It is about two games on consecutive Thursdays. They were somewhat similar in the sense that tactical strike decided the game. Unfortunately only one of them was mine.

October 2. I was paired with a master, but I didn’t see him coming. As I knew that he usually comes early, I asked TD almost right after the start and he said: “Oh, I forgot, he took a bye”. So, he quickly re-paired me with a guy that got a 1-point bye.

I got Black and we played Queen’s Pawn defense. Before the start I played 4 blitz games with some schmuck that wanted to play only with 2-3 minutes control, lost all of them. Maybe that, as well as distraction because of re-pairing caused me to blunder on move 6, automatically playing e6 and not seeing Qb5+. For some reason Fritz gives it only +0.5 and shootouts end in a draw. Anyway, he didn’t see it and castled.

Then we got into some positional maneuvering until he played 22. Bh2. I saw Nxc3 right away and calculated it, seeing also his hanging knight on d2. Then I found another good move – 24… Nd1 and the game was over. It took him some time to realize that.

 October 9.  I was paired with the guy I never played before. I guessed him playing me before the game and knew he can play Sicilian Nc6. I played my favorite Rossolimo attack, but his Qc7 was a surprise, I wasn’t ready for that and spend too much time in the opening.  The best was not to play Nc3 and d4, but to castle and play Re1, not letting his knight on f6.

So, it was equal and then he played this bad move b5. I saw e5 and played it, but after Qxf3 “automatically” took by rook. I consider it now one of the worst moves in my chess life, because it decided the game.  I would get at least a draw after gxf3, not letting his knight on g4. As soon as played 18. h3 I saw his Rxd4. He thought for a while and played it. 20. Rg3 was another very bad move instead of 20. Rff4. After 20… Bc5 I could just play Kf1.

My position became very bad and Ne6 was a final blunder, I thought so much about Rxg7+ that I was sure that Ne6 was a check. That loss, third out of four games and with White to 200 lower rated player (though he is in the top with +3 right now), also quick, really upset me.

 

I decided to put two my Monday’s games in one post.

September 29.  My opponent was a boy, my score with him I think is =2, -1 . Recently his rating from expert’s jumped to 2000. So, I had Black and for the first time in my life ( OTB ) played Hungarian Defense. Fritz thinks it was equal until I played 11… f5, he had to play exf5.

Then I had to play c5 one move earlier, instead of Qe8. The line 12… c5 13. Bxg7 Kxg7 14. exf5 was giving me advantage and 12… c5 13. Be3 c4 was even worse for White. Instead of it I got under pressure.

But then I managed to get into a rook ending where my king and rook were very active and despite being two pawns down I was feeling OK. Fritz thinks that 62… Kd3 was keeping it equal. Then I missed another chance after he made a mistake playing 66. Kg6. Instead of queening I had to play Rb6+, Rb7+, Rb3 and then Rg3 checking White king. After he gave up his rook the resulting R vs. 2P endgame was lost for me.

October 6. My opponent was a man, score – =1, -1.  I had White, played Ruy Lopez and he played 7… O-O. I didn’t want to play against Marshall attack (even I actually have one win with White) and decided to play Anti-Marshall a4. It wasn’t a good idea, as I got an unfamiliar position.

On move 17 I decided to play g4, usually I don’t like making moves like this, but I just didn’t like what I would get if I wouldn’t do it. By the way computer thinks I am fine after 19.Qe2 giving +0.32 evaluation. Anyway it is equal until I, not knowing what to do, played 25. Bd3.  It was still more or less OK, but by playing 37. Ne2 I completely missed f5. It was really sudden and I overestimated the danger of this move. 38. exf5 was really bad and my position started to deteriorate. Eventually I got under a straight attack, had to give up an exchange and lost the ensuing endgame.

 

 

It was a last round and I really wanted to do well. My opponent was a young man. He replied with Nc6 to my e4, it was a first time I encountered Nimzowitch Defence. I didn’t want to go into Scotch, so chose a quiet positional line. Then we exchanged queens and light pieces. Eventually he got some pressure on e5.

I do not agree with computer that 22… g6 wasn’t a bad move, it seems me that 22… Nc5 or Nb6 was better keeping alive his bishop. You will see later how important it was.  Anyway, he had to play 23… Bc6 and I felt a relieve after 24. Nxc6. Then I saw e5. I calculated it deep enough to see that I probably win a pawn and so it happened. Then I didn’t use his Kf6 move to get an essential advantage after Rf3+ and Rfe1. 33… g5 was a bad move creating a weak pawn. Then I implemented the idea with doubling rooks on “f” vertical, but instead of that 36. Re5 was simply winning.

Anyway after 40 moves the position became technical. 49… Ne4 was a mistake that accelerated the end. Interesting that he played fast all the game and only after he got into real trouble started to think more, but it was already late. In the end I managed to “catch” his rook and after a few moves he resigned.

