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17 Nov 2016

C62 Spanish Game: Steinitz Defence (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 Nc6 4.Bb5 Bd7 5.O-O Nf6 6.Nc3 exd4 7.Nxd4 Nxd4 8.Bxd7+ Qxd7 9.Qxd4)

C62 Spanish Game: Steinitz Defence (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 Nc6 4.Bb5 Bd7 5.O-O Nf6 6.Nc3 exd4 7.Nxd4 Nxd4 8.Bxd7+ Qxd7 9.Qxd4)

This post has been renamed February 19th, 2017 in order for it to be as accurate as possible. It turned out that when I checked the opening played in this game with Deep Fritz 14, this game followed theory up to the move 9.Qxd4. Actually, Deep Fritz 14 classifies this opening as C62 Spanish Game: Steinitz Defence, but because it gives the same name to some other lines, I had to include the number of moves in the title and try to get the games divided correctly into the posts. The game below was played in the second round of the WORLD OPEN RAPID tournament. The tournament was played at the FIDE Online Arena on March 18th 2015. My start was quite good, two wins in two games, so everything went according to plan at that time. I may be happy with the results so far but not for some of the moves I played in these two rounds. I would like to play accurate moves and not give my opponents chances to win, but that is sometimes too much to ask, especially in a rapid game.

My opponent was able to hang on in the game up to the position below, but then saviola played 9...a6 and he or she ended up in some real trouble. Black does not have time to play these kind of slow moves. I do not know the purpose of the move since b5 is already covered with the queen and my knight is prevented from jumping there. Maybe the move allows to move the a-rook. However, preparing the move O-O-O is unlikely since it seems to be a horrible idea because the king is not actually safe on the queenside, at least in my opinion.

It would have been a better idea to play 9...Be7 and prepare castling kingside. I should have played one of the following moves, 10.Bf4, 10.Rd1 or 10.Bg5 in reply, but I played 10.Re1 instead, which was a bit sloppy reply. I remained on the better side of the board, of course, but only slightly. Saviola then played 10...c5, starting the positional downhill once again. This time, however, I was up to the task of taking the advantage with the move 11.Qd3. Saviola's 11th move, O-O-O, only made things worse for my opponent. After castling to the queenside saviola's position was lost. While I did not play the best possible moves after that I did not allow my opponent back into the game again. I have to admit, I missed a mate in one once again in the position below.

It is somewhat embarrassing that I did not see the move 26.Qd4#, but luckily I was not the one defending the position, so I got my chance to end the game a few moves later in my favor. The game ended in mate with the move 29.Rc7#. I have added one game to the post C41 Philidor Defense. I have also added some of the commentary to the other games in that post, to maybe improve the quality of the post a bit.

Game number two. This is from the 2014 August Grand Seven Fourteen II tournament that is still in progress at Red Hot Pawn. This group of 21 players is a really mixed group of beginners and advanced skill level players. The lowest rating that a player has in this tournament is 922 and the highest is 1913. It does take interest off from some games as there can be really huge gaps between the skill level of the two players that are playing in this tournament. Luckily there are players closely rated to both the weakest and strongest player so that there might be some interesting games to be seen.

The game started to go wrong for my opponent in the position below where OneThird played 9...a6. OneThird should have played 9...Be7 in order to stay in the game.

OneThird's position went further downhill with the move 11...b5 in the position below. Playing 11...Be7 would have been the recommended move once again. Stockfish 8 64 POPCNT thinks that I should have a winning advantage after the 11th move played by OneThird. At first I responded with a decent move 12.Rfe1, but my next move 13.e5 in reply to 12...Be7 threw most of my advantage away.

The next blunder that could have allowed me to take the winning advantage was played in the position below. My opponent castled short, which would have allowed me to play 15.Qxd7 and follow it up with 16.Rxe7 winning a piece. While that idea seems obvious to me now, I did not play that in the game for some reason. I played 15.Qe2 and I ended being slightly worse because of that.

OneThird made a huge mistake in response with the move 15...Rfe8 and I managed to find the strongest reply 16.Rd1, after which I had the winning advantage again. OneThird's 15th move was not the losing move because I threw my advantage away in the position below by playing 25.Nxc5. The move that I should have played was 25.Nd6. It is the strongest move according to the engine.

The game continued with the moves 25...Bxc5 26.Rxg7 Kxg7? The 26th move by my opponent was the starting point for the final downhill for OneThird. My opponent resigned after 41.b3 in a position where I had five pawns and a king and my opponent had two pawns and a king.

[Event "Tournament 28038750"] [Site "online arena"] [Date "2015.03.18"] [Round "2"] [White "Vierjoki, Timo"] [Black "saviola"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C62"] [WhiteElo "1803"] [BlackElo "1054"] [Annotator "Stockfish 8 64 POPCNT (30s), TV"] [PlyCount "57"] [EventDate "2015.??.??"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 Nc6 4. Bb5 Bd7 5. O-O Nf6 6. Nc3 exd4 {Spanish Game: Berlin Defense, Closed Wolf Variation} (6... Be7 7. Bg5 {Spanish Game: Berlin Defense, Closed Bernstein Variation} (7. Bxc6 {Spanish Game: Berlin Defense, Closed Showalter Variation}) (7. Re1 O-O {Spanish Game: Berlin Defense, Tarrasch Trap})) 7. Nxd4 Nxd4 8. Bxd7+ Qxd7 9. Qxd4 {C62 Spanish Game: Steinitz Defence} a6 (9... c5 10. Qd3 Be7 11. Rd1 Rd8 12. b3 O-O 13. Bb2 Qg4 14. Nd5 Rfe8 15. Bxf6 Bxf6 16. Nxf6+ gxf6 17. f3 Qg5 18. Qd2 Kg7 19. Qxg5+ fxg5 20. Rd5 Re5 21. Rad1 Rxd5 22. Rxd5 f6 23. Kf2 Kf7 24. Kg3 {Pisk,P (2305) -Nisztuk,M (2080) Litomysl 1996 1-0 (41)}) 10. Re1 (10. b3 c6 11. Bb2 Ng4 12. Rad1 f6 13. Ne2 Rd8 14. Ng3 Nh6 15. c4 Be7 16. h3 O-O 17. Rfe1 Rfe8 18. Bc1 Nf7 19. Nf5 Ne5 20. Qc3 Qe6 21. Qg3 Bf8 22. Nd4 Qf7 23. f4 Ng6 24. f5 Ne5 { Kulhanek,T (2371)-Kasparek,I Czechia 2012 1-0 (60)}) 10... c5 $146 (10... O-O-O 11. Bg5 Be7 12. Qa7 Qc6 13. Bxf6 Bxf6 14. Nd5 Rde8 15. Nxf6 gxf6 16. Qd4 Re6 { 1/2-1/2 (16) Hanzel,M-Dzuganova,K Slovakia 1993}) (10... Be7 11. Nd5 $14) 11. Qd3 $16 O-O-O (11... Be7 $5 $16) 12. Bg5 $18 Be7 13. a3 (13. Rab1 Rhe8 $18) 13... b5 $2 (13... Kb8 14. b4 $16) 14. b3 (14. Bxf6 Bxf6 15. Nd5 Kb7 $18) 14... h6 (14... Rhe8 15. Bxf6 Bxf6 16. Nd5 $18) 15. Bf4 (15. Bxf6 $5 Bxf6 16. Nd5 Kb7 $18) 15... g5 16. Be3 (16. Bg3 $142 Kb7 17. Rad1 $18) 16... Ng4 $2 (16... d5 $142 17. exd5 Nxd5 18. Nxd5 Qxd5 $16) 17. Nd5 $18 Qb7 {[%cal Yb5b4] Black intends b4} 18. c4 b4 (18... Rhe8 {the last chance for counterplay} 19. cxb5 Qxb5 $18) 19. axb4 cxb4 (19... Rhe8 {a fruitless try to alter the course of the game} 20. Ra4 Ne5 21. Qe2 $18) 20. Bd2 (20. Ra4 $142 {seems even better} Ne5 21. Qe2 $18) 20... Qb8 (20... Ne5 {there is nothing else anyway} 21. Qh3+ g4 $18) 21. Bxb4 (21. Nxe7+ $142 {might be the shorter path} Kd7 22. Nd5 Qa7 $18) 21... Rhf8 22. Rxa6 Rd7 23. Rea1 Qxb4 (23... Ne5 {doesn't change anything anymore} 24. Qe3 Rfd8 25. Ra8 Rb7 26. Rxb8+ Rxb8 27. Qa7 Rd7 28. Nb6+ Rxb6 29. Qxb6 Rb7 30. Ra8+ Kd7 31. Qxb7+ Ke6 32. Qd5+ Kd7 33. Ba5 f6 34. Ra7+ Ke8 35. Qg8+ Bf8 36. Qe6+ Be7 37. Qxe7#) 24. Nxb4 (24. Rc6+ Kb7 25. Nxb4 Ra8 26. Rxa8 Kxa8 27. Rc8+ Kb7 28. Qd5+ Kxc8 29. Qa8+ Kc7 30. Nd5#) 24... Kc7 (24... Rb7 { hardly improves anything} 25. Qd5 Ne5 26. Ra7 Rxb4 27. Ra8+ Rb8 28. R1a7 Nf3+ 29. gxf3 g4 30. Rxb8+ Kxb8 31. Qa8#) 25. Ra7+ Kb6 (25... Kc8 {is no salvation} 26. Ra8+ Kb7 27. R1a7+ Kb6 28. Qd4#) 26. R1a6+ (26. Qd4#) 26... Kc5 27. Rxd7 ( 27. Rc6+ Kxb4 28. Ra4#) 27... Rb8 (27... Rc8 {does not solve anything} 28. Rb7 d5 29. Qxd5#) 28. Nd5 (28. Rc7+ Kxb4 29. Ra4#) 28... Bf8 (28... Bd8 {doesn't get the bull off the ice} 29. Rxd8 $1 {Deflection: b4} h5 30. b4+ Rxb4 31. Rc8# ) 29. Rc7# 1-0 [Event "Grand Seven Fourteen"] [Site ""] [Date "2014.08.11"] [Round "1"] [White "Vierjoki, Timo"] [Black "OneThird"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C62"] [WhiteElo "1813"] [BlackElo "1363"] [Annotator "Stockfish 8 64 POPCNT (30s), TV"] [PlyCount "81"] [EventDate "2014.??.??"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 d6 {Spanish Game: Steinitz Defense} 4. d4 exd4 (4... Bd7 5. Nc3 Nf6 6. Bxc6 {Spanish Game: Steinitz Defense. Nimzowitsch Attack}) 5. Nxd4 (5. O-O {Spanish Game: Steinitz Defense. Center Gambit}) 5... Bd7 6. O-O Nxd4 7. Bxd7+ Qxd7 8. Qxd4 Nf6 9. Nc3 {C62 Spanish Game: Steinitz Defence} a6 ( 9... c5 10. Qd3 Be7 11. Rd1 Rd8 12. b3 O-O 13. Bb2 Qg4 14. Nd5 Rfe8 15. Bxf6 Bxf6 16. Nxf6+ gxf6 17. f3 Qg5 18. Qd2 Kg7 19. Qxg5+ fxg5 20. Rd5 Re5 21. Rad1 Rxd5 22. Rxd5 f6 23. Kf2 Kf7 24. Kg3 {Pisk,P (2305)-Nisztuk,M (2080) Litomysl 1996 1-0 (41)}) 10. Bg5 (10. b3 c6 11. Bb2 Ng4 12. Rad1 f6 13. Ne2 Rd8 14. Ng3 Nh6 15. c4 Be7 16. h3 O-O 17. Rfe1 Rfe8 18. Bc1 Nf7 19. Nf5 Ne5 20. Qc3 Qe6 21. Qg3 Bf8 22. Nd4 Qf7 23. f4 Ng6 24. f5 Ne5 {Kulhanek,T (2371)-Kasparek,I Czechia 2012 1-0 (60)}) 10... c5 $146 (10... Be7 11. f4 c5 12. Qd3 h6 13. Bxf6 Bxf6 14. Nd5 Qc6 15. Nxf6+ gxf6 16. Rae1 O-O-O 17. Qd5 Qxd5 18. exd5 Rde8 19. Kf2 Kd7 20. Rxe8 Rxe8 21. Kg3 Rg8+ 22. Kf3 f5 23. Re1 b5 24. Re3 b4 25. h3 { Okus,M (1842)-Buyukasik, D Izmir 2006 1-0 (65)}) (10... Be7 $5 $16) 11. Qd3 b5 $2 (11... Be7 $5 12. Rad1 $16) 12. Rfe1 (12. Bxf6 $142 {and the result of the game is clear: White will win} gxf6 13. Nd5 $18) 12... Be7 13. e5 (13. Rad1 $142 $5 Qc7 14. Bxf6 Bxf6 15. Nd5 $18) 13... dxe5 $16 14. Rxe5 O-O $4 (14... Qxd3 $142 15. cxd3 Kd7 $16) 15. Qe2 (15. Qxd7 {and White can already relax} Nxd7 16. Rxe7 Rfd8 $18) 15... Rfe8 $4 {ignoring the path to victory} (15... Bd6 $142 16. Rd1 Bxe5 17. Rxd7 Nxd7 $15) 16. Rd1 $18 Qc7 (16... Qc6 {is the last straw} 17. Rxe7 Kf8 $18) 17. Bxf6 gxf6 18. Qg4+ (18. Re3 $142 {nails it down} Red8 19. Nd5 Rxd5 20. Rxd5 $18) 18... Kh8 19. Rh5 Rg8 (19... Bf8 20. Qh4 Bg7 21. h3 $18) 20. Qf5 (20. Qe4 $142 {it becomes clear that White will call all the shots} f5 21. Qxf5 $18) 20... Rg7 21. Rd7 Qc6 22. Ne4 (22. Qd5 $142 $5 { seems even better} Qxd5 23. Nxd5 Bd8 $18) 22... Re8 23. g3 Qe6 (23... c4 24. Qd5 Qxd5 25. Rhxd5 $18 (25. Rdxd5 $143 Bd8 $16)) 24. Qxe6 (24. Kg2 $5 Qc6 $18) 24... fxe6 $16 25. Nxc5 (25. Nd6 $142 Bxd6 26. Rxd6 $16) 25... Bxc5 $11 26. Rxg7 {White has a mate threat} Kxg7 $4 {a transit from better to worse} (26... Bxf2+ $142 {and Black could well hope to play on} 27. Kxf2 Kxg7 $11) 27. Rxc5 $18 e5 28. Kf1 Re6 29. Ke2 h5 30. h4 Kg6 31. c3 f5 32. Kf3 e4+ $4 {leading to a quick end} (32... Kf7 $18) 33. Kf4 Kf6 (33... Rd6 {the last chance for counterplay} 34. a4 bxa4 35. Rxf5 Rd2 36. Rg5+ Kh6 $18) 34. Rxf5+ Kg6 35. Re5 ( 35. Rg5+ $142 {keeps an even firmer grip} Kh6 36. Re5 $18) 35... Rxe5 (35... Rd6 {praying for a miracle} 36. Rxe4 Kg7 $18) 36. Kxe5 a5 (36... e3 {doesn't get the bull off the ice} 37. fxe3 Kf7 38. Kd6 a5 39. a4 bxa4 40. c4 a3 41. bxa3 a4 42. c5 Ke8 43. c6 Kd8 44. c7+ Kc8 45. e4 Kb7 46. Kd7 Kb6 47. c8=Q Ka7 48. Qc5+ Ka6 49. Qb4 Ka7 50. Kc6 Ka6 51. Qxa4#) 37. Kxe4 Kf6 38. f3 (38. f4 Ke6 39. f5+ Kf6 40. b3 a4 41. bxa4 bxa4 42. a3 Kf7 43. Ke5 Ke7 44. c4 Kd8 45. f6 Kd7 46. c5 Kc6 47. f7 Kxc5 48. f8=Q+ Kc4 49. Ke4 Kb3 50. Qb4+ Ka2 51. Kd4 Ka1 52. Kc3 Ka2 53. Qb2#) 38... Ke6 39. g4 hxg4 40. fxg4 Kf6 (40... Kf7 {cannot change what is in store for White} 41. Kf5 b4 42. h5 bxc3 43. bxc3 Kg7 44. g5 a4 45. h6+ Kh7 46. Kf6 Kg8 47. h7+ Kxh7 48. g6+ Kg8 49. g7 a3 50. c4 Kh7 51. Kf7 Kh6 52. g8=Q Kh5 53. Qg3 Kh6 54. Qh4#) 41. b3 (41. b3 a4 42. bxa4 bxa4 43. c4 a3 44. g5+ Kg7 45. c5 Kf8 46. h5 Ke7 47. h6 Kf8 48. h7 Kg7 49. g6 Kf6 50. h8=Q+ Ke7 51. Qg7+ Kd8 52. c6 Ke8 53. Kf4 Kd8 54. Qd7#) 1-0

