Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Cdn Open 2006 Rounds 7-9

Canadian Open U2000 Kitchener (7), 21.07.2006
D67 - QGD : Orthodox, 8.Bd3

Before this tournament I told myself that how well (or how poorly) I was doing, every round i would be playing someone who was doing as well (as poorly) as I was. This isn't necessarily the case in a local tournament, but in a section with 80 people it definitely is. My opponent lived in Sault Ste. Marie and this was his yearly tournament. 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 Nbd7 5.Bg5 Be7 6.e3 0-0 7.Rc1 c6 8.Bd3 [Who says that an old dog can't learn new tricks? I analyzed my previous White game and learned what the main line was so I went for it here. 8.cxd5 exd5 was the previous game] 8...dxc4 9.Bxc4 Nd5 10.Bxe7 Qxe7 11.0-0 N7f6 12.Bd3 Nxc3 13.Rxc3= And I offered a draw here. He declined it. For some reason I thought the "mainline" included a ...h6 and a Bh4 by me so I thought I was a tempo up on the mainline. ;) 13...Nd5 14.Rc1 Rd8 15.a3 I wanted to take b4 away from his knight, but more importantly his queen. Also I threatened expansion. I could get away with this because I have a huge advantage in development. 15...a5 16.Ne5 [Of course after 16.e4 Nf4 is strong.;
Maybe keeping on both the c-file and h7 with 16.Qc2 was better? It's unclear. I decided to play for e4 again.] 16...Bd7 17.Qb3 Be8 18.h3 I couldn't figure out how I wanted to continue, so I decided to go for some luft. 18...f6 19.Nf3 [Maybe 19.Nc4 was better and allow me to play on the queenside, but I was itching to go at his king] 19...Bf7 20.Qc2! I was happy with this move, forcing more weaknesses on the kingside 20...g6 [Maybe 20...h6 is more bearable, but my light square battery looks strong there] 21.Rfe1 e5 22.e4 Nf4 23.Bc4 exd4 24.Rcd1 c5 25.Bxf7+ Kxf7 26.e5!=

The exclam isn't for the quality of the move as much as it is for increasing the sharpness of the position. At this level in particular a little bit of pressure can do wonders. I offered a draw here on his time and he said "the position sure is tense" and then played... 26...Kf8? [A much tougher move would have been 26...f5 and there's no easy way for me to proceed. 27.Qc1 Nd5 28.Nd2 b6 29.Nc4 and I'm just down a pawn;
26...fxe5 Gives me a free shot at his queen but can I do anything with is the question 27.Nxe5+ Kg7 is forced as most moves to a dark square win the queen and(27...Kg8 28.Nxg6 is strong) ] 27.exf6 Qxf6 [27...Qd6 28.Re5 b6 29.Qe4 Qxf6 30.Ng5 Kg8 looks strong but I don't see a mate 31.g3 Nh5 32.Nxh7 Kxh7 33.Rxh5+] 28.Qxc5+ Qd6 29.Qxd6+ Rxd6= Of course here he says "I'll take that draw" but I'm substantially better and have all the winning chances. 30.Rxd4 Rxd4 31.Nxd4 Rd8? I would have thought that he would be trying to avoid any trade 32.Ne6+ Nxe6 33.Rxe6 Rd7 34.Rb6 Ke8 35.Rb5 Winning a pawn 35...Rd1+ 36.Kh2 Rd2 37.Kg3 Rd4 38.Rxb7 [I figured taking the b-pawn would keep defending my b-pawn and let me made a passer easier than 38.Rxa5 Kd7 39.Rb5 Kc6] 38...h5 39.h4 Rg4+ 40.Kh3 Kd8 41.b4 Rd4 42.Rb5 Rd3+ 43.f3 axb4 44.Rxb4 [Probably I should have just played 44.axb4 and then played 44...-- 45.Rg5 and tried to pick off the g-pawn and if not get behind the b-pawn instead of in front of it like in the game 45...Rd6 46.b5 Rb6 47.g4 Rf6 48.gxh5 gxh5 49.Rxh5 Rxf3+ 50.Kg4] 44...Rd6 [44...Rxa3 45.Rb6 is tough] 45.Ra4 [Perhaps 45.Rb5 to get at the g-pawn was better 45...Ra6 46.Rg5 Ke7 47.a4 Kf6 48.a5] 45...Ke7 46.Kg3 Ke8 47.Ra7 Kf8 48.a4 Ke8 49.a5 Kf8 50.a6 Kg8 51.Ra8+? Probably better is to go after the g-pawn with my king and keep his king from going to the 7th [51.Kf4 Kf8 (51...Rd5 52.Rb7 Ra5 53.a7 Rf5+ 54.Ke4 Ra5 55.Rb8+ Kf7 56.a8Q Rxa8 57.Rxa8) 52.Kg5 and it's almost over] 51...Kh7 52.a7 Ra6 53.Kf4 Trying to get an active king. Now I couldn't figure out how to win this. 53...Ra5 54.g4 hxg4 55.fxg4 g5+ 56.hxg5 Kg7 57.Kg3 Ra3+ 58.Kh4 Ra2 59.g6 Ra3 60.Kg5 Ra5+ 61.Kf4 Ra6 62.Ke5 Ra5+ 63.Kd6 Ra6+ 64.Kc7 Ra2 65.Kc6 Rc2+ 66.Kd5 I couldn't see a way to avoid the checks (he had too many squares to move vertically with his rook) so I decided to try and win it over here 66...Ra2 67.Ke4 Ra4+ 68.Kf5 Ra5+ 69.Kf4 Ra4+ 70.Kg3 Ra3+ 71.Kh4 Ra2 72.Rd8 Rxa7 73.Rd6 Ra5 74.Kg3 Ra3+ 75.Kh4 Ra5 76.Re6 Rb5 77.g5 Rb1 78.Kg4 Rg1+ 79.Kh5 Kg8? I'm not sure why he played this 80.Re7 Rb1 81.g7 Rh1+ 82.Kg6 This was all I could hope for 82...Rh6+ 83.Kf5 [83.gxh6 stalemate;
83.Kxh6 stalemate] 83...Rh1 84.Ra7? [84.Kf6! Rf1+ (84...Rh6+ 85.gxh6 Kh7 wins) 85.Kg6 Re1 86.Rf7 Rf1 87.Rf8+ similar to the game] 84...Rf1+ 85.Kg6 Ra1 86.Rf7 Ra6+ 87.Rf6 Rb6

