Friday, December 18, 2009

December Before Christmas

During this month and the last two Saturdays, it was different, not completely but unusual, for the good of it. In the first week of the month, kids were a bit late and made us think that we would have just about 5 kids so we considered closing early. It was at about 12:30 when all of a sudden, about 15 came simultaneously and 4 new kids came. We had a pack of volunteers again, at least 5 so we were able to somehow keep everyone in and play and learn chess. It was as if it was a deja vu of the second week in Maria A. Schuka even though we didn't have as many as we thought we had because of the euthusiasm and competitive spirit the kids had. The next week, we had half the number of kids but still had the same interest. Everyone was playing from the beginning till the end. After some time, I decided to introduce double chess just to bring something new and encourage them to play more aggressive. As I thought, they enjoyed although some were getting bored and wanted to play a tournament. Since some didn't want to and it was near Christmas, we had instead our first match play, Job vs. Tacuma. It lasted about 30 mins. but in the end, Job was victorious with 4 quick wins. Tacuma, however, when the match ended, was lectured and played a bit by a chess instructor. I forgot his name but he did teach a few things especially the technique Job used, the Scholar's mate (Bc4, Qh5/f3, Qxf7#). So, for tomorrow, we will have our first short lecture about openings and the chess fundamentals. This will a trial to see how the kids would like the idea of teaching. That's it for now. Hope to see you all tomorrow and may you all have a wonderful Christmas!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Different dates...both the same

In the third week, we had an attendance of 20, 19 kids and 1 adult. Yuanling, Kostya, Michael, and I were there. During that day, we had our first use of the demo board. We had lessons led by Yuanling and Michael. Everyone who came learned or relearned the basics of the game and had some problems. We all had fun and enjoyed the lessons.

The fourth was a decline. The number of kids decreased by 3 and no registered adults were present. It was a bit of chaos since I was late and the length of games were uneven, some ended quickly like 5 mins. and some after at least 15 mins. It seems that it has become an actual tournament in the sense of quick victories or extremely long games that lead to blitz play. The only difference is that we had to end it early which is a bad thing for them. Hopefully, we'll be able to finish it all through out from 12 to 2 smoothly.

That's it for now. There will another one tomorrow. I'll be there tomorrow instead of the going to the 2009 Winter Super Challenge because I have the "binder." Check up for more updates about the Chess-in-Library program in Maria A. Schuka.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Week 1 x 2 = Week 2 ?

The title says it all about the members of the new program in the Maria A. Schuka library yesterday. The first week was blogged by Yuanling and as said, it was a great success. Thanks to the library, staff, volunteers, and of course, the kids and their parents, it has happened.

I'm happy to have Lucas Sterling, David Sterling and Kostya Golovan, our volunteers for this program. All should not forget Yuanling and Michael who have helped made this program possible. They, along with me, volunteered this week.

During the second week, we had more than doubled our members, including the 2 adults who joined. The tables were filled with people playing chess in the first 10 minutes and by the near the end of the hour, parents with their children(about 5) were learning how to play chess. The place seemed to be filled and all were waiting for the mini-tournaments to begin. Before we did so, certificates were given to the winners of the previous tournaments which was received happily by the kids and everyone in the room. Soon, the mini-tournament began. Kids played non-stop and somewhat fast. Some even led to quick wins! Sign of talent and motivation. Interestingly, we had tiebreaks and used hand count since we didn't have clocks. Pressure was everywhere during those games and because of this, they shook hands and drew. Some won the section outright and some drew but no one lost! Everyone had a good experience and wanted to come back. Seems to me the numbers of members will be increasing, possibly even triple the number of members last week.

I thank all those who supported this program and hope this would continue in Maria A. Schuka library. Thank you all very much! :)

Friday, November 6, 2009

A First Scandinavian Game, Quiet yet Deadly

Sorry for not posting this for a very long time. I was...well, i don't know how to say. Deep study I guess. Anyway, after some time, I finally found some motivation in myself after reading some books about world championship games. It made me ask myself what I can contribute to the chess world and so I publish this game here in my blog.

