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16 Jun 2016

Chess960 SP225

Chess960 SP225

This game started to go a bit oddly quite quickly, at least in my opinion. I think both 1.b3 and the reply e5 are normal looking moves, but then my opponent played Nh3. Well, the reasoning behind Nh3 might be that my opponent wanted to castle as soon as possible and had panicmonster played the knight to f3, then I might have replied with e4 and the knight has to go to an awkward square like d4 or e5 or possible even need to go back to g1. I think 2.e4 was a better option, so that panicmonster could have continued with Nf3 without needing to worry that I will kick the knight away. My opponent did end up playing e4 on move 4. I immediately considered taking the pawn, but then I saw that I can't really win the e-pawn, because panicmonster can get the pawn back from e5. I did not like to trade anything unnecessarily, so I castled instead. On move 6, panicmonster played his or her other knight to a3, which might not look all that good, but the knight wants to continue its journey to c4, which is a decent square for the knight. There it will put pressure on e5 and has the option at some point to go to e3, for example and go towards the enemy king. I replied with Be7, which targets the undefended knight on a3, but of course the knight was likely to move to c4 anyway, so that was not all that impressive threat. After 7.Nc4 I thought that I should move my dark-squared bishop to c5, so that it puts some pressure to f2 and goes out of the way, so that the queen protects the pawn on e5 again. I also wanted to play d5 at some point and I was happy to see 8.c3. Without that move, I could not have played d5 because it would be replied with 9.exd5 Nxd5 10.Nxe5 winning a pawn. What c3 did, it blocked the bishop's path so that panicmonster would only attack e5 with two pieces after exd5 Nxd5.

On move 10 panicmonster played the passive looking move Nd2. 10.b4 would have been a better move, panicmonster could have also considered 10.Bf3. If 10.Nf3 was an inaccurate move, then 11.Ne4 was already a bad move. However, I was not able to find the most accurate move 11...Ba3, but instead played 11...Be7 that enabled my opponent to get back into the game, though even after my 11th move I should be slightly better. The moves that panicmonster made, went increasingly bad since 10.Nd2 and on move 12 my opponent blundered so badly that it should have been the losing move. I was not really paying attention and only quickly played Rd8 as a reply. Of course after the move I noticed that I could have played 12...f5, so that the pawn would fork both the bishop and the knight. Despite of that I should be on the better side of things. I did get a second chance to get a winning advantage when panicmonster for some reason played 13.Bf5, this time I was ready to take advantage of that blunder and played g6, forcing the bishop back to g4 and then I replied with f5 finally and the rest of the game was just matter of technique. I have added one mate in one, two mate in two and two mate in four puzzles today.

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