I hadn't played Stephen before and,having spent some time paying through his games on my database ,I decided that he could play almost anything and the position might become random.Forewarned is foretold....
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.a3 Bb7 5.Nc3 g6 I don't play many Queen's Indians.Mind one, I didn't expect 3.Nf3 of my opponent as well.So this system,attributed to Oleg Romanishin in the book by Bogdan Lalic on the Queen's Indian seemed worth a try ,especially as I had just been preparing against it for white!
6.Bg5 [6.Qc2!? After which 6.....Bxf3 is the main idea.]
6...Bg7 7.e3 0-0 8.Bd3 h6 9.Bh4 d6 10.0-0 Nbd7 11.e4 g5 12.Bg3 Nh5 This idea ,collecting the dark-squared bishop King's Indian-style and thereafter utilizing the "flexible" pawn structure is the basis of black's interpretation.
13.e5?? Yeah well, you can only assume your opponent will play normal moves.White must've had a brain spasm.......
13...Nxg3 14.fxg3?! dxe5 15.d5 Consistent..........
15...f5 16.dxe6 Nc5 17.Bc2 Nxe6 18.Qe2 e4 19.Rad1 Qe8 20.Ne1 My opponent has thus far played incomprehensably:how the roles are reversed in the ensuing moves goes to the heart of chess psychology!
20...Nd4 21.Qe3 Qe5 22.Ba4 Rad8 23.Kh1 f4!? Black pushes,why not?
24.gxf4 gxf4 25.Qh3 Bc8? [25...e3 26.Rg1 e2 27.Rd3 f3 and it's "finita la musica" time]
26.Qh4 Be6!? [26...Nf5 27.Qxf4 (27.Qxd8! ) 27...Qxf4 (27...Rxd1 28.Qxe5 Bxe5 29.Nxd1 Ng3+ ) 28.Rxf4 Ng3+ These sharp variations work,but it was only when the position arrived that I "saw" 27.Qxd8!]
27.Nc2 Bxc4 [27...c5!? ]
28.Nxd4!? A plausible try.
28...Rxd4 [28...Bxf1 29.Nc6 Bxg2+! (29...Rxd1 30.Nxe5 Rc1 was the variation I'd become entranced by."It be no simple" , as the Yugoslav used to say.) 30.Kxg2 f3+ 31.Kh1 Rxd1+ 32.Nxd1 Qe6! where black's pawns and active pieces will carry the day.]
29.Rxd4 Qxd4 30.Rxf4 e3? Too clever by half! Now the black king has safety issues. [30...Rxf4 31.Qxf4 e3 32.Qxc7 Qd3 33.h3 e2 ]
31.Rxf8+ [31.Rxd4?? Rf1# ]
31...Kxf8 32.Qh3! So now Stephen begins to find serious tricks.But "so what ",I thought, as I ran as short of time as my opponent.
32...Ke7 33.Qc8 Be5? [33...Qd8 34.Qg4 Bxc3 35.Qxc4 Bd4 Was a safe idea that I'd seen;but with the win now getting further and further away,I wanted more...]
34.Qe8+= Kf6 35.Qf8+ Kg5 36.Qe7+ Bf6 37.Ne4+ Kf5 38.Nxf6 e2! Even though heavily into the increments,I was happy to have forseen this sharp shot.Black should be O.K. [38...Qxf6 39.Bc2+ Kg5 40.h4+!+- ]
39.Bd7+ Kg6 40.Be8+ Kf5 41.Bd7+ Kg6 42.Be8+ Kf5 Surely a draw?! I once had a game in the first round of a tournament in Uzes,France,1988.My "local" opponent had capitalized on a massive blunder that I had made to gain an immediately drawn position.He checked once, then twice and after I'd gotten up from the board,he declared to the sundry denizens gathered around,"Je joue pour le gain".It needs no translation ;suffice to say,he'd soon lost!
43.g4+?? Having built up a little bank of time, via the repetitions,Stephen,like the Frenchman,"punts" on a positive outcome.This was an irrational bet.... [43.Bd7+= ]
43...Kf4 Black is winning.In our pub post-mortem,the various checking sequences seemed unclear,but Fritz had found an elegant solution;would I have seen it ,with only a few minutes to play with ? Possiblynot!
44.Kg2? [44.Nh5+ Kf3 45.Qf8+ Bf7!! A clever idea,decoying the Queen onto the white squares.Even so, there was another way. (45...Ke3 46.Qxh6+ Kf2 47.Qf8+ Ke1 48.Qb4+ Kd1 49.Ba4+ Kc1 50.Qe1+ Kxb2 51.Qb4+ Ka1 52.Qe1+ Ka2 is also winning!) 46.Qxf7+ Ke3 47.Qe7+ Kd2 ]
44...Bd5+ Like the blind chicken finding corn,I was able to ""peck"a winner.
45.Nxd5+ [45.Kh3 Qe3+ 46.Qxe3+ Kxe3 47.Nxd5+ Kd2 and wins. (47...Kf2?? 48.Nf4 ) ]
45...Qxd5+ 46.Kf2 Qf3+ 47.Ke1 Qf1+ 48.Kd2 Qd1+ 0-1