Going into Round 5, I was not in contention for money, and I lost rating points. However, my opponent Mark went 4 out of 5 and back up to 1782 rating.
In the opening, I may have played not so good, but turned it around in the middlegame, but could not find my equilibrium in the ending and lost.
34…g6?? This move is hideously bad. I wanted to assure that I had locked up the position from attack, but only assured my trouble later on, as I could have let him play f6 and f6xg7 and then not recapture that pawn with my king until forced to at a later moment.
41.Kf3? 42.Kg3! wins.
42…Qc2?? 42.Qh2 draws (I completely missed this move in time-pressure). In the line I played, I missed that there is no perpetual there.
I had looked at other lines suck as 42.Qa7, 43.Qxb Qxc, 44.Qb8+ Qf8, 45.Qd6 and now Qa8 is possible, but I was worried about 26.Qe7 which becomes a constant mating threat. Actually, 26.Qd7 would virtually be zugzwang there. It was too much to examine in too little time, and Mark blitzed me excellently.
This was the first time that I had played a Cambridge Springs Defense OTB, and wasn’t thrilled about how I played it except to say that I don’t have much experience with it and was more or less trying to get through the opening.
This game was a great example of a “hole” in my chess understanding, and frankly the defeats that uncover a hole in my chess understanding – which are most of my losses or I likely would have hung up the skates by now – are not as damaging. I thought Gareev’s video on this subject of using an enemy pawn-shield had been eye-opening enough, but seems I still hadn’t incorporated it enough into my general level. Here is an awesome example by Tartakower of using the opponents’ pawn as a shield:
Tartakower gives the line 18…bxNc3, 19.NxN cxb2+, 20.Kb1(!) Qxc2+, 21.QxQ RxQ, 22.Nf4+ winning the Rc2. Even after this stage was resolved, he didn’t take the b2 pawn – which came as a big surprise to me – since Black still has two rooks and a knight and there is no sense giving Black a free Rb6+ later in the game. And since he didn’t play Kxb2, Black played this hideous-looking …b5 move, which no doubt would not have appeared had the possibility of a …Rb6+ remained available.
Tartakower gives a note before playing Rde1 saying “The turning point of the struggle where the miracle of combination must make it’s appearance.” My Best Games Of Chess 1905-1954 – Tartakower.
Another brilliant Tartakower game, this time featuring the Orangutan, which he basically invented, or made famous.
I think a positional refutation of this opening would simply be …d5 and …Bf5 because b4 acts as a shield for Black against Qb3 threats, which is what frequently gives Black such a bad light-squared bishop.
Tartakower gives 15…RxNe4, 16.QxNg6 Rg4, 17.BxNf6 QxB, 18.QxQ gxQ, 19.Re1 where White is simply a pawn up (and has better structure).
I started this game with 90 minutes on my clock, and finished it with 92. I’ve never had anyone stumble into this trap OTB against me before, and not even online as best as I can recall. I stuck around and watched how all of the other games finished. Some of these kids are, such as his brother Jesse, are massively under-rated. Wednesday’s G/90 Inc/30 tournament will be a five-rounder with two byes available.