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31 Mar 2015

C97 Spanish Game: Closed Variations. Chigorin Defense

C97 Spanish Game: Closed Variations. Chigorin Defense

This game was played on the third round of the WORLD OPEN RAPID tournament that was held at the FIDE Online Arena March 18th 2015. I had gathered two wins from the two games before this one and things seemed to go well for me. This was the second time I faced this opponent, in the first game I was able to hold a draw with the white pieces and this time I lost with the black pieces. I think we have faced each other now four times and the score is still in favor of andrei2015 but in the two games after this we played two draws. So, three draws and one loss, something I might want to change if we play again. Then again I have been happy with the draws, so if I can't win in the next game either, it won't be a bad thing to get a draw... All four games have featured almost the same opening but some minor differences each time. Yesterday I played probably the best tournament I have played at the FIDE Online Arena so far, I managed to win my second WORLD OPEN RAPID tournament but this time I won all my five games! Something that I have not been able to do in any tournament before that one. My performance rating in the tournament was 2413!! It is the highest performance rating that I ever remember of having. Chances are that this might be once in a lifetime thing but I do what I can to repeat this success or even improve on it. I have added three mate in twos, one mate in six and one mate in eight today. In addition to that I have added two more analysed games to my post B06 Modern Defense: King Pawn Fianchetto and one more analysed game to the following posts: C45 Scotch Game: Schmidt Variation, C50 Italian Game: Italian Variation and C41 Philidor Defense: General 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4. Until tomorrow, my fellow chess enthusiasts!

Game number two. This was played in the fourth round of the WORLD OPEN RAPID that was played at the FIDE Online Arena March 23rd 2015. This particular tournament was going well for me, I had won all my three games before this game. The fact that I drew this does not worry me all that much anymore because a few months have passed since this game was played but I did have a good chance to win this game. Still, three wins and one draw in four games is something I can be quite satisfied with.

Game number three. All three games in this variation against the same player. If my memory serves me right, this is the first time that this has happened. There might be actually one other post that started similarly but I am not sure about it. The game below was played in the second round of a rapid chess tournament that was played at the FIDE Online Arena. After two rounds I had gathered 1.5 points, so the tournament went well up to this point at least.

Game number four. This was played in the third round of the WORLD OPEN RAPID tournament that was played at the FIDE Online Arena on April 6th 2015. On the first round I won a player who was rated 1463 and on the seceond round I lost to a player who was rated 2074, so this tournament was going pretty much in the expected way. This third round win continued on that path but on the next two rounds I completely fell apart and lost both of my games. The game below might be my best game from this tournamnent.

Game number five. The game below was played on round two of the 28th Chess.com Tournament (1601-1800). This second round has been bit of a disaster for me after the brilliant first round. It is true that the average rating of my opponents did increase to this round, so the same kind of results that I had on round one may not have been realistic to expect. On round one I won all of my ten games, but on round two I have managed to only get 4 points in nine games and it is likely that the last game will not end favorably for me either. Well, at least that will also be the last game I will play in this tournament because I am currently on fifth place and if I somehow win my last game, I will be fourth in the final standings and only the winner or winners of the group will advance to the next round. My opponent in this game, Kounle, currently leads group #18 with a one point difference to fliubo, the player who is currently on second place.

Game number six. This was played in a team match called Match Name: TMCL 2016 R1 Sub-Div. A2. The match is played on 136 boards between Chess Unlimited and LATINO. I am playing on board 21 for Chess Unlimited. The score in the match at the time I type this is 92.5 - 136.5 in favor of LATINO, which means they have secured the win by half a point already. My opponent, mchang1229, played really well and never gave me the oppurtunity to seize the advantage, but instead was able to take advantage of my mistakes. This loss meant that my rating dropped already to 1805, the last time it was this low was October 12th, 2014. Back then my rating was going up and not down like it had been before this game and with this game. I did also suffer a loss in the game after this, but after that the games have been mostly positive again and I might be able to climb my way back over 1900 at some point.

30 Mar 2015

D00 Queen's Pawn Game

D00 Queen's Pawn Game

The game below was played in the first round of the WORLD OPEN RAPID tournament that was played March 17th 2015 at the FIDE Online Arena. This was by no means an opening theoretical master piece as the game went out of theory on move two. What surprised me was the fact that some quite decent players have played in a similar manner for three first moves. So the move 4.b4 is a novelty that no one had played in my reference database that consists of over 6 million games. I have thought about removing some games from the database but I am not sure if I should do it. It is interesting that there are some games that I have played aswell, none of them have appeared as reference games in any of the analysed games that I have posted here. I am happy in a way that those games have not been there but there have been games from people that have much lower rating than I have. Those lower rated games I have thought about getting out of the database because what would I need them for. I am not sure why they are added in the database in the first place but I guess there is a good enough reason to do that. I have added the last round game of the previous WORLD OPEN RAPID tournament and that can be found in my post C96 Spanish Game: Closed Variations. Closed Defense. I have also added one mate in two, three mate in three and one mate in thirteen.

Game number two. This was played on round three of the Team Match Champions League, Division D. This match is played between DEORLS! and Legends of Kerala.കേരളം on 19 boards. I played on board 10 for DEORLS! and I was able to win both of my games against VishnuReturns. Admittedly, the game below I won only because my opponent lost on time. The position at the end is roughly even but it would have been interisting to finish this game because it is in no way a dead draw and there is possibilities for both sides to win.

Game number three. This is from the fifth and final round of the weekend tournament that was held at Vammala in 2005. On the first round I got a win against a player who was rated 1579, on the second round I won against a player who was rated 1696, on the third round I drew against a player who ended up winning group B and his rating was 1833 and on the fourth round I suffered my only loss in the tournament against a player who was rated 1721 at the time. With the win on this last round I made sure that my rating increased a bit. I was on seventh place in the final standings with 3 points. That score enabled my rating to get from 1779 to 1783, which was my peak rating at the time if I recall correctly.

Game number four. This game was played on the seventh round of the Easter tournament that was played at Helsinki in 2008. By winning this game, my gathered points increased to 3. That result was a slightly positive one and my selo rating increased by 5 points. I was 27th in the final standings in a group that had 40 players.

Already on move 2, my opponent makes a questionable decision by playing f4. It is at least a minor inaccuracy if not a clear mistake. 2.c4 or 2.Nf3 are clearly better altermatives. My opponent keeps playing with only pawns and after 4.g3, I should have a small advantage on my side. The odd moves continue from my opponent and only some inaccuracies by me make the game even a bit. After 9.Qb6 position should be roughly equal. My opponent decided to reply with 10.Bxc6+, which I was happy about because now the better one of White's bishops is traded to my knight. Also the fact that I now have the bishop pair, should give me a small advantage. My opponent went further down the drain with the move 12.Qb3, but because I was not able to find a good reply and instead played 12.c4, I was only slightly better. After 14...O-O-O the game is balanced once again. However, my opponent blundered with his next move and played 15.h4. That move could have been the losing move, but again I was not able to take full advantage of my opponent's mistakes. My move 15...h6 was good enough for a clear advantage though. A few moves later I played a sloppy move 19...Bxh4, after which some of my advantage disappears. On his 25th move, my opponent goes from slight disadvantage to a clear disadvantage and any hope for a draw was gone.

29 Mar 2015

B56 Sicilian Defense: Classical Variation. General

B56 Sicilian Defense: Classical Variation. General

The game you see below now is from the fourth round of the third WORLD OPEN RAPID tournament that I have played at the FIDE Online Arena. This tournament was a good provider of content for this blog, let us see if it continues on the final round aswell. The final round game I will post quite likely tomorrow. I would like to get back to my correspondence games for a bit as some games that interest me have finished, for example, I have lost my first chess960 game and would like to take a look at that. I think I suffered my first loss in my 19th chess960 game. It was a nice run while it lasted. The game below I think was one of my best during this tournament as I did only small inaccuracies but no clear mistakes in my opinion. My assumption that I could quite easily hold my rating in rapid games over 1700 for 50 games was proven wrong today as I lost one point too many in the tournament I played today and now my rapid elo rating at the FIDE Online Arena is 1699... I guess I will try my luck with blitz games next. I think I should avoid playing in tournaments unless there is a rating limitation, in order to better ensure that I would not lose that many rating points with each loss. The problem with blitz is that the game requirement is 100. I think it is much more unlikely for me to keep my rating in blitz for 100 games than it is for 50 rapid games, so the odds are not good but I will test how it goes. I have added two mate in twos, two mate in threes and one mate in five today.

Game number two. This is from the third and final round of the WORLD OPEN RAPID tournament that was played at the FIDE Online Arena on April 10th 2015. Usually this tournament has had at least four rounds and I think this is the only time it was only three rounds long in the times I participated in these tournaments. I managed to score 2 out of 3 which was only an ok result because the loss I had on round one was against a much lower rated player though not as lower rated as my opponent on this final round. The way I played all these three games, it is a small wonder that I could win two of the three because all three I could have lost, had my opponents been more vigilent and responded better to the bad moves I made.

