2nd North Gate Open

Last Wednesday’s Round 2 game (against a Master).

11.Bd3?? Drops a second pawn.  I had seen …Qb6 moves, but not that the Qd8 can simply take on d4.  Clearly, 11.Nc3-e4, followed by 12.c3 would have been nice, but I was fearing …f5 there.  Josh thought taking on d5 looked forced, but it gives me a bad bishop, down a pawn.  I went for the hail-Mary after that because I was tired and way too down on time.

Round 1

I was told that I had flagged by a split-second after making my move.  In any case, time-pressure had determined the game, as I had allowed him to play …h5, and then didn’t even have the decency to take his h5 pawn for my f3 pawn.

During the game, I thought that instead of 20…Kh8 that I should have played 20…Bf3 right then, but I was being super-conservative.  Little did I realize that conservative or not conservative isn’t what saves your bacon at this level, it’s doing the little defensive things right that gets that done.

Glancing at this game again, it appears that even a simple manuever such as 31.Ne4-f6, possibly followed by ….Nf6-g4 could likely save this game on the level of practical chances, putting all of that pressure in place.  I did a lot of things right up to this point, and one poor missed idea shouldn’t have negated everything so quickly.  As soon as something tough came my way in time-pressure, I coughed it up, which is why my rating was under 1800.

Round 2

6.Nc3?  6.Bc4 is the move.

16.Qb3 was more accurate.

I had planned on playing the winning variation 26.NxBd7 QxNd7, 27.Qd5 Re6, 28.Ng5, and had looked at it multiple times, but then decided to play a different combo, not seeing of course her …Be6 move.  But then once she was winning here, she got nervous, her hand started to shake and she played too defensively.

Round 3

The most disappointing game of them all.

6.Rd1 was possibly another line, but then Black plays 6…Nc6.

14.a3.  14.Bd2 is likely best.

17.b3? dropping the b4 square.  Best is probably 17.b4 followed by 18.Bb2.

18…QxBd3?  Flashy, but not accurate nor best.

22…Na3??  I saw 23.Rf2, and was going to play it, but then looked for his idea and started to think he might have something up his sleeve and believed his move (fearing 24.Nc2 and any further maneuver to come with the knight such as to b4 and then d3), then couldn’t believe that I hadn’t played 23.Rf2 immediately after I had played 23.Qb2?  I was down to around 2 minutes and 14 seconds on the clock, and was exhausted, which was unfortunate that I had let such a thing happen at this particular time-control.  With a second time-control, I should have been pulling out of this correctly, but not with the 30 seconds per move, which is so much more draining in some ways as you have to pace yourself more, energy and time.

25.g3?? loses.  25.Nf2 is still unclear, and White may still be better here.  I resigned with 6 seconds on my clock.

Round 4

I had 45 minutes remaining at the end of this game.

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7 thoughts on “2nd North Gate Open

  1. So, I’ll start catching up. 🙂
    Game 1 – there is a problem with the score, 6… Ncd7 is an illegal move and it all ends on the move 16.

    Game 2 – after 30… Ba2 Black loses the advantage.
    Then after 34. Nf5 she had to play gxf5, not Qxf6 and it would be a draw after 35. Qxd8+ Rd8 36. Nxe8 Rxd8 37. Nxg7 Rxd1+ 38. Bxd1 Kxg7.
    You stayed cool and were rewarded. 🙂

  2. Round 3 – 18. Be3 was a mistake, though I understand you were annoyed by his Q+B battery.
    18. Bb2 Qb4 19. Ra1 was leading to an equal position.
    Yeah, I was surprised that you didn’t play 23. Rf2, but you explained it.
    Loses not 25. g3, but 26. Bc1 instead of 26. Bxd4 Rd2 27. 27. Ne3 Rxd4 28. Nxe1

  3. Round 4 – castling queenside was a good idea, you were definitely ahead of him with the attack. Nice combo in the end. Good game!

  4. I liked your position before you played 24… Bf3. Frankly I don’t understand this move.
    It is still a lot of play in the final position.

  5. Wednesday’s Round 2 – weird game.
    I am surprised that you are playing King’s gambit against master.
    I think you need to try to play d4 earlier in order to get f4 pawn, exchange on d5 is one way to do that, I agree with Josh.

  6. Round 1, I think you are right, swivel the king to the queenside, then get some pawns going, try to trade knights on f3 and win a superior bishop ending – his pieces are placed to whacky to do much about it immediately.

    Round 2, I missed your defense for her as well! Objectively, I think White could still have played for a win here after 36…gxNf5, 37.QxNd8 Ree8, 38.Qd6+ Re7, 39.Bf3 Be6 or Qg6, then 40.Re1 (stronger than taking queenside pawns, which is also winning), and then after the other move …Qg6 or …Be6 here, Re1 followed by Nd5 appears to win the Re7. Black is tied up in knots and even if got a in a …Rb7 would be left in the dust after a Qd8+ followed by taking on e7. Not sure what an engine would have in mind as a defense here for Black.

    Round 3, 18.Bb2 is really nice! After 18…Qb4, 19.Ra1 Nb5, 20.f5 exf, 21.e6 White should have enough shots on the Black king to salvage a draw at worst – did not consider that! Thanks!

    Round 4, Thanks! 🙂 Yes, I saw a video by Tatev Abrahamyan, a WIM I believe, and she showed this type of position close to this where she says you should play …a6 to not let your opponent know which side of the board your castling intentions are on, and that one little idea just about won me the game as the rest of it was cake. 😉

    In the Wednesday game against the Master, yeah after 8.d4 g5, 9.Bd2, I am simply threatening to castle queenside. Thanks for pointing out this early d4 again to me! It felt weird playing it against a Master, although now I am feeling a bit more like I play whatever I will play and simply need to play it well. 😉 I could have tried a Scotch as it’s been so long, since I’ve played a Lopez. The one nice thing about playing tactically is that anyone can miss a tactic! 😉

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