Archive for October, 2010

h1

Tactics galore

October 29, 2010

I was white in the second game of a stretch of 4 games out of 5 against the same opponent (twice in team play and twice in individual competitions). I didn’t know what opening to expect as he tends to switch his openings quite a lot.

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 e6 5. Nb5 a6?!
(5… d6 6. c4 (6. Bf4 e5 7. Be3 Nf6 8. Bg5) 6… Nf6 7. N1c3 a6 8. Na3)

6. Nd6+ Bxd6 7. Qxd6 Qe7 8. Qd1
(8. Qxe7+)

8… Nf6 9. Nc3 Qb4
9… d5! 10. Bd3 dxe4 11. Bxe4 Nxe4 12. Nxe4 Qb4+ and black has equalised.

10. Bd3 Ne5 11. O-O b5 12. a3 Qc5 13. Be3 Qc7 14. h3 Bb7 15. Bg5 d5 16. Bxf6 dxe4??
Missing an elementary tactic. (16… gxf6 17. exd5 O-O-O)

17. Bxe5!
Even stronger is 17. Bxb5+!! axb5 18. Nxb5 Qd7 19. Nd6+ Qxd6 (19… Kf8 20. Bxe5) 20. Qxd6 gxf6

17… Qxe5 18. Re1 f5 19. Qh5+ g6 20. Qh6 Qc7 21. Bf1 Rg8 22. Rad1 Qe7 23. Nxb5! Rg7 24. Nd6+ Kf8 25. Nxb7
(25. c4) (25. Bc4)

25… Qxb7 26. Rd6 Re8 27. Red1 Kg8 28. Bxa6 Qxb2 29. Bc4 Qxc2 30. Bxe6+ Rxe6 31. Rd8+ Kf7 32. R8d7+ Kf6 33. Qxg7+
Until this point, I haven’t missed any major tricks. That starts to change now. 33. Qh4+ g5 (33… Ke5 34. R7d5#) 34. Qh6+ Ke5 35. R7d5+ Kf4 36. Qxe6)

33… Kg5 34. Qxh7 e3 35. h4+
(35. f4+ Kxf4 36. Qh4+ Ke5 37. Qd4# (37. R7d5#) is mate in 8.

35… Kg4 36. R7d4+
(36. R1d4+ f4 37. Rxf4+ Kxf4 38. Qh6+ Ke5 39. Qxe3+ Qe4 (39… Kf5 40. Qg5+) 40. Qc3+ Kf5 41. Rf7+ Kg4 42. Qh3+ Kh5 43. Rh7#)

36… f4 37. fxe3??
A major oversight. I am still winning easily after 37. Rxf4+ Kxf4 38. Qh6+ (38. Qf7+)

37… Kg3! 38. R4d2 Qc5??
My opponent misses his opportunity to win back the rook and head for an endgame with chances to draw! 38… Rd6!! 39. Kf1 Rxd2 40. Rxd2 Qxd2 41. Qxg6+ Kh2 42. exf4 Qxf4+ 43. Ke2 Qxh4. Now, the white win is trivial.

39. Qf7 Qxe3+ 40. Kf1
(40. Kh1 Qe1+ 41. Rxe1 Rxe1#)

40… Qe4 41. Qa7 Kxh4 42. Qf2+ Kg5 43. Rd4 Qf5
(43… Qe3 44. Qxe3 fxe3 45. Ke2)

44. Rd5 Re5 45. Qc5 1-0

h1

Almost 3 in a row

October 26, 2010

Coming off back-back losses, I wanted to redeem myself in this game. So, what do I do – as black, I avoided any kind of blunder until the 3rd move!
1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 e6 3. Nf3 d5?
(3… Nc6)

4. d4 Nc6 5. exd5 exd5 6. dxc5 d4 7. Ne4 Bxc5 8. Nxc5 Qa5+ 9. c3 Qxc5
I calculated the lines with 9… dxc3 10. b4 Qxb4 11. Be3 c2+ 12. Qd2 Qb1+ 13. Qc1 Qb4+ 14. Nd2 and thought that white was better. Furthermore, most of white’s moves in this variation are forced, so we were more than likely to reach this very position on the board.

