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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 lichess.org. 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 lichess.org. 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 lichess.org, 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.

22 Aug 2016

Chess960 SP815

Chess960 SP815

The pawn structure I went for in this game is not something I like to repeat if I get into this or similar starting positions in the future. I have played in similar way before when my bishops have also been located in g8 and h8 in the starting position. In all of them my bishops have been somewhat out of play. Especially the light-squared bishop has been a real problem piece because I have needed to play both e6 and d5 for some reason or the other. In the future I would like to start these kind of starting positions by moving the g-pawn one square forward and the f-pawn two squares forward. I should also avoid playing d5 and or e6 if possible. It might be better to go for the g6, f5, e5, d6 pawn formation if allowed by the opponent in order to keep the position as open as possible for the two bishops.

The first move of mine that I did not really like, but played anyway was 12...Nb4. I did not like it because I thought that it would be replied with 13.a3 and I would not have accomplished anything except maybe to slightly weaken the queenside pawn structure. However, it was not really a mistake to play the knight to b4 as the position remained roughly even after that. The idea behind Nb4 was not only to attack the pawn on a2, but also protect a6, so that I could play b6 and drive the knight away. Since my opponent did not drive my knight away with a3, I was able to execute my plan. The position below is the one that was on the board after 13...b6. In that position my opponent made a bad choice and traded the knights on e4. It is a bad move because I can take back with my d-pawn and my light-squared bishop has a bigger scope because of it.

It was only the start of the problems my opponent, pancake, faced. Pancake made things worse for himself or herself with his or her next move 15.g4. I should have replied with 15...Qd5 and my position would have been the clearly favorable one, but I played the move 15...a5, which let my opponent off the hook a bit. During the game the move 18.c4 looked dangerous for me, but it is actually dangerous for the side who played it. The position below is after pancake had played 18.c4. Because I had a defensive mindset and focused on playing defensive moves, I did not even consider the correct move 18...a4. The move I played 18...e6, gave up a lot of the activity that my light-squared bishop had. I only played my 18th move, because I thought that it would be necessary to stop the advance of the d-pawn. My passive play meant that the position became more evenly fought again.

A few moves later we reached the next position. The last move played in the game was 21.c5, which was a mistake. The problem was that I made a huge mistake in reply and allowed pancake to take the driver's seat. I should know better to play for activity instead of passivity, but for some reason I still do these kind of moves. I played 21...Qf8, which was probably the worst move up to that point. Then my opponent played 22.cxb6 and I replied with 23...cxb6.

Pancake continued by playing 23.Rc1 and I did not stop playing bad moves just yet, I had to blunder once more and play 23...Rc8. I should have been quite lost and I actually waited for my opponent to play the crushing moves. We reached the position below after I moved my bishop from f7 to e8. It was a huge blunder, which I only realised afterwards. Had my opponent played 25.Nc5+, it would have ended this game right there, becuase I would be completely lost, no matter what I would have played. It was the move I expected pancake to play, but luckily he or she blundered the gave away instead with 25.Red1.

I was not actually sure during the game that I was winning after 25...Nxd4, but I thought it to be my best chance to fight for that possibility. I thought that my pieces were still less coordinated than those of my opponents and had I not moved my king to the right square after 26.Nxa5+, I would have lost this game. The rest of the game was just a matter of technique. I have added mate in one puzzle 520, mate in three puzzle 659, mate in four puzzles 524 & 525 and mate in five puzzle 187 today.

The game can also be viewed in 1080p 60fps in the video below.

19 Aug 2016

B14 Caro-Kann: Panov-Botvinnik Attack with 5...e6 and 5...g6 (1.c4 c5 2.Nc3 g6 3.e3 Bg7 4.d4 cxd4 5.exd4 Nf6 6.Nf3 d5)

B14 Caro-Kann: Panov-Botvinnik Attack with 5...e6 and 5...g6 (1.c4 c5 2.Nc3 g6 3.e3 Bg7 4.d4 cxd4 5.exd4 Nf6 6.Nf3 d5)

This is one of those opening variations where the name for it depends on the source you are looking it up from. The name I chose is the one that lichess.org uses. If you look this up using the Chess.com openings explorer, then the name is Modern Defense: Pterodactyl, Quiet Line. Interestingly enough they have removed the ECO codes from the opening names on the new version of Chess.com, which means that I have no longer any use for it... It was a very useful tool for me in the past and now it is completely useless. I even made a bug report of it, to which I got a quite quick reply to and the person who replied seemed to agree with my point, but because that person was not the one who can make such chances, only to pass the information to someone who can change it, it has not changed to the useful tool that it was yet. I am starting to think it never will. When I use the analysis board at lichess.org, it can detect the name of the opening, whether or not the moves are made in the theoretical order. That is a feature I like a lot. However, I do not think there is a way to check the theoretical move order anywhere at lichess. If there is and you know how to find it, please leave a comment. It is probably the only complaint that I can think of about the site, because for a site that offers you all of its features for free, is really awesome. The theoretical move order is 1.d4 g6 2.c4 Bg7 3.Nc3 c5 4.e3.

Now for the game below. I am going to take a look at some of the key moments of the game and then you may look through the whole game using the game viewer provided by Chess.com. The position below is taken after my opponent castled on move 13. Usually castling is a good thing, but sometimes it is a very bad move, like it was in this game. Actually there have been many times in my games where playing either O-O or O-O-O has been a bad move and you may see examples of that in some of the games that I have already shared. The best option for my opponent would have been to play 13.c5 and not allow me to take on c4. After 13.c5 my bishop on e6 would have been a bad piece.

Taking on c4 with the d-pawn was the only way of taking advantage of the mistake of my opponent. My 13th move dxc4 was replied with 14.Nxc4, which could have been the losing move if not for my horrible reply 14...Qc7. The correct move was 14...Bxc4, which I did not play because I wanted to keep my bishop pair. I should have realised that the bishop on e6 is not at all a good piece and trading it to the more active knight would have been a good idea. These days I am not as afraid to give up the bishop pair if the position requires it. I still prefer to have the bishop pair over the pair of knights though. Moving my queen to c7 was just too passive. However, I still was on the better side of things after my 14th move, but only slightly. The next position of interest is after White's 17th move f5.

The idea behind the move 17.f5 is to open some lines for the rook and for the dark-squared bishop. The problem was that the move does not tactically work and I could have won a pawn by taking on d4. In the line that you can see in notation, White can't take the bishop on c4 on move 21 due to Qb6+. I did not see that possibility during the game, but my response to 17.f5 was also clearly favorable for me. Then after 20.Qe1 we reached this next position. I went for the right idea in the wrong way. I played 20...Qb6 in order to put more pressure towards the pawn on d4. The problem with the move I chose is that Nc2 is possible and my opponent may be able fight for a draw. Had I played Be4, it would have still accomplished putting more pressure towards the pawn on d4, but it would have also prevented the move Nc2 defending the pawn.

My opponent did not go for the right defense and made a huge blunder instead with the move 21.Rf4, which is a good candidate for a losing move, but it turned out later in the game that I had to make things a lot harder for me than they should have been. Everything went quite well for me until we reached the position below. This position is taken after my opponent played 30.Qg5. There was a lot of things to think about and I decided to offer a trade of queens by playing Qf6. It is a rather desperate looking move to try and make the game easier for me to play. Unfortunately 30...Qf6 handed over the advantage to my opponent and then it was me who tried to even things up.

My opponent played 31.Qc5, threatening both my knight and rook at the same time, both pieces were undefended. There was no good way to defend against the threats, but I tried my best and played 31...Nc6. Had my opponent just played 32.Qxc6, I would have been on my way to a loss. However, my opponent played 32.d5 instead, turning the tables for the last time during this game. Until Monday, my fellow chess enthusiasts!

