Saturday, May 30, 2009

Hugh Myers Open and the Best. Combo. Ever.


First note, I posted the solutions to the previous problems in the last post, so feel free to look at them. As for today, I ended up t-1st at the Hugh Myers tournament, with 3/4. Now to the cool part. I played one of the most incredible combinations of my chess career in the last round. I am going to give you the position tonight and will post the solution on Monday night to give you some time to look it over.

Black to move and get a string of !!s:


Are you sure you can handle this?


Ok, I warned you.

1. ...Nh5!!

a. 2. Rxe5?? Rf1# 0-1
b. 2. Rxh5?? Rf1# 0-1
c. 2. Qe1 Rxf5! 3. exf5 Nf3+!! loses K or Q.
d. 2. Qe3 Bc5! winning.
e. 2. Rxf8+ Rxf8 doesn't solve anything either.
f. 2. Qf2 Rxf5! 3. exf5 Ng4! also winning shortly.
g. 2. Qxe5 Qxe5! and the queen cannot be recaptured due to Rf1#.

2. Qg5 Rxf5!!

a. 3. Qxf5 Rf8! winning easily.
b. 3. Qxe7?? Rf1#

3. exf5 Nf3+!!

a. 4. Kf2 Nxg5 winning
b. 4. Kh1 Nxg5 also winning

4. gxf3 Qe1+! 5. Kg2 Qf1#

I actually missed the mate and played 5. ...Bf1+, which is also entirely resignable for white.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Chicago Open Highlights


Since I decided that my games were not particularly stunning, I am going to post two highlight positions from my games. I am not going to post the answers for a day or two, but feel free to comment on the post with your answers. Also, if you really want to see any of the games, leave a comment and I will post something. Both problems are pretty easy, so don't over think them.

From Round 1:

Black to move and not lose (2 possible answers):

From Round 3:

Black to move and have a large advantage (I still can't believe after seeing this that I messed it up three moves later!):

What really happened:

1. I played 1. ...Bxc3! 2. Bxc7 Bxd2 and the game was shortly drawn. 1. ...Rxd6 is the other alternative that is not losing, but requires more precision on black's part.

2. 1. ...Nxe5! is the correct solution. Unfortunately, it would only be a matter of 3 or 4 moves before I found a way to drop a piece.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Games Coming, I Promise

My Internet has been down for most of the day, so I have not been able to put any games from this past weekend up. Hopefully I will be able to post at least one tomorrow after getting back from the archaeological dig I am currently working on.

Also: I plan on playing in the Hugh Myers memorial tournament this coming weekend in Moline, so be prepared for results from that.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Chicago Open Rounds 6-7

It was a rather poor day for me on the wallchart, getting 0.0/2.0 on the day. I wasn't playing bad, I just wasn't playing as well as my opponents. Tomorrow night, I should finally have some time to post some of the games.

Round 6: Black vs. Seth Homa (2284)

Interesting Philidor that played a lot like a Dragon. I trapped his queen on h6, but had no way to attack and capture it. I missed a chance to go into an equal endgame and was soon wiped out.

Round 7: Black vs. Eric Rosen (2133)

Another Philidor, which worked out pretty well until I missed a mate threat at the end of a combination that lost a rook.

Final Results: 2.0/7.0, 5 blacks, 2 whites.

Best moment: Being told by GM Lein that I have impressive tactical vision.

Worst moment: My tactical vision failing when I played GM Lein.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Chicago Open Rounds 4-5

Sorry I haven't posted the first three games yet, but here are the results from today:

Round 4: Black vs. Henry Sobo (2019)

By all accounts, a sloppy game. Neither of us played very well. I got into a horrible bind where I was forced to stick my king on d8, but then somehow generated kingside counterplay. Eventually, my opponent incorrectly tried to stop my attack, but this dropped an exchange and a pawn, and soon I had the full point.

Round 5: White vs. Brian Fiedler (2236)

I got a pretty impressive opening advantage, but was unable to do anything with it. Nothing was exchanged until move 17. Needless to say, it was a fairly closed position. Just when the center was about to open up, Fiedler abruptly offered a draw, and unable to see a path to any sort of advantage, I accepted.

Overall: 2.0/5.0, not bad considering I am a class A player duking it out against mostly Master+ players.

Chicago Open Rounds 1-3

I unfortunately only have 0.5/3.0 in the Open at this point, but not for lack of effort. Later today I will play rounds 4 and 5, and will hopefully post games 1-3 here.

Round 1: Black vs. Aung Lwin (2313)

Not too much to say about this game, I played the Philidor, and neither side ever really got anything going, so it fizzled to a draw.

Round 2: White vs. FM Ali Morshedi (2294)

This one was a barn-burner KID. The end result was that his attack was slightly faster than mine, and I lost.

Round 3: Black vs. GM Anatoly Lein (2359)

This was a nightmare. I got an attack, was up a pawn for negligible compensation, had a fairly straightforward route to victory, and then on move 17 dropped a piece. ARGH!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Upcoming Tmt: Chicago Open

I will be playing in the U2100 3-day section of the Chicago Open this coming weekend. Hopefully, I will have some interesting things to post, but I will probably play relatively low energy for a while, since I have been on an archaeological dig all week, which is quite draining. If I get really ambitious, I will post a video report with the webcam in my laptop, otherwise, it will likely be similar to previous posts. Wish me luck!

**UPDATE** 5/22

I switched to the 3-day Open after seeing 9 GMs in the 4-day Open.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Weak Computer, meet Direct Attack

Every once in a while it is fun just to hop on the old chess server and play the bots. Since I had just finished with my finals yesterday, it seemed like just the time to thrash a silicon enemy.

Standard 25/10, World Chess Live

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. a3

Why not? I have faith in my ability to take this computer down in a tactical showdown.

