This Week’s Games

I will post these games today, as time goes by.

This morning, I played this game on FICS which funny enough brought my Standard rating there up to 1961.  8 min, 21 seconds spent for 30 moves.  OTB positions are not this easy, and this opening was sort of a give-away for White.  It’s fun though to clock a quick victory, and it reminds me how much that the 3 minute blitz has improved my problem solving abilities, blending intuition with analysis at the appropriate times.

Tuesday’s Game, Round 3

In this game, I lost to little Calvin, mostly out of nerves.  I “knew” that my 19…Ng4 was a “coffee-house” move because I correctly evaluated that White is better after 20.Rg2, but since I was under 10 minutes by this point I decided to play it rather than play a “correct” game.  I “knew” that it was losing for him to take this piece.

The 21…Qh2+ line loses because White can shuffle his rook between g1 and g3, as I showed Alex and Stockfish confirmed.  Oddly, I had looked at the move …Bh4 in that line many a time, but did not see that 22….Qf4?? was giving up a check until I removed my hand from the piece, and instantly realized that I was losing on the spot.  After the game, I showed Alex the correct line here of 22…Bh4, 23.Qd2 g3, 24.Rg2 Rh1+, 25.Rg1 g2+, 26.Kxg2 Qh2+, 27.Kf1 RxR+, 28.Kd2 Re8+, 29.Kc3 RxQ (or find the mate) wins.

Stockfish agreed with this, but found that 23.Qc1 also loses, after reversing it’s initial evaluation.

I would add that it’s a real distraction for me when people come up at the end of the game to watch it.  Calvin’s father stood way far from the board and didn’t bother me at all, but it bothers me when some others watch, and in reality as a player, you can’t look at it as if it’s a spectator sport, as if other’s are watching it and seeing things, since they are probably missing a lot and just wanting to see what you play anyway.

Thursday’s Game, Round 3

Alexander played the best move 24.Qe2 with 1 second on his clock, but then instead of showing 31 seconds after hitting his clock, it showed 30 seconds and flag (which it showed for a couple more moves before going away, as it continued to otherwise function normally).

I wanted to play on, and besides thought I was probably winning anyway, and was a bit miffed at not finding a win after he took my “pogie-bait” pawn on a6.  When stockfish confirmed I was up around 1.7 here, I covered up the analysis so that I wouldn’t see the move, and quickly found 29…Rc1+ on my own, especially as I had not taken it seriously OTB.  But after 30.NxR Qe1+, 32.Kh2 QxRd2, 33.Na2 Qxb2, 34.Nb4, it was Alex who found for me 34…Qe5+, 35.Kh1 Qxe3, conveniently also defending the b3 pawn, and Black is clearly winning here.

Keeping the rooks on might have been a good idea, and 42…Kd7 is winning for Black, but it is very difficult, even playing on increment, to transition for middlegame to endgame play – this is what second time-controls are for!  Alex claimed 3-fold, which it is, and I accepted his implied draw offer as well.  The endgame only seems simple having analyzed it after the game.  As Alex pointed out at Denny’s, Earl and Daniel missed the win because they traded off the queenside pawns, and then tried to win it on the kingside, instead of keeping the queenside pawns on the board as well.  Move 40 would have been the perfect spot for a second time-control to kick in of, say, 30 minutes.  One of the important things of a second time-control is to lose your nerves, walk it off for a few minutes, and get some fresh air or refreshment before playing on – this was very effective for me in back in California where we had a second time-control.


5 thoughts on “This Week’s Games

  1. Tuesday’s game – your sacrifice was correct, right, the best for him was not to take it – Rg2.
    Then you had to play 21. Qf4 and after 21… Qe2 22. Qxg4 Qxg4 23. Rxg4 b5 24. Bb3 Bf5 25. Rf4 Bxd3+ 26. cxd3 Rh1+ you were OK.
    22… Bh5 is much better than Qf4, though not winning, with equal play after 23. Qe1 g3 24. Rxg3 Rh1+ 25. Kg2 Rxe1.
    You need to ignore people’s opinion about your play, there is a Russian expression about such cases – “spit” on them.

  2. Those are some neat ideas, and thanks for sharing them! That one long line is hard to follow. I did have vague thoughts of moving the bishop to h4 first, but then didn’t see the refutation of …Qf4. Also, if the king is on g2, blocking the Rg1, then …Qf4 threatens the Nd4, which would take a tempo to hold, and …Qf4 before …Rh2+ is interesting. A lot to study there, with different move-orders, you are right! 🙂 I wish I would write more of these lines down in my analysis.

    Thanks for that expression. I needed a way to think about this, and that helps! 😀

  3. Thursday’s game – you played well.
    One moment was crucial – you had to play 28… Rc4, then 29. e4 dxe4 30. Qb6 exf3 with +3 advantage.
    The endgame is not easy to win with your isolated pawn and his knight is pretty strong.

  4. RP, Thanks! You know the thought crossed my mind of blocking his queen, but I didn’t have any confidence that such a simple plan should work (as nervous and clock-focused as I must have been). Yes, 28…Rc4 is an unstoppable threat without playing something such as 29.e4 to block the …Rh4 possibility, as in 29.Nd4 Bh3, winning, or 29.Rd2 Qe1+, 30.Kh2 Rh4 mate, and lastly 29.Rf1 Rc2 winning. When you presented this move to me, the first thing that popped into my mind was that it’s a high-class waiting move, but it took some time for my analysis to catch up with my intuition there.

    I should really consider going back to tactics/problem analysis and I’ve been thinking a lot about doing this lately.

  5. I played today, got a boy with the same rating, I drew with him 2.5 years ago.
    I had Black, he played the same Italian game variation with an isolated pawn for White.
    Eventually we went into a Q+R endgame where I won that pawn, but with exchanging queens.
    There was another way to win it, keeping the queens.
    I saw the first move, but wasn’t sure and didn’t play it.
    So we ended up in the rook endgame where my pawn wasn’t worth anything.

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