Tombolis (Ealing Juniors A) – Barlow (Richmond A)

I’m pleased to be able to demonstrate a game from Monday’s match between Richmond A and Ealing Juniors A.

1. d4 d5
2. c4 e6
3. Nc3 c5
4. e3

Looks passive to lock in c1 Bishop (BB). This is a move for White, just a very solid one (MH)

4… Nf6
5. Nf3 Nc6
6. cxd5 exd5
7. Bb5 Bd6
8. dxc5 Bxc5
9. Nd4 Qd6
10. a3

I was expecting 0-0 (BB). This does indeed seem an overly ambitious loss of tempo (MH).

10… O-O
11. Bxc6

Didn’t expect him to give up the two bishops (BB)

11… bxc6
12. b4 Bb6

White is investing time to chase the bishop to a more threatening square – c7. The queenside pawns are also potentially vulnerable to pawn breaks. (MH)

13. Bb2 a5

I considered Ba6, when he would have to place a knight passively on e2 for 0-0 to be eventually feasible. (BB)

14. Na4 Bc7
15. b5

I didn’t expect this, but if he allowed me to exchange a pawn on b4 I like Black’s position (BB) (15. Bc3 Ne4) (15. Qb3 Re8 White’s forces are not well coordinated, and Black can start thinking about attacking (MH)

15… c5
16. Nc6

This is an outpost, but not a particularly useful one. The knight is a liability more than anything. (MH)

16… d4!

A pawn sacrifice to stop the threat of Be5. (BB) A really excellent move! (MH)

17. exd4 Re8+
18. Kf1 c4

Black understands that White’s bishop on b2 is locked in by the d4-pawn. (MH)

19. Ne5

19. d5 is the move White would like to play, opening up the b2-bishop, but Black has no reason to take yet. (MH)

19… Bf5
20. b6 Bd3+
21. Kg1 Nxd5
22. bxc7 Nf4

The ‘fishbone bishop’ on d3 puts that white knight on c6 to shame – a proper outpost! (MH)

19… Bb7
20. f3 Bd5

Sealing its rival on b2’s fate. (MH)

21. Rc1 Qe6
22. Nc5

This could be criticised in view of the sequel, but it’s difficult to suggest anything good. With the White King position, Black’s two bishops and the offside a4 knight I think Black has more than enough for the pawn. (BB)

22… Qb6
23. a4

A mistake in a difficult position. Again difficult to suggest moves but after 23. Kg1 Bxe5 24. dxe5 Qxc5+ 25. Bd4 White can capture on f6 next move (BB)

23… Bxe5
24. dxe5 Qxc5
25. exf6 c3

Takes advantage of the opening of the e-file and wins material (BB). A lovely little move – good positions breed tactics. (MH)

26. Rxc3 Bc4+
27. Rxc4 Qxc4+
28. Kf2 Rad8
29. Re1 Qc5+

29… Qh4+ 30. Kf1 (30. g3 Qxh2+ 31. Kf1 Rxd1 32. Rxd1 Qh1+ 33. Kf2 Qxd1) (30. Kg1 Rxe1+ 31. Qxe1 Qxe1# (MH)

30. Qd4

30. Kg3 was the only chance. I then can’t see anything better than Qg5+ followed by gxf6. I think Black is much better then, but it does not look an easy win. (BB) After 30. Kg3 Stockfish tells me Black can play 30… Qc7+ 31. Kf2 Qa7+ 32. Kg3 Qb8+ (RJ)

30… Qxd4+
31. Bxd4 Rxe1
32. Bb6 Rde8
33. Bxa5 Ra1

And with Black having two rooks against a bishop the game is over (BB) Eventually 0-1 (MH)

You can play through this game here.

If you’ve played any interesting games recently do feel free to submit them for publication here.