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29 Feb 2016

Chess960 SP684

Chess960 SP684

Today it is time to share yet another chess960 game from ChessRex. This one started on December 1st, 2015 and finished on February 11th, 2016. This has been the only unofficial game I have played there and it is sort of a shame that this was not a rated game, because I could have gained a decent amount of rating points from this game. This is because my opponent was higher rated than me by roughly 300 points. My rating at ChessRex is currently quite low compared to other sites I play at, but I should be able to get to a similar rating there as I have been able to get on other sites. For each of their moves, both players could have used 7 days, well most of it anyway.

This is one of those starting positions where I do not like the initial squares for the bishops. This is because I woould like to avoid playing both c4 and f4, due to the fact that I would like to castle to the kingside or the queenside. I would probably prefer castling kingside because I would like to get my queen active by moving the b-pawn and if I fianchetto the queen, I would probably be facing some troubles on the long diagonal if I were to castle queenside. Then again it might not be that easy to take advantage of the long diagonal in this particular starting position because the bishops start pretty much at the worst possible squares.

I started the game by playing 1.e4, I decided to move the e-pawn instead of the pawns that could have helped in the development of the bishops because I wanted to take the center in control with one of my pawns. I prefer e4 over d4 because I want to castle kingside and also because now I can develop my f-knight to e3 where it eyes on squares like d5 and f5 and further increases my control over important squares. RAGINGBULL replied e4 with Ng6, with the idea of preventing me from playing f4 and opening the diagonal for the bishop or that is what I assume at least. The knight on g6 also controls the important center square e5. I go ahead with my plan of 2.Ne3 and RAGINGBULL replies with f6. It is true that RAGINGBULL's move opens the diagonal for the bishop where it is probably better placed than tucked away on h7, but positionally f6 does not look so great to me. I continue by trying to get the center even more firmly in my grasp with d4, but now my opponent challenges it with e5. 4.Nf3 might not have been the best idea from me, but it is not a huge mistake either, more like an inaccurate move. I think both players continue with natural looking moves until we come to the position after 8...fxe5. Actually already after 7...O-O, I was quite certain that I could win a pawn. I could not see any real problems with 9.Nxe5, so of course I took the pawn. If I do not see a clear reason why I can't take some material, I usually end up taking it. I would have been better off by castling than taking the pawn, but everything worked out in the game continuation though only because RAGINGBULL was not able to take full advantage of my mistakes.

If a move like 11.f4 could have put me in a clearly worse position, then my moves 14.Rfe1 and 15.Bd4 should have been bad enough to lose the game. The game does go towards a more even position yet again on move 17, but with my 18th move my position starts to go down the drain again. Luckily for me, this was the last time in the game when I made a huge blunder. RAGINGBULL went astray couple of times after this and those two blunders were enough for me to keep the advantage on my side until the end of the game. I have added one analysed game to the following posts: A45 Indian Game: General, C41 Philidor Defense: Exchange Variation #2, B01 Scandinavian Defense: Icelandic-Palme Gambit and C46 Four Knights Game: Gunsberg Variation. I have also added one mate in two, three mate in three and one mate in four puzzle today.

26 Feb 2016

C44 Scotch Game: Göring Gambit, Double Pawn Sacrifice

C44 Scotch Game: Göring Gambit, Double Pawn Sacrifice

This week's last post adds one more opening variation that I have not covered before in the blog. This game was played on the first round of the 2015 October Grand Split Three Seven I 1800+ tournament. The game below sees its first mistake with the move 6...Be7, 6...Nf6 would be the preferred move in this position. I think I saw the problem of the move I chose after I had made the move 6...Be7, but at that point there was not all that much I could do about it. The reason why 6...Be7 is bad is the fact that red cloud could have played 7.Qb3 and I can't really defend f7. 7...Nh6 does not work because Bxh6 and 7...Na5 is not much better because it would lose the f-pawn as well. For some reason red cloud did not play Qb3, but instead castled, which gives me time to breathe. Shortly after that I start to gain some small advantage, which I give away again on move 15.

Apart from the blunder Be7, I had played the first 14 moves quite decently. The game goes to a balanced state for a couple of moves and then I make one of the worst moves I remember of making, 17...Bd8. The position was quite difficult for me to play at this point, but I have no idea why I did not even consider the move 17...Qb7, it would have been more natural move to make. Maybe I was worried about some wierd ideas like Rxe7, followed by Bxf6, which would sacrifice the exchange in order to get the pawn cover in front of the king opened up and weakened. Combine that with Qh5 and my opponent would have had some compensation for the exchange in my opinion unless there is something obvious I am missing. I did check that line a bit with the computer just now, after typing that last sentence and Stockfish really does not like my idea. Even though White seems to be getting some compensation for the exchange, it is far from adequate. I have added one mate in one, one mate in three, two mate in four and one mate in five puzzle. I have also added one analysed game to my post D12 Slav Defense: Quiet Variation. Pin Defense. Until Monday, my fellow chess and chess960 enthusiasts! Monday I will go through one chess960 game again, so if you like chess960, remember to check out that post! It is a better quality game than the two I posted this week.

25 Feb 2016

Chess960 SP180

Chess960 SP180

Another chess960 game and this is against the same opponent as in the game I shared yesterday. Both of these games had the same thinking times, but in neither game did the players use as much of the time as would have been allowed or even most of it. This at least was a little bit longer game than the short game I shared yesterday. The game below started on February 1st and finished on February 19th.

Like in many other starting positions, I first make sure that my bishops can be developed to places where I want to put them. The position of the queen determines for me on which side I want to castle, however, the location of the bishops might also contribute to the castling decision. In this particular starting position where the queens are located at h1 and h8, I would never want to castle short but instead I would prefer castling long. Actually in many chess960 starting positions that I have so far covered, I tend to castle long. In chess, I would like to castle short more often than not.

2.a3 is probably not the ideal move to play, but I do want to get my bishop from b1 to a2 because I would like to castle queenside. Therefore I would not like to move my c-pawn to develop the bishop because I think that my king would be less safe on the queenside if I move that pawn. Vladimirmilanovic responded with 2...e6, which seems a bit passive move. Had I been playing with the black pieces, I would have played most likely either 2...Bf5 or 2...Nf6.

