Posts Tagged ‘Sicilian’

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A very average showing

February 23, 2011

After the near-debacle in my previous game, I played a lot better this time around, though I still ended up losing! If it wasn’t one tactical oversight, I should have been able to hold out to a draw. Replay here (I was black).

1. e4 c5 2. d4 cxd4 3. c3 d5 4. Qxd4 e6
(4… dxe4 5. Qxe4 (5. Qxd8+ Kxd8))

5. exd5 Qxd5 6. Qxd5 exd5 7. Be3 Nf6 8. Nd2 Nc6 9. h3Be7 10. Ngf3 O-O 11. Be2 Bf5 12. O-O Rfe8 13. Nb3 Bf8 14. Rad1 a5 15. Bb5 Rec8
(15… a4 16. Nbd4 Bd7)

16. Nbd4 Bg6 17. Nh4 Ne5 18. Nxg6 hxg6 19. Nf3 Nc4
(19… Nxf3+ 20. gxf3 a4 21. Bd4 Ra5 22. Bd3)

20. Bxc4 dxc4 21. a4 Bc5 22. Bxc5 Rxc5 23. Rd4 b5 24. Nd2
(24. axb5 Rxb5 25. Rxc4 (25. Rb1 Rc8 26. Nd2 Nd5) 25…Rxb2)

24… bxa4??
24… b4 25. Nxc4 bxc3 26. bxc3 Nd5 27. Rc1 Rb8 28. Kf1 Rb3 should have been good enough for a draw

25. Nxc4 Rac8 26. Nb6 Rb8 27. Nxa4 Re5 28. Rfd1 Re2 29. Kf1 Rbe8 30. Rd8 R2e431. Rxe8+ Rxe8 32. f3 Re5 33. Rd8+ Kh7
(33… Ne8 34. Ra8 Kf8 35. Nb6 Ke7 36.Nc4) (33… Re8 34. Rxe8+ Nxe8 35. Nb6 Nd6)

34. c4 g5 35. c5 Nd5
(35… Rd5 36.Ra8)

36. c6 Ne7 37. c7 Rb5 38. Re8 1-0

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h1

My first game of the year

January 30, 2011

A near-disaster! Playing over the board for the first time in 6 weeks, I played in utterly despicable fashion and it was a wonder that I didn’t lose horribly! Here’s the game (I was black)

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. c3?! Nf6?
(4… dxc3 5. Nxc3 Nc6)

5. Qc2 Qc7 6. Nxd4 a6 7. Bd3 g6 8. Bg5 Bg7 9. Nd2 O-O10. O-O Nbd7 11. f4 b5
(11… e5 12. fxe5 dxe5)

12. Rae1 Bb7
(12… e5 13. fxe5 dxe5)

13. e5 dxe5 14. fxe5 Nxe5 15. Bf4 Nfd7 16. Ne4 Rac8 17. Re3 Qb6 18. Kh1 Nc6?
I could and should have won a piece with a simple fork (18… Nxd3 19. Qxd3 e5!). Instead, I never even spotted the opportunity!

19. Nxc6 Bxc6 20. Rh3 Nf6 21. Be3 Qb7 22. Ng5 h523. Bd4 Rcd8 24. Bxg6 fxg6 25. Ne6 Qd7
(25… Be4)

26. Re3 Bd5
(26… Ng4 27.Rxf8+ Rxf8 28. Nxf8 Kxf8)

27. Nxd8 Qxd8 28. Qxg6 Bf7 29. Qg5 Qd5
(29… Bxa2)

30. Rf5 Qxa2 31. h3 Kh8??
I have gradually let my advantage slip and with this move, I go from slightly better to dead-lost! In the next couple of moves, I have to give up my queen to avoid being mated and it was only my opponent’s slight time pressure that prevented me from resigning here with a clear conscience. 31… Be6 32. Rf4 Rf7 and the game goes on.