1 Nov 2016

Phase 1 complete

Phase 1 complete

Yesterday I finally finished making the necessary changes to the blog that allowed the posts to work properly in the HTTPS version of the blog. When it was done, I made it so that even if you use a link to the HTTP version, you will be redirected to the HTTPS version. I am aware that some of the pages load rather slowly now because of the large number of game viewers used, but I am not at the moment sure how I want to fix the problem. I did look for other game viewers, but changing to another viewer almost right after I changed to's does not seem appealing to me. Therefore I might change the way I make my posts instead.

If this is your first time visiting this blog today, I have also changed a few other things, which you might notice if you have come here before the change. Maybe the most important change was that on the mobile version of the blog, you can now access the links to 3 check statistics, Chess960 starting positions in this blog, list of opponents, Openings covered in this blog, My YouTube channel, Chess basics and Shakin alkeita. That being said, the mobile version does not currently look the way I would want, so a few more changes are required in that department.

Phase 2 has started, it consists with more improvements and updates to the blog. When I finish the things I want to do in this phase, I will start doing the blog in a more normal way again. I have also taken some time off from doing videos to my YouTube channel, but I will start doing the videos probably next week again. That most likely will not mean that I would be able to upload them next week, but as soon as I think that I have enough videos prepared, they will be appearing on YouTube again. I have added a game to my post Chess960 SP76 today. I am going to be taking a deeper look to my older posts in the future whenever I add a game to my old posts. I will compare the games already posted to the game I am adding and maybe I will be able to determine what is my best game in the opening variation or starting position.

9 Sep 2016

Chess960 SP207

Chess960 SP207

I think the time has come to do some serious maintenance to the blog again. This time, however, I can't say for certain when it will be done. I will go through all my old posts where I have used Chessbase 12 to publish my chess games and republish those games using the game viewer. This is necessary because the old posts will not work properly in HTTPS otherwise. I previously thought that I would have enough time to do the maintenance in addition with the normal posts, but in practice I have not really been using that time for maintenance, but for other things. Therefore I need to take the time to finish what I have started in this way. When it is finished, I can publish all the games that I have missed in chronological order because they have been from a previously published opening variations. Those skipped games have been bothering me for some time now and now there are so many of them that I feel its something that is long overdue. While I can't say for certain how long it will take me to do all the updates I want to do, it is unlikely that I would be able to get back to regular posting schedule next week. As soon as I have done all the updates, I will start doing these blog posts again.

Now for this short game you can view below. I did not think during the game that 2.c3 is a good move, but it still was a playable move. I dislike the move 2.c3 because the pawn just gets in the way of White's other pieces. It takes a good developing square away from the b-knight and it blocks the long diagonal and therefore may be in the way of the queen that resides on a1. The first time my opponent really went wrong was after 3...d6. In the position below, my opponent, GStratZ played 4.Bd4. It was an interesting idea in my opinion. I thought about taking the bishop for some time, but then realised that it probably was not a good idea because it would open up the c-file for the rook and allow my opponent to develop a knight to c3. Therefore I did not take on d4 as it would only help GStratZ. The move I played in reply, 4...e5, seems to be the best alternative according to Stockfish 7 64 POPCNT.

The position should only slightly favor me, so draw would be still the result with accurate play. The position below is taken after 5...Nd7. GStratZ played 6.b4, a move that continued the positional downhill that my opponent was on. I could not properly understand the reason behind this move when I saw it played during the game, but the idea behind it may be to prevent Nc5 and get some room for the queen to activate itself.

The game probably was not completely over after 6.b4, but the situation for my opponent became quite dire. With the next two moves by GStratZ, 7.h3 and 8.c4, the game went to become really hopeless for my opponent and the game quickly ended after that. I have added a mate in one puzzle 529, a mate in two puzzle 757, a mate in three puzzle 676 and mate in four puzzles 539 &540 today.

8 Sep 2016

Chess960 SP652

Chess960 SP652

When I play Chess960 at, everything just seems to go my way. I play there weekly some rapid games of the variant and so far my winning percentage is 72, the average rating of my opponents being 1680.13. When I play correspondence Chess960 games at, my interest to the games is rather low at the moment and it does show in my rating, which is only 1677. However, my Live 960 rating is 1893, so when I play the games at one sitting, I am these days better concentrated and interested about the games than when I play my correspondence games. I have tried my best to completely get rid of my correspondence games, but I still have 32 of them in progress. Maybe some day I will finally end all of those games, I will not lose any game on purpose, but I may not give my best effort to fight for the win either. There is no reference game in the notation because no engine had played the horrible move 1.c4 in my Chess960 reference database.

This game started with my inaccurate first move 1.c4. While the intention behind the move was good, to open the b1-h7 diagonal for the light-squared bishop, it was a bit hasty and bad move. It is not bad enough to give me any serious trouble, but there are certainly better alternatives like 1.f4. The first real mistake was played my opponent on move 3 in the position below. Stirlits played 3...Ng6, ignoring my threat to the c-pawn. Maybe the idea was that when I take the pawn, the move Be5 would be possible, getting the rook from the corner.

For a brief moment I thought that I was lost after 4...Be5, but then I realised that I can take on g6 with my bishop, threatening the rook on e8, which saved me and showed that my opponent's plan was flawed. It was all downhill for stirlits after that. I was able to checkmate my opponent on move 34. I have added mate in two puzzles 754 - 756 and mate in three puzzles 674 & 675 today.

This game can also be viewed in the video below.

7 Sep 2016

D03 1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Bg5, including Torre Attack with early ...d5 (1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 d5 3.Bg5 Ne4 4.Bh4 c5 5.e3 Qb6 6.Qc1 Nc6 7.c3 Bf5)

D03 1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Bg5, including Torre Attack with early ...d5 (1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 d5 3.Bg5 Ne4 4.Bh4 c5 5.e3 Qb6 6.Qc1 Nc6 7.c3 Bf5)

This game was played in a club tournament in 2011. Both players did some small mistakes during the first 23 moves, but when we reached the position below we started to make bigger mistakes. The move my opponent made in this position was 24.Qc5, which was a horrible decision, but because I played 24...Qe5 in response, the tables turned clearly in favor of my opponent.

That did not last for very long though. Already after 25...fxe5 my opponent took a wrong path and played 26.f4, allowing me to get back in to the game. The game was then played rather evenly until we came to the next position you can see below. It is taken after my opponent played 32.gxf4.

I played 32...Ne5+, which became the losing move of the game. I only managed to make things worse for me later on, for example with the move 34...Ra8, which was too passive defense and doomed to fail.

[Event "Kerhopeli"] [Site "?"] [Date "2011.03.30"] [Round "5"] [White "Tocklin, Tomi"] [Black "Vierjoki, Timo"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D03"] [WhiteElo "1926"] [BlackElo "1865"] [Annotator "Stockfish 8 64 POPCNT (30s), TV"] [PlyCount "73"] [EventDate "2011.??.??"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 d5 3. Bg5 Ne4 {Queen's Pawn Game: Torre Attack, Gossip Variation} (3... e6 4. e3 c5 5. c3 Qb6 {Queen's Pawn Game: Torre Attack, Breyer Variation}) (3... g6 4. e3 Bg7 5. Nbd2 O-O {Queen's Pawn Game: Torre Attack, Gruenfeld Variation, Main Line}) 4. Bh4 c5 5. e3 Qb6 6. Qc1 Nc6 7. c3 Bf5 {D03 1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Bg5, including Torre Attack with early ...d5} 8. Nbd2 e6 9. Nxe4 (9. Be2 Rc8 10. O-O h6 11. Nxe4 Bxe4 12. Nd2 Bg6 13. dxc5 Bxc5 14. b4 Bd6 15. Qb2 O-O 16. a3 Ne5 17. Bg3 Nd3 18. Bxd3 Bxd3 19. Rfd1 Bxg3 20. hxg3 Rc7 21. Nb3 Bg6 22. Rac1 Rfc8 23. Qd2 Qd6 {Sjugirov,S (2665)-Ehlvest,J (2524) Almaty 2016 1/2-1/2 (66)}) 9... Bxe4 10. Be2 Bd6 11. Bg3 (11. O-O O-O 12. Qd2 c4 13. Ng5 Bg6 14. f4 Qc7 15. Bg3 b5 16. Nf3 b4 17. cxb4 Bxb4 18. Qc1 Qb6 19. b3 cxb3 20. axb3 Rfc8 21. Qb2 Na5 22. Rfc1 Qb7 23. Ne5 Be4 24. Nd3 Rxc1+ 25. Rxc1 Bd6 {Mwango,L (1935)-Richards,D (2023) Baku 2016 0-1 (46)}) 11... Bxg3 $146 (11... Be7 12. O-O Rc8 13. Qd2 O-O 14. Ne5 Nxe5 15. Bxe5 Bd6 16. Bxd6 Qxd6 17. Bd3 Bxd3 18. Qxd3 cxd4 19. Qxd4 Qa6 20. a3 Rc4 21. Qd2 Qc6 22. Qe2 g6 23. Rfd1 b5 24. Rd4 Rxd4 25. exd4 a5 26. g3 {Banchev,B (2240)-Kiss, P (2300) Cannes 1990 1-0 (38)}) 12. hxg3 O-O 13. Qd2 f6 {Prevents intrusion on e5+g5} 14. dxc5 Qxc5 15. Bd3 Bxd3 16. Qxd3 g6 17. Ke2 {White loses the right to castle} (17. O-O-O Rad8 $11) 17... Rf7 18. Nd4 {White threatens to win material: Nd4xe6} e5 {Black threatens to win material: e5xd4} (18... Qb6 19. Rhb1 $15 (19. Nxe6 $4 {that pawn is deadly bait and will cause White grave problems} Ne5 20. Qd4 Qxe6 $19)) 19. Nb3 $11 Qd6 20. Rad1 Rd7 (20... Rd8 21. Kf1 $15) 21. e4 $11 d4 22. cxd4 exd4 23. Qc4+ Kh8 24. Qc5 (24. f4 $142 $11) 24... Qe5 $4 {a transit from better to worse} (24... Qe6 $142 25. f3 Rad8 $17) 25. Qxe5 $16 fxe5 26. f4 (26. Nc5 $142 $5 Re7 27. Rc1 $16) 26... Re8 $11 27. Kf3 Kg7 28. a3 {Consolidates b4} b6 {Secures a5+c5} 29. Rc1 {White threatens to win material: Rc1xc6} Rd6 30. Nd2 Rf6 31. b4 exf4 32. gxf4 {White has a new passed pawn: e4} Ne5+ $2 (32... g5 $142 {is the best option Black has} 33. f5 h6 $11) 33. Kg3 $18 Nf7 34. Rc7 Ra8 $4 {Black crumbles in face of a dire situation} (34... g5 $142 35. fxg5 Rfe6 36. Rxa7 Kg6 $18) 35. e5 $18 Re6 (35... Rf5 {is no salvation} 36. Nf3 Kg8 37. Nxd4 $18) 36. Ne4 (36. Nf3 $142 {secures the win} h6 37. Nxd4 $18) 36... Kg8 (36... h6 {hoping against hope} 37. Nd6 Rf8 38. Rxa7 Kg8 39. Nxf7 Rxf7 40. Rxf7 Kxf7 41. Rxh6 Kg7 $18) 37. Rxf7 $1 { Deflection: e6} (37. Rxf7 Kxf7 38. Ng5+ Kg8 39. Nxe6 $18) 1-0

