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30 Apr 2015

A16 English Opening: Anglo-Indian Defense. Queen's Knight Variation

A16 English Opening: Anglo-Indian Defense. Queen's Knight Variation

I will go through my Red Hot Pawn games for a maybe day or two and then I will start adding games from other sites again. Maybe I will shift back and forth between the sites at some appropriate times to keep the games from the various sites as close to recent games as possible. There are of course a load of over the board games that I would like to go through aswell but at the moment they are not that important to me as I do not intent to play any official over the board games anytime soon. The game below is from a tournament called 2014 August Grand Seven Fourteen III and it is a 21 player tournament in which all players face each other twice. When the tournament started on August 11th 2014, all of my 40 games started at the same time and out of those I still have six in progress. The win has slipped my grasp a long time ago and now I just try to play the remaining games as well as possible and not to lose too many rating points. As there were no rating restrictions in this tournament the rating difference between the highest and lowest rated player has been quite a huge one. The highest rated player, NN Cheap, has a rating of 2112 at the moment and the lowest rated player, kjl281, is rated 922. Not only that but even the difference between the two highest rated players is close to 200 points. It probably was higher at some point but I have been able to close the gap a bit recently. I have added two mate in ones, one mate in two, one mate in three and one mate in four today.

Game number two. The game below was played in the first round of the 2014 September Glacial Super Casual I tournament that is held at Red Hot Pawn. 64 players started in the tournament and the players were divided into eight groups of eight. The leading player or players will advance to the next round and the rest are eliminated from the tournament. I am playing on group 7 and I am the current leader of that group. I have gathered 27 points so far and my maximum possible score is 39. A player called dooser2004 (1657), who has gathered 19 points so far is on second place. The first two players in the standings are somewhat expected to be there as they are also the two highest rated players in the group. The third place is tied at the moment between ettemarc (1525) and golfnaturl (1268) and both have gathered 12 points so far and they also have identical maximum possible score of 24. The biggest upset in this group still is and will be forever the loss I suffered against the lowest rated player in this group, organisedRegicide (992). It was an embarassing loss because I had clear material advantage and missed my opponent's mate threat... I like to remind myself of that loss from time to time in order for me to avoid similar fates in the future.

29 Apr 2015

C20 Portuguese Opening: General

C20 Portuguese Opening: General

The game below is from the only site at the moment that sees my peak rating to change almost daily. My rating at Red Hot Pawn is currently 1914 which is higher than it has ever been. I looked all the ratings at Red Hot Pawn and it turns out that my current rating means that I am 395th highest rated player there, so long way to the top spot still. It would be nice to one day be there but it would require a huge improvement on my part as the best player is now rated 2491... It can of course change either way in the time I spent climbing the ranks and there is no certainty in that either. I might be going down those rankings aswell. This game was played in a tournament called 2014 August Grand Seven Fourteen II. I have basically ensured that I will finish at least on second place but winning would be better of course. It would be my first tournament win at RHP and my second correspondence chess tournament win. The first one I got some years ago at Queen Alice Internet Chess Club. I have five games left to play in this tournament and none of them are easy to play, so I am not sure how this tournament will end. I have added one more analysed game to my post C50 Italian Game: Italian Variation and I have also added two mate in ones, one mate in two, one mate in four and one mate in six today. Until tomorrow, my fellow chess enthusiasts!

28 Apr 2015

A38 English Opening: Symmetrical Variation. Duchamp Variation

A38 English Opening: Symmetrical Variation. Duchamp Variation

It has been so long since the last time that some variation of the English Opening has been covered here that I can't even remember it. It would easy to find out that information of course but I am not going to do that now. Today was quite a busy day, I needed to analyse some of my games in the database, go and try to teach some chess at the high school and make moves at my correspondence chess games and post nine other games before it was time for this game. As I am not all that verbally talented as you might have noticed if you have been visiting this blog before, it is quite a time consuming process to type these blog posts. And even then they might not be the most interesting ones that you would see somewhere else. I would like to think that the games at least are interesting that I am posting here. I am aware that it does hold true for all of the games but there are some that I personally enjoy and maybe you could enjoy some of them aswell. I have added two mate in ones, one mate in two, one mate in three and one mate in five. In addition I have added one more analysed game to these posts: C87 Spanish Game: Closed Variations. Averbakh Variation, D04 Queen Pawn Game: Colle System, C10 French Defense: Marshall Variation, C45 Scotch Game: Schmidt Variation, B40 Sicilian Defense: French Variation, A03 Bird Opening: Dutch Variation and D02 Queen Pawn Game: Symmetrical Variation. My post C50 Italian Game: Italian Variation has now two new games to look at.

Game number two. The game below was played in a team match called Happy New Year Breaking Bad. It is an ongoing match between BREAKING BAD and RED STONES. It is played on 22 boards and I played on board 5 for BREAKING BAD. I won my other game against blitz_chazer. The current score in the match is 31 - 11 in favor of BREAKING BAD, so we will win the match as soon as the last two remaining games end. This match started on December 24th 2014. I played this game quite badly and my opponent did deserve to win it.

27 Apr 2015

C20 King's Pawn Game

C20 King's Pawn Game

My journey through different openings has led me to this very simple opening. From time to time I face certain players that play these sort of silly openings. That is of course good as long as they come up with something new that I have not covered yet... Arayn's second move h4 does not really make all that much sense in the position. In the opening one should concentrate on developing his or her pieces as fast as possible and take control of the centre and the move 2.h4 does not do either. As fast development is important if you make unnecessary pawn moves that do not help in your development, your position will just get worse. The game below is from the first round of the 2014 September Glacial Super Casual I tournament that is still ongoing at Red Hot Pawn. I am currently on second place in my group, only a point behind the leader of the group, doozer2004. Theoretically all the eight players in the group have a chance of winning the group as the maximum possible score that everyone has is still better than the points that have been gathered by the current leader. That all might change quite quickly though with a couple of wins by either me or the current leader as then the player who currently is on sixth place will no longer have his maximum possible score higher than the person who would be leading the tournament at that point. If I look at the ratings of all the players in my group, there are some huge differences between the players. For example, currently my rating is 1905 and that enables me to be the highest rated player in the group, then the currently lowest rated player is organisedRegicide who has a rating of 973 at the moment. So there is a difference of over 900 points there. Funnily enough, the only game I have lost so far in this tournament is against that same lowest rated player... It was one of the embarrassingly many times that I have missed a mate in one in a correspondence game. Lately I have been more alert and things like that have not happened in my games anymore. I have added one mate in two, one mate in four, two mate in five and one mate in six puzzle today. My post B50 Sicilian Defense: Modern Variations has also been updated by me adding one more analysed game there. Until tomorrow, my fellow chess enthusiasts and other people who have come to see this blog!

Game number two. This one is from a 2014 September Grand Seven Fourteen III tournament that is still ongoing at Red Hot Pawn. Not much has changed since the last time I typed about this tournament except that now there are only five players left who can still win the tournament, so one player has dropped from the battle for the win. I am still in that fight and try to keep myself there as long as possible and maybe get my first tournament win at Red Hot Pawn. I still have 14 games left to completely mess things up though, so anything can happen. This game was added May 1st 2015.

Game number three. It seems that some openings are only played by certain players. This particular opening variation has only featured one player in the three games I have posted and I remember one other post I have made where there are three games and they are played against the same opponent. If my memory serves me right, these two posts are the only examples of this at least so far. There might be others in the future and this post might also feature other players in the distant future when I have gone through more of my games. The game below was played in a tournament called 2014 October Long Haul Split I. This tournament started October 24th 2014 and it has a time control where you get 21 days for every move you make. It has been quite of a slow paced tournament as the move count in my games ranges from 9 to 15 moves... Admittedly it is my fault in part because I have taken quite a lot of time to make my moves. Maybe I will be able to move faster if I can get my game load down significantly. This game was added to this post May 6th 2015.

26 Apr 2015

C48 Four Knights Game: Spanish Variation

C48 Four Knights Game: Spanish Variation

This is from the first round of the 2014 August Banded Quartets I 1700-1800. This tournament was held at Red Hot Pawn. I won my group on round one with a seven point difference to the player who finished second. As only the group winners advanced to the second round, round two was somewhat tougher and I finished fourth in the five player group. In the second round there was only one group, so the winner of that also won the tournament and it was a player called chessicle. I had one good chance to get a winning position in this game, starting on move 31 but instead I made a really bad move. Luckily that move did not lose the game but after that the win was not possible anymore. I have added one mate in one, two mate in twos, one mate in three and one mate in four. I have also added one more analysed game to my post C45 Scotch Game: General.

