Tuesday, January 24, 2006

return of the caro

January Match Internet Chess Club (8), 24.01.2006
B12 - Caro-Kann : Advanced Variation

We decided to have a midweek game. 1.e4 c6 I wanted to move the battle to the late middlegame/endgame. Over the board there won't be as many miniatures for and against I hope 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.Nf3 e6 5.Be2 c5!? [I tried something different today. Normally I play the Karpov-esque 5...Ne7 6.-- Nd7 and only then 7.-- c5 and 8.-- Nc6 . ] 6.0-0 Nc6 7.c3 Nge7 [The main line is 7...cxd4 8.cxd4 then 8...Nge7 but I didn't want to open any lines for him. I can't understand why someone would play this way v. the old Karpov Knights way. Development is awkward at best and painful at worst.] 8.Bg5!? [The mainline is 8.dxc5! Ng6 9.b4 Ngxe5 . I wa happy with his move because it allowed me to develop a little bit] 8...Qb6 9.Qb3?! giving himself doubled isolated pawns [9.Qd2 may have been better] 9...Qxb3 10.axb3 Bxb1 11.Rfxb1 cxd4 12.cxd4 Nf5

Whether I'm better or worse here I'm happy with my position. I missed Kirk's next move, but I wanted just to trade off the bishops and my two queenside pawns are better than his. 13.Bb5! Be7 14.Rd1 Bxg5 15.Nxg5 h6 [I wanted to play 15...Ke7 to break the pin, but after an eventual 16.Nf3 -- and 17.g4 the knight is out of play] 16.Nf3 0-0 [Now 16...Ke7 17.Bxc6 bxc6 18.g4 loses] 17.Bxc6 bxc6 Now it comes down to whether the backwards c-pawn is weaker than the doubled isolated b-pawns. 18.g4 Ne7 19.Rdc1 [Fritz liked 19.Ra3 and I think that's okay as well. Easier for him to get at the a-pawn, since my knight is guarding the c-pawn. ] 19...Rfc8 20.Ne1 Ng6?! [Fritz wanted me to go after the b-pawn, but my idea was to play 20...Rc7 defending the a-pawn 21.-- Rac8 and freelance with my knight. With this setup of rooks if he decided to go after my a-pawn, i can always play 22.-- Ra8] 21.Ra6? [I think 21.Nd3! was better, limiting my knight.] 21...c5! 22.Nd3? [22.Rxc5 Rxc5 23.dxc5 Nxe5 24.h3;
or 22.dxc5 Nxe5 23.h3 was better] 22...cxd4 23.Rxc8+ Rxc8 24.Rxa7 Rc2 25.f4 Rd2 26.f5 Rxd3 [Fritz said that 26...exf5 was stronger but I thought my line was winning as well] 27.fxg6 fxg6 28.Rb7 Re3 29.b4? [29.Rb4 may have been a bit better, but it's a win now] 29...d3 30.Kf2 Re2+? [a blunder by me 30...d2! was instantly winning] 31.Kf1 Rxb2 32.b5 Rxh2? [Again not paying attention. I got lazy 32...Rb1+ 33.Kf2 d2] 33.Ke1 Rb2 34.b6 h5 Trying to make a second weakness 35.gxh5 gxh5 36.Rb8+ Kh7 37.b7 h4 38.Kd1 h3 39.Kc1 Rb3 40.Kd2 h2 White resigns 0-1

Sunday, January 22, 2006

game 7

January Match Internet Chess Club (7), 22.01.2006
C92 - Ruy Lopez : Closed, Kholmov Variation

This was not the best of games. 1.e4 Kirk mentioned that he had started playing 1.e4 so I wanted to see what he played v. the Ruy 1...e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 [I had actually thought about playing 4.Bxc6 dxc6 5.0-0 because of the crazy (unsound) line I saw 5...f6 6.Nxe5!? fxe5 7.Qh5+ Kd7 (7...g6 8.Qxe5+ +-) 8.Qxe5 and it will be difficult for Black to free himself. Unfortunately, Black doesn't have to play that line.] 4...Nf6 5.0-0 [I also thought about trying this 5.Qe2 to avoid the Open Lopez, as favored by Tiviakov and Tpstar But then I thought about it and realized that I wanted to see what he would play.] 5...Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 0-0 8.c3! What the heck, I thought. I'm gonna go for it. 8...d6 9.h3 [Again I had thoughts of playing 9.d4 Bg4 10.Be3 but was curious to see what his Closed Lopez line was] 9...Be6!? The Kholmov variation. Tough enough in practice, but not the greatest theoretically. A nice choice 10.d4 Bxb3 11.Qxb3 [11.axb3 is played as well but that isolated pawns after 11...exd4 12.cxd4 weren't very appealing to me(12.Nxd4 Nxd4 13.Qxd4 was another option, but I think the tempi on the queen makes it easier to roll the queenside pawns.) ] 11...exd4 [11...Qd7 is main line, but the text is theory as well] 12.cxd4 Nxd4?? [12...Na5;
or 12...d5 were better. I assume that Kirk thought I played 12.Nxd4 and trade that way. ] 13.Nxd4 c5 14.Nc6 Qc7 15.Nxe7+ Qxe7 16.Bg5 1-0

