Somani, Sunil K    --    Dhanish, PB
T-1506   AICCF     0-1     C05

The game that made me the AICCF Champion. When I started playing this tournament, I had never hoped to be the champion. I had missed T-1505, because I had not applied thinking that I will not be eligible on the basis of rating. So finally I was in the elite club of AICCF!

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 Nf6 4.e5 Nfd7 5.Bd3 c5 6.c3 Nc6

Previously, I had played b6 aginst Mr Somani and lost quickly. See AICCF Bulletin Aug 2000 for the game.
7.Ngf3 Qb6 8.O-O cxd4 9.cxd4 Be7 10.Nb3 f6 N (D)

BR :: BB :: BK :: BR
BQ BN :: BP BP ::
:: :: BP WP ::
:: WP :: ::
:: WN :: WB :: WN ::

Novelty played unknowingly. We had started the game in Aug 2003 when I was not familiar with the databases available on the internet (I am not sure they were available then). Now, I find several games with 10. .. . a5. For example, Rachels-Short, Manila Interzonal 1990 continued 11. a4 Nb4 12. Bb5 0-0 13. Re1 Qd8 14. Bf4 Nb8 15. Rc1 N8c6, draw on move 25
11.Bf4 Nb4
Aiming to exchange off White's attacking Bishop. But Black loses time in the process. Simply castling appears possible, but I was afraid of a King side attack.
12.exf6 Nxf6 13.Rc1 Nxd3
Played in July 2004, almost one year since the game started! Here, I got a reply only to my second reminder.
14.Qxd3 Bd7
( If 14...Bd6 15.Bxd6 Qxd6 16.Qb5+ Nd7 17.Ne5! )
( Missing the chance to take the initiative. 15.Bc7 Bb5 16.Qe3 Qa6 17.Rfe1 Ne4 += )
( Not 15...O-O 16.Bc7 Qb5 17.Qxb5 Bxb5 +/- )
( or 15...Rc8 16.Ng5 O-O 17.Be5 g6 +/- )
16.Bc7 Bb5 17.Qd1 (D)

BR :: :: BK :: BR
BQ :: BP :: ::
:: BB :: BP :: ::
:: WP BN :: ::
:: WN :: :: WN ::

Again, a passive move. Qe3 appears more active
17...Qa6 18.Be5 O-O
( Dangerous is 18...Qxa2 19.Nbd2 Bd3 20.Bxg7 Rg8 21.Ne5 Rxg7 22.Nxd3 Nxd2 23.Qxd2 +- )
19.Rc7 Bf6
( Not 19...Rf7 20.Nc5 Nxc5 21.dxc5 Raf8 22.a3 Bd3 23.Rxe7 Rxe7 24.Bd6 +/- )
20.Nc5 Nxc5 21.dxc5 Bxe5 (D)

BR :: :: BR BK ::
BQ :: :: BP :: ::
:: BB WP BP BB ::
:: :: :: ::
:: :: :: WN ::
:: :: WQ WR WK

( Interesting was 22.Nxe5 Rac8 23.Re7 Rce8 when 24.Rxg7+ does not work 24...Kxg7 25.Qg4+ Kh8 )
22...Rac8 23.Re7 Rce8 24.R5xe6 Qxa2
Finally, the pawn is captured.
( Since 25.Rxg7+ Kxg7 26.Qd4+ Kf7 27.Qf6+ Kg8 28.Qg5+ Kh8 29. Qe5+ Kg8 is only a draw )
Here again, there was some delay and I got a reply only to my second reminder. By then, it was Sept 2005! Of course, with the postal system as it is, it is difficult to blame anybody for the delay. Recently, in T-1507, I was missing several PCs and to check what is happening, I sent 5 PCs to myself from different places. I received back only three of them!
26.Rxe7 Bc6 27.Qc1
( Strong was 27.Qc2 Qc4 28.Qxc4 dxc4 29.Ne5 Rf5 30.g4 Kf8 += )
( 27...Qa4 28.Qg5 Rf7 29.Rxf7 Kxf7 30.Qh5+ += )
28.Nd4 Rf7
( 28...Qc4 29.Qxc4 dxc4 30.Nxc6 bxc6 31.Rxa7 Rf5 32.Ra1 Rxc5 33.Rc1 probably the rook ending must be drawn )
29.Rxf7 Kxf7 30.Qf4+ Kg8
Here, in Feb 2006 there was no reply and I made a claim. Mr Somani showed proof of reply and the claim was not granted. However, the TD Mr MB Mulla instructed us to continue the game by email, with copies of the emails sent to him. I don't know the reason for this, perhaps it was a prophylactic measure to prevent further disputes.
( Now, white could have drawn with 31.Ne6 Qxb2 32.Qf8+ Kh7 perpetual check. But he appears to be looking for more. )
31...Qb1+ 32.Kh2 Qe4 (D)

