Yeah, Got Crushed

Round 4, final round

Like I said after the game, I was hoping that Daniel would speed up his play and not refute my moves, or at least take a long time doing it 8…Ndb7?, 9…e5?? where I wasn’t so sure that either of these moves wasn’t a blunder, OTB, but I was banking on surprise value as well.  Daniel’s style of play now reminds me of his coach, Master Josh Bloomer.  Both take a lot of time in the opening trying to recall lines, but as soon as you mess up they are quick to be all over it.

I played something I hadn’t tried before against the Trompowsky, 2…c5, hoping that this would add to the fun value and take us out of the books, but that totally backfired.  This game became one all about capitalizing on opening missteps.

Even if I had played this opening properly, I now realize that it is not terra-firma, it plays more like a correspondence game on opening theory – it does not play like your standard chess game.

when I played 4…Qxb2, as I said to Daniel, I was hoping he would play 5.Na4 Qb4+, 6.c3 Qa5, which Houdini puts at -1, in Black’s favor, but Daniel said he would never offside his knight like that (which is what I was hoping for).  As soon as I saw 5.Bd2, which I figured he probably wouldn’t do (he could have captured on f6, which I would have immediately captured back on f6), I could see that it was very strong, and didn’t waste too much time in retreating my queen all the way back to d8.

I thought that Daniel might play 11.Ng5, but once he played it, I saw that my preliminary thinking of 11…Nb6, 12.Bb5+ Bd7 was going to be refuted by 13.Nxe6!, and so I spent most of my time considering other possibilities.  Houdini gives a lot of moves which if you run through turn out more poorly than it indicates at first.  For example, I almost did play 11…Nb8, but then got fatalistic over 12.Bc4 which Houdini doesn’t even suggest, so I plug in 12.Bc4 d5, 13.exd5 exd5, 14.Nxd5 Nxd5 (winning a piece for Black, right?) 15.0-0, but then Houdini starts finding all kinds of shots for White and actually ends up with an eval around +5 for White!  12.e5 was Houdini’s #1 choice until I plugged in 12.Bc4, which it thought was nothing at first.  Either way, both moves win.

Two solid ways to play this for Black are 8…g6, and 8…e5.  Both have a tricky style to them.

LM Brian Wall makes a good point, my 8th move was not a blunder, but it requires a more than average imaginative follow-up.  9…Qc7, 9…Ng4, and even 9…g5 are quite playable.  9…Nbd7-b6 may look okay at first, but if you follow it down the line after White plays a2-a4-a5, the evals will switch on you and White is taking a commanding lead.  9…g6 is also semi-suicidal as White can respond with 10.e4-e5, then e6 when Bb5+ can win a piece if a pawn is left on e6 – also, after 10.e5 fxe, 11.Ng5, as Daniel showed after the game, is a very effective follow-up at this point.

I did suggest that 8…e5 might be playable, after the game, but that was after we had also looked at 8…Nf6-d7, which I had also been considering, and that didn’t turn out too well in the post-mortem.

My rating ends up 1767 after this tournament, still in the U1800 dungeon.

 

 

 

Quick-Chess, Part II

Round 4

This is the game that killed my chances of winning prize-money, although I didn’t know that until after the last round.  All of these rounds were G/24, 5 second increment.  I would have easily made it to move 40 and beyond with a 40 move time control, but as it was the fatal blunder came on move 50.  I finally flagged with Paul having ten minutes left.  I played a couple moves after I flagged, and then resigned.

37…f6?!  He should play 37…f5 here, although I figured he might try pushing only to …f6 first.  My last big-think of the game was here playing 38.Bf4!, and I correctly figured it was drawing now, but there wasn’t enough time to keep it all sorted out, even though I knew that I had to guard against his …Nc1 move, which won when he played it.  I was looking at 50.Ke4, but didn’t notice until Houdini said it was okay that after 50…Nc1, my king can go back to d3 with 51.Kd3.  It’s really frustrating to lose this way since all I had to play for in this tournament was prize-money anyway (as little as that may be).

