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31 Aug 2015

E21 Nimzo-Indian Defense: Three Knights Variation, Duchamp Variation

E21 Nimzo-Indian Defense: Three Knights Variation, Duchamp Variation

This is one of those openings that could have appeared in this blog before and actually the second game in this post was previously under a different post. Only when I searched for the opening variation used in this game, did I notice the mistake and corrected it. The game below was played in tedjj's mini-tournament XLIII. I am currently sixth and I can only either remain sixth or be overtaken by another player and end up on seventh place but those are my only options in this tournament anymore. This has not gone all that well and if I indeed lose all my four remaining games, this will be a real disaster of a tournament for me. I guess things could have gone even worse so maybe I can find some solace in that at least.

I have added one mate in one, two mate in two, one mate in three and one mate in eight puzzle today. I have also added one more analysed game to the following posts: C50 Italian Game: Hungarian Defense, C55 Italian Game: Two Knights Defense, B17 Caro-Kann Defense: Karpov Variation. Modern Variation Kasparov Attack, C21 Danish Gambit: General and D35 Queen's Gambit Declined: Exchange Variation, Positional Variation #2. The game I added to my post C21 Danish Gambit: General was also the 900th analysed chess game to have appeared in this blog!! And my latest losses mean that the statistics on the published games seem a bit worse for me now than they were the last time I published the statistics. In these published 902 chess games, I have won 577 (63.97%), drawn 76 (8.43%) and lost 249 (27.61 %). Both in Red Hot Pawn and Chess.com I have started losing a lot more recently than I lost in my most active correspondence chess days about seven months ago. Now that I have only 106 games in progress, almost 200 games less than I had in January this year, the moving accuracy has also decreased for some reason. Maybe I just want to get my game load decreased as much as possible and not that keen on making the most accurate moves. I do admit that it has become a bit of a chore instead of something that I would like to do, the moving in those games that is. Even though I should have more time to spend on each game, somehow I may spend even less time on my moves than I did when I had 300 games to worry about. In those days I even did these blog posts every day... Those were really busy days. Until tomorrow, my fellow chess enthusiasts!

Game number two. This is one of those games were the games in the comments are more interesting than the featured game. This game was originally posted in my post E21 Nimzo-Indian Defense: Three Knights Variation because at the time I was not aware that 4...b6 is still theory because it did not appear in the material I used to search the openings from. Now that I check these lines from the Chess.com's Book Chess Openings database, these sort of mistakes are corrected.

Game number three. The game below was played in a team match called Open Challenge Thunderstorm. This match was originally played between Thunderstorm and The Indian Warriors on seven boards. I played on board 1 for Thunderstorm but now it seems our team has changed its name to the band of cats. We were leading this match 7 - 6 before this game ended so this game finally decided the outcome of the match. Because I played some bad moves in this game, we had to accept the draw from this match.

28 Aug 2015

B15 Caro-Kann Defense: Main Line

B15 Caro-Kann Defense: Main Line

This is from the second round of the WORLD OPEN RAPID tournament that was played at the FIDE Online Arena on April 6th 2015. I started the tournament with a win but on this second round I got a tougher opponent, who it turns out I could have won if I seen the opportunities that arised after 13...Nd5?? or later after the move 16...Rb8??. Of course I was not able to take those chances and slowly drifted towards a loss.

Today I was able to climb back towards 2200 unexpectedly at Queen Alice Internet Chess Club as one of my opponents decided to stop making moves all together. My rating jumped from 2180 to 2196 due to that win on time. I am not sure what happened there because it seems that my opponent has logged back in after over a week being offline. I did sent my opponent a move reminder and waited over 24 hours for him to come online and make his move, but eventually I had to claim the win on time. I was probably quite lost in that position, so he should have won the game but time is also a deciding factor in games like these. I have added one mate in one, one mate in three, two mate in four and one mate in five puzzle today. I have also added one more analysed game to my post A03 Bird Opening: Dutch Variation. Until Monday, my fellow chess enthusiasts! Next week this blog will have its 900th analysed chess game!

Game number two. This was played with 10 minute time controls and it was sort of warmup for the continuation of the 100 game match with 15 minute time controls.

Game number three. After two years or so break, my friend and I continued the 100 game match with 15 minute time controls. Due to the long break the difference in my play style and strength did change during that time and maybe there was some change in the strength of my opponent aswell but maybe not so much in the way he plays chess. He did lead the series when we paused the match after 20 games in 2013 10.5 - 9.5 if I recall correctly. So with the loss I suffered in the game below, Tomi managed to increase his lead. Now the score was 11.5 - 9.5 in Tomi's favor.

27 Aug 2015

B32 Sicilian Defense: Kalashnikov Variation

B32 Sicilian Defense: Kalashnikov Variation

This short game was played in a team match called Limitless Chess vs France/Deutschland Group. The match is played on 87 boards and I played on board 23 for Limitless Chess. The score in the match is at the moment I type this 56 - 74 in favor of France/Deutschland Group. It does look bad for our team but the match has not been decided yet, so we could still turn things around. Both of my games against Blutsvente ended in a strange mannner, in both game boards it says that my opponent both resigned and lost on time. In my opinion neither position was resignable, so the timeout is a more likely cause to end both of these games. That being said, neither of these games are counted as timeout losses in the team match, so who knows what happened there. I have added two mate in one, one mate in two, one mate in three and one mate in eleven puzzle today. In addition, the following posts have one more analysed game in them: C41 Philidor Defense: Larsen Variation, C34 King's Gambit: Accepted. Fischer Defense, A00 Van't Kruijs Opening: General, B18 Caro-Kann Defense: Classical Variation, C54 Italian Game: Classical Variation. Greco Gambit Traditional Line and D20 Queen's Gambit Accepted: Old Variation.

