chess tactics


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.

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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 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.

 

 

It was a 5th round in the Thursdays club. My opponent was a 1478 rated guy with whom I had a 4:0 score, 3 wins with Black in Italian Game. It was again Italian Game. I did not play well in the opening and already after move 9 was in a serious trouble. He developed a strong attack and I tried to hold on.

Computer thinks he would be better after 26. Qc4, then d5. I thought I can’t play 26… Nxe5, but I could  and it was equal – 26… Nxe5 27. Nxe5 fxe5 28. Qxb6 Rd1+!. My 26… Rhe8 was also good. I missed 28… Ne5 possibility. All the time I had to watch for a possible sacrifice on a6. Then on move 32 I could lose if he would play Rd2, the idea is that rook goes to d6. He didn’t see it. After the knights exchange I started to feel good.

After his 36. Qc3 I didn’t like Rxb6 threat and played 36… Rd7. Computer suggests 36… Qd6 was better. Then after 37… Rd4 I felt that I intercepted the initiative, though it was still equal. Computer says that 39… c4 was very strong, with -3 evaluation. I decided that 41… Rd2 will be stronger than Rxa4, computer agrees.

Then a crucial moment of the game came when he played 43. g4. I saw Rxg4 right away, but then noticed that after 43… Rxg4 44. fxg4 Qxg4+ he has 45. Qg3 defense. So I decided it won’t work and played Qd4+. It was a big mistake. After 43… Rxg4 44. fxg4 Qd4+! there is a forced mate. There is a mate also he declines the sacrifice and plays 44… Kh1, Black follows with 44… Qf5 45. Qf1 Rxh2+ 46. Kxh2 Qf4+ 47. Kh1 Qh3+ 48. Qh3 Qxh3#.

Then after 45. Qg3 it became equal, but in 2 moves he blundered his rook on a1.  It would be over after 48… Rd1, computer says mate in 17, but  I played Qb2. In the next few moves he managed to advance his “e” pawn and force me to give up a rook for it.  I had less than 5 minutes and stopped writing the moves. Then I couldn’t avoid the queens exchange and we ended up in a rook endgame where I was better.

There was a moment when I could exchange the rooks with each of us having a pawn on the kingside  and me having an “a” pawn on the queenside. But I thought that his king would lock my king up there, so I avoided this exchange. After the game our TD told me that there was a win for me, that my king could escape, I am not sure. Anyway he managed to exchange the pawns on the kingside and win that “a” pawn, so we ended up with  a draw.

It was a 4th round in the Thursdays club and my opponent was a boy rated 1528. I played him about 3 months, had White, it was Ruy Lopez with Bc5. I missed a win a couple of times. This time it was the same opening, same variation.

Until move 17 the game was very similar to the previous one, exchange of the dark colored bishops and pawn exchange on d4. I thought that exchange on f5 will give my queen a good position there, but he unexpectedly played Ng6. So I won a pawn and then continued my attack on the kingside. On move 35 he made another mistake and I won an exchange. After the game I thought that I got carried away with my attack after that, but computer confirmed that I made the right moves until move 44.

I had about 5 minutes left, quickly considered 44. Bc2, but thought that after Qb2 I would lose a2 pawn. Nevertheless cool 45. Qf6 was keeping White’s advantage. So I played impulsive Rc1 and right away saw Rxc2 and Qb1+. He saw it too, played it and I realized that I lost all my advantage. I even had to play the exact moves to defend. In the end he could get better by 43… Nfe2+ and 44… Nc3. But he played 43… Nfd3 and offered a draw. I had about 3 minutes left vs. his 15, was no better on the board and accepted his offer.

It was a first round in Monday’s club. My opponent was a boy rated 1616. I got Black, he played Scotch gambit. I decided to play the main line with 4… Nf6. I knew that line a bit, though played it OTB just one, max two times.

After his 14. f4 I decided to play f5 to stop his pawn attack on the kingside. He looked surprised and spent some time trying to find a plan. Then I completely missed that after his Na4 he controls c5 and really didn’t like it. I considered Bb5, but thought that bishop will be vulnerable there. So I played g5 to spice the things up. Here I missed 21… d4 strike. After 22. Nxd4 Bxd4 23. Bxd4 c5 24.  Nxc5 Nxc5 White has to play h3 to prevent the devastating consequences of Bb7+. On move 23 I considered d4 with the idea of cutting off the piece on c5, calculated it, but my calculation was wrong and I didn’t play it, same on move 24.

As a result I got worse. White missed 28. a5 and if Bxa5 then Qf2-Qe3-e5 with the horrific attack. When I decided that I am out of the trouble he played 32. Qe3. I noticed the Qe3-e5 threat and thought that the only defense from the mate would be to exchange on c5, then taking on e6. I saw that I was losing then two pawns – “a7” and “c7”, but thought that opposite-colored bishops would give me a draw. Instead of it the cool 32… a6! 33. Qe5 Kg6! was leading to an equal position.

In the endgame my plan starting from 38… Kd7 was wrong. I think I would be better off keeping my king on the kingside with the bishop stopping the “a” pawn. My 40… h5 was a serious mistake, then my position deteriorated and I lost.

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