28 Mar 2015

C69 Spanish Game: Exchange Variation. Gligoric Variation

C69 Spanish Game: Exchange Variation. Gligoric Variation

As new opening variations keep coming from these 15 minute tournament games, they keep getting into the highlight of my daily posts. This is from the third round of the third WORLD OPEN RAPID tournament that I have played at the FIDE Online Arena. My poorly played games continued in this third round aswell. The positions in this game were quite good for me at times but like so many times before, I self-destructed and let the good positions die out. I think my opponent in this game was one of those underrated elo players who had their unmonitored elo much higher than official elo rating. Due to some distractions I could not play more rapid games at the FIDE Online Arena yesterday but I should be able to play more today. I do not feel, at least for now, at all tired and I hope that it continues until I have played that tournament. I still have quite a lot of moves to make in my correspondence games that I would like to do today. I have managed to decrease my game load quite a bit from my most active times as I only have 246 games in progress anymore. That would be much less of course if I would not start new games from time to time. Sometimes I would like to start even more games and truly have several hundred games in progress at the same time. Luckily I have avoided that quite well so far... I have added one mate in two, one mate in three, two mate in four and one mate in six today to the puzzle pages of this blog.

Game number two. This game was played in the second round of a rapid chess tournament played at the FIDE Online Arena on March 28th 2015. The first round game I lost, so this win gave me a slightly positive feel for the next round.

Game number three. This was played in the second round of the WORLD OPEN RAPID tournament that was played at the FIDE Online Arena on March 30th 2015. After two rounds I had two points but there were still more to come in this tournament. This has been the only tournament that I have played at the FIDE Online Arena that I have with a score of 5 out of 5! Maybe there will be more someday but that would mean I would need to start playing these again and at the moment I do not feel like playing tournaments there, only challenges.

Game number four. This was played in the first round of a Ruy Lopez tournament that is held at Chess.com. I am playing on group #1 and I am also the current leader of the group. I have gathered 17 wins in 17 games so far and I have five more games to finish in this round. Second place in this group belongs to djsniper800 at the moment and he has gathered 16 points and he does have enough games left that if I mess up my remaining games, he can win the group. A player called adamredsox24 is currently on third place but he also has theoretical chances to win the group. They are the only two players that remain that can still take the win out of my grasp.

Game number five. This is the second 10 minute warm up game against a friend of mine.

Game number six. This is the 24th game in the 100 game match between me and Tomi. The match is played with 15 minute time controls and the first 20 games were played in 2013. I had a good winning streak at this point in the match and I took the lead in the match with a score of 12.5 - 11.5 after this game.

Game number seven. This game was played in the first round of the 2014 October Long Haul Split I tournament that is still in progress at Red Hot Pawn. In addition to this draw, I lost my other game against beatlemania, who is the current leader of group 2. I am currently on second place, I was on first place before the loss I suffered against beatlemania. I am currently on 50 points and beatlemania is on 52 points. I still have better chances to win the group than beatlemania because I have three games still in progress and beatlemania only two. In case I win all of my remaining games and beatlemania all of his or hers. There are also two other players still in the fight for the win of the group, Blackpoolmad (1507) and veca (1323). Veca actually has the same maximum possible score as me (59). Two out of my three remaining games happens to be against veca, so those two games will decide quite a lot in the struggle for the win. My third game is against Blackpoolmad, so the win of the group will be decided like it should be, in the final games of the round. Group 1 has been decided a long time ago and it was won by caissad4, so whoever wins group 2, will face caissad4 on round two.

Game number eight. The game below is the first game in almost two months that I played at the FIDE Online Arena. My inactivity there is mainly due to the fact that I have not had all that much time left after the work I do for the blog and the time that is left from making moves in my correspondence games. I decided that I wanted to get my Arena International Master title before the year ends, so I had to activate myself at the time this game was played. I started my journey towards the title in a promising way, even though the game below did feature some mistakes also on my part. As the title required that my rating would stay above 1700 for 50 rapid games, everything seemed to be well under my control at this time. After this game I was still missing 17 games from the requirement, so there was still time to mess things up. I could have also tried to get the title by playing blitz or bullet, but the game requirement for blitz is 100 and for bullet it is 150. I could have probably played those blitz and bullet games in a faster pace than the rapid games, but I may not have been able to maintain my rating high enough. Actually I did mess mess up my first attempt getting the title of Arena IM earlier in 2015, so I did end up playing over 100 rapid games before I actually got the title I was looking for.

Game number nine. This was played in atadros's mini-tournament V at GameKnot. I am currently on 10th place with 3 points and I have 8 games still left to improve my standing. If those remaining games follow the same pattern as the games I have finished, then I will not be much higher on the final standings than I am now. Foogie1, the player who I faced in this game, is currently on the number one spot with 15.5 points. He has only game left to play and it is against me.

When we reached the position after 6.d4, I was not sure what I have usually played there and whether or not the result was good. Now that I look at the games under this post, I see that the most common reply from me has been 6...exd4 and once I even tried 6...Bd6, so this was the first time I played 6...Bg4 against 6.d4. I think I should continue playing 6...exd4 here because after 6...Bg4, the move 7.c3 is possible and now taking on d4 is not so good because White takes back with a pawn and has a nice pawn center. However, the game continuation could have been okay for me, had I not messed it up later. The way I replied to 8.h3 is not to my liking at the moment. It would have been probably better to take on f3 with the bishop. I did not take on f3 because I thought I would be just helping foogie1 to get his queen into play and because the light squares around my king needed protection. The problem with move I played, 8...Bh5, is that the bishop is a bit awkwardly placed on h5 since I want to play my knight to g6 via e7 and I can't do that as long as the bishop is on h5. Therefore I think that 8...Bh5 was a mistake and I should have either played 8...Bxf3 or even 8...Be6. The latter option would have accomplished Bf7 later on with one less move than in the game. I did play 10...Bf7 in order to prevent 11.Nc4 and to make Ng6 a possible move. Also I wanted to maybe castle short, which I could not immediately do because of Qb3+. 10...Bf7 did allow the continuation 11.dxe5 Bxe5 12.Nxe5 fxe5 13.Nf3. After that it was quite annoying to defend the e-pawn. I tried 13...Qd6 and I would have been really happy to see 14.Qxd6 cxd6, but obviously foogie1 was not going to do that and fix my pawn structure. Foogie1 played 14.Ng5 followed by Qg4 and that moment I was convinced that I am going to lose very soon. Despite of that I continued a few moves and checked if I can somehow survive, but there really was not anything that I could have done at that point to save the game. I think my final mistake of the game was 10...Bf7, but like I typed before, the whole Bg4 to h5 idea was bad and contributed to the loss. That being said, there might have been some better ideas after 10...Bf7 that could have helped me to stay in the game better, for instance, 13...Ng6 instead of 13...Qd6 could have made this a better game for me.

27 Mar 2015

C11 French Defense: Classical Variation. Delayed Exchange Variation

C11 French Defense: Classical Variation. Delayed Exchange Variation

This is from the same WORLD OPEN RAPID tournament as the game I shared with you yesterday. This was played in the second round of that tournament. I had a decent start for the tournament as I got a win and a draw from the first two games. The games themselves were not all that good though, from my perspective that is. I ended up being quite lucky in both of these games as I could have easily lost them both, had my opponents been able to take an advantage from my mistakes better. I am currently going through these 15 minute games as I kind of want to know how to improve my game in them. I face the same opponents almost every tournament so I can maybe prepare something against them. I am still missing 29 rapid games from the required 50 games for the title. I managed to get four monitored elo games in the tournament I played yesterday which was great as I have never before managed to get those on every round. What was not that great though was the fact that my rating stayed the same as it was before the tournament. It is of course better than losing my rating points but I still need to play my back against the wall as one really bad loss might reset the game counter. With my luck that happens just before I would get that 50 games played... I have added three mate in threes, one mate in five and one mate in seven today. When I looked up the opening variation for this game, I noticed something interesting, in all the sources I looked at, there was the same little mistake in the move numbering. In every single one the moves were marked 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 3.exd5, even though the last one should be 4.exd5. I guess there was a copy paste like error somewhere along the way and no one who did the copying did not correct the mistake...

Game number two. The game below was played in a team match called Open Challenge Thunderstorm. It is played between Thunderstorm and "Indian Warriors" on seven boards. I play on board 1 and my other game against aayala is the last game of the match. It is again very important game because it determines whether we win the match or only draw it. The current score in the match is 7 - 6 in favor of Thunderstorm.

Game number three. The game below was played in the third round of the WORLD OPEN RAPID tournament at the FIDE Online Arena. This loss was my first in this tournament and I had won my first two games. I have found it difficult to play against safmoon and this game was no exception. I do remember winning a game against safmoon, at least once, so I can win occasionally but I need to play my best in order to do so.

Game number four. This one was played on the second round of the Smaller Tournament at Chess.com. I am playing in group 1 that consists of 5 players. I am on 3rd place with 4.5 points and I have only one game left to finish and that game is my other game against _Henry_. _Henry_ is currently on 2nd place with 5.5 points. Our other game that is still in progress is the last game of this round. It is unfortunate because the result of that game will not have any effect on who advances to the next round. Only the winner of the group advances and that is rudobrody (2162) in case of group 1.

Both players had their chances to win this game, but neither player showed the required technique to get the full point. I offered a draw to my opponent twice during this game, on both occasions _Henry_ declined the offer. When I made those draw offers, I thought that neither player could win the game anymore. For some reason my opponent wanted to prolong the inevitable result. Actually the reason for those declines might be due to the situation in the standings. Had _Henry_ somehow been able to win this game, he would have still been able to tie in points with rudobrody and therefore _Henry_ would have also advanced to the next round. I think it was unnecessary to continue the game to the point we finally finished the game after _Henry_ offered the draw and I accepted the offer since it was pointless to continue the game.

