[Event "Peninsular Cup"] [White "McCarthy, Damian"] [Black "Dugdale, Tom"] [Site ""] [Round ""] [Annotator "Damian"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [Date "2020.02.26"] [PlyCount "62"] 1. e4 {I started playing in the Warrington League around 2005. In my first season playing for Padgate, I played Tom Dugdale. I think I had a grade of 74, and Tom was about grade 90... Over the years, Tom its fair to say has been a constant bogey player for me, I can remember losing to him on no fewer then four occasions! I can also recall blundering 2 clear wins into draws... Its hard for me to understand why this has been, perhaps its something psycological, or just an anomaly but i'm pretty sure I've lost more games to him in the WDCL then against anyone else. He playes very consistant, simple chess so perhaps I have probably too often been guilty of underestimating him!} c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 Nc6 6. Bg5 e5 {A felt this ought to be a very dubious move at the time, e6 or even Bd7 are far more normal.} 7. Nf3 (7. Ndb5 {seems to be the most played move here, trying to transpose to a sveshnikov variation after} a6 8. Na3 b5 9. Nd5 Be7 {however I felt that Nf3 should be more positionally justified given blacks early e5 move weakening d5.} )(7. Nb3 {here would be completely wrong, black was not yet played a6 as in the Najdorf so here he will be able to take advantage of the tempo saved with a5! and a good game.} )(7. Bxf6 {after the game i discover the true reason e5 should be a bad move is the precise variation} gxf6 8. Nf5 Bxf5 9. exf5 {With a big advantage for white, total control over the light squares} )Be6 8. Be2 {I had vague ideas of trying to get into a Be2 variation where black usually tries to prevent Bg5 with the move h6, is it is considered in those lines that Bg5 gives white a clear edge due to removing the knight from the d5 protection. Here we have already played Bg5 so I hoped this might turn into an improvement.} Be7 9. 0-0 0-0 10. Qd2 h6 11. Bxf6 Bxf6 12. Rfd1 {Up to this point I was pretty pleased with the position the d6 pawn was starting to look weak and I had a total grip of the d5 square I thought. Here Tom played a move that at first glance doesn't look playable, I think it is a good one!} Nd4 {White clearly must capture and in doing so must enter a forcing line} 13. Nxd4 exd4 14. Nb5 d3 {the bishop on f6 has now become the best piece on the board!} 15. Qxd3 Bxb2 16. Rab1 Be5 { here the computer may be happy to guzzle the extra pawn on d6 but the following looked too uncomfortable for me} 17. c4 {I felt was the best move as it stops any Bxa2 ideas, keeps the pawn backward on d6 and supports th knight on b5.} (17. Nxd6 {!?} Qg5 {when blacks bishops offer dangerous compensation.} )Qe7 18. g3 {with the idea of theatening to push the bishop back from e5. The only was for black to stop f4 next is to play the drastic g5,} ({Again the immediate} 18. Nxd6 Rfd8 19. c5 b6 20. Qa3 bxc5 {Looked far too dangerous to me, allowing blacks pair of bishops free reign on an open board.} )g5 { Tom does not shy away from this move! Prefering to maintain the bishop on e5} 19. Qe3 {Renewing the idea of playing f4, although I realised that I would need to be cautious of tricks down the e-file before playing it as the Queen on e3 and Bishop on e2 would be loosened. The King I thought should be happy enough on h1 and no weaker then blacks.} a6 {black kicks the knight away before white can play f4 and Nxd6.} 20. Nc3 Rfc8 21. Nd5 Bxd5 22. Rxd5 { After this exchange it is always likely the game will head towards a draw with the opposite bishops. If one side could get a kingside attack going they would be a boon as things stand the bishop on e5 is better but the bishop on e2 also does a useful job protecting the c4 pawn which can never be attacked by a rook. } Rc5 23. Qd2 Qc7 {here I missed my 2nd small detail of the game, I forgot that after black recaptured on c5 with a pawn that I don't control the dfile as Bd4 is played.} 24. Rxc5 dxc5 25. Qd5 {there is no danger of the queen being trapped.} ({originally I had intended} 25. Rd1 {but obviously this would be well me by} Bd4 {and black has nagging pressure} )Rb8 26. a4 {I did not wish to allow b5, which can be played if white tries to activate the bishop too early} (26. Bg4 {would be well intentioned trying to activate the bishop but is well met by} b5 27. cxb5 axb5 {when again black would be my slight choice} )Bd4 27. Kg2 {I felt this was a useful move as in some lines such as Rb3-f3 Qa5 can be a problem as Qe1 will come with check} b6 28. Rb3 (28. Bh5 {was probably a bit stronger} Rd8 29. Qf5 {I still feel black ought to be able to hold on with all the weaknesses covered} )Rd8 29. Qf5 Rd6 30. Rf3 {stopping Rf6, Black must not allow h4 here I felt so Tom decided to try to trade Queens with} (30. e5 {I was into my last 5 minutes now against Toms 20, I put some thought into playing e5 here} Re6 31. f4 {but with so little time left compared to my opponent I didn't want to overcomplicate, it didn't seem clear white was much better off and has a weaker king to protect.} )Qd7 31. Qxd7 {To which I obliged, I'd have liked to have played on here but given the time deficit and a draw seemed a fair outcome.} ({If I had a little more time, (or composure bravery) I could perhaps have tried again} 31. e5 Qxf5 32. Rxf5 Re6 33. f4 {where Black is under some pressure} )Rxd7 { draw agreed} 1/2-1/2