32. Rxe7 Qb1+ 33. Kh2 Qxf5 34.Qxf5 Bg8 35. Bxf6 Rxf6 36. Qg5?
Now it is my opponent’s turn to start playing sub-par and let me still hope for a miracle. (36. Qxh5+)

36… Bf7 37. Qc5 Kh7 38. Re2 Bg6 39. Rf2 Re6 40. Qd5 Re1 41. Qb7 Kh6 42. Qxa6 Be5+ 43. g3 h4! 44. Rf6?
(44. Kg2 hxg3 45. Rf5) (44. Rf5 Bxg3+ 45. Kg2)

44… hxg3+ 45. Kg2 Re2+! 46. Kf3??
46. Kf1 g2+ 47. Kg1 Bxf6 48. Qxf6 Rxb2 49. h4 (49. c4 Rb1+ 50. Kxg2 bxc4) 49… Kh7 50.Qe7+ Kh6 51. Qg5+ Kh7 52. h5 Rb1+ 53. Kxg2 Bc2 54. Qd2 Be4+ 55. Kf2 and white is still pushing for a win though I have some hopes of maintaining a fortress. Instead, the text move is an outright blunder and white resigned after my next move.

46… Rf2+0-1

 

h1

An entertaining draw

December 10, 2010

Playing black against a slightly higher rated opponent, we went straight into a very sharp line of the main line Najdorf. I mixed up the move order on my 10th and 11th moves (I should have first played Qc7) and could have been punished right away but my opponent couldn’t spot the right follow-up either! Replay here.

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bg5 e6 7. f4 Nbd7 8. Qf3 Be7 9. O-O-O h6 10. Bh4 g5?
(10… Qc7 11. Bd3 g5)

11. fxg5 Ne5??
(11… hxg5 12. Bxg5)

12. Qe2?
(12. gxf6 Nxf3 13. fxe7 Qb6 14. gxf3)

12… Nfg4 13. h3 hxg5 14. Bg3 Bd7 15. Nf3 Qc7 16. Kb1 O-O-O 17. Qd2 Nxf3 18. gxf3 Ne5 19. Be2 Bc6 20. f4 gxf4 21. Qxf4 Rdg8 22. h4 b5 23. a3 Qb7
(23… f5 24. Rhg1 fxe4 25. Nxe4)

24. Rhg1 Kb8 25. h5 a5 26. Qf1 b4 27. axb4 axb4 28. Nb5
Now the tactical options start to get a bit out of control. We started to take a lot of time for each move, trying to figure out the right way out of the mess.
(28. Bxe5 dxe5 (28… Rxg1 29. Qxg1 (29. Bxd6+ Bxd6 30. Qxg1 bxc3 31. b3 Bxe4) 29… dxe5 30. Qg7 Rd8 31. Rxd8+ Bxd8 32. Nd1 Bxe4 33. Qxe5+) 29. Rxg8+ Rxg8 30. Qxf7 Rc8 31. Qxe6 (31. Na2 Bxe4) 31… bxc3 32. Qxe5+ Rc7 33. Qxc3 Bxe4 34. Qh8+ Rc8 35. Qe5+ Rc7)

28… Bxe4
(28… b3 29. cxb3 (29. Nc3 bxc2+ 30. Kxc2 Bxe4+ 31. Nxe4 Qxe4+ 32. Bd3 Nxd3 33. Qxd3 Qxd3+ 34. Rxd3 Rc8+ 35. Kb1 Rxh5 36. Bxd6+ Bxd6 37. Rxd6) 29… Bxe4+ 30. Ka2 Nc6)

29. Bxe5
(29. Nxd6 Bxd6 30. Rxd6 Qc7 31. Bd3 (31. Ra6 Qxc2+ 32. Ka1 Qc5) (31. Rd2 b3 32. Bd1) 31… Rxg3 32. Rxg3 Qxd6 33. Bxe4 Qd4) (29. Rxd6 Bxc2+ 30. Kxc2 Bxd6 31. Nxd6 Qc7+ 32. Nc4 Rxg3 33. Rxg3 Nxc4)

29… dxe5 30. Rxg8+
(30. Qxf7 Rc8 31. Qxe6 Bxc2+ 32. Ka1 Bxd1 33. Qxe5+ Ka8 34. Rxd1 Rhd8 35. Rxd8 Bxd8 36. Qf4 Qh1+ 37. Ka2)

30… Rxg8 31. Bd3 b3 32. c4
(32. cxb3 Qxb5 33. Bxe4 Qxf1 34. Rxf1 f5)

32… Rd8
(32… Bf3 33. Rd2 (33. h6 Bxd1 34. Qxd1 Rh8 35. Qxb3 Rxh6) 33… Bxh5 34. Qe1 e4 35. Bf1 Qa6 36. Nc3 Rg5)