[I have no idea why I didn't see this. After the game of course it's obvious 88.Kh6! ] 88...Rb1 89.Re6 I was drained and upset that I had spoiled a perfectly won endgame. 89...Kxg7 90.Re4 Rh1+ 91.Rh4 Rxh4+ 92.Kxh4 Kg6 93.Kg4 Kg7 94.Kf5 Kf7 95.g6+ Kg7 96.Kg5 Kg8 97.Kf6 Kf8 Not the greatest game, but I consoled myself by the fact that it would've been the same result if he had taken the draw on move 13 or move 26 ½-½

Canadian Open U2000 Kitchener (8), 22.07.2006
D18 - Slav : Dutch Variation

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.a4 Bf5 6.e3
[I have previous tried 6.Nh4 but it is painful to the eyes] 6...e6 7.Bxc4 Bb4 8.0-0 0-0 9.Qb3 [Theory (D19) is 9.Qe2 my friend Armando Valdizon told me that the only opening theory he knew was memorizing the ECO codes. It sort of made me laugh at the time, but I would've gotten a better position this game if I knew that Qe2 was the move for D19 ;);
Kirk plays the Slav but I had never actually gotten this deep. I wanted to play 9.Nh4 but I saw ghosts and wanted to protect the "c-pawn" after the exchange with my queen and also threaten the b-pawn behind the bishop etc. 9...Bxc3 10.bxc3 Ne4 11.Nxf5 exf5] 9...a5?! [9...Qe7;
or 9...Qb6 are better] 10.Nh4 Bg6 [10...Bg4 11.f3 Bh5] 11.Nxg6 hxg6 12.Ne2 [I wondered if I could win a pawn here with 12.Na2 Na6 (I was worried about something like 12...Bd6 giving up the pawn but leaving my knight stuck on a2 for a while) 13.Nxb4 Nxb4 14.Bd2 holds the pawn but makes thing unpleasant for him 14...Qd6 ] 12...Qc7 Playing for development here and to connect my rooks 13.Rd1 Nbd7 14.Bd2 Bd6 15.Ng3 PLaying for e4 like every 1.d4 game I play it seems ;) 15...Nd5? [15...Rfd8] 16.e4 Nb4 17.e5 I had to go for it now 17...Be7