:: :: :: BK ::
BP BP :: :: BP
:: BB :: :: BP
:: WP BP :: WN ::
:: :: BQ WQ ::
:: :: :: :: WP
:: :: :: ::

When playing this move, I was praying that White may exchange queens!
White appears to be winning a pawn. But I realised that the ending is better for Black. There are possibilities of an outside passed pawn. Also, the Bishop is stronger in such open positions with less number of pawns.
33...dxe4 34.Nd6 Kf8
By this time, I had completed all my other games in T-1506, the last game being the win against Dr DRKS Rao published in the May 2006 Bulletin. Earlier, I had conceded draws to Mr AG Nagaradjane and Mr N Neelakantan. Mr Somani had several games remaining, so I could not predict my chances. I hoped that he will also draw a couple of games and hence I thought I had reasonable chances. I asked Dr Chatterjee about the tie-break rules, and he sent me the details. It was only after the final position was submitted for adjudication, that I found in the Aug 2006 Bulletin that Mr Somani had won all his other games! Then the tie-break rules became critical, and luckily the position was adjudicated a win for me.
( Not 34...b5?? 35.Nc8 )
( Maybe White could have drawn with 35.b4 Ke7 36.Nc8+ Ke6 37. Nxa7 Kd5 38.b5 Bd7 39.c6 bxc6 40.Nxc6 Bxc6 41.bxc6 Kxc6 42.Kg3 Kd5 43.Kf4 Kd4 )
35...Ke7 36.Kf4
( 36.Nc8+ Ke6 ( 36...Kd7 37.Nxa7 Ba4 38.b4 Kc7 39.b5 b6 40.cxb6+ Kxb6 41.Nc8+ Kxb5 42.Nd6+ Kc5 43.Nxe4+ +/- ) 37.Nxa7 Bd7 38.b4 Kd5 39.Kf4 g5+ 40.Ke3 h5 )
( Not 36...g5+ 37.Ke5 +- )
37.Nxe4 (D)

:: :: :: ::
BP BP :: :: BP
:: BB :: BK :: BP
:: WP :: ::
:: :: WN WK ::
:: :: :: :: WP
WP :: WP WP ::
:: :: :: ::

White has won the pawn, but he will not be able to maintain it for long.
37...Kd5 38.Ke3?
I think this is the losing move.
( 38.f3 Kc4 39.Nd2+ Kxc5 40.Ke5 a5 41.Nb3+ Kb4 42.Nd2 a4 43.Kd6 g5 44.Ke5 ( 44.g4 Bxf3 45.Nxf3 Kb3 46.Ne5 Kxb2 47.Kc5 a3 48.Nd3+ Kb1 49.Nb4 a2 50.Nxa2 Kxa2 -+ ) 44...Kc5 45.g3 b5 ( 45...Bxf3 46.Nxf3 Kc4 47.Nd4 +/- ) 46.f4 b4 47.f5 a3 48.f6 Bd5 49.Ne4+ Kc6 50.bxa3 bxa3 51.Nc3 a2 52.Nxa2 Bxa2 53.f7 ( 53.h4 gxh4 54.gxh4 -+ ) 53...Bxf7 54.Kf6 Be8 55.Kg7 h5 56.g4 and Black cannot win )
38...Kc4 39.f3 Kb3
( Here, I spent several days checking whether I could win the King and pawn ending after 39...Bxe4? (D)

