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30 Nov 2015

C28 Vienna Game: Stanley Variation, Three Knights Variation

C28 Vienna Game: Stanley Variation, Three Knights Variation

This was played on the second round of the over the board tournament that was played at Eura a bit over ten years ago. I came to the second round after winning a game against a player who was rated 2063. On this second round I faced another player who was rated over 2000. This was not at all a success like the first round game, but maybe a demonstration that I clearly was not playing well enough at the time that I could get two wins in a row against 2000+ rated players. Actually I am not that convinced that I could win games regularly against 2000+ players even today, but maybe I could win more than I did back then. Then again this is only a small sample of games from which I can't make too hasty decisions of. Only in the last year or so have I even be able to play quite consistently against players who are rated over 2000+ and even though I do not remember exactly when was the first time I broke that limit, not on over the board chess, but rather while playing in the internet, I do remember what was the place where I did it. It was years ago, probably close to ten years ago at Pogo. It was a brief moment that I was over that limit, but it did show me that I could do that. Nowadays I do not play there, actually I have not played there in several years because other places to play the game have been better. At the moment, I have two ratings on different sites over 2000, though on neither site have I played in months, so those ratings are far from accurate. I have added one analysed game to the following posts: C88 Spanish Game: Closed, A45 Indian Game: General, A30 English Opening: Symmetrical Variation. General and A36 English Opening: Symmetrical Variation. Symmetrical Variation. I have also added one mate in three, one mate in four and one mate in five puzzle.

Game number two. The game below was played on the fourth round of a tournament that was played at Espoo in February 2006. This is the second tournament I played in 2006. I had started the year with a rating of 1760, but after this second tournament my rating had dropped already to 1682. I think the main reason for my inconsistent results is the fact that I did not study chess all that much during this time and I did not look at my finished games at all. These days things are quite different, I am analysing my finished games and I play chess every day. It is true though that I would need to improve the way I analyse my games and the way I play and study chess in general, but maybe I am at least getting better at it.

Game number three. The game below was played on the first round of the 2015 October Grand Split Three Seven I 1800+ tournament that is held at Red Hot Pawn. I have gathered 28 points so far and it puts me on 8th place. Wizardschess has gathered 36 points so far and is currently on fourth place. Wizardschess has only two more games to finish, while I have 12 more games to finish in this tournament. One of those games is my other game against wizardschess. As you may see in the notation, I am back over 1900 at Red Hot Pawn. The last seven games I have been able to maintain a rating over that barrier, but it does shift back and forth a bit and stays quite close to 1900, it has not taken any major jumps towards 2000, which would be nice to get someday. My rating currently resides at 1904, so I am still 31 points away from my peak rating of 1935. Chances are that I could get a record rating by accident if I stay close to the peak long enough. The rating of 1904 currently earns me the 419th highest position in the active player rating list out of the 9622 players that are there.

27 Nov 2015

Chess960 SP711

Chess960 SP711

Instead of the normal one game in the new post, there are now two because it made sense to post these two games at the same time. The second site that I visited for the first time three days ago was lichess.org. After I started to play there I noticed at least one thing that I had not seen on any other site before, the starting position for chess960 is shown while you play, which is a great thing because now if I play there I do not need to figure out the starting position on my own after the game. Sure it is not that hard to check the starting position for each game afterwards, but this saves me some time and that is always a good thing. Both of these games are 10 minute games and it really seems to be a good time control for me to use on this variant.

Both lichess.org and ChessRex.com (the sites I played chess960 three days ago) seem to use similar idea for downloading the games you have played there. As far as I can tell, when you download the games, it automatically downloads all your games, which can be great or bad, depending on how you look at it. It is somewhat inefficient if you just want to download your latest game. There might be a way to do that as well, but I am new to both sites, so I do not know all of this stuff just yet. Then again you could just replace the old database with a new one every time. I am not sure what I think about that just yet, but it might be better than some of the options that are given on other sites I have played where you can select which games you download, but there is a limit on how many you can download at a time. I am also not sure why on almost every site the pgn-file that is created from those downloaded games has the chess960 variant in a way that Chessbase does not understand it. Now if there are different ways that different chess programs understand the variant name in the pgn-file, I think that is something that should be a standard, so that no matter what program you used, it would still be able to understand the pgn-file, without the need for the user to modify the file in order for it to work. Also my problem that I told about in the post yesterday has been fixed, it seemed that I needed a bit of fixing, I caused the problem on myself. I talked about my problem to the programmer of the site and after that little chat I realised what I had done wrong. I have added one analysed game to the following posts: D00 Queen Pawn Game: General, A06 Zukertort Opening: Old Indian Attack, A20 English Opening: King's English Variation. General and A30 English Opening: Symmetrical Variation. General. I have also added two mate in three, one mate in four and two mate in six puzzles today.

Game number two. This was a rematch that my opponent challenged me into. It was actually a good thing that the rematch used the same starting position, it gives both players the opportunity to play on both sides of that starting position. Some starting positions might seem to favor one side more than the other, or so I have thought occasionally when I have played chess960.

