Preparing for the yesterday’s game in the club with White  I had a list of 6 possible opponents. Two of them played Keres variation (11. … Nd7)  in closed Ruy  and four – Sicilian, 3 out of 4 – 2… d6. I refreshed a bit my Moscow lines before dealing seriously with Keres variation. I played it with one of them before, guy rated 250 lower at the time and he didn’t play very well. But the second one was 1729 and played it in a few games in the club. So, I looked at DB lines and also at his games. Sure enough, the pairings come and I am playing him. We go along with Ruy, here is the game.  I find myself a bit nervous, making a few mistakes in the scoresheet. I have no ground for that, all goes along the book, then it comes to the point where if I play the natural move 21. Rf1 then there is a perpetual after 21… Bxh3, he got it with 100 higher rated player in the club. I am glad that I know it and I bypass it, making moves that I remember from DB and Fritz analysis of one of his games. We actually follow the book until move 24 where, as I learn it at home, we get into the game of some 2400-2500 played 3 years ago in Sweden. Here he makes a different move – 25… Qd8, by the way after the game I recommended him to take on a7, which happened in that Swedish game.
I saved quite a lot of time, now I start to spend it. I did not get any decisive advantage following the theory (by the way he told me after the game that he has a book “Play 1. e4 e5!” by Nigel Davies, where the author devoted 36 pages to Keres variation), but I kind of like my position. I decide that it’s time to exchange my bishop and consider 27. f6. I don’t find any big advantages of doing it (Fritz confirmed that I have only 0.5 after 27. f6), and play 27. Rf3, considering Ra3 or just being on the 3rd line for kingside attack.  After I triple my major pieces on “a”, I feel that I am essentially better and think that the only way to increase pressure is to play d6, Rc7. He goes for the rooks exchange, I think some time what is better –  Rxb7 or Qxb7.  According to Fritz my choice Rxb7 is wrong and I lose part of my advantage.  Still, I have it, and here he makes the decisive mistake playing g5. I smell that it’s a bad move, and almost instantly play Bd1. Then Bh5 follows, my “Spanish” bishop, which didn’t get any work before, now works full-time. I notice that I can exploit the pin, think about Qc6 or Qe6, and for some reason (I thought the queen on e6 can be attacked ?) having 22 minutes each left, play Qc6. It’s still good enough to force his resignation. I feel like I played a good game.
Interesting that looking at the “Swedish” game at home ( here it is ), I see that it has a very similar ending with major pieces penetrating into the Black’s territory and “Spanish” bishop making a decisive strike from h5, winning Black’s pinned bishop.
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