Friday, 14 August 2009

Another victim of the system

While most of East Cheshire Chess Club have been sunning themselves in various parts of Europe our top player John Reed has been honing his opening system (which he kindly shared with us in a number of recent lectures) in France.

Here is another Queen's Gambit Declined steamroller with notes by John:

My opponent is an up and coming Azerbaijani junior who plays in France rated about 2000 ELO. The opening is simliar to the Queen's Gambit exchange. Note the standard metod of nullifying his early kingside attack. I prat around a bit on moves 21 to 23 but then it is amazing how quick the game collapses after g4 and Rg1. I don't think g4 is a great computer move but deserves a ! for unsettling the game at a crucial point.

JR - R Kasimanali

1.d4 d5
2. c4 e6
3. Nc3 Be7 (avoids many openings)

4 Bf4 Nf6
5. e3 0-0
6. cxd exd
7. Bd3 c6
8. Qc2 a5
9. N1e2 Na6
10. a3 Nc7 (this is a modern way of deploying the Queen's Knight)

11. 0-0 Ne6
12. Bg3 h6
13. f3 Nh5
14. Bf2 Bd6
15. e4 (probably too soon)

15. ... Nhf4
16. e5 Nxd3
17. Qxd3 Be7
18. f4 f5 (Black Knight on e6 now crucial piece)
19. h3 b6
20. Kh1 Ba6
21. Qf3 Ra7 Black has nice position.

22. Rc1(prevaricating) Rd7
23. Rfe1 Rc7
24. g4 Kh7
25. Rg1 g6 starting to lose the thread
26. Rg2 b5
27. gxf gxf? better Rf5 ( I will attack the king, you try to win on Qside!)
28. Rcg1 (it's going)

28. ... b4 (too late)
29. Rg6 Rf7
30. Qh5 ouch Bf8
31. Re6 bxc3
32. Qg6 1 - 0

Let's hope for some similar crushes in the Stockport league this season!

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Dutch Treat

This is Graham's last game of the season against Stockport. I think Graham would admit he was not particularly motivated about this game, not much to play for really, this was until his opponent chuckled when Graham played his opening move 1.....f5. To be fair to his opponent this was not a chuckle at the move but more circumstance. Grahams opponent had prepared 1. Nf3 on the basis he might get White against Dave Newell's Dutch. Apparently Stockport chess club keep a database and Dave is on it, seems to me this is taking chess a mite too seriously. So having not got Dave he abandoned the Nf3 preparation, played 1. c4 then got the Dutch anyway, bit of a bugger life sometimes.

Anyway on with the game.

1. c4 f5
2. Nc3 d6 (supporting e5, anf if White plays d4 then we are back into main line Dutch Leningrad)
3. g3 e5
4. d3 Nf6
5. Bg2 g6
6. Nf3 c6
7. O-O Bg7
8. Rab1 O-O
9. b4 Nh5
10. Qb3 f4

So the opening has gone OK, its not too far off a Leningrad structure, not sure if the pawn on e5 is strong or exposed but it turned out OK.

11. c5+ d5
12. e4 fxe3

Is the Ne4 then Nd6 manouvre good or not?

13. fxe3 Kh8
14. e4 half a question mark maybe
14. ... d4
15. Na4 Qe8
16. Bd2 Be6
17. Qa3 cheap trick or best available?
17. ... Na6
18. Ng5 Rxf1 I think this is best although other tries are available, the Queen is probably best if it can remain on e8 for the time being, lots of options from there
19. Bxf1 Bg8
20. Be2 Nf6
Wonder if immediate h6 is better, not much in it maybe, don't believe White will want to exchange the White squared bishop for the knight, probably needs it to defend those white squares around the King if necesary

21. Bd1 h6
22. Nf3 g5
23. Nb2 Nc7
24. Bb3? Nb5
25. Qa4 (a long way from being in the game)
25. ... Qh5
26. Kg2 (Graham clearly up here, Nxe5 is an interesting try)
26. ... Rf8 (26. ...Nf4 worth a look)
A new experience for Graham this season, bit of time trouble having been treading very carefully over the past few moves
27. Rf1 Ng4
28. h3 Ne3+
29. Bxe3 dxe3
30. g4 Qg6

31. Bd1 Nd4
32. Re1? Nxf3
Graham with not much time analized one sequence of moves giving him a position of safety and probably a win, 32.... Nxf3 is OK, but there is a winner.