[Event "TuTS"] [Site "Samppalinnan koulu"] [Date "2008.11.29"] [Round "3"] [White "Vannassalo, Seppo"] [Black "Vierjoki, Timo"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B14"] [WhiteElo "1795"] [BlackElo "1783"] [Annotator "Stockfish 7 64 POPCNT (30s), TV"] [PlyCount "108"] [EventDate "2008.??.??"] 1. c4 c5 2. Nc3 g6 3. e3 Bg7 4. d4 {A40 Pterodactyl Defense: Queen Pterodactyl, Quiet Line} cxd4 5. exd4 Nf6 6. Nf3 d5 {B14 Caro-Kann: Panov-Botvinnik Attack with 5...e6 and 5...g6} 7. Ne5 O-O 8. Be3 (8. f3 Nc6 9. Nxc6 bxc6 10. b3 Ba6 11. Be3 Qa5 12. Qd2 Rfe8 13. Na4 Qxd2+ 14. Kxd2 dxc4 15. bxc4 e5 16. Nc5 exd4 17. Bf2 Bc8 18. Bd3 Nd7 19. Nb3 c5 20. Rhe1 Ba6 21. Rxe8+ Rxe8 22. Re1 Rxe1 { Nagy,Z (1705)-Martonosi,A (1769) Hungary 2015 0-1 (58)}) 8... Nc6 (8... Nbd7 9. cxd5 Nb6 10. Qb3 a5 11. Bc4 a4 12. Qb5 Bf5 13. O-O Ne4 14. Rfd1 Nd6 15. Qb4 f6 16. Be2 fxe5 17. dxe5 Ndc8 18. g4 Bd7 19. e6 Be8 20. d6 exd6 21. e7 Qxe7 22. Bxb6 Nxb6 23. Qxb6 {Heinemann,J (2003)-Rozov,B (2152) Dresden 2013 0-1 (52)}) 9. Be2 Be6 {N White has a very active position} (9... dxc4 10. Nxc6 bxc6 11. Bxc4 Bg4 12. f3 Bf5 13. Qd2 Nd5 14. Rd1 Nxe3 15. Qxe3 Qb6 16. Rd2 e5 17. Ne4 exd4 18. Qb3 Qa5 19. Kd1 Qc7 20. Nc5 Rab8 21. Qa3 Qf4 22. Re2 Bh6 23. b3 d3 24. Nxd3 {Martin,L (1960)-Alpern,A (2187) Mar del Plata 2008 0-1}) 10. b3 {White has an active position} Rc8 (10... Qa5 11. Nxc6 bxc6 12. Qd2 {=/+}) 11. f4 (11. Nxc6 bxc6 12. c5 Ne4 13. Nxe4 dxe4 {=}) 11... Qa5 {=/+} 12. Qd2 Rfd8 (12... dxc4 13. bxc4 Ne8 {=/+}) 13. O-O (13. c5 {= and White hangs on}) 13... dxc4 { +/-} 14. Nxc4 {?} (14. bxc4 Nd7 15. Nxc6 Rxc6 16. Ne4 {+/-}) 14... Qc7 { ?? simply marches past the door to victory} (14... Bxc4 {nails it down} 15. bxc4 Nxd4 16. Bxd4 Ne4 17. Nxe4 Bxd4+ 18. Kh1 Qxd2 19. Nxd2 Bxa1 {-+}) 15. Rad1 Nd5 16. Nxd5 Bxd5 {The bishop likes it on d5} 17. f5 (17. Ne5 e6 {=/+}) 17... b5 (17... Nxd4 18. fxg6 hxg6 19. Bxd4 Bxd4+ 20. Qxd4 Bxc4 21. Qf2 Rxd1 22. Rxd1 Bxe2 23. Qxe2 {+/-}) 18. Na3 a6 19. fxg6 hxg6 (19... fxg6 {?!} 20. Bg4 e6 21. Nc2 {=}) 20. Qe1 (20. Nc2 {+/-}) 20... Qb6 (20... Be4 21. Qf2 e5 22. dxe5 Rxd1 23. Rxd1 Bxe5 {-+}) 21. Rf4 {??} (21. Nc2 {=/+ the rescuing straw}) 21... Bh6 { -+} 22. Bg4 (22. Qf2 {there is nothing else anyway} Bxf4 23. Bxf4 {-+}) 22... Bxf4 23. Bxf4 Ra8 (23... Nxd4 {makes sure everything is clear} 24. Kh1 Be6 25. Bxe6 Nxe6 {-+}) 24. Qg3 {?! offers little resistance} (24. Nc2 f5 25. Bf3 Nxd4 26. Rxd4 Bxf3 {-+}) 24... Ra7 (24... Nxd4 {!? might be the shorter path} 25. Be3 Be4 26. Kh1 {-+}) 25. h4 (25. h3 Nxd4 26. Be3 Be4 {-+}) 25... Be4 (25... e5 {makes it even easier for Black} 26. Bg5 Re8 27. Qf2 exd4 28. Nb1 {-+}) 26. Be3 Rd5 (26... Qc7 27. Bf4 e5 28. dxe5 Rxd1+ 29. Bxd1 {-+}) 27. h5 (27. Rc1 Ra8 ( 27... Nxd4 {?!} 28. Rc8+ Rd8 29. Rxd8+ Qxd8 30. Qe5 {=}) (27... Rxd4 {?!} 28. Qf2 {=/+}) 28. Nb1 Bxb1 {-+} (28... Nxd4 {?!} 29. Nc3 Rad8 30. Nxe4 {=}) (28... Rxd4 29. Nc3 Rd3 30. Kf2 Rxe3 31. Qxe3 Qxe3+ 32. Kxe3 Bxg2 33. Rg1 {+/-})) 27... Nb4 (27... Nxd4 28. Qf4 f5 29. Rxd4 Rxd4 30. Nc2 {-+}) 28. hxg6 {?} (28. Nb1 Bxb1 (28... Nxa2 {?!} 29. Nd2 Bd3 30. Bf3 {=/+}) 29. Rxb1 Nc2 {+/-} (29... Nxa2 {?!} 30. Rf1 Nc3 31. hxg6 Qxg6 32. Qb8+ Kg7 33. Bh3 Ne2+ 34. Kf2 {=})) 28... Bxg6 (28... Qxg6 {and Black has it in the bag} 29. Re1 f5 30. Qb8+ Kf7 { -+}) 29. Bf3 (29. Rc1 Ra8 (29... Nxa2 {?? the pawn is something Black will choke on} 30. Rc8+ Kg7 31. Nc2 {+-}) 30. Bf3 Rad8 31. Bxd5 Nxd5 {+/-} (31... Rxd5 {?!} 32. Rc8+ Rd8 33. d5 {=})) 29... Rd8 30. Qg5 Qf6 {?? letting the wind out of his own sails} (30... Rad7 31. d5 Qf6 32. Qxf6 exf6 {+/-}) 31. Qc5 {+/-} Nc6 32. d5 {?? an unfortunate move that relinquishes the win} (32. Qxc6 { the advantage is on the side of White} Qxc6 33. Bxc6 {+-}) 32... Rad7 {-+} 33. Rf1 Ne5 34. Bg4 (34. Nc2 Nxf3+ 35. Rxf3 {-+}) 34... Qd6 (34... Nxg4 {and Black has triumphed} 35. Rxf6 exf6 {-+} (35... Nxf6 {?!} 36. Nc2 {-+})) 35. Bxd7 {+/- } Qxd7 (35... Nxd7 {?!} 36. Qxd6 exd6 37. Nb1 {=/+}) 36. Rd1 {?? another bit of territory lost} (36. Nc2 Bxc2 37. Qxc2 Qxd5 {+/-}) 36... Nd3 (36... Qg4 37. Rd2 Nf3+ 38. Kf2 Nxd2 39. Bxd2 {-+}) 37. Qc6 {?? a blunder in a bad position} ( 37. Qd4 Qf5 38. Rf1 Qxd5 39. Qxd5 Rxd5 {+/-}) 37... Qxc6 (37... Qg4 {and Black can celebrate victory} 38. Rxd3 Bxd3 {-+}) 38. dxc6 {+/-} Rc8 39. Nc2 Rxc6 40. Nd4 Rd6 41. Ra1 Be4 42. Ne2 (42. Nf3 {!? +/-}) 42... Rg6 {-+} 43. g3 Bf3 { Black threatens to win material: Bf3xe2} (43... f5 {-+}) 44. Kf1 {??} (44. Nf4 {was a good chance to save the game} Rh6 45. Nxd3 Rh1+ 46. Kf2 Rxa1 47. Kxf3 Rxa2 48. b4 {=/+}) 44... Re6 {-+} 45. a4 (45. Nf4 {does not help much} Rxe3 46. Nxd3 Rxd3 {-+}) 45... Rxe3 46. Nd4 b4 47. Nf5 Re5 48. g4 (48. Nd4 {doesn't get the cat off the tree} Bd5 {-+}) 48... Kh7 49. Nd4 (49. Ng3 {-+ otherwise it's curtains at once}) 49... Bxg4 50. Kg2 Kg6 51. Ra2 Re4 52. Nf3 Bxf3+ 53. Kxf3 f5 54. Rc2 Ne1+ (54... Ne1+ 55. Kg3 Nxc2 56. a5 Re2 57. Kf3 Nd4+ 58. Kf4 e5+ 59. Kg3 Kg5 60. Kh3 Kf4 61. Kh4 Rh2#) 0-1

18 Aug 2016

D78 Fianchetto Grünfeld: 6.O-O c6 (1.c4 c6 2.g3 Nf6 3.Bg2 g6 4.d4 d5 5.Nf3 Bg7 6.O-O O-O 7.Nbd2)

D78 Fianchetto Grünfeld: 6.O-O c6 (1.c4 c6 2.g3 Nf6 3.Bg2 g6 4.d4 d5 5.Nf3 Bg7 6.O-O O-O 7.Nbd2)

This game was played on the fourth round of a tournament that was held at Salo almost eight years ago. On the first three rounds I was able to win all my games, so this was the first loss I suffered in the tournament. This also turned out to be the only loss I suffered in this five round tournament. I finished the tournament with a score of 4 out of 5. It was enough for me to secure the second place in group B. My new rating because of this good result was 1764.

This game featured only small inaccuracies until we reached the position below. Last move that was played in the position was 24.Bf1, the bishop moved there from g2. It was not the best move in the position either, but the move my opponent played 24...Qb6 was the worst move that had been played up to that point. 24...Qa4 would have been the right idea to go for. The problem with the move 24...Qb6 was that I can trade queens and after 25...Nxb6 I could have played 26.Bc5, forcing the reply 26...Rb7. After that my a-pawn could have gone up the board more freely.

I did not trade queens for some reason or the other, obviously I did not see the benefits it could have given me. The decision to play 25.Qc3 made playing the game more difficult for me. I think it would have been much easier to play after the trade of queens. That being said, I think I managed to play reasonable moves in the line I chose. Well, up to the point it came time to play my 34th move that is. In the position below I moved my queen to d1, which was clearly the most awful move that had been seen in the game up to that point.

The move was so bad that I should have been completely lost after that. Luckily for me, my opponent did not use the light square weaknesses around my king to full effect, so I could have ended up with a fighting chance if not for the fact that I immediately blundered and threw away my best chance to hold a draw. Then with the move 35...Nf3+ my opponent gave me a last chance to play well and hold the draw, but I was not up to the task and made the move 36.Kg2, which became the final mistake of the game and the reason I lost. I have added mate in one puzzles 516 & 517, mate in two puzzle 731, mate in four puzzle 522 and mate in five puzzle 186 today.

