Sometimes We Blunder

This was my last game in the Delaware Grand Prix Tournament Event #4 Round #5. The event was G29, which means 29 minutes per game for each player. Take a look at the game and I hope it will help you to avoid mistakes I have made. How to get the most from this game? First, go over the game moves by yourself and only after that read my comments going over the game 2nd time. I played White. Enjoy and learn!


1.d4 e6 2.c4 Nf6 3.Nc3 c5 (Benoni Opening).
4. e3 ? (This move is out of the opening book. The modern Benoni would have been: 4.d5 ed d6 6.Nf3 g6 7.e4 Bg7 8.Be2 O-O 9.O-O Re8. White has a weak pawn on e4. Black would try to exploit this weakness by increasing pressure on e4. White, however, has sufficient resources to protect the pawn. Black has 3 against 2 pawn advantage on the queen side. Therefore, second plan for black is to launch queen side pawn attack supported by pieces. White however has compensation in form of development: white’s pieces are more developed (knights on f3 and c3, bishop on e2), look at the Black queenside: knight, bishop and rook are undeveloped. The plan for White would be to attack a weakened by a fiencetto king side, using its developmental advantage. Trading dark squared bishops looks also like a good idea.)

4…cxd4 5.exd4 Bb4 6.Qc2 (This is a good place for White’s queen in this sort of positions because it’s very multifunctional: does not allow to double queenside pawns in case of Bxc3, does not allow Black’s knight to e4, preparing Bd3).

6…b6 (preparing to fiencetto queens bishop on b7 and take control over important a8-h1 diagonal. This is one of the negative sides of 6.Qc2: now it’s not possible to play Nf3 immediately and to fiencetto bishop on g2 since Black would just exchange ..Bb7xf3 and white can only recapture with fxg3 opening up White kingside).

7.a3 Bxc3+ 8.Qxc3 Bb7 9.Nf3 (Now 9. Nf3 works fine since it’s protected by the queen on c3)

9…h6 10.Be2 Nc6 11.O-O Ne7 (Black knights on e7 and f3 look strong since they can be easily moves to f5 and d2-d5 now strong).

12. Bd2 (12.Bf4 is somewhat better)
12… Rc8 13.Rac1 O-O
14. Qd3 (not quiet good because White looses tempo, Qb3 is better)14… Be4 15.Qb3 d5 16.cxd5 Bxd5 17.Qd3 Be4 (I did not really like the position I had and what’s going on in the game. Nevertheless, computer thinks that positions are fairly equal).18. Rxc8 (almost forced, otherwise White’s d-pawn is hanging)18… Nxc8 19.Qe3 (Qb3 looks more promising for White)
19… Nd6 20.Bb4 Re8
21. Bc3 (another weak move, now White voluntarily gives up two bishops’ advantage. I was sort of in time trouble there).
…21. Nd5 22.Qd2 Nxc3 23.Qxc3 Nf5 (Now, White’s position looks even worse: isolated pawn which needs protection attacked by to pieces).
24. Rd1 Qd7 (Trying to double heavy pieces on d-file)
25. Ne5 Qc8 (Not the strongest move, 25… Qb7 is better and 26. f3 Rc1)
26. Bf3 (26. f3 is better)
26… Qxc3 27.bxc3 Bxf3 28.Nxf3 Rc8 29.Rc1 (Black is clearly better here: White got 2 weak pawns a3 and c3).
29… b5 (preventing c3-c4 and c4-c5)
30. Nd2?? ( Looses a pawn with no compensation. Time trouble.)
30… Nxd4 31.Kf1 a5 32.f3 b4 33.axb4 axb4 (Black breaks queenside and creates a passed pawn, since 34. cxb4 looses a rook and a game)
34. c4 Nc6 35.c5 f5
36. Ke2 (King can be a powerful piece in the endgame, worth 4 points, remember, always activate your king early in the endgame).
37… Kf7 37.Ke3 e5 38.Nc4 Ra8 39.Rd1 b3 (Okay, White’s position got a lot better in past 8 moves)40. Rd6 (40.Rd7+ is probably better)
40… Ra4
41. Nb6?? (Like Kramnik said “Time is presious when you don’t have enough of it”… Very poor move that looses almost immediately: 41…b2! 42. Nxa4 b1=Q 43. Rxc6 -+ ) A lot better is 41.Kd3 e4+ 42. fe fe+ 43. Kc3 Na5 44. Nxa5 Rxa5 45.c6 e3 46. Rd7+ with some advantage for Black.41… Rb4 (also strong) 42.Nd5 b2 43.Nc3 Rb3 44.Kd2 Rxc3 45.Kxc3 b1=Q
White Resigns.

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Updated 04.08.2023