Monday, December 25, 2006

Last Book in 2006 - Chess For Tigers

my buddy Chuck dropped that off a week ago and i hadn't read it for years, so i went and annotated all the games. Merry Christmas Chuck!

Not sure what my next book will be, my goal was to get this done by Christmas (we're leaving for xmas breakfast in about 20 minutes) in case a got a book for christmas i could start with no guilt ;)

Sunday, December 17, 2006

My first book...done

i have finsihed going through my original Caro-Kann bible

I can't find a picture of it, i was going to scan it but K seems to be at school, so here's the game from the cover


Now the problem is selecting which book to work on now? I assume I will get one for Christmas...

Friday, December 08, 2006

Free Rating Points at the CFC

I gained 51 rating points for doing absolutely nothing! Well not quite nothing, i did play 51 games from the period between July 1, 2004 and September 6, 2006. According to one of the Governor's Letters

"There is news on the Ratings front as well. The Ratings committee has made a decision on an interim measure to combat recent deflation while a more permanent solution is worked on.

Based on tournament reports for all events which ended between July 1, 2004 and September 6, 2006, all players will receive points for games played as follows:

<2200 : 1 point per game played
2200-2400 : ½ point per game played
2400+ : ¼ point per game played

Ratings used will be as of the September 6, 2006. If a player crosses a threshold in the process, points will be applied above that threshold at the new rate"

some people ended up gaining as many as 200 points. i will have to go to kitchener in february and try and scoop some points now ;)

Monday, November 27, 2006

one more book done...

maybe i should follow my coach's advice and do nothing but tactics for the next four months...the books don't seem to help me from dropping material ;)

Sunday, November 26, 2006

November London Open

November Open London, ON (1), 25.11.2006
B03 - Alekhine : Four Pawns Attack

Not the greatest game for me. My excuse is that I was tired from the "long drive" but realistically I spent too much time going through books and not enough time doing tactics 1.e4 Nf6 [I had played the Caro against this guy at a previous tournament but I noticed in a later round he had the Caro and played 1...c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.Bd3?! I tried the Alekhine for a few reasons. One, it always gives an interesting game. Two, Kirk wasn't there and he's the arch-duke of the Alekhine. Three, Hans said that I needed a couple of "must-win" lines so I decided that the Alekhine would be that. Ironically, Kirk pointed out that when I really needed a win in the third round I played the Caro] 2.e5 Nd5 3.c4 Nb6 4.d4 d6 5.f4 dxe5 6.fxe5 Bf5 [A line that me and Kirk (and others on had looked at previously was 6...c5 7.d5 g6 I wasn't too sure, and the mainline gives Black good play;
6...Nc6 is the main line so if 7.Nf3 , 7...Bg4 can be played in one move] 7.Nc3 Nc6 [I ended up transposing back to the mainline but 7...e6 was playable as well] 8.Nf3 [8.Be3 is the normal move] 8...e6 [I was worried about getting developed, so I didn't even look at the strong 8...Nb4! This puts him in a tough spot, but I wonder if it's worth it without any development 9.Kf2 Nc2 10.Rb1 Nb4 11.Ra1 e6 and I always have the perpetual if I want it] 9.Be3 Be7 10.Bd3!? [10.Be2 is the mainline] 10...Bg4 [I had 10...Nb4 again 11.Bxf5 Nxc4! with the same idea as Hans' below] 11.Qe2? Qd7 [11...Nxd4! wins a pawn. My excuse is that I didn't want to go pawn grabbing and wanted to castle, but really I missed it;
11...Bxf3 12.Qxf3 Nxe5 13.dxe5 Qxd3 14.Bxb6 Qxf3 15.gxf3 axb6 was also good for me] 12.h3 Bh4+! I was happy with this after all the junk, so I decided to (finally) grab a pawn 13.Bf2 Nxd4 14.Qe3

14. ... Bxf2+?! [I'm so better here. I need to take a closer look at this position here 14...Bxf3 15.gxf3 Nxc4 16.Qe4 (16.Bxc4 Nc2+) 16...Nxe5 17.Qxe5 (17.Rd1 0-0-0) 17...Nxf3+] 15.Qxf2 Bxf3 Very strong line by Hans. I think that I overestimated the strength of the knight on d4 - ["In the first game I would have rubbed him out with 15...Nxf3+ 16.gxf3 Qxd3 17.hxg4 Nxc4 but even so what you probably missed is the effects of Ne4 and you got confused." (HJ)] 16.gxf3 c5? [Why not 16...0-0-0 first? Now I'm just a pawn up.] 17.0-0-0 0-0-0 18.Ne4 Nf5 ["But even so 18...Qa4! and the queen and two knights should do well against the white king position. " (HJ);
18...Kb8 19.Nxc5 Qc7 20.Ne4 Qxe5 and I'm fine. My opponent did a nice finish] 19.Nxc5 Qc6?? [19...Qc7 20.Be4 Qxe5 21.Bxb7+ Kb8] 20.Be4 Qc7 21.Bxb7+ Not a strong performance practically, but I did have a great position. Maybe I won't bury the Alekhine 1-0

November Open London, ON (2), 25.11.2006
A22 - English Opening

I wanted to try the English before the game because I wanted to avoid the QGD for some reason. Plus I wanted to try something different 1.c4 e5 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.g3?! [3.Nf3 is the strongest move, which I wanted to avoid because of 3...e4 but afterwards I took a look and 4.Ng5! seems okay to me because he can't protect the pawn with 4...d5 (I was flipping through Simon Webb's "Chess for Tigers" at the World's Biggest Bookstore in Toronto this weekend and noticed the gambit 4...b5 as played by Polugayevsky-Esteves-Morales as an example of mixing up the position v. a stronger player ) ] 3...Bc5 [3.g3 isn't that strong because of 3...c6! ] 4.Bg2 0-0 5.d3 [5.e3;
were also options] 5...Ng4? 6.Ne4 Bb6 7.c5 f5 8.cxb6 fxe4 9.Nh3 [9.bxc7 was better 9...Qxc7 10.Nh3 and so forth] 9...axb6 10.0-0 [10.Qb3+] 10...exd3 11.Qxd3 Nf6 12.Bg5 d6 13.f4 Nc6 14.Bxf6 Rxf6 15.Ng5 i have threats too ;) 15...Bf5? [15...g6 16.Qc4+ Kg7 17.Bxc6 bxc6 18.Qxc6] 16.Qc4+ Kh8 [16...Kf8 17.Bxc6 bxc6 18.fxe5+-] 17.Nf7+ Rxf7 18.Qxf7 Nd4 19.e3 [19.fxe5 Be6] 19...Nc2? [19...Bg6! and i have to fight for equality as all his things he had previously are still there] 20.Qxf5 Nxe3 21.Qe4 [21.Qf7 Nxf1 22.Rxf1] 21...Nxf1 22.Bxf1 exf4 23.Qxf4 d5 24.a3 [to try and free up my rook but I probably should have took immediate action 24.Re1 ] 24...d4 25.Bd3 c5 26.Qe4 g6 [26...Qg8 27.Qxb7 Rb8 28.Qc7] 27.Qxb7? [I missed a mate 27.Qe5+ Kg8 28.Bc4+ Kf8 29.Rf1+] 27...Rb8 28.Qe4 b5 29.Qe5+ Kg8 30.Qxc5 [The idea is to get his king to the f-file...I missed this idea again with 30.Be4! ] 30...Qb6 31.Qxb6 Rxb6 32.b4 Kf7 33.Re1 Ra6 34.Bxb5 Rxa3 35.Rd1 Ke6 36.Rxd4 Ke5 37.Rd3 Ra1+ 38.Kg2 Rb1 I missed this actually 39.Be8 Rxb4 40.Rd7 Rb8 41.Rd1 Kf6 42.Rf1+ Kg5 43.h4+ Kh6 44.Bc6 Rb2+ 45.Kh3 Rb3 46.Kg4 Rb4+ 47.Rf4 Rxf4+ 48.Kxf4 [48.gxf4] 48...Kh5 49.g4+?! Kh6 [49...Kxh4 50.g5 and i just go get him] 50.Bf3 Kg7 51.Ke5 Kh6? 52.Kf6! g5 53.hxg5# Again not a great game, but I took what he gave me. Before the tournament I wanted to take things slow, but I think I took things *too* slow this game 1-0

November Open London, ON (3), 25.11.2006
B10 - Caro-Kann : Breyer Variation

An interesting game, probably the best one I played at this tournament. I had a little extra incentive here, me and Chris both drove down together and he was rated lower than me. My tournament was going not so great because of the first round, so in order to get a tough matchup the last round I had to win. I mentioned to the TD that we were from the same club could he change the pairings (there were many people there) and he said something along the lines of "it works for the computer". I just assumed he was a moron and went from there 1.e4 c6 [THe night before the game I was going through some of his books and he had the Voronezh line highlighted v. the Alekhine which is strong 1...Nf6 2.e5 Nd5 3.d4 d6 4.c4 Nb6 5.exd6 cxd6 6.Nc3 g6 7.Be3 Bg7 8.Rc1 etc. I couldn't remember what he played against the Caro-Kann, so I figured I'd trot out the old reliable] 2.d3 d5 3.Nd2 e5 4.Ngf3 Bg4 5.g3 [McClelland-C.Sadler 2005 went 5.c3 Nf6 6.Qb3 Qc7 but Christian wanted to play it closer to a King's Indian Attack than a Colle] 5...Nd7 6.Bg2 Ngf6 7.0-0 Bd6 [7...dxe4 8.Nxe4 Nxe4 9.dxe4] 8.b3?! [8.h3 trying me to get away from the pin instead of trying to move the bishop on the other diagonal] 8...0-0 9.Bb2 Re8 [I could've played 9...d4 but I didn't want to encourage him to play c3] 10.Qe1 a5 I wanted to play d4 and keep him from trying to outflank me with a b-pawn push if i tried something like ...d4, ...c5 11.a4 d4 12.c3 c5 13.c4 [I wasn't so sure about my move after I made it becae of 13.Nc4 but he avoided that 13...Nb6 14.Nfd2 (14.Nxd6 Qxd6 and his bishop is not the strongest) ] 13...Nb8 Aiming for b4 14.Nh4 Qd7 15.f4 [15.f3] 15...Nc6 16.Ba3 Prophylactic as he will be happy to trade off his crappy bishop for my strong knight on b4 (if i put it there) 16...b6?! [I had to play 16...exf4 here] 17.f5! I didn't see how strong this was until he played it 17...Be7 18.h3 Bh5 [18...Bxh3 19.Bxh3 g5! 20.Nhf3 (20.fxg6 Qxh3) 20...g4] 19.Bf3? [This move lets me out 19.g4 Bxg4 20.hxg4 Nxg4 would have been stronger for him] 19...Bxf3 20.Ndxf3 Bd8 I can't remember what the idea was here. Probably to let the rook cover the e-pawn. 21.g4 h6 22.Qg3 Nh7 23.Ng6? Not a good sacrifice. Just drops material in my opinion 23...fxg6 24.fxg6 Ng5 [24...Nf8 just grabbed the pawn. I don't know why I just didn't play that. I guess i missed that the h4 was guarded by the bishop 25.Nh4 Bxh4] 25.Nh4 Ne6 26.Rf7? [He missed the tactic. The line he played traded material. Probably something like 26.Bc1 would have been better] 26...Bxh4 27.Qxh4 [27.Rxd7?? Bxg3] 27...Re7 28.Raf1 Rf8 [The computer liked 28...Nf4! disconnecting the rooks, attacking g6 and d3] 29.R7f5 Nf4 Better late than never ;) 30.Rxf8+ Kxf8 31.Bc1 Kg8 [31...Qd6 32.Qh5 Kg8] 32.Bxf4 exf4 33.Rxf4= he offered a draw. I couldn't in good conscience take it, even though we're friends and he gave me a ride down. His pawns are weak and I'm up material. He is going to drop the g-pawn and likely the d-pawn as well. Once his d-pawn falls the game is over 33...Nb4 34.Rf3 Qe8 35.Qh5 Re6 [35...Re5 36.Qh4 Qxg6 But i wanted to tie up all loose ends and defend the b-pawn] 36.Qh4 Qxg6 37.Qg3 Rf6! 38.Qb8+ Kh7 39.Rf5 Nxd3 It's tough now 40.Rd5 Qxe4 41.Qg3 Qe1+ [41...Rf3 42.Qxf3 or mate] 42.Qxe1 Nxe1 43.Rf5?! Funny decision trading off rooks 43...Nf3+ 44.Kf2 Rxf5 45.gxf5 Nd2 46.Ke2 Nxb3 47.h4 Kg8 48.h5 Kf7 49.Kd3 Kf6 50.Kc2 at this point i don't care about the knight 50...Kxf5 51.Kxb3 Kg5 52.Kc2 Kxh5 The most interesting game I played all tournament 0-1

November Open London, ON (4), 25.11.2006
D15 - Slav Defense

And now for my worst game of the tournament. I can give the usual excuses, but once again, I just missed something obvious. Tactical training is what I need 1.c4 c6 2.d4 [For about two seconds I thought about going for the Panov after 2.e4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.d4 but really if I wanted to play 1.e4 i should've played it on the first move] 2...d5 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 b6?! NEver seen this before. It doesn't make much sense with the pawn on c6 unless he goes to a6. Was he worried about me playing cxd? 5.Bg5 e6 [5...dxc4 6.e4 b5] 6.e3 Be7 [6...Ba6 was interesting here] 7.Bd3 dxc4 8.Bxc4 Ba6 9.Bxa6 Nxa6 I'm very happy with my position here. I could always tempo the knight, but there was no need to make him move to a better square. There was always the threat of a double attack as well 10.0-0 0-0 11.Rc1 Rc8? 12.a3? Missing a free pawn. [12.Qa4 Nb8 13.Qxa7;
12.Bxf6 Bxf6 13.Qa4 Nc7 14.Qxc6
] 12...c5 13.Qe2 [13.Qa4 may have been more to the point] 13...Nb8 14.dxc5 Rxc5 15.Rfd1 Qc7 16.Nb5 [16.Bf4] 16...Qb7 17.Rxc5 Bxc5 18.Bxf6 gxf6 Now again I have a better position. Notice that the only thing I have to worry about it mate on g2 19.Nbd4 ["Interestingly in the last game you also had the queen and two knights and your opponents weakened king position. Instead of 19.Nbd4 quite quickly I came up with 19.Qc4 with the idea of first swinging the queen over to the h or g file and then after b4 the rook to d4 and h4. It makes me wonder if you are still doing problems (this is what problems do for you - help you zero in on the target - in this position the BC5 and the weakened black kingside are targets;
A positional player would concentrate on owning the c-file with perhaps 19.Rc1 first, and then pawn to b4 to kick the bishop but the queen is much more active on c4" (HJ);
I wasthinking about maybe 19.Nd6 Bxd6 20.Rxd6 and again his knight is not the best piece on the board] 19...Kh8 20.b4 Be7 21.Qb2 Rg8 The threat now is ...e5. White to play and lose

