Second round against Uwak

My second game against Uwak was hard fought draw.
Uwak is a strong player from the Philippines who won many tournaments, was the state champion and is currently one of GM Wesley’s openings coaches. 
Needless to point out, this is a very strong player!

I already suffered two loses to Uwak and it was clear to me that I’m no match for him in opening theory. Our previous games proved that his plus originated straight from the opening so this time I had prepared something else. The London! 

[Event "ICC"]
[Site "Internet Chess Club"]
[Date "2011.02.05"]
[Round "?"]
[White "MusiqueWand"]
[Black "Uwak"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "A48"]
[WhiteElo "2353"]
[BlackElo "2363"]
[PlyCount "114"]
[EventDate "2011.??.??"]
[TimeControl "5400+30"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 g6 3. Bf4 


3... Bg7 4. e3 O-O 5. Be2 d6 6. O-O Nh5 


( More common moves are: 6... Nbd7, usually met with 7. h3 c5 8. c3 with a level headed game. Or, 6... c5, usually met with 7. c3 and here if Black tries 7… Qb6 White can play 8. Qb3 and have nothing to worry about.) 

7. Bg5! 

(It is ok to play 7. Bg3 Nxg3 8. hxg3, where upon 8… e5 9. dxe5 (9. c3 e4 10. Nfd2 d5 11. c4 c5!!) 9... dxe5 10. e4 Nc6 11. c3 both sides may enjoy a rather comfortable Queen-less middle game.) 

7... h6 8. Bh4 g5 9. Nfd2!!? 


(Here too, 9. Bg3, is quite playable and level headed. For instance, 9… Nxg3 10. hxg3 c5 (10... e5 11. dxe5 dxe5 12. e4) 11. c3) 

9... gxh4 10. Bxh5 h3!? 

(To my knowledge this move has not been played before but I might be wrong. More common was 10... c5 to which White plays the usual 11. c3) 

11. g3 c5 12. c3 


(Noticed how all of White's pawns are on dark squares! Omitting Black's DSB) 

12... Nd7! 13. Na3 


(Black played the best move, 12…Nd7, threatening to go to f6 and attack White’s LSB or to go to b6 and empower the Queenside. I was quite aware of the move 13. Bf3 but despite playing the London I wasn’t necessarily opting for a draw I was merely trying to play a decent game where my positional understand is leveled with my opponent’s theoretical knowledge and tactical abilities. After 13. Bf3 I saw this follow up - 13… Nf6 14. Ne4 Nxe4 15. Bxe4 d5 where I could hardly see any means for white to improve his position and therefore chose 13. Na3. this is not a meritless move, it stops …b5 and Na3-c4 can prove quite useful in some lines. Ah, yes... i know i took it far with the arrows. eat it up!) 

13... Rb8 


14. f4!? 

(This is a very important place to stop, sit back and wonder. What is white to play? What plan should one adopt? Clearly, Black is intending …b5 and what is White to play? Obviously White can ignore this threat and simply play a developing move such as Ra1-c1 or Na3-c2, or Bh5-f3. the move the moves I considered judgmental were either 14. Qe2 in order to stop …b5 or the move I evidently played 14. f4 and go for a Stone Wall plan. The reason I decided not to go for14. Qe2 is that it doesn’t really stop …b5 at all and it’s not clear how useful it is after the continuation: 14… a6 15. f4 b5 16. Bf3 Nb6 17. Nc2 Qc7 18. Bg4 d5 and I have to admit I’m quite funned of Black’s position.) 

14... b5 15. Nc2 


15... b4 16. cxb4 cxb4 

(White gets too much after 16... cxd4 17. exd4 Bb7 18. Bg4) 

17. Bf3 a5 18. Rc1 Nb6 


19. e4!!? 

(I find it hard to determine whether this is a good move, a brilliant move or a clear mistake! I don’t know really. Other more straightforward moves were: 19. b3 which stops …Na4 and …a4 and 19. Qe2 which finishes White’s development. Rf2, prophylactic.) 

19... Ba6 

(19... Na4 20. Nc4 Ba6 21. N2e3) 

20. Be2 

(Rybka favors 20. Rf2, this is a very deep move I’m not sure I would have found it in a normal game. With time to analyze I’d of been very happy to find such a move because it’s not obvious. White seems to allow Black’s LSB to stay on that diagonal and exert pressure on his camp but the flip side is to White’s favor. It kept the Bishop on f3 where it protects the centre, later we’ll see why that would have been important. On f2 the Rook indirectly protects the b2 pawn and may double Rooks on c2. it’s an interesting move but Bf3-e2 was also nice. ) 

20... Bb7! 


