Reflections on the beauty of the SA Closed 2019 by Dr Lyndon Bouah

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One of the aspects that I enjoy about chess is the mystery associated with ideas, tactical brilliancies and of course concepts that players are prepared to play and try out in the heat of battle. One of my favourite books that I enjoy going over is Secrets of Spectacular Chess (Everyman Chess, 2008, Second Edition) by Jonathan Levitt and David Friedgood. They spent quite some in the Introduction talking about chess aesthetics which they describe as the value of developing an eye for the beauty of the game. They argue that the beauty of chess can be considered under hedonism (pleasure seeking), cultural/ artistic value, educational and practical value. After discussing the above items, they then introduce their own concept to appreciate chess aesthetics which consists of the following elements

  1. Paradox – the authors describe this under the description Surprise, outrageousness
  • Depth- subtlety, complexity where the idea is not immediately obvious
  • Geometry- patterns, repetitions, echoes
  • Flow: – describes the smoothness of movement

I have taken a look at the top sections of the SA Closed in 2019 and based purely on my subjective choice. I have selected the following positions and extracts from games for your enjoyment of chess aesthetics! The next few games are from the over 50- section. Mark Lewis was the defending champion. Making his debut however was Maxwell Solomon who had won the SA Closed in 1988 when South Africa hosted two SA Closed Chess Championships. Dr Andrew Southey is also a contender in these events and the early leader was Cecil Ohlson.

In 2018 South Africa sent a Senior team to the Senior World team chess championship in Germany. Those players were Dr Shabir Bhawoodien playing in the B section this year, Mark Lewis, Cecil Ohlson, Deon Pick and Gordon Lawrence. Only Lawrence was not playing this year. Dr Southey in 2018 won the Commonwealth Senior Championship in India in 2018 so the field was quite strong. Making their debut were the Willenberg brothers Roland and Glenn as well as Andrew Talmarkes, Andre Schutte, Gerrit Meiboom, and Stephen Gallied. Edwin November completed the field.

Gerrit Meiboom Mark Lewis

Maxwell Solomon Deon Pick

Andrew Southey Cecil Ohlson

Roland Willenberg Stephen Gallied

Andre Schutte Edwin November

Glenn Willenberg Andrew Talmarkes

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Dr Andrew Southey is White against Deon Pick. What move did White play to initiate the attack.

He played Bxh5 gh followed by pawn to g6 securing an advantage!

(4) Southey, A (1758) – Pick, D (1807) [A00]

2019 South African Closed Chess Champion Curro Durbanville, Durbanville (1.4), 07.12.2019

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d3 Nc6 4.g3 g6 5.Bg2 Bg7 6.0–0 Nge7 7.Re1 0–0 8.c3 d5 9.Qe2 dxe4 10.dxe4

e5 11.Na3 a6 12.Nc4 Qc7 13.Ne3 Re8 14.g4 h6 15.h4 Be6 16.h5 Qc8 17.hxg6 fxg6 18.g5 h5

19.Nh4 Kh7 20.Bf3 Bf7 21.Kh2 Qd7 22.Bxh5 gxh5 23.g6+ Bxg6 24.Nxg6 Kxg6 25.Rg1+ Kf6

26.Qf3+ Ke6 27.Rxg7 Kd6 28.Nf5+ Kc7 29.Bg5 Rf8 30.Rd1 Qe6 31.Qe3 Rf7 32.Rxf7 Qxf7 33.Nxe7 Nxe7 34.Qxc5+ Nc6 35.Qd6+ Kc8 36.Be3 Qe7 37.Qxe7 Nxe7 38.Rd6 Kc7 39.Rh6 Nc6 40.Rxh5 Rg8 41.Rg5 Re8 42.Kg3 Re7 43.f4 exf4+ 44.Bxf4+ Kd7 45.Kf3 Rf7 46.a4 Nd8 47.Ke3 Ne6 48.Rd5+ Kc8 49.Rf5 Rh7 50.Be5 Kd7 51.b4 Rh3+ 52.Rf3 Rh2 53.c4 Ke7 54.Rg3 Kd7 55.Bd4 Kc7 56.b5 Kd7 57.c5 axb5 58.axb5 Kc7 59.Kd3 Kd7 60.Rf3 Ke7 61.Kc4 Rh1 62.Bc3 Rc1 63.Rh3 Nxc5 64.Kxc5 1–0

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Cecil Ohlson is white against Andrew Talmarkes. Black has just played pawn to h6 attacking the knight. What did Ohlson play?