Game number five. The game below was played in a clan challenge at Red Hot Pawn. It was played between Fast Players and The White Hats on four boards. I played on board 1 and before even one of my games had ended, all other games in this challenge had finished. The score at that point was 2 - 2, so the winner of the challenge was decided on board 1. First of my games to end was a draw so, it came to the final game of this clan challenge to decide the winner. Even though I was the lower rated player, I was able to win this final game and with that also the challenge for our clan. There was a show called Buffy the Vampire Slayer and in that show one of the characters referred to the good guys as the white hats and that is how the name for the clan came to be and has nothing to do with any other clan with white hats.

I think that this game was played quite well by both players until I made the first mistake of the game with 18.Qf2, though even before that I had made some inaccurate moves. The game went on only slightly favoring my opponent until I played 29.Ne3, which gives an even bigger advantage to my opponent, actually Adrian Shaw should have a winning advantage at this point. I may have been in huge difficulties, but I still did not see a clear win for my opponent, so I continued on playing the game and tried to find the most resilient moves and hang on in the game. I did make a huge blunder with the move 32.Kh2 and it could have been my the final mistake, had my opponent played 32...Qxd2! I would have most likely resigned after seeing that move. My opponent did not take his chance, but instead played 32...a5 and that gave me chances to bring the game back to balance which I was able to do with 33.Nxf6+. However, I went astray with my 34th move, which gave my opponent an opportunity once again to take the full point. Both players were ignorant of the tactical possibility Qxd2, followed up with Nf1+ and it all worked out in my favor. 34...c5 turned out to be the losing move of the game and there is no doubt of who is going to win the game after 35.Bxg5. I had to be somewhat careful what I played though, in order to avoid giving my opponent any chances to get back into the game.

26 Mar 2015

D45 Semi-Slav Defense: Main Lines

D45 Semi-Slav Defense: Main Lines

The game below was played in the first round of the third WORLD OPEN RAPID tournament that I have played at the FIDE Online Arena. I played quite well in this game for some time and then I started to mess things up a bit. I won only due to the fact my opponent lost on time. That being said I think that the engine was a bit too optimistic in its evaluation of the position where the game ended. It does not even show a convincing path to victory for White before it thinks that White is completely winning. In my arrogant opinion Black's d-pawn is quite strong and offers nice counterplay. I may look Black's position too optimistically as I was playing with the black pieces in this game but unless there is something other in the position than winning a pawn for White, then I can't really say that White is winning. Maybe further study of the end position is required to give a better evaluation but this will do for now.

If you have been visiting this blog before, you have undoubtedly seen some chances in it. I have today tried different layouts and other things in order to make this more friendly to mobile devices but it might be far from perfect still. I do like the old layout in some ways better but this layout has its own good aspects aswell. There might be some changes in the near future aswell but the content will always be accessible in one way or another. I have added two mate in ones, one mate in two, one mate in three and one mate in six today. Until tomorrow, my fellow chess enthusiasts!

Game number two. I was quite close to resigning this game until I saw the account closed icon next to my opponent's handle. I am glad that I saw it because if I had not, I would have lost this game unnecessarily. The game below was played in a team match called LATINO vs Wolf's Lair and it is played between LATINO and TROY. I played on board 1 for TROY and won both of my games due to timeouts. I am not sure why some teams like to change their name every now and then, maybe it is because the Super Admins for the group change and they want a team name more suitable for them. I liked our previous name better to be honest. The current score in this 30 board match is 38 - 16 in favor of LATINO, so they have already won the match but of course not received the win officially yet.

Game number three. The game below was played in the first round of the Maximum ! tournament at Chess.com. My opponent has won our group by an incredible score of 21,5 out of 22 possible points. I am currently on eight place and probably won't continue to the second round, or so it would seem at this point in time.

Game number four. This one was played in the first round of the 2014 October Long Haul Split I tournament. I am playing on group 2 and I am one of the five players who can still win the group. I have been able to move in a lot faster pace in this tournament recently than I did in the first months of this tournament. The first round might even be over for me before this year is over... There is a timeout of 21 days and no timebank, so it is not that fast paced tournament in the first place. The move order in the game below is not the one seen in theory. The move order in theory is 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 c6 5.e3.

Game number five. The game below was played in the 2014 August Grand Seven Fourteen II tournament at Red Hot Pawn. The winner of the tournament was decided based on this game and it was nice to see that this was also the last game in progress, so interest for the tournament lasted as long as it could. Had the winner been decided long before all the games had finished, the interest for the tournament might have been gone at that moment and the rest of the games would not have meant as much as they did now. I was second on the tournament before this game ended, one point behind caissad4, so I had to win this game. This became my first tournament win at Red Hot Pawn!! I finished the tournament with 112 points that were gathered in 40 games. Interestingly I won all my 20 games with the black pieces and with the white pieces I struggled a little, 17 wins, two losses and a draw, but still, of course, an excellent result for me. Caissad4 finished second with 110 points and a player called blither (1673) was third with 90 points. I also finished as the highest rated player of the tournament, though it was not always so, I think caissad4 held that position for a long time.

Game number six. This was played on the first round of the 2014 October Split II tournament. I have finished all my games on this round and I am currently on shared first place on group 1. There is still one game in progress that can change the leader of the group. If the game between caissad4 and NN Cheap is drawn, then three players from group 1 will advance to the second round. Those three players would be NN Cheap (2173), aukermdr (1928) and me. If NN Cheap wins that game, then only he will advance to the second round. The players on the first round were divided to two groups and group 2 has already been decided. A player who will win group 2 is called SuperMac (1668). SuperMac has gathered 56 points so far and can get to 59 points.

25 Mar 2015

E43 Nimzo-Indian Defense: St. Petersburg Variation

E43 Nimzo-Indian Defense: St. Petersburg Variation

In this rare occasion I am able to publish two games at once in an opening variation I have not previously covered. This first game was played in the 2014 August Grand Seven Fourteen II tournament. The tournament started August 11th 2014 and it is still ongoing. Only two players are still in the fight for the first place and I am one of them. This 21 player tournament features players from beginners to more advanced players and everything in between. Even though I am currently the highest rated player in this tournament, it may change quite quickly to something else as people play lot of simultaneous games and ratings are calculated immediately after the games end.

Even though missing one tournament in the FIDE Online Arena does slow my game requirement for the title a bit, I still think it is wise for me to not play today as I am quite tired. I hope that I am more rested tomorrow and can play well so that I could get my monitored elo up a bit again. It is still too close to 1700 and under no circumstances should I allow it to drop below it. That would mean that I would need another 50 rapid games for the title as the counter would reset at that point. The fact that I am tired is not the only reason that I should playing today as I still need to move in lot of my correspondence games today and it would be nice to go to sleep a bit earlier than yesterday. I have added one mate in one, two mate in five, one mate in seven and one mate in ten today. In addition I have added one more analysed game to my post C64 Spanish Game: Classical Variation.

Game number two. This was played in a tournament called 2014 August Grand Seven Fourteen III. In this tournament I have already lost my chances to win but I have some though very little chances for second place. This tournament is pretty much the same in every aspect as the tournament in the first game as you might have guessed from the similar names. Both have 7 day timeout and 14 days are in the timebank. These two tournaments even started the same day. Only thing that is different and even that ever so slightly is the player pool and the two people who fight for the first place. Well, one of them is different. There is one player who fights for the win in both tournaments, caissad4.

24 Mar 2015

B00 Goldsmith Defense: General

B00 Goldsmith Defense: General

This is one of those offbeat openings that I would not recommend to anyone. There are much better ways to answer 1.e4, for instance, 1...c6, 1...c5, 1...e5 and 1...e6 that should get you a better game than if you play 1...h5. As there are players of all skill levels in the database that I am using as the reference database for these analysis, there are examples even of this opening. In that database there are currently over 6 million games and I get updates to it every week for another 5000+ games. The game below was played in the first round of the 2014 September Glacial Super Casual I tournament. There are eight groups of eight players in round one and only the winner of the group will advance to the next round. Which is probably a good thing considering the slow pace of the tournament. 21 days are reserved for each move and if you do go over that time limit, there are also 21 days in the bank. So you could spend maxium of six weeks thinking about your move. Vacation time would actually increase even that time... Not that you would need to take vacation time with these long time controls. My opponent in this game is actually one that I have played most games against at Red Hot Pawn. Ended up in the same tournaments and same groups for some reason. I have added four mate in ones and one mate in five today. In addition I have added one more analysed game to these posts: D02 Queen Pawn Game: London System, C50 Italian Game: Giuoco Pianissimo and C45 Scotch Game: Classical Variation. Any feedback you can give me is always much appreciated!

23 Mar 2015

C67 Spanish Game: Berlin Defence, 4.O-O Nxe4 (9.Nc3)

C67 Spanish Game: Berlin Defence, 4.O-O Nxe4 (9.Nc3)

My second tournament at the FIDE Online Arena did not start at all the same way as the first one did. This game was played in the first round of the WORLD OPEN RAPID tournament that was played at FOA March 15th 2015. The game below was my first loss in the tournaments played there and many have followed after this. All the tournaments that I have played there have been with 15 minute time controls, except the one I played yesterday and to my surprise it did not feature any monitored games and thus my game requirement did not change by that tournament. So in some ways it was a waste of my time. This game was not played all that well by me and I wish I had seen the move 26.Bf6! as that would have been a nice move to play in the game. Today I have updated the mate in one, four, five, nine and ten puzzle pages by adding one more puzzle to them.

The first time I made clearly a wrong decision in this game was in the position below after my opponent's 14th move Nxe3. For some reason I decided to take back on e3 with the pawn. The move looks really horrible now that I look at it, but I guess I understand the reason why I played it. I am assuming that I wanted to keep my current threats to the bishop and to the pawn on c7. Unfortunately those two threats are easily dealt with as THUMATI could just move the bishop to b6.

