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30 Sep 2015

C96 Spanish Game: Closed Variations, Keres Defense

C96 Spanish Game: Closed Variations, Keres Defense

This was played in the second round of the WORLD OPEN RAPID tournament that was held at the FIDE Online Arena on April 13th 2015. This is the last tournament I played there for now at least and it started quite badly, I lost my first two games. On the last three rounds I did manage to be victorious, so this was an ok tournament for me. Third round game I assume won on time, it is the only game missing from my database but I think I might have deleted it because there were no moves played in that game. This game started to go wrong for me on move 17 and I did make the losing move on move 18. After that there was no real chances for a comeback.

I have found something new to post on Friday, so I am still able to find new openings to cover even though the chances for new things to appear decreases with each post I make. I need to go through more and more games per week and I would assume that the amount of games I post in this blog will be each week far greater than I can complete these days. This should not be all that big of a problem for quite some time, because there are thousands of games to go through still. And I would even prefer a situation where I would need to play games in order to get games posted here to the current situation where I can't play all that many games because I seem to have very little time for them. I have added one mate in one, one mate in two, two mate in four and one mate in five puzzle today.

29 Sep 2015

B56 Sicilian Defense: Kupreichik Variation

B56 Sicilian Defense: Kupreichik Variation

This is my latest game from GameKnot and admittedly it went on a bit longer than necessary. Sometimes clicking that resign button is just something I just avoid because making the decision that I have indeed lost is not easy for me. After I have seen that my opponent is up to the task of converting his or her material advantage or other advantage into a win, I resign. When that time comes during a game varies a bit of course. The game below was played in the mike5972p's mini-tournament VII. This was the last game in progress in the tournament, so after this I finally got my first mini-tournament points. In the final standings I am on fourth place but because I ended up having the same amount of points as the player who finished third, I shared the min-tournament points with that player. Had I been clearly on fourth place, I would have received only five mini-tournament points, but because I shared third place, I received 6 points. This then worked out well for me, however, it did not work out that well for ledinscak, the player that finished third. This is because the shared third place meant that ledinscak also received 6 points, had he been on undivided third place, he would have received 7 points. There were originally 11 players who started this tournament, but because two players withdrew from the tournament, I did not get to play all 20 games and instead played only 16 games. Which might have been a good thing because otherwise the tournament would still be in progress... I have added one mate in one, one mate in two, one mate in three and two mate in four puzzles today. I have also added one analysed game to these two posts: C65 Spanish Game: Berlin Defense and A30 English Opening: Symmetrical Variation. General.

28 Sep 2015

D00 Queen's Pawn Game #3

D00 Queen's Pawn Game #3

I am starting to reach a point where it is increasingly hard to find an opening variation that has not been played in any of my games before and hence there might be quite a lot of games added per day sometimes. This Friday might become the first day when I have not found a new opening to cover in this blog. I do have some time still to prevent that from happening, but at the time it does not look all that promising unless I can intentionally play a game where a new opening is featured. The game below was played in a team match called Open Challenge ♕♖ChEsS MaTeS♕♖. It is played on 26 boards between ♕♖ChEsS MaTeS♕♖ and Philippine Critical Movers. I am playing on board 4 for the home team ♕♖ChEsS MaTeS♕♖. The score in the match is 26 - 15 in our favor, so even a draw from the remaining games would secure the win for us.

I have added one more analysed game to the following posts: C47 Four Knights Game: Scotch Variation. Accepted, D06 Queen's Gambit Refused: Marshall Defense, B54 Sicilian Defense: Modern Variations, C45 Scotch Game: Schmidt Variation, C64 Spanish Game: Classical Variation, C34 King's Gambit: Accepted. Fischer Defense and C78 Spanish Game: Morphy Defense 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O and two more analysed games to these two posts: B84 Sicilian Defense: Scheveningen Variation, Classical Variation and B32 Sicilian Defense: Kalashnikov Variation. I have also added one mate in one, two mate in three, one mate in four and one mate in six.

Game number two. This is one that was played over six years ago at Red Hot Pawn. It is still a site where I play a lot of games, a lot more than six years ago actually. Back then I could play maximum of six games, now I play 135 games there. Which is actually the most I play at any other site. Chess.com is currently a close second but it might get the number one spot soon. This game was added January 6th 2015.

Game number three was also played at Red Hot Pawn and is the last one from 2008. Well last game I played in that site that year anyway. This game featured many mistakes but luckily for me, my opponent made more than I did.

Game number four. This was played in the 2014 September Octet I 1700-1800 tournament at Red Hot Pawn. This game and my other game against veca were the longest lasting games of the tournament. Only thing that was at stake on those games was the second place in the tournament which I got by winning both of my games against veca. But as only the winners of these tournaments are remembered, it did not matter all that much. The main thing I care about usually is that my rating keeps increasing, winning the tournaments would be just an added bonus which I have not had from any tournaments at Red Hot Pawn so far. The game below is one of the better games I have played at Red Hot Pawn, even though this was not played all that accurately by me. Then again I did not do any huge blunders.

Game number five. This somewhat disappointing draw, as far as the ratings are concerned that is, was played at Red Hot Pawn in a tournament called 2014 September Grand Seven Fourteen III. This was a hard fought game and draw is the right outcome of the game. At some points I even thought that I was on the worse side, so I can't maybe feel that bad that the game ended like it did. I was fourth in the final standings of the tournament and gathered 99 points in 40 games. The winner, a player called kopsov (1877), gathered 114 points. The second place went to Reverb (1782), who gathered 104 points. A player called Luft (2006) finished the tournament on third place with 102 points.

Game number six. The game below was played on the first round of the 2014 October Long Haul Split I tournament that is held at Red Hot Pawn. My game against veca was the last game I had in progress and the result of this game determined the winner of group 2. By winning, I secured my place on the second and last round where I face caissad4 and those two games will determine the winner of the tournament. Both caissad4 and me won our groups with 59 points that we were able to gather in 22 games. Caissad4 won group 1 with a 8 point difference, while I was only barely able to win my group, because beatlemania (1715), the player who finished second in the group gathered 58 points. Even though round one has not been fully played yet, the battle for the win of the tournament has already started. If I am somehow able to win that duel against caissad4, I will get my second tournament win at Red Hot Pawn.

Game number seven. This one was played on the first round of the 2014 October Glacial Super Casual Banded I 1650+ tournament. The tournament started on November 3rd 2014 and it is held at Red Hot Pawn. All the 22 games that I needed to play in group 1 started on that day and one of those games is still in progress... It is clearly one of the longest games I have ever played and who knows when it is going to end. I did manage to get my rating up during this tournament, so that I am now the highest rated player in the group. I was not able to get that many points in group 1 and I will be on 4th place in the final standings. Veca will be 6th in the final standings of the group.

Despite the rating difference and the material advantage I was able to get in the game, this game was far from easy for me and at times it seemed that my sometimes sloppy play would throw away my winning chances. I started to be worried a bit after my opponent played 34.Qg2 and threatened to invade my position with the queen. My winning chances seemed to evaporate especially after 39.Bf7 because I started to lose some pawns. I think that the losing move was 43.Nf7 because after my reply 43...Qb7 I can finally relax and push my a-pawn, after the trade of queens that is.

25 Sep 2015

D60 Queen's Gambit Declined: Orthodox Defense, Botvinnik Variation

D60 Queen's Gambit Declined: Orthodox Defense, Botvinnik Variation

This is the 400th opening variation that has appeared in this blog!! Never would have I thought when I started doing this blog that I would be able to cover this many openings this easily. Way back then I thought that I played pretty much the same openings all the time. It turned out that I was really wrong with that assumption. I have also reached another milestone today in this blog because I now have 600 chess games published where I was the winner. I also have 267 losses and 81 draws published, so of course I am not publishing only games that I have won. I will eventually publish all the games I have a proper notation of, so that these stats would be as correct as possible.

The game below was played in the second round of a rapid chess tournament that was played at the FIDE Online Arena on April 11th 2015. In the first round of this tournament I managed to win against a player who was rated 1450 at the time. I lost all of my remaining games in this tournament aswell, so I only won one out of four games, which is not a result I could be happy with in any circumstances. I have added one analysed game to these two posts: B01 Scandinavian Defense: Mieses-Kotroc Variation and C21 Danish Gambit: General. I have also added one mate in one, one mate in two, one mate in three, one mate in five and one tactics puzzle today. Until Monday, my fellow chess enthusiasts!

Game number two. This was played in the first round of Rilton Cup Open in 2003. My first tournament abroad and I managed to start with a win, so all looked good at this time. This was played in a time when I had increased my rating over 300 points in a year and almost every time I played in a team match or in a tournament I was able to get my rating higher. Only in one team match during that year, I lost and therefore stained my otherwise positive score. This ended up being slightly positive tournament for me as ratings are concerned, but as I did not play on all the rounds, it was a bit of a shame to go all the way to Stockholm to play a tournament and not to play on all the rounds.

