The Magical Disappearing Act

Finally, I am paired with Anthea once again. I am Black, and she plays 1.e4 for the first time that I’ve seen, and then it moves on to a Ruy Lopez. I spend 5 minutes here thinking either main-line Tchigorin Def., or Open Defense. I figure that her Expert teacher taught her the main-line Ruy, so the Open Defense might catch her off-guard, particularly by her playing 7.Re1 instead of the main-theory 7.d4.

I wasn’t surprised by her decision to trade the h2 pawn for my d5 pawn, but that wasn’t what happened. What happened next took me by surprise, but not so much, knowing Anthea.

Round 4

My 16..Kg8 was a mistake, as I should have played ..Qf6 immediately. I was playing hope-chess, hoping she wouldn’t see c4, but then I saw that it worked it out that I could defend, before I played ..Qf6 on my next move. She was down < -2 after my poor 16..Kg8 move.

I hadn't even seen 18..Bc5, threatening mate. Instead, I was planning on meeting 19.dxc4 with ..Nb6, protecting the Ra8.

The real magic was that I didn't even realize until I was going over this game port-mortem that I was up a rook! She resigned, unexpectedly for me, once she saw the queens coming off. Opening theory proved decisive in this one, as Black, although only psychologically of course. She wasn't into merely getting a center-pawn for a flank-pawn she said after the game. So she had seen her blunder, and I had wondered why she seemed smiling/laughing at herself at one point; so this explains it.


4 thoughts on “The Magical Disappearing Act

  1. I think that playing Open defense was a wise choice. I got it once, wasn’t ready, played Re1 too and eventually lost.
    Yesterday was a day of blunders in Bilbao – Anand and Carlsen blundered, so it was probably a magnetic wave going around the globe :).
    Luckily you were on the receiving side.

  2. I emailed her, and she was wondering how White is supposed to get an advantage. I told her that White is typically playing to exploit Black’s weak c-file and backward c7 pawn, and I showed her this game:

    But I also said that I play a different variation which has it’s own positional weaknesses, and I didn’t elaborate on this as I will let her figure that part out on her own OTB. πŸ˜‰

    She said she was going to ask her Expert coach today, when she goes for her lesson, why this variation is supposed to be so great for White. I would love to be fly-on-the-wall and laugh myself to tears if he can’t answer it straight away. Luckily, she might now tell him what it is!

    I told her what you told me about Carlsen and Anand blundering; maybe she will feel better. πŸ˜‰ She was laughing, yes it was 7 moves before she had seen this blunder, so my observation about her facial expression OTB was correct.

    Now that I am looking at this game, I realize that Victor was playing for the draw as Black. I may follow this game with my own modification. I very highly doubt that she’s reading this blog, but maybe just in case, I’ll refrain from spelling it out.

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