There might have been another reason behind the move 15.fxe3 and it is that I might have been worried about Bd6 if I take on e3 with my bishop. It would not have been as dangerous as I might have thought at first during the game. While my 15th move was the starting point for my downhill, it was not the losing move. The losing move of the game I played in the position below after 17...Rfe8.

I played 18.Rad1 and most likely realised my mistake right after I had made that move. I can't really remember all that clearly anymore, but if I did not understand my mistake before my opponent made the next move, I certainly understood the mistake after the move 18...Bg4 had appeared on the board. I continued what may have seemed like a pointless resistance after the blunder, but then we reached the position below after 24.Rg1.

In that position THUMATI played 24...Bd4, going from a winning position to a losing position. I replied with 25.Bxd8 and things looked going my way. THUMATI continued with an interesting idea 25...Rxd3. At this point both players probably were under some time pressure. Unfortunately for me I was not able to find either of the two good moves in the position, 26.Bf6 or 26.Qc8. It would have been a decent idea to play 26.cxd3, but the two aforementioned moves were winning while 26.cxd3 was only good enough for a clear advantage. Instead of winning the game, I blundered it away by playing 26.h3??

[Event "Tournament 27933940"] [Site "online arena"] [Date "2015.03.15"] [Round "1"] [White "Vierjoki, Timo"] [Black "THUMATI"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "C67"] [WhiteElo "1833"] [BlackElo "1607"] [Annotator "Stockfish 8 64 POPCNT (30s), TV"] [PlyCount "56"] [EventDate "2015.??.??"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. O-O Nxe4 {Spanish Game: Berlin Defense. Rio Gambit Accepted} 5. Re1 (5. d4 a6 {Spanish Game: Berlin Defense. Rosenthal Variation} (5... Be7 6. dxe5 {Spanish Game: Berlin Defense. Minckwitz Variation } (6. Qe2 Nd6 (6... d5 {Spanish Game: Berlin Defense. Trifunovic Variation}) 7. Bxc6 bxc6 8. dxe5 Nb7 9. b3 {Spanish Game: Berlin Defense. Pillsbury Variation} (9. c4 {Spanish Game: Berlin Defense. Zukertort Variation}) (9. Nd4 {Spanish Game: Berlin Defense. Winawer Attack})))) 5... Nd6 6. Bxc6 dxc6 7. Nxe5 Be7 8. d4 O-O 9. Nc3 {C67 Spanish Game: Berlin Defence, 4.O-O Nxe4} Nf5 10. d5 (10. Be3 Be6 11. Qd3 Bf6 12. Rad1 Bxe5 13. dxe5 Qxd3 14. Rxd3 Rfd8 15. Rxd8+ Rxd8 16. b3 Nxe3 17. Rxe3 c5 18. f3 c4 19. Kf2 cxb3 20. axb3 a6 21. Ke2 Kf8 22. Ne4 Rd5 23. Nc3 Rd8 24. Ne4 Rd5 {Frick,R (2038) -Antoniou,A (2210) Monaco 2013 1/ 2-1/2}) 10... cxd5 11. Nxd5 Bc5 $146 (11... Bd6 12. Nf3 Nh4 13. Nxh4 (13. Ng5 h6 14. Ne4 Be6 15. Bf4 Bxd5 16. Nxd6 Bxg2 17. Ne4 Qc8 18. Bg3 Qh3 19. Re3 Nf5 20. Re1 Rad8 21. Bd6 cxd6 22. Nd2 Rfe8 23. c3 Nh4 24. f4 Bf3 25. Rxe8+ Rxe8 26. Qf1 Qg4+ {0-1 (26) Kutyanina,M (1708) -Tikhonov,Y Tambov 2016}) 13... Qxh4 14. g3 Qh3 15. Bf4 Bc5 16. Be3 Bd6 17. Bf4 Bc5 18. Nxc7 Bg4 19. Qd5 Rad8 20. Qg2 Qxg2+ 21. Kxg2 h6 22. h3 Bd7 23. c4 Bc6+ 24. Nd5 Bxd5+ {1/2-1/2 (24) Walbrodt, C-Tarrasch,S Nuremberg 1894}) 12. Bf4 Be6 13. Ne3 Qh4 {Black threatens to win material: Qh4xf4} 14. Nd3 Nxe3 15. fxe3 (15. Bxe3 $5 {deserves consideration} Bd6 16. h3 $11) 15... Bb6 $15 16. Qf3 Rad8 17. Kh1 Rfe8 18. Rad1 $4 (18. a4 $142 {is the best chance} a5 19. h3 $15) 18... Bg4 $19 19. Qxb7 (19. Qf1 { does not improve anything} Bxd1 20. Rxd1 Bxe3 21. Bxc7 Rc8 $19) 19... Bxd1 20. Rxd1 g5 21. Bg3 Qg4 22. Rf1 (22. Qf3 {there is nothing else anyway} Qxf3 23. gxf3 Rxe3 24. Re1 Rxe1+ 25. Bxe1 $19) 22... Rxe3 23. Bxc7 (23. Rf3 {does not win a prize} Qe6 24. h4 Re2 $19) 23... Qe2 24. Rg1 Bd4 (24... Rexd3 25. Bxb6 R3d7 $19 (25... axb6 $6 26. cxd3 Qxb2 27. Rf1 $11)) 25. Bxd8 $18 Rxd3 26. h3 $4 {throws away the game} (26. Bf6 $142 $1 {and White has triumphed} Bxf6 27. cxd3 $18) 26... Bxg1 (26... Rd1 27. Bf6 Rxg1+ 28. Kh2 Rh1+ 29. Kxh1 Qe1+ 30. Kh2 Bg1+ 31. Kh1 Bf2+ 32. Kh2 Qg1#) 27. Kxg1 (27. Qb8 {desperation} Kg7 $1 { Mate threat} 28. cxd3 $19) 27... Qe1+ 28. Kh2 Qg3+ (28... Qg3+ 29. Kg1 Rd1#) 0-1

22 Mar 2015

C99 Closed Spanish Game: Chigorin Defence, 11.d4 Qc7 12.Nbd2 cxd4 (13.cxd4)

C99 Closed Spanish Game: Chigorin Defence, 11.d4 Qc7 12.Nbd2 cxd4 (13.cxd4)

This was played on the second round of the Smaller Tournament. I advanced from the first round by winning group 4 with a half point difference to the player who finished second. Only the winner or winners of each group will advance from every round. I was able to get 6.5 points out of the possible 8, on round one. This second round has already gone worse than the previous round for me, as I have lost two games out of the five that have finished so far. My losses were against rudobrody, who is clearly the highest rated player of the group and he is also very likely to win the group and advance to the next round. The player who is currently second, _Henry_, has theoretical chances to tie rudobrody in points and in doing so would also be able to advance to the third round. I know for sure that I am not able to tie rudobrody anymore, because that would mean that I would have to win all my remaining games and he would need to lose the last game he has in progress. Which is very unlikely because his opponent has not been online in months...

When compared to the first game in this post, the first new move in this game was seen when I played 13...Nc4. In the first game andrei2015 played the move 13...Nc6. My novelty, when considering the games I have played in this variation, was not a good one. It would have been a step towards difficulties, had my opponent replied accurately. However, my move was not a clear mistake and only very precise play may have led to an advantage close to a clear advantage for my opponent. Rudobrody played the move 14.b3 and my opponent was only slightly better. 14.Nxc4 was the strongest move for my opponent. In reply to 14.b3 I played 14...Nb6, which caused me more trouble than I had experienced previously in the game. The position after 14.b3 can be seen below.

Rudobrody answered with the move 15.Bb2 and my opponent was very close to a clear advantage. My more significant downhill started with my 15th move exd4. Only decent move for me would have been 15...Nbd7. Rudobrody played a good move, 16.Rc1, in response to 15...exd4. With my 16th move Bb7 I went to a position that could not be salvaged anymore. I struggled on for a few moves, but when it came time to make my 20th move, I understood the futility of continuing my struggle and I resigned.