Losing all my games from the first round till the fifth round excluding the third and fourth because I took a bye, I was disappointed and sad despite the fact I’m playing in the open section. Still, I had some hope of winning. I was black against Kevin Wu in the last round. I saw him play e4 before which means I’ll be mostly likely able to play my favourite Center Counter. At last, after four months of waiting, I’m able to finally play my opening again in Toronto. My chess buddies who also know Kevin said that I’ll easily beat him and I shouldn’t worry about him. I did play him before just once and concluded he’s okay but not yet strong enough to play as master. Those did encourage me did put my spirits up but still...those three loses still affected me especially the second one where I had to defend the entire middlegame. There was one thing I remembered saying myself before: “An advantage unused is useless.” If this should favour me, then I should make the most out of it and so I did. I played the same moves, moved the same pieces, thought the same way I thought. For the reader’s sake, I will not hide from you the game and so here it is:

2009 Toronto Thanksgiving Open CFC/FIDE rated 2 hrs/40 + 1 hr
White: Kevin Wu
Black: Jan Edmund D. Lazo
Opening: Center Counter Defense

1. e4 d5 2. exd5
It’s interesting to see that the last two boards at the last round played the same opening only to deviate at move 2. In the end, both had the same result! The difference is that the supposedly sharper move played by my friend later became dead drawn and the supposedly drawish, safe, quiet reply was the one winning!

2. ... Qxd5
I chose the quiet reply. 2. ... Nf6 involves more risk and should be played if one knows how to play the Alekhine (1. ... Nf6) since it usually involves a kingside fianchetto. It’s much more complicated than in the Qxd5 lines which opt for solidity. Besides, I’ve been playing this ever since I learned it.

3. Nc3 Qa5 4. d4 Nf6 5. Bd2
Threatening 6. Ne4 Qb6 7. Nxf6+ gxf6 doubling black’s pawns. The pawn structure would then resemble the Bronstein variation of the Caro-Kann (4. ... Nf6 5. Nxf6+ gxf6). Black gets active play in form of the g-file and a stronger hold of the center. The disadvantage is the fact that it has doubled pawns, a loss of flexibility in the kingside. If one doesn’t like this possible, then c6 should be played by Black instead of Nf6 so that Black can play Qc7 (!) removing White’s threat. The white bishop has to move later anyway so the tempo used in the opening would return later. This plan of an early c6 would also plan on Bf5, Nbd7, e6, and only then Ngf6. This is quite solid. Whatever White does, he won’t be able to do a miniature!

5. ... Bf5
I’ve experienced 5. ... c6 (?!) before against Elliot Raymer in CYCC last summer. Instead of 6. Ne4, he first played 6. Bd3!? I played 6. ... Bg4?! and got a bad middlegame after 7. Ne4! Qh5?! (Bxd1) 8. Nxf6+ exf6 9. Be2 (f3!? is probably more testing exploiting Black’s bishop and queen.) Bxe2 10. Qxe2+ Qxe2 11. Nxe2. White has the pawn majority and I have the wrong set of doubled pawns. I managed to equalize after setting up a blockade and post a good knight on e5. He got caught in a discovered attack and had to defend an ending a pawn down after chopping his isolated d pawn. In the opening, 5. ... Qc7! is better and only then Bg4! forcing Nge2/Nf3 or a concession with f3.

The difference with the text move is that 6. Ne4 now allows 6. ... Qb6 7. Nxf6+ Qxf6! Black’s pawns remain flexible and the queen is safe and if needed, can reach to almost every square in the 6th rank.

6. Nf3 c6
Only now since it can no longer be prevented. Unless one is comfortable with 6. ... e6 7. Ne4 Qb6
8. Nxf6+ gxf6 9. Bc3 when Qd2 and 0-0-0 threatens Ba5 trapping the queen. Of course there are ways to avoid this but if it means moving the queen again, then it shows the inferiority of e6 over c6.