Indeed, Ohlson cleared the line with Nxd6+ followed by a decisive attack and material gain.

(1) Ohlson,C (1564) – Talmarkes,A (1591) [A00]

2019 South African Closed Chess Champion Curro Durbanville, Durbanville (2.1), 08.12.2019

1.e4 c5 2.d3 d6 3.f4 Nc6 4.Be2 g6 5.Nf3 Bg7 6.0–0 Qb6 7.c3 f5 8.Na3 Be6 9.Ng5 Bd7 10.Nc4 Qc7

11.Qb3 h6 12.Nxd6+ Qxd6 13.Qf7+ Kd8 14.Qxg7 hxg5 15.Qxh8 Qe6 16.fxg5 Kc7 17.Bf4+ Kb6

18.b4 c4 19.b5 Nd8 20.Qd4+ Ka5 21.Bc7+ b6 22.Qc5 Bxb5 23.Qa3+ Ba4 24.Qb4+ Ka6 25.Qxa4+ Kb7 26.Bxd8 Rxd8 27.dxc4 Kb8 28.c5 Qe5 29.cxb6 Qc5+ 30.Kh1 axb6 31.Rad1 Rf8 32.Bf3 1–0

In the following position three-time Olympiad player CM Maxwell Solomon has a rook on the seventh. Black played Bf6 challenging the rook. How should White respond?

He decided to go for Rce1 strengthening the rook!

This is typical Solomon. He knows he can give the exchange back because he gains a new advantage.

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(2) Solomon,M (1999) – Meiboom,G (1720) [A00]

2019 South African Closed Chess Champion Curro Durbanville, Durbanville (2.2), 08.12.2019

1.Nf3 d5 2.d4 Nf6 3.c4 dxc4 4.Nc3 g6 5.e4 Bg7 6.Bxc4 0–0 7.0–0 c6 8.h3 b5 9.Bd3 Bb7 10.Be3 a6

11.a3 e6 12.Rc1 Nbd7 13.Qd2 Ne8 14.Bb1 Nb6 15.Ba2 Nd6 16.Bg5 Qc7 17.Qf4 Rae8 18.e5 Ndc4

19.Ne4 f5 20.Nd6 Nxd6 21.exd6 Qb8 22.Rfe1 Nd5 23.Bxd5 exd5 24.Be7 Rxe7 25.Rxe7 Bf6

26.Rce1 Bxe7 27.Rxe7 Rf7 28.Qe5 1–0

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What did the White player Stephen Gallied play now that forced resignation from Gerrit Meiboom?

After assessing his options, he played pawn to c4 as any capture allows Rae3 and if Bd7 then Rae3 Be6 c4 xd5 wins a piece!

(3) Galleid,S (1588) – Meiboom,G (1720) [A00]

2019 South African Closed Chess Champion Curro Durbanville, Durbanville (4.3), 10.12.2019

1.d4 Nf6 2.Bf4 d5 3.e3 c5 4.c3 Nc6 5.Nd2 Bf5 6.Ngf3 cxd4 7.exd4 Qb6 8.Qb3 Qxb3 9.axb3 Ne4 10.b4 Nd6 11.b5 Nd8 12.Bxd6 exd6 13.Be2 Be7 14.0–0 Ne6 15.Ra3 Nf4 16.Re1 Nxe2+ 17.Rxe2 Bd3 18.Re1 Bxb5 19.c4 Bd7 1–0

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In this position Black offered a draw which white refused? What do the readers think? Who should win? The game was drawn.