6 Sep 2016

C33 King's Gambit Accepted: 3.Nc3 and 3.Bc4 (1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Bc4 d6 4.d4)

C33 King's Gambit Accepted: 3.Nc3 and 3.Bc4 (1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Bc4 d6 4.d4)

It is time to take a look at another variation of the King's Gambit. This is one of the variations that should be losing for White with best play according to the extensive research done on the subject about a year later after this game was played. This game was played between two human players, so the moves were far from perfect. Then again I do realise that even between two stong engines the moves are not perfect either. The game below was played in a weekend tournament that was held at Tampere over five years ago. This is taken from round 5, which was the last round of the tournament. Before this game my opponent had lost the round one game, but then he had won all other games. I had won all my four previous games, so this could have been the tournament where I finally won with a perfect score 5 out of 5. However, the opening my opponent chose was something that I have really struggled with. In the future I will most likely play 3...Nf6 instead of the move 3...d6 that I played in this game. Because I lost this game I was on second place in the final standings of group B and the opponent I faced in the game below was on first place.

My third move is actually an okay move, the position should be roughly even after that. The position below is taken after 5.h4. I played 5...Bh6 in reply, which was the starting point for the disaster of a game that this was for me. While my opponent did some inaccurate moves, he never let me back in to the game.

I have never been able to win all five games in a weekend tournament like this, I think the closest I have been is half a point away from the perfect score. That I have been able to do a couple of times. I have been able to get 5 out of 5 in an online tournament though, most memorable one is the one World Open Rapid tournament I played at the FIDE Online Arena. My performance rating was 2413! The highest performance rating I have ever been able to get.

[Event "Tammer-Shakin XV"] [Site "?"] [Date "2011.03.20"] [Round "5"] [White "Takku, Teppo"] [Black "Vierjoki, Timo"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C33"] [WhiteElo "1735"] [BlackElo "1830"] [Annotator "Stockfish 8 64 POPCNT (30s), TV"] [PlyCount "71"] [EventDate "2011.??.??"] 1. e4 e5 2. f4 exf4 3. Bc4 {King's Gambit Accepted, Bishop's Gambit} d6 (3... b5 {King's Gambit Accepted, Bishop's Gambit, Kieseritzky Gambit}) (3... c6 { King's Gambit Accepted, Bishop's Gambit, Lopez Defense}) (3... Nf6 $1 {The best reply. According to extensive research White should be lost with best play. King's Gambit Accepted, Bishop's Gambit, Cozio Defense}) 4. d4 {C33 King's Gambit Accepted: 3.Nc3 and 3.Bc4} g5 5. h4 Bh6 (5... d5 6. Bxd5 Nf6 7. hxg5 Nxd5 8. exd5 Qxd5 9. Bxf4 Be6 10. Be5 Rg8 11. Nc3 Qxg2 12. Qf3 Rxg5 13. O-O-O Nc6 14. Bxc7 Rc8 15. d5 Rxc7 16. dxe6 fxe6 17. Qd3 Qxh1 18. Nf3 Qh6 19. Kb1 Rf5 20. Nb5 {Taylor,T (2290)-Aaberg, A (2208) Monterey Park 2012 0-1 (37)}) 6. Qh5 $146 (6. hxg5 Bxg5 7. Qh5 Qe7 8. Nf3 Qxe4+ 9. Kd1 Be7 10. Bxf7+ Kd8 11. Bg6 Qe6 12. Bxf4 Nf6 13. Ng5 Nxh5 14. Nxe6+ Bxe6 15. Bxh5 Bf6 16. c3 Bd5 17. Bf3 Bxf3+ 18. gxf3 h5 19. Nd2 d5 20. Be5 Nd7 {Dyer,A (1625)-Pedersen Lee,L (1258) Canberra 2007 1-0 (41)}) 6... Qf6 (6... Qe7 7. hxg5 Bg7 8. Ne2 $16 (8. Bxf4 $6 Bxd4 9. Nd2 Nc6 $14)) 7. Nf3 (7. hxg5 {keeps an even firmer grip} Bxg5 8. Nc3 Qg7 $18) 7... g4 (7... gxh4 8. Nc3 Qg6 9. Qxh4 Be6 $18) 8. Ng5 Bxg5 9. hxg5 (9. Qxg5 $6 Qxd4 10. Nc3 Nc6 $11 (10... Qxc4 $2 {is seductive, but} 11. Qg7 $16)) 9... Qg6 10. Qxg6 fxg6 (10... hxg6 $4 11. Rxh8 Kf8 12. Rh7 $18) 11. Bxg8 (11. Bxf4 $142 {would have given White a clear advantage} Ne7 12. Nc3 $18) 11... Rxg8 $16 12. Rxh7 Bd7 $2 (12... Nc6 $142 $5 13. Bxf4 Nxd4 $16) 13. Bxf4 $18 Nc6 14. c3 (14. d5 $5 Nd8 $18) 14... O-O-O $16 15. Nd2 Rde8 (15... Rdf8 16. Be3 $16) 16. O-O-O (16. Kf2 Rgf8 17. Kg3 d5 18. exd5 Ne7 $18) 16... Kd8 17. Rdh1 Ref8 18. g3 Be8 $4 {but even a better move would not have saved the game} (18... Re8 $142 $18) 19. Nf1 (19. e5 $5 {seems even better} dxe5 20. dxe5 Rf7 $18) 19... Bd7 (19... Nb8 20. Ne3 Bc6 21. Nxg4 Bxe4 22. R1h2 $18) 20. Ne3 Ne7 21. Kd2 Be6 (21... Re8 22. R1h4 $18) 22. a3 (22. d5 $142 {and White can already relax} Bc8 23. e5 dxe5 24. Bxe5 Rf2+ 25. Kd3 Bf5+ 26. Nxf5 Rxf5 $18) 22... Bd7 23. c4 {White plans d5} Be6 (23... Re8 $18 {desperation}) 24. d5 Bd7 25. c5 $1 {a convincing end} dxc5 26. Bxc7+ $1 {Deflection: e7} Kxc7 27. Rxe7 Rf2+ (27... Re8 {doesn't change the outcome of the game} 28. Rhh7 Rxe7 29. Rxe7 $18) 28. Kc1 (28. Ke1 $142 {makes it even easier for White} Rxb2 29. Rhh7 $18) 28... Kd8 (28... Re8 {no good, but what else?} 29. Rxe8 Bxe8 30. Rh7+ Rf7 31. Rxf7+ Bxf7 $18) 29. Rhh7 Bc8 30. d6 Re8 31. Nd5 Rf1+ 32. Kd2 Rf2+ 33. Ke1 Ref8 34. Nf6 Rxb2 (34... Rf3 {does not help much} 35. d7 Bxd7 36. Rxd7+ Kc8 37. Rc7+ Kb8 38. Rxb7+ Kc8 39. Nd5 Rf1+ 40. Kd2 R8f2+ 41. Kc3 Rf3+ 42. Kc4 Rf7 43. Rhxf7 Rxf7 44. Rxf7 a6 45. Kxc5 Kd8 46. Nf6 a5 47. Kc6 a4 48. e5 Kc8 49. Rf8#) 35. d7 (35. Ref7 Rb1+ 36. Kd2 Re8 37. Nxe8 Rb2+ 38. Kc1 Rg2 39. Nf6 Rg1+ 40. Kd2 Rg2+ 41. Ke1 Rg1+ 42. Kf2 Rg2+ 43. Kxg2 Bd7 44. Rxd7+ Kc8 45. Rh8#) 35... b6 36. Re8+ (36. Re8+ Kc7 37. dxc8=Q+ Kd6 38. e5#) 1-0

5 Sep 2016

C89 Closed Spanish Game: Marshall Attack (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O b5 6.Bb3 Be7 7.Re1 O-O 8.c3 d5 9.exd5 Nxd5 10.Nxe5 Nxe5 11.Rxe5 c6 12.d4 Bd6)

C89 Closed Spanish Game: Marshall Attack (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O b5 6.Bb3 Be7 7.Re1 O-O 8.c3 d5 9.exd5 Nxd5 10.Nxe5 Nxe5 11.Rxe5 c6 12.d4 Bd6)

This game was played at on August 28th, 2016. This game has appeared also on my Youtube channel. There I posted the game on August 29th. In this post I offer a deeper look at the game that I could offer in the video. This was my first chess game that I played at lichess and this turned out to be a really promising start. We followed a theoretical path up to the move 13.Re1, but then my opponent played a move I had not seen played before in that position. While 13...Qf6 is not really a bad move, 13...Qh4 is a better option. I played 14.Be3 in order to get the bishop out of the way, so I could develop my knight to d2. The position below is taken after I played my 14th move.

My 14th move is not actually the best move and the position became roughly even with that move. I like to develope my pieces as soon as possible, so Be3 seemed like the way to go, even though it can give up the bishop pair. Actually my opponent did not take the bishop, but instead played 14...Bf4, a move that started the downfall for joachimmueller. I did not really understand that move during the game and it is hard for me to see the idea behind it. I guess taking on e3 and pressuring the e-pawn was the idea, but it can't be accomplished so easily. I played 15.Nd2 in response and while it may not be the most accurate move, it was good enough to secure a clear advantage for me. My opponent's next move was the final nail in the coffin. 15...Qg6 is horrible because I end up at least two pawns up and after that I am clearly in a winning position. In the game my opponent sacrificed a whole piece in desperation, but did not get any counterplay because of it, so the game was basically over after that. I have added mate in one puzzles 526 & 527 and mate in two puzzles 747 - 749 today.