[Event "Aarne Hermlinin muistoturnaus"] [Site "?"] [Date "2008.11.02"] [Round "4"] [White "Vierjoki, Timo"] [Black "Norri, Roger"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "D78"] [WhiteElo "1710"] [BlackElo "1735"] [Annotator "Stockfish 7 64 POPCNT (30s), TV"] [PlyCount "82"] [EventDate "2008.??.??"] 1. c4 c6 2. g3 Nf6 3. Bg2 g6 4. d4 d5 5. Nf3 Bg7 6. O-O O-O {Neo-Grünfeld Defense Defense: Classical Variation, Original Defense} 7. Nbd2 {D78 Fianchetto Grünfeld: 6.O-O c6} (7. cxd5 cxd5 {Neo-Grünfeld Defense Defense: Ultra-delayed Exchange Variation}) 7... a6 (7... Bg4 8. b3 Re8 9. Bb2 Nbd7 10. Rc1 Rc8 11. h3 Bxf3 12. Nxf3 Ne4 13. Rc2 Qa5 14. Qb1 b5 15. cxd5 cxd5 16. Rfc1 Rxc2 17. Rxc2 b4 18. Qa1 Rb8 19. Bf1 e6 20. e3 Bf8 21. Ne1 Bd6 22. Rc6 { Demina,J (2390)-Mueller,M (2355) Budapest 1992 1/2-1/2}) 8. c5 {N White gains space} (8. Re1 b5 9. cxd5 cxd5 10. Ne5 Bb7 11. Qb3 Nc6 12. Nxc6 Bxc6 13. Nf3 e6 14. Ne5 Qb6 15. e3 Rfc8 16. f3 Nd7 17. Nxd7 Bxd7 18. f4 a5 19. a4 b4 20. Bd2 Ra7 21. Rec1 Rac7 22. Qd1 Rxc1 {Tobisch,J (1926)-Eden, T (2185) Hampstead 2013 1/2-1/2 (43)}) (8. b3 b5 9. Bb2 Nbd7 (9... Bf5 10. Nh4 Be6 11. Qc2 Nh5 12. Rad1 Qb6 13. c5 Qc7 14. e4 dxe4 15. Nxe4 Nd7 16. f4 Nhf6 17. Rfe1 Nxe4 18. Bxe4 Nf6 19. Bg2 Nd5 20. f5 Bc8 21. fxg6 fxg6 22. Qe2 e6 23. Bh3 Re8 24. Nf3 {Kumar, A-Matos,B (1551) Porto Carras 2010 1-0 (46)}) 10. cxd5 cxd5 11. Rc1 Bb7 12. Qc2 Rc8 13. Qd3 Qb6 14. h3 Ne4 15. a3 a5 16. Ne5 Nxe5 17. dxe5 Rxc1 18. Bxc1 Nxd2 19. Bxd2 Bxe5 20. Be3 d4 21. Bxd4 Bxd4 22. Bxb7 Bxf2+ {Efimov,I (2142) -Petukhov,D (2332) Saratov 2012 0-1 (54)}) (8. b3 Bf5 {=}) 8... b5 (8... Nbd7 9. Rb1 {=}) 9. cxb6 Qxb6 10. Nb3 (10. Nb1 Bf5 {=}) 10... Bf5 (10... Nbd7 11. Bf4 {=}) 11. Bg5 Nbd7 12. Rc1 Rfc8 13. Ne5 {Exerts pressure on the backward pawn} Nxe5 14. dxe5 Nd7 15. Bxe7 Bxe5 16. Qd2 a5 17. e3 {Prevents intrusion on d4+f4} Bxb2 18. Qxb2 a4 19. Rc3 (19. Bd6 axb3 20. axb3 Qd8 {+/=}) 19... axb3 {= } 20. Rxb3 Qa6 {Black threatens to win material: Qa6xa2} 21. Ra1 Rcb8 22. Bd6 Rxb3 23. Qxb3 {Black king safety improved} Ra7 (23... Qb6 24. Rc1 Qxb3 25. axb3 {=}) 24. Bf1 {White threatens to win material: Bf1xa6} (24. a4 Qb6 25. Qa3 c5 { +/=}) 24... Qb6 (24... Qa4 25. Qxa4 Rxa4 26. a3 {=}) 25. Qc3 (25. Qxb6 {!?} Nxb6 26. Bc5 {+/-}) 25... c5 {=} 26. Bf4 f6 {Controls e5+g5} 27. h4 d4 (27... Be4 {!? = looks like a viable alternative}) 28. exd4 {+/=} cxd4 29. Bc4+ (29. Qc8+ {!?} Kg7 30. Bc4 {+/=}) 29... Kg7 {=} 30. Qe1 {White has a mate threat} Qc5 {Black threatens to win material: Qc5xc4} 31. Bb3 Ne5 32. Qc1 {White threatens to win material: Qc1xc5} Qb5 {White has a cramped position} 33. Bh6+ Kh8 34. Qd1 {?? ignoring the path to victory} (34. Qf4 Re7 35. Rd1 Qb6 {=}) 34... Bg4 {Black threatens to win material: Bg4xd1} (34... Qb7 {and Black has reached his goal} 35. Rc1 Bh3 {-+}) 35. Qc2 (35. Qb1 Ra8 36. Bc2 Qxb1+ 37. Rxb1 d3 {=}) 35... Nf3+ (35... Re7 36. Qc1 Nf3+ 37. Kh1 Re1+ 38. Qxe1 Nxe1 39. Rxe1 Bd7 {+/-}) 36. Kg2 {??} (36. Kh1 {=/+ was possible}) 36... Qb7 {-+} 37. Kf1 Nd2+ (37... Nxh4 38. Ke1 Qh1+ 39. Kd2 Nf3+ 40. Kd3 Bf5+ 41. Kc4 Ne5+ 42. Kxd4 Qxa1+ 43. Qc3 Nf3+ 44. Kc4 Rc7+ 45. Kb5 Qxc3 46. Bg7+ Kxg7 47. Bc4 Qxc4+ 48. Kb6 Qc5+ 49. Ka6 Bd3#) 38. Ke1 (38. Kg1 {doesn't change the outcome of the game } Bh3 39. f3 Nxf3+ 40. Kf2 Nd2 41. Rg1 Qf3+ 42. Ke1 g5 43. Qc5 Qe3+ 44. Kd1 Bg4+ 45. Kc2 d3+ 46. Kc3 Qxc5+ 47. Kxd2 Qb4+ 48. Kc1 d2+ 49. Kb2 Qd4+ 50. Kc2 Rc7+ 51. Kb1 Bf5+ 52. Bc2 Bxc2#) 38... Nxb3 39. axb3 (39. Qxb3 {doesn't do any good} Qe4+ 40. Be3 Rb7 41. Kd2 dxe3+ 42. fxe3 Rd7+ 43. Kc1 Rc7+ 44. Kd2 Qg2+ 45. Kd3 Qe2+ 46. Kd4 Qd2+ 47. Ke4 Re7+ 48. Qe6 Rxe6+ 49. Kf4 Qf2+ 50. Kxg4 Qf5# ) 39... Rxa1+ 40. Bc1 (40. Kd2 {does not improve anything} Qb4+ 41. Kd3 Bf5+ 42. Ke2 Re1+ 43. Kf3 Qb7+ 44. Kf4 Re4+ 45. Kf3 Re3+ 46. Kf4 Rf3#) 40... Rxc1+ ( 40... Qf3 41. b4 Rxc1+ 42. Kd2 Rd1+ 43. Qxd1 Qxd1#) 41. Qxc1 (41. Kd2 {doesn't change anything anymore} Rxc2+ 42. Kxc2 Qb4 43. f3 Qc3+ 44. Kb1 d3 45. b4 d2 46. f4 d1=Q+ 47. Ka2 Qdb3#) 41... Qe4+ (41... Qe4+ 42. Qe3 Qb1+ 43. Kd2 Qd1#) 0-1

17 Aug 2016

D02 1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 sidelines, including 2...Nf6 3.g3 and 2...Nf6 3.Bf4 (1.d4 Nf6 2.g3 d5 3.Bg2 Bf5 4.Nf3)

D02 1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 sidelines, including 2...Nf6 3.g3 and 2...Nf6 3.Bf4 (1.d4 Nf6 2.g3 d5 3.Bg2 Bf5 4.Nf3)

The game below was played on the first round of a tournament that was held at Salo between November 1st and November 2nd of 2008. The tournament was held in memory of FIDE Master Aarne Hermlin, who had died on November 17th, 2007, while playing a game for Salon Shakkikerho (Salo Chess Club in English) in a team match against EtVaS. The tournament had two groups of 30 players and I played in group B.

The first clear mistake in this game was played by my opponent on move 9, when he played Nc3 and allowed the move 9...Qxd4 to be played, which wins a pawn. The position below is after White's 9th move. Keijo should have played 9.Nxc6 instead of the move played in the game.

While this mistake certainly helped me, it was not the mistake that decided the outcome of the game. My position was not without its weaknesses and after the knights were traded on c6, it left a backward pawn for me on c6. That pawn gave my opponent some counterplay and he started to put some pressure to that pawn with the move 13.Rc1. With accuarate play that counterplay should not be enough for the lost pawn. Actually my opponent made things worse for himself by playing 17.Kf2 in the position below.

The moves 17.b4 and 17.g4 were better alternatives. The move 17.Kf2 is understandable, since it connects the rooks and allows the rook from h1 to be activated. However, it was not what the position required. 17.b4 would have, for example, prevented me from playing 17...c5, a move that frees my position a bit. After the double square advance of the b-pawn, my c-pawn would have been stuck at c6 for awhile, making it a weakness for me for a longer period of time. Everything went well for me until we reached the position after 20.h4. I played the move 20...d4 in the position below. It was a better idea to play either 20...dxe4 or 20...c4.