7. Bc4
And now it transposes back to the main line.

7. ... e6 8. 0-0
8. Nd5 Qd8 9. Nxf6+ Qxf6 if basing on the number of games somewhat new even till today. It retains pawn flexibility and therefore is much more solid and safe. The drawback is that the queen might find itself misplaced and should later think about relocating itself to c7 where it should be since Black usually castles queenside for king safety and is much more vulnerable. Black has fared fairly well though.
9. ... gxf6 instead opts for a structure similar to the gxf6 variation of the 4. ... Nf6 Caro-Kann. Black might find itself lagging in development but the solidity of the pawn structure and central control make up for it. Black would also castle queenside and aim for some active play in the center and kingside with the half-open g file.
8. Qe2 is still the main line with the idea of d4 d5. If White ever achieves this successfully, most likely Black within a few moves. The fullness of it is shown after 8. ... Bxc2? 9. d5! cxd5 (forced)
10. Nxd5 (discovered attack) Qd8 11. Nxf6+ gxf6 12. Bb5+! Nc6 13. Rc1 Bg6 14. Rxc6! bxc6 15. Bxc6+
or 12. ... Nd7 13. Bc3 Bg6 14. Rd1 +- After Black players realized that, they played 8. ... Bb4 with the idea of Bxc3, removing a piece controlling d5.

8. ... Qc7 9. Re1 Be7
The move for flexibility and protection against any d4-d5 breakthrough because it removes the indirect pin on the e-file. 9. ... Bd6 entails more risky but nonetheless is playable since 10. d5? cxd5 leaves the bishop hanging. Qe2 should be first played first before d4-d5 but one should not forget c2 is hanging.
Black can opt for queenside castling or kingside castling depending on the white player and play Bd6 or Bf6 if the f6 knight leaves.

10. a4?!
Too committing. In order prevent b5, White weakens b2, b3, and b4. It puts White’s rook the job of protecting the a4 pawn. Black doesn’t necessarily play b5 and chose to play in the center instead. Even 10. Bb3 is better allowing Qe2, Rad1, c3, etc. aiming center and kingside play or h3 preventing Bg4, giving h2 for the king, and giving possibilities for a kingside pawn storm with f4, g4, h4, etc as shown in my game against Nicka Kalaydina. See Calgary Junior Chess Club Yahoo Newsgroup. If White can pawn storm in the queenside, this can be justified but unfortunately for White, this is not possible.

10. ... 0-0 11. h3 Nbd7 12. Nh4
White sets on removing Black’s key defender of the light squares. Black has no escape from the imminent capture but can content itself for the kingside pawn structure which controls f5, g6, and h5 and gives the king an escape square on h7.

12. ... Bg6 13. Nxg6 hxg6 14. Qf3?!
An inaccuracy. Better is 14. Qe2 simply doubling on the e-file and protecting the light-squared bishop. White can then think of playing of f4 and g4 later if allowed to break through the enemy pawn fortress. It transposes if an exchange of knights occur. The idea is breakthrough with d5 but this is misguided. One plays d5 not because of the extra defenders defending the d5 pawn but the e-file pin!

14. ... Nb6
Black sets on an exchange of pieces to change the pawn structure to his favour or reduce of his slightly cramped position.

15. Bb3 Nbd5
Now c5 is a possibility since d5 is occupied. Any exchange gives Black a fair share of the center and so equalizes.

16. Ne4
White removes the knight blocking him from playing c2-c3 or c2-c4 but Black happily obliges to give way for the dark-squared bishop to f6, attacking White’s main weakness, d4. 16. Nxd5 cxd5 just gives Black a fair hold of the center.

