Sunday, December 28, 2008

I got mauled again.

I got mauled this week: +4,-9,=2 Notice all the scratches on my opponents--at least I made sure they didn't get away completely unscathed.



The one positive I can take away from this experience is, I've stopped making huge blunders. I checked for those every move of my last few games (except in time trouble). My ICC rating took a temporary plunge as I worked on my thought process, but this new and more consistent me is stronger and I will ultimately be ranked higher in over-the-board play.

Any comments on how not to get mauled appreciated. :)


likesforests said...

I'm actually pretty sick right now. I wonder if these games will look so good when I'm feeling well again.

Anonymous said...

I hope you feel better soon. I had a look at your two posted games. Here are the results, with my comments marked by [***: {text}].

1684 - likesforests [B01]
ICC Internet Chess Club

1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.d4 Nc6 4.Be3 Out-of-book. I need to study up these Nimzowitsch Defense

positions since it seems like a common sideline on ICC. I bought Wisnewski's "Play 1...Nc6!".

4...Nf6 [4...e5! I had an urge to play this but was hesitant due to... 5.c4 Qa5+ 6.Bd2 but if I

had looked one move deeper I would have found the save 6...Bb4³] 5.c4 Qa5+ [***: The positive

evaluation of this move relies heavily on the fact that it supports ...e7-e5 in the next several

moves. Without following up with ...e5, the queen risks being sidelined.] 6.Nc3 Ne4!?N It's

natural to target the pinned knight. [***: This is a good moment to ask yourself where your

pieces will go, and how you plan to fight for the center. If this knight gets traded, you'll have

to defend h7 by a kingside fianchetto. Where does that leave your c8 bishop? Very unclear.

Perhaps that might lead to you play Bf5 to seize the diagonal first, then e7-e6 to contest d5.]

7.Qb3 Nxc3 [7...e5! 8.dxe5 Nxe5³] 8.bxc3 Qb6? [8...e5! 9.dxe5 Qxe5=] 9.Qc2 The threat is 10.d5

with a double attack on the knight and the queen. [***: 9.d5! already wins a pawn: 9...Qxb3

10.axb3 Ne5 11.Rxa7 Rxa7 12.Bxa7 b6 13.c5 bxc5 14.Bxc5±] 9...Qa5 [***: Your queen's shuffle

allowed White to get in Qc2 for free, which is strong in conjunction with his next move.] 10.Bd3

g6 11.Ne2 Bg7 12.0-0 0-0 13.Rab1 Nd8 I KNOW this looks odd, but the knight was vulnerable on c6

and might have aided in trapping the queen after Rb5. Now it's secure, the queen has more air, and

b7 is rock solid. [***: Once again 13...e5 14.Rb5 (14.dxe5 Nxe5³) 14...Qa6 15.d5 Ne7 16.Ng3 f5²

frees you up quite a bit.] 14.h4?! [***: Hmmm...This looks reasonable to me.] 14...Qh5 15.g3

[***: But 15.Bg5! very nearly traps your queen. After 15...f6 16.Ng3 Qg4 17.Be2 Qd7 18.Bd2 your

bishops are blocked and White is ready to play h4-h5.] 15...Bh3?! Hope Chess. I was hoping White

would get silly and I would win the exchange or even better score a quick mate. 16.Nf4 Qg4 17.Be2

Qd7 18.Nxh3 Qxh3 19.Bf3 c6 20.Qe4 The threat is Bg4. 20...Qe6 [20...Qd7 21.h5 f5 22.Qc2 (22.Qh4

Bf6 23.Qh3 g5) 22...e5] 21.Qxe6 fxe6 22.Bg4± c5 For all my problems, my position is surprisingly

resilient. My rook's on an open file, I have pressure down the h8-a1 diagonal, and my knight on

the back rank is defending two soft spots. [***: I am less optimistic for Black: both f2 and d4

are easily defended; whereas you have real weaknesses at e7, e6 and b7.] 23.Bf3?? Oops. [***:

Instead White can quickly seize the d-file by 23.dxc5! Bxc3 24.Rfd1+- followed by Rd7, when Black

is lost.] 23...Rxf3 0-1

Anonymous said...

Here's the other game.

1901 - likesforests [B01]
45+5 Internet Chess Club

1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qa5 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.d4 c6 6.Bd2 Bf5 7.Bc4 The main alternative is Ne4,

doubling Black's pawn but opening his g-file. 7...e6 8.Nd5 Qd8 9.Nxf6+ Qxf6 Black also plays gxf6

with an easier defense but only drawing chances. 10.Qe2 I'm out-of-book. 10...Nd7 [***: Of course

Black has to at least consider 10...Bxc2 after which theory gives 11.0-0 Nd7 12.Rac1 Bg6 13.d5!±]

11.0-0-0 Bg4 12.Rhe1!?N [12.d5! Bxf3 13.gxf3 cxd5 14.Bxd5 0-0-0 15.Be4² Theory. Black's main

problem is that his queen is too far away. GM Erik Prie played here: 15...Qe5 16.Bc3 Qc7 Getting

his queen back to protect the queenside asap. 17.Kb1 f6 18.Bd3 Nc5 19.Bc4 Bd6 20.Bxe6+ Kb8 21.Qc4