Game number two. This was played in the fourth round of the WORLD OPEN RAPID tournament that was held at the FIDE Online Arena on April 11th 2015. This was my second win in a row after losing five games in a row, so things seemed a little bit brighter at this point in time. There was one more round after this but the game below was the last one for me because in that last round game my opponent decided not to make any moves. This second example of this variation is also the first one in this post that was decided after a proper battle.

Game number three. The game below was played in the first round of the WORLD OPEN RAPID tournament that was held at the FIDE Online Arena on April 12th 2015. It is always good to start with a win where I am never really on the losing side. I did many inaccurate moves but they never handed the advantage to my opponent.

Game number four. The game below was played in a team match called ANGELS COUNTING BRILLIANT STARS 1600 and above. It was played on three boards between Angels Academy For Brilliant Angels and DORU-66 & HIS BEST FRIENDS. I played on board 1 for DORU-66 & HIS BEST FRIENDS. This game might be one of the best games I have played in a long time. Even though far from a perfect game, I was able to play in a good level in my opinion as I did not do any really horrible moves. The other game I played against Malcan was one where I got crushed without all that much counterplay on my part. The match ended with a score 4 - 2 in favor of Angels Academy For Brilliant Angels. It took a very long time for me to win against a player who is rated 2000+, but maybe this can happen more regularly in the future. That has been my plan for a very long time, but it has not worked so well in practice so far anyway.

Game number five. The game below was played on the first round of the 2015 December Quartets I 1800+ tournament that is being played at Red Hot Pawn. This draw was the last game I played in group 3 and in the tournament, because I was not able to advance to the second round. I was only able to win two games and both of those wins were due to a timeout, so the point I got from this draw is the only one I feel I earned because this one was a hard fought game. This might also be the best draw I received this year. Due to this draw my rating increased to new hights, my new peak rating is 1969. It is also my current rating because this is the last game I have finished at Red Hot Pawn. Group 3 consisted of four players and I was third in the final standings with 7 points. My opponent, Pattrick06, finished on second place with 10 points. The group was won by TheBigKat (2481), who won all of his or her games and advanced to the second round. TheBigKat is the second highest rated player on the site, outrated only by cenerentola (2550).

I have never really felt comfortable in playing the Sicilian Defense with either color, but I think this good draw boosted my confidence a bit. The move 6.a4 is not the most common continuation, but when I have played it, I usually do quite well. Probably the two most common moves on move six are 6.c4 and 6.N1c3, but I prefer a4 because it better suits my playstyle than those two moves. I basically want to stop the move b5 and reserve the c4-square either to my bishop or to my knight, depending on what my opponent plays. I think both players continued the game logically until my opponent played the mysterious looking 19...Ra8. Maybe the idea was to play a5 next move, but I stopped that by playing a5 myself. I was quite okay with my position after 20.a5, even though my bishop on c4 and the knight on a3 were rather akwardly placed.

After Pattrick06 had played 23...Kg7, I thought that I should get my knight to the game and played Nc4 after seeing that if my opponent replies with Nxd5, then I can play Nxd6 and I should be doing okay there. Pattrick06 did not take on d5, but instead moved the knight to d7 after which I thought it best to move my knight to e3 where it is better placed than on c4, at least in my opinion. Playing the knight to e3 is also a tempo, because the bishop needs to move from f5 or be captured by the knight. After I played 26.Ba4 I though that I should be on the better side of the board, but I was not sure about the best plan to improve my position. I played 27.Kg1 because I thought that I should get the king out of the corner and prevent any possible back rank tricks. Not that my opponent threatened any tricks at that moment. After the reply 27...f5, I played 28.c4 because I did not think of anything else to do. C4 is as far as the pawn will go as long as the square c5 is so firmly in the control of my opponent's pieces. The problem with the move c4 is that the pawn is now much weaker because it can't be defended as easily as when it was on c2.

I think after the move 30...Rc7 it was my opponent who started to apply pressure on my position and not the other way around. I was certainly in some trouble, but I think that after the light-squared bishops had been traded off, the position looked a bit more like a draw. I think around that point I offered a draw, which my opponent declined. It was also the only time I did offer a draw in this game if I recall correctly. The thing I noticed after the light-squared bishops were off the board that I wanted to keep the other bishops on the board because I felt that my opponent has better chances to invade into my position if those remaining bishops are taken off the board. I also avoided making pawn moves almost at all cost, because those would have only weakened my pawn structure and made targets for my opponent to attack into. I was really happy to see 45...b5 played because it frees me to do something in the position rather than just sit around. The move 45...b5 also loses a pawn, but not the game I end up in perpetual check like in the game continuation.

26 Aug 2015

D35 Queen's Gambit Declined: Exchange Variation, Positional Variation #2

D35 Queen's Gambit Declined: Exchange Variation, Positional Variation #2

The game below was played in a team match called ☼ The Farm ☼ vs Historical Association. It was played on 72 boards and I played on board 8 for Historical Association. Luckily other members of Historical Association were in better shape than I was during this match and we ended up winning the match with a score of 67 - 77! I was only able to get a draw out of the two games I played against MENTAC, though I had chances to win the game below. My poor technique meant that I had to agree to a draw on move 78. I might have had some small chances in the position where the game ended but as I saw or at least thought I saw that my opponent could easily draw this position, I agreed to his draw offer.

