The last round had come, and it is fair to say that my game would mean little in terms of the leading places. Still, it managed to produce an interesting game, one of the few times black gains play on the kingside in a French.
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 More popular is [3...Nf6 However this allows 4.e5, introducing the Steinitz Variation, which I preferred to avoid with black for this game. 3...dxe4 leads to a Rubinstein or Burn]
4.Nxe4 Nd7 5.Nf3 Ngf6 6.Nxf6+ Nxf6 7.Bd3 White opts for the Rubinstein. [7.Bg5 is an alternative, known as the Burn variation]
7...c5 8.0-0 [8.dxc5 Bxc5 9.0-0 0-0 10.Qe2 Qc7= is the main line]
8...cxd4 9.Nxd4 Bc5 10.Nb3 Bd6 11.Re1N Developing the Rook, though its purpose on e1 is unclear. Black does not try to play e5 in this variation, and his King will soon dissapear from the centre. White had several other options. [11.Bg5 Qc7 12.h3= leads to an interesting game for both sides; 11.Bb5+ Bd7 12.Qxd6 Bxb5 13.Qxd8+ Rxd8 14.Re1= creates an endgame that will almost definitely end in a draw.]
11...Qc7 12.h3 Bd7 Black is preparing to put his bishop on c6 and castle queenside, leading to a double edged game where neither King is safe.
13.c4 0-0-0 [13...Bc6 straight away would allow 14.Nd4+/= ]
14.Be3 Kb8 15.Qe2 Rhg8 Putting the rook on a file against the white king, and preparing g5.
16.c5 Bh2+! an intermediate move which puts White's king on the h1-a8 diagonal, where he will come under fire once black places his bishop on c6. Because of this white is forced to lose a tempo later in the game.
17.Kh1 Bf4 18.Bxf4 Qxf4 19.Rac1 g5 Now it is a race to the Kings.
20.Rc4 [20.Na5 g4=/+ and black's attack is underway first]
20...Qc7 21.Qf3 White's attack is slower, so he is forced to play for an endgame.
21...Bc6 22.Qxf6 Rxd3 Now the idea of 16...Bh2+ forced White to waste a move, as his h3 pawn is threatened due to the pin on his g2 pawn.
23.Kg1 Bd5 24.Rd4 Rxd4 25.Qxd4 Qf4=/+ putting the queen back in an active position.
26.Qe3 [26.Qxf4+? gxf4-+ ]
26...h5 With the idea of h4 (blockading the h3 pawn) followed by g4.
27.Nc1 h4 28.b3 defending the a2 pawn.
28...f5 29.Nd3 Qxe3 30.Rxe3 f4 31.Re5 g4! 32.Nxf4 gxh3 33.Nxd5 Rxg2+ 34.Kh1 exd5 35.Rxd5 Rxf2-+ 36.a4 Rb2 [36...Rf3? 37.b4 Rf4 38.b5 Rxa4 39.Rd8+ Kc7 40.Rh8= ]
37.Rd3 h2 38.Rh3 Kc7 39.Rxh4 Rxb3 40.Kxh2 Kc6 41.Rc4 Kd5? [41...a5-+ The threat of ...Rb4 is decisive with the White king so remote]
42.Rc2 Ra3 43.Rb2 Kc6 44.Rb4 Rc3 45.Kg2 Rxc5 46.Kf3 a5 47.Rh4 Rc3+ 48.Ke2 Kc5 49.Rh5+ Kb4 50.Rb5+ Kxa4 51.Rxb7= Ka3 52.Kd2 Rc6 53.Rb8 a4 54.Rb7 Ka2 55.Rb8 a3 56.Rb7 Rh6 57.Kc2 Rh2+ 58.Kc1 Rb2 59.Ra7 Rb3 60.Kc2 Rh3 61.Rb7 Rh2+ 62.Kc1 Rh4 63.Kc2 Ka1 64.Rb8 Rh2+ 65.Kc1 Rb2 66.Ra8 a2 67.Ra7 Rb6 68.Rc7 Rb1+ 69.Kc2 Rg1 1/2-1/2