[Event "Rated game"] [Site ""] [Date "2016.08.28"] [Round "?"] [White "Vierjoki, Timo"] [Black "joachimmueller"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C89"] [WhiteElo "1500"] [BlackElo "1878"] [Annotator "Stockfish 7 64 POPCNT (30s), TV"] [PlyCount "70"] [EventDate "2016.??.??"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O b5 6. Bb3 Be7 7. Re1 O-O 8. c3 d5 9. exd5 Nxd5 10. Nxe5 Nxe5 11. Rxe5 c6 12. d4 {Spanish Game: Marshall Attack, Main Line} Bd6 {C89 Closed Spanish Game: Marshall Attack} 13. Re1 Qf6 { N} (13... Qh4 14. h3 Bxh3 15. Qf3 (15. Bxd5 cxd5 16. gxh3 Qxh3 17. Re3 Bh2+ 18. Kh1 Bg3+ 19. Kg1 Qh2+ 20. Kf1 Qxf2# {0-1 (20) Prozorov,P-Guliev,G (2053) St Petersburg 2015}) 15... Bg4 16. g3 Bxf3 17. gxh4 Rae8 18. Be3 Re4 19. Nd2 Rg4+ 20. Kf1 Bg2+ 21. Ke2 Re8 22. Kd3 Nxe3 23. fxe3 Rxh4 24. a4 Rh3 25. axb5 axb5 26. Ra7 Be7 27. Re2 Bd5 28. c4 {Carter, G-Gee,J Sacramento 1944 0-1 (37)}) ( 13... Qc7 14. h3 Bf5 15. Nd2 Rae8 16. Rxe8 Rxe8 17. Nf1 Qd7 18. Bc2 Bxc2 19. Qxc2 Re6 20. Bd2 Rg6 21. Re1 f5 22. Nh2 Nf6 23. Nf3 Ne4 24. c4 Bc7 25. cxb5 axb5 26. Bb4 Qd5 27. Re3 Bf4 28. Ra3 {Ader Hausman,W-Stekel Grunberg,M Santiago de Chile 1959 1/2-1/2 (73)}) (13... Qh4 14. g3 Qh3 15. Be3 Bg4 16. Qd3 Rae8 17. Nd2 Re6 18. a4 Qh5 {Spanish Game: Marshall, Main Line, Spassky Variation}) 14. Be3 (14. Nd2 Bf5 15. Nf3 {+/=}) 14... Bf4 {?} (14... Nxe3 { !? is an interesting alternative} 15. Rxe3 c5 {=}) 15. Nd2 (15. Bxd5 cxd5 16. Bxf4 Qxf4 17. a3 {+/-}) 15... Qg6 {?} (15... Bc7 {+/-}) 16. Bxd5 {+-} Bxe3 17. Be4 (17. fxe3 {?!} cxd5 18. Nb3 Bg4 {+/-}) 17... Bxf2+ {?? Black falls apart} ( 17... f5 18. Rxe3 fxe4 19. Nxe4 Be6 {+-}) 18. Kxf2 f5 (18... Bf5 {doesn't change the outcome of the game} 19. Qb1 Bxe4 20. Qxe4 (20. Rxe4 c5 {+-}) 20... Qf6+ 21. Nf3 {+-}) 19. Bc2 Qh6 (19... a5 {doesn't change anything anymore} 20. Re7 {+-}) 20. Nf3 f4 21. Re5 Bg4 22. h3 Bxf3 (22... Bh5 {does not win a prize} 23. Kg1 {+-}) 23. Qxf3 Qh4+ 24. Kg1 Rf6 (24... g6 {is not much help} 25. Bb3+ Kg7 26. Rf1 {+-}) 25. Rae1 Raf8 (25... Rc8 {is one last hope} 26. Re8+ Rf8 27. Bb3+ Kh8 28. Rxf8+ Rxf8 {+-}) 26. Re8 Qg3 27. Rxf8+ (27. Qe4 Qg6 28. Bb3+ Kh8 29. Qe7 Qxe8 30. Qxe8 f3 31. Re7 h6 32. Qd7 fxg2 33. Rxg7 Rf1+ 34. Kxg2 R1f2+ 35. Kg3 R2f3+ 36. Kh4 R3f4+ 37. Kh5 R4f5+ 38. Kxh6 R8f6+ 39. Rg6 Rxg6+ 40. Kxg6 Rg5+ 41. Kxg5 b4 42. Qe8+ Kg7 43. Qg8#) 27... Rxf8 28. Qxg3 (28. Qe4 {and White wins} Qh4 29. Qe6+ Kh8 {+-}) 28... fxg3 29. Re2 (29. Re3 {+- might be the shorter path}) 29... h5 (29... g6 {doesn't do any good} 30. b4 {+-}) 30. Be4 (30. Bg6 Rc8 31. Re8+ Rxe8 32. Bxe8 {+-}) 30... Rf6 31. Bf3 h4 (31... g6 { does not improve anything} 32. Re8+ Kf7 33. Ra8 {+-}) 32. Re4 (32. Re8+ { seems even better} Kf7 33. Ra8 a5 34. Rxa5 b4 {+-}) 32... g5 (32... Rf5 { cannot undo what has already been done} 33. Rxh4 c5 34. dxc5 Rxc5 35. Rg4 {+-}) 33. Re5 Rg6 (33... g4 {doesn't get the bull off the ice} 34. Bxg4 Rf2 35. Re2 { +-}) 34. Rc5 g4 (34... Rg7 {doesn't get the cat off the tree} 35. Rxc6 Re7 36. Kf1 {+-}) 35. Bxg4 Re6 1-0

2 Sep 2016

E01 Catalan: Early deviations (1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 d5 4.Nf3 c6 5.Qc2 Nbd7 6.Bg2 Bb4+ 7.Bd2)

E01 Catalan: Early deviations (1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 d5 4.Nf3 c6 5.Qc2 Nbd7 6.Bg2 Bb4+ 7.Bd2)

This game was played on the third round of a weekend tournament that was held at Loimaa in February, 2011. On the previous two rounds I had lost to a player who was rated 1965 and drew against a player who was rated 1891 at the time. On the fourth round I received my only win in the tournament against a player who was rated 1848. On the last round I lost again, so I managed to gather only 1.5 points against higher rated opponents, on the last round I faced an opponent who was rated 1884. Because I can't seem to find the results of this tournament anywhere anymore, I have no idea what my final standing was.

The game below was a rather straightforward one, my opponent never gave me a fighting chance. Well, the only exception might have been the position after 10.Nc3. Had I replied with 10...Bxf4, I might have been ever so slightly better. I played 10...e5, which leads to a slightly favorable position for my opponent.

After I handed over the advantage on move 10, my opponent never let it go. I was able to maintain a decent position until I made things worse for me and played 19...Rd8. The position below this paragraph is the position where I played my 19th move and started my final descent into the loss.

My last move of the game 31...Re8 was also the worst move of the game and of course my opponent took full advantage of my mistake and played 32.Rxe6! After that there was no point of me continuing the game, so I resigned. I have added a mate in two puzzle 746, a mate in three puzzle 671 and mate in four puzzles 534 & 535 today.

[Event "LoimSK"] [Site "?"] [Date "2011.02.05"] [Round "3"] [White "Torkkola, Henri"] [Black "Vierjoki, Timo"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "E01"] [WhiteElo "2000"] [BlackElo "1845"] [Annotator "Stockfish 7 64 POPCNT (30s), TV"] [PlyCount "63"] [EventDate "2011.??.??"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. g3 d5 {Catalan Opening} 4. Nf3 (4. Bg2 Be7 5. Nf3 O-O 6. O-O Nbd7 7. Nc3 (7. Qc2 c6 8. Nbd2 b5 {Catalan Opening: Closed Variation, Rabinovich Variation} (8... b6 {Catalan Opening: Closed Variation, Traditional Variation})) 7... c6 8. Qd3 {Catalan Opening: Closed Variation, Botvinnik Variation}) 4... c6 5. Qc2 Nbd7 6. Bg2 Bb4+ 7. Bd2 {E01 Catalan: Early deviations} Qe7 8. O-O O-O 9. Bf4 (9. Bxb4 Qxb4 10. Nbd2 c5 11. a3 Qb6 12. cxd5 exd5 13. dxc5 Nxc5 14. Rac1 Ne6 15. Qb3 Qa6 16. e3 Bd7 17. Qb4 Bb5 18. Rfd1 Rac8 19. Nd4 Nxd4 20. Qxd4 Be2 21. Re1 Qd3 22. Qxd3 Bxd3 23. Bh3 Rc2 {Loehr,M (2210)-Trescher,M (2260) Germany 2001 1/2-1/2 (66)}) (9. a3 Bxd2 10. Nbxd2 Re8 11. Rfe1 Qd6 12. e4 Nxe4 13. Nxe4 dxe4 14. Qxe4 Nf6 15. Qe3 Bd7 16. Ne5 Rec8 17. b4 Be8 18. Rab1 Rc7 19. a4 Rd8 20. Red1 a6 21. c5 Qe7 22. Nc4 g6 23. Nd6 Nh5 {Cusnariov,N (2131)-Bachran,B (1975) Berlin 2015 0-1 (71)}) 9... Bd6 {N} ( 9... dxc4 10. Qxc4 Bd6 11. Bxd6 Qxd6 12. Nc3 e5 13. Rad1 exd4 14. Nxd4 Nb6 15. Qb3 Qe7 16. Qc2 Be6 17. e4 Rfd8 18. e5 Nfd5 19. Nxd5 Nxd5 20. a3 Bg4 21. Bf3 Bxf3 22. Nxf3 Nb6 23. h4 h6 24. Qb3 {Ritter,U (2000)-Erkelenz,R (1946) Dortmund 2002 1/2-1/2 (65)}) 10. Nc3 (10. Bxd6 Qxd6 11. Nbd2 b6 {=}) 10... e5 ( 10... Bxf4 {!? and Black can hope to live} 11. gxf4 dxc4 {=}) 11. dxe5 {+/=} Nxe5 12. Nxe5 Bxe5 13. Bxe5 Qxe5 14. cxd5 cxd5 15. Rfd1 Be6 16. e3 Rac8 17. Qa4 a6 {Controls b5} 18. Rd4 Rc7 19. Rad1 Rd8 (19... Rd7 20. Qb3 {+/=}) 20. e4 {+/- } Bd7 (20... Qd6 21. Qc2 {+/-}) 21. Qa5 Rdc8 22. Nxd5 (22. f4 Qh5 23. e5 Ng4 { +/-}) 22... Nxd5 23. Qxd5 (23. exd5 {??} Qxd4 {Deflection: c1} 24. Bf3 Qxb2 {-+ }) 23... Qe8 24. Qg5 (24. e5 Bc6 25. Qd6 Bxg2 26. Kxg2 g6 {+/-}) 24... f6 ( 24... h6 25. Qf4 {+/-}) 25. Qe3 Be6 26. b3 Bg4 27. Bf3 Be6 (27... Bh3 28. Qf4 { +/-}) 28. Kg2 (28. e5 fxe5 29. Qxe5 Bf7 {+-}) 28... Qe7 29. R4d2 Rc3 30. Qb6 R3c7 31. Rd6 Re8 {?? another step towards the grave} (31... Bd7 {+/-}) 32. Rxe6 {! +- Deflection: c7} (32. Rxe6 Qxe6 33. Qxc7 {+-}) 1-0

1 Sep 2016

C34 King's Gambit Accepted: 3.Nf3: 3...Nf6 and 3...d6 (1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nc6 3.f4 exf4 4.Nf3 d6)

C34 King's Gambit Accepted: 3.Nf3: 3...Nf6 and 3...d6 (1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nc6 3.f4 exf4 4.Nf3 d6)

The theoretical move order for this variation is 1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Bc4 Nc6. If we would have followed the theoretical move order, I think I would not have played 3...Nc6. I definetely would not play that after the old post I came across yesterday. The post I am referring to was published April 2nd, 2012 titled "Rajlich: Busting the King's Gambit, this time for sure". It can be found at the Chessbase website. In that post Vasik Rajlich claimed that the King's Gambit had been solved. According to that extensive project he did, the best move against 3.Bc4 is 3...Nf6 and White should lose with best play. The project was inspired by Bobby Fischer's claims that he had refuted the King's Gambit. Interestingly enough it seems that Fischer was right about 3...d6 being the best answer to 3.Nf3. What is also interesting about this project is that the only move after 2...exf4 that keeps White in the game is 3.Be2 and with best play it is a draw. In practical play human players can still make bad moves, so it is not like you could get a guaranteed win in the lines that should be winning from this early on.

The game below was played in a second division, group 4 match between AS and SalSK 2 in 2010. I played on board 4 for SalSK 2 in this match. I was not unfortunately the only one who lost on our team, we also lost on boards 1 and 3. On board 2 we drew and the only win we got from our board 5 player. This meant that the final score was 3 - 1 in favor of AS. While this game started in a promising way for me, the longer the game went, the more the game started to gravitate in favor of my opponent. The position below is taken after my 7th move g5. My opponent played 8.Nc3, after which I should be clearly better. The best option for White to stay in the game is to play 8.d5 here.

I remained only clearly better until in the position below my opponent blundered and played 12.Bd3. Had I played 12...Nxd5, I might have been in a position that is close to winning, but alas I played 12...Re8 and I remained only clearly better.

The game went on being either clearly favorable or winning at times for me, up to the move 35.Kh2, but then the game started to slowly become favorable for my opponent. In the position below I played 35...Rf1, which gave my opponent a golden opportunity to punish me from my mistake and play 36.Bg4+. It would have resulted in a position where I need to sacrifice my bishop and even though I would only have a pawn for the bishop, I should have enough counterplay to compensate for the material. Especially since I would be likely to get a second pawn for the bishop from a2.

My opponent did not go for that plan and the position remained roughly even, with both players making some inaccuarete moves until we reached the position below. On move 40 my opponent moved his rook from e2 to d2. This was one of the turning points of the game. I played 40...Rc1, which at long last gave my opponent the advantage. I should have played 40...h5 in order to maintain equality of the position. Maybe also 40...b5 was a move to consider instead of the move played in the game.

Blunders did not end there of course. I was still hanging on in the game in the position below, I was only slightly worse at the time. With the move 44...Rb1 my position went down the drain, now it was my opponent who had the winning position. The correct move for me was 44...fxg2. While the move that my opponent chose was not the most accurate, he should still be winning after 45.Bd7+.

Even though I drifted into a position that seemed completely lost, for some reason I continued the struggle. Perhaps because this was a team match, I continued the game longer than I normally would. The fact that I did not give up, might have frustrated my opponent enough so that he made a mistake that allowed me to get into a position that was drawish. I should be completely lost in the position below, but one blunder can change that. My adversary played 61.Ke6, which with correct play is only good enough for a draw. 61.h4 was the best move for White. Stockfish thinks that White should be up by 24+ pawns after 61.h4. An advantage that should be enough for everyone to convert into a win.

The final mistake of the game came in the position below after my opponent had played 71.h6. The only move that could have drawn the game for me was 71...a2. For some reason I thought that move order is not important in this position and I played the horrible blunder 71...c4 before playing a2, but that was a judgement error that cost me the game.

71...a2 was much better because it forces 72.Bf6 and then I could have played 72...c4. I was so close to a draw, but still so far away. I did offer my best resistance in the game continuation, but it was in the end futile and I needed to resign after 81.Bxc3 as my pawns were forcefully removed from the board. I have added mate in one puzzles 524 & 525, a mate in two puzzle 745, a mate in three puzzle 670 and a mate in four puzzle 533 today.

So far my statistics are: 2 games with the black pieces, 1 win (50%), 1 loss (50%).

