Endgames take time

Round 2

Blackmar-Diemar Gambit. Anthea has changed up her opening repertoire lately. I forgot that last time she tried a Ruy Lopez against me. I am just here to play chess. 🙂 Not really prepared for a main-line opening, so it’s great when for me when opponents avoid them. 😀

Going back over this game with Alex and the Fruit engine, I realized that I played this game sort of “Petrosian-esque”, positionally. This was mostly because I didn’t want to entertain tactical complications against Anthea. For example, Fruit chooses the more tactically obvious 14..g5 followed by 15..Bxh2+, but I didn’t want to spend a tempo removing the bishop from h2. Actually, the Bh2-g3 move would hit her queen later on. Anyway, it’s interesting that at the end of that line, there is a ..c5 move, since that is thematic, and the score isn’t much different. Still, I should have played that line and didn’t realize that 14..g5, 15.Qf2 Ng4 forks queen and bishop (didn’t see this, so caught up in the pawn-roller over there). Also, 15.Qh3, then g4 forks queen and rook.

She played her attack quickly, using very little time. I sensed that 23.Rxe6 was a blunder, but I didn’t know for sure until I played 24..Kb8.

On move 40.Ka6?? I had been planning on playing Rc6 for a few moves already, and considered it there, but was wondering if I would blunder in time-pressure because I am trying to keep three ideas in my head there, the Rc6, the Ka6, and Rc3+. Simple, I know, but it only got worse after that. I will have to study this ending because I knew that I was messing up. I don’t believe that the score is fully accurate, but it is close enough (a problem with my games being played out in time-trouble). The endgame has tactics, yet is mainly calculation. There isn’t enough time to calculate while blitzing, and this is the main problem with blitzing an endgame. It’s also easier to start seeing ghosts when one feels rushed.

Still, it was an interesting game, and I kept it positionally in control enough that when the tactic did come, I didn’t have a lousy position, and so could still defend. For example, I thought I had blundered with 19..Nd5. Actually, after 20.BxNc5 QxB, 21.QxQ bxQ (straightening out my pawns there), 22.Rxf7 Rd7 I am one pawn to the good.

In the real game, I believe that I did play 44..Rd2, 45.Kf3 Rd5, 46.h4 (I was trying to get the tempo count right in the posted game score), but I though she could play 46.Kf3, not realizing that Black has 46..g4+!, trading off all of the kingside pawns. The endgame is nothing if not a collection of finesses.

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3 thoughts on “Endgames take time

  1. hey LinuxGuy!

    The Shredder engine shows a quicker win for you at move 32 where you played …Nc3.

    …Ne3 wins at least a pawn, and if White exchanges Bishop for knight after you play …Nxc2 then you have a really clear win. Again I must say that Shredder found this..not me. 🙂 I am at work and couldn’t really take a good look at the game.

    have a good one!!

  2. Hi, TommyG! Thanks for stopping by!

    My friend Alex thought that as well, but it doesn’t win a pawn. I was afraid of g3, and actually White has stuff like gxf gxf, Bd2 Nxc2, Bxf4+ and now it is just under +1 for Black, down from +2. White has all her forces down there, which is why I want to fork rather than be so direct. I thought I could win a3 pawn, but then saw that she had Bb4.

    The move where I lose my way is 40..Ka6?? Instead 40..h5! is a clean win, but again here is the rub, I was wondering if this were better or worse for me, and I didn’t know how to play the continuation. So I had too many things on my mind during this move, and not enough time to chose a best offense, only to play defense. I was looking at ghosts in general, though. 40..h5, 41.h3 is what I saw, but her king is out of reach after 41..Rc3+, and I can trade the g5 pawn for the a3 pawn to her bishop and win easily that way as well.

  3. I think the very beginning wasn’t quite “Petrosian-esque”, because you fully accepted the pawn. I played Nxe4, not dxe4 last time. Then, right, you play cautiously, but there were many games where Black was crushed in BDG, so it’s only reasonable. I would probably play g5 and would take a pawn on h2, it’s not just a pawn, but pawn covering the king and g5 you have to play anyway.
    Rxe6 looks like typical for her mistake, you started to win games thanks to these things. She can’t avoid bishops exchange on move 39, since if Bb4 then Ne5+, and I think two bishops are her only hope, after that it’s a technical ending.

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