Sunday, September 13, 2009

pawn pushing

i showed my brother a couple of games that i have recently won (blitz, correspondence etc) and he mentioned that a lot of my nice wins involved pawn breaks. i have never made a special effort to do that (except on the queenside when the situation presents itself) but it's interesting to have someone else look at your games now and then.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

How to play the English Opening (Karpov)

When we were in London a few months ago my lovely wife picked up this great book by Karpov for me. It is 30 games annotated by him, mostly on the King's English but also has a great section on the Hedgehog. The games are instructive, and many are quite spectacular. I have learned alot about the English and already some of the lessons learned in the games of the 12th World Champion (and others) have been used by me.

Here is one of the most spectacular

Karpov-Topalov 1994

Karpov - Topalov, Linares 1994

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. Nf3 cxd4 4. Nxd4 e6 5. g3 Nc6 6. Bg2 Bc5
7. Nb3 Be7 8. Nc3 O-O 9. O-O d6 10. Bf4 Nh5 11. e3 Nxf4
12. exf4 Bd7 13. Qd2 Qb8 14. Rfe1 g6 15. h4 a6 16. h5 b5
17. hxg6 hxg6 18. Nc5 dxc5 19. Qxd7 Rc8 20. Rxe6 Ra7 21. Rxg6+
fxg6 22. Qe6+ Kg7 23. Bxc6 Rd8 24. cxb5 Bf6 25. Ne4 Bd4
26. bxa6 Qb6 27. Rd1 Qxa6 28. Rxd4 Rxd4 29. Qf6+ Kg8 30. Qxg6+
Kf8 31. Qe8+ Kg7 32. Qe5+ Kg8 33. Nf6+ Kf7 34. Be8+ Kf8
35. Qxc5+ Qd6 36. Qxa7 Qxf6 37. Bh5 Rd2 38. b3 Rb2 39. Kg2 1-0

We were in Ottawa a couple of weeks ago and stopped at Chess and Math and picked up Fischer's 60 Memorable Games...the 2008 edition in algebraic and unadulterated :) I'm gonna fly through this one...i'm feeling my urge to play chess coming back, maybe I'll get a tournament in during the year 2009. Cross your fingers! I've been playing all sorts of things as White...I started the English because I felt that 1.g3 d5 was strong for Black :) As Black I'm mostly playing the Caro again, but I will be trying out the hedgehog v. the English and I've partially returned to the Nimzo. I suspect after playing over Fischer's games I will be playing the Najdorf and KID again :) We'll see

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Winning Pawn Structures - Alexander Baburin

This is a good book on playing both sides of the IQP. There was some issues between Baburin and the publisher and for a while Baburin even advised people not to buy this book, but I believe it has been resolved. There are some interesting games. One idea that definitely stuck in my head was attacking the IQP by moving the knight from f3, then instead of pushing the f-pawn (after being brought up playing all kinds of 1.e4 e5 gambits and the KID) moving the bishop to f3 and attacking the long diagonal that way. it sounds silly, but i had never thought about playing like that before. funny what "thinking" does for you

in any case, highly recommended! next post won't be for a (long) while, i'm dusting off Kasparov Volume 2 - Euwe, Smyslov, Botwinnik, Tal.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Volume 2 finished (finally)

2 down one to go (but not immediately i need something different). i did enjoy this version quite a bit. going through his Averbakh games inspired me to try and save two tempi on the King's Indian by either playing the Leningrad Dutch or the Averbakh. I also learned about defending tough positions. If nothing else, Suttles was a fighter. The other nice thing is that, because this includes all his games, good, bad and ugly, it's okay to get run over playing these king fianchetto games. Case in point

Gordon - Suttles

1.d4 d6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 Nd7 5.Nf3 e5 6.Be2 Ne7 7.d5 O-O
8.g4 h6 9.Rg1 Nf6 10.h3 c6 11.Be3 cxd5 12.cxd5 g5 13.Qd2 Ng6
14.h4 Nxg4 15.hxg5 Nxe3 16.fxe3 hxg5 17.Nxg5 Bh6 18.Nf3 Kg7
19.Bd3 Bd7 20.O-O-O Rc8 21.Kb1 Rh8 22.Rdf1 Bh3 23.Re1 a6
24.Ne2 Qf6 25.Rg3 Bd7 26.Rf1 b5 27.Rgg1 Qd8 28.Ng3 Kf8 29.Qf2
Qe7 30.Nf5 Bxf5 31.exf5 e4 32.fxg6 exd3 33.Nd4 Ke8 34.gxf7+
Kd7 35.Qf5+ Kc7 36.Qe6 Bg5 37.Rxg5 Qxg5 38.Rc1+ Kb7 39.Qd7+
Kb6 40.Qxd6+ Kb7 41.Qd7+ Kb6 42.Qe6+ Kb7 43.Rxc8 1-0

These things happen :) Again, highly recommended book.

Friday, January 02, 2009

First loss of 2009 :)

K - C
Game 25 Owen Sound, 02.01.2009
E97 - King's Indian : Bayonet Attack

1.e4 g6
[I almost played the Sicilian 1...c5 but then I remembered he played 2.c3 Maybe next time :)] 2.d4 d6 3.c4 Very nice 3...Nf6 4.Nc3 Bg7 5.Be2 0-0 6.Nf3 [I really thought he was going to play 6.Bg5 ] 6...e5 7.0-0 Nc6 8.d5 Ne7 9.b4 Nh5 10.Re1 f5 11.Ng5 Nf6 12.Bf3 c6 13.Ba3 a5? [13. ...cxd5;
or even 13...h6 14.Ne6 Bxe6 was fine. Instead of thinking of Bxe6 as a developing move, i thought of it as a "victory" for K because he was happy with this position] 14.dxc6 bxc6? [I didn't really look at 14...Nxc6 although this was good as I could block off the d-file] 15.b5 c5 [15...Ne8 was about the only move not to lose a pawn and it's ugly;
my idea was along the lines of 15...h6 16.Nh3 g5 17.-- etc. 17...g4 Of course with the d-pawn hanging it would never get to that] 16.exf5 Rb8 17.fxg6 h6? not a great post-opening by me 18.Nf7! Rxf7 19.gxf7+ Kxf7 20.Rxe5 [20.Bxc5 may have been cleaner] 20...Ng4 21.Rxe7+ [21.Re4 Bxc3 22.Rc1] 21...Qxe7 22.Bxg4 Bxc3 23.Qf3+ Qf6 24.Bh5+ i missed this 24...Kf8 25.Re1 Bf5 26.Rd1 Be5 27.g4 Be6 28.Qxf6+ Bxf6 29.Rxd6 Ke7 30.Bxc5 Nicely played game by K. He overwhelmed me and didn't allow me back into the game at all. 1-0