An old game, my first Team 4545 League match from February, 2010.
I remember it as an enjoyable game, but more so as one typical of an amateur player, for example:
1) A belief that knowing a few moves in the Sicilian gives an understanding of how to play it
2) Not recognising a non-book move, and more, what to do after seeing it
3) Understanding that a draw is an acceptable result, and can be useful sometimes
4) Recognising that anyone can find one good move if they think hard and clearly enough.
But my biggest memory and my learning point in it was finding the drawing move....
05 January, 2012
An old game, my first Team 4545 League match from February, 2010.
25 May, 2011
There is an enjoyment as an e4-player in beating the Sicilian.
It's probably in-built, a cult memory, like Northern Europeans drinking beer in preference to wine.
If ( maybe, when ? ) I play the Sicilian, this is the option I would choose : an early e5 and the Lasker/Pelikan/Labourdonnais variation, challenging in the centre immediately, just like a recent opponent.
Wonderful ! Lasker variation and no pesky Sheveshnikov !!
I can play Nd5, expecting Nxd5, but wait : Black plays the very bad Be7 and there follows a downward spiral of exchanges for Black, with Nxe7, Nxe7, Nxd6+ .
He drops a piece, and finally we end up here, with a Queen check.
13. c3 is too provocative...why not offer the b-pawn ? He won't fall for it....
Oops...next move, 14. Qd8 mate....sometimes you make your own luck !
26 December, 2010
I am deliberately playing far less blitz than I used to.
I play every now and again, and have had far more consistent wins than previously.
Here's a win in an Open Sicilian, Scheveningen.
I haven't played against a Sicilian for a while so forgot my exact theory, but so, it seems, did Black.
Here he has played Bg4 attacking the Queen, but is it a premature attack ? Better moves would be b5, or exf, as Bg4 just gives White an easy response ( not always helpful in blitz :).
It gives me an obvious attack... f5 ( to attempt the trap the Bishop ), Qg3, ( opposite the King ) , Bxh6 ( winning a pawn )...especially when helped by h6.
More thought would probably not favour Qg3, maybe h3, g4 instead, but in blitz, direct attack is always good as it can provoke mistakes.
In blitz, meeting the Sicilian head-on with the Open game instead of an anti-Sicilian doesn't always play into Black hands. He needs to know his theory, or else a mis-timed move can be just as bad for him !
11 October, 2010
The past couple of weeks I've been suffering with a cold, so I shouldn't really have playing chess, but it is for enjoyment after all !
Here's a blitz game where the Black player ( in a Sicilian ) isn't really playing as actively as he should and effectively ends up lost by move 16....
Black has lost loads of tempi by moving his Knights around ( f6 to d7 to b6 as well as b8 to d7 to f6 ! ) and I can already see the 'Greek Gift' ideas around h7, which I put into place.
Further slow moves, in response to my active ones, put him completely out of it and I end up with a totally won game ( despite missing quicker mates ).
|Mate is inevitable !|
22 August, 2010
Another loss, this time in a Sicilian Scheveningen ( maybe, with 2...Nc6, a Taimanov ), although not in the opening, which I play in a competent, if not inspired way.
An over-looked response, and then an inability to find a proper response after that, was the direct cause, although I think it has more to do with a failure to find a plan, and a concentration on tactics as an end, rather than a means.
So two moments of blindness, failing to see Black's response 17...Bd8 and then not finding the saving move to attack the d-pawn and defend the Bishop with 20.Qd2, Losing the Bishop was really the end of the game, and although it took Black some time to break through, once he did ( 35...b4), I had few opportunities left, being a full rook down !
Although it was a vain hope ( ie waiting for a mistake ) , I feel I played the endgame well, finding moves to ensure that Black had to think to win. Admittedly, though, he played it adequately and had plenty of slack with the mistakes he made, being so far ahead on material !
Move 8. I chose Be2, but I think Nxc6 is equally good.
My choice is an example of not really playing the position, but rather sticking to what I know are accepted opening moves. Lazy, really.
|8: Be2 or Nxc6 ?|
Move 17. h3 ??
What was I thinking of with 17.h3 ? To prepare g4 with some idea of threatening the Queen. Entirely focused on my tactics rather than thinking what my opponent can do to upset me !
Much better was 17.Qd2, attacking the d6 pawn and ensuring the subsequent exchanges are not terminal for White.
|Variation after 17. Qd2. If 17..Bd8 18. Qxd6 Bxc7 19. Bxc7 Qc6|
In fact even after the terrible 17.h3 Bd8, 18.Qd2 still is a redeeming move
|18.Qd2 Bxc7 19.Bxc7 Qc6 20.Qxd6 ef 21.Qxc6 bc 22.Rxf4|
Overall, not my best chess moment, but still something to take away, and a need to concentrate on plan-forming and blunder-checking next time around.
Here's the full game....
18 April, 2010
Open Sicilians ? I love them, why would anyone play 2.c3 and miss out on the fun....?!
Here's two blitz games I played today, apparently classified as B32 ( Labourdonnais Variation) but the first did seem a bit like a Dragon ( or Najdorf ? ) to me.
So, game 1...I tried to play the Maroczy Bind with c4, and a later f4....did it work ?
Well, certainly mistakes on both sides, but I felt happy playing it.
Black played 13...f5 and this was was wrong, and although I thought about it for a while, after 14.Qxd6, Black's position seems to fall apart.
I spent some time thinking after move 14 above, but essentially I accepted that Nxe4, Bxb2, Rb1 was good..and after that, I had a nice victory.
I missed the beautiful Qxg6 ( work it out ! ) but my excuse was that I was in time trouble...
On to Game 2, and much more like the Labourdonnais that I expect with an early e5 from Black.
On auto-pilot, I forget to play Nb5 to head for the Sveshnikov, but no matter....
I make some dodgy moves ( 13. Qh6 ? ) but redeem it with 14.f5, and here...
Black plays [14...Bd7 ]
Not sure why, but certainly after this next move..
[ Black plays 15...Nf4]
Its all over.
Sadly, he was one of those players who doesn't like to be mated, so I waited a minute-plus for the clock to run out after 19.f6...so he has a "time-expired" loss, so much better than mate ! and it gives me more more time to savour the win!!
An enjoyable game none-the-less.
03 April, 2010
I used to have an very bad time with the Sicilian...any Sicilian !!
When I first re-started chess I played correspondence and always met 1...c5 with 2.c3, the Alapin Sicilian.
I have to say that I had very little success, which only increased my dislike of facing the Sicilian.
This is a shame, since it is probably the most popular "non-e4" opening, even at amateur level, so not being able to play against it is a serious problem !
These days, I am much happier and more prepared....
Here's a Blitz game played today....Lasker Variation...Sveshnikov.
Theory ( and popularity ) goes for the move 7.Bg5, but 7. Nd5 avoids lots of theory and is producing some good results.
7....Nxd5 is forced, but don't re-capture with the Queen, as you lose time to Be6 !
On move 8, there are two main Black choices, Nb8 and Ne7. More popular is Nb8, but I don't think there is much between them, at least at my level.
The reply to both is 9.c4, the solid move, but 9.Qf3 is an interesting alternative.
I didn't see the wonderful 10.Qa4, which is probably a winning move against the apparently natural 9...a6.
Regardless of the final loss, I really enjoyed this !