London (1) 2004 G/60
A03 - Bird's Opening
Jane drove me to this tournament, which I had decided to play 1.f4 as White, and the Open Lopez and Nimzo as Black. It was supposed to be split into the Open and U1700 but they merged them into one section. I took on the number four seed in the first round. After the game he told me "I don't know that opening very well" :)
1.f4 d5 2.Nf3 c5
I don't believe this is the strongest. In the Bird Black should be encourage White to play d4. The way he plays allows me to develop my light squared bishop relatively easily.
3.e3 Nc6 4.Bb5 Bd7 5.b3 Nf6 6.Bb2 e6 7.O-O
All this has been pretty straightforward so far.
7. ... Qc7!?
This move was the first one that wasn't "theory". 7. ...Be7 and 7. ...Bd6 have been played here before. I think he was trying to threaten queenside castling, but I don't think that was realistic.
I was thinking about 8.Bxf6 gxf6 but I was worried about the impending kingside attack on the g-file. He was rated 500 points higher than me, so I'm sure he could take advantage of the open file better than I could defend. It's sad but true. Plus positionally, my dark squared bishop was the best piece on the board
If 8. ...Qxc6 I was going to play 9.Ne5 and get a perfect square for the knight, with tempo, e.g. 9. ...Qc7 10.Nxd7 Qxd7 11.Bxf6 gxf6 is favored by the computer, but again, I didn't like the open g-file. This may be okay though
9.Be5 Bd6 10.Nc3
Keep on developing
10. ...Bxe5 11.Nxe5 Nd7?!
Obviously simpler to play like this v. a patzer like me, but Fritz liked 11. ...d4! opening lines towards my king 12.exd4 cxd4 13.Ne2 Rd8 for instance looks very strong
This strong move, kicking at c5, gave me some initiative
12. ... O-O 13.Ne2 Rac8
13. ...f6 was recommended on Chessgames.com as well as on the next mvoe. The knight is too powerful here
During the game I thought I might try 14.Nxd7 Bxd7 15.dxc5 Qxc5 16.Qd4 with the idea of making the bishop the worst piece on the board, but I think this is okay for Black
Maybe individually this move isn't that bad, but the plan he has is terrible. Opening up the f-file, allowing me to have a pawn on e5. A kingside attack is inevitable
Seeking queenside counterplay
16.a4 c5 17.Nf4 b5?!
If he would have seen what was happening 17. ...g6 would have been best, but I can still get my pieces in there
18.Nh5! Qc3 19.Qf3 bxa5 20.Qg3
20.Nxg7! wins immediately as well, as was pointed out by Maoam on chessgames.com 20. ...Kxg7 21.Qf6+ Kg8 22.Rf3 or 20. ...axb3 21.Nh5 f5 22.Qg3+ Kf7 23.Qg7+ Ke8 24.Nf6+ etc.
20. ...g6 21.Nf6+ Kg7 22.Nh5+ =
and I offered a draw here because he can get a perpetual. If he doesn't take the perpetual he's in trouble. Since he was 500 points higher than me and arrogant he said "nyet" and played ...
22. ...Kh8 23.Nf6 axb3?? 24.Qh3!
I had calculated this a lot earlier, opening up the g- and h-file similar to play in the infamous Oll-Ulibin (okay i'm flattering myself here)
24. ...h5 25.Nxh5 gxh5 26.Qxh5+ Kg7 27.Qg5+ Kh7 28.Rf31-0
I was very happy with this game. A second expert scalp for me. This proves that CT-ART works because I saw this mate a bunch of moves earlier. I'm upset I missed the winning 20.Nxg7! but it shows I have stuff to work on still.
The next two games weren't quite as good. I will put them in with little comment because I was just terrible. I ran out of energy, which wasn't surprising. If I play in London again, I will go down the night before. It was funny...the TD was asking me where I played, because my win was shocking. I told him mostly the internet, and he was like, yeah a couple of guys mentioned that?! I need to keep a lower profile on the internet i guess lol
London (2) 2004 G/60
A03 - Bird's Opening
1.f4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.e3 Bg4
I find these sorts of less ambitious schemes by Black harder to face than outright attempts to "refute" the Bird by ...c5, ...Nc6 and come at me. Watch what kinds of trouble I get in because I can't/don't develop my light squared bishop
4.b3 e6 5.Bb2 Be7 6.c4?
