It was first round of a new tournament and I got the same young guy I blundered to 3 weeks ago. This time I had White and played Moscow variation of Sicilian.

Soon it started to look like some variation of French defense. On move 14 I thought about playing Rfc1, but then decided that kingside attack was more promising and played Ng5. Still, I think I defended well and eventually we transferred into a rook endgame.

For some reason I decided to play aggressively, 36. g4 was a mistake. I didn’t like passive 41. Rh2, so decided to sacrifice the “h” pawn and activate my rook. I tried to organize some kind of perpetual , but didn’t see the idea of attacking e6 pawn from e7, which would really force a repetition or will give me that pawn. It would eventually lead to a position with him having a passed “f” pawn with pawns on “a”, “b” and “d” which was drawn.

Then suddenly he played 56… Kf7, blundering the “f” pawn. The position became completely equal, but I had to be careful after 63… Kc6, 64. Kc3 was losing.

Advertisements

It was a last round of Monday’s tournament. My opponent was an old guy, I had =1, -1 score with him. I got White and he played Sicilian. I played Rossolimo variation, but in this case the game looked more like Open Sicilian.

On move 21 I thought what to choose – Rxf3 or gxf3 and decided that if he exchanges on e5, then with the pawn on f3 e5 will be not isolated. On move 36 I had a choice of playing b5 or transferring into a bishop endgame, which I somehow considered better for him because of his possible activity on the kingside, but it was a draw.

Instead of 39… Bc7 the best was Rh7 with an equal play. After I won a pawn my next move was a huge mistake. 43… Rh2 with following Ra2 and a threat of mate on d2 was winning. This motif repeated later, that explains the title of my post.

45. f4 was again a game losing mistake, Rg2 was drawing, but I didn’t see the threat, he the same. I had 6 minutes left, he about 30. I considered b6, but thought that it is risky and decided to implicitly offer a draw repeating the moves. He did it for while, but then suddenly played Rh2. Now I saw the mate threat, but realized that I can’t do anything about it. I spent some time looking for improbable escape and then saw the I flagged.

It was a second round and I got paired with a 1951 rated boy, never played him before. I got Black and responded to his 1. c4 with Semi-Slav. As soon as he played 10. a3 I knew that I have play c5, otherwise my bishop will be “bad”, I had it before. Soon I realized that he didn’t have pretenses to get an opening advantage, it calmed me down.

After 20 moves I noticed that there was a possibility of sacrifice on e3, but to my disappointment he played Bf3 and that from my point of view prevented the sacrifice. The thing is the line I would play – let’s say 21. Bd3 Ndxe3 22. fxe3 Nxe3 wasn’t giving me much advantage, the right move was 22… Bg5 with about -2.5. The same sacrifice was still playable after Bf3, but with a lesser effect.

Then he made a mistake by playing 33. Qc8. He could still hold it, probably, but then 37. Qxb5 was a crucial mistake. Instead of 38. Bc5 he had to give up the bishop and play Qf1. But instead of playing 38… Qb1+ 39. Qf1 Bh2+ 40. Kf2 Qc2+ 41. Qe2 Bg3+ 42. Kf3 e4+ with a win, I let him go with 38… Qf5.

I expected him to play 39. Qe2, which by the way was losing the same way as in the line above, but suddenly he played Qf1. The saving move was 39. e4, it was leading to a draw.

After winning the queen the game was over, he resigned one move before getting mated.

It was a last round, my opponent was an old guy rated 1922, I had =1, -1 with him in the past. I got White and he played Owen’s defense. I had a difficult choice on move 10 and eventually decided to trade queens. I didn’t expect his Ke7 and the best in this situation was to keep queens by playing Qe2. 13. b4 wasn’t a good move, I didn’t realize I am weakening my position.

Soon I started to feel under pressure and on move 28 decided to sacrifice a pawn. It actually worked and I got real drawing chances, but then I made a big mistake playing 40. Ke3. I thought that my king should be closer to his “c” pawn, but much more important was blocking his pawns.

I considered playing 41. f4, but  realized that it will lose because his pawns would be too far one from another. The position continued to deteriorate and I had only a few minutes left. Still I missed an excellent chance that he gave me by playing 47. Ke2. There was a nice combination – 48. b7 Bxb7 49. Bxe4 Bc8 50. Kc2 Bd7 51. Kxc3 Bxa4 52. Bxf3+ Kxf3 53. Kb2 Kxf2 with  a draw.

Interesting that couple of days after the game he sent me a message via Facebook and pointed to this opportunity as well as to the missed draw after 40. Ke3.

It was a last round in the Thursday’s tournament and my opponent was an old guy, last time I played him was in 2013 and our score was +3, -3. Our opening soon transformed to Catalan, I didn’t have much experience playing against it.

On move 12 I missed a little combination: 12… Nxc5 13. Bg5 f6 14. dxc5 fxg5 15. Qe2 Qf6 , but I am not sure I like it for Black and computer says it is equal. Then I had difficulty to find the right moves, 17… f5 is an example.

I was feeling under the pressure and 26… was an attempt to get a counter-play. I missed 27. d5 and was worse, but then he made a mistake playing 30. c6. I played accurately after that and when we reached an equal rook endgame he realized that and offered a draw.

I got a 1961 rated opponent and had Black. He chose French, I played Tarrasch and we went along the lines typical for the games of the Candidates match between Karpov and Korchnoi in 1974, here is one:

http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1067828

11. Nbd4 was a little mistake, because he could play Nxd4 getting rid of an isolated pawn. I could take his d5 pawn on move 19, but didn’t like 19. Qxd5 Rxe1+ 20. Nxe1 Rd8 thinking that it gives him a good play, it’s a 0.5 advantage actually. But after 19. Rxe8 Rxe8 20. Qd5 Qd8 I have about 0.9 advantage. Then we ended up in a rook endgame, where I felt I have an advantage but didn’t see a way to use it. So I forced a three-fold repetition.

At home all computer shootouts were ending with White winning. It started with 42. f4 and after g5 (which was forced I guess) White rook was getting to the kingside through the 6th horizontal.

 

 

I played this game two weeks ago. My opponent was a young guy, I played him once before and won. We got Slav Exchange, we were equal until I missed a combination 16… Nxb2 17. Rxb2 Bxa3 with a 0.5 advantage.

I considered 20… Nxa3, but decided not to take it, in any case computer considers it equal. Then after his 28. Qg4 I got better. I made a mistake playing 30… Qf7 instead of 30… fxg5 with advantage and noticed 31. g6! right away. I even thought I could lose, but it is a draw. Taking on f4 I foresaw my queen’s return to h6 after check. Of course it was a bad idea for him to exchange his knight for my bishop.

Then he got into a time trouble and made a serious mistake by playing 37. Kh3, 37… Qf5 was winning on the spot. Anyway soon he made another mistake – 39. Qd6 which was decisive.