Saturday, January 21, 2006

2nd endgame in a row

January Match Internet Chess Club (6), 21.01.2006
C99 - Ruy Lopez : Closed, Tchigorin Variation, 12 ...cxd4

1.e4 e5
[I wanted revenge for our game last week, no doubt about it. I wasn't in the mood for another Opocensky Najdorf 1...c5 ;
didn't want a passive position with 1...c6 ;
and don't have the bollocks to try 1...Nf6 vs. the arch-duke of the Alekhine himself (but will in the future even if it's just blitz). So 1.e4 e5 it is] 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 [Of course there's always other options. I had to think at this point whether I wanted to play something "normal" or get him thinking on move 3 with something like 3...f5 ] 4.Ba4 [A less classy player would probably have played 4.Bxc6 ] 4...b5 a little finesse to stop a later Bxc6 5.Bb3 Nf6 6.0-0 [They say that 6.d4 is good here on chessgames.com (12 wins for White v. 2 losses, most of them miniatures). Interesting. Although after 6...exd4 7.e5 Ne4 I don't see what the big deal is as in Menke-Rellstab 1947(or even 7...Ng4 ) ] 6...Be7 7.Re1 0-0 The only reason I offered the Marshall, was not because I wanted him to play 8.c3 and allow it, but was to kill some time and let him decide whether or not to allow it. He didn't 8.h3 [The odd time where I do play the Closed Lopez I play this move order because the anti-Marshalls (IMHO) aren't as good for White as the mainline Closed Lopezes. 8.a4 Bb7 for instance] 8...d6 [I recalled that the grandmaster refutation to this line is 8...Bb7, but I couldn't remember why :) if 9.c3 (9.d3 is normally played by the Linares crowd) 9...d5! allows a better Marshall. 10.exd5 Nxd5 11.Nxe5 Nxe5 12.Rxe5 Black doesn't have to waste a tempo with ...c6 and can play something like 12...Bf6 (or even 12...Nf4! ) ] 9.c3 Na5 10.Bc2 c5 11.d4 Qc7 12.Nbd2 cxd4 13.cxd4 exd4?! [13...-- Releasing the tension in the center, which as a certain Mr. Frarey tought me the hard way, whomever released the central tension in the Lopez loses. I wanted to mix it up though. Kirk has made me suffer on the Black side of the Tchigorin too many times with the 14.Nf1 -- 15.Ng3 -- 16.Nh4 -- 17.Nhf5 plan and checkmated me horribly. So I wanted him to have to think for a change, plus I figured it would be easier to develop my knight if he didn' thave d5 kickign it from c6 and where was my bishop gonna go. Hell, maybe I'll have to try a different Lopez next time ;)] 14.Nxd4 Nc6 [I was thinking about moves like 14...Be6 for a while, trying to get him to trade off the bishop and get rid of my isolated pawns. The problem with this thinking (although it does develop my bishop) is that I'm making a conscious effort not to trade bishops for knights if I can help it (although that will be shown laughable later on in this game)] 15.N2f3 Ne5 Again to get my pawn away from d6 [15...Nxd4 16.Nxd4 d5 17.exd5 Bb4 18.Re2 Bb7 may have been an easier way to open up the game. History has shown (me) that Black's game gets easier the more open it is in the Tchigorin] 16.Bf4 Rd8!? not the greatest move but I had to free my pieces. [16...Nh5!? 17.Nxe5? (but 17.Bh2 basically refutes it) 17...Nxf4 may have been decent;
Probably just developing with 16...Bd7 was the strongest.] 17.Rc1! Yes! Taking advantage of my weaknesses in development. I had to decide where to put my queen. Fitz likes Qb6, but I was worried about tactics on the e7 bishop 17...Nxf3+ 18.Qxf3 Qb7 19.Bb3 Bd7 Now I wanted to trade off a pair of rooks. I don't think he will be able to put sufficient pressure on my d-pawn. 20.Qd3?! [20.e5! Qxf3 21.Nxf3 dxe5 22.Nxe5 and the weakness of my bishop on e7 tell] 20...Rac8 21.Nf3? [21.Rxc8 Rxc8 22.Nf3 because the rook is guarding the e-pawn.] 21...Rxc1 22.Rxc1 Qxe4 23.Bxf7+! I totally missed this. I had flashbacks to the previously mentioned game where he checkmated me horribly. I didn't see anything terrible though with... 23...Kf8 24.Qxe4 [The exchange was forced as 24.Qd2 Bxh3 is good for Black (and i even saw that)] 24...Nxe4 25.Bd5 Nc5 Aiming to fork 26.Bg3 [I wasn't sure what to try with 26.Rd1 Be6 was recommended by Fritz but 27.b4 looked good to me, stopping my queenside and leaving me with an isolated pawn] 26...Be6= I offered a draw here. Kirk took about 2 minutes before deciding on 27.Rxc5! Fritz likes it as two bishops for a rook is pretty good. The only problem with it, positionally, is that it gives me winning chances on the queenside and gets rid of my isolated pawn. 27...dxc5 28.Bxe6 Rd1+?! 29.Kh2 Bd6 This was the idea behind my odd 28th move. I wanted to trade off the bishops and go knight and light squred bishop v. rook. Unfortunately, Kirk was not so accomodating 30.Ne5 [30.Bc8 was probably better, because I'm impatient so I likely wouldn't have seen the error of my ways and played 30...Bxg3+? probably losing b/c of the active king] 30...Ke7 [I couldn't make 30...Re1 work but after 31.f4 Re2 Fritz says it's all good. My move was based on the active king. Kirk's king is more of a bystander than anything.] 31.Bc8 Bxe5? Giving up the bishop pair for no compensation, plus he grabs a couple of pawns. I was counting on 3 being better than 2 on the queenside, but honestly I was very lucky it worked out so well. [31...Re1 didn't work here as 32.Nc6+ won a piece but;
31...Rd2 32.Bxa6 Rxb2 was pretty good] 32.Bxe5 a5 33.Bxg7 a4 34.Bh6? [34.f4 was better] 34...b4 [I thought about 34...Rb1 35.b3 axb3 36.axb3 Rxb3 but that gets rid of my most advanced pawn 37.Bf5 c4 38.Bxh7 and now what?] 35.Bf5 Ra1 36.Bxh7 Rxa2 37.Bg7 [Defending the other way 37.Bc1 was likely better.] 37...a3 38.Bg8? [38.bxa3 bxa3 (38...Rxa3 to keep the pawns together loses to 39.Bg8) 39.f4 will be tough for me.] 38...Rxb2! 39.Bxb2? [He's gotta go for his own with 39.f4 ] 39...axb2 40.Ba2 c4 41.h4 c3 42.Bb3 b1Q He blundered in the endgame. As the last two games have shown, we *both* need to work on technique. We're both victims of bad decisions as much as anything 0-1

