"Actually our team finished equal fifth but ninth on tiebreak. Because Ignatius and I were taking turns to fill in for our missing player we were really playing only with three guys throughout and they did a fantastic job as we only lost to top seeded Al Ain and the Philippine National Team. In this last round game I really had to do something as everyone was tired and a win would have gotten us fourth place! In the end we only drew 2-2 against the Mongolian National Team but we really should have won 3-1.
Anyway, before the game Tirto told me to sacrifice something, keep it tight, and play tactically as I was very tired from a meeting in the morning and he said there was no point in playing for a long time and then making a blunder in the last hour. I did make a mistake in the opening with Qb6 instead of Nb6 but there was no outright refutation and my opponent got confused so I was able to play with clear objectives (unlike in my 12 move lost when I completely overlooked Qe2!). But maybe the shock of my finally playing well upset my team as we blew a won and a drawn position, either of which would have won us USD 1,000 each!"
The last time I played the Benko Gambit was I think in the Dubai Olympiad in 1986. Nowadays when I have to play I just use whatever that I used to play and hope they don't use sharp theoretical variations but play normal main lines where ideas count more!"
Below is his 7th round game.
Balgan Bayarmandah (2339) - FM Peter Long (2353) [A58]
1st Asian Club Cup Alain, UAE (Round 7 ), 31.12.2008
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.d5 b5
The Benko Gambit ! An interesting opening choice by Peter Long. 4.cxb5 a6 5.bxa6 Bxa6 6.Nc3 g6 7.g3 d6 8.Bg2 Bg7 9.Nf3 0–0 10.0–0 Nbd7 11.Re1 With hindsight 11.Qc2 is another option. White plan Rd1 - reinforce his d pawn and later fiancheto his bishop on b2. 11...Qb6 12.h3 Qb7 13.e4 Nb6 14.Qc2 Nfd7 15.Kh2 Nc4 16.Rb1 Rfb8 17.Bf4 Qb4 18.Bg5 Typical idea in Benko Gambit - attack white b2 pawn.
18...Nxb2! 19.Re3 Bd4 20.Nd1 Qc4 21.Nxd4 cxd4 22.Qxc4 Bxc4 23.Re1 Nd3 24.Rxb8+ Rxb8 25.Re2 f6 26.Bh6 N7c5 27.Rd2 Ra8 28.Nb2 Nxb2 29.Rxb2 Kf7 30.h4 Bxa2 31.Bf3 Bb3 32.Kg2 Ra1 33.Rd2 d3 34.Rb2 Ra2 35.Rb1 d2 36.Kf1 d1Q+ Fritz show a long varition with the idea of harrasing white's rook with 36...Bc2! 37.Rb8 Threatening mate on f8. 37...Nd7 38.Rh8 (38.Rd8 Bd3+ 39.Kg2 Bxe4 40.Bxd2 Bxf3+ 41.Kxf3 Ne5+ 42.Ke2 Nc4 43.Kd3 Nxd2) 38...Bd3+ 39.Kg2 Bxe4 40.Bxd2 Bxf3+ 41.Kxf3 Rxd2 42.Rxh7+ Kf8 43.h5 gxh5 44.Rxh5 Ne5+ 45.Ke3 Rxd5 46.Rh7 Nc4+ 37.Bxd1 Bxd1 38.Rxd1 Nxe4 39.Be3 f5 40.Kg2 Ra5 White's d5 pawn is doom. 41.Rb1 Rxd5 42.Rb8 Nf6 43.f3 Rd3 44.Bh6 Ra3 45.Rf8+ Ke6 46.Rh8 Ra2+ 47.Kg1 d5 Peter mobilised his passed pawn. 48.Bg5 d4 49.Kf1 white gain nothing with 49.Bxf6 exf6 50.Kf1 (50.Rxh7 d3 51.Rh8 Ra1+ 52.Kf2 d2) 50...h5 49...h5 50.Rd8 Nd5 Black knight brilliantly shield his d pawn from white's rook. 51.Rg8 Kf7 52.Rd8 Ne3+ 53.Bxe3 dxe3 54.f4 Rf2+ 55.Kg1 Rf3 55...Rd2! win quickly. For e.g 56.Ra8 Rd1+ 57.Kg2 e2 and nothing can stop black e pawn from queening 56.Kg2 e2 57.Kxf3 e1=Q58.Kg2 Qe2+ 59.Kh3 Qf1+ 60.Kh2 Qf2+ 61.Kh3 Qg1 Believe it or not but my friend Fritz announce mate in 24 (maximum) with 61...e5! Breaking white fotress. 62.fxe5 Qg1 63.Rd2 f4 64.gxf4 (64.Rg2 Qh1+ 65.Rh2 Qf1+ 66.Rg2 f3) 64...Qg4+ 65.Kh2 Qxf4+ 66.Kh3 Qxd2 62.Rd2 Qh1+ 63.Rh2 Qf1+ 64.Rg2 Ke6 Peter's king is heading to white's main weakness - g3 pawn. 65.Kh2 Kd5 66.Ra2 Ke4 67.Ra3 Qc1 68.Ra6 Kf3 69.Ra2 e6 White in zugzwang! 70.Rg2 Qe1 0-1 Black resign because after 71.Ra2 (71.Kh3 Qf1) 71...Qxg3+