Saturday, October 22, 2005

week two

actually the way that our chess history has gone, i'm rather surprised that there is a week two. we decided to do our analysis on here. here's the moves with my notes

K.Sadler - C.Sadler

1.e4 e5 Okay i got black this time. I wanted to play an open game so I decided on this 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 But I didn't expect this! At all! I thought he played the Scotch. But I'm sure I would've complained if I got that as well :) 3...a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0–0 b5 I took a lot of time around here because I wasn't sure whether to play the Tchigorin, the Open Lopez or the Marshall. I decided on the Tchigorin 6.Bb3 Be7 7.Re1 d6 [I was thinking about playing 7...0–0 and then transposing to the Tchigorin but I didn't] 8.h3?! 0–0 [I should've move ordered him and played 8...Na5! with advantage] 9.c3 Na5 10.Bc2 c5 11.d4 Qc7 12.Nbd2 cxd4 13.cxd4 Nc6 [All theory. Usually I play 13...Bb7 . I was trying to induce d5] 14.a4 Now I started thinking for real. It's a little joke between me and Kirk that once you're "out of theory" in the Ruy Lopez, just play a4, because it's normally good. [The main line is 14.Nb3 overprotecting d4] 14...b4?! [14...Bd7 was likely better; Spassky continued 14...Nxd4 15.Nxd4 exd4 16.Nf3 Bb7 17.Bg5 (17.Nxd4! looks better) 17...Rfe8 18.Rc1 Qb6 19.Qxd4 Qxd4 20.Nxd4 ½–½ Ljuboejvic-Spassky but I imagine this was a prearranged draw because White looks better to me.] 15.d5 Nb8 I was happy enough with this position. I wanted to keep the c8-h3 diagonal open for some unknown reason, actually to stop Nf1–g3-f5, as the dark squared bishop is the most important piece for me at this point. 16.Nf1 Nbd7 17.Bg5 [I was a little worried about 17.a5 for him, as he'll get to my b-pawn faster than I'll get to his a-pawn.] 17...a5 [Fritz preferred 17...Nc5 ] 18.Rc1 Nc5 19.Be3 [I kinda liked 19.Bxf6 Bxf6 but I guess the weakness at d6 is hard to get at.] 19...Ba6?! [19...Bd7 may have been better. I thought that the space on the a6-f1 diagonal was better, but controlling the diagonal that the light squared bishop was originally on was a better idea. Poor judgement by me] 20.Bxc5 [I wonder if 20.Bb1 was better. Of course! 20...Nfd7 doesn't immediately lose material, but where are my kingside defenders?] 20...Qxc5 [Fritz thought that 20...dxc5 was better, but i was worried about pushing the d-pawn, and my weak e-pawn.] 21.Ng3 g6 [Admitting my mistake and coming back over to this diagonal was better. 21...Bc8 ] 22.Bb3 Qb6 23.Rc6 Qb7 [23...Qd8 brings more pieces over to the kingside] 24.Qd2 Rfc8 [The way things worked out 24...Rac8 was likely better as this way the f-pawn is protected] 25.Ng5 Rxc6? [25...Nd7! with the idea of 26.-- Nc5 was better as then the c-file is closed. I wasn't worried enough, I thought my position was solid. I should've looked a little deeper because this was the only tactical point of the game. The game falls apart from here] 26.dxc6 Qxc6 27.Nxf7 Kg7?? [27...Kf8 28.Qh6+ Ke8 and White is still better] 28.Qh6+ Black resigns. A nicely played attack by Kirk. He built up the pressure slowly and I crumbled. My sense of danger let me down, I absolutely missed that he could even check at Qh6 1–0


Kirk Sadler said...

