Thursday, February 23, 2006
Victory is Mine!
After all of the preparation on the Reti opening, as well as others like the King’s Indian, I face the Dutch which I’ve never played against. Since I’ve played Bird’s Opening before, I sat and thought about where what his play likely is. I certainly didn’t win this game in the opening though. I think the preparation did get me thinking about the things I should be thinking about. So I won $55 for first place. More than the money, I was happy to win the tournament outright with 3.5/4 especially since I was only seated 7th. To win I had to draw a 2214, beat a 1760, a 1726, and this, a 2044. My rating should go over 1900 again for only the 2nd time. It was also my 150th rated USCF game.
White: Chris (1845)
Black: Anton (2044)
1. Nf3 f5 2. c4 Nf6 3. Nc3 e6 4. d4 Bb4 5. Bg5 a6 6. Bxf6 Bxc3 7. bxc3 Qxf6 8. e3 d6 I don’t think this is the best way to play against the Dutch defense, but I have the good bishop and a good center.
9. Bd3 e5 My ninth move was a mistake as Be2 is better. While I saw e5 and had my following move planned. Obviously I can’t take on d5 and doing nothing allows for the pawn fork. I thought there would be more exchanges in the center. 10. e4 f4 However, he’s nicely turned his bad bishop into his good bishop. 11. Qb3 Nc6 I have to get counterplay on the Queenside. The Queen on b3 helps to keep the bishop on c8 and prevent him from castling. 12. d5 Nb8 13. c5 dxc5 I have to play the pawn sacrifice c5. I can’t allow him to play Nd7, because then the knight nicely goes to c5 and I am losing. 14. Bb5+ Ke7 The sacrifice does make his e5 pawn weak. A lot of the tactics of c6 or Nd7 end him up with either doubled c pawns because the e-pawn would be unprotected if there is a Queen recapture on c6. 15. Qa3 b6 Keeping pressure on a new pawn, the move basically forces him to weaken his light square if he wants to keep the extra pawn. 16. h3 Bb7 I’m trying to remember why I played h3 instead of Nd2 right away. I really didn’t want to castle into a kingside onslaught of g5 & g4. The only way I can win is if I am able to break open the center and attack his king. Where can I do that? I wanted to put my knight on c4 and my rook on d1. Then push d6. Looking at the game afterwards Bd7 would have been better even though it seems like he is trading his good bishop for a bad bishop.
17. Nd2 a6 18. Be2 Nd7 19. Bg4 Nf8 He doesn’t want to trade knight for bishop but this ends up costing him in the end. He still could have held the position better with Rd8. 20. Nc4 h5 My knight is pretty nice on c4 and it’s why I never pushed the pawn to c4, which seems like a natural move, but it limits you’re your bishop and knight. 21. Bf3 Nd7 I really didn’t mind Bf3 because I knew it would be supporting the e4 pawn after d6. 22. O-O-O Kf7
I think he finally realizes the gravity of his position. The pawn break d6 is unstoppable. 23. d6 c6 24. Nxb6 Nxb6 25. Qb3+ Kg6 A mid-level tactic to dismantle his pawn structure and gain a pawn. 26. Qxb6 Rhb8 27. Qxc5 Qe6 28. c4 a5 I’m really in no rush and it’s best to stifle counterplay. 29. d7 Kh7 Now I threaten a rook pin on the queen. 30. Rd6 Qf7
The Queen is overworked and cannot protect all of the pawns. 31. Rhd1 Rbd8 32. Be2 g6 33. Qxe5 Kh6 Now that my pawn on c4 is secure, I can take the hopeless pawn on e5. I was the now threatening Re6 followed by Re7 pinning the queen. However, his follow-up isn’t better. 34. Qxh5+ 1-0 The pawn on g6 is pinned and the queen is protected by the bishop. He resigned as he has no counterplay and after 34…Kg7 35. Qe5+ 36. Kg8 I can play Re7 or R1d6 all threatening g6 and the king, he is toast.
Sunday, February 19, 2006
It's interesting to have some time to prepare against an opponent you've played before. Ever since I've started playing again, I've always played e4 to which he has played the uncommon 1... Nc6. Since I've played this guy twice before as white, perhaps he will be changing up his openings, so I will preempt any preperation of his and change the opening myself.
Since he would naturally have a good handle on d4, I have to consider a less common opening. Contemplating both Bird's Opening (1. f4 ) and the Reti Opening (1. Nf3 d5 2. c4) , I have decided upon the latter.
An earlier game as white which I won against the same opponent.