Game number two. The game below was played in the atadros's mini-tournament V, held at GameKnot. I am currently on 10th place in this 11 player mini-tournament and I have only gathered 2 points in the 7 games that I have finished. I have 13 games still to finish and if I somehow win all those games, I still have chances to win the tournament. Desaparicidos is currently on third place and he has gathered 8 points in 9 games, so he is in a very good position in the battle for the win of the tournament. I could have lessened his success a bit because I had really good game going until I played the hasty 36...Qf6 which practically loses the game. I can't believe how carelessly I played that move, I was just reacting to my opponent's threat towards the pawn on d4 and completely forgot that my knight on h5 loses one of its important defenders when I move the queen. Maybe playing 100 or more games at the same time is not such a good idea as my level of play seems to occasionally suffer a lot because of it.

25 Apr 2015

B74 Sicilian Defense: Dragon Variation. Classical Variation Normal Line

B74 Sicilian Defense: Dragon Variation. Classical Variation Normal Line

The only site where I am currently at my peak rating is Red Hot Pawn, I went over 1900 there finally today! My new peak rating there is 1905. Not sure how long I can keep it over 1900 but I think I will be able to get it back there if it drops under it some point. As they keep track of different statistics at RHP, I looked at my winning percentages and noticed that I have better chances to win with the black pieces (79%) than I have with the white pieces (75%)!? My chances of losing the game is actually the same with both colors (17%) but the difference comes from the drawing chance. I also checked my statistics at Chess.com and there my winning chance is pretty much the same (63% with black & 64% with white) no matter what color I play with. Interestingly at both sites I have played more games with the black pieces than with white.

The game below is from the second round of a 15 minute tournament played at the FIDE Online Arena on March 23rd 2015. After two quite decent games, I had two wins in this tournament. Admittedly both of my opponents were almost 300 points lower rated than me so I was supposed to do well against them. I have added one mate in two, two mate in threes, one mate in four and one mate in five. I have also added one analysed game to my post C50 Italian Game: Italian Variation. Tomorrow I will most likely get back to my Red Hot Pawn games in order to get my latest games from there analysed as soon as possible. I have quite a lot of other games I would like to get analysed aswell but there really is not enough time in a day to do everything I would like to do.

24 Apr 2015

C55 Italian Game: Two Knights Defense. Modern Bishop's Opening

C55 Italian Game: Two Knights Defense. Modern Bishop's Opening

The game below was played in the fifth and final round of a 20 minute tournament that was played March 22nd 2015 at the FIDE Online Arena. I finished the tournament with three wins and two losses, so this clearly was not something that I would be all that happy about. All my opponents were lower rated than I was, so this tournament was not played all that well by me. I was able play quite well the first two games but then on the fourth game especially I made just a stupid mistake at the end and lost too easily. The tournament was played in a time when I was more active at FOA, I think that I have played only three games in the past ten days which is much less than I would have wanted. I have tried to play some challenges there sometimes but almost nobody wants to play 15 minute games earlier in the day. I may need to try those tournaments again because there are not all that many people accepting my challenges. It might be that I have gone there in a time when there are not that many people playing, so I should try to go there on different times, in order to see if that helps with getting an opponent. I need at the moment 49 more rapid games to get that better title from there which will take a very long time with this pace. I have added two mate in threes, one mate in five and two mate in seven puzzles today. I have also added one more analysed game to my post C46 Four Knights Game: Italian Variation.

Game number two. This is the 48th game in the 100 rapid game match between these two players. My friend got his second win in a row in this match and decreased my lead to 9 points. The score after this game was 28.5 - 19.5. Even though losing two games in a row was not that big of a deal just yet, I needed to be careful not to lose too many games in a row and maybe even get a draw to break the losing streak as soon as possible in order to keep things still firmly in my control.

23 Apr 2015

Chess960 SP33

Chess960 SP33

When I have played chess960 games, I have noticed that castling might not be necessary in all the starting positions. As I am an old school chess player I like to do that anyway at some point and it might be one of the reasons why I have had difficulties in some of the chess960 games that I have played. The game below was played in the first round of a tournament called OCD CHESS 960 CHAMPS 2015. I am on fourth place currently in my group of five players but other players have finished more games than I have. Actually the only game I have finished is the game you see below. 27 players started in this tournament and maximum group size is six. From each group the three best players will advance to the next round. I do enjoy playing chess960 games from time to time as they do give that different feeling than normal chess. As some of the pieces can be awkwardly placed in the starting position you need to figure out the best way to deploy your forces into the battlefield. As I have very limited experience of playing chess960, my ideas might be less than optimal. I have played 21 chess960 games in total but I have had a decent score in the games so far, 17 wins, 3 draws and 1 loss. The results may seem very good but when put into right context like looking at the average rating of my opponents which is not all that high, some of the wins were quite likely to occur due to facing rather low rated players. Only when I get more chess960 games under my belt, can I truly see how well or badly I am playing this chess variant. Also I should get more higher rated opponents if possible. I have added one mate in one, one mate in three, two mate in four and one mate in eight puzzle today. I have also added another chess960 game to my post Chess960 SP408. Until tomorrow my fellow chess enthusiasts and thank you all who have come to see this blog, it is much appreciated!

This game was rather badly played by both players. While this game did not last long, both players were in big trouble during the 10 moves played in the game. I was the first one to end up in some troubles in the position below. I played the obvious looking 4...Bg5 because I wanted to develop a piece while attacking an undefended piece on c1. I would have been well advised to play 4...c5 or 4...f5 instead. It may be hard to see what was so wrong with my move that Stockfish 8 64 POPCNT thinks that White is clearly better after my 4th move. Samson1980 was able to find the best move 5.Ne2, the only move that gives White a clear advantage. The reason why my 4th move is bad, is that I need to move my bishop again, at least according to the lines suggested by the engine, so instead of winning a tempo, I lost one.

Then on move 5 I made things even worse for me by playing 5...f5. After that I was in a losing position. The move 5...Bh4 was the best move according to the engine. On move six, Samson1980 threw almost all of his advantage away with the move 6.Bb3. The moves 6.c5 and 6.f4 would have kept the winning advantage on the side of my opponent. The move played in the game gives White only a small advantage. I took another wrong step with the move 6...fxe4 in the position below.

The only move that could have kept me in the game was 6...c5. The reason for it is that I should have prevented the move 7.c5+. It is of course better to block the path of the bishop and make it a bad piece instead of allowing it to be active on the a2-g8 diagonal. Samson1980 played 7.dxe4 and then I replied with 7...c5, seeing the importance of keeping the diagonal blocked for the bishop. After seven moves the game had reached an equal position once again. In the next position Samson1980 played 9.Bc2 and I was given my first chance to take a winning advantage. In order to maintain equality, my opponent would have needed to play 9.Ng3.

I missed my chance and played 9...d6. I had the great opportunity to play 9...Nxf2, after which it would have been quite clear on who will win the game. I got another chance immediately as Samson1980 made the huge blunder 10.f3?? I replied with the obvious 10...Be3+ and my opponent resigned, seeing that the game was hopelessly lost.

Game number two. The game below was played in the first round of OCD CHESS 960 CHAMPS 2015 tournament that is still in progress at Chess.com. I am currently on second place in group #1 and I have gathered four wins and one loss so far. I have three games left to finish and they will determine my final standing in the group. Three of the best players will advance to the next round and even at the moment it is confirmed that I will be able to advance to the second round. Actually the players who are at the moment the top three players in group #1 will all advance to second round but the order is still not clear. The leader of our group is Chivas610, who has won all seven games he has played. His only remaining game in this round is against me. On third place is a player called DEATHW1SH, who has gathered three wins and one draw so far. His only remaining game in this round is against me, no surprise there.

This game followed the first game in this post up to the move 2...b6. In the first game Samson1980 played 3.c4 and in this game Yarael chose to play 3.Nd3. After both moves the position is roughly even. Like in the first game, I was also the one who ended up in clear trouble in this game as well. In the position below I played the ill-advised 7...Nxe5. The correct capture was 7...dxe5. Luckily for me, Yarael played the sloppy move 8.Nc3 and I was back in the game again. The strongest move 8.d4.

I continued to play less than ideal moves and with the move 8...Ne7, I was clearly worse again. The correct move was 8...h5. Then Yarael played 9.d4, which is a good move, but not the best option. It was best to play 9.Bh5. Then I played the huge blunder 9...N5c6 in the position below and I was in a lost position. I should have played 9...Nd7 or 9...N5g6 instead, but even then I would have had some clear problems.

I continued to be in serious trouble until we reached the next position. In that position Yarael played 14.Nxa7. It may seem like a good idea because materially speaking Yarael is ahead after that. However, it would have been a much better idea to centralize the knight with 14.Nd6. Yarael's 14th move caused my opponent to go from a winning position to an equal position.