I offered a draw here, and since he was like 200 points higher he refused it. He also saw my horrible play the previous game (buddy of the guy I drew) so I figured he would play on to mate hoping I'd mess up 18...Nxe5? [18...fxe6 19.Qxe6+ Rf7 (19...Kh7 20.Qxe7) 20.Qxg6 Nf8 21.Qg4 and it's going to be an interesting middlegame] 19.dxe5 Qxe5? Thinking he can pick off my piece regardless [19...fxe6 20.Qxe6+ Rf7 was better] 20.Re1 Qd6 21.Bxb4 axb4 22.Rad1 Qc5 23.Bg4 and I'm ujp a healthy piece for a pawn and he has some weak pawns 23...Bh4 24.Bf3 Rac8 25.Rc1 Qb6 26.Rc4 Winning something 26...c5?? and he drops a piece. The rest is uneventful and he just played on, not because he is a poor sport but because he thought I'd play as poorly as I did the previous round 27.Rxh4 c4 28.Rxc4 Rce8 29.Rcc1 Qd4 30.h3 Qd2 31.Red1 Qg5 32.Qxb4 Re5 33.Qxb7 Rfe8 34.b4 Qf4 35.a5 R5e7 36.Qc6 Qxb4 37.Qc3 Qf4 38.Re1 Kh7 39.Rxe7 Rxe7 40.a6 Ra7 41.Ra1 f5 42.Bb7 I was particularly happy with the position here 42...Qd6 43.Qc6 Qd4 44.Qc1 Qe5 45.Ra3 f4 46.Qc3 Qd6 47.Qd3 Qc5 48.Ne4 Qc1+ 49.Kh2 Qc7 50.f3 Kh6 51.Rc3 Qe5 52.Rc8 Kh7 53.Qd8 g5 54.Qxg5 Qxg5 55.Nxg5+ Kg6 56.Ne6 Kf5 57.Nxg7+ Ke5 58.Rf8 Kd4 59.Ne6+ Ke3 60.Nxf4 Kf2 61.Nd5 Ke2 62.Nb4 Ke3 63.Nc6 1-0

If i had my druthers I would've been able to refuse his resignation and promote all my pawns to queens and checkmate him, but unfortunately that is not in the rules.

Canadian Open U2000 Kitchener (9), 23.07.2006
B20 - Sicilian

Last round of a long tournament. This was a nice guy from Toronto who was in the family prize with his dad, who Kirk took on earlier in the tournament. 1.e4 Nf6 I lost every game I played with the Caro, the opening had nothing to do with it, but I needed a change regardless. Since my brother is the archduke of the Alekhine and he dropped out of the tournament I thought I would keep his tournament alive, so to speak, and play an Alekhine 2.d3 Drats. I decided to go into a Closed Sicilian 2...d6 3.Nf3 g6 4.g3 Bg7 5.Bg2 0-0 6.0-0 c5 Equality after 6 moves, just like every other game ;) 7.Re1 [Better to develop 7.Nc3 ] 7...Nc6 8.c3 Qb6 Maybe this wasn't best, but I wanted to make his development as difficult as possible, and try my best to stop the d4 push 9.Nbd2 Bg4 10.h3 Bd7? [Not paying attention to his possibilities. Although 10...Be6 blocks the e-pawn, it shuts down his options with his knight] 11.Nc4! Qc7 12.Ne3 [I thought he was going to start the assault on my position with something like 12.e5 ] 12...Rac8 13.Nh2 b5 Trying to make some aggressive intentions on the queenside. 14.Nd5 Because of this, 11. ...Qd8 was probably better 14...Qd8 15.Nxf6+ Bxf6 16.Bh6 Bg7 17.Qd2 e6 18.Ng4 Ne5 [A tough move to make, but I didn't like the look of 18...e5 19.Bxg7 Kxg7 20.Qh6+ Kh8 even though it was probably better] 19.Bxg7 Kxg7 20.Qh6+ [Paraphrasing Lasker annotating Morphy-Count Isouard, I'm more of a butcher than an artist. (He was talking about the position after 1.e4 e5 2.nf3 d6 3.d4 Bg4 4.dxe5 Bxf3 5.Qxf3 dxe5 6.Bc4 Nf6 7.Qb3 Qe7 saying that 8.Qxb7 would be the butcher's method) I would've played 20.Nxe5 dxe5 here and then something like 21.Rad1] 20...Kh8 [The way the game ended up 20...Kg8 would have been much better, but I wanted to get my queen to g7 and trade off. I offered a draw somewhere before this and he mentioned that he would have taken the draw, but he had to play to the end as him and his dad had an 'outside shot' at the family prize] 21.d4 [21.Nxe5 I believe 21...dxe5 22.Rad1 is preferable] 21...Nxg4 22.hxg4 Qf6? aiming for g7 [Taking control of the c-file with 22...cxd4 23.cxd4 Rc2 was better I think] 23.e5 dxe5 24.Bb7 Rc7?? [He sat for a long time thinking about this move. I didn't want to play 24...Rb8 and wanted to threaten something, missing that the only thing defending my rook was the rook. Another moment of blindness this one resulting in mate] 25.Qxf8# An appropriate finish to an uneven tournament 1-0

so i learned a few things. one, bring a sweater...those hotels were air conditioned so powerfully that i found myself literally shivering and had to go outside to warm myself up. two, play more slow chess before hand. i wasn't used to being able to think for 30 minutes for a move. this sounds like it would be an advantage, but unfortunately i found myself antsy and making instinctive and reactive moves. and three, i made a whole whack of one move blunders. i don't know if playing more slow games will help that, but if i did a better "idiot check" before i move i could've scored a few more points relatively easily. i really enjoyed myself, the tournament site was the best i've been in, and i'm going back next year. rumor has it, it's gonna be in kitchener again, but i imagine they'll announce that in the near future

Cdn Open 2006 Rounds 4-6

Canadian Open U2000 Kitchener (4), 18.07.2006
B18 - Caro-Kann : Classical Variation

Taking on a gentleman from Toronto 1.e4 c6 I was surprised at the number of e4s I got at this tournament...I'll have to look for something different for next year...it's tiring to defend for 4 hours 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Bf5 5.Ng3 Bg6 6.h4 h6 7.h5 Bh7 8.Bd3?!

