Alright ladies and gentleman, my battle with Tebb has finally ended, with the predictable result. It was an interesting Dragon game, with me defending the black side, so I will post my thoughts and hopefully Tebb will post his, and everyone else who is interested should join in.
16..Qc8! is definitely the best move, overprotecting the g4-pawn and the Nc4, and also threating the cheeky Nxb2. Another bonus is that breaks in the center are somewhat diffused due to the queen not being on the d-file anymore.
17. Bxf6! and 18. Nd5! is definitely the best for white here, forcing black to give up his strong bishop and shattering his kingside pawns.
22..Qe8! An idea I hadn't come across until looking into a book. A strong idea, looking to centralize the queen on e5, which White can't do anything about. From here it has alot of range and strength, while also stopping all the mate threats for good.
24. Qf2!? I belive this is the first new move of the game, subtely threating mate on f6.
25. Kb1, stopping Black from trading queens with Qf4+
Maybe I should have tried 25..g4, with the idea of 26. Qg1 Bg4 27. Rd3 Qxe4 28. Rxg3 f5, although who knows what's happening in that position. I looked at g3 for quite a while, but just liked ..a5 better because I was leery to push the g-pawn too far, and I'll always have that option later.
27..d5!? I liked this move a whole lot when I played it, but maybe it's not best. It has alot of points going for it:
1. Trades off a weak pawn on an open file
2. Gives me the option to bring the bishop to the strong f5 square at some point.
3. And gives me a sick passed pawn mass on the kingside, which I thought was the biggest bonus.
29. b3! A strong move, and probably the move that casts doubt on 27..d5. Any other move quickly gives black the better chances: Take 29. Nb3? 29..Qxd2 30. Rxd2 Bf5 31. Nxa5 Rc7 23. Nb3 Be4 24. Rhd1 Rfc8 25. Nd4 f5! Leaves white not able to actually move much of anything while black pushes his connected passers on the kingside!
29.. Rxd4!? An interesting thought I had when analyzing this move in my hotel room in the Bahamas! (So sad...) It has alot going for it:
1. Takes off some pieces, and in doing so basically reducing the chance of him exploiting my shifty kingside to zero.
2. I thought my pawn and strong bishop definitely compensated for the 1 point deficit.
3. The h-pawn can't last for long right!? Right!? It ties his rook down pretty badly.
4. My connecting kingside passers can get moving now.
5. I may have some pressure against the c2-pawn.
I analyzed 32. Rf1 Be6 33. Rd6! (Threatening Rxe6) Rb8! 34. Ra7 a4 for a long, and still think it's a good line for white, although black can probably hold this.
32. b4?! / ? This move doesn't actually do anything, and really just helps him move his majority along. This endgame is probably a bit more tempo sensitive than others, and I shouldn't have helped him out here.
34..Rc8+ is probably better than my 34..Be6, although my move does also keep his king out of c4.
35. Ra4! is really the drawback of the slower 34..Be6. After this move White is nearly winning.
Why not 36. Kd2, bringing the king over the where the action is happenin?
36..Bf5, looking to play Rc2+, was suggested a certain silicon friend I know.
Notice at this point white has traded his majority down to a single pawn and mine remain frozen. White has an edge here I think.
I played 38...g3 simply to get my pawns rolling and my king active. I didn't want to, but I thought it was the best move in the position. So I sucked it up and played it. What a shame that there was no real way to punish white for his crappy rook on h1 and his crappy pawn (maybe!) on h7.
What does 41..Rc8+? accomplish? White declares his king is walking to the kingside, so I waste a move to help him. 41..f5, doing what I am supposed to be doing, is probably better. Junior 9 gives it as = after 41..f5!
My Rc8-c6-b6 seems to be the set of moves where his edge transfers from possibly/probably defendable to dead lost. Of course after Rc3, I can't trade, so I go to b6. After a series of relatively forced moves, Tebb uncorks:
47. Ra4! This move is crushing. I can't stop the rook from coming to a6, and when it does, I have to trade. That sucks!
48..g4! My only fighting chance, but it fails to a cute tactic. Until I saw the last move of the game, I thought the game was drawn again!
52. Rc6+!! Devastating, and a fitting end to the game really. Obviously I can't take, but it has the nice point of 52..Kd7 53. Rc1 and I don't have the defence Bd5 anymore, which is why this move wins. A nice finesse.
Well played Tebb! A lot of fun to play.