No Need To Fear, The Master Is Here

Round 3, final round

I wanted to keep the game interesting, and it was, even if I didn’t realize I would be getting blown-out after move 10.

10…Na5?  Josh thought I was losing after making this move because the whole maneuver wastes too much time.  He advised me to watch the Magnus Carlsen vs Ding Liren 2016 Tata Steel last round game.  There Black plays 10…Be7, followed by …d4, and the game is on course for a draw after a couple of more moves.

13…Nb7?  As Josh pointed out, best is 14…NxNd2 followed by 15…Ne4.  If 15…Na4 he was going to ignore it and play f4-f5, etc.

14.NxNc4!  I knew it was game-over by this point, but wanted to hang in there as long as possible.  We both had now seen 14…dxN, 15.a4 c6, 16.axb cxb, 17.Nxb5 (…QxNb5??, 18.Ba4 skewer wins).  Also, and …Bg4 intermezzo is punished by e6.  What’s remarkable is that he saw that this variation where he is taking the bishop on e6 is even stronger than winning the b5 pawn.  I was actually set to play after 15.a4 c5!?, but even here the computer says that 16.NxBe6 is still strongest and crushing (I am down like -6).

15…QxQd1.  Best, although it drops the c7 pawn.  Josh pointed out that after 15…fxe6, he has 16.Qf3 and 17.Be4 trapping and winning the Nb7.

27…Bg5?  Time-pressure mistake.  I saw 27…Bd8, knowing I can’t take on b6, but right after my move I realized I should have gone in for 27…Bd8, 28.Rh7 (his immediate reaction) Nc7, but then he saw 29.Bc6 after a think, trying to set up a mate.  The funny part about it is that he is close to +5 just based on all of my pieces being trapped, so that he can eliminate my light-squared pawn chain, even though I am only a pawn down in that position for the moment.

It’s funny how this tournament was only six players, even though we had a Master and an Expert playing.  I got a free chess lesson from a Master, who is probably at least FIDE IM strength, if not GM strength.  It was well worth showing up for this game, and it was very enjoyable as well!

Carlsen vs Ding Liren 2016 Tata Steel, final round

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2 thoughts on “No Need To Fear, The Master Is Here

  1. First of all kudos to you for playing Ruy Lopez, open against a master.
    I share your comment about 10…Na5?, honestly it looked strange to me. It is open, not closed Ruy, no time for Nc6 – Na5 – Nc4. The same with 13… Nb7, this knight has nowhere to go.
    I was surprirised with 15…QxQd1, but yes, it is the best.
    After 15… fxe6 you don’t lose the knight on b7 because of 16. 0-0-0, but anyway you are almost -5. The same after 15… Qxe6.
    The rest was technique, which he demonstrated.
    So, yes, it was a good lesson to learn deeper this opening, because it is sharp and also just quickly develop your pieces, the same lesson I learned recently and was spared on Thursday.

  2. After 0-0-0, you only save your knight for one move because after Be4, you can’t add another defender, and the knight has nowhere to go.

    You are right, I’ve played this opening so much as Black that I had forgotten that it’s open, so White will have speed too. It was also a great lesson because I had employed that move before successfully, and hadn’t realized there was more to it than a computer’s evaluation; a human Master’s evaluation can be more conclusive, and even go more deeply into the line OTB when determining why it is bad.

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