10. Nxd4 Nf6 11. Bb5 O-O 12. Bxc6 bxc6 13. O-O Rb8 14. Qf3 Nd5 15. Qg3 Rb7 16. Re1 f5 17. Re5 Rbf7 18. f4 Qb6 19. c4?
My opponent, trying to consolidate his advantage and neutralise my advantage, blunders a piece himself! The rest isn’t very hard, though the game carried on for quite a while.

19… Qxd4+ 20. Kh1 Qxc4 21. Bd2 Nf6 22. Qf3 Ne4 23. Be3 Qc2 24. Bd4 c5 25. Bc3 Bb7 26. Qf1 Rd8 27. Rc1 Qf2 28. a4 h6 29. Qxf2 Nxf2+ 30. Kg1 Ne4 31. Kf1 Rd5 32. g3 Rfd7 33. Ke1 Kf7 34. a5 Nxc3 35. Rxc3 Rxe5+ 36. fxe5 Rd5 37. b3 Rxe5+ 38. Kd2 Ke6 39. h3 Kd6 40. Rc4 Ba6 41. Rf4 Re2+ 42. Kc1 Ke5 43. Rf3 Bb7 44. Rc3 Kd4 45. Rc4+ Kd5 46. Rc3 Ba6 47. Rf3 g6 48. Kd1 Rh2 49. Re3 Rxh3 50. Re7 Rxg3 51. Rxa7 Bf1 52. Kc2 Kc6 53. Ra8 Kb7 54. Rf8 Bg2 55. Rf6 h5 56. Rb6+ Ka7 57. Rb5 h4 58. Rxc5 h3 59. b4 h2 60. b5 h1=Q 61. Rc7+ Kb8 62. b6 Be4+ 0-1

h1

Throwing away a half-point

October 26, 2010

The following game (with me as white) was an Anti-Marshall with 8. d4 that was fairly equal through most of the game. In fact, both of us contemplated offering draws each move starting with move 29 until a blunder from my end. The only thing preventing me was our match situation where we were already down a game and none of the remaining boards looked very promising for a win.

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 O-O 8. d4 d6 9. c3 Bg4 10. d5 Na5 11. Bc2 Nc4
(11… c6)

12. b3 Nb6 13. Nbd2 Qd7 14. h3 Bh5 15. Nf1 c5 16. Ng3 Bg6 17. a4 Qc7 18. a5 Nbd7 19. Nh2
(19. Nh4)

19… h6 20. f4 exf4 21. Bxf4 Ne5 22. Nf3 Nfd7 23. Nh2 Bf6 24. Ra2 Qd8 25. Bb1 Bg5 26. Qd2 Bxf4 27. Qxf4 Qf6 28. Rf1 Qxf4 29. Rxf4 Nf6 30. Nf5 Bxf5 31. Rxf5 Rab8 32. Nf1 Rfe8 33. Raf2 Ned7 34. Nd2 Re5 35. Bd3 Rxf5 36. Rxf5 g6 37. Rf2 Kg7 38. g3 Ne5 39. Bf1 Re8 40. Rf4??
(40. Bg2) (40. Be2)

40… Nh5
Obviously, I had missed this simple fork! At this point, I tried to take a practical decision. I felt that it would be easy for white to break through if I gave up the pawn on g3 – instead, I thought I might be able to hold out if I managed to keep the position closed, so I sacrificed the exchange here.

41. Kf2
(41. Rf2 Nxg3 42. Kg2 Nxf1 43. Rxf1)

41… Nxf4 42. gxf4 Nd7 43. Bd3 g5 44. fxg5?
Going against my own strategy of keeping the position closed! (44. Kf3 gxf4 45. Kxf4 Ne5)

44… hxg5 45. Nf3 Ne5 46. Nxe5 Rxe5 47. Kf3 Kf6 48. Be2 Re8 49. Bd3
49. Ke3 Rh8 50. Bg4 Ke5 51. Bf5 Rh4 52. Bg4 Rxg4 53. hxg4 b4 54. cxb4 cxb4 55. Kd3 Kf4 56. Kc4 Kxe4 57. Kxb4 Kxd5 58. Kc3 Kc5 59. b4+ Kb5 60. Kb3 d5 61. Kc3 Ka4 62. Kd4 Kxb4 63. Kxd5 Kxa5 is one way of winning the endgame.