Game number three. The game below was played on the first round of the 2015 October Grand Split Three Seven I 1800+ tournament. I am playing in group 1 and I have so far gathered 16 points. The game below has been the only real win for me in this tournament, my other four wins have come from short timeout wins. I have also drawn 1 and lost 3 games. 2advent has gathered 13 points and has won 4, drawn 1 and lost 19 games. I am currently the 8th highest rated player in the group, while 2advent is currently the 13th highest rated player in the group consisting of 15 players. I am currently on 9th place and 2advent is currently on 12th place.

I was a bit worried around move 20 that 2advent was going to win a pawn by force. The reason for me worrying was that I did not think that I could get any compensation for the lost material. However, after my opponent had won the pawn, 2advent's queen is left a bit out of play, which gives me some iniative and therefore compensates my material loss. The losing move came when my opponent played 28...Bf5, after I saw that move, I knew I had the advantage in the game. The game did not last long after this, when we reached the position after 30...Kh8, I thought first to play Rxh6, but before I did that move, I noticed that Rxf8 forced mate.

24 Sep 2015

B28 Sicilian Defense: O'Kelly Variation, Normal System, Taimanov Line

B28 Sicilian Defense: O'Kelly Variation, Normal System, Taimanov Line

All of the games I added today were played at the FIDE Online Arena. The game you can view below was played in the first round of a rapid chess tournament. Unlike the last couple of tournaments before this I actually managed to win the first round game. The rest of the tournament on the other hand went down the drain, also unlikely thing to happen, I usually improve my results the longer the tournament lasts but this this time that did not happen. Well, truth to be told two of three losses in the remaining three rounds were against higher rated players, especially the third round loss was pretty much expected due to rating difference. On the fourth round I lost a game against a much lower rated opponent and that really made the whole tournament experience a bit depressing this time at least. I am quite happy about the way I played this game though as there were no serious mistakes made by me. I have added one mate in two, one mate in four, two mate in seven and one tactics puzzle today. I have also added one more analysed game to these posts: C46 Four Knights Game: Italian Variation. Symmetrical Variation, C00 French Defense: Normal Variation, C44 Scotch Game: Scotch Gambit. London Defense, B92 Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation. Opocensky Variation, C16 French Defense: Winawer Variation. Advance Variation General, C90 Spanish Game: Closed Variations, Pilnik Variation and B56 Sicilian Defense: Classical Variation. General.

23 Sep 2015

C42 Petrov's Defense #2

C42 Petrov's Defense #2

The game below was played at the FIDE Online Arena in the first round of a rapid chess tournament. In this game I got outplayed by a player who was lower rated than me at the time this game was played by over 450 points... I am not all that knowledgeable of the Petrov's Defense or the Russian Game because it is a very rarely occuring opening in my games and I think my opponent may have known it better than me. I do not remember if my opponent in this game was one of those players whose official rating was very low compared to their unofficial rating but I have had a few of those people playing against me in these tournaments. Partly because of that I was not able to get the title of Arena International Master from the first 50 rapid games I played at FOA because I dropped below the rating requirement of that title. I have tried to play some games there from time to time but lately it has been difficult to get an official 15 minute game played there which is why I am still missing 18 games from the game requirement for the title. I have considered playing blitz games and see if I can get those games played faster and at the same time keep my rating above the rating requirement but I would need to play 100 games in the faster time controls and maintaining my rating over 1700 in that many blitz games might not be possible for me. Then again I might be completely wrong about my current blitz playing skills. After all, I have played blitz quite well over the board at least in the recent times and my national blitz rating is clearly higher than my national standard rating. But when I have played blitz on the internet, my ratings on diffrerent sites are usually quite low, over 200 points lower than my OTB blitz rating. I have added two mate in two, two mate in four and one tactic puzzle today. I have also added one analysed game to my post C20 King Pawn Game: Leonardis Variation. Until tomorrow, my fellow chess enthusiasts!

Game number two. This was finally the game that secured me the title of Arena International Master!! The fact that I won makes this an even better occasion. Also the fact that I was able to bring my rating back over 1800 and keep it there for the last few games made me grin a bit. The next goal would be to get my rating over 2000 and keep it there for 50 rapid games or 100 blitz games or 150 bullet games, so that I would get the Arena Grand Master title. Getting my rating over the required rating might prove a little bit too much for me at the moment, but maybe after some serious tactics and endgame training, I might get my rating there.

The first mistake of the game seems to be 16...Nd6, before that both players have made some inaccuracies, but nothing too serious. The game does fizzle out a bit in the following moves towards equality, but on move 24 Metod Simicak makes a huge blunder that could have given me a winning advantage, but for some reason I did not play 25.g4. I may have thought about it, but maybe rejected it due to some inaccurate thoughts that I had at the time. For instance, I may have thought that after g4, my opponent plays Ne3 threatening my rook and somehow manages to save both of his pieces while I have weakened my kingside pawns. Even though my move is not the best, it is enough to give me some advantage that I am able to convert into a full point later on.

22 Sep 2015

C37 King's Gambit Accepted, Rosentreter Gambit

C37 King's Gambit Accepted, Rosentreter Gambit

This game was played in tedjj's mini-tournament XLIII which is held at GameKnot. I am on sixth place and no matter what happens on the last two games I have to finish, I will be sixth in the final standings aswell. My sixth place finish will earn me 1 mini-tournament point. Winner gets 11 points, player who finishes second will get 9, third will get 7, fourth will get 5 and fifth will receive 3 points. Those points serve a dual purpose, they are currency for entering the mini-tournaments and they are also used to compare players and determine who is the best mini-tournament player. 100 best mini-tournament players are listed at GameKnot. I am of course nowhere close to getting into that list. I have only entered two of those mini-tournaments and they are both still in progress.

I have mostly played the Fischer Defense of the King's Gambit Accepted in the last few years but for this game I thought I would try something else. Due to my successful experiment in this game, I might continue playing lines similar to this against the King's Gambit in the future aswell. If nothing else, it will at least give me some refreshing ideas on how to play chess. I think I have stuck on my way of playing chess a bit too long and change would be required to maybe reignite some of the interest I have lost. Then again new variations seem to appear in my games even though I rarely make a conscious choice to alter the way I play. I have added one more analysed game to these two posts: C63 Spanish Game: Schliemann Defense and C45 Scotch Game: General. I have also added two mate in one, one mate in two and two mate in four puzzles.

21 Sep 2015

E50 Nimzo-Indian Defense: 4.e3 e8g8, 5.Nf3, without ...d5

E50 Nimzo-Indian Defense: 4.e3 e8g8, 5.Nf3, without ...d5

The name of the opening is actually what it says on the title of this post. It was the same name on two different sources that I checked at least. The fourth move by Black is of course O-O and marking it as e8g8 might be confusing to some people. The game below was played in the second round of the 28th Chess.com Tournament (1601-1800). The second round is still in progress. I am at the moment I type this on fourth place in group #18. In order for me to win the group and advance to the third round, I would need to win all my remaining four games. Because the likelihood of me winning games at Chess.com has been lower than me drawing or losing lately, I doubt that I could win all of those games. A player called Kounle (1845) leads the group with 6.5 points, fliubo (2045) is on second place with 6 points and wqrhmd is on third place with 4.5 points. Kounle, fliubo and me have a chance to win the group but if I had to guess which one of the tree will end up winning the group and advancing to the third round, I would think that fliubo has the best chance of being the winner. I have added one mate in one, two mate in two and two tactics puzzles today. I have also added one analysed game to my post B73 Sicilian Defense: Dragon Variation. Classical Variation Battery Variation.

20 Sep 2015

D01 Queen's Pawn Game: Chigorin Variation

D01 Queen's Pawn Game: Chigorin Variation

This is only a post to correct something I have done wrong in the past and not a normal update to the blog. When I started doing this blog a bit over a year ago, I only used one source to look the openings that have been played in my games. Few months ago I started looking the openings from another source aswell to see if the source I had been using does indeed feature all possible named opening variations, like I thought originally. It turned out it did not and since then I have from time to time seen some of the mistakes I have done in naming the variations. Whenever I see these mistakes, I correct them according to the new information I have gathered. The games you can see below, up to game number six, were all originally under the post A45 Indian Game: General. That also means that I need to correct some of the things I typed about in my last post, about the most successful opening variation that I have played in ten or more games because that is no longer true. I will do that after I post this. All the things typed below were taken from the post they were previously at, so they correspond to the time I originally typed them. If you happen to see games where the opening variation is not named correctly, please let me know, it would be much appreciated. From Monday to Friday I will post always something new, as long as there are different opening variations or new chess960 starting positions to cover, but if these Sunday or some cases Saturday posts are done, they probably are only to correct some mistakes that have been done in the past. And when the all new SPs and opening variations have been covered I might do something completely different. I might start doing something different sooner than that happens though, it depends on how I can divide my time with all the things I need to do...