:: :: :: ::
BP BP :: :: BP
:: :: :: BP
:: WP :: ::
:: BK :: BB :: ::
:: :: WK WP :: WP
WP :: :: WP ::
:: :: :: ::

40.fxe4 ( 40.Kxe4 a5 41.Ke5 ( 41.Kf5 Kb3 42.Kg6 Kxb2 43.Kxg7 a4 44.f4 a3 45.f5 a2 46.f6 a1=Q 47.f7 -+ ) 41...Kxc5 -+ ) 40...Kxc5 41.Kf4 ( 41.e5 Kd5 42.Kf4 Ke6 43.Ke4 a5 44.Kd4 a4 Black wins 45.g4? g5 (45...b5? 46.Kc5 Kxe5 White wins ) 46.Ke4 b5 47.Kd4 b4 48.Kc4 a3 49.bxa3 bxa3 50.Kb3 -+ ) 41...Kd6 ( 41...Kd4 42.Kf5 a5 43.e5 ( 43.Kg6 a4 44.Kxg7 b5 -+ ) 43...Kd5 44.Kg6 Kxe5 45.Kxg7 b5 ( 45...h5 46.g4 hxg4 47.hxg4 Kf4 ) 46.Kxh6 b4 47.g4 a4 48.g5 a3 49.bxa3 bxa3 50.g6 a2 51.g7 a1=Q 52.g8=Q ) 42.Kf5 a5 ( 42...Ke7 43.Kg6 Kf8 ( 43...a5 44.Kxg7 ) 44.h4 a5 45.Kf5 b5 46.Ke6 Ke8 ) 43.Kg6 b5 44.Kxg7 Ke5 45.Kxh6 a4 46.g4 b4 47.g5 a3 48.bxa3 bxa3 49.g6 I invite readers to check the analysis and show me a Black win if available )
40.Kd3 (D)

:: :: :: ::
BP BP :: :: BP
:: BB :: :: BP
:: WP :: ::
:: :: WN :: ::
:: BK :: WK :: WP :: WP
WP :: :: WP ::
:: :: :: ::

( 40.Kd4 a5 41.Nd2+ Kc2 42.Nc4 a4 43.Ne3+ Kxb2 44.Kc4 a3 45. Nd1+ Kc2 46.Nc3 -+ )
The exclamation marks were awarded by my opponent in his reply, showing that he had not expected this move.
41.Kd2 Kxb2 42. Nd6 Bc6 43.h4 Bd5 44.Kd3 Kb3 45.Kd4 Bc6 46.Nc4 Kb4 47.Nb2 Bb5 (D)

:: :: :: ::
BP BP :: :: BP
:: :: :: BP
:: BB WP :: ::
:: :: :: WP ::
WN :: :: WP ::
:: :: :: ::

Submitted for adjudication on 15 Aug 2006 with the following analysis: The position is open with unblocked pawns on both sides, more suitable for the bishop compared to the knight. Black has an outside passed pawn which can be stopped only by sacrificing the knight. If White tries to capture the black kingside pawns, the black bishop will prevent the White pawns from queening. When the White king moves away, the Black king will capture the c5 pawn and queen his remaining b7 pawn. If the White king tries to capture the b7 pawn, it will be protected by the bishop. Play could proceed
48.Nd1 ( Or 48.f4 a5 49.g4 a4 50.Nxa4 Bxa4 51.f5 Bb3 52.g5 hxg5 53.hxg5 Ba2 54.f6 gxf6 55.g6 Be6 56.g7 Kb5 White is in zugzwang ) 48...a5 49.Ne3 a4 50.Nd5+ Kb3 51.Nc3 a3 52.h5 a2 53.Nxa2 Kxa2 54.Ke5 Kb3 55.Kf5 Kc4 56.Kg6 Kxc5 57.Kxg7 Bd3 58.Kxh6 b5 59.Kg7 b4 60.h6 b3 61.h7 Bxh7 62.Kxh7 b2 and queens
0-1 (adjudicated)
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