(5) Talmarkes,A (1591) – Galleid,S (1588) [A00]

2019 South African Closed Chess Champion Curro Durbanville, Durbanville (5.5), 11.12.2019

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nd7 5.Nf3 Ngf6 6.Bd3 Nxe4 7.Bxe4 Nf6 8.Bd3 c5 9.0–0 Qb6 10.Re1 cxd4 11.Nxd4 Bd7 12.c3 Bc5 13.Bc4 0–0–0 14.b4 Bxd4 15.cxd4 Qxb4 16.Bf4 Bc6 17.Qe2 Nd5 18.Bxd5 Rxd5 19.Be3 Qd6 20.Rec1 h5 21.Rab1 Kd7 22.g3 g5 23.Bxg5 Rxg5 24.Qe3 Qd5 25.Rxc6 Kxc6 26.Rc1+ Kd7 27.Qf4 Rf5 28.Qc7+ Ke8 29.Qc8+ Qd8 30.Qxb7 Kf8 31.Rc8 Kg7

32.Rxd8 Rxd8 33.Qxa7 Rfd5 34.Qc7 R8d6 35.Qc1 f6 36.a4 e5 37.Kg2 exd4 38.a5 d3 39.Qd2 Ra6

40.Qe3 Raxa5 41.Qe7+ Kg6 42.Qe8+ Kf5 43.Qxh5+ Ke6 44.Qe8+ Kd6 45.Qd8+ Kc6 46.Qxf6+ Rd6

47.Qf3+ Rad5 48.Kf1 d2 49.Qd1 Rc5 50.Qa4+ Rb5 51.Ke2 Kb6 52.Qd1 Re5+ 53.Kf1 Rb5 54.h4 Rb2 55.g4 Kc7 56.h5 Rb1 57.Qxb1 d1Q+ 58.Qxd1 Rxd1+ 59.Kg2 Kd7 60.Kg3 Ke7 61.f4 Rh1 62.Kf3 Rh4 63.f5 Kf7 64.Kf4 Rh1 65.Kg5 Rh2 66.h6 Rh1 67.Kf4 Rxh6 68.g5 Rh1 69.Ke5 Re1+ ½– ½

In the next position white CM Solomon who was the 1988 SA Closed (CAPSA) was playing the 1987

SA Closed (CAPSA) champion) Deon Pick. What did Solomon play?

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Solomon uncorked Bh5 and after Qf6 then Rf7 decides! A nice little combination.

(6) Solomon,M (1999) – Pick,D (1807) [A00]

2019 South African Closed Chess Champion Curro Durbanville, Durbanville (5.6), 11.12.2019

1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.c4 e6 4.Nc3 Nbd7 5.Bg5 c6 6.e3 Qa5 7.Bxf6 Nxf6 8.Nd2 Bb4 9.Qc2 Ne4

10.Rc1 Nxd2 11.Qxd2 0–0 12.Bd3 Bd7 13.0–0 Qd8 14.f4 f5 15.Rf3 Rf6 16.Kh1 Rg6 17.Rg1 Qf6

18.Qc2 Bxc3 19.bxc3 Rg4 20.Rb1 dxc4 21.Bxc4 b5 22.Bd3 a6 23.a4 Be8 24.Qb3 Qg6 25.Rf2 Qf6

26.Qb4 a5 27.Qc5 bxa4 28.Ra2 Qh4 29.Bc4 Qf6 30.Rxa4 h6 31.Rxa5 Rxa5 32.Qxa5 Qg6 33.g3 Kh7 34.Rg1 Qf7 35.Qe5 Rg6 36.Rb1 Qe7 37.Rb8 Bf7 38.Ra8 Rf6 39.Qb8 Bh5 40.Ra7 Bf3+ 41.Kg1 Rf8 42.Qb6 Qe8 43.Qc7 Qg6 44.Bxe6 Rf6 45.Bc4 c5 46.Kf2 Be4 47.Qd8 Rc6 48.Qf8 Qg4 49.Be2 Qg6 50.Bh5 Qf6 51.Rf7 cxd4 52.exd4 Qxf7 53.Bxf7 1–0

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In this position top WP coach Roland Willenberg showed his technical skill with superb technique!