26 Nov 2015

Chess960 SP878

Chess960 SP878

Sometimes it is fun to test chess/chess960 sites that I have not been playing before and two days ago I did just that. First I went to see what this e-chess960.com site was all about after I had seen a blog post that said it was a good place to play chess960. After I had created an account there, I asked some silly questions in chat because I was new to the site and did not know how things are done at that site. People were helpful and I got answers I was looking for, so it was time to play a game there. I have finished one game there and it is the game you can see below. This was a 10 minute game without increment and I think the quality of the game is better than it was on those previous chess960 games that I have posted recently from the Chess960 pool. After this game I offered my opponent a rematch, but we did not start a new 10 minute game, but instead a correspondence game with a 5 day timeout. Chances are that I can't finish that new game, because I can't log into that site anymore for some reason. I contacted the admin of the site today and time will tell what happens. If for some reason there is no solution to my problem, the game I share now is the last one I have played there. I do not really believe it would end up being like that and I think some solution will be reached and I can log in there some time in the hopefuly near future to continue that game I started and also play other games and get to know the site better. I did end up also testing another site the same day, but more about in the post I will do tomorrow. I have added one mate in one, one mate in two and three mate in four puzzles today. In addition, I have added one analysed game to the following posts: C62 Spanish Game: Steinitz Defense, C64 Spanish Game: Classical Variation, A20 English Opening: King's English Variation. General and A30 English Opening: Symmetrical Variation. General.

Game number two. The game below was played at lichess.org on December 25th 2015. This was a 7 minute game with a 4 second increment. I was rated 1775 before this game and marriedbachelor was rated 1557. The game started in a decent fashion where I got the hold of the center and it was hard for my opponent to develop his dark squared bishop. Actually on move six he decides to sacrifice a pawn in order to get his bishop activated. I am happy to get that material even if I have to give up the bishop pair in order to do so. My opponent blunders a pawn when he decides to play 13...Ne4? and after I take twice on e4, I am up a second pawn. The rest of the game does not pose that many difficulties for me and marriedbachelor resigns after I took his queen on move 26.

Game number three. For this game, I will for now post only a video of me doing a live commentary of the game. I will analyse this game at some point in a similar way as I have with the two other games found in this post, but unfortunately it might take quite a long time.

25 Nov 2015

D53 Queen's Gambit Declined: 4.Bg5 Be7, 5.e3 O-O

D53 Queen's Gambit Declined: 4.Bg5 Be7, 5.e3 O-O

This game is from the fifth round of the tournament that was held at Hanko between June 17th and June 19th in 2005. Before this final round game I had gathered two wins and two draws. So I had played quite well, considering that the draws were played against higher rated players. The win in the game below meant that my final score was 4 out of 5! I think this was the first time that I was able to play these weekend tournaments without a loss. This also marks the record breaking rating increase in one over the board tournament for me because I was able to increase my rating by 101 points! I have not been able to break this record so far and it is very unlikely that I will ever be able to do that. I think I have been able to increase my rating by 100 points once after this tournament, but I have been able to decrease it in a similar fashion as well. That very bad tournament lasted nine rounds though.

Another very busy day for me and it does not even after this post. Luckily similar days I face only once a month, because the club tournament I participate in, is played on a last Wednesday of the month. I think that tournament will end in May, so I need to face these type of days for quite awhile still. I have added one analysed game these two posts: C64 Spanish Game: Classical Variation, A20 English Opening: King's English Variation. General. I have also added one mate in one, two mate in three, one mate in five and one mate in six puzzle.

24 Nov 2015

A40 English Defense #2

A40 English Defense #2

After four consecutive posting days of new and different chess960 starting positions, it is time once again to introduce new opening variation, as far as this blog is concerned that is. The game below was played on the first round of the tournament called Maximum ! which is named so because of the thinking times used in the tournament. The longest possible thinking times you can get at Chess.com is 14 days for each move and this tournament has that time control. I still have one game in progress on this first round that started on September 11th 2014. No matter what happens on that last game, I will not be able to advance to the second round, but instead I am eliminated from the rest of the tournament. If I looked the tie-break numbers correctly, I will be fifth in the final standings of group #4 if I win my last game. I am currently on seventh place with 12.5 points. My game is the last one still in progress in this group, but there are still seven other games in progress luckily, so that people are not just waiting for my game to end, but other games as well. The top three that will advance to the next round are players called chramer (21.5 points), astra81 (18 points) and thematrosken (14 points). Had AndreasChess won this game, he would have been third in the final standings and advanced to the next round. Probably draw would have also sufficed for him, because then he would have tied thematrosken on points. I have added one mate in one, one mate in two, one mate in three and two mate in four puzzles today. In addition, I have added one analysed game to these two posts: D45 Semi-Slav Defense: Main Lines and C64 Spanish Game: Classical Variation. Central Variation.

23 Nov 2015

Chess960 SP202

Chess960 SP202

This is my third game from the Chess960 pool and this time I concentrated on the game and did not try to do any commentary while I played. It had one positive effect, I did not lose on time, yay. Not sure if my game improved all that much though and I was on losing position when my opponent ran out of time. I think I will try a couple of other places to play chess960 for the next posts about chess960 that I will make. The goal is to play longer games than I get easily at the Internet Chess Club and faster ones that I can play at Chess.com because there I can easily play chess960 only as a correspondence game. Maybe it will change in the future, but if it means that they have to adapt the look of the new version of the site, I might just stop playing there altogether. Well, I may be a bit too harh on it, but I prefer the older version. It might be because I am accustomed to the old version and it would take some time to adapt to the new version.

I was never on the better side in this game, well maybe at one point I could have gotten some advantage, but I was unable to play accurately, partly due to time trouble and partly because I had no clear plan on how to proceed. After the missed opportunity for some kind of advantage an evenish position continued until I blundered in time trouble and played 38.Qd4? which lost the b5 pawn and should have also lost the game if my opponent had more time. I have added one analysed game to the following posts today: B18 Caro-Kann Defense: Classical Variation, C69 Spanish Game: Exchange Variation. Gligoric Variation, B12 Caro-Kann Defense: Advance Variation and E16 Queen's Indian Defense: Capablanca Variation. I have also added one mate in two, two mate in four and two mate in five puzzles today. There will be more chess960 later this week, but not every day.

