Many thanks to Andy Burnett for this report from his game against Yaroslav Kolodiy at the Durham Congress.
(40) Burnett,Andrew (2242) – Kolodiy,Yaroslav (1960) [A43]
Durham Open (2), 13.05.2023
Although I finished 1st= in the Durham Open, it wasn’t solely due to good play! I managed to ride my luck in a few games, this second round encounter with Yaroslav Kolodiy chief among them. 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 c5 3.d5 e6 4.Nc3 A sideline that I recall Boris Gelfand used against Mickey Adams to take the sting out of the Benoni when Mickey was in a must-win situation in their 1994 candidates match. It also reveals the state of my theoretical knowledge! However, all I could ascertain about my opponent beforehand was that he likes to “mix things up in often dubious ways”, so this seemed a decent approach as White. 4…exd5 5.Nxd5 Nxd5 6.Qxd5 Be7 7.e4 Nc6 [7…d6 8.Bc4 0-0 9.Qh5 was how Gelfand-Adams continued.] 8.Bf4
8…Nb4!? I kind of expected this, as it can lead to some murky play. [Relevant: A high-level online encounter went 8…d6 9.Bc4 0-0 10.c3 Na5 11.Be2 Be6 12.Qd2 d5 13.e5 Nc4 14.Qc2 Qd7 15.Bd3 h6 16.h4 Bg4 17.Ng5 Rfe8
18.e6?? (18.Bxc4 hxg5 (18…dxc4?? 19.Qh7+ Kf8 20.Qh8#) 19.hxg5 g6!= (19…Bf5?? 20.Bd3 Bxd3 21.Qxd3 g6 22.0-0-0+-) ) 18…Bxg5 (18…Bxe6! 19.Bxc4 Bxg5) 19.hxg5 Qxe6+ 20.Kf1 hxg5 21.Bxg5 g6 22.Rh4 Nd6 23.Kg1 c4 24.Bf1 Ne4 25.Be3 Bf5 26.Qd1 g5 27.Rh2 f6 28.Qh5 Kg7 29.Qh6+ Kf7 30.Be2 Bg6 31.Bh5 Bxh5 32.Qh7+ Kf8 33.Rxh5 Qf7 34.Rd1 Rad8 35.Bxa7 Rd7 36.Qxf7+ Kxf7 37.Rh7+ Ke6 38.Rxd7 Martirosyan,H (2617)-Nagy,G (2498) Chess.com INT 2020 1-0] 9.Qb3N [Predecessor: 9.Qd2 d5 10.exd5 Nxd5 11.Bb5+ Bd7 12.Qxd5 Bxb5 13.Qxb7 a6 14.Rd1 Qc8 15.Qxc8+ Rxc8 16.b3 c4 17.Nd4 cxb3 18.axb3 0-0 19.c4 Bd7 20.0-0 Bc5 21.Nf3 Bg4 22.Bd6 Bxf3 23.gxf3 Bxd6 24.Rxd6 Rb8 25.Rb1 Rfc8 26.Kg2 Kf8 27.Rxa6 Rxc4 28.bxc4 Rxb1 29.Ra8+ Ke7 30.Ra7+ Kf6 31.Rc7 Rc1 32.f4 g6 33.Kg3 h5 34.Rc5 Rc2 35.h4 Kg7 36.f5 Kf6 37.fxg6 fxg6 38.Rc6+ Kg7 Gusarov,G (2354)-Burdalev,K (2359) Chess.com INT 2021 1-0] 9…0-0 10.Bc4? A bad mistake and born of not knowing which of [10.a3 or; 10.c3 to play.; 10.0-0-0 first was also reasonable. 10…d6 11.a3 Be6 12.Bc4 Bxc4 13.Qxc4 b5 14.Qe2+-] 10…b5!
As soon as I saw this on the board I realised I had messed up and given away the control I was looking to keep on the position. 11.Bxb5 Qa5
The double-discovered check is a huge problem for White. I had no choice but to play into what follows and hang on for grim life! 12.c3 Qxb5 13.cxb4 Ba6 I guess I won’t be castling kingside any time soon… 14.0-0-0
Obviously this is horrible, but by now my choices were limited to basically no choice! I looked up at my opponent when playing this and we shared a smile … it’s clear White should lose to an attack on the king, but Black still has to make the moves. 14…c4 [14…Rfc8 15.Kb1 c4 16.Qc2 c3 is Stockfish 14s preference.] 15.Qc2 c3
16.Nd4? [I did consider 16.bxc3 but 16…Bxb4 put me off.] 16…Qxb4 [16…cxb2+ 17.Kb1 (17.Qxb2) 17…Qxb4] 17.bxc3 Qa3+ 18.Kd2?
I felt I may well be over the worst now, but the engine says no and finds the right way to press the attack. Fortunately, I wasn’t playing the engine 😉 [18.Qb2] 18…Bc4? [Straightforward play with 18…Rac8 19.Rb1 d5 20.exd5 Rfd8-+ would have exposed the white king once again.] 19.Rb1 Bc5 20.Qb2 Qa5 [20…Qa6 was perhaps more accurate.]21.Nb3 Bxb3? [Allowing the exchange of the other bishop was much stronger, as White can’t fight for the light squares. 21…Qb6 22.Nxc5 Qxc5 23.Be3 Qd6+] 22.Qxb3 Bxf2
White is actually better after this move – quite a turnaround from just a few moves ago. 23.Rhf1 [23.Qd5 immediately was the most accurate move.] 23…Bc5 24.Rf3 d6 25.Qd5 Bb6
26.Rb5 [26.Qxa5 Bxa5 27.Bxd6 was stronger. I thought my way was better, but Black can avoid the worst.] 26…Qa4 [26…Qa6 27.Bxd6 Rad8 28.e5 looks similar to the game but here I don’t get to reposition my b-rook with tempo. 28…Bc7 29.Rd3 Bxd6 30.exd6 Rxd6!
31.Qxd6 Qxb5 and Black, with the safer king and better pawns, has the advantage.] 27.Bxd6 Rad8 28.Rb4!
28…Qa5 [Now 28…Qa3 runs into a deadly tactic with 29.Rxb6; 28…Qa6 29.e5 Bc7 30.Rd3 and now there is no hanging rook on b5 as in the previous line.] 29.Qxa5 Bxa5 30.Rd4 Rfe8 31.e5 h6 32.Rd5 Bc7
The rest is a mopping up operation; Black can do nothing about White’s c-pawn advancing followed by a breakthrough of some description. 33.c4 Bb8 34.c5 Rc8 35.Kd3 Rc6 36.Kc4 a6 37.Rb3 Bc7 38.Rb7 Ba5 39.Rd3 Rec8 40.Kd5 Be1 41.Rf3 f7 falls and with it the game. A rather fortunate win in some ways, but not falling apart completely when things go wrong is also a skill 😉 1-0
… and his new book on the Sicilian Dragon is due to be released in the near future.