Round 5

A lot of sub-optimal moves in this game, but Michael’s style is to sew confusion over the board, and he’s usually successful at accomplishing this, in fact he was winning for much of the game.

Round 6

Getting in some 1.d4 practice.  At least I can say that I played 1.d4 when I thought that the outcome of this game might matter.  Dean had won his prior two rounds before this game.

I forgot to put my rating down as 1761 on these games.  These games only affect the quick-rating, but I put everyone’s regular rating down as I could care less what someone’s quick-rating is.  hehe.  Apparently, my quick-rating before this tournament was 1632 (I usually only have a vague idea of where it’s at).

 

Early Resignation

Round 3

My eyes lit up when Calvin played 17…f6??

Perhaps the biggest surprise of the game was the early resignation.  After 24.Rh6, at first I intended 24…Qc3, 25.Rxh7+ RxRh7, 26.QxRh7+ Nf7, 27.BxNf7 QxNb3 and here I sort of stopped my analysis to see if there wasn’t a more direct mate.  When Calvin resigned, I was still looking at 27.RxNf7+ BxRf7, 28.QxNf7+ Kd8, 29.Qf8+ Kc7, 30.Qe6+, so I showed him that line, and said “is that mate?” (it’s a 0.0 perpetual after 30…Kb7) We both thought it was mate, although he had thought I was going to play the line which actually does lead to mate, 27.BxNf7.

I believe that I would have actually played correctly by taking on f7 with the bishop, but I probably would have been down to 9 minutes by the time I would figure out the position and play it, whereas I was only down to maybe 18 minutes when he resigned.  Winning a won position is one of the hardest things because there are many junctures where one can easily get sidetracked.

Even at this hypothetical 9-minute-point, the best I would have come up with would have been 27.BxNf7 (or BxBf7) QxNb3, 28.BxBe8+ KxBe8, 29.Rf7 which does win because Black has to sacrifice queen for rook to stop the mate, and then White will also have a passed g-pawn.  It was as if he didn’t give up on the original line, calculating it ’til mate, whereas my analysis was to hop around a bit whenever I got stuck, which is more my style; sometimes I will calculate a line all the way through, but often during a move I will base the move on a patchwork of analysis, which is not the ideal way to play, but also lets me examine more lines.

April Quick Chess, Rounds 1-3

Round 3

Even though this is only quick-rated chess, the losses are just as painful.  I knew I had blundered my Ne4 as soon as I picked up the pawn to play 6…d6, and said to Peter “I bet you get that a lot” to which he replied “Daniel (Expert) fell for it once.”  I could have gone home at that point, but I was already in the mode to play a chess game.

After the game (I was expecting 6.Be3 instead of a 6.Be2), I pointed out that I could have equalized with 6…Bc5, 7.0-0 Nxf2, 8.RxNf2 BxRf2, 9.KxBf2 d6 (keeping two pawns and rook for bishop and knight) 10.Bg5 (best, and Peter’s choice) f6, 11.Be3 (also Peter’s choice) 0-0, 12.Kg1, and it’s equal with White having a shade of an advantage according to Houdini, but 7…Qe7 is also equal, 0.0.

After the game, Peter pointed out that he could have won a pawn with 12.Nxe5.

The time controls for this event are G/24, Inc 5 seconds.  I hate having a 5 second increment vs. a delay because I always need five seconds anyway, and it’s like Bronstein time-control where it only gives you the time after your move.  I had five seconds remaning, spent two seconds on the move, thought I’d made it in plenty of time but still flagged; with a five second delay vs. a five second increment, the flag should not have happened since I would still have let’s say one second on my clock after the five second delay – although at this point I could have cared less since I knew I was dead lost.