Monday, January 16, 2006

black is back y'all

C - K
January Match Internet Chess Club (5), 15.01.2006
C31 - King's Gambit Declined : Falkbeer, Tartakower Variation

I decided before this game to play a King's Gambit. I had found a new idea v. the Falkbeer which Kirk plays and wanted to try it out 1.f4 e5 [I go through this move order for a couple of reasons. I didn't believe that Kirk would play 1...d5 because history has shown that he doesn't like the closed positions that follow. Also, Kirk never plays 1.e4 e5] 2.e4 [And also history has shown that I don't like From's Gambit 2.fxe5 . Lasker's defense is my antidote (as Black) to From's 2...d6 3.exd6 Bxd6 4.Nf3 g5! with equality] 2...d5 3.Nf3 And here's mine (and Tartakower's idea).

I've been looking for an alternative line to [3.exd5 because I just don't like the positions after 3...e4 I like Tchigorin's 4.Bb5+ but the positions aren't particularly good and the mainlines i don't find any better, so hence the text] 3...Bg4! [and of course I don't even consider this move. It looks strong to me. I had looked at 3...exf4 transposing back to C36. ;
and the position after 3...dxe4 4.Nxe5 is fairly good as far as I'm concerned with lines like 4...Bd6 5.d4 exd3 6.Nxd3] 4.Be2 This was the only move I saw that didn't immediately lose material or ruin my position [4.exd5 e4 5.Qe2 is more in line with the falkbeer lines;
4.Nc3 d4 looks much better for Black;
4.h3 dxe4 5.hxg4 exf3 6.Qxf3 gives me a mangled kingside;
4.Qe2 was another option but i think Kirk would have ended up way ahead in development after something like 4...Nc6] 4...Bc5?! [This is a novelty as far as I can tell 4...exf4 has been played a number of times.] 5.Nxe5 Bxe2 [5...Bh3! was a possible move, threatening 6.gxh3 (6.Kf1 may be better for White according to Fritz, but i think it sucks to play as White) 6...Qh4+ 7.Kf1 Qf2#] 6.Qxe2 Nf6 [6...Nd7 7.exd5 Qh4+ 8.g3 Qe7] 7.Qb5+ Nbd7 8.exd5 [8.Nxd7 Nxd7 9.Qxb7 and 9...d4 with an ugly position is almost forced(9...Rb8 for instance 10.Qxd5 and i'm better; 9...dxe4 10.Qxe4+ Be7 11.0-0 looks better for me as well) The immediate 8.Qxb7?! isn't as good because after 8. ...Rb8 I can't capture the d-pawn. That tactical point is what I missed ] 8...0-0 9.b4? [Brutal. SOmething like 9.Nxd7 Nxd7 10.Kd1 would have been better. I'm way behind in development at this point, i just wanted to get the bishop off the diagonal so i can castle but i missed that...] 9...Bd4! attacks my rook 10.c3 [10.Nc3 doesn't really help me. At this point I wasn't counting on castling, so if I'm not going to castle trading off pieces is probably my best idea] 10...Bxe5 11.fxe5 Nxe5 12.0-0 [Plans change. Maybe 12.d4 first was better.] 12...Qxd5 i'm definitely worse here....i'm going to have to trade off queens without picking off the b-pawn which was the point of my queen excursion in the first place. 13.Qxd5 Nxd5 14.Rf5!? Nd3 [I was counting on this move. If he would've played something like 14...Rfe8 ;
