Monday, April 25, 2005

January Tournament Games Analysis

My original off-the-cuff analysis written the day after the tournament can be found here. The following is slightly more thorough (but not necessarily more accurate) analysis, performed with the help of Tiger 2004.

Round 1: Ananya Roy (1018) - ALD (1499), Giuoco Piano [C50]

1.e4 e5 {I pondered whether to play my usual 1. ... c5, but decided that a kid learning the game now would probably be much more up on all the latest Sicilian theory than I could hope to be, so I decided on 1. ... e5 instead. Of course, this could have backfired if my opponent had taken me down obscure Ruy Lopez variations.} 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 {Boy, did I luck out. My wife and I play the Giuoco often. I felt like cheering when I saw this.} Bc5 4.d3 Nf6 5.Bg5 {5.c3, 5.Nc3 and 5.O-O are all more common, but the text move is OK too. However, it turned out to be more successful for White than she had any right to expect simply because I failed to notice that anything unusual had happenedand that the line we were in was very different from what you usually see inthe Giuoco. Two thoughts: (1) I know I am out of practice and that's why I hadproblems navigating through this opening correctly, but (2) back in my day a1000 rated player could not have successfully done so either. The times, they are a-changing.} O-O {This is incorrect and is the cause of Black's future problems. The correct plan is 5.... d6 followed by 6.... Be6 and later ...Qe7, preserving the option to castle queenside depending on how things develop. Also 5. ... h6 is very playable.} 6.Nc3 {Not just the natural move, but clearly the strongest move in this position, with the strong threat of 7. Nd5.} Bb4 {The best might be 6. ... Be7 relieving the pin. I didn't want to pull the bishop back, but moving it again this way is no good either, especially since White is obviously just going to castle so that the problem of Nd5 is still not solved. Either 6. ... d6 or 6. ... h6 is also still good.} 7.O-O Bxc3 {The bishop has had to move three times to prevent Nd5. A wonderful illustration of Nimzowitsch's chess principle that the threat is stronger than the execution. White never got to play Nd5, yet Black's position is already somewhat inferior.} 8.bxc3 d6 9.d4 {Not the strongest move here, it allows Black to equalize.} Bg4 {9...h6 10.Bxf6 Qxf6 11.d5 Ne7 12.Rb1 a6 13.a4 b6 -0.08/d16 Tiger 2004} 10.Bb5 {10.d5} Bxf3 {Not best; not only does it bring the queen to bear on f6, but it leaves Blackwith two bad knights against White's two good bishops. 10....h6 is still the move.} 11.Qxf3 exd4 12.Bxc6 bxc6 13.Bxf6 gxf6!? {13. ... Qxf6 is objectively better and I even thought so at the time, but I thought that keeping the queens on the board gave me better practical chances. Elapsed times at this point were White 0:12 and Black 0:15.} 14.Qg4+ Kh8 15.cxd4 Rg8 16.Qf5 Rg5 17.Qf3 Qe7 18.h4 Rg619.h5 Rg5 20.Rfe1 c5 21.e5 Rag8 22.exf6 Rxg2+ 23.Kh1 Qd8 {By this point something interesting psychologically had happened. I had been under pressure for so long that I failed to realize that I had managed to equalize and was maybe even microscopically better now. Elapsed times at this point were White 0:23 and Black 0:32.}24.Re7?? R8g5?? {24...R2g4!! with the threat of 25....Rh4+, which can only be stopped by 25.Qxg4 Rxg4, and Black wins instantly.} 25.Rae1 Qg8 26.Re8 Rg1+ 27.Kh2 R5g2+ {Elapsed times at this point were White 0:30 and Black 0:40.} 28.Kh3 Black Resigns??? {Of course all I had to do is play 28....Rxe1 29.Rxg8+ Rxg8! (all I had seen was 29....Kxg8?? 30.Qa8+ Re8 31.Qxe8#) with approximate equality. Because of the disheveled pawn structure the queen might be slightly stronger than the two rooks, but there is still everything for me to play for. If only I had played one more move before resigning, I would surely have seen 29....Rxg8. Ouch!}