Round 2

21.KxRa2?  21.e5!, since after 21…Qxe5, Black no longer has the discovery on White’s queen.  I was planning 21….Bxb3+, 22.QxBb3, but then 22….Ra8! anyway -+ (-1).  It’s embarrassing how much my game breaks down at this quicker time-control.  It’s odd how much easier it seems to play a 5/5 blitz game online than an entire G/24 quick-chess game.  Also, though, each round gets more fatiguing (especially as I end up watching some of the other games finish).  It’s impressive how well that the top players in the world can play _OTB_.

Round 1

Despite the fact that Doug has never won a rated chess game, it’s still fun to see if you can mate him before he flags.  I spent 6 minutes on one move, and still ended up with 11 minutes remaining.  I mated him, and by the time he figured that out he had also flagged.

14.b4?  I was anticipating the continuation 14.a3 Rad8, which is #1 by Houdini.  After his blunder, I knew which direction this game was headed for.

Next Tuesday will conclude with the final three rounds.  There were some upsets as it seems none of us are pro enough to handle our business, the way we would with slow-chess, at this time-control.

 

 

 

The most dangerous position for me to be in on a chessboard

….is an equal position in time-pressure, particularly as Black, unless it’s a Master and then the color doesn’t matter.

Round 2

After 30.Qf4, I thought “How does this stop me from playing 30…Ng6 and 31…Ne5?”, so I played the move, and didn’t even notice that my pawn was hanging until he quickly took it.  After the game (we only went over it verbally), I said “why didn’t I play 30….Re5(?).  I didn’t play it because I wanted the knight on that square.  The best I had was 30…Re5 followed by 31…Ng6, that’s as far as the knight can get, and it’s equal.  I felt I lost this game solely due to not being able to spot a threat quickly enough in time-pressure.  Move 30, a notorious move number for blunders.

In time-pressure, I stopped blind-folding the position, and made an easy to spot visual error.  I have been throwing away too many games as Black in equal positions, and this has been the death-knell of my rating.

This is where online and classical tournament chess are different.  When it comes to errors in slow-chess it’s often “one and done”.  Online chess teaches you to trade blunders, and he who blunders last loses.  If you can’t hold your pieces and pawns, by not dropping them, then all the chess knowledge in the world can’t save you.  I think that people blunder in endgames even more because the threats aren’t so immediately forced, and there are a lot more of them.  Regardless, it is the time-pressure combined with an inefficient thinking habit that allows pieces or pawns to drop.  This time, all it took was a pawn to put me in a losing position, even though I didn’t play well afterward either.

 

2nd Place, Cabin Fever Reliever

Round 3

I kept score for 32 moves, but ended up with 16 seconds so the rest is an approximation of what happened.  We played more moves than this, but I can’t recreate it, and I eventually checkmated him with queen and pawn.

I basically knew what I did wrong in this game, the moves I missed that the computer gives, I felt they were right OTB, but didn’t have time to calculate them correctly, so didn’t play them and let him equalize more, etc.  This is a drawback of the quicker time-controls.  I was late, so started this game with 40 minutes, and the next game with the full 45 minutes.

Round 4

Michael beat me last time we played, but I felt ready for him, and he played the Scotch Gambit, and rather poorly, so the game didn’t last long.  I could see what he was doing wrong, his moves, while playing OTB.  Dean almost beat a near Expert in his last round game, must have been up around +20, but just as the 1900 player dropped a piece, Dean instead of taking it dropped his own piece – talk about ratings coming through.  I had 17 minutes remaining when Michael resigned in a hopeless position (-10).  If he had continued with 21.Rf1, I was ready to whip out instantly the best move 21…e3!  He spent a long time before resigning, and I had worked out all of the plausible continuations he could throw at me.

 

Sometimes, endgames are richer in possibilities.

If you want to play 1…Nf6, 2…e6 against 1.d4, you have to learn to at least be able to draw the endgame.  I was successful this time, but the part that is most amazing about this game are the endgame moves/variations that weren’t played.  Most of the chess content in this game was really in the endgame, going over “what if’s” with Houdini.

