November 2009

Another game on Thursday, I was White against guy rated 1937.  His rating exceeded 2000 on November 1,  then went down. I was worse most of the game, battled and missed my “golden bullet” – forced win shown me by my opponent after the game and “silver” one too – a draw 2 moves after that. Here is the game.
He played Pirc defense, opening I don’t know well and don’t like to play against.  My 6th move was not the best, with 2 losses for White in DB.  The best plan was probably to castle queenside, but I wasn’t ready for that.
I tried to make the play similar to the play in Rossolimo with exchanged bishop, stable center and attack on the kingside. I got worse after missing 18… Ng4, when because of Qb6+ threat I had to put for exchange my black-colored bishop.
After 22. Ng5 Bf6 23. Nf3 Bg7 I played 24. Ng5 thinking about Bf6 and possible 3-fold repetion, but I forgot that before move 22 bishop was on h8, so Bh6 with a pin was unexpected. I found a way to minimize my losses, losing a pawn.
He had less time than me and with my position being worse I decided to play sharp and try to get him into time trouble.  Pawn sacrifice ce on e4 was correct, but on e5 wasn’t.  Still he did’n make the exact moves and my knight went on e5 for 3 pawns.
A bit later his 40…Kf8 could cost him a game. I didn’t see 41. Re8+! and then I missed a draw after 43. Ke3!.  After he managed to exchange the queens, I found myself in completely lost endgame with him having about 2 minutes (I had about 5).  I played to the bitter end and he mated me with 1 minute remaining.

It’s an old Russian proverb.
Another game in the club, regular G/90.
It wasn’t one of the guys I expected, but still ~1500 rated.
This is a pairing you get when you are in the last quarter of the table.
Due to my standing and his rating I felt like my back was up against the wall,
I had to win no matter what.  Here is the game.
It was crazy,  I made a few risky moves,  couldn’t calculate all the lines and just relied on my gut feeling.
He started Nf3, I was able to transpose it to Benko gambit. After some positional play on the queenside I finally made the move similar to the one I didn’t make in the last game – 21…Nd3, at least I had 1 hour left. By the way Fritz approves this move and doesn’t like his exchange after that. He missed a fork after 23. Re3, but I couldn’t imagine all the complications I was getting into after winning the exchange.  Fritz by the way in no hurry to make that fork. I wanted to play 26…Rc5, but didn’t like 27.b4. Fritz says Rc5 is good and gives a line proving it (see the comment). I attacked with 27…f5, then some not the best moves from both sides followed. I played e4 one move later than should,  giving him the only opportunity to get advantage (there could be a pretty nasty endgame for me), but 31. Nbd4 was not easy to find, he made a mistake giving advantage to me, which I almost lost by playing “strong” move 32…Ne3, but then he missed mate in 3.
I was happy to win and it was a first win with Benko after 2 draws with higher rated opponents when I didn’t use all my chances.
I played yesterday in the club,  regular G/90.  Here is the game.
It was one of 3 guys I expected  (Swiss+possible byes).
I knew that as White after 1. e4 e5 he doesn’t play my favorite Ruy, rather Four knights or Italian which I don’t like.
So I decided to go with French. It became Exchange variation, which is not my style and I think it showed. I got under pressure on “e” and had to watch over “e6” square all the time.  It really remainded  me a positional war like World War I with soldiers mostly remaining in trenches and exchanging fire.
He tried to attack on kingside, but I halted his “h” pawn.
Then I realized that I am intercepting the initiative.
He had 5-10 minutes less than me, about 25-30 minutes, got a bit nervous and started to repeate the moves. I spent some time improving the position of my knights and we got equal,  15 minutes each. I saw the move 39… Ne4+, by the way Fritz wanted Ne4+ on move 33 and 35,  and that I get passed pawn after exchange, but having difficulty fully evaluate the position, with only 15 minutes for arising complications and feeling somewhat tired after long previous defense I offered a draw (even forgot that I should make a move). He agreed, of course.  Fritz at home offered instead of 39…Ne4+ – 39… Qe8 40. Kg1 Ne4 and evaluated line after that as ~-0.75.  I didn’t see Qe8 anyway.
Maybe I’ll run shootout between Crafty and Fritz to see what could be the result.
It was a first round of the Swiss tournament. I played with the same master, as last time. Here is the game. He was much more attentive this time and in the opening I was on his territory, he played his favorite French ( I play it too, but our experiences probably are not comparable). I played Tarrasch variation and it was line I am less familiar with, just once played blitz. I know there is a sharp move 10. Nf4 here, but I thought White is better when the pawns are not exchanged, wasn’t sure about this case. After some thinking I decided not to go into complications, just play safe exf6. My knowing of this line ended right after that. His Qb6 was delaying my queenside development, so I decided to do something.
I thought about b3 (12. b3 O-O 13. Bf4 – 2nd DB choice), but then decided that a3/b4 (5th choice) is better. His e5 was unexpected, I forgot that I played it myself, it was quite some time ago, in short words – I was rusty in the opening.
Calculating exchange on e5 I thought about Bxh7 afterwards, but because h6 is under control I saw that there is nothing there. After Bxe5 I played Rb1 and sudden Ng4 was pretty shocking. I thought that Be3 was losing only pawn, but it was losing more …
The same Be3, just one move before – 16. Be3 was leading to an equal position.
Funny that it was all theory, all this losing line, it was played before. I was very upset for a couple of days, but life goes on …

Here is a position from one of my correspondence games:


White to move,  win.  Just in case, the answer in in the comment.