Round 2: ALD (1499) - Christopher Roberts (893), QGD Semi-Slav Defense [D43]

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 e6 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.Bf4 {5.Bg5} Nbd7 6.e3 Qa5 {6...Be7} 7.a3 {7.Nd2} c5 {This move is inaccurate.} 8.Bd3 {But this fails to take advantage of it. 8.dxc5! Qxc5? (8...dxc4!) ...1-0, Jackova Jana 2331 - Decka Eliska 2069, Chrudim 1993} cxd4 9.exd4 Nb6? {9...dxc4 10.Bxc4 Ne4} 10.b4 Qa6? {White: 0:06, Black: 0:07. 10...Bxb4 11.axb4 Qxb4 is actually the lesser evil here.} 11.c5? {I thought this won the queen; I overlooked Black's strong (but in hindsight obvious) reply. The rust continues to show. 11.Nb5!! with the threat Nc7 wins immediately.} Nc4 12.Qb3 {12.O-O} b5 13.cxb6 {Continuing to dissipate my advantage. This was a very strong pawn, which in addition to being passed is cramping Black's queenside. Correct was still 13.O-O.} axb6 14.O-O Be7 15.Rfd1 b5 16.Ne5 O-O 17.Be2 Bb7 18.a4 bxa4 {White: 0:22, Black: 0:21} 19.Rxa4 Qb6 20.Rxa8 {20.Nxc4 dxc4 21.Bxc4 doesn't work because after 21....Rfd8 White can't hold on to the extra pawn.} Rxa8 21.Nxc4 dxc4 22.Bxc4 Qc6? {Now Black is down a pawn for nothing. 22...Qxb4.} 23.d5exd5 24.Bxd5 Nxd5 25.Nxd5 Bf8 {White: 0:31, Black: 0:26. 25...Bxb4 26.Be5 (26.Nxb4?? Qxg2#; 26.Qxb4?? Qxd5!) Bf8 27.Qg3 Qg6 =} 26.h3 Rd8 27.Ne3 Bxb4?? {First the in-between move 27...Rxd1+ 28.Qxd1 and only then 28....Bxb4.} 28.Rxd8+ Bf8 29.Qd5 {29.Qa3 is a much faster win.} Qb6 30.Qd4 Qe6? {This allows a textbook finish, but due to the material deficit Black is lost in any event.} 31.Rxf8+ Kxf8 32.Qd8+ Qe8 {White: 0:37, Black: 0:35} 33.Bd6+ 1-0 {33...Kg8 34.Qxe8#}

Round 3: Harrison Ling (1116) - ALD (1499), Sicilian [B45]

