Just Plain Lucky!?

Round 3

I should have played 17.h3 before my pawn sac, and debated it, but at the time was worried about 17..Be4, 18.Ng5 h6, 19.NxBe4 NxBe4, but then I would have the bishop pair versus the knight pair in a relatively open position, so that 17.h3 h6 is what should have taken place before the d5 pawn sac.  As it was, I was a little more limited than in the game, and perhaps the pawn sac wasn’t the right thing to do altogether as he found the refutation in 19…Qa5!, so that the game should have ended in a draw.

The reason I played 20.Be3 was to defend against 20…Nf4.

After the game, Daniel thought he should have played 27…Bd5, but after 28.e4, as Alex showed me, although I was uncomfortable with my position in the post-mortem with Daniel, and White is slightly better.  Alex pointed out that Black should simply draw here with 27…Qxa3, 28.NxN QxQ, 29.RxQ bxN,, 30.Rxc6 is dead equal, and should be a dead draw as well.

In the game, I was ten minutes late on the clock.  We played at a new location and I really liked it!  Much better than playing at Panera.  It was at Pikes Perk coffee shop.  Alex found everything seemingly instantly in my game, so that I just sucked at analyzing to have used as much time as I did.  I had just gone under 5 minutes on my clock and left the table when Daniel played the losing move.  I thought it was because of my time-pressure that he did this, but a more sober assessment is that Daniel simply doesn’t use much time on his moves, and thought he had calculated it.  Alex does this sometimes too, it’s as if they are so talented that they just know what to do, but won’t spend the clock-time, and will eventually miss one niggling detail that decides the game.


6 thoughts on “Just Plain Lucky!?

  1. The Romans said: “Audaces fortuna iuvat” (Fortune favors the brave). 🙂
    Honestly I think d5 was not quite sound, even after 17. h3 h6 and Fritz confirmed that, but it opened the lines.
    Yes, the draw would be a reasonable result, but the results are not always reasonable.

    For example, I played yesterday, got the same ~2000 rated guy I beat recently in Nimzowitsch Defence. This time he played Scandinavian. He didn’t play well in the opening, Fritz gives me at one point +1.75. But I didn’t use my advantage, exchanged queens and later made a time-pressure induced horrific blunder sacrificing my central pawn and planning to win the “h” one, which simply was not possible. So I ended up a with pawn down and a bad bishop in B. vs. B endgame. He demonstrated some technique and that was it. I was unimaginably upset, but …
    So, my dream about reaching 2000 will have to wait until I get into a better shape.
    When you have problems (and ongoing divorce is a real one) it reflects on your chess.
    Still you learn something out of every game. I had to beat him in the opening.
    For example he played Qb4 and I defended my “b” pawn – Rb1. But as Fritz showed there was a nice knight sacrifice if he would take on b2, allowing to catch his queen. I didn’t see it and I am sure he wouldn’t see it, but if … I would just get his queen for a rook and knight.

  2. Yes, in the opening you can just win like that with a queen trap. It’s usually more devastating in the opening as well, even though it might seem close to even materially. This is why I always look for those sorts of things and blow so much time by doing so. There’s a better than even chance that I would find something like that.

    For you, time-pressure meanst that your opponent must have been playing screamingly fast, and I believe you said last time that he was moving rather instantly as well.

    I have the feeling that if you played a match against that guy that random chance would dictate that you may bob up and down, but stilll stay right around where you are at, since his quick moves can also lose for him, particularly if you trap him.

    The external stuff can always be that little thing that pushes the results one way or the other. I’m surprised that the divorce-stuff is still going on, that’s too bad. Sounds as though you either have something she wants to take, or it’s a custody issue, or both. Well, at least you have a kid out of it. 🙂

    I felt the same way about 1800 as you feel about 2000, as my combo in this game gave so much to have been looked at, although he sidestepped all of the complications with his …Qa5 move. I think he does this sort of thing because it’s intuitive, doesn’t require much analysis and can be played quickly.

    If you can just hang around at 1940, for example, you are within striking distance, and one great tournament could bring you back to 1990. 🙂

    You could post your game. We could look at it, maybe there’s something I could add although I know your engine probably finds close to everything. I still need to give mine a final analysis of that one combo, if not to put it down on paper.

    I’ve sat at the board with that position. One could easily spend an hour wending one’s way through the analysis after …b6 instead of …Qa5. I just need to get it down onto print.

  3. 19….b6? 20.Bc6 was going to be my reply.