22.Ne2?? [Probably even 22.Kh1 would have been sufficient] 22...Qxf3 A poor ending to an indifferent tournament 0-1

i did relearn a lesson this tournament - if they go out of theory, normally it's not theory for a tactical reason. i need to look harder all the way through, but just as much once they go out of theory as any. also i need to look at the board (see games 1 and 4)

Monday, November 13, 2006

wilt v. bobby

i read this on

Wilt & Bobby: Not a Random Encounter

NBAE Getty David Friedman

Chess is a matter of delicate judgment, knowing when to punch and how to duck."—Bobby Fischer
“Not unlike Mike Tyson, a later world champion from Brooklyn, Bobby Fischer loved to intimidate.”—Dick Schaap

“Where there’s a Wilt, there’s a way.”—Wilt Chamberlain

In his memoir Flashing Before My Eyes, Dick Schaap recounts having dinner with Wilt Chamberlain at the Hall of Fame center’s palatial Bel Air home. Schaap, the only person ever to serve as a voter for both the Heisman Trophy and the Tony Awards, loved to bring together eminent people from different fields and watch the sparks fly. He became acquainted with Bobby Fischer in the late 1950s and knew that the World Chess Champion was in the area, so he asked Chamberlain to invite him over. Schaap writes that Fischer expressed a great interest in seeing Chamberlain’s house but ultimately declined the invitation. Of course, much of Fischer’s post-1972 activities are shrouded in secrecy. At least one account suggests that he did in fact join Chamberlain that evening, just after Schaap had left…

Wilt Chamberlain was known to the general public as “Wilt the Stilt,” a nickname that only an unimaginative hack could love (or write). His friends called him “Big Dipper,” or “Dipper,” or even “Dippy” in reference to how the 7-foot, 300 pound basketball playing legend had to dip his head to go through doorways that were only designed to accommodate mere mortals.

Like the Greek gods who lived atop Mt. Olympus, Chamberlain resided in a sprawling pleasure palace with a majestic view. While the Olympians took their name from the mountain where they dwelled, Chamberlain named his house after himself: Ursa Major, the constellation containing the group of stars called the Big Dipper.

Ursa Major sat on a hilltop overlooking Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley. The house’s most famous feature was the 10-foot long, triangular section of the roof that was retractable, providing an impressive view of the sparkling California sky. Bobby Fischer once dreamed of living in a house shaped like a rook and containing spiral staircases, so how could he resist an invitation to Chamberlain’s house, with its chrome spiral staircase, 20-foot high ceiling and one of a kind furnishings?

Chamberlain, who favored comfort over formality—particularly when he was at home—was barefoot and wearing only shorts and a tank top when he greeted Fischer. The World Chess Champion, clad in a tailor made suit from Argentina that had seen better days, gripped Chamberlain’s huge, outstretched hand a bit tentatively, his eyes guardedly taking in the mammoth basketball legend and the elegantly decorated home. They walked inside. Fischer looked around the house in silent appreciation.

"Hey, my man,” Chamberlain said enthusiastically. “Check this out.” Chamberlain directed Fischer’s attention to a one of a kind chess set: handcrafted pieces made out of real ivory sitting atop a gorgeous wooden board. Fischer picked up one of the pieces, delicately held it with his long, pianist-like fingers and nodded approvingly: “This is really first class.”

Chamberlain—an avid chess and backgammon player—challenged Fischer to a game. Fischer was reluctant but Chamberlain, whose eagerness to master new challenges was only exceeded by his boastfulness about his prowess, persisted: “I’m undefeated here. I never lose at cards or backgammon and I’ve yet to find a good challenge in chess.”

Fischer agreed to play, but said that to make things fair he would turn his back and announce his moves without sight of the board. He took white and played his customary e4. Chamberlain responded with d5, employing the Center Counter, his favorite defense.

The game unfolded rhythmically, a dance of the minds punctuated by each player calling out his move. Fischer declared his moves quickly and with great self assurance. Chamberlain was equally self assured, but deliberated over each move like a gourmand reading a restaurant menu*.

White: Fischer, Bobby
Black: Chamberlain, Wilt

1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qd8 4.d4 g6 5.Bf4 Bg7 6.Qd2 Nf6 7.O-O-O c6 8.Bh6 O-O 9.h4 Qa5 10.h5 Nxh5 11.Be2 Nf6 12.Bxg7 Kxg7 13.Qh6+ Kg8 14.g4 Rd8 15.g5 Nh5 16.Bxh5 gxh5 17.Rxh5 Bf5 18.g6 fxg6 19.Re1 e6 20.Qxh7+ Kf8 21.Qh8+ Ke7 22.Rh7+ Kd6 23.Nb5+ cxb5 24.Qe5+ Kc6 25.Qc5# 1-0

Chamberlain shook his head. “I’ve never lost so quickly at anything.”

“You didn’t have a chance against me with that line,” Fischer replied. “I refuted that whole variation more than 10 years ago. One guy tried 10…gxh5 against me, but he didn’t last any longer than you did.”

Chamberlain, never one to either easily accept defeat or avoid a debate, considered this for a moment and said, “You just played this whole game from memory. You didn’t really outthink me. If we set the pieces up at random, I’ll bet I could beat you because you couldn’t use any of your pet lines.” Granted, that might not sound logical to an outside observer, but if you spent your whole life doing outsized things that nobody else could come close to doing then you might be able to convince yourself that beating Bobby Fischer can be accomplished by changing the starting position of the pieces.

Chamberlain set up the board to start another game, but after putting the pawns on their usual squares he put the rooks where the knights should go, put the bishops on the rooks’ home squares, placed each knight on bishop one and transposed the king and queen. “Let’s play again.” Fischer looked at the new formation for about 10 seconds, then turned his back and announced his first move. Within minutes Chamberlain’s position looked more bedraggled than the New York Knicks did when he scored 100 points against them. Chamberlain looked at the board silently. Chamberlain knew what Schaap would say: “Maybe you should play blindfolded. Then at least you won’t have to see the carnage.”

Undaunted, Chamberlain set up the board with yet another different starting alignment and the two men resumed combat. What happens when two stubborn insomniacs are determined to prove that they are right? In this case, an all night session of a variant form of chess. Chamberlain was right that shifting the starting formation rendered Fischer’s knowledge of book openings useless—but that actually increased Fischer’s advantage, because he could fully utilize his well honed creativity and positional understanding. Chamberlain, on the other hand, could neither play the opening lines that he knew nor could he devise suitable alternatives.

Chamberlain grew more and more frustrated but Fischer saw the light—and it wasn’t just the rays of the early morning sun shining through the retractable roof: this type of “shuffle chess” had real possibilities. Chamberlain never did win a game, so he shifted the contest to a different level: what the new game should be called. Chamberlain favored “Dipper Chess” or “Ursa Major Chess.” Fischer retorted, “Who is going to play something called ‘Dipper Chess’? Besides, I’m the World Champion and I won every game, so it should be named after me.”

When Fischer left Chamberlain’s house, no one knew that—other than an unscheduled engagement in a Pasadena jailhouse—he would not be seen in public for nearly two decades. When he came back, he was heavier, had more facial hair and was a little more (ahem) eccentric and he also spoke of a new version of chess that would stump computers, eliminate pre-arranged draws and revitalize the sport: Fischer Random Chess.

So how come Chamberlain’s autobiography didn’t mention his role in creating Fischer Random Chess? The answer is simple: he did mention it in the first draft but one all-nighter of chess versus Bobby Fischer inexplicably did not make the cut over 20,000 other “nights” that Chamberlain enjoyed. Oh, one more thing--that digital clock that Fischer patented and has become standard fare at chess tournaments—there is a great story about its creation, but that will have to wait for later…

Saturday, October 21, 2006

one win, one loss

C - CL
October G30 Owen Sound (3), 18.10.2006
D45 - Semi-Slav

This was just at the end of the Kramnik-Topalov match so I wanted to try the move order that they did 1.c4 c6 2.d4 [I did think about turning it into a Panov, but next time maybe 2.e4 ] 2...d5 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.e3 a la Kramnik-Topalov 4...e6 5.Nc3 Bb4?! This is just a bad Nimzo I would think (...c5 in two moves instead of one). Grob, Szabo, Ratmir Kholmov and Hubner have all played it. 6.Qc2 [Apparently 6.Bd3 is the closest to a "book" move but I was playing my nimzo line. I guess I would get e4 in two moves instead of one here though)] 6...dxc4 [6...Nbd7 is the "book" move as well] 7.Bxc4 0-0 8.0-0 Bxc3 I'm very happy here. Not only did he let me develop my light squared bishop. He voluntarily gave up the bishop pair as well 9.Qxc3 b6 10.Rd1 c5 11.Bd3 Nc6 12.dxc5 Ne4 13.Qc2 Nb4 14.Bxe4 [14.Qc4! is stronger 14...Nxd3 (14...bxc5 15.Qxe4 Nxd3 16.Rxd3) 15.Rxd3] 14...Nxc2 15.Rxd8 Rxd8 16.Bxc2 Bb7 17.cxb6 axb6 18.e4? Not the greatest, but it just drops a pawn [18.Kf1 was better ;
18.Ne1 Rac8 19.f3 Rd6 20.Kf2] 18...Bxe4 [18...Bxe4 and I resign ??? 19.Bb3 was not great, but I still have two pieces for the rook. Not fabulous by me] 0-1

second game of the night...

CL - C
October G30 Owen Sound (4), 18.10.2006
A07 - King's Indian Attack

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.g3
[I half expected 2.b3 after advising him on ways to stop 1. ...e5 last week. We played this line up to move 7 in our "match"] 2...g6 3.Bg2 Bg7 4.0-0 c6 5.d3 d5 6.Nbd2 0-0 7.e4 Bg4 [In the previous game I played 7...dxe4 and this was good enough] 8.Qe1 Nbd7 9.e5 Bxf3?? [9...Ne8 was better] 10.Nxf3?? [10.exf6 Bxg2 11.fxg7 Bxf1 doesn't work be because 12.gxf8Q+ is check so he's up a piece] 10...Ng4 11.d4 e6 Now I'm just playing a funky Caro-Kann Advanced 12.h3 Nh6 13.Nh2 Qb6 [I wanted to stop him from developing quite so easily but maybe reentering my knight into the game with 13...Nf5 was better] 14.c3 c5 15.Be3 Nf5 16.dxc5? [16.Nf3] 16...Nxc5 [16...Qxb2 and lots is gonna fall 17.Ng4 Nxe3] 17.b4? [This was weak, making the c-pawn a backwards pawn and a big target for me 17.f4 protecting the hanging e-pawn may have been better 17...Nxe3 18.Qxe3 Rac8] 17...Nxe3 18.Qxe3 Na4 19.Qxb6 Nxb6 20.f4 Rac8 21.Rac1 Na4?! [21...f6 to try and activate the bishop;
or 21...Rc4 to try and double up on the c-pawn and then eventually win it] 22.c4! dxc4 [22...Rxc4 23.Rxc4 dxc4 24.Bxb7 f6 (24...Rb8!? 25.Bc6 Rxb4 26.a3 Rb3 27.Bxa4 Rxg3+ 28.Kf2 Rxa3) ] 23.Bxb7 Rc7 [23...Rb8 24.Bc6 Rxb4 25.a3 Rb3 26.Bxa4 Rxg3+ 27.Kf2 Rxa3 28.Rxc4 Rxh3 is similar to the line above] 24.Ba6 Nb2 [The simple 24...c3 as White can't easily get at my knight. If he tries something like 25.Bb5 Nb6 26.Nf3 Rfc8 27.a3 Nd5 and I'm set] 25.Ng4 Nd3 [25...Rb8 26.b5 h5 27.Ne3 c3 28.Nd1 Nxd1 29.Rfxd1 f6 and my dark square bishop is better than his terrible light squared bishop, which does nothing except keep a rook out of c3] 26.Rxc4 Rxc4 27.Bxc4 Nxb4 It's pretty equal here without my c-pawn 28.a4 Rc8 29.Ne3 a5 [I could've tried my 29...Bf8 move here.] 30.g4 [30.Kf2] 30...Bf8 31.Rc1 Bc5 32.Kf2 Nd3+

Aagaard says you should record three things you learn from each game...instead of each game I'm going to do for each session

1) Aagard has said in his books to focus on improving your worst piece. For the longest time, my worst piece was my dark squared bishop and (funnilly enough) once I got it activated I won the game. So I need to consciously involved improving my worst piece versus forcing play like what I was doing with my knight in the second game

2) I need to work harder over the board and calculate. In the first game I just kinda closed my eyes, instead of sitting there for 5 minutes. Also I resigned when it wasn't even lost. I need to make myself calculate. General principles can only do so much for you

3) If I'm going to do this, I need to take it more seriously. Yes I have a lot of stress at work but neither one of us took more than 15 minutes per and I even wanted to skip the whole session and play blitz. These games are the only serious games i get per week, so I should take them seriously. 0-1