[Event "AS - SalSK 2"] [Site "?"] [Date "2010.11.20"] [Round "3"] [White "Ojanen, Jyrki"] [Black "Vierjoki, Timo"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C34"] [WhiteElo "2007"] [BlackElo "1838"] [Annotator "Stockfish 7 64 POPCNT (30s), TV"] [PlyCount "161"] [EventDate "2010.??.??"] 1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Nc6 3. f4 exf4 {King's Gambit Accepted: Bishop's Gambit, Maurian Defense} 4. Nf3 d6 {C34 King's Gambit Accepted: 3.Nf3: 3...Nf6 and 3... d6} 5. O-O Be6 6. Bb5 Bd7 (6... a6 7. Ba4 b5 8. Bb3 Nf6 9. d3 Qd7 10. Bxf4 Ne5 11. Nxe5 dxe5 12. Bxe5 Rd8 13. Bxe6 Qxe6 14. Bxf6 gxf6 15. Qf3 Bc5+ 16. Kh1 Ke7 17. Nc3 c6 18. Qf5 Rdg8 19. Qxc5+ Kd7 20. Qf5 Ke7 21. Qxe6+ {Bruinsma Oudwater, R (1683)-Porta Chicote,D (1808) Barcelona 2015 1-0 (51)}) 7. d4 g5 {N} (7... Qe7 8. Bxf4 O-O-O 9. Nc3 Nb4 10. Bc4 Be6 11. d5 Bg4 12. Qe2 c6 13. a3 cxd5 14. axb4 dxc4 15. Nd5 Qd7 16. Rxa7 Qb5 17. Ra8+ Kd7 18. Ne5+ Ke8 19. Rxd8+ Kxd8 20. Nxf7+ Kc8 21. Qxg4+ Kb8 22. Bxd6+ {Sorokina,A (2223)-Fairley,N Auckland 2005 1-0}) 8. Nc3 (8. d5 {!?} Ne5 9. Bxd7+ Kxd7 10. Bd2 {=/+}) 8... Bg7 {+/-} 9. Nd5 h6 10. c3 Nf6 11. Qe2 O-O 12. Bd3 (12. Nxf6+ Qxf6 13. Bd3 Rae8 {+/-}) 12... Re8 (12... Nxd5 {!?} 13. exd5 Ne7 {-+}) 13. Nxf6+ Qxf6 (13... Bxf6 {?!} 14. g3 g4 15. Nd2 {=}) 14. h3 (14. Bd2 Rac8 {+/-}) 14... Bf5 (14... Ne7 15. Qd1 {+/-}) 15. Qc2 Bg6 16. Qb3 Rab8 (16... Bxe4 {? is a blank shot} 17. Bxe4 Nxd4 18. Nxd4 Rxe4 19. Qxb7 {+-}) 17. Qd5 a6 18. Re1 {White prepares the advance e5} (18. Bd2 Qe6 19. Qxe6 fxe6 {+/-}) 18... Qe6 (18... Ne7 19. Qc4 c5 20. dxc5 {-+}) 19. Qxe6 {+/-} fxe6 (19... Rxe6 {?!} 20. h4 d5 21. exd5 Rxe1+ 22. Nxe1 {=/+}) 20. Bc4 (20. b4 Rbc8 {+/-}) 20... Rbd8 (20... Na5 21. Bf1 {+/-}) 21. Bf1 (21. h4 g4 22. Nh2 Na5 {+/-}) 21... Ne7 22. e5 (22. b4 e5 23. d5 Bf6 {+/-}) 22... dxe5 ( 22... Nc6 23. exd6 cxd6 24. Bc4 {-+}) 23. Nxe5 Bxe5 24. Rxe5 Nc6 25. Re1 Kg7 26. Bc4 (26. g3 {!?} e5 27. Bg2 {+/-}) 26... e5 {-+} 27. dxe5 {?? leading to a quick end} (27. b3 e4 {-+}) 27... Rxe5 (27... Nxe5 {nails it down} 28. Bxf4 gxf4 {-+}) 28. Rxe5 Nxe5 29. Be2 Bd3 30. Bh5 Kf6 31. b3 (31. a4 {-+}) 31... Kf5 {?? throwing away the advantage} (31... Be4 {and Black has reached his goal} 32. Be2 Kf5 {-+}) 32. Ba3 {+/-} Be4 33. Re1 (33. Rd1 Rxd1+ 34. Bxd1 Kf6 {+/-}) 33... Rd2 {-+} 34. Re2 Rd1+ (34... Rxe2 {!?} 35. Bxe2 Bb1 {-+}) 35. Kh2 {+/-} Rf1 (35... Rd3 36. Bg4+ Nxg4+ 37. hxg4+ Ke5 38. Bb2 {+/-}) 36. Bc5 (36. Bg4+ Nxg4+ 37. hxg4+ Kxg4 38. Rxe4 Rf2 {=}) 36... Nd3 (36... Bd3 {!?} 37. Rd2 f3 38. Bxf3 Nxf3+ 39. gxf3 Rxf3 {+/-}) 37. Bg4+ {=} Ke5 (37... Kg6 38. Rxe4 Nxc5 39. Re5 {=}) 38. Bg1 (38. Bd4+ Kd5 39. Rd2 c5 {=}) 38... Re1 (38... c5 39. b4 {=}) 39. Bd4+ {=} Kd5 40. Rd2 Rc1 {?} (40... h5 {!? is the best option Black has} 41. Bxh5 Ke6 {=}) 41. Bg7 {+/-} Kc6 42. c4 (42. Re2 Re1 43. Rxe4 Rxe4 44. Bf3 { +/-}) 42... Ne1 {?} (42... b5 43. cxb5+ axb5 44. Bxh6 {+/=}) 43. Bxh6 (43. Re2 {with excellent chances for White} Bd3 44. Re6+ Kc5 45. Bxh6 {+-}) 43... f3 { +/= Black threatens to win material: f3xg2} 44. Bxg5 Rb1 {??} (44... fxg2 { and Black can hope to survive} 45. Rxg2 Rc3 {+/=}) 45. Bd7+ (45. Be3 {keeps an even firmer grip} b6 46. Bd7+ Kb7 47. g4 {+-}) 45... Kc5 46. Be3+ {?? White loses the upper hand} (46. Be7+ Kb6 47. b4 Ka7 {+-}) 46... Kb4 {+/-} 47. g4 Nd3 {?? leads to further unpleasantness} (47... Nc2 48. Bh6 Rh1+ 49. Kg3 Kc3 {+/-}) 48. Kg3 {+-} Kc3 49. Rh2 Rb2 (49... Rd1 {does not save the day} 50. Bf5 Bxf5 51. gxf5 {+-}) 50. Rxb2 Kxb2 (50... Nxb2 {is the last straw} 51. Bf5 Kd3 {+-}) 51. Bf5 Bxf5 52. gxf5 Kxa2 (52... f2 53. Bxf2 Kxa2 {+-}) 53. Kxf3 Ne5+ 54. Ke4 Nf7 (54... Nd7 55. Kd5 Nb8 56. Ke6 {+-}) 55. b4 Kb3 56. Kd5 Kxb4 57. Bc5+ Kb3 58. f6 a5 59. Ke6 Ng5+ 60. Kf5 Nf7 61. Ke6 (61. h4 Nd8 62. Be7 {+-}) 61... Ng5+ {= Twofold repetition} 62. Ke7 Kxc4 63. Be3 {White threatens to win material: Be3xg5} Nh7 64. h4 a4 65. Bc1 b5 66. f7 b4 67. f8=Q Nxf8 68. Kxf8 a3 {Is this a dangerous pawn?} 69. h5 Kb3 70. Bg5 c5 71. h6 {A strong pawn} c4 {?? overlooking an easy win} (71... a2 {is the best chance} 72. Bf6 c4 {=}) 72. h7 a2 (72... c3 {cannot change destiny} 73. h8=Q a2 74. Qh1 Kc4 75. Ke7 c2 76. Kd6 c1=R 77. Qxc1+ Kd4 78. Qd2+ Kc4 79. Qc2+ Kd4 80. Qxa2 Kd3 81. Kc5 b3 82. Qd2+ Ke4 83. Qd5#) 73. h8=Q c3 74. Qh1 Kb2 (74... Kc4 {doesn't do any good} 75. Qf1+ Kd5 76. Ke7 Kd4 77. Kd6 a1=R 78. Qxa1 Ke4 79. Qf1 c2 80. Qf4+ Kd3 81. Qd2+ Kc4 82. Qd5+ Kc3 83. Bf6#) 75. Qc1+ {+-} Kb3 76. Ke7 Kc4 (76... a1=N {is not the saving move} 77. Qxa1 Kc2 78. Ke6 b3 79. Qc1+ Kd3 80. Qd1+ Kc4 81. Qd5+ Kb4 82. Be7+ Ka4 83. Qc4+ Ka5 84. Bd8#) 77. Bf6 (77. Kd6 Kb3 78. Kc5 c2 79. Bf6 a1=Q 80. Bxa1 Ka4 81. Qxc2+ Ka3 82. Qb2+ Ka4 83. Qxb4#) 77... Kb3 (77... Kd5 { a fruitless try to alter the course of the game} 78. Qd1+ Ke4 79. Qe2+ Kf4 80. Be5+ Kf5 81. Qe3 a1=Q 82. Qf4+ Kg6 83. Qg4+ Kh6 84. Bf4+ Kh7 85. Qf5+ Kh8 86. Be5+ Kg8 87. Qg6#) 78. Kd6 Kc4 (78... a1=B {is no salvation} 79. Qxa1 Kc2 80. Kc5 Kd3 81. Qf1+ Kc2 82. Kc4 b3 83. Qe2+ Kb1 84. Kxb3 c2 85. Qxc2#) 79. Be5 ( 79. Qd1 Kb5 80. Qd5+ Ka4 81. Qxa2+ Kb5 82. Bd8 c2 83. Kd5 b3 84. Qa5#) 79... Kb3 (79... Kd3 {does not solve anything} 80. Kd5 Ke2 81. Ke4 a1=Q 82. Qxa1 b3 83. Qxc3 b2 84. Qf3+ Kd2 85. Qd3+ Kc1 86. Bf4#) 80. Kc5 Ka4 (80... a1=R { cannot change what is in store for White} 81. Qxa1 Kc2 82. Kc4 Kd2 83. Qf1 Kc2 84. Qe2+ Kb1 85. Kb3 c2 86. Qxc2#) 81. Bxc3 $1 {Mate attack.} (81. Bxc3 a1=N 82. Qxa1+ Kb3 83. Qb2+ Ka4 84. Qxb4#) 1-0 [Event "Live Chess"] [Site ""] [Date "2016.01.01"] [Round "?"] [White "EhsanAliabadi"] [Black "Vierjoki, Timo"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "C34"] [WhiteElo "1251"] [BlackElo "1382"] [Annotator "Stockfish 8 64 POPCNT (30s)"] [PlyCount "72"] [EventDate "2016.??.??"] 1. e4 e5 2. f4 exf4 3. Nf3 d6 4. Bc4 Nc6 {C34 King's Gambit Accepted: 3.Nf3: 3. ..Nf6 and 3...d6} 5. O-O Be6 {Black threatens to win material: Be6xc4} 6. d4 $4 $146 {there were better ways to keep up the pressure} (6. Bb5 Nf6 (6... Bd7 7. d4 Qe7 8. Bxf4 O-O-O 9. Nc3 Nb4 10. Bc4 Be6 11. d5 Bg4 12. Qe2 c6 13. a3 cxd5 14. axb4 dxc4 15. Nd5 Qd7 16. Rxa7 Qb5 17. Ra8+ Kd7 18. Ne5+ Ke8 19. Rxd8+ Kxd8 20. Nxf7+ Kc8 21. Qxg4+ {Sorokina,A (2223)-Fairley,N Auckland 2005 1-0}) 7. d4 Bd7 8. Qe2 Be7 9. Bxf4 d5 10. Nbd2 dxe4 11. Nxe4 O-O 12. c3 a6 13. Bd3 Re8 14. Qf2 Bg4 15. Ne5 Bd6 16. Nxc6 bxc6 17. Bg5 Be7 18. Nxf6+ gxf6 19. Bxf6 Bxf6 20. Qxf6 Qxf6 {Ventos Alfonso,A (1854)-Barba Rios,E (1697) Catalunya 2008 1-0 (52)} ) (6. Qe2 Qd7 7. d4 Bxc4 8. Qxc4 f6 9. Bxf4 O-O-O 10. Nc3 g5 11. Bg3 h5 12. b4 h4 13. Bf2 h3 14. g3 g4 15. Nh4 Bh6 16. Nf5 Bd2 17. Nb5 d5 18. Nfd6+ cxd6 19. exd5 Qf5 20. dxc6 Qf3 {Revesz,N (1841)-Heintz,S (1740) Hungary 2015 0-1 (46)}) (6. Bxe6 fxe6 7. d4 e5 8. c3 Nf6 9. Ng5 Qe7 10. d5 Nd8 11. Qe2 Nxd5 12. exd5 Qxg5 13. Bxf4 Qe7 14. Bg3 g6 15. Nd2 Bg7 16. Ne4 Rf8 17. Qg4 Nf7 18. Bh4 Qd7 19. Qg3 Nh6 20. Bf6 Nf5 {Riemer,M-Schuette,A Germany 2009 1/2-1/2}) (6. Bxe6 $142 {is just about the only chance} fxe6 7. d4 $11) 6... Bxc4 $19 7. d5 (7. Rf2 {doesn't change anything anymore} Nf6 8. b3 Ba6 $19) 7... Ne5 (7... Bxf1 { and Black can already relax} 8. Qxf1 Ne5 9. Bxf4 Nxf3+ 10. Qxf3 $19) 8. Rf2 (8. Re1 {cannot undo what has already been done} g5 $19) 8... Be7 (8... Nf6 { seems even better} 9. b3 Ba6 10. c4 $19) 9. b3 (9. Qd4 {is no salvation} Nxf3+ 10. Rxf3 Be2 $19) 9... Ba6 10. c4 Nf6 11. Bxf4 Nxf3+ (11... Nxe4 $142 $5 { might be the shorter path} 12. Re2 f5 13. Nd4 $19) 12. Qxf3 O-O 13. Nd2 Nd7 14. Raf1 (14. Qe2 {does not save the day} Re8 $19) 14... Bf6 15. e5 (15. Qd3 { does not improve anything} Qe7 $19) 15... Nxe5 16. Bxe5 (16. Qe2 {cannot change what is in store for White} c6 17. dxc6 bxc6 $19) 16... Bxe5 17. Ne4 ( 17. Qd3 {is not the saving move} c5 18. dxc6 bxc6 $19) 17... Bd4 18. Qg3 (18. a4 {is not much help} Qe7 $19) 18... Bxf2+ (18... b5 {makes it even easier for Black} 19. Qd3 Bxf2+ 20. Rxf2 bxc4 21. bxc4 $19) 19. Rxf2 Qe7 20. Ng5 (20. Rf4 {doesn't do any good} b6 $19) 20... Qe1+ 21. Rf1 Qxg3 22. hxg3 Rae8 23. Kf2 Re5 (23... Re7 {might be the shorter path} 24. Nf3 $19) 24. Nf3 Re7 25. Rh1 (25. Nd4 {does not win a prize} Rfe8 $19) 25... Rfe8 26. Ng5 (26. Nd4 {there is nothing else anyway} b6 27. Rb1 $19) 26... Re2+ 27. Kf3 h6 (27... R8e3+ 28. Kg4 Rxg2 29. Kf4 Rexg3 30. Nxh7 g5+ 31. Nxg5 Rg4+ 32. Kf3 Rxg5 33. Re1 R5g3+ 34. Kf4 Kg7 35. Re3 Rxe3 36. Kxe3 Rxa2 37. Kd3 f5 38. b4 Ra3+ 39. Kc2 Bxc4 40. b5 Bxb5 41. Kb1 f4 42. Kc2 Rd3 43. Kb1 f3 44. Ka1 f2 45. Kb1 f1=Q+ 46. Ka2 Qe2+ 47. Ka1 Rd1#) 28. Nh3 Rxa2 (28... R8e3+ 29. Kf4 Re4+ 30. Kf3 g5 31. Nf4 gxf4 32. Rh3 R2e3+ 33. Kf2 fxg3+ 34. Rxg3+ Rxg3 35. Kxg3 Re2 36. a3 Re3+ 37. Kf2 Rxb3 38. g3 Rxa3 39. g4 Bxc4 40. Kg2 Rb3 41. Kf2 a5 42. g5 hxg5 43. Kg2 a4 44. Kh2 Bxd5 45. Kg1 Rb2 46. Kf1 a3 47. Ke1 a2 48. Kd1 a1=Q#) 29. Kg4 Ree2 (29... Re3 $142 {nails it down} 30. Nf4 Rxb3 31. Re1 $19) 30. Nf4 Re4 (30... Re3 $142 {makes it even easier for Black} 31. Kh3 Rxb3 32. c5 dxc5 33. Re1 $19) 31. Rf1 g5 32. Kf3 Rd4 (32... f5 33. g4 Rxf4+ 34. Kg3 Rxf1 35. gxf5 Rb2 36. b4 Bxc4 37. b5 Bxd5 38. Kg4 Rxg2+ 39. Kh5 Bf7+ 40. Kxh6 Rh1#) 33. Ne2 Rdd2 (33... Rd3+ 34. Ke4 Rxb3 35. Nc1 Bxc4 36. Rh1 Bxd5+ 37. Kxd5 Ra5+ 38. Kc4 Re3 39. Kb4 Raa3 40. Rd1 Rec3 41. Rxd6 c6 42. Rd8+ Kg7 43. Ra8 c5+ 44. Kb5 Rxc1 45. Rg8+ Kxg8 46. g4 Rb3+ 47. Ka4 Rb4+ 48. Ka3 Ra1#) 34. Nc3 Rab2 (34... Rd3+ 35. Kg4 Rxc3 36. Rf3 Rxf3 37. gxf3 Rb2 38. Kf5 Rxb3 39. f4 Bxc4 40. fxg5 Rxg3 41. g6 Bxd5 42. Kf6 Kf8 43. g7+ Rxg7 44. Kf5 Rg3 45. Kf4 Rf3+ 46. Kg4 Kg7 47. Kh5 Be6 48. Kh4 Rh3#) 35. Nb5 (35. Re1 {doesn't change the outcome of the game} Rxb3 36. Re3 Bxc4 37. Ne4 Rxe3+ 38. Kxe3 Rd3+ 39. Kf2 f5 40. Nf6+ Kf7 41. Nh5 Kg6 42. g4 Rd2+ 43. Ke3 Rxg2 44. gxf5+ Kxh5 45. f6 Kg6 46. f7 Kxf7 47. Kd4 b5 48. Kc3 a5 49. Kd4 Rg3 50. Ke4 c5 51. dxc6 Kf6 52. c7 Rd3 53. c8=Q d5#) 35... Rxb3+ (35... Bxb5 36. Ke4 Bd7 37. Rf3 f5+ 38. Ke3 g4 39. b4 Rxg2 40. Kd4 gxf3 41. Kc3 f2 42. g4 f1=Q 43. b5 Qf3+ 44. Kd4 Rxg4#) 36. Ke4 Bxb5 (36... Bxb5 37. Rf3 Re2+ 38. Kd4 c5+ 39. dxc6 Rd2+ 40. Ke4 Bxc6+ 41. Kf5 Bxf3 42. gxf3 Rxf3+ 43. Kg4 Rf1 44. c5 Rh2 45. c6 f5#) 0-1