20 Nov 2015

Chess960 SP209

Chess960 SP209

This is now a second game of chess960 in a row that I have played at the Chess960 pool at the Internet Chess Club. I did try some live commentary on both in the game I shared yesterday and in the game I am sharing with you now. I am not used to do that so it is enough of a distraction that I can't really play with the time controls they use in this pool. Both of these games are not that good from my point of view, but at least I got more experience in chess960 and maybe next time I will play better. I should get all the chess960 starting positions featured in this blog sooner or later and if the amount of chess960 games increases enough, I may want to do distinctions between the games in more detail. This would mean that I would name rename the posts like Chess960 SP209 with 1.e4, for instance, or something in that manner, depending on how I want to do that when the time comes.

Next week I might post more chess960 games again, but I will definetely post some if not all of my recent correspondence games. Those have been ending in a decent pace again and most of the games that were continuing despite the fact that there was not a shadow of a doubt about the winner have ended finally. There might be one or two games still that should be clear as well but they have not yet ended. I have currently 62 games in progress, most of them are chess games, but there are also some chess960 games. I have added one mate in one, one mate in three, one mate in four, one mate in five and one mate in six puzzle. I have also added one analysed game to the following posts: C64 Spanish Game: Classical Variation, A15 English Opening: Anglo-Indian Defense. Mikenas-Carls Variation, D55 Queen's Gambit Declined: Modern Variation. Normal Line and A20 English Opening: King's English Variation. General. Until Monday, my fellow chess enthusiasts!

19 Nov 2015

Chess960 SP554

Chess960 SP554

Two days ago I intended to play a couple of games of chess960 at ICC again with ten minute time controls. I tried to get a game on couple of occasions, but no one was interested to accept my challenge, so I looked for other possibilities to play chess960 games on one sitting. I went to Chess.com and tried to see if I can get a game there, the problem there is that on the older version of the site it can't be done and on the newer version which I do not personally like all that much, I could not get a game either even if the possibility for it is there, so I had to search for other possible sites to play chess960 at. While I was searching, I came across a help site for the Internet Chess Club which mentioned that there is a special pool for chess960. So I headed back to ICC to try it out. I did get a game quite quickly, but the problem with the pool is in my opinion that it uses the 3 1 time control, which means the base time is 3 minutes and increment is one second. These are a bit too fast time controls for me. It was especially difficult because I tried once more to do a live commentary while I played, which made me lose both of the games I played on Tuesday. I played in that pool again yesterday and this time without the live commentary, so I was more concentrated on the game and I even won that game on time. I still would prefer to play with longer time controls and if there was another pool for chess960 at ICC with longer time controls, I would like to play in that one instead of this one.

In other news, I finally won my first tournament at Red Hot Pawn. It took maybe longer than would have been necessary because my opponent in the last game dragged the game out a bit too long in my opinion because the result was clear for a long time before he or she resigned. I mean had it been me, I would have resigned several moves and weeks ago. Then again, it is not against the rules of chess or anything like that to play to the bitter end. This was my second win in a correspondence chess tournament, the first one I was able to get some years ago at the Queen Alice Internet Chess Club where I am still at my peak rating of 2203, because I have not played there in weeks. I should activate myself there again, but it might take me quite some time to do that. I have added two mate in two, two mate in three and one mate in five puzzle today. I have also added one analysed game to the following posts: A15 English Opening: Anglo-Indian Defense. Mikenas-Carls Variation, C53 Italian Game: Classical Variation. Giuoco Pianissimo, A30 English Opening: Symmetrical Variation. General and D02 Queen Pawn Game: Zukertort Variation.

18 Nov 2015

Chess960 SP262

Chess960 SP262

Time for some chess960 once again and this I played at the Internet Chess Club as a 10 minute rated game. Ten minutes is probably the lowest amount of time I can play chess960 somewhat ok. I do make quite bad moves even with these time controls, but somehow I can get back in the game after some moves are played. I mainly struggle in the opening phase of the game as I have no exact plan of how to play a certain starting position. Or I should say that I always think that I have a decent way to play in my mind, but after a couple of moves I see the error of my thought process. I still consider myself a newbie in chess960, because I have only played 47 games of it. Some starting positions I do get more familiar with because the starting positions do not change in the tournaments that are held at Chess.com. I do not think though that I would be any kind of expert in those starting positions either, but at least I have some experience in them.

After I had played two moves in this game and I saw my opponent play 3.f4 with the idea of attacking both the e5 and a7 pawns, I thought that here I go again with an unintentional pawn sacrifice in the opening. It did not end up being such a bad thing in the end especially when my opponent did not take that pawn immediately and actually the analysis after this game showed that Stockfish even prefers my position after Squaring took that pawn. I did end up ruining my position later in the game and I was only able to win this game because my opponent ran out of time. I have added one analysed game to my post D10 Slav Defense: General. In addition, I have added one mate in two, one mate in three, one mate in four and two mate in five puzzles.

Game number two. This game was played at ChessRex.com as a correspondence game with both players having 5 days to make their move. This ended up lasting only a bit over a month, which is quite fast paced for me as far as correspondence games are concerned. The game started on November 24th and finished on December 27th. November 24th was also the first day that I visited ChessRex.com and started to play there. Since that day, I have finished 5 games there, one 10 minute chess960 game and four correspondence games out of which three have been chess games and one has been a chess960 game. I have so far won all my games there, but I doubt it will last for long. I am currently playing four games there and have kept my game load at four steadily there recently.

Game number three will be seen only as a video for now. More detailed look at it will be seen here at some point in time.