Thursday, October 05, 2006

October 4th 2-0

CL - C
October G30 Owen Sound (1), 04.10.2006
A01 - Nimzo-Larsen

First game v. Chris at my place. He will be coming by a couple of times per month for games. My goal is to have him beat me 2/3 so I can get stronger :) 1.b3 e5 [Normally I would play 1...f5 but he said he would play 2.e4 the other day so I bite the bullet and play] 2.e4 f5!? 3.f3?? Just terrible 3...fxe4 4.fxe4 Qh4+ 5.g3 Qxe4+ 6.Qe2 Qxh1 7.Nf3 [He can try and take the pawn but 7.Qxe5+ Ne7 8.Ne2 Nbc6 is tough] 7...d6 8.Bb2 Bg4! 9.Kf2 Forced 9...Qxf3+ 10.Qxf3 Bxf3 11.Kxf3 Nf6 12.Bc4 d5 13.Bf1 Nbd7 14.Bh3 e4+ 15.Ke2 Bc5 16.Nc3 c6 17.Rd1 0-0 18.a3 Rae8 19.Bc1 Ne5 20.Na4 Bd6 21.d3? exd3+ 22.cxd3 Neg4+ 23.Kd2 Nxh2 24.Nc3 d4 25.Ne2? Nf3+ Not much to say. I was basically better throughout 0-1

C - CL
October G30 Owen Sound (2), 04.10.2006
D15 - Slav

Second game (we're gonna try and play two actives a night). I was gonna try some anti-Sicilian, but I thought why not see what he has v. the Slav 1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 Bf5?! 5.Qb3! is the strongest in positions like this or after [5.cxd5 cxd5 6.Qb3] 5...Qd7? an inaccuracy [5...Qb6;
or even the pedestrian 5...b6 6.cxd5 cxd5 7.Bf4] 6.Bg5? [6.cxd5 cxd5 7.Ne5 Qc7 8.Bf4 is strong] 6...dxc4 7.Qxc4 b5 8.Qb3 Ne4? Too ambitious when he's undeveloped. 9.Nxe4 [9.Ne5! was better 9...Qe6 (9...Qc8 10.Nxe4 Bxe4 11.Qxf7+) 10.Qxe6 fxe6 (10...Bxe6 11.Nxe4) 11.Nxe4 Bxe4 12.f3] 9...Bxe4 10.Ne5 Not as strong now 10...Qd5 11.Qxd5 cxd5? [11...Bxd5 and I'm better but he's fine 12.Nd3 e6 13.f3] 12.Rc1 Na6? [12...Nd7 was better, but he didn't want to corrupt his king position. The truth is that he's underveloped and the kings are off] 13.e3 Rb8? 14.Bxb5+ Kd8 15.Nxf7# a nice finish by me, terrible by him 1-0

Sunday, October 01, 2006

london fall open 2/4

it was a one section tournament. i scored 2/4 with poor play generally. i was upset that demmery played 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e5 v. me and i resigned prematurely in that game, and then in round 3 he played an advanced caro and ended up with an isolated pawn on d6, so i mentally resigned for him, figuring that my king would get to d6 first to help and i'd just be a pawn up. i ended up getting into a tough position and just made a horrible, terrible blunder (this was v. a 1359 kid). my two wins were non-games v. a 1220 and a 821 (!)

C - TW
Fall Open London, ON (1), 30.09.2006
E74 - King's Indian : Averbakh Variation, ...c5

First game of the London Fall Open. It was a one-section tournament. My buddy and me drove down. It was nice to have someone to talk to...once he starts to think over the board and play less stereotypically he will be strong. He wants to go to Guelph this summer and get a FIDE rating with me...i'll have to get stronger but i'm in ;) This guy was a kid who didn't play too strongly 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 d6 5.Be2 0-0 6.Bg5 Nbd7 7.Qd2 c5 8.d5 Ne5? [This is all kinds of horrible. 8...a6 has been played in this position] 9.f4 [Fritz likes 9.Nf3 as well, but I think my move is just as good.] 9...Neg4? [9...Ned7 is completely playable] 10.h3 Nh6 [10...h6 11.Bh4 g5 is good for me] 11.0-0-0 [I didn't want to play forced moves, and he couldn't really get out of it so I held off on f5 but 11.g4! was even better! 11...Bd7 12.f5 gxf5 13.Bxh6 Bxh6 14.Qxh6 fxe4 is a tempo ahead] 11...Bd7 12.f5 gxf5 13.Bxh6 Bxh6 14.Qxh6 fxe4 15.g4 Kh8 16.g5 Ng8 17.Qh4 e6 18.Nxe4 exd5 19.Nf6 Nxf6 20.gxf6 Qe8 21.Bd3 Qe3+ 22.Kb1 h6 23.Nf3 dxc4 [23...Qxf3 24.Qxh6+ Kg8 25.Qg7#] 24.Rhe1 Qxd3+ 25.Rxd3 Bf5 26.Qxh6+ Bh7 27.Qg7# Not great by him, but it was nice to get a checkmate 1-0

Fall Open London, ON (2), 30.09.2006
A51 - Budapest : Fajarowicz variation

Taking on the top seed in the tournament. Expert level is what I'm aiming for long term, so this is the level I want to be playing at. Unfortunately I got two whites in a row, it would have been nice to *waste* a black v. this guy :) 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e5!? Ga! There's a reason why I used to play Nf3 before d4 and this is one of them 3.dxe5 Ne4 Ga! Ga! [I had gotten 3...Ng4 semi-regularly online, so now (unfortunately) I'm on my own. I remembered that historically, Bisguier had played it but that's about it] 4.Qc2?! [Alekhine has had this played against him by Tartakower and he played 4.Nd2 and if 4...Bb4 (4...Nc5 5.Ngf3 Nc6 6.g3 Qe7 7.Bg2 g6 8.Nb1 Nxe5 9.0-0 Nxf3+ 10.exf3 Bg7 11.Re1 Ne6 12.Nc3 0-0 13.Nd5 Qd8 14.f4 c6 15.Nc3 d6 16.Be3 Qc7 17.Rc1 Bd7 18.Qd2 Rad8 19.Red1 Bc8 20.Ne4 Nc5 21.Nxd6 Na4 22.c5 Nxb2 23.Re1 b5 24.cxb6 Qxd6 25.Qxd6 Rxd6 26.bxa7 Bb7 27.Bc5 Rdd8 28.Bxf8 Kxf8 29.Bxc6 Bxc6 30.Rxc6 Ra8 31.Rb6 Rxa7 32.Rb8# Alekhine-Tartakower 1932. This is a better line than what I played, definitely ;)) 5.Ngf3 -- 6.a3 "getting the two bishops". I definitely won't be so unprepared in the future. ] 4...d5 5.exd6 Bf5 6.Qb3 [In the past I have had 6.Nc3 Ng3 played against me and the computer claims that 7.Qa4+ Bd7 8.Nb5 is better for White, but it's definitely tricky. I need to work harder over the board] 6...Nc6 7.Nf3 [I wanted to play something like 7.g4 to kick the bishop by 7...Bxg4 8.Qxb7 Bd7] 7...Bxd6 8.e3 Bb4+ 9.Nc3 a5! A strong idea that I didn't see. Even after he played it I underestimated it's strength 10.Bd2 Nxd2 11.Nxd2 a4 12.Qd1 a3 13.Qb3 axb2 14.Qxb2 Qf6 15.Nd1 [15.Rc1 Ba3 16.Qxb7 Ra7 17.Nd5 Qg6 -+] 15...Bxd2+ 16.Kxd2 0-0-0+ and I resigned, probably prematurely. It was gonna be tough though. My rook is completely out of play and it's gonna be tough to get him in. Plus I was tired from defending etc. etc. 0-1

EH - C
Fall Open London, ON (3), 30.09.2006
B12 - Caro-Kann : Advanced Variation

1.e4 c6 2.Nf3 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.d4 e6 5.c4 Nd7 6.Nc3 Ne7
[6...h6 7.a3 Ne7 8.c5 a5 9.Bd2 Bg4 10.Be2 Nf5 11.Bc1 b6 12.cxb6 Qxb6 13.Na4 Qa7 14.Be3 c5 15.dxc5 Nxe3 16.fxe3 Bxc5 17.Nxc5 Qxc5 18.Rc1 Qxe3 19.h3 Bxf3 20.gxf3 Qxe5 21.Rg1 0-0 22.Qd2 Rfb8 23.Rb1 d4 24.Kf2 Rb3 25.Rxg7+ Kxg7 26.Rg1+ Kf8 27.Qxh6+ Ke7 28.Qh4+ Nf6 29.Rg5 Qe3+ 30.Kf1 Rxb2 31.Rg2 Rb1+ Alne-Hersvik NOR-ch Junior 2001 0-1;
I wonder if I shouldn't have played relatively "normally" and played this 6...Bb4 7.Bd2 dxc4 8.Bxc4] 7.Be3 [7.Be2 dxc4 8.Bxc4 Nb6 9.Be2 Ned5 10.0-0 Be7 11.a4 a5 12.Re1 Nb4 13.Rf1 Nc2 14.Ra2 0-0 15.b3 Nb4 16.Rd2 N4d5 17.Bb2 Nxc3 18.Bxc3 Nd5 19.Bb2 Bb4 Nicholson-Medvegy Cork Congress 2005 0-1] 7...Qc7? [7...dxc4;
or 7...Qb6 was better. My queen is exposed to harassment from the knight on c7] 8.Bd3 dxc4 [After waiting so long for him to move his bishop I didn't even look (at the strong) 8...Bxd3 9.Qxd3 dxc4 10.Qxc4 Nb6 11.Qb3 for instance 11...Ned5 and I'm better] 9.Bxc4 c5?? [9...Nb6 was better. I didn't even notice that d5 was mine for the taking;
"You were obviously affected still in your 3rd game. Instead of playing solid as you started to do - you uncorked the howler 9. ...c5? which would have allowed 10.Nb5 winning if your opponent had seen it. You had a great position with just 9...a6 preparing 10.-- c5 (or even 10...0-0-0 before playing ...c5" (HJ)) ] 10.0-0 [10.Nb5!] 10...cxd4 [you further compounded your troubled by playing cxd4 before you were properly set up. (again just 10...a6 " (HJ)] 11.Qxd4 [11.Nb5!] 11...Nc6 12.Nb5 finally, but it is not as strong now 12...Qd8 13.Qd2 a6? "You finally played a6 when it was too late goading him into Nd6+ which was great for him (all his pieces were active) Instead of finding counterplay you traded off pieces and allowed him to come in. Obviously you were not yourself in that game." (HJ) [13...Ncxe5! and I'm better 14.Nxe5 Nxe5 15.Qc3 (15.Qxd8+ Rxd8 16.Be2 a6 17.Nc7+ Kd7) 15...Nxc4;
13...Ndxe5 14.Qxd8+ Rxd8 15.Nxe5 Nxe5
] 14.Nd6+ Bxd6 15.exd6 0-0 16.Nd4 Nxd4 17.Qxd4 Rc8 18.Rac1 Nf6 [18...e5 19.Qd2 b5 20.Bb3 Qf6 (20...Rxc1 21.Rxc1 Nf6 22.Qc3) ] 19.Rfd1 Qd7 20.Bb3 Rxc1 21.Rxc1 Rc8? [21...Rd8 22.Rc7 Qxd6 23.Qxd6;
21...Nd5 22.Bxd5 exd5 23.Qxd5 Be6 24.Qd1 Rd8 25.Bb6
] 22.Rxc8+ Qxc8 23.Qb6 Nd7 [23...Nd5 24.Bxd5 exd5 25.Qc7 and now my bishop is guarding that diagonal] 24.Qd4 b5 25.Qa7 h6 [25...Be4 and again making my bishop useful] 26.Qc7 Qe8 27.Bd1 e5 [27...Be4 again] 28.Qc6 Nb8?? [28...a5 29.Qxb5 Qe6 30.Qxa5 Qxd6 Not a great game at all] 1-0

DD - C
Fall Open London, ON (4), 30.09.2006
B11 - Caro-Kann : Two Knights Variation

Not much to say about this one. The guy was an elderly gentleman and he said his rating was 821 "and he earned every point of it" 1.e4 c6 2.Nf3 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Bg4 5.Be2 Nd7 6.Neg5 h6 7.d4 hxg5 8.Nxg5 Bxe2 9.Qxe2 Ngf6 10.Qc4 e6 11.0-0 Qc7 12.Bd2?? Qxh2# 0-1

Sunday, September 24, 2006

excelling at chess

i just finished Jacob Aagaard's excellent book Excelling at Chess this evening. i've been putting a ton of time in working on chess and hopefully it will pay off this weekend in London

"Pretend It's For Fun"

All summer Bev Turner ran an unrated active "Grand Prix" with kids and adults. This was the last (I played in the first one as well). Before the tournament, a little girl started crying and said she just wanted to play for fun, not a tournament and my opponent said to her "Just pretend it's for fun". It made me chuckle.

