It was a round 1 of the Mondays tournament. My opponent was a girl rated 1475. I had White and we played Ruy Lopez. We got a position with a closed center. I missed 22. e5 dxe5 23. Bf5 winning an exchange.

I tried to develop an attack on the kingside, she was maneuvering pretty well. Somehow I lost the initiative and could get worse after 32… g5. I soon got annoyed with all that and decided to sacrifice a pawn in the center. Actually I had to play 36. d6 after her 35… dxe5 that was a mistake and I would be much better.

Anyway the position became dynamical and not easy to play, that was my intention. 45… Qd8 was not the best move, better Qa7. Then she made a decisive mistake playing 44… Kg7. I saw the possibility to promote with check and played it. Being almost a rook down, she blundered and resigned.

 

It was a round 4 in Monday’s club, my opponent was a boy. I had White and we played Ruy Lopez. He was playing very well until move 30. When I saw 30… Ne7, I realized that finally I can get an advantage. 32… Re6 was better that 32… Ree8 that he played. I had a choice between 33 Qg3 and 33. Bxh6 and eventually decided that Qg3 is simpler with about the same consequences for him, computer prefers Bxh6.

Then I sacrificed a knight on f7 and his position became really bad. After 37. Kf6 I saw Bg5+, but didn’t see the next move that led to mate – f4+!.  Another possibility to win, not so forced, was h4. But I was worried too much about Rh8 and played Qh4+.

I still had an attack going and missed 53. Rf1. By move 60 I had one minute left and even saw 60. Qg4, didn’t have time to evaluate it and chose a simple solution – to exchange queens and rooks. The arisen endgame was won for me and he resigned after he realized that.

It was a second round in Monday’s club and I got this opponent, I played only one rapid game with him and won. So, my favorite Ruy Lopez, he played not quite by the book, but I decided to play simple. After the opening he blundered a pawn. Computer considers my 21. Qd2 as giving up the advantage, because after f5 my knight can’t go to d2. But he decided to exchange on c4 and then play f5.

It was a game losing mistake, he didn’t see d6. My bishop after a few moves from “bad’ became very powerful. I found 27. Ng5 and thought the best for him would be to give up an exchange taking on e7 and then on e6 after 28. Nxe6. But he went other way not seeing that it allows a smothered mate.

I was able to predict who my opponent could be, looked at our last game and decided to play a bit differently. So, here he was, the guy I played with quite a few times and who 3 month ago was able to escape to a draw due to me missing several chances to win. He had White again and we played Ruy Lopez.

I played pretty fast in the opening and it led to one inaccuracy. After 12. Bxd4 I mixed up the order of the moves and instead of exd4 played Bxf3. He could play 15. Ne2 and get about 0.7 advantage, but by playing Nd5 he went along the same line – 12. Bxd4 exd4 13. Nd5 Bxf3 14. Qxf3. I was OK with the position I got.

The shift in the game started with his 27. Rxe4, after that I knew I am better. Then I saw that if we exchange the rooks, the endgame would be better for me due to his bishop being out of play and weakness of the dark squares on his kingside. He went along. Computer thinks he still was OK, but he had to play f4 on the move 35 or 36. But he played 36. Kf1 and it allowed Qd6 preventing f4.

39. c4 was a decisive mistake, though even after better 39. f4 Qxf4+ 40. Qf2 Qc1+ 41. Qe1 Qxb2 I was two pawns up. 44. Bxd5 could only prolong the agony, but after Bb5 I played b3 and he resigned.

It was a mate in 5 – 45. Qxa5  Qc2+ 46. Ke1 b2 47. Qa7+ Kh6 48. Qxh7+ Kxh7 49. a5 b1Q#.

 

 

“We all make mistakes, but everyone makes different mistakes” — Ludwig van Beethoven.

It was the same guy I drew with in the last round of the previous tournament. This time I got Black and we played Ruy Lopez. After his 8. h3 instead of usual c3 (I guess he mixed up the order of the moves) I decided to get two bishops. Fritz thinks that after 18… Qc7 I still a bit better, I agree as I kind of felt I have nothing after Nxc1.

I had to take on g3 after his g4, but I didn’t like Qxg3, thinking that he will start to threaten me too. But after Qh6 and Rg6 I was winning his “h” pawn and keeping the attack.  Then I missed 37… Qxh6. I was still better, but I decided that I have to sacrifice a pawn to keep the attack. It was a wrong move.

I was already worse, when I made a mistake that could cost me a game – 45… Rc7. The idea for Black is to play Qf8+, then Qe8, Nf3 and Ng5. The same after 46… Qg6 – Qf8 and Nf3, winning. Luckily he didn’t see it.

Not liking how the game was going I decided to create complications and played 48… a4. It allowed me to intercept the initiative. We both got very little time, eventually under one minute each and played on 30 seconds increment. I think I handled it better and had I thought a winning position. When I played 68… Rb2+ I saw that it is a mate if he plays Ke3 and it was exactly what he did.

My opponent in the first round was a boy, never played with him before. I had White and played Ruy Lopez.  I managed to get a very good position, but missed 17. Nd5! Then  I didn’t see that 18. Qg3 was winning. Instead of that I, being afraid that he will escape with O-O-O, played 18. d6?? which would work for 18… exd6, but not for Qxd6. I realized right away that I lost all my advantage and probably being under influence of that played a few more bad moves. I could be in trouble after 21… Qd4+, but he didn’t play it.

He offered a draw a few moves after queens exchange, I refused. I didn’t like his Kd8 and tried to outmaneuver him. It worked, I won a pawn. Then after 47. h5 I started to feel that I have a real chance to win.

Fritz thinks that 52. a4 was giving me a much better chance that Rxf6, it creates a position where I have passed “a” and “h” pawns. Anyway, after that he played too passively and my “g” and “h” pawns became a real threat. 55… c4 was too late. In the end my passed pawns were stronger than his rook.

There is an expression in Russian that sounds very similar, seems like a good description of what happened. It was a first round of a new tournament. Being for the first time somewhere in the middle of the top section I expected a guy from the very top or from the very bottom. I got it from the top, it was a boy who recently progressed a lot and reached 2200 rating. I had a very good score him in the past, but it didn’t matter.

I got Black and the game from the beginning got into the right direction with him playing Ruy Lopez. I noticed that my g6 surprised him though it is a regular move and then his Bxf6 really surprised me. I didn’t quite like his Rf1, but realized that I should do something and played d5.

I rather intuitively felt that his 23. Rd1 wasn’t a good move. Fritz prefers 25… exf4 to my e4, but I didn’t want to give him the “f” vertical. His f5 and f6 showed that he didn’t evaluate the position right, continuing to attack. On move 29 Fritz likes h5, I didn’t play it because of Nxh5+ not seeing Be4.

Then I found 31… Rxd4. There is a line that I found at home, where Black should be very careful: 32. Nxd4 e2 33. Qd2 Kg8 – is the only move, g5 loses. The sacrifice actually was stronger than I thought and after him giving up the queen for the rook and knight I really started to play for a win. His time situation wasn’t good either. I knew that I just need to play accurately. In the end a mate was coming and he resigned.