Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Black to move and win. This is the position I had after I played 10.g3?? at the tournament. Note the glass knight on c3...when i crossed over to Cerner in Kansas a couple of months ago, I brought my chess tube with me and it opened up during the ride (or crossing the border) and when i opened my suitcase all my pieces were all over...and i was missing a knight :( now that's the one i always sack in blitz ;)

Sunday, February 26, 2006

February Round 2

K - C
February (2) 02-26-2006
B41 - Sicilian : Kan Variation

Okay this was the second (and final) game of February 2006. Kirk had moved to Walkerton earlier in the month and his internet didn't get hooked up until Friday. I wanted to play two games this weekend but unfortunately I went into work at 2:30am on Friday night/Saturday morning so I was in no shape to play. 1.e4 This was to be expected 1...c5 I'm still not sure what my "main" 1.e4 weapon is. I got smucked horribly in blitz last night v. my own weapon (the Grand Prix) where I tried to castle queenside and he rebuffed that idea. Kirk had mentioned in the past that he does not have a good line v. the Kan, so in a "must-win" game (match tied, last game) I decided to play the Kan v. him 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6 5.Be3!? Of course I have not played the Kan for months and months so could not remember what to play v. this (if anything). I think the problem is that it leaves the e-pawn unprotected, so probably ...Nf6 was the best, but I just wanted to get into a comfortable situation where he couldn't really attack me with his usual Be2, f4, O-O line. e.g. get comfortable, get him out of his comfort zone 5...Nc6 [5...Nf6] 6.Bd3 Nge7 [Again 6...Nf6 probably was better here. Again, like so many times before, I had decided in my mind what I was going to play regardless (or irregardless) of what my opponent did (see any of my Caro-Kann Advances historically)] 7.0-0 Nxd4 8.Bxd4 Nc6 this is the idea. It wastes a tempo for White. A similar idea is possible when the bishop is *not* on e3, except I tempo the queen. 9.c3?! [9.Be3 is better;
9.Bc3 has also been played, trying to stay on the long diagonal, but i imagine his pieces would be falling over top of each other trying to get his knight developed] 9...Nxd4 10.cxd4 d5? [10...Qb6 wins a pawn, but I thought with symmetrical pawn structures (both open c-file) i had equality] 11.e5 [I think he wanted to avoid the isolated pawn after 11.exd5 Qxd5 but that may have been best. The advantage to his move is that he wants to limit the scope of my bishops. The disadvantage is that with the blocked center he can't take advantage of his advantage in development. ] 11...Be7 [Again Qb6 wins a pawn here again 11...Qb6] 12.Nd2 0-0 [I could've finally tried 12...Qb6 13.Nb3 but I figured I should probably castle eventually. Although I could've took my time with the blocked center. I think he should've took a little longer here and tried to get an attacking plan.] 13.Rc1 f5! I don't know if this was an exclam, but at this point, I'm thinking two things. One, get my pieces into play. Two, about the only threat he has is Bxh7+ so why not try and solve both. He chooses to give up Bxh7+ 14.f4 [I wonder if uniting his rooks with 14.Qe2 was any better. Rashid Ziatdinov must be rolling in his grave about our patzer development ;);
or even 14.Nf3 guarding his d-pawn] 14...Qa5! I was happy with this move, trying to get him to play a3, because his d-pawn and b-pawn are still hanging and without the a-pawn guarding b3, Nb3 is not so strong 15.a3? [Falling into my plan 15.Qc2 may have been better, doubling up on h7 after an eventual g4 and stopping 15...Qxa2?? because of 16.Ra1;
Another idea was 15.Bb1 which looks funny but may be good as it guards a2 and takes one piece off the d-file.] 15...Bd7 [Maybe I screwed up the move order 15...Qb6 16.Nb3 Bd7 was forced, whereas he didn' thave to play 16.Nb3 in this line] 16.Nb3 [16.Qe2 Qb6 17.Nf3;
or even 16.Nf3 may have been better. ] 16...Qb6 17.Kh1? [Maybe the immediate overprotection by 17.Rc3 was better, but my position is better here and i'm getting some material] 17...Ba4 18.Bc2 Rac8

