- REBEL vs GM Rohde Analysis -

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by GM Michael Rohde

I do not think that 26 Bg2 would have been that great a defense, and I agree that Rebel had a promising situation in the early middlegame. 24 Rxe8+ was not the cause of the problems; the whole idea with 21 Ra5 was reasonable but just did not work out.

After 11 Ne1, 11 ... e5 may have been a shade too ambitious, and possibly the correct reaction to the diagonal-opening but time-wasting 11 Ne1 was 11 ... d5.

17 e3 is given a question mark in the Rebel post-mortem. This is too harsh. It is true that 17 Qd3 is a sharper move but I thought I was holding equality; by the way, had I not played 16 ... Qb6, Black would definitely have been worse.

19 Qa1 was natural but committed White to its course of action, the way to back off would have been with 21 Rd3, but then Black would be better after 21 ... e4.

26 Bg2 did not seem like a good enough defence to me because of 26 ... Qd2! 27 Qf1 Re8 and Black will win the queen for rook and bishop although it is possible that White can survive in this endgame.

27 ... Re8 was a good move, not using up the queen's power with 27 ... Qxd4+ as this can be picked up later and White has nothing better than 28 Kh1. Move 28 was critical, 28 ... Qc2?! may not have been best.

28 ... Qxd4 would not have been that strong because of 29 Rxb4! h6 (29 ... Qf2 30 Qg1) 30 Ra4! But probably the right idea on move 28 is 28 ... Bg4! forgetting the back-rank theme and moving to a direct attack; then 29 Rxb4 Bd1! wins; I saw 28 ... Bg4 but for some reason could not work out the forced win and I did not want to let the White king out of the box.

In time pressure my play was not that accurate (for example, 32 ... Qc2 [32 ... Qc3!] or 34 ... Qc3?! [34 ... b3!] but it seems that I was able to hold on to the winning formation; I have not yet reviewed this part of the game carefully.

At the end, 39 Qd1 of course loses, but I do not think there are any moves there, for example, 39 c6 Qd3.

[Event "Monthly GM Challenge"]
[Site "Internet (Rebel Home Page)"]
[Date "1999.05.22"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Rebel 10.5"]
[Black "GM M. Rohde"]
[Result "0-1"]
[WhiteElo "?"]
[BlackElo "?"]
[ECO "E00"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. g3 Bb4+ 4. Bd2 c5 5. Bxb4 cxb4 6. Bg2 O-O 7. Nf3
d6 8. O-O a5 9. a3 Na6 10. Nbd2 Re8 11. Ne1 e5 12. Nc2 bxa3 13. Rxa3 Rb8
14. Ne4 Nxe4 15. Bxe4 Bh3 16. Re1 Qb6 17. e3 f5 18. Bd5+ Kh8 19. Qa1 Nb4
20. Nxb4 axb4 21. Ra5 exd4 22. Rb5 Qd8 23. exd4 Ra8 24. Rxe8+ Qxe8 25.
Qc1 Qe2 26. f4 Qd3 27. Rxb7 Re8 28. Kh1 Qc2 29. Qe3 Qb1+ 30. Qg1 Qxb2 31.
Rb6 h6 32. Ra6 Qc2 33. c5 dxc5 34. dxc5 Qc3 35. Ra1 b3 36. Rc1 Qd3 37.
Rd1 Qe2 38. Rb1 b2 39. Qd1 Qxd1+ 40. Rxd1 Rd8 41. Rb1 0-1