Duffered Endgame

Round 2

My opponent managed his time better than I, I think that’s what this game came down to. Starting with 32.Rh5??, getting caught up with an errant strategic plan, I missed my opponent’s coming Nb4+. At this point I was getting a lost endgame, and then making further blunders, starting with b3 instead of b4; I figured b4 was stronger but chickened out and played b3. I lost the thread of the endgame completely, and it mostly had to do with my poor time-management.

Here is a sample continuation of the complexity of this endgame, whereas there are voluminous chances for both sides to go wrong.
http://chessflash.com/node/1898
43. Rh4 is a draw in the above variation – mainly because the bishop and rook threats against Black’s king, and the h-passer is under control (unless Black wants to make some losing or further drawing try).

I pawned the middlegame off onto the ending, but then didn’t save enough time for the ending. I would do better to try and win the middlegame, unless I were up on time against a slow player. I wanted to 32.dxe5, but then was scared off thinking after …dxe5, then 33..Nc7, but that would drop the pawn on c5, although Black can get in the c4+, which White should prevent with 33.Ke2 or Kc2, then Black is in a bind and it is equal, but White can lose by trying something which doesn’t work out. Black can play ..Rd6 and scurry the king to ..g7.

These were the sorts of games that I held or won at 30/90, G/30, but without that second time-control or disciplining myself to play 30/60, G/30, there isn’t enough time for that endgame.

17.Ke3? was losing to his 17..Nf6!!, and when he played 18…Ng4 I made some comment like “Whoa, crap, I never saw that coming!” he chuckled. He spent a lot of time on that move (the …Nf6), but played all of the follow-up moves and even winning moves quite quickly. Very strong player, he can outplay my Fruit engine, as can I at times oddly enough – engine thinks I should play Qxg7 variations, then I refute the engine with ..Rh8-g8. I am starting to think than the engine is better in technical positions rather than the other way around!

17.Ng3 was correct, which I almost played, but thought Black could get a bind with …g5, after trading queens, but White can play f6 and Nf5 in response, and since 17.Ke3 drops a pawn anyway, and Ng3 is +=, I should have just played that.

One cool idea which I missed was to play Qf1 instead of Qg1, then after …Qh4+ White has Kg2, Rg1, and Kh1 when suddenly White has the +- if Black doesn’t play actively, such as with ..Nc5 instead of ..c5.

15.f5?! 15.fxe was much better , but I didn’t calculate it right.

13.Qe1? White has a strong edge after 13.Kg2. +.6

10. Bg3?! Other moves giving White a big edge are the surprisingly simple 10..0-0, and 10.a3 d5, 11.Bb3 Na6 (I had been considering this before he played …Bg4xNf3) 12.Qe2.

8. Bc4? was once again a mistake because of the same idea, but enhanced with what I was seeing as a reply, namely …d5, but then 9.exd Bxg4!, 10.gxB = 8.Be2! which I thought was possibly too passive, is the right reply here, covering f3. I completely missed the continuation after 8..d5, 9.a3! Na6, 10.Nxd5 winning! I can’t believe that after 9.a3, I rejected it at the board because I saw 9..exd?? threatening ..exNf3, followed by ..fxBe2, overlooking that 10.axNb4 and the Black queen is hanging. Doh!

That’s the thing, I should be getting a satisfying openings advantage against Rhett, but I have to accept that it will be from a weird, slightly complex-looking position; it’s not going to resemble any opening theory in the slightest.

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6 thoughts on “Duffered Endgame

  1. “engine thinks I should play Qxg7 variations, then I refute the engine with ..Rh8-g8. ”

    After 17 … Nf6, you mean? Qxg7 there and Rg8 just loses to Bxf7+. Black’s actually in a bit of a tough spot there, as his own queen has nowhere to go and Qxg7 frees up g1 for the knight…

    Computer likes taking 18 dxe5 first, then 19 Qxg7 0-0-0 20 Ng1 Ng5+ 21 Qxg5 Qxg5 22 fxg5 Bg4+ (getting the piece back), where it shows +1.5. *shrug*

  2. Oh – have you been watching the US Championships? They’re using a 40/90, G/30 (30 sec increment) and it’s amazing how much time trouble they’re getting into. At least half the games seem to be getting to 5 minutes left at about move 20.