When I look at that position now, almost 8 years after this game was played, my move looks horrible, unfortunately it also was a really bad move and did not just look like one. It did not fully turn the tables, it just resetted the game to a balanced state. Luckily for me and unfortunately for my friend, Keijo blundered with 21.Rc4, which turned out to be the mistake that cost him the game. The only move that could have saved my opponent was 21.Bf1. I have added mate in one puzzles 514 & 515, mate in two puzzle 730 and mate in three puzzles 655 & 656 today.

[Event "Aarne Hermlinin muistoturnaus"] [Site "?"] [Date "2008.11.01"] [Round "1"] [White "Riekkinen, Keijo"] [Black "Vierjoki, Timo"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "D02"] [WhiteElo "1572"] [BlackElo "1710"] [Annotator "Stockfish 7 64 POPCNT (30s), TV"] [PlyCount "112"] [EventDate "2008.??.??"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. g3 {Indian Game: Tartakower Attack} (2. g4 e5 {Indian Game: Gibbins-Wiedenhagen Gambit, Oshima Defense} (2... Nxg4 3. e4 (3. f3 Nf6 4. e4 { Indian Game: Gibbins-Wiedenhagen Gambit, Maltese Falcon}) 3... d6 4. Be2 Nf6 5. Nc3 {Indian Game: Gibbins-Wiedenhagen Gambit, Stummer Gambit})) 2... d5 3. Bg2 Bf5 4. Nf3 {D02 1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 sidelines, including 2...Nf6 3.g3 and 2...Nf6 3. Bf4} h6 5. c4 c6 (5... e6 6. cxd5 Nxd5 7. O-O Nd7 8. Nc3 Nxc3 9. bxc3 Be4 10. Qb3 Be7 11. Nd2 Bxg2 12. Kxg2 Nb6 13. e4 O-O 14. Ba3 Bxa3 15. Qxa3 Qd6 16. Qb3 c5 17. Nf3 Qc6 18. Rfe1 Qa4 19. dxc5 Qxb3 20. axb3 {Shilyakin,G (2006) -Topchiy,V Taganrog 2013 1-0 (43)}) 6. cxd5 (6. Qb3 Qb6 7. c5 Qxb3 8. axb3 Bxb1 9. Rxb1 Nbd7 10. b4 g6 11. Ne5 a6 12. Nxd7 Nxd7 13. Bd2 Bg7 14. Bc3 O-O 15. Kd2 f5 16. f3 e5 17. e3 Rae8 18. Rbe1 Re7 19. f4 exd4 20. exd4 Rfe8 {Gorman,D (2324)-Sturt,R (2294) Philadelphia 2011 1/2-1/2}) 6... cxd5 7. Qa4+ {N} (7. Qb3 Qb6 8. Qxb6 axb6 9. Nc3 e6 10. O-O Nc6 11. Bf4 Ne4 12. Nb5 Kd7 13. Ne5+ Nxe5 14. dxe5 Bc5 15. Be3 Ra5 16. Nd4 Rha8 17. Rad1 Rxa2 18. f3 Bxd4 19. Bxd4 Nc5 20. e4 Bg6 21. exd5 exd5 {Bronstein,D-Polugaevsky,L Riga 1958 1-0 (38)}) (7. Nc3 e6 8. Ne5 (8. O-O Nc6 9. a3 Be7 10. b4 a6 11. Bb2 b5 12. Rc1 Rc8 13. e3 O-O 14. Nd2 Qb6 15. Nb3 a5 16. bxa5 Nxa5 17. Nxa5 Qxa5 18. Qb3 b4 19. axb4 Qxb4 20. Qxb4 Bxb4 21. Na4 Ra8 22. Nc5 Ra2 {Nguyen,T-Pham Thi Ngoc,T Hanoi 2002 1/2-1/2 (32)}) 8... Be7 9. O-O O-O 10. h3 Qb6 11. Na4 Qb5 12. Nc3 Qb6 13. b3 Nc6 14. Be3 Rac8 15. Na4 Qb5 16. g4 Bh7 17. Nxc6 Rxc6 18. Nc5 b6 19. a4 Qb4 20. Nd3 Qd6 21. Bf4 Qd8 {Horvath,A (2299)-Csom,E (2134) Budapest 2002 1/2-1/2 (36)}) 7... Nc6 8. Ne5 {White threatens to win material: Ne5xc6} Qb6 {Black threatens to win material: Qb6xd4} 9. Nc3 {White threatens to win material: Nc3xd5} (9. Nxc6 Bd7 {=}) 9... Qxd4 {=/+} 10. Nxc6 Qxa4 11. Nxa4 bxc6 12. Bf4 e6 13. Rc1 Bb4+ 14. Kf1 (14. Bd2 Bxd2+ 15. Kxd2 Kd7 {+/-}) 14... Rc8 15. a3 Be7 16. f3 O-O 17. Kf2 (17. Be3 Nd7 18. Nc5 Nb6 {+/-}) 17... c5 18. Rhe1 Rfe8 (18... g5 19. Bd2 { +/-}) 19. e4 Bg6 20. h4 (20. Be3 d4 21. Bf4 {+/-}) 20... d4 {Black has a new protected passed pawn: d4} (20... dxe4 21. fxe4 e5 22. Be3 {-+}) 21. Rc4 {?} ( 21. Bf1 {!? = and White can hope to live}) 21... Nd7 22. Rec1 e5 (22... Bh7 23. Bf1 f5 24. exf5 Bxf5 25. Re1 {+/-}) 23. Bd2 (23. Bh3 {!?} f5 24. exf5 {+/-}) 23... Nb6 24. Nxb6 axb6 25. a4 (25. Ra4 f5 {+/-}) 25... Ra8 (25... f5 26. exf5 Bxf5 27. Re1 {-+}) 26. Ra1 (26. Bh3 Reb8 {-+}) 26... f6 (26... b5 {!? makes it even easier for Black} 27. Rcc1 bxa4 28. Rc4 {-+}) 27. Rcc1 Bf7 28. Bf1 Reb8 29. Bd3 Bb3 30. Bb5 Ra7 31. Bc6 Rc8 32. Bd5+ {?} (32. Bb5 {-+}) 32... Bxd5 33. exd5 Rd8 34. b3 (34. Ke2 Rxd5 35. Kd3 Rd8 {-+}) 34... Rxd5 (34... f5 {and Black can already relax} 35. h5 {-+}) 35. Rab1 (35. Ke2 f5 36. Kd3 Rd8 {-+}) 35... Kf7 (35... f5 {might be the shorter path} 36. h5 {-+}) 36. Ke2 Ke6 (36... Rd8 {seems even better} 37. g4 {-+}) 37. h5 (37. Kd3 Rd8 {-+}) 37... f5 38. Rc4 (38. Kd3 {does not save the day} Rd8 {-+}) 38... Rd8 39. Re1 (39. Rcc1 { doesn't get the cat off the tree} Bd6 {-+}) 39... Kd5 {Black plans e4} 40. Kd3 (40. Ra1 {is not the saving move} Bd6 {-+}) 40... Bd6 41. g4 (41. Ke2 {cannot change destiny} e4 {-+}) 41... fxg4 42. fxg4 Rf8 43. Ke2 (43. Rcc1 {cannot change what is in store for White} e4+ $1 {Decoy: e3} 44. Kc2 Rf2 {-+}) 43... e4 44. Rf1 (44. Kd1 Rf3 45. a5 Rxb3 46. Rc1 bxa5 47. Rf1 {-+}) 44... Rxf1 45. Kxf1 Rf7+ 46. Ke2 Rf3 {Black intends e3} (46... d3+ 47. Kd1 Rf1+ 48. Be1 Bf4 49. Rc2 Rxe1+ 50. Kxe1 dxc2 51. g5 c1=Q+ 52. Kf2 Qc2+ 53. Kf1 e3 54. Kg1 Qf2+ 55. Kh1 Qf1#) 47. a5 (47. Be3 {a fruitless try to alter the course of the game} Rxe3+ 48. Kf2 Rg3 49. Rc1 e3+ 50. Ke2 Ke4 51. Re1 d3+ 52. Kd1 Bf4 53. b4 d2 54. Ke2 dxe1=Q+ 55. Kxe1 Rg1+ 56. Ke2 Bg3 57. a5 Re1#) 47... bxa5 (47... d3+ 48. Kd1 Rf1+ 49. Be1 Bf4 50. Rc2 Rxe1+ 51. Kxe1 dxc2 52. g5 c1=Q+ 53. Kf2 Qb2+ 54. Ke1 e3 55. b4 Qd2+ 56. Kf1 Qf2#) 48. Bxa5 (48. Kd1 {is no salvation} d3 49. Kc1 Rf1+ 50. Kb2 Be5+ 51. Rc3 Rf2 52. Kc1 Bxc3 53. Bxc3 Rc2+ 54. Kb1 Rxc3 55. Kb2 Rc2+ 56. Ka3 Kc6 57. g5 d2 58. b4 d1=Q 59. b5+ Kxb5 60. g6 Qd3#) 48... Rxb3 ( 48... d3+ 49. Kd2 Rf2+ 50. Kc1 Rf1+ 51. Kb2 Be5+ 52. Bc3 d2 53. Bxe5 d1=Q 54. Ka3 Rf3 55. Bc3 Rxc3 56. Rd4+ Kxd4 57. Ka4 Qxb3+ 58. Ka5 Qb4+ 59. Ka6 Ra3#) 49. Rc1 Rb2+ 50. Kf1 e3 51. Bd8 d3 52. g5 (52. Ba5 {hardly improves anything} Ke4 53. Kg1 d2 54. Ra1 Rb4 55. g5 e2 56. Bxb4 d1=Q+ 57. Kf2 cxb4 58. Rxd1 exd1=Q 59. g6 Qc2+ 60. Ke1 Kf3 61. Kf1 Qb1#) 52... hxg5 (52... Bh2 53. Bb6 Rf2+ 54. Ke1 d2+ 55. Kd1 Rf1+ 56. Kc2 dxc1=Q+ 57. Kb3 Qb1+ 58. Ka3 Rf2 59. g6 Qb4#) 53. Bxg5 Ke4 54. h6 (54. Re1 {does not solve anything} Bf4 55. Bxf4 Kxf4 56. h6 d2 57. Ra1 Ra2 58. Rb1 Kf3 59. Kg1 e2 60. Rb3+ Kg4 61. h7 d1=Q+ 62. Kh2 Qxb3 63. h8=Q e1=Q#) 54... gxh6 55. Bxh6 (55. Bxe3 {is not much help} Kxe3 56. Kg1 Re2 57. Ra1 Kf3 58. Rb1 Kg3 59. Ra1 c4 60. Rb1 Bc5+ 61. Kf1 Rh2 62. Ke1 Be3 63. Ra1 Rh1#) 55... Kf3 (55... Bh2 56. Rc4+ Kf3 57. Bxe3 Kxe3 58. Rh4 Rf2+ 59. Ke1 Bg3 60. Re4+ Kxe4 61. Kd1 Rf1+ 62. Kd2 Be1+ 63. Kc1 Bc3#) 56. Bg7 (56. Bxe3 { doesn't get the bull off the ice} Kxe3 57. Kg1 Re2 58. Ra1 c4 59. Rb1 d2 60. Ra1 Re1+ 61. Kg2 Rxa1 62. Kh3 Rg1 63. Kh4 d1=Q 64. Kh3 Qh5#) 56... Rg2 (56... Rg2 57. Bh6 e2+ 58. Ke1 Bg3+ 59. Kd2 e1=Q+ 60. Kxd3 Qe4+ 61. Kc3 Be5+ 62. Kb3 Qb4#) (56... d2 57. Bxb2 e2+ 58. Kg1 dxc1=Q+ 59. Bxc1 e1=Q#) 0-1