16. ... Nxe4 17. Qxe4 Bf6
The position is obviously equal now. Now, Black aims to put pressure on d4 and hold d5 as well. Now, it seems the d pawn will not see light of the day. It lacks c3, a very important pawn move maintaining d4. Also, the rooks and bishop are wrongly placed to defend d4 since there are no tactics to support d5 thanks to Nd5.

18. g4?
Premature kingside pawn storm. White forgot that his d pawn is weak and lacks protection. Petrosian would have played something like 18. Be3 or 18. c3 holding d4 when Qb6 Qc2 protects b2 and the bishop protecting his pieces before even thinking of an attack. Black’s pressure on d4 now doubles.

18. ... Qb6!
Now c3 is impossible without protection on b2 and b3. White’s next move is forced.

19. Be3 Rad8!
The right rook. The rooks here are meant for d8 and e8 so that d5 exd5 attacks the queen. Ironically, the break is meant for c5! The difference between Rad8 and Rfd8 will show itself later.

20. Rad1 Rfe8
Black is ready for pawn breaks.

21. g5?
This is truly losing now. White loses a pawn and is in an unfavourable opposite-coloured bishop position where the dark-squared bishop hails supreme thanks to d4, e3, f2, g3, h4. Much more tenacious was 21. Qf3 or 21. Qg2 or 21. Qd3 for king/queen safety. If Black wants to win, he needs to keep the queens and his knight on for now. With g5, the evaluation changes drastically.

21. ... Nxe3! 22. fxe3 Bxg5
Without the g4 pawn, the White can’t expect to breakthrough on the kingside and is more open to heavy piece attacks such as Qb6-a5-g5. This is should be more than enough in this ending.

23. h4?
Even more weaknesses. To prevent any Black piece going to g5, it puts itself on a dark square. Moreover, it weakens h3 and so is another square of the queen to go to. Miraculously, this saved him. How though it is the question. The reply would be at least defending e3 by Rd3 then, the doubling in the d-file with Re1-d1-d2, and then c4. This would allow Bd1-f3 relocating the bishop and supporting the d4-d5 break while giving protection to the white king. The queenside pawns would be able to defend itself with b2-b3. It would be needed in the near future since e3 would be always under attack after a c5/e5 break.

23. ... Bf6 24. Kf2
The king is running away but is only making itself vulnerable along the 2nd rank. 24. Rd3 is still possible with ideas shown in 23. h4?!

24. ... c5!
Exploiting White’s previous move opening up the position for the heavy pieces. Things are not looking rosy for White.

25. dxc5 Qxc5 26. c3 Qb6 27. Rxd8? (!)
White goes for a swindle, a risky one. White gives up the d-file to the opponent but why?

27. ... Rxd8 28. Qc4!
White sets a trap letting h4 hang since Bxh4 Qxh4 Qxb3 hangs a pawn. There’s one weakness in Black’s camp: the open h-file.

27. ... Bxh4+??
Black throws away his advantage and half a point. Stronger is 27. ... Qd6! when White has no good reply.
a.) 28. Qf4 Qxf4 29. exf4 Bxh4+ loses the exchange and the game
b.) 28. Kf3 Qh2! 29. Qg4 Rd2
c.) 28. Rd1 Qh2+ 29. Kf3 Qh3+ 30. Bxh4+ Ke2 31. Qg2#
d.) 28. Rh1 Qe5 29. Qe2 Qf5+ 30. Kg2 Qe4+ 31. Kh2 Be5+ 32. Kh3 Rd3 with the threat of Rxe3+
As one would see, Black advantage is decisive and should lead to a mate or huge material loss for White. The text move however was just too greedy. A tip for Scandinavian players: don’t be too greedy. When in advantage, be calm and simplify if material advantage and maintain if positional. Simplify in the sense of exchanging everything up until to the endgame where the extra material outweighs any compensation the opponent might have. Maintain in the sense of keeping your advantage. Keep on pressuring until the opponent cracks.

