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17 Jun 2016

Chess960 SP118

Chess960 SP118

I sometimes stumble upon the finish line and this is just one example of those times. I played this game at lichess.org today and the time control for this game was 10 minutes, no increment. After two moves I was happy with my position, I had been able to play both e4 and d4 and it seemed that I can easily develop my pieces. Actually I did think my third move for some time because of the many options I had. I mainly considered moving my knight from e1 to either d3 or f3. Both moves were intriguing to me and I was not sure what I should choose. I ended up playing 3.Nf3 because the knight on d3 would block my rook and my bishop. The reason why I considered Nd3 was that I could follow it up with Bf4, which seemed like a good idea to me. Coffeetime continued with 3...h5, trying to rip open the king's defenses as soon as possible. I was not really worried about the move just yet, but I did consider on how to deal with the aggression. I did play 4.Bg5 that stops the pawn's progress for now. I did see that coffeetime could reply with f6 and then I would play Bh4, which would have the obvious g5 as a reply, but I was not concerned about my bishop being trapped because I thought that after Bg3 threatens the queen, I would have time to play h3. Everything happened like I had thought up to the move 6.Bg3, but then my opponent played 6...Nd6 and I decided to take on d6 with the bishop instead of playing h3 and saving my bishop in that way. It was a bit hasty decision and I should not have taken on d6, but instead played h3. I wanted to avoid playing h3 because I thought that it would just create a weakness for coffeetime to target on. The problem with the game continuation is that it helps coffeetime to activate the queen and I did lose some of my advantage because of that.

I did have the initiave though and I played 8.c4, threatening 9.c5. Coffeetime reacted poorly and played the knight to a4, which could have been the losing move, but I was distracted by the possibility to get my queen to g6 if I play e5. However, coffeetime just replied with fxe5 and the queen covers the g6 square. Not that getting my queen to g6 would have been that dangerous for my opponent because the queen can't do much on its own. I liked my position after 10.Nxe5, but 10.Qc2 would have been a much better alternative. Coffeetime replied with 10...Rh6, which did not make much sense to me since I am not going to g6 with either of my pieces anyway, so covering g6 with the rook is unnecessary. On my 11th move I finally played Qc2. My opponent replied with b5, which I thought of being a good try. However, coffeetime could have played Nc5 because if I take the knight with my pawn, then coffeetime could have taken my knight on e5 with the queen as it would not have been protected with the pawn anymore. I played 12.c5 in order to cover the square b6 with my pawn, so that when I play b3, the knight on a4 has no safe squares to go to. I missed that after 12...Qe6 13.b3 coffeetime was able to take the pawn on c5 with the knight. If I take the knight with a pawn, then coffeetime plays Qxe5 and my opponent would be up a pawn. I thought that my best option at that point was to take the knight with my queen. I was able to first equalise the material and then get a pawn up in material. However, taking the knight and grabbing the pawns was not the best idea. I was a bit worried after 16...Qg4, but 16...Ba6 would have been a more difficult move to face. The move 16...Qg4, enabled me to get on the better side of things and my possibilities only improved after 18...Bg7. I messed up my advantage quite quickly for a moment when I played 20.Be2. I wanted to drive the queen away from g4 and if possible get it further away from my king. After the reply 20...Qf4, I decided to play my knight to c2 and then to e3. However, when my opponent played 21...h3, I started to use time and tried to figure out what should I do. I did find the best reply 22.g3, but then coffeetime played 22...Qe4 and I suffered some sort of brain malfunction once again. For some unexplainable reason I thought that Ne3 does not help me, so I played f3, which is the losing move of the game. Sadly I was not even low on time to blunder like this, I had 2 minutes and 41 seconds left on the clock when this game ended. I have added two mate in three and three mate in four puzzles today.