Today I played in the first round of a tournament at the chess club where I occasionally play over the board chess. The time controls in the tournament are 1 hour for 40 moves and 15 minutes to the end of the game. I played with the black pieces against a friend of mine who likes to play the King's Gambit. Before the game I thought I probably should avoid it completely, but when we started to play, I replied his 1.e4 with 1...e5. It was no surprise that his second move was f4. I think I managed to get an ok position from the opening but later I did one careless move which gave him a bit too much iniative that I would have liked. When the first time scramble started he made a sacrifice that I believed to be completely losing for him and it would have probably been the losing sequence if I had played correctly after the smoke cleared but I did not and kept making bad moves and in the final time scramble, I had to resign. I have added the translate possibility to the blog today. You can see the sometimes funny ways that the Google tranlation gadget does the tranlations. I used it to translate the text to Finnish and it did not do the translation all that well in my opinion. I have added two mate in one, two mate in two and one mate in three puzzle today.

Game number two. This is from a match called Open Challenge Canada1. The match is still ongoing between Canada1 and Obsessive Chess Disorder!! The match is played on 80 boards and I played on board 20 for OCD and unfortunately this time I was not able to help team at all because I lost both of my games. Admittedly, my opponent was higher rated and I just messed both of my games maybe a bit too easily or that is what I remember from them at least. The current score in the match is 85.5 - 54.5 in favor of Canada1, so the winner of the match is already been deciced.

Game number three. The game below was played in a team match called Purple Bhangra punjabi style. It is played on 33 boards between PURPLE HAZE and PAOK. I am playing on board 3 for PURPLE HAZE against a clearly stronger opponent. It has come to this again, my other game against Killerinstrict is the last one in the match that has been a real uphill battle for us, like the current score 10.5 - 54.5 suggests. No matter what happens in the last game, we are completely crushed by our opponent.

25 Aug 2015

C77 Spanish Game: Morphy Defense, Tarrasch Variation

C77 Spanish Game: Morphy Defense, Tarrasch Variation

This game was played in the first round of the Smaller Tournament that is held at Chess.com. I was in some real trouble during this game but some inaccuracies by my opponent brought me back to the game and the only reason I won is because Jessemw915 lost on time. This lucky win or unlucky in some ways meant that I advanced to the second round from group #4. In round one I won six games and drew one and lost one. Second place finisher was the opponent I had in this game, Jessemw915, and he managed to get six points, so he was leading the group before the game below ended. Nemoz finished third in the group and he or she ended up getting 5,5 points, so the first three were quite close in points but the last two were far behind the first three as fourth place holder only got two points and the last one in the group lost all his or her games in this tournament. Out of the 200 games that started with this tournament, five games remain to be finished so that round two can begin. I have added two mate in one, one mate in two, one mate in three and one mate in five puzzle today. I have also added one analysed game to my post B92 Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation. Opocensky Variation.

24 Aug 2015

C70 Spanish Game: Morphy Defense, Cozio Defense

C70 Spanish Game: Morphy Defense, Cozio Defense

Today I will share my latest loss from Queen Alice Internet Chess Club. The way I am playing there at the moment, the next latest loss from there will be the next game that finishes there. The game below is from the second round of the AUTO-MASTER-2135 tournament that is still being played. I doubt it will be for much longer though, because the only remaining game in that tournament is my other game against Evandrobit and I have a feeling it will soon end... This tournament of course started as well as a tournament can start because I won all my games on round one. The second round seems to be the complete opposite of round one, I have lost all my games on round two and will most likely lose the last game in progress aswell. Of all the correspondence chess sites, my rating at Queen Alice Internet Chess Club is clearly the highest and at the moment it is the only thing that might keep me playing there. That is because the site has one major weakness, tournaments can go to a situation where they are never completed. The reason for this is that there is no automatic timeout in any of the games. I have two tournaments going there that are likely never going to be finished. The one that started in 2011 does not matter to me all that much because I have finished all my games in that tournament years ago, but the other one started only last year and it is halted by two players who are unwilling to claim their timeout wins. One reason for this might be that because they have no chance to advance in that tournament so why would they bother to finish their games and give other people the opportunity to win the tournament... I would always claim the timeouts, so that the tournament can continue even if I could no longer win it myself. That latter tournament I am interested in because I would be advancing to the next round if those two players would claim their wins. I have added one mate in one, one mate in three, one mate in five, one mate in six and one mate in seven puzzle today. Until tomorrow, my fellow chess enthusiasts!

21 Aug 2015

C46 Four Knights Game: General

C46 Four Knights Game: General

This tournament is still one of the worst that I have played at the FIDE Online Arena. In these first three rounds, I lost two out of three despite the fact that I was clearly the higher rated player in all of those three games. In the last two rounds of the tournament I did won both of the remaining games but because the last round game I won on time, due to the fact that my opponent did not make any moves in that game, it did feel a bit like a tournament where nothing goes my way. In the few months time that have passed since this game was played, I think that my playing strength has improved enough that these kind of bad performances are not likely to appear as often as they may have appeared in the past. My recent statistics should be confirming my current improvement in strength, I have managed to get to the 98.7 percentile at Chess.com's Online Chess ratings. The fact that I had a streak of 20 games at the FIDE Online Arena with a score of 13 wins, 6 draws and 1 loss would also suggest that I am doing something right. Still those stats might be a bit misleading because I have faced only one opponent in those 20 games. After that 20 game period I have a lost two games in a row. Those games are part of the 100 game match I am playing against a friend of mine that when I started playing chess in over the board tournaments, I lost pretty much all the time against him. I have added one mate in one, one mate in three, one mate in four and two mate in five puzzles today. Until monday, my fellow chess enthusiasts!