I think 3.Ba2 and 3...Nb6 are reasonable developing moves to continue the game. If I would play this game again, I might change my move order a bit. It probably would have been better to play 3.Bf4 and follow that up with 4.Ba2 unless similar thing happens as in this game... I would prefer to play those two moves in that order because the move order in the game allows 3...c6, which would prevent me from playing 4.Bf4. In the game continuation my opponent plays for some reason 4...c6, which loses the game immediately, or at least a piece but when no counterplay is seen as a compensation for the piece, it should be the losing move. In fact, the rest of the game is just a matter of how one wants to win the game. I have added one analysed game to the following posts: C41 Philidor Defense: Larsen Variation, E72 King's Indian Defense: Normal Variation. Deferred Fianchetto, B92 Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation. Opocensky Variation and C28 Vienna Game: Stanley Variation, Three Knights Variation. I have also added five mate in three puzzles today.

Game number two. This is a game that was played at lichess.org on April 12th, 2016. The basic time was 10 minutes and there was also a 10 second increment. I think the first move that was not good was the move I played after 2.Nf3. As I now look at the position, I should have played 2...c6, with the idea of 3...d5. Had I been able to do that then I would not have had any problems developing my pieces, except for the queen. The problem piece is the queen on h8 because had I gone for the c6, d5 plan, then I would like to keep my king on the kingside, but as I would have needed to play h6 or h5 to get the queen into play keeping the king on the kingside does not look good to me. I would not like to play g6, because that would open the possibility to the annoying move Bh6+ in some positions. The reason I do not like 2...d6, is that it further blocks the diagonal for my dark-squared bishop.

Tricks_and_botches continued with 3.d4 and now I have to take on d4 with my pawn, because otherwise I lose material or weaken my position further. After 4.Nxd4 I played a6 in order to get my bishop developed to a7. The pawn on a6 also covers the square b5, so that my opponent can't place a knight there. Not that there would be any reason to move the knight there anyway in this position. Then my opponent castled and I played my bishop to a7. I think the only inaccuracy from me up to that point was 2...d6. Tricks_and_botches played 6.e5, the point of which I did not understand at first... Therefore I played the stupid 6...dxe5, which is a blunder that lost the game for me. After 8.Rxd8 I had a knight and a pawn for the exchange, which is not good enough because I do not think that even my slightly better development at the moment compensates for the material loss. The rook on the eight rank is restricting my options to finish my development. My knight can't move from e8 at the moment and my queen on h8 is quite hard to get into the play since playing g6 seems like a horrible idea in view of Bh6. I had to play 8...Nb6 in order to save my knight and after 9.Be3 I had to castle to get away from Bc5+. Then after 10.g3, my position went further down the drain with the move c6. I should have played Nd6 and accepted the fact that I need to trade rooks. Due to the blunder I made in the game, I had to lose another exchange. I bet a lot of people would considered of resigning the game at this point with the black pieces and I did think about it, but wanted to prolong my suffering for some reason. I was able to finally get some play and even got some material back 17...cxd5. After that I was down a mere pawn in material and thought that maybe I can get a draw after all. However, the longer the game went on, it became clear that there is no chance for me to get a draw from this game and I had to resign on move 40.

The game above can also be viewed with my live commentary. The video can be seen below.

24 Feb 2016

Chess960 SP520

Chess960 SP520

This short chess960 game was played at ChessRex between February 1st and February 7th this year. Both players had four days to use for each of their moves. I think both players start the game with logical moves. 1.e4 might not have been the move I would have chosen to play with the white pieces because I would prefer to make sure that my bishops have good squares to go to as they often seem to me the most problematic pieces to develop in a chess960 game. Therefore I might have opened up with 1.d4 or 1.c4 instead. I replied 1.e4 with d5 because I thought to go for aggressive play as soon as possible. Not only does it attack the e-pawn immediately, but it also opens the e8-a4 diagonal for my bishop and I thought I might get to develop it with a check. After two moves one might think that we are playing a variation of the Scandinavian Defense if one would only see the moves and not the arrangement of the pieces on the back rank. On move three both players continue naturally by developing their knights. 4.d4 might not seem that bad of a move, but when you think that I could have replied with c5, it does seem to me at least that Black has the initiave.

I did not play c5, but instead developed my bishop because I like to be ahead on development if possible. I did consider the fact that the bishop might be a bit awkwardly placed on b5, because in some positions I might have to be careful not to allow c4 forking the queen and the bishop. The threat of that did not seem likely to occur all that soon, so I landed my bishop on b5. My opponent replied to the check with Kg1, but Nd3 seems to better alternative because that does not lose the right to castle. I finally play c5, but a move earlier it might have been stronger. Vladirmilanovic replies with 6.c3 which is maybe a bit too passive move and a4 would have been a better move. Playing a4 does not only attack the bishop on b5, but also may have the idea of developing the bishop to a2. Then again the bishop might be better placed on the b1-h7 diagonal. The game starts to go further down the drain for my opponent after that mistake 6.a3 and on move 9 comes a terrible blunder, which basically secures my win. Giving me a free piece without any counterplay is not really a good idea... The game finishes shortly after this as my opponent self-destructs. I have added two analysed games to my post E38 Nimzo-Indian Defense: Classical Variation. Berlin Variation and one analysed game to these two posts B15 Caro-Kann Defense: Gurgenidze System and C52 Italian Game: Evans Gambit. Slow Variation. I have also added one mate in one, one mate in two, one mate in three, one mate in four and one mate in five puzzle today.

23 Feb 2016

B83 Sicilian Scheveningen: 6.Be2, lines without ...a6 (7...Bd7)

B83 Sicilian Scheveningen: 6.Be2, lines without ...a6 (7...Bd7)

The game below was my second game in a row against Nestor Oprysk and my third consecutive win at FOA. This game is the 1260th analysed chess game that has appeared in this blog and the 743rd (58.97%) win. Those analysed games also contain 124 (9.84%) draws and 393 (31.19%) losses. There are also 469 different opening variations covered in the blog, getting closer to 500 later this week though only by one. The most played opening variation still is A20 English Opening: King's English Variation. General, which has appeared in 45 games so far, which is roughly 3.6% out of all the games. My most successful opening variation that has appeared at least in 10 games is C41 Philidor Defense because my winning percentage is 100 in that so far after 10 games. The opening variation that has caused me most grief in the same category is C34 King's Gambit: Accepted. Fischer Defense because I have lost 45% out of the 20 games that are in the blog currently.

The game below features only one major blunder and it decided the game in my favor. The move 18...Ra7 does look like a mouse slip as there does not seem any other reason to play the rook there. At least I can't see any. The position where my opponent played his 18th move can be seen below.

