Thursday Round 2 – November

This game came down to my poor time-management against a higher-rated player.

This was our second meeting. He played an offbeat Sicilian as Black. I think I shouldn’t have worried so much and gotten the f4 plan in however. Be2 would have been more sensible, but even with Bb1, if he plays his bishop to the a6-f1 diagonal so what, put the rook on e1 if need be and push f4 anyway. This was Dan’s recommendation to me after the game, play f4, but that isn’t so great it seems because of …f6. Dan is 1700’s and won against a guy who is nearly 1900. Turns out the correct strategy is to make his bishop bad by trying to force him to play …e6. That was a nifty strategy that he used against me.

I played haphazardly, but Crafty says it was completely even when I played 25.Qg3, problem was I was running low on time.

I made two visual errors and that was the game. First one was that I didn’t see that his capturing on d4 uncovered his Bd7 to protect f5 against the fork. I played this series of moves quickly and only after he played QxRd4 did I notice the combo didn’t work.

Then I made a visual error that hung a piece with 30.Ng6xe7. It was another quick move, but you can notice that after the bishop recaptures on g4, the rook is then guarding the e7 pawn. The right move was to not play 29.QxQ but rather Nxe7 right away instead, but it is still losing because Black has the reply Bb5 attacking Rf1. Naturally, I had seen 29.Nxe7 first, but was trying to “improve” upon it by trading queens first. The continuation should be 29.Nxe7 QxQ, 30.fxQ Bb5.

In 2-D it is easier to see my combo on d4 failing right away, but it is much more difficult to notice the Bd7 OTB, IMHO. As soon as I took with the rook and he took with his queen, he smiled over to his friend confidently and was completely obvious to me that he knew he was going to win. Not only does the Bd7 prevent the Nf5+ fork, but it also allowed the Qg4 defense, so I had naturally also missed that initially, thinking that I could at least sac the house on g6 for a draw. But after he played QxR, that’s when I also noticed the …Qg4 defense, and naturally I can’t move the pinned f-pawn to block out the queen with…if only I had played Kh1 earlier like I had thought of doing. 😉 Well, Qe3 is the move I should have thought of anyway, instead of RxN.

There was a fleeting moment before I allowed the d4 combination that I thought to myself that if I didn’t like the combination, I could back out with 27. Nxg6 or Bxg6, but forgot about it, however he has 27…Ne2+ forking king and queen. One thing about this game is it never helped to make a move and try to think on his time as he only seemed to spend time where he felt there were actual complications, and since he is a strong player, he only saw complications where they actually existed. Frequently, I felt like “Okay, move”, then he moves right back, not giving me anything, and I am still on my clock. If I hadn’t been thinking about so many possibilities on that move, I think I notice the obvious blunder and then find Qe3. It count against me that I had many things to consider on that move, but didn’t funnel those considerations by the most immediate threat posed to my position.

After the game, I asked him what he would have played if I had played 28. Bf5. I didn’t play it because I thought Qa7 disarmed my tactic, but actually there is a drawing line should he have played that. Instead he quickly played Rc1!..BxBd7, RxRf1+ Kh2 and I was cursing my luck, thinking I would have gotten Nf5+ fork in, but actually he can continue from that position …Rh8!! pinning the Nh4 to the king and winning it.

My last chance was a move I did not notice, getting two pieces for rook and pawn in an ending with only a slight advantage after 27.Qe3 Bb5, 28.Rfe1 Ne2+ 29.RxNe2 d4, 30.Qe4 BxRe2, 31.QxRe2 then Black trades a rook pair and queens on c1.

My longest move of the game was on playing b3. I was worried about a …b3 sac, axb3 Nb4 when it appeared that Black’s pieces get active, but the doubled pawn gives White a full point advantage and Black can make nothing of the initiative there. Also, my blitz move would have been Nf4 instead, but then we both trade d-pawns Nxd, Nxd and that is quite bad for White.

I made too big a deal out of strategy and did not save time for complications, that was the unstoppable train, the clock. He had close to an hour left, but I knew it was going to be like that going into this game.

I was just reading a game in ‘Secrets of Chess Tactics’ and I couldn’t visualize a tactical line he was seeing. I closed my eyes and I could actually see the pins and why the sacs worked, but if I were to look at the board it would be much more difficult to visualize without moving the pieces due to the “retained image” of the current position. That book _does_ do some serious GM level Stoyko-analysis on positions.

