Time to Test the Mettle

Round 3

After three straight losses this month, I got Jesse, who was rated 1467 back in October, and sadly has dropped back down to 1288, but I know he’s a LOT better than that.  My initial response was to want to play for the draw, against anybody as Black, to stop the blood-letting, but as early as move 3.b3, I realized that I needed to strike back and not let him get in anything for free.

On move 18. …d4, I was torn between playing d4 and c4, c4 looking best, but I wasn’t sure I was getting all that much out of it after all.  Surprisingly, Stockfish has been tracking our last few moves and now confirms that 18…c4 was a bit stronger.  I didn’t realize how much play I was giving him with 18…d4 at first, but actually it is very strong too.

I thought he might play 19.Na4 right away, which Stockfish says is best, but instead he helped me by resolving some center-tension first with 19.exd4?!

When I played 21…Ng4, I realized that the game could get crazy with 22.Ng5? which would actually be losing to some amazing complications, but I noticed that even say, 22…g3, 23.Qh3 h5 was better for Black, and Stockfish confirms that it’s close to -2, in favor of Black.  Stockfish says it’s actually -10 after 22…Bxh2+, 23.Kf1 Nce5, 24.Qxh2+ Kf8, 25.g3 Ng6, 26.Re1 Qc6.  So, White is so well off that White can allow a bit of a Black temporary attack just so that White can win that much more quickly.

24.Qxd4??  I can’t lie, I was happy to see the game over with a favorable result, and  an interesting game it was!  You were playing very well Jesse! (not that he reads my blog).

I was expecting the game to continue with 24.Qe4 Nc4, 25.Qd3 NxB, 26.QxN, and now Stockfish finds 26….Qb5! threatening 26….Rd7, and Black’s d-pawn is immune.  Jesse’s strategy seemed to be to beat me on the clock, hence his game-ending blunder.

In other news, Travis “AKA the 1300 player” lit up Sam, who is near 1900, in a real tour de-force victory as White, with a very fine sac.  Travis will be shooting up to Class A soon, if he keeps playing.





2 thoughts on “Time to Test the Mettle

  1. When you have hanging pawns, you should move one at the right moment, that’s what you did. Funny double-discovered attack! After 25. Re4 he could still hold.

  2. Thank you! 🙂 You mean, 24.Qe4, but I don’t think that actually holds because I can play Nc4 and NxBe3. If he recaptures with the queen, I have …Qb5 (hitting e2 square, supporting it for the rook), and if he takes with the rook,, I have …Qe6, threatening …Qe1+, and either line should be winning.

    I believe that 22.h3 is too passive and unnecessary, felt this OTB. I think he should try to save his bishop from the “minor exchange” by playing something like 22.Bg5 to confuse the issue. It looks like the bishop is doing a lot from the e3 square, but the position is too dynamic to think that way, and White isn’t playing from a fully developed position, either.

    Well, perhaps h3 was best, but then that’s not saying much for his position.

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