White to move

[This loses material but what was better. I liked 19.Nc5 Bxc2 (Fritz found 19. ..Bb5 winning a pawn) 20.Qxc2 Bxc5 (20...Qb5!) 21.dxc5 Qc6] 19...Bxb3 20.Bxb3 Rxc1 [Perhaps 20...Qxb3! would have been more in the style of Morphy] 21.Qxc1 Qxb3 Not a great start by Kirk, but I was happy enough to win. I built up the pressure and finished it. 0-1

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Weekend tourney Round 3

NN - C
B02 - Alekhine's Defense, Maroczy Variation

I forgot to mention in my other game that the time control was the unusual G/110+30 seconds. My opponent was a 40-ish gentleman who was rated lower than me, just what I was hoping for. Originally I was paired with a guy who was rated 1900 who was having a crappy tournament. I picked up a King's Gambit book from Chuck's bookstore and also let Kirk in on my little opening secret for this game so I was fired up to play. 1.e4 Nf6! The exclam is not for the quality of the move (I'm sure there are better) but for me actually playing it. I told myself, partially as a tribute to Kirk's excellent site, that I was going to play the Alekhine's at least in my life OTB. 2.d3 I knew it. [This or 2.Nc3 were inevitable] 2...d6? [The question mark is for going against my preparation. I had a miniscule debate with Eric Schiller about the merits of this move on Chessgames.com and he was happy enough with 2.d3 because 2. ...e5 allowed a reversed Philidor. Considering I had just gotten smacked around in 10 moves against the Philidor a couple hours previously you can understand my reasoning against playing 2...e5 . I'm sure it was stronger though] 3.Nf3 g6 4.h3 [Slow, probably 4.g3 was better] 4...c5 Now we have transposed into a Closed Sicilian. I have played positions like this quite often so I was relatively comfortable with it. 5.Be3 Bg7 [Fritz preferred 5...Qb6 making him either weaken his queenside, return his bishop, move his queen or sacrifice a pawn. ] 6.Nbd2 [He had to move either the pawn or the knight as after something like 6.Be2 Nxe4 7.dxe4 Bxb2 8.Nbd2 Bxa1 9.Qxa1 I felt better. Whether that was true or not, I'm not sure] 6...0-0 7.c3 Nc6 8.d4! I underestimated this move, however obvious it was 8...cxd4 9.cxd4 He has the easier position here, as it's tough to find a good square for my bishop and if he gets d5 in where does the knight go. I did some calculatin' and decided to play 9...d5 myself 10.e5 This was the line I was calculating. [Of course 10.exd5 Nxd5 is fine for Black] 10...Ne4 11.Nxe4 dxe4 12.Ng5 [This move did not come into my calculations, surprisingly. I had only looked at 12.Nd2 Nxd4 with a better position] 12...f5? [Of course 12...Qd5 is better. I don't know what I was thinking. Actually that's not true. I know exactly what happened. Mentally I had resigned myself to the fact that (because of the d3-pawn) he could only play Be2.] 13.Bc4+ Kh8 [13...e6 14.Bxe6+ Bxe6 15.Nxe6 Qa5+ looks like it might almost work but after 16.Bd2 what do i do?] 14.Nf7+ Rxf7 15.Bxf7 e6! This move totally saves my bacon. He now has to work to get his bishop out. 16.d5? [Trying to attack my precarious position 16.h4 Qe7 17.Bxg6 hxg6 was better, particularly with his rook still on h1] 16...Nxe5 The only thing I had was his precarious king position. This is the only try at getting an advantage for Black 17.dxe6 Qa5+ 18.Qd2 [18.Kf1 Bxe6 19.Bxe6 Qa6+;
18.Bd2 Nd3+ 19.Kf1 Qa6] 18...Nd3+ 19.Ke2 [19.Kd1 Nxb2+ 20.Ke1 Nd3+ 21.Kd1 Qxd2+ 22.Kxd2 f4 (22...Bxa1 23.e7 Bd7 24.Rxa1 Kg7 25.Bd5 Re8 26.Bxa7 Rxe7) ] 19...Qa6 20.Kf1 Bxe6!? [20...f4 was better, but i thought i had that move whenever I wanted] 21.Bxe6 Qxe6 22.g3 Trying to give room for his king. 22...Nxb2 23.Rb1 Nc4? [I should've grabbed the pawn. But just like 20. ...f4 I thought I could always grab the a-pawn whenever. 23...Qxa2 ] 24.Qe2 Nxe3+ 25.fxe3 [Only imagining that 25.Qxe3 Qxa2 was forced. I made some strange decisions in this game.] 25...b6 26.Rc1 g5!? I realized it was time to get one of my majorities rolling. Maybe it was premature, who knows 27.Qc4 wanting to trade queens off. UNderstandable. I missed the second part of his move though 27...Qe5 28.Qa6 An interesting idea. Threatening checkmate. 28...h5 [Maybe better was 28...Rf8 ;
28...Qxg3 29.Rc8+ Bf8 30.Rxa8 Qf3+
with perpetual] 29.Rc8+ Rxc8 30.Qxc8+ Kh7 31.Ke2