For a person who is not so good with words, keeping a daily updated blog seems like a great idea, so that is the reason why I started doing these in the first place... Well, actually I wanted to share my games with the world and maybe learn something in the process. Maybe I have learned to play some openings better and maybe I have learned some new ideas, while doing some research on the openings. I do not think that I could ever be a titled player though, I am just getting too old for any serious progress to be made. I do try to improve my play all the time despite the fact that the progress seems to be so very slow. The fact that I have been able to keep my rating at Queen Alice Internet Chess Club over 2100 for some time now, makes me quite happy. I am rated 2137 there at the moment, only four points from my peak rating there. The games I have played there I will start posting as soon as the ones from Chess.com come to a point where I need to change to another database that I am currently going through.

Game number two. This one is from the first round of a tournament called 2014 October Split II. This tournament started October 24th 2014 and it is still far from ending. There are 24 players in this tournament and they are divided into two twelve player groups. I am playing on group one and I have played there quite well so far, only one loss for me. That is one more than of the players in the group as he has won all his games so far. I am trying to change that fact in the games I am playing against him but only time will tell how well I succeeded in doing that. There are four players that currently have theoretical chances to win group one and it might not be surprising that those four players are also the four highest rated players in the group. I am currently the third highest rated player in that group with a rating of 1917 which is also my peak rating at Red Hot Pawn.

Game number three. The game below was played at GameKnot in a mini-tournament called tedjj's mini-tournament XLIII. I am currently in eight place in this eleven player tournament, so it has not gone all that well for me so far. I have four games in progress in this tournament and five games have not even started yet. Those nine games can alter my placement in the standings quite a bit and I am trying to get myself closer to the top. The winner of the tournament has been determined already and the winner is called blokhin2. If I win all my remaining games, I can get to second place. I am, however, very doubtful of my chances in all those nine games. I think all outcomes were possible in this game but neither player was able to take full advantage of those chances and in the end, draw had to be accepted by both players.

Game number four. This was played in the first round of 2014 October Split II tournament. I have currently 54 points and I am leading group 1 by two points. I have two games left in the first round and of course they are against my main rival for the win of the group. Only the winner or winners will advance, so I need to win both games in order to have a chance of being the winner or shared winner of group 1. The game below went quite horribly wrong for my opponent as early as on move 9 when he played h3 because that enabled me to play e5 in response with the idea of e4 if the bishop retreats. So at this point I was getting a piece for a pawn which could be a winning advantage if handled properly. I was able to play the rest of the game without all that many problems, so I did not give any chances for my opponent to get back into the game.

Game number five. This was played in the first round of the 2014 October Split II tournament. With two games left for me in this tournament, I am in the lead in this tournament with a two point difference to two players that are sharing the second place. In the game below I gained an advantage, then lost it and was in a equal position, after that I gained an advantage again and could have lost it again but then my opponent decided to sacrifice his queen for some reason. This game was added to this post May 30th 2015.

Game number six. This was played in the 2014 September Grand Seven Fourteen III tournament. It is a tournament where 21 players fought for the win of the tournament in one group. Out of those 21 players five remain that have theoretical chances to win the tournament. I am still one of those five players but my chances to win are extremely low at the moment. The group leader only needs one more win to cut two of the players out of the struggle for the win, one of them being me.

18 Sep 2015

D25 Queen's Gambit Accepted: Normal Variation

D25 Queen's Gambit Accepted: Normal Variation

The game shown below was played in a team match called I Tournament of teams: standings - I, round 3. This is played on 91 boards between Три Богатыря (East Slavs) and Kopaonik. I am playing on board 31 for Kopaonik. The current score in the match is 72.5 - 102.5 in favor of Kopaonik, so we have secured the win in this match quite comfortably. There has been quite many timeouts in this match, our opponent has 25 games lost due to timeouts, our team has lost 12 games on time. More unfortunate is the fact that both teams have one player with the cheating badge next to their username. I think the game below is quite well played game by both players for the most part anyway, I made two inaccuracies that could have been taken advantage of by my opponent so that I would have likely lost. Luckily for me, my opponent did not play the best responses to my mistakes and if I consider this game as a whole, I have to be glad about the draw because win was never really in my grasp.

From time to time I like to look at some statistics to see how well I have been playing in the long run. In the 930 analysed chess games that are currently in this blog, I have won 588 (63.23%), drawn 80 (8.6%) and lost 262 (28.17%) games. The opening variation that has the most games in it is still A20 English Opening: King's English Variation. General with 30 games (roughly 3.2 %) under that post. My most successful opening variation seems to be C62 Spanish Game: Steinitz Defense if I consider only variations in which I have played 10 games or more in. My winning percentage is 80 in the 10 games that I have published. My worst two opening variations in which I have ten or more games in are C64 Spanish Game: Classical Variation. Charousek Variation with 10 games and and a losing percentage of 50 and the other one is C34 King's Gambit: Accepted. Fischer Defense where my losing percentage is 37.5 in the 16 games I have published so far. That may give you some idea on what to play against me if we happen to play against each other... I have added one more analysed game to the following posts: A30 English Opening: Symmetrical Variation. General, E72 King's Indian Defense: Pomar System, E21 Nimzo-Indian Defense: Three Knights Variation, Duchamp Variation and B41 Sicilian Defense: Kan Variation. I have also added three mate in one, one mate in two and one mate in four today. Until Monday, my fellow chess enthusiasts!

17 Sep 2015

B33 Sicilian Defense: Lasker-Pelikan Variation

B33 Sicilian Defense: Lasker-Pelikan Variation

This was played in the tedjj's mini-tournament XLIII tournament at GameKnot. 11 players started this tournament on October 20th 2014 and only four of them still have unfinished games. Due to the fact that only four games per player can be going on at the same time in these mini-tournaments, these can take a very long time to finish. I have two games left to finish but no matter what happens in those games, I will end up in sixth place. The winner of the tournament was decided a long time ago and the player who will win it is called blokhin2 (1780), blokhin2 gathered 17 out of 20 possible points. The second place will either go to leonandonly (1697) or mgmgrand (1834), depending on what happens in the two games that mgmgrand has left to finish. One of those two games is against me, so I can play some part in the battle for the second place even though I am not fighting for that place myself. I have added one mate in two, one mate in five, one mate in nine and two puzzles under tactics.

Game number two. The game below was played in a team match called Chess & Cold Beer. It is being played on 85 boards between I like beer and Chess and Stargate Command. I played on board 9 for Stargate Command in this match. My personal score in the match was one win and one loss. The score in the match is currently 65.5 - 99.5 in favor of Stargate Command, which means of course that when the remaining games end, we will win the match!

16 Sep 2015

B32 Sicilian Defense: Godiva Variation

B32 Sicilian Defense: Godiva Variation

This is the game that put me back over 2200 at Queen Alice Internet Chess Club. It is true that the only way I managed to climb my way back from 2180, the lowest rating I had since peaking at 2201, was due to two consecutive timeout wins. The first one was against a player who was rated 2314, in that game I would have probably resigned if my opponent had made one more move and this second one was quite balanced game up all the way through. If I recall correctly, my opponent actually run out of time once before but after I had sent a move reminder, he made a move in the 24 hour time period I usually give me my opponents before I claim the win on timeout, so the game continued. This second time, there was no move made, so I had to claim the win, because I am not going to delay the tournament any longer than necessary. The game below was played in the fourth round of the szybkielanie tournament that is an invite only tournament. I am currently leading the tournament, having gathered 7 out of 8 possible points. This tournament might become one of those unfinished ones unfortunately though because there is one person yet again who is not claiming a timeout win. I have added two mate in one, two mate in two and one mate in four puzzle today.

15 Sep 2015

B43 Sicilian Defense: Kan Variation, Wing Attack

B43 Sicilian Defense: Kan Variation, Wing Attack

Once more a game from the first round of the 2014 October Glacial Super Casual Banded I 1650+ tournament, this is the fourth game in a row from Red Hot Pawn that was played in the same tournament. I am currently in seventh place with 24 points. RedHotMayor, my opponent in the game below, is currently in fifth place in group 1 with 27 points. A player called takinitez007 (1930) is still on first place with 50 points and if he gets two more points, I am finally out of the battle for the win of the group and the possibility of advancing to the second round. While there are five players who still have theoretical chances to win group 1, in group 2 there are only three players still in the fight for the win.

I have decreased my game load to some extent and I only have 92 games in progress anymore, so despite some team matches have started recently, I am still on the path of getting rid of as many games as possible. I should have more time to play more games at the FIDE Online Arena now and maybe get to play the remaining 18 games left from the next title requirement. It is still too many games left though that I could mess things up this time around aswell. The last game I played at FOA was partly a waste of time, well the last 50 moves played in it that is. I offered my opponent a draw two times in those last 50 moves because I knew it was a draw, but my opponent did not accept the offer but instead wanted to play the endgame and try to win on time. It is true that I had less time than my opponent, but still enough time so that I did not lose my rook in the rook and king versus rook and king ending. I would have maybe understood the need to play that through if there were only seconds left in my clock, but at the time that ending appeared on the board, I had over two minutes left on my clock. I would always accept the draw offer in those endings, unless there is a easy way to win the rook on the position that the draw is offered. I have added two mate in one, one mate in five, one mate in six and one mate in nine puzzle.

