Wednesday, March 28, 2012

MN Closed 3rd round Game

After the disaster of my impromptu Nimzovitch defense in the first round and a pretty tame for a Pirc draw in the second round, I sat down to my first game as white. My opponent was an up and coming young man, and I was expecting an interesting contest.

I am trying an new pgn replayer. I required that I break the game up into three parts.

At this point things are resolving quickly, but I did not find the best lines.

The endgame is interesting, and I need to work on improving in this area..

Here is the PGN text:

[Event "MN Closed 2012"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2012.03.17"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Newshutz"]
[Black "Zagar"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "E08"]
[PlyCount "132"]

{E08: Closed Catalan: Main Line: 7 Qc2} 1. Nf3 d5 2. d4 Nf6 3. c4 e6 4. g3 Be7
5. Bg2 O-O 6. O-O Nbd7 7. Qc2 c5 {Kids today with their crazy new fangled
Tarrasch lines. This is off the main lines of my new openings. It shows up in
a side line.} 8. cxd5 exd5 9. Nc3 {black's knight may be misplaced on d7.} cxd4
$6 $146 (9... Nb6 10. Bg5 cxd4 11. Nxd4 $14) 10. Nxd4 Nb6 11. Rd1 {I probably
should have taken the time now for 11.b3 and 12 Bb2 to help hold the blockade
on d4. I find the rook gets akward on d1.} Bg4 12. Bf4 Rc8 13. Qb3 {The
pressure on the isolated pawn grows} Rc4 14. Rac1 (14. h3 Bc8 $14) 14... Bc5
15. Be3 Re8 16. Ncb5 (16. a3 h5 $11) 16... a6 (16... Bd7 17. Nc3 $15 (17. Nxa7
$4 Ba4 18. Qd3 Bxd1 19. Rxd1 Na4 $19)) 17. Na3 $11 Rb4 18. Qc2 {I may lose the
e2 pawn, but pick up the exchange.} (18. Qd3 Bf8 19. Nb3 Bh5 $11) 18... Bxd4 (
18... Na4 19. b3 Rxd4 20. Bxd4 Rxe2 21. Qb1 Bxa3 22. bxa4 Bxc1 23. Rxc1 $11)
19. Bxd4 (19. Rxd4 Rxd4 20. Bxd4 Rxe2 21. Qb3 $14) 19... Bxe2 (19... Rxe2 $5
20. Qc5 Rexb2 21. Bxb2 Rxb2 $11) 20. Rd2 (20. Qc5 {I remember analyzing Qc5 on
an earlier move. I did not look at it here. I need to be more sensitive to
counter attack.} Rxd4 (20... Bxd1 $4 21. Qxb4 Bh5 22. Bxb6 $18) 21. Rxd4 Nfd7
$18) 20... Bg4 {I spent 12 minutes on this move, and did not find the best one.
} 21. b3 (21. Qc5 $142 {traps the rook directly} Rxd4 22. Qxd4 $16) 21... Ne4
$4 (21... Nc8 $142 $14) 22. Bxe4 $18 Rxe4 23. Qc3 (23. Bxb6 $142 {I missed a
lot of tactical shots here. I was moving too quickly having spent a great deal
of time on move 21. This was a critical time of the game, and I could have
used more time.} Qe8 24. Be3 $18) 23... Rbxd4 $16 24. Rxd4 Rxd4 25. Qxd4 Be6
26. Nc2 (26. Qc5 Nd7 27. Qc8 Qf8 $18) 26... Nc8 (26... h6 27. Nb4 $18) 27. Qe5
Qd6 (27... Ne7 28. Nd4 Bh3 29. Qc7 $18) 28. Qc3 {I did not want to trade
queens, until I was assured of a superior endgame} ({but Houdini likes the
trade} 28. Qxd6 $142 Nxd6 29. Nb4 $18) 28... Qd7 $2 (28... h6 29. Nb4 $18) 29.
Rd1 {The rook comes back to the c-file later. Perhaps, it should never have
left.} (29. Nd4 $142 Bg4 30. f3 $18) 29... Nd6 30. f3 {taking e4 away from
black's knight. I intend to place my rook on d2 to cover my king} h6 31. Nd4
Nb5 32. Nxb5 Qxb5 33. Kf2 Qb6+ 34. Qe3 {I am ok with a queen trade here,
because I will be assured of the blockade of the d-pawn, and I should have no
trouble getting my pawns out of the way of his bishop.} Qa5 35. Rd2 b5 36. Qd3
Qb6+ 37. Qd4 Qxd4+ (37... Qc7 $142 $5 $16) 38. Rxd4 $18 {I have what I want
from my new openings. An advantage in an endgame. I need to learn to win these,
and games like this should force me to.} Kf8 39. Ke3 Ke7 40. Rd1 {going to the
c-file} Kd6 41. Rc1 f6 {black's King cannot go to e5 because my rook will
penetrate} 42. b4 Bd7 43. a3 g6 44. h4 g5 $4 (44... Bc6 $142 $18) 45. hxg5 hxg5
46. g4 $6 {this may be a mistake. I am thinking my light square pawns may
restrain his bishop, and my rook may penetrate on the h-file. I should also
like pawn trades (to a point). Each pawn gone is another open line for my rook.
} ({Houdini agrees and thinks it's time to take the blockade and keep black
restrained with his own pawn.} 46. Kd4 $142 g4 47. fxg4 Bxg4 $18 48. Re1 Bh5
49. Rh1 Bg4 50. Rh8 {and my rook penetrates and black's a-pawn will fall.})
46... Ke5 {Now he gets counterplay. The book I am working on now (Mednis: From
the Middlegame into the Endgame) says I should never allow my opponent
counterplay in an endgame.} 47. Rc7 Be6 48. Ra7 (48. Rc6 Bf7 $18) 48... d4+ 49.
Kf2 d3 (49... f5 50. gxf5 Bc8 51. Re7+ Kxf5 52. Re4 $18) 50. Ke3 Bd5 51. Rxa6
d2 52. Kxd2 Bxf3 53. Rb6 Bxg4 54. Rxb5+ Kd4 55. Rc5 Bd7 56. Ke2 g4 57. Kf2 f5
58. Kg3 $4 {definitely a mistake. I should stand back and make his pawns come
to my king, and my rook needs checking distance. I had plenty of time. I
should have taken it, even though I was tired.} (58. Rc7 Ba4 (58... Be8 59. Kg3
) 59. Kg3 Ke4 60. Re7+ Kd5 61. Kf4 Kd6 62. Re5 Kc7 63. Rxf5 Kb6 64. Rg5 Bb3 65.
Kxg4) 58... Ke4 59. Kf2 (59. b5 f4+ 60. Kh4) 59... f4 60. b5 g3+ 61. Kg1 ({
last chance to win} 61. Kg2) 61... f3 62. Rh5 Ke3 {Black prepares f2} 63. a4 $2
{The clinching blunder, I am lost now} ({My last chance to draw was} 63. Re5+
Kf4 (63... Kd4 64. Rh5 f2+ 65. Kg2 Bc8 66. Rh4+ Ke5 67. Rh7 Be6 68. Rh4 Bd5+
69. Kf1 Be4 70. Rxe4+ Kxe4 71. Ke2 (71. Kg2 Ke3) 71... Kd5 72. a4 Kc5 73. Kf1
Kb6 $11) 64. Rh5 $11) 63... Bg4 64. Re5+ Kf4 65. Re7 f2+ 66. Kg2 (66. Kf1 {
lasts longer, but I am still dead}) 66... Bh3+ 0-1

