Monday, August 20, 2007

Anatomy of a Blitz Game

Every once in awhile, it's good to play a few games, and see where your latest studies have taken you, and where you should go next.

[Event "rated 2+12 blitz match"]
[Site "Free Internet Chess Server"]
[Date "2007.08.20"]
[White "xreal"]
[Black "likesforests"]
[Result "0-1"]

1. e4 d5 2. e5 c5 3. f4 Nc6 4. c4 d4 5. d3 Bf5 6. h3 g6 7. g4 Bd7 8. g5 h6 9. h4 hxg5 10. Bg2 Rxh4 11. Bxc6 Bxc6 12. Rxh4 gxh4 13. Qg4 e6 14. Nh3 Be7 15. Ng5 Nh6 16. Qxh4 Bxg5 17. fxg5 Nf5 18. Qh8+ Ke7 19. Qf6+ Kf8 20. Qxd8+ Rxd8 21. Bf4 Ke7 22. Nd2 Ne3 23. Bxe3 dxe3 24. Nb3 Rxd3 25. Nxc5 Rd4 26. b3 Rg4 27. Ke2 Rxg5 28. Kxe3 Rxe5+ 29. Kd4 Rh5 30. Nd3 Rh4+ 31. Kc5 Rh8 32. Nb4 Rc8 33. Kd4 f6 34. a4 f5 35. c5 Be4 36. a5 g5 37. Na2 g4 38. Nc3 Bf3 39. b4 a6 40. b5 Rd8+ 41. Ke3 Rc8 42. Kd4 g3 43. c6 axb5 44. cxb7 Bxb7 45. Nxb5 Ba6 46. Nc3 g2 47. Rg1 Rg8 48. Ke3 Kf6 49. Kf2 Bb7 50. Na4 f4 51. Nc5 Ba8 52. a6 Rg5 53. Nd7+ Kf5 54. a7 Rg7 55. Nb6 Rxa7 56. Nxa8 Rxa8 57. Rxg2 Ra2+ 58. Kf3 Rxg2 59. Kxg2 Ke4 60. Kf2 {xreal resigns} 0-1

Opening:  1.e4 d5 2.e5 c5 3.f4 Nc6

This position is similar to the French defense, except my light-squared bishop is free. That means I've already equalized.

4.c4 d4 5.d3 Bf5 6.h3 g6 7.g4 Bd7 8.g5 h6

I have a lead in development and White's d3-, f4-, and g3-pawns are weak. So this the perfect time for a pawn break.

Some people think studying the endgames only helps you in the ending, but it's not true. It also gives you a good feel for how to handle the pawns correctly. I would never create as many pawn weaknesses as my opponent has.

9.h4 hxg5 10.Bg2 Rxh4 11.Bxc6 Bxc6 12.Rxh4 gxh4

When the smoke clears, I'm up two pawns. White is obvious plan is to try and capture my advanced h-pawn, and I will defend and develop.

13.Qg4 e6 14.Nh3 Be7 15.Ng5 Nh6 16.Qxh4 Bxg5 17.fxg5 Nf5

White succeeded in eliminating my h-pawn (I missed the save 14...Nh6 15.Qe2 Nf5), but I succeeded in creating more weaknesses. White's isolated and blocked e5 and g5 pawns will be very difficult for him to defend.

18.Qh8+ Ke7 19.Qf6+ Kf8 20.Qxd8+ Rxd8

18...Ke7? was a serious blunder. White could have capitalized with 19.Qf6+ Kf8 20.Qh8+ Ke7 21.Qf6+ Kf8 Qh8+ (draw by 3-fold repetition).

Look at my pawn structure. And I'm a pawn up with a lead in development.

21.Bf4 Ke7 22.Nd2 Ne3 23.Bxe3 dxe3 24.Nb3

Black to play and win. Do you see the move? I played 24...Rxd3, missing that 24...Bf3 would have created a winning mating net.

24...Rxd3 25.Nxc5 Rd4 26.b3 Rg4 27.Ke2 Rxg5 28.Kxe3 Rxe5+ 29.Kd4 Rh5

I now have 3 connected passed pawns vs a pawn majority. I should win easily if I begin pushing my passed pawns towards the finish line.

30.Nd3 Rh4+ 31.Kc5 Rh8 32.Nb4 Rc8 33.Kd4 f6

I waste time. So much for my supposed 'superior endgame knowledge'. I should be pushing my passed pawns towards the finish line.

34.a4 f5 35.c5 Be4 36.a5 g5 37.Na2 g4 38.Nc3 Bf3 39.b4 a6

The race begins.

40.b5 Rd8+ 41.Ke3 Rc8 42.Kd4 g3 43.c6 axb5 44.cxb7 Bxb7 45.Nxb5 Ba6 46.Nc3

Bishop vs Knight are fighting over the rook pawn. Remember "A knight on the rim is dim"? Knights have the hardest time helping a rook-pawn promote. But eventually he should succeed if my king and rook are away, and that's a worry.

Wait! Did you see the tactic?! 46...Rc4+ 47.Kd3 Ra4+ wins. Alas, I completely missed that while playing the game, and it's such a basic tactic.

46...g2 47.Rg1 Rg8 48.Ke3 Kf6 49.Kf2 Bb7 50.Na4 f4 51.Nc5 Ba8 52.a6 Rg5 53.Nd7+ Kf5 54.a7

White finally makes a fatal mistake, and this time I see it. It's skewer time!

54...Rg7 55.Nb6 Rxa7 56.Nxa8 Rxa8 57.Rxg2

Rook vs Rook & 2 Pawns is sometime a difficult endgame, and I haven't studied it yet. But today that doesn't matter, because I can immediately reduce further. I had already examined this line prior to playing 54...Rg7.

Ra2+ 58. Kf3 Rxg2 59. Kxg2 Ke4 60. Kf2 {xreal resigns} 0-1

The final position.


SamuraiPawn said...

Wow! You're one of the very few people I know that can make endgame studies seem like real fun! Keep up the good work, it's appreciated.


likesforests said...

Thanks for the encouragement! It's good to know someone is reading.