Wednesday Night’s game – final round

I decided to be much more responsible than Polly. Instead of leaving 1/100th of a second on my clock to reach move 30, I left a FULL second. πŸ˜€

I dropped a pawn against Anthony in my time-scramble, but reached time-control (actually, I dropped two pawns with that blunder, talk about a bad blunder). In the second time-control, I was able to pull out a draw in the ending. He offered a draw, but we blitzed out the remaining moves afterward, just for fun, and it was a draw.

Anthony, of course, also runs the shop so he occasionally gets a game in when someone doesn’t show up. I think his rating right now is around 1800, but most of the time it’s been around 1900. He is like a Mikhail Tal in the opening, so I played it conservatively and then made a fairly simple blunder later on. He thought I played part of the endgame “brilliantly”, so I am flattered. Of course I was simply playing to hang on and was relieved he didn’t finish me off right away after my blunder. I’m sure he missed more than a few wins, and before my time-control in particular. So, I am very pleased with the result, even though I was White and blundered.

Now I know why Reshevsky was positively gleeful about getting people to blunder (or blunder back) in his time-pressure. It’s like a train-wreck in motion that no one can take their eye’s off of; not that I or anyone else would recommend it.

In the opening, I spent most of time calculating giving up the e-pawn, but went the conservative route because I knew that once he had my e-pawn, g-pawn (after …Qxe, Be2 Qxg, Bf3 Qg6 and my king has nowhere to hide because of doubled c-pawns and an open g-file). Black could afford to give up the rook on a8 and a pawn on b6, when his king at least has safety compared to mine.

So I didn’t give much thought to the conservative route, though it was my initial instinct, such that after I played Bd3 I realized I should have played g3 first, to bounce his queen (Crafty second’s this notion), but after Bd3 it would have been bad.

I spent most of my time at move 19 looking at Rf4, but lacked courage and then quickly played Bf3 instead, which blunders a pawn – Neal was watching and I felt like I would be embarrassed by such an irresponsible looking move as Rf4 (suddenly self-conscious), but at first I thought the position called for it and that it was neat.

The actual game ended after his 40th move. I’ll show the full draw according to Crafty, but this isn’t how we skittled it out after the game. The way we skittled it out should have won it for him, had he played a tad more accurately and noticed that he had zugzwang (he actually sacked his e-pawn for my knight instead, when White has an easy draw after that – I think he played Kf1 instead of playing Kf2 which is winning based on zugzwang once he maneuvers his knight correctly).

Final round

19.Rf4 was definitely the correct way from that point (I actually thought of Petrosian when I was thinking about it, but finally looked it off). White gets a += positional edge. Weird, Crafty chose a bad move for Black …d5, but instead after …Ne5 White can cramp Black and Crafty even gives up the last bishop for knight. Weird thing is this is a very human way to play chess, not a computer-engine way. You see lots of these types of positions at tournaments. I didn’t feel that pushing the f-pawn all the way type of cramp was the best way, simply the most forcing and thus practical considering my time situation. Early on, Anthony was with a customer, so I didn’t want to move and make him feel rushed to have to come back to the board, but the reality is that he blitzes his moves, so it hardly would have mattered.

Anyway, that’s the advantage of endgame experience, you can often turn a loss into a draw and a draw into a win. I’m still scratching my head over how Bxh3 never got played. I believe that was the correct position. Kinda wow, huh? But that’s how it goes, I guess. hehe. 30/60 not the same quality as 30/90 (or even as much as G/90, really). Afterward, he said he was trying to see if he could get a win on time – hence probably why he missed Bxh, which would have all but ended the game (among other moves, probably).


11 thoughts on “Wednesday Night’s game – final round

  1. It looks like both players had fun during play but if there had to be a winner it was certainly black who had the more chances for it.

    18. Nxa4 why white didn’t play this move i will never know.

    22. … Bxh3 23. Rf2 Bd7 looks more fun and better for black then the played move.

    30. … dxe5 looks more correct to me

    Next time write ‘defensive’ instead of ‘conservative’. We dont want to politics to enter our beautiful game. πŸ™‚

  2. I wasn’t sure if it was the most defensive move, since he might have had something up his sleeve, but it looked like the most positionally sound move for sure.

    Conservative as applied to politics is a lie, IMHO, anyhow since if we were “conservative” we wouldn’t be needlessly placing soldiers in Afghanistan, among other areas. I would call our decision there more philanthropic and spending-like than conservative, and this thinking has been par for the course for decades now, since Korea if not going all the way back to the 1700’s, WWI and WWII being the lone “bright spots”.