14 Sep 2015

C45 Scotch Game: Classical Variation, Intermezzo Variation

C45 Scotch Game: Classical Variation, Intermezzo Variation

This game was played in the first round of the 2014 October Glacial Super Casual Banded I 1650+ tournament at Red Hot Pawn. As it so happens, the two other games I added today were played in the same tournament as the game below and the things I typed about this tournament are still unchanged, so I will not type all that much about it here. I played this game quite decently apart from two moves, 29.Qe1?? and 31.Qa5??, both of these moves could have ended up in my loss but the first one I survived because my opponent did not take advantage of my mistake. The second one was the final mistake of the game and I could not bounce back from it. My opponent did play well in this game and he has also played very well in this tournament because he has not lost a single game and leads the tournament and has the best chances to win the group aswell because his maximum possible score is higher than any other player's maximum possible score.

Even though my games have gone quite badly at Red Hot Pawn lately, my latest game from there did bring back some of my confidence back because I won a game against a player who was rated 2061. That win brought me back over 1800 once again. The fact that I managed to decrease my rating from 1900+ to less than 1800 in fifteen games, I started to be quite worried about my playing skills. I started to think that maybe I have not improved in chess at all that much in years. During the same time period I played two over the board blitz tournaments at the club and won both of them without losing a game. I have never been able to win two of those blitz tournaments in a row before, so that would either suggest that I have indeed improved my chess skills or the people who usually have played there have become worse over time. I would like to think that the first scenario is more likely. I have added one more analysed game today to these two posts: B07 Czech Defense: General and D43 Semi-Slav Defense: General. I have also added one mate in one, three mate in three and one mate in seven puzzle.

Game number two. The game below was played in the first round of the 2014 October Long Haul Split I tournament. The tournament takes place at Red Hot Pawn, the place where I played my first correspondence games in 2004. With this win I overtook beatlemania (1740) in the standings and now I am leading the tournament by a difference of one point.

11 Sep 2015

A43 Schmid Benoni

A43 Schmid Benoni
[Event "Tournament 28708446"] [Site "online arena"] [Date "2015.04.07"] [Round "3"] [White "Vierjoki, Timo"] [Black "bruno52"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A43"] [WhiteElo "1855"] [BlackElo "1402"] [Annotator "Stockfish 8 64 POPCNT (30s), TV"] [PlyCount "61"] [EventDate "2015.??.??"] 1. e4 e6 2. d4 c5 3. d5 {Franco-Benoni Defense} Nf6 4. Nc3 d6 5. Nf3 {A43 Schmid Benoni} Nbd7 (5... a6 6. dxe6 Bxe6 7. Ng5 b5 8. Nxe6 fxe6 9. g3 Nc6 10. Bg2 Qc7 11. O-O Be7 12. Ne2 Kf7 13. Nf4 Rhe8 14. a4 b4 15. g4 h6 16. h4 g5 17. Nh3 Nh7 18. f4 Kg7 19. hxg5 hxg5 20. fxg5 {Speelman,J (2535)-Suba,M (2490) Dortmund 1981 1-0 (52)}) 6. dxe6 $146 (6. Bd3 e5 7. O-O a6 8. a4 g6 9. Bg5 Bg7 10. Qd2 h6 11. Bh4 O-O 12. h3 Qe8 13. Ne2 c4 14. Bxc4 Nxe4 15. Qb4 Ndc5 16. Rfe1 g5 17. Bg3 Bd7 18. a5 Qd8 19. Bd3 Nxd3 20. cxd3 Nxg3 {Koval,D (2209) -Bevington,T Parsippany 2006 1/2-1/2 (49)}) (6. Be2 Be7 7. O-O Nf8 8. Nd2 e5 9. a4 Ng6 10. Nc4 O-O 11. Be3 Re8 12. Qd3 Bd7 13. a5 Rb8 14. Rfb1 b5 15. axb6 axb6 16. Na3 Ng4 17. Bxg4 Bxg4 18. Nab5 Rf8 19. Ra7 f5 20. f3 fxe4 {Rodkin,F (2198) -Gratsianov,I (1906) St Petersburg 2005 1-0 (34)}) 6... fxe6 7. Ng5 Be7 $4 { the final mistake, not that it matters anymore} (7... Qe7 $142 8. Be2 a6 $18) 8. Nxe6 Qb6 9. Nxg7+ Kf7 10. Nf5 Bd8 (10... Ne5 {praying for a miracle} 11. Nxe7 Kxe7 $18) 11. Bc4+ d5 12. exd5 (12. Nxd5 $142 {and White has triumphed} Qe6 13. Nde3 $18) 12... Ne5 13. Bd3 (13. Ne3 $142 {and White can already relax} Nxc4 14. Nxc4 $18) 13... c4 $4 {terrible, but what else could Black do to save the game?} (13... Nxd3+ 14. Qxd3 Bxf5 15. Qxf5 Re8+ 16. Kd1 c4 $18) 14. Nh6+ Ke8 (14... Kg7 {does not save the day} 15. Bf5 Re8 16. O-O $18) 15. Bf5 (15. Qe2 $5 {makes it even easier for White} Bc7 16. Bxc4 Kf8 $18) 15... Bxf5 16. Nxf5 Nfg4 17. O-O (17. Nd4 $142 {seems even better} Nd3+ 18. cxd3 Qxd4 19. O-O $18) 17... Qf6 (17... Qg6 {is not much help} 18. Ng3 Rf8 19. d6 $18) 18. Ng3 ( 18. Ne4 $142 $5 {keeps an even firmer grip} Qg6 19. h3 Nf6 $18) 18... Qh4 ( 18... Bb6 {does not help much} 19. Nge4 Qg6 20. h3 $18) 19. h3 Bb6 20. Qe2 (20. Nge4 $142 {might be the shorter path} Rg8 21. Qe2 $18) 20... Kd7 (20... Qxg3 { does not improve anything} 21. hxg4 Rf8 $18) 21. Be3 (21. Nce4 {keeps an even firmer grip} Nxf2 22. Rxf2 Rag8 $18) 21... Rae8 $4 {what a pity, victory was in sight} (21... Nxe3 $142 {this is the best way to fight back} 22. Na4 Nxf1 23. Nxb6+ axb6 24. Qxe5 Nxg3 25. Qe6+ Kd8 26. Qxb6+ Kc8 27. Qc5+ Kd7 28. Qb5+ Kc8 29. Qc5+ Kd7 30. Qb5+ Kc7 31. Qc5+ Kd8 32. Qb6+ Kc8 33. Qc5+ $11) 22. Bxb6 $18 (22. hxg4 $2 {is no good} Nxg4 23. Qxg4+ Qxg4 24. Bxb6 axb6 $19) 22... axb6 23. Nce4 (23. Nf5 {makes it even easier for White} Qd8 24. f4 Rhg8 25. fxe5 Nxe5 $18) 23... Rhf8 (23... Nf6 {doesn't get the bull off the ice} 24. f4 Nf7 25. Qxc4 Rxe4 26. Nxe4 Nxe4 27. Qxe4 $18) 24. f4 Rxf4 25. Rxf4 Qxg3 26. Nxg3 Ng6 27. Qxg4+ Kd6 (27... Kc7 {cannot change destiny} 28. Rxc4+ Kd6 29. Nf5+ Kd7 30. Ng7+ Kd6 31. Nxe8+ Ke7 32. Qe6+ Kf8 33. Rf1+ Nf4 34. Rcxf4#) 28. Rf6+ (28. Nf5+ Kc5 29. Rxc4+ Kxd5 30. Ng7 Kd6 31. Rd1+ Ke7 32. Qf5 Ne5 33. Rc7+ Nd7 34. Rcxd7#) 28... Kc5 (28... Kc7 {doesn't improve anything} 29. d6+ Kb8 30. Qd7 Rf8 31. Re1 Rd8 32. Qxd8+ Ka7 33. d7 Ne7 34. Qxb6+ Kb8 35. Rf8+ Nc8 36. dxc8=Q#) 29. Re6 (29. c3 Nf4 30. Qxf4 Kb5 31. Qd4 Re1+ 32. Rxe1 h6 33. Qxb6+ Ka4 34. Qb4#) 29... Rd8 (29... Rxe6 {cannot change what is in store for White} 30. Qxe6 Nf4 31. Ne4+ Kd4 32. Qf6+ Kxd5 33. Rd1+ Nd3 34. Rxd3+ Kxe4 35. Rd4+ Ke3 36. Qf2#) 30. Ne4+ Kxd5 (30... Kb4 {doesn't do any good} 31. Qf3 c3 32. Qxc3+ Kb5 33. Qb3+ Ka5 34. Qxb6+ Ka4 35. Nc3#) 31. Rd1# 1-0 [Event "French 2014 - Round 3"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2016.01.06"] [Round "?"] [White "Vierjoki, Timo"] [Black "Lasker64"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "A43"] [WhiteElo "1813"] [BlackElo "2088"] [Annotator "Stockfish 8 64 POPCNT (30s), TV"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "rnbqkbnr/pppp1ppp/4p3/8/4P3/8/PPPP1PPP/RNBQKBNR w KQkq - 0 2"] [PlyCount "78"] [EventDate "2016.??.??"] 2. d4 c5 3. d5 {Franco-Benoni Defense} Nf6 4. Nc3 d6 5. Nf3 {A43 Schmid Benoni} Be7 6. Be2 O-O 7. O-O a6 8. a4 Nbd7 (8... exd5 9. exd5 Re8 (9... Bg4 10. Nd2 Bxe2 11. Qxe2 Nbd7 12. Nc4 Re8 13. Bf4 Rb8 14. Qf3 Nf8 15. a5 Ng6 16. Bg3 Bf8 17. h3 Nd7 18. Rfe1 Qc7 19. Qd3 Nge5 20. Qf1 f5 21. Ne3 g6 22. Ne2 Nf6 23. Bh4 Nh5 24. Ng3 {Borsos,B (2224)-Virag,A (2294) Hungary 2014 1/2-1/2 (35)}) 10. Bf4 Bg4 11. h3 Bxf3 12. Bxf3 Nbd7 13. Qd2 Ne5 14. Be2 Ng6 15. Bh2 Bf8 16. a5 Rc8 17. Ra4 Rc7 18. f4 Qc8 19. g4 Nd7 20. Bg3 f5 21. gxf5 Ne7 22. Bg4 Nf6 23. Bh4 { Sakaev,K (2590)-Nun,J (2395) Pardubice 1997 1-0 (47)}) 9. Bf4 $146 (9. Nd2 exd5 10. exd5 Ne5 11. f4 Ned7 12. Nc4 Re8 13. Bd3 Rb8 14. Na3 {1/2-1/2 (14) Linn, P-Ward,T Troy 1993}) 9... Qc7 (9... exd5 10. exd5 Nh5 11. Be3 $14) 10. Qd2 { Black has a cramped position. Black's piece can't move: c8} (10. dxe6 fxe6 11. Ng5 Ne5 12. Bxe5 dxe5 $16) 10... Rd8 (10... exd5 11. exd5 Re8 12. Rfe1 $14) 11. Rfd1 (11. dxe6 $5 fxe6 12. a5 $16) 11... exd5 $11 12. Nxd5 Nxd5 13. Qxd5 Nf6 { Black threatens to win material: Nf6xd5} 14. Qd3 {Black has a cramped position} Bg4 {White has an active position} (14... Nh5 15. Bd2 $11) 15. h3 {White threatens to win material: h3xg4} Bh5 16. b3 {Black has a cramped position} ( 16. Nd2 Bg6 $11) 16... Bg6 17. Nd2 Rab8 (17... Nxe4 18. Nxe4 Qc6 19. Bf3 $11) 18. Bf3 $14 Nd7 19. Qe3 (19. Nc4 Ne5 20. Bxe5 dxe5 $14) 19... b5 $11 20. axb5 axb5 21. Ra6 Ne5 22. Be2 Rb6 23. Rda1 Rxa6 24. Rxa6 Qb7 (24... Nc6 25. Bxb5 Nb4 26. Ra4 Nxc2 27. Qc3 $11) 25. Ra2 (25. Ra5 $142 $5 $16) 25... Nc6 $11 26. c3 { Prevents intrusion on b4+d4} b4 {Black gets more space} 27. c4 (27. Ba6 Qc7 $11 ) 27... Nd4 {Praise the knight!} 28. Bd3 Ra8 29. Rxa8+ Qxa8 30. Qg3 $2 (30. Qe1 Qa2 31. Bb1 Qa6 $11) 30... Qc6 (30... Qa1+ 31. Kh2 Qc3 32. Bb1 $17) 31. Bg5 ( 31. Be3 Bf6 $11) 31... Bf8 (31... Bxg5 $142 $5 32. Qxg5 Qa8 $17) 32. f4 (32. Be3 Qa6 33. Bxd4 cxd4 $11) 32... f6 (32... Qa8 $5 33. Qe1 Ne6 $15) 33. f5 $11 { White wins space} fxg5 34. fxg6 h6 35. e5 dxe5 36. Qxe5 Bd6 37. Qe3 Qd7 38. Be4 Bf4 {Black threatens to win material: Bf4xe3} 39. Bd5+ Kh8 40. Qd3 Qe8 (40... Qe8 41. Ne4 g4 $11) 0-1