3. ...d5 4. e3 dxc4 5. Bxc4 c5 6. Nf3 a6 7. Nc3 Bd7

Here we finally leave opening theory, but as you might expect, I was out after about move 3.

8. 0-0 b5 9. Bd3 c4?!

I remain unconvinced of this idea. I think maintaining the central tension would be better since it doesn't seem like the queenside pawns will ever really get moving in this structure.

10. Bc2 Bc6 11. e4 Be7 12. Ne5 Bb7 13. f4 Nbd7

It was from here that I came up with the idea that I will eventually play on move 17.

14. Nxd7 Qxd7 15. e5 Qc6!? 16. Qe2 Nd7?

The knight is poorly placed here, and can only get back into the game by either wasting time getting to d5 via b6, or by f8-g6. Of course, in the mean time...

17. f5! 0-0 18. f6!!

The black king just castled, and already it is under heavy fire.

18. ...gxf6 19. Bh6 Kh8

To stop the mate threat (Qg4-g7#).

20. Be4!

Indirectly wins back the f6 pawn, and more than that, gets rid of that annoying mate threat.

20. ...Qb6 21. Bxb7 Qxb7 22. exf6 Bxf6 23. Rxf6!

The idea is that the pin after the next couple moves is unbreakable.

23. ...Nxf6 24. Qe5 Qe7 25. Ne4

25. Bg5! was a little faster, but come on, why not make the computer suffer for all that it has done to us humans lately?

25. ...Rfc8 26. Nxf6 Rd8

Most people would be tempted to play the immediate discovered check, but I turn the screws even tighter.

27. Rf1!!

A subtle strengthening move, makes the inevitable discovery even stronger. There is little else to explain, so I will present the rest of the game and then the final position.

27. ...Qf8? 28. Bxf8 Rxf8 29. Ne8+ f6 30. Rxf6! Rxf6 31. Qxf6+ Kg8 32. Qg7# 1-0

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Another Interesting Corr. Game

I just finished another correspondence game which was very interesting. In fact, this was against the same opponent as the previous interesting game!

bobadillamitchelle(2051) - MrMash(2095)

1. d4 e6 2. c4 b6 3. Nc3 Bb4

Those of you who follow this blog will notice that I have learned my lesson and immediately played ...Bb4 when the knight went to c3.

4. e4 Bb7 5. Bd3 f5!?

The sharp reply. Of the alternatives, ...Nc6 is safer, and ...Qh4 is going to end decisively and quickly, but likely in white's favor if they know the theory (or look it up, since this is correspondence).

6. f3!?

A solid reply, aiming to slow things down and maintain the strong center. Theory says Qh5+ or Qe2, but I rather like the f3 idea. Note that 6. d5? is no good because of the pin on the c3 knight, among other things.

6. ...fxe4 7. fxe4 Nf6

More or less playable for both sides. Standard English Defense ideas come into play, white tries to maintain the center and attack, black tries to undermine the center, which would cause devastation in the white camp.

8. Bg5 h6 9. Bxf6!? Qxf6 10. Nf3 Nc6

The white center looks a bit awkward, but so do black's pieces.

11. e5! Qf7

Else the weakened e8-h5 diagonal will be black's downfall.

12. 0-0! Qh5

The white onslaught seems to come out of nowhere, so black tries to slow the game down now.

13. d5

White would rather attack quickly, before black can regroup.

13. ...Bc5+ 14. Kh1 Ne7

The computer thinks I can get away with the capture on e5, but it just looks too risky to me. Besides that, more support on that weak diagonal couldn't hurt.

15. Be2?!

Finally the pressure lets up a bit. This looks like it is setting up a strong discovery on the queen and supporting a capture on d6, but in reality, it gives black time to take the initiative and actually get an advantage.

15. ...Nf5!

Mate threat on g3 trumps anything white has.

16. Ne4 Ne3

Sure, I get an exchange, but then I have to sit back a little while to see if white can muster up some counterplay.

17. Qa4?

Takes the queen out of the equation for the moment. After 17. Nfg5! there are still substantial difficulties for black, who might not have an advantage at all.

17. ...Qg4

If not for mate threats, black would have been toast a long time ago.

18. Ng3 Bxd5!

Now we see the real weakness of 17. Qa4. This pin destroys the white position.

19. b4!

A desperate try to sharpen up the game. Anything less is tantamount to resignation.

19. ...Bc6 20. Qb3 Nxf1

I finally take my exchange that I won several moves ago.

21. Rxf1 Be7 22. b5 Bb7 23. Qd3

"I'm still gunning for you!"

23. ...0-0-0

"Show me what you got!"

24. a4 Rhf8

The black bishops will soon prove decisive, but white still has faith in the queenside attack.

25. Ra1 Bc5 26. a5 Kb8

Better safe than sorry.

27. axb6 axb6 28. Nf1 Qe4

Once the queens are off, this should become trivial.

29. Qxe4 Bxe4

Uh... looks like it should become trivial then.

30. N1d2 Bb7

As long as I don't do anything too rash, this should be a fairly straightforward grind.

31. h3 Rf7 32. Kh2 Rdf8 33. Rf1

Waiting around for the hammer to fall.

33. ...Bb4

Threatens simply to take on d2.

34. Nb3 Bc3

These bishops are just unstoppable and unrelenting.

35. Rd1 Kc8

Calmly preparing rook penetration.

36. Rc1

And now the hammer comes down swiftly.

36. ...Bxf3! 37. Bxf3 Bxe5+ 38. Kg1 Rxf3!!

And it all gets simplified to a very easy ending.

39. gxf3 Rxf3 40. Rb1? Rxh3

White has had enough and resigned. 0-1

Hope you all enjoyed this one. As always, I welcome comments here or via email.

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