KP - C
September Grand Prix Owen Sound, ON (1), 23.09.2006
B12 - Caro-Kann : Advanced Variation

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.c3 e6 5.Bd3 Bxd3 6.Qxd3 Ne7 7.Nf3 Nd7 8.Nbd2 c5 9.0-0 Nc6 10.Re1 Be7 11.Rb1 0-0 12.b4? cxd4 13.b5 Na5 14.cxd4 Rc8 15.Nb3 Nc4 16.Nfd2 Ndb6 17.Nxc4 dxc4 18.Qe4 cxb3 19.Rxb3 Nd5
[There's not much to be said about this game. I wanted to put the knight on d5 (best square on the board) but maybe I should've played 19...Qd5 if 20.Qxd5 (and if 20.Qg4 Rfd8 21.Bh6 g6 i'm just a piece up and maybe even more) 20...Nxd5 and I have the same positiona s the game except no queens] 20.Rh3 g6 21.Bh6 Re8 22.Rh5 Bf8 [22...gxh5 Of course! I missed that he couldn't check me on the g-file. The silliest things you miss. I need to focus] 23.Qf3 gxh5 24.Qg3+ Kh8 25.h4 Bxh6 0-1

C - K
September Grand Prix Owen Sound, ON (2), 23.09.2006
D80 - Grünfeld : Stockholm Variation

I always hate playing K in tournaments. Luckily that was an unrated so we could "really" play (normally we just play like a Slav Exchange or a Zaitsev Ruy Lopez or a Larsen Alekhine and get a repetition of moves or a lifeless draw). This was not the greatest game by me, but I did win due to a huge blunder. K mentioned just before the game that he wanted this to be our next game of the match. 1.d4 d5 2.c4 Nf6 3.Nc3?! [I can try and punish him for the funny move order with 3.cxd5 Nxd5 4.Nf3 -- 5.e4 etc., but I was curious to see what he had in mind.] 3...g6 I was kinda surprised because he mentioned playing the King's Indian before. 4.Bg5 Ne4 5.Bh4 Bg7 6.e3 [I couldn't have grabbed the pawn here as the king is still guarding the e-pawn 6.cxd5 Nxc3 7.bxc3 Qxd5 8.Nf3;
and 6.Nxd5 g5 is fine for Black] 6...c6 7.cxd5?! [A more natural plan would have been something like 7.Nge2 then f3 so i could kick the knight and (eventually) move my bishop off the d8-h4 diagonal as he has done his job there] 7...Qa5 8.Qc2 [Again 8.Nge2 was better] 8...Nxc3 9.bxc3 [9.Qxc3 was better, as if he avoids the queen trade 9...Qxd5 10.Nf3 Bg4 11.Bc4 and I get a tempo on his queen as well as I can develop 11...Qd6 (11...Qd7 12.Ne5!) 12.Qb3! of course all this is easier to see at home. Again I need to try and work harder over the board] 9...cxd5 10.Nf3 Bf5! I'm in a tough position here. I wanted to recapture on c4 with the bishop but I never was able to play c4 11.Bd3 [11.Qd2 was stronger allowing me to play c4 and if 11...-- 12.c4 Qxd2+ 13.Nxd2 allowing me to play f3 again. Going over this game has really opened my eyes to what I've been doing wrong in this line (v. blitz games and others where I don't analyze)] 11...Bxd3 12.Qxd3 Nd7 13.0-0 e5! I found this move to be strong...maybe at a higher level this would be weak, but I missed this altogether. Now, possibly, my bishop is the weakest piece on the board once he castles and he threatens e4. Also, a capture with the pawn would isolate my c-pawn, which will drop once the bishop gets involved. This is my reasoning for 14.e4 [Fritz likes 14.dxe5 Nxe5 15.Nxe5 Bxe5 16.Rad1! of course! I missed that the d-pawn would be hanging and the "useless" (to paraphrase myself) bishop is guarding d8 so it's just a trade. I need to look deeper. 16...Bxc3 17.Qxd5 Qxd5 18.Rxd5] 14...0-0 15.Be7? I want him to make the first move in the center, but this "idea" by me is just horrible. My reasoning is that I want to get the bishop to a better diagonal, so my idea was to play Be7 then Bb4 "tempoing" his rook and queen. The main point was to tempo the queen as I didn't like defending that c-pawn. The problem with my idea is that it moves my bishop to a weaker square (what happens when he plays ...a5) *and* moves his rook and queen to more aggressive positions. Again, it was an active game, but I should have had enough time to figure that out [15.Nd2 dxe4 (15...f5 16.exd5 e4 17.Qe3) 16.Nxe4 with the idea of f3] 15...Rfe8 16.Bb4? Just brutal 16...dxe4! 17.Qxe4 Qc7 18.Nxe5 [What do I play here? 18.Rac1 maybe 18...a5 19.Ba3 exd4 (19...Nf6 20.Qc2) 20.cxd4 Qxc1 (20...Qxh2+ 21.Kxh2 Rxe4) 21.Qxe8+ Rxe8 22.Rxc1] 18...f6?? [18...Nxe5 19.dxe5 Bxe5 20.Qf3 and I lose something (h-pawn or c-pawn);
18...a5 19.Ba3 and the same sort of thing] 19.Qd5+ [and he resigns not allowing the smothered mate. 19.Qd5+ Kh8 20.Nf7+ Kg8 21.Nh6+ Kh8 22.Qg8+ Rxg8 23.Nf7# Not a strong game by me, I mixed it up where I shouldn't necessarily have and got a horrid position. But I learned a lot about playing the 4.Bg5 line in the Grünfeld so it was worth it.] 1-0

SP - C
September Grand Prix Owen Sound, ON (3), 23.09.2006
B18 - Caro-Kann : Classical Variation

1.e4 c6 2.Nc3 d5 3.d4 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Bf5 5.Ng3 Bg6 6.Nf3 Nd7 7.Nh4 Ngf6 8.Nxg6 hxg6 9.Be3 e6 10.Bg5 Qb6 11.Bc1 Bd6 12.b3 Bxg3
[12...Bb4+ 13.Bd2 Qxd4] 13.fxg3 Ne4 14.Qd3 Qb4+ The reason why I did this was that I wanted to aim for some endgames this tournament... 15.Bd2 Nxd2 16.Qxd2 Qxd2+ 17.Kxd2 Nf6 18.Bd3 0-0-0 19.c3 Ng4 20.h3 Nf2 21.Rhf1 Nxd3 22.Kxd3 f6 23.Rae1 e5 24.Ke4 exd4 25.cxd4 Rhe8+ 26.Kd3 Rxe1 27.Rxe1 c5 28.Re4 f5 29.Re7 Rxd4+ 30.Kc3 Rd7 31.Re6 Kc7 32.Rxg6 b6 33.Rg5 Rf7 34.h4 Kd6 35.h5 Ke5 36.g4 Kf4?? [36...Ke6 37.gxf5+ (37.Rg6+ Ke5 38.g5) 37...Kf6 38.Rg6+ Kxf5] 37.Rg6? [37.Rxf5+! Rxf5 38.gxf5 Kxf5 39.Kc4 1-0] 37...fxg4 38.h6 gxh6 39.Rxh6 Rg7 40.Rf6+ Kg3 41.Kc4 Kxg2 42.Kb5 g3 43.Rh6 Kg1 44.Rf6 g2 45.Ka6 Rh7 46.a4 Kh1 47.b4 cxb4 What can I take from this game? I won but he absolutely blundered after I blundered. 0-1

JL - C
September Grand Prix Owen Sound, ON (4), 23.09.2006
B10 - Caro-Kann : Hillbilly Variation

This was the other guy who was 3/3 at the tournament 1.e4 c6 2.Bc4 Hillbilly Variation 2...d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.Bb3 Nf6 5.d3 h6?! Not helping my development, but I wanted to end up protecting my d-pawn with ...e6, so i was hoping for something like [5...h6 6.Nf3 Bg4 7.-- e6;
Realistically I should've punished him for not playing d4 and just responded with 5...e5 ] 6.h3 Bf5 7.Qf3 Bg6 [Maybe 7...e6 instead?] 8.Bf4 e6 9.Ne2 Nc6 10.Nd2 Bd6 11.d4 Bxf4 12.Qxf4 0-0 13.c3 Rc8 Slowly improving my pieces. 14.g4 Ne4 15.Nxe4 Bxe4 16.f3 Qh4+ 17.Kd2 Bg6 18.Qg3 Why trade? Look at his position? 18...Qe7 19.h4 e5 20.Rae1 Na5 [I totally "forgot" that the d-pawn was hanging. I should've just carried on with 20...Rfd8 After 20. ...Na5 I figured I would trade off the bishop or he'd have to play Be1 and his king is stuck in the middle of the board.] 21.Bxd5 Rcd8 22.Qxe5?? Qxe5?? [22...Nc4+! won on the spot. ] 23.dxe5 Rxd5+ 24.Nd4 Nc4+ 25.Kc1 Nxe5 26.h5 Nd3+ 27.Kd2 Nxe1 28.Rxe1 Bh7 29.Re7 Rb8 30.f4 Kf8 31.Rc7 Bb1 32.a3 a6 33.Kc1 Ba2? Again like I said in all the other games, I won but I didn't particularly play well 34.b3 Rxd4 35.cxd4 Bxb3 36.Rd7 Be6 37.Rd6 Bxg4 38.Rd5 Ke7 39.Kd2 Rd8 40.Re5+ Kf6 41.Ke3 Rd6 42.d5 b5 43.Kd4 Bf3 44.Kc5 Rd8 [44...Rxd5+ 45.Rxd5 Bxd5 46.Kxd5 Kf5 47.Kc6 Kxf4 48.Kb6 Kg5 49.Kxa6 f5 50.Kxb5 and I win the race] 45.d6 g6 46.hxg6 fxg6 47.Re7 h5 48.Ra7 Be2 49.Rxa6 h4 50.d7+ Kf5 51.Kd6 h3 52.Ke7 Rxd7+ 53.Kxd7 h2 and Black eventually won. 0-1

C - BT
September Grand Prix Owen Sound, ON (5), 23.09.2006
E33 - Nimzo-Indian : Classical

[Kirk had White against him earlier in the tournament and played 1.e4 d6 2.c4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.d4 against him, so I was hoping for a King's Indian] 1...d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Qc2 [I realize that 4.Nf3 is the "mainline" but Qc2 is what I play v. Nimzo so I wanted to try and transpose if possible] 4...Nc6 5.Nf3 Nf6 6.cxd5 Bxc3+ 7.Qxc3!? [I missed that he could tempo my queen with ...Nxd5 (I only saw he could tempo it from ...Ne4). If I was awake and saw ...Nxd5 I would've just played 7.bxc3 and got on with it. I guess the idea is that with the knight on d5 I can push e4 in one move with little preparation] 7...Nxd5 [7...Ne4 8.Qc2 exd5] 8.Qc2 Qd6 9.a3 [I was worried about 9.e4 Ndb4] 9...Bd7 10.e3?! 0-0-0 11.Bd3 h6 12.b4 e5? 13.b5! Nce7 14.Nxe5 Be6 15.0-0 f6 16.Ng6 Nxg6 17.Bxg6 h5 18.Bd2 h4 19.Bf5 g5 20.Rac1 b6 21.Bxe6+ Qxe6 22.e4 Rd7 23.exd5 Qxd5 24.Qc6 Qxc6 25.bxc6 [25.Rxc6] 25...Rxd4 26.Bc3 Rd6 27.Bb4 Rd3 28.Rfd1 Rhd8 29.Rxd3 Rxd3 30.Be7 h3 31.Bxf6 hxg2 32.Kxg2 Rxa3 33.Rd1

So I ended up with 5/5. I guess I need to work on tactics? 1-0

Thursday, September 21, 2006

ICC 15+2

C - NN [C's rating-40]
E73 - King's Indian : Averbakh Variation
ICC 15 2 Internet Chess Club, 21.09.2006

The closest thing I've played to a "real" game in a while. 15 minutes + 2 seconds on ICC. 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 c6!? Interesting. Never seen this before 4.e4 d6 [Kamsky played this once v. Kasparov and I figured my opponent would too 4...d5 ] 5.Be2 [5.Nf3 was "theoretically" stronger but I wanted to practice the Averbakh] 5...Bg7 6.Bg5 0-0 7.Qd2 This transposes to a relatively common line of the Averbakh (3. ...d6 4.e4 Bg7 5.Be2 O-O 6.Bg5 c6 7.Qd2) 7...e5 8.d5 Qb6 couldn't make the tactics work so I just played 9.f3 maybe I'll take up the Samisch in the future...this kind of setup (against the castled king mind you) works fairly well ;) I'm happy with Qd2 actually because now I don't have to worry about the b-pawn [9.dxc6 bxc6 10.Nf3 was recommended by Fritz, but that opens up the b-file for him to attack. Again I'm looking for a position that I'm able to play more than a theoretically advantageous one] 9...Nbd7 10.0-0-0 Threatening to play dxc6 now and win the d-pawn. 10...c5 11.h4 a5? Giving up a big hole on b4 for my knight, but how can he free himself? [11...Ne8 12.-- Ndf6 13.-- Bd7 is slow. It's time for me to attack;
11...Nh5 12.g4 Ng3 13.Rh3 Nxe2+ 14.Ngxe2 f6 may have been tougher] 12.g4 Qb4 13.Bh6 Nb6 [13...Bxh6 14.Qxh6 Nb6 15.h5 Nxc4 16.Bxc4 Qxc4 looks pretty similar to the game] 14.Bxg7 Kxg7 15.h5! I don't care about the pawn. Checkmate ends the game 15...Nxc4 16.Bxc4

Trading off his best piece which he moves three times, for my crappy bishop (look at all my pawns on the white squares) 16...Qxc4 17.hxg6 fxg6 [17...hxg6 18.Qh6+ Kg8 19.Qh8#;
17...h5 18.gxh5 looked tough too. The game's basically over now that I have the h-file open] 18.Qh6+ Kf7 [18...Kg8 19.g5 Nh5 20.Rxh5 gxh5 21.g6] 19.g5 Nxd5 [19...Nd7 20.Qxh7+ Ke8 21.Qxg6+ Kd8] 20.Qxh7+ Ke8 21.Qxg6+ Rf7 22.Rxd5 [22.Rh8+ doesn't work quite yet.] 22...Qf1+ 23.Rd1 Qc4 24.Rh8+ Black resigns It's kinda poor form to put a nice easy win up on the site, but normally I'm negative about my chess so here's a nice win ;) I have a tournament in 2 days as well so I want to keep positive. 1-0

Friday, September 08, 2006

well it's not over yet so i can't tell if it's going to be the BEST day ever, but it's not even 10:30 and it's pretty damn good...

take a look at what came in the mail today 4 days early (!)!11!!11!!!1!!!!

oh yeah! oh fuckin' yeah!

so i'm curling up with some rum and 22 episodes of smallville this weekend :)

i love you Chapters, i love you Canada Post

non-chess related

well i guess this is kinda chess related. a couple years ago on ICC i won second prize in the U1400 Marshall Attack tournament or something, so i wanted to put an ASCII belt on my profile. i googled and googled but nothign was to be found.

today i have fixed that problem.

here is my belt

the original picture is here

i think it turned out pretty good. the original website was and you can link or upload a picture and they will convert it to an ASCII image.

in a related note, i have found that they make an ASCII version of quake that can be played on dumb terminals. a link is here and here's a screenshot

i think it looks cool

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

one more down...two (or three) to go?

today i finished Averbakh's Tactics for Advanced Players

i picked up Tal's life and games, but Hans said "Well you are allowed to enjoy yourself and there is nothing more fascinating than Tal's life and games - highest class of chess entertainment - but dont expect to learn much - however do read and enjoy!

