Monday, March 14, 2005


Tournament Analysis - Round 3

My third game was against my lowest rated opponent, but coincidently my worst game. I’m rather embarrassed to show how poorly I played in this game. I’m surprised that I actually won this game. Again I am white and the opening is the Sicilian Grand Prix. 1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 d6 3. f4 Nc6 4. Nf3 Bg4 5. Bb5 e6. 6. Bxc6 bxc6 7. d3 d5 8. e5? Rb8?! 9. O-O Ne7.

It started out to be similar to my last game. Although I tried not to be over-confident, I felt the need to win decisively rather than just win. I think, if possible, it’s best not to look at someone’s rating before you play them. 8. e5 was a weak move that I didn’t make in similar situations against other opponents. So why did I play it here? No idea. I was quite fixed on now capturing his c5 pawn. There is nothing wrong with leaving the pawn alone. Black shouldn’t capture, he has double isolated c pawns and I would have controlled the f5 square, penning in his knight.

10. b3 Nf5 I was aware of the knight moving to Nh4 and doubling up on the pin 11. h3 Bxf3 12. Qxf3 Be7. I later regretted playing h3 (because it weakened the dark squares on g3 and h4, the tactical machine Chessmaster 9000 recommends it anyway. It does give black a -0.22 advantage. 13. Na4 O-O 14. Ba3 Qa5. A Queen being able to move to e1 now would have been advantageous. 15. c4 Rfd8 I wanted to lock his pawn on c5. 16. Qf2? dxc4. Oh the humanity! I think I stopped concentrating on any potential black plan. If the logical 16. Rad1 d4, CM lists the game as -0.07.

17. dxc4 Rd2! 18. Qe1 Rbd8. 19. Bc1 Bh4. The immediate 18… Bh4 would have been better for black. 20. Bxd2 Rxd2 21. Qe4 Nd4. 22. Rfd1 Ne2+. Things are getting dodgy for me. 23. Kh2 is forced 23… Bg3+ 24. Kh1. Here black can go for a repetitive check draw 24… Bxf4 25. Qxc6 Ng3+ if he wants it. Even consider. 24… Bxf4 25. Qxc6 h6 26. Qxc5 Qxc5 27. Nxc5 Bxe5. In post-game analysis, black said that he feared losing the c6 pawn. 24… Nd4?! Is almost a retreat. Now there are no check threats.

25. Nxc5! If 25… Rxd1 26. Rxd1 Qxc5 27. Qxd4 and white is forcing a queen trade by threatening mate. 25… Qx3 26. Rac1 h6! White cannot take. 27. Nd3 Rxd1.27… Ne2 fails to Qxe2. 28. Rxd1 a5? 29. Rc1 Nc2

30. Nc5? Qb4. Why did I miss Qe2 winning the piece with ease? I failed to be able to simply exploit a pin? 31. Na6 Qb6. I aim to lure the queen into a more obscure square. 32. Qxc2 Qxa6 33. Qd2 a4?? 34. Qd8+ 1-0.

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