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10 thoughts on “Thursday Round 2 – November

  1. My first impression was that you played too aggressive, though I actually like to play with this kind of pawn structure allowing attack on the kingside. In this case it’s complete equality after 25… Rg8, his 25… Nexd4 wasn’t a very good move and yeah, 27.Qe3 gives you a half a pawn advantage. b3 doesn’t deserve more than 2 minutes, IMHO. When you had really had think a lot – it was that moment after Nexd4. After that I think you were in the shock that your combo didn’t work and played Nxe7. You did the same kind of mistake I did when I lost last time, it was a major exchange and I didn’t count it well.

  2. RollingPawns, yeah that is exactly what happened! 🙂 The Qg4 move was even more of a blow because my clock was telling me that a draw was alright. Wasn’t thinking about best middlegame moves.

    Dan said the same thing to me, that I played too impatiently and that b3 was no big deal, although he also thought Bb1 would be okay, but then nothing would be left to challenge a ..Nc4! in that case. So b3 was uncalled for, but I should have been thinking Be2 probably, this possibility even escaped me somehow.

    Yeah, it’s sort of like double-shock to mess up then because the game is lost on board and clock. If I had also had an hour left, I could have bore down more, but I still think he wins it quickly.

    Was just adding this part:

    When I played Qg3, I had ten minutes on my clock, then left the table to take my last break. I think he must have played Nxd soon after I left because when I got back it seems like a couple of minutes must have been gone from my clock. I shouldn’t have played that entire combo quickly, but that is when I began to get upset about my clock time and simply played it out up to QxR.

    It’s too bad this isn’t my old club’s time control of 30/90, G/30 because then we would be talking about what I did right or wrong in the second time-control instead of the first one (30 moves). It’s a pity, but I have to learn to adapt.

    The funny thing is that Crafty first showed me to try and get in an eventual Rc5 to hit the d-pawn, but I left it on in some position for a long time, inadvertently, and it came up with what I played, h4 and h5. hehe.

  3. You know, you will never convince me that 10 minutes is nearly enough to finish the game from that 25. Qg3 position, you were doomed without even considering any variations at all. You are playing blitz with 1900+ rated player having 1 hour left, what can be the result? You should have at least half an hour more at that moment.

  4. That’s what I was just thinking to myself. I can’t blitz with these strong players, I have to save the 30 minutes myself for beyond move 30. So much of their strength is going to come from blitzing in complications.

  5. I believe all those who were addicted to chess already have. I Just watched BDK’s eight part video on Youtube where he reviews 100 books, and is tossing most of them out apparently, but it’s over two years old already. The L.E.P. Mascot also did a video book review.

    I’d like at add my cents about how to organize a book collection, but am probably two years two late to the party. Who is still reading chess books out there versus just playing? Okay, TommyG is, and I have been, but I have also paired down my chess book collection already. I’m back to looking at openings, but since I haven’t done too much of that, with the actual lines that I play, I guess it makes it seem more interesting now, but it also doesn’t take as much time as studying tactics nor middlegames.

    Openings aren’t so important to strength, but they are important to rating because the time saved OTB can directly impact a chess rating. Plus, a player stands to get into positions with greater scoring potential.

  6. Rollingpawns, there is a great game in the Caro-Kahn fantasy variation. You can search on that page for Tartakower-Weenik, if you want to see it.
    http://www.365chess.com/tournaments/Liege_1930#down

    It was in my book by Minev, only reason I am keeping it, at least it is a printout of games, if barely any annotations. But I’ve found out that it does seem that any worthwhile games are also on the Chess Assistant DB that I have, including this game.

    Look at what a big margin that Tartakower won that tournament by. I guess he was “on” in 1930. hehe.

  7. RollingPawns, I like the pawn structure of Fantasy Caro-Kahn and now even C3 Sicilian. It’s not a pawn structure that people are used to so they can easily get their king in trouble making assuming moves in the opening.

    Last time I played Fantasy, I think I did something wrong with the move order. Probably should play Be3 before Nc3 because he got in that …Bb4 pin on the knight rather quickly. Then I needed to defend e4 again. But I do remember that I needlessly screwed it up somehow.

    It’s fun, isn’t it? I did something like that in blitz yesterday as well. That sort of thing is important in blitz. hehe.

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