20 Aug 2015

B59 Sicilian Defense: Boleslavsky Variation

B59 Sicilian Defense: Boleslavsky Variation

This was played in the second round of a rapid chess tournament that was played at the FIDE Online Arena on April 5th 2015. In the first round of this tournament I lost against a player who was rated almost 300 points lower than me, so the tournament had not gone all that well and winning on this second round against a player who was lower rated by over 500 points was only a small consolation. Tomorrow I will post a third round game from this same tournament and I will type more about this tournament then.

I would like to thank all of you who have followed me on Google+ and Twitter and also people who have shared my posts, it is much appreciated! After this post there are 882 analysed chess games of mine posted in here and 374 different opening variations are featured in those games. Out of those 882 games, I have won 568 (64.4%), drawn 74 (8.39%) and lost 240 (27.21%). It might be also interesting to note that the most featured opening variation in this blog, A20 English Opening: King's English Variation. General, has only 30 games in it which means that learning opening theory might not be all that useful because I faced the exact same line only about 3.4% of the time. And most of the variations have only one game in them which means most of those opening variations I have only faced about 0.1% of the time. Admittedly that is not the most theoretical opening and most of the games that were played in that variation were played years ago when my main opening move with White was c4. In those times I knew very little about different openings or how they are supposed to be played. I may not be expert on openings even to this day but I have much better knowledge of them since I started blogging again. I have, for instance, started to remember the ECO codes of some lines quite well, I mean after nearly 900 games of searching for the opening played in a game, I should start remembering something about them... I have added one mate in one, two mate in two, one mate in three and one mate in four puzzle today. I have also added one more analysed game to my post B92 Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation. Opocensky Variation Traditional Line.

Game number two. This is from a team match called 100+ PLAYERS FUNNY JUNGLEMATCH and it is still in progress at Chess.com. The match is played between JUNGLE TEAM and Space Angels Watch The US Open Tennis NYC In Andromeda's Cluster Of Infinite Bright Stars. Every time I have posted a game that was played in a team match involving the latter team, the name of that team has been different, I think and most likely it will keep doing that in the future aswell. In this match that was played on 139 boards, I played on board 15 for Space Angels Watch The US Open Tennis NYC In Andromeda's Cluster Of Infinite Bright Stars. I was only able to get a draw against Mestermoeller in the two games I played against him. Luckily other members of the team have played mostly better chess than our opponents and the score in the match is 127.5 - 141.5 in our favor which means of course that the match has been decided and we will take the win as soon as all games have finished.

Game number three. The game below is from the first round of the 2015 October Grand Split Three Seven I 1800+ tournament. I am currently on 8th place in group 1 with 31 points. Bvinci, who is currently the third highest rated player in the group, has gathered 33 points and is currently on shared 6th place. The winner of group 1 has already been decided and it was won by a player called cenerentola (2553). Cenerentola gathered 82 points in this group and won all but one game and even that he drew. This is one of the most embarrassing losses from my recent games. I think I played reasonably well until I played the stupid 14.Bc4. That move made my life a lot harder in this game. Bvinci's reply Qc7 takes full advantage of the now awkwardly placed bishop on c4. 14...Qc7 also makes room for either rook to occupy d8, which would harass my queen, so therefore I move it to e1 in order to get my queen out of the way. Maybe I could even get my rook to d1 next. The reply Nb4 shows the error of my ways and I am in real trouble now. I of course played 16.Qc3, the only move that holds my position together for one move longer. I could have resigned after 16...Nbd5, but I did not even see the reply to my move 17.Bxd5 until it was on the board. I lost this game a bit too easily in my opinion and I should remember this game and avoid similar mistakes in the future.

19 Aug 2015

C12 French Defense: MacCutcheon Variation, Chigorin Variation

C12 French Defense: MacCutcheon Variation, Chigorin Variation

This game is from round two of the French 2014 thematic tournament that is being played at Chess.com. This has been quite a difficult tournament for me so far, in the first round I managed to barely advance to the second round, I got only half a point more than the player who finished fourth in the group. There were a FIDE Master and an International Master playing in the same group as I was on round one and against both I got what I thought a surprising amount of points. Against the FIDE Master who was rated at the time 2456, I managed to get a draw and lost a game. The IM I won in one of the games and the other I lost. All of those games can be seen in this blog. On round two I am very close of being eliminated from the rest of the tournament once again. I have only one game left to finish and if I win that game, I will advance to the third round, otherwise I am eliminated from the tournament. It might not be a surprise to anyone at this point that it is also the last game in this round. The game is played between me and albatros1, who I faced in the game below aswell. I am not sure why my opponent agreed to draw this game but I am happy he or she did because I am quite lost in the final position. I have added two mate in one, one mate in three, one mate in six and one mate in eight puzzle today. In addition, these two posts: D55 Queen's Gambit Declined: Modern Variation. Normal Line and D00 Queen Pawn Game: General have one more analysed game added into them.

18 Aug 2015

A06 Zukertort Opening: Old Indian Attack

A06 Zukertort Opening: Old Indian Attack

It is time once more to look at my FIDE Online Arena games and tomorrow I will publish some of my Chess.com Online Chess games. After I started doing these blog updates from Monday to Friday instead of every day, it has given me some extra time on weekends to prepare the content that I am going to post in the following week. It takes some of the pressure off from doing these posts when you know that you have something to post the next day. This game was played in the first round of a rapid chess tournament at the FIDE Online Arena. Whenever I lose in the first round against a player who is rated almost 300 points lower than me, I just know the tournament will not go well for me. This tournament did not end up as a huge disaster even with this bad start, admittedly it was not a huge success either because I won three games and lost two. It was slightly on the negative side still because the last round game I did win but only because my opponent did not make any moves in that game and lost on time. All my opponents were also lower rated than me to make my results even worse.