I replied with 14...cxd5 and despite being a pawn down, I should on equal footing with my opponent, according to Stockfish 8 64 POPCNT. Yareal played a second horrible move in a row when my opponent replied with 15.Bf3. The moves 15.Nb5 and 15.h4 would have kept the position roughly even. 15.Nb5 would have been a clear way to get the knight to safety. 15.Bf3 allowed me to play 15...Qd7 and the knight was trapped on a7. Actually my 15th move was not even the strongest reply, but it was good enough to take the winning advantage, which I kept to the end of the game. After I played my 29th move Bxa2, my opponent resigned in a position where I had an extra bishop.

Game number three. The game below was played in the first round of OCD CHESS 960 CHAMPS 2015 tournament. My opponent in this game, Chivas610 is still a likely candidate to win group #1 but the second and third place finishers are maybe a bit more unsure at this point. Actually nothing has changed from the time I added second game to this post. The game below is my only loss in the tournament so far.

This might be taken out of this post at some point when I change the Chess960 posts so that they are divided into openings in different starting positions. This is the first game in this post that started with 1.e4 instead of the previously played 1.b4. It did not take long for me to be clearly worse as you can see in the "living" diagram below. "Living" in this case means that you can make moves and replay them if you like.

The best move according to Stockfish 8 64 POPCNT is 4...f5. The move I played 4...Bf6 is bad because the bishop hinders my development by being in the way. The move 4...f5 would have given more space to move both my queen and my rook. The game continued with the moves 5.Nd2 d6. Then my opponent played 6.Ne2, which was a bit sloppy move that gave me a chance to hang on in the game. The best move for Chivas610 was 6.fxe5. I then played 6...N8e7, which was another bad move from me. I should have played 6...Qd8 instead. In the next diagram I made the biggest blunder of the game up to that point and found myself in a lost position. I should have taken on e5 with either the knight or with the pawn. Both were better than what I did.

Instead of playing the move 9.d4, which would have lead to a winning position with accurate play, Chivas610 played 9.Nxe5 and threw most of his advantage away. The game continued to be only slightly favorable for Chivas610 during the moves 9...dxe5 10.Ng3 Ng6, but then Chivas610 played 11.Rf5 and the position was about even again. The game was decided in the diagram below.

Only the move 14...Ne6 would have saved me, all other moves would have meant either a clear disadvantage or a losing position. The problem with the move 14...Kb8 was that it allowed 15.R5xf4. I continued on for some time, but I had to accept my defeat after 23.Qf7.

Game number four. Like all the other games in this post so far, this too was played in the first round of the OCD CHESS 960 CHAMPS 2015 tournament. And at the time I type this, the tournament details are the same as they were when I added the second game to this post.

This game deviated from the third game in this post when Yarael played 1...b6. In the third game I played 1...e5. The first position in which one of the players played a move that caused the player in question to end up being clearly worse can be seen in the diagram below. Yarael should have played 6...Nd7 instead of the move my opponent played in the game. Then again, I replied with 7.Bf3 and threw away my advantage. A much better move was 7.f4.

The only point in the game where I could have had a significant advantage was on my 7th move. This game ended in a weird way because my opponent resigned after he played 11...Nc6 in an equal position.

Game number five. This one was played like all the other games in this post in the first round of the OCD CHESS 960 CHAMPS 2015 tournament. I am on second place and I have won four games and lost one so far. I have half a point more than the player who is currently on third place, DEATHW1SH. The group #1 where we play is most likely won by Chivas610, currently undefeated in the group. Chivas610 has only one game left to finish in this round and it is against me. DEATHW1SH also has only game left and that is also against me. Out of the five players in this group, only three best players will advance to the second round and those three players are all confirmed already.

This game followed the third game in this post up to the move 1...e5. In the third game Chivas610 played 2.b3 and in this game DEATHW1SH played 2.Nc3. The first sign of trouble for my opponent came when he played 3.Bg4. The moves 3.b4, 3.h4 and 3.d3 are better moves according to Stockfish 8 64 POPCNT. I replied with 3...Nd6 and I was slightly better. Then DEATHW1SH played 4.Nd3 in the diagram below and combined with the mistake on the previous move, he ended up being clearly worse.

Had I replied with 4...f5, I could have taken full advantage of DEATHW1SH's mistakes. I usually prefer developing my pieces instead of moving pawns in the opening, so I probably did not even think about that move. Therefore I played the less active move 4...Nc6 and lost some of my advantage. Then DEATHW1SH played the biggest blunder of the game up to that point 5.Ne2. It would have allowed me to win a pawn, but for some incomprehensible reason I did not take the free pawn on e4, but instead played 5...Bf6. A better move for DEATHW1SH was 5.f4. I was only slightly better after the move I played in the game. It was followed by another inaccurate move from my opponent 6.Ng3 and I got another chance to get a clear advantage. A better option for DEATHW1SH was 6.f3. I then played 6...g6 and we reached the next diagram position.

The move DEATHW1SH chose was good to all other moves than 7...h5. Had I played 7...h5, I would have won some material. If my opponent does not move the bishop, then I win a piece and if he moves the bishop, then I play h4 and win the pawn on e4. I did not see this idea at all and played 7...Qe7, allowing my opponent to get back into the game again. The game was not fought evenly for all that long since I replied to 8.f4 with the sloppy move 8...O-O-O. The next diagram is taken after my 8th move.

DEATHW1SH played 9.Qe2, which was the first blunder in series of consecutive blunders. 9.Qe2 is a huge blunder, because it takes the last safe square away from the knight. I should have seen the idea with 9...h5 and 10...h4, but I obviously was not fully awake. Instead I played 9...Bb7, which threw all my advantage away. Then DEATHW1SH made another huge blunder with the move 10.c3 and he was in a losing position again because it did not change the fact that the knight is still trapped. I still did not see the idea with h5 and played 10...Rde8. While not the best move, it was good enough to take the winning advantage. The rest of the game went without problems and DEATHW1SH resigned after 25...Rxe7.

Game number six. This win made certain that I will at least end up in second place in group #1 in round one of the OCD CHESS 960 CHAMPS 2015 tournament. If I can win both of my remaining games, I will tie on points for first place but I guess due to tie break I will end up being second regardless.

This game followed the games 3, 4 and 5 in this post only up to the move 1.e4. In games 3 and 5 I replied to that move with 1...e5. In the fourth game Yarael played 1...b6 in reply to 1.e4. In this game Samson1980 played the move 1...b5. The first clear mistake appeared on the board rather quickly. Already on move 2 Samson1980 played the horrible Na6. In the diagram below is shown the situation at the board after my opponent played 2...Na6. I did not see the best move and played the sloppy 3.Nd3 instead.

The game continued to be slightly favorable for me until we reached the diagram position below. Samson1980 did not protect the pawn on e5 and played 6...Nd6 instead. The only move that would have kept my opponent in the game is shown in the diagram. I replied with the accurate 7.Bxe5 and I won a pawn. Then Samson1980 played an even bigger blunder 7...Qe7. After that I should have a winning advantage.

I could not play the most accurate moves, but I was able to keep the game firmly in my grasp to the end of the game. Samson1980 kept resisting my efforts until it came time to play his 37th move, he resigned in a position where I was up four pawns in a king and pawn endgame.

Game number seven. The game below was played in the first round of the OCD CHESS 960 CHAMPS 2015 tournament. I am on second place and I will also end up being second in group #1. My only remaining game on this round will not affect the standing in this group anymore, only the ratings of the players playing the last game. My opponent in the game below, Chivas610, won this group and won all his games on this round. I have won five of my seven games that have ended. Three of the best players of each group will advance to the next round and the three players who will advance from this group are Chivas610, me and DEATHW1SH.

This game followed the game number three up to the move 2.b3. In the third game I played 2...Nc6 and Chivas610 played 2...b6 in this game. The first clear mistake of the game was played by Chivas610 in the diagram position below. Admittedly I had made two bad moves before this 3.Nc3 and 4.Bf3.

I replied with the correct move 5.exf5. Then Chivas610 played 5...N8e7 and I answered with the inaccurate 6.N1e2. With my 6th move I threw my clear advantage away and had to be content with an equal position. 6.g4 was the best move. I probably did not want to play that move because it may be risky to move pawns in front of the king like that. I did get another chance to get a clear advantage in the position shown in the next diagram.

In the diagram are also shown the moves I should have played instead of 9.Nec3. 9.Ne3 was the stronger move, but 9.c4 is also a good move. My 9th move was only good enough for an equal position. Chivas610 then castled, which was another inaccurate move. 9...Nd4 was a better alternative. It did not matter much, of course, because with my 10th move, Qe3, I started my journey towards a loss. Chivas610 played a good move 10...Nf5 and then I made the losing move 11.Qh3. After that the game was pretty much over for me, but I tried to hang on as well as I could, until I decided that I had lost too much material after 19...Rxg4 and resigned.

