Playing “Va banque”

Round 4

Going into this Round at 1 win, 2 losses and lots of unrated newbies in the mix, I was surprised to get paired up against Isaac in Round 4. I wanted to sleep so bad after work, but couldn’t think of anywhere to go, not even a park where I could lie on some grass came to mind. It’s amazing that I can get it together on Thursdays to play a respectable game, week after week. I’m even tired at work until I have a Rockstar to get me through the workday.

Well, I was having problems seeing simple things, so I stuck with what I knew. Little did I know that this would be one of my most interesting games.

So, I was far behind on the clock, as usual, because there hadn’t been any cheapos for either side, which happens frequently or I would have learned my lesson by now to not spend too much time in the opening.

Naturally, I decided to try and draw the game, given my situation, when I played 13…Qh4, expecting only 14.h3 or 14.Nf3. When he played 14.Bf4, I said “ugghh, I didn’t see that move.” Well, the fire had just started up again, and being caught off-guard blundered my way through my next two moves.

Unfortunately, he did see that the queen trade was best, and even outplayed me in the endgame, where 33.a4 caught me off guard, but should not have. Instead of 31.Ra3, I wanted to play the better move 32.Re8-c8, but being low on time didn’t want to risk playing a passive-looking move.

Later, I rolled the dice and decided on 36..Bb5?? instead of 36..Be6, which I equally considered but didn’t have the clock-time to activate a plan. A simple plan would be to play …Be6 to avoid the rook trade I allowed, the knight-fork, and it would allow my rook to activated behind the lines while my opponent shovels his pawns forward and I could focus on trading down pawns.

If you pay attention to the move numbers, the endgame is well under way by move 30 and the game is over on move 40 (I am dropping a piece). This weekend there is a tournament, 40/90, G/1. How ridiculous is that? The game is over after 40 moves. Moves 40-80 I usually blitz out in like two or three minutes. In any case, I have to work and couldn’t get the weekend off.

This game would be interesting to study closely, particularly the ending and middlegame. I missed some strong moves in the ending, and I intentionally by-passed the middlegame, tried to, when I played my …Qh4 move. I realized that I should solve my center, but I had banked on forcing something against his king first.

It’s amazing how Isaac, who is still a kid, can play so many crazy games, but then give him a winning position and BAM!, he is playing it on the straight and narrow, just as I would have tried to have done in his shoes. In fact, it looks more like one of my games from the White side once I have lost my way with the Black pieces.

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2 thoughts on “Playing “Va banque”

  1. Sleeping even 15 minutes can help, I know it.
    Move c6 kind of weakened d6 pawn, I think. Yeah, a few jumps of the knight decided the game.
    It was drawn of course with the pawns on one side.
    I played yesterday with the 1645 rated guy I beat twice before, wasn’t that easy this time.
    I sacrificed an exchange on f3, got 2 pawns back, but then decided that he has counterattack and exchanged queens, so it went into R+N+2P vs R+R endgame.
    It was a quiet position, he offered a draw, I refused.
    I started to play actively, the position even looked risky to me, but Fritz still liked it.
    Then he gave up an exchange back.
    Suddenly in a rook ending (drawn) being a pawn down he agreed to exchange rooks !!!
    I just shook my head. Created remote passed pawn and that’s it.

  2. hehe. You should post some of these games!

    Alex is the only one besides me that has fully been playing in both tournaments, but even he has taken byes and skipped Wednesdays a couple months back. So, it’s been to everyone else’s on Thursdays advantage that I have played on both Wednesday and Thursday and then worked before the game.

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