He now played 38 Qe5 and finished off superbly!

(3) Willenberg,R (1739) – Talmarkes,A (1591) [A00]

2019 South African Closed Chess Champion Curro Durbanville, Durbanville (6.3), 12.12.2019

1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 e6 3.f4 d5 4.Bb5+ Nc6 5.d3 a6 6.Bxc6+ bxc6 7.Nf3 Be7 8.0–0 Qc7 9.Qe1 d4 10.Ne2 Bd7 11.Bd2 Qb7 12.b3 Nf6 13.Ne5 Bc8 14.Ng3 Nd7 15.Nc4 Nb6 16.Nxb6 Qxb6 17.e5 Bh4 18.Qe4 g6 19.Nh1 Be7 20.Nf2 Bd7 21.Qe1 0–0 22.Ba5 Qb8 23.Ne4 f5 24.exf6 Bxf6 25.Nxc5 Qc8 26.Bb6 Re8 27.Ne4 Be7 28.Bxd4 Rf8 29.Bc5 Qd8 30.Qe3 Rf5 31.d4 Bf8 32.Bxf8 Qxf8 33.c4 Re8 34.Nc5

Bc8 35.Qe4 Qd6 36.Rad1 Ref8 37.Qe3 Rxf4 38.Qe5 Qxe5 39.dxe5 Rxf1+ 40.Rxf1 Rxf1+ 41.Kxf1 Kf7 42.Kf2 g5 43.Ke3 Kg6 44.g4 h5 45.h3 hxg4 46.hxg4 Kf7 47.Kd4 Ke7 48.Ne4 Bd7 49.Nf6 Bc8 50.Kc5 1–0

The Elephants Gambit found its way into the event as well!

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(1) Southey,A (1758) – Ohlson,C (1564) [A00]

2019 South African Closed Chess Champion Curro Durbanville, Durbanville (7.1), 13.12.2019

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d5 3.exd5 Bd6 4.Nc3 Nf6 5.d3 Nbd7 6.g3 Nb6 7.Bg2 Nbxd5 8.Nxd5 Nxd5 9.0–0 0–0 10.Re1 f6 11.d4 Bg4 12.c4 Bb4 13.cxd5 Bxe1 14.Qxe1 Re8 15.dxe5 Qxd5 16.Nh4 Qb5 17.Qc3 Rxe5 18.Be3 c6 19.a4 Qa5 20.Qc4+ Be6 21.Qc2 Rd8 22.Nf3 Red5 23.h4 Kh8 24.Ne1 Bf5 25.Qe2 R5d6 26.g4 Bg6 27.h5 Bf7 28.Nf3 Qb4 29.Nh4 Bxh5 30.Bf3 Bf7 31.Nf5 Bc4 32.Qe1 Qxe1+ 33.Rxe1 Re6 34.Rc1 Bb3 35.Nd4 Rxe3 36.fxe3 Bd5 37.Kf2 Bxf3 38.Kxf3 Rd5 39.b4 g6 40.Rc5 Rd7 41.b5 cxb5 42.axb5 a6 43.bxa6 bxa6 44.Rc6 Kg7 45.Rxa6 Rf7 46.Ne6+ Kh6 47.Kf4 Re7 48.Nd4 g5+ 49.Kf3 Kg6 50.Nf5 Rc7 51.Nd6 Re7 52.Ne4 Rf7 53.Ng3 Kg7 54.Nh5+ Kf8 55.Rxf6 Ke7

56.Rxf7+ Kxf7 57.Ke4 Ke6 58.Kd4 Kd6 59.Nf6 h6 60.Nh5 Ke6 61.Ng3 Kf6 62.Kd5 1–0

What I liked about the next game between Mark Lewis and Andre Schutte was the fighting chess at the end. Schutte knew he was losing but he also knew that if he can capture the white g pawn the game would be a draw because the Bishop does not control the queening square. The former SA Senior champion Lewis showed his technique.

