Killian’s Game Round 1

Killian played an interesting game yesterday and entered a speculative combination which wasn’t quite correct, but featured some beautiful moves.

The game went:

Delaney, Killian (2023) vs Lev, Ronen (2414)
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. c3 Nf6 5. d4 exd4 6. cxd4 Bb4+ 7. Bd2 Bxd2+
8. Nbxd2 d5 9. exd5 Nxd5 10. Qb3 Nce7
delaney-lev-opening.GIF
So far, a normal looking Guioco Piano. White has a isolated queen’s pawn which black is successfully blockading.

11. O-O O-O 12. Rfe1 c6 13. a4 Rb8 14. Ne5 Be6 15. Ndf3 Nf5 16. a5 Nd6 17. Bf1 Re8 18. a6 f6 19. Nd3 b6 20. Rac1 Rc8
delaney-lev-afterrc8.GIF
Now for the fireworks! Killian enters into a sacrificial combination that aims to take advantage of pins along the a2-g8 diagonal. But is it entirely correct?

21. Rxc6!? Rxc6 22. Rxe6!? Rxe6 23. Qxd5 Qe8 24. Nf4
delaney-lev-after-nf4.GIF
White wins back the exchange at least. But his back rank looks vulnerable.

…Nf7 25. Nxe6 Qxe6 26. Qb5 Rc1 27. d5 Nd6
delaney-lev-after-nd6.GIF
Killian is faced with some difficult choices. The d-pawn, his major asset, is now blocked again. Taking the black queen doesn’t work because the king is too near the pawn. He opted for the energetic: 28. Qxb6! Qe2! 29. Qd8+ Ne8 30. Nd2! A really handy move. Looking for the one tempo he needs…of course Qxd2?? leads to Qxe8 mates. 30…Re1 31. Qa5 Rd1 32. Qd8 Re1 33. Qa5 Kf7 Escaping the three fold repetition…

34. d6 Nxd6 35. Qc7+ Ke6 36. Qc3 Rd1 37. Qh3+ Ke7 0-1

delaney-lev-final-position.GIF
Agony for Killian as he has no good defence to d2 and no perpetual.

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