Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Kelantan vs Terengganu


The situation was tense. Terengganu needed a 4 - 0 whitewash in order to retain their title (even then their hopes would still be in the hands of Sarawak, in the only other match of the last round against Pahang). They also needed at least 3.5 - 0.5 scoreline to overtake KL to the second place. With KL receiving a bye in the crucial last round, it was up to Kelantan to produce their own magic and realize their dream to become a medal winner in this year's MAKSAK edition. Therefore, KL sponsored me, as Kelantan's first board player, a Power Root Isotonik drink in order to secure the important point. Hairulov also commented on this so called 'Armageddon Match' in his blog.

Hashim Jusoh - Yours Truly
MAKSAK (Round 9), 18.07.2009
A17: English Opening

1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 e6 3.g3 d5 4.cxd5 exd5 5.d4 Be7 6.Bg2 0-0 7.Nf3 c6 8.0-0 Nbd7 9.b3 Re8 10.Bb2 Bd6 11.Re1 h6
I should have seen White's intention to push the e pawn. Black could make it more difficult by 11...Nb6 12.Qc2 Bg4

12.Nd2 Nf8 13.e4 dxe4 14.Ndxe4 Bf5 15.Nxf6+ Qxf6 16.Qd2 Qg6 17.d5

This move disrupts Black's pawn structure and frees both White's Bishops. I faced a tough decision whether to exchange the pawn and withstand the onslaught or give White a passed pawn and try to blockade it. I chose the latter.

17...c5 18.Nb5 Red8 19.Nxd6 Rxd6 20.Be5 Rd7 21.Qc3 Rc8 22.Rad1 b6 23.Qc4 Rcd8 24.Rd2
I did not know what was his plan with this move, but it sure did not stop Black's knight from coming out of his hiding.

24...Ne6 25.Rdd1

White should have tried 25.h3 when Black has to think about his Bishop.

My idea was to place this Knight as a blockader at d6, but will gladly accept a better trade for White's dark square Bishop.

26.Bxc7 Rxc7 27.Qf4 Rcd7 28.Re5 Bc2 29.Rde1 f6 30.R5e2 Qf5

I think Black could hold better with Queens off the board. Black will then round up the isolated d pawn with both the Rooks and the Bishop.

White should have avoided the Queen exchange, but time really was the factor for this decision.

and I went on to win during the time scramble when White blundered away a Bishop.


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