April 2019

My opponent in that round was as expected a high school boy to whom I lost 5 months ago when he swindled the game. In this game I had Black, he played Giuoco Piano.  I was surprised when he took on d5 by the pawn and definitely liked my position after a dozen of moves.

He told me after the game that he thought about 17. f4, but couldn’t make it working and it doesn’t. Soon I got a pretty clear idea how to attack on the kingside. As it showed later, his queen’s placement was wrong, f2 square belonged to the rook.

On move 23 while planning Rg3 I suddenly realized that I already can sacrifice my bishop on h3, but after some thinking decided that it would only give me material advantage, while Rg3 had some chances for a mate. In reality it had the same aftermath.

So after 24. Qg1 I saw that I am winning his queen and played Bxh3. Then I played carefully trying not to give him any chances and to increase my advantage as well. After 38 moves the position looked like I have a clear win, in a few moves he resigned.

I told him after the game about the different roles that our light-squared bishops played and he agreed.

It was Monday’s club, my opponent was my old nemesis, I think my score with him was 1.5:2.5. He chose Modern Defense, I knew he plays it.

In the opening he advanced his pawns on both flanks and I strengthened the center. Then on move 19 computer suggests I missed e5, with 2.43 evaluation. So here is this nice line -19. e5 dxe5 20. fxe5 Nxe5  21. Rxf6  Kxf6 22. Rxe5. If 22… Kxe5 then mate, if 22… Rxe5 then 23. Qf2 winning the queen and if 22… Kg7 then 23. Nf5.

21. Nd5 was a mistake, but the right move for Black was not 22… Ne4, but 22… cxb4 23. Qxb4 Rxe1 24. Nxe1 Qc5. After 22… Ne4 I was in a shock and got desperate. I calculated rightly that after 24. Ne5 I would be worse and chose Ng5. Interesting that computer evaluates it as 0.00.

Computer doesn’t like 26. Bh3 and recommends Ne6 with -0.6 estimate. Then I got that funny idea about exchanging my bishop and was actually about -3 after 28. f5, but only if he would play 28… cxb4. After 28… Qd8 it is equal. 30. Ne6 was not a good move, Qd3 was keeping the balance. But he decided, after some thought, to give back the exchange. I got energized after that and started to look for advantage. In a few moves I succeeded.

Computer thinks that 35… Qf7 would keep him alive with 1.8 estimate. After his 35… Qe2 I found 36. Kg1 to avoid a perpetual and the game was basically over, he resigned in a few moves.


It was a second round in Thursdays club. My opponent was a boy I beat about  a year ago with Black. I had White this time and played Ruy Lopez.

After the opening there was some maneuvering. Then he made a mistake by playing 21… Rc8. White could play 22. a4 bxa4 23. Bxa6 Nb8 24. Bxc8 Rxc8, otherwise the knight on c6 is lost due to the pin, but I didn’t see it. His 22… Re7 missed my 23. d5, then another mistake was 23… Nb8.

On move 28 I saw that I have a decisive advantage, but didn’t like 28. Qh6 because of 28… Rxf5 29. exf5 Nxd5. Computer says there was a mate in 9 after that with 30. Re4 Ne7 31. Rg4 Ng6 32. fxg6 fxg6 33. Bxg6 Qe7 34. Bf5 Kf7 35. Qxh7+ Ke8 36. Rg8+ Qf8 37. Re1+ Kd8 38. Rxf8#.

After 29. Qf2 he played expected Kh8, the next moves came naturally, in the end I had 6.5 minutes left. He resigned after  32. Ne7.

It was a second round of Mondays club tournament.  My opponent was 1307 rated guy, I had Black. He played Italian game, the line where I remembered I have to take on c3 with a bishop.

The mainline is 9. d5 Bf6 10. Re1 Ne7 11. Rxe4, but he played 9. bxc3.  I had a feeling that he had a compensation for the pawn, computer evaluates the position as equal.  Then I unintentionally gave the pawn back, though it is actually a computer move. I considered 22… Rxe3, but then decided to keep rooks. It became easier to play, I maneuvered and waited.

Then his 30. Qe6 allowed me to play 31… Qc2. 32… Qxa4 was an option, but I didn’t want my queen to be too far from the theater of war. He didn’t play the best moves and his position deteriorated. I thought that I have to keep f5 square under control to avoid perpetual, but didn’t see that after 40… Qxd4 41. Qf5+ g6 42. Qf7+ Black had Qg7.

By move 48 I felt that I am stuck with that perpetual threat and played 48… c5. It unbalanced the position, he got into a time trouble, allowed my Qf5  and resigned.

It was a 1st round in Mondays club, I got a guy rated about 1450. I played with my opponent 2 months ago and beat him in French, Fort Knox variation. This time I had White again and we repeated the opening. His 10… b5 looked suspicious, but I didn’t see a clear refutation, so just continued my development. Computer recommends 11. Neg5 Bxf3 12. Nxf3 c6 with +0.65 evaluation.

I saw 15. Nxf6+, but didn’t calculate properly the lines arising after 13. Nxf6+Bxf6 14. dxe5 Be7. Maybe I thought that after 15. Bxb5 Bxb5 16. Qxb5 he still has 16… Rb8, but White has 17. Qxa5 and if 17… Rxb2 then 18. Bc3 winning. The best for White here is 15. Qg4 Kh8 16. Qh3 g6 17. Bh6 Rg8 18. Bxb5 Qc8 with +1.3.

Then the position got simplified. After 21… Rd8 I saw that I have Qa8 after 22. Rxd8 Bxd8 and went for it. I got a feeling that he will play 23… Qd7 and calculated that after 2 checks my king goes to g3 and there is no check on g6 because of my bishop on g5. The bishop could be saved by 23… Qf6, but White was still better after 24. Qc6 Be7 25. Qxc7. So I won a piece after a few moves and when he exchanged the queens it became a matter of technique.