January 2020


It was a third round in Mondays club and I got an old foe, +1,=2 with Black and -2 with White, funny. So luckily I had Black. We played the same line of Queen’s Indian Accelerated as 3 years ago. We had an equal position after the first 15 moves, then he made a mistake playing 16. a3.  I considered 16… Ne5 seeing that his knight is under double attack, but thought that he can jump like Nxe6 leaving my knight under attack too. I didn’t see that his Nd2 was hanging too. So the only choice for him would be to play 17. N4f3 with 17… Nxf3 18. Nxf3 Nxe4 following.

So I played 16… Qe7 planning to exchange my bishop to his knight and untangle my pieces. Then he went for exchanges, that gave me an idea that he wants a draw. I was OK with that I as didn’t think that I am in a great shape and believed that the arisen position was a draw. But he looked determined and continued to play. I was holding on and then he played 40. f5 that looked suspicious to me. Then he made a mistake playing 41. Bxd6. I missed an intermediate check 41… f4+! which after 42. gxf4 Kxd6 43. fxe5+ fxe5 would give me -3 advantage as his bishop would be simply bad.

We got an equal position, but he still wanted to win and played 46. g5, probably counting on something like 46… hxg5 47. hxg5 fxg5 48. Kg5 which would still be a draw by the way. But he missed an intermediate check 46… Bd5+, after which he is lost. I rightly took his pawn with my “f” pawn, not with the “h” one, that would be a draw, I just didn’t want to give him the “h” passed pawn.

On move 49 my Bf7 gave him a chance for a draw, he had to play Ke4 and then Kf5, but he didn’t see that. I was scared of 50. Bg6, but didn’t realize that after 49… Kd6 50. Bg6 Ke6 51. f7 my king gets to e7. After I took on f6 he played two more moves and resigned.

 

It was a first round in Wednesdays club. I got a #1 rated guy, my Russian-speaking acquaintance expert, he had White. He played London system, which soon became Queen’s Indian Accelerated. After 13 moves I got a position with hanging pawns.

After the game at the post-mortem there were a few people and one of them suggested 14… Nc6 instead of Nd7. His slow 17. Nf1 returned the favor and it was equal after the bishops exchange. You are supposed to play d4, but I don’t know if there was a moment to do that. On move 21 he forced c4 and here I think my inexperience with such positions showed.  I decided that since I moved the pawn I am worse. But computer doesn’t think so and Nimzowitsch in his “My System” gave an example when c4 can be alright, unfortunately I read it only after the game.

In fact 4 shootouts ran from that point ended up +1, =3 for Black.  I also read that you can create pressure on b2 pawn and I didn’t realize that, otherwise I would play 24… Rxc8  25. Rd4 Rb8. I didn’t find 26… Rd7 and after b3 was left with an isolated pawn. My 29… Qe6 was a mistake, maybe I already started to feel the time pressure. I knew that I would lose the “d” pawn and instead of calmly defending I went va banque and played g5, that was not reasonable of course.

He exchanged the queens and here I got my hopes up thinking maybe I can save 2 rooks ending. Computer says I had to play Rxa3, not Rf6, but shootouts say Rf6 was the move. At that moment I had maybe 15-20 seconds left, that’s why my next move 42… Rff4 was a decisive mistake, I had to play Re6. After his check I saw e6 coming after Kg7 or f6, but 43… Kf5 got me into a mating net after 44. Re7. Not finding defense I simply flagged.

 

This is a post #400, kind of a milestone. I am glad I am not posting my loss. 🙂

My opponent was an old guy, old foe. He played French and chose open variation in Tarrasch. He played it two times before and we drew both times, but this time he played 4…Qxd5…, not 4… exd5. After Qd6 I almost automatically played Qe2 to defend my bishop in case of Nb3 Qb4+. Also this move is played in 4… exd5 line, but here you usually play O-O. Still it is a second choice with even better stats.

My 17. Ne5 created a threat of Nxf7, he saw it and played Ne4. Then his 23… e5 gave me a tactical chance and I played Rd5. On move 27 I didn’t like Nd3 because of Rd8, so reluctantly played f4. Actually Nd3 was the best move. The 29. Bxe4 was a result of delusion, I thought that I can win g5 pawn, forgetting that my knight will hang. I thought later that it was a bad move, but I was still better and only after 30. g3 it became equal. The right move was 30.  h4. Then I made another weak move, sacrificing the pawn because I thought that I am worse and need counterplay.

After the queens exchange I started to feel like I am balancing on a tightrope. Only after 42. Nc3+ I finally felt that I am out of danger and even better. 45. Kf3 was a mistake, Kd3 was eventually giving me 2 passed pawns vs. his “h” pawn. After several more moves the game was drawn.

It was a first round in the Mondays club. My opponent was a girl, new member, she had FIDE rating 1857, played in some tournaments in SouthEast Asia. I had White, the game started as Caro-Kann, Fantasy variation, but quickly transformed into French, Winawer. It was an unusual for me position, but I found the right moves.

She tried to create a pressure on my queenside pawns and I started to attack on the kingside by 15. Ng5. Her 15… Bd7 reply was bad. I missed 16. f5 followed by e6. I think I looked a bit at it, but didn’t see that after 16. f5 exf5 17. e6 Bxe6 I had Bh5 with +3 advantage. My 16. Bh5 still allowed f5, but I didn’t see it as well. After my 17. Bf3 the game became equal.

I thought that taking her knight on f5 with “g” vertical opening could be risky, it was a wrong evaluation. So the position started to annoy me, I didn’t want to get a draw out of it and considered taking on d5. I saw that after 22. Nxd5 exd5 23. Bxd5 Rb8 I can play 24. e6 with 24… Bxe6 25. Bxe6 fxe6 26. Qxe6+. This sacrifice was not sound, but she had to take on e6 with the pawn, 24… fxe6 25. Bxe6 Kf8 with -1.8 evaluation.

After she took on e6 with the bishop the position would become equal after 25. Bxe6 Fxe6 26. Qxe6 Qe7 27. Qxg6 Qf7 28. Rfe1+ Kf8 29. Qxf7 Kxf7. She said after the game that she would play 26… Ne7, not 26… Qe7. That would actually give me ~1.6 advantage after 27. Rae1. But in the game I didn’t like exactly 26… Ne7 move, thinking that it would defend g6. So after 25… fxe6 I decided to improve my line with 26. Qe5 thinking that it will force her rook to move and then I will take on e6.

To my big surprise she just moved her king to f7 and I realized that I am in a big trouble. Computer evaluates it as -3.3 and the game was basically over after that. My 29. g4 only put more oil into the fire. She played good moves, I couldn’t do anything and in a completely lost position I resigned.