or 14...f6 , but the text actually half gives me a chance to get back in the game, and catch up in development] 15.Rxd5 Nxc1 Trading off one of my undeveloped pieces 16.Na3?! A forcing move but [16.Rd7 was likely better] 16...Ne2+ 17.Kf2 [In the big picture 17.Kf1 would've been better. When I made this move i didn't picture him picking off the d-pawn (with check, hence Kf1 being better than Kf2). I imagined something grand like me pushing the d-pawn to d4 and all the way to victory or something like that. Delroy rides again! Unfortunately the continuation wasn't quite so dramatic...] 17...Nf4 18.Rd7 Rfd8 19.Rxc7 Ne6? [I imagine he played this because he was afraid of 19...Rxd2+ 20.Ke3 but 20...Rxa2! 21.Rxa2 Nd5+] 20.Rxb7 Rxd2+ 21.Kf1 two moves to get to f1, instead of one. an extra tempo here would've likely really helped me out. [21.Kf1 -- 22.Nc4 Rc2 23.Nd6 Rxc3 24.Rd1 i dunno if it's really better] 21...Nf4 22.Re1 Rxa2? [Allowing a tactic because of back rank mate. 22...h6 was likely better winning him a pawn. One of Kirk's "chess weaknesses" is refusing to slow down things to give his king some breathing room.] 23.Rxa7 Rd8 [23...Rxa7?? 24.Re8#] 24.Nb5 this is the key here. 24...Rxg2 [24...Rxa7 may have been better 25.Nxa7] 25.Nd6? not calculating hard enough [I thought about 25.Rd7 again with but if 25...Rb8 (25...Rxd7 26.Re8#) (not 26.Rb7 with a repetition but) 26.Re4! g5 27.Rxf4! gxf4 28.Kxg2 Rxb5 29.Kf3 and I think i'm better in in this endgame.] 25...Rxh2 26.Re8+?! [I think now was the time to go for the repetition by 26.Rd7 Ra8 27.Ra7 and if 27...Rf8 28.Ree7] 26...Rxe8 27.Nxe8 Rc2 28.Nd6 h6 29.Rxf7 Nd5 30.Rf3 [30.Rd7 Rxc3 31.b5 was pretty close to what happened] 30...Nxc3 [Of course hoping for 30...Rxc3 31.Rxc3 Nxc3] 31.b5 Nd5 32.Rb3 Nb6 33.Ne4 Kf7 34.Rf3+ Ke6 35.Rg3 g5 36.Nxg5+? [36.Rh3! was much better, but i figured that even I could draw R+N v. R] 36...hxg5 37.Rxg5= and I offered a draw which Kirk initially declined. He did offer a draw afterwards, but I don't know if it was at this point or when it was. I didn't see it (or hear it on ICC) so I continued playing and... 37...Kd6 38.Rf5 Rb2 39.Ke1 Nd5 40.Rg5 Rxb5

This is an unbelievable blunder. My excuse is that I was tired. A more realistic excuse is that (similar to my game in Kitchener last year where I dropped my queen on the sunny side of Q+P v. RR) I had already mentally chalked this up as a draw and the only thing i was trying to avoid was a fork. I wasn't even looking for my rook to be captured. Yes I feel he should have accepted my draw, but I should've opened my eyes. Sub-masterly play by me ;) 41...Nc3+ 42.Kd3 Rxg5 43.Kxc3 Rg4 44.Kd3 White resigns 0-1

i still need to learn focus. sneaky's recommendation of writing down the moves has startd but i totally played from about move 21 on too fast and was hardly paying attention at the end. oh well live and learn.

in response to my terrible tournament last year, i read an interesting article today about "Why We Have Disaster Tournaments". I'm just glad I'm not the only one ;)