31 Aug 2016

B20 Sicilian: Unusual White 2nd moves (1.e4 c5 2.b4 cxb4 3.d4 e6)

B20 Sicilian: Unusual White 2nd moves (1.e4 c5 2.b4 cxb4 3.d4 e6)

The game I am sharing today was played at Loimaa in a weekend tournament that was held there in February 2010. This game is from the 4th round and this was my second win in a row. On the first two rounds I lost my games, so after a rough start things were looking up again. On the last round I suffered another loss and it meant that I only managed to get 2 points out of the possible 5. I have not been one to like gambits, but when I am able to refute them, I feel quite happy. I will only go through some moments of this game and you can then view the full game with the game viewer. The first position I am going to take a look at arised after my fourth move 4...Nf6. In the position below my opponent played 5.f4, which is a first real mistake of this game. 5.c4 was a better alternative.

Then just a couple of moves later I played 7...Qa5 in the position below, briefly bringing the game into balance, or at least close to it. My opponent replied with 8.Nd2, making his position clearly worse again. 8.Ne2 was the better choice. I continued with 8...Be7, which is only good enough for a small advantage, 8...b3 was the right way to go and I would have been clearly better, had I chosen to play that move.

When we reached the position below, all of my advantage was almost gone. It was my move and I played 28...Na3, after which there was nothing left of my advantage.

It did not take long, however, until my opponent made the blunder that lost the game. In the position below my opponent played the horrible 30.Ng3, after which the game is lost for White. The correct move was 30.Rc1. To the move played in the game I replied with the strongest move 30...Rc3.

The game was not even close to being over just yet, because the game ended to my opponent's resignation after 51...Kf8. I have added a mate in two puzzle 744, mate in three puzzles 668 & 669 and mate in four puzzles 531 & 532 today.

[Event "LoimSK"] [Site "?"] [Date "2010.02.07"] [Round "4"] [White "Tammi, Tauno"] [Black "Vierjoki, Timo"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B20"] [WhiteElo "1723"] [BlackElo "1763"] [Annotator "Stockfish 7 64 POPCNT (30s), TV"] [PlyCount "102"] [EventDate "2010.??.??"] 1. e4 c5 2. b4 {Sicilian Defense: Wing Gambit} cxb4 3. d4 (3. a3 bxa3 { Sicilian Defense: Wing Gambit, Carlsbad Variation}) (3. Bb2 {Sicilian Defense: Wing Gambit, Abrahams Variation}) 3... e6 {B20 Sicilian: Unusual White 2nd moves} 4. Bd3 Nf6 (4... g6 5. h4 Nc6 6. Ne2 Bg7 7. e5 d6 8. f4 h5 9. Nd2 Nh6 10. Nc4 Bf8 11. exd6 Bxd6 12. Bb2 Ne7 13. Qd2 a6 14. Ng3 Rh7 15. Ne4 Nef5 16. Ng5 Rh8 17. d5 Rg8 18. dxe6 Bxe6 19. O-O-O {Khorganov,V (2075)-Osokin,V Barnaul 2013 1-0 (36)}) 5. f4 {N Black's piece can't move: c8} (5. Ne2 Be7 6. a3 Nc6 7. O-O O-O 8. Bg5 h6 9. Bxf6 Bxf6 10. e5 Be7 11. Be4 d5 12. Bd3 bxa3 13. c3 Bd7 14. Nxa3 a6 15. f4 b5 16. Nc2 Qb6 17. Kh1 Na5 18. Ne3 Nc4 19. Bxc4 dxc4 {Gluchaciov,N-Januseviciute,D (1800) Klaipeda 2010 1-0 (35)}) (5. a3 d5 6. Nd2 dxe4 7. Nxe4 Nxe4 8. Bxe4 Nc6 9. Nf3 Be7 10. h4 Qa5 11. Bd2 Nxd4 12. axb4 Nxf3+ 13. gxf3 Qe5 14. Ra5 Qc7 15. f4 b6 16. Re5 Bb7 17. Rg1 Bf6 18. Bxb7 Qxb7 19. Re3 O-O-O {Vogiatzis,D (2033)-Struk, J (2266) Fuerth 2001 0-1}) (5. Nd2 d5 6. e5 Nfd7 7. f4 Nc6 8. Ne2 g6 9. h4 h5 10. Nf3 Nb6 11. Ng5 Nc4 12. g4 hxg4 13. h5 gxh5 14. Ng3 Nxd4 15. Nxh5 Rxh5 16. Rxh5 Nf3+ 17. Nxf3 gxf3 18. Qxf3 Qc7 19. Qg3 Bd7 {Lauren,M (2210)-Funck,K Finland 1997 1-0}) (5. c4 {!? =}) 5... Nc6 { Black threatens to win material: Nc6xd4} 6. Be3 d6 7. Qf3 Qa5 (7... e5 8. fxe5 dxe5 9. d5 {+/-}) 8. Nd2 (8. Ne2 d5 9. e5 Ne4 {=}) 8... Be7 (8... b3 9. Ne2 Nb4 10. O-O bxc2 11. Bc4 {+/-}) 9. Nb3 (9. Ne2 Qh5 {=/+}) 9... Qh5 10. Qxh5 Nxh5 11. Nf3 (11. g4 Nf6 12. g5 Nd7 {=/+}) 11... Nf6 {+/-} 12. h3 b6 13. g4 Bb7 ( 13... d5 14. e5 Ne4 15. Nbd2 {+/-}) 14. g5 {White threatens to win material: g5xf6} Nd7 15. Kf2 {White loses the right to castle} Na5 {Black has a cramped position} 16. Nbd2 (16. Nxa5 bxa5 17. a3 O-O {=/+}) 16... Rc8 (16... d5 17. h4 {+/-}) 17. Rab1 (17. a3 {!? should not be overlooked} bxa3 18. Rxa3 {=/+}) 17... d5 {+/-} 18. e5 Nb8 19. f5 exf5 20. Bxf5 Rd8 (20... Rc3 21. h4 {+/-}) 21. h4 Bc8 {Black threatens to win material: Bc8xf5} 22. Bd3 Be6 {Blocks the pawn on e5} 23. Nf1 Rc8 24. Ng3 {Black has a cramped position} Nc4 {White has a very active position. Menacing} 25. Bc1 Nc6 {White has an active position} 26. Nf5 {White threatens to win material: Nf5xg7} Bf8 27. Bf4 N6a5 (27... a5 28. h5 Kd7 29. g6 fxg6 30. hxg6 {=/+}) 28. h5 {= Black has a cramped position} Na3 { Attacks the backward pawn on c2. Black threatens to win material: Na3xb1. Black forks: c2+b1} 29. Rbg1 Nxc2 {Black has a cramped position.} (29... Rc3 30. Ne3 N5c4 {=/+}) 30. Ng3 {?? there were better ways to keep up the pressure} (30. Rc1 {would keep White in the game} b3 31. axb3 {=}) 30... Rc3 {-+} 31. Ke2 {?? terrible, but what else could White do to save the game?} (31. Rd1 Bg4 32. Ne2 {-+}) 31... Bg4 32. Bxc2 (32. Kd2 {doesn't do any good} Bxf3 33. Bxc2 Nc4+ 34. Kc1 Bxh1 35. Rxh1 Na3 {-+}) 32... Bxf3+ (32... Rxc2+ {!? and Black can already relax} 33. Bd2 Bxf3+ 34. Kxf3 Rxd2 35. Ra1 Rd3+ 36. Kf2 Rxd4 37. Rad1 { -+}) 33. Kf2 Bxh1 34. Ba4+ Kd8 35. Rxh1 Ra3 36. Bb5 Rxa2+ 37. Kf3 (37. Ne2 { cannot change what is in store for White} b3 38. Rb1 Bb4 {-+}) 37... b3 38. Bd3 (38. Rb1 {does not solve anything} b2 39. Ke2 Nc4 40. Bxc4 dxc4 {-+}) 38... b2 39. Bb1 (39. Rd1 {is not the saving move} Ra1 40. Ke2 Nb3 {-+}) 39... Ra1 40. Bd2 (40. Bd3 {does not help much} Nc4 {-+}) 40... Nc4 41. Bc3 (41. Ke2 { cannot undo what has already been done} Na3 42. Bc3 Rxb1 43. Rxb1 Nxb1 44. Bxb2 Kd7 {-+}) 41... Ba3 (41... Ra3 {secures the win} 42. Ne2 Bb4 43. h6 gxh6 44. Kg4 Bxc3 45. Kf5 hxg5 46. Kf6 {-+}) 42. Kg4 Be7 43. Bd3 Rxh1 44. Nxh1 Ba3 45. Ng3 (45. Nf2 {doesn't get the cat off the tree} g6 {-+}) 45... g6 46. Ne2 (46. Kf3 {is not much help} Kd7 {-+}) 46... Kd7 47. Be1 (47. Nf4 {is no salvation} Kc6 {-+}) 47... Rc8 48. Nf4 (48. Kf3 {-+ there is nothing better in the position}) 48... Ne3+ 49. Kf3 Nc2 50. Bb5+ Ke7 51. Nxd5+ Kf8 (51... Kf8 52. Bc3 b1=Q 53. Ba6 Qh1+ 54. Ke2 Rxc3 55. Nxc3 Bc1 56. d5 Qg2+ 57. Kd3 Qd2+ 58. Kc4 Qd4+ 59. Kb3 Na1+ 60. Ka2 Qd2+ 61. Kxa1 Qb2#) 0-1

