chess openings

It was a second round in a new club, my opponent was an old guy rated 1891. He got White and played Four Knights. I found only 8 games I played OTB with +2, =4, -2 score. So, I am not very familiar with it and played 4… d6 line. Then I found 8… c5 book move, as well as 9… Bxf5. It was a pity to exchange the bishop, but his knight just looked too dangerous. The same was with 11… Qg4, by the way it was a computer move with ~0.5 evaluation.

Then I got my pawns moving on the kingside, after 20 moves it was an equal position. I was planning f5 for some time, still missed playing it on move 24. I didn’t want to leave f5 pawn under attack, but didn’t see that my bishop would attack b2 pawn after 24… f5 25. e5 dxe5 26. fxe5 Rxe5 27. Rxe5 Bxe5. Then our struggle continued in the center. He had less time all the game and when he had 4.5 minutes and I had 9 we repeated the moves.

The shootouts I ran from the final point ended up in a draw. I was very satisfied with the result.

It was a last round of the Monday’s tournament. My opponent was a guy rated 100 lower, I won two times against him in the past. We played French, Tarrasch, closed variation. I wanted to avoid Bd3, c3 line and played 5. f4. He traded the light pieces, I didn’t want to avoid the queens trade by the price of castling.

I thought that I have an advantage after the opening and planned f5 for quite some time. Computer offers 30. h4 Rc8 31. h5 Na7 32. Bc5 Nc6 33. Rh1 with +1.40 estimate. My 31. f5 gave back most of the advantage. Another mistake was exchanging of the light-colored bishops. Soon I got a feeling that my advantage is gone and I need to switch to defense. That plus being low on time forced my bad decision to exchange the rooks, computer evaluates it as -3.

Three times, on moves 41-43 he missed the possibility to play h5 with a win. I had to play g4, but didn’t realize that my “g” pawn will become an object of an attack. On move 44 he finally played h5 and the game was decided. It was an upsetting end of a not a good tournament.

My opponent was a young man, I won a few times with White against him, this time I had Black. The game started as a Reti Opening, but then transformed into King’s Indian Attack. My bishop would be better located on e7. His 10. h4 was weird and 12. Ng5 was a mistake.

Computer recommends 13… Bc5 with the following 14. Nb3 Bxf2+ 15. Rxf2 Nxf2 16. Qxd8 Raxd8 17. Kxf2 h6 18. Nf3 Ng4+ 19. Ke1 Rd3 with a strong attack. I considered sacrifice on f2 then and later, but couldn’t see that far. 16. Qb3 wasn’t a good idea. After 18… Ne6 I felt that I have a serious advantage. Then I saw a sacrifice on e4 and played it. He looked surprised and after some thinking suddenly played Bxd4. After I took on d4 he resigned.

It was a last round, I was leading by 0.5 point and convinced myself to go despite having a quite stressful day just because didn’t want to give up the first place. As in a few recent games I played again Moscow variation and my opponent again played Nd7 line. Computer says I had to exchange the rooks on move 11 and then play Na3. His 11. Ne5 was a mistake.

I gradually increased my advantage and won a pawn. Computer criticizes my c4, preferring Qc4 and says that after move 25 my advantage was only ~0.3. It is difficult for me to believe it having two passed pawns on the queenside. Anyway on move 26 I blundered, my mental state suddenly showed. Being in a state of shock I lost another pawn, Qc5 right away or after Qa7 was saving it.

I got mad at myself and tried to get some chances, though the position was equal. He offered a draw, I refused, he looked surprised. Soon he made a mistake and I got the pawn back. His next move 39… f6 was a big mistake. On move 41 I missed Qc7 just because I didn’t like Rb7, but I didn’t see a mate in 2 – Rh7+ and Qg3#. Still after 44… Qh8 I got a decisive advantage.

I found 47. Be6, then my bishop went to f5. He had 1 minute remaining, I had 4 when I saw that I have a forced mate.

Pianoforte is Italian for “soft-loud”. It was a penultimate round in Wednesdays club, I got 1412 rated boy, he had White. He played Giuoco Piano, started very confidently. I had to take on d4 on move 11. Computer says that 14… Bb7 was allowing him to play e5 with ~0.9 advantage.

I didn’t like his 17. Nb1 and got a feeling that I can intercept the initiative. Then 21. Nb1 was a serious mistake. After my 21… c5 his 22. c4 was a bad answer. I saw a check on d4 and played it. Computer prefers 26… Bxg2+. My attack was getting stronger, I won a piece. Eventually I transferred into a won endgame where I just had to play carefully.

It was a last round in the Mondays club, I played my opponent twice, won both times. I got White, Sicilian again, Moscow variation. My 6. e5 wasn’t a good idea, c3 was better. After 20 moves the play became more complicated. I found 24. Nxc5 and the position was equal, but then my  28. Qf3 was a mistake. I decided that 29. h4 could give me some chances and it did.

After 34… Kf7 I got an advantage, computer offers a crazy line 34… f4 35. Qxf4 e5 with an equal play. It was a crucial moment on move 37. I saw that Rc7+ will give me a pawn on g6 and a dangerous attack, but computer evaluates it as ~-2.3. Instead White had 37. Qc7+! Re7 38. Qd8 with a winning attack on the 8th horizontal. After 40 moves I realized that I should fight for a draw.

By playing 42… Ra2 he lost his winning chances. I checked 49. Bc1+ Kb1 50. Qe1 and saw that he has Qxf2. So in a few moves I got a perpetual.

It was a 4th round in the new club. My opponent was a leader, 3/3, the guy rated the same. He started playing quickly and confidently. He played Vienna Gambit, his 5. Qf3 was unfamiliar to me. I started to feel under pressure after 8. Qg3, Computer criticizes 11… Qe7 preferring Qb6. His 15. Bf6 allowed me to get out of the opening trouble.

Then the balance shifted into my favor, but I didn’t see it right away. So when he blundered with 19. Ra3 I missed winning 19… Bf5. Still I managed to win a pawn, later we transferred into a rook endgame. I knew that my passed pawns are my only chance to win and avoided any exchanges of his queenside pawns to even one of my kingside ones. I remembered the technique called shuffling, when you move the pawns one after another with the rook support.

Then his 44. b5 was a crucial mistake. After 46. Rxa7 I saw that he can’t stop me from queening. To my surprise he continued to play being down a queen. I missed a few forced mates, I really didn’t have much time at that moment. When I was  about to get another queen he resigned.


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