17 Nov 2015

A95 Dutch Defense: Classical Variation, Stonewall Variation

A95 Dutch Defense: Classical Variation, Stonewall Variation

The game I am sharing with you now was played in a team match called TM C.L. 2016 Div. C RO: Kopaonik vs. 300 Spartans. The match is being played on 109 boards and I am playing on board 22 for Kopaonik in this match. The current score in the match is 98 - 70 in our favor and things are looking good for us, but the match is still not been decided and we still need to get at least 11.5 points to secure the win. In the game below I found myself in a position I am not usually in, I was conducting a direct attack against the enemy king. This is because I am rarely given the opportunity to do so and also because it would more often than not involve sacrifising some material, which I do not do lightly. I do not like to give any material if I can help it, so sacrificial attacks are not my style, I would like to try that out someday though. The only times I have consciously sacrifised material are times when I see a clear benefit in doing so. Of course sometimes I miscalculate or just play the correct moves, but in wrong order which makes me lose games. I did not even need to sacrifice any material as my opponent pretty much self-destructed in the game below. I have added one analysed game to the following posts: A14 English Opening: Agincourt Defense. Neo Catalan Declined, C64 Spanish Game: Classical Variation and A20 English Opening: King's English Variation. General. I have also added two mate in three, one mate in five and two mate in six puzzles today.

16 Nov 2015

B73 Sicilian Dragon: Classical System without 9.Nb3

B73 Sicilian Dragon: Classical System without 9.Nb3

My plan for this week was to add four analysed chess games and one analysed chess960 every day from Monday to Friday, but as I went through my recently ended correspondence games, I noticed that I have new opening variations to go through. It means that I will not post maybe as many games as I intended during this week, but it will be the maximum amount of games I will post per a posting day. This helps me to plan things further ahead than I would be able to in the way I did things in the past. When I have looked through all of these opening variations, I have noticed one thing that annoys me a bit, the name of the variations differ sometimes from source to source and there are other differences as well, for instance, not all of the opening variations can be found in all of the sources which in turn makes my job of finding openings played in the games all that more difficult. All I want is some consistency and a list of truly all the openings that exist in one place. Then again I have differed in the naming of some of my posts from the more usual names for the opening, the best example of this is all the posts I have named starting with Spanish Game, but I guess most people would name it Ruy Lopez. I guess the main reason for the naming was that in the original source where I looked these openings used Spanish Game, so it has stuck with me since those times.

The game below was played in a team match called Purple Bhangra punjabi style. The match was played on 33 boards between PURPLE HAZE and PAOK. I played on board 3 for PURPLE HAZE against a clearly stronger opponent. We ended up being crushed quite badly in this match as the final score 10.5 - 55.5 demonstrates. I have added one analysed game to my post: C45 Scotch Game: Schmidt Variation. I have also added one mate in two, one mate in three, two mate in four and one mate in five puzzle today.

This paragraph and the ones that follow it have been added November 25th, 2016. I was able to hang on in the game against my stronger opponent until it came time to play my 34th move in the position below. I played 34.Qe1 allowing a tactic that won the game for my opponent. I should have played 34.Qb2 to stay in the game. Note that 34...Nxd5 would be met with 35.Qh8#.

The move I played in the game allowed my opponent to play 34...Nxd5. I then took on d5 with the bishop and I was momentarily up on material. The problem with the move 35.Bxd5 is that now my opponent can invade on the second rank with the rook. I could not reply to 35...Rc2+ with 36.Re2 because then my opponent would have played 36...Qxe1! My rook could not take back because the rook is pinned. Therefore I moved my king instead. I moved my king to h3, which was probably the worst square to the king. I should have played 36.Kf1, even though I was probably lost regardless. I resigned after 37...Qh8+ in a position where I was still up in material, but I faced a forced mate.