Now of course I get too ambitious with the pawn moves. 6.Be2 taking an unambitious position and castling was the way to go
6. ... O-O 7.d4?
I need to develop! And why did I give up e4?
7. ...Nbd7 8.h3 Bxf3 9.Qxf3
Fritz preferred 9.gxf3 taking away e4. Obviously I didn't look at that hard enough
9. ...Ne4 10.Nc3?
I didn't even see the threat...
10. ...Bb4 may have been even stronger 11.Rc1 Qh4+
11.g3 Nxg3 12.Rg1
This is tough with discovered check. I decided I was going to try and play like Spassky and pretend I "sacrificed" the pawn. I couldn't help but stare at that gaping hole on e4 though.
12. ...Ne4+ 13.Kd1 Nxc3+ 14.Bxc3 c6 15.Kc2
Hoping for freedom over there
15. ...f5 16.Bd3 Nf6 17.Be1 Bxe1 18.Raxe1 Qa5!
A strong move
19.Kb2?? Qd2+ 0-1
Not the greatest game ever. I was going to give up on the Bird, but it wasn't because of my opening, but my idiotic decisions. The Bird is as good as anything else, I just have to remember not to fire out d4 so soon.
London (3) 2004 G/60
A45 - Trompowsky attack
The third round game (I had already decided to go home after this, skipping the fourth round game because I was exhausted) was against I guy that both me and Kirk had played previously in Kitchener. He plays 1.d4 with crap to follow so that soured me before the game even started. Psychology at its finest
1.d4 Nf6 2.Bg5 Ne4?!
I need a new anti-Tromp line. I guess this is okay but the follow up is terrible
The worst move on the board. Of course I thought I could stop 4.f3 with 4. ...Qh4+?? missing that 5.g3 Nxg3 6.Bxg3!. Stupid me. 3. ...d5 or 3. ...d6 look decent. Maybe ...Ne4 is playable after all
4.f3 Bf6 5.e4 b6
This position has been reached a number of times, but "my novelty" has never been played but rather 5. ...d5, 5. ...c5 and 5. ...Be7 my brain was dead
My opponent said he liked this move
Now of course he has an inferior position. So instead of playing a move like 7. ...O-O and just beating him eventually, still high off the first game, I decide to Morphy him in the middle of the board, like a tool. Sneaky gave some good advice on Chessgames.com that I could/should follow
"I can appreciate however, that if you want to play chess professionally you can't just throw a draw away by chasing some fantasy variation in vague hopes of a win. The players who stubbornly say, 'I'm not taking any chances, YOU take the chances' are the ones who finish with plus scores".
Well met Sneaky, well met. In any case, the rest is just terrible after
7. ...Nxe4+?? 8.fxe4 g5 9.Be5 O-O 10.a3 d6? 11.Bg3 Qf6+ 12.Ke2 Bc5 13.e5 Qf5 14.Nc3 Qg4+ 15.Nf3 dxe5 16.Bxe5 Nc6 17.h3! Qf5 18.g4 Qg6 19.dxc5 Rd8 20.Qb1 Qh6 21.Bxc7 Rd7 22.cxb6 axb6 23.Bxb6 Bb7 24.Bg2 Qf6 25.Rf1 Ba6 26.Qe4 Bb7 27.Qe3 Qg6 28.Qxg5 1-0
and I finally ended the pain because once the queens come off I'm toast. The whole game was a waste of both our times. Maybe 2. ...Ne4 v. the Tromp isn't garbage, but my middlegame play was.
So what can I take from the tournament? CT-ART is the way to go! :) Also, I need to get in better physical condition/get a good night's sleep before. Also realize that a slight advantage is good enough out of the opening :)