Nxe6 22.Qxe6 Bxh2 23.Rxd8+ Rxd8=] 12...Bxf3 13.gxf3 Black secures an early advantage. [***: It's

not clear to me that giving up the bishop pair to double the enemy pawns is better for you. But

the knight wasn't going anywhere, so why not continue your development for the time being. He

might waste a tempo on h2-h3, and make the exchange even more attractive to you.] 13...0-0-0

14.Be3 Nb6 15.Bd3 Nd5 16.Rg1 Nxe3?! Black throws away his advantage for fear of Bg5. [16...Bd6!

17.Bg5 Bf4+ 18.Bxf4 Nxf4ยต;
[***: Even the more straightforward 16...Nf4 17.Qe1 Bd6 18.Be4 g6 is nice for Black. The knight

is well placed in front of the doubled pawns, and White's bishops aren't particularly scary.]]

17.fxe3 g6 18.Kb1 I was happy to see this. I planned 18...Bh6 19.Kb1! Bg7 and this saved me a

tempo. 18...Bg7 19.c3 At this point it seems like both sides are equal, but I have a terrible time

coming up with a plan. I burn 7 minutes on my next two moves which I could really have used in the

endgame. [***: I once heard GM Kaidanov say that it's sometimes not productive to think of

"plans;" sometimes the best you can do is try to improve your position one move at a time. I have

found that philosophy helpful.] 19...h5 20.f4 Kb8 21.e4?! Qxf4! [***: Seems to me that White got

ample compensation for the pawn. Sure it wasn't a sac?] 22.e5 Rd7 23.Rdf1 Qh6 24.h4 Rf8 25.Rg3 Qh8

26.Rgf3 a6!? I wanted to play ...c5 to drum up some counterplay, but this had to be played first.

No doubt my opponent burned some time (as did I) considering ...Bxa6, which seemed survivable.

[***: It may be survivable now, but later on the weak squares may tell.] 27.Qf2 [***: Just for

the sake of rigor I looked at the sac: 27.Bxa6 bxa6 28.Qxa6 Rc8 29.Rxf7 Qe8 30.Rxd7 Qxd7 31.Qb6+

Ka8 with at least a perpetual.(Black is on the defensive after 31...Qb7 32.Qxb7+ Kxb7 33.Rg1 Bf8

34.Rxg6 c5 35.Rxe6 cxd4 36.cxd4÷) ] 27...c5? 28.Bxg6 This had been the threat for several moves.

[***: White missed 28.dxc5! Bxe5 29.c6 bxc6 (29...Rc7 30.cxb7) 30.Bxa6+- when the Black king is

looking exposed.] 28...fxg6? [28...cxd4! 29.cxd4 fxg6 30.Rxf8+ Qxf8 31.Qxf8+ Bxf8 32.Rxf8+ Kc7

This endgame gives Black better theoretical and practical chances due to the extra pawn.] 29.Rxf8+

Qxf8 30.Qxf8+ Bxf8 31.Rxf8+ Kc7 32.dxc5 Rd5 33.Rf6 Rxe5 34.b4 g5 35.hxg5 Rxg5 36.Rxe6 This ending

should be a draw. 36...h4 37.Rh6 Rg1+ [***: I believe that 37...Rg4 is your best chance to hold

the draw. The rook has more scope here than in the corner. See also comments below.] 38.Kb2 Rh1

39.Rh7+!? [***: He wants to statemate your king between the rook's reach and a wall of pawns.

Zugzwang looms, but only if you cooperate by advancing your h-pawn.] [***: Also have a look at

39.Kb3 h3 40.Rh7+ Kc6 (40...Kb8 41.Ka4 h2 42.Ka5+-) 41.Kc4 Ra1 (41...h2? 42.a4+-) 42.Rxh3 Rxa2

43.Rh6+ Kc7 This is probably drawn, but Black has many chances to go wrong.] 39...Kc6 40.Kb3 h3

41.c4 h2 [***: This is the losing move. To draw, you need to shuffle your rook between h1 and h2

for now.] White's king MUST stay on a2 or b2 or he loses immediately (a typical rook endgame

pattern). [***: I disagree - the White king can safely leave the second rank, as long as it is

shielded from checks. For example, it safely can go to a4, though that would be inferior in this

circumstance.] 42.Kb2!! [***: This wins because you are now in zugzwang.] 42...b6?? Oops. It's no

longer a draw. Now I am completely lost beyond any hope, except for White goofing and moving his

king away from a2/b2... unlikely. [***: Seems to me you're now lost in any case. See below.]

