Tuesday, July 25, 2006

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 Black...now 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 chessgames.com 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 chessgames.com 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

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