    Alex showed me 20.RxBd5, RxRd5, 21.Bxb6 Qb7, 22.Bc4, but now …Na5 doesn’t seem to have an answer after 21.BxNa5 QxQ, 22.BxQ RxNa5, and Black keeps his exchange and probably wins back the pawn as well. Anothere try in this line is 21.BxRd5, NxQb3, 22.BxQb7 NxRc1, 23.BxRe8 will probably win for White, but 21…RxBd5, 22.Qe3 would lose to …Ne4 because of back-rank threats. So 22.Qb4 Nc6 and once the queen moves Black can generate threats with ..Rd3 for instance, but Black is better the pawn down and all of this active play. It’s actually very unclear and probably either equal or advantageous to Black even though pawn down. Would take a lot more analyis to tell, good position to plug in a computer on. 22….Nc6 is probably not the move, for instance.

    20.Bb5 does appear to be winning after some neat analysis. I calculated that …Nf4 doesn’t work, and neither does. …QxNa7, 21.BxNc6. Neither does 20…Nde7, 21.RxRd7 BxRd7, 22.BxNc6 NxBc6, 23.Qxb6! because of …QxBa7, 24.QxRc6 threatening 25.QxRd8+, so …QxQ, 26.RxQ would leave White up the a-pawn.

    Anyway, it was important for me to practice analysis from one of my games, and Daniel found the equalizing move 19…Qa5 OTB.

  4. Yeah, I was wondering about your bishop being caught up and then noticed Bc6.
    The divorce stuff is recent, it’s a separation that goes for too long. I have two kids, girls.
    Yeah, that seems now as the the only positive thing.
    You are right about being within striking distance and if I really can play better than before I will get there.

  5. Someone posted this link, and though I know I’ve seen this game before multiple times, I was never as strong a chessplayer as now so only casually tried to semi-semi understand this game.

    It’s very interesting as Nigel’s position seemed suspect early on (I think Kasparov should have developed as if he weren’t trying to take advantae of White’s king stuck in the center). I’ve always been a Nigel Short fan (would love to see a games collection published). Nigel can build a position out of a very initially awkward position like no one else.

    I thought that Black should have played …e5, but perhaps I am wrong about that. At first I though that …a3 was bad, but I believe Black could have taken a positional draw after 33…Bc6 instead of 33….Qc6?? I wonder if Kasparov figured the result of the game was meaningless and that the rook sac looked too interesting not to try in time-pressure (of both players).

    Kasparov wanted to play …a3 to preven a3, protecting b4, so that he could play his sac he mentioned after the game he wanted to play on 31 or 32 the move …Bxb4, cxB Rxb+ followed by …Bxe4 winning, but W/hite has after ….Bxb4 the intermezzo NxBc6 which looks winning for White, becuase White has all of the positional trumps. So he tried to set it up first by playing …Be8, but that just allowed White to play Nb3 holding everything together, and keeping an ednge.


    It’s intersting to see how you understand more later on in your “chess career”. I was noticing that blunder in Robson’s game at the Millionaire Open, and was watching some of the Round 7 Chess Olympiad where Carlsen lost to Naiditsch by sacking a pawn needlessly, and his opponent in the next round returned the favor by playing an …a3 move wihich took the position from like -1.5 to +1.5 or something like that for Carlsen. I realized that a lot of players are guessing, positionally, but they are GM mainly because of tactics (which usually don’t surface). I love how Short can simply a build a position out of something funky. That’s what I like about your games as well, how you build a position, something which is more on the rare side in the chess world. 😉

    Hope your divorce turns out well or at least tolerable. Every guy knows this must be terrible, which is why we dread marriage so much in the first place, or at least that’s my rationale.

    Sure, you can make Expert with tactics. I have seen some games by Experts that make me cringe, and so have you. Here’s one to take heart in:
    On moves 22,23,24 White could have equalized with Qc7, and is a piece down, but instead relies on Black to make yet another blunder, and wins the game after all that. You would probably be beside yourself missing that sort of thing for three moves in a row, and I don’t believe you’ve ever done such a thing, or at least wouldn’t now. Oh BTW, lest we make any excuses, Black was also an Expert for two tournaments a year ago!

    I’m going to California end of this month, beginning of next month. My boss let me do it, and I had given alternative of two weeks notice. But in exchange I have to work this Tues and Wednesday, so that is really the end of the Colorado Springs City Champtionship for me, and I will play this Wednesday I believe, but will take a last round bye. Not sure yet if I’ll want to play that round on Wednesday either since I am losing my “weekend” where I normally recover. But I will be back next month for sure! 🙂 Of course, I’ll still be blogging regardless. 😀

  6. Interesting video, they are so young.
    I played with Short in simul, remember, he played Evans gambit.
    Regarding marriage, you have to chose the right person, that’s the whole secret.
    Most important – kind person, everything else worth nothing without it.
    What are you going to do in California? 🙂

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