chess openings


It was a round four in the Thursday’s club, I had Black and played Queen’s Indian Accelerated again. My opponent was a boy, never played him before.

The first interest moment came when he suddenly played 19. Ne6. I looked at it and realized that accepting it would be bad after 19… fxe6 20. Qe7 Rf7, so decided to decline it, but spend some time thinking about the right reply. I considered 19… Ne4, but didn’t see any advantage in 20. Nxd8 Nxd3 21. Qd2 missing that after 21… Rxd8 22. Qxc3 Qc6 White has to play 23. e4 because 23. Qb2 or 23. Qc2 is met with b5. Another line 19… Ne4 20. Rd3 Rxd3 21. Qxd3 Qe7 22. Bd5 Nf6 23. Bxb7 Qxb7 24. Ng5 is -0.80.

Instead I played 19… Rd6 and in a few moves got some pressure on “d” vertical. But after 24… f6 Black’s position also became vulnerable due to the weakness of a2-g8 diagonal. My 32… d3 sacrifice was not necessary, instead Qd8 was keeping the pressure and defending the kingside at the same time.

After 35 moves I had about 3 minutes left. I saw that Rxh6 was possible and wanted to defend, but didn’t have enough time to calculate properly and played Rd7. It was a mistake, 37. Rxh6 gxh6 38. Qg6+ Kh8 39. Qe8+ Kg7 40. Qxd7+ Kf8 41. Qd8+ Kg7 42. Bc4 was winning.

Luckily for me he didn’t see it. I stopped writing the moves at that moment, remember playing Qf8 on the next move, so Rxh6 was not possible anymore. Then I created again a pressure on e4, he made a mistake and was forced to give up his “b” pawn.

In the end we had the following position, where I repeated the moves.

This position is equal after Bg2.

It is not about the money, it’s about one move in a second round game in the Thursday’s club.  My opponent was a boy, I drew him with White 7 months ago in the same opening, Sicilian, Moscow variation.

I had some pressure after the opening and after exchanges on e5 thought I can get an attack on the kingside. A crucial moment came after his 28… Re8.  I played an obvious 29. Rg5+ and after Kh8 suddenly realized that it is me who is now under pressure. Instead of 29. Rg5 I had to play 29. Ref1, then to 29… Re6 I could reply Rf7 and have about +1 advantage.

So, I had to make a few balancing moves and after he forced queens exchange I accepted his draw offer.

 

It was a 6th round at the Thursday’s club, my opponent was a boy, never played him before. I had White and we got Sicilian, Kan variation. I didn’t play the exact book moves, but got myself a playable position.

Then after exchange on a4 I got optimistic, thinking that I had an advantage. Actually, I did not. 22. b5 was better than 22. bxa5, I just thought that it would be difficult to defend that pawn.

23. e5 was a serious mistake, I had to switch to defense after that. 29. f5 was another error in judgement, I thought that I have some chances on the kingside, but I had none. Eventually having 6 minutes vs. his 25 I blundered a rook and mate in 1. Anyway my position was -9 at that moment.

It was fifth round in the Thursday’s club. I got Black again and played a boy, never played him before. We played Italian Game. I had an advantage in the opening and missed 16… b4!

Then he got a “Ruy Lopez” style attack on the kingside. I was holding up until I played Bxf5, Be6 was better. Computer criticizes my 34… Qd3, saying that Bh6 was much better. I thought that it was the only way to save the pawn on c4, but after 35. Nxc4 Nxc4 36. Bxc4 Qd2 37. Qf3 Black can force queens exchange with a transition into an opposite-colored bishops endgame.

After he played 36. Bd5 I thought that my days are numbered and made a desperate attempt to survive by playing 38… Bxe3 and 39… f5. He made two mistakes in a row – 40. Kd2 and 41. Bxe4. After he played 41. Bxe4 I saw that I can play Nb2+ and if he takes the pawn then after Nc5 he loses the bishop. The only way to keep advantage after 40… fxe4 was to play 41. Ke1, then after 41… Kf6 42. Bxe4 Nc4 43. Bxd3 Nxe3 he was still up a pawn.

