Friday, October 26, 2007

Too Much Respect For An IM

I'll take my time for reviewing my games of past Winterthur Chess Week, and this one is the first position to review. Well, my opponent of first round is not (yet) an IM but he left some IMs behind him in the final standing. This is the position after move 10 of Black. I was White.


(White to move)

I moved 11.Ne3 because I wanted to keep the Knights against his (bad) bishops and said to myself my position is not bad and after all he must win so he must make the game. In retrospect I must say that nothing had been more wrong. It came out that both of us moved around without a real good plan, up to move 35 where the position still was equal but both of us in time trouble. I lost a pawn, then blundered a piece. That was it.

Instead, I had excellent chances to dominate the middlegame by 11.e4-e5, creating a strong pawn outpost and chasing his Knight. After 11.-Nd5 12.Qe2 the outpost is overprotected in a Nimzowitsch manner and cannot be taken by a piece, and when it is attacked by a pawn, for instance by d7-d6, it advances further e5-e6, putting pressure on f7. I guess this is very unpleasant for Black who has to defend carefully and is far away from making his game.

I should have followed a saying of Charly, one of my club pals: You must keep your opponent busy. Also I forgot that attack is the best form of defense. I think that this important lesson was worth losing the game.

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Sunday, October 14, 2007

Chess Week Telegram

winterthur chess week

First Round
White against young Hungarian (2200) defending Sicilian. I have pressure, opponent fearing my attack but I play wait and see for a draw. Equal game until move 30, then mutual time trouble, I lose material and resign. (0/1)

Second Round
Black against senior (1500), I defend Queen's Indian against his Colle system. Clear advantage after the opening, but he does not fight but gives up at move 19. Strange. (1/2)

Third Round
White against youngster (2000) defending French, quite passively but I miss some good tempo moves, equal game after the opening. I have pressure but not sufficient for a win. Draw by repetition in the middlegame. (1.5/3)

Fourth Round
Black against Serbian routinier (2000), Ruy Lopez, he refutes my doubtful variant that I decide to abandon after this game. I suffer right from the opening, try all the best and fight until time control at move 40. Lost Queen endgame with a piece down and no perpetual check. (1.5/4)

Fifth Round
White against club pal (1600) defending Caro-Kann, I use the Nimzowitsch strategem of overprotected outpost (see diagram) on a semi-open file and get a winning middlegame, snatch two pawns and should have won the endgame but run into his counterplay with doubled rooks threatening mate, so I must resort to perpetual check. (2/5)

Black to move.

Sixth Round
Black against a young guy (2000), I defend Queen's Indian but soon switch to Catalan, I lose a center pawn but get some (enough?) compensation in a very tactical middlegame. He spends too much time calculating and finds himself in zeitnot while I can deeply analyze the position on his time. His zeitnot blunder gives me a winning endgame but I manage to find the only losing move. I return to playing good chess while he finds a couple (!) of only (!) moves to let me escape to a draw. Pawn race, Queens endgame where I must kill his plus pawn, avoiding two deadly landmines. Oops! That has been a Hitchcock game! (2.5/6)

Seventh Round
White against a friend of my fourth round Serb (2000) defending Sicilian, I am not yet sure about the best path of the Queen's Knight and lost too many tempi, getting a powerful position all the same but, unfortunately, too late for a tactical shot. Equal middlegame instead, until I put a Bishop offside forever. With virtually a piece down I have no chance to hold the game. (2.5/7)

Eighth Round
Black against a senior (1500) attacking with 1. f4, I have a solid position but so has he, I miss to open it early and weaken my square e5 where he installs an Eternal Knight which I must take out with my Bishop at last. With Bishops of opposite colors the game is dead drawn. (3/8)

Last Round
White against younger guy (1600) defending Petroff which I decline. Quiet and solid development, he does not know what to play and moves around in an underdeveloped position. I have every time in the world to build up a crushing pressure. I win a pawn, then his Knight is trapped, in despair he sacrifices a Bishop and the game ends with a nice tactic threatening his Queen plus checkmate. (4/9)

This is my best result so far, a steady improvement every year: 3 points, 3.5 points, 4 points. I come back to the conclusions in my next posts.