Archive for July, 2010

h1

Updated chess rating

July 25, 2010

The ECF has published its ratings update for the year…and I have moved from 151 to 166 – that puts me at 1978 on the FIDE scale, tantalisingly close to the 2000 mark! I have started the new rating year with some bad results, but this should help provide some motivation to go perform better and get to that magic number! Also, according to the statistics on the ECF page, 166 puts me in the top 20% of chess players – not bad at all 🙂

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h1

A topsy-turvy game

July 19, 2010
Replay (I was white)
1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 c5? 4. exd5 exd5 5. dxc5 Qe7+
I expected my opponent to try and complicate play with 5… d4 6. Nb5 Bxc5 7. Bf4 Na6 8. Nf3 Bg4 9. Nbxd4 Bxd4 10. Qxd4 Bxf3 11. Qe3+. I still hold onto the extra pawn but there were plenty of opportunities for me to go astray. A funny continuation after this line would be 11… Qe7 12. gxf3 Qxe3+ 13. fxe3 O-O-O 14. Bh3+! Rd7 15. Rd1 Nf6 and white is winning.
6. Be2 Qxc5 7. Nxd5 Be6 8. Bb5+?
A flashy move with no real bite. (8. Nf4)
8… Nd7 9. Bxd7+ Bxd7 10. Be3 Qa5+ 11. Qd2 Qxd2+ 12. Bxd2 O-O-O 13. Ne3
(13. O-O-O) Around this point, with the idea of safely consolidating my extra pawn, I start playing more to restrict his pieces than activating my own and give back most of my advantage.
13… Nf6 14. f3
(14. Ne2)
14… Bc5 15. O-O-O Be6 16. Re1 Bxe3?
16… Bxa2! could safely be played, winning back the pawn and still holding the initiative.
17. Bxe3 b6 18. Ne2 Nd5 19. Bd4 Rhg8 20. c3 Nf6 21. b3 Nd5 22. Kb2 Kb7 23. Rd1 Rge8 24. Rd2 g6 25. Rhd1 Rc8 26. g3
(26. c4 Ne7) I’ve sorted out most of my problems and activated all my pieces. Over the next couple of pieces, I will also successfully redeploy my knight to a better position – all this while my opponent has made no obvious improvements in his position.
26… h5 27. Nc1 h4 28. Nd3 hxg3 29. hxg3 Bf5 30. Ne5 Be6 31. Nc4 Rc6 32. Be5? Ka8??
Not taking advantage of my error! 32… Rxc4! 33. bxc4 Ne3 34. Rd4 Nxd1+ 35. Rxd1 Bxc4 and the position is a dead draw.
33. a4
(33. Rxd5)
33… a6 34. Rxd5
I missed the shot the 1st time but not the second. With that, my opponent resigned. 1-0
h1

Another endgame win

July 19, 2010
Replay (I was white)
1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Bf5 5. Ng3 Bg6 6. h4 h6 7. Nf3 Nd7 8. h5 Bh7 9. Bd3 Bxd3 10. Qxd3 e6 11. Bf4 Ngf6 12. O-O-O Nd5 13. Bd2 Bd6
As main line a Caro-Kann as possible. 13… Nb4 14. Qb3 a5 15. Kb1 a4 was an alternative, going straight after the white king.
14. Ne4 Bc7 15. g3 N7f6 16. Ne5 Nxe4 17. Qxe4 Nf6 18. Qe2 O-O?!
If 18… Qxd4, grabbing a pawn 19. Ng6 Rg8 (19… fxg6? 20. Qxe6+ Kf8 (20… Kd8 21. Bc3) 21. hxg6 Qd7 22. Bb4+) 20. Bf4 Bxf4+ 21. Nxf4 Qa4 22. Kb1 with good compensation for the pawn.
19. c3
19. Bb4 Re8 20. c4 was an alternative
19… c5
(19… Qd5)
20. Ng4
(20. dxc5)
20… Nxg4
20… cxd4 21. Bxh6 gxh6 22. Nxh6+ Kh7 23. Rxd4 Qe7 24. Nf5 with a dangerous attack
21. Qxg4 Qf6
21… cxd4 22. Bxh6 Qf6 23. Bg5 Qxf2 24. Rxd4 is even according to the computer but looks pleasant for white.24. h6 dxc3 25. bxc3 Be5 26. hxg7 Bxg7 27. Rdf1 f5 28. Qh4 Qxa2 29. Qh7+ Kf7 30. Qh5+ Kg8 31. Qh7+ is a wild variation ending in perpetual check.
22. dxc5 Rac8 23. Be3 Rfd8 24. f4 Qf5 25. Qf3
(25. Qxf5 exf5 26. Kc2)
25… b6 26. g4 Qf6 27. Rdf1?
Going through with a sub-par idea. I hadn’t realised how safe black’s king was going to be on h7! (27. cxb6 Bxb6)
27… bxc5 28. g5 Qf5 29. gxh6 gxh6 30. Rhg1+ Kh7 31. Rg2 Rg8 32. Rfg1 Bd6 33. a4 Qd5 34. Rxg8 Rxg8 35. Qxd5 Rxg1+ 36. Bxg1 exd5 37. f5?
I had seen this position before I played my 33rd move and realised that the a-pawn would be the crucial one in the resulting endgame. Here I could have forced matters instead with 37. b4! Bxf4+ 38. Kc2 cxb4 39. Bxa7 bxc3 40. a5 Be5 41. a6 Kg7 42. Be3 Bb8 43. Kxc3 f5
37… a5? 38. Kd2
(38. f6)
38… Kg7 39. Be3 Kf6 40. Bxh6 Kxf5 41. Bg7? Kg5 42. h6 Kg6 43. Ke3 f5 44. Kf3 Kh7 45. Bf6! Kxh6??
Giving up the a-pawn. Now the king is too far to stop white’s a-pawn. (45… Bc7 46. Bg5 d4 47. c4 (47. cxd4 cxd4))
46. Bd8 d4
(46… Kg6)
47. cxd4 cxd4 48. Bxa5 Kg6
(48… Bc5 49. b4)
49. Bb6 Kf6 50. a5 Ke6 51. a6 Bb8 52. a7 1-0
h1