I replied with 19.Bxa7 and my opponent resigned. I have added one analysed game to the following posts: C88 Spanish Game: Closed, C18 French Defense: Winawer Variation, Advance Variation #2, C42 Petrov's Defense #2 and D43 Semi-Slav Defense: General. I have added one mate in one, three mate in two and one mate in four puzzle today.

[Event "Challenge 37292238"] [Site "online arena"] [Date "2016.01.28"] [Round "1"] [White "Vierjoki, Timo"] [Black "Oprysk, Nestor"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B83"] [WhiteElo "1847"] [BlackElo "1705"] [Annotator "Stockfish 8 64 POPCNT (30s), TV"] [PlyCount "37"] [EventDate "2016.??.??"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 e6 6. Be2 Nc6 {Sicilian Defense: Scheveningen Variation, Modern Variation (#3)} 7. Be3 (7. O-O Be7 8. Be3 O-O 9. f4 Bd7 10. Nb3 {Sicilian Defense: Scheveningen Variation, Modern Variation (#2)}) 7... Bd7 {B83 Sicilian Scheveningen: 6.Be2, lines without ... a6} 8. O-O Nxd4 9. Qxd4 (9. Bxd4 Bc6 10. Qd3 (10. Bd3 Be7 11. a3 O-O 12. b4 a6 13. Kh1 Qc7 14. f4 Nd7 15. e5 g6 16. Qe1 Rfe8 17. Qg3 Bf8 18. Rad1 dxe5 19. fxe5 Bg7 20. b5 axb5 21. Nxb5 Bxb5 22. Bxb5 Re7 23. Rde1 Nc5 24. a4 Rd8 { Blakaj,M-Makolli,P (2261) Gjakova 2016 0-1 (48)}) 10... Be7 11. f4 {1/2-1/2 (11) Sikula,V (2486)-Sax,G (2520) Hungary 2005}) 9... Be7 $146 {Black has a cramped position} (9... Bc6 10. Rad1 a6 11. a4 (11. f4 Be7 12. f5 e5 13. Qd3 Qa5 {1/2-1/2 (13) Lindberg,B (2443) -Sax,G (2527) Balatonlelle 2007}) 11... Be7 12. f4 O-O 13. Kh1 (13. b4 Rc8 14. b5 axb5 15. axb5 Be8 16. Kh1 Nd7 17. Na4 Rxc2 18. Bd3 Rc8 19. e5 dxe5 20. fxe5 Bg5 21. Qe4 g6 22. Rf3 b6 23. Rh3 Nc5 24. Nxc5 bxc5 25. Be2 Qe7 26. Bc4 Rb8 27. Rb1 Rb6 {Coenen,M (2309)-Lahaye, R (2398) Spijkenisse 2013 0-1 (70)}) 13... Rc8 14. Bf3 Qc7 15. f5 b5 16. fxe6 fxe6 17. axb5 axb5 18. Bg5 h6 19. Bh4 e5 20. Qb4 Qb7 21. Bxf6 Rxf6 22. Nd5 Bxd5 23. Rxd5 Rc5 24. Rfd1 {Fernandez Aguado,E (2357) -Campos Moreno,J (2498) Spain 2004 1/ 2-1/2 (38)}) (9... Bc6 10. Rad1 $11) 10. Rad1 (10. Nb5 Bc6 11. Rfd1 O-O 12. Nxd6 Bxd6 13. Qxd6 Qxd6 14. Rxd6 Nxe4 $14) 10... O-O $11 11. Nb5 Bxb5 12. Bxb5 {White has the pair of bishops} Qa5 13. Bc4 Nd7 (13... Rfc8 14. c3 $11) 14. Qd2 Qxd2 15. Rxd2 Ne5 (15... Rfc8 $5 16. Be2 Nf6 $11) 16. Be2 $16 Rac8 17. Bxa7 ( 17. b3 Nd7 $14) 17... Ra8 $14 {Black threatens to win material: Ra8xa7} 18. Bd4 Ra7 $4 (18... Rxa2 $142 {the only rescuing move} 19. f4 Nc6 $11) 19. Bxa7 $18 1-0

22 Feb 2016

B18 Caro-Kann Defense: Classical Variation, Maroczy Attack

B18 Caro-Kann Defense: Classical Variation, Maroczy Attack

Today I have added three correspondence games and this one 15 minute rapid game that was played at the FIDE Online Arena on December 12th, 2015. This was the 47th rapid game with a rating of 1700 or above and this was the 5th 15 minute game I played on December 12th. I was also back over 1800 after been below it for too long in my arrogant opinion. I knew that I could get the title then no matter what, as only three games remained for the game requirement because it is impossible to drop the rating over 100 points in those three games. The three remaining games from the 50 game requirement I will post tomorrow as well as couple of newer games I have played at the FIDE Online Arena. After that I will start posting my recent correspondence games again.

The first mistake of the game saw the light of day after my opponent played 10...a6. It is a move that I do not understand at all. Amedeo Rinaldo Romussi would have been better off developing his bishop or with any other move that helps in the development of his pieces. Obviously I do not play the best possible move as a reply, but even with my move I have a clear advantage. The game continues in a way that seems really good for me, but my inaccuracies give my opponent an easier time. For example, I am not sure why I played 13.Nxf5 because 13.Rhe1+ would be so much better. By playing 13.Rhe1+, I would keep Amedeo Rinaldo's king in the center a little bit longer. I do play Rhe1 a move later, but by then it is much more mild than it would have been a move earlier. Times like these I think that all the connections in my brain are probably not working correctly... Amedeo Rinaldo replies with 14...g6, which would have given me a clear advantage, had I played an accurate response. The game continuation fizzles out to an even position, until on move 17, my opponent makes another mistake that gives me the advantage again.

My bad move 19.Kb1 equalises the position once again and my advantage is short-lived. The game continued to head towards a draw and it would have probably ended in one too without the blunder 33...Nd6. Even after that I do not seem to find the right ideas because on move 35, I played Be3. I may have considered the possibility of winning the pawn on b7 by taking on d6 and then on b7, but for some reason I have rejected the idea. Maybe I could not calculate if my opponent gets some counterplay on the kingside and therefore ended up playing a move that seemed safer. After Be3, the position remained even for a long time and only on his 50th move, my opponent blunders the game away. I have added one analysed game to the following posts: B44 Sicilian Defense: Paulsen Variation. General, B00 Owen Defense: General and C50 Italian Game: General. I have also added one mate in one, three mate in three and one mate in four puzzle today.