This game features an opening variation that was played in a move order that you will not see in theory. The theoretical move order for this variation is 1.d4 c5 2.d5 e6 3.e4, you might also come across this variation with the name A43 Benoni Defense: Franco-Sicilian Defense. The game below was played in the third round of a rapid chess tournament that was played at FIDE Online Arena on April 7th 2015. On the previous two rounds I won a game against a lower rated opponent and lost a game against a higher rated opponent, so the tournament was going once again without any real surprises and this third game did not break that pattern. I have added two mate in two, two mate in four and one mate in six puzzle. I have also added one more analysed game to my post C90 Spanish Game: Closed Variations, Pilnik Variation.

All was well for both players until we reached the position after my 5th move Nf3 and that you can see below this paragraph. Bruno52 played 5...Nbd7, which allowed me to take on e6 without the bishop being able to take back the pawn. After the moves 6.dxe6 fxe6 7.Ng5 bruno52 played 7...Be7 and his position went further down the drain.

I typed that it should have been the losing move, but when we ended in the position below, I played 21.Be3, which would have allowed my opponent to get back into the game.

Bruno52 was not able to find the saving move and blundered the game away with the move 21...Rae8?? Bruno52 should have played 21...Nxe3 in order to fight for a draw. After this I was able to maintain my advantage and the game ended in a mate on move 31.

Game number two. This game was played on the third round of the French 2014 tournament. Up to this point in the tournament I had barely advanced from one round to the next round. On this third round I faced a bit too tough resistance and ended up being fourth in the final standings of group 2. The group consisted of 4 players, so things did not go all that well for me this round. I only managed to get half a point on round three. Lasker64 was third on the final standings with 3 points and also did not advance to the last round.

This game had a similar situation as you can see in the first game in this post, my opponent played Nbd7, which blocked the bishop's path. For some reason in the first game I understood to take on e6, but not on this game. A better alternative would be 8...Re8 or 8...exd5. Lasker64's 8th move was not as bad as the Nbd7 played in the first game of this post though. The 9th move played by Lasker64 was seen in the position below and that was the move that created my opponent some real problems. Or rather it would have created problems had I replied to 9...Qc7 by playing 10.dxe6.

I played 10.Qd2 which was not the best option, but I still remained on the slightly better side of the board. The advantage kept shifting quite a bit, but the next significant change in the advantage came only after I played 30.Qg3? The position where I played my 30th move can be seen below.

It would have been important to prevent 30...Qa1+, but I was not up to the task of playing the most accurate move. Luckily neither was my opponent since Lasker64 played 30...Qc6. The position should be quite even after Lasker64's 30th move. However, my 31st move, Bg5, threw the game away once again. Again Lasker64 played a passive move that enabled me to hang on in the game. That being said, I made a third consecutive blunder with my 32nd move, which could have allowed my opponent to take a clear advantage again. For the third consecutive time my opponent was unable to take the advantage. The move 32...f6 was good enough for a draw. Lasker64 should have played either 32...Qa8 or 32...Qa6 in order to take the advantage. The remainder of the game was played rather evenly, but I actually resigned after 40...Qe8. The reason for this was that I thought that I am in a completely lost position and could not see a saving move. There would have been a move that would have kept an even position and that move was 41.Ne4. This was not the first time that I have resigned because I have misjudged the position and it might not be the last, but I am trying my best to avoid that in the future.

10 Sep 2015

Chess960 SP76

Chess960 SP76

After today all my chess960 games that I have funtional pgn for, have been added to this blog. There might be one chess960 game that I have not shared, mainly because I would need to correct the pgn. The game below was played in a team match called IT'S A KNOCKOUT 960 R1 Team USA 960 vs Obsessive Chess Disorder!! It has a 48 hour time limit for your moves which I am not at all that keen on and I avoid it whenever I can. I am playing on board 5 for OCD in this match that is played on 18 boards. We are doing quite well at the moment because we lead the match 9 - 14. If I win my other game against SiregarGurda, I can be reasonably content with my performance in this match but of course if I lose, I will be really disappointed by the results I received. Because none of us have lost on time, I feel that the other members of the team have cared about the result of this match, our opponent on the other hand has lost three games on time. I am not saying that those people who have lost on time would not have cared about their games, because there might be some reason or the other that has made them unable to move, something that they have no control over.

In a completely unrelated topic, I managed to get back over 2200 at Queen Alice Internet Chess Club and now I am in my peak rating there 2203!! My previous peak rating there was 2201. On a sadder note, the site seems a bit too problem filled to keep me interested in playing there. If the only problem would be that the tournaments there can get to a standstill, I could just avoid tournaments and play challenge games, it would be a decent way still to keep playing there. Now, however, I am faced with another problem that is much more annoying and one that should not be happening, I get logged off from the site whenever I try to go to my games, my tournaments etc. It is just not acceptable behaviour in my opinion. I have no idea what is causing it to happen. It is pretty much the only site where I have had these kind of problems. I have added one more game to these two posts: Chess960 SP33 and Chess960 SP649. I have also added three mate in one, one mate in two and one mate in four puzzle today.

