Very recently I became a member and already I was allowed to play in the CPC team for the AXS cup. Originally, I’m from the Netherlands and have played in a chess club for about 20 years. A few years back, however, I moved to London and never became a member of a chess club there. Since I moved to Portugal this summer, I’ve been wanting to play again and after contacting some clubs, I decided to become a member of CPC.
I already noticed in previous weeks that our team is very strong: I played blitzes on the club night and noticed that the players know their openings and it’s not easy to just beat them. Therefore it was decided I could play on board 3. After all, I need to prove myself first.
A bit rusty, I started the game...
1. e4 d5
2. exd5 Nf6
The Scandinavian opening. I’m not a big fan of it and even though there are variations where you can keep a pawn, it always is very difficult to play. I decided to play it differently today.
a variation that I’ve seen before but never really played. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to try it!
4. Bc4 Bg4
Here I thought very long: is it worth it to play f3 and play with a hole in the pawn structure but be a pawn up?
(5. Nf3 Nxd5 6. O-O e6 7. h3 Bh5 8. d4 Be7 ⩲)
6. Bb5+?! (6. Nc3 Nbd7 7. g4 Nb6 8. b3?! (8. Bb3 Bc8) 8... Bc8 9. Bb2 Nbxd5 10.
Nxd5 Nxd5 ± [Caruana, F. (2795) vs Akobian, V. (2615)])
7. dxc6 Nxc6 (7... bxc6 8. Bc4 e5 9. Ne2 Bc5 10. Nbc3 O-O 11. Na4)
Eating the knight before Qb6 comes. However, that wasn't a threat after all: (8. Ne2 Qb6 (8... e5) 9. Bxc6+ Qxc6 10. Nd4)
9. d4 e6
I was afraid of both c5 and e5 here. There are many interesting variations so I took quite some time here. At this moment, my opponent had only used around 5 minutes and I used more than 30 minutes. The move e6 is more passive and allows me to develop and get out of the oppressed position.
(9... e5! 10. Ne2 (10. dxe5 Nd5 11. Ne2 Bc5 12. Nbc3 Qh4+ 13. Ng3 Nxc3 14. bxc3 O-O -+) 10... Qc7 (10... Qb6 11. Ng3 Bg6 12. dxe5 Rd8 13. Qe2 Bb4+ =) 11. O-O Bd6 12. h3 Rd8 13. c3 exd4 14. cxd4 c5 ⩱)
10. Ne2 Qb6
11. c3 (11. O-O ±)
12. Qa4+ Nd7
With the intention of going to c4. This would attack the black queen and defend b2. After that, I could play Be3 and have a nice position with a pawn more.
14. b3 Rd8 (14... cxd4 15. cxd4 Rc8 16. Bd2 (For example: 16. h3 Rc2 17. Nxc2 Bb5 -+))
Finally my bishop can develop, I'm ahead in development and a pawn up. This is a very good position for white.
16. Rd1 Bxe2
17. Kxe2 O-O
18. Nc4 (18. dxc5 Nxc5 19. Qb5)
19. Qa5 Rc8
20. Qxc7 Rxc7
22. Rxd5 Nb6
23. Nxb6 axb6
I gave black a better pawn structure and an open a-file
(I was afraid of rooks getting on the a-file using 24... Ra7 and after 25. a4 black can break with c4. However, this does not work. For example: 24. Rhd1 Ra7 25. a4 c4 (25... Bf6 26. Kd3 +-) 26. Bxb6 +-)
25. Kd2 Rd8
Trading rooks. Making it easier for me.
26. Rxd8+ Bxd8
27. Rd1 Rd7+
And now the other one. Now it's over.
28. Ke2 Rxd1
29. Kxd1 Bc7
30. h3 f5
31. a5 bxa5
and black gave up at move 48.