Sunday, December 13, 2009

Taking out my frustrations over the board

I was matched with yet another Class A player ( near expert strength). I knew I was going to have black against him and found a game in my database where we had played before. It was an exchange C-K and I like the line with 5…Qc7 as it sets up some interesting dynamics. Last time we played I missed a nice little tactical maneuver after he played 6Qb3, Nxd4 can be played and creates some interesting dynamics. He chose to play 6.Ne2.

(60) (Class A 1900+) - Duval,G [Blunderprone]
Holiday Swiss,

B13: Caro-Kann: Exchange Variation and Panov-Botvinnik Attack 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.Bd3 Nc6 5.c3 Qc7 6.Ne2 Nf6 7.Bf4 e5

I was inspired to play this line as I had seen this before in study exchange variation C-K games with this line. 8.dxe5 Nxe5 9.0–0 Bd6 Black gets a very active position with the e5 advance. The game is no longer a closed position. 10.Bb5+ Bd7 11.Bxd7+ Qxd7 12.Nd4 0–0 13.Nd2

I played 13...Nd3 First, I want to let you know I had a horrible work day. I couldn't resist this hole and I really wanted to mess someone up after the bad day. [Safer would have been to play13...Rfe8 14.N2f3=] 14.Bxd6= Qxd6 15.Qc2 (position)

15…Nxf2 OK, in hindsight I should have played more conservative. But playing against a strong player gave me a chance to take some chances with very little to lose. The exchange I envisioned gave me a Rook and Pawn for the two pieces at the very least. At best I had a mate threat or a rook for a knight. So I decided to mix it up.

This did leave me with an IQP that was hard to defend in the middle game which I didn't take into consideration and should have. This was a lesson learned, and a new position for my daily training. [¹15...Qa6!?= is interesting] 16.Rxf2 [16.Nf5 Qb6 17.Rxf2 Ng4 18.Ne7+ Kh8±] 16...Ng4 17.N2f3 Nxf2 18.Qxf2 Rfe8 19.Re1 [19.Nf5 Qd7 20.N3d4 f6±] 19...Qf6 [19...Rxe1+ 20.Qxe1 Qd7 21.Qd2²] 20.Qg3 [20.Rf1 Rad8±] 20...Re4 [20...Rxe1+ 21.Qxe1 h6 22.Nh4] 21.Nd2 [¹21.Rf1 Rf4 22.Qh3²]
21...Rxd4? I saw a rook for two pawns and a knight. Again, in an IQP I should have played more conservatively but for some reason, this was more satisfying than winning. Creating an imbalanced game against a strong player and lasting to almost an endgame was rewarding in some sense. [¹21...Rxe1+ would allow Black to play on 22.Qxe1 Qb6] 22.cxd4+- Qxd4+ 23.Qf2 Qxb2 24.Nb3 [24.Qxa7 Rf8 (24...Rxa7?? 25.Re8#+-) 25.Nb3 h6±] 24...Qxf2+ [ I could have kept the queen on the board. 24...Qa3 25.Rd1±] 25.Kxf2 Kf8 26.Rc1 Re8 27.Rc5 Re5 28.Nd4 Ke8 29.Nb5 a6 [29...Rf5+ 30.Ke2 Rh5 31.h3±] 30.Nd6++- Kd7 31.Nxb7 f6 [31...Re6 32.Rc2 Rb6 33.Nc5+ Ke7 34.Ke3+-] 32.Rc2 Ke7 [32...f5 33.Nc5+ Kd6 34.Nxa6+-] 33.Nc5 [33.Rc7+!? seems even better 33...Kf8+-] 33...a5 34.Nd3 I totally went out to lunch on this move. I recall that 2 connected passed pawns in some positions are worth a rook. But they have to be on the 5th and 6th rank. On 6th and 7th you even have winning chances. I played the fool here and played 34… Ke6?? simply worsens the situation 35.Nxe5 fxe5 36.Ke3 d4 37.Ke4 h6 38.Rc4 g6 39.Ra4 0–1

No guts no glory. I took my lumps, satisfied that I didn’t play a timid game. I was clouded with a frustrating day at work and put on the fog lights of an attacking and imbalanced game of a chess instead. In this case, I veered off the road with little damage. But I did get a rush of adrenaline and sharpened my axe a little more.


Will said...

I know the feeling of wanting to tear someone a new a@**hole after a bad day at work!

The book I mentioned by Jesper Hall has a whole section on IQP's which is really interesting.

harvey said...

@BP - interesting post. Thanks for the insight into a "damn the torpedoes" approach to attacking in a (supposedly) quiet exchange C-K -- LOL!

LinuxGuy said...

I don't play as well later in the day, either, but for all we know these stronger players could be taking naps beforehand to get the edge on us! hehe.

I had my meltdown last Wednesday and then realized something. For me, it seems the best way to win against A players and above is to go positionally. You were trying to go tactically in this game, but it allowed HIM(/her) to beat you positionally.

In that one diagram where you went for the admittedly very tempting Nd3, you could have formulated a possibly stronger positional plan. After perfunctory moves like Re8, if he plays Re1, you could play Rab8 and b5, threatening b4.

If there is one thing we've learned from Zurich '53 in these positions is that it's good for the other guy to have a weak pawn (c3) as well! If he tries to stop that stuff on the queenside, then you can look to tack back over to the kingside.

I would try to approach it that way. Probably would have eaten up quite a bit of time to come up with that, but at least you have set down a middle-game plan that he has to contend with and possibly/probably spend clock time thinking about (instead of simply reacting to your tactics, which 1900+ players typically do well at).

Liquid Egg Product said...

So can we take it your employer caused you emotional distress and chess insanity? That's a job for 1-800-LAWSUIT right there.

Not sure if you have better success against higher rated players in imbalanced or balanced positions. One time, I swindled a draw from an Expert because of a boring, symmetrical pawn structure. (And I had offered the draw, although this was before being aware of the fine points of chess etiquette.)

But the imbalanced stuff's more fun!funfun.

Phaedrus said...

This was a great fight. I can understsand that you felt satisfied to see him sweat.

There is however a quote that struck me in your post. You wrote: "I saw a rook for two pawns and a knight". While true in itself, thinking like this has its flaws. To evalutate a position it is better to see what is left on the board, instead of what goes off. In fact you were getting into a position with two pawns against a knight. Since those pawns were not very active, this evaluation might have made you more reluctant.

chesstiger said...

Is it me or is that 0-1 at the end of the game notation wishfull thinking of black? ;-)

You win one, you lose some, but the experience nobody can take away from you.