Playing Against a FIDE Master

Round 1

I went to the club, expecting to get White against a 1100/Unr sort of opponent, and instead got the top pairing.  Josef, I hear, has recently moved to the Springs or at least to Colorado, and was once rated as high as 2360 back in 1996.  He’s also an Original Life Master, it appears; a very friendly older gentleman.

I played the QGD, Capablanca variation, because that happens to be the one line I felt most familiar with.


14…b6.  The other plan that I considered here was 14…Bf6 with …Re8 and …e5 to follow.  Definitely, this was the simpler and safer plan to play against a Master.

15…Bb7.  Once I released the piece, I began to see a tactic for White.  16.e4, Nf6, 17.Nxf7 RxN?, 18.Bxe6.  Then I noticed that the king would need to take on f7, but that Nf4 and Qb3 seemed to be crashing in, and also that the Nf4 and queen could coordinate on g6 as well, and I sort of got lost in all the ways for Black to lose, so much so that I just played my original move 16…Rc8 anyway.  I figured that …Qd6 would expose her to a fork, as would …Qc8, and that …Qe8 seemed very playable here, but did not want to play ….Qc7 for some reason, as Josef suggested after the game, but realized as soon as he said it that I was silly for not playing it.  Really, it’s easy to get lost and caught up in seeing ghosts on e6, but it’s important to realize that it’s just a valid attacking idea and should probably not be so simply winning.

19…exf?  I saw 19…Nd5, 20.Qb3, but 19…Bf6 was the sensible move.

24…KxNf8?  Unfortunately, I was already in time-pressure here and decided on playing the most “coffee-house” line in the position.  24…RxB, 25.Qd2 QxNf8 is the most solid continuation, IMHO, but even here White is markedly better, not in material but in position.  In my last analysis with Alex, as White I got a Nc3, Rf5 and Qf3, three hitters on d5!  Black simply has too many weaknesses to probe.

Another line I rejected, as too risky, was 24…Qe3+, 25.Kh2 RxBc4 (this is the proper recapture – can’t let Black push d5 as in the game), 25.Qh7+ KxN, 26.Qh8+ Ke7, 27.Nc3 and now the king is exposed to Re1+ when the Black queen moves to defend the h6 pawn.

Regarding Blitz, I do not feel like I am a natural blitz player as much as you, RollingPawns, probably because my game is not as well-rounded as yours.  I can attack well, as in Standard, but my defense is poor and consumes clock-time just as in OTB.  The biggest problem with blitz is that it kills my desire/ability to want to analyze positions deeply.  I have to play an OTB game after that just to remember what it’s like to analyze again, and appreciate that that is what I like about chess.  😉


5 thoughts on “Playing Against a FIDE Master

  1. So, you are playing with the big boys too. 🙂
    It is a familiar to me Semi-Slav. I learned the hard way that without c5 or e5 you are dead.
    Your pieces are just too passive otherwise.
    Nxf7 is not winning, it is equal, you can defend there.
    It is interesting, but computer considers Ng6, which looks like exploiting a blunder, a mistake leading to an equal position, saying that Rxf6 with following Ng4 was much stronger.
    I didn’t see that you can play Nd5 after his Ng6, good find.
    I will look more at the remaining part of the game.
    Thanks for the compliment. 🙂
    I thought about playing this Wednesday at the chess bar, but had to stay after-hours and also do some work from home at 10pm, the exact time they finish.

  2. I instantly felt that Ng6 of his was a mistake letting me off the hook, he spent quite a while on it and missed my …Nd5 move entirely. I was worried about Rxf6 right away, yes! 🙂

    In the post-mortem, he thought the best he had was winning my c4 pawn (which is why capturing with rook on c4 is safer in that sense.

    I’ll have to look at this game, more. Thanks for your reply! 🙂

  3. If 24… Rxc4 then 25. Qh7+ Kf8 26. Qxh6+ and Black loses f6 pawn too.
    The best is 24… Qxf8 25. Qa4 dxc4 with equal position.
    27… Qc6 was a serious mistake, after Qe6 you had chances.
    29… Qf2 lost the game, after 29… Re8 you were -2.
    Definitely interesting game.

  4. I felt in my bones that 24…Qxf8 was correct. I had bungled my clock, down to 1:47 left (30 sec inc) and so decided to play coffee-house blitz chess, but should have stuck to my guns playing correct moves and going down on the clock, if need be. I have to hang in there to give my opponents chances to makes further mistakes. I will look at this game again, probably tonight, haven’t gotten far away from the game enough yet emotionally to want to look at the objective continuation, which should require some time to really go over, particularly at the end, since computer moves such as Qa4 strike me as quite odd. The a7 pawn was loose, but Nb5 would seem more effective way to hit at it.

    I can win an attacking game in 1 min and 34 seconds such this one:
    but got stuck at the board not able to systematically calculate a defense. To be honest, I wasn’t feeling my best and thought first round would mean getting White pieces against an Unrated, but I can’t go in there expecting that, and have to work on improving the “unexpected” parts of my game.

  5. How are you doing?
    I didn’t play on Monday because of the holiday and yesterday because of going to AC/DC concert. It was a great show, the guys still have it despite of their age.

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