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 first round in Mondays club, my opponent was a Russian-speaking man rated 1381. I had Black, he played Four Knights Game. I don’t know that opening well, so went for a safe line with d6. After his 8. e5 I could play 8… Ng4, I saw it, but thought that he can take on g7 after 9. exd6 cxd6 not seeing that 10. Qxg7?? was losing right away after Bf6.

After the queens exchange I was feeling alright having two bishops even at a cost of my pawn structure. In the line 12. Bg5 Nd5 13. Nxd5 I could play Bxg5 and have 2B vs. 2N, but preferred to improve my pawn structure. Then there was a positional play for quite some time  until I made a couple of small mistakes, 29… Bb3 and 31… Re7. Suddenly he played 34. Bc5 blundering a pawn. Then his position started to deteriorate little by little.

On move 49 I thought he would take a pawn on g7, but he saw Ra2 coming and decided to defend the “a” pawn. Taking g7 pawn was losing anyway. Soon in a completely lost position he resigned.

It was a 3rd round in Thursdays club, I almost didn’t go as I had a cough since Monday. But it got better and I didn’t want to miss the game. My opponent was an old man rated 1479, I drew him recently. He played the same Four Nights Defense, a quiet line, as the last time.

He definitely wanted a draw and went for exchanges. His exchange combination 24. Nh4 was actually a mistake, he was getting a piece back of course, but after 27… Qa5 28. Kg1 f6 29. b4 Qxa2 was losing a pawn. After queens exchange I was feeling that I still have some advantage and tried to use it.

After 56 moves the position was still equal. I thought that he made a blunder on move 58, but his 57. bxc5 was already a crucial mistake, instead 57. b5 was keeping it equal. After I won the pawn it became technical.


I suffered four losses in a row, so coming to the club I clearly wanted to stop this bad streak. My opponent was a guy I know pretty well and have a score +1, -1 I think. I had Black and we played Four Knights game. After he exchanged bishops on e6 I started to feel comfortable.

His 16. g3 was a mistake, I saw Nxd3 right away, but noticed that he has Ng5+ move. Computer still gives it ~-1, I thought less, but didn’t like going back to g6 with the same Ng5+ and then Qh5, so took on d3. I saw Bd2 too. 19. Kg2 was another mistake, Ne1 was better.

Then I made a mistake myself. Not knowing how to continue better, I offered to exchange queens. I didn’t see that he can sacrifice bishop on h6 afterwards and I can’t take it because of the fork. Of course, all the time I was seeing that he can take on h6, but I still saw the rook standing on f7 and defended by the king. He missed that and I developed a strong attack.

On move 40 I saw a rook sacrifice with mate in 5 and played it. He resigned after two moves seeing the rest – 42. Kf1 Nd3 + 43. Qf4 Rxf4+ 44. Rf2 Rxf2#.

This quote, belonging to Savielly Tartakower, pretty much describes my last game, here it is. I played yesterday in the new club.  I got the boy with whom I played recently in the old club and won the lost game after he started to make mistakes in the time trouble. I was Black again and as in the first game didn’t want to try his aggressive Italian game variation and went for Petroff. Right away it transformed into Four Knights game. I never was a fan of it, but half a year ago won a game with Black. I had to play 5…. Bb4, considered it, but for some silly reason which I don’t remember played d6 instead. So I got into a this kind of a position that you get in Ruy Lopez, Old Steinitz variation. I often get it online with White and have about 80% score, the difference is that here I had Black. The perspectives after f4 didn’t look too bright, but I saw Nxe4 strike, though before the castle it was premature. We castled, after h6 he played Bh4 and here we go. After winning a pawn maybe I relaxed a bit and didn’t expect his Ne7+, probably because of the ghost of knight on c6. He got his pawn back.

Then on move 22 I didn’t notice his Nxf7, after which, though I got the pawn back taking on b2, I had a feeling that his pieces were more active and my king was not as safe as before. I decided not to hold to my central pawns seeing that “d” pawn is easily blocked by the knight.

The time was going, I had about 20 minutes left and he a bit less when he quickly took on d4 with his rook. It was a decisive tactical blunder, after Qxd4 he tried Qxa8 but when Qf2 followed he resigned.

Strange, but I kind of disliked Four Knights game,  never played it as White, not often got it as Black, never studied it.
Preparing for the yesterday’s game I found that one of my possible opponents plays it, so I looked a bit into it  and decided to encounter his 4.g3 with 4…d5.
It proved useful, since though I got another opponent he still played Four Knights game, the same variation 4. g3, here is the game.
It seems me that he wasn’t very familiar with my 2nd choice 4…d5, because his continuation 6. Nxd5 had only 20% score for White on  Maybe because of being unfamiliar with this opening I decided to change queens,  it left his king without castle,  not bad actually – two losses for White in DB.
Soon he decided to sacrifice a pawn (if it was a sac, I don’t know). I took the pawn, trying to play safe at the same time.
Then I had a feeling that I am under some pressure, though Fritz says that I was better.  I’ll trust him on that.
My weak move 18…f6 was made from positional point of view – planning g5, but Bf5 by Fritz was much better, it’s me who has pressure here. The same happened with 22…a5,  it was intended against b4 (after Be3, c5), but I missed that I lose this pawn after 23.  Be3 c5 24.  Bf4+ Ka7 25.  Bc7.  He didn’t take a pawn and tried to pursue my rook, forcing it eventually to h6. I expected him to play 31. Bf5 and planned to sacrifice a pawn on h7 to activate my rook after 31…Rf6 32.  Bxh7 Rf3+, exactly as Fritz suggests.
Suddenly he played 31. Bd5 and I saw the pin almost right away. After  I played Rd6 he resigned. He had 20 minutes left vs. my 30 at that moment.
We had a nice post-mortem, when I tried to prove him that he had a good draw chances  ( maybe I did it because of his blunder),  he wasn’t sure about that. I told him that I would take the pawn on a5, Fritz by the way supports it. Generally speaking I found this position wit R+2B vs. R+2B pretty interesting despite of apparent simplicity.
Funny that my guy recently played another Four Knights game, where his 1800+ opponent played 4…Bc5 (1st choice) instead of 4…d5. He won on 18th move due to opponent missing queen fork and losing a piece.