Game number two. This game was played in a team match called IT'S A KNOCKOUT 960 R1 Team USA 960 vs Obsessive Chess Disorder!! I played on board 5 for OCD and as you can see from the results in this post, I lost both of my games against SirerarGurda. I am still happy because the score in this match that is played on 18 boards is currently 13 - 19 in favor of Obsessive Chess Disorder!! Which of course means that the victory is firmly in our grasp. I did have chances to win the game below, but I just did not understand the requirements of all the positions and made some bad moves which my opponent was able to take advantage of.

Game number three. The game below was played in a team match called Club Random. It is played on 13 boards between CLUB 960 and Chess960 RandomChess. I play on board 4 for Chess960 RandomChess. The current score in the match is 13 - 5 in favor of CLUB 960. I am not sure why, but I have really struggled in this starting position, three games and three losses. It is at the moment the worst score I have had in any of the starting positions that I have encountered so far.

I start this game with pretty much the same idea I have had for awhile on how to develop my pieces. I start by planting my d-pawn to d4 in order to get a presence in the center of the board early on. Then I played the akward looking 2.a3 in order to get my bishop to a2. Like I have previously mentioned, when the bishops start from b1, b8, g1 and g8, I prefer to play a3, a6, h3 or h6 on the side I castle because I want to put bishop on that side to a2, a7, h2 or h7. While I understand that those squares might not be ideal for the bishop, I value pawn structure quite highly and I do not want to make moves like c4, c5, f4 or f5 on the side I want to castle, but there are some exceptions to this though. I may want to rethink the ways I handle this and similar starting positions because this is not the way I can be all that successful in these types of games. While I played my first blunder on move 18 with Na4, I had made some inaccuracies before that which gave my opponent a small advantage. After 18.Na4 I could have already been on losing position, had my opponent taken advantage of my blunder. The reply 18...Bc7 is not horrible, it still keeps the advantage on Vladakis70's side, but it is far from the strongest move that could have been played in that position. I manage to play a couple of moves before I make a horrible move again, but this time it was the game losing move. The move 23.c3 just is not able to do the job I intended it for, but instead it is the blunder that made sure that I was going to lose the game.

Game number four. Since there is not all that much opening theory about Chess960 out there, or at least not named opening variations like in chess, I would like to be one of those people that offer their opinions of different starting positions and maybe help in development of opening theory for this variant and all of its starting positions. For instance, in this particular starting position the two games I played against SiregarGurda had the same position after White's second move and my games against Vladakis featured the same position after Black's first move. I know that is not much, but since there are chess openings that have a name after the first move played in the game, I could name both ways to start the game already with some name. However, I could also decide to follow these games a bit further and name the openings used in them after the last good move played in the game. Then again, there are opening variations in chess opening theory that are quite bad to play.

Looking at the first game in this post, for example, I would end the theory after 1.e4 e5 2.Nab3, since my move 2...h6 already gives White a clear advantage. It is true that one could argue that 1...e5 is already a bad move since it allows White to win a pawn with 2.Qb5, but Black does get compensation for the pawn in view of better development. Whether or not the compensation is enough probably requires a lot more testing in practical games between two human players in order to know if this is a viable way to play between humans. Then again these days computers are very good learning tool, so some players would study this further with the assistance of a computer and have an advantage against those that do not do that. In the second game I would likely end the theory after the moves 1.Nab3 e5 2.e4 f6 3.h3 b6 4.Bh2, since 4...Bxb3 is the first clear mistake. Deciding what the theory might look like for the third game is something that is more difficult to do. I would probably end the theory after 1.d4 d5, since after 2.a3 the advantage goes for the one who controls the black pieces.

This game followed a line that I would maybe allow to be on theory up to the move 3.Nd3. The first blunder of the game came in the position below. It is taken after my 8th move Ndc4. Vladakis70 played 9.Qe2, which allowed me to respond with 9...Bxh2. It gave me a clear advantage according to Stockfish.

After my inaccurate moves 10...Qd6 and 11...O-O-O the game was fought evenly once again. It did not last long because my opponent's 12th move 12.O-O-O was another blunder. While at first I was able to reply correctly, when it came to the position below, I missed the best continuation and allowed my opponent to get back into the game again.

The best move in the position above is 13...Ncxb2 believe it or not. If 14.Nxb2 then 14...Nxc3 should be good for me. I played 13...Nxc5 instead and now we found ourselves in an equal position again. When we reached the position after 23.cxd4, it came my time to make a really horrible move. In the position you can see below I played 23...dxe4?? Had my opponent replied correctly with 24.Nxe4, I could have been on my way to fourth loss in this starting position.

Alas for my opponent, Vladakis70 played 24.Rxe4 instead, which threw the win away. The rest of the game was played without any real mistakes and we agreed to a draw after Vladakis70's 40th move Ne2.

9 Sep 2015

C72 Spanish Game: Morphy Defense, Modern Steinitz Defense

C72 Spanish Game: Morphy Defense, Modern Steinitz Defense

This was played in round two of the 28th Chess.com Tournament (1601-1800). I am currently fifth in group #18 that has six players in it, so things are not looking that bright for me if I want to win the group and advance to the next round. I probably would have wanted to advance all the way to the last group when this tournament started but these days I just want to minimize the amount of games I have in progress at the same time. The way some of the games are going, it is very unlikely that I would be able to advance to the next round. My opponent in this game, Andrei25, has half a point more than me at the moment and is on fourth place. This tournament started on September 1st 2014 and chances are it will end sometime next year. I had chances to win the game below but was always able to mess things up so that the position withered finally to a draw. I have added one analysed game today to each of these posts: C45 Scotch Game: Mieses Variation, C89 Spanish Game: Marshall Attack. Modern Main Line and B59 Sicilian Defense: Boleslavsky Variation. I have also added one mate in one, two mate in two, one mate in three and one mate in five puzzle.

8 Sep 2015

C90 Spanish Game: Closed Variations, Pilnik Variation

C90 Spanish Game: Closed Variations, Pilnik Variation

This game was played in a team match called Obsessive try again!! It is a match that is played between Obsessive Chess Disorder!! and CzechoSlovakia * ČeskoSlovensko on 40 boards. I played on board 15 for OCD and ended my games in this match to the loss seen below. I did manage to win my other game against arpadsusniflinta, so I did help the team in the form of a point at least. It did not help much because our team has to accept the loss in this match after all the games have ended as the score is 24 - 44 in favor of our opponent. This match is played with thinking times of 3 days per move and the people who participated will play only one game simultaneously.

Yesterday, for the first time in maybe over year, I got my game load decreased below one hundred! Of course that meant that I had to face more losses but still I am feeling a bit better now that I have only 97 games in progress than I did when I had 270+ games in progress for several months. The fact that my ratings have somewhat plummeted both at Chess.com and at Red Hot Pawn at the same time that the amount of simultaneous games has decreased, is quite troublesome for me. I am not sure what has actually changed in the way that I play in these two sites that would cause the sudden drop in my ratings. It might be possible that because my playing style has not changed, my play has become too predictable and that might be my downfall. I may need to start playing in a more unpredictable manner and see what effect it has on the results I get. I have added one analysed game to my post C70 Spanish Game: Morphy Defense, Graz Variation today. I have also added two mate in two, two mate in four and one mate in six puzzle today.

Game number two. The move order in this game differs from the move order seen in theory, so does the move order in game one too, just in a different way. The move order seen in theory is 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 O-O 8.c3 d6 9.d3. The game below was played in round two of a rapid chess tournament that was played at the FIDE Online Arena on April 7th 2015. In the first round I won my game against a player whose rating was 1344. In this second round I faced an opponent who outrated me a bit and whom I have faced a few times at FOA. Safmoon has always been quite a difficult opponent for me and I think I have only won once in the games we have played against each other. I had my chances to win this game but in a difficult position I messed up and played some sloppy moves that enabled my opponent to get back into the game.

Game number three. This one was played on the second round of the WORLD OPEN RAPID tournament at the FIDE Online Arena on April 10th 2015. On the first round I managed to lose against a player rated 1500+ but this win brought a slight grin to my face, mainly because I have had quite bad results against this opponent before. Looking this game again after it is finished and noticing all the bad moves made in it, I can't be really happy on some of my moves but obviously I do not expect an error free game from myself, it would be really hard to pull off, maybe even impossible.

7 Sep 2015

C66 Spanish Game: Berlin Defense, Hedgehog Variation

C66 Spanish Game: Berlin Defense, Hedgehog Variation

The game below was played in the third round of the 2014 August Banded Threesomes I 1700-1800 tournament that is still in progress at Red Hot Pawn. I have only one game left to finish and so far I have lost all my games on round three. With this win my opponent took the lead in the group and simultaneously I confirmed my last place in this four player group. I have done so many silly mistakes at my games lately at Red Hot Pawn that my rating keeps going down. Well, whenever I will finish my games at RHP, I will take much needed break from correspondence chess for some time. I think after I have taken that break and started playing there again, I will be able to turn things into a more positive direction.

There has been some discussion about the way I post puzzles and some people have certainly expressed their feelings about that. This mostly concerns some positions I posted to social networks and the comments that I have received there. All of those positions appear in this blog of course. Not all the people like the way sometimes there are positions where there is a mate to be found in some number of moves and the side who is doing the mate is up sometimes considerable material. To such positions, some of the people comment things like the position is already won and that the weaker side would have resigned already. Well, it is true that the weaker side could have resigned in that position but that is irrelevant, you are asked to find the mate and not solve it by saying that the weaker side would have resigned in the given position already. If you do not like such positions, it is ok, I do not blame you. But what I tried to argue, fruitlessly in this case, is that no matter what the material difference is on the board if you are in a forced mate, it does not matter if the material is even or you have more material than your opponent or less material than your opponent, the position at the board is still lost. As I am person who does not judge the positions by the beauty aspect alone and want to play the best moves in any given position (mostly failing at it of course), I have added various positions that might not be beautiful as such but feature a mate that can be done in the amount of moves I have indicated against the most resistant defense. I will, whenever I can, post more positions that do not have too high material advantage in favor of the attacker in the future. I have added one more analysed game to my post C41 Philidor Defense: General 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4. I have also added two mate in three, one mate in four, one mate in five and one mate in eight puzzle today.

4 Sep 2015

C70 Spanish Game: Morphy Defense, Graz Variation

C70 Spanish Game: Morphy Defense, Graz Variation

The game I am sharing today is from the first round of a rapid chess tournament that was played at the FIDE Online Arena on April 7th 2015. The first inaccuracy by my opponent came to be when blancojefferson played 9...exd4 which gave me for the first time in this game some real advantage. My opponent should have tried either 9...Bb6 or 9...Ba7 instead of the move played in the game. The final mistake of the game was the move 16...Qd7?? which of course loses immediately. In order to prolong the game and have some chances, my opponent should have tried 16...g6. On the second round I faced a player called safmoon once again and lost and on the last two rounds I won my games against lower rated players, so I gathered three wins in four games which is a decent result that I can be content with. I have added one mate in one, one mate in two, two mate in three and one mate in four today. Until Monday, 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 held at Red Hot Pawn. This is a tournament that started with 24 players and the players were divided into two groups, both consisting of 12 players. I am playing on group 2 and I have good chances to win the group because I have won all except one game and that I drew. I am currently on fourth place with the 40 points I have gathered so far. The current leader of the group beatlemania (1717) has 48 points and Blackpoolmad, who I faced in this game has 43 points and is on second place. Third place belongs to blither (1747) who is currently the second highest rated player in the group and he has 41 points at the moment I type this.

Game number three. The game below was my 43rd consecutive rapid game with a 1700+ rating game and I was only 9 games away of becoming Arena International Master after this game. This was my second game of the day and I was able to win both my games. This was also my fourth win in a row at the FIDE Online Arena. I was quite confident that I can get back over 1800 soon. The ratings shown in the notation are from the time before this game ended and the win did not get me over 1800, but quite close, only two points separated me from that.

The first mistake according to Stockfish is when Michal Muller plays 6...Nf6. To me it is surprising that this would be a mistake, at least on first glance. Better options would have been to play Bb6, Bb7 or even d6. I did not play an accurate reply to 6...Nf6, so I let my opponent off the hook this time. I should have played 7.d4 and if Michal replies with exd4, then I should advance my pawn to e5 and if then Ng4, I should play Bg5 or maybe castle and I would be clearly better. The game continuation is not that good because Michal has time to play d6. The game goes on evenly until I make a small mistake 12.d4. 12.h3 or 12.Nbd2 were better options for me. The game continuation leads to a more balanced game because Michal Muller replies my move with exd4.

I make yet another mistake on move 14, which gives the advantage to Michal. The game continues evenly or in Michal's small advantage until I cause further problems for me by playing 21.Re1. After that the position clearly favors my opponent. It did not last long as Michal plays 22...Qe5 which balances the game again. The game losing blunder is seen with the move 26...Qf6 as I am able to maintain my advantage and even increase it a bit during the remaining moves.

3 Sep 2015

C50 Four Knights Game: Italian Variation

C50 Four Knights Game: Italian Variation

The game below was played in the fifth and final round of the WORLD OPEN RAPID tournament that was held at the FIDE Online Arena on April 6th 2015. The first three rounds went in a decent fashion, I won two out of the three games but my last two rounds went horribly wrong and I lost both of them against lower rated opponents. In this final round I lost against Arena FIDE Master petya007. I have also the title of Arena FIDE Master, which I received April 14th 2015 but the certificate that confirms it, I received over four months after I had earned the title, on August 24th 2015. I wonder if I would have earned my second title in this meantime, would they have only sent me the certificate for the newer and better title. I think I am missing 19 games or something like that from the Arena International Master title requirement. If I have time later on today, I would really like to decrease that amount with a few games. I have added one mate in one, one mate in two, two mate in four and one mate in five puzzle today. I have also added one more analysed game to these two posts of mine: C97 Spanish Game: Closed Variations. Chigorin Defense and B13 Caro-Kann Defense: Exchange Variation.

Game number two. This was played in the second round of a rapid chess tournament that was played at the FIDE Online Arena on April 8th 2015. This was a second loss in a row for me against a 1400+ rated player in this tournament. This second round game I only lost because of one huge blunder 24.Kh7?? which lost the game in a couple of moves. Most of the game I was on the better side of things and one really bad move messed up everything, how disappointing. The game below was mostly better for me, unlike the first round game, so maybe I was going in the right direction at least.

Game number three. The game below was played in a team match called Match Name: TMCL 2016 Sub-Div. C3,R5. This round 5 match is played between ♔♕♗♘♖♙United Nations For Chess♔♕♗♘♖♙ and Kopaonik on 52 boards. I played on board 47 for Kopaonik and I managed to win both of my games against bsankar. The current score in the match is 11.5 - 66.5 in favor of Kopaonik, so it has been a rather one-sided match where we have secured the win.

In the game below, the move 5.a3 was designed to do two things, support the pawn advance to b4 and give the light-squared bishop a retreat square to a2. I did not want to allow bsankar to play b4 next, so I stopped it by playing 5...a5. My 5th move does have a downside too though, I could no longer control the square b5 with a pawn so easily. Then my opponent played 6.d3, opening the c1-h6 diagonal for the dark-squared bishop. I replied with h6 because I wanted to prevent the move Bg5. Quite often I have castled in similar positions and when my opponents have played Bg5, then I have had the plan d6, followed by Be6 and if Bxe6 then fxe6 and the knight would be defended with the rook on f8. Sometimes that plan does have problems with Qb3 attacking both e6 and b7. In this opening it is not a problem because Qb3 can't be played so easily. The game continued with 7.Be3, which I think is the most natural square in that position for that bishop and then I traded the bishops because either defending the bishop or moving it away did not seem like a good idea to me. I did get doubled pawns for bsankar, but also opened up the f-file for my opponent so that he can possibly generate some play on that file.

The 8th moves from both players continued being natural looking ones, but then on move 9 bsankar made the first mistake of the game. Unfortunately I did not consider the variation shown in the notation and therefore did not see how good it would have been for me. 9...exd4 should have been something that I considered during the game, but sometimes I reject ideas too quickly and may miss something that later on when I look at the game again seems obvious. I guess the move 9...d6 fits in my playstyle, which is quite often a bit too passive. The game was played quite evenly until bsankar blundered with the move 11.Be2. Moving the bishop to e2 seems like a waste of time to me, because I can't see what the idea behind it is. I also was not able to take advantage of that move because I was not sure about what the best plan was. I may have thought about playing 11...c6 during the game, but at the time I could not see all its benefits. Bsankar kept making moves that allowed me to take the advantage and from move 12 on, I was able to maintain that advantage up to my 24th move that turned out to be a mistake that could have enabled my opponent to get back into the game. After my 12th move and before my 24th move I managed to win a pawn, but it did not make the game easy to play. With my 24th move I grabbed a second pawn, but it was too greedy idea and bsankar could have been able to get some counterplay with 25.Rh4 because my knight would have needed to move and bsankar would get the rook to c4 where it would have attacked c7 and generated some annoying counterplay that I should have avoided. Luckily for me, bsankar played 25.Rf3, which is a blunder that caused me to get into a winning position. Even with my poor technique I was able to maintain the winning advantage to the end and bsankar decided to finally resign in a position where only his king was left against my king, rook, knight and two pawns.

2 Sep 2015

A01 Nimzo-Larsen Attack: Classical Variation

A01 Nimzo-Larsen Attack: Classical Variation

The game I am sharing today was played in the first round of the 2014 October Glacial Super Casual Banded I 1650+ tournament. I am playing on group 1 and I currently reside on 9th place with 18 points. A player called takinitez007 (1890) leads the tournament having gathered 47 points so far. Caissad4 (1942) is on second place with 38 points, jankrb (2165) is on third place with 34 points. Takinitez007 not only is the current leader but also has the highest maximum possible score which means the current leader has very good chances to win the group and advance to the next round. I am, however, among the five people still who can win the group and advance to the second round. The way I have been playing recently, I do not think that I will be able to advance to the second round, I just seem to lose almost every single game. I have added two mate in one, one mate in four and two mate in five puzzles today.

1 Sep 2015

D12 Slav Defence, 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.e3 Bf5 (7.Qb3)

D12 Slav Defence, 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.e3 Bf5 (7.Qb3)

This game was played in the third round of the 2014 August Banded Threesomes I 1700-1800 tournament that is still in progress at Red Hot Pawn. I have two games left to finish and if I were to lose both of those games, I would have lost all of my games in this third round. Already this round has been really bad for me but it would be a disaster if I could not get a single point in this round. The battle for the win of the tournament is between Paullli (2068) and Rumdrum (1954), both have currently 9 points and their maximum possible score is 18. I have one game left to play against both these leading players, so even though I can't win anymore, I can at least have an affect on who wins the tournament. I have added one mate in one, one mate in two, two mate in five and one mate in seven puzzle today. I have also added one analysed game to my post D37 Queen's Gambit Declined: Three Knights Variation. General. Until tomorrow, my fellow chess enthusiasts!

The comments to this game starting with this paragraph have been added December 31st, 2016. In the game below I started to go wrong with the move 9...Bg6? and I should have instead played 9...Ne4. The position in which I played my 9th move can be seen below. The problem with the game move is that it allows chessicle to double my pawns.

I did get a chance to hang on in the game a few moves later when chessicle played 12.e4 in the position below. 12.O-O and 12.cxd5 were better alternatives for chessicle. Unfortunately for me, I replied to the move played in the game by playing 12...dxe4 and I was in some trouble once again. 12...Nxe4 was my best option and I would have been only slightly worse. In the game continuation I was clearly worse. Immediately chessicle took another inaccurate step and allowed me to get back into the game again with the move 13.Nxe4.

I was not able to maintain the game rather evenly fought for very long and when I made my 17th move in the position below, I took another step towards bigger problems. I castled long when I should have castled short. Chessicle was not able to find the strongest move 18.Kb1 and played 18.Qc3 instead.

I did hang on in the game for a few more moves, before I messed up once again with the move 22...Rd5?? The position where I played it can be seen below. My reluctance to take on c5 with the pawn was due to my need to keep my pawn structure in the best possible shape. Again chessicle played a rather sloppy move, this time it was 23.cxb6, which lost most of the advantage that my opponent had. With the move 23.Qa3 Stockfish thinks that chessicle had an advantage of around 1.5 pawns, but after the move 23.cxb6 the advantage drops to around 0.5 pawns.

I then took back with my a-pawn and chessicle replied with 24.Rc1. It would have been a tough struggle, but I might have been able to get a draw, had I not played 24...Kb7. I then was lost without hope of recovering. I continued playing moves for awhile, but when I saw the forced mate after 30.Rc7+, I resigned.

[Event "Banded Threesomes"] [Site "http://www.redhotpawn.com"] [Date "2015.07.04"] [Round "3"] [White "chessicle"] [Black "Vierjoki, Timo"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D12"] [WhiteElo "1956"] [BlackElo "1832"] [Annotator "Stockfish 8 64 POPCNT (30s), TV"] [PlyCount "59"] [EventDate "2015.??.??"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 d5 3. c4 c6 4. e3 Bf5 {Slav Defense: Quiet Variation, Schallopp Defense} 5. Nc3 (5. cxd5 cxd5 6. Nc3 (6. Qb3 Qc8 7. Bd2 e6 8. Na3 { Queen's Gambit Declined: Slav, Landau Variation}) 6... e6 7. Ne5 Nfd7 {Queen's Gambit Declined: Slav, Amsterdam Variation}) 5... e6 6. Nh4 Bg4 7. Qb3 { D12 Slav Defence, 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.e3 Bf5} b6 8. h3 Bh5 9. g4 Bg6 10. Nxg6 hxg6 11. Bg2 Nbd7 (11... Be7 12. g5 (12. cxd5 exd5 13. g5 Ne4 14. Nxe4 dxe4 15. h4 Bd6 16. Bxe4 Qe7 17. Qc2 Bb4+ 18. Kf1 Nd7 19. Bxc6 Rc8 20. Qe4 Qxe4 21. Bxe4 Ke7 22. a3 Bd6 23. Bd2 Rh5 24. f4 Rch8 25. Be1 Nf8 26. Rc1 f6 {Gonzalez Acosta,B (2478) -Reboucas,D (2008) Praia da Pipa 2014 1-0 (32)}) 12... dxc4 13. Qxc4 Nd5 14. h4 b5 15. Qd3 Nd7 16. Bd2 N7b6 17. Nxd5 exd5 18. b3 Qd7 19. Rc1 Ba3 20. Rc2 Qg4 21. Bf1 Rc8 22. b4 Nc4 23. Rxc4 dxc4 24. Qxa3 Rd8 25. Rh3 Rxh4 26. Rxh4 { Hodgson,J (2575)-Hector,J (2510) Oxford 1998 1-0 (36)}) 12. e4 $146 (12. Bd2 Rc8 13. O-O-O Be7 14. Kb1 (14. e4 Nxe4 15. Nxe4 dxe4 16. Bxe4 Nf6 17. Bg2 Qxd4 18. Be3 Qe5 19. Qa4 Qc7 20. Rd2 Nd7 21. Rhd1 Nc5 22. Bxc5 Bxc5 23. Qxc6+ Qxc6 24. Bxc6+ Ke7 25. Rd7+ Kf6 26. Bb7 Rce8 27. g5+ Kxg5 28. Rxf7 Rxh3 { Schmouchkovitch,M (1984)-Gautier,E (1768) Sautron 2010 0-1 (36)}) 14... O-O 15. e4 Nxe4 16. Nxe4 dxe4 17. h4 c5 18. g5 cxd4 19. Qh3 Nc5 20. h5 Bxg5 21. hxg6 fxg6 22. Bxe4 Nxe4 23. Qxe6+ Rf7 24. Qxe4 Bxd2 25. Qxg6 Bb4 26. Qh7+ Kf8 { Damaso,R (2405)-Prie,E (2480) Clichy 1995 0-1 (34)}) (12. cxd5 cxd5 13. g5 Nh5 14. e4 dxe4 15. Bxe4 Rc8 16. Be3 Bd6 17. O-O-O Nf4 18. h4 Ne2+ 19. Kb1 Nxc3+ 20. bxc3 Qc7 21. Rc1 Bf4 22. Rh3 Ke7 23. Kb2 b5 24. Bd3 a6 25. Rf3 Bd6 26. Re1 Nb6 {Shalimov,V (2452)-Fingerov,D (2374) Alushta 2003 0-1 (71)}) 12... dxe4 ( 12... Nxe4 13. Nxe4 dxe4 14. Bxe4 $14) 13. Nxe4 (13. g5 Nh5 14. Be3 Bd6 $16) 13... Nxe4 $14 14. Bxe4 Qc7 15. Be3 Nf6 {Black threatens to win material: Nf6xe4} 16. Bg2 Bd6 17. O-O-O O-O-O (17... O-O 18. Kb1 $14) 18. Qc3 {White plans c5} (18. Kb1 $142 $5 Qb7 19. Rd3 $18) 18... Bf4 $14 19. Kb1 Bxe3 20. Qxe3 Rd7 21. Qf3 (21. g5 Nh5 $14) 21... Rd6 (21... Rhd8 22. g5 Nh5 23. d5 $11) 22. c5 {White threatens to win material: c5xd6} (22. g5 Nh5 23. Rhe1 $14) 22... Rd5 $4 {throwing away the advantage} (22... bxc5 $142 $5 {is an interesting alternative} 23. dxc5 Rxd1+ 24. Rxd1 Nd5 $11) 23. cxb6 (23. Qe2 $5 $18) 23... axb6 $16 24. Rc1 Kb7 $2 (24... Rd6 $142 $5 $16) 25. g5 $18 Nh5 26. Qb3 (26. Qe3 $142 Nf4 27. Be4 $18) 26... Rd6 $4 {shortens the misery for Black} (26... Nf4 $142 27. Bxd5 Nxd5 $16) 27. Rxc6 $1 $18 {Decoy: c6.} Rxc6 28. Rc1 Ka7 (28... Rc8 {what else?} 29. Bxc6+ Qxc6 30. Rxc6 Rxc6 $18) 29. Rxc6 Qd8 (29... Kb8 { cannot change what is in store for White} 30. Qb5 f5 31. Rxc7 Kxc7 32. Qc6+ Kd8 33. Qd6+ Ke8 34. Qxe6+ Kd8 35. Bc6 Nf6 36. gxf6 Kc7 37. Qd7+ Kb8 38. Qb7#) 30. Rc7+ $1 {Mate attack} (30. Rc7+ Qxc7 31. Qa4+ Kb8 32. Qa8#) 1-0