  3. e-pawn, g-pawn? When you was calculating giving up the e-pawn, did you consider the following line?

    1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 exd4 4. Nxd4 Qh4 5. Nc3 Bb4 6. Be2 Qxe4 7. Ndb5 Bxc3+
    8. bxc3 Kd8 9. O-O

    This line puts a serious question mark to the soundness of 4…Qh4.

  4. CMoB. Thanks for your help! Yes, I like that variation for White, too.

    I knew I wasn’t adequately prepared to face this variation. I didn’t realize that I was supposed to give up the e-pawn first, with Be2 instead of Nd4-b5. I wasn’t realizing that the simple Bf4 allows the knight to retreat back to c7 safely after taking the Ra8.

    Also, at first I recalled Qe5 type moves, covering c7, but the queen is bumped off as easily as f4, which can bag the exchange for the e-pawn. Next time I will try that, or at least play NxBc3 quickly, if I chose the conservative route again. Both are nice for White.

    It’s one of those lines that doesn’t get trotted out often, but I think I’ve finally built up enough experience to handle it next time. It’s funny how tactical players gravitate to this line as Black.

    It’s funny, the club I go to luckily few play the Sicilian. If they wanted to give me major pains, and knew I preferred the Open Sicilian (currently), then that would make me much less pleased to face as White, particularly if I had to face it more than once on the same Saturday tournament. But I know I can force them to play ..a6 or play Bb5, in which case the early …a6 takes a lot of the sting out of Black’s attack as that tempo is crucial.

    I lost to an O’Kelly variation on FICS the other day ..a6 no ..d6 or ..e6. I let him take b2 but blundered the knight on c3. Actually, taking on b2 there early is losing by force in many beautiful ways. The more you face an opening, the less crap that Black has to throw at White, and vice-versa.

  5. You say you can force them to play …a6 in an Open Sicilian. Which line is that?

    I am sorry to say but it puts a smile on my face you lost to the O’Kelly as it’s a favourite of mine. You shouldn’t underestimate it. Especially by playing 3 d4. I’ll let you in on a little secret. After 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 e5!, Black has a kind of Najdorf where he can develop his f8-bishop actively or a kind of Sveshnikov in which White cannot play Ndb5 and 2…a6 is fully justified. You should prove the early a6 to be not justified by playing 3 c3 or 3 c4. In ‘Opening for White According to Anand Vol.8’, 3 c3 is mentioned as being White’s best try after which Black might steer the game into a French defence after …e6 4 d4 d5 5 e5. And White should take care not to lose his exchange his light squared Bishop for Black’s.

  6. No, I’m just saying that if Black doesn’t play …a6, White can play Bb5 to avoid problematic channels of the Sicilian, like the Shevennigan. I noticed the other day, going over with Crafty, that the Shev w/o light-squared bishops is far more disasterous for Black than otherwise would be the case (normally it’s quite difficult for White, to put it mildly).

    if ..a6 leads to c3 and a French Advanced var, then that is nice for White as White gets in his/her favorite variation there with ease. I never even considered c3. That’s too funny, but thanks for the tip! Naturally, the key is to know your opponent or don’t worry too much about it. The way I would probably approach it is if I’m seeing a lot of French’s, I’ll go with the Open Sicilian, and vice-versa. Right now, I am seeing more French’s at my club, which is probably a quirk local to my club.

    But I have to say that it is a huge advantage for White to see Black play ..a6 in a French Adv. – White is walking on sunshine. hehe. If you get that variation, you may want to play …Bd7 (Wade var) instead of the usual …Qb6 in the Fr. Adv. I just finished a game on FICS with the Wade as Black, and …a6 would fit in there nicely. Often, Black plays …Qb6-d8 anyway, so this way you are not losing out on your fave Sicilian var. πŸ˜‰

    In that game I just played and mentioned, White gets in Be3 uncontested (by Qb6) as usual, but Black has a neat counter to that in …Bb4, which I have never tried but looked really good for Black in one line, a more playable middlegame structure.

  7. I had planned on Rf4 a couple moves before I could have played it, should have stuck with it. Quite difficult, but the cramp oddly seemed best as a-pawn was a bit advanced. Tricky. ..f5 is definitely committing and a certain style of game, pressuring, constrictive.

  8. hehe.

    Polly, if we spread out our time over more moves, I’m sure we’d have more bad opponent moves to look at. Am I really a low 1800 player and you a low 1700 player? Probably not. πŸ˜‰

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