Sunday, June 28, 2009

DKos Chess Tournament, Round 2

It's very rare for me to attribute the primary cause of a loss to my not trying, especially in a serious game. It was clearly the main factor in the following game.

It's interesting to see how the flash player handles variations. I have to make more use of this widget! For this game I'm going to let the widget do my work, and skip .jpg images of key positions.

1. e4 e5 2. f4 Bc5 3. Nf3 d6 4. Bc4 Nf6

This is as far as my "1% repertoire" continues. I've finished a lean repertoire database that contains only positions I've encountered in at least 1% of my games. Up until this point I haven't studied King's Gambit lines much...they're not encountered frequently, and opponents don't typically play main lines. 4.Bc4 is the main move that I encounter here, and the only one in my 1% repertoire (another example of how, at lower levels, sidelines are actually main lines). It's not specifically addressed in Marin's Beating the Open Games, but is likely to transpose to the main line...

5. Nc3 Nc6 6. d3 it does here. However, in my database of 7000+ personal games, I've only encountered this tabiya twice! So, until now, I've been justified in not studying the main lines of this opening.


...and here I don't recall my "repertoire" move 6...Bg4, which was played in the other two games. Now that I've finally encountered this game in a serious game for the first time, I'll spend some time reading over Marin's chapter on this opening and map out a main line. I intend to flesh out my "1%" repertoire by mapping out one main line for each variation.

Marin actually has some analysis of 6...a6 in the footnotes. The idea is to preserve the bishop against Na4. This is a common moves in openings such as the Guioco Pianissimo, but here it's costing a tempo that could be used for developing. Some of the lines I'll be investigating are included in the widget's annotations.

7. fxe5 (7. Rf1!? Marin) ... dxe5 8. Bg5 h6 9.Bxf6 Qxf6 10. Rf1

Essentially a novelty (one unrated game in my main database). Marin gives 10. Nd5.


Understandable, but not addressing the need to develop. 10... O-O is preferred by Rybka, who doesn't seem to mind castling into a minority attack. However, I would be inclined towards queenside castling.

I like 10... Bg4, e.g. 11. h3 Bxf3 12.Qxf3 (12. Rxf3 Qh4+ =/+) 12... Qxf3 13. Rxf3 Nd4 14. Bxf7+ Kd7 15. Rf2 Raf8 16.Rc1 Be7 =/+. However, because this line is still somewhat crazy tactically, 10... Be6 may be a better practical choice, e.g. 11. Bxe6 (11. Nd4?? Qh4+ -+) 11... Qxe6= (Rybka also likes 11... fxe6!?, which I find interesting...the doubled pawns take away key squares from White's knights).

11. Bxf7+?! -/+

Looks more dangerous than it is. At this point, however, I felt I had missed something and from this point on stopped trying--which is not like me at all.

11... Kxf7 12. Nxe5+ Ke8?! +/=

This move can't be explained. 12... Kg8!? is the obvious choice, even if it wasn't clear at the time whether Bxf7+ was "!" or "?". 13. Nxc6 is then probably the best chance for White. I would probably have played 13...Qxc6, deflecting the Q off of an important diagonal. Rybka prefers 13... bxc6 =/+.

However, 13. Nf7? would be a mistake: 13... Qxh2! -+ I think this is an example of where opening study can be helpful, not because knowledge of an exact sequence of moves would have helped, but because knowledge of a typical motif would help find the right move here. A Queen and Bishop ravaging the White kingside and creating mating threats appears as a common theme in the King's Gambit.

Even if Black didn't find this killer move after 13.Nf7?, a move such as 13... Qg6 would leave Black with a slight edge, e.g. 14. Nxh8 Kxh8. With the bishop pair offsetting a rook and two pawns, Rybka and I prefer Black. Black has an advantage in development; the white king is still stuck in the center; and White appears weak on the dark squares.

13. Qh5+ g6 14. Nxg6 +/- Black resigns??

Black resigned without even trying to find a solution. It would not have been hard, however, to find the following resource: 14...Bg4!, which would have allowed Black to play on. 15. Qxg4 Rg8 looks like it leaves Black a manageable game (B vs. three pawns). Rybka at this point initially evaluated the position as a modest advantage for White, but as I explored some variations it found a good continuation that leaves White with a distinct advantage: 16. Qh5! Rxg6 (16... Qxg6? 17. Qxc5) 17. d4!, e.g.17...Bxd4 18. O-O-O Qe619. Nd5 Kd7 20. c3!

Which is besides the main point: there was no need for Black to resign in this position.


CHESSX said...

Nice game very attacking chess.

Will said...

I have had the same feeling this year. It just felt like my mind was devoid of thought and desire.

It did happen a few games later but I walked away from the board for a few minutes and reminded myself that I can win the game.