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e6 6.Bd3?? Be7?? 7.O-O?? O-O?? 8.Re1?? d6?? 9.Be3 {Finally! The knight on e4 has been hanging for 3 moves. That's what happens when you play the opening by rote (both of us).} Bd7 10.Qf3 Rc8 11.Nxc6 Rxc6 {11...Bxc6} 12.Bxa7? {This pawn is poisoned. 12.Nb5 Ra6 13.a4 (13.Nxa7 Ra5) Qb8} b6 13.Bb5 {13.Nb5 is still better.} Rc5 {13...Rxc3! 14.Qxc3 Bxb5} 14.Bxd7? {14.Bxb6! Qxb6 15.Bxd7 Nxd7 16.Na4 Qb7 17.Nxc5 Nxc5 =} Nxd7 15.Qe3 {This position is deceptively complex. Navigating the thicket with the help of Tiger 2004, I found the following: 15.a4 Ne5 [15...Ra5 16.Nb5 Qa8 17.Qe3 Rxa7 18.Nxa7 Qxa7; 15...Qc7 16.Nb5 Qb7 17.Qe2 Ra8 18.b4 Rxb5 (18...Rcc8 19.a5 Rxa7 20.Nxa7 Qxa7) 19.axb5 Rxa7 (19...Bf6 20.Ra6 Bc3 21.Rb1 Rxa7); 15....Qa8 16.Nb5 transposes to the previous line] 16.Qe2 Ra5 17.Nb5 Nc6 18.c3 Bf6 (18...Nxa7? 19.b4 Ra6 20.Nxd6!) 19.b4 Rxa7 20.Nxa7 Nxa7 21.Ra3 Qc7 so that in all lines I ended up with B+N for R+P. A downright fascinating position!} Qa8 16.Na4 {16.b4} Ra5 {White: 0:05, Black: 0:10} 17.Nxb6 Qxa7 18.Nc4 Rxa2?? {18...Qxe3 19.Rxe3 Rc5} 19.Rxa2?? {19.Qxa7 Rxa7 20.Rxa7} Qxa2 20.Qc3 Rc8 21.b3 Qa6 22.Ra1 Qb7 23.f3? {23.Qe3} Bf6! {It's all over; or 23...d5! 24.exd5 exd5 25.Qe1 Bc5+ 26.Ne3 Re8} 24.Qe1 Bxa1 25.Qxa1 Ra8 26.Qb2 Qa7+ 27.Kf1 Qa1+ 28.Qxa1 Rxa1+29.Ke2 Ra2 30.Kd3 Nc5+ 31.Kc3 Nb7 32.Kb4 {32.b4} Kf8 {Not best (32...Rxc2!), but this is irrelevant. (White: 0:14, Black: 0:21)} 0-1

Round 4: ALD (1499) - Will Lugar (1115), QGD Slav Defense [D15]

{Going into round 4, I had 2 points and no other player in the Under-1500 category had more than that. So if I could win the last game, I would be assured of at least a portion of the prize.} 1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 a6 5.Bg5 Nbd7 6.e3 e6 7.Bd3 Be7 8.O-O O-O 9.Qc2 h6 10.Bh4 Re8 11.Rac1 b5 {11...dxc4} 12.c5 Qc7 {White: 0:06, Black: 0:07} 13.Bg3 {This wasted a tempo. Where is the queen threatening to go? a5! So why just push it along in that direction? Better to just lock up the queenside with 13. b4.} Qa5 14.a3 Qd8 15.b4 a5 16.Ra1 a4 {White: 0:13, Black: 0:15} 17.Rfe1 Bb7 18.e4!? {18.h3} dxe4 {18...Nxe4 19.Bxe4 dxe4 20.Nxe4 Nf6} 19.Nxe4 Nd5 {19...Nxe4 20.Rxe4 Nf6 21.Re2 Qc8} 20.Bd6 Bf6 {20...N7f6 21.Bxe7 Rxe7} 21.Nc3 Nxc3 22.Qxc3 Be7 23.Bf4 Nf6 {White has had a small but definite advantage all game. At this point, I pretty much thought I had the game strategically won. I was now headed to the hole at d6 with my knight, but the move I selected was absolutely horrible tactically.} 24.Nd2?? Nd5! 25.Bh7+ {This bishop is less valuable than the other one.} Kxh7 26.Qd3+ Kg8 {White: 0:26, Black: 0:26} 27.Be3? {Duh! I played 25.Bh7+ in order to preserve this bishop. Why allow it to be traded now? Better is 27.Be5! not that the game can be saved in any event.} Nxe3 28.fxe3 Bf6 {28...e5!} 29.Ne4 e5 {29...Be5} 30.Nd6 {30.d5!} Re7 31.Re2? {31.Rf1} exd4 32.exd4? {The end; 32.Rf1 dxe3 33.Rxe3 Rxe3 34.Qxe3 held out longer.} Rxe2 33.Qxe2 Bxd4+ {White: 0:35, Black: 0:35.} 1-0 {And that was that. No prize for me.}

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