Sadler,K - Sadler,C [C99]
Training Match G/30 (3), 22.10.2005

This was our third match in our training regiment.
1.e4 e5!? I'm giving this as an unexpected. Craig had a much more dominating position in the Nimzo last game and I feel that I play much worse in games where the plans are not exact. In an e4 e5 game, White make a direct play at the kingside.
2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 After the game Craig told me that he didn't expect this move. I suppose that he still felt that I played (or should play) the Scotch. The problem I find with the Scotch is that the positions are open, which I like, but Black has much better immediate counterattacking chances than he does in the Lopez.
3. ..a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 b5 I was expecting here either the Archangelsk (with .. Bb7 and .. Bc5) or the Open Lopez (.. Nxe4) with this move order. Luckily for me, Craig decided a strange transposition for some reason.
6.Bb3 Be7 Wow, I couldn't believe it. He decided to go to the mainline Lopez. Now we have to consider what line Black should play. Black always likes to play the Marshall and the Chigorin, let's see what he chooses.
7.Re1 d6 8.h3 [I wasn't really interested to play the 8.c3 Bg4 lines, although I guess White can have *some* counterattacking chances. Either way, I hoped that he would allow me to play the mainline.]
8...0-0 [Craig said after the game that he intended to move order me with 8...Na5 when I couldn't play Bc2. This was Chigorin's original idea (he also played the main line) and I would have had a hard time resisting the line after 9.Bxf7+ Kxf7 10.Ng5+ even though clearly nothing comes out of it and I am just down a piece.]
9.c3 Na5 Chigorin's defense, which I have had good results against in the past. White just has to bide his time and a natural kingside attack will present itself.
10.Bc2 c5 11.d4 Qc7 12.Nbd2 cxd4 13.cxd4 Nc6 All theory so far. Black has gotten his pieces developed and now has a threat on the d4 pawn. I decided that I had three options now, none of which were the book move (which was just general support of the d4-pawn with 14. Nb3). I decided that I could immediately push 14. d5. I read somewhere, I believe it was in a Karpov book, that d5 should not be pushed in the Chigorin until Black moves his Bishop to b7. This makes sense so I decided to hold off on this although it seemed to be inevitable to me.

My next option was to play 14. Nf1. This seemed like a logical move to me, as long term my Knight is going to that square and it allows another attacker on the d4 pawn. My problem with this was instead of exchanging on d4, what if Black simply played 14. .. Nb4. Now the Bishop would be under attack so I would have to retreat it. I suppose then 15. Bb1 and Black would either have to retreat his knight immediately or play 15. .. exd4, else (lets say 15. .. h6 for example) 16. d5 trapping the Knight. On 16. .. a5 17. a3 Na6 and the Knight is really out of play.
14.a4 Inevitably I played this. I indirectly defend the d4-pawn, because if he plays 14. .. Nxd4 (or .. exd4) I respond calmly with 15. axb5 and win back a pawn. Craig also gave me the advice that when you don't know what to do in the Lopez, just play a4, and it worked for me in this case.
14...b4 An interesting response. Craig felt after the game that this was really weak because the b-pawn is weak and Black is forced to defend it. But it forces my hand. I am now forced to play d5. I threw Fritz on for a second and it likes Nb3 (which was originally the text) but that move didn't even cross my mind at the time (and didn't again when I analyzed 8 hours later).
15.d5 Nb8 The problem with playing .. b5 is that now the Knight is chased to the back rank. Craig made good use to get it back into play, but at the cost of several tempi.
16.Nf1 Getting my pieces into play and allowing some lines for my c1-Bishop. White has to take care of the open c-file. My goal now was to make sure that I could get my rook on it to take advantage of it before Craig would be able to.
16...Nbd7! A good move, bringing support to his kingside and also having the potential to get the c5-with his Knight.
17.Bg5 This was sort of a wasted move. I didn't have a real good plan at this time and seemed to be just making moves. I had to get my bishop off the back rank so that I could play Rc1, but didn't have a good square for it. As I played Be3 later, it seems that is a better square. The Bg5 was intended to threaten, but there are no threats in this position so White just has to try to get his pieces to the best squares.
17...a5 Slow, but Black is trying to strengthen his position. Later Craig said that he played this so that he could play .. Ba6 in the future, because (smartly) he wanted to unite his rooks on the back rank. This move does support his b4-pawn (which he is still worried about) and allows more motion, but this allows White to try to get into the attack.
18.Rc1 The only move and a good one. White is finally threatening something!
18...Nc5 A good move by Black, getting his piece back into play. Craig felt at this point that I should play Bxf6 to remove another defender from his kingside. I disagreed. I wanted to keep as many pieces in play as possible (this is move 18 and there are no pieces exchanged yet) and I don't see that advantage to exchanging off that Knight.
19.Be3 Black now has two attackers on the e-pawn, but really he can't take it no matter what I play because of the discovered attack on the Queen. I decide that the knight is a dangerous piece (and long term I want to get my Bishop to b3 for the inevitable breakthrough so I hope to exchange it off. Fritz liked 19. Ng3 better for me to just continue with the pursuit of the attack.
19...Ba6 Craig felt this was the best opportunity to get his Bishop into play, and it is hard to argue with him. The b7-h1 diagonal is clogged up (probably for good) and his only other option is to play .. Bd7. The long term problem with this is if he is to do any maneouvering with his Knights, they are going to be along d7, so this was his only choice.

