Game of the Day in Indiana: Jacobson Breaks Through to Win Barber

2016OPEN-0460 A win in the sixth and final round over closest rival Andrew Zheng propelled New Jersey’s Brandon Jacobson to clear first place in this weekends Barber tournament of K-8 Champions. The critical encounter was a maneuvering battle where Brandon was able to infiltrate the black position with his queen, creating too many threats for Andrew to handle.

[Site "Indianapolis, Indian"]
[Date "2016.08.02"]
[Round "6"]
[White "Jacobson, Brandon"]
[Black "Zheng, Andrew"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "E05"]
[WhiteElo "2333"]
[BlackElo "2300"]
[Annotator "Karagianis,Pete"]
[PlyCount "122"]
[EventDate "2016.??.??"]
[Source "MonRoi"]

1. Nf3 d5 2. c4 e6 3. g3 Nf6 4. Bg2 Be7 5. d4 O-O 6. O-O dxc4 7. Ne5 c6 8. Nxc4
b5 {Following Mateuta - Sebe-Vodislav, 2000. More popular is 8. ...Nbd7} 9. Ne5
Bb7 10. Nc3 Qb6 {An original position has been reached. This looks similar to
lines in the open-Catalan where at least black has an extra pawn on c4 that
white gambited to show for his troubles. Here, I already prefer white. It's
not easy to get in the c5 break, so black still has some issues to resolve.}
11. Be3 {I'm not sure I like this move because of the obvious black reply, but
it's difficult to suggest an improvement.} (11. Bg5 h6) (11. e4 {shuts in the
Catalan bishop}) 11... Nd5 12. Nxd5 cxd5 13. Rc1 Rd8 14. Nd3 {Eyeing the c5
sqaure.} Nc6 15. f4 {unnecessary. Probably white should hop into c5
immediately.} (15. Nc5 e5 {doesn't solve black's problems.} 16. Nxb7 Qxb7 (
16... exd4 17. Nxd8) 17. dxe5 Nxe5 {White has the two bishops and black has an
isolated pawn on d4.}) 15... Rac8 16. Nc5 Bxc5 17. dxc5 Qc7 18. Bd4 (18. a3 d4)
18... f6 19. Bh3 Qe7 20. Bf2 {Perhaps it was best to go here directly instead
of Bd4 first.} b4 21. Qb3 f5 22. g4 {Trying to pry open the position for his
two bishops.} g6 23. Qd3 Qf6 24. gxf5 gxf5 25. Kh1 Kh8 26. Rg1 Rg8 27. Qd2 a5
28. a3 Rxg1+ 29. Rxg1 Rg8 30. Rxg8+ Kxg8 {Typically, the Q+N is the better
attacking combo, but with both bishops still left on the board, the game is
roughly even in a very strange, dynamic way. Black must somehow activate his
b7-bishop while keeping an eye on the passed c-pawn. White, meanwhile, has to
find a plan and coordinate his forces.} 31. axb4 axb4 32. Bg2 Ba6 33. Qc2 Bb5
34. Qb3 {trying to make a target of the b4 pawn.} Qg7 35. Qa2 Qa7 36. Qb3 {
The engine recommends trading queens, but I like white's decision. It feels
like white has more constructive options with her majesty.} Bc4 37. Qe3 Qf7 38.
Bh4 Kf8 39. Bf3 Qg6 40. Bf2 Qf6 41. Qd2 Qg7 42. Qe3 Qf6 43. Kg2 Kf7 44. Bh5+
Kf8 45. Bf3 b3 {Black now threatens to take on b2 and try to get his own
b-pawn in for a touchdown. Previously, the counter-threat Qxe6 was enough. Now,
white must cover b2.} 46. Qd2 Ke7 47. Kh1 Qg6 48. Qd1 Kd7 49. Qa1 {A breath of
pseudo-activity is sometimes enough to sway a game in your favor, especially
in time pressure.} Qg8 50. Qa4 Qb8 51. Qa1 Qxf4 52. Bg3 {the opening of this
diagonal was worth the pawn, and black should have considered not taking it.
Now, the only defense is difficult to see...} Qd2 (52... Qh6 {!!} 53. Qa8 {
The point is here black can cover the c6 knight along the 6th rank.} e5 {
And the knight is held from h6.}) 53. Qa8 Qb4 {to parry Qb7. but now...} 54.
Qf8 {Strong enough, Qd6 is a serious threat, among others.} (54. Bh5 $3 {
was even more powerful. Qe8 is lethal.}) 54... Ne7 55. Bd6 (55. Bh5 {!! again
wins on the spot.}) 55... Qe1+ 56. Kg2 Qh4 57. Qb8 Qg5+ 58. Kf1 Qc1+ 59. Kf2
Ng6 60. Qc7+ Ke8 61. c6 Nf8 1-0

Jennifer Yu (VA) won the National Girls Tournament of Champions with, 5.5/6 and Mika Brattain, who was featured in an earlier report for a big victory yesterday, won the Denker with 5/6. Look for more on all three events later today, from Al Lawrence. With the conclusion of the Scholastic events, the US Open starts to heat up as the six-day schedule began Tuesday night. Tomorrow, players from both the traditional and six-day schedules will continue the battle ahead of the weekend. Find results  of Denker, Barber and NGTOC here and follow US Open results and pairings here.