Archive for the ‘AH’ Category

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Back to blogging my games

October 15, 2010

I deviated early on from my previous games with the same opponent (it was getting boring, after all) and ended up with a different pawn structure. My position wasn’t too great, but it was equal until I went wrong with the idea of pushing for a win in a drawn position with 29…Bxc8. Replay.
1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 e6 3. f4 Nc6 4. Nf3 d5 5. e5 Be7 6. Be2 Nh6 7. b3 O-O 8. Bb2 Nf5 9. Bd3 Re8 10. Bxf5 exf5 11. d4 cxd4 12. Nxd4 Bc5 13. Nce2 Qh4+ 14. g3 Qh3 15. Qd2 a5 16. Nb5 Qg2 17. O-O-O Rd8 18. Nec3 Qxd2+ 19. Kxd2 Be6 20. Na4 Bb4+ 21. c3 Bf8 22. Kc1 g6 23. Rd2 Na7 24. Nxa7 Rxa7 25. Rhd1 Ra6 26. c4 Rc8 27. Kb1 dxc4 28. Rd8 Rac6 29. Rxc8 Bxc8 30. Rd8 b5 31. Nc3 b4
One last chance to push for a draw was to admit my erroneous approach and go with 31… Be6 32. Nxb5 cxb3 33. axb3 Rc8. The rest is easy for white.
32. Nd5 Bb7 33. Ne7+ Kg7 34. Nxc6 Bxc6 35. bxc4 Bc5 36. Rc8 Be4+ 37. Kc1 Be7 38. Bd4 a4 39. c5 Bd5 40. Kb2 f6 41. exf6+ Bxf6 42. Rc7+ Bf7 43. Bxf6+ Kxf6 44. Rb7 b3 45. axb3 axb3 46. c6 Bd5 47. Rd7 Ke6 48. Rxd5 1-0

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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
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Lost on the 6th move

February 6, 2010

That’s what happened to me a week ago. I have played the same opponent 4 times before, but each time with black(here, here, here, and here). I was feeling optimistic that I would do well with white but fell for an opening trap, as you would have guessed, on the 6th move. I played on for a while longer, hoping for a blunder in return, but my opponent played solidly (as you would expect) and it was soon time to end the misery. Replay the game here.

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5 Nc6?! 4. Nxc6 dxc6 5. e5
Now I knew my opponent played the very rare 3rd move, sacrificing a pawn for insufficient compensation. I had played this in a few friendly, rapid games before and always went for the “safe” approach with 5. d3 and tried to take the steam out of his counter-play in the opening. For this game, I decided to go for the move that Fritz advised!
5… Ne4?!
And of course he plays the one move that Fritz never even considered, and I didn’t take a look at this.
6. d3??
I only looked at 6…Nxf2 as his main sacrificing alternative and considered it ok. I completely missed his next move. 6. d4! and white holds a significant advantage.
6… Bc5!
I looked long and hard at 7. Be3 Bxe3 8. fxe3 Qh4+ 9. g3 Nxg3. It was a choice between 2 bad variations and I chose the one that I thought might lead to positions where I could try and swindle him. Alas, no such thing happened and he wrapped up the point efficiently.
7. Qf3 Nxf2 8. b4 Bb6 9. c3 Nxh1 10. g3 Nf2 11. d4 Ng4 12. Bc4 Qe7 13. h3 Nxe5 14. dxe5 Qxe5+ 15. Be2 Be6 16. Bf4 Qf6 17. Qe4 Qf5 18. Nd2 O-O-O 19. Qg2 Qxh3 20. Qxh3 Bxh3 21. Kd1 Rhe8 22. Bf3 Bf5 23. Kc1 Be3 0-1
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My last game before I head off for vacation

October 19, 2009

Played last week, at the start of the new league season. Previous games against the same opponent are here, here, and here. Last week’s game is here (I am black).

1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 e6 3. f4 d5 4. e5 Nc6 5. Nf3 Nh6 6. Be2 Qb6 7. a3 Bd7 8. d3 Be7 9. Na4??
Completely misses my next move, loses a couple of pawns and gives me a monster passed a-pawn.

9… Qa5+ 10. Nc3 d4 11. b4 cxb4
11… Nxb4 12. Bd2 Nxd3+ 13. Bxd3 dxc3 14. Be3 was possibly even stronger!