[42...b5! 43.cxb5+ ([***: 43.cxb6! Kxb6 44.Rh6+ Kb7 45.b5 axb5 46.cxb5+- ]) 43...axb5 44.Rh6+

[***: your only other choice was 42...a5 43.Rh6+ Kc7 44.b5+-] 43.Rh6+ Kc7 44.cxb6+ Kb7 45.a4 Kb8

46.b5 axb5 47.cxb5 Kb7 48.a5 Ka8 49.a6 Kb8 50.Rh8# 1-0

likesforests said...

Thanks for the detailed critique! I played over your ideas quickly and there's alot of wisdom to them. I'll take a deeper look tomorrow.

Glenn Wilson said...

In the first game I would be sorely tempted by 11. ..b5. Since this is still theory (before 11...b5) and I don't know this position, it may be a known line or refuted, but....I like the idea of displacing the bishop and starting a q-side pawn storm with the idea of castling k-side. But if 11. ...b5 , 12. Bxb5 may be good for white; or black; or unclear ... ? It appears complicated. :)

I responded to your comment on my blog (Blogger is eating my posts -- hopefully resolved soon).

chesstiger said...

First of all i want to say that my comments may be wrong and not correct but even if they are not correct it may be good brainfood to investigate them to see why they may not be correct.

11. ... Bg4
Why? Afterall that bishop is standing good (even for a possible mate of Boden later in the game). Maybe just develop the pieces that aren't developped yet, so maybe Bd6 was better here. You still can decide if you want to 0-0 or 0-0-0.

I have the feeling that you still play to much by the book although previous move you said you were out of book. New waters ask for new ways to concure the waters.

13. gxf3
I do not agree with your comment here. After 13. Qxf3 Qxf3 14. gxf3 your comment is correct but now black just traded a good pieces for a lesser piece instead of holding the threat and also open the g-file for white.

The threat itself is stronger then enforcement (execusion (sp?), doing) of the threat.

16. Nxe3
Like you wrote in your comment, Bd6 is better.

If opponent has a threat then dont play the first defense you see but look for other possible defenses.

18. ... Bg7
Putting the bishop on a blocked diagnal. Maybe it's good to support a later e5 but i am not sure it's the right way.

Check 18. ... Bd6. It strenghtens your king position a bit and maybe now the plan is to try to break thru with your pawnmajority on the kingside?

21. e4?!
I dont think the question mark is justified. White may give a pawn but after that it's all white who decides in which direction the game is going while black is reduced to a passive defender.

41. ... h2
Although the comment is correct it shows that you only look at one side of the board namely the kingside in this case.

If you had glance to the queenside you would have seen that white has a majority of two pawns there which forces your king to stay on that side of the board.

Also the white rook is happy to help it's pawnmajority on the queenside from the h-file while black's rook is passively sitting on h1.

Anonymous said...

Same Anonymous as above. I had a closer look at the endgame with the 1900, and must revise my conclusions. Old comments marked by ***, and new comments by $$$.


"***: I believe that 37...Rg4 is your best chance to hold the draw..."

$$$ Alas, this is not enough to draw: 38.Kb2 Rf4 39.a4 Rg4 40.Kb3 Rf4 41.b5 axb5 42.axb5 Rg4 43.c4+-


41.... h2 "***: This is the losing move. To draw, you need to shuffle your rook from h1 and h2."

$$$ Even shuffling the rook is not enough. 41...Rh2 42.Rh6+ (I missed this possibility in my previous post.) 42...Kc7 43.b5 axb5(43...a5 44.a3 Rh1 45.Ka4) 44.cxb5+-


$$$ Given that the above drawing attempts fall short, let's go back to 36...h4. Another idea here is to cut off the White king by 36...Rg2 37.Rh6 Rh2. If the White pawns get too advanced, you might abandon your h-pawn and eat a couple passers with your rook.

Anonymous said...

"$$$ Another idea is to cut off the White king by 36...Rg2 37.Rh6 Rh2 If the White pawns get too advanced, you might abandon your h-pawn and eat a couple with your rook."

&&& Yikes - I tried this and can't make it work either: 38.a4 Kc8 39.b5 Rh4 40.Rh8+ Kc7 41.b6+ Kc6 42.Rc8+ Kd7 43.Rc7++-

likesforests said...

Wow, lots of great feedback! Thanks Glenn & ChessTiger. I'm really pounding on these games and one other I played. I went +4, =0, -0 yesterday with zero blunders. It is nice to have my games decided by more interesting factors.

chesstiger said...

4-0=0 is indeed a great score but what i dont believe is the zero blunders. Because if 0 blunders (faults) is true then you are playing at GM level and i doubt that is the case (yet). :-)

likesforests said...

Let me rephrase that. I never missed nor allowed a basic tactic that won material. I made a bunch of smaller mistakes which is why I'm examining one of those games in more detail. ;)

Glenn Wilson said...

Zero Blunders? Sure, very possible. Of course, the term blunder is relative to playing strength.

Congrats on the blunder-free 4-0. Now, if you had said "error free" I'd be a little more skeptical.....:)

Anonymous said...

Al Gore didn't invent the internet, but he did make up global warming.

likesforests said...

There's a time for politics, but I think that season is over and the chess season is now in full swing. (: