Lessons from a grandmaster

The next game is the only tournament game I’ve ever played against a grandmaster. My opponent was Georgian GM Mikheil Kekelidze. Not surprisingly, he outplayed me in every phase of the game. Obviously, I’ve still got a lot of work to do!

[Event "Marchand Open"]
[Site "Rochester, NY"]
[Date "2012.05.30"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Mikheil Kekelidze"]
[Black "Aaron Demby Jones"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteELO "2563"]
[BlackELO "2106"]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 c5
{Not my usual repertoire, but I hadn't been getting good results with
the Queen's Indian Defense lately.}
4.d5 exd5 5.cxd5 d6 6.h3
{White plays to increase the value of his space advantage by avoiding
trades. (His move prevents a future Bc8-g4.)}
6...g6 7.e4 Bg7
( 7...Nxe4 $4 8.Qa4+ )
8.Bd3 O-O 9.O-O Re8
{Pressuring the e-pawn.}
10.Nc3
{White defends. Now Black has to figure out how to develop his
remaining minor pieces. It's always a struggle in the Modern Benoni.}
10...a6
{The start of the typical queenside expansion plan.}
11.a4
{The usual reply. White has no hurry in this position and first plays
to restrict Black's possibilities before embarking on his own plans.}
11...Nbd7
{A bit clumsy, but there was no clear alternative.}
12.Bf4
{White puts his finger on Black's awkward coordination. The d6-pawn
needs defense.}
12...Qc7
{An undesirable move from a future tactical point of view. (See
White's 17th move.)}
13.Re1 Nh5
{Dangerous, since if White lands g2-g4 at the right moment, Black will
lose a lot of time.}
( 13...Rb8 )
( 13...b6 )
14.Bh2 Ne5
( 14...Bh6 {was an interesting alternative.} )
15.Be2
{Retaining the bishop pair and threatening Nf3xe5, discovering an
attack on the knight on h5.}
15...Nxf3+ 16.Bxf3 Nf6
{Forced. Now Black has traded off a pair of knights but at the cost of
time.}
17.e5 $1
{Very energetic play. White takes advantage of Black's unfortunate
queen placement.}
17...dxe5 18.d6
{The point.}
18...Qb6 19.Bxe5 Be6 $2
( 19...Bd7 {was necessary to keep the rook eyeing the bishop on e5.} )
20.a5 $1 Qb4
( 20...Qxb2 $2 21.Nd5 {and White wins. Had Black played 19. ... Bd7,
this resource would not be available to White.} )
21.Ra4 Bb3
{The point of 19. ... Be6. But this is based on faulty calculation.}
22.Rxb4
{Starting a favorable forcing sequence.}
22...Bxd1 23.Rxb7 Bxf3 24.gxf3 Nh5
{I had foreseen this sequence on move 19 and thought that I was
winning material here. However...}
25.Re7
{... I overlooked this defense in my calculations. White has won a
clean pawn.}
25...Red8 26.Ne4 Bxe5 27.Rxe5 f5
{Trying to eliminate the dangerous d-pawn.}
28.Nxc5 Rxd6 29.Re6 Rxe6 $2
{Overly cooperative.}
( 29...Rd2 30.Rxa6 Rxa6 31.Nxa6 Rxb2 {and Black has some chances to
draw.} )
30.Rxe6 Nf4
{Black no longer has any meaningful counterplay. White is clearly
winning now.}
31.Rxa6 Rd8 32.Ne6 Rd1+ 33.Kh2 Nd3
{Desperately hoping for some sort of mating net.}
34.Rd6 $1
{A nice tactical solution. White forces trades.}
34...Re1 35.Rd8+ Kf7 36.Ng5+ Kf6 37.Nxh7+ Kg7 38.Rxd3 Kxh7 39.a6
{And I resigned. White's pawn promotes without much resistance.}
( 39.a6 Ra1
( 39...Re7 40.Ra3 Ra7 41.b4 Kg7 42.b5 Kf7 43.b6 )
40.Ra3 )
1-0



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