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6 Sep 2017

C55 Two Knights: 4.d3, 4.d4 exd4 5.e5 and Max Lange Attack (6.c3)

C55 Two Knights: 4.d3, 4.d4 exd4 5.e5 and Max Lange Attack (6.c3)

When I started playing clan games at Red Hot Pawn, my results in them were okay, but at some point I had a bad streak of games and I lost more than I won. I still have not rectified the situation, I still have more losses than wins, but the from the last five clan games I won 3, drew 1 and lost 1. From all of my clan games I have won 7, drawn 8 and lost 10. Winning games then has been a real problem for me. That being said, my winning percentage is still about 66 in all of my rated games that I have played at RHP. For a long time that was over 70%, but lately I have not really taken the games as seriously as I once did. The interest towards chess has been on the decline for some months now. For some time I preferred to play pretty much everything else than chess. I even completed few games, The Book of Unwritten Tales, The Book of Unwritten Tales: The Critter Chronicles, The Book of Unwritten Tales 2 and Alan Wake's American Nightmare. In addition to these I started to play WoW again, played some Heroes of the Storm, Hearthstone and completed the rest of the single player missions in Starcraft 2 that I had not previously done. I kind of want to try play on ladder at some point, but before that I need to get a lot better at the game.

The game below was played in a clan challenge between Wycombe Wanderers - The Chairboys and The White Hats. It was played on three boards and I played on board one for The White Hats. I ended up drawing both of my games against Smiffy. The clan challenge ended in victory for the Wycombe Wanderers - The Chairboys with a score of 3 - 1. The draws had no effect on the end result as only wins count. Our only win came from board 2.

While the game was not played perfectly up to move 19...b5, no major mistakes were made either. It is the position where Smiffy played the move 20.Nh2 that you can see in the next diagram. Moving the knight might have been a good idea, but the location where Smiffy placed the knight was not. From h2 the knight is heading to g4, but it is not really a good square for the knight. Maybe it was a better idea to either locate the knight to b4 or e3. From e3 the knight would be able to support the pawn advance from f2 to all the way to f5.

I replied to 20.Nh2 by playing 20...Qh4, which was good enough move to hold the advantage on my side. Then Smiffy played 21.Ng4, which could have cost my opponent the game, had I continued correctly. I should have played 21...h5 in order to win the pawn from d4. Had my opponent then continued with 22.Qxh5, I would have taken the pawn from e5 and my strong center pawns should decide the game. Instead I played the foolish 21...Nb6 and most of my advantage disappeared. Smiffy continued with the move 22.Rfd1 which was not actually ideal either, giving some of the advantage back to me. The next diagram position has been taken after my 23rd move Rfe8.

Smiffy played 24.Rc3, which is a bad idea that would have backfired, had I answered with the move 24...h5. At that point I should have a winning advantage. I was, however, again oblivious to my chance and moved my queen to e7 for some reason. Maybe I wanted to get my pawns rolling on the queenside. Smiffy then played 25.Rg3 threatening the move 26.Nh6+. A simple solution would have been to move my king to h8, but for some reason I wanted to make things more difficult for me and moved my rook to f4 instead. After that the game was played rather equally up to the move 27...R4f7. Then Smiffy blundered again with the move 28.Qg4. The next diagram shows the position after 27...R4f7.

I played the sloppy 28...a5, when a better idea would have been to play 28...Nd7, followed by 29...g6. My move was not horrible, I still remained on the better side of the board, but not as strong as 28...Nd7. My advantage started to fade away and I even ended up being worse for the last few moves played in the game, but draw was agreed upon after 38.Qxf7. I think my opponent offered the draw and I happily accepted since my position was quite uncomfortable.