[All theory so far. Mainline is 8.Nf3 Nd7 9.Bd3 Bxd3 10.Qxd3 Qc7 . I calculated for a few minutes and didn't see any reason why I couldn't grab the d-pawn. Obviously the hard lessons from Rounds 2 and 3 didn't sink in ;) ] 8...Qxd4 [Hort had the same position v. Geller in Skopje 1968 and continued 8...Bxd3 9.Qxd3 Nd7 10.Nf3 Qc7 transposing to the line given above] 9.N1e2 [I would've tried 9.Nf3 ;
just tempted me to grab some more pawns 9...Qxb2 10.Rb1 Qc3+ 11.Bd2 Qe5+ 12.N1e2 Bxd3 13.cxd3] 9...Qd8 Keeping d7 for my knight 10.Be3 [10.Bxh7 Qxd1+ 11.Kxd1 Rxh7 may have looked uglier but he doesn't want to take the queens off] 10...Bxd3 11.cxd3 Nf6 12.0-0 e6 13.Qb3 b6 [I could've tried 13...Qd7 but again i'm worried about my knight] 14.Rac1 Qd5 [14...Bd6 and castle may have been better] 15.Nd4 Qxb3 [I wanted to try 15...c5 16.Nb5 (but 16.Qa4+ Qd7 17.Nb5 keeps the queens on so why not force the exchange of queens while i'm a pawn up and close to completing my development) 16...Qxb3 17.axb3 Nd5] 16.Nxb3 Bd6 17.Ne4 Nxe4 [17...Be7 18.Nxf6+ Bxf6 19.d4 wasn't as appealing as the line I chose where I actually pushed ...c5] 18.dxe4 c5 19.Rfd1 Ke7 20.Rc2 Nc6 Now I'm caught up in development, and I have a better king and I am a pawn up. What's not to like? 21.a3 Rhd8 22.Rcd2 Be5 23.Rxd8 ...and he's trading off the rooks. From here on it is a matter of technique ;) 23...Rxd8 24.Rxd8 Kxd8 [24...Nxd8 my knight was doing decent things on c6] 25.Bc1 Nd4 and then I trade it off. Again I was happy with this because my opponent was stuck guarding that b-pawn with his bishop 26.Nxd4 Bxd4 27.Kf1 e5 [Another option was freezing the b-pawn with 27...c4 ;
or starting the march 27...Kc7 ] 28.Ke2 Kc7 [again 28...c4 ] 29.f3 Kc6 30.Kd3 Kb5 31.b3 a5 32.Bd2 a4 I was worried about 32.a4+ so I figured I'd go for the win here on the queenside. The idea being I trade off the bishops and then run over with my king and pick off the kingside pawns and promote. Ironically that's exactly how I lost 33.Kc2 axb3+ 34.Kxb3 c4+ 35.Kc2 Ka4 [35...Bc5 beats him to the spot forcing 36.Bc1 Ka4] 36.Bb4

36. ...Bc5?? A terrible decision [36...b5 was a million times better. Now the queenside pawns take care of themselves] 37.Bxc5 bxc5 38.Kc3 I totally missed that this move was possible when I "calculated" this line. It's just a loss from here 38...Kxa3 [My opponent told me after the game he thought there was a zugzwang after 38...Kb5 but 39.a4+ looks strong to me, as it did during the game. If I had known he thought it was a draw I probably would've offered one.] 39.Kxc4 Kb2 40.Kxc5 Kc3 41.Kd5 f6 42.Ke6 Kd3 43.Kf7 Ke3 44.Kxg7 Kf2 45.Kxh6 Kxg2 46.Kg6 Kxf3 47.Kxf6 Kxe4 48.h6 Kd4 49.h7 e4 50.h8Q Kd3 51.Qd8+ Ke2 52.Kf5 e3 53.Kf4 Kf2 54.Qd4 A pity that one bad move ruined 35 good ones, but that's the nature of chess. At this point I was sick of "moral" victories and dammit I wanted a real one! 1-0