[Event "Purple Bhangra punjabi style - Board 3"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2015.08.20"] [Round "?"] [White "Vierjoki, Timo"] [Black "Killerinstrict"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B73"] [WhiteElo "1872"] [BlackElo "2120"] [Annotator "Stockfish 8 64 POPCNT (30s), TV"] [PlyCount "74"] [EventDate "2015.??.??"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 g6 6. Be2 Bg7 7. Be3 { Sicilian Defense: Dragon Variation. Classical Variation} O-O 8. O-O Nc6 9. f3 ( 9. Nb3 Be6 (9... a5 {Sicilian Defense: Dragon Variation, Classical Variation, Alekhine Line}) 10. f4 Qc8 {Sicilian Defense: Dragon Variation, Classical Variation, Tartakower Line} (10... Na5 11. f5 Bc4 12. Nxa5 Bxe2 13. Qxe2 Qxa5 14. g4 {Sicilian Defense: Dragon Variation, Classical Variation, Stockholm Attack})) 9... Bd7 10. Qd2 a6 {B73 Sicilian Dragon: Classical System without 9. Nb3} 11. Nxc6 Bxc6 12. Kh1 (12. Nd5 Bxd5 (12... b5 13. c4 bxc4 14. Bxc4 Nxd5 15. exd5 Bb5 16. Rac1 Rb8 17. b3 Qd7 18. Bxb5 Rxb5 19. Rc6 e6 20. Rxa6 Rxd5 21. Qb4 Rd3 22. Qb6 d5 23. Ra7 Qc8 24. Rc7 Qd8 25. Rfc1 d4 26. Bf2 Rc3 27. Qb7 { Klausmeier,A (1769)-Boshe Plois,S (1778) Germany 2015 0-1 (32)}) 13. exd5 Rc8 14. c4 Nd7 15. Rac1 a5 16. Rfe1 Nc5 17. Bf1 Re8 18. Rc2 Qb6 19. Kh1 Bf6 20. b3 Ra8 21. Rb1 Qc7 22. Qf2 Ra7 23. g3 Rb8 24. Bh3 b6 25. Qd2 Qb7 26. a4 Re8 { Sarbok,T (2319)-Gasanov,E (2514) Rijeka 2010 1/2-1/2}) 12... Rc8 13. Bh6 Qb6 $146 (13... b5 14. Bxg7 Kxg7 15. a3 Qc7 16. Rac1 Rfd8 17. Nd5 Bxd5 18. exd5 Qb7 19. c4 bxc4 20. Bxc4 Ra8 21. Rfe1 Rd7 22. b3 Rc7 23. Rc3 Rac8 24. Rd3 Rc5 25. Rd4 h6 26. Rh4 g5 27. Rd4 Nh7 28. g4 {Dang,T-Nguyen Ngoc Phuong,K Vung Tau 2005 1-0 (40)}) (13... Bxh6 14. Qxh6 Qb6 15. Rab1 $11) 14. Bxg7 $11 Kxg7 { Black king safety dropped} 15. Rab1 Rfd8 16. Nd5 Bxd5 17. exd5 Qc5 18. c4 b5 19. b3 bxc4 20. Bxc4 a5 21. Rfe1 {White threatens to win material: Re1xe7} Rc7 22. Re2 Qb4 23. Qd3 a4 24. Rbe1 Rdd7 25. Re3 axb3 26. Bxb3 {White has a new passed pawn: a2.} (26. axb3 Qb7 $11) 26... Rc5 27. Rd1 (27. Rxe7 Rxe7 28. Rxe7 Rc1+ 29. Bd1 Qc4 30. Re3 Nxd5 31. h3 Nxe3 32. Qxe3 Rxd1+ 33. Kh2 h5 34. Qf2 Qc1 35. f4 h4 36. g3 Rd2 37. Kg2 Rxf2+ 38. Kxf2 Qd2+ 39. Kf3 Qd3+ 40. Kf2 hxg3+ 41. Ke1 Qe3+ 42. Kd1 g2 43. a3 g1=Q+ 44. Kc2 Qgc1#) 27... Rdc7 28. g3 h5 29. Qe2 Rc1 (29... Kf8 30. Kg1 $15) 30. Kg2 Rxd1 31. Qxd1 h4 32. Qe2 hxg3 (32... Qd4 33. Rxe7 Rc1 34. Qe3 Qb2+ 35. Qe2 $15) 33. hxg3 Kf8 34. Qe1 (34. Qb2 $5 $11 { deserves consideration}) 34... Nxd5 35. Bxd5 Rc2+ 36. Kh3 $4 {another step towards the grave} (36. Kf1 $142 Qb5+ 37. Re2 Rxe2 38. Qxe2 Qxd5 39. a4 $17) 36... Qb2 $19 37. Bxf7 Qh8+ (37... Qh8+ 38. Kg4 Qh5+ 39. Kf4 Qf5#) 0-1

13 Nov 2015

Chess960 SP450

Chess960 SP450

This was played at the Internet Chess Club today and this is my second ever chess960 game that I have played there. This was not a rated game and that fact I actually noticed only after I had played this game. I forgot that when I had previously played at ICC, I had played unrated games against a friend of mine and did not remember to change the challenge settings, so that I would be playing rated games again. It does not matter all that much, but the rated games bring a bit more added importance to the games in my opinion. This was also the first time that I played chess960 with 10 minute time controls, when I played a hundred game match against a friend of mine with those time controls, I realised that the time controls seem to work well for me. It is not as hasty as 5 minute games, but also not as time consuming as 15 minute games which I have previously preferred for rapid games. Well, I guess 10 minutes is still considered as blitz, so never mind. I thought I would also do live commentary for the game, which I did, but I am not sure if it is good enough to be posted for Youtube, for example. I did like my commentary when I did it, but after listening to it myself when I checked the video afterwards, I was less confident about the quality of it. I think I will do some live commentary for the next chess960 10 minute games and see if there will be something worth posting, because it would be alternative way to do things and nice way to do something different for a change.

I noticed when I looked this game in Chessbase 12 after the game that this one also had problems with the notation. Again starting from the point where castles was made. So I closed Chessbase 12 and opened the pgn-file with Notepad. I looked at where this line [Variant "Chess960"] was, a bit more closely now than I did with the game I posted yesterday and realised when comparing to working pgn-file of chess960 games that the variant name was not in a form that Chessbase understands it. I changed that line to look like this [Variant "chess 960"] as it was in the working pgn-file, saved the file and opened the file in Chessbase 12 again. I was really happy to realise that the game notation was working properly and I did not have to make the moves again starting from castling in order to make it work. I am not 100% sure why the notation in the other game required for me to input the moves again, but it might be something to do with the fact that I had not closed Chessbase 12 yesterday when I attempted to correct the notation. I have added two mate in two, two mate in five and one mate in six puzzle today. Until Monday, my fellow chess and chess960 enthusiasts!

12 Nov 2015

Chess960 SP74

Chess960 SP74

Time for some chess960 once again. After this game, all my chess960 games that I have a notation for, have appeared in the blog. This took a long time to publish because the pgn-file had the moves, but it was missing one line of code that I only today added after I investigated what was wrong with the pgn-file. I could have of course done this a lot earlier, had I took the time to see why the moves were not correctly shown at Chessbase. The problem that caused the moves to be shown in some parts of the game without a move number, was due to the fact that the pgn-file was missing this very important line [Variant "chess 960"]. Without this line, the program does not understand castling in chess960, which is why immediately when the move 12...O-O was in the notation, the rest of it was not shown properly anymore. I did have to make the moves again starting from that 12...O-O to get the full game properly working, I did try to do that without tempering with the pgn-file but it did not obviously work. I did look at the original pgn-file where the ICC client had originally put it, but it seemed at first glance like a proper pgn-file, but somehow it had the same problem as the copied version that had that line missing. So, I am not sure what was wrong with the original to cause these problems and it does not matter all that much because I was able to make it work and I am happy with that. I think I will play a game of chess960 today or tomorrow so that I have something new to post for tomorrow. I would have lot of chess games that I could post, but so far I have not been able to find any new openings, so it will be on hold until I discover something new. Or I should propably say that it is unlikely that I would post any chess games this week, but next week I will post those again, maybe four per day and one new chess960 starting position each day between Monday and Friday that is. That is the plan for next week, time will tell how well I succeed in that... I have added one mate in one, one mate in three, two mate in four and one mate in 28 puzzle today. If you look at the last one, you will realise why I decided to post a mate in so many moves.