19 Feb 2016

C00 Queen's Pawn Game: Franco-Sicilian Defense

C00 Queen's Pawn Game: Franco-Sicilian Defense

This was played on the third round of a rapid chess tournament at the FIDE Online Arena. On the first round of this tournament I won on time because my opponent did not make any moves. Then on the second round I lost because my opponent made better moves than me. It was nice to end this tournament with a win, but this tournament experiment did not bring me as close to the game requirement for the title as I would have liked. I was very determined to get the title on December 12th, so I continued playing at FOA after this game as long as it took to get the remaining games played.

The game below starts to go a bit wrong for my opponent with the move 7...Nxf3+, absolutes should have played 7...Ng6 instead, for instance. Due to my inaccuracy on move 10, I let my opponent off the hook a bit and the position evens out a bit again. Absolutes replies with 10...O-O-O, which is a blunder because I can take advantage of the fact that the queen and rook are on the same diagonal by playing Bg5. After Bg5 I am clearly better and after my opponent blunders even more with 18...Ng4, the game is completely lost for absolutes. The rest of the game is just a matter of style and technique on how one likes to finish the game. I have added one analysed game to these two posts: A45 Trompowsky Attack: Classical Defense and C84 Spanish Game: Closed Variations. I have also added two mate in one, one mate in three and two mate in four puzzles today. Until Monday, my fellow chess enthusiasts!

18 Feb 2016

C18 French Defense: Winawer Variation, Retreat Variation

C18 French Defense: Winawer Variation, Retreat Variation

I was able to get so close to 1800 at the FIDE Online Arena before I lost a game again and the incline turned into a small decline. This was the 44th rapid game in a row where my rating was 1700 or above and I was only 6 games away from securing the title of Arena International Master. I had won four games in a row at FOA before this loss occured and I think it might be my best winning streak there, but I can't say it for certain without actually looking at my statistics in more detail. I think it would have been still possible to not get the title had I lost all my remaining games against much weaker opponents. That being said, I of course tried to play against similarly rated players or higher rated ones in order to ensure that my goal was reached.

The game below started to go wrong for me quite quickly as I played the silly 6.f4 and instead I should have played 6.Bd2. While f4 might not have been huge mistake, but instead a small inaccuracy, I should avoid that move in my future games if I can remember it that is. The first real blunder I play on move 8. I should have played 8.Qd3 instead of Qa4. 8.Qa4 is a novelty in the position, nobody had played that stupid move before, at least according to my reference database. Due to some inaccuracies, I found myself in a balanced position again after 10...Qxa5. However, I did not play the most accurate moves and I started to drift towards an inferior position. The position does even out a again until make my position worse again by playing 16.Bxd5. I should have castled instead.

My biggest troubles of the game start when make a really bad move 20.Kd2. It could have been the losing move, but due to a mistake by my opponent, 27...Nxb2+, I have some chances to draw this game again. The game does continue in Andrea's small advantage, but at least it is no longer winning after his 27th move. I get my last chance for the draw on move 31, but I do not see the right idea and instead played the losing move 31.Rb2. Andrea Martelli dominates the rest of the game and does not give me anymore chances for a draw. I have added one analysed game to the following posts: E00 Indian Game: East Indian Defense, A45 Indian Game: General and C70 Spanish Game: Morphy Defense, Graz Variation. I have also added one mate in one, three mate in three and one mate in four puzzle today.

17 Feb 2016

B15 Caro-Kann Defense

B15 Caro-Kann Defense

The game below was the 40th consecutive rapid game for me with a rating of 1700 or above at FIDE Online Arena and I needed to play 10 more games to receive my second official FIDE title. This was my second consecutive game against Costache Florin Remus and my sixth rapid game on December 8th. As far as I can remember, all of these games were played rather quickly. This certainly was a good thing as long as my results were good enough so that my rating did not drop alarmingly close to 1700 or below it which would have been a disaster as it would have reset the game counter again.

The first mistake of the game might have been when my opponent played 5...a6, it was better to play Be7 and get the development going. Costache is clearly behind in development after this, but because I did not play efficiently enough, my opponent was not punished so severely on his misplay. Then on move 8, I played Bh4 which gave the advantage I had to Costache. He does give that small advantage back immediately, so I survived my mistake without any punishment from my opponent. The next inaccuracy saw the light of day when I played 15.Ne5, which brings the game back to a balanced state. Costache replies with Rc8, which is a rather passive square for the rook, it was better to play c5 in order to open the long diagonal for the bishop. I foolishy replied with Ng4 because I wanted to trade the knights and perhaps get my queen to the kingside in order to get something going there.

Both players kept making bad moves, but when I played 21.c4, I suffered quite a long time until my opponent blundered the game away with the move 37...Re1. Between those two moves, I was at times completely lost. After the move of 37...Re1, I was not about to give my opponent any more chances and won the game with reasonable ease. I would like to mention one thing though, on move 49 Costache plays hxg3 and while that is the final mistake in my opinion, it might have been his best chance to get some counterplay. I did see though that I can force the trade of queens and then my b-pawn becomes unstoppable. Had I not traded queens at this point, I might have had some technical problems. I have added one mate in one, two mate in two, one mate in three and one mate in four puzzle.

16 Feb 2016

A07 King's Indian Attack: Yugoslav Variation #2

A07 King's Indian Attack: Yugoslav Variation #2

As my hunt for the title continued on December 8th, I ended up playing seven games during this same day. The game below was my fifth game of the day. I really wanted to get the game requirement for the Arena International Master title done as soon as possible and now that the first four games seemed to be over quickly, I thought that I might as well play more games and see if the other ones are over as quickly as the four previous ones were. As this was my 39th rapid game, I still needed to play 11 games in a decent manner to obtain the new title. Losing this game did not really bring my confidence up, but the doubt began to grow whether or not I am going to mess things up again. I did end up playing two more games against Costache Florin Remus on December 8th and those went well enough that I thought I am able to do this without any problems and it is in fact only matter of playing the games I had left in order to achieve my goal. Admittedly nothing was certain at this point, had I lost enough games in a row, the game counter would have reset again.

In theory the move order for this opening is 1.Nf3 d5 2.g3 Nf6. The first mistake of the game is seen when I played 9...e4, I am not sure why I played it to be honest. I should have played maybe Rc8 or Qd7 instead of e4. My opponent follows the right path until he plays 12.Qa5 which gives me some breathing room and the position is about even after that. Had he taken on d7, my position would have looked quite bad. The next clear disturbance in the balance came when I played 18...Rc7, which tips the balance in favor of my opponent. Stockfish seems to think that I should have pushed my h-pawn forward instead. When I played 21...a5, my position went further down the drain. The balance is restored immediately with the reply 22.Nf5, much better was Ne2 according to Stockfish. After this, I blunder the game away with 22...Rb8. Costache plays the rest of the game accurately enough, so that I am no longer able to bring the game in balance and I pretty much have to resign after he played 45.Qf4 because all my counterplay options are exhausted with that move. I have added two mate in two and three mate in four puzzles today.