16 Aug 2016

A25 English Opening vs King's Indian with ...Nc6 but without early d3 (1.c4 e5 2.g3 Nc6 3.Bg2 g6 4.Nc3 Bg7 5.d3 d6 6.e3)

A25 English Opening vs King's Indian with ...Nc6 but without early d3 (1.c4 e5 2.g3 Nc6 3.Bg2 g6 4.Nc3 Bg7 5.d3 d6 6.e3)

I have decided to go through my over the board games for a change. These old games seem to be more willing to provide something new to share, in view of opening variations that is, than my latest games. The game below was played on round two in a 2nd division team match between VammSK 2 and SalSK 3. I played on board 1 for SalSK 3 at the time. This match was played on 5 boards and like you might guess from the rating difference on board 1, I faced an opponent who was nearly 400 points stronger than me, we were clearly the weaker team, in view of ratings that is. We lost the match 4 - 0, our board 5 player was the only one who managed to get a draw. Draws are not counted to the final score in these team matches.

I was able to maintain a good control in the position and it was actually my opponent, who ended up in some trouble first. In the position below my opponent played 14...h5, which is not a good idea.

The idea behind the move was to push the pawn all the way to h4 and get the h-file open. I would not have taken on h4, of course, because then my opponent could have taken back with the queen and I would have been in serious trouble. At least I am assuming that pushing the pawn to h4 was the plan, I can't say for sure, but it does seem like the plan to me. I continued with the right plan at first, but then on move 17 I played my queen to b3, which allowed my opponent to get back into the game. The blunder I made in the position below, 19.hxg4, could have meant the start for my downfall if not for the reply 19...Qb6?? It gave me an opportunity to keep the position even, but I took a step in the wrong direction instead and my opponent started to gain some advantage again.

My 20th move might have been the beginning of the end for me, but my 27th move was the one that secured a loss for me. It was positive to see that already almost eight years ago I was able create some problems for a player who was rated over 2100. The sadder part is that my playing strength has not made any significant changes for the better since those times. There have been some signs of improvement though and I do look to the future with a positive attitude. I have added mate in one puzzle 513, mate in two puzzle 729, mate in three puzzle 654 and mate in four puzzle 521 today.

[Event "2.divisioona, lohko 5"] [Site "?"] [Date "2008.10.04"] [Round "2"] [White "Vierjoki, Timo"] [Black "Järvinen, Rauno"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "A25"] [WhiteElo "1713"] [BlackElo "2108"] [Annotator "Stockfish 7 64 POPCNT (30s), TV"] [PlyCount "68"] [EventDate "2008.??.??"] 1. c4 e5 2. g3 Nc6 3. Bg2 g6 4. Nc3 Bg7 5. d3 d6 {English Opening: King's English Variation, Closed System, Full Symmetry} 6. e3 {A25 English Opening vs King's Indian with ...Nc6 but without early d3} (6. e4 {English Opening: King's English Variation, Botvinnik System}) 6... Nh6 7. Nge2 O-O 8. O-O f5 ( 8... Be6 9. h3 (9. Rb1 Qd7 10. b3 Bh3 11. e4 Bxg2 12. Kxg2 f5 13. f3 Ne7 14. b4 a6 15. a4 Nf7 16. b5 axb5 17. axb5 c5 18. Be3 g5 19. exf5 Nxf5 20. Qd2 g4 21. fxg4 Nxe3+ 22. Qxe3 Qxg4 23. Qf3 Qxf3+ {Gomez,J (2524)-Nguyen,A (2239) Ho Chi Minh City 2015 1-0 (66)}) 9... Rb8 10. Rb1 a6 11. b3 Qd7 12. Kh2 b5 13. Bb2 bxc4 14. bxc4 f5 15. Qa4 Nb4 16. Qxd7 Bxd7 17. Rfd1 e4 18. dxe4 Nxa2 19. Ba1 Nxc3 20. Nxc3 Rxb1 21. Rxb1 Bxc3 22. Bxc3 fxe4 23. Bxe4 {Petursson,M (2565) -Hjartarson,J (2570) Reykjavik 1995 1/2-1/2 (39)}) 9. Rb1 a5 {N} (9... Kh8 10. b4 (10. b3 g5 11. f4 Nf7 12. Bb2 Ne7 13. d4 gxf4 14. exf4 e4 15. d5 c5 16. Qd2 Nh6 17. Nd1 Rg8 18. Ne3 Qf8 19. b4 b6 20. bxc5 bxc5 21. Qa5 Qd8 22. Bxg7+ Kxg7 23. Qc3+ Kf7 24. h3 Rg7 {Dimitrov,V (2456)-Arnaudov,P (2226) Velingrad 2004 1-0 (60)}) 10... g5 11. Nd5 Ne7 12. b5 Ng6 13. Qa4 Bd7 14. f4 a6 15. Qb4 gxf4 16. exf4 axb5 17. cxb5 Rxa2 18. Nec3 c5 19. bxc6 Rxg2+ 20. Kxg2 Bxc6 21. Kg1 Ng4 22. h3 Nf6 23. Qc4 Nh5 24. Kh2 {Grimm-Preker,H (2220) Porz 1986 0-1 (35)}) 10. a3 {Secures b4} g5 11. f4 gxf4 12. exf4 Ng4 13. b4 axb4 14. axb4 h5 (14... Nd4 {!? +/= deserves consideration}) 15. Nd5 {+/-} Be6 16. Bd2 (16. fxe5 dxe5 17. b5 Ne7 {+/-}) 16... Nb8 (16... Ne7 {+/-}) 17. Qb3 (17. h3 Nf6 18. Ne3 {+/-} ) 17... c6 {=} 18. h3 cxd5 19. hxg4 (19. cxd5 Qb6+ 20. Kh1 {=}) 19... Qb6+ { ?? forfeits the advantage} (19... dxc4 20. dxc4 hxg4 21. fxe5 dxe5 22. Bd5 Bxd5 23. cxd5 {+/-}) 20. Kh2 (20. c5 {would keep White alive} dxc5 21. bxc5 Qxb3 22. Rxb3 {=}) 20... dxc4 {=/+} 21. dxc4 hxg4 22. Be3 (22. fxe5 dxe5 23. Be3 Qc7 { =/+}) 22... Qc7 {+/-} 23. Rbc1 (23. fxe5 Qxc4 24. Qxc4 Bxc4 {+/-}) 23... Nd7 ( 23... e4 {!?} 24. Nd4 Bxd4 25. Bxd4 b5 {-+}) 24. Bd5 Bxd5 25. cxd5 Qd8 26. Rc2 (26. fxe5 Bxe5 27. Kg1 Qe8 {+/-}) 26... Qe8 27. Kg2 {?} (27. Kg1 {+/-}) 27... exf4 {-+} 28. Nxf4 (28. gxf4 Qe4+ 29. Kg1 {-+}) 28... Qe4+ 29. Kg1 Rfc8 30. Rxc8+ Rxc8 31. Bf2 (31. Qd3 {is the last straw} Qxd3 32. Nxd3 {-+}) 31... Ne5 32. Be1 (32. Qe3 {there is nothing else anyway} Nf3+ 33. Kg2 {-+}) 32... Rc1 ( 32... Nf3+ 33. Rxf3 Qxe1+ 34. Rf1 Bd4+ 35. Kg2 Qe4+ 36. Qf3 gxf3+ 37. Kh1 Rc7 38. Kh2 Rh7+ 39. Nh3 Rxh3+ 40. Kxh3 Qg4+ 41. Kh2 Qh5#) 33. Ng2 (33. Bd2 { a fruitless try to alter the course of the game} Nf3+ 34. Qxf3 Qxf3 35. Rxc1 Bd4+ 36. Kh2 Qf2+ 37. Kh1 Qxd2 38. Rg1 Qe3 39. Rg2 Qc1+ 40. Kh2 Kf7 41. Nh5 Qh6 42. Kh1 Qxh5+ 43. Rh2 Qg5 44. Rf2 Bxf2 45. Kg2 Bd4 46. b5 Qc1 47. b6 Qg1#) 33... Nf3+ 34. Rxf3 gxf3 (34... gxf3 35. Qa2 fxg2 36. Qxg2 Rxe1+ 37. Kh2 Re2 38. Qxe2 Qxe2+ 39. Kg1 Bd4+ 40. Kh1 Qf2 41. g4 Qg1#) 0-1

