Bermingham vs. Burns, Senior Championship 2011

Here’s a recent game between Tony Bermingham and John Burns from the Rathmines Senior Chess Championships (which BTW, I believe Leon won on tie-break from John and Abul. Congratulations Leon! I have not been sent the results, but they’ll be put up as soon as I have them.)

Annotated jointly (this is a first for our site) by John and Tony B. Tony B’s comments in italics, John’s in normal text.

Bermingham, T. (1775) v. Burns, J. (1740) Replay Game Here
Rathmines Chess Championship, Seniors, 2011, Round 5.

1.e4 e6 2.d3 d5 3.Nd2 Nf6 4.Ngf3

The King’s Indian Attack. White avoids mainline French, but Black has a clearcut game with an obvious plan

4…c5 5.g3 Nc6 6.Bg2 Be7 7.0-0 b6 8.Re1 Bb7 I remembered Nigel Davies commenting in his DVD on the KIA ‘if you’re thinking of playing e5 now then you haven’t been listening at all’ – the point being that Black can undermine the e5 pawn with g5-g4; castle long and get a great attack (Tony)

9.c3 Qc7 10.a3 c3 and a3 are the recommended waiting moves to see where Black castles and if he goes long then b4 is ready to go with a fine queenside attack 10…0-0-0 11.Qc2  [11.e5 this really should be played now 11…Nd7 12.d4 c4 13.b3 and White prises open the queenside] apart from e5, other recommended moves are Qe2 and b4 immediately – I hummed and hawed about these for about 15mins and played the inferior Qc2 – far from helping my queenside attack it it inhibits it in that after b4 I can’t retake with the a pawn as I would like 11…h6 12.Qb1?!

White has spent two moves putting his queen on an inferior square. Note how it stays here for the rest of the game, and blocks in the QR to boot [12.b4 cxb4 13.cxb4] realising how bad Qc2 was I took to mental self-flagellation – the b4 line is fine but the action then switches to the centre whereas I thought I had better prospect with attack on opposite wings – the logical follow up was to admit my mistake and play Qa4 but I wasn’t prepared to give John the psychological advantage that goes with that move 12…g5 13.Nf1

White has to move the Nd2 in order to give the Nf3 a flight square. Black is at least two tempii up on normal lines 13…g4 14.N3d2 [14.Bf4!? e5 15.Nxe5 Nxe5 16.d4] I hated my position here with Black’s attack way ahead of mine – if only I had got a grip I would have seen that after Bf4 I’m fine

14…h5 15.b4 h4 16.Nb3 hxg3 [16…dxe4 is better, according to Fritz 17.dxe4 c4 18.b5 Ne5 19.Nd4 Nd3 20.Re2 hxg3 21.hxg3 Bc5] 17.fxg3 [17.hxg3 I would prefer on positional grounds. The e-pawn doesn’t become isolated, and the g1-a7 diagonal is not as compromised] 17…dxe4 18.dxe4 Ne5 Now White is paying the price of leaving out e4-e5. His e4 pawn is weak. Worse, Black has an outpost for his N on e5, which looks at the important f3 and d3 squares

 19.Bf4 Nfd7 20.Ne3 Qc6 21.Nd4! a visually arresting move, which also proves to be absolutely sound 21…Qa4 Supposedly there is no luck in chess, but how else to describe the fact that Black has one, and one only, square for his queen [21…cxd4 22.cxd4 Nf3+ 23.Bxf3 gxf3 24.Rc1 Nc5 25.dxc5 bxc5 26.Nf1 Qxe4 27.Qxe4 Bxe4 28.Be3=] Having got out of despair for a moment I found the Nd4 idea but didn’t follow it up – according to Fritz the line is 22. Qd1 Qxd1 23. Rxd1 cxd4 24. cxd4 Nf3+ 25. Bxf3 gxf3 26. Rc1+ Nc5 – unfortunately, I didn’t see that 22.Rc1 Bd6 [22…Ng6! 23.bxc5 e5 24.Bf1 Nxc5 25.Bb5 Bxe4 26.Qb2 Rxd4 27.cxd4 Qxd4 28.Ba6+ is the sort of variation Fritz points out later, and which mere mortals will never calculate at the board]

23.Bf1? My last chance squandered – 23 Qc2 and I’m still in the game – I never quite recovered mentally from 11.Qc2 which is unforgiveable – my only other hope was that John make a couple of moves to encourage me out of my despair – unfortunately he didn’t oblige, he just mercilessly punished me – that’s the way to do it, John! – White shouldn’t give up control of f3, and the idea of trapping the queen on a4 is too ambitious 23…Nf3+ 24.Nxf3 Bxf4 25.gxf4 gxf3 Suddenly White’s position is terminal. All his well placed pieces have been liquidated, and his king has insufficient protection against two rampaging Rooks. It’s interesting that Black’s “lucky” queen remains a spectator 26.h3 a reasonable try 26…Nf6 27.e5 [27.Qc2 Qc6 28.Rd1 Nxe4 29.Rxd8+ Rxd8 30.Rd1 Rg8+ 31.Kh2 Qc7 is curtains] 27…Rhg8+ 28.Kf2 [28.Bg2 Nd5 29.Ng4 fxg2 30.Qe4 Nf6 31.Qe3 Nxg4 is also overwhelming] 28…Ne4+

29.Ke1 [29.Kxf3 Rg3+ 30.Ke2 Rd2+ 31.Ke1 Rxe3+ 32.Be2 Rdxe2+ 33.Kf1 Nd2+ 34.Kg1 Rg3#] 29…f2+ 30.Ke2 Rd2+ White resigns. It’s mate next move 0-1

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1 Response to Bermingham vs. Burns, Senior Championship 2011

  1. Darren says:

    Good game lads, well annotated too!

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