David Tebb – Korch
(Clan challenge game)
Drawbacks of this move are obvious – black makes weak their pawn on g5 and king side at all. But what are the merits?
With this risky move black:
1) Turns off from well-known opening lines;
2) Provokes white to search refutation (which is not so easy), what can lead to time trouble and psychological disadvantage if refutation is not found.
If after 1.g4 d5 2.Bg2?! Bxg4 black can get some advantage, it means that in the game black cant afford 2….Bg7.
Exploiting weaknesses of black king side. A good way how to fight for advantage.
Black has no choice – after 3…Bg7? 4.hxg5 hxg5 5.Rxh8 Bxh8 6.Bc4 (with threat 7.Qh5) white will have large advantage.
Black pawn on h4 won`t escape anyway, so white prefers to develop their minor pieces. But white could play 4.Rxh4 too.
4….Bg7 5.Nf3 d6 6.Rxh4 Nc6
Developing black queen side and making pressure to d4 and planning 7….e5 which could be possible after 7.Be2?!.
It gives e5 to black. Better was 7. Bf4 or 7.Be3 with some advantage.
Otherwise black will move their knight on g6.
With intention to play Bf4
With intention to play 10…e6. If 9…e6?! Then 10.Bb5+ Bd7 (maybe better is 10…Kf8!? ) 11.fxe6 fxe6 12.Qh5+ Ke7 13.Bd3 with strong attack.
After this move black gets strategic lost position. After 10….Bxf4 11.Qxf4 e5 black would have slightly worse but still playable position.
11.Bxe5 dxe5 12.0-0-0 Qd6
I planned Bd7 and 0-0-0 with good position, but ….
I underestimated this move.
13….h5 14.f3 Rg8 15.Na4!!
Aiming to c5.
What else? After 15….Bd7 16.Nc5 0-0-0 17.a4! (with idea of a5 and pawn advance in q-side) black can only watch how white strengthens their position. But now black cant castle queenside.
White don`t need to hurry as black have problems to find any counter play.
With threat of 18.Nc4 what black must not allow.
With threat Bxc1 and Rxg2 making white to move their pawn on c4
After 18.Nc4? Bxc4 19.bxc4 (19.Bxc4 Rxg2) a5 or 18.Bxb5? axb5 black is OK.
18…Bd7 19.Nd3 a5 20.Kb1 a4!?
Black are trying to get some counter play, making weaknesses near white king - thereafter black will make position more open.
21.b4 a3 22.Ka1
Safe and good move. After 22.c5? bxc5 23.bxc5 Qa6 24.Nxe5 Bb5 black have strong initiative. Now black have no other choice as to take risk. Otherwise white will press black without any problems.
After 23.Qxb6 exd5 24.Qxd6 exd6 25.exd5 white would have extra pawn and chances to win, but black would have some counter play.
23…Bxc6 24.Qxb6 Rb8 25.Qc5 Qxc5 26.Nxc5?!
Inaccuracy which allows black to continue resistance. After 26.bxc5! (with two threats 1) to take on e5 2) to play Rb1 with exchange of rooks or taking b-line) white should win easily.
26…Rxb4 27.Nd3 Ba4!
Perhaps my opponent underestimated this option. 27….Rb8? 28.Nxe5 Ba4 white could play 29.Rb1 with advantage.
Not 28.Rb1? Rxb1 29.Kxb1 Rg5 with equal position.
28…Rb8 29.Nxe5 Rg5
Asking white knight to step back.
After 30.f4?! Rg3! Black would have real counter play.
31.Rb1 Rc8 32.Nb4 Ba4 and black still holds on.
White is starts to realize wrong plan. Better was 32.Rb3 taking on control b-file with e5 and f4 to follow.
It was not too late to play 33.Rb3. Now black have enough counter play for draw.
33….Bxd5 34.cxd5 Rgg8
Black have real counter play – their rooks are better coordinated, king is more active and knight is better than bishop.
Seems very logical but it does not help at all.
Black does not afraid and plans to move their king on e5. Also white pawn on g2 is under attack.
36….Ke5 37.Rc4 Kd6 38.f4 Rab8! 39.Ba4 Rgc8!
Exploiting weakness of 1st horizontal.
40.e5+ Kxe5 41.exf6?? Rf1#
40...e5 41.dxe6 Nxe4!
Forcing drawish position.
42.Rd4+ Ke7 43.Rxe4
And here my opponent offered me draw which I did accept. 1/2:1/2
After 43…Rxc6 44.exf7+ Kxf7 45.Ra1 Rb2 46.Ra4 Rxg2 47.Rxa3 h4 there is dead draw.
Conclusion: 1…g5 is very risky opening, but white need to play very precise to get real advantage.