A Bit Of Redemption

Round 4, Final Round

Sometimes, it does help to study a chess book.  Recently, I had been going over this book titled “Study Chess With Tal”, and this time just getting those general insights into how Tal played, with Koblenc’s annotations, seemed to transfer over for me into how I approached different positions in this game.  Daniel and I both used a lot of time, so he wasn’t trying to hustle me at all, was simply trying to play his best chess.  Like I told Daniel, I didn’t see most of the star moves ahead of time, they just made sense to play when I reached those positions.  I wasn’t playing any theory that I can recall, it was just sort of my own take on it/style, although I’m sure it’s been played before and perhaps I had seen such moves in the past, etc.

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6 thoughts on “A Bit Of Redemption

  1. Though computer evaluates the position after the opening as equal, I find it unstable and requiring an exact play for the Black. You could play 17. Nxf4 with advantage.
    His 16… Qf7 was a mistake, Bf7 was better and equal.
    19. 0-0-0 was a game losing move, 20. Bh3 was a good find.
    Then it was a matter of technique. Good game!

  2. Thanks, I’m glad you liked this game! 🙂

    That’s how I felt too, about the number of tricks I had after 11.Nd5, although even after the game he felt that 11.Bg5 was strongest, as does Stockfish. I didn’t like this possibility because after 11.Bg5, he has 11…Be7, and it’s not as clear where my attack would be coming from. OTB, I felt that 12…Ne7 was more accurate than 12…exBf4, but Stockfish evaluates them as the same. I do have more tricks in the 12…Ne7 line, and figured that’s why he avoided it.

    I was shaking my head visibly after playing 17.Rfe1 instead of 17.Nxf4 OTB, I thought I had blown it, and let Daniel know after the game. It’s funny how at this move is the one time you can allow an open g-file on your king after 17.Nxf4 BxNf4, 18.gxB because, as I realized OTB, his dark-squared bishop was the key to holding his defense together at this moment, and of course recapturing on g5 with a pawn after …Qe7 there, which he then saw in the post-mortem.

    Earlier here, 14.Nxf4 was also best – before he can destroy my pawn structure on f4 by capturing it there, because it improves the knight and stops him from castling kingside, and threatens to take the h-pawn. I missed his 14…Bd6!, and at this point could see that 15.Qxg7 wasn’t leading to much, but I felt I had the most tricks there. My opinion of Daniel’s chess weakness is that sometimes he gets optimistic when he shouldn’t (as it turned out on defense), and this has been the pattern of how I’ve won against him. When the optimism is justified, he’s a truly amazing attacker, but he never got an advantage in this game to show that ability, that was the key.

  3. Brian, good job and I like your game. I have the book, “Study Chess with Tal”, and it is a great book. When I first got it a number of years ago, I had to put it down until I had more time, because the book requires you to work hard through the tactics. I enjoyed the book and highly recommend it.

  4. Yes, you learn more that way. I’ve probably seen all of these games of Tal’s before, and I imagine you have as well, but then when you have to work through the tactics it’s more difficult even if it is an easy read as a book. I had just gone through two of the games in this book that were in Keres’ Power Chess Book, but when I went through them this time and was asked what to play, and why some other variation wouldn’t work, then it was more challenging. The main thing to variations is to see them in one’s mind’s-eye, because it’s too much visually to look at the board, and the line that is supposed to be in one’s head at the same time. I had a much better understanding of the games the second time through, but the main thing was that it built up my skill/ability more that way, too.

    I just watched the Magnus-Nakamura blitz match, and if you compare it with Tal’s best games it is night and day difference. In a long time-control Tal game, it’s more about making sense of what you are doing on every move. In these modern blitz matches (where they don’t play Open Sicilian or give away any of their hard opening prep), they play amorphous positional openings where they can gain a positional advantage, and then try to creatively gain chances against their opponent from a relatively equal position (to mostly convert it to a winning ending, which is what Magnus kept doing). Incidentally, I thought Nakamura was needlessly losing virtually all of those endings he lost, but Magnus showed great creativity in them. With Tal, you get Open Sicilian, Winnawer with Qg4, etc. Caruana is sort of the premier 1.e4 player who still keeps it real – Karjakin tries to, but it feels more forced coming from him in some ways, since he is more of a defender who spots blunders, and when he veers from this it doesn’t always go so well for him unless he has top opening preparation for that game.

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