Canadian Open U2000 Kitchener (5), 19.07.2006
D63 - QGD : Orthodox

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 Nbd7 5.Bg5 Be7 6.e3 0-0 7.Rc1 c6 8.cxd5
[8.Bd3 dxc4 9.Bxc4 Nd5 10.Bxe7 Qxe7 11.0-0 Nxc3 12.Rxc3 is the main line;
8.Qc2 is the Rubinstein attack. Both are interesting and will get further review in the future. The problem is that in my online play I have never gotten this far in the Queen's Gambit (theory-wise) and I got two games with this position in this tournament. Opening preparation will be different next year I believe.] 8...exd5 [8...Nxd5 9.Bxe7 Qxe7] 9.Bd3 h6 [9...Ne4 10.Bxe7 Qxe7 (10...Nxc3 11.Bxd8 Nxd1 12.Rxd1 Rxd8 13.0-0) 11.0-0] 10.Bh4 Ne8?! [I understand the motivation for this move, but that doesn't make it a good one. He is running out of decent squares for his pieces. Better would likely be 10...Nb6 ] 11.Bxe7 Qxe7 12.0-0 Nd6 [12...f5 I wonder if he could try and play something more aggressive like;
or even 12...Nef6 ] 13.Qc2 Ne8 [This made no sense to me. He must've realized I was hoping to play e4 so something like 13...Re8 ;
or even 13...Nf6 was better than dancing the knight back and forth] 14.Rfe1 Ndf6 15.e4 [It was time to open up the position. There would still be time for something like 15.Ne5 ] 15...dxe4 16.Nxe4 Nxe4 17.Bxe4 Be6 18.Ne5 [of course without me sweating at the board 18.d5! is a much better move 18...cxd5 (18...Bxd5? 19.Bxd5) 19.Bxd5 Rd8 20.Bxe6 fxe6 21.Qe4 and work on the pawn] 18...Nf6 19.Bf5 Not the greatest move, but it forces him to make decisions 19...Qd6 [19...Bxf5 20.Qxf5 is probably better and after 20...Qb4 i'm not sure what I'd do. I made some very significant moves in the past 10 or so, with respect to the way the game is going to go with pawn structure, etc.] 20.Bxe6 fxe6 21.Qg6 Again making him calculate. Anybody can make a mistake with a tactic 21...Rae8 [21...Qxd4 22.Rcd1 Qxb2 was better] 22.Rcd1 Nd5 23.g3 Not forcing but I was in no rush. It keeps his knight out of f4 and gives my king some luft 23...Qe7 24.Ng4 Qg5 25.Rxe6 [25.Qxg5 hxg5 26.Ne5] 25...Qxg6 26.Rxg6 Kh7 27.Rd6 Re7 28.Ne5 Rf6 29.Rd7 [Of course not 29.Rxf6 gxf6 giving up my beautiful square for the knight] 29...Rfe6 30.Rxe7 Rxe7 31.f4 g6 32.Kf2 Kg7 33.Re1 h5 34.a3 [34.a4 was probably more accurate] 34...Kf6 35.Nc4 Rxe1 36.Kxe1 h4 37.Kf2 hxg3+ 38.hxg3 g5 39.fxg5+ Kxg5 40.Kf3 Nc7 41.Na5 Nb5 42.Nb3 [Too cautious 42.Ke4 Nd6+ 43.Ke5 Nf7+ 44.Ke6 Nh6 45.Nxb7 Nf5 was probably stronger as my king has better position if he manages to grab a pawn back] 42...b6 43.a4 Nd6 44.Nd2 Kg6? [44...Nf5 45.Nb3 Nd6 would have made me "start from scratch" so to speak] 45.Kf4 Nf5 46.Nf3 It felt good to get back to -1 after the travesty from the day before. Kirk lost a tough Ruy Lopez today and took a bye the next round 1-0

Canadian Open U2000 Kitchener (6), 20.07.2006
B12 - Caro-Kann : Advance Variation

