Welcome to my English Opening (ECO A11) game with Rob Clark page!

On this page I have posted one my chess games in which I played the White side of the English Opening.

The game includes analysis and diagrams. I played Rob once before, with Black that time. It was an unrated game and I won it playing the Benko Gambit Declined. Rob dropped his Queen. At his request I removed that game from this site and my blog. In this game we seem to be evenly matched in spite of the 200 point rating difference. Remember, I used to be a 1700 rated player too. Being out of practice in OTB play didn’t hurt me much in this tournament, but my analysis will show what we both missed in this game.

[Event “Tampa Bay Spring Open”]
[Site “Tampa, Florida”]
[Date “2011.04.30”]
[Round “2”]
[White “Mike Serovey”]
[Black “Rob Clark”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]

  1. c4 c6 2. g3 d5 3. b3 e5 4. Bg2 Nf6 5. Bb2 Bd6 6. cxd5 cxd5 7. d3 O-O 8. Nf3 Nc6 9. O-O Re8 10. Nbd2 Be6 11. h3 Qd7 12. Kh2 Rad8 13. Ng5 Bf5 14. e4 dxe4 15. dxe4 Bg6 16. Nc4 Bb8 17. Qxd7 Rxd7 18. Rad1 Red8 19. Rxd7 Rxd7 20. Nf3 Bxe4 21. Nfxe5 Nxe5 22. Nxe5 Rd2 23. Nc4 Re2 24. Bxf6 Bxg2 25. Kxg2 gxf6 26. Ra1 Be5 27. Nxe5 fxe5 28. Kf3 Rc2 29. Ke3 Kg7 30. h4 Kf6 31. g4 Ke6 32. f3 f6 33. h5 h6 34. Kd3 Rf2 35. Ke3 Rc2 36. Kd3 Rf2 37. Ke3 {Draw agreed} 1/2-1/2

Tampa Bay Spring Open
Perkin’s Restaurant, Tampa
Game Played: 30 April 2011
White: Mike Serovey (1500) Black: Rob Clark (1746)

 

1. c4 c6

English Opening after 1... c6.

English Opening after 1… c6.

Colin Weyrauch used to do this to me fifteen to twenty years ago and I had problems with it then. My current approach may not be the best, but it worked in this game. The choices for White in my database include: 2. g3; 2. Nf3; 2. Nc3; 2. d3; 2. d4; 2. b3; 2. b4; 2. e3; 2. Qa4; 2. f4; and 2. e4. I have yet to analyze or back solve these variations, so I don’t know yet which ones are best for White.

2. g3 d5

English Opening after 2... d5.

English Opening after 2… d5.

In my database White wins with both 3. d4 and 3. Na3 while both 3. cxd5 and 3. Nf3 were unclear. Black wins with everything else. Here I decided to transpose into a Réti position.

3. b3

English Opening after 3. b3.

English Opening after 3. b3.

In my database Black wins with 3… Nf6 and 3… Bf5. Playing 3… e5 is unclear and 3… dxc4 loses.

3… e5 (Both 4. Bb2 and 4. Bg2 are unclear here.) 4. Bg2 (4… Be6 is unclear.) Nf6 5. Bb2

English Opening after 5. Bb2.

English Opening after 5. Bb2.

In my database 5. d3 wins and the rest lose.

5… Bd6

English Opening after 5... Bd6.

English Opening after 5… Bd6.

This move lead to a draw. In my database both 5… Bc5 and 5… Nbd7 win for Black while 5… d4 loses. White gets draws with both 6. d3 and 6. Nf3 while my move gives Black a slight advantage.

6. cxd5 cxd5

English Opening after 6... cxd5.

English Opening after 6… cxd5.

Playing 7. Nc3 loses to 7… Be7 8. Nf3 d4 9. Na4 Nc6 10. Rc1 e4 11. Ng5 Qd5 12. Nxe4 Nxe4 13. d3 Qa5+ 14. Kf1 Nd2+ and 8. d4 lost to 8… exd4 9. Qxd4 Nc6 10. Qd1 Bf5 11. g4 Bxg4 12. Nxd5 Nxd5 13. Qxd5 Nb4 14. Qxd8+ Rxd8 15. Kf1 O-O.