I was worried about something like .. Qb7 or .. Rb8 followed by .. b3, but Craig doesn't like moves like that because the pawn is extended and by itself. By doing that, it would be Black's best opportunity to attack my own undefended a4 pawn though.
20.Bxc5 Again, I really wasn't sure what to do here. I could have left the tension continue and played Ng3 (which I eventually did, but I didn't like that Knight on c5. I had visions of brilliant breakthroughs involving Nxe4 followed by the d6 push but couldn't make it work.
20...Qxc5 Much better (of course) than giving me a passer with .. dxc5. Although with .. dxc5 Black has 3 far advanced pawns against two and it definitely would have given me something to think about. Additionally it would have closed the c-file. Either way Black has been given a lot more space, making my 20th move not the best. What is the saying, "he who has less space is the only one who should exchange" (or something like that anyway)
21.Ng3 The long envisioned kingside attack starts building. Is this any better than if I wouldn't have exchanged though?
21...g6 Craig was starting to get worried, so he lashed out with a pawn move. I was worrying about if he slid one of his rooks onto the c-file (or both of his rooks), but Fritz preferred the calm .. Bc8, preferring to exchange the Knight if I went to f5. That is positionally backward though, since Black took several moves to allow his rooks to be connected. If 21. .. Rac8 (for example) 22. Nf5 I think that White's position is too strong, and Black will be on the run for a long while.
22.Bb3 This eventually worked out too well for me, but it gave me an open file for my rook. Now I would just have to take advantage of it.
22...Qb6 23.Rc6 Just making life difficult for Black.
23...Qb7 24.Qd2 I liked this move. It allows my Knight to get undisturbed to the g5 square, allows me to double my rooks if I should choose to, and prevents Black from ever playing .. h6 to stop me.
24...Rfc8 What Craig said after is what if he had played Rac8. This is a good question. Would I have still played .. Ng5 and put the threats? Probably. It wouldn't have worked as well as there would have been a defender on f7. I could have played 25. Rec1 and doubled the rooks, but with the trade off of all the pieces would have been to Black's advantage because of White's space superiority. Plus White woudl only have one defender on the e4 pawn and I am looking to jump the Knight into play as quickly as possible. I may just throw Fritz on quickly to jet through some variations: [24...Rac8 25.Rec1 Nd7! Which stops most of the attacks as he can play .. Nc5 on the next move, making things extremely difficult. Still White has a decent game.]
25.Ng5 Rxc6? [I think Craig just missed the threats, else he would have played 25...Nd7 Now my hopeful sacrifices wouldn't be able to happen.]
26.dxc6 Qxc6 27.Nxf7! Kg7?? [Craig had hoped to be able to get away, with 27...Kf8 but Fritz found the right reply 28.Qh6+ Ke8 29.Qg7 Kd7 30.Nxe5+! dxe5 31.Rd1+]
28.Qh6+ and Black resigns because of the discovered check winning the Queen.

All in all a good game for me, encouraging me to play the Lopez. I have no problems in the theoretical Lopez's (let's be is easy to play as White), but I will ask Craig (or Chessmaster) in the future to play dodgy lines against me like the Steinitz (3. .. d6), Classical (3. .. Bc5), Berlin (3. .. Nf6), Open (5. .. Nxe4), or Archangelsk (.. a6/b5/Bb7/Bc5) just to get used to playing these positions because I won't get the theoretical lines OTB. 1-0

Craig said...

in Mastering the Spanish they give the main line with 13. ...Nc6 as 14.Nb3 a5 15.Be3 a4 16.Nbd2 < "reaching a position in which it is not uncommon for White to decide, normally after a long-drawn-out strategic skirmish, to make the capture dxe5 setting up the exchange center. We give one continuation by way of example" 16. ...Nb4 17.Bb1 Bd7 18.a3 Nc6 19.Bd3 Na5 20.Rc1 Qb8 21.Qe2 Re8 22.dxe5 dxe5 with a complex position for both sides