I expect you are ready for Aagaard - try his Excelling at Chess first and then when you are done that try: Excelling at Positional Chess - those two books should take you well into the New Year."

so i might just work on Aagaard till 2007. that's why i'm paying him the big bucks ;)

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Rounds 4 and 5

C - K
G45 Owen Sound (4), 19.08.2006
B03 - Alekhine's Defense : Exchange Variation

1.e4 Nf6
The Alekhine from the Arch-Duke himself :) 2.e5 Nd5 3.d4 d6 4.c4 Nb6 5.exd6 cxd6 6.Nc3 g6 7.Be3 Bg7 8.Nf3 0-0 9.Bd3 Nc6 10.b3= [10.b3= and I offered a draw here because I had burned my hand on coffee and Jane was stomping around making noise, but Kirk showed me his idea of 10...f5 11.Qd2 and it looks strong. here's a line 11...e5 12.Bg5 Qc7 (12...Qe8 13.dxe5 dxe5 14.0-0 e4 15.c5 Nd7 (15...Nd5 16.Nxd5 exd3 17.Nc7 Qf7 18.Nxa8 Bxa1 19.Rxa1 Be6 20.Re1 Rxa8 21.Qxd3 Bd5 22.Bc1) 16.Bc4+ Kh8 17.Nb5 exf3 18.Rae1 Nde5 19.Nc7 fxg2 20.Kxg2 Nxc4 21.bxc4 Qf7 22.Nxa8; 13.c5 dxc5 14.dxc5 Nd7 15.Bc4+ Kh8 16.0-0 e4 17.Nd5 Qa5 18.b4 Nxb4 19.Be7 Re8 20.Ng5] ½-½

K - C
G45 Owen Sound (5), 26.08.2006
B12 - Caro-Kann : Advanced Variation

Game 5 and I hadn't been playing well v. Kirk. 1.e4 c6 We had just gone live with Cerner stuff at work so I figured it would be best to get into a comfortable position 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.Nf3 e6 5.Be2 Kirk's regular.

I can see why so many beginners think this is the greatest line v. the Caro-Kann. When i was looking at this during the game, I cursed myself for not playing something more active. Of course it's not bad, just passive 5...Nd7 going for my regular...the Karpov knights at e7and d7, then push c5 and Nc6 [is the mainline 5...c5 ] 6.0-0 Ne7 7.Nh4 Qb6 [7...c5 is the mainline and;
7...Be4 has been tried by Adams v. Shirov. After all these years of telling Kirk to play Nh4 he has recently been listening ;);
7...Bg6] 8.c3 [in my Caro book the stem line was Short-Adams, English Championship 1991. It went 8.Nxf5 Nxf5 9.c3 c5 10.Bd3 Ne7 (10...g6 Nunn-Adams, Brussells 1992 11.Re1 Nb8 12.Bxf5 gxf5 13.c4 dxc4 14.d5 Nd7 15.Na3 0-0-0 16.Bg5 Re8 17.Nxc4) ] 8...Bxb1?! the book says "gives White a comfortable edge". I figured that the knight would have to move still, and I wouldn't have to worry about the capture. Of course, that was just laziness on my part. Now he can easily develop his bishop and it didn't go in well with my Qb6 move. Oh well, live and learn. Also I wanted to be able to play Nc6 after c5. [8...c5 9.Nxf5 Nxf5 10.Na3] 9.Rxb1 c5 10.Be3! Showing the stupidity (well stupidity is too harsh)...weakness of my last move 10...Nc6 11.f4?! I think this was premature becaue it almost forces me to stop from castlign kingside [11.Nf3 I was thinking about this sort of thing (of course also after i moved Be7). 11...Be7 12.a3 and then lockign up the center and queenside and only then coming in for the kill on the kingside 12...0-0 13.b4 c4] 11...Be7 12.Nf3 f5!? Spectacularly unsound ;) My plan in all of these is to avoid castling, but i think the weakening of the e-pawn might have told. He can double up on the e-file. fairly easily 13.dxc5?! Now I'm fine [13.exf6 Nxf6 was stronger 14.Ng5 Kd7 15.Bg4 and he's better. I wouldn't feel comfortable defendign this position] 13...Bxc5 14.Bxc5 Qxc5+ 15.Kh1 Ke7!? This was a good move. It allowed me to kick the kngiht and move over to c7 eventually. [15...h6 was slow] 16.Ng5 [16.Qd2] 16...h6 17.Nh3 Rag8 [They said 17...g5 right away] 18.g4? I thought it was weak too ;) at least my king can run away if all the pawns come off 18...g5 [18...fxg4 19.Bxg4 then 19...g5] 19.gxf5 exf5 20.fxg5?! [20.Bf3! g4 (20...Nb6 21.Qd3 (21.Bg2 g4 22.Ng1 h5 23.Qd3 Ke6 24.Rbd1 (24.Rfc1 h4 25.b4 Qc4) 24...Rd8; 21...g4 22.b4 Qc4 23.Qxc4 dxc4 24.Bxc6 bxc6 25.Nf2; 21.Bxd5 attacks the rook] 20...hxg5 21.Rxf5? but it's still tough 21...Rxh3 22.Bg4 Rh4 23.e6 Nf6 24.Rxf6 Ne5? [24...Kxf6! still held 25.Qf3+ Kg7! (but i only saw 25...Ke7?? 26.Qf7+ Kd6 27.Qd7+ Ke5 28.Qc7+ Ke4 29.Re1+ Kd3 30.Qg3+ bitch 30...Kc4 (30...Kc2 31.Qg2+ Qf2 32.Qxf2+ Kd3 33.Qe2#) 31.Be2#; 26.Qf7+ Kh8 and it holds] 25.Rf5 [Stronger was 25.Rf7+ Nxf7 26.exf7 Kxf7 and it's just the exchange and his cornered king ;)] 25...Nxg4 26.Qe2 Rxh2+ an interesting game. Even if I got mated I would've enjoyed this one...of course I won so that's a different story completely ;) 0-1

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Round Three

K - C
G45 Owen Sound (3), 14.08.2006
C55 - Two Knights Game

Kirk got some revenge this game 1.e4 e5 I was gonna play the Caro and stop him from playing 1.e4 eventually but I really had some decent ideas in the Ruy. Next time maybe 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Nc3 Be7?! [I should've played 4...Nxe4 but I wanted not to mix it up;
or even something less passive like 4...Bc5 ] 5.0-0 0-0 6.d3 d6 7.h3 Kirk chooses a passive line so I choose to get the bishop pair 7...Na5 8.Bb3 Nxb3 9.axb3 h6 Our opening play is at the level of the U16 girls Arctic Championship
[9...c5 was stronger, making him work for his d4-push] 10.d4 exd4 11.Nxd4 a6 [I could even play 11...c5 now] 12.Nd5 Nxd5 [12...Nxe4 13.Re1 f5 14.Nxe7+ Qxe7 15.f3 c5;
] 13.exd5 Bd7 14.Qf3 Rc8 [14...Bg5 may have been better] 15.Bf4 c5 [15...Bf6] 16.dxc6 Bxc6 17.Nxc6 Rxc6 18.Rfd1 Rxc2 [18...Bg5] 19.Qxb7 Rxb2 20.Rxa6 Qe8?? A brutal move [20...Qc8! 21.Qxe7 Qxa6 22.Bxd6 Rc8] 21.Re1 Qb8 22.Rxe7 Rxb3 23.Qxb8 Rfxb8 24.Raa7 Rf8 25.Bxd6 Rd3 26.Red7 Re8 27.Rxf7 Rxd6 28.Rxg7+ Kh8 29.Rgf7 Rc6 30.Rf5 Rg8 31.Raf7 Rd6 32.g4 Re6 33.Kg2 Rg7 34.Kg3 Kg8 35.Rxg7+ Kxg7 36.Kh4 Re2 [36...Kg6] 37.Kh5 Re6 38.h4 Rd6 39.g5 hxg5 40.hxg5 Re6 41.f4 Re1 42.Re5 Rh1+ 43.Kg4 Rg1+ 44.Kf5 Kf7 45.Re6 [45.g6+ Rxg6 46.Re7+ Kxe7 47.Kxg6] 45...Rf1 46.Ra6 Kg7 47.Ra7+ Kf8 48.g6 Kg8 49.Kg5 Rf2 50.f5 Rf1 51.Kf6 I could've resigned 30 moves ago but our thing was to play on till mate 1-0

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Game Two

C - K
G45 Owen Sound (2), 12.08.2006
C19 - French: Winawer, advance, positional main line

A bit of a miniature today 1.e4 e6 [I was hoping he'd play 1...e5 but I suspected he'd play the French] 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 [I had been avoiding the Winawer for years with 3.e5 but I figured what the hell ] 3...Bb4 4.e5 [Of course there's a lot of decent ways to play this 4.Qg4 ;

Even 4.Bd2 ] 4...c5 5.a3 Bxc3+ 6.bxc3 Ne7 7.Nf3 [Avoiding the Poisoned Pawn 7.Qg4 which I know Kirk likes] 7...Qc7 8.Bd3?! [8.a4 is the mainline but I wanted to castle...I've dropped a c-pawn too many times in the Winawer...this also contains a trap] 8...0-0? [8...b6 is the mainline;
Botwinnik tried 8...Nd7 ] 9.Bxh7+ Kxh7 10.Ng5+ Kg8 11.Qh5 [11.Qh5 and he resigns. I imagine he could play on a little longer but it looks tough 11...Rd8 12.Qh7+ Kf8 13.Qh8+ Ng8 14.Nh7+ Ke7 15.Bg5+ Kd7 16.Bxd8 Qxd8 17.Qxg7 I was happy enough with my play. I could never have been set up better for the h7-sack ever] 1-0

Friday, August 11, 2006

Game 1

me and K decided to have a match over the rest of the summer, with the first to win 4 games. here's game one

K - C
G45 Owen Sound (1), 10.08.2006
D40 - QGD: Semi-Tarrasch defense, Pillsbury variation

First game. First half serious game I've played since Canadian Open 1.d4 I expected 1.e4. Now I have to rethink everything ;) 1...d5 [I also considered 1...c6 ;
] 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.c4 e6 4.Nc3 c5 A surprise for Kirk I'm sure [I also considered 4...c6 but avoided it because 5.e3 Nbd7 6.Qc2 Bd6 7.g4;
may be in the future] 5.Bg5 Pillsbury variation [5.cxd5 Nxd5 is the mainline semi-Tarrasch(5...exd5 6.g3 Be7 7.Bg2 0-0 8.0-0 Nc6 is the Tarrasch) ;
5.e3] 5...Nc6? [5...cxd4 6.Nxd4 (6.Qxd4 Be7= MCO) 6...e5! 7.Nf3 d4 Euwe-Alekhine] 6.cxd5 Nxd4 [6...exd5 7.Bxf6 gxf6 looks good for White. I tried to mix it up] 7.Nxd4 cxd4 8.Qxd4 Be7 9.e4 0-0 [9...Nxd5 can't be played until after castled because of both 10.Bb5+ (10.Qxg7) ] 10.Bxf6 I missed this 10...Bxf6 11.e5 Bg5 [11...Be7 12.d6 Bg5] 12.f4 Bh6 13.d6 a6 [To stop Bb5 but 13...f6 14.Bb5 wouldn't necessarily be so bad] 14.Bc4 Bd7 15.0-0 Bc6 16.g4 Qh4 17.Qd1 b5 18.Bd3 f6 19.Be4 Bxe4 20.Nxe4 f5? [20...fxe5 21.g5 Rxf4 22.Rxf4 Qxf4] 21.Nc5 fxg4 22.Nxe6 g3 23.Qd2 [I thought that 23.Qe2 was better but after 23...Bxf4] 23...gxh2+ 24.Qxh2?? [This is painful but necessary 24.Kh1 Rfc8 25.d7] 24...Qg4+ 25.Kh1 Qxe6 26.Rac1 [26.Rad1] 26...Qd5+ 27.Kg1 Qd4+ 28.Qf2 Qxf2+ 29.Rxf2 Bxf4 and I win the first game. He probably could've played on but we'll learn to play harder 0-1

in an unrelated note, Neil Frarey is planning on bidding on the Canadian Open at the University of Carleton in 2007. Good luck Neil!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Cdn Open 2006 Rounds 7-9

Canadian Open U2000 Kitchener (7), 21.07.2006
D67 - QGD : Orthodox, 8.Bd3

Before this tournament I told myself that how well (or how poorly) I was doing, every round i would be playing someone who was doing as well (as poorly) as I was. This isn't necessarily the case in a local tournament, but in a section with 80 people it definitely is. My opponent lived in Sault Ste. Marie and this was his yearly tournament. 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 Nbd7 5.Bg5 Be7 6.e3 0-0 7.Rc1 c6 8.Bd3 [Who says that an old dog can't learn new tricks? I analyzed my previous White game and learned what the main line was so I went for it here. 8.cxd5 exd5 was the previous game] 8...dxc4 9.Bxc4 Nd5 10.Bxe7 Qxe7 11.0-0 N7f6 12.Bd3 Nxc3 13.Rxc3= And I offered a draw here. He declined it. For some reason I thought the "mainline" included a ...h6 and a Bh4 by me so I thought I was a tempo up on the mainline. ;) 13...Nd5 14.Rc1 Rd8 15.a3 I wanted to take b4 away from his knight, but more importantly his queen. Also I threatened expansion. I could get away with this because I have a huge advantage in development. 15...a5 16.Ne5 [Of course after 16.e4 Nf4 is strong.;
Maybe keeping on both the c-file and h7 with 16.Qc2 was better? It's unclear. I decided to play for e4 again.] 16...Bd7 17.Qb3 Be8 18.h3 I couldn't figure out how I wanted to continue, so I decided to go for some luft. 18...f6 19.Nf3 [Maybe 19.Nc4 was better and allow me to play on the queenside, but I was itching to go at his king] 19...Bf7 20.Qc2! I was happy with this move, forcing more weaknesses on the kingside 20...g6 [Maybe 20...h6 is more bearable, but my light square battery looks strong there] 21.Rfe1 e5 22.e4 Nf4 23.Bc4 exd4 24.Rcd1 c5 25.Bxf7+ Kxf7 26.e5!=