11 Nov 2015

D60 Queen's Gambit Declined: Orthodox Defense

D60 Queen's Gambit Declined: Orthodox Defense

The move order in the game below is not the one you would find in theory, the theoretical move order for this variation is 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 Be7 5.e3 O-O 6.Nf3 Nbd7. I should maybe point out from now on if the move order played in the games differs from the theoretical one, so that there are no misunderstandings. Sometimes in my older posts I have pointed out the difference, but not in all of the posts where it has been the case. The game below was played in a club tournament that I participated in 2004. For some reason or the other, I have not marked the round from which this game is from and it kind of annoys me, because it would be interesting for me to know now. If only I could go back in time to correct this and many other things that my current knowledge would fix in my past. Then again tempering with the past might not be that good of an idea and I could make things even worse trying to fix things.

Even though I am not sure of the round on which the game below was played in, I think I know at least one other score from this same tournament, I won my other game from this same tournament, but I had not marked the round it was from either, so I can't really say for certain what the rounds were. This was played later than the other game, so this is at least from round two, but it might be from a later round as well. I could of course check if my opponent has the notation for this game still somewhere and maybe get an answer to this "mystery". I have added one analysed game to each of these three posts: C45 Scotch Game: Schmidt Variation, C50 Italian Game: Giuoco Pianissimo and A20 English Opening: King's English Variation. General. I have also added one mate in two, three mate in three and one mate in four puzzle today.

Game number two. This is the 1400th analysed chess game added to the blog!! This game was played on the second of a weekend tournament that was played at Kurikka in 2008. This was already my second win a row, so the tournament had started perfectly in view of that. However, the first game featured so many bad moves that in view of them, the tournament did not have a good start. Both my first round opponent and the opponent I faced on this round were unrated before the tournament.

This game did not really have a good start either because already on move 9 I played the horrible Nb6, which would have lost a pawn had my opponent played dxc5, followed up with Qc2 and either the h-pawn or the d-pawn will fall. Jere played 10.Rc1, which is not so good and only offers White a small advantage. I continued ignoring the tactics and played 10...Bg4. 10...c4 was necessary to keep things under some control. Luckily for me, my opponent did not see the tactic either and played 11.Re1. Then after the blunder 15.a3, I should have had winning advantage, because 15...Nd5 seems to work very well for me in all the variations. This would have required a lot of calculations to be made, which I try to avoid whenever possible. However, in order for me to get to a very good level at chess, I have to start calculating variations much more than I currently do and also calculate them correctly. I played 15...Bxf3, which instead of going for the win, hands over the advantage to my opponent, who did not take this opportunity, but played Rxf3 instead of the better option of Qxf3. After this the game continued evenly until my opponent played 23.Qb3 that turns out to be a mistake. It would have been better to play 23.Rxc4 bxc4 24.Qa4 because that way White can maintain the material balance and it would have been likely that the game would have ended in a draw after that. I was far from winning this game though because I moved the wrong pawn on move 26 and I ended up being in a position that was even instead of being clearly better. That was not unfortunately the last mistake of the game from my side, luckily also my opponent made some bad moves as well... The move 29...Kf8 could have ruined the game for me because of the move 30.Rcc7. I actually have some memories of this game and I do remember noticing after I played Kf8 that it was a horrible move. I was saved by the blunder 30.Rb1, which is way too passive move. It does go after the more dangerous looking pawn, but the rooks on the seventh rank would have made my life a lot harder. The positional downhill continued for Jere with the move 35.Kd2, which would have enabled me to play Rf1, followed up by an easy win. I am not sure why I did not see that possibility, maybe I was low on time or something. I played 35...h5 and it would have most likely been only good for a draw, had my opponent played an accurate reply. That did not happen, so I got another chance to play Rf1 and that time Í found it and won the game by promoting my b-pawn to a queen.

10 Nov 2015

A16 English Opening: Anglo-Indian Defense, Anglo-Grünfeld Variation

A16 English Opening: Anglo-Indian Defense, Anglo-Grünfeld Variation

This is the 1100th analysed chess game to appear in this blog!! It seems like a lot, but I still have a lot more of my games to go through. Those 1100 games feature 432 different opening variations, 668 (60.73%) wins, 102 (9.27%) draws and 330 (30%) losses. The more I post these games, the more unfavorable the statistics are for me, winning percentage decreases and losing percentage increases which is not the way I would like it to go. We shall see where it will go in the future as we come closer to the actual current statistics. The best opening variations that I have played more than 10 games in are C50 Italian Game: Italian Variation with a 75 % winning chance (20 games played), C45 Scotch Game: General with a 72.73 % winning chance (11 games played) and B92 Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation. Opocensky Variation with also 72.73 % winning chance (11 games played). The worst openings for me that I have played more than 10 times are C64 Spanish Game: Classical Variation. Charousek Variation with a 50 % losing chance (14 games played), C34 King's Gambit: Accepted. Fischer Defense with a 42.11 % losing chance (19 games played) and A15 English Opening: Anglo-Indian Defense. Mikenas-Carls Variation with a 41.67 % losing chance (24 games played). According to these statistics, it would seem clear what sort of openings I should try to steer the games for, but because these only take in consideration a small part of the games I have played, I can't rely too much on these statistics.