[Event "Smaller Tournament - Round 2"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2015.12.15"] [Round "?"] [White "rudobrody"] [Black "Vierjoki, Timo"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C99"] [WhiteElo "2135"] [BlackElo "1843"] [Annotator "Stockfish 8 64 POPCNT (30s), TV"] [PlyCount "39"] [EventDate "2015.??.??"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O b5 6. Bb3 Be7 7. Re1 O-O 8. h3 d6 9. c3 Na5 10. Bc2 c5 11. d4 Qc7 12. Nbd2 cxd4 13. cxd4 {C99 Closed Spanish Game: Chigorin Defence, 11.d4 Qc7 12.Nbd2 cxd4} Nc4 14. b3 {White threatens to win material: b3xc4} (14. Nf1 Bb7 15. b3 Nb6 16. Bb2 Rac8 17. Rc1 Nbd7 18. Ne3 Rfe8 19. Nd5 Qa5 20. Nxe7+ Rxe7 21. a3 Rce8 22. dxe5 dxe5 23. b4 Qb6 24. Qd2 Nf8 25. Qe3 N6d7 26. Bb3 Ng6 27. Qxb6 Nxb6 28. Rc5 Kf8 {Nikolov,J (2095)-Danko, J (1955) Sunny Beach 2013 0-1 (59)}) 14... Nb6 $146 (14... Nxd2 15. Qxd2 Bb7 16. Bb2 Nd7 17. Rac1 Rac8 18. Bb1 Qb8 19. dxe5 Nxe5 20. Nd4 Rfd8 21. Rxc8 Rxc8 22. Nf5 Bf8 23. Rd1 Rc6 24. Ba3 d5 25. Bxf8 Kxf8 26. Qb4+ {1-0 (26) Malzahn, S-Janssen,H Schleswig Holstein 1991}) (14... Nxd2 15. Bxd2 (15. Nxd2 $143 Qc3 16. Rb1 Qxd4 $17) (15. Qxd2 $6 Bb7 $11) 15... Bb7 16. Rc1 $14) 15. Bb2 exd4 ( 15... Nbd7 $5 $14) 16. Rc1 $16 Bb7 $4 {shortens the misery for Black} (16... Qb7 $142 $16) 17. e5 $18 Qd7 18. exf6 Bxf6 19. Ne4 Be7 (19... Bxe4 {is one last hope} 20. Bxe4 d5 $18) 20. Qxd4 (20. Qxd4 f6 21. Neg5 $18) 1-0

21 Mar 2015

C02 French Defense: Advance Variation. Main Line

C02 French Defense: Advance Variation. Main Line

The game you are about to see now is from the second round of French 2014 tournament. In the first round of this tournament I was in a group where there were two titled players, one FIDE Master and one International Master. From that group I was able to advance to the second group where there is only one titled player, a National Master. In this second round I am in a group that has five players in it. Each round top three players will advance to the next round and others are eliminated from the tournament. Even though I am currently in third place, I doubt that it continues to be so, long enough that I would be able to go the third round that is. I have added one more analysed game to these posts: D02 Queen Pawn Game: Symmetrical Variation. Pseudo-Catalan, C42 Russian Game: Three Knights Game, C44 King's Knight Opening: Normal Variation, B01 Scandinavian Defense: Main Lines and C34 King's Gambit: Accepted. Fischer Defense. I have also added three mate in ones, one mate in two and one mate in six puzzle today.

20 Mar 2015

C77 Spanish Game: Morphy Defense. Anderssen Variation

C77 Spanish Game: Morphy Defense. Anderssen Variation

The game below is the second game I have played at FIDE Online Arena. I started analysing my games from FOA and I posted my first game from there earlier today and it can be found in the post C50 Italian Game: Italian Variation. My first game might have been a good game from me but this second game started to feature more mistakes. Thinking time in this game was 15 minutes. The thing I have learned in these 15 minute games that I have played at FIDE Online Arena is that I may have problems in the time usage. I either start to use too much of it or too little. In the first six games there I think that my head was in the right place and I could use the time properly. Yesterday I was able to play three more games towards the title requirement, which was nice but I also lost over 50 rating points and that is starting to be a near catastrophe. In the tournament yesterday I faced a player whose monitored elo was a bit over 1300. If that would have been her true rating, it would not have mattered that much but her unmonitored elo was above 2200... I of course lost and lost a lot of rating points because it was the monitored elo that was used in the game. If this would be something that rarely happens, it would not be so annoying but it seems to happen almost every tournament there. Well, in the couple of tournaments I have played there so far that is. All my opponents who have won a game against me, have deserved to win the games as they have played better than I have, I am not questioning that. It is just that the way I lose rating points that annoys me. Oh yeah, before I forget, yesterday when I posted C20 English Opening: The Whale, it was 500th game to be seen in this blog!! I noticed it only today hence the late announcement. After today there are 493 analysed chess games here and 9 analysed chess960 games. It is likely that by the end of the year, there will be at least 1000 games here. I have added one mate in three, one mate in four, one mate in five, one mate in seven and one mate in eight puzzle today.

Game number two. This game was played in the fifth round of a rapid chess tournament at the FIDE Online Arena. In the first four games I managed to get three wins and one draw, so all went well until this game. I do not remember how many times I have played against safmoon but all the games have been difficult for me. I remember one win among the games though.

Game number three. The game below is from the fifth and final round of the WORLD OPEN RAPID tournament that was played at the FIDE Online Arena. This could have been my only loss in this tournament but my opponent made some mistakes that enabled me to get to a equal position and somewhere around that point I offered a draw to my opponent, which safmoon declined. And because of the way the game continued, I was happy after the game that my opponent did not take that draw. In time trouble safmoon made the final mistake that ensured my win and at the same time the best tournament result I have received at the FIDE Online Arena so far.

19 Mar 2015

C20 English Opening: The Whale

C20 English Opening: The Whale

The game below was played in a team match called PFCC YEAR END CHALLENGE-December 14. It was a 27 board match between PHILIPPINES' FINEST Chess Club and The Toon Gang. I played board ten in this match for the The Toon Gang. Our opponent won the match with a score of 28 - 26. As the other game that I played in this match I have already shared previously, you might have seen the same information there. This match started December 11th 2014 and concluded March 12th 2015. Thinking time was 3 days for each move. This match was quite fruitful to me as it brought two opening variations that were previously unseen in this blog, so I can only thank my opponent for his choice of opening play.

I previously thought that it would be easy enough for me to maintain a rating over 1700 at FIDE Online Arena but as there are some people who are clearly lower rated than they should be, it might be more difficult task than I first thought. Not only that but as I have played mainly rapid tournaments there, I might get only two official games played per day and I can't be sure on which round those games will come. Well, it is not always sure that I even get one official game played in a tournament. Official games I call the games that affect my monitored elo that is. Only those monitored elo games increase the game requirement for the title. If I had more free time to play, I might get these games faster but it is not a likely thing to happen in the near future. I have added one mate in two, one mate in three, two mate in four and one mate in five puzzle today. Until tomorrow, my fellow chess enthusiasts!

Game number two. This was played in the second round of an over the board tournament that was held at Turku between December 7th 2001 and December 9th 2001. It is sometimes rather painful to look at my earliest recorded games because they were really bad. I may find solace on the fact that I have imrpoved my game quite a lot over the years. In order to complete my chess legacy in this blog, I have to include all my games whether they are good or not. After I had played two games in this tournament, I still had not gathered any points. It was an uphill battle for the most part back then and I ended up losing most of my games. I am happy that those days are long gone and I have become a winning player, well for the most part that is.

Game number three. The game below was played in the first round of the 2014 October Glacial Super Casual Banded I 1650+ tournament that is held at Red Hot Pawn. There are 23 players in this tournament and they are divided into one group of twelve and one group of eleven players the first round. Winner or winners from both groups will face each other in the second and final round. I am playing on group 1 and I am one of the five players who can still win the group. I have only lost one game so far and it was my other game against ettemarc, who played well in that game and deserved to win. I am currently in ninth place, mainly due to my slowly progressing games. Because of the very long time controls in this tournament, there is a timeout of 21 days and there are 21 days in the bank, some of the games I have in progress will most likely last over a year, unless there is a huge change in the tempo that games are played in.

Game number four. This is from the third round of a tournament that was played at Pori over 12 years ago. In the first round I won against a player who was higher rated than me by a 450+ points and on the second round I faced even slightly tougher opponent against whom I lost, so after three rounds I had only one win and two losses. Admittedly all my my opponents so far were 1800+ while I was only barely over 1400. I would not have believed it at this point but this was going to be my best tournament so far in my chess playing days, well if I am not counting the first round that is.

18 Mar 2015

Chess960 SP869

Chess960 SP869

This game was played in a team match called Chess 960: Russia Central Federal District vs Fair tournament players. I played board 12 in this match for Fair tournament players. We did all we could in this match but our opponent ended up winning it with a score of 17,5 - 14,5. We lost both games on board 9 due to timeouts so that was a pity but otherwise well fought match. The match was played on 16 boards. This was a Chess960 major update day compared to my previous posts about it. In addition to these two games I have added three more games to my post Chess960 SP50 and one more game to my post Chess960 SP71. While I added those games I noticed something interesting and that is the fact that even though the pgn4web board generator says the game is too long, still the automatically generated HTML code seems to contain all the necessary info I need in the game. This means that I might change my Chess960 games that do not have analysed versions in this blog into analysed versions because it seems to work at least for now. That I might do later today or tomorrow, depending on how much time I have after the tournament I am going to participate in later today.

This second game is from the same match as the game above. Hmm, when I tried to use the pgn4web board generator for this game, it said I went over the allowed character limit but as it still seemed like it had all the necessary info in the game I tried to put it here and still seems to work... So I placed the analysed version in this blog. Maybe I should retry with the other games aswell.

17 Mar 2015

C10 French Defense: Marshall Variation

C10 French Defense: Marshall Variation

A little bit of break from the Red Hot Pawn games as the game I share with you now was played at Chess.com. It was played in a team match called PFCC YEAR END CHALLENGE-December 14. It was played between PHILIPPINES' FINEST Chess Club and The Toon Gang. I played on board 10 in this match for The Toon Gang and won both my games on time. The match was played played on 27 boards and the final score was 28 - 26 in favor of PHILIPPINES' FINEST Chess Club. This match was like many others I have played in the unfortunate regard that there were players who got their accounts closed and timeouts also were a factor which our team suffered during this match. This was probably one of the most fast paced team matches I have played at Chess.com as this only lasted a bit over three months. I have added one mate in three, five, seven, eight and ten puzzle today.

Game number two. The game below was played in the 2014 August Grand Seven Fourteen III tournament. As all my hopes of winning this tournament have gone away long ago, I now try to get only a decent score from my remaining games and improve my rating. I remember vaguely that this game was quite difficult for me to play for some reason, especially around move 39 or thereabouts. I was not sure at all of the correct plan that I should follow. I made some really bad moves few moves later but luckily for me, they were not bad enough to lose the game.