    So it’s not just you that hates the G/90s. *laugh*

  3. Jabari, you bring up a good point, namely why 15.f5? is bad, in contrast to 15.fxe. As the Russians say, I had bad “form” because I was in defensive-minded mode, seeing some ghosts, and not acting in my positions best interests. Even when I felt a move like 15.fxe must be the best move, I still didn’t play it, was playing too subjective, with doubts, as I had lost my last 2 games against Rhett, and not he is playing without doubts for the opposite reason.

    In the 15.f5? line 18.Qxg7? fails to do 18..exd4+. Recapturing on d4 eliminates the knight from playing that Ng1 move, and 19.Kxd4 opens up Bf2+ scenarios. 19.Nxd4 0-0-0, 20.Bxf7 Rdg8!, 21.BxRg8 RxBg8, 22.Qf7 Ng4+, 23.Kd2 Qg2+, 24.Kd3 Ne5+ forks king and queen.

    Defensive-mindedness also made me spend more time on moves, even after I had calculated adequate replies, I still spent lots of time deliberating over them.

    That time control is much worse. As I told my buddy last night, I hate how US Organizers think they are so cool by ape-ing whatever new rules/standards that FIDE comes up with. We should be trying to do the opposite of What FIDE does in the USA and Canada, not follow their lead.

  4. I see for the second time that you play f4 and frankly, as in the first time I don’t like it. OK, you want to play sharp, but against high rated opponent in G/90? These king wanderings, like in 19th century… computer thinks that you are OK or even better, but for a human it’s easy to make a mistake in this situation.

    Fritz thinks that 17… Nf6 was not good and 18. dxe5 dxe5 19. Qxg7 O-O-O gives you +1.21.

    It was a crucial moment after he played wrong 30… Rad8, you could reduce his advantage to zero after 32. dxe5 dxe5 33. a4 eventually winning “h” pawn.

    I played on Thursday. I expected to be early there, but after getting gas not far from my work my car didn’t start. It was good that there was a mechanic nearby, he told me that the starter died. So, we pushed the car to his place, I left it there, got rental and still! went to the club, coming 20 minutes late (on my clock). I wanted to play, but otherwise I would just get a forfeit.
    I wasn’t calm, it didn’t do me much good, at some point I made a mistake and lost a pawn. Eventually I got into an endgame with my 2B+K vs. his 2K+B with just 0.2 for him. He probably realized that and offered a draw, which being down pawn and 20 minutes I of course accepted.

  5. I have to admit, I love this opening and variation as White, probably more so than any other opening. I can play it other ways; I believe I played a3 last time, preventing Nb4, but it’s even more fun to let him have an attack. The problem is that I reacted badly to his attack. Bad on ideas, bad on the board, and even worse on the clock.

    I’m glad that you were willing to go through all that just to play a weekly game! 🙂 Great that you held the draw a pawn down!

    At G/90, you are right, one can’t separate the position from the clock, they are very interelated. Only way to change this equation is to change the position on the board quickly. 😉

    Also, I can still play brutal chess, which is probably the same reason why I don’t repeat my past success against Rhett with a3, then his ..Na6-c7, which didn’t look so hot. I like to see the sharpness, which I find somehow a peaceful quality of e4, a type of elegance.

    Here’s an example of it:
    http://ficsgames.com/cgi-bin/show.cgi?ID=307576338;action=show

    Here’s another example of it, just got my FICS rating back up to 1770 in virtually no time:
    http://ficsgames.com/cgi-bin/show.cgi?ID=307593434;action=show

    The amazing thing about this game isn’t that I noticed that I noticed right after the game that 14…Bh3+ would have won a whole rook, but that I had absolutely no idea how to handle 3.c3 (I know, that’s probably a shocker). After 3 moves, I was completely out of my book knowledge, and just figured the rest out OTB. That is what stupifies me about “higher level chess” where they play 1.d4 like in the innocuous world championship match taking place. Their situation isn’t one of “great chess” so much as it is fear of getting knocked off the pinnacle of chess. At our rating, we can afford to take more risks. 😉

    Another funny thing about this game, and I don’t need an engine to see this, is that 9.gxf3? seems to be a big mistake (9.Be3 right away, threatens Bc5 if Black had any ideas of moving the king to that side, but moving king to queenside looks like a safer maneuver), but also that 9..fxg2?! should be of questionable value. I would not play 9..fxg2, and instead give up that pawn for development. White forgot that the opening was still a foot-race even after the queens came off.

  6. Your first game is really brutal, I am glad “there is still some gunpowder left in the powder-keg”, as Russian proverb says.
    In the second game you can play d5 right after c3, like in Ponziani, using the fact that c3 square is taken from the knight.

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