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  A.J. Goldsby I - Nirio R. Basallos 

  Florida State Championships, 2000. 

This is a game that should have gotten posted a long time ago. Every game has a story, this one has two that are connected with it. (At least for me.)

I have a friend and a former Internet student. (He is in college now, he took lessons for almost four years from me while he was in High School.) He was at this tournament and asked me to annotate this game and then later, post it on my website. 

Fast-forward a couple of years. My student still asked me to annotate this game, I told him I wasn't interested at that point. He said he would even pay for the privilege, and he did. (His first money order got lost in the mail and he had to wait a long time to get a refund on it.) Anyway, the second money order came about the same time as my wife's diagnosis. The wheels really fell of the wagon at that point. (My Apologies! I first annotated this game in 2002 ... then I finished it in 2003.) 

Anyway, my student recently called me. He has plans to (try and) live in Pensacola for the Summer with a friend and also take lessons. He also reminded me that I owe him a chess game - and a web page. So without any further procrastination, here it is. 

  This is a text-based page with no diagrams, you will definitely need a chess set to study this game.   

A.J. Goldsby I (2233) - N. Basallos (2170) 
FL State Championships 
Orlando, FL, (USA);  03,09,2000.

[A.J. Goldsby I]

This is my game vs. Basallos from the Florida State Championship.
(Altamonte Springs; South FL, 2000.)

Up to this point, both players were having a fairly good tournament. 
(This game was played on one of the top boards in the fourth round 
 of this premier event.)  

A sharply played Dragon goes badly awry for Black.


 1.e4 c5;  2.Nf3 d6;  3.d4 cxd4;  4.Nxd4 Nf6;  5.Nc3 g6;  ('!?')  {D?}  
Without Nirio realizing it, I felt I was being challenged. 
(I used to play the Dragon in tournaments for close to thirty years.)  

I select the sharpest lines.  (The Yugoslav Attack.)  
 6.Be3 Bg7;  7.f3 Nc6;  8.Qd2 Bd7;  9.Bc4 Rc8;  10.Bb3 Ne5!?;    
One (newer) book considers this to be a little premature for Black. 

     [ Or   >/= 10...0-0;  11.0-0-0, "+/="  {Diagram?}   
        with a solid edge for White. 
        (This also transposes back into the main line of this variation.  
          ---> See any good book for more details on this system.)  ]  


Now that I can still castle K-side, the possibility of a sacrifice on c3 does not really concern me. Thus I decide to swap off the dark-square Bishops. (This constitutes an attempt to refute Black's play at a positional and even a strategic level.)  
 11.Bh6!?,  (Maybe - '!')  {Diagram?}     
The most ambitious ... it is fairly well-known that without Black's dark-squared Bishop, his attack is almost nil.  

     [ After the simple:  (>/=)  11.0-0-0,  {Diagram?}  
        we transpose back to the main line of this continuation.  ]   


 11...Bxh6;  12.Qxh6 Qa5!?;  13.Nde2! Nc4;  14.0-0-0 Qh5!?;     
 15.Qf4 Qe5;  16.Qh6 Qh5;  {Diagram?}      
I decide against simply repeating moves here  ... 
I feel White has a fairly decent advantage here.  


Black looks to be doing OK here, but its all a mirage. After the swap of the ladies ... and Black's best other piece, (the fianchettoed KB); all Black is left with is the slightly worse game. (less space)  

Now with some fairly simple and very straight-forward moves, White obtains a pretty nice edge.  
 17.Qxh5 Nxh5;  18.g4 Nf6;  19.h4 h6!?;  20.Nf4 b5!?;  {D?}       
This could be too risky, I considered the move of (20.) ...Ne5 to be the most critical move here for both sides. 

     [ Black should probably play:  >/=   20...Ne5[]21.g5 Nh7;  
        22.Rdf1, "+/="  {Diagram?}    
        When I considered White to be only a little better.  
        (Maybe - "~") ]  


Black began to use more and more time here ... but his overall position did not really improve.  
 21.g5! Ng8!?;  22.Nfd5 h5?!;  23.Rhe1! e6?!;  (Probably - '?')    
Black is working himself into a big hole here, this last move greatly weakens his d-Pawn.  

     [ Better was:  >/= 23...Na5;  {Diagram?}   
        but White still holds a fairly solid edge ('') in this position. ]   


 24.Bxc4! Rxc4!?;   {Diagram?}     
This looks bad ... but it may already bee too late to search for improvements.  

     [ Or  24...bxc4;  25.Ne3 Ke7;  26.Rd4,  wins the c-Pawn. ]     


 25.Ne3 Rc7;  {Diagram?}       
Black will lose a Pawn ... no matter what he plays here.  

     [ </= 25...Rc6?!; ('?')  26.Nxb5 Ke7;  27.Nd5+!, ("+/-")  ]   


 26.Rxd6 Ne7!?;  27.Red1 Nc8!?;  {Diagram?}     
Maybe ...b4 was a small improvement, but there is no saving Black's game at this point.  

 28.R6d2!?,  (hmmm)  {Diagram?}     
This wins, but the computer likes Nxb5 here. (I saw this move, but a
few of the lines get a little  'messy,' so I decided to avoid it.)  

     [  I could also play:  >/=  28.Nxb5!, "+/-" {Diagram?}  
         which wins in a big way, at least according to the computer.  ]  


 28...Ke7?;  (urgh)  {Diagram?}     
This loses quickly to a sneaky tactic, but there may not be any saving Black at this point.  (Black had to play something like ...a6; but even that would not have saved his game.) 

     [ Black could already be lost.   
        Viz: >/=  28...a6;  29.Ned5!! exd5[];  30.Nxd5 Rb7;  
        31.Nf6+ Ke7;  32.Rxd7+ Rxd7;  33.Rxd7+ Ke6;    
        34.f4,  ("+/-")   {Diagram?}  White is up two whole Pawns ...  
        and Black's King is in a very sorry state. ]    


 29.Ncd5+!,  +/-   (ouch)  {Diagram?}     
A tad shocking ... but no big deal, at least once you work it out.  

A nice defeat of a strong player. Black never had any real play or any solid threats for the whole game.  

     [ After the very simple moves:  29.Ncd5+! exd5;  30.Nxd5+ Kd8;   
       31.Nxc7 Kxc7;  32.Rxd7+ Kb8;  33.Rxf7,  ("+/-")  {Diagram?}   
        ... it becomes obvious why Black chose to throw in the towel 
       after my strong 29th move.  ]  



 Copyright (c) A.J. Goldsby I, 2003. 



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