(8) Anderson,Renard (2250) - Weihmiller,Bill (1800) [B86]
Colorado Springs Open (5), 09.03.2008

I had the pleasure of watching this game live and was glued to it. With a 400+ rating advantage, I expected Renard to bulldoze right over Bill. But if you know Bill, you're not suprised that he didn't give up easily. It was like watching two maniacs fight calmly. This is one of the most interesting games I've seen lately.

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bc4 e6 7.Bb3 Be7 8.g4 Nc6 9.g5 Nxd4 10.Qxd4 Nh5 11.Rg1 0-0 12.Be3 Bd7 13.0-0-0 b5 14.e5 d5 15.Qh4
White's space advantage and piece mobility demonstrate a clear advantage despite Black's rock solid position. Here Renard plays agressively - a good strategy against a lower-rated player. But Ne4 was the best move.

15...g6 16.Bxd5
The first serious mistake of the game. Here Black can simply take and with correct play, keep the material. Bill, like most players would, assumed the sac was sound and disregarded taking the piece.

16...Rc8 17.Bb3
17.Bb7 would have been very annoying for Black.

17...Qc7 18.Ne4 Rfd8 19.Nf6+ Nxf6 20.gxf6
Watching, I thought the game would be over soon with the devestating pawn on f6, but Black didn't even consider giving up.

20...Bf8 21.Bh6 Bc5
I remember Renard thinking for a long time on this one and eventually coming to what I thought was an obvious conclusion. The rook to d3 and then h3 seemed clear. We all missed that Rxg6+ is mate in 7.

[22.Rxg6+ fxg6 23.f7+ Kxf7 24.Qf6+ Ke8 25.Qh8+ Ke7 26.Qg7+ Ke8 27.Qg8+ Bf8 28.Qxf8# ]

22...Qxe5 23.Rh3
Amazingly, this is a huge mistake. White needs to play either Bf4 or Rgd1 to keep the advantage. Now Ba3! gives Black a serious counter attack that will likely result in an even position.

?? This drops the queen after 24. Bf4 Bxb2+ 25. Kb1 Qxf6 26. Qxh7+ Kf8 27. Bd6+. Other moves for White win as well.

? Rybka actually gives Black a small advantage here after h5.


25.Qg5 Qxg5+ 26.Rxg5
This was the most interesting position of the game for me. I'm embarassed to say that I couldn't see a way for Black to stop the oncoming rook sac (Rgxh5). Black saw it and played it.


27.Rxc5 Bxc5 28.Rd3
Black is winning here, but the way through the jungle is not at all clear.

? Simply taking the f-pawn is best and gives Black a solid advantage.

29.Bxf8 Kxf8 30.a4 Ke8 31.axb5 Bxb5
At the time, I thought this was a serious strategic endgame mistake giving White a passed c-pawn, but Rybka disagrees and says taking with the bishop is about as good as with the a-pawn.

32.Rxd8+ Kxd8
The game is a dead draw here, but a master will find a way to win where none exists.

33.Kd2 Kd7 34.f4 Kd6 35.Ke3 Bc6 36.Kd4 a5
Creating a weak a-pawn when it was not a problem before.

37.c4 Bd7
? Black can play h4 or at least Kc7 and hang on a while longer. Understandably, Black worries about the bishop sac on e6, which is a serious problem.

! I could see the squeeze coming like a boa constrictor.

38...Kc7 39.Bc2 Be8 40.Be4
Again, h4 would have put up a fight.

40...a4 41.Kc3 Kd8 42.Kd4
Repeating, White must have changed strategies.

42...Kc7 43.Ke5 h4 44.Kd4 Kd8 45.c6
This advancement seals the end.

45...Kc7 46.Kc5
Black has nothing left.

46...e5 47.fxe5 g5 48.h3
A true Colorado duel. My compliments to both generals. 1-0