The exclam isn't for the quality of the move as much as it is for increasing the sharpness of the position. At this level in particular a little bit of pressure can do wonders. I offered a draw here on his time and he said "the position sure is tense" and then played... 26...Kf8? [A much tougher move would have been 26...f5 and there's no easy way for me to proceed. 27.Qc1 Nd5 28.Nd2 b6 29.Nc4 and I'm just down a pawn;
26...fxe5 Gives me a free shot at his queen but can I do anything with is the question 27.Nxe5+ Kg7 is forced as most moves to a dark square win the queen and(27...Kg8 28.Nxg6 is strong) ] 27.exf6 Qxf6 [27...Qd6 28.Re5 b6 29.Qe4 Qxf6 30.Ng5 Kg8 looks strong but I don't see a mate 31.g3 Nh5 32.Nxh7 Kxh7 33.Rxh5+] 28.Qxc5+ Qd6 29.Qxd6+ Rxd6= Of course here he says "I'll take that draw" but I'm substantially better and have all the winning chances. 30.Rxd4 Rxd4 31.Nxd4 Rd8? I would have thought that he would be trying to avoid any trade 32.Ne6+ Nxe6 33.Rxe6 Rd7 34.Rb6 Ke8 35.Rb5 Winning a pawn 35...Rd1+ 36.Kh2 Rd2 37.Kg3 Rd4 38.Rxb7 [I figured taking the b-pawn would keep defending my b-pawn and let me made a passer easier than 38.Rxa5 Kd7 39.Rb5 Kc6] 38...h5 39.h4 Rg4+ 40.Kh3 Kd8 41.b4 Rd4 42.Rb5 Rd3+ 43.f3 axb4 44.Rxb4 [Probably I should have just played 44.axb4 and then played 44...-- 45.Rg5 and tried to pick off the g-pawn and if not get behind the b-pawn instead of in front of it like in the game 45...Rd6 46.b5 Rb6 47.g4 Rf6 48.gxh5 gxh5 49.Rxh5 Rxf3+ 50.Kg4] 44...Rd6 [44...Rxa3 45.Rb6 is tough] 45.Ra4 [Perhaps 45.Rb5 to get at the g-pawn was better 45...Ra6 46.Rg5 Ke7 47.a4 Kf6 48.a5] 45...Ke7 46.Kg3 Ke8 47.Ra7 Kf8 48.a4 Ke8 49.a5 Kf8 50.a6 Kg8 51.Ra8+? Probably better is to go after the g-pawn with my king and keep his king from going to the 7th [51.Kf4 Kf8 (51...Rd5 52.Rb7 Ra5 53.a7 Rf5+ 54.Ke4 Ra5 55.Rb8+ Kf7 56.a8Q Rxa8 57.Rxa8) 52.Kg5 and it's almost over] 51...Kh7 52.a7 Ra6 53.Kf4 Trying to get an active king. Now I couldn't figure out how to win this. 53...Ra5 54.g4 hxg4 55.fxg4 g5+ 56.hxg5 Kg7 57.Kg3 Ra3+ 58.Kh4 Ra2 59.g6 Ra3 60.Kg5 Ra5+ 61.Kf4 Ra6 62.Ke5 Ra5+ 63.Kd6 Ra6+ 64.Kc7 Ra2 65.Kc6 Rc2+ 66.Kd5 I couldn't see a way to avoid the checks (he had too many squares to move vertically with his rook) so I decided to try and win it over here 66...Ra2 67.Ke4 Ra4+ 68.Kf5 Ra5+ 69.Kf4 Ra4+ 70.Kg3 Ra3+ 71.Kh4 Ra2 72.Rd8 Rxa7 73.Rd6 Ra5 74.Kg3 Ra3+ 75.Kh4 Ra5 76.Re6 Rb5 77.g5 Rb1 78.Kg4 Rg1+ 79.Kh5 Kg8? I'm not sure why he played this 80.Re7 Rb1 81.g7 Rh1+ 82.Kg6 This was all I could hope for 82...Rh6+ 83.Kf5 [83.gxh6 stalemate;
83.Kxh6 stalemate] 83...Rh1 84.Ra7? [84.Kf6! Rf1+ (84...Rh6+ 85.gxh6 Kh7 wins) 85.Kg6 Re1 86.Rf7 Rf1 87.Rf8+ similar to the game] 84...Rf1+ 85.Kg6 Ra1 86.Rf7 Ra6+ 87.Rf6 Rb6

[I have no idea why I didn't see this. After the game of course it's obvious 88.Kh6! ] 88...Rb1 89.Re6 I was drained and upset that I had spoiled a perfectly won endgame. 89...Kxg7 90.Re4 Rh1+ 91.Rh4 Rxh4+ 92.Kxh4 Kg6 93.Kg4 Kg7 94.Kf5 Kf7 95.g6+ Kg7 96.Kg5 Kg8 97.Kf6 Kf8 Not the greatest game, but I consoled myself by the fact that it would've been the same result if he had taken the draw on move 13 or move 26 ½-½

Canadian Open U2000 Kitchener (8), 22.07.2006
D18 - Slav : Dutch Variation

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.a4 Bf5 6.e3
[I have previous tried 6.Nh4 but it is painful to the eyes] 6...e6 7.Bxc4 Bb4 8.0-0 0-0 9.Qb3 [Theory (D19) is 9.Qe2 my friend Armando Valdizon told me that the only opening theory he knew was memorizing the ECO codes. It sort of made me laugh at the time, but I would've gotten a better position this game if I knew that Qe2 was the move for D19 ;);
Kirk plays the Slav but I had never actually gotten this deep. I wanted to play 9.Nh4 but I saw ghosts and wanted to protect the "c-pawn" after the exchange with my queen and also threaten the b-pawn behind the bishop etc. 9...Bxc3 10.bxc3 Ne4 11.Nxf5 exf5] 9...a5?! [9...Qe7;
or 9...Qb6 are better] 10.Nh4 Bg6 [10...Bg4 11.f3 Bh5] 11.Nxg6 hxg6 12.Ne2 [I wondered if I could win a pawn here with 12.Na2 Na6 (I was worried about something like 12...Bd6 giving up the pawn but leaving my knight stuck on a2 for a while) 13.Nxb4 Nxb4 14.Bd2 holds the pawn but makes thing unpleasant for him 14...Qd6 ] 12...Qc7 Playing for development here and to connect my rooks 13.Rd1 Nbd7 14.Bd2 Bd6 15.Ng3 PLaying for e4 like every 1.d4 game I play it seems ;) 15...Nd5? [15...Rfd8] 16.e4 Nb4 17.e5 I had to go for it now 17...Be7

I offered a draw here, and since he was like 200 points higher he refused it. He also saw my horrible play the previous game (buddy of the guy I drew) so I figured he would play on to mate hoping I'd mess up 18...Nxe5? [18...fxe6 19.Qxe6+ Rf7 (19...Kh7 20.Qxe7) 20.Qxg6 Nf8 21.Qg4 and it's going to be an interesting middlegame] 19.dxe5 Qxe5? Thinking he can pick off my piece regardless [19...fxe6 20.Qxe6+ Rf7 was better] 20.Re1 Qd6 21.Bxb4 axb4 22.Rad1 Qc5 23.Bg4 and I'm ujp a healthy piece for a pawn and he has some weak pawns 23...Bh4 24.Bf3 Rac8 25.Rc1 Qb6 26.Rc4 Winning something 26...c5?? and he drops a piece. The rest is uneventful and he just played on, not because he is a poor sport but because he thought I'd play as poorly as I did the previous round 27.Rxh4 c4 28.Rxc4 Rce8 29.Rcc1 Qd4 30.h3 Qd2 31.Red1 Qg5 32.Qxb4 Re5 33.Qxb7 Rfe8 34.b4 Qf4 35.a5 R5e7 36.Qc6 Qxb4 37.Qc3 Qf4 38.Re1 Kh7 39.Rxe7 Rxe7 40.a6 Ra7 41.Ra1 f5 42.Bb7 I was particularly happy with the position here 42...Qd6 43.Qc6 Qd4 44.Qc1 Qe5 45.Ra3 f4 46.Qc3 Qd6 47.Qd3 Qc5 48.Ne4 Qc1+ 49.Kh2 Qc7 50.f3 Kh6 51.Rc3 Qe5 52.Rc8 Kh7 53.Qd8 g5 54.Qxg5 Qxg5 55.Nxg5+ Kg6 56.Ne6 Kf5 57.Nxg7+ Ke5 58.Rf8 Kd4 59.Ne6+ Ke3 60.Nxf4 Kf2 61.Nd5 Ke2 62.Nb4 Ke3 63.Nc6 1-0

If i had my druthers I would've been able to refuse his resignation and promote all my pawns to queens and checkmate him, but unfortunately that is not in the rules.

Canadian Open U2000 Kitchener (9), 23.07.2006
B20 - Sicilian

Last round of a long tournament. This was a nice guy from Toronto who was in the family prize with his dad, who Kirk took on earlier in the tournament. 1.e4 Nf6 I lost every game I played with the Caro, the opening had nothing to do with it, but I needed a change regardless. Since my brother is the archduke of the Alekhine and he dropped out of the tournament I thought I would keep his tournament alive, so to speak, and play an Alekhine 2.d3 Drats. I decided to go into a Closed Sicilian 2...d6 3.Nf3 g6 4.g3 Bg7 5.Bg2 0-0 6.0-0 c5 Equality after 6 moves, just like every other game ;) 7.Re1 [Better to develop 7.Nc3 ] 7...Nc6 8.c3 Qb6 Maybe this wasn't best, but I wanted to make his development as difficult as possible, and try my best to stop the d4 push 9.Nbd2 Bg4 10.h3 Bd7? [Not paying attention to his possibilities. Although 10...Be6 blocks the e-pawn, it shuts down his options with his knight] 11.Nc4! Qc7 12.Ne3 [I thought he was going to start the assault on my position with something like 12.e5 ] 12...Rac8 13.Nh2 b5 Trying to make some aggressive intentions on the queenside. 14.Nd5 Because of this, 11. ...Qd8 was probably better 14...Qd8 15.Nxf6+ Bxf6 16.Bh6 Bg7 17.Qd2 e6 18.Ng4 Ne5 [A tough move to make, but I didn't like the look of 18...e5 19.Bxg7 Kxg7 20.Qh6+ Kh8 even though it was probably better] 19.Bxg7 Kxg7 20.Qh6+ [Paraphrasing Lasker annotating Morphy-Count Isouard, I'm more of a butcher than an artist. (He was talking about the position after 1.e4 e5 2.nf3 d6 3.d4 Bg4 4.dxe5 Bxf3 5.Qxf3 dxe5 6.Bc4 Nf6 7.Qb3 Qe7 saying that 8.Qxb7 would be the butcher's method) I would've played 20.Nxe5 dxe5 here and then something like 21.Rad1] 20...Kh8 [The way the game ended up 20...Kg8 would have been much better, but I wanted to get my queen to g7 and trade off. I offered a draw somewhere before this and he mentioned that he would have taken the draw, but he had to play to the end as him and his dad had an 'outside shot' at the family prize] 21.d4 [21.Nxe5 I believe 21...dxe5 22.Rad1 is preferable] 21...Nxg4 22.hxg4 Qf6? aiming for g7 [Taking control of the c-file with 22...cxd4 23.cxd4 Rc2 was better I think] 23.e5 dxe5 24.Bb7 Rc7?? [He sat for a long time thinking about this move. I didn't want to play 24...Rb8 and wanted to threaten something, missing that the only thing defending my rook was the rook. Another moment of blindness this one resulting in mate] 25.Qxf8# An appropriate finish to an uneven tournament 1-0

so i learned a few things. one, bring a sweater...those hotels were air conditioned so powerfully that i found myself literally shivering and had to go outside to warm myself up. two, play more slow chess before hand. i wasn't used to being able to think for 30 minutes for a move. this sounds like it would be an advantage, but unfortunately i found myself antsy and making instinctive and reactive moves. and three, i made a whole whack of one move blunders. i don't know if playing more slow games will help that, but if i did a better "idiot check" before i move i could've scored a few more points relatively easily. i really enjoyed myself, the tournament site was the best i've been in, and i'm going back next year. rumor has it, it's gonna be in kitchener again, but i imagine they'll announce that in the near future

Cdn Open 2006 Rounds 4-6

Canadian Open U2000 Kitchener (4), 18.07.2006
B18 - Caro-Kann : Classical Variation

Taking on a gentleman from Toronto 1.e4 c6 I was surprised at the number of e4s I got at this tournament...I'll have to look for something different for next's tiring to defend for 4 hours 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Bf5 5.Ng3 Bg6 6.h4 h6 7.h5 Bh7 8.Bd3?!

