Archive for the ‘JH’ Category


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


A lucky escape

October 15, 2010

White held a nominal advantage for most of the opening phase, but it wasn’t clear how to break through. Replay.
1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 d5 3. Bf4 g6 4. e3 Bg7 5. h3 O-O 6. c4 b6 7. Nc3 Bb7 8. Be2 Nbd7 9. O-O c5 10. cxd5 Nxd5 11. Nxd5 Bxd5 12. Qa4 cxd4 13. exd4 a5 14. Rfd1 Nf6 15. Ne5 Qc8 16. Rac1 Qb7 17. f3 Rac8 18. Bb5 Rxc1 19. Rxc1 Rc8 20. Rc3 Nh5 21. Bh2 Bh6 22. Bc6 Bxc6 23. Rxc6?!
23. Nxc6! Kf8 24. d5 is stronger.
23… Rxc6 24. Qxc6 Qxc6?
(24… Be3+ 25. Kf1 (25. Kh1 Qxc6 26. Nxc6 Kf8 27. Bc7 a4 28. Bxb6 Ng3+) 25… Qa6+ 26. Ke1)
25. Nxc6 e6 26. Bc7 b5 27. Bxa5 Ng3
White is doing much better here – a pawn to the good and good chances of converting this ending. Alas, he missed my little trick and allowed a perpetual!
28. d5??
(28. Kf2! Nf5 29. Ke2)
28… Be3+! 1/2-1/2


U140 Swiss victory

March 2, 2010
The winner of this game would tie for the championship, while we would both tie for 2nd place (with others) if we drew. I had played him twice before (here and here) though this was my first time as black. Replay.
1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 e6 3. Bf4 c5 4. e3 Nc6 5. Nbd2 Nf6 6. c3 Bd6 7. Bg3 O-O 8. Bd3 Re8 9. Ne5 Bxe5 10. dxe5 Nd7 11. f4 Nf8
My plan in the opening was to try and get my opponent to overextend with his attack on the kingside, while I initiate counterplay in the center and on the queen side. To this end, the knight on f8 is my best defensive resource. However, I (and my opponent) missed a simple tactic that nets me an extra pawn without sufficient compensation for white. 11… c4! 12. Bc2 Qb6 13. Rb1 Qxe3+ 14. Qe2 Qxe2+ 15. Kxe2
12. O-O d4?
I rush into opening up the center. This now gives my opponent several good squares (especially for the knight) and he takes full advantage. 12… c4 13. Bc2 Qb6 14. Qf3 Qxb2 15. Rfc1 again nets me a pawn but this time, white probably has sufficient compensation.
13. exd4 cxd4 14. Ne4 Qb6 15. c4 Nb4 16. Qg4
(16. c5 Qc6 17. Nd6 Nxd3 18. Nxe8 Nxb2 19. Qxd4 Na4 20. Nd6 Nxc5 21. Rac1)
16… Ng6 17. Nd6!
White’s crowning glory in the position. This piece doesn’t move for the rest of the game (and doesn’t need to either!)
17… Re7 18. Bh4?
The tactics just don’t work out for white in this line. After this, black is clearly better in the position! (18. c5 Qa5 19. Be4)
18… Nxd3! 19. Bxe7 Nxe7 20. Rf3 Nxb2??
Allowing a fork and blundering away my advantage. 20… Nc5 and I have a very pleasant position.
21. Rb3 Qc5 22. Rxb2 d3+?
I’ll attribute it to being flustered at blundering my knight. What I ought to have done was trade my knight for his monster on d6 and try to consolidate my position. (22… Nf5 23. Nxf5 exf5 24. Qf3 Be6)
23. Kh1 b6 24. Qf3 Qc6 25. Qxd3 Ng6 26. Qd4 Ba6 27. Rc2 Qa4 28. Qe4 Rf8 29. g3 Ne7 30. Rac1 Qa3 31. Qd4 Qf3+ 32. Kg1 Nc6 33. Qf2 Qg4 34. c5?
In time trouble and needing to make 2 more safe moves to get 15 additional minutes on his clock, my opponent allows my second knight to retrace the path of its predecessor (Nc6-b4-d3). 34. Rd2 avoids the little tactic.
34… Nb4 35. Rc3?
A second time-trouble error, on his last move before making the time-control. 35. c6! Nxc2 26. Qxc2 is what I was expecting, and it was almost time to resign.
35… Nd3 36. Rxd3 Bxd3 37. cxb6?
The wrong plan. He wins a pawn with this trade but c6 would have given him a monstrous passed pawn.
37… axb6 38. Qxb6 h5 39. Qe3 Be2 40. h3?!
Again, the wrong idea. When you can push a passed pawn, push it! 40. a4 h4 41. Kf2 Ba6 and white is still a lot better.
40… Qxh3!?
When I calculated the line with 40. h3 before I played my bishop to e2, I thought that I would continue 40… Qf3 41. Qxf3 Bxf3. But after 42. a4, I would have to sacrifice my bishop for the a-pawn at some point and we would be only playing for two results – I couldn’t allow him the luxury of playing on without fear. This way, at least with white’s king completely losing its pawn cover, I had hopes of getting some sort of perpetual.
41. Qxe2 Qxg3+ 42. Kh1 Qxf4 43. Rf1 Qg5 44. Rf2 Rb8?!
Played after a reasonably long think. My other option was to sit tight and try and hold the position. But with my opponent down to 2 minutes for the rest of the game (I still had more than 20) and no obvious win in sight after either capture on f7, I made the practical decision to activate my rook so my opponent would have to calculate long lines involving his own king on every move. As it turned out, my decision paid immediate dividends…
45. Rg2?? Rb1+ 0-1. Mate follows.