16 Mar 2015

B40 Sicilian Defense: French Variation. Westerinen Attack

B40 Sicilian Defense: French Variation. Westerinen Attack

The game I am sharing now is one that was played last year at Red Hot Pawn in a tournament called 2014 September Grand Seven Fourteen III. The games I still have left in this tournament might very easily become the longest that I have ever played. So far the games have lasted a bit over six months and my longest game ever was a bit over 11 months so still a few months to go for that but they seem to progress relaxed enough fashion that they might still be ongoing several months from now. Not all of them but some might be in progress 11 months after they have started. I am not going to intentionally prolong them obviously and my move speed at Red Hot Pawn has maybe increased a bit since my busiest times. I have not started any games or tournaments there for some months I think so my game load should ease a bit eventually. As I still have 259 games in progress, this is still quite a busy time for me.

I have now played two tournaments at FIDE Online Arena and both were WORLD OPEN RAPID tournaments, the first one was a four round Swiss tournament and the second a five round Swiss. The first one went better than I would have dreamed of as I got 3,5 out of 4 and won the first tournament with a performance rating of 2069. The second one that I played I managed to be quite the opposite from the first one. I lost on the first round to a player who was rated 1607 or somewhere around that rating and then on the second round I lost to a player who was rated 1400... In my defense though he might have been quite good since he had a winning position against a player who was rated almost 2200. That game ended in a draw as the higher rated player was a bit lucky in the end. The next three rounds went down the drain for me aswell because all my remaining opponents had logged off for some reason. I did get 3 out of 5 but not because of my ability to play chess. Due to the horrible first two rounds my performance rating was in the second tournament only 704... Quite a large drop from the previous day. Admittedly I was able to concentrate on the games better in the first tournament but still no excuses for the disaster that happened yesterday, the two opponents that I faced just were playing better chess than I was then, simple as that. I have not checked if there is another tournament scheduled for today around the same time if there is, I might need to take yet another try of getting the required games played. The games that are required for the title that is. I will start posting those FIDE Online Arena games sometime this week. I have added two mate in twos, one mate in nine and two mate in eleven puzzles today. This post was renamed June 5th 2015 because I noticed that it had the wrong name.

Game number two. The game that is shown below is probably my last game that was not played in a tournament. By that I mean that I will not play games that are not tournament games anymore at Red Hot Pawn, on other sites that is not necessarily true. The advantage shifted a bit from one player to the other during this game, first my opponent was on the better side, then I was, later he could have taken the advantage again but did not, so I was able to take it and never let him back in the game again.

Game number three. This was played in the first round of the 2014 September Glacial Super Casual I tournament at Red Hot Pawn. This tournament started September 13th 2014 and the first round is still going June 5th 2015 and there is no sign of it ending anytime soon. I am currently leading my group but all eight players in the group have theoretical chances of winning the tournament, or at least sharing the win. The slow progress can be explained by the really long thinking times that this tournament has. Timeout is 21 days and you also have 21 days in your timebank. The game below ended in a nice tactical blow.

15 Mar 2015

B44 Sicilian Defense: Paulsen Variation. General

B44 Sicilian Defense: Paulsen Variation. General

Yesterday I got a bit excited of the fact that I can now get a FIDE title quite easily. Well, actually most people can get a some kind of title without that much effort. As the new FIDE titles address players in the 1100-2000 rating range it should not be all that difficult to get a title if you happen to want one. I am one those who really want one, so I started playing yesterday the game requirement for the title. In order to get the titles you need to play 50 rapid games or 100 blitz games or 150 bullet games. If you want to get a certain title, for example, Arena International Master, you need to maintain a rating of 1700 or above for the amount of games that are required for the game speed. All the games are to be played at FIDE Online Arena in order to qualify for that title. I started to get the rapid games going yesterday but out of the six games I played, only two were classified as proper elo games. I think this might have something to do with my opponents not having an official elo rating yet, not sure but two of the tournament games were counted for the 50 games and two were not. I am trying to get the Arena Grandmaster title later but as my rating at the moment only qualifies for Arena International master title, I might get that when those 50 games are completed, provided of course that I will keep my rating high enough. I think there should not be any reason why I would not be able to do that unless I started blundering many games in a row. My current rapid rating is 1839 and just need to try and climb up the ratings toward 2000 and once there keep it there for 50 games.

The game I am sharing with you today is one that was played at Red Hot Pawn in a tournament called 2014 August Grand Seven Fourteen II. I am currently second in the tournament, seven points behind the current leader but I can still overtake him if everything goes well in the remaining games. There are 21 players in this tournament and the rating range is 922-1840, so a lot of difference there, maybe a bit too much to my liking. One of the reasons I might only start in the future tournaments with some rating restrictions on them. I have added one mate in three, two mate in five, one mate in six and one mate in nine puzzle today. In addition I have updated the following posts, C64 Spanish Game: Classical Variation. Charousek Variation, E00 Indian Game: East Indian Defense and C92 Spanish Game: Closed Variations. Flohr System by adding one more analysed game to them.

Game number two. The game below was played in a team match called Limitless Chess vs Philippine Critical Movers. Both teams have 33 players playing in this match and I am playing on board 7 for Limitless Chess. The current score in the match is 34 - 29 in our favor, which means that we have secured our win already. I am not usually happy with a draw, especially when I have been up in material, but this draw I am happy to get because I thought that I was in huge trouble there. Around move 25 I realised that even though I am a piece up, it is not easy for me to make use of my extra piece. I was somewhat worried when the pawns on the kingside started rolling that I would lose this game. Luckily that did not happen, but instead got a draw in a position where I am two pieces up...

14 Mar 2015

B73 Sicilian Defense: Dragon Variation. Classical Variation

B73 Sicilian Defense: Dragon Variation. Classical Variation

This is a game that was played in the 2014 August Grand Seven Fourteen III tournament at Red Hot Pawn. I am currently the third highest rated player in that tournament, with a rating of 1827. I do hold still some chances for second place but it does not need much for those dreams to be crushed as my main rival for that place only requires two points from his remaining games to go out my reach. After that happens, third place is my next goal, though in worst case even that can slip away from my grasp. Well maybe that is not the worst case actually because unless I get four more points at least, then I drop to fifth place but at least that should be the lowest I can go anymore in the standings. Agreeably there is a quite huge difference in ratings in this game but sometimes even that does not guarantee the win for the stronger player as I will be able show that in one of my most embarring losses sometime in the future. I have added one mate in one, two, five, six and seven puzzle today. In addition I have added one more analysed game to my post A20 English Opening: King's English Variation. General. Thank you all who have spent some of their time visiting my blog, it is much appreciated!

Game number two. This was my second challenge game after playing my last tournament at least for the time being at the FIDE Online Arena. These rapid game challenges started very well for me, after two games I had two wins.

13 Mar 2015

D55 Queen's Gambit Declined: Modern Variation. Normal Line

D55 Queen's Gambit Declined: Modern Variation. Normal Line

Once again I go back to one of my earliest over the board games and this was played in the same tournament as the previous over the board games I have shared. This is from round four and and my fourth loss in the tournament, it was quite hard for me to get any points in my earliest games. Luckily it has changed a bit over the years. Still I reckon that I have lost more than won in over the board games as even though I can't really remember exact statistics from the games, I do remember that I have only rarely scored more than 50% in the tournaments that I have played. I have, however, managed to get 4,5 out of 5 points two times if my memory serves me right and a few times I have got 4 out of 5. Whenever I have had chances for getting the maximum score in a tournament, the last round game has always been too tough to win for me.

Like many times before, the move order in the game below is not following the theoretical one but it does reach the same position as the one in theory 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 Be7 5.e3 O-O 6.Nf3. Usually the move order in chess is very important, for example, when you are trying to mate your opponent and the correct move order would lead in to a mate but the wrong move order would give your opponent unnecessary chances. I am surprised to see how well I played back then as I look at the game now, I mean I might have lost the game but it did show some promise of something better in the future. I did manage to get my rating up 283 points in one year or something like that after my climb from 1300 or so started. It has been up to this day the biggest rating climb I have had and most likely the biggest I will ever have again. I have added one mate in one, one mate in three, one mate in four, one mate in six and one mate in seven puzzle today to the exercises section of the blog.

Game number two. This was played in the second round of the Sarah's Mini Cooper Tournament (No 52). What can I say about the fact that I lost to a lower rated player except that he played well and deserved to win. I missed 29.Nf5 completely and of course the game was decided finally at that point, I could not recover from that blunder 28...Kh8?? anymore. I am currently in second place in group #1 and I will be most likely ending up on second place after the last game in round two in this group is finished and that game is played between me and pipoca2007. With the loss I got from this game, I secured the fact that I can't overtake the player called hozer who is going to win this group. Hozer collected 4,5 points this round and it was enough to win group #1. If I win my last game, I will end up in four points, which will mean I end up being on second place. It will be enough to secure my place on round three as two of the best players will advance from each group. I have to say I did face a lot tougher resistance on round two than on round one and if this keeps up, I will not advance from round three anymore. I will play to win on round three aswell though, so who knows what is going to happen then. That is if I win my last game...