[All theory so far. Mainline is 8.Nf3 Nd7 9.Bd3 Bxd3 10.Qxd3 Qc7 . I calculated for a few minutes and didn't see any reason why I couldn't grab the d-pawn. Obviously the hard lessons from Rounds 2 and 3 didn't sink in ;) ] 8...Qxd4 [Hort had the same position v. Geller in Skopje 1968 and continued 8...Bxd3 9.Qxd3 Nd7 10.Nf3 Qc7 transposing to the line given above] 9.N1e2 [I would've tried 9.Nf3 ;
just tempted me to grab some more pawns 9...Qxb2 10.Rb1 Qc3+ 11.Bd2 Qe5+ 12.N1e2 Bxd3 13.cxd3] 9...Qd8 Keeping d7 for my knight 10.Be3 [10.Bxh7 Qxd1+ 11.Kxd1 Rxh7 may have looked uglier but he doesn't want to take the queens off] 10...Bxd3 11.cxd3 Nf6 12.0-0 e6 13.Qb3 b6 [I could've tried 13...Qd7 but again i'm worried about my knight] 14.Rac1 Qd5 [14...Bd6 and castle may have been better] 15.Nd4 Qxb3 [I wanted to try 15...c5 16.Nb5 (but 16.Qa4+ Qd7 17.Nb5 keeps the queens on so why not force the exchange of queens while i'm a pawn up and close to completing my development) 16...Qxb3 17.axb3 Nd5] 16.Nxb3 Bd6 17.Ne4 Nxe4 [17...Be7 18.Nxf6+ Bxf6 19.d4 wasn't as appealing as the line I chose where I actually pushed ...c5] 18.dxe4 c5 19.Rfd1 Ke7 20.Rc2 Nc6 Now I'm caught up in development, and I have a better king and I am a pawn up. What's not to like? 21.a3 Rhd8 22.Rcd2 Be5 23.Rxd8 ...and he's trading off the rooks. From here on it is a matter of technique ;) 23...Rxd8 24.Rxd8 Kxd8 [24...Nxd8 my knight was doing decent things on c6] 25.Bc1 Nd4 and then I trade it off. Again I was happy with this because my opponent was stuck guarding that b-pawn with his bishop 26.Nxd4 Bxd4 27.Kf1 e5 [Another option was freezing the b-pawn with 27...c4 ;
or starting the march 27...Kc7 ] 28.Ke2 Kc7 [again 28...c4 ] 29.f3 Kc6 30.Kd3 Kb5 31.b3 a5 32.Bd2 a4 I was worried about 32.a4+ so I figured I'd go for the win here on the queenside. The idea being I trade off the bishops and then run over with my king and pick off the kingside pawns and promote. Ironically that's exactly how I lost 33.Kc2 axb3+ 34.Kxb3 c4+ 35.Kc2 Ka4 [35...Bc5 beats him to the spot forcing 36.Bc1 Ka4] 36.Bb4

36. ...Bc5?? A terrible decision [36...b5 was a million times better. Now the queenside pawns take care of themselves] 37.Bxc5 bxc5 38.Kc3 I totally missed that this move was possible when I "calculated" this line. It's just a loss from here 38...Kxa3 [My opponent told me after the game he thought there was a zugzwang after 38...Kb5 but 39.a4+ looks strong to me, as it did during the game. If I had known he thought it was a draw I probably would've offered one.] 39.Kxc4 Kb2 40.Kxc5 Kc3 41.Kd5 f6 42.Ke6 Kd3 43.Kf7 Ke3 44.Kxg7 Kf2 45.Kxh6 Kxg2 46.Kg6 Kxf3 47.Kxf6 Kxe4 48.h6 Kd4 49.h7 e4 50.h8Q Kd3 51.Qd8+ Ke2 52.Kf5 e3 53.Kf4 Kf2 54.Qd4 A pity that one bad move ruined 35 good ones, but that's the nature of chess. At this point I was sick of "moral" victories and dammit I wanted a real one! 1-0

Canadian Open U2000 Kitchener (5), 19.07.2006
D63 - QGD : Orthodox

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 Nbd7 5.Bg5 Be7 6.e3 0-0 7.Rc1 c6 8.cxd5
[8.Bd3 dxc4 9.Bxc4 Nd5 10.Bxe7 Qxe7 11.0-0 Nxc3 12.Rxc3 is the main line;
8.Qc2 is the Rubinstein attack. Both are interesting and will get further review in the future. The problem is that in my online play I have never gotten this far in the Queen's Gambit (theory-wise) and I got two games with this position in this tournament. Opening preparation will be different next year I believe.] 8...exd5 [8...Nxd5 9.Bxe7 Qxe7] 9.Bd3 h6 [9...Ne4 10.Bxe7 Qxe7 (10...Nxc3 11.Bxd8 Nxd1 12.Rxd1 Rxd8 13.0-0) 11.0-0] 10.Bh4 Ne8?! [I understand the motivation for this move, but that doesn't make it a good one. He is running out of decent squares for his pieces. Better would likely be 10...Nb6 ] 11.Bxe7 Qxe7 12.0-0 Nd6 [12...f5 I wonder if he could try and play something more aggressive like;
or even 12...Nef6 ] 13.Qc2 Ne8 [This made no sense to me. He must've realized I was hoping to play e4 so something like 13...Re8 ;
or even 13...Nf6 was better than dancing the knight back and forth] 14.Rfe1 Ndf6 15.e4 [It was time to open up the position. There would still be time for something like 15.Ne5 ] 15...dxe4 16.Nxe4 Nxe4 17.Bxe4 Be6 18.Ne5 [of course without me sweating at the board 18.d5! is a much better move 18...cxd5 (18...Bxd5? 19.Bxd5) 19.Bxd5 Rd8 20.Bxe6 fxe6 21.Qe4 and work on the pawn] 18...Nf6 19.Bf5 Not the greatest move, but it forces him to make decisions 19...Qd6 [19...Bxf5 20.Qxf5 is probably better and after 20...Qb4 i'm not sure what I'd do. I made some very significant moves in the past 10 or so, with respect to the way the game is going to go with pawn structure, etc.] 20.Bxe6 fxe6 21.Qg6 Again making him calculate. Anybody can make a mistake with a tactic 21...Rae8 [21...Qxd4 22.Rcd1 Qxb2 was better] 22.Rcd1 Nd5 23.g3 Not forcing but I was in no rush. It keeps his knight out of f4 and gives my king some luft 23...Qe7 24.Ng4 Qg5 25.Rxe6 [25.Qxg5 hxg5 26.Ne5] 25...Qxg6 26.Rxg6 Kh7 27.Rd6 Re7 28.Ne5 Rf6 29.Rd7 [Of course not 29.Rxf6 gxf6 giving up my beautiful square for the knight] 29...Rfe6 30.Rxe7 Rxe7 31.f4 g6 32.Kf2 Kg7 33.Re1 h5 34.a3 [34.a4 was probably more accurate] 34...Kf6 35.Nc4 Rxe1 36.Kxe1 h4 37.Kf2 hxg3+ 38.hxg3 g5 39.fxg5+ Kxg5 40.Kf3 Nc7 41.Na5 Nb5 42.Nb3 [Too cautious 42.Ke4 Nd6+ 43.Ke5 Nf7+ 44.Ke6 Nh6 45.Nxb7 Nf5 was probably stronger as my king has better position if he manages to grab a pawn back] 42...b6 43.a4 Nd6 44.Nd2 Kg6? [44...Nf5 45.Nb3 Nd6 would have made me "start from scratch" so to speak] 45.Kf4 Nf5 46.Nf3 It felt good to get back to -1 after the travesty from the day before. Kirk lost a tough Ruy Lopez today and took a bye the next round 1-0

Canadian Open U2000 Kitchener (6), 20.07.2006
B12 - Caro-Kann : Advance Variation

I got another 1700 player which was where I was hoping to do my feeding with regards to points. My opponent was a soft spoken gentleman from Fort Erie. He was playing this game with a Monroi device and in fact this game is probably online if somebody were to search hard enough 1.e4 Another 1.e4 1...c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Now I'm in familiar waters. I absolutely *love* defending the Caro-Kann Advanced 3...Bf5 4.Nf3 e6 5.Bd3 Bxd3 6.Qxd3 Ne7 [Apparently I can get away with 6...Qa5+ here. I read in a book that Nimzo recommended this move after 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.Bd3 Bxd3 5.Qxd3 e6 6.f4 but didn't know about this move here. Interesting. Instead I go for the stereotypical "Karpov Knights" setup as you will see, and don't think for the next 10 moves or so.] 7.c3 Nd7 [7...Ng6 to switch gears and stop 8.Bf4 may have been better] 8.Bf4 c5 9.Nbd2 cxd4 10.cxd4 Ng6 11.Bg3 [I honestly thought he was going to play 11.Be3 ] 11...Bb4 12.0-0 Bxd2 13.Qxd2 0-0 14.h3 Rc8 So like I was saying, stereotypical play so far with equality. ...nd7, ...ne7, ...c5, ...cxd4, ...Rc8 15.Rfc1 Qb6 [15...Qe7 may have been better] 16.h4 Rc6? [At this point my sense of fear was gone 16...h6 ;
or even 16...Ne7 17.h5 Nf5 was better] 17.h5 Ne7 18.b3 [I would have continued 18.h6 and pushed the pressure a little further] 18...h6 [I didn't want to give him a second shot at h6 but after 18...Rfc8 19.h6 Rxc1+ 20.Rxc1 Rxc1+ 21.Qxc1 Nf5 I'm okay, and the rooks are off ;)] 19.Bf4 Kh7 [I wanted to avoid 19...Rfc8 20.Bxh6 gxh6 21.Qxh6 but I should've realized that this isn't ICC ;)] 20.Qd3+ g6 [Too bold 20...Kh8 was good enough] 21.Qd2 g5 22.Be3 f5 23.Rxc6 [23.exf6 Nxf6 24.Rxc6 Nxc6] 23...Qxc6 [I thought that the text was forced but making him sacrifice would have been better I think 23...Nxc6 24.Bxg5 hxg5 25.Nxg5+ Kg8 (25...Kh8 26.Nxe6 Rf7) 26.Nxe6;
23...bxc6 24.Bxg5 hxg5 25.Nxg5+
] 24.Qb4! A strong move by him. I now see that I'm in trouble 24...Re8? [At this point I was tired and missed 24...Nc8 25.Rc1 Qb6] 25.Rc1 Qb6 26.Qxb6 Nxb6 27.Rc7 Kg8 28.g3 [Of course he's in no rush. 28.Rxb7 At this point I was exhausted from defending all game. ] 28...Nc6 29.Rxb7 Re7? [Probably a bad idea but I should've avoided the rook trade 29...Rf8 ] 30.Rxe7 Nxe7 31.Ne1 Nc6 [31...Kf7] 32.Nc2 Nd7 I decided I was going for the h-pawn 33.Kf1 Ndb8 34.Ke2 Na6 35.Bd2 Nc7 36.Kd3 Ne8 37.f3 Kf7 [My opponent the next day thought I should've tried 37...g4 but this loses after 38.fxg4 fxg4 39.Ne3!] 38.g4 f4 So I was totally happy with this position...figuring that my king could guard the kingside pawns and my knights could blockade the queenside...until I realized in horror that my king would always have to defend the f8 square as his bishop can munch the pawns. also if my king gets too far away, he can play the classic Bxf4 gxf4 g5 hxg5 h6! and promote 39.b4 Nc7 40.a4 a6 41.Na1 Nd8 42.Nb3 Ke7 43.Nc5 Kf7 44.Bc3 [44.b5 axb5 45.Ba5!;
44.Nxa6 Nxa6 45.b5 Nb8 46.a5] 44...Ke7 45.Kc2 [Again 45.b5 wins] 45...Nc6 46.Kb3 Na7 47.Nd3 Kf7 [He threatens 47...-- 48.Nxf4 gxf4 49.g5 hxg5 50.h6 if I move away] 48.Nc5 Ke7 49.Nb7 Nc8 50.Bd2 Nb6 51.Nd6 [Of course hoping he'll play 51.a5 ] 51...Nd7 52.b5 Finally 52...axb5 53.axb5 Nb6 54.Bb4 Kd7 55.Bc5 Nxb5 56.Bxb6 Nxd6 57.exd6 Kc6 58.Bc5 A tough game, but one I can learn from 1-0

Cdn Open 2006 Rounds 1-3

CS - ET (1429)
Canadian Open U2000 Kitchener (1), 15.07.2006
E73 - King's Indian : Averbakh Variation

This was my first ever Canadian Open game. I was the lowest rated player in the section so I got a first round bye, but luckily they paired me up against one of the organizers which was cool. Clinton had beaten him at the Team Tournament in Kitchener, so I knew that this was an excellent opportunity to start off at 1/1 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 This made me happy. I figured he would play the King's Indian because I recall seeing him reading "King's Indian Battle Plans" at the 2005 Active Tournament in Kitchener. 3.Nc3 Bg7 [I never got a chance to try out my Grünfeld idea of 3...d5 4.Bg5 Not the strongest, but lower chances of counterplay by Black. My goal was to limit my opponent's counterplay and win square by square] 4.e4 d6 5.Be2 0-0 6.Bg5 My newest anti-King's Indian system. I was inspired by Averbakh's play in "Tactics for Advanced Chess Players". The advantage as far as I'm concerned is that Black can't play stereotypically and I can actually get some advantage on the kingside 6...Nbd7 [Main line is a Benoni-esque 6...c5 7.d5 e6 which maybe my opponent would have picked if he had seen my third round game ;)] 7.Qd2 e5 8.d5 Nc5 I wonder if this wasn't best. Space is at a premium for Black and this encourages me to take more of it with an eventual b4 [Is 8...a5 first to stop b4 better?] 9.f3 [I could've played 9.b4 I missed that if 9...Ncxe4 10.Nxe4 Nxe4 11.Bxd8 Nxd2 I can play 12.Bxc7 and be up a pawn] 9...a6 10.Bd3 [Kirk thought I should play 10.b4 immediately. My idea was to trade off my light squared bishop and dominate on the light squares as his bishop was already his worst piece. Maybe a little ambitious] 10...Nxd3+ 11.Qxd3 h6 12.Be3 [I could've played 12.Bh4 and exit via f2 but I wanted to go at his king. My pieces are facing his king and he is a ways from being developed] 12...Bd7 13.Nge2 Kh7 [Maybe now was the time to play for f5 with 13...Ne8 14.0-0-0 let's say 14...f5 15.exf5 Bxf5 etc.] 14.h4 [I wasn't sure what to do with my king. If 14.Kd2 I can't continue the way I did because once he moves the bishop to h6 it pins] 14...h5 15.Bg5 Qc8 16.Kf2!? [I wanted to unify my rooks and come up the h-file. 16.0-0-0 didn't work for the same reason as;
16.0-0 brings pressure up the f-file instead. Maybe this was better] 16...Ne8 17.g4 f6 [I was more concerned with the concrete 17...hxg4 18.h5 gxf3 19.hxg6+ Kxg6 20.Be7 but he thinks he has an zwischenzug]

18.gxh5! If I would have retreated 17. ...f6 would have been a wonderful move. The exclam is not for the quality of the move, but for bravery. i was here to play chess and win, not to drop a pawn and suffer for 5 hours 18...fxg5 19.hxg5 Another important move. If I was playing blitz [I would've just played 19.hxg6+ Kxg6 20.hxg5 and been down material] 19...Bg4 20.f4 Bxh5?> [If 20...exf4 it looks tough for me 21.hxg6+ Kg8 22.Rh7 f3 23.Ng3]

