22 August, 2010

TL4545 T46 Round 3

Another loss, this time in a Sicilian Scheveningen ( maybe, with 2...Nc6, a Taimanov ), although not in the opening, which I play in a competent, if not inspired way.

An over-looked response, and then an inability to find a proper response after that, was the direct cause, although I think it has more to do with a failure to find a plan, and a concentration on tactics as an end, rather than a means.

So two moments of blindness, failing to see Black's response 17...Bd8 and then not finding the saving move to attack the d-pawn and  defend the Bishop with 20.Qd2,  Losing the Bishop was really the end of the game, and although it took Black some time to break through, once he did ( 35...b4), I had few opportunities left, being a full rook down !

Although it was a vain hope ( ie waiting for a mistake ) , I feel I played the endgame well, finding moves to ensure that Black had to think to win. Admittedly, though, he played it adequately and had plenty of slack with the mistakes he made, being so far ahead on material !

Critical Moments

Move 8. I chose Be2, but I think Nxc6 is equally good.

My choice is an example of not really playing the position, but rather sticking to what  I know are accepted opening moves. Lazy, really.

8:  Be2 or Nxc6 ?

Move 17. h3 ??
Move 18...Bd8

What was I thinking of with 17.h3 ? To prepare g4 with some idea of threatening the Queen. Entirely focused on my  tactics rather than thinking what my opponent can do to upset me !

Much better was 17.Qd2, attacking the d6 pawn and  ensuring the subsequent exchanges are not terminal for White.

Variation after 17. Qd2. If 17..Bd8 18. Qxd6 Bxc7 19. Bxc7 Qc6

In fact even after the terrible 17.h3 Bd8, 18.Qd2 still is a redeeming move

18.Qd2 Bxc7 19.Bxc7 Qc6 20.Qxd6 ef 21.Qxc6 bc 22.Rxf4 

Overall, not my best chess moment, but still something to take away, and a need to concentrate on plan-forming and blunder-checking next time around.

Here's the full game....