Thursday’s club game at Panera

I played a provisionally rated player, 1397 or so, as Black. He played a gambit, not even sure of it’s name, 1.d4 d5, then 2.e4. It was an exciting game with many possibilities, but it turned out that I basically held on for the win. Here is the game.

It’s remarkable that he had a winning combination for a couple moves – if he had played RxB on f5 a move or two earlier, he would have won the piece! Both of us tracked Crafty’s analysis quite well after that. He is a lot stronger than his rating, and I’m surprised at how well his attack could have worked – never saw his combo.

I missed quite a few combinations of my own that were winning. A curious move is that after 8.Ne5, black has …Bxc, and if QxB, then …Qxd+ followed by QxN. If I find and play the tactics, I should be able to win the won games sooner.

I looked at …e5, …e4 (forking), but didn’t calculate that right, was thinking he’d play Qxe, but my queen is protected so I could respond exN. Definitely needed this win to steady myself after so many losses and reckless plans of my own.

1799 -> 1802

I’ve studied tactics from this game and am visualizing the board better now. I have prepared a couple openings too, an anti-Winnawer for the French and the Fantasy variation against the Caro-Kahn.

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5 thoughts on “Thursday’s club game at Panera

  1. It’s a Blackmar-Diemer Gambit or BDG. Quite aggressive, has a lot of fans, though maybe not quite sound. As Rxf5 shows, could pay off. I got it once and I played e3, not accepting it, than had good chances to win, but after his swindle drew. I found that concentrating on your own tactical errors doesn’t work quite well, lowering the confidence, but just quiet studying tactics helps.

  2. Rollingpawns, thanks! I wouldn’t have known. hehe.

    I plan on studying tactics more (if I do) because this is my #1 nemesis.

    I’ve found that tactics are great for winning the won games or those games that may have otherwise been drawn because usually you have an extra pawn or such to “play with”.

    I’m trying to keep queens on the board now, like you do, my tendency is to trade queens and go technical but that sometimes leads to miracle draws. Like one game recently online, I had 2 pawns to his 3, and up a bishop, and it was a draw even by Crafty’s analysis, but there was a tactical finish before that.

    Here’s my feeling, last couple of months I have been going for deep tactical study of my games. I feel like there is a long-range payoff here, that hasn’t shown itself yet, but I feel that it’s close. I still stumble in openings, but I am starting to find that as long as I am at least trying to keep it honest on a positional basis, that tactics is starting to become the difference-maker in getting that draw or win. Incidentally, my FICS rating is 1802 also, which isn’t important, but confirms that I am where I deserve to be and need to start playing more long-range tactically as strategy, if not to seal won games.

    I was talking to an Expert at the Manitou tournament and he said “I don’t care what anyone says, you can get to 2100 by tactics.” He played gambit variations, and had played a bunch of IMs on the east coast many years ago when last he was immersed in chess.

    One thing I’ve leaned from every player I’ve played against that has been to 1900 level is that they are never at a loss for how to finish a game tactically. I am a little bit at too much of a loss to explain where an immediate tactical win was in a post-mortem. So 1900 is the new goal. 😉

  3. I mostly exchange queens to neutralize pressure, otherwise I keep it to increase my attacking/tactical chances.
    “never at a loss for how to finish a game tactically” sounds like a stretch to me. Shirov had that problem at the last tournament and when my friend asked him: “why didn’t you play b4”, he just smiled and said: “I didn’t see it, I had 8 seconds left and though there was increment, I had another move in mind and that move didn’t win”. I think we should work and play, also exchange our experiences and the results will come.

  4. I meant to say
    “never at a loss for how to finish a _won_ game tactically”

    If it’s not won, they may not play the best moves, and they may even take a whole lot more time than weaker players; but if the win is there…

    There are often better moves in a game that is still not winning by force, so that’s not what I was trying to relate. I didn’t mean “best moves in any position”.

    I’ll make an exception for 8 seconds on the clock, though.

  5. It’s remarkable that he had a winning combination for a couple moves – if he had played RxB on f5 a move or two earlier, he would have won the piece! Both of us tracked Crafty’s analysis quite well after that. He is a lot stronger than his rating, and I’m surprised at how well his attack could have worked – never saw his combo.

    Yes, the BDG can be a very tricky creature to face. Makes for a good surprise weapon to catch your opponent off-guard at times.

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