02.02.16 – Chris Ward vs. Carsten Pederson

On 2nd February 2016, Hammersmith had the pleasure of hosting Chris Ward GM for a Simultaneous 15 board display. On a fantastic evening of chess, only one player from the club managed to achieve victory.

Carsten Pedersen presents his analysis of that game. Full version at the bottom of the page:

[White “Ward, Chris”]
[Black “Pedersen, Carsten”]
[Result “0-1”]
[WhiteElo “237”]
[BlackElo “195”]
[WhiteTitle “GM”]
[BlackTitle “”]


1. d4 Nf6 2.c4 Nc6 3.Nc3 e5 4.d5 Ne7 5.h4!? h5?

{[pgndiagram] Last book move (h5). A brain not yet on chess moves, this is the main reply against h4 if white has already played e4. However, here it doesn’t work because of the line white now plays:}

6.Bg5 Ng6 7.e3! Be7 8.Bd3 Nf8!? 9.Qc2 d6 +/-

{[pgndiagram] We have arrived at what is close to a standard position for this line and although allowing Bxg6 on the previous move was pretty unpleasant it may have been the lesser evil, since although this position is clearly better for white 9. Qa4!, as Fritz points out in a couple of seconds, would have left black practically without a move. Fortunately white just played a standard move without thinking.}

10. Bf5?

{[pgndiagram] However, this lets black off the hook. The idea is to swap white’s bad bishop with black’s good one, perhaps followed by Bxf6 leading to a position with a good white night against a potentially very bad black-squared bishop.

It fails because black has time to force the exchange of black-squared bishops as well.}

10… Bxf5= 11. Qxf5 N6d7 12. e4

{[pgndiagram] Black was threatening f6! winning a piece, but Bxe7 came into consideration. Now 12…g6 13. Bxe7 Qxe7 is an option but I decided that with White’s space advantage and the lack of an obviously safe place for the black King, I wanted the Queens off the board as well!!}

12…Bxg5 13. Qxg5 Qxg5 14. hxg5 Ng6 15. Nge2 O-O-O 16. Kd2 h4 17. g4 hxg3 18. Nxg3 Nf4 19. b4?!

{[pgndiagram] A natural move but it loses a pawn. The computer suggests 19.Nf5 g6 20.Nh6 Rh7=}


{[pgndiagram] During the game I was quite pleased with this move which stops a white g6 in reply to Nh3. I had worked out that  white still loses a pawn after 20. Rh6 Rxh6 21. gxh6 Rh8 22. Rh1 Nf6, followed by Nh5 and Rxh6. However the silicon beast plays 23. c5! and thinks that white’s Queenside initiative gives full compensation for the pawn. So the immediate Nh3 would probably have been stronger.}

20. Nce2?! Nh3 -/+ 21. Ke3 Nxg5 22. Rac1! b6 23. f4?! exf4 -/+ 24. Kxf4?!

{[pgndiagram] White has some compensation due to his superior Queenside structure, but the last two moves are asking for trouble, gifting the e5 square and opening the e-file in front of the white King. He may have taken with the King hoping for 24…Nh3+ 25. Ke3 Ng5, with a repetition, or possibly to induce weaknesses on e6 and g6 after blacks next move, but it loses too much time and black now takes over the initiative.}

24…f6! 25.Ke3 Rde8 26.Nf4

{[pgndiagram] During the game I thought this was a decisive mistake and considered Rxh8 as necessary due to the line now played }

26…Rxh1?! 27.Rxh1 f5?

{[pgndiagram] Black’s last two moves were played under the assumption that white can’t play 28.Nxg6 here, due to 28…Nxe4 29.Nxf5 Ng3+. However white then has 30. Nge7+! Kxd8 31.Nxg3! Rxe7+ with equality. A real computer line, and fortunately white didn’t see it either. After his next move it’s all over.}

28.Kd4?? Nxe4-+ 29.Re1 Ne5 30.Re3 c5+ 31.dxc6 Nxc6+ 32.Kd3 Nxb4+

{[pgndiagram]Result: 0-1}


Many thanks to Carsten for the insight.

Full version:

[pgn navigation_board=below animation_speed=0 show_move_arrow=false]1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 Nc6 3.Nc3 e5 4.d5 Ne7 5.h4 h5 6.Bg5 Ng6 7.e3 Be7 8.Bd3 Nf8 9.Qc2 d6 10.Bf5 Bxf5 11.Qxf5 N6d7 12.e4 Bxg5 13.Qxg5 Qxg5 14.hxg5 Ng6 15.Nge2 O-O-O 16.Kd2 h4 17.g4 hxg3 18.Nxg3 Nf4 19.b4 g6 20.Nce2 Nh3 21.Ke3 Nxg5 22.Rac1 b6 23.f4 exf4 24.Kxf4 f6 25.Ke3 Rde8 26.Nf4 Rxh1 27.Rxh1 f5 28.Kd4 Nxe4 29.Re1 Ne5 30.Re3 c5 31.dxc6 Nxc6 32.Kd3 Nxb4*[/pgn]