1. e4 Nc6 2. f4 d5 3. exd5 Qxd5 4. Nc3 Qa5 5. Nf3 Nf6 6. Bb5 Bd7 7. O-O a6 8. Ba4 e6 9. d4 Bb4 10. Bb3 O-O 11. Ne2 b5 12. c3 Bd6 13. Ne5 Be8 14. Rf3 Ne7 15. Bc2 c5 16. Rh3 h6 17. Ng3 cxd4 18. cxd4 Qb6 19. Qd3 Nf5 20. Nxf5 exf5 21. Be3 g6 22. Rxh6 Kg7 23. Rh3 Nd5 24. Rg3 Rc8 25. Bb3 Nb4 26. Qxf5 Rc7 27. Qe4 a5 28. a3 Na6 29. f5 Bxe5 30. dxe5 Nc5 31. f6+ Kg8 32. Rxg6+ 1-0
Thursday, February 16, 2006
Black to Play & Win
Yesterday's game, hre I, as black, have rounded the corner, but the game isn't won. There are several ways to continue and many would probably eventually win, but one move can really do damage to white.
BLACK TO PLAY AND WIN
White: Gary - 1726
Black: Chris - 1846
1. d4 d5 2. Bf4 Nf6 3. e3 Bf5 4. c4 e6 5. Nc3 Nc6 6. a3 Bd6 7. Bg5 dxc4 8. Bxc4 Be7 9. Nf3 O-O 10. Nh4 Bg4 11. f3 Bh5 12. g3 h6 13. Bxf6 Bxf6 14. Ng2 e5 15. d5 Na5 16. Bd3 b6 17. g4 Bh4+ 18. Ke2 Bg6 19. b4 Bxd3+ 20. Qxd3 Nb7 21. Rhd1 Be7 22. Rac1 a5 23. bxa5 Rxa5 24. Nb5 Nc5 25. Qc4 ....
Monday, February 13, 2006
Down to the Wire
White: Chris (1845)
Black: Eric (2071)
1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 Nc6 3. f4 g6 4. Nf3 Bg7 5. Bb5 Nd4 6. O-O Nxb5 7. Nxb5 Nf6 This is all part of my "standard" knowledge of the Grand Prix attack. I use it exclusively against the Sicilian and it nets me decent results. 8. d3 d5 9. e5 Ng8 10. d4 a6 11. Nc3 cxd4 12. Ne2 Bg4 13. Nexd4 e6 I like my position. My knights and pawns are well positioned. He made a couple of missteps which cost him development.
14. h3 Bxf3 My first debatable move. I could easily otherwise play Be3 or Qe1. 15. Qxf3 Ne7 16. c3 O-O 17. Be3 Qc7 My pieces are all setup and it's time to attack. 18. h4 Nf5 19. Nxf5 gxf5 In hindsight, the immediate 19. h5 would be better. I think I thought there was more action to be made along the g-file than there was.
20. h5 Bh6 21. Qg3 Kh8 22. Qh4 Rg8 23. Qf6 Bg7 24. Qh4 Qd8 25. Bf2 h6 I realize that I have no attack. My queen isn't any more valuable than his so I look to get my bishop to be more active. 26. Rad1 Qxh4 27. Bxh4 Rac8 28. Rd4 Bf8 I was worried about Rc4 but I really should have prevent his bishop from getting active by playing Be7. At the time, I thought my bishop was better than it was. When I post the previous game it was a similar type position and the bishop won it for me. 29. Bf6 Kh7 30. Kh2 Bc5 31. Rd3 Rg4 32. g3 b5 33. a3 R4g8 34. Rfd1 Rc6 35. R1d1 Bb6 36. Rg2 a5. Obviously he is advancing on the kingside. I think he has enough to break through. So you either wait around and play defense or your try to counter attack. We only have about 10 minutes left each so it's not a bad idea to play actively. It was a decent plan but my King is in the wrong square.
37. g4 fxg4 38. Rdg3 R6c8 I immediately regain the pawn because there is no way to defend it again. 39. Rxg4 Rxg4 40. Rxg4 Rg8 Unfortunately this is the only time that I realize that his bishop will win up on e3 and then down to c1. 41. Kg4 Rxg4 42. Kxg4 Be3 43. a4 bxa4 44. Be7 Bc1 The blockade is better than 43. b3 Bd2. 45. Ba3 Kg7 46. f5 f6 47. fxe6 fxe5 he nicely connects his pawn, however, if i had played 47. exf6 Kxf6 48. fxe6 Kxe6, would eventually lose the h pawn because my king is blocked from f4 & f5 due to the king & bishop. 48. Kf5 e4 49. Kg4 Kf7 50. e7 Bg5 0-1
1. e4 c5 2. Nc3 Nc6 3. f4 g6 4. Nf3 Bg7 5. Bb5 Nd4 6. O-O Nxb5 7. Nxb5 Nf6 8. d3 d5 9. e5 Ng8 10. d4 a6 11. Nc3 cxd4 12. Ne2 Bg4 13. Nexd4 e6 14. h3 Bxf3 15. Qxf3 Ne7 16. c3 O-O 17. Be3 Qc7 18. h4 Nf5 19. Nxf5 gxf5 20. h5 Bh6 21. Qg3 Kh8 22. Qh4 Rg8 23. Qf6 Bg7 24. Qh4 Qd8 25. Bf2 h6 26. Rad1 Qxh4 27. Bxh4 Rac8 28. Rd4 Bf8 29. Bf6 Kh7 30. Kh2 Bc5 31. Rd3 Rg4 32. g3 b5 33. a3 R4g8 34. Rfd1 Rc6 35. R1d1 Bb6 36. Rg2 a5 37. fxg4 38. Rdg3 R6c8 39. Rxg4 Rxg4 40. Rxg4 Rg8 41. Kg4 Rxg4 42. Kxg4 Be3 43. a4 bxa4 44. Be7 Bc1 45. Ba3 Kg7 46. f5 f6 47. fxe6 fxe5 48. Kf5 e4 49. Kg4 Kf7 50. e7 Bg5
Thursday, February 09, 2006
Find the Cool Move
1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 dxc4 5. a4 Bf5 6. Ne5 e6 7. f3 Bb4 8. e4 Bg6 9. Bxc4 O-O 10. Bg5 c5 11. d5 Qa5 12. O-O Bxc3 13. bxc3 Qxc3 14. Nxg6 hxg6 15. Rc1 Qe5 16. Bxf6 gxf6 17. Qb3 b6 18. dxe6 Nc6 19. exf7 Kg7 20. Bd5 Nd4 21. Qc4 Rad8 22. Rfe1 Rfh8 23. Kf2 Rxh2 24. Rh1 Qh5 25. Rxh2 Qxh2 26. Rg1 with the move and 14 more to follow.
