Monday, June 18, 2012

Leaning into the sword

Someone suggested I post a couple of those horrendous games I mentioned from the previous post.  
I did a position search in the data base to see where I veered off or my opponent and not to my surprise it was rather early on. Also, I found myself play "rote" moves... meaning making comfort moves of what I think is familiar rather than playing what the position dictates. 


LinuxGuy said...

Game 1:
12. h3!, preparing f4, I would consider this winning for White, regardless of how the result of the game goes.

Instead, you follow a different plan which leads to move 19, whereupon you play 19.g5?! This is the sort of Tabiya where a GM earns their lunch-money, and you wonder if you missed "a tactic".

You could play 19.Rf1 and then prepare to bare down on the weak c5 pawn and a7 pawn. I didn't see your move, but you are sort of berzerking a finesse positional advantage here. This is the sort of position where you have to know to slow down, catch your breathe, and then breathe some sort of strong plan into the position. It is very difficult to do this nowadays with the quick time-controls because they almost force you to hustle through a game as you did and then scratch your head at how it turned out.

LinuxGuy said...

Game 2
7..b4 looks dubious to me, but there should be a ton of theory on this move either way. I would play 7..NxNc3 instead.

9.bxc3? Strikes me as a very weak move. White could play for an attack here with Qb3,Bc4,Ng5. Positionally, White still came out on top, which only serves to convince my suspicion. I would not have played Qxc3, of course, as White.

17...Rc2? You got caught with your hand in the cookie-jar yet again! My mama never slapped my hand while reaching for the cookie-jar either, but it may have been a good idea to. hehe.

17...Be7, 18...0-0 naturally gives you quite a strong position.

Joshua said...

It seems like black's play ought to be too slow in game 1. Something like 13. h4 with the idea of 0-0-0 14. Bh3, which is fairly crushing, so maybe 13. ... h5 14. g5 Nh7 15. Bh3 Qd8 16. Rhf1 and any attack you have will be slow, but the play is pretty much all yours. It seems to me like you got demoralized about the likelihood of having your g and h pawns locked up and suddenly switched play to the queenside when the position really didn't dictate as much. Your development actually seems pretty harmonious up until move 13. Incidentally, LInuxGuy's suggestion is good too, but I think my way is even rougher on black.

As for the second game, there are indeed a veritable legion of options for black on move 7. Graham Burgess almost runs out of letters of the alphabet in his variation tree! The main move is 7... e6 8. axb5 Nxc3 9. bxc3 cxb5 10. Ng5 Bb7 11. Qh4 g6. This is an important nuance because 7. ... Nxc3 8. bxc3 e6 white does not need to play axb5 and can instead take advantage of the closed diagonal to play 9. g3, leaving black much more cramped. After 7. ... b4 the simple 8. Ne4 c3 9. bxc3 bxc3 10. Bc4 gives white a steady, niggling advantage in the center. In the game, 8... Ba6 was interesting, with strange possibilities like 9. e6!? f6 10. Be2 Qd6 11. 0-0 Qxe6 12. Re1 Qf7 13. Nh4. As the play developed, you might have tried out the little nuance 18... Bd3, which is cute and annoying, a helpful little redeployment. The key mistake though was actually 21... 0-0? This is just straightforward calculation. In order to win back the pawn, you needed to be able to Rb8 after the exchange of rooks, and to do this you had to have your king centralized to hold onto the knight. Hence, 21... Ke7 22. Rxa7 Rxa7 23. Rxa7 Rb8 =

There's definitely plenty of material in these games to build on!

Incidentally, what do you use (engine/website) to post your games?

BlunderProne said...

Both of you missed the killer 26.Nb6 tactic that I also missed.

Liquid Egg Product said...

Joshua: Blunderprone is using to post the games.

He doesn't like to give up his dastardly secrets.

ChessClues said...

Hi George,

I think you played pretty well both games and probably had draws available in each game. So I wouldn't be discouraged.

In the 1st game, 26. Nb6 wins the exchange and you might get a perpetual but I think the 21. h4 plan is probably worth a relook. I'm not sure it's worth losing the tempo and pawn especially since the h1-N is going to take a least a couple of more tempo to activate and you still have the weak pawns to worry about.

In the second game, I might relook at 14...Qa6 which loses a tempo and lets White strengthen the N's and then the necessary 15...e6 loses another tempo which allows White the aggressive Ba3. I think you're still not bad but breaking Nimzovich's rule about exchanging with advantage with 19...Bxa3 was probably fatal.

I think you're playing pretty well, especially rusty and not at max confidence but small tempo losses and bad exchanges are usually tough against good players.

I'm sure you'll soon start playing chess you're happy with!