Game number eight. This game was played in the first round of the OCD CHESS 960 CHAMPS 2015 tournament. The game below was the last one to end in group #1. Both players played some really bad moves in this game that gave the opponent the possibility to win the game. This win meant that I finished on second place with 6 points and that DEATHW1SH finished on third place with 3.5 points. There is still one game that has not ended on round one, so we will have to wait for round two as long as that one game lasts. I am in no horry to play the next round though, I would like to decrease the amount of games I have in progress as much as I can before the next round starts.

This game followed the third game in this post up to the move 2...Nc6. In the third game Chivas610 played 3.d3. In this game I played 3.Ne2. The game was played without any big mistakes until DEATHW1SH decided to play 10...d5 in the next diagram position. The game continued with the moves 11.a3 Nc6 and then I played 12.Nge2 and the position was about even again. My 11th move was already a bit sloppy. Maybe 11.h4 is a better choice.

Maybe a bit clearer mistake was made by DEATHW1SH on move 12 with the move Bg5. It gave me another chance to get a clear advantage, but I missed my chance and played 13.d4?? The position after 12...Bg5 can be seen in the next diagram. Better moves for my opponent were 12...e4, 12...h5 and 12...a5. After my 13th move DEATHW1SH had the great opportunity to play 13...Be3!! The move 13.d4 was so bad because the pawn had an important job of covering the e3 square. The bishop can't really be taken because then Rxf1+ and basically game over. 13...Be3 would have also threatened 14...Rxf2 and in that case too the position would have been resignable for me.

Luckily for me, DEATHW1SH did not play 13...Be3, but instead 13...exd4, which let me off the hook a bit. Or rather would have, had I replied with 14.Nb5. It was my only chance to keep the position only slightly worse for me. Instead I blundered and took on d4 with my knight. It could have been a losing move and DEATHW1SH did start correctly with 14...Nxd4. I took on d4 with my queen in order to maintain material equality. It was, however, even worse move than my previous one. Had DEATHW1SH then played 15...Rxf2, I would have most likely resigned because the position would have been completely lost.

I should have played 16.Ne4 in the diagram position above. I did not see that it would have also threatened mate on g7. I probably just played 16.Qd1 because it seemed like the easiest way to keep the material even. And I can't be certain if I even considered the move 16.Ne4. The move 16.Qd1 was only good enough for a small advantage. The blunders continued with my opponent's next move 16...d4. A better move for DEATHW1SH was 16...Bf6. The move 16...d4 was a huge blunder and I could have taken the winning advantage with the move 17.Re1. Instead I moved my knight to b1, which was a passive move that I could not afford. Had DEATHW1SH played 17...Nd5 in reply, he could have gained a winning advantage. The tables turned once again with DEATHW1SH's 17th move Qd8.

Then my opponent played 18...c5, to which I replied with the awful move 19.Be2. Only the move 19.Be6+ would have kept the position equal. DEATHW1SH had the chance now for a clear advantage with the move 19...Nd5, but instead he went for the move 19...Qf6, which increased the pressure on f2. However, it was not that big of a threat and it was easily delt with the move 20.Nf3. Then it was my opponent's turn to make a horrible move and with the move 20...h5 ended up in some trouble.

DEATHW1SH played 21...Nd5 in response to Bc1 and I happily took the rook with my bishop. However, it would have been a better idea to take the bishop with my knight. This rather badly played game by both players had still more horrible moves in store. With my 24th move I blundered badly enough that it could have cost me the game. My opponent found a strong move 24...Nxg2 and I was thinking that I am likely to lose this game, but I had to play on for a few more moves.

I made things even worse for me with the move 25.Qe4, but even with the best move 25.Qe5 I should have been lost. Then DEATHW1SH played the move 25...b5, which might look good after a brief glance to the position, but it actually gives me a chance to hang on in the game with the reply 26.Bd5. The game continued with the moves 26...Bxd5 27.Qxd5 and then DEATHW1SH made the final blunder of the game and played 27...Nh4, after which the game is completely lost for my opponent. My opponent resigned quite quickly afterwards in a position where I had a rook for a pawn after I played 29.f4.

Game number nine. This really short game was played in the OCD CHESS 960 CHAMPS 2015 tournament at Chess.com. My opponent lost this game on time, but the position on the board is also very dire for Kikkinass. The tournament is currently on its second round and I am playing in group #2. I currently reside on second place. I have played two games and both of them are against this same opponent. The only player on our group that has already played all his games is Kikkinass and due to the fact that he lost all his games, he finished on last place. That also means that the three other players in the group will advance to the third round because the top three players will advance to the next round from each group. This was then a bit too easy group to get a place on the next round. The only games that the top three have finished were against Kikkinass, so it is still wide open who will be first, second and third in this group.

This game may be in a post of its own someday, since it differs from other games in this post starting from the first move. This has been the only starting position where White has played 1.d4 in the games I have played, at least so far. The game deciding moment can be seen in the next diagram.

The move 4...Nb6 is a losing move because it allows the move I played in the game, 5.Be6+. Kikkinass replied with 5...Rf7 obviously and then I played 6.Nc3 because there is no rush to take the rook on f7. No more moves were seen in the game as kikkinass did not make his 6th move and lost on time.

Game number ten. This was played on the second round of the OCD CHESS 960 CHAMPS 2015 tournament. I am playing in group 2 and I have finished three of the six games I have in this round. Two of those I won, but they were timeout wins. Those two games secured my place on the next round because three of the four players will advance from each round and the one who lost both of those games against me, also lost all of his other games, so he was going to be the fourth and last one in the group no matter what. Even though those three remaining games do not have all that much importance in view of advancing to the next round, I will still play as well as I can and maybe get my chess960 rating up a bit again. It has been under same kind of downhill as my Daily rating, formerly known as Online Chess rating at Chess.com. I am currently second in group two with two points. Bogor is so far undefeated with 3 points and leads the group.

This game followed games three and eight up to the move 2...Nc6. I should not repeat the move 2...Nc6 anymore though. I should consider playing 2...b5 instead in my future games. The game started go towards a decisive outcome already on move three. I played the bishop to f6, which was a bad square for it. The bishop is in the way of the f-pawn and it hinders my development. That being said, it was perfectly placed considering Bogor's next move 4.Qg3?? Had Bogor played one of the following moves, 4.fxe5, 4.h4, 4.Rf2 or 4.Nd3, for example, my opponent would have had a clear advantage.

The move 4...exf4 is a rather simple one, but for some reason I did not play it. It seems so obvious to me now that it seems like nothing was going on in my head at the time I played my 4th move d6. I guess I play passive moves instinctively, rather than look for an active moves and counterattacking possibilities. Bogor even gave me a second chance to play exf4 with a winning advantage, but I did not see it on the second time either. Bogor's move 5.Ne2 was a horrible blunder and my opponent should have played 5.fxe5 instead. I may understand that I missed the move exf4 once, but to do so twice seems to be embarrassing stupidity on my part. I replied with 5...Nb6 and lost the opportunity for a winning advantage second time in a row. The next significant turning point in the game can be seen in the diagram below.

I replied with the obvious and only reasonable move 15...dxe5. Bogor continued with 16.dxe5 and then I threw away my advantage with the move 16...Rhe8. It seemed like a good idea at the time, since 17.exf6 is impossible in view of 17...Qxe3+ and basically game over. However, the move I made in the game gave the advantage to my opponent. I should have played 16...g6 instead to keep the position being favorable for me. Then, a few moves later, the blunders started appearing again.

The move 20...h6 could have been a losing move, but it would have required Bogor to play a strong move in reply. Either 21.Nd4 or 21.Nf4 would be a great start in the right direction. That being said, I understand the reason why Bogor chose to play 21.Rff7. It tied my knight to d7 and my rook to d8. My only reasonable answer to 21.Rff7 was 21...Be3+, but I missed the move second time in a row and played 21...Ba6 with the intention of somehow untying my pieces. It was a huge mistake that could have cost me the game, had Bogor found the right idea. Luckily for me, Bogor missed his chance again and played 22.c4. The moves 22.Nf4 and 22.Kf2 were stronger alternatives. I then played 22...Nxe5, which was the right idea to save the game. It was then my opponent's turn to make a huge blunder.

I then played the only move 23...Kb8 and then my opponent made his position even more lost with the move 24.Bd4?? Again I should have gone for the move 24...Be3+, but for the third time I did something else and ended up on the clearly worse side of the board with 24...Nc6. Again I went too passive. My mistake was answered by another mistake 25.Rcd7. The only way that Bogor could have kept the advantage was with 25.Rxc6. I replied to 25.Rcd7 with 25...Rxd7 as I was happy to get rid of one pair of rooks. Obviously my opponent took back with the rook and then I let go of my advantageous position with the move 26...Bc8. I should have moved my king to c8 instead. 26...Bc8 was only good enough for an equal position. My final downhill started with my 27th move Nb4. The diagram shows the situation on the board after 27.Rd5.