33. Bxf3 Rxf3
34. Kxf3 Qf6+
35. Kxe3 Qf4+
36. Ke2 Qh2+
37. Kd1 Qxb2
38. Re2 Qa1+
39. Kd2 Qxa2

Well I think with correct play this is eventually a win for Black but its not easy against the clock and although a few more moves were played a draw was eventually agreed. Graham's challenge for next year is to turn a few of these very good draws into wins!

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

A Tudor Triumph

Just to cheer up the B team after being denied their match last night here is Tudor showing us all how to swindle again Denton last month. Notes by Tudor.

T Rickards 1 J Lysons 0

1. e4 ...e5

2. Nf3 ...d6
3. Bc4 ...Be7
4. O-O ...Nf6
5. Re1 ...0-0
6. c3 ...a6
7. d4 ...e x d
8. c x d ...Nc6?! (don't like this now, must find a better move)

9. h3 ...b5
10. Bb3 ...Bb7
11. Nc3 ...h6 (shows B is running out of decent moves)
12. e5! ..dxe
13. dxe ...QxQd1
14. RxQd1 (black in some trouble).
15. R1d7 (wish I was White)

Instructive. White completely in charge but needs to find best plan. I suspect gradual strangulation. Black has to, well, just hang in there

16. Bf4 ...Bc8
17. Rd2 ...Be6!? (I like it. What else? )
18. Nd5?! ( Looks strong. Ducks the obvious 18 B x B with severe B p weaknesses to avoid (doubtful) F file counterplay? )
18. ...Na5
19. Rc1? Loses. In pursuit of a win down the c file stuffs himself. Ra1d1retains probable win

19 ...c6! (thank you, white)
Nothing to do. Black forces material gain.
20. Nb4 ...B x Bb3 and wins comfortably. White quickly finds a few more moves to lose more quickly before the endgame.

Lesson: ...Nf6 is rarely played in Philidor's defense. Game shows one reason why. If offered a simplification to a v good endgame, take it.

Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Keven the Najdorf Killer!

K.R.Holton v. D Toole
East Cheshire B .v. Denton
Board 2
25th March/2009

1. e4 (I had a panic attack about his battle tested Kings Indian v. my new Reti!)

1. ... c5 (I hope he doesn’t know the Sicilian as well!)
2. Nf3 (Martian logic says if you play something you don’t know make sure you really don’t know it – hence the open Sicilian!)

2. ... d6
3. d4 c/d
4. Nx d4 Nf6
5. Nc3 a6
6. Be3 e5 (Hmm he does !?...)
7. Nb3 Be6 (Mum I want to go home now!)

8. Be2 Be7
9. 0—0 Nbd7
10. f4 Qc7
11. f5 Bc4 I didn’t like f/e5 and I felt a King-side assault was my best chance
12. Bxc4 Qxc4
13. Nd2 Qc6 Fritz gives Black 0.34 at this stage but I’m still punching.

14. Qf3 Rc8 I was surprised by this expecting Nc5 keeping 0-0-0 in reserve
15. g4 ! h5 ! After the game my opponent graciously told me g4 “was an “awful move”
16. h3 h/g
17. h/g Rh4 Looks good to me, a really Tudor type slugfest. I need a good cuts man !

18. g5 Nh5?? I had thought for 20 minutes cogitating his Ng4 where after Qg3 he had Nxe3 and then after the sequence Qxh4 Nxf1 Rxf1 I was loose but with K side pressure. I think the move played loses a piece to a pawn.

19. Bf2 ! Bxg5
20. Bxh4 Bxh4 ? The Martian mind scrambler I keep down my inside leg ( no not from one of those films Jackie Smith’s house husband watches !) has done the trick he had to play Bxd2 to have any worthwhile counter play.

