Thursday Round 2 – February 2011

I played a new opponent as White in the game. Older gentleman, didn’t realize he was in his 60’s.

In the beginning, I made all the wrong guesses as to what type of game to play. First, I wanted to try 4.dxe5 but had no experience with that variation, so I turned it into an Advanced French because I didn’t want to play without experience in hand against a much higher-rated opponent – reality is that this turned out to be a wrong decision.

Then he plays 6..a5 and I did not realize that this is a main line. 8.Bc2 seemed like the sensible move, but I went for Milner-Barry Gambit style. Almost as soon as I had moved I began to regret it as ..a5 is probably a more useful move in the Milner-Barry than is a3 for White, but I had somehow liked the idea that it stopped a piece from landing on b4. Later, I find out he is also a long-time French player and knows the gambit well. I’m batting 0 for 3 so far.

Perhaps the real turning point was right in the beginning. I vascillated between playing 12.Qe2, which would have been my blitz move, and other such moves as 12.Kh1, so I played 12.Kh1? to see what was up his sleeve. He immediately crossed me up with 12…f5! Had I played 12.Qe2 instead, his sudden attack would not have come off anywhere near as well, IMHO, as I could have left the pawn on f2 and played a Re1 plan, and I think that that move was the turning point of the game.

I was never able to come up with an effective plan, and always down in score, according to Crafty, before making a final blunder. I was going to initially play the correct move 30.Bxe4, but in time-trouble did not like my back-rank troubles and weak h2 pawn/square.

Had I played the correct move, I’m sure it would look like some impressive loss to you guys, but it was still very much losing in a quite solid manner with simply his e6 pawn marching down the board, when he will win b6 and the pawn on b7 will decide. Surprisingly, he found a variation he thought complex, being up the exchange, until I told him that he could sac the exchange back to win the b6 pawn for a win.

I was in time-trouble, he was not, so he would have had little trouble winning in any event – not because of my time-trouble (as he incorrectly thought – I don’t need time at this simplistic, losing stage of the game), but rather because of his surplus of time. After the game, he told me he was once rated as high as 2150.

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4 thoughts on “Thursday Round 2 – February 2011

  1. I think 27. Qxe3 was better than Nxe4, it kind of went downhill from there.
    I should give your opponent a credit, he deserved his rating.
    I wouldn’t play Miner-Barry against 2000 player and maybe with the score -3 you should give up on it for a while. As you know, I gave up on Marshall, god knows how much time I invested in it. These things are good in blitz and maybe with 90/30, 1/SD, but not with 90/G time control.
    I played yesterday with 1600, won, but it was a story, will try to post today.

  2. Yeah, Bc2 would have been better or exd, something more strategic. I handed that win to him on a silver-platter just about, although yes I agree he really does deserve his high rating.

    RollingPawns, thanks for pointing that out! Yes, that is where I went really wrong. I was planning on playing Bc4, but then saw he had …Bd5 blocking it. If I had taken on e6 with the queen first, then I would be threatening NxNe4 followed by Bc4 when he can’t block the diagonal with his ..Bd5 because the queen is there and there is pawn there to support it. This is where time-pressure ruins a game, in complications.

    I left my queen there to guard h2, which I knew wasn’t even a check, how silly is that? I simply wasn’t looking deep enough to see that ..Bxh2 opens up the f-file and RxRf7 wins the rook. That’s another bad thing about time-trouble quick moves, they aren’t very deep. Interestingly, he suggested this line after the game for me, just remembered, when I told him “Oh, you can just play ..Kh8” (leaving his bishop on f4) not realizing how tricky it still was. Play can continue with Be5! Qd8!, Rcd1 Qg5. Well, here is the analysis from Crafty. -1.70 for Black. Quite winning with that passed pawn, bishop protecting the other pawn and attacking king, and queen vs. two rooks.
    27. Qxe6 Bxf4 28. Nxe4 dxe4 29. Bc4 Kh8 30. Be5 Qd8 31. Rcd1 Qg5
    32. Qxf7 Rxf7 33. Bxf4 Rxf4 34. Rxf4 g6

    Instead of 31. Rcd1 I would have preferred exchanging rook and bishop there on f4. Still a losing ending -1.5 ish, but a more believable one.

    Well, you won your game, so it must have been interesting in a good way. 🙂

  3. A sicilian that turns into french. Not many times i have seen this happen. I thought that with 1. e4 c5 2. c3 you where headed for the closed sicilian.

    As many french opening players know, myself included, is that in the opening the battle for the square d4 is in order. So i guess your opponent felt lucky that he could win a pawn on that d4 square. Offcourse i dont know enough of that Milner-Barry gambit to know if that is one of the lines of the gambit. Afterall in a gambit one sacs a pawn for more piece play ever so often.

    I must say that your opponent played well, not surprisingly if one was once rated 2100+ i guess. His last move let me stunned, i hadn’t spotted that one.

  4. I believe that f4 was a mistake on my part. It works in the conventional Milner-Barry gambit, but this isn’t that same variation as he has played …a5 and I only a3, so that variation shouldn’t even work for White. The pawn sac would have worked better without f4, IMHO and I was going to blitz out Qe2 and should have.

    I am more upset by my time-management than by the line I chose, but I could play another line even better, probably.

    I played my bishop back to b2 quickly in time-pressure, then I noticed his ..Qd2 before he played it.

    I wouldn’t be afraid to play him again, as I know he simply knows how to take advantage of my mistakes. I was trying too hard to win. The aspect of the “unknown” is always accentuated by having never played a person before.

    This game looked bad, but I don’t think he is stronger than me. In a 40/2, G/1 match, I believe I could go 5 out of 10 against him.

    He is much more efficient at the chessboard than I. He sensed he had a quick win and thought until he found it, but his position was winning anyway, he simply closed it out immediately, and that is what experience buys a player.

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