It was pretty much over after my 27th move, but I continued on for a few moves, until I resigned after 32.Bf3+.

Game number 11. This was played on round 2 of the OCD CHESS 960 CHAMPS 2015 at Chess.com. I am playing in group 2 and I am currently on 2nd place with 3 points. I have won 3 games and lost 1. That one loss came against Bogor (1876), who currently leads our group with a half a point difference to me. Our group was I think the first one where all the players who would advance to the next round were decided. That was because the fourth player of the group lost all games on time after only a few moves were played. Therefore it does not matter all that much what happens in my remaining two games, my place on the next round was secured a long time ago. My opponent, ClemsonTiger, is currently on third place with 2.5 points and has also secured his place on the next round. Or that is what should be happening if I can count on tournament details to be true. It seems that only two players will advance from group 1 this round. If that is true to our group as well, then I need to be more careful with my two remaining games, in order to secure my place on round 3.

This game started with both players pushing their e-pawns two squares forward, placing both pawns on important center squares. ClemsonTiger continued with 2.b3 which I think is a good way to proceed as the bishop on a1 now creates pressure towards my e-pawn, which is currently protected sufficiently by the queen. I replied with Nc6 and overprotected the pawn on e5. I think my opponent went a bit astray on his third move, because the knight blocks the bishop on d1 and it is not certain where the knight will jump to next. Maybe the idea was to play d4 or f4, so that if I take with my pawn on either square, my opponent can take back with the knight. I am not sure if I like that plan though. Actually when I look back at the games previously shared in this post, I played the move 3.Ne2 in game eight against DEATHW1SH.

I continued with 3...Nd6, so that the knight now attacks the undefended e4-pawn because the white knight blocks the queen. 4.d3 is probably an okay reaction to the threat against the pawn. Ng3 might have been another option. I think the first mistake might have been to play 5.exf5, it just makes the game easier for me. I can take back with my knight and now that knight is better placed than it would have been on d6. ClemsonTiger made his position even worse by playing 6.Qd2, but I was not able to play a good move as a reply and the position became equal again.

6...b5 might be also a good move. The next clear mistake came to daylight when my opponent played the really passive move 16.Bd1. I thought at this point that I should get my queen somewhere out of the e-file, so that I could move my knight if I need to, so I moved my queen to d6.

With the move 18.Qf2, ClemsonTiger could have made the losing move, but I did not see the idea of 18...Nf3+ followed by Bd4. ClemsonTiger should have moved the king to h1. Had I seen that continuation, this game could have ended much sooner. I have been too lazy to think about these kind of moves lately and I should think harder on any given position than I have been for maybe some years now. I can't believe I missed the idea Nf3+ completely, I could have used that move also a move later and most likely won the game with ease.

The game continued with the moves 18...Qxf2+ 19.Rxf2. Because I missed that move and played the silly 19...Kb8 instead, I lost all the advantage and now the position was equal again. The next really horrible move was played by my opponent on move 25. My road to victory could have started with the move 25...Nd6, but I played the sloppy 25...Bd7 instead and allowed my opponent to almost get back to the game. Well, I only had a small advantage after 25...Bd7, close to a clear advantage.

The next opportunity for me to take the winning advantage can be seen in the next diagram. ClemsonTiger should have played 38.Ke3, but even then my opponent would have been in serious trouble. I missed the chance with 38...Ne4 and played 38...d4, which was an okay move, but not as accurate as 38...Ne4. The game continued with the move 39.Kc4 and then I played 39...Ne4, which could have completely ruin the game for me. The moves 39...Nd5 and 39...Kd6 were better alternatives. My move was only good enough for a draw.

Then my opponent made the game losing mistake 40.Nxe4. It was necessary to play 40.Nd3+. My plan after I took the knight was to simply go after the queenside pawns and promote my d-pawn. If my opponent tries to get to my a-pawn and maybe get a passed pawn of his own, then he is too late as I have already promoted my pawn and been able to bring my queen to stop the pawn before it promotes. This happened in the game below, but either 41.a5 or 41.b4 would have made things more difficult for me, but even then I should have been on the winning side.

Game number 12. This game was played on the second round of a tournament called OCD CHESS 960 CHAMPS 2015. The fourth and final round is currently being played at Chess.com. I was second in the final standings of group 2 on round 2. I managed to get 3.5 points in 6 games, which was a half a point more than ClemsonTiger was able to get, who finished third in the group. The only two losses I suffered this round were against Bogor. Bogor won the group with a score of 5.5 out of 6. We both advanced to the third round, but then we both were unable to advance to the finals.

This game followed the 7th game in this post up to the move 3.Nc3. In the 7th game Chivas610 played 3...f5 and in this game Bogor played 3...Ne7. Out of the two moves 3...f5 is the preferred choice, but 3...Ne7 is also playable. The first position of interest can be seen in the diagram below. Bogor played the huge blunder 7...Bf6?? If I were able to see any good moves, I would have seen the crushing reply 8.Rxf6!! The idea is that if the rook is taken, then Nd5 and the weaknesses around the king prove decisive.

Unfortunately I usually do not even consider moves like 8.Rxf6 and in the game I just castled (covers his face with his palm). Bogor then made another horrible blunder 8...Qe6?? It was second time in a row that I could have taken the winning advantage with Rxf6, but again that move probably was not even one of the moves that I considered of playing. I should really look for those sacrificing opportunities so that I could get to a whole new level as a player. I played 9.Nf4 and ended up in a roughly equal position. The next diagram shows a position after 10.R5xf4.

Bogor's 10th move gave me a third chance to get a very good position, maybe even winning, but for the third time I missed the move 11.Rxf6. I am maybe sometimes too concerned with developing my pieces as fast as possible, so that I will not see or even think about other moves. It might be the reason why I played 11.Bg4. Bogor replied with the sloppy 11...Qd6 and I could have been clearly better with the move 12.Rxf6... So many chances wasted by me. I played 12.Nd5 and threw all my advantage away. The next blunder was played by me on move 17. Instead of the move 17.d3 that I played, I should have played 17.Ne3.

The game continued to be favorable for Bogor with the moves 18.Rg3 fxe4 19.dxe4, but then my opponent played 19...Qe5 and I had the possibility to keep an even position with accurate play. 19...Bxd5 was probably Bogor's best chance to keep his advantage. However, 19...Rhf8 might have been good enough for a clear advantage too, but it is not as clear. The next diagram shows the situation on the board after my 22nd move c4. The game had continued evenly up to that point since 19...Qe5.

Moves like 22...a5 and 22...Rf8 would have kept my opponent in the game. The square f6 was the most important square of the game, had I placed a piece there even once on the numerous occasions, I could have won the game. I think every time I just chose to play a move that was only good enough for an equal position. In the game I played 23.Rd2, a move that seems to be just a waste of time. I guess I just could not think of any better moves. However, I have some vague memories of thinking about the move 23.Nf6, but for some reason I thought that it does not work. The analysis shows that it was the best move in the position. Then Bogor played 23...g5 and now finally I moved the knight to f6. Unfortunately for me, it did not have same impact on the position anymore. Bogor then took the big pawn on f3, also known as the light-squared bishop. Bogor had made two inaccurate moves in a row, the combined effort of the mistakes added up to a clear advantage for me when I played 25.gxf3. I was quite happy about my position, but it was still not an easy enough position for me to play without mistakes. In fact, in reply to Bogor's 25th move Rg7, I moved my rook from d2 to g2 thinking that it was better placed there. It was, however, a bit sloppy move and I should have gone for the immediate 26.h4. The game then went on without big mistakes, until I played the huge mistake 37.Rfg2?? You can see the position in which I played my 37th move in the next diagram.

The reason why 37.Rfg2 is so bad is that it takes an escape square away from the king. Noticing his opportunity, Bogor played 37...Rf4+. It forced me to play 38.Rg4 because I can't move my king due to 38...Rh5#. I think I noticed my mistake right after I had made my move. Bogor was not able to find all the strongest moves and actually let me back in the game with his 43rd move Kb6.

Some inaccuracies later I was in a clearly worse position again, but when I played my 52nd move Rc1 in the position that can be viewed in the next diagram, I made my final mistake and I was completely lost.

I played a few more moves, but I had to resign in a hopeless position after the move 61...Kd3. In that position I can't stop my opponent from turning the c-pawn into a queen, without sacrificing my rook for it and since I can't force my opponent to do the same for my pawn, there was no point in continuing the game.