Saturday, January 14, 2006

a quickie

K - C
January Match Internet Chess Club (4), 14.01.2006
D07 - Tchigorin Defense

Highly unexpected. I guess he wanted a break from the Najdorf, but I was going to try a Caro regardless. 1...d5 2.Nf3 [2.c4 I had been thikning about trying 2...e5 since Kasim played it successively (1½/2) at the Keres Memorial including a draw v. Karpov. I woke up this morning and tried to figure out how I would play this v. 2.Nf3. So ] 2...Nc6 3.c4 e5?! [Maybe 3...Bg4 is better, but I wanted to try and get ...e5 in and see how it worked] 4.Nxe5 [4.dxe5 d4 transposes to the main line of the Albin] 4...Nxe5 5.dxe5 d4 6.Bf4 Be6 [6...Ne7 7.-- Ng6 may have been better] 7.e3 [7.Qb3 Ne7 again going to g6] 7...dxe3 [7...g5! Similar to the game today at Corus Topalov-Kamsky 8.Bg3 h5 9.h4 dxe3] 8.Qxd8+ Rxd8 9.Bxe3 Bb4+ [9...f6 10.exf6 Nxf6 and it's a real gambit] 10.Bd2 Bxd2+ 11.Nxd2 Ne7 12.f4 Nf5 13.Be2? [13.Rc1 was likely better, protecting his c-pawn and getting rid of all fork options.] 13...Ne3 White resigns[13...Ne3 some of the lines are 14.Kf2 (14.Bf3 Nc2+ 15.Ke2 Nxa1 16.Rxa1) 14...Nxg2 15.Kxg2 Rxd2 Kirk may have resigned early but the position was getting ugly and I don't think he was really in the mood to play this morning] 0-1

Sunday, January 08, 2006

january match (3)

January Match Internet Chess Club (3), 08.01.2006
B90 - Sicilian : Najdorf, Kasparov Variation

1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 d6 [I tried to move order him here 2...Nc6 3.Nf3 and he either has to go into an unfamiliar (non-Najdorf) Sicilian with 3...Nf6 (or avoid a "normal" Sicilian altogether with 3...e5 ) ] 3.Nf3 [I didn't have the bollocks to try 3.f4 , but maybe next time] 3...Nf6 4.d4 cxd4 5.Nxd4 a6 and so after a little to-ing and fro-ing we come to the tabiya of the Najdorf. Me and Kirk played some blitz the other day and he went for the mainline v. Bg5 so I decided to go for 6.Be3 again and, not surpisingly, he went for 6...Ng4 again 7.Bg5 h6 8.Bh4 g5 9.Bg3 Bg7! [Last time he played 9...h5 and got a bad position. The text is theory] 10.Bc4 [Other moves are 10.Be2 ;

and 10.Qd2 . I figured that Bc4 put pressure on f7 and also would tempt him to play ...b5 and then both his kingside and queenside would be exposed] 10...0-0 [10...Qb6 looks interesting as well as Kirk's 10...h5;
or just develop 10...Nc6 ] 11.Ne6?! fxe6?! [11...Bxc3+ 12.bxc3 Qa5 was better according to Fritz] 12.Qxg4 This worked out exactly the way I wanted. My queen is on the kingside, there's pins and once i castle queenside there will be another pin on his queen. 12...Qd7 13.0-0-0 [The immediate 13.h4! may be better] 13...b5! 14.Bb3 Bxc3 [A better plan may have been 14...a5 15.a3 a4 16.Ba2 with his own pawn storm] 15.bxc3 Nc6? [Maybe 15...Qe8 trying to get some other pieces on the kingside, but I understand Kirk's rationale. For the third game in a row (or maybe more even) he's severely underdeveloped.] 16.h4! Na5 King safety should be at a premium at this point but I wonder if there's anything he can do? [16...Rf6] 17.hxg5 Nxb3+ 18.cxb3 e5 19.Qh5 hxg5? Losing immediately, but even after[19...Qe6 20.g6 it's pretty tough.

Kirk got himself in trouble with too many pawn moves and not enough development. He said after the game that he needed to learn to defend v. kingside pawn pushes. Maybe in a line like this it would have been better not to castle at all, since pawn-wise, he was strongest in the center. It's hard to say.] 1-0

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Black is OK

K - C
January Match Internet Chess Club (2), 07.01.2006
B92 - Sicilian : Najdorf, Opocensky Variation

Game two. This one was Saturday night. We are aiming for one more tomorrow morning, before I go back to work and Kirk goes back to school. 1.e4 c5 [I had thought about playing the Marshall attack against Kirk or maybe the Tchigorin and aim for a middlegame. Then I was finishing up my Karpov book today and I decided to try the Najdorf based on an interesting idea he had in there. 1...e5 ] 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be2 e5 7.Nb3 Be7 8.0-0 0-0 9.a4 [The line in the Karpov book was 9.Be3 Be6 10.Qd2 Nc6 11.Rfd1 a5! in Ehlvest-Georgadze Spartakiade 1983.

I didn't imagine that Kirk would play Qd2 and Rfd1 but it was an interesting idea taking up more space on the queenside. Of course with Kirk's 9.a4 it is silly to try to expand on the queenside with 9. ...a5] 9...Be6 10.Be3 I knew this was the mainline but I figured I had to try to "punish" him for the text. I also realized that one of the goals of the Najdorf is to play ...d5. I knew I wasn't fully developed, but I took a couple minutes, saw it wasn't immediately losing and thought what the hell ;) 10...d5!? [Theory gives 10...Nc6 ] 11.exd5 Nxd5 12.Nxd5 Qxd5 I figured that if Kirk wanted to trade off queens I at least had equality. Kirk mentioned after the game that he didn't want another 20 move draw :) 13.Nd2?! An interesting idea, giving the bishop some protection when it tries to kick my queen. 13...Nc6 14.Bb6 [I didn't count on this move at all, although it makes sense keeping me from doubling up on the d-file. I was looking at both 14.c4 and;
14.Bf3] 14...Nd4 15.Bc4 Qd6 16.a5 Qc6?! [If I wanted to play here I should've done it a move earlier. Better is likely 16...Rac8 doing the same thing. The idea behind ...Qc6 was to get the queen off the d-file.] 17.Bd3 [Fritz said that 17.Bxd4 exd4 giving an isolated pawn was better, although now that I can back it up with a rook on d8 (or a pawn after the bishop exchange) it doesn't look so bad.] 17...Bc5 Trading off the bishop, freeing my game quite a bit 18.Qh5!? Interesting but I think he got impatient, trying to force the issue. 18...f5! I was hoping to do this a move earlier actually, hoping to push ...e4, and try and keep Kirk from getting his knight to f3. 19.c3? [Trying to complicate things 19.Bxc5 Qxc5 20.c3 was probably better.] 19...Bxb6 20.axb6 Nb5 [20...Nb3 Forcing off the exchange of the knights may have been better.] 21.Rfe1 [21.Nf3 threatening Nxe5 21...e4 22.Ng5 h6 23.Nxe6 Qxe6 24.Bxb5 axb5 may have been better] 21...g6 [The immediate 21...e4 was better but i was worried about something like 22.Nxe4 fxe4 23.Bxe4 (but of course I had the intermezzo of 22...g6! I wonder if I would've played it) ] 22.Qd1 e4 Now I have a big space advantage. 23.Bc2 Rad8 [I was going to try 23...Qxb6 but I figured why rush? I'll always be able to grab that.] 24.Ba4 Qxb6 25.Qc2 So now I decided to try and get my knight to d3 25...Nd6 26.Rad1 Nf7 27.Qc1? [Better to defend with the knight than the bishop 27.Nb3 Ne5 28.Nd4 (28.Nc1 is okay as well. Kirk was in time trouble (a little over 5 minutes left) and was probably tired from apartment hunting and driving back home today and it looked like the position was busted, so I can understand why he might have missed this) ] 27...Ne5 28.Bc2 Ng4! While trying to keep my knight from d3, he exposes his kingside a little more. 29.Re2 e3 [I was looking at 29...Nxf2 30.Rxf2 e3 as well but it was a little trickier. The text was still winning but a little more straightforward] 30.Rxe3 Nxe3 31.fxe3 Qxe3+ 32.Kh1 Rd7 Kirk resigned here as I am going to double up rooks and win more material. I was happy with my game, and even if the ...d5 wasn't perfect, it was an interesting idea that worked out. I'm definitely getting more comfortable in the Najdorf. Interesting that this was the first win as Black since we started playing weekly in October (!)0-1

Friday, January 06, 2006

January Match (1)

January Match Internet Chess Club (1), 05.01.2006
D15 - Slav : Geller Gambit

First game of the New Year. Happy new year to everybody. 1.d4 I was sick of playing Najdorfs and I had a little bit of preparation here 1...d5 This was unexpected. He almost never plays 1.d4 d5 or 1.d4 Nf6 because he wants to avoid the Colle and the Tromp respectively. I was counting on him playing the Slav so I was hoping for [1...c6 . I had looked at 2.e4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.Nc3 e6 5.g4 Bg6 6.Nge2 c5 7.h4 but it was wild. On the other hand, Kirk likely isn't comfortable in these types of positions (as Black). It's irrelevant though because he played the 1.d4 d5 move order] 2.c4 When I played this I had a horrible feeling that he would play the QGA (which I hadn't looked at for weeks and weeks) but he played the expected 2...c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 dxc4 I think he was a little surprised that I didn't play the Slav exchange. 5.e4!? This is my preparation. I was thinking about trying [5.a4 Bf5 6.Ne5 e6 7.f3 but he had actually got that line before, and I don't imagine he got the Geller Gambit] 5...b5 6.e5 Nd5 7.a4 e6 8.Be2!? All theory up to here. The "mainline" is either [8.axb5;
or 8.Ng5 -- with the idea of 9.Nge4 . The line I was following was one of the first Geller gambits by Geller himself ] 8...Bb4!?

