[Event "Devon Individual Cup 2015 -Final"] [Site "?"] [Date "2015.07.25"] [Round "?"] [White "Stehens, John KF"] [Black "Paulden, Tim"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B06"] [WhiteElo "196"] [BlackElo "187"] [Annotator "John Stephens"] [PlyCount "71"] [EventDate "2015.??.??"] 1. e4 g6 2. d4 Bg7 3. Nc3 a6 4. Nf3 d6 5. a4 b6 6. Bc4 e6 7. O-O {This position came as no shock to either side, we had reached this exact set-up twice already this season} Ne7 8. Be3 Nd7 9. Qd2 h6 10. Rfe1 g5 $5 {A double edged move - Black claims control over f4, however in the long run, his king may be exposed} 11. h3 (11. h4 g4 12. Nh2 h5 13. Bg5 {is the computer's choice. The white knight on h2 will re-route itself to g3 via f1 and exert pressure on the pawn on h5}) 11... Ng6 12. Ne2 Nf6 13. Ng3 {White eye's the weak h5 square. Should the Nf6 ever move, this is a great attacking square to hop in to.} O-O 14. a5 b5 15. Bb3 Bb7 16. d5 $1 {An important and thematic move. White waits for the Bishop to move to b7 before closing the long diagonal. If played whilst the bishop is still on c8, Black plays e5, and f5 will follow quickly.} c5 {During the game, I didn't like this move for Black, but it does solve a lot of his opening problems} (16... exd5 17. exd5 Ne7 {I spent a while analysing this line before playing d5 - and was pleased to spot:} 18. Bxg5 hxg5 19. Rxe7 {The key move to see in this combination} Qxe7 20. Nf5 Qe4 21. Qxg5 Ne8 22. Re1 {and Black must give up his queen} Qxf5 (22... Qb4 23. Rxe8 { and White will mate}) 23. Qxf5 $18) 17. dxc6 Bxc6 18. Bb6 Qb8 19. Rad1 { White maintains a slight edge due to his greater king security and play on the d-file} d5 20. exd5 {White missed:} (20. Nd4 Bb7 21. exd5 Bxd5 22. Ndf5 $1 Bxb3 23. Nxg7 Kxg7 24. Qc3 {The move I had missed, threatening Nh5+} Nf4 25. Ne4 e5 26. Nxf6 {and White is close to winning}) 20... Bxd5 21. Bxd5 Nxd5 22. Bd4 Ndf4 {putting the other knight on f4 is perhaps better} (22... Ngf4 23. Bxg7 Kxg7 24. Qd4+ Kh7 {and although Blacks king looks draughty, it is not easy for White to make progress - the two knights do an excellent job of controlling White's pieces}) 23. Bxg7 Kxg7 24. Qc3+ f6 {This allows White to set up nasty threats on the 7th rank. The computer prefers} (24... Kg8 25. Ne4 {this looks very nasty for Black, but he has a resource} Qc8 26. Nf6+ Kh8 27. Qd4 Rd8 28. Nd7+ Kg8 {and black's king is still safe!}) 25. Rd7+ Rf7 26. Red1 Ra7 $1 27. Qc6 {This looks very dangerous, but computer's don't see it that way - Black can bail out with} Ne5 (27... Nf8 {Covering the key d7 sqaure} 28. Rxf7+ Kxf7 29. Rd6 Qc7 30. Qxc7+ Rxc7 31. c3 b4 32. cxb4 Rc1+ 33. Kh2 Rc2 34. Rxa6 Rxf2 { and Black has counterplay of his own!}) 28. Nxe5 Qxe5 29. Rd8 {I thought this was just winning for White, but Black has some amazing defensive resources} ( 29. Rxf7+ Kxf7 30. Rd8 {was a better continuation} Re7 31. Qa8 Ng6 {All of the key squares around Black's king are covered, although White stands better due to his activity on the QS} 32. Qxa6 Qe1+ 33. Kh2 Qxf2 34. Qxb5 Qxc2) 29... Rfe7 (29... Qxb2 30. Qe8 h5 31. Qh8+ Kg6) 30. Qc8 Kg6 (30... h5 $3 {This was the move to find. Amazingly, White has no mate!} 31. Rg8+ Kh7 32. Rdd8 {This looks very menacing...but...} Ng6 {covering the key squares around black's king} 33. Nxh5 Kh6 34. Ng3 Qe1+ 35. Kh2 Qxf2 36. Rh8+ Nxh8 37. Rxh8+ Kg6 38. Qg8+ Rg7 39. Qe8+ Raf7 40. Qxe6 Re7 41. Qg4 Rh7 42. Rxh7 Rxh7 43. Qe4+ Kg7 44. Nf5+ Kf8 45. Qa8+ Kf7 46. Qd5+ {and White only has a perpetual. Not the sort of line a human player would ever go in for though...}) 31. Rg8+ Rg7 $4 {After this, it is all over. Black could stay in the game with:} (31... Kh7 32. Rh8+ Kg6 33. Rdd8 Ne2+ 34. Nxe2 Qxe2 35. Rdg8+ Rg7 36. Qe8+ Kf5 37. g4+ Kf4 {and although White is slightly better and has good practical chances, as one wrong step spells disaster, Black is still alive.}) 32. Qe8+ {The rest is more or less forced} Raf7 33. Rd7 Qe1+ 34. Kh2 Qxf2 {Black sportingly lets White mate him} 35. Qxf7+ Kh7 36. Qxg7# 1-0