[Event "CCCR Championship"] [White "Peter Craig"] [Black "Toby Rizzo"] [Site "Rochester Chess Center"] [Round "3"] [Annotator ""] [Result "0-1"] [Date "2020.10.21"] [WhiteElo "1992"] [BlackElo "1934"] [PlyCount "68"] [TimeControl "60"] {Hello CCCR! This is TJ Weaver filling in for Lev who is currently in St. Louis playing an over the board tournament and potentially earning a norm. Good luck Lev! In the meantime I will be analyzing a great game from the championship with some help from my trusty Stockfish NNUE. This game was played between two of CCCR's toughest players, and this was a high quality game from both players.} 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 e5 {Here black has a lot of options, e5 is very normal for these types of positions. It is a committal move because it weakens the d5 and d6 squares, and as the old adage goes pawns can't move backwards. However, this move also establishes black's presence in the center with tempo on the knight, and black will develop quickly.} 5. Nb5 {This is the only real way for white to play for an advantage.} (5. Nf3 {If white ducks the challenge black gets a good game.} Bc5 6. Bc4 Nf6 7. Nc3 {Black has no problems} )a6 {This leads to a double edged game, Toby is going to be forced to give up the bishop pair but he will get some quick development.} 6. Nd6+ {Peter doesn't want to go back and give up his initiative} Bxd6 7. Qxd6 Qe7 {Toby has to drive Peter's queen from d6 to castle and develop.} 8. Qd1 {There is an argument that can be made for trading queens instead, white's bishop pair would be a permanent advantage in the endgame, especially with the open position, and blacks lead in development isn't all that significant, although black has very good drawing chances. Of course there would still be a lot of game left to be played. However, Qd1 might even be a stronger move and whites bishop pair is also an advantage here.} (8. Qxe7+ Ngxe7 9. Bd2 d5 10. Nc3 Be6 {White has an advantage} )Nf6 9. Nc3 d6 {Both sides are just developing normally} 10. Bc4 {While this isn't bad, I think that maybe Bg5 might be a bit better to support the knight coming into d5, but Peter wanted to make sure to get his light square bishop on this diagonal while he still could} (10. Bg5 Be6 11. Nd5 Bxd5 12. exd5 Nb8 {If black brings his knight forward it gets kicked around, so it just heads for d7. White has an advantage here.} )Be6 {Toby challenges the c4 bishop} 11. Bb3 h6 $1 {This is a very nice move from Toby, simply preventing the bishop from coming to g5 so that the knight on f6 will never be pinned, and can support the important d5 square. Black has full equality.} 12. h3 {While this move doesn't worsen white's position, I really don't see the point, black isn't really moving anything to g4 anytime soon so it almost loses a move, the position is still about equal though.} b5 {Black is beginning his minority attack, that is advancing his 2 pawns against whites 3 to create weaknesses, on the queenside. Additionally, the b pawn will sometimes drive the knight from c3 and sometimes Toby's c6 knight will come to c4} 13. Be3 Rb8 14. 0-0 0-0 15. Qd2 {Connecting the rooks, and maybe in some future position there could be some sort of Bxh6 attack for white.} Qc7 $6 {This is a tad inaccurate because it gives white the chance to play f4 and the queen isn't well placed on c7 after f4. Na5 is better and black will just put the knight on c4, and white will have to give up the bishop pair to get rid of the c4 knight. Black is slightly better after Na5 and is slightly worse after the text.} (15... Na5 16. Rfd1 Rfd8 17. Qe1 Nc4 18. Bxc4 Bxc4 )16. Rfd1 {This is a reasonable move from Peter, but f4 is best with advantage. Blacks dilemma is that if he takes on f4 white takes back with the bishop and there is a lot of pressure on the d pawn. If black doesn't take it white has f5 with advantage.} (16. f4 exf4 (16... Rfd8 17. f5 Bxb3 18. cxb3 )17. Bxf4 )Rfd8 {This is a very reasonable move, just securing d6.} 17. f4 $6 {Earlier this move was strong but now that blacks queen is not tied down to defending d6 and the d8 rook eyes the queen, Toby has a strong response that he didn't have before} Qb7 $3 {This the absolute best move, white doesn't want to take on e5 because black takes back with tempo and the e4 pawn is very weak. The black queen now eyes the weak e4 pawn which is also hit by the f6 knight. e4 is only defended by the c3 knight.} 18. a3 {Preventing a future b4 to drive the knight away} Na5 $1 {Everything is coming together for black, Toby has pressure on e4 which he is immediately threatening to take, he is threatening to take b3 or his knight might come to c4 instead. Black has the advantage.} 19. Bd5 {This is good resistance, holding all of the material and trying to get some exchanges, but Peters position is already very difficult, over the course of the past few moves Toby's position has gotten better and better} Bxd5 20. exd5 $6 {This isn't advisable, the pawn on d5 is just so weak and all blacks pieces get to good squares. Black is winning} (20. Nxd5 Nxd5 21. Qxd5 Rdc8 22. fxe5 dxe5 23. Qxe5 Nc4 24. Qg3 Nxe3 25. Qxe3 Rxc2 {Black has the advantage white has a very difficult time defending, but this is much better than the game} )Nc4 $1 {Black has positional domination} 21. Qc1 Qc8 $6 {Black still has a big advantage, but I don't know why he did this. Black's rook on b8 wants to come to c8.} (21... Rbc8 22. Kh2 Qc7 {White is in a real bind here, black seems to find a way to get down the c file somehow no matter what white does} 23. Rb1 Nxa3 24. bxa3 Qxc3 )22. b3 $6 {White is is a really strong bind, he has a chance to try and complicate things by taking on e5 and sacrificing on h6, but this is very difficult. After b3 white just has no chances of making anything happen.} (22. fxe5 dxe5 23. Bxh6 gxh6 24. Qxh6 Qc5+ 25. Kh1 Nh7 26. Rd3 Qf8 27. Qh5 {Black can defend with best play, but things are not at all clear} )Nxe3 23. Qxe3 exf4 $1 {White can't take back because the Nc3 is hanging} 24. Qf3 Qf5 25. Rac1 Re8 26. Rd3 Nd7 27. Qf2 Rbc8 28. Ne2 Rxc2 $1 {The nail in the coffin} 29. Rxc2 Qxd3 30. Nxf4 Qxb3 31. Rc7 Nf6 32. Kh2 Qxa3 33. Nh5 Qa1 {Obviously not taking the poisoned knight} (33... Nxh5 34. Qxf7+ )34. Nxf6+ Qxf6 {Players here were short of time but black converted from here without much difficulty. What a great game from Toby, winning against a higher rated opponent with the black pieces! Peter was outplayed in that middle game and only a couple of inaccurate moves on his part were all that Toby needed to get a winning advantage.} 0-1