33. Nc3 Rxd3 34. Rxd3 Bf5 35. Kc1 Bxd3?
Most likely winning was 35… Bg5+! 36. Kd1 Bxd3 37. Qxd3 Qh1+ 38. Ke2 Qxh5+ 39. Qf3 Qh2+ 40. Qf2 Qxf2+ 41. Kxf2 f5 42. Na4 Be7

36. Qxd3 Bg5+ 37. Kb1 Qh1+ 38. Nd1 Qxh5 39. Qxb3+ Kc7 40. Nc3 Qh1+ 41. Ka2 Qa8+ 1/2-1/2

I had turned down a draw offer from my opponent after his 40th move. But here, just 2 moves later, I offered him a draw in turn, because I couldn’t work out whose pawns would be queening first and I didn’t want to risk it!

h1

The topsy-turvy season continues…with a loss

November 5, 2010

In my 3rd straight game against the same opponent (this time as black), we played out yet another Sicilian. I avoided any blunders in the opening and was in fact quite satisfied with my position by the time I played d5 on move 17.

1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 e6 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. d4 cxd4 5. Nxd4 a6 6. b3 Nf6 7. Nxc6 bxc6 8. Bb2 Bb4 9. a3 Ba5 10. Qf3 e5
(10… d5)

11. b4 Bb6 12. Na4 Bc7 13. Nc5 O-O 14. Rd1 Qe7 15. Be2 d6 16. Nb3 Bb7
(16… a5)

17. Nd2 d5 18. O-O Rad8
(18… Rfd8) (18… a5)

19. Bd3 a5 20. c3 axb4 21. cxb4 d4 22. Rc1 Bd6
(22… Rd6 23. Nc4 Re6)

23. Nb3 Rc8
(23… Ra8)

24. Nc5
(24. Na5)

24… Bxc5 25. Rxc5 Nd7 26. Rcc1
(26. Ra5)

26… c5 27. b5 Nb6 28. Bc4? Kh8?
I am much better in this position. Kh8 isn’t a mistake at all, with the idea of playing f5 and unleashing the bishop on b7. The big mistake in my thinking was that my knight on b6 was a very powerful piece and would aid in the c4 push, after which my connected passers would determine the result of the game. What I should have done is to trade the c4 bishop and play f5 immediately! 28… Nxc4! 29. Rxc4 f5! 30. Qb3 Qe6 31. exf5 Rxf5

29. Qd3 Qg5 30. f3 f5
(30… Nxc4! 31. Qxc4 f5)

31. exf5 Rxf5??
I would still be better after trading knight for bishop! 31… Nxc4! 32. Rxc4 Bd5 33. Ra4 c4 34. Qc2 Rxf5

32. Be6 Rff8
32… e4 33. fxe4 Rxf1+ 34. Rxf1 Re8 35. Bf5 only gives up a pawn but the position offers no counterplay, but is probably what I should have tried.

33. Bxc8 Rxc8 34. Rce1 Nd5
(34… Bd5)

35. Bc1 Qf6 36. Qe4 Re8 37. f4 Qb6 38. Qf5 Qd8
(38… e4 39. Rxe4 Qxb5 40. Qf7 Rg8) (38… Qxb5 39. fxe5 Ne7 (39… Rg8) 40. Qf7)

39. Rxe5 Nc3
(39… Nf6) (39…Rf8)

40. Rfe1
(40. Qf7)

40… Rxe5
(40… Rf8)

