(1) Tilling,Chris - Mephisto [A00]
Blitz:2'+4 Gomaringen, 08.05.2004
[Junior 8 (11s)]



1.Nc3 d5 2.e4 d4 3.Nce2 e5 4.Ng3
I had forced it to play all these moves so I could practice playing this position as White.

4...Nf6 5.Bc4 Nc6 6.Nf3 Bc5N
Mephisto thinks in simple terms like "develop a minor piece, control the centre". But the centre is closed, and this just gets in the way of a later c5 pawn push.

7.a3
Perhaps unnecessary, but I wanted to keep this Bishop for my kingside play, and this gives it a retreat square if black plays Na5 to get his queenside pawn role going.

7...Bg4 8.0-0 0-0 9.d3
My abstract thinking was something like, Centre is locked so I will play on the kingside and prepare for f4.

9...Be7
Thankfully not all computers play like Fritz or Junior, giving the rest of us a chance. This shameless retreat gladdened my heart.

10.h3
gonna retreat that bishop too Mr Mephisto?

10...Bxf3 11.Qxf3
The battle lines are clear: Black needs to get something going on the queenside with something like c5-b5-c4, and I can play f4-mate! My play is mostly verbal, and the calculation serves the abstract evaluation, not the other way round.

11...Na5
So, Mephisto sees that c5-plan generates a better evaluation than others

12.Ba2 c5 13.Qe2
The centre is locked, I don't see how I could do anything particularly constructive on queenside (no way to coordinate my pieces for anything special, no pawn breaks). So, that leaves the Kingside. Junior 8 insists that Nf5 is better. But I like looking at Black's bad bishop. On top of that, this 1) prepares an f4, and 2) keeps an eventual ... c4 push out of the computers calculation horizon. I concerned myself with Black's "threats", and dealt with them ... at the same time moving towards the fulfilment of my own plan.

13...Nc6
Apparently giving up on a future c4! Now the Knight may interfere with a rook a8-c8 manoeuvre to support ... c4. White can now take over the initiative with simple moves.

14.f4
Check to see if there are any surprise pawn breaks, captures etc. Nope. So, all clear to play according to my abstract evaluation.

14...Bd6 15.f5
Here I had a number of possibilities. My calculation was streamlined, again, by my internal dialogue. In the end, I decided to make the Black bishop look silly, and gain a little space on the Kingside. The fact that Black's pieces are bottled up makes it easier for me to see that Black can't create any significant threat in the near future, and any freeing or dangerous pawn breaks can also be ruled out.

15...Nd7 16.Kh2
I checked, again, to see if black had any pawn-breaks or uncomfortable threats. Nope. he had none. Why, his queenside play has ground to a halt too! Great, I can just take my time and give my attack more options. Perhaps I can play a rook to the g-file with a pawn storm. I was enjoying myself at this point very much!

16...Qb6?
I didn't think that Black could dent my queenside without the help of pawns. And this takes away a defender form the Kingside. Black should be thinking about hanging on - and pile his pieces over to cover his weakest points. Now my pieces were grinning at the Black monarch with a nasty look! Apparently the White attack was just outside poor Mephisto's horizon.

17.Nh5
I want to challenge a bit of the territory near your king, Mr Mephisto - the juicy f6 square will do.

17...Be7
I didn't know it at the time, but White is winning by lots (so says Junior 8). Although my horizon wasn't so deep, it was at least logical.

18.Qg4
Bring the lady to help buckle the black poorly defended Black king. I can focus my calculation son the g7 square now.

18...Bf6 19.Bh6 Qd8 20.Bxg7 Bg5
I had a number of attractive looking follow ups now

21.f6 h6 22.h4
I missed a mate in 6 here. Why? I had simply gotten carried away calculating winning variations following the text. I didn't stop and look for a better one. [22.Bxh6 Kh7 23.Qxg5 Rg8 24.Bg7 Re8 25.Qh6+ Kg8 26.Qh8# ]

22...Re8 23.hxg5
still missing the mate in 6, but, hey, I was gonna win anyway. [23.Bxh6 Kh8 24.Qxg5 Qxf6 25.Rxf6 Rg8 26.Bg7+ Rxg7 27.Qxg7# ]

23...Nf8
Black wants to get his Knight to g6 when things may not end immediately.

24.g6
My a3 move right at the start was useful then! That is one mean White Bishop on a2!

24...Ne6
[24...Nxg6 25.Qxg6! ]

25.Bxe6
Having spotted a really nice finish, I once again walked past a forced mate. The idea is if 25 ... fxe6 26. f7 mate! [25.gxf7+ Kxf7 26.Bxh6 c4 27.Bxc4 Qd5 28.Bxd5 Re7 29.fxe7+ Kxe7 30.Qxe6+ Kd8 31.Qd6+ Kc8 32.Be6# ]

25...Rxe6+- 26.Qxe6!
Using the same tactical theme as used in playing Bxe6

26...Qe8
and Black resigned 1-0