22 Apr 2015

C65 Spanish Game: Berlin Defence (3...Nf6), unusual lines and 4.O-O Bc5 (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Bc5 4.c3 Nf6 5.O-O O-O)

C65 Spanish Game: Berlin Defence (3...Nf6), unusual lines and 4.O-O Bc5 (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Bc5 4.c3 Nf6 5.O-O O-O)

This game is from the third round of the only 20 minute tournament that I have played at the FIDE Online Arena. It might also be the only 20 minute tournament that I have ever played but I am not sure about it. This tournament started well for me as I won first two games but then on the third round I started losing. I did not have all that much going for me in any phase of the game if I do not count the fact that I played with the white pieces and had a very small advantage because I moved first. For a while my correspondence games ended in a nice pace but now it seems to have stopped and after around a year playing actively correspondence chess, I would really need a longish break from it but unfortunately that is not happening anytime soon. I will not start losing games on purpose or anything like that but it would be really nice if my games would end in a fast pace. I am part of the reason that those games have lasted as long as they have as I tend to use a lot of time before I make my moves. Or I should say the time runs quite quickly in my games as I am not able to move even half of the games where it is my time to move during a day. I have added one more analysed game to the following posts: D02 Queen Pawn Game: London System, B54 Sicilian Defense: Modern Variations, C54 Italian Game: Classical Variation. Greco Gambit Traditional Line, B33 Sicilian Defense: Old Sicilian. Normal, C44 Scotch Game: General and A45 Indian Game: General.

[Event "Tournament 28136926"] [Site "online arena"] [Date "2015.03.22"] [Round "3"] [White "Vierjoki, Timo"] [Black "Marcus64"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "C65"] [WhiteElo "1837"] [BlackElo "1758"] [Annotator "Stockfish 8 64 POPCNT (30s), TV"] [PlyCount "46"] [EventDate "2015.??.??"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Bc5 4. c3 Nf6 5. O-O {Spanish Game: Classical Variation. Zukertort Gambit} O-O {C65 Spanish Game: Berlin Defence (3...Nf6), unusual lines and 4.O-O Bc5} 6. Re1 (6. d4 Bb6 7. Bg5 {Spanish Game: Classical Variation. Modern Main Line}) 6... Re8 7. d3 a6 8. Ba4 b5 9. Bc2 d5 10. exd5 Nxd5 {White has a cramped position} 11. Nbd2 $146 (11. a4 b4 12. Ng5 h6 13. Ne4 Bb6 14. Qh5 Nf6 15. Qf3 Nxe4 16. Qxe4 Qd6 17. Nd2 f5 18. Qh4 Qe7 19. Qg3 bxc3 20. bxc3 Qf6 21. Nc4 Bd7 22. Nxb6 cxb6 23. Rb1 Na7 24. Qe3 Qg6 25. f3 b5 { Zhao,D-Kosteniuk,A Szeged 1994 0-1 (53)}) 11... Bb6 {White has a cramped position. White's piece can't move: c1} 12. Ne4 (12. a4 Rb8 $11) 12... Bb7 ( 12... h6 13. a4 Be6 14. h3 $11) 13. Bg5 {White threatens to win material: Bg5xd8} Qd7 {Black has a very active position} 14. Qe2 (14. a4 $5 $14 {is an interesting alternative}) 14... h6 $11 15. Be3 Nxe3 16. fxe3 {Black has the pair of bishops} Rad8 (16... Na5 $142 $15) 17. d4 $2 (17. b4 $142 $11 {is a viable option}) 17... exd4 $17 18. cxd4 (18. exd4 f5 19. Bb3+ Kh8 $19) 18... Nxd4 (18... Nb4 $142 $5 19. Ne5 Qe6 20. Bb3 $19) 19. exd4 $17 f5 20. Qd2 $4 { the position was bad, and this mistake simply hastens the end} (20. Nf6+ $142 gxf6 21. Qf1 $17) 20... fxe4 $19 21. Nh4 (21. Bb3+ {does not help much} Kh7 22. Bc2 g6 23. Bxe4 Bxe4 $19) 21... Qg4 22. g3 Rxd4 23. Qe2 (23. Qe3 {does not win a prize} Rd2 24. Bb3+ Kh7 25. Qxb6 cxb6 26. Bd1 Qd7 27. Be2 Qd4+ 28. Kg2 Rf8 29. Rac1 Rf2+ 30. Kh3 Qd7+ 31. g4 Rdxe2 32. Rxe2 Qd3+ 33. Re3 Qxe3+ 34. Nf3 Qxf3+ 35. Kh4 Rxh2#) 23... Rd2+ (23... Rd2+ 24. Kh1 Rxe2 25. Rxe2 Qxe2 26. Bb3+ Kh7 27. Ng2 e3 28. Rg1 Bxg2+ 29. Rxg2 Qf1+ 30. Rg1 e2 31. Bg8+ Rxg8 32. a3 Qxg1#) 0-1

21 Apr 2015

Chess960 SP408

Chess960 SP408

In order to change things a bit, I thought it was time once more for a chess960 game and another new starting position. The game below is my first loss in a chess960 game. It will not be the last one though and my second loss might not be that far away. This one was played in a team match called 960: Let's get it on 2105! It is an ongoing match between !♔NM Aww-Rats Free Video Lessons!♔ and Romeo and Juliet. I played on board 8 in this match for Romeo and Juliet. I only managed to get a draw from the two games, so I was not able to help the team all that well. Luckily other players in the team have been in better form than me and we lead the match 48,5 - 121,5. As the match is played on 89 boards, Romeo and Juliet have secured the win with ease. This match started January 1st 2015. I have added two mate in ones, one mate in two, one mate in three and one mate in four today.

Game number two. This is my other game in the match !♔NM Aww-Rats Free Video Lessons!♔ and Romeo and Juliet. This went a bit better than the game above but I think these two games showed that there are a lot of things that I need to understand about chess960 and its different starting positions before I can play them comfortably.

20 Apr 2015

B73 Sicilian Defense: Dragon Variation. Classical Variation Battery Variation

B73 Sicilian Defense: Dragon Variation. Classical Variation Battery Variation

Game of today is from the fourth round game of a 15 minute tournament that was played at the FIDE Online Arena. From these four rounds I gathered three wins and one loss. There were five rounds in this tournament but for me the final round game was not played because my opponent forfeited the game on move one. I played 1.e4 in that game and my opponent lost his/her connection and did not come back. In these 15 minute games if the player has not come back within two minutes, they lose the game. I think in one of the tournaments that I played at the FIDE Online Arena, my opponent did not make a move even though she was online. Not sure what the reason for it was but it was also forfeited after two minutes. The game below is one of the very rare easy games that I have played in some months. Tomorrow I might go back to my chess960 games for a bit, as there are I think three of those that have not found themselves into the blog yet. The rate that I get new chess960 games to post here is not maybe ideal but it might improve over time. I have added two mate in ones, two mate in fours and one mate in nine today.

Game number two. This one was played in a team match called PFCC vs. Vulcan Science Academy. The match is played on 17 boards and I am playing on board 2 for Vulcan Science Academy against ruthlessqueen who is playing for PHILIPPINES' FINEST Chess Club. The current score in this match is 7 - 19 in favor of Vulcan Science Academy, so we have secured the win at this point. The game below is one of the rare wins that I have lately been able to get at Chess.com and the way my games are going there at the moment that downhill might continue still for some time.

Game number three. The 47th game in the 100 game match finally brought a win for my opponent who had not win a game in the last nine games... And I am actually happy about the fact that he got a win because it brought me back to reality again. Still one loss after a long streak of good results does not shake my confidence all that much but it does make me a bit more alert of all the possibilities. Now the score was 28.5 - 18.5 in my favor.

19 Apr 2015

B12 Caro-Kann Defense: Modern Variation

B12 Caro-Kann Defense: Modern Variation

Today I shall present a game that was played at GameKnot. This is my latest game from there and the maybe surprising result can be explained by a timeout that my opponent suffered. Had he managed to move before his time run out, he could have won the game. There was a time when I experimented with different different openings on different sites and on GameKnot I decided to try the Caro-Kann which I do not know all that much about as you can see in the game. I think I tried the Caro-Kann for the first time in 2001 in some rapid tournament and then decided that it does not suit me all that well. I do try this opening out from time to time when I get bored of my normal systems but always feel that why did I do this again. Maybe I have learned my lesson and do not try this opening again, then again I could actually learn it... I have added one more game to my post C46 Three Knights Opening: General. I have also added two mate in fours, one mate in six and two mate in eight puzzles today.