1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 b6 5. Nf3 Bb7 6. Bb5+ c6 6...Nd7 leads to disaster after Ne5. 7. Bd3 Be7 8. c3 Nf6 (8...Nd7 is needed first) 9. Neg5 h6
I really didn't want to trade or play the passive 9. Ng3. I also seriously considered just continuing to develop. I figured h6 would be played so I have to make sure that the knight sac if feasible before playing Neg5. Otherwise there is no point of playing back to e4 or to h3.
10. Nxf7 Kxf7 11. Ne5+ Kg8 12. Ng6 Nbd7 Yes, I looked at 12. Bg6 and 12. Qb3. 13. Qe2 Nf8 14. Nxh8 Kxh8 I convert the sac back into material, but now his knight is trapped on f8 and he has a weak pawn on e6. 15. Bf4 Nd5 16. Be5 Bf6 17. O-O Qd7 18. f4 Qf7 19. Rae1 Bh4 I have brought he last piece into play. An odd move and he later said he did it just to prevent a rook lift to h3. 20. g3 Bf6 21. Bd6 Be7 22. Bxe7 Nxe7 23. f5
The sacrifice is tricky but necessary. Right now, I have all of my pieces in play and we are materially even. However, I cannot allow him time to open up his light bishop or bring his rook into play. 23...Nxf5 24. g4 Qg6 It's interesting when there are several pins working against each other 25. Qg2 Nh4 26. Qg3 Qg5 27. Re5 Qe7 28. Rh5 Nhg6 29. g5 and black is lost.
If 29...Kh7 30. gxh7 gxh7 31. Rxf8! Qg7 32. Rxa8 and black is fubar.
1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 b6 5. Nf3 Bb7 6. Bb5+ c6 7. Bd3 Be7 8. c3 Nf6 9. Neg5 h6 10. Nxf7 Kxf7 11. Ne5+ Kg8 12. Ng6 Nbd7 13. Qe2 Nf8 14. Nxh8 Kxh8 15. Bf4 Nd5 16. Be5 Bf6 17. O-O Qd7 18. f4 Qf7 19. Rae1 Bh4 20. g3 Bf6 21. Bd6 Be7 22. Bxe7 Nxe7 23. f5 Nxf5 24. g4 Qg6 25. Qg2 Nh4 26. Qg3 Qg5 27. Re5 Qe7 28. Rh5 Nhg6 29. g5
Sunday, February 05, 2006
Interesting Chess Set
Thursday, February 02, 2006
I'll Take It!
White: Bill (2214)
Black: Chris (1845)
1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 dxc4 5. a4 Bf5 6. Ne5 e6 7. e3 Nbd7 I recently played an interest variation with f3 followed by a quick e4. Here he chose the quiter line. 8. Nxc4 Nb6 9. a5 Nxc4 10. Bxc4 Bd6 I thought about Bb4, but after Qb3, Qe7 Ra4, the bishop must go back to d6 anyway. 11. f3 Bg6 I had several options. He looks to play e4 followed by e5. I also considered Bc7, or the breaks c5 & e5. 12. Qe2 Bb4 Since Qb3 isn't possible now. 13. O-O Bxa5 In other position this pawn grab might be considered greedy, but my position is solid enough to allow me to do it. 14. Rd1 O-O If 14...Bb6 15.Na4 Bc6 16. Nc5 looks better for white since b6 is forced. 15. e4 Bb6 16. Be3 Qe7 17. Na4 Bc7 18. Nc5 Bb6 The big difference is now with my queen on e7, I can just play my bishop back. 19. Qf2 Here he offered a draw to which I agreed. Although I am up a pawn and have solid position, his would be hard to attack as well. Where exactly to I make my advance? Sometimes forcing a drawn position can cause a loss.