Game number three. This was played in a team match between CYBERMEN ELITE and CHOCOLATE II. I am playing on board 1 for CHOCOLATE II in this 23 board match. We have currently a small lead in the match as the score is 18.5 - 21.5 in our favor. We might be close to winning but our opponent can still take the win out of our grasp if we are not careful. The timeouts are tied at the moment with both teams having three of them at the moment. Unfortunately for our team, our board 5 player has a cheater badge next to the username. Unfortunately for our opponent, the cheater won one of the games and because those wins by cheaters are not changed into losses, we have one more point than we should have. I think the correct score should be 19.5 - 20.5 because of that but if Chess.com is not going to change the results, then there is not much we can do about it.

Game number four. This was played in the first round of the tournament that was held at Hanko in June 2005. The results I was able to get in this tournament lead to my best rating climb during one tournament that I had been able to achieve before. Actually I have not been able to do any better climbs after this either, though I did manage a similar climb once after this one. I think this was also the first time I had tied a game against a 2000+ player in a game that has long time controls. I think I was 15th highest rated player in this tournament, but I ended up sharing second place while being undefeated. Due to tie-break I was fourth in the final standings with a score of 4 out of 5.

Game number five. The game below was played on the third round of a weekend tournament that was held at Salo in November, 2007. The first two rounds went well for me because I won both of my games. On this third round I finally faced an opponent who was able to get a win against me. Even still, having 2 out of the 3 possible points was not that bad of a result. Actually it was an improvement already to the tournaments that I had played on the previous year where I lost most of my games.

The game below was played quite accurately until I played 13...Ng5, it was only a small inaccuracy, but it would have been better to play 13...Nxc3. One inaccuracy gets replied with another when Kari Rahkamo played 14.Nd2, 14.Ne5 would have been the better move. The move played in the game shifts the advantage ever so slightly in my favor. However, I end up giving the advantage back to my opponent on my next move. Kari never gives the advantage back to me again, but I had chances to keep this game rather balanced and maybe even draw it, but the longer the game went, the worse my position went at the same time. When I played 20...Bxe4, it might have been the final mistake after which the game was lost.

12 Mar 2015

C54 Italian Game: Classical Variation. Greco Gambit Traditional Line

C54 Italian Game: Classical Variation. Greco Gambit Traditional Line

I tried after a long break to do some Chess Mentor training at Chess.com but I was surprised to see my rating go down there even though I did find all the correct moves. As there is no time involved in the training that I would know of, it does seem wierd to me. Admittedly I did not find the correct answer they were looking for at first but something that was equally good. It has not been a problem before so I don't know what has changed. The game below was played in the first round of the 2014 August Banded Quartets I 1700-1800 tournament. This is almost completed tournament, only one game remains on round two and that is my game where I try to win my opponent so I could finish in shared third place. Even though this should be a tournament where there are only four players on each group, I did not get into any group in this tournament that would have had only four players, instead on both rounds I was playing in groups where there were five players. All other groups were groups of four though. This tournament was won by a player called chessicle with a perfect score on round two as he won all his games. Interestingly he suffered a loss and a draw in his first round group even though the average rating of the players was lower then. I have added today one more puzzle to mate in two, three, seven, eight and eleven. If you have something to ask from the puzzles or my posts, maybe some clarifications or something, please leave a comment and I will gladly answer them. Until tomorrow, my fellow chess enthusiasts!

Game number two. Because it does not say it clearly in the analysis, I had to check at the notation in order to see what the move was that started my downfall. It seems that my move 11...c6 was quite bad and instead I should have played 11...Nc6. So on my eleventh move all started to go wrong. Well my eight move was not the best either and I should played instead Nxe4 and the position would become dead even. 8...Bxd2+ is not much worse but 8...Nxe4 has to be preferred a bit. This was played in the third round of a 15 minute tournament at the FIDE Online Arena. After three rounds I had gathered two wins and one loss. As all of my opponents were lower rated, this might not have been the result I would have liked but something that I had to accept. Can't win them all...

Game number three. The game below was played in a team match called Zamboanga. The match is played between Philippine Critical Movers and CHOCOLATE II. I played on board 3 in this match for CHOCOLATE II and won both of my games against lexis_bruce on time. The current score in the match is 28,5 - 17,5 in favor of Philippine Critical Movers. Because this match is played on 25 boards, Philippine Critical movers have secured their win already and will receive the win officially when all games have finished. I could have been completely lost in this game but my opponent did not take advantage from my bad moves and we ended up in a even position. The position at the end is equal, so had the game continued it might have been a draw.

Game number four. This was played in the first round of the WORLD OPEN RAPID tournament that was played at the FIDE Online Arena on April 6th 2015. It is always nice to start the tournament with an easy win, in order to build the confidence for the following rounds. Well, I was not able to carry on with the momentum on the next round and lost but more about that tomorrow when I post that game.

Game number five. The game below was played in the second round of the 28th Chess.com Tournament (1601-1800). With three games left to finish on this round, I am on fifth place in group #18 with theoretical chances to win the group and advance to the next round. However, it would require me to win all my remaining games and even then it would require the help of other players. It is very unlikely for me to win those games, so in practice I will not advance to the third round.

Game number six. This is my second consecutive game at the FIDE Online Arena against this particular opponent and it is also currently the last game I have played at FOA. This game was not that much better than my first game against jimmytwotimes. Unfortunately I was not in a good shape to play chess at one sitting and I self-destructed once again. My opponent did offer me another rematch but I thought it would be more like the same, me losing due to stupid mistakes, so I declined the offer. I was clearly not capable of playing good chess that day. There is a good thing about these two games though, I got a bit closer again to my next official FIDE title. Now I just need to keep my rating above 1700 for another 16 games.

11 Mar 2015

C78 Spanish Game: Morphy Defense

C78 Spanish Game: Morphy Defense

This is my latest game from Chess.com. While I looked at the different openings I have covered, I did notice one that was called C78 Spanish Game: Morphy Defense. When I looked at it more closely I noticed that it was not this same line that was played in this game. Therefore I had to rename my older post so that the variation is shown there in order to differentiate these two openings from each other. This has not been the first time that I have stumbled upon this naming problem and this might not be the last one either. But I will always do a correction to the names if there is need to that. Now for the game I share with you today. If I had seen that Qe3 move at the end and the fact that it does not lose a pawn during this game, I would have carried on at least for that move and test my opponent. Of course I have no doubt in my mind that he would not have gone for that pawn but now I will never know for sure. I resigned as I saw only forced mate in my future. This game was played in a team match called Open Challenge Team 8. It is played between Team 8 and Hitchhiker's Guide to The Galaxy. One of my favorite books of all time is The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy that containes five classic novels from the Douglas Adams's beloved Hitchhiker series by the way. It is no surprise then that I play board three for the Hitchhiker's Guide to The Galaxy in this match. The match is played on 24 boards and the current score is 25,5 - 17,5 so our opponent, Team 8, has already secured the win. I have added three mate in ones, one mate in two and one mate in today. I have also added one more analysed game to these two posts: B00 Owen Defense: General and D15 Slav Defense: Three Knights Variation.

Game number two. This game was played in a team match called 1. To Holmgard And Beyond. It was played between DEORLS! and Team Moscow on 29 boards. This match was won by DEORLS! with a score of 35 - 23. I played on board 10 in this match for DEORLS! and managed to help the team by winning both of my games against IGILO. In the game below I managed to get a comfortable advantage around move 26 and after that I did not let my opponent to get back into the game again. Before that this game was played rather evenly.

Game number three. The game below was played in a team match called Slow players - open challenge. The match was played between Dacii and Himgouree's club. I played on board 3 for Himgouree's club in this match and in addition to this win, I lost my other game against THEmorphy because I just moved my queen to an unfortunate square where it could be taken for free. Luckily I have not done these unintentional queen sacrifices in a long time. Well, I did miss in one game recently that my queen has no safe squares when my opponent attacks it with her rook. Then again my position was quite hopeless at that point anyway. This match that was played on 10 boards was won by Dacii with a score of 12,5 - 7,5. So if I had not lost that other game in a silly way, it would not have mattered all that much as we would not have been able to win this match or even draw it anyway. This match started on October 20th 2014 and it finished on May 20th 2015.

Game number four. This one was played in the mike5972p's mini-tournament VII at GameKnot. I am currently in sixth place in this 11 player tournament. I have finished 15 of the 20 games that I have in this tournament and in those games I have gathered 11 points. If I win all my remaining games, I will be second in the final standings.

Game number five. This one was played in a team match called OCD vs THE POWER OF CHESS: The Fair Match. It is played on 53 boards and I am playing on board 8 for Obsessive Chess Disorder!! The score at the moment I type is 42 - 60 in favor of THE POWER OF CHESS, so they have secured the win already. We lost eight games on timeouts, so that hurt our chances a bit in the struggle for the win.

Game number six. The game below was played on the second round of the 28th Chess.com Tournament (1601-1800). I am playing in group #18, which is a group that consists of six players. I am currently on fith place and I have gathered three wins in three games so far. That means that all my options are still available except the last place in this group because that is already been decided. It will be tough to win the group as there are good players in there. There is even one player who is more outrated in this rating limitations of the tournament than me and he is currently leading the group. The limitations of course were only in affect when the tournament started, so there are a lot of people no longer rated between 1601 and 1800. This tournament started on September 1st 2014.

Game number seven. The game below was played in the second round of the WORLD OPEN RAPID tournament that was held at the FIDE Online Arena on March 29th 2015. After this second round game, I had one win and one loss in the tournament. This was an unfortunate loss against a lower rated player.

Game number eight. The game below was played in the fourth round of the WORLD OPEN RAPID tournament that was held at the FIDE Online Arena on April 12th 2015. Before this draw I had managed to win two games and lose one. And that only loss came against a player who outrated me by over 700 points, so I was not that disappointed about the way the tournament had gone up to this point. This fourth round draw might be a slight disappointment, due to the rating difference being in my favor.

