[Event "WDCL Div One: Stourbridge vs Wolverhampton "] [Site "Stourbridge"] [Date "2013.10.16"] [Round "?"] [White "Mike Townsend"] [Black "Keith Arkell"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "B17"] [EventDate "2013.10.16"] 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 { Standard Caro-Kann. I would normally have tried the Panov Attack, but not knowing all the lines, I thought that was too risky here. } 4.Nxe4 Nd7 5.Nf3 Ngf6 6.Nxf6+ Nxf6 7.Bc4 Bf5 8.O-O e6 9.Bf4 Bd6 10.Be5 { All very quiet development so far. White’s next tries to retain control of e5. } 10...O-O 11.Re1 Bg4 12.h3 ( { My first discomfiture. I had intended } 12.Be2 { but was concerned, perhaps unduly, about } 12...Nd5 { followed by … f6 and Black gaining control of my f4 square with pressure. So I opted for the dubious chasing away of the bishop. } ) 12...Bh5 13.g4 $2 Bg6 14.Bxd6 Qxd6 15.Ne5 Rfd8 16.c3 c5 17.dxc5 Qxc5 18.Qe2 Be4 $1 { Ouch! White’s e5 knight is now trapped. The only escape is the forced sequence of moves which follows. This saves my piece but leaves me with weakened pawns and a difficult ending. } 19.g5 Qxe5 20.gxf6 Qg5+ 21.Qg4 Qxg4+ 22.hxg4 Bd5 $1 ( { The best continuation. } 22...Bf3 { is met by the very strong } 23.Re3 $1 Bxg4 24.Rg3 { etc } ) 23.Bxd5 Rxd5 24.Rad1 $1 { The best reply. White has to look for counterplay even at the expense of a pawn. So that if Black plays Rg5 to win king side pawns, White will establish his rook on d7. } 24...Rad8 25.Rxd5 Rxd5 26.fxg7 Rd2 27.Rb1 Kxg7 { Now the position has simplified into a tricky ending for White. To have any chance he must do two things: a) manoeuvre his king off the back rank and into the centre b) find a way to move up his queen side pawns and activate his rook. } 28.Kg2 Kg6 29.Kf3 Rc2 30.Ke3 Kg5 31.f3 Rh2 { The first part, centralising the king, has been accomplished. The second is more difficult. In the meantime Black will establish a passed pawn on the h file. } 32.a4 b6 33.b3 f5 34.gxf5 Kxf5 ( { Interesting and probably better than the more obvious move } 34...exf5 { which would allow White the check on g1 and some active chances for my rook. } ) 35.c4 h5 36.c5 $1 Rc2 ( { The key move which my opponent confessed to overseeing. The point is that if } 36...bxc5 { then } 37.Rc1 { gains the critical tempo, since } 37...Rb2 { is met by } 38.Rxc5+ { and White can then get his rook out in front of his queen side pawns and establish a passed pawn of his own. Ignoring the pawn on c5 doesn’t help, e.g. 36. … h4 is met by 37. Rc1 and now if 37. … Rb2 38. c6! And suddenly it is white’s pawn which is unstoppable. So .. } ) 37.cxb6 axb6 38.Kd3 ( { Not } 38.b4 $2 { which is met by } 38...Rc3+ { and 39 …. Kf4 winning a pawn } ) 38...Rc8 39.Rh1 Rh8 40.Ke3 h4 { Now Black must create his own passed pawn asap to counter the onrushing h pawn. } 41.b4 h3 42.a5 b5 43.a6 Rh7 44.Kd4 ( { This is clever. Clearly the two passed pawns will be swapped fairly soon, so it is all about positioning the rooks in the aftermath to be able to attack the other player’s remaining b pawn. If white now immediately plays } 44.a7 { then after } 44...Rxa7 45.Rxh3 Kg5 $1 { The position may still be drawn but Black keeps up all the pressure. So … } ) 44...Kf4 45.Kc5 Kxf3 46.a7 Rxa7 47.Rxh3+ Ke4 48.Kxb5 { Draw agreed } 1/2-1/2