21. Qxh5 Qb6 +
22. Kg2 Qe3 Oh No! -- he’s up to something, why did I cheapskate with ‘Pound Shop’ batteries in the mind scrambler………….. Pleased I played g2 to hold f2 though.

23. Qxh4 Rxc3 ?! Phew mind scrambler still working what is this? I had expected Qxd2 when Rf2 held well and allowed me to attack with Qh8+. Hasn’t he given me enough material?

24. b/c Qxd2+ No perpetual here Sunny Jim !
25. Rf2 Qxc3
26. Rd1 Nf6
27. Rxd6 Ke7 Otherwise Qh8+ and mate with Qd8
28. Rf-d2 g5 A desperate shot but Nxe4 forking both rooks and the queen is not on.
29. Qxg5 His flag had fallen to deprive me of mate in two………..
I politely said I wanted to avoid his KI so played e4 “off the cuff” and didn’t know it. “It showed “ he added rather sagely…………….

Sunday, 29 March 2009

Having a Ball with the French

White: McKenna Black: Graham Ball

I think Graham expected to lose this one, he had fluked a half early in the season but maybe that actually worked in his favour.

1. e4 e6
2. d4 d5
3. Nc3 Nf6
4 e5 Nfd7
5. f4 c5
6. Nf3 Nc6
7. Be3 a6
Graham likes the 7.....a6 line for no better reason than he has forgotten about the Nb5 Nd6 manouver on more than one occasion. Its also true that with a bit of cooperation from White it can produce some interesting Q side ideas. I prefer 7......cxd4

8. Qd2 b5
9. dxc Bxc5
10. Bxc5 Nxc5
11. Qf2 Qb6
12. Bd3
Not sure about this one, Graham likes to get the bits off against a better player and surely White wants to keep the light squared bishop

12. ... Nxd3ch
13. cxd3 Qxf2 ch
14. Kxf2 Bd7
15. Rhc1

After 15 minutes thought. Graham gets nervous when good players start to think, mostly because he admits he can never figure out whats to think about, too much quickplay chess!

15. ... Ke7
16. Ne2 Rhc8
17. a3 h6

Can't help but think one side or the other needs to be on b4 here but haven't sat down and analysed it.

18. h4 Ra7
19. Rc5 Rac7
20. R1c1 Kd8
21. g4 Ne7
22. RxR RxR
23. RxR KxR
24. Ng3 g6

25. h5
(25. Nd4 better maybe)
25. ... Kc6

JPM has around 15 minutes left but takes 10 of them over the next mone, GB now very nervous. now I think b4 or Nd4 probably best but JPM maybe feels he should find a winning move

26. Ng5

26. ... gxh

After sitting there for 10 minutes. GB would not have taken that Knight even if it were possible.

27. Nxf7 hxg
28. Nxh6 b4

Hard for JPM to win this now even with the extra pawn coming

29. axb Kb5
30. Nxg4 Kxb4

31. Ne3?

Dont like this move, think GB has an edge now

31. ... Kb3
32. Nd1?

Not convinced by this either (time trouble moves.)

32. ... Kc2
33. Ke2 Bb5
34. Ne3 Kxb2

35 f5?

Swapping off alright for GB, the Bishop ought to become strong.

35. ... exf
36. Ngxf5 Nexf5

Time control, now on a first look I would have thought black winning but have not yet found a winning line , the problem is the a pawn is queening on the wrong colour so if white gets his king in front of it even after losing the knight to stop the d pawn it's drawn.

37. Nxf5 Kc3
38. Nd6 Bxd3ch
39. Ke3 d4ch
40. Kf4 Bc2
41. e6 Ba4
42. Ke5 d3
43. Ne4ch Kc2
44. Kd6 d2
45. Nxd2 Kxd2
46. Kc5 Kc3 draw

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Queen's Gambit Steamroller

John Reed recently sent me one of his best wins, played in the Pornic Open in France where he won the veteran prize. In John's words "it just shows the power of the Queens Gambit Exchange variation, the best opening there is." That may be true but how often do your opponents let you play it?