(2) Lewis,M (1966) – Schutte,A (1859) [A00]

2019 South African Closed Chess Champion Curro Durbanville, Durbanville (7.2), 13.12.2019

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.g3 c5 4.Nf3 cxd4 5.Nxd4 Nc6 6.Nc2 Bg7 7.Bg2 0–0 8.0–0 d6 9.Nc3 a6 10.Rb1 Bd7 11.Bg5 h6 12.Bd2 Rb8 13.Nd5 Nxd5 14.cxd5 Ne5 15.Bc3 Ng4 16.Bxg7 Kxg7 17.Qd4+ Nf6 18.Rbc1 Qa5 19.Nb4 Rfc8 20.a3 Rxc1 21.Rxc1 Rc8 22.Rxc8 Bxc8 23.e4 Qc7 24.h3 Qc5 25.Qxc5 dxc5 26.Nd3 b6 27.Kf1 Ne8 28.e5 Bd7 29.Ke1 f6 30.f4 fxe5 31.fxe5 g5 32.Kd2 Bb5 33.Nf2 Nc7 34.Ng4 Be8 35.Ne3 Bg6 36.d6 exd6 37.exd6 Ne6 38.Nd5 Kf7 39.Nxb6 Ke8 40.Bf1 a5 41.Nc4 Be4

42.Ke3 Bd5 43.Ne5 Nd4 44.Bd3 Kd8 45.b4 axb4 46.axb4 Nb3 47.b5 Na5 48.Be4 Bb7 49.Nc6+ Bxc6 50.bxc6 Nc4+ 51.Kf3 Nxd6 52.Bd5 Ne8 53.Ke4 Ke7 54.Ke5 Nd6 55.Be6 c4 56.c7 c3 57.Bf5 c2 58.Bxc2 Kd7 59.Kf6 Kxc7 60.Kg6 Kd7 61.Kxh6 Ke7 62.Kxg5 Kf7 63.Bd3 Kg7 64.h4 Nf7+ 65.Kg4 Nh6+ 66.Kg5 Nf7+ 67.Kf4 Nh6 68.h5 Kf6 69.Bg6 Kg7 70.Kg5 Ng8 71.Bf5 Ne7 72.Be6 Nc6

73.h6+ Kh7 74.Bf5+ Kh8 75.Kf6 Nd8 76.Bg6 Nc6 77.Be4 Nd4 78.Ke5 Ne2 79.g4 Ng3 80.g5 Ne2

81.g6 Ng3 1–0

Meiboom played a nice game against November who was having a bad run of form. November is a strong player, so something just went wrong in this event. I am sure he will be pushing his club Kraaifontein to win their next division in 2020!

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What did Meiboom play here?

He essayed Bb6! enjoy the game.

(3) Meiboom,G (1720) – November,E (1618) [A00]

2019 South African Closed Chess Champion Curro Durbanville, Durbanville (7.3), 13.12.2019

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nxd4 Qh4 5.Nc3 Bb4 6.Be2 Qxe4 7.Ndb5 Bxc3+ 8.bxc3 Kd8 9.0–0 Nge7 10.Re1 Qd5 11.Bd3 a6 12.c4 Qc5 13.Be3 Qe5 14.Bb6 axb5 15.Rxe5 Nxe5 16.Bd4 Nxc4 17.a4 f6 18.axb5 Rxa1 19.Qxa1 Nd6 20.b6 c6 21.Bxf6 Re8 22.Bh4 g6 23.Qe5 1–0

The positions reached by the players in this section were rich in beauty and complications! How did Pick as white finish Gallied here?

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You guessed it! Nxd5 opens the position!!!

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The game ended with ed Nxf7 Kd7 Qf5+

(6) Pick,D (1807) – Galleid,S (1588) [A00]

2019 South African Closed Chess Champion Curro Durbanville, Durbanville (7.6), 13.12.2019

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.c3 Qb6 5.Nf3 Nc6 6.Be2 Bd7 7.0–0 a5 8.Re1 cxd4 9.cxd4 Bb4 10.Nc3 Nh6 11.a3 Be7 12.Bxh6 gxh6 13.Qd2 a4 14.Rab1 Bf8 15.Bd1 Qa5 16.Bxa4 Nxe5 17.Nxe5 Bxa4 18.Qf4 Qc7 19.Nxd5 exd5 20.Nxf7+ Kd7 21.Qf5+ 1–0

Ohlson had a good event and found a cute end to his game against Gallied! What did White play?