30 Aug 2016

B08 Pirc Defence: Classical System (1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.Bc4 O-O 6.h3 c6)

B08 Pirc Defence: Classical System (1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.Bc4 O-O 6.h3 c6)

I am taking a look at my old over the board games this week, since there seemed to be enough never before covered opening variations to last for this week. Well, opening variations that have not seen the light of day in this blog that is. This game was played in a weekend tournament at Turku in April, 2009. The tournament consisted of four groups and I played in group D with 11 other players. The game below was played on round two and it was my first loss. I had won my first round game against a player who was rated 1643. On the next two rounds I was able to win my games again, but on the last round I suffered my second loss. With a score of 3 out of 5 I shared third place in the group, but due to tie-break I was 5th in the fianl standings of group D.

The first position of interest appeared after my opponent played 6...c6. These days I would almost always castle in that position without much thought, but in this game I chose for some reason to play 7.d5, which seems a bit premature since my king is still in its original square in the center. 7.d5 was a really bad idea and the first clear mistake of the game.

It was not the start of my downfall just yet though, because a few moves and some inaccuracies later we reached the position after 12.O-O. You can see that position below. My opponent replied with 12...Rae8 after which the position was even once again. 12...Nc5 was the best option to keep the advantage.

The next clear shift in the balance came in the position below after I had played 24.Bxc4. My opponent was slightly better in that position, but then he played 24...a4, which gave me a chance for a clear advantage. Unfortunately I did not play 25.Ba6, which meant that instead of being the one in a favorable position, I gave the favorable position to my opponent with the move 25.Ne2.

The game then went on without big mistakes until we reached the position below. It is taken after my 33rd move Nxc5. My opponent played 33...Qf8, which is a huge blunder according to Stockfish 7 64 POPCNT. The engine thinks that I am in a winning position after 33...Qf8. The correct move was 33...Qb6 and the position would have been even after that. Again I missed the strongest move, which in this case would have been 34.Ne6. The move I chose, 34.Be2 is good enough to a clear advantage, so I should have been doing quite well at this point in the game.

Two consecutive blunders changed the outcome of the game. In the position below I was on the clearly favorable side, but I went to grab the a-pawn with the knight instead of the possibly winning move 36.Ne6 and suddenly the position was more even again. Especially after my opponent played 36...Qh4. The other option to keep the equality was to play 36...Qa5.

The former option was probably better for practical reasons as it seems like the harder one to make a good move against. I was not able to find a good answer to 36...Qh4 and made the game losing move 37.Bf1. The only move that could have kept me in the game was 37.g3, all other moves were losing for me. I did play a few more moves, but had to accept my defeat after 42...Rxf7. I have added a mate in one puzzle 523, mate in two puzzles 742 & 743, a mate in three puzzle 667 and a mate in four puzzle 530 today.

[Event "TSY"] [Site "?"] [Date "2009.04.04"] [Round "2"] [White "Vierjoki, Timo"] [Black "Raitanen, Pentti"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B08"] [WhiteElo "1676"] [BlackElo "1683"] [Annotator "Stockfish 7 64 POPCNT (30s), TV"] [PlyCount "84"] [EventDate "2009.??.??"] 1. e4 d6 2. d4 Nf6 3. Nc3 g6 4. Nf3 Bg7 {Pirc Defense: Classical Variation} 5. Bc4 (5. Be2 O-O 6. O-O Bg4 {Pirc Defense: Classical Variation, Quiet System, Parma Defense} (6... c6 {Pirc Defense: Classical Variation, Quiet System, Czech Defense}) (6... Nc6 {Pirc Defense: Classical Variation, Quiet System, Chigorin Line})) 5... O-O 6. h3 c6 {B08 Pirc Defence: Classical System} 7. d5 b5 (7... Nbd7 8. Bf4 h6 9. h4 Qa5 10. O-O Ng4 11. Qd3 Nde5 12. Bxe5 Nxe5 13. Nxe5 Bxe5 14. a3 b5 15. Ba2 Ba6 16. Rfd1 Qb6 17. b4 c5 18. Qe3 cxb4 19. Qxb6 axb6 20. axb4 Bxc3 21. Rab1 Bb7 22. Rd3 {Farcas,T (1001)-Didiliuc,D (1582) Calimanesti 2013 0-1 (40)}) 8. Bd3 b4 9. Ne2 Qc7 {N} (9... cxd5 10. exd5 Qa5 11. Bc4 Bb7 12. Nf4 Nbd7 13. O-O Nb6 14. Bb3 Nbxd5 15. a3 Nxf4 16. Bxf4 Qf5 17. Bd2 Ne4 18. axb4 Nxd2 19. Qxd2 Bxf3 20. gxf3 Qxh3 21. c3 Be5 22. f4 Qg4+ 23. Kh1 Bxf4 24. Qd3 {Adoamnei,R (2071)-Barbu,N (2202) Ploiesti 2002 0-1 (48)}) ( 9... cxd5 10. exd5 Bb7 11. Nf4 {+/-}) 10. c4 (10. a3 cxd5 11. exd5 Bb7 12. axb4 Nxd5 {=/+}) 10... Nbd7 (10... bxc3 11. Nxc3 cxd5 12. O-O dxe4 13. Nxe4 {+/-}) 11. Ng3 (11. a3 cxd5 12. exd5 Nc5 13. axb4 Nxd3+ 14. Qxd3 Bf5 {=}) 11... Bb7 { White has an active position} (11... Nc5 {!?} 12. Be3 cxd5 13. cxd5 Nfd7 {+/-}) 12. O-O Rae8 (12... Nc5 13. Be3 {=}) 13. Bf4 {Black has a cramped position} e5 {Black threatens to win material: e5xf4} (13... Nc5 14. Qd2 {=}) 14. Be3 { White threatens to win material: Be3xa7} a5 {Black has a cramped position} 15. Qd2 Nc5 16. Bxc5 dxc5 {Black has the pair of bishops} 17. Bc2 cxd5 {Black forks: c4+e4} 18. cxd5 {White has a new protected passed pawn: d5} Rd8 19. Bb3 {White has an active position} Ne8 20. Rac1 Nd6 {In the style of Nimzovich} 21. Qe3 {Attacking the backward pawn on c5. White threatens to win material: Qe3xc5 } Rc8 22. Nd2 Ba6 23. Nc4 (23. Bc4 Bb7 {=}) 23... Bxc4 24. Bxc4 {The bishop likes it on c4} a4 (24... f5 25. Qf3 {=/+}) 25. Ne2 (25. Ba6 {!? +/-}) 25... Qa5 ({Less advisable is} 25... Nxc4 26. Rxc4 Qd6 27. a3 {+/=}) 26. Rc2 (26. Ng3 Qd8 {=/+} (26... Nxc4 27. Rxc4 Rfe8 28. Rfc1 {+/-})) 26... Rc7 (26... f5 27. exf5 gxf5 28. Qc1 {+/-}) 27. Nc1 (27. Ng3 f5 28. exf5 gxf5 {=/+}) 27... Kh8 ( 27... f5 28. b3 {=/+}) 28. Nd3 f5 29. f3 (29. exf5 Nxf5 30. Qg5 Bh6 {=}) 29... fxe4 30. fxe4 Rxf1+ 31. Kxf1 Rf7+ (31... b3 {!? is worthy of consideration} 32. axb3 axb3 {=/+}) 32. Kg1 {+/=} Qd8 33. Nxc5 (33. Qe1 {+/=}) 33... Qf8 {??} ( 33... Qb6 {and Black hangs on} 34. Kh2 Bf8 {=}) 34. Be2 (34. Ne6 {!?} Bh6 35. Qg3 Bf4 {+-}) 34... Bh6 {+/-} 35. Qd3 Qd8 36. Nxa4 {?? forfeits the advantage} (36. Ne6 {White has a promising position} Qh4 37. Rc6 Qf2+ 38. Kh1 {+/-}) 36... Qh4 {=} 37. Bf1 {?? overlooking an easy win} (37. g3 {would be a reprieve} Qxh3 38. Nc5 {=}) 37... Qe1 38. Qa6 (38. Qe2 {does not win a prize} Qg3 39. Qd3 Be3+ 40. Kh1 Nxe4 41. Qxe3 Qxe3 42. Ba6 Qg3 43. Kg1 Nf2 44. Rc8+ Kg7 45. Rf8 Nxh3+ 46. Kh1 Kxf8 47. Nc5 Rf2 48. Ne6+ Kg8 49. Nf4 exf4 50. a3 Qxg2#) 38... Be3+ 39. Kh2 Rxf1 40. Qa8+ (40. Qxf1 {does not improve anything} Qxf1 41. Rc1 Bxc1 42. Nc5 Bf4+ 43. g3 Qf2+ 44. Kh1 Bxg3 45. a3 Qh2#) 40... Kg7 41. Rc7+ Nf7 (41... Kh6 42. Qf8+ Rxf8 43. a3 Qg1+ 44. Kg3 Bf2+ 45. Kg4 Qxg2#) 42. Rxf7+ Rxf7 (42... Rxf7 43. Qf8+ Rxf8 44. Nc5 Qg1+ 45. Kg3 Bf2+ 46. Kg4 Qxg2#) 0-1

29 Aug 2016

B31 Sicilian: 2...Nc6 3.Bb5 g6 (1.Nf3 c5 2.e4 Nc6 3.Bb5 g6 4.O-O Bg7 5.c3 Qb6 6.Ba4)

B31 Sicilian: 2...Nc6 3.Bb5 g6 (1.Nf3 c5 2.e4 Nc6 3.Bb5 g6 4.O-O Bg7 5.c3 Qb6 6.Ba4)

The game below was played over seven years ago at Espoo in a weekend tournament. This game is from round 4. I played in group B and before this round I had only managed to get one draw, so the tournament continued to go downhill for me with this game. I lost also my last round game, so I only got 0.5 out of 5, which is one of my worst results to this day. My rating dropped 58 points because of this really bad result. I ended being on last place in the group of 20 players. My opponent finished 16th in the group.

It did not take long for me to be in a lost position in this game, in fact after my 8th move my position was completely hopeless. However, the position below is taken after 7.Na3. At that point the position is roughly even.

My reply was 7...a6 in order to prevent 8.Nb5. It was actually a huge mistake and the only move that could have kept me in the game was 7...Nge7. I did get another chance to hold the position when my friend played 8.Re1. It does leave White in a slightly better position, but 8.Nc4 would have been the move that has the possibility to fight for a clear advantage. Unfortunately for me, I did not use my last chance and played the horrible 8...d6 for some reason. I can't really remember the reason for that move anymore. My best option was to play 8...Nge7. After the gigantic blunder 8...d6, Tomi was able to find a strong continuation that should have resulted in my resignation, but for some reason I wanted to suffer a bit longer and only resigned after the move 22.Nc5.

