Tuesday’s Game

Round 1

New opponent, (there are over 200 Mike Smith(s)).  He said he hadn’t played in seven years, and before that it was before the records show, which sounds strange because he looks so young.  In any event, he said he was once rated as high as 1900 a very long time ago, and this is his first tournament in many years.  I beat him in two blitz games last month, but just barely.  He plays King’s Gambit as White and Latvian Gambit as Black, so I know he ain’t no weakie, and thus I was playing for the quietest line possible.

Well, he is listed as Unrated now, so apparently he got a new USCF id.  In any case, leave it to me to get no ratings points credit against an unrated.  If I could remove all of my time-pressure losses, etc, I believe I’d surely be an Expert by now.

After 8…h5, I was out of book, and managed my time horribly, although this very much reminded me of the opening that Mitch Anderson played against me, possibly the same exact line to this point.  There is only one game in the DB and Black apparently won that one.

By move 19.Bd1, I was already down to two or three minutes, saw 19.Be4, but just wasn’t sure whether he might knock my bishop off that diagonal (which protects my king) with a rook, so I decided to let him eat my b2 pawn, and I played Bd1.  Curiously, he was playing quickly, probably had an hour or so left by games end, and didn’t take the bait this time – incidentally, I was happy when he took my pawn on d4 earlier, and missed a shot there.






3 thoughts on “Tuesday’s Game

  1. 13… Nxd4 was a mistake.
    His play was clumsy and 27… Qc6 was a huge mistake, 28. Rg3 was winning.
    The rook endgame was won for you.

  2. That’s what I thought about this game, too, not much to annotate other than the fantasy continuations that a computer finds that I didn’t play. I was hoping that he would win the pawn on d4, and surprised that he did it. I had a winning attack with Rc1+…Kb8, Bb7 sac, which it takes a computer a minute to find. There were some deep crazy lines, but the game worked out well for me on the surface-level that I played it at.

  3. Every time I look at this game, it just turns into more openings research on the coulda-woulda stuff. This opening for White is really just a system, and you play within the system as you like until your opponent deviates.

    The one thing more to note is that after 13….Nxd4, I did analyze as far as 15.Rc1+ Kb8, 16.Bxb7 KxBb7, 17.BxNd4 QxNd4, 18.Qb3+ Qb6, 19.Qf3+ Kb8, but saw no point in playing the losing 20.Qxf7? when the reality is that I simply never saw the tactical device 20.Rc3, threatening the unavoidable 21.Rb3 royal-skewer. I think that on the Master-level, you can never really afford to miss those things, from a skills perspective.

    The right move for Black there is 13…Ne7 to defend c6 because after 18…Nf6, 14.BxNc6 bxc6 (forced, since taking with the queen leads to the royal skewer Rc1 again), 15.Rc1 White is already just about +-.

    The important thing for me to contemplate was how much time I had spent, too much, mainly because of the unusual ….h5 move. It would be better, next time, for me to hurry to a position that I like, and then spend time calculating from there, in a more middlegame position. In the opening, I should be selecting my ideas/lines more, and trying to spend less time deciding based on calculation, or simply choosing a move by ruling out other moves, more efficiently.

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