Giddins on Hastings 2010

(1) Howell,David (2616) - Neverov,Valeriy (2544) [B81]
Hastings Masters Hastings/UK (4.1), 31.12.2010

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.h3 This move, which was the legendary Bobby Fischer's idea against the Najdorf, has recently experienced something of a revival in popularity. 6...e6 7.g4 b5 8.Bg2 Bb7 9.0-0 Be7?? A dreadful blunder, which effectively ends the game at once. Neverov evidently forgot "Nunn's Law", which states that "Loose piece drop off". Observe, please, the loose prelate on b7... 10.e5! Bxg2 [10...dxe5 11.Bxb7 Ra7 12.Bc6+ Kf8 13.Ndxb5 axb5 14.Qxd8+ Bxd8 15.Bxb5 is equally hopeless.] 11.exf6 Bxf1 12.fxe7 Qxe7 13.Qxf1 White has two minor pieces for a rook and pawn. On the face of it, this may sound like little or no material advantage at all, but in fact, in such a middlegame, the advantage is almost decisive at GM level. The problem for Black is that two pieces are better than one - White can attack a weakness twice, whilst Black can only defend it once. 13...0-0 14.b3 Rc8 15.Bb2 Nc6 16.Qd3 Ne5 17.Qe3 Ng6 18.Rd1 Qa7 19.Rd2 Rc7 20.Qg3 b4 21.Nd1 Qc5 22.Nf3 Rac8 23.Ne3 Rd7 24.h4 having manoeuvered his pieces into position, Howell starts a decisive attack on the enemy king. 24...Ne7 25.h5 Qa5 26.h6 f6 27.Rxd6 Qc7 28.Rxd7 Qxd7 29.hxg7 e5 30.g5 1-0

(2) Rendle,Thomas (2391) - Williams,K (2493) [B05]
Hastings Masters Hastings/UK (4.3), 31.12.2010

1.e4 Nf6 2.e5 Nd5 3.d4 d6 4.Nf3 Nc6 5.c4 Nb6 6.exd6 exd6 7.Be2 Bg4 8.d5 Bxf3 9.Bxf3 Ne5 10.Be2 Be7 11.0-0 0-0 12.Qc2 Bf6 13.a4 a5 14.Ra3 Re8 15.Rh3 g6 16.Nd2 Nc6?? [Black would stand very satisfactorily after 16...Ned7 Instead, Simon prefers a more spectacular knight retreat, but he had clearly miscalculated something badly, and the move turns his postion to dust almost immediately.] 17.dxc6 Rxe2 18.cxb7 Rb8 19.Qd3 Qe7 20.Nb3 Black is already lost. 20...Qe4 21.Nxa5 Qxd3 22.Rxd3 Nxa4 23.b4 Bc3 24.Be3 c5 25.Rxd6 Bxb4 26.Rc6 Nb6 27.Bf4 1-0

(3) Cafferty,Bernard (2133) - Kotronias,Vasilios 2591 (2591) [E60]
Hastings Masters Hastings (4.24), 31.12.2010

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.b4 Bg7 4.Bb2 0-0 5.e3 d6 6.Be2 e5 7.d4 e4 8.Nfd2 h5 9.Nc3 Re8 10.Qc2 Bf5 11.h3 Nc6 12.Qb3 Qd7 13.0-0-0 a6 14.Rdg1 h4 15.g4 hxg3 16.Rxg3 d5 17.cxd5 Ne7 18.Nc4 Nexd5 19.Ne5 Qd6 20.Rhg1 Be6 [Black is doing well here, and would stand clearly better after Kotronias' suggestion 20...Re7 Instead, he misses White's 22nd.] 21.Nxd5 Nxd5 22.Nxg6! Nxb4 [Taking the knight is fatal, because of 22...fxg6 23.Rxg6 Re7 24.Bg4 ] 23.Ne7+? [Missing a golden opportunity. By unleashing the Sokolksy bishop, wih the thematic 23.d5! White could obtain a winning game, eg: 23...Bxd5 24.Ne7+ Kf8 25.Nf5 Qc5+ 26.Bc4! Black's problem is that exchanging bishops with check on b2, does not help, since Rg8 mate is threatened thereafter.] 23...Kf8 24.Nf5 Bxb3 25.Nxd6 Nxa2+ 26.Kb1 cxd6 27.Rxg7 Rac8 28.Ba3? [Now the advantage swings back to Black, and he never lets go again. Instead, a move such as 28.h4 would have maintained the balance.] 28...Rc6 29.Kb2 Bd5 30.Bh5 Rb6+ 31.Ka1 Nb4 32.Bxb4 Rxb4 In addition to his pawn deficit, White also has serious problems with his king. 33.Rh7 Ke7 34.Rg5 Rb5 35.Rf5 Rc8 36.Rxd5 Rxd5 37.Bxf7 Ra5+ 38.Kb2 Rb5+ 39.Bb3+ Kd8 40.Ka2 Rc3 41.Be6 Rc2+ 0-1

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