 

 

It was a first round in the Thursday’s club and my opponent was a young man with whom I played before several times and had a positive score though his rating was higher than now. I got White and he played Caro-Kann.  It was really funny moment after his 9… Nd7 when I thought that he blundered a bishop, didn’t know what to do and eventually took it. To my surprise he made a check on a5. I got under pressure soon after the opening and was holding up, though computer didn’t think that my position was too bad.

After the game he said that he considered queen sacrifice 21… Qxf3 22. gxf3 Bh2, but after spending a lot of time on it found defense 23. Bg5. Then just two moves after he makes a serious mistake playing 23… Bf4. First I saw it as a possibility to defend by exchanging rooks. Then thinking on 25. c4  Bxd2 I noticed that I can play not trivial 26. Qxd2, but 26. cxd5. I played then 27. dxe6, though dxc6 was better. I saw 27. dxc6 cxd6 28. Qc4, then Qxe6, but didn’t see that I can get another pawn too. He was in the time trouble already and played on increment. Then I almost missed my advantage after 38. g3, but he made a decisive mistake by playing 38… f4. He was losing his bishop by force after that. He decided  to continue to play for some reason and we played another 30+ moves, in the end he got mated.

 

My opponent was a young man, I got White. We played Ruy Lopez, Chigorin variation very fast until our game reached the first  non-theoretical move – 16… c4. I had to prevent his intentions on “a” vertical , then suddenly he closed the queenside.

I thought that I am better after that, computer supports it. f4 looked kind of forced to me. His h5 move gave me a motive for a combination. I saw that after 34. Nxh5 gxh5 35. e5+ and 36. e6  I get my piece back and my position is good, but didn’t expect that it is actually winning on the spot. He probably felt it, so didn’t take the knight. Computer thinks that I had to play Nf5+ one move earlier and I would get a +3 advantage. I think I started to feel the time pressure, he had much more time than me. It showed when I played h6,  not seeing Rh8. I realized that I lost all my advantage, was very low on time and actually started to play for a draw, though not offered it.

Then on the move 60 he made a mistake and I saw it right away. I had 1.5 minute remaining, just enough to estimate that I win a pawn. For some reason, maybe shaken by this strike, he gave up another pawn instead of playing Kh7 where I do not have much. Then I made a mistake by playing 64. Kh4, I only can say that I played on increment at this time. He could play Rxg4 and I would have to go for a perpetual check. Then he made a horrible mistake by playing Qe8, but I did not see Qxh7.

69. Rf5 was a weak move, instead 69. Qe7+Kh7 70. h7 was much better, but anyway it was already a winning position. He tried to complicate things by Nxb4, but I saw that there is nothing there. Then he finally blundered with Kxh6 and resigned.

 

 

 

There is an expression in Russian that sounds very similar, seems like a good description of what happened. It was a first round of a new tournament. Being for the first time somewhere in the middle of the top section I expected a guy from the very top or from the very bottom. I got it from the top, it was a boy who recently progressed a lot and reached 2200 rating. I had a very good score him in the past, but it didn’t matter.

I got Black and the game from the beginning got into the right direction with him playing Ruy Lopez. I noticed that my g6 surprised him though it is a regular move and then his Bxf6 really surprised me. I didn’t quite like his Rf1, but realized that I should do something and played d5.

I rather intuitively felt that his 23. Rd1 wasn’t a good move. Fritz prefers 25… exf4 to my e4, but I didn’t want to give him the “f” vertical. His f5 and f6 showed that he didn’t evaluate the position right, continuing to attack. On move 29 Fritz likes h5, I didn’t play it because of Nxh5+ not seeing Be4.

Then I found 31… Rxd4. There is a line that I found at home, where Black should be very careful: 32. Nxd4 e2 33. Qd2 Kg8 – is the only move, g5 loses. The sacrifice actually was stronger than I thought and after him giving up the queen for the rook and knight I really started to play for a win. His time situation wasn’t good either. I knew that I just need to play accurately. In the end a mate was coming and he resigned.

 

I went to the club last Monday, got the guy with about the same rating. I had White and we played Caro-Kann, here is the game. I had a feeling that I have some positional advantage though the opening.

I didn’t realize his e5 was bad, it is because after inevitable g3 and Bg5 he loses a piece after Nxg5. Nevertheless I liked that I can exchange my knight on g5 and force him to play f6. I was even thinking that was better for him to sacrifice his g5 pawn, that much I didn’t like f6.

After 31.  Nd6 he had a tough position. 33… Kg7  was a crucial mistake, I saw Rxf5 almost right away. Then he surprised me by giving up his queen for rook and knight.

After he doubled his rooks I knew I should be careful, but I also knew that I am winning. Moving b5 pawn was the easiest way to win, he eventually made a mistake and the game was over.

 

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