I have played some games again at the FIDE Online Arena again, today I played a couple of 15 minute games against a friend of mine there that are part of the 100 game match that we agreed to play. It has been going on quite a long time, because the first games were played two years ago I think. Then the match halted for some reason or the other for that two year period and then this year we continued the match again. The first 20 games were the old games of that match and were played at ICC, now we have played another 20 games, this time at the FIDE Online Arena. After the first twenty games my friend lead the series 10.5 - 9.5 but now the match has taken a different direction all together and I now lead the match 23.5 - 16.5. There are still 60 games to play so anything can happen but at the moment it does look good for me. I have added two mate in one, one mate in two, one mate in five and one mate in six puzzle today. I have also added one more analysed game to these two posts: C45 Scotch Game: General and C70 Spanish Game: Morphy Defense. Caro Variation.

Game number two. My second challenge in a row against electa. In the game below I was forced to accept a draw after being victorious in the first game.

Game number three. This game was played on the fourth round of the weekend tournament that was played at Vammala slightly over ten years ago. Before this round, I had gathered two wins and a draw, so the first loss for me during this tournament and it later turned out to be the last one as well. This loss was enough to cost me the win of the group, though even if I had won this game, it is not certain what would have happened on the last round game, because most likely I would have played against someone else than I did end up playing when I lost this game.

17 Aug 2015

A00 Van Geet Opening: Gruenfeld Defense

A00 Van Geet Opening: Gruenfeld Defense

The game below is my 297th finished game from Red Hot Pawn. Once upon a time the site where I had played most of my correspondence chess games was RHP but in the last few months the number one spot has gone quite clearly to Chess.com. There I have played 405 correspondence chess games so far. Red Hot Pawn will always be a special place to me because it was the first site where I ever played correspondence chess and I will continue playing there regularly until who knows how long. This game was played in the third round of the 2014 August Banded Threesomes I 1700-1800 tournament. In round three there is only one group left and whoever wins this group, wins the tournament. This is the first and so far the only game to have finished for me in this round and even though I still have theoretical chances to win the group and the tournament, I think that it is very unlikely thing to happen. At least considering how the other games are going. I advanced from the first round with one other player as we tied on points. The second round was a bit easier for me and I advanced to the third round with relative ease, this time I was the sole winner of the group. During this third round I have even dropped my rating so much at Red Hot Pawn that I am now the weakest player in this round, based on the rating that is. Well, there might not have been that huge drop because I was probably only third highest anyway in this four people group before my rating started to drop. I have added one mate in one, one mate in six and three mate in seven puzzles today.

14 Aug 2015

B06 Modern Defense: Two Knights Variation

B06 Modern Defense: Two Knights Variation

The game below was played in the third round of a rapid chess tournament that was played at the FIDE Online Arena on April 4th 2015. I won the first two games of the tournament, the first one I won after my opponent blundered some pieces and the second one was a win on time in a position that was losing for me. In this game I got outplayed by my opponent after I did some mistakes which grunhyde2004 was able to convert into an advantage for Black. My rapid rating at FIDE Online Arena has increased quite nicely lately and if the games keep going well for me, my next FIDE title will come after 34 more games. After I get the Arena International master title, I will go for the Arena Grandmaster title. If I do happen to get that AGM title, I might start playing over the board games more actively again. But before that happens, I have no real interest in over the board games. I have added one more analysed game to the following posts: C20 English Opening: The Whale, A42 Sicilian Defense: Hyperaccelerated Fianchetto, C54 Italian Game: Classical Variation. Greco Gambit Anderssen Variation, C45 Scotch Game: Schmidt Variation and C91 Spanish Game: Closed Variations. Bogoljubow Variation. I have also adde one mate in one, two mate in two, one mate in four and one mate in eight puzzle today.

13 Aug 2015

D13 Slav Defense: Exchange Variation

D13 Slav Defense: Exchange Variation

This game is the 400th Online Chess game I have played at Chess.com. Considering that I became a member there in 2008, it is not that many games. Most of those games have actually been played in the last year. The game below was played in a team match called Battle in the Wolves' Den. The match is played on 18 boards between The 13th Legion and TROY. I am playing on board 1 for TROY in this match. The winner of the match is known at this point and it will be The 13th Legion because they lead the match 20 - 14 at the moment. Before this match started, there was a rating restriction that allowed only players that were rated under 1900 to join. I have of course broken that limit some time ago but after the match had already started. This match started on March 30th 2015 and because there is only one simultaneous game at a time, this match basically lasts a lot longer than it would have lasted if both of the games would have been played at the same time. My current Online Chess rating of 1957 puts me in the 98.8 percentile and if I remember correctly, I have not been in the 99 percentile yet but it is quite close by now. Also I would like to get a new peak rating at Online Chess because the old peak came in 2009 and it is way too long of a time period ago. Getting a new peak is much easier said than done though, I have been losing games annoyingly often or drawing against lower rated people that I may remain close to that peak but never actually break it. I have added two mate in one, two mate in four and one mate in eight puzzle today and in addition I have added one more analysed game to the following posts: C41 Philidor Defense: Exchange Variation 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6, E12 Queen's Indian Defense: Petrosian Variation and C69 Spanish Game: Exchange Variation. Gligoric Variation.

