A chess game... by postcards

I started a correspondence chess game (by postcards) this August and I'm going to make my second move. The duel is supposed to last about 20-25 years: we can make moves only when we go on holiday... Yes, I'm leaving again (for Wien, Austria), but I will come back soon (even too much!): you will read my next post on Sunday evening. Meanwhile, the Castione and Porto San Giorgio festivals will be finished: You can follow them on their official sites: www.scaccobratto.com and www.torneoscacchi.it.
In both tourneys anything can still happen: Polish GM Pawel Jaracz leads the field in Castione with 4.5/5, but eleven players follow on 4: GMs Sergei Tiviakov, Vladimir Epishin, Vladimir Burmakin, Erald Dervishi (last year winner) and Italian IM Fabio Bruno are among them. The first of two collateral blitz tourneys took place on Sunday evening: IM Daniele Vocaturo from Rome scored 8/9 and edged out by a full point GMs Alberto David and Michele Godena; Hungarian GM and Elo favorite Csaba Horvath was placed only fifth on 6.5.
English GM Gawain Jones and Spanish IM Sergio Estremera Panos are the surprising leaders in Porto San Giorgio: they share the first place on 6/7 and they will play each other today. Estremera, in particular, beat three GMs in a row (Komarov, Hamdouchi and Korneev) and should perform a GM norm.
Well, goodbye now. It's time to prepare my luggage. Before leaving, I've annotated for you a nice win by Estremera in Porto San Giorgio.

Hamdouchi,H. (2576) - Estremera Panos,S. (2375) [B63], Porto San Giorgio 26.8.2007
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 d6 6.Bg5 e6 7.Qd2 Be7
The immediate 7...a6 is the most popular continuation.
8.0–0–0 a6
Estremera is mixing up different plans, but he is not the first one. 8...0–0 is the standard line after 7...Be7.
9.f3 0–0
And now 9...Bd7 is the main choice!
10.h4 Qc7
10...Nxd4 11.Qxd4 b5 12.Kb1 Qc7 has been played by Anand, Gulko and Kotronias among the others.
11.g4 Rd8 etc. is a more common continuation.
11...h6 12.Bh4
This looks to be a new move: 12.Be3 was played in Peptan-Roos, Berlin 1997, which continued 12...Nxd4 13.Bxd4 Rd8 14.g4 e5 15.Be3 d5 16.exd5 Be6 17.Bd3 Nxd5 and Black has a slight edge.
12...Nxd4 13.Qxd4 b5 14.g4
14.Kb1 is probably more safe.
Black starts fighting for the initiative! 14...e5 15.Qd3 b4 16.Bxf6 Bxf6 17.Nd5 Bg5+ 18.Kb1 Qb7 intending ...Be6 and ...Rfc8 was a good alternative.
A poor move. The "brave" 15.Qxb4 is absolutely playable and probably the best choice for White, e.g.: 15...d5 16.Qd4 e5 (16...Bb7!? 17.exd5 Bc5 18.Qd3 Nxd5 19.Nxd5 Bxd5 20.Kb1 a5 and Black has some compensation) 17.Nxd5 Nxd5 18.Qxd5 Be6 19.Qd2 Rfd8 20.Bd3 Bxh4 21.Rxh4 Bxa2 22.g5!? Bc4 23.Qc3 Qe7 24.Rg4 Bxd3 25.Rxd3 hxg5 26.Rd5 f6 and the position is about equal.
15...Rb8 16.b3 Bd7 17.Nb2 Rfc8
Now Black has a strong attack without any material loss.
Another weak move, although after 18.Bc4 d5!? White faces some troubles anyway, e.g.: 19.exd5 exd5 20.Bxf6 Bxf6 21.Qxd5 and now both 21...Bb5 and Be6 give Black a strong initiative in return for the pawn.
A natural and strong move.
19.Bxa6 Re8 20.Bd3 Ra8 is good for Black as well.
19...Bd6 20.Kb1 Bf4 21.Qe1
21.Qe2 looks more precise.
21...Be5! 22.Ka1
What does this move mean? 22.Rg1 makes more sense.
22...a5 23.exd5 exd5 24.Rg1
Too late.
24...Re8 25.Qd2?
25.Bg3! is the only way to put up some resistance: after 25...a4 (25...Bxb2+? 26.Kxb2 Rxe1? 27.Bxc7 Rxg1 28.Rxg1 Ra8 29.g5 and White is even better) 26.bxa4 Bxa4 27.Bxe5 Rxe5 28.Qd2 Bc6 29.g5 hxg5 30.Rxg5 Rxg5 31.Qxg5 Qh2 Black has some winning chances, but White holds on.
25...a4 26.bxa4 Ra8!
Now White is in deep trouble.
27.Kb1 Qc3 28.Qc1 Rxa4! is not promising for White, e.g.: 29.Be1 Qc5 30.Nxa4 Qxg1 31.Bc3 Qa7 32.Bxe5 Rxe5 33.Nb2 Re8 intending ...Ra8 and Black wins.
27...Nxh5 28.gxh6
Losing on the spot, but there were not many alternatives. 28.Kb1 would prolong the agony some more moves, e.g.: 28...Bf4 29.Qxb4 Rxa4 30.Nxa4 Rb8 31.Qxb8+ Qxb8+ 32.Nb2 Be5 33.c3 Nf4–+
28...Rxa4 29.Kb1 Rxa2!
The decisive blow.
30.Kxa2 Qa5+ 31.Kb1 Ra8 0–1
White can't avoid mate or huge material losses, so he resigns. A very convincing win by Spanish IM Sergio Estremera.


Tom Chivers said...

You could be about to play the highest quality correspondence game ever.

Or perhaps the holiday mood will make it a very peaceful short draw.

Good luck!

ilredeire said...

Nice, Extremera Panos Sergio has closed the tournament in second place and he has archieved his first norm of GM!