28. Qxh4 Rd2+ 29. Re2 Rxe2+ 30. Kxe2 Qxb3 31. Qd8+ 1/2-1/2
Despite the result, I think both sides have learned a lot from the game what and what not to do. My opponent to think ahead of a good plan that makes sense in the given position and for me to maintain the initiative and not simplify allowing counterplay which is perpetual.

I don't know if there are other tournaments I'll be able to join to this month but there's are other things that will make this month busy for me besides school. I'm gonna be starting volunteering in Maria A. Schuka for the Chess in the Library program. I'll be posting all the progress of it right here or use another blog for it...nah, I'll do it on both. Also, I'll be annotating live games of the Alberta Junior Chess Championship. If I can, I'll kibitz but I don't know how to make it public. If anyone has ideas, please tell me. So for that, I conclude this post.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Thanksgiving Open

Sorry all! I wasn't able to blog probably because of my disappointing result in the tournament. To save your time, I'll just briefly say it. I got 0.5/4 with two byes cause my parents made me celebrate thanksgiving the whole day during Sunday. I played against two masters, calugar and moffat, two class A players, Aaron and Kevin Wu. I lost against the masters and Aaron but gave a draw against kevin in a winning opposite colored bishop position with major pieces. How? Perpetual. All three except my game against Aaron are worth annotating. If I have time, then I'll annotate my game against Aaron. I'd probably annotate my only really good game against Kevin this week and post it this week as well. School is okay for me so I should have enough time to do it. I'll try looking for tournaments I can join after I do my volunteer work in the library. I'm starting my volunteer work promoting chess in the Maria A. Schucka library every Sat. That's all I have for now so check it often for updates.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Round 6 with notes

After losing my fifth game against a fellow Filipino, I was saddened by the fact I have no chance anymore to get any place. Also, I feel a pressure in me to win disappeared. It reminded me of my tournament before this. It was about two years ago. I had three opponents left during the last day. I lost the first game against a finalist in a major tournament. It was a better position for me with an extra pawn in a solid position. I lost the exchange but had a super strong passed pawn but in the end, I blew up and lost it even if my blunder should give at the very least a draw. In the second game, I lost it too in a winning positon. It was very tactical but I had an open file against the king, domination of dark squares, mating threats, and a two extra pawns with White having no counterplay. Unfortunately, I was down in time with my opponent having an hour against my ten minutes. I played quickly hoping to exchange pieces but gave him too much play and lost my pieces and let my flag go down. In the third game, I changed strategy and played casually for the sake of having fun whether it was having fun with my opponent or torturing my opponent so he can resign. I did win but perhaps had too much fun. I got a medal but what’s a medal compared to a trophy? Nothing. If I relate it to this, what I did I think was that I just played bughouse and blitz. It’s said to be bad if I still have a game but why care? I have no chance anyway to place. It went well. I eventually put my two horrible loses aside and concentrated on my last game. I was black against Tyler Longo in the last round. Seeing his rating as somewhat equal to mine, I was more than relaxed but of course during the game is another story. It was actually the other way around! Well, until I played an interesting move which confused and then as game continued on from that interesting move, the game slowly crept to me since White was clueless. I’ll explain why.

Round 6 CFC rated Classical 2 hrs./40 + 1 hr.
White: Tyler Longo 1991
Black: Jan Edmund D. Lazo 1994
Opening: Queen’s Indian with b3, (A47)

1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 e6 3. e3 b6 4. b3
When faced with this move, only thing that comes to my mind is that he’s going to copy my moves to get a draw. I had this before in the 2009 Canadian Chess Challenge. My opponent gave me a tempo for some weird reason with 4. ... Bb7 5. Bb2 c5 6. c3?! and got crushed with a central break and a kingside attack.

4. ... Bb7 5. Bb2 c5 6. Nbd2 Nc6 7. Bd3 d5
Another possibility is 7. ... cxd4 8. exd4 Nd5 with plans of f5, Be7, 0-0, Qc7, Bf6, etc. or 8. ... Be7, 0-0, Qc7, d6, Rc8 etc., treating it like a hedgehog.

