Monday, January 08, 2007

Tournament results

I played three games in the Triangle Area Chess Open Saturday (the U1400 section). I took a first-round bye and played in rounds 2-4. I got 1/3.

  • Round 2: Passive defense leads to quick death
    I played fine against the Scotch as black, but a passive defense leaves me with a dearth of options and I die quickly.
  • Round 3: A great sacrifice missed
    This loss really hurt. As white, I had a very solid opening (I played the Grand Prix, which he obviously didn't know how to handle) which I failed to convert into a win with a sweet bishop sacrifice that Fritz found. Then I lost my queen to a nice tactic.
  • Round 4. He was a nice guy and it was his first tournament. I didn't enter it into my database. He left his rook en prise early and never recovered.

    Overall, the tournament was fun, the people were very nice, and I hope to play in this tournament once a month. It was again reinforced how important it is to concretely think through variations, especially when there are threats or potential threats on the board. I missed many good opportunities because I simply failed to consider threatening moves and think through their consequences.

    Blogger Michael Goeller said...

    In the second game, at least you manage to make the Grand Prix look very nice for quite a while! Black can come up with no good ideas and just weakens himself left and right, giving you chances for all sorts of shots -- especially an f5 push and the Bishop sac at e6 you point out.

    To make the attack pay off you have to pick a target and look for breaks. Both attack strategies point you toward something big on the light squares.

    Ng3 seems a mistake just naturally since it exchanges a potentially active piece for his grim knight on the rim -- a knight that looks like a target to me.... Oh well -- another lesson learned.

    I don't know why you play it 1.e4 c5 2.f4. I suppose you don't mind the Tal sac with 2...d5, but it is not my own cup of tea....

    1/08/2007 05:20:00 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Nice games!
    Do I notice a lack of courage every now and then? Or did you simply miss things?

    1/08/2007 05:47:00 PM  
    Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

    Michael: I am so behind in this area I don't even know exactly what 'looking for a target' means. Does that mean looking for pieces or squares that I can use as the focal point of my attack, perhaps even sacrificing material to pry open his position from that square/piece?

    Yes, I agree about Ng3.

    Once I start dropping games with this version of the GPA I'll stop playing it. At my level it tends to throw them off balance. In all my GPA games, I have seen 2...d5 once. If I start losing to that, I'll switch to the standard delayed version.

    Tempo: it is more a lack of seeing things because I dismiss them too quickly, I don't think them through all the way. E.g., I considered that bishop sacrifice (indeed during the game I imagined Chernev saying "This position demands this sacrifice" but I didn't think it through more than a couple of moves and incorrectly thought I'd lose material in the flurry of exchanges, and not have enough compensation).

    1/08/2007 06:44:00 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    in the first game, those rooks were deadly. the only thing rooks love more than an open file is the 7th rank, and in that game white's rooks got both.

    the principle to apply on move 19 is "don't surrender the (only) open file to opponent's rooks". the candidate moves are moves that contest the d-file:

    19...Rd4 looks good, prepares Rfd8, if white takes, then cxd4 and e5 create a protected passed pawn and fix white's e4 pawn on the wrong color (for him). if white himself plays e5 then the Ne7 comes alive with good squares d5 & f5.

    the natural 19...Rcd6 looks good but fails tactically b/c 20.Bxe6+.

    19...Rdd6 seems ok but cramped and looks ugly.

    so Rd4 is the move. giving up the only open file is a major positional concession, esp when rooks are headed to the 7th rank.

    i don't understand the comment about a knight fork on d6 (?)

    1/08/2007 06:45:00 PM  
    Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

    Patrick: that was the key blunder.

    And you're right: there is no knight fork on Nd6. Oops.

    One thing I learned: ratings are inflated at ICC compared to USCF, so playing in these tournaments I should improve my play at ICC quite a bit.

    1/08/2007 06:51:00 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...


    That's the way it goes at these things.

    If you play many more tournaments, you will always feel stupid at some point - don't sweat it.

    You're also right about the ratings inflation on ICC.

    1/09/2007 10:36:00 AM  
    Blogger Montse said...


    I think you had a lovely position after move 11. Bd2 Rfd8?!.

    Your idea of bringing over the Knight to the other side was not right. Too long, and too slow as the position requires action!!.

    As you stated you felt the electricity but you could not yet connect. Too many options and probably too complex. You need to familiarize yourself with these positions. So look to the difference between position 10 and position 11 and play different sequences and attacks. First small elements and then learn them to combine. I should do this more often too.

    Go back to this position (11) and take a deep breath. Qc7, unprotected. Knights protect each oter, dark square bishop is a target - not defended. Rook on d8 is target not well defended, only by queen. Now Queen is a great piece but a bad housewife if it comes too keep things tidy. Meaning she is a bad defender because she is so valuable. Light square bishop is sleeping. Keep it a sleep. Last rook move made a world of a difference. Freed f8 for his bishop and protects in this way indirectly g7 but weakens f7. The diagonal b2-g8 becomes increasingly vunerable for attack because of the bad placement of the black pieces. hmmm. It will become clear

    Your focus f7-e6, Ok. Nf3 does a pretty good job of threatening to attack d5 with time. If white manages to put a knight on d5 he has a double attack and he might get a lot more.So he has to guard this field. Black has 2 guards. 1) pawn has to guard it. I hear you say and what about 2 )the knight on f6.

    So assume f5. d5 is not possible, Queeny is pinned. So he can only play e5 or fxe5. e5 would be a hughe positional concession. His dark squared and light squared bishop would be hemmed in terrible. So fxe5 remains a possible move. But Bxf7+ and Kxf7, You have Ng5+, Ne6, Qg7.
    The move f5 gives also you Bh6 threat with mate on g7.
    So his counterplay with Nh5 might be not enough. If he plays Nh5, always remember the good saying a "knight on the rim deserves a trim." What it means is that a knight at the edge of the board has only 4 escape moves. When he has no free fields to move towards he becomes a target for example g4.

    So freeze the pawns would be blacks other option. And this option is not the style of playing of intermediate players. Meaning move your pieces in such a way to recapture on e6 or defend in other words the e6 field. But this should be combined with the annilation of the other threats - attack on g7. hmm So Nh5 might be quite helpful to move later on your knight to d5. So he has to go back to f6 or put the other knight on f6. But a knight on a rim...

    Anyway, a very strong player might hold this position but i doubt seriously that intermediate players can hold this. And he would not be comfortable.

    1/10/2007 03:27:00 PM  
    Blogger Montse said...

    well here is the idea

    12.f5 exf5 [1...Nh5 2.Qh3 Ndf6 (2...g6 3.fxe6 fxe6 4.Bxe6+) 3.fxe6 fxe6 4.Bxe6+ Bxe6 5.Qxe6+ Kh8 6.g4] 2.Bxf7+ Kxf7 3.Ng5+ Ke8 4.Ne6 Qc6 5.Qxg7

    1/10/2007 03:38:00 PM  
    Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

    A nice anaysis, montse: thanks. I'll look it over more closely at home tonight.

    1/10/2007 04:04:00 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    i tried out the grand prix with great success last night. good opening suggestion!

    1/11/2007 08:50:00 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I think it's great your playing and learning from the experience. I wouldn't beat yourself up about the mistakes, as you played the moves (and sacrifices) that you could see. Now you know more and will look for a little more next time.

    1/12/2007 02:57:00 AM  

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