I played Fred for the second time, again as White. He finished in second place last month with 2 1/2 points.

In this game, we got into the Fantasy Variation of the Caro-Kahn.

I knew that the game was strategically lost for Black after only 8 moves. I suggested to him that he try …c5 there instead, and also build up more pressure on my center before playing the freeing move …dxe4.

It may seem that the game ended prematurely, but I confirmed his suspicion after the game by pointing out that I was winning his rook with 15..Qh6, 16.Nf7 Qh3, 17.NxR Kf8 (..h6 and ..g5 don’t change anything for Black), 18.Rf2 Kg8, 19.Bf1 Qg4, 20.QxQ fxQ, 21.Nf7 saving the knight (where it can go to d6), which I saw OTB. I had considered instead to go for the line with 15.Nxe6…Nxe, 16.Nxg+, but it was messier to evaluate.

I didn’t keep times, but it was definitely under 30 minutes total, as I was able to think it all through on his time, and he had to use time given his desperate position. Here is some analysis of how this game may have gone differently

I feel that his 4.Nf6?! is a mistake, and not because of my 5.Nc3? where Black apparently get the big edge =+ after 5..e5, trades on d4, then Bb4 and if 0-0, then ..Bc5 as a follow-up, which is strangely very, very strong because Black can win control of ..e5 with a knight and then play NxBd3. So, the correct reply to 4…Nf6?! is 5.e5! where White has an improved version of Alekhine’s Def. 4 pawns attack, with a Black pawn on c6. White can play 6.h3, then …Be6?! where White sacs the c4 pawn for about a .9 advantage. Who woulda thunk it? So Black should have played as your opponent did last night with 4…e5 immediately, before I play it.

I looked at that …e5 line with Crafty, I really didn’t/don’t know this opening, it is so tactical, and more often that not I don’t play against that line because it’s higher-rated players which usually chose it. But at least I got to see your game with it.

There is the game Blake – Bigelow(v) 1935 and Tartakower – N.N. 1932 which shows a critical line in the Fantasy var. involving sacs, but this Chess Assistant program on XP won’t let me list the 1 million games from the ‘guru’ DB, so I can’t print any of it out (or copy and paste). I like it’s DB, but I would recommend SCID or perhaps Chessbase instead of this.

…e5 is dangerous for Black, if White knows how to handle it, allowing Black to play ..cxd with pawn and keep it there. …e6 does seem safter, perhaps in the right variation.


9 thoughts on “Miniature

  1. 4… Nf6 is not good, right, 4… e5, like my opponent is better, still… The whole idea of dxe4, fxe4 is not good for Black, that’s what White wants – the center. Your Nc3 is completely fine according to DB, after 5… e5 you just take the pawn.
    12. c4 and 13. Ng5 was a nice touch, winning on the spot.

  2. RollingPawns, thanks!

    I am only playing in one tournament this month, so I should have better results. I noticed that everybody who played on Wednesdays and then again on Thursdays usually did badly the second day, either blunders or time-trouble, and nearly all stopped going to both.

    I suppose, take the pawn and recapture queens on d1 with the Nc3, just thinking off the top of my head. I’ve prepared some more opening traps, I try not to meet my opponents empty-handed, although I doubt they are as diligent as me, those at the <1500 level, but then again I may the most diligent preparer among them, even though I feel like I barely do that. Most simply do their learning OTB, it would seem.

  3. I noticed you withdrew your last post. I was busy, preparing my kid for Ontario girls championship. Last time she played there 3 years ago. Luck was on her side, one game she blitzed with 14 seconds left vs. 20 seconds and with her having 2 seconds her opponent flagged, so it resulted in a draw (she didn’t have a mating material). In the last game her opponent blundered. But, as they say, those who strong are the lucky ones. So, she got the second place. Then she played a very good game in simul vs. Canadian highest rated woman, WIM. Her Petroff went really well (which I am proud of) and she was equal until getting into knight endgame, where she lost a pawn, put a strong resistance, but the technique prevailed. As a consequence, maybe I’ll play Petroff. 🙂

  4. RollingPawns, actually I didn’t withdraw any posts, didn’t play on Thursday (mainly for gas money reasons).

    That’s great to hear that your kid is doing well. Gelfand won one of his games the other day because his opponent flagged making his 30th move. On the plus side, the person who is blitzing best is almost always the one to catch the lucky break, which means they should have managed their time better and trusted that they were the stronger player to begin with. 😉

    I lost a couple games on FICS for not finding obvious winning tactics, but my rating still holds there at 1842. I played a game yesterday that I thought was a waste of time. I tried a cheeky move-order, it let him play Bg4 a move earlier, thus winning a pawn, and yet I still drew. Check this out. He should have played ..g5, …g4, hxg, …h3, h2, h1(Q) saving a tempo and winning. Isn’t that hard to believe he played so hard for the endgame win, but couldn’t finish it?

    Here is the game.

    Obviously, he had thought I was going to play 33.e6, which loses, but didn’t modify his plan when I didn’t play that. The strangest part of this game is that I used most of my time calculating this losing ending, and he drew because he wasn’t thinking it through on my time, probably was just waiting for me to move.

    Incidentally, I edited this post to make it more attractive to readers, not too cumbersome, but I doubt that will make a difference as even Blunderprone gets no responses to half of his posts, other than for my responses – probably a lot of people read his blog, though.