Black to play and lose

Horrible. Obviously better was [31...Qb2+ as i can capture the a-pawn with check, as because of the e-pawn, he can't make any progress with his king and he can't leave the rook 32.Kf1 Qa1+ 33.Kg2 Qxa2+ 34.Kg1 Qa5 looks pretty good to me.] 32.Qxf5+! This was the (obvious) move i missed 32...Kh6? Allowing him to capture the e-pawn with check. Better was [32...Kh8] 33.Qe6+ Kh7 34.Qxe4+ Kh6 35.h4 g4? [35...gxh4 36.Rxh4 (36.Qxh4 Qg2+ 37.Kd1 Qf3+= allows perpetual) 36...Be5 is playable. I'm still up a pawn. I was mentally defeated and I really thought that h4 was a strong move. Now I'm just screwed] 36.Qe6+ Kh7 37.Qf5+ Kh6 38.Qg5+ Kh7 39.Qxh5+ Kg8 40.Qe8+ Kh7 41.Qe4+ Kg8 42.h5 Qe5 43.Qxe5 Bxe5 44.e4 Kh7 45.Rg1 g3= and I offered a draw because I only saw... 46.Kf3 Kh6 but i missed 47.Kg4! [47.Rxg3 and I thought maybe I could sneak out a draw but it looks losing 47...Bxg3 48.Kxg3 Kxh5 49.Kf4 Kg6 50.Ke5 Kf7 51.Kd6 Ke8 52.Kc7 Ke7 53.Kb7 Ke6 54.Kxa7 Ke5 55.Kxb6 Kxe4 56.a4 Kd5 57.a5 Kd6 58.a6] 47...a5 48.Kf5 Bd6 49.e5 and I resigned. That was an interesting game, but I needed to relax after making the blunder. Relaxation is important. I was much too stressed about this tournament. I will try to change that in the future.

I'm probably dropped below 1500 after this tournament. My main problem is that since I've beaten experts I expect to play at that level all the time, which just isn't true. I need to be more consistent, nothing more nothing less. 1-0

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Weekend tourney Round 2

C - NN
C41 - Philidor Defense : Nimzowitsch Variation

This is the first I've touched a chessboard (Tuesday) since the tournament (Saturday). It was a very unpleasant tournament for me and I'm not sure what caused it. Too much quickplay no doubt. I forgot to bring my clock that should have been a warning. I had decided beforehand to play 1.e4, the Alekhine and the Nimzo/QGD. I had White the first game

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 As everytime Black avoids the Ruy, I wonder why I didn't just push my f-pawn on the second move 3.d4 Nf6 Interesting move order. Regular is [3...exd4;
and of course every White player v. the Philidor is looking for 3...Bg4 ;) ] 4.Bg5?! [I had to protect the pawn. Kirk recommended 4.dxe5 but after 4...Nxe4 i wonder if i would've found 5.Qd5!;
The mainline is 4.Nc3 and after 4...Nbd7 it is the Hanham Variation] 4...h6 [Schwartz-Paulsen continued 4...exd4 but I like the idea of him putting the question to my bishop. 5.Nxd4 Be7 6.Bd3 0-0 7.Nc3 c6 and eventually White won. I think I would play 4.Bg5 again though] 5.Bxf6? [Better was 5.Bh4 but I couldn't see what to play after 5...g5 6.dxe5 (not 6.Bg3? Nxe4) 6...Nxe4 7.Bd3 and it's messy but i doubt he wants his pawn on h4;
Even better was the immediate 5.dxe5 hxg5 6.exf6 g4 7.Nd4 Qxf6 I thought about it, but I realized why complicate things unnecessarily and just gave up the bishop pair, which I was loath to do before the game started.] 5...Qxf6 6.Nc3 c6 7.d5!? [I probably should have got on with it 7.Qd2 or;
7.Be2 but I thought that with all his pawn moves, I could try one too. In addition, this indirectly stopped him from playing ...b5] 7...Be7?