15 Feb 2016

A36 English Opening: Symmetrical Variation, Fianchetto Variation

A36 English Opening: Symmetrical Variation, Fianchetto Variation

For quite some time now, I have only posted my correspondence games, but today and actually the rest of this week will mainly feature rapid games that were played at the FIDE Online Arena. These games were part of my journey towards the title of Arena International Master. This was my 36th game of the 50 rapid games requirement of the title. This is also the fourth game in a row against Hermie Cagatin, which was also the last game we played on December 8th 2015. Nor have we played since, at least to my knowledge that is. I know that we have not played at FOA, but we might have played somewhere else where my opponent could have used a handle and not used his real name. It is very likely that these four games are the only four games we have ever played, but obviously I lack information to confirm that without a shadow of a doubt. This is the only one of the four games we played where the winner was the player with the white pieces, all other games were won by the player with the black pieces. I won three out of the four games and lost one. I have added one analysed game to the following posts: B92 Sicilian Defense: Najdorf Variation. Opocensky Variation, C69 Spanish Game: Exchange Variation. Gligoric Variation, B32 Sicilian Defense: Open #3 and C64 Spanish Game: Classical Variation. I have also added three mate in two and two mate in four puzzles today.

12 Feb 2016

C52 Italian Game: Evans Gambit, Compromised Defense

C52 Italian Game: Evans Gambit, Compromised Defense

This is the 10th game I have played at ChessRex and it is my first and so far the only loss on the site. I have played both chess and chess960 games there and this is the sixth chess game from there. It is also my latest chess game from ChessRex. In addition to these six chess games, I have so far played seven chess960 games there. In chess960 I am at this moment undefeated there, but I am sure that day will come when someone outplays me in this chess variant. It has happened many times on other sites and only time will tell when it happens at ChessRex. Both players had seven days to use for each of their moves and I probably should have used more of it during this game in order to get a better result. This game started January 7th 2016 and finished on January 30th 2016.

From time to time I ran into opening variations that I think I have already covered, but when I look at what I have posted, there is no evidence of an earlier occasion where that opening variation would have been posted. One of the times this has happened was with this particular opening. Sometimes I briefly think that I have just accidently deleted the post that contained the variation I thought that I had already posted, but maybe the more realistic reason is a false memory of such a post. Those false memories probably are due the fact that I search for other similar opening variations for each game I post and those opening variations have appeared in the analysis, but are not the actual variations played in the games.

Despite from the name of the opening, this actually is a reasonable way to play as the position is evaluated about even at least according to Stockfish. The first disturbance in the balance comes when I play 16...Nf5 which is a really bad move. This move did not lose the game even though it could have been the reason for the loss if dominick1952 would have replied correctly. He made a horrible move instead that could have brought me back into the game, but I blundered a second time in a row. This time my opponent was able to play well enough that he did not allow me to get back into the game anymore. I was only able to make dominick1952's job easier in the remaining moves and I had to accept defeat after I saw the move 23.Qh3. I have added one mate in three and four mate in four puzzles today. Until Monday, my fellow chess and chess960 enthusiasts!

11 Feb 2016

C70 Spanish Game

C70 Spanish Game

This was played at ChessRex between December 30th 2015 and January 19th 2016. The thinking times were 7 days per move for this game. This was my 9th game on the site and also my 9th win. My first and so far the only loss came in the 10th game, but more about that tomorrow when I share that game. I am currently rated 1661 and I think am currently the 55th highest rated player at ChessRex. The highest rated member of the site is rated 2332, so I have still quite a long way to go if I want to be the highest rated player on the site. I am actually quite ambitious, so I will do my best to get a better rating and because of that a better ranking among other members.

The balance in the game below is first disturbed when my opponent played 7.Qf3. Other options were better like a4 and c3. The position goes a bit more dire for my opponent already in his next move. I am unable to maintain or increase my advantage for very long and the advantage dissipates completely after 10...Ne6. Georg makes a mistake on the next move that allows me to fight for the advantage again. I am able to keep my advantage for a few moves again, but then I make two blunders in a row and I start to be in a losing position after the move 18...Ne7. Couple of bad moves are played by both sides starting from the move 20.f4 and the advantage shifts back and forth between the players. The move that finally lost the game was 22.Nxf7, after that I was able to play well enough to keep the advantage I gained from this blunder by my opponent and won the game by my opponent's resignation. I have added four mate in three and one mate in four puzzle today.

10 Feb 2016

B46 Sicilian Defense: Paulsen Variation

B46 Sicilian Defense: Paulsen Variation

The second post of mine in a row where the featured game was played in the paweljaniak's mini-tournament I, which is a normal stakes tournament. That is to say the entry cost and the winnings are normal. Out of the three mini-tournaments I currently play at GameKnot, only one is considered to be a high-stakes tournament where the entry cost and the winnings are higher than normal. This is my latest game from GameKnot. Nothing has changed in the tournament since yesterday, on my part that is, I am still on last place with 1.5 points. My opponent, bengi95, is on third place at the moment and he has gathered 3.5 points in nine games. Those points consist of 3 wins and 1 draw.

I am a bit disappointed of this draw against a lower rated player, but considering the fact that bengi95 was clearly better at times in this game, I should be glad that this turned out to be a draw rather than a loss. Then again, it was I who was on the better side last, before the position withered to a drawish one. Admittedly the way I played in the different colored bishops endgame was not that good. The reason for this is that I do not possess enough understanding of these types of positions just yet. I have added one mate in one, one mate in three, two mate in four and one mate in five puzzle today. I have also added one analysed game to these two posts: A45 Indian Game: General and B16 Caro-Kann Defense: Bronstein-Larsen Variation.