21.Rxh5+ The logical continuation 21...gxh5= And here h3 offered a draw. I figured that Fritz would have him ahead (I am down a whole rook for a pawn) but I couldn't justify to myself accepting a draw when I have all the winning chances, he has no protection around his king and all his pieces are out of play 22.f5 Qd8 23.Rg1 Rg8 24.Qh3 Bf6? 25.Qxh5+ Kg7 26.gxf6+ A nice start, and an aggressive game which I was aiming for. 1-0

Canadian Open U2000 Kitchener (2), 16.07.2006
B18 - Caro-Kann : Classical Variation

Round Two. My opponent was a pleasant gentleman who had driven down the previous day from Winnipeg (!). I joked with him before the game that I was glad to face him in this round because he was likely tired and would be my best chance to beat him. It was tongue in cheek but probably true 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Bf5 [If I'm going to keep on playing the Caro, I need a more active line v. the mainline like 4...Nf6 5.Nxf6+ gxf6;
or 4...Nd7 ] 5.Ng3 Bg6 6.Nf3 Nd7 7.Bd3 [More regular here is 7.h4 h6 8.h5 Bh7 9.Bd3 Bxd3 10.Qxd3 Qc7 My opponent told me he avoided that line because he had some nice wins in the line he played 50 years ago (!)] 7...Ngf6 8.0-0 e6 9.Re1 Bd6 [9...Be7 is more popular theoretically as it avoids the pin by the rook.] 10.Nf5!? [10.c3;
and 10.c4 have been played at Grandmaster level before and I've faced;
10.Ne5 in blitz. The problem with this move is that he has to retreat his bishop after I castle. ] 10...Bxf5 Yes I undervalue the bishop pair, but I didn' t have much choice here 11.Bxf5 0-0 12.Bd3 [My opponent told me he thought about 12.Bh3 after the game.] 12...h6 [Kirk suggested the immediate 12...c5 here. I wanted to limit the scope of his dark squared bishop.] 13.c4 c5 14.Be3?! Maybe not the strongest move, but where was his dark squared bishop going to go? Is either Bd2 or pushing the b-pawn and fianchettoing any better than giving it up? 14...Ng4 I was happy here and have achieved my equality as time to play for a win ;) 15.g3 Nxe3 16.fxe3 [16.Rxe3 cxd4 17.Nxd4 Bc5] 16...cxd4 17.exd4 This is where I knew that i had an advantage but didn't know how to increase it. 17...b6 18.a3 Re8? [Probably 18...a5 was better, but I incorrectly thought that I could play ...a5 a move later and strike in the center with ...e5. The plan was too slow. In reality this was the losing move.] 19.b4 a5= I offered a draw here, but he is better 20.c5 bxc5 21.dxc5 Be7 [Kirk wondered why I wouldn't play 21...Bc7 here, but I wanted to get my bishop outside of the pawn chain and control the long diagonal from f6] 22.Rc1 [22.Bb5 Ra7 was tougher] 22...axb4 23.axb4 Rb8 [This rook went to b8 instead of 23...Rc8 because I wanted to pressure the pawn duo with rooks on b8 and c8] 24.Qd2 Qc7 25.Kg2 Red8 26.Bb1 Nxc5? [26...Nf6! of course did the same thign without giving up material and now I actually threaten something. There was a couple of games where I grabbed material without looking close enough to what my opponent was threatening. I got more out of the "sacrifice" than I deserved though] 27.Qc2 g6 [I wonder if 27...Bf6 was better. Saving me a tempo and not weakening my pawns 28.Qh7+ (Although I guess in this line he can play 28.Qxc5 ) 28...Kf8 29.Qh8+ Ke7] 28.bxc5 Bf6 29.Qe2?! [Allowing me to actually threaten something. If moved his queen off the second rank to somewhere like 29.Qe4 I probably could've resigned right away] 29...Rb2 30.Rc2 Rdb8 31.Nd2 [31.Qf1 Qxc5 may have been stronger for White but I still have some pressure] 31...Rxc2? [31...Bg5! looks strong. If 32.Qd3 (32.c6! is recommended by Fritz but I don't see why 32...Bxd2 33.Qxd2 Rxb1 34.Qd7! of course. Nice) 32...Qa5] 32.Bxc2 Qxc5 33.Ne4 Qc6 34.Kh3 Be7 [34...Bg7 was stronger because then I can try and pin a piece to his queen again] 35.Bd3 Qd7 36.Nf2 h5 37.Rd1 Qa7 Played solely to threaten to capture something if he moves his queen. It seemed like forever since I had put any pressure on him.

38.Bxg6! A nice move I overlooked 38...fxg6 39.Qxe6+ Kh7? [39...Kh8 and I'm still losing but I have some threats. At this point I was too tired to calculate all of this. 40.Rd7 Qxf2 41.Qe5+ (41.Qxe7 Qf5+ 42.Kg2 Rb2+ 43.Kg1 Qb1+ 44.Rd1 Qxd1+ 45.Qe1 Qxe1# It's checkmate arsehole) 41...Kh7 (41...Qf6 42.Qxb8+ Kg7 43.Qb5 (43.Qb4 Qf1#) 43...Qe6+ 44.Kg2 Qe4+; 42.Rxe7+ Kh6 43.Qg7+ (43.Qxb8 Qf1+ 44.Kh4 g5#) ] 40.Rd7 Qxf2 41.Qxe7+ Kh6 42.Qg7+ and even I could see that was mate. I ran out of gas and missed his giant mass of pawns coming on the queenside 1-0

Canadian Open U2000 Kitchener (3), 17.07.2006
A65 - Benoni

I knew I would get move ordered once this tournament and this was it 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 So I was happy...ready for a Nimzo, or maybe at worst a Queen's Gambit but instead he unleashed 3...c5 4.d5 [In my limited pre-tournament prep I decided I was going to avoid the Benoni-Benko phalanx and just play 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.Nf3. I couldn't decide whether 4.Nf3 was good enough here. ; A combination of and talking to Hans over lunch made me decide to try 4.e3 and aim for a Semi-Tarrasch-esque position next time this happens] 4...exd5 5.cxd5 d6 6.e4 Even though the only thing I know about the Benoni is that it's important to control e5, I decide to aim for the Taimanov attack 6...a6 Now I'm totally out of book. The Taimanov goes [6...g6 7.f4 Bg7 8.Bb5+ Nfd7 etc.] 7.a4 g6 8.f4? Exposing my position unnecessarily and making Bf4 impossible for a while and not helping me castle or get my rooks connected [8.Nf3 would've helped me develop and allowed my king some protection and covered e5, even though says that Black has a good winning percentage vs. 8...Bg4 . Maybe something to think about myself as Black (!) 9.Bf4 Qe7 10.Bd3 Bg7 11.0-0 looks good enough for me] 8...Bg7 9.Nf3 0-0 10.Bd3 Re8 11.0-0 Nbd7 12.Re1 Again, still playing for the e5 push 12...Ng4 13.h3 Missing what he was really threatening 13...c4

14.Bxc4?? [You would think that after yesterday I would've learned my lesson about sham sacrifices and pawn grabbing etc. If I didn't intend to take the knight on g4 I should never have played h3. My position was so exposed around my king it was just a matter of time regardless. 14.hxg4 cxd3 15.Qxd3 (15.Be3 Nc5 16.Bxc5 dxc5 17.Qxd3 Bxg4) 15...Nc5 16.Qc2 Bxg4] 14...Qb6+ and I'm just lost 0-1

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

match 1½-½

Match Owen Sound, ON (1), 31.05.2006
B23 - Sicilian : Grand Prix Attack

1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 d6 3.f4 Nc6 4.Nf3 g6 5.Bc4 Bg7 6.0-0 a6 7.a4 Bg4 8.Bxf7+ Kxf7 9.Ng5+ Ke8 10.Qxg4 Nd4 11.Nd5
[11.Nxh7! Rxh7 12.Qxg6+] 11...Nf6 This is where the game started going downhill. I should've started thinking a little bit here. previously i was just looking ways to mate him or win material. I missed that he actually had a few threats. 12.Nxf6+ Bxf6 [I thought he could only play 12...exf6 13.Ne6 Nxe6 14.Qxe6+ Qe7 15.Qxe7+ Kxe7 because after 13.c3 he has to retreat his knight and I'm better] 13.c3 [13.Nxh7 was an interesting try again 13...Rxh7 14.Qxg6+ Rf7 15.e5 Bh8 (15...dxe5 16.fxe5 Bxe5) 16.e6] but I missed he could keep on threatening 13...h5 14.Qh3? [I wanted to keep the pressure up missing that 14.Qh3 dropped a pawn 14.Qd1 forced him to retreat or play 14...Bxg5 (14...Nc6) 15.fxg5 Ne6 in either case i can develop with d3 and have a much better position] 14...Ne2+ 15.Kh1 Nxf4 16.Rxf4 Bxg5 17.Rf3 [17.Rf1 would have gave me more opportunities to keep the queens on] 17...Qd7 18.Qg3 Qg4 19.Qxg4 [If I would've seen 20. ...Bf4, I probably would've played 19.Qe1 ] 19...hxg4 20.Rg3? [20.Rf1] 20...Bf4 21.Rxg4 Bxh2 22.g3 I thought that giving up the g-pawn and being able to go to g2 would have been better [22.d3 may have been okay 22...Be5+ (22...Bg3+ 23.Kg1) 23.Kg1;
22.Rxg6 Kf7 23.Rg4]
22...Bxg3+ 23.Kg2 Be5 24.Rxg6 Kf7 25.Rg4 Rag8 26.Rxg8 Rxg8+ 27.Kf3 [27.Kf2 c4 wouldn't have changed much] 27...Rg3+ 28.Ke2 c4! A good move by him. Now it's tough for me to get any development 29.b3 cxb3 30.Kf2 Trying to threaten a tactic with d4 [30.Ra3 trying to pick off the b-pawn was likely better] 30...Rh3 31.Rb1?? Now for the 10th time I'm lost again 31...Rh1 32.Ke2 Bf4 [32...b2 looks strong] 33.Ra1 a5? [He was up a bunch and I was running out of moves. 33...b6 34.Bb2 Rh2+ 35.Kf3 looked good] 34.Bb2 Rh2+ 35.Kf3 Bxd2 36.Kg3 Bf4+ 37.Kxf4 Rxb2 38.Ke3 Rc2 39.Kd3 Ke6 40.Rb1 Now I thought I had swindle chances 40...Ra2 41.Rxb3 Rxa4 42.Rxb7 Ra3 43.Kd4 a4 44.Rb5 Rb3 45.Ra5 Ra3 46.e5 dxe5+ 47.Rxe5+ Kd6 48.Rd5+ Kc6 49.Rc5+ Kd6 50.Rd5+= He had no idea how to try and win this so he offered a draw. After this I realized I should try and play simpler next time. ½-½

Match Owen Sound, ON (2), 31.05.2006
A07 - King's Indian Attack

My goal this game was to grab a pawn and slowly dominate. 1.Nf3 I was kinda surprised by this, but I figured he'd go for something straightforward. I was kinda hoping for 1.e4 though 1...Nf6 2.g3 g6 3.Bg2 Bg7 4.0-0 0-0 5.d3 [I think d3 is too slow in this position. I realize that he wants to play the King's Indian attack and play e4 in one move but 5.c4 ;
or 5.d4 would be better. He gives away the advantage of the first move here.] 5...d5 6.Nbd2 c6 [I should have tried to take control with 6...c5. The text was okay but too passive when I need to win] 7.e4 dxe4 8.dxe4 Bg4 [8...Nbd7] 9.Re1 Nbd7 10.h3 Bxf3 11.Qxf3 Ne5 [11...Qc7 developing the pieces was tried in Planinc-Vukic YUG-ch 1972 ] 12.Qe2 Qb6 Trying a double-attack on b3 and on f3 13.b3 [13.Nb3 was better...the e-pawn has enough protectors] 13...Nh5! Trying to open up the diagonal and hit the g-pawn 14.Rb1 [14.Nf1 Nf3+ 15.Bxf3 Bxa1 16.Bxh5 gxh5 17.Be3 Bd4 18.Qxh5 may not have been "better" but it was definitely messier and that's worth something in my books ;)] 14...Nxg3 15.Qe3 Qxe3 With queens off, I'm happy with this position, even not being up a pawn 16.Rxe3 Nh5 17.Bb2 Nf4 18.Nf3 Nxf3+ 19.Rxf3 Nxg2 [Maybe 19...Bxb2 was better as the king doesn't necessarily gain a square, but I wanted to get the bishops off. I guess though if 20.Rxb2 e5 looks okay as that is a great outpost] 20.Bxg7 Kxg7 21.Kxg2 Rfd8 22.Rd3 Rxd3 23.cxd3 Rd8 24.Rd1 e5 25.Kg3 f5 26.exf5 gxf5 27.f4? Making things tough on himself. 27...e4 28.d4 [28.Kf2] 28...Kf6 29.b4 a5 [29...Ke6] 30.a3 [30.bxa5 c5 31.d5 c4 32.Rb1 Rxd5 33.Rxb7 Rxa5 34.Rxh7 Rxa2 looks tougher for me. Sure i'm still winning, but not as easily] 30...axb4 31.axb4 Ke6 32.Kf2 b6 33.Ke3 [I thought maybe 33.Ke2 but even still it's not any better after 33...c5 34.bxc5 bxc5 35.dxc5 Rxd1 36.Kxd1 Kd5] 33...c5 34.bxc5 bxc5 35.d5+ [35.Rd2 cxd4+ 36.Rxd4 Rxd4 37.Kxd4 was possibly better but still lost] 35...Rxd5 36.Rxd5 Kxd5 37.h4 c4 38.h5 c3 39.h6 Kc4 40.Ke2 Kb3 41.Ke3 c2 42.Kd4 c1Q 43.Ke5 Qc5+ 44.Kf6 Qd6+ 45.Kg5 Qg6+ 1½/2 i should get enough points to get to 1500. 0-1