49… Rh8 50. Bf1 Rh4 51. Ke3 Ke5 52. Bg2 g4 53. hxg4 Rxg4 54. Kf2 Rxg2+ 0-1

h1

My first game back after a 2-month break

October 26, 2010

The following game, in which I was black, was an English which proceeded with both sides trying to manouever on the queenside. I had a bit more space and seemed to be slightly better when my opponent suddenly switched his focus to the kingside. I completely underestimated his initiative on that wing and capitulated in a hurry!
1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 c5 3. e4 d6
(3… e6 4. e5 Ng8 5. Nf3 Nc6)

4. d3
(4. g3 g6)

4… e6 5. g3 b6 6. Bg2 Bb7 7. Nge2 Be7 8. O-O Nc6 9. a3 O-O 10. f4 Nd7 11. h3 a6 12. Kh2 Qc7 13. Be3 Rad8 14. Qc2 Bf6 15. Rab1 Nd4 16. Bxd4 cxd4 17. Nd1 b5 18. b3 Rc8 19. Qb2 e5 20. Nf2 bxc4 21. bxc4 Nc5
21… Rb8 22. Qc2 Bc6 was perhaps a better approach, getting the rook onto the open file!

22. Qb6 Qb8 23. Qb4 Qa8
23… Bd8 24. Bf3 Qc7 25. Qd2 Rb8, again getting the rook onto the open file and the bishops into better positions.

24. Qd2
24. Ng4! Bd8 25. fxe5 h5 26. Nxd4! hxg4 27. exd6 and white has a dangerous initiative in the center

24… Rb8
(24… Be7)

25. Ng4 Nd7
25… Ne6! 26. Nxf6+ gxf6 is actually better

26. Nxf6+ Nxf6 27. fxe5 dxe5 28. Rxf6! gxf6 29. Qh6 Rbe8
(29… Rfe8)

30. Rf1
30. Rxb7 Qxb7 31. Nxd4 exd4 32. e5 Qxg2+ 33. Kxg2 fxe5 34. Qg5+ Kh8 35. Qf6+ Kg8 36. Qxa6 e4 37. dxe4 d3 38. Qa5 Rxe4 39. Qd5 Re2+ 40. Kf3 Ra2 41. Qxd3 Ra8 42. Qd7 R2xa3+ and white is slightly better in this position.

30… Bc8
30… Re6 31. Rf5 Rc8 32. Rh5 f5 33. Qxh7+ Kf8 34. Rxf5 and white is much better.

31. Rxf6
31. Nxd4 exd4 32. e5 Qxg2+ 33. Kxg2 fxe5 is much stronger than the game continuation and the variation described on white’s 30th move.

31… Qb8
31… Qb7 32. g4 Kh8 33. Ng3 Qe7 34. Rxa6 f6 pushes off the mating attack for some material losses.

32. g4 Re6 33. g5 Qb2
33… Qd6 34. Ng3 Rfe8 35. Nh5 Qf8 36. Rxe6 Rxe6 37. Nf6+ Rxf6 38. Qxf8+ Kxf8 39. gxf6 should be a trivial endgame for white.

34. Ng3 Qd2 35. Nh5 1-0. Mate follows.

 

h1

A win in the Petroff

October 15, 2010

After playing several games against my opponent as black, this was my first chance with white! The game itself wasn’t very exciting but I kept just enough pressure that my opponent started to take a fair amount of time for his moves. End result – his flag fell in a slightly worse position with 5 more moves to the time control!
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5 d6 4. Nf3 Nxe4 5. d4 d5 6. Bd3 Nf6 7. O-O Be7 8. Bf4 Bg4 9. h3 Bh5 10. c3 c6 11. Nbd2 Nbd7 12. Re1 O-O 13. Qc2 Bg6 14. Bxg6 fxg6
(14… hxg6)
15. Bh2
(15. Ng5 Qe8 (15… Re8 16. Ne6 Qb6 17. Nc7) 16. Bh2 c5 17. Ne6 Rc8)
15… Ne8 16. Re2 Bd6 17. Rae1 Bxh2+ 18. Nxh2 Nef6 19. Nhf3 Re8 20. Ne5 Qc7 21. Ndf3 Re7 22. Nxd7 Rxd7 23. Qb3 Rf8 24. Qa3 Qb8 25. Ne5 Rc7 26. Qd6 Qd8 27. Qe6+ Kh8 28. Nd3 Rcf7
(28… Ne4)
29. Nc5 Ng8 30. Qg4 1-0