White to play and win

8.Qd2? [I missed that the bishop on e7 stopped the queen from coming back to d8 and stopping the fork 8.dxc6! bxc6 (8...Nxc6 9.Nd5 Qg6 10.Nc7+ is pretty obvious) 9.Nd5 Qg6 (9...cxd5 10.Qxd5 and wins the rook) 10.Nc7+] 8...0-0 9.0-0-0[9.dxc6 bxc6 (9...Nxc6 10.Nd5) 10.Nd5 cxd5 11.Qxd5 still worked, but if I missed it the first time, i was sure to miss it again. Of course it's not as strong this time because in the other line 11...Nc6 12.Qxc6 was check] 9...Nd7

White to play and lose horribly

Believe it or not there was some thought behind this move. [I wanted to put my knight on h4 and get to f5 but of course I couldn't do it immediately because of Qxh4, so I played 10.g3 losing the knight immediately. 10...-- 11.Nh4;
Of course something like 10.Be2 was better.

] 10...Qxf3

Why did I miss that the knight was defended only by the g-pawn? I wanted to play g3 while I could because I didn't want him to be able to pin. Kirk gave a more realistic excuse...not being used to playing with "real pieces". I had too much time to think, so I was making these deep knight inflitration ideas instead of looking at the board like I would in a blitz or active game. My opponent felt terrible and even apologized after the game.

So what's the solution? I want to play at the Canadian Open but I' m not real good at losing. Should I go back to playing things like the Caro? Should I give up chess? Should I analyze with a real board? I have given up correspondence. I'm thinking about just playing chess as a social activity, but I think I need a break. I may go to play more passive things as Black and just play 1.f4 as White and actually go through GM-RAM and endings books and sit at a board instead of this idiot box. We'll see 0-1

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

analyze this

AB - C
Grey Bruce Chess Club 2006
B09 - Pirc : Austrian Attack

1.e4 d6!? not something i'm gonna play next weekend but i wanted to try something different and move the struggle to the middlegame. also it's poor to get your opening busted by a stronger player before you go to a tournament. so i play something that i will never actually play OTB 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.f4 Bg7 5.Nf3 0-0 6.Be3 c6? [I haven't played this system very much before, but better than the "Rat" was 6...Nc6 ;
or the double-fianchetto 6...b6 i fell in love with the idea though of 6. ...c6 7.Bc4? Nxe4! ] 7.Qd2 Bg4 [7...Ng4 was another option] 8.Be2 b5 Trying to make him think twice about queenside castling 9.h3 Bxf3 [9...b4! 10.hxg4 bxc3 11.Qxc3 Nxe4 12.Qd3 was a more interesting try] 10.Bxf3 a5 11.0-0?! My threats worked. I think it would have been a better plan for him to push g4 etc. instead of castling kingside, but what do i know? ;) 11...Qc7? [11...d5 To stop the threat of e5] 12.Nxb5? [12.e5! b4 13.Nb5 won immediately] 12...cxb5 13.e5 Nc6 14.exf6 Bxf6 Now I feel I'm better with the c- for e-pawn trade 15.Rac1 [Maybe 15.c3 ] 15...Rac8 16.c4 b4 17.c5 dxc5 18.Rxc5 Qd6 19.d5? [Asking for too much out of the position. Maybe 19.Rd5 was better] 19...Nd4 20.Rxc8 [20.Rxa5 Rc2 21.Qd3 Nxf3+ 22.Rxf3 Rxb2] 20...Nxf3+ 21.Rxf3 Rxc8 22.Bf2 Rd8 23.Rd3 e6 I win a pawn by unbearably shoddy technique does me in. if you can believe it, i actually lose this game 24.a3 exd5 25.axb4 Qxb4 26.Qxb4 axb4 27.Bd4

