Friday, February 19, 2010

My Battles in Brooklyn

As I mentioned in Wednesday's post I played in the quads that were being held at the same time as the Justus-Joshua match. The first day I was the bottom of the second quad, and my score matched what often happens when one is the lowest rated in a section. I didn't have much success defending against the Grand Prix. I even ended having to defend against it from the White side when my opponent used the same set up against my English. Here's my round two game where I had White, but felt like I was playing Black.


Shaun Smith getting quads set up.

What to before the tournament? - Chess anyone?

The second day of the match drew more players for the quads. There were 10 sections. I got pushed out of the second quad and dropped to the third quad. I had decided after the previous day's thrashing I would play a little differently, and try to avoid going into the exact same lines. No, I did not go home and whip out the opening book and learn some new line. I would play 1. d4 as White. I wasn't 100% sure what I would do about the Sicilian. I would get to put my plan into effect in the very first round.

Coincidentally in round one I would end out playing Black against David Kim who beat me the day before in round three. I was Black in that game too. I had considered replying to 1. e4 with something besides 1...c5. I even considered playing e5, but after about a minute I wimped out and played c5. Once again he played 2. Nc3. I opted to play 2...a6. Instead of facing the Grand Prix, I faced the Closed.

In reality it wasn't the opening that was giving me problems. It was my perception of what was happening in the opening. I felt like White was attacking, but I actually missed a move that would have won material in the middle game. Since I had not looked at the game until today I didn't really have a true picture of what happened. Perhaps if I had gone over the game before Thursday's tournament, I wouldn't have been so concerned about White's opening. Both games were lost because I overlooked simple attacks and tactics.

Here are the two games.





Looking at these two games with the same opponent made me realize I need to have more confidence in my ability to defend and to look for counter play in these types of positions. The opportunities were there. I just didn't take advantage of my opponent's mistakes. I need to figure out what it's going to take to be more positive about my chances in positions where my opponent has the initiative. There's too much negativity going on.


LinuxGuy said...

Game 1, let your attack go, 13.c5, eyeing 14.Ng5. Doesn't matter if he just moved his king, or is aiming at the pawn on e2, counter-attack is quicker way.

Game 2, 14..Bxf5 develops your bishop and whichever recapture he makes on f4 looks to be slightly crippling to his initiative.

Waiting too long to get that light bishop out, and then hxg6 gives White the initiative.

Game 3 was the best, or at least for White. I was thinking ...g5..Rg8 and then the king can get out of the line of fire, too.

chesstiger said...

Game 1 you made the blunder 6. Qxc3 Why this is a blunder?

Opening is the stage of the game where one develops the pieces. With 6. Qxc3 you play again with a piece that has already moved without it being necessary. 6. dxc3 is better since it let the c1 bishop come into play.

I guess you took with the Queen because taking with the d-pawn gives you a doubled c-pawn but in this stage of the game this double pawn less worse then not developing once pieces. In fact, by taking with the queen one gives away the tempo one is ahead when playing with white pieces.

LinuxGuy said...

I thought she was playing inspired chess until move 13.Qd1, very horrible move, IMHO. hehe. 13. c5 and White has an interesting game.

6.Qxc3 fights for the center (also takes control of the diagonal vacated by the traded bishop). Some of this is a question of personal taste and style. In either case, I think it came off well. 5..BxN was pretty decent move for Black in terms of weakening White's center.

Polly said...

Linux & Tiger: Interesting and varied opinions on 6. Qxc3. I had considered recapturing with a pawn. Though I was even considering playing bxc3 in order to strengthen my center. On the black side of similar positions I've found dxc leaves a hole in the center, and it harder to kick out any knight that lodges itself on e5 (black) or e4 (white) I chose Qxc3 because it does create a threat on e5.

Retreating the queen to d1 did make my attack fizzle. I had considered playing c5 even after he moved the king however I didn't see that the knight had any useful squares after going to g5. f7 is covered by both the queen and rook and going to e6 allows black to trade his undeveloped bishop for my knight. Maybe developing the bishop to d2 or b2 to simply connect the rooks was mu best course of action at that point.

Linux: On game two I can't play Bxf5 because he has g4 forking my knight and bishop.