chess strategy


My opponent was a young man and I got White. He played French and our Tarrasch transformed into Rubinstein variation. I got advantage after his 9… Nb6 and started to develop an attack on the queenside. Computer prefers Rc3 on move 17 or 18.

Then I missed 21. Rxc7. I saw it, but didn’t realize that after 21… Kxc7 22. Qa7 Black king has nowhere to go. His exchange sacrifice was a mistake, it allowed the same rook sacrifice on c7. I again missed it and decided that queens exchange will be OK for me.

He started an active counter-play, but his 36… Bb6 was a mistake. His next move was a game-losing mistake and he resigned.

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My opponent was a boy and I got Black. He deviated from the main line of Ruy Lopez and I missed a tempo to play c5. He made some demonstration on the kingside, but missed Ng4+.

I underestimated his “h” pawn movement, had to play h5 to stop it or g5 after h5. I missed that he could play Ng5 after exchange on g6. I realized that I got into a trouble, saw him taking on e6, then Bb3, then exchange sacrifice on h6, but thought that after Qg4 my g6 pawn will be defended.

So I hurried to play Rf8 instead of Re7 leading to an equal position after Rxh6 . After 32… Rf8 33. Rxh6 my position became indefensible and I resigned after 10 moves.

My opponent was an old guy, our score in the past was =1, -2. I got Black and played Semi-Slav. I didn’t quite like his 6. b3 though he would be OK after 6… Bb4 7. Bd2, but he played Bb2. I saw of course Qa5, but didn’t realize I could win a pawn after 8… Qa5 9. Rc1 Qxa2. Then I missed another opportunity by playing pre-move 10… Nxc3 instead of Ng4 winning “f” pawn. I saw Ng4 before playing Ndf6, but thought that he had Bg2 and O-O and after a3 forgot about it.

After 26. Bxd5 I spent quite some time, because I wanted of course to play exd5, but thought that he will occupy “e” line, so played cxd5 which I knew was worse. Actually I could play exd5, because he has to lose a tempo to play 27. f4, otherwise if 27. Rde1 I play 27.. f4 and if Re7 then Qh3 with advantage.

On move 32 I considered putting my rook on g3 with a purpose of sacrificing on g3, but didn’t see a forced win or even draw, so decided to play h5. Computer thinks that 36. Rg5 was better than Qg5 and was equal.

Then he suddenly blundered playing 39. Rg5. He had 45 minutes vs. my 25 and the only reason for the blunder, I think, was feeling under pressure. Though computer evaluates the position as equal after 39. Kf1, I would prefer to play Black here. Then after 40. Qxd4 he played Qc3.  I saw the check before that and certainly it looked very bad for him. After 42 … Rh3+ it was a mate in 2 and he resigned.

My opponent was a boy and I got White. He chose French, after his 9… Qe7 I felt that I will be better after the opening. Computer thinks that I was winning after breakthrough 12. f5, I considered it, but didn’t see anything forced.

23. Bc1 was a waiting move, I thought that I can’t get advantage on the queenside anymore. I got better after exchange on g3 and then decided to play Ba3 and occupy the “f” vertical. Computer considers 30… Qh5 a mistake and prefers Qc2.

When he played 36… Be8 I didn’t like moving my queen back, then suddenly realized that discovered check will be winning here.  37… Bxf7 was losing a bishop, but his 37… Rd7 lost a rook and he resigned.

It was a first round in the Thursday’s club. Due to the changes in the rules I played in the middle section. I had Black and we played Giuoco Piano. My plan after the opening was defined by the exchange on e6.

25. Rd2 was a big mistake. I saw that it was lost for White after 27… Nxh3+, taking on f2 with check after Kg2 or Kh1 and leaving his queen without defense.

It was a last round of Monday’s tournament. My opponent was an old guy, I had =1, -1 score with him. I got White and he played Sicilian. I played Rossolimo variation, but in this case the game looked more like Open Sicilian.

On move 21 I thought what to choose – Rxf3 or gxf3 and decided that if he exchanges on e5, then with the pawn on f3 e5 will be not isolated. On move 36 I had a choice of playing b5 or transferring into a bishop endgame, which I somehow considered better for him because of his possible activity on the kingside, but it was a draw.

Instead of 39… Bc7 the best was Rh7 with an equal play. After I won a pawn my next move was a huge mistake. 43… Rh2 with following Ra2 and a threat of mate on d2 was winning. This motif repeated later, that explains the title of my post.

45. f4 was again a game losing mistake, Rg2 was drawing, but I didn’t see the threat, he the same. I had 6 minutes left, he about 30. I considered b6, but thought that it is risky and decided to implicitly offer a draw repeating the moves. He did it for while, but then suddenly played Rh2. Now I saw the mate threat, but realized that I can’t do anything about it. I spent some time looking for improbable escape and then saw that I flagged.

It was a last round, my opponent was an old guy rated 1922, I had =1, -1 with him in the past. I got White and he played Owen’s defense. I had a difficult choice on move 10 and eventually decided to trade queens. I didn’t expect his Ke7 and the best in this situation was to keep queens by playing Qe2. 13. b4 wasn’t a good move, I didn’t realize I am weakening my position.

Soon I started to feel under pressure and on move 28 decided to sacrifice a pawn. It actually worked and I got real drawing chances, but then I made a big mistake playing 40. Ke3. I thought that my king should be closer to his “c” pawn, but much more important was blocking his pawns.

I considered playing 41. f4, but  realized that it will lose because his pawns would be too far one from another. The position continued to deteriorate and I had only a few minutes left. Still I missed an excellent chance that he gave me by playing 47. Ke2. There was a nice combination – 48. b7 Bxb7 49. Bxe4 Bc8 50. Kc2 Bd7 51. Kxc3 Bxa4 52. Bxf3+ Kxf3 53. Kb2 Kxf2 with  a draw.

Interesting that couple of days after the game he sent me a message via Facebook and pointed to this opportunity as well as to the missed draw after 40. Ke3.

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