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White: GM Joel Benjamin

Black: Peter Bereolos

Chicago Open, 1999

Round 3 Board 13

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.d3 d6 6.c3 g6 7.d4 b5 8.Bc2 Bg7 9.h3 0-0 10.0-0 Bb7 11.Re1 Re8 12.d5 Nb8

12...Ne7 may be a little better. Black can think about sacrifices on d5 if white tries b3 and c4. Black should not have any problems here. This is a fairly normal Ruy Lopez position, but Black has gained some tempi. White took 2 moves to play d4, but gained one back by playing Ba4-c2 instead of stopping off at b3. However, Black played Bg7 in one move instead of the normal 3 via Be7-f8-g7.

13.a4 c6 14.dxc6 Nxc6 15.Bg5 bxa4

I decided to accept the weakness on a6 with potential counterplay along the b- and c- files rather than the static weakness on b5.

16.Na3 Qc7 17.Bxa4 h6 18.Bxf6 Bxf6 19.Nc4 Red8 20.Ne3 Ne7 21.Bb3 Rab8

[21... Bxe4 22.Ng4 Bxf3 23.Qxf3]

22.Ra3 Bg7 23.Qd3 Qc5 24.Rd1 Bc6 25.Nd2 Bb5 26.Qb1 h5 27.Qa2 Rf8 28.Nd5 Nc8 29.Bc2 Bc6 30.Rxa6 Bxd5 31.exd5 Qb5 32.Nc4 Rd8 33.Rc6 Ne7

33...f5 with the idea of e4 is better.

34.Ba4 Qb7 35.Rxd6 Rxd6 36.Nxd6 Qxb2 37.Qxb2 Rxb2 38.Nc4 Rb8 39.d6 Nf5 40.d7 Rd8 41.Na5 1:0