October 2015

It means avenging, revenge. My opponent was a guy to whom I lost a few times with Black, having equal score with White. So I got White, Scandinavian defense.

We followed the known line, it is better for Black to take on f3. I remembered that e6 is not good and I have to play h4, but at that moment I had kind of a moment of blindness. I thought that he can play 10… Nd7 and if I play 11. h5 he takes on e5 and after exchanges on e5 and e2 takes c2 pawn. Fritz says that I can actually catch this bishop, I didn’t see that, but he gets 4 pawns for that. But what I completely missed is that I can take on d7 and then play h5. So it looks like he has to play 10… h6 or h5, but the arising position after 11. Nxg6 fxg6 is very bad for Black, computer evaluates it as +2 and still thinks that 10… Nd7 11. Nxd7 Qxd7 12. h5 Bxc2 with Black having two pawns for the bishop is better.

I knew he will play 21… c5. The position was equal until he played 29… Rh7. Then after 31… Qe3 it was another moment of blindness, induced partly by him, because it looked like a trap for me to take the pawn. I missed that queen defends d3 square. Computer wins all shootouts after 32. Rxf5.

By move 50 I had only 8 minutes left vs. his 30. I saw that if I defend b2 he still takes the pawn with the knight because his queen attacks the bishop. So, taking into account all the circumstances I went for perpetual. He showed me Qb4 after the game where I could win “a” pawn. But seeing that Q vs. Q endgame I told him that it is likely a draw, indeed all shootouts ended in a draw. So, it wasn’t a full revenge, but I had him on the ropes.

I unexpectedly got Black again in that round, so my opponent was also unexpected – the girl I lost to twice. Once I underestimated her and another time I gave up the perpetual for a “winning” move. She can play well, recently drew with a master and a couple of experts and is a current U14 girls Canadian champion.

We played Ruy Lopez, Chigorin variation. After Nxc4 I decided to take with the pawn, didn’t like her bishop getting to b3. I thought that d5 instead of pressure on e5 was making my life easier. Then I got an opportunity to get my knight on f4 and started to think about an attack.

Her 27. Rh1 was a big mistake, which I didn’t use. After 27… Rxc3 28. Qxc3 Bxh3 29. g3 Qh6 30. gxf4 exf4 31. Qd2 f3 32. Nf1 Qh4 33. Kg1 Bxa1 Black is much better. I saw the idea of Rxc3 without the details after she played Bb4 and decided to keep it in mind. After 30. Rac1 I saw 30… Rxb4 31. Qxb4 Ne2 with Qf4+ coming and calculated that because of the mate threat and her pieces on e3 and c1 hanging it should be a sound sacrifice.

It was, she played Qe1 and my task since then was not to let her win back the knight on e2. We exchanged the bishops, then the rooks. I thought that I should keep my queen, because B+N vs. R could get tricky if her rook will become active. Then she underestimated my attack in the center and made two crucial mistakes – 47. Qb8+ and 48. Qxd6. At that moment I had about 3 minutes left, but managed to stay calm and found the winning moves.