I got another 1700 player which was where I was hoping to do my feeding with regards to points. My opponent was a soft spoken gentleman from Fort Erie. He was playing this game with a Monroi device and in fact this game is probably online if somebody were to search hard enough 1.e4 Another 1.e4 1...c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Now I'm in familiar waters. I absolutely *love* defending the Caro-Kann Advanced 3...Bf5 4.Nf3 e6 5.Bd3 Bxd3 6.Qxd3 Ne7 [Apparently I can get away with 6...Qa5+ here. I read in a book that Nimzo recommended this move after 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.Bd3 Bxd3 5.Qxd3 e6 6.f4 but didn't know about this move here. Interesting. Instead I go for the stereotypical "Karpov Knights" setup as you will see, and don't think for the next 10 moves or so.] 7.c3 Nd7 [7...Ng6 to switch gears and stop 8.Bf4 may have been better] 8.Bf4 c5 9.Nbd2 cxd4 10.cxd4 Ng6 11.Bg3 [I honestly thought he was going to play 11.Be3 ] 11...Bb4 12.0-0 Bxd2 13.Qxd2 0-0 14.h3 Rc8 So like I was saying, stereotypical play so far with equality. ...nd7, ...ne7, ...c5, ...cxd4, ...Rc8 15.Rfc1 Qb6 [15...Qe7 may have been better] 16.h4 Rc6? [At this point my sense of fear was gone 16...h6 ;
or even 16...Ne7 17.h5 Nf5 was better] 17.h5 Ne7 18.b3 [I would have continued 18.h6 and pushed the pressure a little further] 18...h6 [I didn't want to give him a second shot at h6 but after 18...Rfc8 19.h6 Rxc1+ 20.Rxc1 Rxc1+ 21.Qxc1 Nf5 I'm okay, and the rooks are off ;)] 19.Bf4 Kh7 [I wanted to avoid 19...Rfc8 20.Bxh6 gxh6 21.Qxh6 but I should've realized that this isn't ICC ;)] 20.Qd3+ g6 [Too bold 20...Kh8 was good enough] 21.Qd2 g5 22.Be3 f5 23.Rxc6 [23.exf6 Nxf6 24.Rxc6 Nxc6] 23...Qxc6 [I thought that the text was forced but making him sacrifice would have been better I think 23...Nxc6 24.Bxg5 hxg5 25.Nxg5+ Kg8 (25...Kh8 26.Nxe6 Rf7) 26.Nxe6;
23...bxc6 24.Bxg5 hxg5 25.Nxg5+
] 24.Qb4! A strong move by him. I now see that I'm in trouble 24...Re8? [At this point I was tired and missed 24...Nc8 25.Rc1 Qb6] 25.Rc1 Qb6 26.Qxb6 Nxb6 27.Rc7 Kg8 28.g3 [Of course he's in no rush. 28.Rxb7 At this point I was exhausted from defending all game. ] 28...Nc6 29.Rxb7 Re7? [Probably a bad idea but I should've avoided the rook trade 29...Rf8 ] 30.Rxe7 Nxe7 31.Ne1 Nc6 [31...Kf7] 32.Nc2 Nd7 I decided I was going for the h-pawn 33.Kf1 Ndb8 34.Ke2 Na6 35.Bd2 Nc7 36.Kd3 Ne8 37.f3 Kf7 [My opponent the next day thought I should've tried 37...g4 but this loses after 38.fxg4 fxg4 39.Ne3!] 38.g4 f4 So I was totally happy with this position...figuring that my king could guard the kingside pawns and my knights could blockade the queenside...until I realized in horror that my king would always have to defend the f8 square as his bishop can munch the pawns. also if my king gets too far away, he can play the classic Bxf4 gxf4 g5 hxg5 h6! and promote 39.b4 Nc7 40.a4 a6 41.Na1 Nd8 42.Nb3 Ke7 43.Nc5 Kf7 44.Bc3 [44.b5 axb5 45.Ba5!;
44.Nxa6 Nxa6 45.b5 Nb8 46.a5] 44...Ke7 45.Kc2 [Again 45.b5 wins] 45...Nc6 46.Kb3 Na7 47.Nd3 Kf7 [He threatens 47...-- 48.Nxf4 gxf4 49.g5 hxg5 50.h6 if I move away] 48.Nc5 Ke7 49.Nb7 Nc8 50.Bd2 Nb6 51.Nd6 [Of course hoping he'll play 51.a5 ] 51...Nd7 52.b5 Finally 52...axb5 53.axb5 Nb6 54.Bb4 Kd7 55.Bc5 Nxb5 56.Bxb6 Nxd6 57.exd6 Kc6 58.Bc5 A tough game, but one I can learn from 1-0

Cdn Open 2006 Rounds 1-3

CS - ET (1429)
Canadian Open U2000 Kitchener (1), 15.07.2006
E73 - King's Indian : Averbakh Variation

