Monday, January 15, 2007

Towing the Line...

(Re-writing the post since Blogger crashed on me last time)

I decided to participate in the BCC $10 open this past Saturday. I played in the Open section ( because I am "officially" on this side of 1600 and my unofficial rating could not be used). All in all, I finished with 1.5 points after four rounds of G60 events.

For the first round, the pairing sheet indicated that my opponent had a "0" rating. I assumed a very confident un-rated person was tempting fate in the open section. I played a Skotch game as I had white. He was defininetly a solid player and I seemed my unrated may have been rated in some other country. I reached the following popsition and blew a simplification .

So, thinking my "unrated" opponent was going to steal a 1/2 point from me, I decided to tempt fate. I avoided the exchange rather than pair rooks down for a safe game. Going against previous advice from a friend at the club who suggested "slipping a draw" is better than losing a point to unrated or under-rated players. Well, looking at the position now its obvious Black has a better King position and an agressive rook. It almost shouts..."EXCHANGE THE FREAKING ROOKS!"

Oh well, I lost the point. and went on to play in the next round against another "0" rated player. I had black which gave me a chance to play the Caro Kann.

Let me digress momentaroly about the children who played at this event this weekend. Those that showed up to the BCC ten dollah open while all the other kids were at the state qualifiers. I asked, " Why aren't you at teh qualifiers?" " We are already pre-qualified!" was the smug response. So, in short, these kids were already top in the state. GULP!

The following position was reached with less than 3 minutes on each clock:
Again, in the comfort of my arm chair and NO TIME PRESSURE, I can clearly see what Black's plan is suppose to be. I can hop my knight on the back side of teh pawns and try to firk the king and a pawn. Then I can march my pawns. But at this point in the game, I decided to "slip the draw" and hands were shook and a 1/2 point was marked.

Third round, I had white against another prodigy but the rating was known ( just under 1400). I managed to trounce on the poor kid using a smith morra that Takchess would be proud of. The poor kid didn't understand the gambit, tried to defend and played passively. Out of the opening I had managed to pin both his uncastled king, and queen. This allowed me to pick up two minor pieces... for free. Later, the following SWEET position manafested itself:
I just played Nxf7. If he takes with the rook, I take with my rook winning the rook on a8. He decided to ignore the potential in my position and go after my b2 pawn. 4 moves later I had mate.

The last round, I played someone who knew me as my alter-ego on this blog and was hoping I lived up to my name. I also promised him I would go easy on the him on the blog. I had black and realized its been a while since I refreshed my memory on the Slav. He managed to trap my bishop while I was chasing bad plans on teh queen side. Yeah, I blundered in true fashion. Psychologically it was brutal... my game rapidly went south following the loss of the bishop.

All was not lost. This one opponent was rated in the high 1900's. Then I found out what my other two "unrated" opponents were. The first round loss was actually against another upper 1900 player. The kid I drew against was rated in the mid 17's. So I didn't fair as badly as I did in my own head. Afterall, I could have drawn against a 1900+ player and almost beat a 1700+ player in a Knight and Pawn endgame. Not bad for 8 hours of chess.

Rating wise, I believe I pick up about a wapping 7 points. I'll take them considering my latest follies. So I can say I at least towed the line.



Jim said...

Nice position in your Smith-Morra!
I love those f7 attacks. As for my play as White against the Sicilian, I am somewhat wishy-washy. My Smith-Morra play doesn't live up to it's full potential which speaks to the failing of my understanding of it. See my recent blog for some other ideas against the Sicilian. I am also interested in the Keres Attack, the Grand Prix as well as the Perenyi Attack (sp?). I think I am going to stick with some of the lines from the Silicide at least for the moment.

Ed said...

A couple of things you might want to consider: most important, in that Knight-and-Pawns endgame in round 2, Black's simplest win is to play ...Nf4 and ...Nxd5, simplifying to a winning King and Pawn endgame (the b-pawn can't be held due to zugzwang). I know--it's hard to steel yourself to do that with 2 minutes on the clock. But, train yourself to look for simplifying tactics like that, and get your basic Pawn endgames in order so you can take advantage of them.

In the first round, even after Rd1, White shouldn't lose. What happened after that?

BlunderProne said...


on the Rook and Bishop endgame, I held on to teh rook but managed to drop a pawn on the queenside. Black used his bishop and rook to attack both my f-pawn and the queen side pawns. His king in the center made it even tougher. He got a passed pawn on the a-file and I had no choice to stop it but sacrifice my bishop. ( by that time we had exchanged rooks since he forced the exchange after winning hte pawn).

What should have been white's plan after Rd1?

Jim ( tak) do you have bookup-Lite? I can send you my SM files I keep adding to. let me know.

Ed said...

Well, the general plan is to hold everything and try to get the pieces active. Especially White wants a chance to get the King off the back rank and to get the Rook active--even getting the R to the 2nd rank would be helpful. At the moment, White shouldn't touch his Pawns unless he has to.

What were the next few moves? 1.Rd1 Ra3 2.Bb5 Ra2 and now there is a threat of ...Rf2+, either winning the g-pawn or setting up a nasty discovered check. So 2.Bc2 might be better; 2...Ra2 3.Rd2 Kc5 and 4. Ke2 is impossible because of 4...Bc3, so it's still uncomfortable. I'm analysing this in my head, by the way, so please forgive any gross errors.

Well, I still think White should be able to get untangled and hold, but it's not easy at all--my first comment was superficial. I wouldn't want to have to play it against someone a class above me, that's for sure.

transformation said...

oh yes, those darn blogger crashes and odd junctures!

now ive learned: write posts in msft Outlook, for saving them, then clip them into blogger without much risk!

id not seen you here last year, so visiting by...

best regards in 07, david