Balancing attack with defense

Round 3

I played Isaac, who has been keeping up his rating over the last tournament, and can be quite the calculator in tactical positions.

I played this game positionally, and basically just let him go for too much, such as with his Ng5 move, which I suggested after the game was premature (should develop first). Then with ..Rd1-f1, okay he has an attack, but his development has been very haphazard.

He played BxNc6, and I should have recaptured with the Bd7 – yes, he can play Re1+..Kf8, but I would have two pawns for it.

I did not play attack or defense the best, but I did balance the two better than with what he was doing. I sort of slipped him a bogus attack, which was my preferred idea all along, along with simple positional play. Even Isaac could have played Black’s final attack much better than I, but the difference was that I had accumulated all of those tiny positional plusses, the kind that meant I could play the finish sort of lousy and still stagger over the finish-line first.

I didn’t want to accept the gambit at first (and play ..e6 instead and try to win positional/endgame, but then I knew he would get an attack still. Actually, I realized that he could then turn it into a French Advanced with f3-f4, but that seemed more boring at the moment, so I took the pawn instead), and spent a long time debating over whether I should, but then I got the idea that perhaps he will get a little over-optimistic, which is exactly what happened.

This was a little bit on the “gift-win” side, as he could have hung tough with better positional play, and not figuring on my being a sucker so much.


6 thoughts on “Balancing attack with defense

  1. Forgive me if I ask stupid questions, but I am not familiar with the opening.

    5 Qxf3 Nc6
    Are normal moves in this opening? Why not 5. … Qxd4? Because of 6. Nb5 or the development plusses white would get?

    8. … Bd6
    Normal move? What is the point, reasoning behind it? Why not Bb4 threatening to destroy the king’s position?

    14. Bxe7
    Isn’t it in white’s favore if he just takes back on e4 with his queen? Black cannot take on g5 because of mating threats.

    Your last move I like. a5+ , pushing the king into a mating net. I applauded but I doubt you heard that. 🙂

  2. I played 5..Nc6 quickly, didn’t even see Qxd4. There is a style to G/90. Qf3 looked anti-positional enough strategically, so I wasn’t worried about needing to eat another pawn. Nxd4 was better, but he played Bb5, which is what I had wanted to see, and then Be3 instead of Bg5 right away. He was giving me positional breaks left and right, and this is part of why what I had been hoping for.

    I thought that he should have at least eaten my f6 pawn and got the game back to material equality. I was happy to see the h-pawn push as that is slow, and White is down a pawn, and I can get a better attack on his king anyway.

    8…Bd6, the main purpose of this move was to clog up the d-file, in case White pushes with d5, then my Qd8 is not exposed to his Rd1.

    He had to play 14..Bxe7 because I can take the g5 pawn with check, so the mate on h7 is not happening and I am easily winning with 2 extra pawns.

    The correct way to continue my attack was with ..Qa1+, but it’s difficult to impossible to calculate that deeply at G/90. He calculated better than, deeper than me though because he saw that I had 24..Be8, 25.Qxe6+ Bf7, 26.Qxf5??(White is losing even if doesn’t play this)..Bxb3!! (I didn’t see this idea here, although was looking at Bxb3). The point is that after Bxb3, White’s queen is under attack. 27.Qh3 lets say, doesn’t really matter. 27..d2+ (28.Rxd Qa1 mate), so 28.Kd1 Bxc2+ or Qxc2+ promotes the pawn and mates.

    I also didn’t notice until after the game that I could play 24..Be8, 25.Qxe6+ KxR, 26.g4 (was worried about the Rh2 mate) d2+, 27.Kd1 (understood all of this)..Qa1+ because the 28.Kxd2 just lets my rook into the attack with ..Rb8-d8+ and mates in a few more moves. But I also missed the more caveman-like defense of 26..Bf7, 27.g6 Kg8, 28.gxB and I am still up a whole rook. It is easy to not have time to do material counts at this time-control, everything is so calculation-oriented because that is all there is time for.

  3. I had a crazy day yesterday, had to go to emergency room with someone from my family and missed your post. You played very well I think and as I expected returned to a good shape. I liked that final attack
    I’ll look in detail at both your games later today.

  4. Hey, I’m sorry to hear that RollingPawns, my prayers go out to your family.

    I am playing with more confidence now, focusing better during the games, and making quicker decisions. That’s the main reason for the upswing, and sort of unexpected.

  5. Thanks, everything is back to normal.
    I agree that it was better just play13. Nxf6, get back the pawn and have a better pawn structure, but he was in a visibly aggressive mood.
    Qe2, Qh5 is bad, he definitely is ignoring your dangerous initiative and knight sacrifice is not sound.
    There are almost always nicer ways to win, like Be8 or Qa1, but there is a reality of 90/G.
    I agree that your play was more balanced and it provided the base for the win.

  6. I agree with your comments.

    His game had that time-factor built into it. It’s like as long as we don’t play chess the same way we do on FICS, and let everyone else think they are going to win with their blitz game from FICS, we will win more than our share of games. 😀

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