7. d3 O-O 8. Nf3 Nc6 9. O-O

English Opening after 9. O-O.

English Opening after 9. O-O.

Black is even after 9… h6 10. Nbd2 b5.

Re8 10. Nbd2 Be6 11. h3 Qd7

English Opening after 11... Qd7.

English Opening after 11… Qd7.

Analysis shows that Black has a slight advantage after 12. Ng5.

12. Kh2 Rad8 13. Ng5 Bf5 14. e4 dxe4 15. dxe4 Bg6 16. Nc4

English Opening after 16. Nc4.

English Opening after 16. Nc4.

At this point in the game I thought that I was going to win a Black pawn but then realized that after h6 the Knight has to go back to f3 and Black regains his pawn.

Bb8 17. Qxd7 Rxd7 18. Rad1

English Opening after 18. Rad1.

English Opening after 18. Rad1.

White’s last move may be a mistake. Black missed a win here after 18… Rxd1 19. Rxd1 a6 20. Nf3 Bxe4 21. Nfxe5? Bxg2 22. Kxg2 Nxe5 23. Nd6 Bxd6 24. Rxd6 Ned7. Stockfish says that better for White is 21. Rd2
Bf5 22. Rd1 Bg6 when Black has less of an advantage.

Red8 19. Rxd7 Rxd7 20. Nf3 Bxe4 21. Nfxe5

English Opening after 21. Nfxe5.

English Opening after 21. Nfxe5.

Analysis shows that 21… Bxe5 leads to equality after 22. Nxe5 Nxe5 23. Bxe5 Bxg2 24. Kxg2 Nd5 25. Rc1 f6 26. Bb2 Nb4 27. a3 Nd3 28. Rc8+ Kf7 29. Bc3.

Nxe5 22. Nxe5

English Opening after 22. Nxe5.

English Opening after 22. Nxe5.

Stockfish says that Black is even here after playing 22… Bxe5 23. Bxe5 Bxg2 24. Kxg2 Nd5 25. Rc1 f6 26. Bb2 Nb4 27. a3 Nd3 28. Rc8+ Kf7 29. Bc3  (Look familiar?).

Rd2 23. Nc4 Re2 24. Bxf6

English Opening after 24. Bxf6.

English Opening after 24. Bxf6.

White gets a clear advantage after 24… gxf6 25. Bxe4 Rxe4 26. Rd1 Kf8 27. Kg2 Ke7 28. Kf3.

Bxg2 25. Kxg2 gxf6

English Opening after 25... gxf6.

English Opening after 25… gxf6.

Here is the win that I missed. Better was 26. Rd1. Instead of guarding my a pawn it was better for me to make a few threats of my own with 26.Rd1. Now, if 26… Kg7 27. Rd8 Be5 28. a4 a6 29. Kf3 Ra2 30. g4 h5 (I’m not sure why Stockfish recommended this move for Black.) 31. gxh5 Bc3 32. Ne3 Be1 33. Nd1 Ra3 34. Rd3 b5 35. axb5 axb5 36. Ke2 Ba5 37. f4 Kh6 38. Kf3 Kxh5 39. Rd5+ Kg6 40. Rxb5 Be1 41. Ne3 Ra2 42. Rb6 Rf2+ 43. Kg4 Re2 44. Nd5 Rg2+ 45. Kf3 Rf2+ 46. Ke3 and Black runs out of checks that work. A pawn is going to fall. Keep in mind that this is computer analysis of what is supposed to be best play on both sides. The actual game probably would have gone much differently!

26. Ra1? Be5 27. Nxe5 fxe5 28. Kf3 Rc2 29. Ke3 Kg7 30. h4 Kf6 31. g4

English Opening after 31. g4.

English Opening after 31. g4.

Because Rob is rated more than 200 points above me and I don’t see much in this position I am now playing for a draw. My last move was mostly to keep the Black King from penetrating my kingside position.

Ke6 32. f3 f6 33. h5 h6 34. Kd3 Rf2 35. Ke3 Rc2 36. Kd3 Rf2 37. Ke3 1/2-1/2

English Opening after 37. Ke3 (Final position).

English Opening after 37. Ke3 (Final position).

With the Black Rook on c2 I can never play a4 because Rc3+ wins the pawn on b3. Neither side can make any progress so we agreed to a draw.

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