U140 KO Champion

November 22, 2009

Even though the other tournaments in this year’s internal competitions are 2 rounds away from completion, the U140 KO tournament was decided this past week! I had played my opponent once before a year ago, so I could prepare for his opening choice if I won the toss and played white – which I did.

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 g6 5. c4 Bg7 6. Nb3 Nf6 7. Nc3 O-O 8. Be2 d6 9. O-O b6 10. Be3 Bb7 11. f4 Rc8 12. Rc1 Nd7 13. Nd4 Nc5 14. Bf3 Nxd4 15. Bxd4 Ne6 16. Bxg7 Kxg7 17. f5
We had both played the opening reasonably well. Along with the text move here, I considered two main alternatives. 17. Nd5 Bxd5 18. exd5 Nc7 (18… Nxf4? 19. Qd4+, winning) seemed very promising for white. But Bxd5 wasn’t forced and I couldn’t see how I could push on with my attack. 17. Be2 didn’t offer me much hope either in opening up lines to his king.

17… Ng5 18. Qd4+ f6 19. Nd5
(19. Bg4 Qd7 20. Rcd1)

19… Nxf3+
19… e6 20. fxe6 Nxe6 was an option I thought he might go for, as the position is completely drawn.

20. Rxf3 Qd7 21. Nf4
If I could get my knight to e6, I would be winning. Or so I thought. Instead the position was now dead equal, and was going to remain so for the next several moves! 21. b4 Bxd5 22. exd5 gxf5 23. Qd3 or 21. Re1 were two ways to keep a (very slight) edge in the position.

21… gxf5 22. Nh5+ Kh8 23. Rxf5 Qe6 24. Ng3 Rc5 25. Rxc5 dxc5 26. Qd3 Rg8 27. Rd1 Bc6 28. b3 a6 29. Qe3 Qg4 30. Rf1 Rd8 31. e5 Qg5 32. Qxg5 fxg5 33. e6 Rd2?!
33… h5 34. Nxh5 Rd2 35. Rf2 Rd1+ 36. Rf1 Rd2 is a draw by perpetual. Now I could play for a win!

34. Rf8+ Kg7 35. Rf7+ Kg6 36. Rxe7?
This throws away the afore-mentioned win. 36. Nf5 Kh5 37. Nxe7 Bxg2 38. Ng8 Bc6 39. e7 Be8 40. Nf6+ Kg6 41. Rf8 Re2 42. Nxe8 Rxe7 43. Rf6+ Kh5 44. Re6 Rxe6 45. Ng7+ Kg4 46. Nxe6 is a line the computer spits out. I thought about 36. Nf5 but had trouble seeing the right follow-up. Instead, the text move could even be losing. But it required my opponent to see a tricky defense (and neither one of us saw it)!

36… Bxg2?
And I fully capitalize this time and bring in the full point! I was more worried about 36…Rxg2 37. Kf1 Rxh2. But this isn’t sufficient either. The really tricky move to find is 37… Rd2! 38. Rc7 Rd6 39. e7 Kf7 40. Nf5 Rf6 41. Kg1 and it is black that’s playing for a win!

37. Rd7! Rxa2 38. e7 Kf7 39. Nf5 Re2 40. Nd6+ Kg6 41. e8=Q+ Rxe8 42. Nxe8 Bh3 43. Rb7 Bf5 44. Rxb6+ Kh5 45. Rxa6 Bc2 46. Rb6 Kh4 47. Kf2 h5 48. Nf6 g4 49. b4 cxb4 50. Rxb4 Kh3 51. Nxh5 Kxh2 52. c5 Bg6 53. Ng3 Be8 54. Rxg4 1-0

In the endgame, I missed a couple of easier mating lines but the result was never really in doubt. Great to notch a tournament victory!


Tied for the lead with a round to go

September 28, 2008

The last few games I have played is in an internal Swiss competition lasting five rounds. Since the rounds are played at times convenient to the players, not all games for the 4th round have finished – but the two top boards have played and I am now tied for the lead with 3.5 points. The one thing I do know is that I won’t be playing my co-leader because we split the point back in round 2 already.

This latest game (with me as white) turned out to be a miniature and reminded me of a famous quote by Tartakower“The winner of the game is the player who makes the next-to-last mistake”.

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 d6 5. c4 g6 6. Be3 Bg7 7. Nc3 Nf6 8. Be2 O-O 9. O-O Bd7 10. Qd2 Ng4 11. Nxc6 bxc6 12. Bg5 f6 13. Bh4 Qa5 14. Rad1 Be6

Until this point, I felt that both of us were playing reasonably well. I felt I had the initiative and felt it was time to push my kingside pawns.

15. f4 Qb6+ 16. Kh1? [Bf2] Rab8??

Returning the favour. 16…Ne3 17. Na5 Nxf1 18. Nxb6 Nxd2 19. Nxa8 Rxa8 20. Rxd2 keeps the material even and is probably heading for a draw.

17. b3??

I follow up his error with one of my own. 17 f5! Bxf5 exf5 Ne3 and I win two pieces for a rook and pawn. Even though he has an open file on the queen-side, I felt this would have been to my advantage. Luckily for me, I saw all of this while he was thinking whereas he didn’t.


The comedy of errors continues (and ends). 17…Ne3 was even stronger than the option on the previous move as the rook is no longer on a8 and he goes up an exchange!

18. Bxg4 Qxd2 19. Bxe6+ 1-0.

Down two pieces, black resigned.

This interesting position arose in a blitz game I played earlier today. In a board full of pieces, my opponent’s king achieved the ignominy of being the most advanced piece of his entire army (all the way to his sixth rank!)