Pikes Peak Open

So after only 3 hrs sleep before the day of the three-rounder, I definitely didn’t play as well as if I had had more sleep, let’s just say.  BTW, on day 2 it’s looking like another 3hr sleep night.

Round 1

You’ll need an engine to look at this game, as most moves by both sides were between 1 and 2 question marks.

Round 2

It’s very sad that I correctly assessed that I was much worse and didn’t play as planned, regretted it almost immediately after making this move 20.Qf3, but fatigue hit me and I was low on the clock.  In the post-mortem, I forced a brilliant draw with what I had planned in the game.   20.Qh5 BxN, 21.exB Qxe3, 22.Rf3, then double rooks.  Then he tried getting his knight in and exchanging it for Bg2.  I doubled rooks, played pawn all the way up to h6, and played a Rf6, then Rf5 interference tactic on the Qb1 and forced my way into his king for a perpetual (at blitz speed analysis).  Stockfish hates 20.Qh5 however, but perhaps I should remember that I am playing humans!

Round 3

My opponent was pumped up with nervous energy, so I sensed from the start that one slip and she would draw me.

I was going to play 20…Be3! winning, but then noticed her mate threat on h7, after she plays d4, so I backed out of it and played …g6.   Actually, then win after ….Be3, d4 is …f5! (…g6 would be a blunder in this line), which understandably I was reluctant to play OTB, but well should have.

I was down to over a minute when I played 36…Kxb5??  This is where lack of time hurts the result.  I saw that after 36…axb5, 37.a4, she could trade off pawns, but didn’t have a clue that letting her trade off pawns is winning for Black!  With another minute, I probably would have spotted that letting …a5 is no big deal.  After this game, I spent a lot of time on this ending with Stockfish, since I was not familiar with it, and have most always been bad at playing opposite-colored bishop endings.  It was definitely winning in all variations had I not screwed it up royally with this one bad move.

Round 4

Was supposed to play Felix Yu, from Denver, but he never showed up, and I got a forfeit win.

Round 5

One of my craziest games, and for me that’s saying something.  I was winning, then it was difficult equality and I missed a tactic, then I was losing, then I was winning and would have won $33, if I had moved my king the right way, to e4 instead of g6, but I didn’t have time to calculate it unfortunately.

After not playing a Round 4 game, and waiting around from 9am to 3pm just to see my first action of the day, I was very antsy to play a lot of chess moves to make up for that, so I played a slower opening instead of a King’s Gambit or Scotch Opening.  In fact, I played the first 18 moves using only 3 minutes off of my clock.

While I was playing 14.Nf1?, I saw that my pawn would be hanging, but didn’t mind too much because I have so much play for it, and thought I’d get it back.  I wasn’t sure when I should play d5, but clearly it was right here after …Nc6.  For some reason, I wanted to keep the position open and see if he would over-extend.  Mind you, I never have this much time this “late” in the game, and I really wanted to wear on him, since I knew that he had had to spend a lot of energy in Round 4.

17…Rfd8?!  It turns out I was right about him wanting to get a very dynamic position.  He could consolidate here with 17…Nd7!, and I was slightly more worried about seeing …Bf6.

18.Ng3e2.  I don’t know how to rate this move here because apparently I am outplaying Stockfish(?)  This is not even a top three move for it and it says after his 18…Nh5 (it’s top move) that he should be better, but then it changes it’s mind.  IOW, first it says 18.Nf5 is best (which I strongly considered), but now it’s giving me a better eval for playing 18.Ng3e2.

21….Bc5?? Falling into the trap of wanting everything.  This is like half-chess, half Willy Wonka movie.  😉

22….d3  Played instantly.  I was happy to see this, but was also prepared to play after 22…Nxb4, the confident 23.axN Bxb, 24.Ref1.






3 thoughts on “Pikes Peak Open

  1. Round 1- I would play 7. exd5, he has an advantage after 7… Nxe4.
    His 7… Bd6 and 8… c6 were not good.
    12… Bxe4 was much better than 12… dxe4.
    16. 0-0 was winning, he has too many squares to defend.
    25. Rd1 lost the game for him.
    “The winner of the game is the player who makes the next-to-last mistake” (Savielly Tartakover) 🙂

  2. Round 2 – I think he still would have an advantage after 20. Qh5 Bxd5 21. exd5 Qxe3 22. Rf3 Qe2 23. Raf1 Rab8 24. Qh4 Rb7.
    After 22. Bf1 you got yourself into a tough position from which it was very difficult to come back.

  3. Round 1. 7…Nxe4 looks good, but for me has to be analyzed to a quiet enough position to where I can evaluate it. So 7…Nxe4, 8.d3 Ng3, 9.Rh2 Bh6 would be that justification, but I hadn’t seen that last move/part of it OTB.

    Instead of 7…c6, I can see now that it is still possible to take on e4, since 7…Nxe4, 8.Bxd5 Bd6-b4+, 9.c3 QxBd5, 10.c3xBb4 11.Ng3 Rh2, 12.Qe4+ is winning for Black. You either see this sort of continuation or you play some non-aggressive move like …c6, 0-0, or …h5.

    16.0-0 wins because the f-file is weak, the dark-squared bishop has no opponent, and soon the light-squared bishop will not have an opponent either!

    Round 2, that 20.Qh5 line is what I had us look at post-mortem (I held it against TWO experts, Dean and Daniel. 🙂 ). It may not hold, but I was able to play Qg5 instead of Qh4 in that line. They both thought Black was winning in the post-mortem there, and I suppose that it is, will come back to this game, but I held off their multiple attempts that they assumed was winning for Black, at blitz speed. It may not be solid, but tactically a stronger player may get the better part of the day with it OTB, in practical play. In any case, my doubling of the pawns on the e-file would not be so justified because it means I am fighting tactically to make a draw.

    If I had been of another mind, I was going to use my queen to try to keep his knight out, off of the light squares, from coming in so easily, but I was stuck between two plans in my mind, and let the knight come in. After that, I was simply trying to see if I could hold the position, figuring it was not likely.

    Yes, Bf1 is like a final blitz-move blunder that devalues the e4 pawn, d5 knight/square and the ..f5 break. I didn’t see his immediate Nd2 reply, which is common for a blitz-move blunder. There was only a 5-second delay for the first two rounds, after G/90.

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