9 Feb 2016

B37 Sicilian Defense: Accelerated Fianchetto, Maroczy Bind, 5...Bg7

B37 Sicilian Defense: Accelerated Fianchetto, Maroczy Bind, 5...Bg7

It has been some time since I last shared a game from GameKnot, so today and tomorrow I am sharing a couple of my recent games from there. The game you can replay below was played in the paweljaniak's mini-tournament I against the creator of the tournament. The rating that you see in the notation is a bit misleading on my opponent's part, paweljaniak is currently rated 2057. The ratings are taken from the time this game was played. The rating climb of pawejaniak is pretty impressive in this short amount of time. My rating on the other hand does not change all that much there for some reason and it stays in the 1700+ category no matter what I do. There was a time when I played openings at GameKnot that I do not usually play which probably held my rating back a bit, but now that I have went back to lines that I have more experience, I am close of hitting my rating peak there. I am still quite far away from the ratings I am more used to at other sites.

I am currently on 7th place in this tournament that only consists of seven players, so things have not gone the way I would have liked. I have finished three games and I have experienced all the possible results so far, so I have 1.5 points at the moment I type this. Paweljaniak leads the tournament, he has won 9 out of 10 games so far and only has two games left to finish. The win is still not guaranteed to go to paweljaniak as the current number two can still overtake him. It would require paweljaniak to lose both of his remaining games, one of which is against me, and ledzepp who is on second place to win all of his remaining games. There is still also one other possibility, I could win the tournament still, but it would require for me to win all my remaining games. That may be too much to ask from me though. I will obviously play as well as I can, but I doubt that I can do it. I have added one analysed game to the following posts today: D60 Queen's Gambit Declined: Orthodox Defense, Botvinnik Variation, B32 Sicilian Defense: Kalashnikov Variation and B01 Scandinavian Defense: Icelandic-Palme Gambit. I have also added two mate in one, one mate in two, one mate in three and one mate in four puzzle.

8 Feb 2016

Chess960 SP587

Chess960 SP587

Today I will share a chess960 game and some chess games. This game was played at ChessRex as a correspondence game. Time control for this game was 4 days per move. The game started January 7th 2016 and finished on January 31st 2016. The game started with Djoule developing his or her pieces more efficiently than me in my opinion because after seven moves, Djoule had developed both of his or her knights, the dark-squared bishop and castled. While that happened, I had developed my knights and castled, but I had also developed and undeveloped my light-squared bishop.

The balance shifted in my favor and back to a more even position many times during the first 19 moves of the game, but starting on move 20, the game went more and more to my favor. After the move 20.dxc5, which turned out to be a mistake, I was able to reply correctly with Rxc5 which gave me some play on the c-file. I am not sure why Djoule played 21.Be3 and sacrificed the c-pawn. Maybe it was a misclick or something. When you make a move at ChessRex, there is no submit move button that you would need to click after you have moved. Therefore if you click on a piece and dropped it somewhere where it did not originate, you have made your move, unless the move you made is illegal that is. While on the subject of making moves, I would also like to mention that castling in chess960 games does not follow the same kind of logic at ChessRex that I have seen on other sites. In most sites I have played chess960, you castle by moving your king in top of the rook on the side you want to castle, but on ChessRex you move the king to a square where it should land after castling and the question box appears whether you want to castle or not. This is the way I remember it works anyway. On move 29 I wanted to play safely in my opinion, so I played f6, in order to avoid discovered checks on the long diagonal. I am not sure if I already thought about Rg2+ and my possible discovered checks on the long diagonal, but I wanted to make sure my opponent had as little counterplay as possible. However, my move was not the best move and I should have gone for Rg2+. The game continuation was good enough to keep the winning advantage on my side and I did not let go of the advantage in the remainder of the game and after seeing my 45th move, Djoule resigned. I have added one more analysed game the following posts: B18 Caro-Kann Defense: Classical Variation. Main Line, B43 Sicilian Defense: Kan Variation, Knight Variation, C99 Spanish Game: Morphy Defense. Chigorin Defense Panov System and C69 Spanish Game: Exchange Variation, Alapin Gambit. In addition, I have also added two mate in two, one mate in three, one mate in four and one mate in five puzzle today.

5 Feb 2016

C69 Spanish Game: Exchange Variation, Alapin Gambit

C69 Spanish Game: Exchange Variation, Alapin Gambit

The losses keep coming... Well, for awhile now anyway. I have turned my downhill to a small incline at Chess.com at least and actually at Red Hot Pawn too, though not as clearly because at both sites I have only won the last game and not even two in a row, but the difference is that out of the last four games, I have won three and drawn one at Chess.com while at RHP I have won only once in that same amount of games and lost three games. Admittedly, the average rating of my opponents at RHP in those three games was 2422, so it is no wonder I lost them. The game below is one of those losses.

This was played on round one of the 2015 December Quartets I 1800+ tournament. 22 players started this tournament and they were divided into two groups of five and three groups of four players. I am playing in group 3, which is the only one of the five where the winner of the group has already been decided. TheBigKat won our group and will advance to the next round. I have finished three out of the six games in this group and I have lost them all. With my score of zero points, I actually tie on third place because one other player has not received any points so far either. I am doubtful that I will get any points from my three remaining games, but I will do my best to prove myself wrong on that occasion. I have added one mate in one, one mate in two, one mate in three and two mate in five puzzles today. Until Monday, my fellow chess enthusiasts!

Game number two. This was played on the first round of the 2015 December Quartets I 1800+ tournament. It is, at the moment I type this, still in progress. I am playing in group 3 and I have lost all three games that I have finished. I have three more to finish, but I doubt that the results will change in this latter half. Pattrick06 is on second place in this group at the moment, not that it matters much because TheBigKat won all of her or his games and won the group. Only the winner advances to the next round, so it makes very little difference who finishes second, third and so on. The group I am in has the highest average rating of all the five groups that players were divided into. As I like to play against strong players, this was not a problem for me, even though I am not expected to get all that many points.

Game number three. The game below was played in a small team match called CS Africa vs King Hunters (jp). The reason I call it a small team match is because it is only played on 5 boards. The match is played between Chess Society Africa and King Hunters. I am playing on board 3 for King Hunters. The current score in the match is 2.5 - 4.5 in favor of King Hunters. We only require one more point to secure our win in the match. In four of the five boards, our team has the higher rated players, but it did not matter in board 2 where our player was the higher rated one and still lost both games.

