January Match Internet Chess Club (5), 15.01.2006
C31 - King's Gambit Declined : Falkbeer, Tartakower Variation
I decided before this game to play a King's Gambit. I had found a new idea v. the Falkbeer which Kirk plays and wanted to try it out 1.f4 e5 [I go through this move order for a couple of reasons. I didn't believe that Kirk would play 1...d5 because history has shown that he doesn't like the closed positions that follow. Also, Kirk never plays 1.e4 e5] 2.e4 [And also history has shown that I don't like From's Gambit 2.fxe5 . Lasker's defense is my antidote (as Black) to From's 2...d6 3.exd6 Bxd6 4.Nf3 g5! with equality] 2...d5 3.Nf3 And here's mine (and Tartakower's idea).
I've been looking for an alternative line to [3.exd5 because I just don't like the positions after 3...e4 I like Tchigorin's 4.Bb5+ but the positions aren't particularly good and the mainlines i don't find any better, so hence the text] 3...Bg4! [and of course I don't even consider this move. It looks strong to me. I had looked at 3...exf4 transposing back to C36. ;
and the position after 3...dxe4 4.Nxe5 is fairly good as far as I'm concerned with lines like 4...Bd6 5.d4 exd3 6.Nxd3] 4.Be2 This was the only move I saw that didn't immediately lose material or ruin my position [4.exd5 e4 5.Qe2 is more in line with the falkbeer lines;
4.Nc3 d4 looks much better for Black;
4.h3 dxe4 5.hxg4 exf3 6.Qxf3 gives me a mangled kingside;
4.Qe2 was another option but i think Kirk would have ended up way ahead in development after something like 4...Nc6] 4...Bc5?! [This is a novelty as far as I can tell 4...exf4 has been played a number of times.] 5.Nxe5 Bxe2 [5...Bh3! was a possible move, threatening 6.gxh3 (6.Kf1 may be better for White according to Fritz, but i think it sucks to play as White) 6...Qh4+ 7.Kf1 Qf2#] 6.Qxe2 Nf6 [6...Nd7 7.exd5 Qh4+ 8.g3 Qe7] 7.Qb5+ Nbd7 8.exd5 [8.Nxd7 Nxd7 9.Qxb7 and 9...d4 with an ugly position is almost forced(9...Rb8 for instance 10.Qxd5 and i'm better; 9...dxe4 10.Qxe4+ Be7 11.0-0 looks better for me as well) The immediate 8.Qxb7?! isn't as good because after 8. ...Rb8 I can't capture the d-pawn. That tactical point is what I missed ] 8...0-0 9.b4? [Brutal. SOmething like 9.Nxd7 Nxd7 10.Kd1 would have been better. I'm way behind in development at this point, i just wanted to get the bishop off the diagonal so i can castle but i missed that...] 9...Bd4! attacks my rook 10.c3 [10.Nc3 doesn't really help me. At this point I wasn't counting on castling, so if I'm not going to castle trading off pieces is probably my best idea] 10...Bxe5 11.fxe5 Nxe5 12.0-0 [Plans change. Maybe 12.d4 first was better.] 12...Qxd5 i'm definitely worse here....i'm going to have to trade off queens without picking off the b-pawn which was the point of my queen excursion in the first place. 13.Qxd5 Nxd5 14.Rf5!? Nd3 [I was counting on this move. If he would've played something like 14...Rfe8 ;
or 14...f6 , but the text actually half gives me a chance to get back in the game, and catch up in development] 15.Rxd5 Nxc1 Trading off one of my undeveloped pieces 16.Na3?! A forcing move but [16.Rd7 was likely better] 16...Ne2+ 17.Kf2 [In the big picture 17.Kf1 would've been better. When I made this move i didn't picture him picking off the d-pawn (with check, hence Kf1 being better than Kf2). I imagined something grand like me pushing the d-pawn to d4 and all the way to victory or something like that. Delroy rides again! Unfortunately the continuation wasn't quite so dramatic...] 17...Nf4 18.Rd7 Rfd8 19.Rxc7 Ne6? [I imagine he played this because he was afraid of 19...Rxd2+ 20.Ke3 but 20...Rxa2! 21.Rxa2 Nd5+] 20.Rxb7 Rxd2+ 21.Kf1 two moves to get to f1, instead of one. an extra tempo here would've likely really helped me out. [21.Kf1 -- 22.Nc4 Rc2 23.Nd6 Rxc3 24.Rd1 i dunno if it's really better] 21...Nf4 22.Re1 Rxa2? [Allowing a tactic because of back rank mate. 22...h6 was likely better winning him a pawn. One of Kirk's "chess weaknesses" is refusing to slow down things to give his king some breathing room.] 23.Rxa7 Rd8 [23...Rxa7?? 24.Re8#] 24.Nb5 this is the key here. 24...Rxg2 [24...Rxa7 may have been better 25.Nxa7] 25.Nd6? not calculating hard enough [I thought about 25.Rd7 again with but if 25...Rb8 (25...Rxd7 26.Re8#) (not 26.Rb7 with a repetition but) 26.Re4! g5 27.Rxf4! gxf4 28.Kxg2 Rxb5 29.Kf3 and I think i'm better in in this endgame.] 25...Rxh2 26.Re8+?! [I think now was the time to go for the repetition by 26.Rd7 Ra8 27.Ra7 and if 27...Rf8 28.Ree7] 26...Rxe8 27.Nxe8 Rc2 28.Nd6 h6 29.Rxf7 Nd5 30.Rf3 [30.Rd7 Rxc3 31.b5 was pretty close to what happened] 30...Nxc3 [Of course hoping for 30...Rxc3 31.Rxc3 Nxc3] 31.b5 Nd5 32.Rb3 Nb6 33.Ne4 Kf7 34.Rf3+ Ke6 35.Rg3 g5 36.Nxg5+? [36.Rh3! was much better, but i figured that even I could draw R+N v. R] 36...hxg5 37.Rxg5= and I offered a draw which Kirk initially declined. He did offer a draw afterwards, but I don't know if it was at this point or when it was. I didn't see it (or hear it on ICC) so I continued playing and... 37...Kd6 38.Rf5 Rb2 39.Ke1 Nd5 40.Rg5 Rxb5
41.Ke2?? This is an unbelievable blunder. My excuse is that I was tired. A more realistic excuse is that (similar to my game in Kitchener last year where I dropped my queen on the sunny side of Q+P v. RR) I had already mentally chalked this up as a draw and the only thing i was trying to avoid was a fork. I wasn't even looking for my rook to be captured. Yes I feel he should have accepted my draw, but I should've opened my eyes. Sub-masterly play by me ;) 41...Nc3+ 42.Kd3 Rxg5 43.Kxc3 Rg4 44.Kd3 White resigns 0-1
i still need to learn focus. sneaky's recommendation of writing down the moves has startd but i totally played from about move 21 on too fast and was hardly paying attention at the end. oh well live and learn.
in response to my terrible tournament last year, i read an interesting article today about "Why We Have Disaster Tournaments". I'm just glad I'm not the only one ;)