[Event “Live Chess”]
[Site “Chess.com”]
[Date “2017.04.09”]
[White “Eqilibrio”]
[Black “linuxguy1”]
[WhiteElo “1583”]
[BlackElo “1594”]
[TimeControl “300+5”]
[ECO “D40”]
[Result “0-1”]
[Termination “linuxguy1 won by resignation”]
[CurrentPosition “8/5p2/4p3/KPbk1p2/2p2P1p/4P2P/2N3P1/8 b – – 6 40”]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.a3 d5 4.e3 c5 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.Nf3 h6 7.dxc5 Bxc5 8.b4 Be7 9.Bb2 O-O 10.Be2 dxc4 11.Bxc4 Qxd1+ 12.Rxd1 Rd8 13.O-O Rxd1 14.Rxd1 Kf8 15.h3 a6 16.Na4 b5 17.Nb6 Rb8 18.Nxc8 Rxc8 19.Bb3 Ke8 20.Rc1 Na7 21.Rxc8+ Nxc8 22.Ne5 Nb6 23.Nc6 Bd6 24.Bxf6 gxf6 25.Kf1 Kd7 26.Nd4 Be5 27.Ke2 f5 28.f4 Bf6 29.Kd3 Kd6 30.Nf3 Kc6 31.Kc2 Nc4 32.Bxc4 bxc4 33.Nd4+ Kd5 34.Kc3 h5 35.a4 h4 36.b5 axb5 37.axb5 Bd8 38.Kb4 Bb6 39.Nc2 Bc5+ 40.Ka5 c3 41.b6 Bxb6+ 42.Kxb6 Kc4 43.Nd4 Kd3 44.Kc5 c2 45.Nxc2 Kxc2 46.Kd4 Kd2 47.e4 fxe4 48.Kxe4 Ke2 49.f5 Kf2 50.fxe6 fxe6 51.Kf4 Kxg2 52.Kg4 e5 53.Kxh4 e4 54.Kg4 e3 55.h4 e2 56.h5 e1=Q  0-1

https://www.chess.com/live#g=2041614081

It’s interesting that another player just tried that same opening against me, and got nowhere.  This time, I chose to play 10….dxc4 right away, rather than 10…h6 first.  You’d think this loss of tempo would be the end of my position, but I actually developed quite well, and missed the win of a piece with ….Bc2 instead of ….Bxh3?, in the middlegame.

[Event “Live Chess”]
[Site “Chess.com”]
[Date “2017.04.09”]
[White “KUFR-RAI”]
[Black “linuxguy1”]
[WhiteElo “1598”]
[BlackElo “1602”]
[TimeControl “300+5”]
[ECO “D40”]
[Result “0-1”]
[Termination “linuxguy1 won by resignation”]
[CurrentPosition “7R/8/8/8/1pr4p/7K/1k6/8 b – – 3 53”]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.a3 d5 4.e3 c5 5.Nf3 Nc6 6.Nc3 dxc4 7.Bxc4 cxd4 8.exd4 Bd6 9.O-O h6 10.d5 exd5 11.Nxd5 O-O 12.h3 Bf5 13.b4 Rc8 14.Qb3 Ne5 15.Nxe5 Bxe5 16.Nxf6+ Qxf6 17.Ra2 Qg6 18.Bb2 Bxh3 19.Qxh3 Bxb2 20.Bxf7+ Qxf7 21.Rxb2 Qf5 22.Qxf5 Rxf5 23.Rb3 b5 24.g3 Rc2 25.Re3 Kf7 26.Kg2 Rd5 27.Rfe1 Rdd2 28.Re7+ Kg6 29.R1e5 Rxf2+ 30.Kh3 Rc3 31.Rxa7 Rff3 32.Re6+ Kh7 33.Ree7 Rxg3+ 34.Kh2 Rxa3 35.Rxg7+ Rxg7 36.Rxa3 Rg4 37.Rb3 Kg6 38.Kh3 h5 39.Rb2 Kg5 40.Rb3 Kf5 41.Rb2 Ke5 42.Re2+ Kd5 43.Rd2+ Kc4 44.Rb2 Kc3 45.Rb1 Kc2 46.Rf1 Rxb4 47.Rf5 h4 48.Rc5+ Kb3 49.Re5 Ka3 50.Re8 Rc4 51.Rb8 b4 52.Ra8+ Kb2 53.Rh8  0-1