12. Ne4 bxa3+ 13. Bd2 Qc7 14. O-O b5 15. c3 Qb6?!
Nothing wrong with my move, though the idea is flawed – my idea leads me to lose a piece though I still have good chances due to the strong, advanced connected passers. (15… dxc3 16. Nxc3 b4)

16. Kh1 Nf5?
(16… dxc3 17. Nxc3 b4)

17. cxd4 Nfxd4?
(17… O-O 18. g4 Nfxd4 19. Be3 Rad8 20. Rc1 b4 21. Rc4 Be8)

18. Be3 b4
(18… O-O)

19. Rc1 Rd8
(19… b3)

20. Rc4 O-O 21. Nxd4 Nxd4 22. Bxd4 Qa5 23. Bc5
(23. Nd6 Bxd6 24. exd6 Bb5 25. Rc1 Rxd6 26. Bc5 Rc6)

23… Bxc5 24. Rxc5
(24. Nxc5 Bb5)

24… Qb6 25. Qb3
25. d4! is very strong instead, activating the bishop. My pawns are not yet ready to go marching down.

25… Bc6 26. Rc4?
(26. Rfc1! Bd5)

26… Bd5 27. Qxb4
(27. Nd6 Qe3 28. Bf3 Bxc4 29. Qxc4 Rb8)

27… Bxc4 28. Qxc4
Now, I am definitely better and the a-pawn cannot be stopped. 28. Qxb6 axb6 29. dxc4 Rd4 was an option.

28… Qb2 29. Re1
(29. Bh5 a2)

29… Rc8 30. Qa4
( 30. Nc5 a2)

30… Qxe2
I fully expected my opponent to resign here. I was shocked when he played on for a few more moves!

31. Ra1 Rc2
(31… Qb2 32. Qd1 Rc2 33. Qf1 a2)

32. Rg1 Qxd3 33. Nd6 a2 34. Qxa7 Qb3 35. h3 Rb2 36. Ne4 Rb1 37. Nd2 Rxg1+ 38. Kxg1 Qd1+ 0-1

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Still catching up on my games

June 13, 2009

My next game, played back on April 16th, again as black:

1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 e6 3. f4 d5 4. e5 Nc6 5. Nf3 Nh6 6. b3 Be7 7. Bb2 O-O 8. Bd3 Qb6 9. Rb1 a6 10. Ng5 g6 11. Ne2 Nb4 12. Nc1 Nxd3+ 13. Nxd3 Qc6 14. O-O b5 15. Nf2 f6 16. exf6 Bxf6 17. Bxf6 Rxf6 18. Ng4 Nxg4 19. Qxg4 Ra7 20. Qh4 Rf5 21. Rbe1 Qd6 22. Re3 d4 23. Re4 e5 24. Rxe5 Rxe5 25. fxe5

Thankfully I realised before I recaptured on e5 with the queen that 26. Re1 spells doom. So it is time to fight a pawn down.

25…Qd5 26. Qf4 Bf5 27. g4 h6 28. Nh3 Bxc2 29. Qxh6 Rf7 30. Rxf7 Qxf7 31. Qf4 Bb1 32. Qxf7+ Kxf7 33. Ng5+ Ke7 34. a3 c4 35. bxc4 bxc4 36. Nf3 c3 37. dxc3 dxc3 38. Nd4 c2 39. Nxc2?

Having let a few drawing chances slip by, my opponent now lets his last big chance go as well. 39. Nb3, guarding the c1 square was probably the right way to go!

39…Bxc2 40. h4 Ke6 41. h5 g5 42. Kf2 Kxe5 43. Ke3 Bd1 44. h6 Kf6 45. h7 Kg7 46. h8=Q+ Kxh8 47. Ke4 Bxg4 48. Ke5 Bd1 49. Kf5 g4 50. Kf4 Kg7 51. a4 Kg6 52. a5 Kh5 53. Kg3 Kg5 54. Kg2 Kf4 55. Kf2 g3+ 56. Kg2 Kg4 57. Kg1 Kh3 58. Kh1 g2+ 59. Kg1 Ba4 0-1

Followed by my first white in 13 games (!) a week later:

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 g6 3. c4 Nc6 4. Nc3 Bg7 5. b3 Nf6 6. Bd3 O-O 7. Bb2 e6 8. O-O d5 9. exd5 exd5 10. Nxd5 Nxd5 11. Bxg7 Kxg7 12. cxd5 Qxd5 13. Bc4 Qd6 14. h3 Bf5 15. Qc1 Rad8 16. Re1 b6 17. Qb2+ Qf6 18. Qxf6+ Kxf6 19. Re3 Rfe8 20. Rae1 Rxe3 21. Rxe3 Nd4 22. Nxd4 Rxd4 23. g4 Be4 24. d3 1/2-1/2

Played unambitiously perhaps, but against a player rated much higher than me, I think it was a decent performance.

