22 May, 2012

T53 Round 1 U1600

The next Team League season started last week and I didn't start that well ( again :).

I can't complain about the ( minimal ) preparation and opening as I had exactly what I expected, trawling out my old Philidor against the expected e4.

Overall, I certainly felt that I gained some sort of equality here on move 9.

9. h3 ..Black to decide

A decision to exchange, rather than retreat the Bishop, and my placement of the Knight on e4 ( which I thought was a great square, but my opponent described it as inconvenient, but not that intrusive ! ), left me a touch worse off.

However, a disastrous mis-calculation after 12. Bf4 led me to play g5 ??

12. Bf4
It seemed like a good move at the time ( although now it seems evident that 0-0 or Qe7 are better ) , I went through the possibilities of various exchanges and concluded that g4 was an OK move.

But I didn't go the extra ply and, although I certainly did see Nxe4, I missed the very important fact that  of the threatened Nf6 gave a very nasty check !

Of course, after the initial exchanges, I did see that I was really wrong, but elected for a defensive Qe7, rather than exchanging Queens, or even Be7 to defend f6. The latter moves may have left me down material, but certainly not dead and buried !

As you can guess, I collapsed very quickly as there was no decent defence.

It is some vague form of comfort that Boris Gelfand also missed seeing the extra move(s) and lasted the same number of moves as me ( 17 ) against Anand before he resigned and left the World Championship  equal again, and with very interesting times ahead in the next 4 games.

Not that I am in any way comparing games, but it is comforting to realise that even Grandmasters overlook moves.

03 May, 2012

Short and sweet

Nigel Short's recent good form has pushed his rating back above 2700 and put him (just) in the world's top 40 : not bad for an old geezer in this world of young chess players !

He also seems to enjoy his life as a chess player and seems willing to promote chess in unexpected countries according to this chessvibes article.

In his chess, he often plays some older openings and interesting sidelines.

Here he is from a few years ago winning with my favourite anti-Sicilian line...

8 8
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
Short Nigel D (ENG) - Prasad Devaki V (IND)
1-0, 2004.
[#] 1.e4 c5 2.b3 Nc6 3.Bb2 e5 4.Bc4
[4.f4 A sort of King's Gambit style...threatening to open the a1-h8 diagonal for the bishop. Nearly always played at some point.]
4...Nf6 5.d3 d6 6.Nc3 Be7 7.Nge2 Intending f4 7...O-O 8.O-O a6 9.a4 I'm a fan of the a-pawn move..stops b5 and keeps the Bishop on c4, for d5 and f7 9...Nd4 If you play in Reti Gambit-style with Qe2, you need to be aware that the Black Knight can arrive at d4 ! 10.h3 Be6 11.f4 Nd7 12.f5 Forcing a bishop exchange, which is probably good for White 12...Bxc4 13.dxc4 Bg5 14.Nd5 Nf6 15.Nec3 Kh8 16.Nxf6 Qxf6 17.Nd5 Qh6 18.Kh2 g6 19.c3 Nc6 20.f6 Nice. The Queen and bishop are stuck ! 20...Qh5 21.Rf3 Rae8 22.g3 Re6 23.Kg2 Rc8 24.a5 Nb8 25.Qd3 Nd7 26.Raf1 Bh6 27.b4 Bg5 28.Ba3 Bh6 29.R3f2 Bg5 30.bxc5 Nxc5 31.Bxc5 dxc5 32.h4 Bh6 33.Qe2 Qxe2 34.Rxe2 g5 35.Kh3 gxh4 36.Kxh4 Rg8 37.Rf5 Rd8 38.Rb2 Rd7 39.Rf1 Re8 40.Rfb1 Rb8 41.Rb6 [1-0]

A fine game where Short ends with Black having nowhere to go !