10 Mar 2015

C50 Italian Game: General

C50 Italian Game: General

This a real blast from my past as this is game from one of the first official tournaments I have played over the board chess in. I did not get many points back then and maybe got my first win in a selo, also known as Finnish elo, game in my 12th or 13th game. I have now played over the years 501 selo games so maybe it is a good time to start looking at them here... I have posted already two other over the board chess games and they were played in this same tournament. This one was played in the second round of the tournament and it was really tough tournament for me at that time as I lost all five games. This is luckily starting to be extremely rare that I would lose all my games in a tournament, no matter where it is played, over the board or in the internet. I can't actually even remember when was the last time that I lost all my games in a tournament. I have added one more puzzle to mate in one, two, three, four and nine. I have also added one more analysed game to the following posts: C50 Italian Game: Italian Variation, C45 Scotch Game: Alekhine Gambit, C11 French Defense: Classical Variation. Steinitz Variation, C64 Spanish Game: Classical Variation, D02 Queen Pawn Game: Symmetrical Variation and C41 Philidor Defense: Exchange Variation 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nxd4.

Game number two. This was played in the fourth round of an over the board tournament that was held at Turku back in 2001. After four rounds I had one win, one draw and two losses. Back in those days it was probably all that I could get from a tournament. This might have been the best score that I had in weekend tournaments in 2001, as far as I can remember anyway. Of course if I got these kind of scores these days, it would be a disaster.

Game number three. The game below was played on the first round of the 1800+ 7 Days tournament. The first round is actually still in progress even though it already started on October 10th, 2014. As far as I can remember, this is one of the longest tournaments I have ever taken part in. 64 players started the tournament and most of them have already been eliminated from the rest of the tournament. I am one of those players who are not able to advance to the second round. I am currently on 6th place and only by winning my last remaining game, would I be able to be 5th in the final standings of group 5. 5th place is currently the resting place of the first player who is not going to be able to advance to the next round. The best three players advance from each group, but because there is a player who has a cheater badge next to their handle on second place that player is ignored and the best three players who have not cheated will advance instead.

9 Mar 2015

B54 Sicilian Defense: Modern Variations

B54 Sicilian Defense: Modern Variations

Not sure why this keeps happening from time to time, my rating my first increase hundred or two points and then it just spirals down in an unstoppable way. This has happened with my over the board ratings and with my online ratings. I do not think that my ability to play chess has dropped or increased that much over the last few months but results tell a harsh story. The first few months I played correspondence chess again after a long break, I started to get my ratings on different sites steadily better but now it does not matter what I do, I still seem to lose most of my games. It might be that I entered a time filled with blunders and I can only hope that I get rid of that bad habit. It is true that I messed up some games to clear blunders but I still think that there should not be that many anymore, so maybe I can turn this downward fall into an upward climb. There has been quite clear playing strength differences in the last games I have posted but as I post every game I have ever played in over the board tournaments or online and in some kind of chronological order if possible these things will happen from time to time. I have added one mate in one, one mate in four, two mate in five and one mate in nine puzzle today. I have also added one more game to the following posts: C64 Spanish Game: Classical Variation, D15 Slav Defense: Three Knights Variation and C45 Scotch Game: Schmidt Variation.

Game number two. This one was played in a team match called Friendly match. It is played between Himgouree's club and DORU-66 & HIS BEST FRIENDS. I am playing on board one in this match for Himgouree's club and the game below was won due to a timeout. That being said I was clearly better and should be winning in the last position. The score in the match is currently 4 - 3 in favor of Himgouree's club but as three games are still left to be played in this five player match, anything can happen. The match started on November 11th 2014.

Game number three. This is from the second round of a 15 minute tournament that was played March 21st 2015 at the FIDE Online Arena. After two rounds I had two wins, so everything went well at least to that point. The opponents I had on the first two rounds were not that high rated, so the result was somewhat expected.

Game number four. This was played in a tournament called 2014 August Grand Seven Fourteen II. When I looked at the cross table for the tournament while I type this, I noticed that maybe for the first time ever in the times that I have played a tournament at Red Hot Pawn, I am leading the tournament! I have 103 points and the one player who also fights for the win has 101 points, his maximum possible score is higher than mine though and the win of the tournament will be decided in the two games I still have in progress against him. I have only four games left, so this has been very interisting tournament up to its very end as the winner has not been decided yet. The game below was decided quite early on as my opponent blundered a piece as early as on move 11 by playing the horrible 11...Na5?? After that I kept my advantage and never let my opponent back in the game.

Game number five. The game below was played in a team match called Diamonds vs CHESS STAR RESORT---Open 3day/move, 1-10 boards. This 10 board match was played between Diamond Members & Staff and CHESS STAR RESORT. I played on board 4 for Diamond Members & Staff and in addition to this loss, I won my other game against chessxfun. This match ended in our victory with a score of 13 - 7! This match started on October 26th 2014 and finished on May 11th 2015. This game is probably one of the sloppiest I have played in the past few months. This was in many ways a bit too long of a game, my opponent could have ended this game on move 27 if he had played Re1+ as that would have lead to a forced mate and I would have resigned after that move. Because he did not play it, this ended up being one of the longest games I have played at Chess.com because there were 77 moves played in this game.

Game number six. The game below was played in the fourth and final round of a rapid chess tournament that was held at the FIDE Online Arena on April 11th 2015. After the first round win everything seemed to go down the drain and I lost all remaining three games and this tournament became one of the worst that I have played at FOA. Maybe the other two losses are more acceptable because they were against higher rated players but the loss I got from the game below was really the final nail in my coffin because it finally cemented this tournament as bad for me.

Game number seven. This one was played in the first round of a close chess tournament that was played at Salo in 2002. I faced this opponent a few times when I have played in tournaments and because those encounters were mostly at the time when I was quite inexperienced chess player, I lost most of my games against him. Back then the rating difference was quite large in favor of my opponents at times as you can see from the notation below. Since those early days of my tournament play, I do not remember all that many times when I would have faced an opponent that would have outrated me by almost 600 points.

Game number eight. This is my 15th game from ChessRex and the 7th chess game I have played there. I have been able to win 14 out of those 15 games, so I have been doing really well there. I have also suffered one loss and it came against currently the 8th highest rated member on the site, in a chess game I played against him. The game below was created February 15th, 2016 and it finished on March 20th, 2016. I am the one who plays the first mistake of the game, when I played 9.f4 after that tesla was able to gain a small advantage. I need to make a mental note of this move and avoid making it in the future. Tesla's reply 9...Ne8 is not ideal and the advantage shifts in my favor once again, tesla should have played 9...b5 instead. Tesla does play the move b5 couple of moves later, but by then it does not have the same kind of impact on the position anymore as it would have had on move 9. My inaccurate recapture on move 16 would have enabled tesla to get a small advantage, but tesla's reply brings the game to balance instead. I played this game quite aggressively in view of my moves, something that I usually do not do. I took some big risks, like 18.g4 because I wanted to open the g-file for attacking purposes. The move g4 does weaken the knight's protection on f3 and it might enable some tactics along the long diagonal. I should remember the move 18.g4 in similar positions and not play it again because it just weakens the position too much. Tesla does not play the continuation 18...b4 19.Ne2 Nf6 that would have given him or her a clear advantage and position where I would have been close to consider resigning the game. Both players play some inaccurate moves that shift the advantage back and forth for a bit. When we reached the position after tesla played 24...Qb7, I thought during the game that I am in trouble now. Therefore I played the very risky and stupid move 25.e5 that I thought would complicate the game and make it more interesting. Had tesla played 26...Bf3 instead of 26...Bd5, I would have probably run out of good moves to play quite quickly, but the move played in the game did give me some chances to avoid losing this game. It took one horrible blunder to change the outcome of the game, tesla's 31...Rc8 was the move that enabled me to take the full point in this game. Without that move, I would have struggled to even get a draw.

Game number nine. This was played on the first round of the 2014 September Glacial Super Casual I tournament at Red Hot Pawn. I am playing in group 7 and I am the player who currently leads that group. I have gathered 33 points in the 12 games I have finished so far. From those 12 games I have won 11 and in that one game I lost against the lowest rated player of the group due to a idiotic move by me that ignored the mate in one threat that my opponent had... The silliness is increased by the fact that timeout in these games is 21 days and there are also 21 days in the bank to use. However, in that game I was up by four pawns and did not pay that much attention to the game and took what I thought was a free knight, only to see later on that my opponent had ended the game by playing Qg7#. That game ended over a year ago and I have to say that I did learn to pay attention to the board a little bit better. I do not remember what my rating was back then compared to that of the player who has been the only one who has won a game againt me in this tournament so far, but at the moment my rating is 1969, while my opponent's rating is 986... 1969 is also my new peak rating at Red Hot Pawn! My opponent in the game below has gathered 24 points so far and is the only player in group 7 that has the same maximum possible score as I do and can advance to the next round with me. All games on this first round started on September 13th, 2014. The two games I still have left are likely to be the longest games I have ever played.

Both players played quite well until my opponent played 20...Bg5, after that I should be clearly better. This is something that I did not know during the game, even after I played 21.Rdf2 I thought that this game is going to be hard to win. Timothy Collins made a huge blunder as a reply to 21.Rdf2 by playing 21...Qd7. I was not able to play the best move, and instead played the sloppy move 22.Be3, after which the game is about even again. I get another chance to play for the win when my opponent played 24...Qb7, which was the losing move of the game.