Here is the game with a few notes by me:

John Reed vs. T Giraud (1900)

1. d4 d5
2. c4 e6
3. Nc3 Nf6
4. cd5 ed5

The starting position of the Queen's Gambit Exchange Version. White has the half open c-file and an extra central pawn with prospects of a central pawn storm later. What does Black have? I'm not sure really! Perhaps John could explain one day? Nigel Short seems happy to play the Black pieces here anyway.

5. Bg5 Be7
6. Qc2 c6
7. e3 Bg4
8. Bd3 Nbd7
9. f3 Bh5
10. N(1)e2 Bg6
11. O-O Bd3
12. Qd3 h6
13. Bh4 O-O
14. Rad1 Re8

The opening is over. White is ready to start pushing pawns. Black adopts a wait-and-see approach which doesn't work very well!

15. Kh1 Nf8
16. Bf2 Ng6
17. e4 Bf8
18. e5 Nd7
19. f4 Bb4
20. f5 Nf8
21. Qg3 Qg5
22. Qh3 Be7
23. Rd3

Ooops! Black's queen is in danger of being trapped and most of his pieces are mere spectators.

23. ... h5
24. f6 Bf6
25. ef6 Qf6
26. Rf3 1-0
What a crush! A great reason to play 1. d4, except that most of the time you will find yourself in a Nimzo, or a King's Indian, or a Slav...

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Black to play and lose

Here is how Tudor won his game last Thursday night. This was the decisive game which won us the match against Holmes Chapel.

Notes by Tudor.

Tudor Rickards v. M Roberts (127).

Here is the position after 30. cxd:

Various tactics left white with not a lot more than a slightly easier position to play in time trouble.

Black decides to simplify. But this left one winning resouce I had been hoping might come into play.

30. ... Q xd4 (I expected R xd4)

So what would you play to give yourself the chance of a quick swindle?

31. Qe2 (to appear to threaten a6, although Rd1 looks better ...)
31. ... Qd6 (Oh, yes, thank you black)
32. Qc4 and wins. Cheap but some credit for trying for the endgame with good B versus poor Kt, and the basic combo working with one pair of rooks off, and Qs still on.

Friday, 6 March 2009

International star reduced to 14 move draw by East Cheshire

Having already beaten Chorlton (twice) and High Peak this season East Cheshire is now ready to mix in international circles. So on Thursday night our number one board John Reed took on Welsh star Jon Blackburn who represented his country in Dresden last year. Jon has a FIDE rating of almost 2200 but our John held him to a 14 move draw by repetition. Notes by John below.

J Reed v J Blackburn (some huge grade)

1. d4 e6 2.c4 b6 3.Nc3 Bb4 I hate playing this . Played it on the internet and I know what's coming.

4. e4 Bb7 5 Bd3 Nf6 6 f3 Nh5 (!?)

Huge think now. Decided that out of Be3, Ne2 I preferred 7.Nh3 Qh5 8 Nf2 (but what about g3 !!) Nc6 9. g3(!) no time to protect d4 .... Ng3 (else he is swamped if he retreats) 10 hg3 Qg3 11 Be3 (white winning now) f5 ( I now concocted elaborate drawing plan overlooking Rh3 winning)

12. Ke2 f4 13 Rg1 Qh2 14 Rh1 Qg3 15 etc

Saturday, 14 February 2009

A hot game in the Chorlton chill

Tuesday night saw East Cheshire A team playing fellow strugglers Chorlton. If there was a prize for worst playing venue in the Stockport league then Chorlton would almost certainly win it. It seems like there are no brooms or paint brushes in Manchester these days. And the landlords were obviously saving energy costs by only turning the heating on 10 minutes before the match started!

Despite the less than salubrious surrounding we managed to win the match 4-2, no thanks to my miserable defeat on board 4.

On board 5 Tudor gave Mr Sainsbury another lesson in the inherent problems with the Pirc defense! Actually the opening was not the cause of the defeat and in a totally unclear position it could have been anyone's game.

So here is the game with notes by Tudor unless otherwise stated.

Rickards v Sainsbury

Feb 11th 2009

E Cheshire v Chorlton

I have a feeling this game will be trashed by Fritz. Who cares what a slice of silicon can do?