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

MN Closed Championship results

My last round game was a quick draw, so I took the opportunity to drive home in the daylight. I got the final results from the USCF website. All sections had clear winners. Sean Nagel is the 2012 MN state champion. Dane Bruno Zagar won the amateur section. Seth Kaplan-Turner won the reserve.

My play was mixed. Besides the early perpetual in the fifth round, I feel I only played well in one game(my second round draw). I had a winning endgame against Zagar and blew it.  My only win came as a result of a blunder by my opponent.

The most striking thing was in the first game after my opponent played 1.e4, I reached for and touched my b8 knight. Aaack! I have never played the Nimzowitch defense in my life, and here I am commited to it! I messed up the opening, no surprise, and had to sac a piece to save my queen. I managed to snag three pawns for it, but was not able to consolidate and lost my extra pawns, one by one.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Well, It was not obvious, to ME!

I have figured out one move order puzzle and found an answer for another.

I have been using Wojo's Weapons as a guide for my new white openings (with Avrukh as backup). Wojo would enter the Queen's Gambit by 1.Nf3 d5 2.d4 Nf6 3.c4, and he would play 2.c4 against most other black responses. I think this move order is a way of avoiding both the QID and the Benoni.

Why does white play 3.Nf3 in the Slav? I know I get there, because I play 1.Nf3 and transpose, but 3.Nf3 is played 3 times more than 3.Nc3 after 1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6. The answer is that 3...dxc4 transposes into the QGA and most prefer 3.Nf3 to 3.Nc3 in the QGA.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

TCCL round 7; MN Closed Preview

I lost my game against Matt Jensen. I had studied our last game, expecting that he would diverge, but the variation I play is fairly broad, and I went astray early.

I am the lowest rated player in the 2012 MN closed., so I am black against the top three seeds. As best I can tell, they all play e4, so I will be once again tossed into the briar patch of the Pirc. Lately, I have not had as much success as previously with it. I will try to review the lines that cause me trouble.

Monday, March 5, 2012

SNUL again, TCCL 7 preview, and QotD

Life is busy right now, and it's impinging on important things like chess :^)

Our opponents in the upcoming last round are bringing in a ringer. The expert that had beaten me once before was not good enough, so they pulled a master out of retirement. Well, he was getting back into chess anyway, but that's my line and I'm sticking to it.

The master, Matt Jensen, is a Rochester native and former MN high school champion. I have played him once before, and he beat me with a solid but maybe drawish line in the King's Indian Defense (it tends to opposite colored bishops). OTOH, I have had difficulty with it, losing both times I have faced it. Gallagher's book is not helping me in this variation, and the games in the databases are not speaking to me. Perhaps, inspiration will strike over the board :(

Or maybe he will book up in another line and I will be more comfortable ;)

Quote of the day from a Jeremy Silman column on
"That’s what active piece are – movable bundles of quivering fun"-Jeremy Silman