For some reason I gave this line a chance for the third time and for the first time I was successful at it. I am not really comfortable playing the Alapin Gambit, but it was a good chance to my usual stuff. I may play this again sometime, but probably not in the near future. I think the first critical moment in this game comes after 13.f4, because I think that this was the first mistake of the game, but had I replied with anything else than exf4, it might have been a good move for keem2016. 13.f4 is a mistake because it loses a pawn, keem2016 can't take the pawn with the bishop because I would reply Bxf4 and now if Rxf4, I answer with g5 and win material. After 16.N4f3 I am faced another decision, should I play g4 or Qg6, followed by g4. I ended up playing 16...g4 because I thought that 16...Qg6 is answered by 17.h4 and now neither 17...gxh4 nor 17...g4 did not look good enough for me. I wanted to open the h-file, not the g-file. The problem with the game continuation was that I lose the pawn back. I did get a decent position where the pawns in front my opponent's king are weak and the knight on h2 does not really do anything. It was not easy for me to take advantage of the weaknesses my opponent had until he made the move 23.Rg1. After that the game starts to shift more and more to my favor. The problem with the move 23.Rg1 is that it does not work tactically. The rook had an important job at f1 protecting the bishop on f4 which did prevent me from playing Nxh4, taking advantage of the fact that the bishop on f4 is only protected by the pawn on g3, which also has to protect the pawn on h4, both of which it can't do. I did have some techical difficulties to convert my material advantage into a win and even had to balance the material for the second time in this game before the game became easier to play and get the win.

4 Feb 2016

B40 Sicilian Defense: French Variation, Normal

B40 Sicilian Defense: French Variation, Normal

Another loss against a much higher rated opponent. This was played on the first round of the 2015 December Quartets I 1800+ tournament at Red Hot Pawn. I am playing in group 3, which is actually already been decided because TheBigKat won all of his or her games. It was not all that surprising because TheBigKat is not only the highest rated player in that group by over 200 points, but is also the second highest rated player on the site. Group 3 is also the strongest group of the five groups that players were divided into. Though not by much because the average rating in group 3 is 2178.5, in group 5, which has the second highest average rating, it is 2174.5. Do not get me wrong, I like to face strong players, but it just means that I will not get that many points. Actually I might not get any from this group, which might be the first time in a very long time that I do not get any points in a tournament.

As you might have noticed if you visited this blog before, I have changed the layout a bit. I prefer the current layout to the one I had before, but this may cause some problems for people who use smaller monitors as you might not get all of the blog in view horizontally at the same time without scrolling left or right. If that causes anyone who comes to see this blog annoyance, please let me know in the comments. One of the aspects that I would also like to change, but I do not know how to fix, is how the games can be replayed when you are viewing this blog in a smart phone. The chess games can be viewed without seeing the notation in my phone at least in a decent way, but I would like it to be so that you could follow both the board and the notation at the same time. Then again trying to fit all that in a small viewing space of a smart phone, might prove to be a very difficult task. Especially because I would like to get not just the moves played in the game, but also all the annotations shown at the same time too. Maybe that is too much to ask. The preferred way might be that it only shows a few moves at a time and the notation just moves when you go the game back and forth. If only I could make a game replayer myself that would change to a proper size and shape according to the device you are looking the games at. Obviously I do not possess such skills, so I have to rely on the game replayers that I am using now. I have added one analysed game to these two posts: C18 French Defense: Winawer Variation. Poisoned Pawn Variation General, D00 Queen's Pawn Game #3. I have also added one mate in two, three mate in three and one mate in five puzzle today.

Game number two. The game below was played in a team match called TMCL 2016, Sub-Div. WL2, R1. It is played on 193 boards between Battle For Victory and Unikat - Automat Team. I played on board 54 for Battle For Victory and in addition to this win, I lost my other game against qwewrty. The current score in the match is 113 - 182 in favor of Unikat - Automat Team.

It may have become somewhat easier for me to face the Sicilian Defense, at least my latest results in it are quite good. After I had played 3.d4, I remembered that I could have played 3.b3 instead and went for the B40 Sicilian Defense: French Variation, Westerinen Attack. It is something I have played in the past with good results. However, I can't really complain about the result of this game either. I think both players played reasonable moves until my opponent played 8...Qc7. It seemed to provoke the knight jump to b5, which I resisted at first because I could not see strong enough continuation after that. I played 9.f4 because that it is a more promising move than either knight jumping to b5. Qwewrty replied with 9...d6, after which I thought that it was time to harass the queen with 10.Ndb5. Qwewrty played 10...Qb8 in reply, which I was happy to see because now the queen seems to even more awkwardly placed than it was on c7. I continued with 11.a4, which is a typical move I like to play in these kind of situations. After 11...a6 12.Na3 Nb4 I was no longer so sure about my position.

Couple of moves later an isolated pawn is created on b5, which I pressured with three of my pieces after 16.Na3. I was not able to win that pawn so easily because if I take with my a-knight first, for instance, then qwewrty would take on a1, forcing me to take back with queen and then he could have taken on c2 with his knight and the material would have been even again. I do not really want to take on b5 with my other knight either because it is the only defender of e4, which is attacked by f6-knight. I tried to look for ways that would allow me to take on b5 safely, but I could not find any. The game continued and nothing of huge interest happened until my opponent played 21...Bxd5. That I think was a mistake and that Nbxd5 was a much better option. Had my opponent taken with the knight, then the knight would not have been pinned like in the game continuation and the result of the game could have been different. Even after 22...Nbxd5 qwewrty might be okay, but after my reply 23.Qd2 he goes astray and hands over the keys to victory to me. He took on a3, which allowed me to take on a5 and then I was up the exchange. He did get a pawn from b2, but it was not important because I was able to play Rb1 and had the bishop moved, I could have taken on b5 next. Moving the bishop was most likely the best option because his reply 25...Rxc2 while it equalises the material, is the losing move, because of Qa2 and I should win with ease. Qwewrty tried Nb4, but after Qb3 he had to accept defeat or face significant material loss.

3 Feb 2016

E17 Queen's Indian Defense: Classical Variation, Traditional Variation

E17 Queen's Indian Defense: Classical Variation, Traditional Variation

The game I am sharing today was played at Red Hot Pawn, in a tournament called 2015 October Grand Split Three Seven I 1800+. There are 30 players participating in this tournament and the players were divided into two groups of 15. I am playing in group 1, which is the stronger group of the two because the highest rated player went to group 1, the second highest to group 2, third highest to group 1 and so on. My opponent, MarcusRemius, is the second highest rated player in group 1 and he is also the sixth highest rated player on Red Hot Pawn in the active player list. In comparison, I am currently the 460th highest rated player there. There seem to be 9638 players on that list at the moment I type this. Which would mean that I am currently in the 95.2 percentile if I calculated correctly.

