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David O'Donnell annotates his games from the 2003 Nemtzov Cup

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Clarke,T - O'Donnell,D [A60] Nemtzov Cup, 2003 (Round 1)
[Notes by David O'Donnell]

1.d4 Here I thought for ten minutes trying to ascertain whether I should go into a Tromp with Nf6, an opening I hate and whose adherent is the current Ulster Champion or try e6 hoping for a French. The only drawback being that if Tom plays c4 I am out of book and in trouble. 1...e6 At least it is better than h6 which was tried by D. Cunningham 2.c4 c5 3.d5 Nf6 4.Nc3 d6 5.e4 Nbd7 6.dxe6 fxe6 7.f4 b5? 8.cxb5 Bb7 9.Bd3 Be7 10.Nf3 0-0?? Black is losing already!! 11.Ng5! The obvious move 11...Re8 12.Nxe6 Qc8 13.Qb3!? In the post mortem Tom wasn't as keen on this move but it looks fine to me 13...Kh8 14.0-0?! Here both players are agreed that this was not the best choice, better was Ng5! 14...Nb6 15.Bc4 Nxc4?! Nxc4 is dubious, black gets distracted in the belief that he will win a piece. As we shall see this is not the case. Better was to take the pawn 15...Nxe4 16.Nxe4 Bxe4 17.f5 Nxc4 18.Qxc4 d5 16.Qxc4 d5 17.exd5 Bxd5 18.Nxd5 Qxe6 Only now does black realise that the white knight is not really pinned and can retreat to e3 19.Ne3! Qb6 20.Nf5 Bf8! This exchange cannot be tolerated as then the c5 and g7 pawns get very weak 21.Bd2 Re4 22.Qf7? This looks threatening but turns out to be a blunder 22...c4+ 23.Kh1 Qxb5!

 

nemtzov_games_48.jpg

 

Now white realises that he cannot play Bc3 as his knight is en prise and that black threatens to trap the queen with Rd7 24.Ne3 Again with the Ne3! [24.Nh6?? Re7 25.Bc3 Rxf7 26.Nxf7+ Kg8 27.Nh6+ gxh6 28.Bxf6-+] 24...Rd8? Black misses his chance. 24...Rc8 25.Qxa7 Bc5! Black had rejected Rc8 because the a-pawn was hanging but it is poisoned 25.Bc3! White has no obligation to protect the knight 25...Be7 25...Rxe3? 26.Bxf6 gxf6 27.Qxf6++- 26.Be5! White is back on top 26...Rxe3 27.Qxe7 Re8 28.Qxa7 Nd7 and black resigns as the rook is hanging! 1-0

O'Donnell,D - Leitch,C [B00] Nemtzov Cup, 2003 (Round 2)
[Notes by David O'Donnell]

1.e4 b6 2.d4 Bb7 3.Bd3 Nf6 4.Nc3 e6 5.Nge2!? A deviation from an earlier game played between the same players. White thinks, for various reasons, that the knight will be more useful on e2. Our last encounter at the Williamson Shield 2003 continued ... 5.Nf3 Bb4 6.Qe2 c5 7.Bd2 0-0 8.e5 Ne8 9.Bxh7+ Kh8? (black should accept the gift) 10.Ng5 g6 11.Qg4!! Kg7? 12.h4? (white should play immediately 12.Nxf7!!+- ) 12...Rh8? (necessary was f5, now white gets another chance) 13.Nxf7! resigns 5...c5 6.Bf4 d6 7.Bb5+ 7.Bxd6?? with the idea of a subsequent pawn fork fails after 7...Bxd6 8.e5 cxd4! 7...Nbd7 8.dxc5 Cal thought I would permit cxd4 with a move such as 8.0-0 cxd4 when the knight cannot recapture due to a pawn fork ... bless! 8...dxc5 9.Bd6?! Be7 9...Nxe4 10.Nxe4 Bxe4 11.Nc3 Bxg2 12.Rg1 Bb7 13.Bxf8 Rxf8 14.Rxg7 was the type of murky water white was intending after the acceptance of the pawn sac 10.e5 Nd5 11.Nxd5 exd5 12.Nf4 d4 13.e6?! I expected here Bxd6 13...0-0!!