h1

Another win in the Petroff

October 15, 2010

My opponent, usually a Sicilian player, surprised me with the Petroff! Replay.
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5 d6 4. Nf3 Nxe4 5. d4 d5 6. Bd3 Be7 7. O-O O-O 8. c4 c6 9. Re1 f5 10. Qb3
(10. Nc3)
10… Nf6
(10… Qb6)
11. Nc3 Re8?
11… Kh8! was the right move. Black is already in a difficult position and this only makes it worse.
12. cxd5 cxd5 13. Nxd5 Nxd5
(13… Kh8)
14. Bc4 Nc6
(14… Kh8 15. Bxd5 Nc6 16. Bxc6 bxc6)
15. Bxd5+ Kf8??
This loses immediately, but the position is already lost. (15… Kh8 16. Bxc6 bxc6 17. Ne5 Qd5 18. Qxd5 cxd5 19. Nc6) (15… Kh8 16. Bg5 Bxg5 17. Nxg5 Rf8 18. Nf7+ Rxf7 19. Bxf7)
16. Bg8! 1-0

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Chalk this up to luck!

October 15, 2010

One of the worst games I’ve ever played, especially as white! And yet, my opponent gifted me a draw! Replay.
1. e4 d6 2. d4 Nf6 3. Be3? g6?
3… Nxe4! was of course what my opponent should have played. Completely made a fool of myself and mixed up my move order without spending a moment to think. Thankfully, my opponent missed the same thing.
4. Nc3 c6 5. f3 b5 6. g4 Qa5 7. Qd2 h5 8. gxh5 Nxh5 9. Bd3?? Ng3!
And now, I might as well resign! Obviously, I’ve not put on my thinking cap for this game and I would have been forgiven for packing up and heading back home. Instead, I decided to try and elicit some sort of blunder from my opponent, who focussed his attention on trading off as many pieces as he could to get into a winning endgame. And there was nothing I could do to stop him!
10. hxg3 Rxh1 11. Qg2 Rh8 12. Bd2 b4 13. Nce2 Ba6 14. Nf4
(14. a3 Bxd3 15. Bxb4 Qa6 16. cxd3 Qxd3)
14… Bxd3 15. Nxd3 Na6 16. f4 Qh5 17. Nxb4
(17. e5)
17… Nxb4 18. Bxb4 Rb8 19. Bc3 Bg7 20. e5 Qh1 21. Qxh1
(21. Kf1)
21… Rxh1 22. O-O-O dxe5 23. fxe5
(23. dxe5 Rd8 24. Rxd8+ Kxd8 25. Bd4)
23… Bh6+ 24. Bd2 Bxd2+ 25. Kxd2 Rxb2 26. Kd3 Rxa2 27. Rb1 Rh2 28. Rb8+ Kd7 29. Rb7+ Ke6 30. Nf3 Rhxc2 31. g4 f6 32. g5 fxe5
(32… Rg2) (32… Rcb2)
33. Nxe5 Kf5 34. Rxe7 Rc1 35. Rg7 Ra3+ 36. Kd2 Rg1 37. Rf7+ Kxg5??
I was getting ready to resign and shake hands after 37… Ke4! but my opponent finally gives me an opportunity!
38. Nf3+ Rxf3 39. Rxf3 Ra1 40. Rc3 Ra6 41. Ke3 Kh4 42. Ke4 g5 43. Rc1 1/2-1/2
Despite still being somewhat better, I think he was so disgusted with his blunder that he offered me a draw, which I gleefully accepted.