A novelty according to Chessgames.com but not the Megabase. [The mainline is developing with 8...Bb7 and then playing for opening the diagonal was ...c5 etc.] 9.0-0? Playing in gambit style but losing. [9.Bd2 was playable;
or even 9.Qc2 as in Annakov-Dolinskij, Moscow Open 1995 9...Qa5 10.Bd2 Bxc3 11.bxc3 Bb7 12.0-0 Qc7 13.Ng5 Nd7 14.Nxh7 a6 15.Ng5 N7b6 (15...Nxe5 16.dxe5 Qxe5 17.Nf3 -+) 16.Ne4 0-0-0 17.Nc5 1-0] 9...Bxc3 10.bxc3 Nxc3 11.Qc2 Nxa4?? [Horrible blunder. I have little/no compensation for my troubles after 11...Nxe2+ 12.Qxe2] 12.Bxc4 He obviously overlooked this. His queenside is going to fall apart pretty quickly. Even if I didn't pick up a pawn there, he can't be happy with his position. Sure he's got a couple pawns, but look at his development, and all the lines are open to his king 12...0-0 [12...bxc4 13.Rxa4 may have been better. The text leaves his crappy knight on the rim away from the action] 13.Bd3 h6 [If 13...g6 I was going to try 14.h4] 14.Be3 Fritz didn't like this particularly, but I'm happy enough, freeing up the knight from defending the d-pawn. The trouble is that how are my rooks going to come into the attack? The third rank is pretty clogged, so i was going to move the knight (not sure where yet) and then push f4 and come in that way. [14.Ba3 Re8 15.Bd6 was Fritz's idea. I guess this guards the d-pawn by blocking the queen's access to it.] 14...Bb7 15.Rfb1 c5? [Maybe even 15...Nb6 was stronger, now that the c-pawn was defended. I have to prove my attack is worth two pawns. Maybe his position holds up tactically etc, but he should be worried about developing and not forcing the issue with moves like c5 for now.] 16.Bxb5 Bxf3!? [16...cxd4 17.Nxd4 Nb6 was stronger. Sure the a-pawn will possibly fall, but my e-pawn is weak, and after 18.-- N8d7 i think his position is good] 17.Rxa4! I found out where my rook is going to invade, along the fourth rank 17...cxd4?! [17...Bc6 was stronger I think. Maybe not, his position is just about ready to fall apart.] 18.Rxd4 Bd5 19.Rg4 Nd7? 20.Bxd7? [Kirk resigned but the immediate 20.Bxh6 was better 20...Kh8 (20...g6 21.Rxg6+) 21.Bxg7+ Kg8 22.Bf6#;
Apparently after 20...h5 21.Rg3 h4 22.Rg4 Qxd7 23.Bh6 f5 the position is defendable but 24.Rxg7+ Qxg7 25.Bxg7 Kxg7 looks better for White to me.

Anyways I was glad to get some preparation in and get a good aggressive gambit. Of course if he would've played properly after 9.O-O? it would have been a different story. Oh well, maybe next time] 1-0

Thursday, January 05, 2006

move orders

i got move ordered a couple of times lately by 1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.Nf3

which is fine for most people but for a card-carrying najdorf player like myself? no thanks. i ended up playing the Classical Sicilian, or the Accelerated Dragon, I didn't like it. then it hit me...why not play what the Super G's play?

3. ...e5!

sure it's ugly as all hell, but it does keep white from playing d4, and if it's good enough for Ivanchuk, Morozevich, Leko (v. Kasparov btw), Shirov and Krammy it's good enough for me.

also i was thinking about recommending Spassky's Qe2 v. the Petroff

white has no losing chances at all, what's not to like?

play continues 5. ...Qe7 6.d3 Nf6 7.Bg5 and White has a lead in development. if i played 1.e4?! and allowed the Petroff i would play it

Sunday, January 01, 2006

2005 was a draw

Sadler_K - Sadler_C
December Match Internet Chess Club (5), 31.12.2005
C82 - Ruy Lopez : Open, St. Petersburg Variation