This was my first ever Canadian Open game. I was the lowest rated player in the section so I got a first round bye, but luckily they paired me up against one of the organizers which was cool. Clinton had beaten him at the Team Tournament in Kitchener, so I knew that this was an excellent opportunity to start off at 1/1 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 This made me happy. I figured he would play the King's Indian because I recall seeing him reading "King's Indian Battle Plans" at the 2005 Active Tournament in Kitchener. 3.Nc3 Bg7 [I never got a chance to try out my Gr├╝nfeld idea of 3...d5 4.Bg5 Not the strongest, but lower chances of counterplay by Black. My goal was to limit my opponent's counterplay and win square by square] 4.e4 d6 5.Be2 0-0 6.Bg5 My newest anti-King's Indian system. I was inspired by Averbakh's play in "Tactics for Advanced Chess Players". The advantage as far as I'm concerned is that Black can't play stereotypically and I can actually get some advantage on the kingside 6...Nbd7 [Main line is a Benoni-esque 6...c5 7.d5 e6 which maybe my opponent would have picked if he had seen my third round game ;)] 7.Qd2 e5 8.d5 Nc5 I wonder if this wasn't best. Space is at a premium for Black and this encourages me to take more of it with an eventual b4 [Is 8...a5 first to stop b4 better?] 9.f3 [I could've played 9.b4 I missed that if 9...Ncxe4 10.Nxe4 Nxe4 11.Bxd8 Nxd2 I can play 12.Bxc7 and be up a pawn] 9...a6 10.Bd3 [Kirk thought I should play 10.b4 immediately. My idea was to trade off my light squared bishop and dominate on the light squares as his bishop was already his worst piece. Maybe a little ambitious] 10...Nxd3+ 11.Qxd3 h6 12.Be3 [I could've played 12.Bh4 and exit via f2 but I wanted to go at his king. My pieces are facing his king and he is a ways from being developed] 12...Bd7 13.Nge2 Kh7 [Maybe now was the time to play for f5 with 13...Ne8 14.0-0-0 let's say 14...f5 15.exf5 Bxf5 etc.] 14.h4 [I wasn't sure what to do with my king. If 14.Kd2 I can't continue the way I did because once he moves the bishop to h6 it pins] 14...h5 15.Bg5 Qc8 16.Kf2!? [I wanted to unify my rooks and come up the h-file. 16.0-0-0 didn't work for the same reason as;
16.0-0 brings pressure up the f-file instead. Maybe this was better] 16...Ne8 17.g4 f6 [I was more concerned with the concrete 17...hxg4 18.h5 gxf3 19.hxg6+ Kxg6 20.Be7 but he thinks he has an zwischenzug]

18.gxh5! If I would have retreated 17. ...f6 would have been a wonderful move. The exclam is not for the quality of the move, but for bravery. i was here to play chess and win, not to drop a pawn and suffer for 5 hours 18...fxg5 19.hxg5 Another important move. If I was playing blitz [I would've just played 19.hxg6+ Kxg6 20.hxg5 and been down material] 19...Bg4 20.f4 Bxh5?> [If 20...exf4 it looks tough for me 21.hxg6+ Kg8 22.Rh7 f3 23.Ng3]

21.Rxh5+ The logical continuation 21...gxh5= And here h3 offered a draw. I figured that Fritz would have him ahead (I am down a whole rook for a pawn) but I couldn't justify to myself accepting a draw when I have all the winning chances, he has no protection around his king and all his pieces are out of play 22.f5 Qd8 23.Rg1 Rg8 24.Qh3 Bf6? 25.Qxh5+ Kg7 26.gxf6+ A nice start, and an aggressive game which I was aiming for. 1-0

Canadian Open U2000 Kitchener (2), 16.07.2006
B18 - Caro-Kann : Classical Variation

Round Two. My opponent was a pleasant gentleman who had driven down the previous day from Winnipeg (!). I joked with him before the game that I was glad to face him in this round because he was likely tired and would be my best chance to beat him. It was tongue in cheek but probably true 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Bf5 [If I'm going to keep on playing the Caro, I need a more active line v. the mainline like 4...Nf6 5.Nxf6+ gxf6;
or 4...Nd7 ] 5.Ng3 Bg6 6.Nf3 Nd7 7.Bd3 [More regular here is 7.h4 h6 8.h5 Bh7 9.Bd3 Bxd3 10.Qxd3 Qc7 My opponent told me he avoided that line because he had some nice wins in the line he played 50 years ago (!)] 7...Ngf6 8.0-0 e6 9.Re1 Bd6 [9...Be7 is more popular theoretically as it avoids the pin by the rook.] 10.Nf5!? [10.c3;
and 10.c4 have been played at Grandmaster level before and I've faced;
10.Ne5 in blitz. The problem with this move is that he has to retreat his bishop after I castle. ] 10...Bxf5 Yes I undervalue the bishop pair, but I didn' t have much choice here 11.Bxf5 0-0 12.Bd3 [My opponent told me he thought about 12.Bh3 after the game.] 12...h6 [Kirk suggested the immediate 12...c5 here. I wanted to limit the scope of his dark squared bishop.] 13.c4 c5 14.Be3?! Maybe not the strongest move, but where was his dark squared bishop going to go? Is either Bd2 or pushing the b-pawn and fianchettoing any better than giving it up? 14...Ng4 I was happy here and have achieved my equality as Black...now time to play for a win ;) 15.g3 Nxe3 16.fxe3 [16.Rxe3 cxd4 17.Nxd4 Bc5] 16...cxd4 17.exd4 This is where I knew that i had an advantage but didn't know how to increase it. 17...b6 18.a3 Re8? [Probably 18...a5 was better, but I incorrectly thought that I could play ...a5 a move later and strike in the center with ...e5. The plan was too slow. In reality this was the losing move.] 19.b4 a5= I offered a draw here, but he is better 20.c5 bxc5 21.dxc5 Be7 [Kirk wondered why I wouldn't play 21...Bc7 here, but I wanted to get my bishop outside of the pawn chain and control the long diagonal from f6] 22.Rc1 [22.Bb5 Ra7 was tougher] 22...axb4 23.axb4 Rb8 [This rook went to b8 instead of 23...Rc8 because I wanted to pressure the pawn duo with rooks on b8 and c8] 24.Qd2 Qc7 25.Kg2 Red8 26.Bb1 Nxc5? [26...Nf6! of course did the same thign without giving up material and now I actually threaten something. There was a couple of games where I grabbed material without looking close enough to what my opponent was threatening. I got more out of the "sacrifice" than I deserved though] 27.Qc2 g6 [I wonder if 27...Bf6 was better. Saving me a tempo and not weakening my pawns 28.Qh7+ (Although I guess in this line he can play 28.Qxc5 ) 28...Kf8 29.Qh8+ Ke7] 28.bxc5 Bf6 29.Qe2?! [Allowing me to actually threaten something. If moved his queen off the second rank to somewhere like 29.Qe4 I probably could've resigned right away] 29...Rb2 30.Rc2 Rdb8 31.Nd2 [31.Qf1 Qxc5 may have been stronger for White but I still have some pressure] 31...Rxc2? [31...Bg5! looks strong. If 32.Qd3 (32.c6! is recommended by Fritz but I don't see why 32...Bxd2 33.Qxd2 Rxb1 34.Qd7! of course. Nice) 32...Qa5] 32.Bxc2 Qxc5 33.Ne4 Qc6 34.Kh3 Be7 [34...Bg7 was stronger because then I can try and pin a piece to his queen again] 35.Bd3 Qd7 36.Nf2 h5 37.Rd1 Qa7 Played solely to threaten to capture something if he moves his queen. It seemed like forever since I had put any pressure on him.