15 Aug 2016

E70 King's Indian: Miscellaneous lines with 4.e4, including 5.Nge2 and 5.Bd3 O-O 6.Nge2 (1.d4 e5 2.d5 d6 3.c4 Nf6 4.Nc3 g6 5.e4 Bg7 6.Nge2)

E70 King's Indian: Miscellaneous lines with 4.e4, including 5.Nge2 and 5.Bd3 O-O 6.Nge2 (1.d4 e5 2.d5 d6 3.c4 Nf6 4.Nc3 g6 5.e4 Bg7 6.Nge2)

In the game below I tried something different against 1.d4 and even though things did not really work out well for me, it was not due to the opening phase of the game. This might mean that I am willing to do more testing of this opening in the future. There are some improvements that I would need to remember. For instance, on move 4 of this game, I should play Bf5 in order to prevent White from playing e4. In the game, the bishop on c8 became a problem piece to some degree, my opponent took all the good squares away from it. While the pawn storm that Kojjootti generated created him more space, it also took some time off from development and therefore I had better development, but also less space to work with. The game was played reasonably well by both players until I played 14...Qb6. Up to that point only small inaccuracies were seen. 14...Qb6 was the first move to tip the advantage clearly in favor of my friend. With two inaccurate moves in a row from Kojjootti, 15.Ng3 and 16.Nce2, would have allowed me to get a slightly favorable position with 16...b3, but I missed my chance and the position was roughly even once again. Kojjootti kept making mistakes and his 18th move gave me a chance to obtain a winning advantage. Because this was a 5 minute game, my moves were not that well thought out either and the move I chose was only good enough for clear advantage. I did get another chance for the winning advantage immediately as Kojjootti blundered with 19.g5.

I was clearly in the driver's seat after that until I had to blunder with 27...Nf8. Due to that move the game became even again for a few moves. Then on his 31st move, Kojjootti played 31.Nf5, after which he should have been completely lost. However, I suffered some sort of brain malfunction at this point and did not take the knight with my pawn. I honestly can't remember what was I thinking. I either did not see that my pawn can take the knight or I thought that I saw some dangerous line if I take the knight. Whatever the reason, I made a really horrible move as a reply to Nf5. I played 31...Qa6 and I was on the losing side of the board. I was not going to give up the fight though because it was a blitz game and things can change quite dramatically in time trouble. My fight was rewarded first with an even game when my opponent played 42.Kb1. One might think that it is easy to hold the draw here, but when players try to find ways to win the game, there might be problems. The first move to take the wrong direction after 42.Kb1 was 45.Bc8. It was replied with 45...Rb6, a move that I must have regretted almost immediately after moving the rook. The rook is very badly placed at b6 and I can't understand why I moved my rook there. Then my friend played 46.Be6, after which I remain on the better side of the board to the end of the game. The only thing that saved my opponent was my time running out.

[Event "Live Chess"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2016.07.21"] [Round "?"] [White "Kojjootti"] [Black "Vierjoki, Timo"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "E70"] [WhiteElo "1702"] [BlackElo "1815"] [Annotator "Stockfish 7 64 POPCNT (30s), TV"] [PlyCount "99"] [EventDate "2016.??.??"] [TimeControl "5"] 1. d4 e5 2. d5 {Englund Gambit Complex: Declined} d6 (2... Bc5 3. e4 Qh4 { Englund Gambit Complex: Declined, Diemer Counterattack}) 3. c4 Nf6 4. Nc3 g6 5. e4 Bg7 6. Nge2 {E70 King's Indian: Miscellaneous lines with 4.e4, including 5. Nge2 and 5.Bd3 O-O 6.Nge2} O-O {N} (6... a5 7. Ng3 Nbd7 8. Be2 Nc5 9. h4 h6 10. Qc2 Bd7 11. h5 g5 12. Nd1 Ng8 13. Ne3 Ne7 14. Bg4 Bxg4 15. Nxg4 Qd7 16. f3 f6 17. Be3 Na6 18. Bd2 b6 19. Ne3 O-O 20. Ngf5 Nxf5 21. Nxf5 {Ader Hausman, W-Gentil,L Mar del Plata 1952 1-0 (43)}) (6... c6 7. Ng3 (7. f3 cxd5 8. cxd5 Na6 9. Be3 Bd7 10. Qd2 O-O 11. g4 h5 12. h3 Nh7 13. Ng3 h4 14. Nge2 Bf6 15. Nc1 Nc5 16. b4 Na4 17. Nxa4 Bxa4 18. Nb3 Bxb3 19. axb3 Bg5 20. Bc4 Qf6 21. O-O Bxe3+ {Alber,H (2340) -Kersten,U (2365) Doernigheim 1994 0-1 (46)}) (7. h3 cxd5 8. cxd5 a6 9. Be3 Nbd7 10. Ng3 O-O 11. Bd3 Ne8 12. Rc1 Bf6 13. Qd2 Ng7 14. O-O Bh4 15. Nge2 f5 16. f4 exf4 17. Nxf4 Ne5 18. Be2 fxe4 19. Nxe4 Bf5 20. Qb4 Qe7 21. Ne6 Nxe6 {Naranja,R-Panno,O Lugano 1968 0-1 (36)}) 7... a6 (7... cxd5 8. cxd5 a6 9. a4 h5 10. Be2 a5 11. Nf1 Na6 12. Bg5 Bh6 13. Bb5+ Kf8 14. Bxh6+ Rxh6 15. Ne3 Nc5 16. Qc2 Ng4 17. Nc4 f5 18. f3 Nf6 19. O-O-O Kg7 20. b3 Rh8 21. Kb2 Rf8 22. Rdf1 {Bertok,M-Tatai,S Reggio Emilia 1967 1/2-1/2 (34)}) 8. Be2 h5 9. Bg5 cxd5 10. exd5 Nbd7 11. O-O Qc7 12. Rc1 h4 13. Nge4 Nxe4 14. Nxe4 f5 15. Nc3 h3 16. g4 b6 17. gxf5 gxf5 18. Kh1 Nf6 19. f4 e4 20. b4 Kf8 21. Rg1 {Miles,A (2560) -Johansen,D (2410) Edinburgh 1985 1-0 (39)}) 7. h3 {Secures g4} Na6 8. g4 {Black has a cramped position} Nc5 9. f3 (9. Ng3 a5 {+/=}) 9... c6 {Covers b5} 10. h4 (10. Be3 cxd5 11. cxd5 Ne8 {=}) 10... cxd5 {=} 11. cxd5 Qa5 (11... h5 12. g5 Ne8 13. Be3 {=}) 12. Qc2 (12. Ng3 b5 13. Bxb5 Rb8 {+/=}) 12... a6 ( 12... h5 13. Ng3 hxg4 14. h5 gxf3 15. h6 {=}) 13. h5 {White wins space} (13. a3 Ncxe4 14. fxe4 Nxg4 {+/=}) 13... b5 {=} 14. Bd2 Qb6 (14... b4 15. Nd1 Bxg4 16. fxg4 {=}) 15. Ng3 (15. b4 {!?} Na4 16. h6 {+/-}) 15... b4 {+/= Black threatens to win material: b4xc3} 16. Nce2 (16. Nd1 b3 17. Qc3 a5 {+/=}) 16... a5 (16... b3 17. Qc4 Bxg4 18. fxg4 {=/+}) 17. hxg6 (17. Nc1 {!? = should be considered}) 17... fxg6 {+/-} 18. Bh6 {?? cause more grief} (18. Be3 Nfd7 19. Ng1 b3 20. axb3 Qxb3 {+/-}) 18... Rf7 (18... Bxh6 {and Black can celebrate victory} 19. Rxh6 b3 20. axb3 Bxg4 21. fxg4 Nxg4 {-+}) 19. g5 {??} (19. Be3 {=/+ was possible}) 19... Nfd7 (19... Bxh6 {makes it even easier for Black} 20. Rxh6 Nfd7 21. Ng1 Nd3+ 22. Qxd3 Qxg1 23. Ne2 Qxg5 24. Qd2 Qxd2+ 25. Kxd2 Rxf3 26. Rh3 {-+}) 20. Bg2 (20. Ng1 {a last effort to resist the inevitable} Bxh6 21. gxh6 {-+}) 20... Ba6 21. Nc1 Bf8 (21... Bxh6 {seems even better} 22. gxh6 Raf8 23. Qf2 {-+}) 22. Bxf8 (22. Qf2 {is not much help} Bxh6 23. Rxh6 Raf8 {-+}) 22... Raxf8 (22... Rfxf8 {?!} 23. Qf2 {-+}) (22... Nxf8 {?!} 23. Qf2 {-+}) ( 22... Kxf8 {?!} 23. Nf1 {-+}) 23. Qd2 (23. Qf2 {cannot change what is in store for White} Qd8 24. Qe3 Rf4 {-+}) 23... Rf4 (23... Rxf3 {and Black can already relax} 24. Bxf3 Rxf3 {-+}) 24. Nge2 (24. Qe3 {the only chance to get some counterplay} Qd8 25. Nge2 Qxg5 26. Rg1 {-+}) 24... Bxe2 (24... Nxe4 {and Black has it in the bag} 25. fxe4 Qf2+ 26. Kd1 Qxg2 27. Nxf4 Qf3+ 28. Nce2 Qxh1+ 29. Qe1 Qxe4 30. Ne6 Qxd5+ 31. N2d4 Rf1 32. Qxf1 Bxf1 33. Ke1 Ba6 34. Kf2 exd4 35. Nf4 Qf5 36. Kg3 Qxg5+ 37. Kh3 Qxf4 38. Rg1 Ne5 39. Rg3 Bf1+ 40. Kh2 Qf2+ 41. Kh1 Qxg3 42. a3 Qg2#) 25. Nxe2 (25. Qxe2 {doesn't get the bull off the ice} Nxe4 $1 {doomsday} 26. Rf1 {-+}) 25... R4f7 (25... Nxe4 {finishes off the opponent} 26. fxe4 Qf2+ 27. Kd1 Qxg2 {-+}) 26. O-O-O {?? leads to further unpleasantness} (26. Qe3 {+/-}) 26... Rc8 (26... Qb5 {!? makes it even easier for Black} 27. Ng3 Nb6 28. Qe2 Qxe2 29. Nxe2 {-+}) 27. Kb1 Nf8 {?? Black is ruining his position} (27... b3 {the advantage is on the side of Black} 28. a3 Nxe4 29. fxe4 Rc2 {-+}) 28. Qe3 {=} Qb5 29. Bh3 Rcc7 30. Ng3 a4 31. Nf5 {?} ( 31. Bf1 Qb8 32. Rc1 {=}) 31... Qa6 {?? instead of simply winning the game} ( 31... gxf5 {Black clearly has the better chances} 32. exf5 Qc4 {-+}) 32. Nh6+ { +-} Kg7 33. Nxf7 Rxf7 34. Bg4 Kg8 35. Qf2 {?? White lets it slip away} (35. Rc1 {+- keeps an even firmer grip}) 35... Nd3 {??} (35... Nxe4 {and Black is still in the game} 36. Qe3 Nc5 {+/=}) 36. Qh2 (36. Qe2 {might be the shorter path} Nc5 37. Qxa6 Nxa6 38. Be6 Nxe6 39. dxe6 {+-}) 36... Qc4 {?? Black crumbles in face of a dire situation} (36... Nc5 {+-}) 37. Qc2 (37. Qe2 {makes sure everything is clear} Nxb2 38. Qxb2 {+-}) 37... Qxc2+ {+/-} 38. Kxc2 Nf2 39. Rdg1 Nxh1 40. Rxh1 Nd7 {?? another bit of territory lost} (40... Rc7+ 41. Kd2 Kg7 {+/-}) 41. b3 {White threatens to win material: b3xa4} (41. Be6 Nc5 42. Bxf7+ Kg7 43. Be6 b3+ 44. axb3 Nxb3 45. Kc3 {+-}) 41... a3 {?? lets it slip away} (41... Nc5 42. bxa4 Ra7 43. Kb2 {=}) 42. Kb1 {Loses material} (42. Be6 { and White wins} Nf8 43. Bxf7+ Kxf7 44. Kd3 {+-}) 42... Nc5 {=} 43. Rc1 Kg7 44. Rc4 {White threatens to win material: Rc4xb4} Rb7 45. Bc8 (45. f4 h5 (45... exf4 46. e5 Rf7 47. exd6 {+/-}) 46. fxe5 hxg4 (46... dxe5 47. Bh3 (47. Rxc5 hxg4 48. Rc1 Rf7 {=/+}) 47... Rb5 48. d6 {+-}) 47. exd6 Nd7 {=}) 45... Rb6 ( 45... Rb8 46. Bg4 h5 47. gxh6+ Kxh6 48. Kc2 {+/-}) 46. Be6 (46. f4 {and White can hope to survive} exf4 47. e5 {=}) 46... h6 {+/-} 47. Kc2 hxg5 48. Kd2 {?} ( 48. Rxc5 dxc5 49. Kd3 g4 50. Bxg4 Rb8 {+/-}) 48... Kf6 (48... Rb8 49. Bg4 {-+}) 49. Ke2 {?} (49. Bg4 {+/-}) 49... Nxe6 (49... Rb7 {makes it even easier for Black} 50. Ke3 Rh7 51. Rc2 {-+}) 50. Kf2 {Kojjootti won on time} (50. Kf2 Nc5 51. Ke2 {-+}) 1-0

