G.Jones versus V. Jianu (Ennis 2011)

This game was the deciding one in the Ennis Open this year and it occurred in Round 5. It was quite an exciting battle with the advantage swinging one way and then the other. I have added notes partly based on Gawains comments in a post mortem in Brandons pub after the tourney and partly on my own patzeresque observations!

Gawain Jones GMVlad Jianu GM Ennis Open 2011 (notes by Quinn)
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 g6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Bg7 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.Be3 d6 7.Qd2 Nf6 8.f3 0-0 9. Bc4 Bd7 So from an Accelerated Dragon move order we have transposed into a mainline dragon. 10.h4!?

Played to avoid the Chinese Dragon. I guess Gawain didn’t feel like playing ‘against himself’. 10 0-0-0 is more common but then Black can play 10…Rb8 and we have a Chinese Dragon where black seems to be doing ok of late If you want to learn more about this variation of the Dragon look at some of Gawains games with the black bits in this line. One that particularly springs to my mind is an instructive game against Rawle Allicock from the Limerick Open some years ago which featured in an article by Gerry Graham in the BCM, though Gawain has tons of others aswell.10…Qc7 now if Black were to play Rb8 intending the Chinese Dragon white will simply go for the caveman hack up the kingside with h5,Bh6 etc. and because whites king is still in the centre black has no target on the Queen side. 11.Bb3 Na5 12.0-0-0 Nc4 13.Bxc4 Qxc4 14.h5 b5!?

A pawn sacrifice

an interesting pawn sacrifice. Objectively black may not get enough compensation but its certainly a practical choice at such a relatively fast time control. 15.b3 Qc7 16.Ncxb5 Qb7 17.Nc3 Rfc8 18.hxg6 fxg6 19.Bh6 Bh8 20.Bg5 Rf8 In my report on this round I mentioned Gawain ‘frittering away’ his opening advantage however thats not quite accurate. It might be more correct to say that rather than trying to consolidate his extra pawn advantage Gawain instead changes tack around here and switches to his normal mode…sacrificial attack… 21.Bxf6 Rxf6 22.Nd5 Rf7 I remember looking at the game around this point and fancifully, or so I thought, wondering whether Rxh7 might be a possibility, little realising that a sledgehammer blow was on the way. 23.Qg5 Re8 24.f4 no turning back now!24…e6 25.f5 exf5 26. Rxh7!!

Jones - Jianu 26 Rxh7

and here it is. Unfortunately white doesn’t follow up correctly otherwise he could have expected some coins to shower the board! 26…Kxh7 27.Rh1+?Easy to say with hindsight and the benefit of computer analysis but this natural looking move, which was played quickly, is a mistake 27. exf5 wins after 27…Kg8 28.Qxg6+ Bg7 29.Ne6. 27…Kg8 28.Qxg6+ Bg7 29.Nf4 Rf6 30.Qh7+ Kf8 31.Nh5 Bc8! 32.Nxf6 Bxf6 33.Nxf5 Qxh7 34.Rxh7 Bxf5 35.exf5 Bc3 36.Rh1 Re2 37.Rg1 Kf7 38.g4 Kf6

Black should be winning here

(this was the position I mentioned in my report. It seems black should be winning here but white still has some tricks.)39.a3 Bd4?(during the game I remember thinking that surely Kg5 with the simple plan of gobbling whites kside pawns without wasting any more time would be winning here, black shows a reluctance to swap rooks perhaps fearful of allowing white pawn swaps but realistically whites king looks too passive here to hold this.)40.Kd1 Re4 41.Re1 Ke5?! 42.Re2 Be3?!(not sure about this, white is now able to activate his king which had been imprisoned heretofore and the win is getting harder) 43.c3 Bg5 44.Rg2 d5 45.Kc2 Re3 46.Rd2 Re4 47.Rg2 Re3 48.Rd2 Bf6 49.Rd3 Re2+ 50.Rd2 Re3 51.Rd3 Re2+ 52.Rd2 Re4(Black doesn’t want a draw here, he is repeating moves to gain time on the clock)53.Rg2 Bg7 54.Kd3 Kf4 55.Rf2+ Kd3 56.Rf1 Kg2 57.Rd1 Kf2 58.Rd2+ Kf3 59.Kc2 Re5 60.c4 dxc4 61.bxc4 Re7? 62.g5

Things have gone wrong for Black

(its clear that something has gone drastically wrong for black since the last diagram)62…Be5 63.f6 Rc7 64.Kb3 Ke4 65.Rf2 Rf7 66.c5 Bd4 66. g6! I actually really like this move even though 67.Re2+ Kd5 68.Re7 was probably even better for white than the game)67…Bxf2 68.g7 Bxc5 69.g8(Q) Rxf6(Blacks problem in this ending is his exposed king, he has to try and make a fortress while avoiding dropping something to a queen fork)70.Kc4 Be3 71.Qd5+ Kf4 72.Kd3 Bb6 73.a4 Rf5 74.Qe4+ Kg5 75.Qe7+ Kg6 76.Qe6+ Kg5 77.Ke4 Rf6 78.Qe5+ Kg6 79.a5 Bf2 80.Qe8+ Kg7 81.Qd7+ Rf7 82.Qg4+ Kf8 83.Kd5 Be1 84.Qc8+ Kg7 85.Qg4+ Kf8 86.a6(not a move white really wants to play but he has no choice)86… Bf2 87.Qg5 Bb6 88.Ke6 Rf2 89.Qh5 Kg7 90.Ke7 Rg2??(Just on the cusp of achieving his aim, black falters. It looks a bit counterintutive to move further towards the opposite corner but 90…Kg8 holds as the rook can swing between f7/f8 and f2 and prevent whites king crossing the f file and its a draw)

After 90..Kg8 it looks like a draw

91.Qe5+ Kh6 92.Qh8+ 1-0 as the rook drops. Well done to both players for producing such an entertaining game. Vlad can be commended for the sporting way he took this loss, it musnt have been an easy one to lose especially given the position he had earlier in the game but he conducted himself impeccably at all times. Gawain himself even commented on this afterwards. By the way you can playthrough this game annotated by Gawain over at Gawains own website.


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