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Yes, it’s time for a queen sacrifice! Qf8 brought matters to a close!

Solomon continued to search for attacking opportunities and in the following position against Glenn Willenberg he found a neat ending. What did he play?

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You got it first time hey! Rh1+ wins the house as there is a fork on f2 and the Ra1 is standing unprotected.

How did November as White finish the game against Talmarkes?

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Of course, Rxg7 will allow a back-rank win with Rc8 mate!

Southey as White was having a tough battle against Lewis. How did he finish the game against Lewis in the following position?

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Indeed, the Black King must be dragged into the open with 35 Rxh6+ and led to a nice mate. Enjoy the game!

(6) Southey,A (1758) – Lewis,M (1966) [A00]

2019 South African Closed Chess Champion Curro Durbanville, Durbanville (8.6), 14.12.2019

1.e4 g6 2.Nc3 Bg7 3.Bc4 d6 4.f4 c6 5.Nf3 Nf6 6.Bb3 b5 7.a3 Qb6 8.Qe2 Bg4 9.d4 e6 10.Be3 d5 11.exd5 Nxd5 12.Nxd5 cxd5 13.c3 0–0 14.0–0 Nc6 15.h3 Bxf3 16.Rxf3 Na5 17.Bc2 Nc4 18.Bd3 Rac8 19.Raf1 a5 20.Kh1 b4 21.axb4 axb4 22.Bg1 Rc7 23.g4 bxc3 24.bxc3 Nd6 25.f5 exf5 26.gxf5 Re8 27.Qg2 Rxc3 28.fxg6 hxg6 29.Bh2 Re7 30.Qg5 Rd7 31.Qxd5 Qxd4 32.Qa8+ Kh7 33.Rf4 Qxd3 34.Rh4+ Bh6 35.Rxh6+ Kxh6 36.Qh8+ Kg5 37.Qf6+ Kh5 38.Qh8+ Kg5 39.Bf4+ Kf5 40.Qe5# 1–0

In the following unusual position Southey also found his King on h6. What did Meiboom as White play to end the game decisively

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Yes! you are right. Ra7! Is the winning move. If the queen moves, then Qh4 is mate!

In the next position CM Maxwell Solomon is playing the Bellville board one Andre Schutte who was making his SA Closed debut. How did Solomon manoeuvre to get his pieces ready for an attack.

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The first move is obvious

Rc1+ forces the king off the back rank. White responded with Kg2 and the move that Solomon now played was the switchback Qe8 entering the game from the e file! Enjoy the game.

(4) Schutte,A (1859) – Solomon,M (1999) [A00]

2019 South African Closed Chess Champion Curro Durbanville, Durbanville (10.4), 16.12.2019

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.a4 e5 7.Nb3 Be7 8.Be2 0–0 9.0–0 Be6 10.Be3 Nbd7 11.f3 Qc7 12.Rc1 Rfc8 13.Qd2 Nb6 14.a5 Nc4 15.Bxc4 Bxc4 16.Bb6 Qc6 17.Rfd1 h6 18.Nd5 Nxd5 19.exd5 Qb5 20.Ra1 Bxb3 21.cxb3 Qxb3 22.Ra3 Qb5 23.Rc3 Bg5 24.Qc2 Qd7

25.Rdd3 Qf5 26.g4 Qd7 27.Rc7 Rxc7 28.Qxc7 Qb5 29.Qc3 Re8 30.Qb3 e4 31.fxe4 Rxe4 32.h3 Rb4 33.Qc2 Rc4 34.Qb3 Rc1+ 35.Kg2 Qe8 36.Be3 Qe4+ 37.Kg3 Bxe3 0–1

Regards

Dr Lyndon Bouah

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