  5. There was an interesting incident during the simul. It was an endgame and some man started to talk to her pointing to the board, apparently discussing the game. I didn’t like it, wanted her to play useful game completely by herself ( also it was equal at that time). So I said: “You know, I don’t think you can do that”, to that he replied: “It’s just a simul”. I got angry and said harshly: “Let her play”. He moved a bit, then asked her: “It’s your dad” and left her alone. She wasn’t happy with my intervention, you know, they want to be independent.
    I also thought, that that girl, WIM, in principle might not like his participation, because they care about the result and nobody know how strong he is.
    Anyway, do you think I overreacted? I told that to my kid just to calm her down, but I am not sure.
    I saw your game, yeah, g5 was winning, funny.
    Don’t expect high quality endgames on FICS, I won quite a few games because it’s the opposite. Of course, you know that.
    I am watching candidates matches, fascinating.
    Aronian lost, I was supporting him before, but now I think that Grischuk deserves a chance, he is very talented, but wasn’t stable, maybe it’s his only chance.
    kramnik-Radjabov blitz is crazy, Kramnik is winning for now 3:1.
    Their blitz is just crazy.

  6. Cool, I predicted Kramnik to win the tournament, I guess I should check FICS because it takes too long for news stories to come out..

    I’m glad I don’t have a little girl. I don’t know what I’d do, but sitting here hearing you say that would make me want to break his face. hehe. I think you kept your cool and did the right thing, but that guy was totally out of line. I particularly don’t like the possible implication that she may need help because “she’s a girl” I wouldn’t want my daughter to learn that message, if I had a daughter. If it were a little boy he was talking too, I wouldn’t feel so bad about something like that at all, but he is breaking the rules and should be expelled from the club for that day, really.

    I lost another dumb game on FICS today, should have bailed out for a draw, but it’s fics so who cares, and of course he tries playing me down with the extra pawn as best he can (I used to do that, it doesn’t improve one’s game a single bit because it proves nothing). Anyway, my internet connection finally went out and so I lost (he had pawn and bishop), doubly pathetic since he could have won either way, clock or possibly on the board.

    playing on FICS knocks my connection out too often, so I moved the router into my room.

  7. She is 15, not that little. He was a parent of one of the girls, stuck-up face and breaking it was somewhat close to what I felt. I am not sure about the quality of his comments at all now, as any regular chess player would know that he shouldn’t intervene during simul.
    So, your view on that case kind of calms me down. 🙂
    Kramnik won, there was a story about a broken clock, don’t kno the details yet. It looks like there is a random element there with only 4 classical games, close somewhat to knockout championships.
    Now I better understand Carlsen, why he withdrew.
    If Aronian walks out after quarterfinal …
    But from the pure spectator’s point of view of course this format is great.
    I played a few games on FICS, the only useful effect was that one rookie with 0 rating dumped me really good in Petroff variation: 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe6 d6 4. Nf3 Nxe5 5. Nc3 Nxc3 6. dxc3, castling queenside and organizing quick attack finished with a nice rook sac. So, now I need to learn that Nc3 too, if I want to play Petroff. She also lost a couple of games (rated) before, then I managed to find the right moves. The good thing is that Petroff gives you a universal weapon against e4, the only one thing that you need to know is Four Knights defense, because some people (especially kids) tend to avoid Petroff by playing 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nc3

  8. hehe. I don’t think we’d ever do anything like that, just want to, as one can be prone to mercy/compassion even on one’s “enemies”.

    Hmm, in that position ignore the flank attacks (too slow) and try to smash White down the middle as much as possible. I notice that …Nc5 is a book move.

    I lost another game dumbly and then played a rematch and smoked him quick. I forgot how FICS chess basically boils down to “ego chess” until you make a mistake, then they want to win with that one pawn, creatively grabbing hold of the position rather than let it get loose and dynamic. But if you don’t drop that pawn, then they play like crap. hehe. That is my rendition of chess on FICS.

    I like the four game match, you are right. Heck, if anything they are getting paid to play 4 games, that is practically a chess vacation right there. Carlsen was an idiot, IMHO, for not playing. If he loses, so what, who cares, he has been reading too many of his own headlines if he is afraid that losing would be a big deal. Nothing ventured, nothing gained (nor lost, really).

    He realizes that he is a great tournament player, maybe or maybe not a great match player. History is littered with players who were bad match players, but may have been the best in the world at tournaments at some point – Paul Keres comes to mind.

    Why do you think Arnonian may walk? IMHO, I laugh that they take this so seriously, even though I feel bad for Topalov, for example. It’s a four-game match, it’s a crapshoot. I can’t believe any of them should take this that seriously. It’s a paycheck for playing chess. The “real” world championship cycle ended, IMHO, when Kasparov formed the PCA and played Nigel Short. The Kasparov – Short, simultaneous with the FIDE Karpov – Timman match was the end of the world championship cycle, as far as I’m concerned. Everything since then has been some form of knockout or threat of knockout decision. The “play a few games and if you guys are still here, then play some more at G/30” or whatever it was, is a total joke to me.

    If the world still took chess seriously, at the highest level, then Carlsen might have had a point. Now it’s just “Who has the cash?”

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