12 Aug 2016

E82 King's Indian: Sämisch: 6...b6 (1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f3 O-O 6.Be3 b6 7.Bd3 c5)

E82 King's Indian: Sämisch: 6...b6 (1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.f3 O-O 6.Be3 b6 7.Bd3 c5)

The game I am sharing today was played on the third round of the 2014 October Long Haul Split I tournament at Red Hot Pawn. The tournament started on October 24th, 2014. On August 10th, 2016 the tournament finished and it was decided that my opponent, caissad4, won the tournament. This tournament could have ended on the second round if we had not tied in points. If me and caissad4 would have kept getting one win each, we would have continued to play this tournament until one of us would have had at least one win and a draw. I am, in a way, glad that it stopped the way it did, I would have liked to be the winner, of course, but unfortunately I was not able to do that this time. Caissad4 certainly deserved to win as I was compeletely destroyed in this game. I should have probably played the opening I played on the second round as it was the game where I was victorious, but I wanted to change things for this round. Obviously that was a bad idea.

It was rather sad that already on my 7th move I played a move so horrible that it sealed my destiny. I can't believe I played 7...c5 without properly judging the consequences of the move. If the game was not lost after my 7th move, it certainly was after I moved my queen to c7 on move 9. I should have just moved the knight, but I thought that I will prevent losing a whole rook this way. In the game continuation I was only able to get a pawn for the knight, which is clearly not enough. I did try to fight back for awhile, but on my 20th move I decided that resistance was futile and resigned. I should, of course, be able to offer a better play in a correspondence game, but lately I have not been as interested in using as much time to think my moves as I used in the past. Maybe I need some time off from correspondence chess and maybe come back later with more enthusiasm. These days I am much more interested in playing games in one sitting. I have added mate in one puzzles 511 & 512, mate in two puzzle 728, mate in three puzzle 650 and mate in four puzzle 519 today. Until Monday, my fellow chess and chess960 enthusiasts and other people who do not fit in that category!

[Event "Long Haul Split"] [Site "http://www.redhotpawn.com"] [Date "2016.07.03"] [Round "3"] [White "caissad4"] [Black "Vierjoki, Timo"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "E82"] [WhiteElo "2110"] [BlackElo "1941"] [Annotator "Stockfish 7 64 POPCNT (30s), TV"] [PlyCount "39"] [EventDate "2016.??.??"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. f3 O-O 6. Be3 b6 {King's Indian Defense: Saemisch Variation, Double Fianchetto} (6... c6 7. Bd3 a6 {King's Indian Defense: Saemisch Variation, Byrne Defense}) (6... e5 7. d5 c6 (7... Nh5 8. Qd2 Qh4+ 9. g3 Nxg3 10. Qf2 Nxf1 11. Qxh4 Nxe3 12. Ke2 {King's Indian Defense: Saemisch Variation, Bronstein Defense}) 8. Nge2 cxd5 {King's Indian Defense: Saemisch Variation, Closed Variation, Main Line}) 7. Bd3 c5 {E82 King's Indian: Sämisch: 6...b6} 8. e5 dxe5 (8... Ne8 9. Be4 Nc7 10. dxc5 bxc5 11. f4 Bf5 12. Bxa8 Nxa8 13. Nf3 Nb6 14. Qe2 Nc6 15. Rd1 Qb8 16. O-O dxe5 17. Bxc5 exf4 18. Nd5 Re8 19. Nd4 Nxd4 20. Bxd4 e5 21. Bxb6 axb6 22. Qf2 g5 23. g3 {Kraidman,Y (2440)-Nemet,I (2460) Skara 1980 1-0 (41)}) (8... Nc6 9. exf6 Bxf6 10. d5 Ne5 11. Be2 a6 12. f4 Nd7 13. Nf3 Bg7 14. O-O Nf6 15. Kh1 Bd7 16. a4 Rb8 17. Qd2 Qc7 18. Rae1 Rfe8 19. Bd3 b5 20. cxb5 axb5 21. Bxb5 Bxb5 22. Nxb5 Qb7 23. Rd1 {Miedema,D (2390)-Soubirou,O (2060) Lille 2014 1/2-1/2 (44)}) 9. dxe5 Qc7 {? N} (9... Ne8 10. Be4 Nc7 11. Qxd8 Rxd8 12. Nb5 (12. Bxa8 Nxa8 13. f4 Bb7 14. Nf3 Nc7 15. Ke2 Bxf3+ 16. Kxf3 Kf8 17. Rhd1 Ke8 18. Rxd8+ Kxd8 19. Rd1+ Ke8 20. a4 Nc6 21. Nb5 Nxb5 22. axb5 Na5 23. Ra1 f6 24. e6 Kd8 25. Bxc5 Nxc4 26. Rd1+ Ke8 {Littke,H-Grellmann,T (1892) Mecklenburg VP 2004 1-0 (32)}) 12... Nba6 13. Nxc7 Nxc7 14. Bxa8 Nxa8 15. f4 f6 16. Nf3 Bb7 17. Ke2 fxe5 18. Nxe5 Bxg2 19. Rhd1 Rxd1 20. Rxd1 Bxe5 21. fxe5 Bc6 22. e6 Kg7 23. Bg5 h6 24. Bxe7 { Knaak,R-Redlich,B Warsaw 1970 1-0}) (9... Nfd7 10. Be4 Nxe5 11. Bxa8 Nd3+ 12. Kf1 Nxb2 {+/-}) 10. exf6 {+-} Bxf6 11. Be4 (11. Nd5 {seems even better} Qe5 12. Ne2 Bb7 {+-}) 11... Bb7 12. Qc2 Nc6 13. Nd5 Qe5 14. O-O-O Bg7 15. Bf4 Qh5 { ?? an oversight. But Black was lost anyway.} (15... Qe6 16. Ne2 Qc8 {+-}) 16. g4 Qh4 17. Qd2 f6 (17... h6 {doesn't get the cat off the tree} 18. Bg3 Qg5 19. Qxg5 hxg5 20. Nxe7+ Nxe7 21. Bxb7 {+-}) 18. Bg3 (18. Nxe7+ {!? keeps an even firmer grip} Nxe7 19. Bxb7 Rae8 {+-}) 18... Qh6 19. Qxh6 (19. f4 {makes it even easier for White} Kh8 20. h4 Nd4 21. Nxf6 Bxe4 22. Nxe4 b5 {+-}) 19... Bxh6+ 20. Kb1 (20. Kb1 Rad8 21. Ne2 {+-}) 1-0