18 Apr 2015

E22 Nimzo-Indian Defense: Spielmann Variation

E22 Nimzo-Indian Defense: Spielmann Variation

The game below is from a third round game from the WORLD OPEN RAPID tournament that was played at the FIDE Online Arena March 20th 2015. After three rounds I had two wins and one loss. I have not played tournaments at FOA anymore and only finished three games after I received my title. Even though I would like to get a better title than the one I currently have, I do not seem to have enough time to play there. I have been able to cut down my game load quite a lot though from the busiest days, currently at 227 games in progress. There are still quite a few games that could end at any given moment, so I should get even more free time in the near future to do other things than to move in my correspondence games. One of the four sites I have played correspondence chess I have even managed to get a new peak rating that lasted two days. I peaked at 1889 at Red Hot Pawn on April 16th 2015. It is still lacking from the best rating I have ever had in correspondence chess but I feel that it is slowly getting closer to it. My highest rating has been 2201 so far and that I managed to get at Queen Alice Internet Chess Club earlier this year. Since then it has dropped a bit but I have kept it close to 2200 and I think I should be able to go over it some time in the future aswell. I have added two mate in ones, one mate in two, one mate in three and one mate in four today.

17 Apr 2015

B01 Scandinavian Defense: Main Lines. Mieses Variation

B01 Scandinavian Defense: Main Lines. Mieses Variation

I typed yesterday about going back to my Red Hot Pawn and I did post two games from there today and you can find them in the post C70 Spanish Game: Morphy Defense. Caro Variation. The game below is from the second round of the WORLD OPEN RAPID tournament that was played at the FIDE Online Arena though as I had analysed quite a lot of those games in advance from there, so I wanted to see if I can find opening variations that I had not covered before faster. And by saying that I analysed those games before, I meant that I had used the Full Analysis function of the Deep Fritz 14 64Bit version on many games but I had not yet looked up the opening played in the games. The game below I remember partly and the part I remember about is the move 41.Kf1?? because I made the move quite fast and almost immediately realised how bad it was. I could not believe I had missed the way to draw this. After I had played that move I was convinced that I am going to lose but I had to see what happens. I thought that up to that point I had played well and then I blundered the game away so close at the end. It annoyed me quite a bit and I would like to say I have learned from this game but can I avoid messing up good games like this in the future, probably not. I have added one mate in one, one mate in two, one mate in three, one mate in four and one mate in eleven today.

16 Apr 2015

A50 Queen's Fianchetto Defence (1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 b6) (1.e4 Nc6 2.d4 e5 3.d5 Nce7 4.c4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Ng6 6.Nf3 Bc5 7.Be2 a6 8.O-O d6 9.a3)

A50 Queen's Fianchetto Defence (1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 b6) (1.e4 Nc6 2.d4 e5 3.d5 Nce7 4.c4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Ng6 6.Nf3 Bc5 7.Be2 a6 8.O-O d6 9.a3)

I think after this post I will go back to my Red Hot Pawn games as I am quite far behind from the latest games that have finished there. There are, of course, a lot of games to go through in general. I may have gone through over 500 games but there are thousands still to go... In case I go through all the games I have played that have some sort of notation. The game below was played in a team match called Team United States Chess says Trick or Treat to the Hitchhiker's Guide to The Galaxy.(og418). I play board 3 for the Hitchhiker's Guide to The Galaxy. This match is played on 21 boards and the current score is 10,5 - 30,5 in favor of Hitchhiker's Guide to The Galaxy, so we have already won the match against Team United States Chess. This match started on October 27th 2014 and the only game remaining is maybe not a huge surprise to anyone. It is my other game against TurboFish that is still ongoing in this match. I have added two mate in ones, two mate in fours and one mate in five today. Until tomorrow, my fellow chess enthusiasts!

[Event "Team United States Chess says Trick or"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2014.10.27"] [Round "?"] [White "Vierjoki, Timo"] [Black "TurboFish"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A50"] [WhiteElo "1839"] [BlackElo "1890"] [Annotator "Stockfish 8 64 POPCNT (30s), TV"] [PlyCount "85"] [EventDate "2014.??.??"] 1. e4 Nc6 2. d4 e5 3. d5 {Nimzowitsch Defense: Kennedy Variation. Linksspringer Variation} (3. dxe5 Bc5 {Nimzowitsch Defense: Kennedy Variation. Bielefelder Gambit} (3... d6 {Nimzowitsch Defense: Kennedy Variation. de Smet Gambit}) (3... f6 {Nimzowitsch Defense: Kennedy Variation. Hammer Gambit})) 3... Nce7 4. c4 Nf6 5. Nc3 Ng6 6. Nf3 Bc5 7. Be2 a6 8. O-O d6 9. a3 {A50 Queen's Fianchetto Defence (1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 b6)} Bd7 10. b4 Ba7 11. Bg5 h6 12. Bd2 O-O 13. Qc2 Nf4 $146 (13... Qe7 14. Rac1 Nh5 15. Nd1 Nhf4 16. Be3 Bxe3 17. fxe3 Nxe2+ 18. Qxe2 f5 19. exf5 Bxf5 20. e4 Nf4 21. Qc2 Bd7 22. Ne3 g6 23. a4 Qe8 24. Ra1 Qe7 25. c5 Rac8 26. c6 bxc6 27. dxc6 Be6 28. Rab1 {Andrieu,P (1840) -Koenig,J (1850) Saint Quentin 2015 1-0 (57)}) (13... Re8 14. Be3 $11) 14. Bxf4 exf4 {Black has the pair of bishops} 15. e5 {White threatens to win material: e5xf6} Ne8 $2 (15... Ng4 16. exd6 cxd6 17. h3 $11) 16. Ne4 (16. Qe4 Bg4 17. Qxf4 Bxf3 18. Bxf3 $16 (18. gxf3 $6 g5 19. Qe4 f5 $14) (18. Qxf3 $6 dxe5 19. Rac1 Bd4 $14)) 16... Bf5 17. Bd3 Bg4 (17... dxe5 $5 {looks like a viable alternative} 18. Rfe1 f6 $11) 18. Ned2 $16 c6 (18... Bxf3 19. Nxf3 dxe5 20. c5 $16) 19. exd6 (19. dxc6 $5 bxc6 20. exd6 c5 $18) 19... Qxd6 (19... Bxf3 20. Nxf3 c5 21. d7 Qxd7 22. h3 $14) 20. dxc6 $16 bxc6 $2 (20... Bxf3 $142 $5 21. Nxf3 Qxc6 $16) 21. c5 $18 Qd7 $4 {simply worsens the situation} (21... Qc7 $142 $18) 22. Ne5 Qc8 23. Nxg4 (23. Bh7+ Kh8 $18) 23... Qxg4 24. Be4 Qd7 (24... Nf6 25. Bxc6 Rad8 26. Nf3 $18) 25. Nc4 Nf6 26. Bf5 (26. Rad1 $142 $5 {and White can already relax} Qc7 27. Bf3 Rad8 $18) 26... Qc7 27. Nd6 Rad8 28. Qc4 Nd5 $2 (28... Ne8 $142 29. Nxe8 Rfxe8 30. Qxa6 f3 $18) 29. Qxa6 g6 (29... Bb8 30. Rfe1 $18) 30. Bc2 (30. Be4 $142 $5 {seems even better} Ne7 $18) 30... Bb8 31. Qb7 ( 31. Rfd1 {keeps an even firmer grip} Qe7 32. Qxc6 Nc3 $18) 31... Qxb7 (31... Rd7 32. Qxc7 Bxc7 33. Ba4 $18) 32. Nxb7 Rd7 33. Na5 Ne7 34. Rad1 Rfd8 (34... Rxd1 35. Rxd1 Kg7 36. Be4 $18) 35. f3 (35. Rxd7 $142 $5 {might be the shorter path} Rxd7 36. Rd1 Rxd1+ 37. Bxd1 Kf8 $18) 35... Bc7 36. Nc4 (36. Rxd7 Rxd7 37. Rd1 Rxd1+ 38. Bxd1 Kf8 $18) 36... Nd5 (36... Rd4 37. Rxd4 Rxd4 38. Nb6 $18) 37. Rfe1 Nc3 (37... Kf8 38. Ba4 Ne7 39. Rxd7 Rxd7 40. Rd1 $18) 38. Rxd7 Rxd7 39. Kf2 (39. Be4 $5 Rd4 40. Nb6 Bd8 $18) 39... Kg7 40. Be4 Nxe4+ $2 (40... Rd4 $142 41. Nb6 Bd8 $18) 41. Rxe4 (41. fxe4 $6 Rd3 42. e5 Kf8 $18) 41... g5 (41... Kf8 {is no salvation} 42. Ke2 $18) 42. Ke2 f6 (42... Kf6 {there is nothing better in the position} 43. a4 Rd8 $18) 43. Re6 1-0

