29 November, 2011

T51 Round 2 - A win

My first win since August....

A French Defence turns into a Philidor,and stays fairly balanced, until we reach move 16...

16. Nf5
So many threats of exchanges to simplify.....but after Bxf5 gxf5 Nxc4 Qxe4 ( Qxc4 is bad, but not as disastrous as it appears ), Black plays Nxb2 ( expecting Kxb2 ) and misses the in-between check capture ...

19. Nxe7+ !
A piece down and with a nice White attack, Black tempts with d5...

Mess up the next moves and all is equal, but no, I find the correct combination ( Qxd5, Qxd5, Nxd5 ) and although Black plays well, the difference is too much.
42. Nd7#
Mate with Knight, pawn and King !

17 November, 2011

Suba - Raičević, 1985 : a wonderful combination

A chess game can sometimes be quite beautiful..

I wouldn't have thought of a Bishop sacrifice here...

13. Bxg6

...but it leads, eventually, to a Rook check here...
19. Rh7+

...and what a finish !

26. Bd6 Black Resigns

Now have the fun of working out what those last seven moves were.

What was the author's comment ?

" When you trust the dynamism of your position, you don't need to check all the tactical variations in order to play a sacrifice. Your opponent has to have his eyes everywhere, and this is an even more difficult task, if not an impossible one"

13 November, 2011

T51 - A disastrous start

Not too much to say.

I played two games this weekend and in both had an excellent position, but failed to win either.

The failure is in forming a middlegame plan to continue with an attack, and then, after a small mistake, floundering and making more serious ones afterwards.

Here's the worst example.

I've just played Re2, to which White has replied Bd1.

Not the worst position, but I did have a great move instead of Re2, plus another opportunity to play it, but just completely missed it, despite "knowing" the plan for Black overall : it simply slipped out of my mind.

After a badly calculated next move, I went on to lose...

To progress past this, I need a big effort around planning and attacking !

Losing games like this is not good for the team, so I really need to improve and have it under control, or I would guess that the substitute's bench is where I will end up !

08 November, 2011

Definitely Not Opening Phobia : T50 Short Games

Inspired  by a comment from ChessAdmin regarding how Nbd7 in the Caro-Kann can lead to the type of mate I showed as the shortest in T50, I searched all of T4545 for a shorter one.

It wasn't there, but I did find ones that are just as short !

Here's the original quick mate.....

Caro-Kann, mate in 6

Here is number 2, also 6 moves, also a Caro-Kann !

  Caro-Kann, mate in 6
There are a few slightly longer at 7 moves, such as this...


Quite a few short losses, usually, like the one below, because of a blunder losing a piece. Here it is the loss of the Queen, quite understandable to resign  !

Nd5...Black resigns !

But here, its the opposite : why resign ?  It seems like a match-winning move, but in reality White will lose no more pieces and is compensated by his advanced development...

Qxg2, White resigns ?

Enough, I need to make this personal ! Here is my own short loss.

After totally missing the correct defence, I end up here.....

14. Bh3#

Let's stay personal : my own short win, where White misses the threat. All patsers are similarly guilty !

Finally, no win or loss, but the agreed draw where I wish I had played on.

I suppose this is a disadvantage of team games. Once the result of the match is already decided, sometimes one, or both, players lose the incentive to play. Such was the case here where my Hanham Philidor was challenged by the same player, and in the same variation ( Larsen's with g6 ) where I had previously drawn with him.

Last time he played 12.g4 and we drew after a hard-fought game. This time he played 12.e5, and agreed a draw : I wish I had played on !

12. e5 draw agreed

Is it worth adding that these shouldn't provoke "opening phobia" in anyone?  Of course not, unless you play an early Nbd7 in the Caro-Kann, but then, you are prepared, aren't you !

03 November, 2011

T50 : Addendum

As a coda to the main show....

Total Draws ?  21 %

Longest game? Actually 3 of them, all with 106 moves : Two draws and one win

One of the draws was an opposite-bishops ending, played as such from move 38.: dedication and stamina !

Shortest game ? The three short,  "GM draws" don't count, so its the mate in 6....

Black has just played 5...Ngf6, and White does not make a mistake !  Just how the Caro-Kann should be disposed of !

White to play and win !

See also T50 Short Games.

02 November, 2011

T51 New Season

For some reason, I am quite excited by the new TL4545 season : T51 to be precise.

Not quite sure why, maybe its that I haven't played slow chess for some time, and am eager to see what I have lost ( or gained ) in the time away.

Although actual pairings aren't quite out, I can see that I will, yet again , not meet fellow blogger and ex-team mate Scotch Yeti during the initial rounds : his various teams are in different divisions to me !  Worth checking out his blog.

This time round, it's probable that I will be playing more U1800 games, rather than just the U1600.

It doesn't make that much difference in the sections.

The number 1 boards are generally quite high in rating ( and hence a bit tough ). Board 2 is also regularly a good proposition, but boards three and four can be quite variable, depending on the makeup of the teams.

In the U1800 it looks like a 50/50 chance for me, as opponents are either roughly equal or greater in rating.

For the U1600 it seems that all opponents on third board are more or less equal, so some good games ahead !

Here's to the next few weeks of good chess !