The game below was played in the fifth and final round of the tournament that was held at Turku over eleven years ago. If my memory serves me right, this was the first over the board game where I faced a female opponent, well as far as the official games are concerned that is. I started this tournament with a win, but then I lost a game and on the third round I won my second game and continued winning on the fourth round, so I had three wins and one loss before this final round game. Luckily this loss did not interfere my rating climb, but it did make it a smaller one that I was used to in previous tournaments. My rating only climbed eight points to 1714, but it was yet another highest rating ever that point in time, so I was still going into the right direction, but not as fast as before. I have added one analysed game to the following posts: C47 Four Knights Game: Scotch Variation, B92 Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation. Opocensky Variation, E32 Nimzo-Indian Defense: Classical Variation, C64 Spanish Game: Classical Variation, A15 English Opening: Anglo-Indian Defense. Mikenas-Carls Variation and D02 Queen Pawn Game: Zukertort Variation. I have also added one mate in one, one mate in two, one mate in three, one mate in five and one mate in six puzzle today.

9 Nov 2015

D34 Tarrasch Defense: Classical Variation, Carlsbad Variation

D34 Tarrasch Defense: Classical Variation, Carlsbad Variation

The game below is my only game against FIDE Master Tapio Salo that I have a notation of. If I recall correctly, we have only played two games against each other and this game is from a simultaneous exhibition that he gave at the club in March 27th 2004. After the simultaneous exhibition we played a blitz tournament where I was able to get my first win against a titled player. It was the second time I played against him and I have to admit that the blitz game was won on time. If my memory serves me right, the final position in that game consisted of me having one pawn and a king and my opponent had two connected pawns and a king. I can't remember the exact location of those pieces anymore unfortunately, but I do remember that those were all that remained on the board. After this day, I have won two International Masters, played a draw against another FIDE Master and won a few National Masters, not sure about the exact count, since I have not kept track of those. I have not won any games against Grandmasters and since I play against them very rarely, I do not really have all that many chances to do that. I have played against maybe two Grandmasters and only once against both of them, both I lost, which is of course not a surprise. I am not saying that I could consistently win games against FIDE Masters or International Masters or other traditional chess titled players, but maybe if some of them are not at their best anymore, I may have a chance against them. I used the term traditional chess titles to describe the titles that existed before the addition of the new FIDE Online Arena titles for amateur players. I have added one analysed game to the following posts: D60 Queen's Gambit Declined: Orthodox Defense, Botvinnik Variation, C22 Center Game: Paulsen Attack Variation, A11 English Opening: Anglo-Slav Variation. General, A20 English Opening: King's English Variation. General, A00 Polish Opening: General, A10 English Opening: Great Snake Variation, A13 English Opening: Agincourt Defense, A00 Van Geet Opening: General, A15 English Opening: Anglo-Indian Defense. Mikenas-Carls Variation and C64 Spanish Game: Classical Variation. Central Variation. I have also added three mate in three, one mate in four and one mate in six puzzle today.

6 Nov 2015

A25 English Opening: King's English Variation, Taimanov Variation

A25 English Opening: King's English Variation, Taimanov Variation

This was played in the fifth round of Rilton Cup Open that I played in 2003. This tournament is the only one that I have played abroad and will most likely be the last one that I will ever play abroad. This has also been the only tournament that I did not play on every round. I think the game below was the last one I played, so I missed a couple of rounds. The reason why I did not play on all rounds was that I got sick and could not play. It was quite disappointing but what can you do. This was a really interesting experience for me, however as I was able to see some chess legends live, like Viktor Korchnoi and Mark Taimanov. For that reason alone it was the right time to go play that tournament. It is something that I am unlikely to forget. The playing part, however, did not go all that well, I was able to start with a win but then I lost two games in a row and on the fourth round I drew a game against a higher rated opponent. I was able to get only 1.5 out of 5, so no wonder I got sick... Or maybe the poor play was due to the fact I was getting sick. Nah, in all honesty, I just did not play well enough to get more points and at the time these players played better chess than I did. Who knows, they might play better chess than me nowadays too. I have added one analysed game to the following posts: E12 Queen's Indian Defense: Kasparov Variation, A15 English Opening: Anglo-Indian Defense. Mikenas-Carls Variation, C44 Ponziani Opening: Jaenisch Counterattack and two analysed games to my post A20 English Opening: King's English Variation. General. I have also added one mate in one, one mate in two, one mate in four and two mate in six puzzles today. Until Moday, my fellow chess enthusiasts!

5 Nov 2015

C44 Scotch Game: Benima Defense

C44 Scotch Game: Benima Defense

This was played on round one of a tournament that was played at Turku almost 12 years ago. During the same year that this tournament was played I had only once dropped my rating and in all other occasions whether it was team matches or tournaments I had been able increase it. That only drop was in a team match I had played in November. So it was time once again to get back on the right track. Good start for the tournament is always important and in this case, the draw was sufficient for that because my opponent was higher rated than me. Back in my earliest chess playing days I had very simple goals when playing over the board chess, I needed to win lower rated opponents and at least draw the higher rated ones. Maybe I have become too keen on winning games that anything except a win from my games is disappointing in some way for me. I think I should adapt that same mentality I had back then, it might help me to get my rating up a bit easier. I also think that I should add some daily tactics training to my schedule, then again I should have a more precise schedule in the first place... At the moment I just do things in their natural flow without any precise time restrictions for the things I do. I have added two games to my post Chess960 SP50. I have also added one mate in two, one mate in three, one mate in four, one mate in five and one mate in six puzzle.