15 Apr 2015

B28 Sicilian Defense: O'Kelly Variation. Normal System

B28 Sicilian Defense: O'Kelly Variation. Normal System

The Sicilian Defense is something that I face a lot these days as most of my opponents like to answer 1.e4 with c5. I personally do not like to play it but it is something that I can't fully avoid as long as I play 1.e4 mainly these days. 1.c4 or 1.d4 do not interest me all that much either so I guess I have to play the Sicilian in almost every game. As I briefly looked at the stats that I have for the games that I have published here, I am actually done quite well in the Sicilian even though I think it is something I know quite badly because there are loads of theory and different variations that can be played. From the 38 games that have featured one variation or the other of the Sicilian, I have won 25, drawn 3 and lost 10. These are stats from the published games in this blog and I included this game aswell. I am quite surprised of the result even though games that have started 1.e4 c5 have been going quite well recently. This is not even close to the amount of all the games that I have played in the Sicilian, so this might be quite far from the real result. Only when I have published most of my games and gone through what openings have been played in them can I get more realistic success rate in this opening. The game below was played in a team match called Friendly match. It was played between Daleks of Skaro and Chess Titans. I played board 3 for the Daleks of Skaro and managed to get a win and a loss. The match, played on 10 boards, ended 10,5 - 9,5 in favor of Daleks of Skaro! I have added two mate in ones, one mate in two, one mate in three and one mate in five today. I have also added one more game to my post A03 Bird Opening: Dutch Variation.

14 Apr 2015

C00 French Defense: Normal Variation

C00 French Defense: Normal Variation

This game is one of those games where I have resigned too quickly. I should always look at all my options before I resign but I seem to have forgotten that as that is something I have learned years ago. After I had moved 22.Rb1 I immediately saw that it was bad as my opponent can just take my knight on c3 because the bishop is pinned to the rook. Already then I thought that I would resign if my opponent takes the piece. I thought then that Rb1 just loses the piece for nothing. Only after analysing the game afterwards with the engine did I saw some hope in it after all. This one was another good game spoiled by me understanding the position wrongly and not spending enough time to find the saving moves. Maybe I have finally learned something from these games so that similar things will not happen in the future. The game below was played in the second round of the French 2014 thematic tournament at Chess.com. I have added one mate in one, one mate in two, two mate in three and one mate in seven today.

Today happened something that I have waited for a long time to happen, I got my first official FIDE title!! I am now Arena FIDE Master, it is not the title I wanted at first but I took it anyway. From now on I focus on getting the Arena International Master title which is the title I at first thought to be fairly easy for me to obtain. I think I change my playing habits at the FIDE Online Arena a bit and get away from tournament play for now as most of the rapid chess tournaments start there at a time when I start to be sleepy. In order to obtain the best results, I need to be fully awake and concentrate on the game in a way that nothing else exists than the board and the pieces. I am confident that if I play games earlier in the day, my playing strength is much better than in the evening. I guess I will start experimenting tomorrow and see what happens.

Game number two. This game was an unrated challenge that I issued to my opponent, though he did challenge me in real life for a game. We ended up playing two games, the other one was rated but due to the huge rating difference it did not affect either players rating as I won that game aswell. Even though his second move Bb4+ does not lose the game, it is somewhat inaccurate and he should consider playing 2...d5 instead of 2...Bb4+ in the future, in order to improve his game a bit. And if he does want to play the dark squared bishop to b4, then play it after 3.Nc3 if White plays it that is.

Game number three. This one was played at the FIDE Online Arena in the third round game of a rapid chess tournament on April 8th 2015. Third game in a row against a player whose rating was lower than me by over 400 points and this was the first one I won. The first round game went wrong for me from move 18 onwards, but it could have gone wrong earlier if my opponent had taken advantage of my earlier mistake. Then on the second game I was on better side for the most part of the game and only made one really bad king move which lead to a forced mate. The game below was the first one where I avoided making really bad moves.

13 Apr 2015

C47 Four Knights Game: Scotch Variation

C47 Four Knights Game: Scotch Variation

The game below is from the second round of the private tournament called szybkielanie. This is still ongoing tournament at the Queen Alice Internet Chess Club. After two rounds I have one win and one draw which is a decent score at this point. Thinking time for these games is seven days for each move. If I have understood this tournament correctly, there are four rounds played in this tournament, which means that I have only two games left for me to play. This game was one of those where I did not have much the whole game, I even was worse at some points but managed to fight a draw. My opponent offered the draw and after some consideration on my part I took it because the game seemed to reach a point where everything was too simplified and win would not be at all likely to be achieved. I have added one mate in one, two mate in twos, one mate in four and one mate in five puzzle today.

I played one more 15 minute rapid tournament at the FIDE Online Arena yesterday and after a long break, I was able to play a good tournament. I was able to increase both my monitored and unmonitored rating which rarely happens. I usually manage to lose the official monitored games by playing like an idiot but this time I played well enough to gain some rating points. I will play one tournament again today and if all things go well, most of my games will be monitored and count towards the official rating. It is quite unlikely thing to happen as I seem to face the only few people who do not have an official elo rating in the tournament more often than the ones that have an official elo rating. I think I played one rapid tournament last Friday where it was only for FIDE Online Arena players and even then there were unrated players that did not count towards the official game count. Until tomorrow, my fellow chess enthusiasts!

Game number two. The game below was played in the first round of the 2014 October Long Haul Split I tournament that is still in progress at Red Hot Pawn. Before this silly loss, I was leading group 2 and I had very good chances to win the group and advance to the second round. Actually despite this loss, I still have the best chances of the group to win the group because my maximum possible score is higher than the maximum possible of any other player. I think I also messed up my other game against beatlemania, so the win of the group might just become a fantasy for me, the closer we get to finish all the games on round one. Beatlemania took the lead in the group after this win and now he or she has 51 points. I am on second place with 49 points and a player called Blackpoolmad (1507) is on third place with 43 points. The win of the group is still possible for four different players and in addition to the top three, there is also a player called veca (1241), who still has a theoretical chance to win the group. Group 1 has been decided for awhile now and the player who will win group 1 and advance to the second round is caissad4 (1847).

12 Apr 2015

B49 Sicilian Defense: Paulsen Variation. Bastrikov Variation

B49 Sicilian Defense: Paulsen Variation. Bastrikov Variation

For a while, some hours in fact, I was a bit worried as the game replayer provided by Chessbase did not work. It does seem to work now and I do hope it stays that way or at least the downtime will be short if there will be another one. Anyway, the game today is from a team match called ♔ Chess Without Limits ♔ vs RED STONES. It was played between Limitless Chess and RED STONES. I played board 8 in this match for Limitless Chess. Our team did change its name during this match and it was indeed called Chess Without Limits when the match started. Our team won the match, which was played on 16 boards, 23,5 - 8,5. This match started October 15th 2014 and finished on April 1st 2015. I have added one more analysed game to these two posts, C50 Italian Game: Italian Variation and D20 Queen's Gambit Accepted: Old Variation. I have also added one mate in one, two mate in twos, one mate in three and one mate in six today.

Game number two. The game below was played in a team match between Active Turn-based Tournament Players and Bobby Fischer Group. The match consists of 61 boards and I played on board 15 for Active Turn-based Tournament Players. In addition to this win, I lost my other game against Retsam100. The current score in the match is 78 - 36 in favor of Active Turn-based Tournament Players. Therefore we will win the match as soon as all games are finished.

This game was played evenly until for some reason Retsam100 played 12...h6. The move I would have anticipated was 12...O-O-O. The move h6 was a gamble from my opponent that did not pay off. I had to check that taking on g7 is not a horrible blunder. I did see the likely reply 13...Rg8, but as I did not see any serious drawback for taking on g7, I took the pawn. After 14.Qxh6 I thought that Retsam100 would take on g2 with the rook, but he or she played 14...Rg6 and was not interested in taking at least one pawn back. I replied with 15.Qh8+ to see what Retsam100 does, I was not sure if I should retreat with my queen to h3 or to e3, so I basically just gained time to think a bit with the Qh8 back to h6 maneuver. Retsam100 had to play 15...Rg8 or 15...Ng8 in order to avoid loss of material because 15...Bf8 loses to 16.Bxf6 obviously. My opponent had no desire to repeat the position once again with 16...Rg6, so Retsam100 played 16...e5 threatening my bishop. I retreated to f2 with the bishop because I had decided that I will bring my queen back to e3. After 17.Bf2, my opponnent could have taken on g2 again, but for some reason decided not to do that and instead Retsam100 castled. After castles I thought I should now defend my g-pawn at long last by playing 18.g3. While the remainder of the game featured some minor technical difficulties, I think I played the rest of the game quite well. The losing move probably was also the first mistake of the game 12...h6 and Retsam100 was not able to turn things around anymore.