Game number two. The game below was played in a team match called "LIFE'S A TRIP ! ENJOY THE RIDE 2016! ". The match is played on 56 boards between SHETOS and Chess Champ. I played on board 2 and lost both of my games against promoteking. The current score in the match is 43 - 66 in favor of Chess Champ, which means we were able to secure the win in this match quite comfortably. I think the move 5...e6 that I played is too passive and I should maybe play 5...Nc6 from now on, so that the bishop on c8 has more possibilities when it is not blocked by the e-pawn. Even in the game continuation I should be okay. On my move 8 I played b6 in order to follow it up with Ba6 and trade the light-squared bishops. While I think that my plan to do that was a correct one, I am not sure about the next couple of moves. My next plan involved getting my knight to c4 and if it is not traded there, then maybe continue its journey to d6. I think the idea of bringing the knight to c4 and the things that were caused by that plan were contributing factors to my loss. I think the position after 13...Rc8 should be quite balanced and that continued a couple of moves though my opponent had a better plan than I had... The move 16...a6 is a bit slow with the idea of b5 to follow it up. I of course did not see my opponent's idea, had I seen it, I may have played 16...Qd7 and followed it up with Rfc8 if my opponent did not reply 16...Qd7 with a move that instantly requires my attention. I may have survived the a6 move, but then I had to play b5 right after that and it was a move I could not afford to play, because it loses a pawn by force as the game continuation demonstrates. The move 17...b5 was the final mistake of the game and it secured the win for my opponent. I did try to generate some counterplay and I was even given the chance to hold the draw, but even though I started with the right idea 30...Rb2, I was not able to follow it up properly. It is actually quite ridiculous that after 31.Qf1, I did not play Qxe3. I played Ra2 instead and went after the more dangerous looking a-pawn. Unfortunately that was the way to lose the game. During the remainder of the game, I was not able to get back into an even position and had to accept the loss after 37.Kg2.

Game number three. For now it will only be viewable in the video below. It will be analysed and published the same way as other games in this post some time in the future.

12 Aug 2015

C18 French Defense: Winawer Variation, Advance Variation #2

C18 French Defense: Winawer Variation, Advance Variation #2

The games that I have finished lately at Chess.com will be added to the blog tomorrow including the 400th Online Chess game I have played there. Unless more games finish there before I make my post tomorrow, all the correspondence games I have played there are then published in this blog, well long enough games anyway. Friday I will post my latest games from GameKnot and Red Hot Pawn if more games do not end in those sites before then that is. The game below was played in the first round of the Maximum ! tournament that is held at Chess.com. It is named like that because the tournament uses the maxmum thinking time available in Online Chess games at Chess.com which has a 14 day per move time limit. I am currently on eight place in group #4 and I have gathered 10 wins, 3 draws and 4 losses in the 17 games I have finished so far. There are five games still left for me to finish and if I happen to win them all, I will end up on third place in this group. That would also mean that I would advance to the second round. If there is a tournament where I would not like to advance to the next round, it would be this one. The thinking times are a bit too long, so I will forget what I was thinking about the last time I had to move in one of my games that have this 14 days per move time limit. My memory of the positions does differ from position to position though, it depends on how long I have actually used time to think about the current position on the board. I have added one mate in one, two mate in three, one mate in five and one mate in six puzzle today. Until tomorrow, my fellow chess enthusiasts!

Game number two. This was played in a team match called I Tournament of teams: standings - I, round 3. The match was played on 91 boards between Три Богатыря (East Slavs) and Kopaonik. I played on board 31 for Kopaonik in this match and I was able to get 1.5 points for our team in the two games I played against lybaedik. Our team featured two Grandmasters, one FIDE Master and one Woman FIDE Master. This is probably the first time that I have played in a match with so many titled players. The match ended with a score of 73.5 - 108.5 in favor of Kopaonik! This game ended my losing streak at Chess.com that had been four games long at this point.

Game number three. This was the penultimate game for the requirement for the title. This was my second consecutive game against Ivo Skvir, in the first game I was able to take the full point even though I was worse or even losing the game for quite a long time. Whenever I see the name Ivo, I recall the game The Book of Unwritten Tales 2, which I have not played myself, but I have seen it being played on Youtube. I would really like to get a little bit of time off from my correspondence games, so that I could play the first and second part of that game. Well, I would have time also for other things I have been too busy to do for the past year and a half or so. Anyway, back to this chess game. Unlike in our first encounter, in this one I am able to get into advantageous position first, but then I mess up and end up handing over the win to my opponent.

Game number four. This one was played on the first round of the 2015 October Grand Split Three Seven I 1800+ tournament, held at Red Hot Pawn. At moment I type this, I have 32 points and my maximum possible score is 59. I have still theoretical chances to finish on 3rd place, but the likelihood of that happening is quite small. I currently reside on 8th place, which considering that I am the 7th highest rated player in group 1 is a small disappointment. Wizardschess has 36 points at the moment and because he or she has only one game left, can only reach to maximum of 39 points.