1 e4 d6;
2 d4 Nf6;
3 Nc3 g6;
4 f3 (classical system I found out afterwards. Crude and tactical).
4 ..Bg7;
5 Be3 (not popular. More common is Be2. Go on Fritz. Hit me). (actually this is the main line! - Phil)
5 …O-O;
6 Qd2 Re8; (let’s preserve the bishop, if 7 Bh6);
7 O-O-O c6; ( pawn push game coming up. Thought briefly of 8 Kb1 to avoid nasties on the a file and sacs plus Bh6 to win queen. Decided to press on);
8 g4 (opponent thought of 8.. Bxg4, 9..Nxg4 with those threats to my king 10 Bh6. I didn’t think much. Piece for 2ps, But I do have to give up nice bishop for knight)
8 ..Qc7 ; (Seemed a bit slow in hindsight. But it might force me to make that move Kb1);
9 h4 (sacs still about same as last move) 9 …b5 ; (time to think. Continue K side push, or move Kt. Decided K side push, stick Kt(c3) on b1 not on e2 so I could have play on the a2-g8 diagonal for my bishop. Almost certainly meant losing the a pawn and nasties down the h8-a1 diagonal. So
10 h5 critical position.

10 …e5!? ; (didn’t expect it. Expected 10 …b5 when would have played 11 Nb1 and if 11 ..Qa5, h5xg6 with complex game but a nice open h file).

11 hxg6 …fxg6;

12 Qh2 (not totally crude as it has ties down the black Kt to defence 12 …b4

13 Nb1 13 ..Be6;

14 b3 (?! Or ? Had rough plan of c4, and looked at ..exd4, Red4) …14 …a5 (back to pushing)

15 a4 ? (why didn’t I stick to my earlier idea of c4?) 15 … pxp a3 (e.p.) ;

16 Nx a316 ..a4 ;

Now I thought the tactics were turning against me.
THIS IS THE MOST COMPLEX SITUATION REACHED SO FAR. MAYBE I COULD FIND A HOLDING MOVE. OK FRITZ. DO YOUR WORSE. position is incalculable. I now was seriously worried and needed to find a way of dealing with a4 x b3. Worse, I was running out of Lucazade. I thought the best option is to continue to create threats maybe as the attacking moves are a kind of defence which black may have to attend to.

17 Nc4 axb;
18 d x e b x c?; (had worried more about 18 …R a1+ 1; 18 b2 + is also good ) ( gives the variation 18. ... Ra1+ 19. Kd2 Ra2 20. Bd3 dxe5 21. Kc3 bxc2 22. Bxc2 Nbd7 with a 2 pawn advantage to Black - Phil.)
19 R x d6 (was considering this anyway, and black’s 18th makes it more attractive)
…19 R a1+;

20 K x c2 Ra2 +;

21 Nb2 (One point of 17 Nc4, I was worried about losing Q along the 2nd rank)

Now black launches into attractive series of sacs which probably entranced him. Simpler moves must give him more, and probably there’s a direct win. Now it simplifies to a slight plus for white
21 … R x Kt (!?);

22 K x Kt and now …Q x R (now I see what he’s up to, entire sequence is maybe !?)

23 e x Q d6 23 Kt x g4 (disc +);

24 K- c2 Kt x Q h2;

25 R x Kt h2 B-e5;

26 R – d2 (lucky me)

After a lot of careful trap-avoiding I force win on ca move 56 through strong connected passed pawns in centre. In this ending I needed to avoid swapping pieces as much as possible.

Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Mate in 31!

My run continues. One day soon my bubble will burst but for now I am enjoying the ride. Here is my game from last night...

A Soames (153) vs P Ramsey
Macc. Reds v East Cheshire B

1. d4 Nf6
2. c4 g6
3. g3 Bg7
4. Bg2 O-O
5. Nf3 d6
6. Nc3 Nbd7
7. O-O e5
8. e4 c6
9. Rb1

The above position has been reached over 300 times in master play. However my next move was played in none of them! I guess this means it is either bad or obscure. I thought it was a natural move, allowing Nh5 and f5 with the Knight being protected by the Queen after exf and gxf.

