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.

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It was 6th round in the Thursdays tournament, my opponent was a boy rated about 1300. He had White and played Italian game, the line that I know pretty well. We followed the book until move 14.

I played 16… g6 because of possible Re5, to keep my knight on f5. 19… Nxc3 was forced by Nxd5 with following Re5. I expected 24. d5, intended to play Qf6 and was surprised by his Rd3. I was also surprised by his 30. gxh5. By his move 32 I got annoyed by his two draw offers and lack of progress, though I thought that I am better.

It forced me to play 32… c5, computer estimates it as equal and prefers 32… f5 33. Rf4 g5 with a -0.5 estimate in a few moves afterwards. I thought that I will get an attack and by the way he had 11-12 minutes left and I had about 7. His 36. Qe3 was a horrible mistake. I made a mistake too, deciding for some reason that there is a mate after 36… Qh1+, suddenly he played Kg3. 36… Rh1+ was winning on the spot.

I quickly realized that my attack will disappear after 38. Kh4. But he played Kf4 and after g5 I saw Qe4+ coming. He saw it too, gave up the rook and after 40… Re1 had to resign.

My opponent was a boy, I drew with him 2.5 years ago. I had Black, we played the same variation of Italian game. I knew that White has some activity as a compensation for an isolated pawn, so I need to be careful.

The most interesting moment of the game occurred after his 29. f3, which was a mistake. He could play b4 with an equal position. I immediately saw c5 and played it. After his Qe4 I considered Qb3, but after some thinking decided that he can play  31. Rd3 Qxb2 32. d5 which I thought was giving him some chances. Actually it was a chance for me to win. In another line that Fritz gives – 30… Qb3 31. Rd2 cxd4 32. Qd3 Qd5 Black is also better, as well as after 30… Qb3 31. Qd3 Qb6 32. Kf1 Rxd4.

So, we went into a rook ending and I soon realized that I don’t have a chance to win. I also had about 8 minutes left vs. his 15 and offered a draw, which he accepted.

I just played in Labour Day Open, on the long weekend, in U1900 section.

Round 1.  I had White and he played French, here is the game. I didn’t feel fresh after a very busy day before, though I slept enough. I played 12. Be3 which is 11-th choice in DB and it showed. Then I missed his Ng4, forgetting that rook after that also attacks f4 and had to give him two bishops. It was still pretty equal play until I lost a pawn.

I tried to hold the position and missed 3-fold repetition, computer told me about it at home. It was still very much defensible position when I made a decisive mistake playing Rd5. He used it and just after 10 moves I resigned.

Round 2. I get some rest, food and most important coke. My opponent plays Ruy Lopez.  I decide not to look for adventures and just play Chigorin variation, here is the game.

I don’t like his 19. Rb1 and play d5. The play opens, my pieces are better placed and he gets in trouble. After 24.Rd8 he misses the chance to save his piece and the game is practically over. Later I also miss a few forced mates, but after queens exchange he resigns ( a few moves after what I show, I just messed up the recording).

Round 3. My opponent is a man I played before and have with him a positive balance – 2:0 I think. I remember I won in Rossolimo variation last time, here it is again. I don’t like his 8… Ng8. After 11…O-O I see that Nb3 creates problems for him, though I also see f6. But he plays it only on the next move. Computer prefers 12. Qe3. Then I decide to play e6, since exf6 gives too much to him. I think I made a blunder with Rb1 (Qa5), but computer likes the arising position and says I am good. My knight on c5 looks really strong and eventually he decides to exchange it.

After a several more moves in a position that is clearly better for me (~+2.3) he suddenly resigns.

Round 4. I play with the highest rated guy in our section.  I have Black, Italian game. When I play Bf5, I see  that he can take on e7, but think that after Bxd3 he gets nothing. After Rae1 I realize that I am wrong.

Then 16… Nd5 gets me in more trouble. I find 17… Nf4 and he doesn’t see g3, which I see. I start to feel some ground under my feet and now I am missing chances not playing 19… Nd3 or 23… Nf4. I feel it, but do not fully realize how strong are my knight and bishop. The position becomes equal, but he has not much time left for making 30 moves before  the first control. He passes it, but maybe because he is still keeping some tempo or fatigue strikes him he starts to make bad moves. Then finally he plays Kg1  and I notice that his back rank is not defended. I attack his knight on b6, his Ne5 can’t save it and he gives up an exchange. I still have to demonstrate some technique against his well interacting  two knights, but exchange is exchange…

Round 5. I have White and play my favorite Rossolimo, here is the game. He plays well in the opening and neutralizes all my attempts to get attack on the kingside.

We  move into endgame, which I consider equal. He tries to get an advantage and eventually I make a bad move – bxa4 instead of b4 with a draw. I feel that I am in trouble. Suddenly I see that I can play Nd5. After he takes the knight, I think that I have a chance to win thanks to the remote passed pawn. The funny thing is it’s not a winning, but rather losing move. The game gets crazy. He misses some chances and then I do the same, missing a win twice. The game ends up in a draw.

 

I never played with this guy before, it was a 30+ aged man. He played Italian game, here it is. His “novelty” 9. e5 didn’t look good to me and yes, his d4 pawn got under attack.

I saw 14… Nxd4 and decided that it’s better than boring Ne7 and that I probably will be able to defend that spare “d” pawn. He didn’t go for a principal 17. Qxb2, I saw 17. … Rb8 19. Qxa7 Rxb2, he saw that too and probably didn’t like it. I considered Nb4 when played Ba6 and thought that I can answer Be2, d3. Then after d3 I started to see a5, but played Rd4 because I miscalculated and thought that f3 gave him an additional strike on d3 with a king. Anyway he gave me a chance to win the piece, not seeing Rd7 and Bf5 I think, otherwise he would play 24. a3. The game was basically over after that and rooks exchange made a win technical.