Barbera International Open (Round 5)

Cruz,F (2405) – Aroshidze,L (2535)   [A25]

Actually, There is no much to say about my 5th round. Filemon wanted to fix a draw and he managed to do it.

1.c4 e5

This time I decided to to play something else than my hedgehog lines.

2.Nc3 Nc6 3.g3 g6 4.Bg2 Bg7 5.Rb1!?

It is a bit special order of moves. White first tries to fix his advantage on the queenside and only after that will decide how to put kingside structure.

5… Nf6

5… a5 is another interesting option, but I wanted to develop my pieces quickly.

6.b4 0–0 7.d3

barbera 5.1

7… a6!?

Finally I decided to stop my opponent’s initiative on the queenside and now if he wants to continue with b4-b5, – then he’ll need to advance a2-a4 and give me control of a file after the exchanges on b5.

7…d6 was also normal move. 8.e3 (8.Nf3 a6 9.0–0 h6 10.a4 Be6 11.b5 axb5 12.axb5 Ne7 – transposes the famous main lines) and anyway, probably I’ll need to play a7-a6 as 8…Be6?! can be interesting only for the the blitz games: 9.b5 Na5 10.Qa4 b6 11.Bxa8 Qxa8 12.e4

barbera 5.2

board of analysis

12… Nxc4! 13.Nf3 Na5 14.0–0 a6 15.Qc2 I think there is no enough compensation for the exchange.


White wants to get flexible e3-d3-c4 pawn structure with knight on e2. 8. Nf3 would again transpose to the main lines.

barbera 5.3

8… d6

8…Ne7!? with the idea to advance directly d7-d5 deserves serious attention. for example: 9.Nf3 (9.Nge2 d5 10.cxd5 Nexd5 looks quite nice for black) 9…d5 10.Nxe5 Nd7!? (10…Ng4!?) 11.f4 Nxe5 12.fxe5 dxc4 13.d4

barbera 5.4

board of analysis

13… c6 14.0–0 b5 with very complex play.

9.Nge2 Be6 10.Nd5 Qd7

barbera 5.5


During the game I was thinking about 11.Nec3 but I guess black still may play 11…Bh3!? 12.Bxh3 (12.Nxf6+ Bxf6 13.Bxh3 Qxh3 14.Nd5 Bd8 is very promising for black as white king stays in the center for free. Now Ne7 is coming.) 12…Qxh3 13.Nxc7

barbera 5.6

board of analysis

13… Rac8 14.N7d5 Nxd5 15.Nxd5 (15.cxd5? Nd4–+) 15…b5 with nice compensation for the pawn.

11…Bh3 12.Bxh3 Qxh3 13.Nxf6+ Bxf6 14.Nc3 Bg7 15.Nd5 Qd7 16.Bb2

barbera 5.7


If I want to play for the win, I must keep material at the board, but in case of 16…Rae8 I did not like 17.Qa4; and if 16… f5, then 17. Qb3 is unpleasant with idea of a2-a4.

17.Nxe7+ Qxe7 18.d4

barbera 5.8

18… a5

It was good for black to include 18…h5 19.h4 as white pawns would be fixed on the b2 bishop’s color. However, Position is too simple and too equal.

19.b5 b6 20.a4 Rfe8 21.Re1

barbera 5.9

21… exd4

Does not give anything 21…e4 as white will get counterplay with c4-c5 idea: 22.Qe2 Qd7 23.Rbc1=. So I decided just to exchange everything and fix the draw.

22.exd4 Qxe1+ 23.Qxe1 Rxe1+ 24.Rxe1 Kf8 25.Re2 Re8

barbera 5.10

26.Kf1 f5 27.Rxe8+ Kxe8 28.Ke2 Kf7

barbera 5.11

Objectively, white has symbolic advantage but position is too closed/blocked for using it.

29.Kd3 Ke6 30.d5+ Kf7 31.Bxg7 Kxg7 ½–½


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