11 Aug 2016

C45 Scotch Game (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 Nxd4 4.Nxd4 exd4 5.Qxd4 Qf6 6.Be3)

C45 Scotch Game (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 Nxd4 4.Nxd4 exd4 5.Qxd4 Qf6 6.Be3)

It has been what seems to me like a very long time since I last shared a correspondence game in this blog, but that time has come once again. The game below was played in a clan challenge between Metallica and The White Hats. I played on board 1 for The White Hats in this clan challenge that consisted of three boards. I was able to win my other game against Johannes Goethe, but it did not help our clan all that much and with a score of 4 - 2, Metallica won the challenge. It was interesting that out of the six games played in the challenge, in five of them it was the player with the black pieces who won the game. The variation of the Scotch that was played in this game, I do not remember playing ever before and the evidence I have gathered from the games I have analysed support that fact. There are of course hundreds of games that still wait to be analysed, so therefore I can't really be certain that this was the first time that I faced this variation. Then again there are also a couple of thousand over the board blitz games that I can never analyse afterwards, so I may never know the truth for absolute certainty.

I am reasonably happy with how I played the first six moves of this game. The move 6...Bd6 was a bit odd looking move in my opinion and I did not know how to best reply to it. The idea behind the move is to put the bishop to e5. I ended up playing 7.c3, which does not look like a good move. The other option I had in mind was possibly Qxf6 and in case I ever get into this position again, it is likely the move I am going to play. I avoided that option in this game because I did not want to help my opponent to develop his pieces. Had I taken on f6, I think that it would have been easier to play that position. When Johannes Goethe played 7...Be5, I had to decide where to place my queen. For some reason I thought that moving the queen back to d1 was the best thing to do. I may have thought that from d1 the queen is not restricting the movement of my other pieces and it controls quite a lot of squres. It turns out that I went one square too far and I should have stopped the queen's journey to d2. It seems like the obvious move to make at the moment and maybe I remember to do it when I end up in a similar position next time.

Not much happened in the game until it came time to make my 15th move. I decided to go after the h7-pawn and played 15.Ng5. I thought that it would give me some play, but it seems to be like a bad idea. Had my opponent replied with 15...Nd5 and continued accurately, I would have been in some trouble. However, Johannes played 15...Bf5, which would lead into an even game with accurate play. I was not up to the task of even playing one accurate move after 15...Bf5 and instead I blundered with 16.Qc2. The problem with my move is that it would have been a waste of a move had my opponent taken on d3 because I would need to take back with the queen. I would have basically used two moves to capture the bishop that could have been done with one move. Even though Johannes did not take the bishop, he remained on the better side of the board in the game continuation. Then on my 18th move I made a huge blunder that could have been the losing move, but my opponent made a mistake on move 19 that would have allowed to get back into the game. Unfortunately I let my chance go by and played the move 20.Rae1, which was the final nail in my coffin. I have added mate in one puzzle 510, mate in two puzzles 726 & 727, mate in three puzzle 649 and mate in four puzzle 518 today.

[Event "Clan challenge"] [Site "http://www.redhotpawn.com"] [Date "2016.05.19"] [Round "?"] [White "Vierjoki, Timo"] [Black "Johannes Goethe"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "C45"] [WhiteElo "1941"] [BlackElo "1893"] [Annotator "Stockfish 7 64 POPCNT (30s), TV"] [PlyCount "76"] [EventDate "2016.??.??"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 Nxd4 {Scotch Game: Lolli Variation} 4. Nxd4 exd4 5. Qxd4 (5. Bc4 {Scotch Game: Napoleon Gambit}) 5... Qf6 6. Be3 {C45 Scotch Game} Bd6 7. c3 (7. Nc3 Be5 8. Qc4 c6 9. O-O-O Bf4 10. Qd3 Ne7 11. Kb1 Bxe3 12. Qxe3 O-O 13. Qd4 Qxd4 14. Rxd4 Rd8 15. g3 d5 16. exd5 Nxd5 17. Nxd5 Rxd5 18. Rxd5 cxd5 19. Bg2 Be6 20. Rd1 Re8 21. Kc1 Rd8 {Vera Osorio,F-Perez,M Bogota 2011 1/ 2-1/2}) 7... Be5 {Black threatens to win material: Be5xd4} 8. Qd1 {N} (8. Qd2 Qh4 9. Bd3 (9. Qc2 d6 10. Be2 Nf6 11. Nd2 Ng4 12. Qd3 Nxe3 13. Qxe3 Bf4 14. Qd3 Bxd2+ 15. Kxd2 Qxf2 16. Raf1 Qb6 17. Kc2 Be6 18. Qb5+ Qxb5 19. Bxb5+ Ke7 20. a3 f6 21. Rf2 Bf7 22. h4 a6 23. Bd3 h5 {Koskinen,J-Kiltti,J (2235) Pori 1996 1-0 (91)}) 9... d6 10. Bg5 Qg4 11. f4 Bf6 12. Bxf6 Nxf6 13. O-O Qh5 14. e5 dxe5 15. fxe5 Ng4 16. Qf4 Nxe5 17. Re1 f6 18. Nd2 O-O 19. Bc2 Qf5 {1/2-1/2 (19) Dvornitzky,B (1968) -Revi,Z (1878) Hungary 2007}) (8. Qa4 Ne7 9. Be2 O-O 10. g3 g5 11. h4 gxh4 12. gxh4 Bf4 13. Rg1+ Kh8 14. e5 Bxe5 15. Bg5 Qc6 16. Bb5 Qc5 17. Bxe7 Qxe7 18. Kf1 d6 19. f4 Bh3+ 20. Kf2 Qxh4+ 21. Ke3 Bf6 22. Nd2 c6 { Gimard,Y-Durgeau,A Saint Quentin 1999 0-1}) (8. Qd2 c6 {+/-}) 8... Ne7 {=} 9. Bc4 O-O {Black castles and improves king safety} 10. O-O c6 {Covers b5+d5} 11. Nd2 d5 {Black threatens to win material: d5xc4} 12. Bd3 (12. exd5 Nxd5 13. Bxd5 cxd5 {=}) 12... Bc7 13. f4 dxe4 14. Nxe4 Qh6 15. Ng5 (15. Bc5 Bb6 {=}) 15... Bf5 (15... Nd5 16. Bd2 f6 17. Ne4 {=/+}) 16. Qc2 (16. Bxf5 {!? is worth consideration} Nxf5 17. Bc5 {=}) 16... Qg6 (16... Nd5 17. Bd2 Bxd3 18. Qxd3 { +/-}) 17. Bxf5 Nxf5 18. Bd2 {??} (18. Bc5 {=/+ is just about the only chance}) 18... h6 (18... Bb6+ {!? might be the shorter path} 19. Rf2 Bxf2+ 20. Kxf2 {-+} ) 19. Nf3 Qh5 {Loses material} (19... Bb6+ {seems even better} 20. Rf2 Rfe8 {-+ }) 20. Rae1 {?} (20. c4 {!? =/+ is a viable option}) 20... Bb6+ {-+} 21. Nd4 Nxd4 (21... Rad8 {!?} 22. h3 {-+}) 22. cxd4 Bxd4+ 23. Be3 Qd5 24. a3 Rfe8 25. Bf2 Rxe1 26. Rxe1 Rd8 27. Kf1 Qb5+ 28. Re2 c5 29. b3 Re8 (29... g6 30. a4 Qa6 31. Qe4 {+/-}) 30. Bxd4 cxd4 31. b4 {?} (31. Qc4 Qxc4 32. bxc4 {+/-}) 31... Rxe2 {-+} 32. Qxe2 d3 33. Qd2 Qf5 (33... Qa6 34. Kf2 Qxa3 35. Ke3 {-+}) 34. Kf2 Qe4 35. Qe3 Qc4 36. Qe8+ Kh7 37. Ke3 f5 38. Qe5 Qe4+ {! Black stays in the lead } (38... Qe4+ 39. Kd2 Kg6 {-+}) 0-1