An endgame win

July 19, 2010
Replay (I was black)
1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 d5 3. c4 g6 4. Nc3 Bg7 5. e3
(5. Qb3 dxc4 6. Qxc4 O-O 7. Bf4)
5… O-O 6. Bd3 b6
(6… c6)
7. cxd5 Nxd5 8. Be4 c6 9. Nxd5 cxd5 10. Bd3 Ba6 11. O-O Bxd3 12. Qxd3 Qd6 13. Bd2 Nc6 14. a3 Rac8 15. Rac1 Rc7 16. h3 Rfc8 17. Bc3 Qd7 18. Rc2 Nd8 19. Rfc1 Qa4 20. Ne1 Nb7 21. Bb4 Qd7 22. Rxc7 Rxc7 23. Rxc7 Qxc7 24. Qc3 Qxc3 25. Bxc3 e6 26. Nd3 Nd6 27. Nb4 Bf6 28. Kf1 Kg7 29. Ke2 h5 30. Nc6 a5 31. b4 a4 32. Bb2 Nc4 33. Bc1 g5 34. Kd3 g4 35. hxg4 hxg4 36. e4 Kg6 37. e5?
Neither one of us has played very ambitiously and the result has been an even, balanced game. In the past, however, I have realized that my opponent is pretty strong through the middle game but gives chances in the end game, so I felt I was still playing for 2 results – at least until the position turned into a dead-draw. The last move was what I was hoping for, since it blunders a pawn. (37. f4 gxf3 38. gxf3)
37… Bg5!
The rest is simple.
38. Kc2 Bxc1 39. Kxc1 Nxa3 40. Kb2 Nc4+ 41. Ka2 f6 42. Ne7+ Kf7 43. exf6 Kxf6 44. Nc6 e5 45. f3 gxf3 46. gxf3 e4 47. fxe4 dxe4 48. d5 e3 49. Nd4 Ke5 0-1
h1

Another short loss with white

July 19, 2010
After losing a few weeks before to the same opponent with white, it felt like deja vu all over again! Replay (I was white)
1. e4 e6!
I have never seen my opponent play anything other than the Petroff, so he certainly caught me by surprise!
2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e5 c5 5. a3 cxd4
5… Bxc3 is by far the most common move.
6. axb4 dxc3 7. f4
(7. Nf3)
7… cxb2 8. Bxb2 Ne7 9. Nf3 Nbc6 10. Qd2?
(10. b5 Na5)
10… Nf5 11. b5 Qb6 12. Bc3
(12. Bd3)
12… Nce7
(12… d4)
13. Nd4
(13. g4 Qe3+ 14. Be2 Qxd2+ 15. Bxd2 Nh6 16. Nd4 Bd7)
13… Bd7 14. g4 Nh4 15. Qf2
15. Ra3! protecting the vulnerable bishop on c3.
15… Qc5 16. Bd2??
I had seen why the bishop needed to protect the knight on d4 a couple of moves earlier and then promptly forgot all about it! (16. Bb2 Neg6)
16… Qxd4! 0-1
h1

Time management

July 19, 2010

Having gotten lost on my way to the game, I arrived more than 15 minutes late and so was in mild time pressure at the very start. Funnily enough, it was my opponent who lost on time, in a position that was quite drawish! Replay (I was white)

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5 d6 4. Nf3 Nxe4 5. d4 d5 6. Bd3 Nc6 7. O-O Be7 8. Re1 Bg4 9. c3 f5 10. Nbd2 O-O 11. Nf1 Bh4 12. g3 Bf6 13. Ne3 Bh3
(13… Bh5 14. Nxf5 Qd7 15. Rxe4 (15. Ne3 Bxf3 16. Qxf3 Bxd4) 15… dxe4 16. Bxe4 Rae8 17. Qc2 Bg6 18. g4)
14. Qb3 Ne7 15. Ng2?
Clearing the file for the rook and threatening captures on e4, winning a pawn. But this approach is too slow and black can save the pawn. Better, and much more direct is 15. Nxf5! Bxf5 16. Bxe4 Bxe4 17. Rxe4
15… Bxg2
(15… c5! 16. Nf4 Bg4 17. Be2 c4)
16. Kxg2 b6 17. Bxe4 fxe4 18. Rxe4 Kh8 19. Re2 Ng6 20. Be3 Qd7 21. Rae1 Rae8 22. Qc2 Rf7 23. Ng5
(23. Bg5 Ref8 24. h4)
23… Nh4+
(23… Rfe7 24. h4)
24. Kh1
The only move. Capturing the knight leads to perpetual. 24. gxh4 Qg4+ 25. Kf1 Bxg5 26. Bxg5 Qh3+ 27. Kg1 Qg4+
24… Bxg5 25. Bxg5 Rxe2 26. Qxe2 Ng6 27. Kg2 h6 28. Bc1
(28. Qe8+ Kh7 29. Qxd7 Rxd7 30. Bd2) (28. Qd3 Nf8 29. Bd2) (28. Bd2)
28… Qf5 29. f4 (29. h4) 29… h5 30. Bd2 h4 1-0

And my opponent’s flag fell while playing his 30th move!