Vince was the only one to not lose to Seth – earning a draw as it was Seth that actually played the drawing line. Very nice!
Vince's notes are there. Your scribe's feeble attempt at Fritz analysis is in [ ].
I didn't know what to play against Nf3 so I decided to play it safe. I want to keep him guessing as to my plans as long as possible.
I'm familiar with this and ok with the Black side of the Queens Gambit Declined.
What the heck is this? Not normal QGD. Now what? I don't know the Black side of the Catalan at all!
5. ..... Be7
My thought was 'that's an odd move.' Why not Nc3? Well, with my knight on d7, I don't have Nb4 and he is eyeing the e4 square. And with the bishop on Bg2, there is pressure on my c6 square if he starts a minority attack.
7. ...... c6
Now if cxb5 then cxb5 and I'll avoid the minority attack and put a rook on c8 opposite his queen and sneak in a discovered check against it and win the queen. Everything is fine.
Hoping to get e5 in to open up my Queen's bishop. So I hope he doesn't play e4 and seriously cramp my queen-side.
9. e4 dxe4
[White is the equivalent of +1.2 pawns at this point. Moves like 12. …. c5, h5, h6, Qb6 or Qe7 gave Black more counter play. But then again, counter-playing against a FIDE master may not be such a great idea.]
Taking advantage of the pin of his d-pawn.
I couldn't live with that knight on e5. But, d6 is looking like a good square for a White rook.
Hopefully, allowing the Bc8 to get to d7 and c6. Yeah, right!
Oh NO! That is a move I wish he had not made. My danger radar is blaring in my head now!
Seth (White) can't attack as well without his queen. I'll suggest a trade.
He's being stubborn.
18. ...... Nd7
Heading for f8!
Where is he going with that rook?
19. ....... Nf8
I figured Be4 is coming next and I have to do something immediately to get my Q-Bishop out to challenge his at g2. I thought b6 and then Bb7 but that is too slow. After b6 he is just going to play Be4 and then I am going to have to move a pawn in front of my King [weakening his defense]. If I move g6, he's going to play Bc1 and then Bg5 and then Bf6 and I am doomed! So, b6 doesn't give him anything to think about and I need to give him something to think about. Something to distract him. So, I decide I'd throw the b-pawn out there to see if he'd take it. If he does, I'm a pawn down, but at least I'll survive a little while longer and maybe stir up trouble on the Queen side.
20. ..... b5?
The distraction worked! I'll play Bb7 now, .....but wait! What if I just take back on b5 with the rook? Do I really need to go a pawn down? Let's see, Rxb5 and what can he do? ......Oh yeah, probably Bc6 winning the exchange. Ok, no Rxb5. Back to the original plan.
21. ....... Bb7
Keeping the bishop from going to d3.
23. Rc1? …..
I'm protecting the c5 pawn indirectly here, intending to take advantage of my Bg7 and the d5/d4 square for a mate threat with the queen and an attack on c5 if he goes for the c5 pawn.
Come on! Take the pawn. I dare you!
If. 26. Bxc5, then Rxc5 27. Rxc5, Qd4! If 26. Rxc5, then Qd4!
26. ....... Bxg2
|After 28. ..... Qxb5|
I got my pawn back and my position is solid. I still refuse to move a pawn in front of my king and I like my queen on his side of the board.
Finally giving my king a flight square.
[Fritz says 36. …. Qh5 has more sting. But with Seth coming around faster and faster, who has the time for that kind of analysis?]
I have to get my queen out before she gets stuck on the king side.
I thought Rd7 - then h4 was better for Seth, keeping my queen stuck. Then he would have a queen and a rook against my lone rook.
38. ...... Qe7
Pinning the rook on f3 but the real intention is to get my queen on the a-file and see if I can get her on White's first rank with my rook. That will give him something to think about.
He sees what I want to do and he is setting me up.
41. ...... Ra1
This move took me by surprise. He is a tricky player.
42. ....... Qa2
Continuing with my plan.