July 2016


This game was really unusual.

First  – it was played with TD, who decided to play in order not to leave me without pair, because I already had a 1-point bye. I never played him before.

Second – it was unusual by the amount of combinations that I missed, different themes, I actually never had so many possibilities before and I missed all of them, though played positionally pretty well.

So, I got Black and he played some kind of Colle System. My Ne4 was counteracting his Ne5. He and computer later criticized my a5, yes it was too cautious and created a weakness. Anyway when I saw his Nb1 I realized that it was my time and played Bxe5 with the idea of Ng4. It was a good idea, but I didn’t see the next move that I had – 19… Nxh2 with 20. Kh2 Qh4+ 21. Kg1 Ng3 22. Qc2 (or Qe1) dxc4 with a very strong attack. I was still better, but after 29… Qg6 I lost my advantage. His 30. Be1 was bad, after the game he found much better move – Rxf3, if then Black gives back exchange for the knight on d6 it becomes equal.

I found 30… d4 and without much thought played it, I had I think less than 10 minutes at that time. After the game one expert said that I missed an easy win – 31… Nxg5, in a few moves after that computer evaluates my position as -2 . I played 31… Qg6 and then he made a crucial mistake by playing 32. exd4, funny that we both didn’t see it even in the post-mortem.

32… Rxf4 was winning on the spot (33. Kxf4 Qg5#).  Then he again allowed this move playing 33. Qb2, I didn’t see it. In two moves another combination was possible – 35… Rxd6 36. exd6 Nf5+.   37… e3 was stronger than obvious Rd3. After his 39. Qg4 I thought that he escaped, because avoiding exchange allowed him to take on e6 with a check and then his rook would become very dangerous. After the game another guy said that I could play 39… d2 and it was winning, he was right. But I played Qxg4 and we agreed to a draw.

 

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It is not about book or movie, it is about my game last Monday. My opponent was a guy to whom I lost a few times with Black, this time I had White. I played Moscow variation against his Sicilian and he decided to close the center. He was moving his pawns on the both parts of the board and I thought that I need to do something.

So I played 20. a4 with the idea of getting c4 square for my knight. It is the move that computer suggests, with an equal play. He accepted the sacrifice, then started to move his knight in order to exchange it on c4. I thought that if I will exchange queens it would delay that. It was a mistake, computer evaluates it as -1.

I had to switch to defense. I made a big mistake when I played 34. Ke2, the best was Ra1 and if 34… Rb4 then 35. Ke1. Then 35. Kd2 lost the game because he played 35… a3 and forced the transition into an endgame that was lost for me.

I had serious doubts if I should play that Monday night after returning from the weekend tournament that didn’t go well at all. But during the day I calmed down, was feeling OK and decided to go.

My opponent was a new guy, he played before in the middle section and his rating was still provisional. I got Black, he played Ruy Lopez, we followed the book moves until his 16. Ng3 to which I played Rfe8, not Nc6. Computer thinks  that after 19. Ne3 I had 0.9 advantage.

Here comes the explanation of the post’s title. I calculated 21… Rxd3, saw that it didn’t work and played Nb7. But there was an interesting move that actually used my idea.  21… Bb4 attacked the rook on e1, defending e4. So, 22. Bd2 was losing due to Qd7 and if 22. Nd2 then Qd7 again. If 22. Rf1 then my Rxd3 worked.

The best reply for White was 22. Bxh6 and then if 22… Bxe1 then 23. Bxg7 and White is better. So, 22… gxh6 23. Qe3 Bf8 24. Nxh6+ Bxh6 25. Qxh6 Rxd3 26. Qg5+ Kf8 27. Qxf6 Qd6 28. Qh8+ Ke7 29. Qxe5 with Black having a bishop for 3 pawns and about 0.4 advantage.

Nothing of that happened, on move 24 I played Nd4 though I didn’t like it, just didn’t see anything else. On moves 36 and 37 he could get advantage after Qg3, but he didn’t see it and played 37… Nxd4, after that it became equal, we repeated the moves and agreed to a draw.