Tuesday, April 25, 2006


Two steps Forward, One Step Back

Saturdays at the club, there is a 3 round Swiss, G/60. Recently, what has been happening is an influx of underrated kids. If you win, you gain nothing, but if you lose, you lose a ton of rating points. My first game was against a 12 year old, who I've play the last three times. I've won all three times, but each time was a tough battle. This one included a rook sacrifice on my part. So then I hop into the next game as black against a 2158. I lost a tough battle there at the ending. After 4 straight hours of chess, I had to play the final game. I blundered a drawn position in time trouble to a 1700. So I lost 20 rating points. Eeek. Upcoming is the seven round "Texas State and Amateur Championship" over Memorial Day weekend and I have to figure a way to keep my mind fresh in the later rounds. I won't have games back to back, but I'm sure by the 4th day of chess, I will be knackered.

Thursday, April 20, 2006


Chugging Along

The first time I played last night's opponent, a 2046 rated expert. I was black and lost convincingly. This time I was white and the opening was a Sicilian. I aggressively (dubiously) gambited a pawn in the opening. When you gambit material for initiative, you really have to consistently find great followup moves. Often one mediocre move on your part can relieve pressure. I guess conversly, the defender also must stubbornly defend. Here, he cracked first, and I was able to squeeze out the win.

My 2005 record against experts was a measly 3-11. After this game, so far this year, I've now managed 4-4 against experts.

some compensation for the pawn but it's a not full pawn. If he is forced not to castle, I think I do have that compensation. However, if he plays Qd7, I think my best option is to play back to d3 and opt for the repetition. |36:18. ... fxg5? ; I think Ne7 is his best move.|37:19. Qxg6+|38:19. ... Qf7|39:20. Qxf7+ ; I was looking at this line, at I had originally planned to play Qxg5 and almost quickly did, but I forced myself to stop and re-evaluate the position. Siegbert Tarrasch once said when you find a good move, wait until you find a better one. For a change, I did and the obvious popped out a tme. |40:20. ... Kxf7|41:21. Nxg5+ ; Now his e6 pawn fails. Obviously, if Ke7, then Rf7+ wins the bishop.|42:21. ... Kg6|43:22. Nxe6|44:22. ... Rac8|45:23. Nxg7 ; I was quiet happy to take off his bishop. |46:23. ... Kxg7|47:24. dxc5 ; I can isolate his pawn and leave his rook in a so-so spot.|48:24. ... Rxc5|49:25. c3|50:25. ... Rb5|51:26. Rf2|52:26. ... Re8|53:27. Rd1 ; I was tempted to play Kf1, but after Rf8, I have to play the passive Rb1. |54:27. ... Re5|55:28. Kf1 ; Now I can play it. |56:28. ... Kg6|57:29. Re1|58:29. ... Rf5|59:30. R1e2 ; Now the trade is essentially forced. I can march my king out to d3 via c2. Additionally, this move order allows me to keep my rook on the f-file, prevent his king from moving into play.|60:30. ... Rxf2|61:31. Rxf2|62:31. ... Ra5|63:32. a3|64:32. ... Rb5 ; I thought Ra4 followed by d4 would have been better.|65:33. Ke1|66:33. ... Rb6|67:34. Kd1 ; I'm just continuing with my plan unless he forced me to change it. |68:34. ... Re6|69:35. Kd2|70:35. ... Re4|71:36. g3 |72:36. ... Kg5|73:37. h3 ; I need to prevent Kg4 and Kh3.|74:37. ... d4|75:38. cxd4 ; Sure, he gets to trade off his weak isolated pawn, but it is okay. 38. c4 Re3 just gave him too much counterplay.|76:38. ... Rxd4|77:39. Ke3 ; I can march my king into the center and eventually over towards the queenside pawns.|78:39. ... Rd6|79:40. Ke4|80:40. ... Ra6 ; An odd square. I was expected Rd1. |81:41. Rf5+|82:41. ... Kg6|83:42. Rb5 ; Now he is either forced to play b6 blocking in his rook or fall into my "trap." Traps are alright to set if it is essentially the best move anyway. |84:42. ... Ra4 ; He falls into the trap. Post game analysis, proved he was losing anyway. If he plays b6 then I can play Kd5 and march my king over to b7. Subsequent attempt to save his pawns will fail. If 43...Ra4 44. Rb4 Ra5 45. a4! and after 46. b3 there is Rb5 and there is nothing he can really do anyway. |85:43. Rb4 1-0. Either he takes the rook and goes into a losing pawn ending, or he drops a second pawn.">This browser is not Java-enabled.

Thursday, April 13, 2006


Back in Stride

I won my game last night against a solid opponent. I've been turning the Modern/Robatch defense into the King's Indian defence by playing c4. I think in some instances, this type of maneuver can throw people off their game, if they don't also the King's Indian Defense. Judging by some slow 5th, 9th, and 10th moves perhaps it's true. He really should be focused on playing f5 as soon as possible.

Overall, I enjoyed the game. I wasn't tired like last week, so I was thinking rather well. I like dynamic games when each side is attacking on one half of the board.

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1. e4 g6 2. d4 Bg7 3. c4 d6 4. Nc3 Nd7 5. Nf3 a6 6. Be2 e5 7. O-O Ngf6 8. d5 O-O 9. b4 h6 10. Ne1 Kh7 11. Be3 b6 12. Rc1 a5 13. a3 axb4 14. axb4 Ne8 15. Nd3 f5 16. f3 Nef6 17. c5 Rf7 18. Ra1 Ra6 19. Rxa6 Bxa6 20. Qa4 Bxd3 21. Bxd3 f4 22. Bf2 g5 23. Ra1 g4 24. Be2 h5 25. Qc6 Nb8 26. Qb7 Nbd7 27. Ra8 Qe7 28. Qxc7 g3 29. hcg3 dxc5 30. gxf4 exf4 31. bxc5 Ne8 32. Qc8 bxc5 33. Qxe8 Qxe8 34. Rxe8 Bxc3 35. d6 Kg7 36. Bc4 1-0

Thursday, April 06, 2006


The 8th Deadly Sin

When Scottish Grandmaster Jonathan Rowson wrote the book "The Seven Deadly Sins of Chess", he left out being tired. So for my first game in 2 weeks, I was black against a 1600 rated player, but I was exhausted from all these other things going on in my life. I should have just asked for a bye, but I figured I'd catch a second wind and win. I didn't and I didn't. It ended in a draw, and I was on the lucky side for that to happen.

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