Ioana Gelip vs Tom O'Gorman Game Annotation

Ioana Gelip

[White "Gelip, Ioana"]
[Black "O'Gorman, Tom"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C77"]
[Annotator "Gelip, Ioana"]
[PlyCount "83"]
[SourceDate "2015.11.08"]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6

⇧ Position after move 6... g6

{In this game I decided to play the Ruy Lopez, the variation in which I am most experienced. Recently I have adopted some more direct lines in the Italian game but in this game, I wanted to create a positional struggle and give my opponent the chance to make a mistake.}

3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6

{And here I choose the move d3, a move that is quite popular at the high level, played by both Anand and Carlsen and known for creating a rich middle game with complex positions and good chances for both sides.}

5.d3 d6 6.c3

{White must play c3, or lose the light squared bishop and with it any hope for an advantage for example} (6. O-O b5 7. Bb3 Na5 {And next move taking the bishop on b3. Black has the bishop pair and the better chances})

6... g6

{In my experience, the line Tom chose to play is the most solid. It's hard to claim any real advantage with white. Normally, in the Ruy Lopez White has the manoeuvre Nbd2-Nf1-Ng3-Nf5 but here the f5 square is no longer available. For example, black can play} ({Another popular option for Black is} 6... Be7 { when play normally continues}

7.O-O O-O 8.Nbd2 b5 9.Bb3 Na5 10.Bc2 c5 11.Re1 Bb7 12.Nf1 Rc8 13.Ng3

{and the knight comes to f5})

7.O-O Bg7 8.Nbd2 O-O 9.Re1 b5

⇧ Position after move 15... d5

{Black should play on the queenside and in the centre, gaining time on the bishop quickly expanding on the queenside with b5, Na5 and c5. Meanwhile white should organize play on the kingside.}


{On Bc2 immediately, Black will play d5} (10. Bc2 d5)

10... Na5 11.Bc2 c5 12.Nf1 Bb7 13.h3

{Ng3-f5 is no longer possible, so white moves the knights towards the enemy king via a different route. Nh2,Ne3-g4. Black tries to expand on the queenside}


{This move is a little unusual. Tom wanted to prepare d5 though I am sceptical}

14.Bg5 Qc7 15.N3h2 d5

{During the game, I considered this move a bit too aggressive and optimistic. It looks aesthetic, but at least one of the pawns on the 5th rank is now a potential weakness}


{A typical manoeuvre in these positions. White wants to keep the centre closed and attack on the kingside}

Re6 17.Rac1

{After a long think, I decided to play this prophylactic move. I did consider lines like Ne3, Ng4 but when I couldn't find any concrete variations I decided that I wanted to see what his plan was. Still, I am threatening b4}


{at first, I thought I am winning after 18.b4. But it turned out Black was much better had I played it!}


(18.b4 cxb4 19.cxb4 Nc6 20.exd5 Nd4)

18... d4

{Here I felt that I had good chances on the kingside however Tom had succeeded in complicating things on the other side of the board.}

⇧ Position after move 23... Qd6

19.cxd4 cxd4

{This move surprised me. Recapturing with the e pawn threatens c4! and black keeps some initiative on the queenside but now blacks counter play is limited and he can only defend.} (19... exd4 20. Neg4 Nxg4 21. Qxg4 c4)

20.Neg4 Nxg4 21. Nxg4 b4

{Black didn't want to allow b4 and Bb3 but this option was too passive. Better was} (21... f5 22. Nh6+ Bxh6 23. Bxh6 fxe4 24. dxe4 {White has the bishop pair, but blacks protected passed pawn and a very pretty square for the Knight on c4, with the option to relocate to d6 gives him good compensation.})

22.Qg3 Rc8 23. Ba4

{I was very happy! Black wanted to double on the c-file but this move prevents this}

Qd6 24.f4

{Taking advantage of disharmony in Black's camp. Here I felt I had an advantage}


{probably Black's best defense } (24... exf4 25.Bxf4 Qe7 (25... Qd8 26.Bc7) 26.Rxc8+ Bxc8 27.Rc1 Bb7 28.Rc7)

25.Rxc8+ Bxc8 26.fxe5 fxe5 27.Rc1 Bd7 28.Bxd7

{exchanging the bad bishop is never a bad idea}

⬇︎ Final position

Qxd7 29.Nh6+

{that was the whole point of the variation. Now Black's dark squares are too weak, he cannot defend his king }


(29... Kh8 30. Qg4 $1 {Black's position is all a big pin})

30.Bxh6 Nc6 31.Rf1 Re8 32.Rf6 Nb8

{This final mistake makes things very easy! However, even without this blunder, blacks position is unsustainable. His pieces are passive. Whites plan is the h4-h5 capturing on g6 and black is helpless to defend.}

33.Qxe5 a5 34.Qc5 Qd8 35.Rd6 Qe7 36.Qd5+ Qf7 37.Rd8 Qxd5 38.Rxe8+ Kf7 39.Rf8+ Ke7 40.exd5 Nd7 41.Ra8 Ne5 42.Bg7

{I believe Black has lost this game mainly because he did not take his chance with recapturing on d4 with the e pawn. No big mistakes, just positional slips. It wasn't an easy game, but enjoyable all the way through}


You can play through the entire game here.

Created 2015-11-10 ◦ Last updated 2015-11-11 ◦ Editor AK

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