December 2015


This game was played in the beginning of December. My opponent was a boy with whom my score was 1.5:3.5 with my only win 2 years ago, when his rating was 500 points lower than current 2247.

I had White and we played Sicilian, Moscow variation. His Nd7 is the most serious answer to Bb5+. We defined our strategies pretty early with him attacking on the queenside and me – on the kingside. Computer thinks that 16. Nd5  was better than Ne2, but I still don’t like 16… Bxd5 17. exd5 Qd8 18. a3 Nxd5.  I was somewhat worse after exchange on d3, but decided to proceed with my plan no matter what. It paid off when he made a mistake and played 23…Rxb2. Instead computer suggests a crazy line – 23… Rxd3 24. Qxd3 Rxg2+ 25. Kxg2 Bxe4+ 26. Qxe4 Nxe4 with equal position.

I saw Nh6+ threat when I played 22. Nf5, so replied right away. Then I found 25. Bb3. Computer considers 25… Rd7 a big mistake, suggesting 25… Bxe4 26. dxe4 Rdd2, but White still has a huge advantage. 26. Rxf6 was winning on the spot, I didn’t play it. Of course I saw it, but it seemed to me that his king will escape. But after 26. Rxf6 gxf6 27. Qg3 Ke7 28. Nf5+ Kd8 29. the same Rc1 is decisive. Anyway, my attack continued and I sacrificed my knight again.

His position became indefensible soon and he resigned.

 

 

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I had recently 3 games where it was a final theme. The difference is that in two games my opponents had it, but decided to play for a win and in third game it was my only chance and I did it.

Game 1 – I played with a boy rated 2004. I had White and chose rather unusual to me Ruy Lopez with d3, c3. He played an early f5, my h4 was not an exact move. After move 30 I liked my position more.

Fritz says I could play Rd5 two moves earlier. 41. Qxf3 created a weak pawn on g4, gxf3 was better. Then I make a serious blunder playing 53. Qg4. He didn’t use it and after 55. Rxa2 it was a draw by perpetual. 63… Qg2+ was a decisive mistake, I won in a few moves.

Game 2 – my opponent, young man, came 54 minutes late, when I was sure there will be no game, the control was 90’/G + 30”/move.     I lost to him 3 times with White in Sicilian, Moscow variation, so I decided  to play Closed Sicilian. We both played fast, kind of like a rapid game. He castled queenside and we both developed attacks. I made a mistake on move 20 not playing d5 because I overestimated his threat to take on h2 – 20. d5 Qe3+ 21. Kf1 Rxh2. I didn’t see 22. Rxb7+ at that moment. But later when I played 22. d5 I already saw that if he plays Bh3 I have a perpetual. He did exactly that and I sacrificed a rook on b7 with a draw.

Game 3 – my opponent was a boy, I had Black and we played Ruy Lopez. I decided to go for an early d5 and miscalculated, losing a pawn as a result. I expected him to exchange queens on move 30 and my chances in the rook endgame looked very bleak to me. He didn’t do that and then after I played Qa3, he didn’t see my queen’s  potential. After 37. Kf1 I had about 0.5 advantage, but probably would go for a perpetual, because I had about 5 minutes vs. his 30.

Suddenly he played 37. Kh3 and I saw Rg5 almost right away. He realized that he made a crucial mistake and resigned.