The opening variation played in the game below is actually in the move order it is in theory too, which is something that rarely happens in my games. This is one of the three losses I have suffered in this tournament so far. Two of those losses were against MarcusRemius and the third one was against cenerentola (2546), who is not only the highest rated player in the group, but also on this site as well. I have also won five games in the tournament, four of them were short timeout wins, but the latest win I got was a proper game. Those five wins put me in 15 points because you get 3 points for a win. My maximum possible score is 75, which still means that I have theoretical chances to win the group. It does not mean any realistic chances though as the duo that leads group 1 are way too strong for other players in the group, or that is my opinion anyway. I have added one mate in two, two mate in three and two mate in four puzzles today.

2 Feb 2016

Chess960 SP468

Chess960 SP468

I have adopted a certain way of playing these chess960 starting positions, I try to make the development of the bishops as easy as possible without making too many positional weaknesses first and then develop my other pieces. Well, obviously I look what my opponent does and whether or not that interferes with the way I want to develop my pieces. On move six, I had already developed my both bishops and both knights. While I did this, Emulatore had moved three of his or her pawns, compared to the two pawn moves that I had done and unlike me, he or she had also moved his or her knight twice. I castled long on my 7th move and at this point in time I was very pleased of how things were going and I thought that I had a clear advantage. Especially because I was planning to play g4 next move and continue to push the pawn to maybe g5. Basically I wanted the g-file open for my rook. Oh yes, it might be also important to note that my bishop on f4 makes it difficult for my opponent to develop his or her bishop on b8. This is because I am attacking the pawn on c7 and the pawn can't move at the moment because the knight on c6 is on the way. I think Emulatore wanted to move the bishop to a7 and sacrifice the pawn on c7 when he or she played 7...a6. The problem is, this plan is way too slow. I am already ready to launch the attack with g4. Therefore 7...g5 would have been necessary to play instead of a6. After 8.g4 Nfe7, I did not play g5 because I thought that Emulatore would reply with h5 and the file might not open up. Because of this, I played h5 instead.

I think the next questionable move comes when Emulatore plays h5. I think it just plays in my hand because I want to get my g-pawn out of the way of the rook. I was not sure that I can win, but I thought that at least I should have good chances for it. When I played 12.Qh2, I knew that I can win a pawn and maybe invade with my queen after I have taken the pawn. Emulatore did not want to trade the bishops, but instead wanted to play it to a7, sacrificing the pawn without getting anything in return. My dark-squared bishop might be crusial attacking force, so I may have tried something else if I had been in the same situation as my opponent. If my opponent had not been in a totally losing position before, after 14...Bd7, the game is quite hopelessly lost for Emulatore. During the last moves of the game, I get to play one of the nicest king hunts that I have ever been able to play. I have added one analysed game to the following posts of mine: C18 French Defense: Winawer Variation, Advance Variation #2, C50 Italian Game: Italian Variation, C45 Scotch Game: Classical Variation and Chess960 SP33. I have also added three mate in three and two mate in four puzzles today.

Game number two. This game was a rematch offered by Emulatore. The thinking times were the sames obviously in both games, 10 minutes with a 10 second increment. I think this second game started a lot better for my opponent and I had to be more careful of what I played. Initially I thought that I would use the same plan for development as in our first encounter, but when Emulatore played 8.b4, I understood that I can't really follow my dream and castle on queenside. It would most likely be suicidal to castle there after b4, so I played 8...Rc8 instead, in order to protect the pawn on c7, so that when my bishop needs to move, I will not lose a pawn. My opponent took the iniative quite nicely this time. I just tried to survive and waited a mistake from Emulatore that I could take advantage of and take the advantage. When my opponent played 12.c4, I noticed that I can at least win a pawn. I was indeed able to get that pawn, but I also ended up in a position where I have doubled pawns on the b-file, so that compensates the material difference a bit. Also the fact that my opponent was able to deny me from castling, made me think that I might lose this game. I was just trying to get something done and played 18...Qf6, so that I would threaten 19...g5 and maybe get some more material to help me in my defence. I was really surprised to see that my opponent allowed me to play 19...g5. The game started to tip in my favor, but on move 23 I made the blunder that should have lost the game. I was sure after my move that I will now lose the rook on g8 and with that the game. Had my opponent taken that rook on g8, I would have likely resigned. For some reason that did not happen and Emulatore took the pawn on b7 instead. Now I was more confident about my winning chances again. The final game losing move turned out to be that 25.Qxb7, after this I did not give my advantage away again.

1 Feb 2016

D52 Queen's Gambit Declined: Cambridge Springs Variation

D52 Queen's Gambit Declined: Cambridge Springs Variation

The game I am sharing today is a very short one, this time I was the one who lost. Sometimes my brain just does not work properly, I tend to blame it on the fact that I have hit my head quite a lot of times, mostly when I was younger. These days it is very uncommon for me to do so, but it does happen to me even at this age. To be fair, I have not probably hit my head ever so hard that it would have done any actual damage, then again I used to be better at tactics when I was younger... These days I am mostly just too lazy to think that hard about different possibilities.

This game is really silly. I started the game with 1.c4, thinking that I can maybe play some line in the English for a change because I have been quite tired of facing the Sicilian Defense when I have started with 1.e4. Unfortunately I did not get to play a line that I would have been more comfortable of playing, but instead the game shifted towards a variation in the Queen's Gambit that I have very little or maybe no experience at all playing before. Now that I look at the opening phase, it kind of reminds me of the games I used to look at from José Raúl Capablanca and other players that played in the same period of time as him. The last time I looked any games like that was some years ago and unfortunately I did not see the resemblance to those games during this game. The move order in theory for this opening is 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 Nbd7 5.Nf3 c6 6.e3 Qa5.

If the game below taught me anything, I will now look a little bit further before resigning a game. I resigned because I thought that I am losing a piece by force... My thought process was as follows, I looked that if I move the bishop to f4, for example, my opponent will take on c3 with the knight and I reply by capturing the knight with the b-pawn. After all of this, erimus will take the pawn on c3 with a check and at this point I did not find any good replies to that Qxc3+ because for some reason I thought I will lose either the c4 bishop or the a1 rook. For some reason I did not even consider Nd2 in that position. Nd2 would have kept the game in progress. Probably because of reasons similar to this, I have not been able to get all that good at chess... Well, occasionally I do seem to play at a level I am happy at, but it does not happen as often as I would like and I do not even see a simple tactic. All of this seems to point to the fact that I should do more tactical exercises. Whenever I have done them in the recent past, I have found out that in some positions I have no sense at all that there could be any tactical possibilities at all in the given positions. I really have to change that as soon as possible in order to get my ratings up again. I have added two mate in two, two mate in three and one mate in four puzzle today.