June 2010


It was a last game of the tourney, I was +2 and got paired with 1900 rated young guy.
He had White and played Ruy Lopez,  here is the game.  I went for Marshall attack, he accepted. First surprise – he played 12. d3, and then 15. Re4, not much familiar to me  (I found one blitz game I played against it), except that I know I have to play 15…Qf5.  He then played 16. Bc2, actually not the best move,  and I think it was the critical moment.  Would I play 16…Qg6 with excellent stats and any engine suggesting it, I would never have problems I got in the game. My light-colored bishop would be “strong and free” (like “The True North” in our anthem) on f5, and dark-colored one would never get exchanged. I wanted to use a non-stable position of his rook,  21…g5 was a good idea, but being implemented one move earlier than needed became the bad one.  I didn’t have any attack and my attempts to get one only made the position worse. His pressure intensified, the position was bad, also I started to get behind on time, having ~13 minuts vs. his 18 when I blundered on move 42.  The rest was clear and I resigned on move 47, with  the perspective of losing queen for knight.
Of course, I was upset, losing in my favorite opening, which I played more than 100 times blitz  (but only once OTB, by the way).
The total result was some consolation – +1 and ~1950 performance rating.
My streak of four wins (3 in the current tournament) ended yesterday with a loss to an expert,  here is the game. All was wrong that day – I made a mistake defining my possible opponent as 2300+ master and was a bit nervous,  then I thought that I got too high in the table and somebody gonna stop me,  my preparation against the master (Sicilian, Rossolimo) went into garbage because I  got French from different guy (who didn’t play it before in the club,  so I wouldn’t guess right anyway) and in my usual French, Tarrasch I got Morozevich variation – 1.e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nd2 Be7,  a fashionable line among top GMs in recent years. To my shame I was completely unfamiliar with it.
I played this game like my recent opponents – losing a pawn in the opening, making moves worsening the position, giving up two bishops, etc.
He eventually got strong pawns in the center and his pieces attacked me on the kingside.  I couldn’t get any counterplay and my only hope was time,  I had twice more.  But he started to play faster and finished me off with ~10 minutes remaining on his clock.
The guy was very nice after the game and tried to find some counterplay for me (he pointed to slow moves Rb1 and b3, and stressed the necessity of playing Ne5 at the right moment, blocking the pawn e6 or forcing the exchange of the dark-colored bishop and weakening the kingside).
Anyway, we learn from our mistakes and move on.