1.e4 The fifth (and deciding) game of our December match. All i needed was a draw 1...e5? The question mark was purely for non-chessical things. Sure I had been studying the Karpov-Korchnoi match (hence the Open Lopez) but I had been working on the Sicilian for weeks and weeks and this is supposed to be my main weapon. 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Nxe4 6.d4 [One of the main reasons I don't play this OTB is 6.Re1 where I can't find a really good respone for it. 6...Nc5 7.Bxc6 dxc6 8.Nxe5 and White is good enough to me.] 6...b5 [An interesting line here is the Riga Variation (which allegedly was refuted by Capablanca). It continues 6...exd4 7.Re1 d5 8.Nxd4 Bd6 9.Nxc6 Bxh2+ and if 10.Kxh2 (Capablanca's variation was 10.Kh1 Qh4 11.Rxe4+ dxe4 12.Qd8+ Qxd8 13.Nxd8+ Kxd8 14.Kxh2 with an interesting game. Maybe I'll try it sometime ;)) 10...Qh4+ 11.Kg1 Qxf2+= with perpetual]

7.Bb3 d5 8.dxe5 Be6 9.c3 Bc5 [The other line is 9...Be7 allowing the knight to retreat to 10.-- Nc5 , but i preferred to try and go for the throat. maybe not the best idea in a match where a draw will suffice, but i had fire in the belly today] 10.Nbd2 0-0 11.Nxe4? [11.Bc2 is the main line when I can either play 11...Bf5 (or 11...f5 ; or the Dilworth Variation (a favourite of mine) with 11...Nxf2 12.Rxf2 f6 13.exf6 Bxf2+ 14.Kxf2 Qxf6 and sharp play) which was Korchnoi's choice in the game I was currently studying 12.Nb3 Bg6 13.Nfd4 Bxd4 14.cxd4 a5 with an interesting game.] 11...dxe4 12.Ng5 Bxb3 13.Qxb3 Nxe5? [Much better was the blocking of his forces with 13...e3! 14.Nxf7 (14.Nf3 exf2+ 15.Kh1; 14.Ne4) 14...exf2+ 15.Rxf2 (15.Kh1 Rxf7 16.e6 Rf5 17.e7+ Qd5 18.Qxd5+ Rxd5 19.b4 Bxe7 20.Rxf2 Rd1+) 15...Bxf2+ 16.Kxf2 Qh4+ 17.g3 Qxh2+ 18.Ke1 Qxg3+ 19.Ke2 Rxf7] 14.Nxe4 Bb6 15.Bf4 Nd3 16.Rad1 Nxf4? [Much, much better was 16...Qe7! threatening something. 17.Rxd3 Qxe4 and then after 18.Rf3 his pieces are tied up and I'm definitely better. Not sure why I missed that relatively easy move] 17.Rxd8 Raxd8 18.Rd1 Rde8 19.Ng5 Nd3? [I made some strange decisions this game. Obviously I wanted to attack f7 but something like 19...h6 first was much better. 20.Nf3 Re2] 20.Kf1? [20.Qc2! threatening mate on h7 was best. What do I have? 20...h6 21.Qxd3 hxg5 for instance? I'm not particularly happy with my position.] 20...Nxf2 Rook+bishop+pawn = queen right? I was happy enough with my position, but I definitely wanted to keep the rooks on if possible 21.Rd7 Ne4 [21...Ng4 was better, actually threatening something. The idea of Ne4 was the fork on c5. He almost had to exchange now;
I was planning on holding off on the knight move hoping for something like 21...-- 22.Nxf7 Ne4! etc.] 22.Nxe4 [22.Rxf7 Nd2#] 22...Rxe4 23.Qd5 Rf4+ To guard f7, freeing up the other rook. 24.Ke2 Re8+ [24...Rf2+ instead, winning a pawn?] 25.Kd3 Re3+ 26.Kc2 Re8? Allowing him to trade off rooks. [26...Rf2+ 27.Kb3 g6 giving myself some luft.] 27.Rd8 Rfe4 28.Qxe4 I almost resigned here, but Kirk said he wanted to play on 28...Rxd8 29.Qe7 Rf8 [Too passive. More active was something like 29...Rb8 ] 30.Kb3 g6 31.h4?! Kirk got impatient I think. His advantage would turn out to be on the queenside in the upcoming endgame. [31.c4 was better in my patzer opinion] 31...c5? [And again, my advantage was on the kingside so I should've played to my advantage with 31...f5 ;
31...c5 32.g4 I of course was hoping for something like 32...c4+ 33.Kb4 a5+ missing that it wasn't mate and he could just play 34.Kxb5] 32.Qb7 c4+ 33.Kc2 Bc5? Hoping for some kind of perpetual. My play was ridiculous [33...Bf2 was better aiming for the h-pawn.] 34.Qxa6 Re8 35.Qxb5 Re2+= and I offered a draw which Kirk smartly declined 36.Kd1 Re5 Nicely played game by Kirk, I basically threw myself on his sword. Hopefully I can play stronger with Black in 2006, neither one of us had more than a draw in our weekly matches. 1-0

so my training schedule for 2006 is firstly to finish off the Karpov book and then to go through tactics and art of attack. my new policy is not to buy a new book until i have finished two.