https://www.chess.com/live#g=2041777240

My point of showing this game is to show that this opening is totally survivable for Black, for someone that might want to adopt a technical approach to this 3.a3 line.

Different opening, but I seem to get this one a lot from 1600 and above, they force me into a Breyer variation, which I’m willing to play but know it’s tough.  This Ba4-c2 move that they play, sort of takes the Lopez into different lines than the mainline Chigorin.

[ECO “C87”]
[Event “Live Chess”]
[Site “Chess.com”]
[Date “2017.04.10”]
[White “kiscsuri57”]
[Black “linuxguy1”]
[WhiteElo “1603”]
[BlackElo “1613”]
[TimeControl “300+5”]
[Result “0-1”]
[Termination “linuxguy1 won by resignation”]
[CurrentPosition “r3r1k1/1b3ppp/p2p4/1p1P1P2/2p1nbPq/2P4P/PP1N2N1/R2QR1K1 b – – 1 24”]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Be7 6.Re1 d6 7.c3 b5 8.Bc2 O-O 9.h3 Bb7 10.d4 Re8 11.Nbd2 Bf8 12.d5 Nb8 13.Nf1 Nbd7 14.N3h2 c5 15.f4 c4 16.f5 Nc5 17.Bg5 Be7 18.g4 Nxd5 19.exd5 Bxg5 20.Nf3 Bf4 21.Ne3 e4 22.Nd2 Qh4 23.Bxe4 Nxe4 24.Ng2  0-1

I was planning on finishing this game with 24…Qf2+, 25.Kh1 Ne4-g3+, 26.Kh2 Nf1 (double-check) 27.Kh1 Bxd5.

https://www.chess.com/live#g=2042062522

Yet another unusual opening try for Black, the Schallop Defense to the King’s Knight Gambit.  White usually has some troubles when going in unprepared because it has that look like it shouldn’t work as well as it does.

[Event “Live Chess”]
[Site “Chess.com”]
[Date “2017.04.10”]
[White “pablopastore”]
[Black “linuxguy1”]
[WhiteElo “1618”]
[BlackElo “1621”]
[TimeControl “300+5”]
[ECO “C34”]
[Result “0-1”]
[Termination “linuxguy1 won by resignation”]
[CurrentPosition “r4rk1/ppp2ppp/2nb3q/5b1n/2BPNp2/3Q4/PPP3PP/R1B2RK1 w – – 0 14”]

1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.e5 Nh5 5.Bc4 d5 6.exd6 Bxd6 7.O-O O-O 8.d4 Nc6 9.Nc3 Bg4 10.Qd3 Qf6 11.Ne4 Qg6 12.Nh4 Qh6 13.Nf5 Bxf5  0-1

https://www.chess.com/live#g=2043327394

Best game of the day, an Open Sicilian.  This game was OTB tournament-worthy.