So after his last inaccuracy – 44. g4, we reached a completely drawn position. When he realized that, we agreed to a draw.

The most interesting in that game was a line behind the scenes, a really nice combination. It was a first round in a new season. I was afraid to get a 1-point bye and also didn’t feel quite in shape, so registered in the U1800 section. But they misplaced my registration, I wasn’t paired, so eventually I was paired manually with a guy from the top section. I played him before and had a positive score.

So I got White,  he played French defense. Right away I didn’t like his f6 and after his 8… f5 Houdini thinks that he is -3. I considered 9. Ng5, but thought that after h6 will have to go to h3. But instead of Nh3 computer suggests Nf7!. After 10… Kxf7 11. Ne5+ Kf8 12. Qh5 Qe8 13. Ng6+ Kf7 14. Nh8+ Kf8 15. Ng6+ Kf7 16. Bxf5 exf5 17. Nxe7+ Kf8 18. Qxe8+ Kxe8 19. Nxf8 White is up a rook.

But I went to Ng3 and just continued to increase the pressure. On move 11 he missed my strike on f5 and lost a pawn. After I won another two pawns it became a matter of technique. In the pawn ending I didn’t realize until the end of the game that I could penetrate with my king through h4 with a fast win, but the way I choose wasn’t too much longer anyway.

 

 

“To err is human” – this is regarding my last game, to console myself . I missed a win 3 times in this game. Again, I played well positionally, but missed the tactics and specific lines. I found that in the whole August I played exactly one online blitz game and one OTB game before that game, it probably showed. I had White, never played this guy before. Our Moscow variation transposed right away  into Rossolimo variation.

The first mistake I made was playing 13. f4, I realized that I have a problem after his 14… Nh5. I saw Rxb2 threat and spent a lot of time to find a good move. I thought that after 15. Bxd6 Rxb2 16. Rxb2 Bxc3 I would lose a piece, not seeing that after 17. Qc1 I get it back. So I played 15. Qc1 and lost a pawn.

His 19… Ba6 wasn’t the best move, he could play d5 with advantage. His 20… Kg7 got him into a trouble, I found Qc1 with a strong attack. 24… f5 was another mistake, but I played 25. Qf3 and didn’t find the right move – Qg5. His 25… Rxe4 was unexpected, I calculated 26. Nh6+ Kg7 27. Nxf5+ gxf5 28. Qxf5, but didn’t see that it was winning. But he could play 26… Kh8 and  it was just a bit better for me.

When I decided to take on c6, I thought that then I will play Qe8+, so after he played 29… Bd5 it was an instant premove. I had about 5 minutes left at that time. Had I spent a bit of time I would see, of course, Qxd5 with a win. Then again he made a big mistake playing 33… Bxa2, but I played the moves in the wrong order – it had to be Qf6+ first and then Qe7 with a win.

So eventually I found myself a pawn down, pursuing his king. I noticed in the scoresheet that we repeated the position 3 times and offered him a draw. Much to my surprise he declined, so I claimed threefold repetition and TD confirmed that.

It was a first round and I played in the middle section, so my opponent was low rated. I had Black and played Queen’s Indian. His g3, Bg2 caused me some grief, so next time I should be prepared better. I had a feeling that 11… Na6 wasn’t a very good move, nevertheless I played it, he could answer Ne5 with advantage, even more if 13. Ne5.

After 14. Qd3 I equalized and then managed to get an advantage after his 17. Nb3. He had to give up a pawn after 17… dxc4. Computer criticizes me for 21… Bd3.  Anyway I was increasing my advantage until it became winning and then I made a mistake by playing 53… Qf7 instead of b2.

It was equal after  54… Qf5 and 56… Rd2, but every time he was giving me a chance. But after 57… b2 I realized that he has a perpetual. Then he made a decisive mistake by playing 59. Qb8+, but I let him escape by playing 60… Qd6. Then after 63. Ng5 I finally took the game in my hands and in two moves he resigned.

 

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