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17 Nov 2016

C62 Spanish Game: Steinitz Defence (9 moves of theory)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1 Nov 2016

Phase 1 complete

Phase 1 complete

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

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

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