 

nemtzov_games_49.jpg

 

A move Cal played immediately even though he had not looked at e6. It is Cal's intuitive understanding of the game that marks him out as a strong junior, who will undoubtedly become a strong player in the next few years. 13...Bxd6 14.exd7+ Kf8 15.0-0!! Bxf4 16.Re1 when black will probably have to return material to avoid the threats. 14.Bxe7 Qxe7 15.Bxd7 fxe6 16.Bxe6+ Kh8 17.Qg4 Qf6! Another strong move Cal is not content with playing Rxf4 18.Nh5?? An awful move. White must return material 18...Qxf2+ 19.Kd1 g6 20.Qg3 gxh5 21.Qe5+ Qf6 22.Qxf6+ Rxf6 23.Bh3 Raf8 24.Re1 Rf2 25.Re2 Rf1+ 26.Re1 R8f2 27.Rc1 Bxg2 28.Bd7?? Ooops but white is gone anyway! 28...Bf3# 0-1 A good tourney for Cal as he ended up on 4/6, very impressive!!

O'Donnell,D - Lynch,J [C10] Nemtzov Cup, 2003 (Round 3)
[Notes by David O'Donnell]

1.e4 e6 2.Nf3 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Be7 5.d4 Nd7 6.Bd3 Ngf6 7.Qe2 Nxe4 8.Bxe4 Nf6 9.Bd3 c5 10.Be3 cxd4 11.Bxd4 0-0 12.0-0-0 Black's timid opening play has allowed white to develop faster which now reveals itself in a concrete threat Bxf6 followed by Bxh7+ so ... 12...Qc7 13.Be5 Qa5 14.Kb1 Rd8! Precise play. Black wants to play Bd7 but realises that 14...Bd7 15.Bxh7+ Kxh7 16.Bxf6 Bxf6 17.Rxd7 loses a pawn 15.Ng5 h6 16.h4!?

 

nemtzov_games_50.jpg

 

A standard attacking idea 16...Bd7 16...hxg5 17.hxg5 Ng4 18.Bh7+ Kf8 19.Rxd8+ Bxd8 20.Bd6+ allows white to regain the piece with the advantage 17.f4? Bc6 18.Rde1? Sidetracked by a sac on f7 18...Bd5 19.c4? The white king gets draftier! 19...Bc6 20.Bg6?? White is obviously extracting the michael, this is an attack my own granny wouldn't believe!! 20...Rd2 20...fxg6 is possible, the sac is pure pipe dream after 21.Bxf6 Bxf6 22.Qxe6+ Kh8 23.Nf7+ Kh7 24.Nxd8 Rxd8 25.h5 Qf5 21.Bxf7+ Kh8 21...Kf8 looks stronger 22.Qe3 Ng4? 23.Bc3?? 23.Qc3! Qxc3 24.Bxc3 Rxg2 25.Nxe6 Bf6 26.Bxf6 Nxf6 27.Rhg1+/= 23...Qf5+! As I was about to resign I saw that there was a smothered mate on so ... 24.Ka1 Nxe3 25.Bxe6 Nc2+ 26.Kb1 Na3+ 27.Ka1 Qb1+ 28.Rxb1 Nc2# John gets a smothered mate and I get 0/3! 0-1

Cairns,J - O'Donnell,D [A45] Nemtzov Cup, 2003 (Round 4)
[Notes by David O'Donnell]

