M. Goldberg v D. Elliott

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M. Goldberg
D. Elliott
Portsmouth Congress, 2009

This was my worst game of the tournament. Looking back it seems that even when I thought I was better it was an illusion. I was never better in this game and was lucky to escape with a draw

1. c4 e5 2. g3 Nf6 3. Bg2 Nc6 4. Nc3 g6 5. e4 Bg7 6. Nge2 O-O 7. O-O d6 8. d3 Bd7 9. f4 exf4?! Kutirov v Dinev 2005 continued 9... Qc8 10. Kh1 a6 11. Be3 Rb8 12. Qd2 b5 13. Rac1 bxc4 14. dxc4 Ng4 15. Bg1 exf4 16. gxf4 and White won in 33 moves 10. Nxf4 Ng4 11. Nce2 Nd4 12. h3 Nxe2+ 13. Nxe2 13. Qxe2 is better 13... Ne5 14. Be3 Qc8 15. Kh2 c5?! I had visions of a winning Q-side attack but I'm losing my way here 15... f5 is a better alternative 16. Qb3 fxe4 17. Bxe4 Bc6 18. Nf4 Kh8 when Black's position is solid enough 16. Qd2 Be6?? following a flawed plan that is almost my downfall 17. Rac1 Rb8 18. Nf4 b5 19. b3 bxc4 20. dxc4 I had spent much more time looking at 20. bxc4 which is obviously inferior, perhaps fixated by that isolated e pawn 20... Nc6 21. Nd5 f5 when Black is comforable 20... Rd8 21. Nd5 Nc6?? I should have played 21... Bxd5 but still couldn't see the error of my plan 22. Qxd5 Qe6 23. Qd2 Nc6 and Black lives to fight on 22. Nf6+ Perhaps fixated by the check White misses the vastly better 22. Bg5 Rd7 23. Nf6+ Bxf6 24. Bxf6 Qf8 when Black will struggle to find any play at all 22... Bxf6 23. Rxf6 Ne5 24. Rcf1 Qc7 25. Bh6 Nd7 26. Qg5 Ne5 27. Qh4 Qe7 28. Bg5 Qe8 29. Qf4 29. R6f4 looks to be a winner when attempts to save the Rook fail 29... Rd7 30. Qxh7+ Kxh7 31. Rh4+ Kg8 32. Bf6 and mate cannot be prevented, so Black must give up the Rook 29... Nd3 30. Qd2 Ne5 31. Bh6 Nd7 32. Qc3 Ne5 33. Qe3 Nd7 34. Qc3 Ne5 35. Qe3 A lucky escape as White still has a win if only he can find the plan ½-½