It was a second round in Mondays club, my opponent was a young man rated 1543.  I had White and played again Closed Sicilian. Some complications arose after 12.  Nd5, computer doesn’t like his 14… Be5, preferring Qb8. Move 20. g4 was apparently not the best, better was h4 with following Bh3 and exchanging the bishops.  It allowed White to attack h6 and f7 squares.

Around move 25 I had a feeling that I have a good pressure and spent quite some time looking for the best continuation. His 27… Qc5 was a crucial mistake, he tried to avoid pin, but his queen stopped defending the king. The intention of 29. Qf3 was to sacrifice an exchange on e6.

Suddenly he sacrificed exchange himself. I considered quickly taking the rook, didn’t like it and decided to continue with my plan. So I took on e6. When he played fxe6, it became clear that he is in trouble. He resigned after my 32. Qxe6. Computer found here mate in 10: 32…. Kg7 33. Qg6 Kh8 34. Qxh6 Kg8 35. Qe6+ Kh8 36. Qe8+ Kh7 37. exd5 Qd6 38. Be4+ Kg7 39. Kg3 Nd4 40. h6+ Kxh6 41. Qh5+ Kg7 42. Qh7#. Interesting that all the pieces and two pawns that were attacking the king take part in this mate.

By the way taking his rook was winning too. After 30. exd5 Qxd5 31. Rg6+ mates in 5 and after 30… Bxd5 31. Qf5 White wins.

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These games were played in two different clubs, both with lower rated opponents. It was an attempt to refresh my opening repertoire.

Game 1 – it was a second round in Mondays club, my opponent was a young man rated 1527.  It was an equal position after the opening, then his 14… Nh5 was a mistake and I got an advantage after f4. Then again 18… f6 wasn’t the best move, f5 was better.

I continued to attack the f6 pawn and under the pressure he played f5. I spent quite some time on my next 2 moves – 23. Ne7 and 24. Qg5. Computer thinks that Black would be OK after 26… Rxf2+ instead of exd3, which was a crucial mistake.

I saw mate in 5 if after 27. Rxf8+ he takes with a rook and he played exactly that, 27… Nxf8 loses as well after 28. Nf7+ Kg8 29. Nh6+ Kg7 30. Rf7+ Kh8 31. Qf6#.

Game 2 –  it was a first round in Thursdays club, I got a young man rated 1172. I missed playing f5 on move 14. On move 20 I decided to play Nxd5, which I considered earlier, now I could get 3 pawns for a knight. Interesting that computer thinks I shouldn’t have taken the third pawn and wants to leave the bishop on the main diagonal. After he took on a6 with the queen I was able to play d5 and d6. He miscalculated when played 26… Nc4 and the rest of the game was a matter of technique.

It was a 5th round in the Monday’s club, my opponent was a young man rated 2170. I lost a few games to him before playing Sicilian Bb5 and drew one with Closed Sicilian, so I decided to play it again. I was good after the opening, then I thought that I should play actively.

So after his 15… Nc4 I didn’t play Bc1 because I saw 16. Nxd5. I calculated that I win a pawn if he plays Nxd5, the same if 16… Nxe3 17. Nxe3 Bxd4 18. c3. I also saw Nxb2, but thought that it will be at least equal after that. After he took on b2 I realized that he attacks my rook and I lose material, so started to think what to do and calculated next 3 moves that happened in the game. After initial shock I thought that I have some compensation because my pieces were very active, computer confirms it giving him just 0.5. Then he started to execute a plan with moving the pawns on the queenside.

I could resist by playing 35. Rc8, but I didn’t consider it. My position was getting worse and worse, g4 was played out of desperation and soon I resigned.

 

I played in the club in the new tournament. My opponent was an expert I played before, lost to him in Rossolimo. I had White again and decided to change decorations, so for the first time I played Closed Sicilian, here is the game.

I think I was OK after the opening, maybe Na4 wasn’t the best, Nd1 just looked passive.  Then I started to attack on the kingside by moving pawn “h”, he got some initiative on the queenside. I had to play a3 instead of Bf4, it would make my life easier later. I noticed it only after the move and then he played Qc7.

His g5 advance was very provoking. After 23… e5 I got afraid that I will be simply strangled after g4 and decided to sacrifice on g5. His Bh3 answer I think was the best and here I screwed up. I saw Bxf6 and Qh6 with double attack, but for some reason – or I didn’t see that after 25. Bxf6 Bxf6 26. Qh6 Bxf1 27. Qxf6 Bh3 I get the bishop back after a couple of checks or it was something else – I don’t remember,  I played 25. Re1. There was a perpetual and it was gone. He pointed to that line after the game. Interesting that attempt to catch the bishop after g4 ends very bad for White.

It was going only downhill after that, he defended very well and I was “shot down in flames”.  I was and still is really upset, one more time at the critical moment I didn’t see and calculate deep enough.