I do not particularly like the positions I get in the French Defense, with either color actually and I may need to switch from the Winawer Variation to other variations and see if I prefer them more. I think the first mistake in the game below comes into existence when my opponent plays 13...b6. Up to that point I think wizardschess played well. I am on the slightly defensive side already and my rook on a2 is not really performing its dream job. Maybe the idea behind b6 is that if I take on c5, my pawn structure is really bad which might compensate for the sacrificed pawn. It is true that wizardschess ended up getting that pawn back eventually due to my weak pawn structure, but it took a lot of moves to do. It was hard for me to come up with a good plan of how to push the a-pawn down the board, but then on move 37 I thought about a trick that I could try, so I played Nd2, with the idea that the pawn can't be taken because of Nc4+. This moment was one of the turning points of the game in my opinion. I of course missed that wizardschess can just reply Nd2 with Nc5+... The moment I saw Nc5+ being played, I thought, did I just lose another game. It turned out that I did not and the location of my opponents pieces is just right for me to survive. If the rook on a7 would have been on a8, Nc5+ would have won the game. Of course also the rook on b5 had to be there in order for me to survive too. Had it been even one square further from my king, I would have lost. It does not happen often that I can intentionally go into a square with my king twice in a row where my opponent can fork both my king and rook and survive. Actually this might have been the first time this has ever happened and quite likely the last time as well. After the knights were traded off the board, I felt quite confident about my winning chances. Everything just worked out perfectly since that 37...Nc5+. The final mistake that really made the game easy for me was 45...Kd7 because after the reply 46.Rb7, I have completely taken away my opponent's possible counterplay.

11 Aug 2015

C42 Petrov's Defense #5

C42 Petrov's Defense #5

This one is both a disappointing draw and draw I should be happy with. I should be happy with this draw because it came after I had struggled for the most part of this game in a bad position. The disappointing part coming from the fact that despite the hard fought game and getting into a position where I have a pawn more than my opponent, I could not win this game and instead had to agree to a draw by repetition of moves. This game was played in a team match called CYBERMEN ELITE vs «Classic Hits». This is a match that is played on 19 boards and I played on board 3 for «Classic Hits». In addition to this draw, I lost my other game against Jo-Mir-asol. The current score in the match is 22.5 - 14.5 in favor of CYBERMEN ELITE. This means that they will win the match officially after the last game in the match is finished. I have added two mate in one, one mate in four, one mate in six and one mate in seven puzzle. I have also added one more analysed game to the following posts of mine: C45 Scotch Game: Schmidt Variation, C70 Spanish Game: Morphy Defense. Caro Variation and C66 Spanish Game: Berlin Defense. Improved Steinitz Defense.

10 Aug 2015

C65 Spanish Game: Berlin Defense, Beverwijk Variation

C65 Spanish Game: Berlin Defense, Beverwijk Variation

This was played at Chess.com in a team match called 2. The match was played between Team Bulgaria United and Magnus Carlsen Group on 17 boards. I played on board 3 and considering the rating difference between me and my opponent, I was not able to get a good result from the two games because I lost my other game against crisdim. Team Bulgaria United was the clear winner of this match because the match ended 27 - 7 in their favor. We lost fourteen of those games due to timeouts... It is always sad when most of the games are lost due to timeouts because the match is basically forfeited by those players. Players who actually want to fight for the win like me do not have any real importance in the match like this because our wins or possible wins can't change the outcome of the match. This match finished on August 3rd 2015, the same day that the game below ended. I have added two mate in four, two mate in five and one mate in seven puzzle today. Until tomorrow, my fellow chess enthusiasts and feel free to share my posts!

Game number two. This was played on the fourth round of a tournament at Salo in the later part of 2003. This tournament turned out to be the best one I had played played since May 2001. After this I have had even better ones, but this was at the time the most successful tournament in my point of view. The game below was not all that good from me, I was already in a losing position after my 9th move. Maybe the game continued a bit too long after that but then again I would probably resign after reaching the same position even if I had the same knowledge of chess back then as I have today. Then again I would not have played 9...Nb4?? or other moves before that with my current knowledge of chess.

7 Aug 2015

A08 King's Indian Attack: Sicilian Variation

A08 King's Indian Attack: Sicilian Variation

The game below was played in a team match called OCD BIG XMAS MATCH. It is played on 76 boards between Obsessive Chess Disorder!! and ♞KNIGHTS of the REALM♞. I played on board 15 for OCD and in addition to this loss, I won my other game against Ahmedegyptair. The current score in the match is 79 - 71 in favor of Obsessive Chess Disorder!! which means we have already secured the win in the match. Timeouts and cheating badges raised their ugly heads once more in this match, the latter only seen in our opponent's roster, only on two boards though, but timeouts were the nuisance for both teams.

From time to time I like to check how many games I still have in progress and at the moment the sum from four different sites seem to be 128. I have managed to decrease my game load quite nicely this year but my move speed has not increased in the way I would have liked. This is of course due to the positions I face in these games which are quite tough more often than not, at least to me that is. When I have decreased the amount of games I have in progress enough, I may start incresing it a bit again but only if I can get to face players around my rating or higher rated than me. I think one of the biggest reasons that have been in the way of my chess improvement is that I have been facing opponents that are mostly lower rated than me which has the downside that I do not need to play at all that accurately to win. Maybe that is generalising a bit too much, it may not always be the case but most of the time it is. I have added two mate in one, one mate in two, one mate in three and one mate in five puzzle today. In addition, I have added one more analysed game to the following posts: C69 Spanish Game: Exchange Variation. Gligoric Variation, B18 Caro-Kann Defense: Classical Variation, C41 Philidor Defense: Exchange Variation 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 and C77 Spanish Game: Morphy Defense. Anderssen Variation. Until Monday, my fellow chess enthusiasts!