38.Bxg6! A nice move I overlooked 38...fxg6 39.Qxe6+ Kh7? [39...Kh8 and I'm still losing but I have some threats. At this point I was too tired to calculate all of this. 40.Rd7 Qxf2 41.Qe5+ (41.Qxe7 Qf5+ 42.Kg2 Rb2+ 43.Kg1 Qb1+ 44.Rd1 Qxd1+ 45.Qe1 Qxe1# It's checkmate arsehole) 41...Kh7 (41...Qf6 42.Qxb8+ Kg7 43.Qb5 (43.Qb4 Qf1#) 43...Qe6+ 44.Kg2 Qe4+; 42.Rxe7+ Kh6 43.Qg7+ (43.Qxb8 Qf1+ 44.Kh4 g5#) ] 40.Rd7 Qxf2 41.Qxe7+ Kh6 42.Qg7+ and even I could see that was mate. I ran out of gas and missed his giant mass of pawns coming on the queenside 1-0

Canadian Open U2000 Kitchener (3), 17.07.2006
A65 - Benoni

I knew I would get move ordered once this tournament and this was it 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 So I was happy...ready for a Nimzo, or maybe at worst a Queen's Gambit but instead he unleashed 3...c5 4.d5 [In my limited pre-tournament prep I decided I was going to avoid the Benoni-Benko phalanx and just play 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.Nf3. I couldn't decide whether 4.Nf3 was good enough here. ; A combination of chessgames.com and talking to Hans over lunch made me decide to try 4.e3 and aim for a Semi-Tarrasch-esque position next time this happens] 4...exd5 5.cxd5 d6 6.e4 Even though the only thing I know about the Benoni is that it's important to control e5, I decide to aim for the Taimanov attack 6...a6 Now I'm totally out of book. The Taimanov goes [6...g6 7.f4 Bg7 8.Bb5+ Nfd7 etc.] 7.a4 g6 8.f4? Exposing my position unnecessarily and making Bf4 impossible for a while and not helping me castle or get my rooks connected [8.Nf3 would've helped me develop and allowed my king some protection and covered e5, even though chessgames.com says that Black has a good winning percentage vs. 8...Bg4 . Maybe something to think about myself as Black (!) 9.Bf4 Qe7 10.Bd3 Bg7 11.0-0 looks good enough for me] 8...Bg7 9.Nf3 0-0 10.Bd3 Re8 11.0-0 Nbd7 12.Re1 Again, still playing for the e5 push 12...Ng4 13.h3 Missing what he was really threatening 13...c4

14.Bxc4?? [You would think that after yesterday I would've learned my lesson about sham sacrifices and pawn grabbing etc. If I didn't intend to take the knight on g4 I should never have played h3. My position was so exposed around my king it was just a matter of time regardless. 14.hxg4 cxd3 15.Qxd3 (15.Be3 Nc5 16.Bxc5 dxc5 17.Qxd3 Bxg4) 15...Nc5 16.Qc2 Bxg4] 14...Qb6+ and I'm just lost 0-1