9. ... Qe8
10. Re1 Nh5
11. dxe dxe
12. Be3?

Seeing as Black is obviously planning f5 possibly followed by f4 it seems wrong to let him gain a tempo on the bishop when he follows this plan.

12. ... f5
13. b4 f4
14. Bc1 fxg

I wanted to open the f file for my rook and make sure my knight on h5 could always go to f4 if he pushed g4.

15. hxg Ndf6

Finally allowing my white bishop to enter the game.

16. Ba3 Bg4
17. Qb3 Nd7

Simply attacking the knight on f3.

18. Re3!?

This allows me to activate my dark bishop but his rook will be well placed on d3.

18. ... Bh6
19. Rd3 Be6
20. b5

This uncovers an attack on my rook on f8. After Rf7 I would struggle to double up my queen and rook on the f file. My opponent had used up a lot of time by this point and seemed to be feeling the pressure so I decided to complicate things!

20. ... Qf7!?

The pawn on c4 cannot be defended as Nd2 allows me to take on f2.

21. Rxd7 ?!

I think it was better to take on f8. After 21. ... Rxf8 Black will win the c4 pawn and has some pressure but things are still unclear.

21. ... Bxd7
22. Bxf8 Rxf8
23. c5 Be6
24. Qc2 Qf6
25 bxc bxc
26. Rb7 Bg4!?

This is probably the best move but I hadn't really considered the response Nh2.

27. Ne1?

Thankfully he played something worse! After 27. Nh2 Be6 28. Rxa7 Nxg3! 29. fxg Be3+ 30. Kh1 Qg5 Black should win but would I have found this in time trouble?

27. ... Nxg3!

Finally this knight has its say!

28. fxg3 Be3+
29. Kh2

Black appears to have nothing immediate. Can you spot the killer move?

29. ... g5!

29. ... Qg5 is equally strong. The check on the h file will be terminal.

30. Bf3 Qh6+
31. Kg2 Qh3++

A nice game and a nice win for East Cheshire B against a strong team.

Sunday, 18 January 2009

David Taylor's game on Wednesday 14th Jan 2009

Hi all!

I thought I would try out the new Blogspot set up by Phil, and post one of my own games for your comments.

So, here goes .............! It is a Reti Accepted, and the comments stem from me or from Fritz8.

David Taylor (104) v Evan Wood (110, Chorlton) on 14-01-2009

1. Nf3 d5
2. c4 dc
3. e4 e6
4. Bxc4 Nf6
5. Nc3 Be7
6. O-O O-O
7. d4 c6
8. a3 He was obviously thinking about b5, and I initially planned to play Ba2
8. b5 (Fritz: Nbd7 better to develop the Q-side.)
It now occurred to me that his K-side was vulnerable to attack along c2 - h7, so:
9. Bd3 a5 He has no minor piece out on the Q-side - in fact he never gets a chance!
10. Qc2 Ne8 He anticipated e5 clearing the diagonal, so plans a pre-emptive f5.
11. e5 f5
12. exf6 Nxf6
13. Ne4 g6 This caused him grief later, so h6 is probably preferable.
14. Bh6 Re8

Here I worried about ....Ng4 so I played:

15. h3 But Fritz prefers the more aggressive Neg5
15. Nxe4
16. Bxe4 Bf8 Here Fritz suggests Bf6 is better for black
17. Be3 Here Fritz considers Bg5 is best; I wanted to overprotect d4.
17. Be7

Here I was considering Bxg6 but couldn't be certain it was going to succeed so I played:

18. Ne5 However, Fritz asserts Bxg6 at once will win. Do you all agree?

18. Ra6 Rf8 would be more sensible - I wasn't seriously going after the c6 pawn.
19. Bxg6 At last I plucked up courage to go for it!
19. Bf6 He cannot accept the sacrifice with hxg6?
20. Bxh7+ Kh8 And now he goes the wrong way! His Q is lost.
21. Nf7+ Kg7
22. Qg6+ Kf8
23. Nxd8 and he resigned with less then 1 minute remaining on his clock!

SO the point of the posting is to ask, what is the optimal timing of Bxg6?