6 Aug 2015

C42 Russian Game: Damiano Variation

C42 Russian Game: Damiano Variation

This game is from the first round of the WORLD OPEN RAPID tournament that was played at the FIDE Online Arena on March 30th 2015. When I won this first round game, I had no idea how well the rest of the tournament would go. The rest of the tournament went as well as it could have gone because I ended up winning this tournament for the second time! I do not remember much from the first win but I do remember this second one because in this, I won all my five games and had a performance rating of 2413!! I have not been able to reproduce similar results after this but who knows, maybe one day I can and even get a higher performance rating. I did offer a draw in my last round game but as my opponent did not accept the first offer, I thought I just had to show my opponent that it was the wrong decision... Which I managed to do this time. I have added one mate in one, two mate in two and two mate in three puzzles. I have also added analysed games to these posts of mine: E12 Queen's Indian Defense: General, A20 English Opening: King's English Variation. General and B34 Sicilian Defense: Accelerated Dragon. Exchange Variation. Until tomorrow, my fellow chess enthusiasts!

5 Aug 2015

A40 Englund Gambit Complex: Englund Gambit

A40 Englund Gambit Complex: Englund Gambit

This game was played in the first round of the 1800+ 7 Days tournament that is held at Chess.com. 64 players started this tournament and they were divided into groups of eight. I am playing on group #5 and I currently reside in fourth place. In the eight games I have finished so far, I have gathered 4 wins, 2 draws and 2 losses. There are also two other players in five points but their tie break is worse than mine so they are behind me in standings. Three of the best players should advance to the second round but our current leader in the group has his account closed due to cheating, so if three other players can't overtake him, I guess three of the best players who have not cheated will advance to next round. For years I had not a single game that ended in repetition of moves but recently I have ended up drawing a few games in that manner. The game below is one of those games. This game is probably the only one of those draws that I felt quite good about receiving as I did not really like my position. I have added one mate in one, three mate in twos and one mate in three puzzle today. I have also added one more analysed game to these two posts: C62 Spanish Game: Steinitz Defense and B43 Sicilian Defense: Kan Variation, Knight Variation.

4 Aug 2015

B43 Sicilian Defense: Kan Variation, Knight Variation

B43 Sicilian Defense: Kan Variation, Knight Variation

This is my latest game from Queen Alice Internet Chess Club. This is fourth loss in a row for me there which is not good but then again the opponents I have faced there have been quite good. The average rating of my opponents has been much higher on Queen Alice Internet Chess Club than it has on any other site. In the last ten games I have played there, the average rating of my opponents is around 2247 and I have been able to only win two of those games, played two draws and lost six. On other sites that average is below 1800, sometimes even far below that. The game below was played in the second and final round of the AUTO-MASTER-2135 tournament that is in progress at the Queen Alice Internet Chess Club. In this second round I have lost both of my games against Franzel and have two games in progress against Evandrobit and after those games have ended, I have finished the tournament. If I either draw or win one of my remaining games, Franzel will win the tournament. If I lose both of the remaining games, then the win of the tournament is shared with Evandrobit and Franzel. In the first round I faced much more maintainable opponents and I won my first round group with a maximum score. I have added two mate in ones, two mate in twos and one mate in four today.

Game number two. This was played in a team match called May Madness Open Starts 1 May 15 1201 AM PST). The match is played between Obsessive Chess Disorder!! and ♞KNIGHTS of the REALM♞ on 36 boards. I am playing on board 5 for OCD. The current score in the match is 37.5 - 29.5 in favor of Obsessive Chess Disorder!! We will therefore win the match after the remaining games have finished. It is nice see the team doing well, even if I have not been able to get any points for the team yet. It is certainly less stressful to play if the results I get in my games do not affect the winner of the match anymore.

Game number three. This one was played in a team match called REMATCH: Battle For Victory vs. NINJA EMPIRE ~ 忍者帝国. The match is played on 102 boards and I played on board 11 for Battle For Victory. Out of the two games I played against TTourist, I was able to get one draw and one loss. Not a great result, but in the view of the current ratings, my opponent is a bit stronger than me. In the game I lost, I got completely destroyed, so getting even this draw was something I should be somewhat content with. However, when I had the advantage, I was not able to make good enough moves to maintain my advantage, so the game started to go towards more balanced result and TTourist could have even tipped the advantage to his favor more than once. In that last position my opponent offered me a draw and I thought I would accept it as I saw no clear way on how to fight for the win and I also thought that trying to win too hard would actually lose the game for me. The current score in the match is 89.5 - 101.5 in favor of NINJA EMPIRE ~ 忍者帝国, so they are only a point away from winning the match.

3 Aug 2015

C14 French Defense: Classical Variation, Tarrasch Variation

C14 French Defense: Classical Variation, Tarrasch Variation

The game below is from the 2014 September Grand Seven Fourteen III tournament that is still in progress at Red Hot Pawn. The winner of the tournament is already clear, even though all the games have not finished yet. The tournament was won by player called kopsov (1930), who has one more game still to finish, so the battle for the win was not even a close one. At the moment kopsov has gathered 111 points in the tournament and can even get to 114 if he or she can win the last game. A player called Luft (2007) is on second place at the moment and gathered 102 points in the 40 games he or she played. My opponent in this game, Reverb, can actually overtake Luft if he or she wins his or her remaining games because Reverb has a maximum possible score of 104. Reverb is currently on third place. I am currently in fourth place and the highest I can theoretically get to is third, but I can finish lower than fourth place aswell. Some of the games I still have in progress in this tournament can still become the longest I have ever played and it does not even take that long to get there. The longest game I remember playing lasted almost a year. Some of my games can go over a year if these games are in progress from a bit over a month from now. I have added two mate in ones, two mate in twos and one mate in three puzzle today.