Playing Straight-Up Chess

Round 4

After yesterday’s goofy debacle, I was not of a mind to play any weird, overly spicy moves for this game, except for late in the game where I am winning, of course.

I had realized that 19.g4 was a terrible move, but so much so that it made me lazy.  I saw his move, had a short debate between 19…Nd7 (idea of …Nb6), which should be a relatively easy and straight-forward win, and 19…b6, which I played very quickly and immediately realized I had blundered by playing the wrong move-order.  This is a classic example of trading blunders, the psychology behind why this sort of thing can happen.

So now I had to “win differently” as the GMs like to say.  After 20…gxf6, which Alex had predicted and was happy to see, he also let me know this is called the “submarine” pawn formation.  Luckily, Paul’s technique was relatively atrocious (although just as understandable) from this point forward and I bagged the win.  I’ve seen him play a lot better than this, but this is what happens when you get a bit rusty from not playing every week like so many of us do.  For example, his longest think was on 20.BxNf6, and I thought that he should have snapped that off instantly, after my 19…b6 blunder.

I stopped keeping score at some point under five minutes, and ended up with 17 seconds remaining on my clock to his half an hour, but I queened the f-pawn for example, before he resigned, and picked up his knight to boot.


8 thoughts on “Playing Straight-Up Chess

  1. Your evaluation of 19… b3 is right.
    26. gxf5 is a mistake, as he opens line where you developed better. His 36. Rf1 is a crucial mistake which you didn’t use. Winning b2 pawn would decide the game.
    38… f3 was a time pressure induced error, he could just take it because if you take his rook he forks you on d2. As in the well known expression the last mistake was his 50. Rxd2, he could sacrifice the knight and the arising game is probably drawn.

  2. Yeah, apparently I was blundering with my blitz moves. He had tons of time and probably should have put me away I guess, but he moved too quickly at the wrong times. Higher-rated players have a better sense of when to move quickly and when not to.

  3. In general you played better positionally.
    Regarding the tactics:
    “The winner of the game is the player who makes the next-to-last mistake”
    (Savielly Tartakover) 🙂

  4. Tartakower is awesome because he came after the 1800’s players (so you know his game, style-wise, wasn’t so suspect. hehe) and yet was the pre-Fischer era – as if handing off the baton, upon his death. Tartower played forever, so you know he’s experienced all the sturm-und-drang of a tournament player.

    38…f3 is a real blunder for such a winning postion. 38…Rg2+, 39.Ke1 Bc7, 40.Kd1 Rc2, and the f-pawn is going to march (and if his knight wants to run away to grab an f-pawn then the Black pawn at b3 will easily march.

    Whereas after 39.Rf2 RxR, 40.KxR Bc7 is curtains as well, since I would be happy to scoop up the pawn after 41.Ne5 BxN, 42.Kxe5, and I can win the a4 pawn while staying “in the square” of the c-pawn, and then could then sac my own a-pawn to pass the b-pawn.

    Otherwise 41.Ke2 f6, 42.Kf2 f3, 43.Kf1 Kd3, 44.Na3 Bf4, and my bishop can get to c1 and b2, eating his pawn-chain from behind, whereas his knight can only support one pawn moving forard where the other pawn next to it will drop to my king.

    I like how you’ve run the computer on my games to find the blunder/opportunities. This has strengthened my level of analysis because then I know what I’ve missed, but still do my own analysis to find a sort of “final truth” to the postion (whether it be the truth or not is not entirely the point, most importantly it gets me to apply strong analyis/critical-thinking/long plans to a position). 🙂

  5. Good analysis.
    I played yesterday. Had an opponent I played before, rated 1800+, our score is +1, -1 I think.
    I had Black, we played Four Knights, basically it was Giuoco Piano.
    I used a plan tested many times online with exchanging bishops on e6, so got open “f” line.
    It served me very well afterwards. I won a central pawn and got a strong attack.
    The finish was nice, I won’t spoil it and will try to post this week.
    Can you imagine, it was a first FIDE rated win with Black.

  6. Nice. I’ve won many times online as Black that way as well. Haven’t played it OTB since I was 1500 and won then. That’s great, any way you win as Black is fine. It’s little wonder people play 1.d4 sometimes instead, as White doesn’t have much in that BxBe4 Guioco Piano line. It’s really interesting line, tactically, but White has to play it with some intracacy.

  7. How was your trip?
    I posted my Monday’s game.
    I played on Thursday, it was a crazy game. At one moment something happened with me, maybe it was fatigue, as I didn’t see anything, made two bad moves in a row and played myself from almost equal into -5. I had two rooks and bishop vs. his queen and rook and also was down two pawns.
    So, I launched a desperate attack on the kingside. He could defend giving me zero chances, but missed the right moves and the situation became dangerous for him. He still didn’t see all the threats, got in trouble and had to give up his queen for a rook. The rest was technique.
    He couldn’t believe he lost and I was happy and smiled, not laughed of course.
    Funny that it was the same guy that beat me in 2-3 minute blitz a few weeks before.

  8. Not sure if I’ve seen this game yet, but it looks like an interesting one, too!

    Trip was great, I slept 10+ hours each day! 🙂 It went by fast and felt like it was most about meeting everyone and talking about stuff, because I wanted to as well, although I could have done other things. Played lots of board games like Risk, some other big board game that is modern, Clue, chess.

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