[Event "Clan challenge"] [Site ""] [Date "2016.02.01"] [Round "?"] [White "Smiffy"] [Black "Vierjoki, Timo"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C55"] [WhiteElo "1812"] [BlackElo "1922"] [Annotator "Stockfish 8 64 POPCNT (30s), TV"] [PlyCount "75"] [EventDate "2016.??.??"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Be7 {Italian Game: Hungarian Defense} 4. O-O (4. d4 exd4 5. c3 Nf6 6. e5 Ne4 {Italian Game: Hungarian Defense. Tartakower Variation }) 4... Nf6 5. d3 O-O 6. c3 {C55 Two Knights: 4.d3, 4.d4 exd4 5.e5 and Max Lange Attack} a6 7. Bg5 $146 (7. a4 d5 (7... d6 8. h3 Be6 9. Nbd2 Qd7 10. Bxe6 fxe6 11. Qb3 h6 12. Nc4 b6 13. Qc2 Nh5 14. Be3 Nf4 15. d4 exd4 16. cxd4 Nxh3+ 17. Kh2 Ng5 18. Nxg5 Bxg5 19. Bxg5 hxg5 20. Qd2 Qe7 21. g3 Qf6 22. Rad1 { Garzon,L (1640)-Arango,M (1688) Bogota 2015 0-1 (50)}) 8. exd5 Nxd5 9. Re1 Bg4 (9... Bf6 10. Nbd2 Bf5 11. Ne4 Be7 12. Bg5 Bxg5 13. Nfxg5 f6 14. Nf3 Kh8 15. a5 Bxe4 16. dxe4 Nde7 17. Qb3 Rb8 18. Red1 Qe8 19. Be6 Qg6 20. Qc4 f5 21. Nh4 Qh5 22. Nxf5 Nxf5 23. exf5 Rbd8 24. f3 {Turcuman,D (1605) -Nitor,M (1024) Calimanesti 2013 1-0 (37)}) 10. h3 Bh5 11. Nbd2 Nb6 12. Bb3 Qxd3 13. Nxe5 Bxd1 14. Nxd3 Bxb3 15. Nxb3 Rfd8 16. Ndc5 Rab8 17. Bf4 Bd6 18. Bxd6 cxd6 19. Nd3 Re8 20. Nd2 f6 21. f4 Kf7 {Szilvasi,T (2148)-Ligart,T (2209) Hungary 2007 1/2-1/2 (37)}) (7. Bb3 d5 8. Nbd2 b5 (8... h6 9. Qe2 dxe4 10. dxe4 Bc5 11. Nc4 Qe7 12. Ne3 Bxe3 13. Qxe3 Na5 14. Bc2 Nc4 15. Qe2 Nd6 16. Nd2 Bd7 17. Re1 Rfe8 18. b3 Bc6 19. a4 a5 20. Ba3 Qd7 21. Rad1 b5 22. Bxd6 cxd6 23. axb5 {Radulov,I (2465) -Antonov,V (2360) Pernik 1984 1/2-1/2 (39)}) 9. Re1 dxe4 {1/2-1/2 (9) Demkovich,A (2402)-Kuzmin,G (2527) Alushta 2002}) (7. Re1 d6 $14) 7... d6 8. h3 {Covers g4} Be6 (8... h6 9. Bxf6 Bxf6 10. Nbd2 $11) 9. Bxe6 fxe6 {Black has new doubled pawns: e5+e6} 10. Nbd2 d5 (10... a5 11. Qb3 Qd7 12. Qa4 $11 (12. Qxb7 $4 {the pawn of course cannot be captured} Rfb8 13. Qxb8+ Rxb8 $19)) 11. Nb3 (11. Qb3 Na5 12. Qc2 Nd7 13. Bxe7 Qxe7 $14) 11... Qd6 12. Qe2 Nd7 13. Bxe7 {White forks: d6+f8} Qxe7 14. d4 exd4 15. Nbxd4 Nxd4 16. cxd4 Rae8 17. e5 { White gets more space} c5 {Trying to unravel the pawn chain} 18. Rac1 (18. dxc5 $5 {should be investigated more closely} Qxc5 19. Rac1 $11) 18... c4 $15 { Black gains space} 19. a3 b5 20. Nh2 (20. Ne1 Qg5 21. Rd1 Nb8 $17) 20... Qh4 21. Ng4 $2 (21. Rcd1 $17) 21... Nb6 $4 {not a good decision, because now the opponent is right back in the game} (21... h5 $142 22. g3 Qxh3 $19) 22. Rfd1 ( 22. Qd2 Nc8 $11) 22... Rf7 $17 23. Rf1 (23. Kh2 Nc8 24. g3 Qe7 $15) 23... Ref8 24. Rc3 (24. Kh2 $17) 24... Qe7 (24... h5 $142 $5 25. Ne3 Na4 $19) 25. Rg3 Rf4 {Black threatens to win material: Rf4xd4} (25... Kh8 $5 $17) 26. Nf6+ $11 Kh8 27. Nh5 {White threatens to win material: Nh5xf4. White forks: f4+g7} R4f7 28. Qg4 (28. f4 $5 g6 29. Nf6 $11) 28... a5 29. f4 g6 {Black threatens to win material: g6xh5} 30. Nf6 {The knight dominates} Rg7 (30... Nd7 31. Nxd7 Qxd7 32. Rgf3 $17) 31. Qg5 (31. Qe2 Nd7 32. Nxd7 Qxd7 $15) 31... Nc8 (31... Nd7 32. Nxd7 Qxd7 33. Rgf3 $15) 32. Kh2 (32. h4 Qa7 33. Qg4 Qxd4+ 34. Kh2 Ne7 35. Qxe6 Nf5 $11 (35... Qxb2 $143 36. f5 Qd4 37. Rg4 $18)) 32... Na7 (32... Qf7 33. h4 $11) 33. Rd1 Nc6 34. h4 Qa7 (34... Nd8 $5 $11) 35. h5 $14 gxh5 36. Qxh5 Rxg3 ( 36... b4 $5 $14) 37. Kxg3 $16 Qf7 38. Qxf7 1/2-1/2