chess tactics

It was a 2nd round in Mondays tournament. My opponent was a boy, I thought that I lost to him some time ago, in a rather quick and painful way. It defined my careful manner of play. I had White, he played Caro-Kann.

Computer prefers 11. h6 to my Bd2. I expected his 14… e5 and was confident about 15. dxe5, computer criticizes his move and recommends Nf6. I got a feeling that I am better after his 20… Rf7 and 21… Rhf8. Computer thinks that I had to play 23. Qf5 instead of Qf3.

The crucial moment came on move 28, I considered 28. Qc7, but for some reason decided to play Qd6. Computer says I would get advantage after 28. Qc7 a6 29. Qxg7. So we transferred into a rook endgame. His 30… Rg8 was too passive, he had to play Re8 and then Re5. 36. f4 was the move instead of g4.

After 40 moves I thought that his initiative on the queenside could be dangerous and decided to do something about it. On move 50 computer recommends Ke3 forcing rooks exchange with ~+1 advantage, but 2 shootouts ended up in a draw. After his 53… c4 I spent some time calculating 54. bxc4+ Rxc4 55. Rxc4 Kxc4 line and saw that we queen at the same time. So I went for it, in a few moves he offered a draw. Interesting that when I came home I found out that I actually had a win against him in that past game, but blundered…


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.


It was penultimate round in the Monday’s club. My opponent was a young man, I had 2 draws with him in the past. We played again Sicilian, this time instead of Rossolimo it was Moscow variation. He chose 3… Nd7, the toughest for White from my point of view variation. 5. Bd3 was a book move that I remembered, 9. Ndb2 was not, computer recommends a4.

11. dxc5 was a mistake, I didn’t see that I can’t play 12. Nb3. Computer doesn’t like my 12. h3 and 13. Nd4 and evaluates the position as -1.4. His 14… d5 allowed me to equalize. I considered 18. Be4, but didn’t like f5. Interesting, that I played 20. Bf1 because of 20. Bxe4 f5, but Houdini offers  20… Nf6 21. Bf4 Qb6 22. Be3 Qc7 23. Bf4 with a draw. His 20… Nxc3 was unexpected, but I quickly saw that it was actually good for me to get two his active pieces for my rook and two pawns.

Then suddenly he played 23… Rd8 and I saw the skewer right away. After 25… f5 I missed 26. Rd1, winning on the spot. Still after I forced the exchanges it became a matter of technique.




It was a 3rd round in the new club, after 2 draws with lower rated opponents I needed a win. I got a kid, whom I played before and won. I had White, Ruy Lopez, Classical Defense Deferred. The book recommends 7. d4 with advantage.

The first pawn break came on move 12. Houdini recommends instead 12… Bxe3 13. fxe3 Ne7 14. Bxd7 Qxd7 with an equality. I could win a pawn after 12… d5 13. exd5 Nxd5 14. Bxa7 and then after both Rxa7 and Nxa7 I win e5 pawn. The difference with the line I played is that in this case the knight stands on d5 and in the game it would be a black queen defending e5 pawn. 19. Qc4 looked active, but 19. Rad1 Nd6 20. Nxd6 cxd6 21. Qd3 was winning a pawn.

Another pawn break came on move 32, also d5. I came close to winning a pawn, but didn’t play 36. Nxa6.  Getting two passed pawns on the queenside would give me a serious advantage despite of computer’s modest +1.05 evaluation. Computer also suggests elegant 36. Rxd5 Rxd5 37. Nxa6 with basically the same result. Then we transformed to a bit better for me R+N vs. R+N endgame, where I had to play Rc6 on move 44, not 45.

Then we exchanged rooks and came into an equal knight endgame. Move 62 was natural, but also provoking. Suddenly he took my knight. I had 1.5 minute left and needed to calculate that I at least will not lose the arising pawn endgame if I take the knight, otherwise I would have to take the pawn instead.  After I took his pawn my long time ago acquired knowledge helped me to win.

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