[ECO “B84”]
[Event “Live Chess”]
[Site “Chess.com”]
[Date “2017.04.10”]
[White “linuxguy1”]
[Black “viktorskripach”]
[WhiteElo “1606”]
[BlackElo “1607”]
[TimeControl “300+5”]
[Result “1-0”]
[Termination “linuxguy1 won on time”]
[CurrentPosition “Rr4k1/1P3p1p/2PNp1p1/1P1n4/8/8/6PP/7K b – – 1 34”]

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be2 e6 7.f4 Qc7 8.O-O b5 9.Bf3 Bb7 10.e5 dxe5 11.fxe5 Nfd7 12.Bf4 Bc5 13.Kh1 O-O 14.Ne4 Bxd4 15.Qxd4 Nc6 16.Qd6 Rac8 17.Qxc7 Rxc7 18.Nd6 Ba8 19.a4 Ndxe5 20.Bxe5 Nxe5 21.Bxa8 Rxa8 22.axb5 a5 23.b4 a4 24.c4 g6 25.c5 Nd3 26.b6 Rd7 27.b7 Rb8 28.Rxa4 Ne5 29.Ra8 Nc6 30.Rfa1 Rdd8 31.b5 Ne7 32.c6 Nd5 33.Rxb8 Rxb8 34.Ra8  1-0

https://www.chess.com/live#g=2043492232

Yesterday, I went over a game, Charousek vs Steinitz 1896 (0-1), The Bishop’s King’s Gambit.  All I knew to play was 3…Ne7 and 4…d5, and figured out the rest while playing.  Until moving 14, I was playing best moves, when I could have simply taken the knight, then I missed a mate against him a move or so later.  The funny thing is that a long time ago, many years, I got this a lot as Black on FICS, and then everybody switched over from the bishop’s gambit to the knight’s gambit.  I sort of forgot what to do, but then after the game this is kind of all coming back to me, just wasn’t sure of evals or anything.  Very entertaining opening, worth a look.

[ECO “C33”]
[Event “Live Chess”]
[Site “Chess.com”]
[Date “2017.04.10”]
[White “JohnSmith369”]
[Black “linuxguy1”]
[WhiteElo “1636”]
[BlackElo “1610”]
[TimeControl “300+5”]
[Result “0-1”]
[Termination “linuxguy1 won by resignation”]
[CurrentPosition “rnbqkb1r/ppp1nppp/8/3P4/2BP1p2/8/PPP3PP/RNBQK1NR b KQkq – 0 5”]

1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Bc4 Ne7 4.d4 d5 5.exd5 Nxd5 6.Nf3 Ne3 7.Bxe3 fxe3 8.Ne5 Qh4+ 9.g3 Qe4 10.O-O Bh3 11.Bxf7+ Kd8 12.Qf3 e2 13.Re1 Qxd4+ 14.Qf2 Bc5 15.Rxe2 Qxf2+ 16.Rxf2 Rf8 17.b4 Bxf2+ 18.Kxf2 Ke7 19.Nc3 Rxf7+ 20.Nxf7 Kxf7 21.Ne4 Nc6 22.Ng5+ Kg6 23.Nxh3 Rd8 24.Nf4+ Kf7 25.c3 Rd2+ 26.Ne2 Ne5 27.Ke3 Rc2 28.Ke4 Rxe2+ 29.Kf4 Nc4 30.Rf1 Ke7 31.Kf3 Re3+ 32.Kf4 Re6 33.Rd1 Nd6 34.a4 Re4+ 35.Kf3 Rc4 36.Rd3 b5 37.a5 a6 38.h4 Nf5 39.h5 g6 40.g4 Ng7 41.h6 Ne6 42.Re3 Kf7 43.Ke2 Ng5 44.Kd3 Rxg4  0-1

https://www.chess.com/live#g=2043631889

I was cracking up after this game thinking about the right thinking method in chess should bring rating points and then it crossed my mind that I play the most busted up lines in nearly every game.  Online blitz for me is totally non-standard, crazy @ss stuff.  But even here it goes to show that you can apply right thinking methods during analysis.  It’s not _just_ pattern-recognition, even if that is perhaps the biggest component, there is also staying focused, particularly analyzing as much as you can during your opponent’s turn.  This is a big thing, and naturally it requires one-ply deeper of visualization than on your own turn.