Pikes Peak Open 2015

Round 1

My opponent said he was rated around 1265 (the USCF server seems to go down after midnight).

Round 2

The first two rounds were G/90, so I whizzed through part of this game too quickly.  I knew that he was going to answer 9.g4? with …Qa5 after I had made my move, and I should have played 9.Kb1.  My Be2 move was lame as well, since as you can see his ‘bolt from the blue’ would not have worked had I initially moved it to d3 (Bd3).

I also regretted not playing 6.g4 instead of 6.Qd2.

I knew that 13.BxNa6 was winning his pawn before he even walked down this road, but decided to try to control the game, never suspecting his bishop was developing to g4 with sac!

I blundered at the end, but he said that even after 26.Nxf7, he would have the same response in 26…RxBe3+!, and I don’t believe that 26.Qh3 was going anywhere, so simply lost.  When I took his bishop, I did see his Nxe4-c3+, but missed that he was forking my rook.  How lazy!  He probably would have won with that pawn, anyway.

Round 3

If you thought that this was the strangest game ever, and that his accepting my draw offer was strange (he spent around 20 minutes on it), what was stranger is that we played it out in the post-mortem all the way down to my knight vs his two pawns and I drew it.  Craziest post-mortem draw I’ve ever seen!  Mutual king-hunt where I kept offering a piece to force a draw.

I didn’t learn his rating until I got home.  If I had realized my opponent was so much lower-rated, I would have played it more conservatively and given him a chance to go wrong on the attack.

Actually, I missed this OTB, but it seems winning for Black after 31.Ke2 Qg2+, 32.Rf2 Qg4+, 33.Nf3 NxN, 34.RxN Nxe5, 35.Qf1 g5, 36.Qh3 QxR, 37.QxQ NxQ, 38.KxN g4 – saw that the queen is covering d4 while going over the game at home.  The passed pawn duo can’t be chased, and the Black king can walk in to gobble the pawns which are on light-squares.

Round 4

Round 5

38.f3?!  Here, I got nervous and began playing all of my bad moves at a very rapid pace, often instantly after his move, as was the case here.  38.Ke4 wins quickly, as all of the light entry squares are covered by the knight.  For instance, 38.Ke4 Kc6, 39.Kf5 Bb6, 40.Kg6 Bf8, 41.Kf7 and the f6 pawn falls.

39.Kc4  39.Ke4 is more straight-forward, as the knight is already covering b4, and after say …Kd6, 40.Ba5 the bishop is getting in easily, and his bishop has no targets even if a pawn were to be sacked to facilitate its escape.

41.fxe4?  41.Nf5+ Ke5??, 42.Bc7+ wins, and after 41…Ke6, 42.fxe Ke5, 43.Ke3, the g3 approach square is covered by the Nf5, so 43…c4+, 44.Kd4 Kf3, 45.Bd8 c3, 46.Kxc3 Kxe4, 47.Bxf6 Kf3, 48.Bg7 BxB, 49.NxB Kg3, 50.Nf5+ Kxh3, 51.Nxh6 and Black’s king cannot approach White’s knight via the h4 square, since that is a dead-end, so …Kg3, 52.Kxc5 Kf4, 53.Kd6, and White’s king is cutting of Black’s king just in time to secure the win!

51.Bb7?  After playing this move instantly, I was immediately upset at myself for not playing 51.Bb7 Bb4, but this leads to a bishop and knight winning ending, which is still not likely to win if one does not have the technique down cold.  A better try for a more outright win would be 51.Be5 , as these Black pawns can be clipped off if he doesn’t trade bishops, and if he does trade then the White e6 pawn is the fast one.

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6 thoughts on “Pikes Peak Open 2015

  1. Round 1 – it looks like it was easy. Good sacrifice on d2.

    Round 2 – I wouldn’t want to be in your place, it was a scary attack.
    I don’t remember that trick with Bxg4 and then Nxe4 and threatening Nc3+, but computer recommends not to take his bishop, just play Nf4 and you are only half a pawn worse.
    Instead of 17. Qe3 better was Qe1, then Rd3 and take on c3 with the rook.
    22. Ng5 effectively lost the game, you could play 22. Qb3 and after queens exchange you have a chance for a draw.

  2. Round 3 – I don’t quite like the idea of castling queenside – with pawns on a3 and a6 his attack can develop faster than yours.
    Instead of 19. Ra8 + he could play stronger – 19. f4 Ng4 20. c4 and 20. b5 .
    In your line in the end 31.Ke2 Qg2+ … he is winning because his bishop is keeping your kingside pawns from promotion and his king is active on the queenside.
    This line probably looked dangerous to him, so he went for a draw.

  3. Game 1 needs a lot of analysis, actually, since he had chances to defend, but it was over by the time I played the sham-sac on e7.

    Game 2, Qe1 runs into the same problem, and I almost didn’t go for the sac, but decided to and to let him “figure it out” on his clock. Unfortunately, it was all figured out when he made the sac. I considered trading queens on b3, and you are right that I should have done it – he has a rook and three pawns for two pieces, yet I still have play there. This game should have been scarier, but people crowded around after I messed up, and I sort of felt ashamed and wanted to get the game over with. People crowded around my Round 5 game as well, at the critical time, and then I started playing very badly at that point in that game even more so.

    Game 3, nice attack line you gave. That endgame line might lose for Black, probably does, but he will have a chance to go wrong there for sure, and he had spent a lot of time and energy thinking about the draw, especially after I had offered it to him.

    Game 4, I told him that I thought that his …Na4 was losing as well, but he didn’t want to hear of it, and mostly wanted to blame it on his losing a tempo with …Qb6 and then …Qd8 even though I told him repeatedly that that was the right idea.

    Thanks for all critical feedback! 🙂

  4. Round 5 – it is won after 40 moves, it is a pity it did not finish that way.
    51. Be7 – this should be played 3 moves before, 48. Be7 c4+ 49. Kd4 Bxe7 50. Nf5+ and you queen first. Now it draws, but he makes another mistake – 53… c2 instead of Kg6.
    54. Ng3+ draws, instead after 54. e7 you are queening with a check and then you mate him.

  5. I have to fix those last few moves. He stopped keeping score and mine was so messy that I didn’t complain and then even my last few moves were not recorded right – chicken-scratch, missing and innacurate. Me and Alex, who watched, figured out the exact moves, I just haven’t corrected the score around move 52 or so and after.

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