TCEC Season 17 Division P Game 143: Leela-Stoofvlees
|Game||Season 17, Division Premier, Game 143|
|Links|| TCEC archive|
|Position after 12. hxg5|
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 e6 6. g4 h6 7. h4 e5 8. Nf5 Nc6
Book exit into a rare 7... e5 line of Sicilian defense, Scheveningen variation, Keres attack. According to the Lichess Master's database, this position has been seen only 9 times at the master's level. In the previous master's games, white usually plays Bg2 sooner or later. But in this game, white defers committing with the light-square bishop and plays a novelty, instead.
9. Ne3(N) Be7 10. Bd3
Rather than going with the more popular choice of Bg2, white decided to place the bishop on Bd3, instead.
10... Nh7 11. g5 hxg5 12. hxg5 Be6 (diagram)
Here black plays somewhat inaccurately. Here, it was arguably better to play 12... Bxg5 immediately and not waste a tempo with a seemingly natural move 12... Be6. Rather, this tempo would have been better used with Nd4, should white have pursued the game continuation. To exemplify, 12... Bxg5 13. Ned5 Nd4 14. Bxg5? (losing the advantage) Qxg5 15. Nc7+ Kd8 16. Nxa8 Qg2. Now, since the black knight is already on d4, white's powerful queen move does not work: 17. Qh5?? Nf3+ 18. Kd1 Bg4. The mate threat will now win material decisively through complicated tactics. Example line: 19. Qxf7 Qxh1+ 20. Ke2 Nd4+ 21. Kd2 Qh6+ 22. f4 (only move) Qh2+ 23. Ne2 Bxe2 24. Qc7+ Ke8 25. Qc8+ Kf7 26. Qc4+ Kg6 27. Bxe2 Qxf4+ 28. Kc3 b5 29. Qc7 Nxe2+ with decisive advantage.
|Position after 19. Kd1|
13. Ned5 Bxg5
The last move was a mistake black. It is one tempo short for the tactics to work, see the variation above. To hold the defense against black's initiative, white needs to find several non-obvious only moves to keep the decisive advantage. Stoofvlees probably missed one such move.
14. Bxg5 (only move) Qxg5 15. Nc7+ (only move) Ke7 16. Nxa8 (only move) Qg2 17. Qh5 (only move)
When playing 13... Bxg5, Stoofvlees expected here the following continuation: 17. Rxh7 Rxh7 18. Bf1 Rh1 19. Qxd6+. This would have indeed been close to equal with a continuation such as 19... Kf6 20. Qd3 Nb4 21. Qe2 Bg4 22. Kd2 Bxe2 23. Bxg2 Rxa1 24. Nxe2. Note that the queen could not have been captured, as 19... Kxd6?? 20. O-O-O+! Nd4 21. Bxg2 leaves white with an extra piece. In this variation, the knight on a8 is not trapped as 21... Rh8 22. Nb5+! Kc6 23. Nxa7+ Kc5 24. b4+! Kxb4 25. Nc7 saves the piece.
17... Ng5 18. Qxh8 (only move) Nf3+ 19. Kd1 (only move, diagram)
Black has achieved a scary-looking attack with mating and material threats. But while the threats of Bg4 and Qxf2-d2# and Ncd4/Ng4 look impressive, white's escape keeping the decisive advantage is even more so. To exemplify, should white have chosen the wrong square for the king, black would have easily drawn the game: 19. Ke2 $4 Ncd4+ 20. Kd1 Qxf2 21. Nb1 Bg4. White is not in time to prevent the forced draw: 22. Qxg7 Nxc2 23. Bxc2 Qd4+ 24. Kc1 Qe3+
25. Nd2 Nxd2 26. Qh6 Nb3+ 27. Kb1 Nd2+ 28. Kc1 Nb3+ drawing with forced repetition.
|Position after 25. Qxb4|
19... Qxf2 20. Nb1 (only move) Nb4 21. Nc7 (almost only move)
Here 21. Qxg7 or 21. Rf1 would have still maintained an advantage, but it is unclear whether the advantage was quite decisive.
21... Bg4 22. Qe8+ (only move) Kf6 23. Qd8+ Kg6 24. Qxd6+ (only move) f6 25. Qxb4 (only move, diagram)
White captures an attacker and protects the e1-square against the mating threat of Ng1+ and Qe1#. With this, the worst of black's attack has finally been weathered and white no longer has to find the only moves. Being two rooks and a knight up, white's plan is simple: kill the remaining black initiative by giving back some material to force the simplification of the position.
|Position after 36. bxa4|
25... Qg2 26. Rf1 a5 27. Qe7 Qh2 28. Ne6
The threat of Qxg7+ forces simplification with a temporary piece sacrifice.
28... Nd4+ 29. Kc1 Bxe6 30. Nd2 a4 31. b3
White could have played 31. c3 to win back the piece. The game continuation may not be the most precise win, but the end result was never in question.
31... Bh3 32. Kb2
White gives up the extra knight.
32... Qxd2 33. Rg1+ Bg2 34. Rad1 Qf2 35. Rxg2+
White gives back the exchange to simplify further.
35... Qxg2 36. bxa4 (diagram)
Finally, after the simplifications have been forced, and all black's threats have been eliminated, white is still a rook up. This is now an easy technical win for white.
|Position after 43. Qh7#|
36... Qg4 37. Rc1 Qg2 38. Qxb7 Qd2 39. Rg1+ Kh5 40. Qxg7 Qb4+ 41. Kc1 Qa3+ 42. Kd1 Nf3 43. Qh7# 1-0 (diagram)
White wins by checkmate.
- Lichess master's database https://lichess.org/9UL6CY4u#16 (accessed on 2020-04-12)