[Event "MatSK"] [Site "?"] [Date "2009.03.01"] [Round "4"] [White "Tocklin, Tomi"] [Black "Vierjoki, Timo"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B31"] [WhiteElo "1834"] [BlackElo "1734"] [Annotator "Stockfish 7 64 POPCNT (30s), TV"] [PlyCount "43"] [EventDate "2008.??.??"] 1. Nf3 c5 2. e4 Nc6 3. Bb5 g6 {Sicilian Defense: Nyezhmetdinov-Rossolimo Attack, Fianchetto Variation} 4. O-O Bg7 5. c3 Qb6 (5... e5 6. d4 {Sicilian Defense: Nyezhmetdinov-Rossolimo Attack, Fianchetto Variation, Gufeld Gambit}) (5... Nf6 6. d4 {Sicilian Defense: Nyezhmetdinov-Rossolimo Attack, Fianchetto Variation, Lutikov Gambit}) 6. Ba4 {B31 Sicilian: 2...Nc6 3.Bb5 g6} e6 7. Na3 ( 7. d4 cxd4 8. cxd4 Nxd4 9. Na3 Ne7 10. Nc4 Qa6 11. Nxd4 Qxc4 12. Be3 O-O 13. Rc1 Qb4 14. a3 Qxb2 15. Qd3 Qb6 16. Nf5 Qd8 17. Nxg7 Kxg7 18. Qd6 Nc6 19. Rfd1 f6 20. Bxc6 bxc6 21. e5 f5 {Timman,J (2610)-Short,N (2650) Hilversum 1989 1/ 2-1/2 (40)}) 7... a6 (7... Nge7 8. Nb5 O-O 9. d4 cxd4 10. Nbxd4 a6 11. Re1 Qc7 12. Nxc6 Nxc6 13. Be3 b5 14. Bc2 Ne5 15. Bf4 Rd8 16. a4 Bb7 17. axb5 axb5 18. Rxa8 Bxa8 19. Nd4 Qb6 20. Bg5 Re8 21. Nb3 d5 22. Be3 {Savic,D (2109)-Civric,Z (2211) Sabac 2014 1/2-1/2 (54)}) 8. Re1 {N} (8. Nc4 Qc7 9. Bxc6 Qxc6 10. e5 Ne7 11. Nd6+ Kf8 12. d4 b6 13. Ng5 f6 14. exf6 Qxd6 15. fxe7+ Kxe7 16. Qf3 { 1-0 (16) Horvath,A (2245)-Bastys,R Rimavska Sobota 1996}) (8. Nc4 Qc7 9. Bxc6 { +/-}) 8... d6 {?? Prevents intrusion on e5} (8... Nge7 {+/= was possible}) 9. d4 {+-} cxd4 10. cxd4 Bd7 (10... Kf8 11. Nc4 Qd8 {+-}) 11. d5 Nb8 (11... Ne5 { no good, but what else?} 12. Bxd7+ Kxd7 13. dxe6+ fxe6 {+-}) 12. dxe6 fxe6 ( 12... Bxa4 {does not save the day} 13. exf7+ Kxf7 14. Qd5+ Ke7 15. Ng5 {+-}) 13. Nc4 Qb4 (13... Qc7 {does not help much} 14. Bxd7+ Qxd7 15. Nb6 {+-}) 14. Nxd6+ Ke7 (14... Kf8 {doesn't get the bull off the ice} 15. Bxd7 Nxd7 16. a3 { +-}) 15. Bg5+ Bf6 16. Bxd7 (16. e5 {and White can already relax} Bxg5 17. Nxg5 Nc6 {+-}) 16... Nxd7 (16... Qxd6 {is one last hope} 17. Qxd6+ Kxd6 18. e5+ Kxd7 19. exf6 Nc6 20. Rad1+ Ke8 21. Rxe6+ Kf7 {+-}) 17. e5 Bxg5 18. Nxg5 Nh6 19. Rc1 Raf8 20. Nde4 (20. Rc7 Rd8 21. Nc8+ Ke8 22. Nxe6 Nf5 23. Nxd8 Qd4 24. e6 Nc5 25. Qxd4 Nxd4 26. Nxb7 Ncxe6 27. Re7+ Kf8 28. Nbd6 Nf3+ 29. gxf3 Ng5 30. Rd7 Nxf3+ 31. Kh1 Nxe1 32. Rf7+ Kg8 33. Ne7#) 20... Nf5 21. Rc7 Nd4 22. Nc5 (22. Nc5 Rd8 23. Nge4 {+-}) 1-0

26 Aug 2016

Chess960 SP497

Chess960 SP497

The chess960 filled week is coming to its end, though I still have to publish the last video of the week after this post, but other than that I am getting very close of preparing things for next week again. Especially this week the videos I have shared to YouTube have been of games that I have shared the previous day in this blog, which is in some ways a problem. To me, it is obviously convenient to share the games in this way, but if someone who follows both this blog and my YouTube channel, things can get a bit repetitive. While I think both ways are exploring the game in different ways, I might need to do something a bit different for next week and in the future.

While I played this game, I did not really like the way I started the game, but today when I added the reference game into the notation, I saw that the game followed a game between two strong engines up to my move 3.Ngf3, which made me think that maybe the start of the game was okay after all. That being said, the problem I have with the move 2.d3 is that it blocks the natural development square of my e-knight. I actually kind of liked the way that my opponent developed his or her pieces. Especially the bishop pair that my opponent had seemed more dangerous than their counterparts. Well, my light-squared bishop was my problem bishop and maybe the dark-squared bishop for my opponent was maybe a big pawn. However, the dark-squared bishop had at least the potential of being a strong piece in case that the c-pawn advances and the bishop would then target f2. It never became a reality and I was actually the one to play c4 blocking the a7-g1 diagonal for the bishop after which it became just a big pawn. Small inaccuracies by my opponent, 10...h6 and 11...Qd7 allowed me to gain a small advantage. The position after 12.Rd1 is seen in the diagram below.

Here danishdog's position started to fall apart. My opponent played the move 12...Bc6, which is a really bad move. After the reply 13.Ne5 I should be winning according to Stockfish. I did complicate things by playing 16.Qc3 in the position below. After I had moved the queen to c3, it did not seem like a good place for it and there indeed is some problems with it. The queen can be easily driven away from c3, for instance. I should be clearly better even after the queen move because my pieces are better developed and the bishop on b6 is a really bad piece.

My opponent did go for the right idea at first by moving the knight to e4 on move 16 and harassed my queen. The queen went to d3 and after that 17...N8f6 was played. At that moment I thought that I had to go to b1 with the bishop in order to give the square c2 for my queen after my opponent plays Rd8. I was wrong, it seems and I could have actually taken the rook with my queen and with precise play I would have a winning advantage. In the game I followed my plan and played the queen to c2, giving away most of my advantage. Of course, I was not aware of that during the game. Some inaccuracies later we reached the position below. It is taken after my 22nd move h3.

For me the game became really easy because my opponent blundered with 23...Rh6. It was a desperate move in the time trouble my opponent was in. Well, danishdog had a bit over a minute left on the clock when he or she played that move. I had a bit over 3 minutes left on my clock at that time. I think my opponent wanted me to take on g4 with my h-pawn, but instead I took on e4 with the queen and had easily winning position in front of me. I think hxg4 would have been good enough for a win too, but 23.Qxe4 was the simpler way to go. I have added mate in two puzzles 738 - 741 and mate in four puzzle 527 today.

The game above can also viewed in the video below.

25 Aug 2016

Chess960 SP343

Chess960 SP343

This short game was played at This is so short that the reference game in the notation is actually a lot longer and perhaps more interesting because of it. There is nothing wrong with the moves 1.d4 g6, but already with the move 2.c4 my opponent gets into trouble. While the loss of a pawn might seem rather bad this early, my opponent, gftklmt, did get minimal compensation for it in view of more space. Apart from the pawn sacrifice, I think gftklmt played reasonable moves until my opponent played 5.Ne5. The move does not make any sense at all to me. My opponent can't afford to waste moves like this if he or she wants to get a good result from the game. The final blunder came in the form of 9.Ndxc5 in the position below.

Of course this game would have been quite easy to play even if my opponent had not sacrificed the queen, but since it resulted in gftklmt's resignation, it helped a lot in ending the game. I have added mate in one puzzles 521 & 522 and mate in three puzzles 663 - 665 today.

This game can also be viewed in the video below. In the video I discuss my thought process during the game and also offer some analysis after the game.

24 Aug 2016

Chess960 SP529

Chess960 SP529

This game, like the one I shared yesterday, were played last Sunday, though this one was played at It was also the day when I played in a simultanenous exhibition against a FIDE Master Kalle Niemi, against whom I managed to get a draw. It was the second simultaneous exhibition I had played in this year, in the first one I played against Grand Master Heikki Westerinen and that game I lost. These chess960 games I played in the evening of last Sunday and I was quite tired when I played them. When I am tired or otherwise can't properly concentrate on the games, it has a very noticeable effect on my playing strength, I play a lot worse than I would normally play.

I really struggled to find a good way to develop my pieces from the move 4 onward. I think I should have played 4.c4 and put my light-squared bishop to c2 and move my knight to c3 via e2. It seems to me the best way to handle the development at this moment. The moves I went for in the game seem overly complicated and bad to me. For instance, the move 6.Nb2 was intended to be the starting point for its journey to e3 via c4. I ended up in even bigger problems when I played 9.c4, in the position below. Had I played 9.Re1, I might have been still fighting for a draw in a slightly worse position. While my opponent did not find the strongest reply, pancake should still be favored after 9...Bc7.

On my 10th move I made an even bigger blunder with d4. It seemed like a good idea to try to open the e-file, since pancake's king was still at e8. However, I had not seen all the possible replies by my opponent and pancake had for a couple of moves a completely winning position. Until we reached the position after 12.bxc4. In the position below pancake went off the winning path by playing 12...e4.

Pancake's 12th move gave me an opportunity to seize the advantage, but horrible moves continued both from me and my opponent and in the end pancake was the one who stopped blundering first, which meant that my opponent was the one who ended up being on the better side of the board. I was in huge trouble in the position you can see below. I was down the exchange and very likely to lose the game, but then my opponent decided to play 24...b5, which gave me some much needed counterplay. Enough in fact that I had full compensation for the material lost. I continued with the correct idea 25.c6 in order to give my dark squared bishop a square on c5. Pancake replied with 25...Bd6, which I thought to be a good move during the game and lessen the impact of the move Bc5. However, I was wrong in my assumption. It was actually a bad idea to play 25...Bd6 and had I moved my bishop to c5, I could have been on the driver's seat for the rest of the game.

I went for the pawn on a7 instead and the chance to take the advantage passed me by. Then with my 27th move, Bc5, I handed over the advantage to pancake. My opponent was able to maintain the advantage until we reached this position. In this position pancake unwisely played 31...bxc4 and allowed my knight to jump to c4. I think this was already the time trouble phase of the game. It also explains the huge blunder 32...Rc8. After that I was, of course, completely winning, but I was very low on time and it was hard to make good moves.

My opponent was even kind enough to step into mate in one, one or two seconds before my time ran out. Unfortunately I was unable to find 42.Bd1. Had I seen the idea early enough, I would have had time to play that move and win the game. I have added mate in two puzzles 735 - 737 and mate in three puzzles 661 & 662 today.

This game can also viewed in the video below and you can hear my live commentary and after game analysis. There are also some comments added in the video editing phase.

23 Aug 2016

Chess960 SP626

Chess960 SP626

Last Sunday I played my 5th chess960 game at FICS in a sleep deprived state. It was not a good idea to put my rating points in jeopardy, but for some reason I thought it would go well. For one thing, I did not expect to get a clearly higher rated opponent, because it is something that almost never happens. This is not because my rating would always be all that high when compared to the ratings of other people, however, my Wild rating at FICS was 1995 before this game, which is a reasonably high rating. That Wild rating means in my case a chess960 rating, since it is the only chess variant I have played there. Due to my long period of inactivity when playing chess960 at FICS, my ratings deviation or RD had become quite high, which meant that my rating dropped 112 points because I lost this game. Maybe with the next game I can get back over 1900 and start chasing the 2000+ rating once more.

When I finally got an opponent to play a game, it seemed to take forever, I moved quite fast, so that my opponent would not abort the game. I had already at this point tried to get a game at, but there nobody was interested in playing against me with the time controls I would have liked to play with. I spent a few minutes waiting for an opponent there and then switched to FICS. The problem with moving rather fast was that I had not properly looked at the starting position. This had the unfortunate result of me playing a horrible and ill-advised first move against 1.Ng3. The move I chose, 1...g6, is quite bad in my opinion because it blocks the natural development square of the h-knight. I played 1...g6 in order to get my dark-squared bishop to g7, but I realised after the reply 2.b3 that moving the bishop to g7 would be stupid immediately and therefore I had to prepare it by blocking the long diagonal with 2...e5. Had I played 1...e5 and developed my bishop to the f8-a3 diagonal, I might have not wasted so much time to make my silly first move to make some sense. My awful first move had made the development of the kingside pieces much harder than it should have been.

Regardless of the bad start, I should have been only slightly worse and draw could have been still within my grasp. My real problems started when we reached the position below. In that position I wanted to defend the e-pawn with my d-pawn because had I played 5...f6, the bishop on g7 would have seem like a really bad piece. What I did not realise in my sleep deprived state was that defending the e-pawn with the d-pawn can be really bad for me, since it might lead to the opening of the d-file where my king resided. Of course my opponent was more awake and took his or her opportunity to open the d-file with devastating consequences for me. Anandkvs played 6.dxe5 and at this point in the game I had my last chance of saving the game. Had I played 6...O-O-O and sacrificed the e-pawn, I might have survived.

I replied with 6...Bxe5, which turned out to be the losing move. I did unintentionally make the winning easier for my opponent than I should have a few moves later when I played 10...f5. It was answered with the move 11.Bc4, which wins more material by force. I should have maybe resigned at that point, but wanted to prolong my misery for some reason, but a few moves later I had to accept that there was no way I could get even a draw from this game, so I resigned after 15.Qxe5. I have added mate in two puzzles 732 - 734, mate in three puzzle 660 and mate in four puzzle 526 today.