Round 2, February 2014

After last week’s draw, I figured that I would get paired against one of the kids. Rhy’s looks like he’s maybe seven years old, but of course all kids quickly rise in rating to a more sensible level.

This past weekend, Rhys’ rating went up from 731 to 955, and he has already beaten a 1600 player this month as well, not yet rated.

Anyway, here is the Game.

Naturally, my play wasn’t the best, but it was sufficient. I felt that my 8.d5 move was not the best, and perhaps should have stuck with my first guess of 8.e5. Actually, best is to 0-0 and get Black to push a pawn in the center first; Black does not have a desirable position to commit anything from.

I pretty much knew that 9.cxd5 was best because my queen has issues on the e-file, and I’d prefer to see the c-file opened, keeping the center pawns on the board, but yes, I cracked a little looking for a cheap win and bingo! I got one.

I was happy to see 11…BxNc3?? as this solved all of the problems of my position, and I quickly realized that after 12.BxBc3 that Black has no good moves and is completely busted on the spot. After the game, I told him that he should have played 11…c6 instead, chipping away at d5 here is thematic and what I was most worried about.

I have to credit Rhys for playing the tricky 12…Re8?, but here Fruit says 13.Qe4 is +5.

I finished the game with 55 minutes on the clock to his 66, so it was almost exactly one hour for the game, and I stayed on pace with the clock, budgeting 2 minutes per move figuring that I needed to get to move 30 with 30 minutes remaining.

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3 thoughts on “Round 2, February 2014

  1. Thanks, RollingPawns! You are too kind. 🙂

    Little Fabio took down Dean convicingly. These kids, it’s just amazing what people can do from a winning position versus from an equal positon without the initiative/attack. My third and fourth rounds will meet quality opponents, and this tournament is wide open – if I were to win both games, then I would more than likely win the tournament. I have a feeling that this week will be the breakthrough round.

  2. One of the themes of grandmaster’s (and olden games are better for this than are the games of Carlsen, for example) is the them of I guess you could call it “justification by checkmate”, whereupon material sacs are based upon the “yeah, but it’s gonna be checkmate in some lines” theme. It’s interesting because this seems to be one of barriers between the strong and the super-strong of past eras. Of course, when I imitate this just a smidge, then it is flattering. I really enjoy the games of those players, as their games are sort of a stress-free beauty thing, and you can see their positional strength included. 😉

    In my modern book on King’s Gambit, the author doesn’t seem to like h4, but the author doesn’t seem to have a heavy track-record of playing the King’s Gambit himself, so is just showing some sort of “best theory”. I don’t really believe in this. Past players like Blackburne, for example, appear to have realized that you play h4 to keep Black’s queen from getting to h4 in some lines! If you haven’t played enough to get clubbed over the head by ..Qh4, then you probably wouldn’t appreciate it. Player’s of the past may have been poor defenders often, but they did understand positional play well.

    Actually, the funny thing about Morphy, for example, is that he could play more accurately positionally, and with more discipline than his opponents, when he willed to; this is what wins matches. I notice that in offhand games, the past masters would play King’s Gambit, the peanut-butter-and-jelly attack (just kidding), you get the idea, but in match play suddenly we are back to boring Ruy Lopez (when they cared about winning), that sort of thing.

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