4 Nov 2015

A02 Bird Opening: From's Gambit

A02 Bird Opening: From's Gambit

The game below was played in round three of a third division, group 4 team match between HangSK and SalSK 3 almost 12 years ago. I am not sure what posessed me to play the opening I used in this game because I had not used anything like this before nor have I ever bothered with this since then. When I looked for other opening variations for the game notation below, I did find some that seemed interesting and I might try them if given the chance. I played on board 4 for SalSK 3 in this match that was played on five boards. I think we were clearly outrated on every board except for board 5 where we did manage to take our only win in the match. On the four other boards we lost, so the final result 4-1 for the home team was quite grim from our point of view.

Trying to teach chess to kids that are not interested in the game becomes more and more annoying as time goes by. It seems to me that kids today are more disrespectful to adults than they were back when I was a kid. I know this is too much of a generalization, because some children actually do behave well and respect the authority of adults. Of course respect is earned and should not be given too easily. Still it would make my job a lot easier if they would behave well and I would only need to concentrate on teaching chess and not on how to behave. Luckily the groups change from time to time, so that maybe the next group is a bit more easily handled than the current group. I have added one analysed game to the following posts: C41 Philidor Defense, A85 Dutch Defense: Queen's Knight Variation, B92 Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation. Opocensky Variation, A15 English Opening: Anglo-Indian Defense. Mikenas-Carls Variation and C65 Spanish Game: Berlin Defense, Beverwijk Variation. I have also added one mate in two, two mate in three, one mate in five and one mate in seven puzzle today.

3 Nov 2015

C53 Italian Game: Classical Variation #2

C53 Italian Game: Classical Variation #2

It took me some time, but I did manage to find yet another never before seen opening as far as this blog is concerned that is. Well, only for today as I did not have enough time to look further in my databases, so tomorrow is going to be another busy day, especially as I need to go and try to teach some chess again which will take some precious time away from looking through my databases. I have managed to find something to post everytime I have thought that this must be the end of new opening variations or chess960 starting positions.

This game was played in the second round of the tournament that was played in 2003 at Salo. I started plaing in over the board tournaments back in May 2001 and I think I got my first win in my thirteenth game, but I never had all that much success in these tournaments until something changed big time in the way I played the game. I had to reach a very low rating until things started to go the right way for me. I played in this same tournament a year before and then I lost all my games. After that tournament I just started to play a lot of games against the various characters in Chessmaster 8000 and I also started doing those exercises in it and it might have been the biggest reason why the next time I played OTB chess my climb through ratings seemed very easy. During the year that passed between this tournament and the one I played almost exactly a year ago before this one, I had increased my rating over 200 points. After this tournament my rating had increeased 295 points from that lowest ever rating!! I do not remember a single occasion during that year that my rating would have dropped. Not only that but I had increased my rating 73 points in the tournament before this one and in this one I increased my rating 74 points. Clearly I had done something right after that disaster of a tournament. The game below was my first win in this tournament, but the first round draw also increased my rating because I faced an opponent that outrated me by almost 300 points. I have added one analysed game to the following posts: B33 Sicilian Defense: Old Sicilian. Normal, D35 Queen's Gambit Declined: Exchange Variation, Positional Variation #2, A13 English Opening: Agincourt Defense, C20 English Opening: The Whale, C41 Philidor Defense #3, A20 English Opening: King's English Variation. General and three analysed games to the post A15 English Opening: Anglo-Indian Defense. Mikenas-Carls Variation. I have also added one mate in one, two mate in two and two mate in five puzzles today.

2 Nov 2015

C02 French Defense: Advance Variation

C02 French Defense: Advance Variation

It is time for some of my latest correspondence games and unfortunately that also means more losses are added to the blog... Well, unfortunate for me that is. Despite my best efforts, my rating in Online Chess at Chess.com keeps going down slowly but surely. After being in my relative best form in years there a few months ago, I can't seem to be able to win games in the same pace as before. I may need to start a lot more games in order to maintain my rating more easily at a level I like it to be. Before I start doing that in a major way, I would like to do other things with the time that is freed from those games. I only have 66 games in progress anymore and that seems to be roughly the amount that is quite easily maintained. I certainly do not have the same amount stress from the games I did have in the early part of this year when I had 300 games in progress. Even though I know I should never play that many games again at the same time if I like to keep my sanity, some part of me would like to go for even more games at the same time.

The game below was played in a tournament at Chess.com. The tournament is called Maximum ! and it is called that because the time you can use for every move is the longest you can have in games you can play at Chess.com, which is 14 days per move. Despite the fact that these thinking times were known by players at the start, there are still some people who complain about the length of the tournament. Sure this first round has lasted over a year, but what would you expect with these time limits, there are always some players who like to take their time with their moves and I do not personally have any problem with that because I accepted the long thinking times when I signed for the tournament... Even with the long thinking times, I have done some really bad moves in these games. The main reason for it obviously being that I don't actually have all that time due to the many, many other games I have had in progress at the same time. I am currently on eight place, but I can still finish third in group #4 if I win all my remaining three games. I am not sure I want to do that because that would mean that I would advance to the second round. Realistically I would be tied to this tournament at least for another year if that happens. I will always play for the win though and I would not lose on purpose just to avoid the possible long future commitment to the tournament. I have added today one analysed game to both of these posts: D15 Slav Defense: Three Knights Variation and E20 Nimzo-Indian Defense #2. I have also added one mate in two, one mate in four and three mate in five puzzles today. Tomorrow and the rest of the week seems to be at this point very uncertain what I will post. No new openings or chess960 starting positions have catched my eye so far, so what happens in the posts for the rest of the week is a mystery to me.