I knew that a big tournament at the university was coming up on the long weekend and had a hard time to decide to play or not. After Thursday’s game I realized that I am not in the best shape and decided not to play, but on Friday the thought that I will be sitting at home while people will be playing finally got me. So I went to the site on Saturday and registered on the spot, there were about 180 people participating.

Day 1.

Game 1 – my opponent has White, she plays Ruy Lopez, then instead of 7. Re1 plays c3. It encourages me to try Nxe4, I never played it with Black and I don’t think ever got it with White. I don’t like my position after 16 moves, I hate my knight on e6 that doesn’t let my bishop on c8 out.

Computer doesn’t quite like my 17… Ng5 preferring quiet Nc7. After move 21 I see Rxd4 combination and wait for her move, she plays b4. So I take on d4 and start to feel like I won the game. She thinks for some time and plays Nd3. I see an opportunity to use the pin, then want to play 24… Bc4, then hesitate because of the check on e8 and play Bf7. The truth is Bc4 doesn’t win a piece, but forces a winning exchange – 25. Rex8 26. Qxe8 Qf8 27. Qxf8 Kxf8 28. Nb2 Rxd1 29. Nxd1 Bxa2. This was a first moment where my shape showed. Then I miss Bc4 again on move 26.

Anyway game continues and after her 35. g4 I don’t find Re8! and give up an exchange. It changes the character of the game forcing me to fight for a draw. I miss a good chance on move 45 to play Rd2 with following Bf7 and Bc4. Then I miss 48…. Re4 and 49… Qxe3. Her material advantage starts to show, eventually I lose “b” pawn and resign.

Game 2 – I have White, play Ruy Lopez and I think for the first time ever I get in 2 consecutive games inverted opening. Soon I enjoy free development and my opponent is experiencing the same problems I did in the previous game.

20. Bb4 is a hard move for him, because both Nc5 or dxc5 are bad. He has to find 21… Bb5, but he doesn’t see it. I see it only on the next move, so instead of Bxc5 take on d6. Then his 23… Bc6 allows me to attack his queen and it becomes impossible for her to defend the knight after 26… Qc7 27. Qc3 wins. His Qb5 loses as well after c4 and he resigns.

 

Advertisements

It was a third round in the Monday’s club championship, I played there first time in 2 months. My opponent was an old guy, FIDE master, it was his first tournament since 2012. I knew I could play him with Black, saw that he plays Vienna game and prepared a bit. So his first moves were not a surprise for me.

His 6. g3 is not considered a good move and 7. Qe2 was a mistake. I could play 7… Ng5 8. Bg2 Nc6 9. Qf2 Nb4 10. Nxg5 Nxc2+ 11. Kf1 Bxg5 with advantage. After he castled queenside I tried to create an attack. I think his light pieces exchange defused the situation. Then I made a blunder putting my rook on f8.

Computer considers 23. Qxc6 not the best move, preferring Qe3. It also says that 29… h5 is better than Nc5. I realized after the game that 34… exd5 was better than cxd5 in the game. He played well this part of the game and his position was becoming stronger and stronger. I saw Bxe6 sacrifice, but was not sure it was winning. He decided to play it and soon I had to resign.

I played on Thursday, it was a first game in two months, fifth round. My opponent was a 1475 rated man, I played him recently and won. I had White and he chose French, so we got Tarrasch, closed variation.

22. Ng5 was a provocative move, he took on f8 with a queen and it was a mistake. It allowed me to play Rf1 and then Nf7. I started to consider sacrifice on h6 and actually could play 26. Nxh6+, but I didn’t see the intermediate bishop check on f7 after 26. Nxh6+ gxh6 27. Bxe8 Rxd2 and thought that I would give up 2 pieces for the rook.

27. Bxh6 was intuitive, I couldn’t see all the variations, but was sure that it wins. Then I saw the mating idea with my queen being placed on “h” vertical. He didn’t see the mate coming and played until saw it on the board.

It was a 5th round in the Thursday’s tournament and I got an old guy rated ~1450. I had a draw with him a long time ago, his rating was higher then. I got White and worried that he will play French again, really didn’t want to play against French that evening, but he chose Philidor defense. I didn’t have much OTB experience with it, but played it online quite a lot.

I knew that 18… Bxa4 was a mistake, computer confirms that. After 19.e5 I didn’t consider seriously 20. Qxb7 which was +2,  being obsessed with the attack in the center. Soon I realized that straight attack on the kingside wouldn’t work and tried to to block his knight maneuver.  We both missed 27… Nxf5.

After I played 30. Ra1 I got the idea of Bxd6 and was happy to see him playing 30… b6. Then the game was decided by 32. Qxd6.

It was a last round and my opponent was a new, Russian-speaking guy, unrated, but his rating after the tournament should be about 2000. He replied to my Semi-Slav by 4. g3 and it was a line I didn’t know well.

His 12. Ng5 looked like a premature attack. The idea of getting my bishop to f7 was to play e5 of course, but I didn’t play it, having second thoughts about possible weakness of the pawn on e5. His 31. d5 looked strong to me and I spent a lot of time considering my replies and lost my half an hour advantage, but computer says it was equal.

After his 37. Rd3 I got worried about Re3 and possible attacks on 7th horizontal and got an idea about perpetual, it explains the title. So I played 37… Qe1+ which was a mistake and then played 38… Re8, which was a fatal mistake. The problem was I didn’t see move Rf3, completely defeating my idea. I could play instead 37… Rc8 perfectly holding the position.

So after a few moves it became clear that the game is lost and after I found myself in a hopeless rook endgame I resigned.

My opponent was an old guy, I played him a couple of times in the past and won. I had White and he played Sicilian, French variation. I was not inclined to play d4, so I played c3 instead.

His 5… Nc6 didn’t look right to me, I saw c4 right away and after some thinking played it. Then 9… b5 was really bad, I just had to see that I should take with the bishop, not knight, taking into account a possible queen check after knight’s exchange.

Computer thinks that 12. Bc4 was better then my 12. 0-0. Anyway he played soon 13… d6, opening lines for attack on his own king. After 14. exd6 he realized that and resigned, computer gives me about +5 in this position.

It was a first round in Monday’s tournament and my opponent was a young guy I played twice recently, blundering in the first game and drawing in the second. I excepted him to play Ruy Lopez again, but he played Evans gambit.  I went for a modern variation with Be7. Suddenly on move 7 he sacrificed a bishop. I didn’t remember seeing it in the book, but knew that I have to be careful.

On move 10 I expected him to play Nxd7+, but he chose Qf5+. Then computer expects him to play 12. Qxh5, it is still -3. After 12… d5 I was winning another piece, but I considered d5 only earlier. I tried to create some threats, when he defended I decided to exchange the queens. After 16… Qe4+ he resigned.

At home I tried to evaluate his sacrifice, he has some compensation, not full. Some shootouts, where White didn’t attack right away, but tried to use positionally the pawn majority in the center and the fact that Black king can’t castle ended up with a draw.