41. Qxe5 h6 42. Qxc5 Qf6 43. Qe5 Qxe5 44. Rxe5 d3 45. Kf2 Ne2 46. Bd2 Kh7 47. b6 Kg6 48. Re7 1-0

After a big rating gain last year, I’m taking a big step backward this year 😦

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

Back to blogging, and the recap of a painful loss

June 23, 2010
Replay (I was white)
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 e5 6. Ndb5 d6 7. Bg5 a6 8. Na3 b5 9. Nd5 Be7 10. Bxf6 Bxf6 11. c3 Rb8
This variation was new to me. I know that in the Sveshnikov, white creates (and pushes) passers on the queenside while black attacks on the kingside. This move prevents white (after Nc2) from playing a4 because after bxa4, white’s b-pawn is hanging. I didn’t know that white responds with Ncb4 in this variation to carry on his play. Instead, I carried on making “normal” moves.
12. Nc2 O-O 13. Bd3 Bg5 14. Nce3 Bxe3 15. Nxe3 Qg5 16. O-O Ne7 17. Qc2 Ng6 18. Rfd1 Bb7
(18… Bh3 19. Bf1) (18… Be6)
19. a4 f5 20. exf5 Nf4 21. Bf1
(21. Be4 Nh3+ 22. Kf1 Nxf2 23. Bxb7 (23. Kxf2 Qh4+ 24. g3 Qxe4 25. Qxe4 Bxe4 26. Rxd6 bxa4 27. Rd2 Bc6) 23… Nxd1 24. Bd5+ Kh8 25. Nxd1 Rxf5+ 26. Kg1 Rbf8)
21… Be4 22. Qb3+ Kh8
(22… Bd5 23. Nxd5 Nh3+ 24. Kh1 Nxf2+ 25. Kg1 Nh3+)
23. g3 Bxf5 24. Nxf5 Rxf5 25. axb5 axb5 26. Qxb5
26. Rxd6 Rbf8 27. Qxb5 e4 28. Qb6 is the line that the computer gives, and while I certainly saw this line, it seemed a bit too greedy!
26… Rbf8
(26… Rff8 27. Qc6 Rxb2 28. Ra8)
27. Qb6
(27. Rxd6)
27… d5 28. b4 h5 29. Qe3 Qg4 30. Rd2
(30. b5! h4 31. b6)
30… h4 31. Ra7 Nh3+ 32. Bxh3 Qxh3 33. Rda2 Qg4
(33… hxg3 34. Qxg3 Qh6)
34. Ra8 Qd1+ 0-1
And here I blundered and resigned, thinking that 35. Kg2 h3+ 36. Kxh3 Rh5+ was mate 😦
h1

Finally, a win this year

February 6, 2010

It was a weird experience. Playing in a league match, the opposing team’s top board (who I was playing) was ranked lower than our board 5. Despite that, our game should have really been a draw but I squeaked by with a win in time trouble and we won the match 4-1. The game can be replayed here (I was black).

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bg5 e6 7. Bxf6 Qxf6 8. g3 Nc6 9. Nxc6 bxc6 10. Bg2 d5 11. exd5 cxd5 12. Qf3 Qd8 13. a3 Be7 14. O-O O-O 15. Rfd1 Qc7
The opening has been quite dry and I was trying my best to keep as many pieces on the board and try and outplay my opponent. Here, I initially thought that he might be able to play 16. Rxd5?!. I run into trouble after 16… exd5 17. Nxd5 Bb7 but then realized that 16… Bb7 17. Rd7 Qxd7 18. Qxb7 and black is better.
16. h4 Rb8 17. Rab1 Bb7 18. Qe2 Bc5
I debated between the text move and 18… Bf6, unsure as to which diagonal the bishop should sit on.
19. Qd3 Rfc8 20. Ne2 Qb6 21. Rf1 a5 22. Qd2 Ba6 23. c3 Qc7
23… a4! never crossed my mind, but it fixes white’s pawns and gives me concrete targets to aim at. From this point on, my opponent loses the thread a bit, letting his pieces stay passive and allowing me to improve my position.
24. b4? Ba7 25. Kh1 Bxe2 26. Qxe2 Qxc3 27. Qb2 axb4 28. axb4 g6 29. Rfc1 Qxb2 30. Rxc8+ Rxc8 31. Rxb2 Kg7 32. b5 Bd4 33. Rd2 Rc4 34. Bf1 Rb4 35. Kg2 Kf6 36. Rd1 e5 37. Be2 h5 38. f3 Rb2 39. Kf1 Ke6 40. f4 Be3 41. fxe5 Kxe5 42. Ke1 Ke4 43. Kf1 f5 44. Rd3 f4?
44… d4 was probably better, not yet allowing the bishop check on d3, as happens later in the game.
45. gxf4 Bxf4 46. Rd1 d4?
And this is definitely an error, and now the position is a dead draw! 46… Rb3, not allowing Bd3+ was needed.
47. Bd3+! Kf3 48. Bxg6 Rxb5 49. Bxh5+??
My opponent now commits a fatal blunder, in deep time trouble – he was down to less than a minute by this point. 49. Rxd4 maintains the equilibrium.
49… Rxh5 50. Rxd4 Rxh4 51. Rd3+ Be3 0-1
Mate follows.