[What a silly mistake by me. I realized that only his king would be able to help him, but missed that his king would be closer to my pawn. 27...Be7 was decided to be best afterwards.] 28.Rxd4 Kg7 29.Kf2 Kf6 [29...b3 may have been better 30.Rb4 d4 31.Ke2 Re8+ 32.Kd3 Re3+ 33.Kxd4 Rg3] 30.Rxb4 d4?? [Probably the losing move 30...h5 was much better allowing my king to stay near my pawn. Why did I make such terrible blunders? I was mentally defeated after the 27. ...Bxd4. i needed to take a breath and think. THIS GAME WAS NOT LOST AT THIS POINT] 31.Ke2 h5 [31...Re8+ 32.Kd3 Re3+ 33.Kxd4 Rg3] 32.Kd3 Kf5 33.Rxd4 Rb8 34.b4 Rb7 35.g3 Ke6 36.Rc4 Kd5= 37.Rc5+ Kd6 38.Kc4 f5 39.b5 Rb6 40.Kd4 and I stopped recording and eventually lost. It was good to play some strong opposition but I made some strange moves in the middlegame. 1-0

there were some good things to take from that. i won a pawn and had an excellent middlegame v. a relatively strong player. that is the level of player i will play in kitchener. the problem is that when he put a bit of pressure on me i crumbled. i need to focus more. Kirk, if you wouldn't mind doing a bit of analysis on this, i'd appreciate it ;)

Monday, February 06, 2006

February Round 1

C - K
February Match(1) Internet Chess Club (1), 06.02.2006
QGD: Tarrasch, Prague variation, 9.Bg5

First new game of February. Kirk has just moved to a new place and was "borrowing" a wireless connection from a neighbour so there were long periods with no connection. Finally, after about 15 moves I got frustrated and just offered a draw. 1.c4 Something new for me in my quest to avoid the Queen's Gambit and still allow the Nimzo ;) Of course Black can play stuff like [1.c4 e5 (and 1...c5 but it will give me a chance to think over the board since these positions are all new to me.) ] 1...c5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.Nf3 e6 [I was hoping for something like 3...Nc6 4.g3 g6 5.Bg2 Bg7 6.0-0 0-0 7.d4!] 4.g3 [I could've tried 4.d4 here;
but I was thinking about 4.e4 and a Mikenas-Carls. The problem with trying to get a Nimzo out of 1.c4 is that I can't play the Mikenas-Carls.] 4...d5 5.cxd5 exd5 [The text allows me to transpose into the Tarrasch Defense. If he would've tried 5...Nxd5 I don't think I would've been quite so comfortable going into a Semi-Tarrasch 6.d4] 6.d4 Nc6 7.Bg2 Be7 8.0-0 0-0 9.Bg5 Be6

And after some to-ing and fro-ing we actually made it to the mainline of the Tarrasch Defense. A Queen's Gambit, which I was hoping to avoid with 1.c4, but the Tarrasch, at our patzer level, is easier to play as White. [The mainline is 9...cxd4 10.Nxd4 h6 11.Be3 Re8] 10.Rc1 [10.dxc5 Bxc5 11.Bxf6 Qxf6 12.Nxd5 Qxb2 13.Nc7 was another interesting choice] 10...Nd7?! [No mention of 10. ...Nd7 in any book on the Tarrasch I have, but it seems an interesting choice. Similar to the idea of 10...Ne4 11.Bxe7 Qxe7 with the knight guarding the c5-pawn, but i think the knight may be more influential on e4 than d7.] 11.Bxe7 Qxe7 12.dxc5 Qxc5 13.Ng5! d4 14.Nxe6 fxe6 15.Bxc6? Throwing away advantage by looking for tricks [15.e3! was much better, with the idea of attacking the queen with tempo before exchanging the bishop 15...Rad8 16.Ne2 Qb6 17.Bxc6 bxc6 18.Qxd4] 15...bxc6 16.Ne4 [16.e3 Ne5 17.exd4 Qxd4 18.Qxd4 Nf3+ may have been better.] 16...Qe5= Again i offered a draw because i was fed up with the connection[I had only thought about 16...Qd5 17.Qc2 . I threw away a White, but there's lots more opportunity. Plus maybe I have a future option as White with 1.c4 :)] ½-½

Sunday, February 05, 2006

yet another one bites the dust

bye bye art of attack

hello SOVIET CHESS - 1917-1991

i actually learned something from the last book...i feel stronger