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Tournament victory

November 19, 2008

After a month and a half of no serious chess games (I did play 4 rated blitz games in the interim, with 2 wins and 2 losses), I have now played two in one week. The first of these was last Thursday in the final round of the Swiss tournament mentioned in my previous chess-related post. With a win in the game, I finished the tourney with 4.5/5. My opponent from round 2 is yet to play his final round and he still has a shot at tying me for first place. Nevertheless, this is a pretty good achievement for me.

The game itself was remarkable. We replayed the same opening we had played earlier. I quickly got myself into trouble and was lucky to parry his threats through the opening and middle game. When we got into the endgame, my opponent had a very passive rook and a horrible bishop against my very active rook and wonderful central knight, leading to a very easy conversion.

1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 e6 3. f4 d5 4. e5 d4

Knowing that I threw away our win in our previous encounter, I was fully expecting him to go for the same suspect line grabbing a rook and pawn for his knight and bishop and this time making him suffer for it. If it weren’t for this misguided thought, I should have probably played Nc6 and played with a more French-like structure. This now allows him to mount a serious initiative against my king-side.

5.  Ne4 Nh6 6. Nf3 Be7 7. Bc4 O-O 8. O-O Bd7

This is the first variation from our previous game. Previously I had played 8…a6.

9. Nfg5 Bc6?

Already, my position is getting quite dicey. The computer only gives white a half-pawn advantage but it is quite nerve-racking to see him bring so many pieces into the attack so quickly! I think I should have preferred Nc6, allowing the bishop to go to e8.

10. Qh5 Bxe4 11. Nxe4 Nc6  12. a3 a6?

The start of a not-so-good plan. My idea was to follow up with b5, and if he kept his bishop on the a2-g8 diagonal, I could play d3, blocking the d2 pawn and seriously hampering his queen-side development. What the computer now shows me is that d3 was playable straight away with the same goal. He cannot play Bxd3, because after …c4 Bxc4 Qd4+, I win a piece for 2 pawns.

13. Rf3 b5 14. Ba2 c4 15. d3 Qd5 16. Rg3 Nf5 17. Rh3 h6 18. Qg4 Kh8  19. Ng3 Ne3 20. Bxe3 dxe3 21. Nh5 g6

Until this point, the game had proceeded along reasonably logical lines. Rg8 was my other big choice here. I was feeling the pressure of constantly defending and wasn’t sure how much counter play I could muster after Rg8. While waiting for my opponent’s move, I started panicking. I was worried that after 22. Nf6 Bxf6 23. Rxh6+ Kg7 24. Qh3, I couldn’t see any lines where I would not be losing at least a rook. After checking with the computer, it turns out that had my opponent gone for this line, I could have in fact played 24…Nxe5, with an advantage for black – though I don’t know if I could have spotted it over the board.

22. Nf6 Bxf6 23. exf6!?

My opponent had a long think here about the same line discussed above. Though he couldn’t remember after the game why he chose not to go in for that variation, he said he saw a refutation that led him to just quietly recapture the piece.

23…h5 24. Qg5?

White should not have offered the trade of queens and gone for something like Qe2. Now his position becomes very hard to defend.

24…Qxg5 25.  fxg5 cxd3 26. cxd3 Nd4! 27. Re1 e2 28. g4 Kg8 29. gxh5 gxh5 30. Kf2 Rac8 31. Rh4 Rfd8 32. Bb1 Rc5! 33. Rxh5 Rf5+ 34. Kg2 Rdd5! 35. Rh3 Rxg5+ 36. Rg3 Rxg3+ 37.  hxg3 Rf5

The game is pretty much decided. His bishop has nowhere to go, his rook is hemmed in at e1, his king is cut off from the e2 pawn, while my pieces dominate the position. I felt so good about my position that I even turned down his offer of a piece on the next move to go grab a pawn!

38. Bc2 Rxf6 39. Bd1 exd1=Q 40. Rxd1 Rf3 41. Rd2 Kg7 42. Rd1 a5 43.  Rd2 a4 44. Rd1 Kg6 45. Rd2 Kg5 46. Rf2 Rxf2+ 47. Kxf2 f5 48. Ke3 e5 49. Kf2 Kg4  50. Kg2 Ne2 0-1

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My first serious game in two and a half years

February 6, 2008

You can replay the game in its entirety or walk through the game along with the analysis here.

