Crazy game. Played Isaac for the ninth time and had the White pieces. He literally completes his move faster than anyone I’ve ever seen, and I am the opposite of him taking a while to get my head in the game. I don’t even feel like I am thinking about what’s going on until I’ve spent maybe ten minutes to clear my head and get my chess skull-cap on. Well, I blundered early with 5.c3. I was sort of writing down and making the moves as fast as I could, but then noticed my blunder and hoped he would play …Qf6, which he did not. He played 5…d5(!), or at least I felt it was an exclam at the time.
Soon, he had developed far more pieces than I, and I have made this silly-looking c3 move.
Before you know it, he is goading me into accepting a sac. Only reason I went for it is that I thought his position was much better than mine (as in -/+)! This was quite the incorrect evaluation, according to Crafty. I did not want to waste another tempo playing c4, moving the same pawn twice!? And I really did not see the c5 idea, same pawn moves 3 times!!
The alternate continuation to the sac that I had looked at was 9.0-0 Nxd and Black’s continuation just looks commanding, but what I hadn’t seen is that the c4-c5 idea tears down Black’s position like a “house of cards”. For example 10.c4 Ne7 (I figured on this move, when he still has greater development if say QxQd8..RxQ – which is what I had figured on at the board “what does that do?” I said to myself. But completely missed 11.c5! Ba5 12.Bf4 and there is a real threat against the c7 pawn. I also wouldn’t have suspected that 10…Nb4 would also turn out not so well for Black. IOW, I was looking at the position philosophically, but not concretely at all, apparently.
So, I went in for the sac, mostly worried about QxQd1, followed by KxQ..Bxf, and it becomes nearly impossible to find adequate cover for the king was my analysis, spent 80% of the time examining this continuation. I saw the game continuation as well with his …Ne4+, but figured I would probably get three pieces for the queen and it would be interesting to see how he goes about mating my king.
Well, for all of the cool tactics he displayed earlier, I probably wouldn’t have had any trouble mating myself, from his shoes, but this proved to be an obstacle for some reason. Also, I blundered in time-pressure with RxN, as Crafty shows that I should have played h3. h3 was my plan, but I figured that any attack on his king had to be quick, before he developed his rook on a8.
At the end of the game, of course I was very relieved to see the 3-fold repetition draw, I asked him “draw?”, and he accepted. I looked at my best attack after the game (he left to go be with his dad, his mom was still playing) and saw that I had nothing. For example, best try, Nf7+ Kg7, Bxf QxRa1, Bh6+ Kg6 and it’s all over. I can’t play Bd3+ to keep it going or he will simply take the now undefended Nf7 with his king.
I never suspected that my king could survive in the center and that White could have a huge win with …Ke3!!, even being up two pieces. Boggles my mind how easy White has it there. I suspect I spent too much time on the other variation with the queen trade, and that had colored my thinking, but here with queens on, I still have her as a defender. I did look at this line with Crafty and found a variation involving …a6 (my idea, and what I had feared at the board – in many other lines) where Black can force the draw, but this would have been a great line for White to go into, looking for Black to be the one to make that false step.
I played a nice game with the Queen’s Indian this morning, had a pawn advantage but my internet kept going out, so it wasn’t completed. Then I played this game:
Here, I could have kept the pawn with …f5 instead of …Bf5, but I blew the combo. I had sensed that there might be something there with 13…NxNc3, RxQ NxQ, RxR+ RxR, BxB, but then after …Nxb it’s even and White has the bishop vs. knight. Did not see that instead of …Nxb?, Black has …Re1 mate, or if on the move before White had played RxN BxB, RxB Re1 mate (this ‘removing the defender’ variation is a little easier to find than the knight cutting off the rook on the back rank). Technically, it is a zwishenzug mistake, but I think there is more to it than the faceless term “in-between move”, like what is that? That term sounds as if it is peripheral to the combo, rather than central to it.
I think the result of this error is because when we look at combinations (with a semi-jaundiced eye), we are first thinking “Gimme mah material back, daggoneit!” (or “counting”, as Heisman calls it) instead of examining all of the intermediary positions.
Perhaps I should give the reader more background to the Thursday night game. My opponent offered the first piece sac after spending less than 5 seconds looking at it, and the second piece sac offer (which I took) with …0-0, he spent I’d say less than 10 seconds on that move. So I knew that he seemed to be gunning for a win early, but faded when it came to having patience for the win – he spent just over 20 minutes on the game.
Sort of a joke, but if you think your opponent is hastily throwing out tactics for a win, with hyper-energy to spare, make them sit there for an hour to an hour and a half and watch some of the wind come out of their sails. hehe. Of course, I did not intentionally do that to bug my opponent. On my move, he pretty much knew to leave and spend time talking with his dad, since it would have been a huge expenditure of time for a “little” kid to sit there looking at the same position for half an hour.
Once he reaches adulthood, I don’t think he will have any trouble making Expert, should he still be interested in playing tournament chess.