(1) Hague,Ben (2462) - Le Roy,Brice (2290) [B43]
NZ Open Devonport (6), 06.01.2015



1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6 5.Nc3 Qc7 6.Be3?!
This is a mistake, but it probably won me the game. I just got my move orders confused and played the move I'd intended to play if he'd played 4...Nc6 5.Nc3 Qc7 rather than the move I'd intended to play after 4...a6 5.Nc3 Qc7, which was Bd3. However the big plus point was that he now tried to refute it, rather than just get a comfortable position, and overstepped the boundaries of acceptable risk.

6...Nf6 7.Bd3 Bb4 8.0-0 Bxc3 9.bxc3 d6 10.Qf3 Nbd7 11.Qg3
Diagram This is probably the first critical moment. The posiition is roughly equal, with the pawn weaknesses on the queenside being balanced by my greater activity and bishop pair. Black wasn't satisified with this and went for the complications with

11...h5!?
[11...0-0 12.c4 Ne5 13.Rad1 Nh5 14.Qh4 Nf6 maintains the balance]

12.Rad1
[12.Qxg7 Rg8 13.Qh6 e5 and if I save the knight there's a perpetual attack on the queen via Rg6-g8]

12...h4?!
[12...0-0 It's still possible to castle and avoid the worst of the trouble, but it does make it hard to see the point of h5 and White does have a definite edge after 13.Bg5 b6 14.f3 Bb7 15.c4 as b6 and d6 look weaker then the c-pawns, e.g. 15...Rfc8 16.Rb1 Ne8 17.Rb2 Ne5 18.Rfb1 Nxc4 19.Rb4 Ne5 20.Rxb6 +=]

13.Qxg7 Rh7 14.Qg5
Diagram

14...h3?!
It was only now that he realised that the bail-out attempt with [14...Rh5 intending the perpetual on the queen doesn't work because of 15.Nxe6 fxe6 16.Qg6+ Kd8 17.Be2 (17.Bg5 was my original plan as I thought that 17...Rxg5 18.Qxg5 h3 19.e5 should be good for me, but the computer says that it's only unclear after 19...Qc5 20.Rfe1 dxe5 21.Bf5 exf5 22.Qxf6+ Kc7 23.Qg7 ~) 17...Re5 (17...Rh8 18.Bg5 Rf8 19.e5 now this works as the d-file is open) 18.Bd4 Qa5 19.f4 +- this was probably his best though, as at least I have chances to go wrong.]

15.e5 hxg2?!
Oddly enough, playing four consecutive moves with the h-pawn in a sharp middlegame doesn't turn out very well. It's difficult to give good advice by this point though, as [15...dxe5 loses, e.g. 16.Nxe6 fxe6 17.Bxh7 Nxh7 18.Qg6+ Kd8 19.Qg8+ Nhf8 20.Qxf8# ]

16.Rfe1 Nxe5 17.Bxh7 Nxh7 18.Qg8+ Nf8 19.Bh6 Neg6 20.Nf5
Diagram The d-pawn is falling, after which the king won't be long behind it. 1-0