The Sham Win

In Round 4 I was tied for first place with Sam, and had never played him before.

Shades of last week, I played really well with lots of time on my clock, but as soon as I felt my time dwindling, it was back to making those coffee-house moves that I probably knew better not to do given more time.

10…0-0-0??.  There is a long stretch in the game from here where White is totally winning, you just have to analyze it deeply enough.  I was sort of disappointed how Stockfish tore my position up, but not totally surprised.  I was more surprised at how at the end of the lines where I should have lost a pawn that I have no real compensation, according to a computer, even though White would have to defend well to win and avoid losing.

Eventually we both got down to under one minute on our clocks, he started making blunders instead of finding decisive wins, and then it was over.  I actually announced checkmate when I delivered it, which I don’t believe I’ve ever done before, probably just because I was so glad it was over.

Here is a little bit more analysis:

2…e5.  I play this, quite naturally, because I want to make it into an “e4 game”.

3…d5.  I played this because it is my repertoire, and I felt it’s too late to deviate against a high-rated player (Sam was still 1880 at the end of November).  I did consider here playing 3…Nf6, or 3…f5, but didn’t want to risk the uncharted waters aspect of it.

Coming up, there were variations where it looked as though White could win a pawn ending up with Qh5+ and Qxe5, but the key move that steps out of these variation is that after Qh5+ ….Kf8! Black is winning.

10…0-0-0??  10…d4 is the thematic way to hold the position.  I suspect that 10…d4 is the book move, and this is a book position after 10.e4, Sam told me.




4 thoughts on “The Sham Win

  1. Merry Christmas!
    I myself more celebrate New Year, got a tree, we had the same tradition back in Russia.
    I am really glad to get some rest.
    My rating didn’t go up, as that tournament is not included yet, my blitz result was better than expected.
    I will get to your game.

  2. Merry Christmas! 🙂

    That’s awesome that you had a similar tradition in Russia and have a tree now. I went to a Christmas party tonight, saw some new in-law relatives. My step-brother’s B-day is tomorrow, so another round of dinner and having fun. I’ve been tired too, didn’t even stick around to watch the end of the movie, came home to hit the hay.

    Needless to say, you have a chance of making Expert, and I 1900 before the years end! 😀

  3. Frankly 0-0-0 looks very irresponsible.
    22. dxe4 is a bad move and 23. Qd2 is a horrible move losing the game, he didn’t see a double threat. A win is a win. 🙂
    I saw “Spectre”, liked it a lot.

  4. I wish I could say that I didn’t think 0-0-0 looked brilliant at the time, or that dxe4 didn’t look like the natural way to take advantage of his Na4 move. It seems I am too afraid of being constricted and seek an open game in nearly all cases, particularly when it gives me an initiative and not the opponent. I should have done the opposite of what I did.

    James Bond movies are fun, perhaps I’ll see that one but probably not soon. I missed the previous Star Wars episode, and haven’t seen the one out yet either.

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