4.
15...f5!? was worth considering.
I could be wrong, but my impression is that Chris was struggling for a plan. He was spending quite a bit of time and his last move seemed a bit weird.
Having made all the obvious improving moves, White must decide how to proceed. Since Black's pieces are rather uncoordinated, I decided to strike with an exchange sacrifice.
19.f4!? is an interesting alternative, preparing to plonk the knight on e5, but I had already made up my mind about the exchange sacrifice.
Trying to complicate the game; an understandable decision, but it may well be the decisive mistake. 22...Nxd5 23.Bxd5 Bf8 24.Bxe6 Rxe6 25.Rxe6 fxe6 26.Nf4+/= gives White two pawns for the exchange plus a better structure, but Black has decent defensive chances.
This leaves the f4-bishop short of squares, so it had to be calculated carefully. When I checked the game with an engine, I was pleasantly surprised to see that every one of my next ten moves was the best available.
If Black plays something else, I will just go h2-h3 with a dominating position.
This was the idea: I lose the bishop but pick up his knight in return. And thanks to my accurate Be2 move, I will soon be able to gobble up the h5-pawn as well.Rf7 31.Qg4 dxe3 32.Rxe6
32.fxe3 should win as well, but I saw that his counterplay would not amount to anything after I ate the knight.
Black would love to try and use his queen to threaten my king, but my pieces control all the important squares. He had no real choice but to exchange queens, as I was threatening both Ne5 and Ng6+.
35.Qe3 is the engine's top choice but, considering that the endgame is clearly winning, I don't feel at all bad about the move I chose.
This was the idea behind throwing in Nf6+. The knight combines attack and defence, ensuring I will be able to eliminate the f-pawn.
38.g4 was a touch more accurate but it hardly matters at this stage.
White can win in a few ways, but the quickest method is to focus on the black king and either develop a mating attack or force the h-pawn through.
The primary threat is Nf6, intending Ng6 mate!
Seeing that the h-pawn is unstoppable, Black resigned. After 50.Nf8+ the finish might have been: 50...Kg8 (50...Kh8 51.Nf6 traps the king and sets up Ng6 mate) 51.h7+ Kh8 (51...Kg7 52.Ne6+ picks up the rook) 52.Nf6 and Ng6+.
Notes by Andrew Greet