K.Sadler - C.Sadler
B41 - Sicilian : Kan
Week four. Who thought we'd get this far? I really hadn't put much thought into prepping for this game. 1.e4 c5 I didn't decide what I was going to play until I walked and picked up a coffee before the game. Kirk has a pretty tight repetoire and normally plays a Be2/Be3/f4 system v. the Sicilian. With the Taimanov, ...b5, ...Bb7 I can take advantage of that. Better than getting into a relatively theoretical duel in the Dragon where he obviously would be more comfortable. 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6 5.Be3 [This was unexpected. I figured on something like 5.Nc3 Qc7 6.Be3 Nf6 7.Be2 b5 and a decent position. Now I was left to my own devices] 5...Nc6 [Theory says that 5...Nf6 is better, putting the question to the e-pawn.] 6.c4!
Going into a Maroczy bind position. i should've thought more here. Ironically, I didn't play the Accelerated Dragon because I didn't want to face the Maroczy Bind. As an aside, in the Kan/Taimanov/whatever it's not as easy to stop ...d5 with the Maroczy Bind because of ...e6, whereas in the Accelerated Dragon, Black rarely is able to support the d5 push with ...e6 because of the weakness of the dark squares. Even the "Dragon" bishop usually isn't enough to defend those squares, especially if White gets in Bh6 or something. 6...Nf6 7.Bd3 Qc7 [7...Ne5! is much stronger.; 7...d5 was played by Miguel Quinteros in a game v. Ljubojevic which was similar to our game 8.exd5 exd5 9.Nxc6 bxc6 10.0–0 d4 11.Bg5 Be7 12.Nd2 c5 except I think that Black's position was stronger without the inclusion of ...Qc7. I think I should've went with ...d5 right away. White eventually won the Ljubojevic-Quinteros game btw] 8.0–0 d5 9.Nxc6 [9.exd5 exd5 10.Re1 was stronger] 9...bxc6? [9...dxe4! was much stronger, winning a pawn for me. I didn't even pay attention] 10.exd5 cxd5 11.Nd2! I didn't see how strong this was at the time. Not only developing, but gaining a tempo on the queen. Not that we're grandmasters, but Quinteros' idea was much better playing d5 with my queen still on d8 (to support d5) and not allowing the rook move. 11...Be7 12.Rc1 Qd8 [Fritz said that the developing gambit of 12...Bb7 13.cxd5 Qd7 was okay because it doesn't give up a pawn 14.Nf3 (14.dxe6? Qxd3) 14...Qxd5 etc.] 13.f4?! This may have been okay but I didnt like it because it opened up just as many lines on his king as at my king 13...0–0 [I was gonna try 13...d4 right away, but decided against it.] 14.f5 d4?! [I picked the wrong pawn. 14...e5! makes everything better for me. Now I am threatening to push both e4 and d4 and if 15.cxd5 Nxd5 I'm great.] 15.Bf4 Bd6 [15...exf5 may have been stronger but i was all horny over the d4, e5 pawn duo] 16.Bxd6 Qxd6 17.Ne4 [I was worried about 17.c5 because I was having a tough time finding a good place for my pieces] 17...Nxe4 18.Bxe4 Rb8 19.fxe6 fxe6? [Obviously 19...Bxe6 was better. After 19. ...fxe6+ I saw the Qf3+ but i thought that there was no mate, so my connected passers would be worth the h-pawn that dropped or whatever.] 20.Rxf8+ Kxf8 21.Qf3+ [21.Qh5! was even stronger. Once the queen gets to h7 I'm screwed and if 21...h6 22.Rf1+ Ke7 23.c5! I didn't see that OTB though] 21...Kg8 22.Rf1 Bd7 [Maybe 22...Qe7 was stronger but i'm still screwed after 23.Qh5] 23.Qf7+ Kh8 24.Bxh7 [24.Qh5 again was terribly strong. If 24...h6 (24...g6 25.Bxg6) 25.Qg6] 24...Kxh7?? [I should've continued with my "idea" of 24...e5 . This stops the rook from coming to f4 anyways.] 25.Qh5+ Kg8 26.Qf7+ Kh7 27.Rf4 and it's over 27...Qxf4 28.Qxf4 Rxb2 29.Qxd4 Rb1+ 30.Kf2 Bc6? 31.Qd3+ Black resigns Nicely played by Kirk. Overly optimistic by me. I have some stuff to think about as Black before the next time we play again. 1–0
I learned a couple of things from this game
1) i'm lazy tactically...i totally trusted kirk and didn't try and look for anything, especially in the early middlegame/opening
2) i didn't look hard enough at his threats
3) i had one idea (...d4, ...e5) and assumed it was fabulous and didn't look at anything else
we'll see how it goes next week.