1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 e6 3.f4 d5

In the closed Sicilian, I have never come out satisfactorily out of the opening. Not wanting to open up the position before I’ve castled, I would normally play d6, Nf6, Be7, resulting in a passive position and my attempts at queenside play were almost always too slow. So I tried to play actively in the center hoping to avoid similar issues.

4.e5 d4 5.Ne4 Nh6

I was already in an unfamiliar position in the opening. Having decided to allow d5 early on and needing to prevent Nd6, this was the only square left for my knight. On the plus side, though the knight’s developed on the rim, it prevents g4 and f5, two key pawn pushes for white in the closed Sicilian. And with most of the play happening on the kingside, it turns out to be a useful square for the knight.

6.Nf3 Be7 7.Bc4

I don’t play the white side of the closed Sicilian, so I am not an authority on it. But the plan with g3 and Bg2 seems more potent to me.

7…O-O 8.O-O b6 9.d3 Bb7 10.Neg5!?

I don’t know if he saw my little trap here or intended to make this move all along. The trap being, if he made some other move here, say Qe2, I had the subtle 10…b5!, winning a piece.

10…Nc6 11.Bxe6??

I think this is a big mistake. Strictly on material count, he might be better, winning a rook and two pawns for a knight and bishop. But he no longer has an attack against my king, while I can start building pressure on his kingside. Additionally, his light squared weaknesses are even more brutally exposed with the loss of his bishop as its counterpart sits pretty on the long diagonal.

11…fxe6 12.Nxe6 Qd7 13.Nxf8 Rxf8 14.Qe2 Nd8 15.Bd2 Ne6 16.Ng5 Qc6 17.Nxe6 Qxe6 18.h3?!

Weakening even more squares around his kingside, though its hard to suggest more useful moves. Maybe his plan was to follow up with g4, preparing f5, but this also opens up his king to enemy attacks. A better plan might have been to play on the queenside, attacking black’s pawn structure.

18…Nf5 19.Kh2 Bh4 20.Qg4 Bg3+ 21.Kg1 Qd5 22.Rf3 Bh4 23.b3?!-+

Once again, a strange move. On his queenside, white needs to challenge the pawns on the dark squares, not give up total control. Anyway, this doesn’t hurt him because of black’s next few moves, where he throws away his big advantage and ends up losing.

23…Ne3??

I had been eyeing the e3 square for my knight for quite a while. With my direct attack not coming to fruition, I felt I should return two minor pieces for his rook and then use the passed e-pawn (after Bxe3 dxe3) to press for victory. But it was much better to keep the pieces on the board and build a much stronger attack with 23…Qf7 24.Rff1 h5 25.Qe2 [25.Qd1 Qg6 Qe2] Ng3 26.Qf2 Nxf1 27.Qxf1 Bg3, at the end of which I am totally winning, up a full piece and about to win the f4 pawn to boot.

rr-alanheath.jpg

[Analysis diagram after 27…Bg3]

24.Bxe3 dxe3 25.Qxh4 Qd4 26.Qe1 Bxf3 27.gxf3 e2+?

Qxf4 was much stronger.

28.Kg2 Rxf4?

Once again Qxf4 was much stronger, putting pressure on the f3 pawn. After this mistake, I have a thankless task while white can play on without fear.

29.e6 Qe3 30.Qf2 Qxe6 31.Re1 Rf6 32.Qxe2 Rg6+ 33.Kf2 Qxe2+ 34.Rxe2 Kf7 35.f4 Rh6 36.Kg3 Rg6+ 37.Kf3 Rh6 38.Rh2 Ke6 39.Ke4 Kd6 40.h4 Re6+ 41.Kf3 Kd5 42.c3 Re1 43.Re2 Rf1+ 44.Kg4 Rg1+ 45.Kf5 Rh1 46.Re7 Rxh4 47.Rd7+ Kc6 48.Rxg7 Rh3 49.Rxa7 Rxd3 50.Rxh7 Rxc3 51.Kf6 c4 52.Rh8 Kc7?

Kb7 was needed, preventing white’s rook from arriving at a8 and protecting the a2 pawn. b5 was also possible.

53.bxc4 Rxc4 54.f5 Rc2 55.Ra8 Kb7 56.Ra3 b5 57.Kf7 Rc7+?

A wasted rook maneuver. Better would have been 57…b4, forcing the trade of the queenside pawns. Of course, I was lost long before this, so this only hastens the end.

58.Kg6 Kc8?

The last big mistake. For the second time in the game, I allow the white rook to come to the a8 square!

59.f6 Rc2 60.f7 Rg2+ 61.Kh5 Rf2 62.Ra8+ 1-0