My only win came against John Cairns, who had missed his bus and therefore came 35 minutes late; who was having an awful tournament as well; who outplayed me and fell victim to an absolute swindle while in time trouble. 1.d4 Nf6 2.Bg5 D'oh! 2...Ne4 3.h4!? Raptor Variation as favoured by Hodgson 3...c5 4.d5 Qb6 5.Nd2 Nf6? For some reason I didn't fancy either Nxg5 or Nxd2 followed by lifting the pawn, but then why play Qb6 if not to take the pawn? 6.e4 e6 7.c4 7.Nc4 probably better, certainly more irritating! 7...Be7? 8.Rh3?! 8.e5 Nxd5!? (8...Ng8 9.Qb3 Bxg5 10.hxg5 exd5 11.cxd5 Qxb3 12.Nxb3 Ne7 better for white) 9.cxd5 Bxg5 10.hxg5 Qxb2 11.f4 exd5 12.Qb1 works out better for white 8...e5! Stopping e5 but blocking the position so that white's rook move will now look clumsy 9.Rb3 Qd8 10.g4 d6 11.Bxf6 gxf6 I didn't like recapturing with the Bishop 11...Bxf6 12.g5 Be7 but it is probably just the same 12.h5 Because of f5? 12...Rg8 13.Rg3 Nd7 Deploying the knight to the g5 square 14.Be2 Nf8 15.Nf1 h6 16.Qd2 f5! 17.exf5 Obviously 17.Qxh6 Bg5 is to be avoided but; 17.gxf5! Bg5 18.Ne3 is probably best 17...Bg5?! Black should have stuck with his original plan of 17...Bh4 18.Rg2 Bxf5=/+ 18.Ne3! Walking into a pin but protecting the f5 square now black's combo is off 18...f6 19.Nh3 Nh7 20.0-0-0 Bd7 21.Nxg5 Nxg5 22.Rgg1 Nh3 23.Rg2 Nf4 Aiming for repetition 24.Rh2 Declined 24...Rb8 25.Bd3! White wants to play 25.Ng2? to shift the strong knight but realises that 25...Nxg2 26.Rxg2 allows the old tactic 26...Bxf5! 25...b5 Black tries to obtain counterplay for the pawn 26.f3! 26.Ng2? still cannot be played 26...Nxd3+! 27.Qxd3 Rxg4 26...Qb6 27.Ng2 Nxd3+ 28.Qxd3 bxc4 Black takes advantage of the awkward placement of the knight on g2 blocking the rook's defence of b2 29.Qc3 Ba4? A run of decent moves by black is marred by this careless move 29...Qb4! leads to an even position 30.Re1 A better square for the rook, which shows how poor Ba4 was! 30...Qb7? Another nothing move! 31.Ne3! Again a better square for the horse, showing how poor Qb7 was! 31...Bb5! Black does not mind this exchange since white has the stonger minor piece, even if he emerges a pawn down 32.Nxc4? The wrong decision, white should not give up his powerful knight, better was 32.f4 32...Bxc4 33.Qxc4 Kf7 34.Rd2 Qb4?! Black thinks that after the queen exchange he can build sufficient pressure on f3 to secure a draw; or that if white goes after the pawn he can build up some counterplay on the white king. 35.Qa6 Rb6 36.Qxa7+ Rb7 37.Qa6 Rb6 38.Qd3 Rgb8 39.Re4 Qa5 40.b3 Qa3+?! White was hoping for this move as after the king moves the queen must run too as she will be trapped, or Ra8 must be played. After white is in complete control, however, black had a dodgy sac up his sleeve! 41.Kd1

 

nemtzov_games_51.jpg

 

41...Rxb3? Again an attack only my Granny (and a John Cairns in time trouble) would believe! 42.axb3 Rxb3 43.Qc2 Rxf3 44.Re1 Probably not good but white is still winning. 44.Qb2 is more difficult for black to meet 44...Rc3 45.Qb2 [Not the worst but 45.Qe4 Qb3+ 46.Ke2 Rc4 47.Qd3 Qa4 48.Rb1 ends all the counterplay 48...Re4+ 49.Kf1 Rf4+ 50.Rf2+/- 45...Qa4+ 46.Ke2? Black has at least perpetual now! 46...Qe4+ 47.Kf1?? 47.Kd1 with a drawn game is the best for white now. 47...Qxg4+ 48.Ree2 Qg1+ 49.Re1 Qg4+ etc; 47.Kf2?? Rf3+ 48.Kg2 Qxg4+ 49.Kh1 Qh4+ 50.Rh2 Qxe1+ 51.Kg2 Rg3# 47...Qh1+ 48.Ke2?? A blunder but after 48.Kf2 Qh2+ 49.Kf1 Rf3+ 50.Rf2 Qh1+ 51.Ke2 Rxf2+ 52.Kxf2 Qh2+ black is winning 48...Qf3# A complete swindle!! 0-1

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