(20... Bxe2 21. Qxe2 Na4 [image]  22. Rb1 – should be fine, for both sides.) 

21. b3! 


(Finally!! I was starting to feel pretty good about my position at this point. I closed the Queen side, have a pretty attractive centre and I can now start to worry about my Knights. Apparently rybka favors 21. Bb5 because it too stops …Na4 and places the Bishop on a more active post. Either way, I was wrong in my assessments. Black’s tactical pressure annoys my position and breaks apart my centre in a few moves.) 

21... Rc8 22. Bg4!


22... Rxc2 

(Another critical stage, I think that in the long run 22... Rc3 23. Bxh3 was actually better for Black despite giving White the time to recollect the h-pawn. But as he usually does, Uwak opted for tactical destruction.)

23. Qxc2 Bxd4+ 24. Kh1


24... d5 25. Nf3 

(Black’s fine Bishops are harnessing considerable amounts of energy. I couldn’t play 25. e5 because after 25… Be3 the obvious idea of …d4+ was just to scary to constantly worry about.) 

25... Bc3 26. exd5


26... Nxd5! 

(It’s interesting to note that Black can go very wrong very simply. For instance 26… Bxd5 allows White to regroup with 27. Bxh3 Qa8 28. Bg2 where White has no problems to worry about. Rybka give this position the value of a pawn in White’s favor. Black choice the best move which keeps the tactics going!

27. Qf2 Nf6 28. Bxh3 Qa8 29. Bg2 Ng4!


30. Qb6 

(There are other tries with gazillion variations. I’ll spare the reader all these lines. it’s sufficient to say that 30. Qg1 was another option.) 

30... Rd8!!? 

(I was surprised by that move because tactically I was expecting 30... Rb8 with discovery threats so White needs to play 31. Qc5 to which Black can chase the Queen with the Rook but it should be ok for White. Black’s last move introduces a simpler threat – Rd8-d6 attacking the Queen.) 

31. Rcd1! Bd2 32. h3!! Rd6! 


33. Qxd6!!! exd6 34. hxg4 Bc3 35. Rxd6


(White would actually win this game if not for Black’s next move. if you change the position by placing Black’s a5-pawn and put it on a6 White would have a winning game. Unfortunately Black does have that resource and it’a quite difficult to prepare against it or even see it beforehand!)

35… a4!! 36. Rxh6!? 

(There are other moves but somehow I find it irrelevant to go into 20 lines of analysis at this stage.)

36… axb3 37. axb3 Qa2!! 38. Rd6 

(Ok, basically I though I had something. I saw Rd6-d8+ and Nh4-f5 and Rh1 and I though I had something. I did have something it just wasn’t enough.)

38… Qxb3 39. Rd8+ Kg7 40. Nh4 Bxg2+ 41. Kxg2 Qa2+!! 42. Kh3

(It’s possible that Kf3 was winning! I’m not sure but I was seeing ghosts and chickened out)

42… b3 


43. Nf5+ Kg6 44. Rd6+ Kh7 45. Rh1 Qa8 46. Rhd1 b2 47. Rh6+ Kg8 48. Rb6 Kh7 49. g5 Qe8 50. Rdd6 Bg7 51. Rb7!!? 


(It’s a tricky move and for once I was playing my own tactics!! I didn’t like the mental image of 51. Nxg7 Qe2 52. Nf5 Qf1+ 53. Kh4 b1Q)

51… Kh8!!! 

(Brilliant! Black will find it quite hard after the obvious 51…Qc8 52. Rxf7 Qxf5+ 53. Rxf5 b1Q 54. Kg4! And there is no clear way for Black to attack White and in the mean time the Rooks and pawns are going to party! And that variation doesn’t even includes the many way for Black to get checkmated.) 

52. Rdb6

(doesn’t that move seem to be winning!?!?! Well it isn’t!)

52… Qe1!!! 53. Nxg7

(Best moves according to Rybka: 53. Rb8+ Kh7 54. Nxg7 Qh1+ 55. Kg4 Qd1+ 56. Kf5 Kxg7 57. Rxb2 Qd5+ 58. Kg4 f5+ 59. gxf6+ Kg6 60. Rh8 Qf5+ 61. Kf3 Qd5+ 62. Ke3 Qc5+ 63. Kd3 Qa3+ 64. Kc2 Qc5+ - with perpetual check! Draw!)

53… Qh1+ 54. Kg4 Kxg7 55. g6 


55... Qd1+ 56. Kf5 Qd5+ 57. Kg4 Qd1+ 



As usual you can find this game on my ICC library, game number 46


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