8. 0-0 Be7 9. Ne5
Typical move. The purpose of this move is to allow f4, Ndf3 strengthening his hold on e5. Black sets on neutralizing the knight with his next move but is it just that?

9. ... 0-0 10. f4 Rc8
Threatening cxd4 exd4 Nb4 getting the bishop pair.

11. a3 Nd7
Is 10. Qh5 a problem?

12. Qh5 f5!
Rather than kicking the knight with f6 if possible, Black instead focuses on controlling e4 instead. This also further closes the center. 10 ... g6 weakens the dark squares around the king and with dxc5 as a possibility, it seems suicidal. It also makes an f5 break stronger and sacrifices on the kingside, particularly on g6 possible. Based on that analysis, I went for 10 ... f5.

13. Qe2
11. Ndf3 Nf6 12. Qh3 Ne4 equalizes. The text move goes for another plan, exchanging bishops. In queen’s pawn games, there is a saying that Black needs his light-squared bishop to take care of his pawns. This is in fact true in openings like the Queen’s Indian, Dutch, Semi-Slav. Since White’s bishop is attacking granite, might as well trade it for something with a purpose. How does Black respond?

13 ... Ndxe5 14. fxe5 Bg5!
In the Queen’s Indian, this bishop is usually the piece asking itself were it should go to have purpose. Now, the bishop has answered its question. The bishop on g5 attacks the e3 pawn and so prevents Ba6 and any queen movement. Now, all of Black’s pieces have a purpose and a plan has shown itself, put pressure on the center. It involves Rc7-f7, Qe7, and f4 attacking White’s base pawn chain. With the attack on d4 and e3, White would be forced to give up his d4 pawn and so and exchange will take place where Black’s pawn would dominate the center and there is possibility for d4, opening up the h1-a8 diagonal for the bishop. White slowly falls apart with no plan.

15. Rae1?!
15. Nf3 Bh6 16. does nothing to Black. f4 is a better square for the knight and f3 is a better square for the rook piling up on the f-file first then lift them to the third rank towards the kingside. A better try would be to immediately pile up with 15. Rf3. Then 15. ... Rc7 16. Raf1 Rcf7 keeps the tension on the kingside and gives White the opportunity to move first unlike in the game.

15. ... Rc7 16. Rf3 Rcf7 17. Ref1 Qe7
Black has done everything to prepare f4 and so protects his bishop and two rooks before advancing. It also indirectly attacks the a3 pawn. Is there any other reason for this move? Well, besides what has been said, what else?

18. Rg3
Setting up a swindle. If 18. ... f4?, then just simply 19. Qh5! threatening Qxh7# and Rxg5 winning a piece.

18. ... g6
Now, f4 is possible.

19. c4?
With no other moves to play, White breaks on the center but one should ask why. I guess he had no other plans and decides on attacking the d pawn which make the e6 pawn more vulnerable and gives much more meaning for White’s e5 pawn if ever cxd5 exd5. The consequence of course is that the h1-a8 diagonal opens up if dxc4 which means that White’s rooks are much more vulnerable and a pawn push all the way to f3 might become possible. In other words, it’s a positional blunder. A better try would have been 19. c3 solidifying the White’s pawn structure but at the cost of weakening b3. 19. ... f4 fails to 20. e4 which removes the weak pawn with no cost so Black should consider 19. ... Na5 attacking the b3 pawn. Then 20. Bc2 put White on the defensive. With cxd4 and Rc8 to come with a battery or a
“gun” (tripling)on the c-file, Black has the initiative. Probably, he had to wait with 19. Kh1.

19. ... f4!
Breaking in with tempo. White has to take it to avoid immediate death.

20. exf4 Bxf4
Before I move on, I would just like to say a few words about the game. During the opening and the first part of the middlegame, White was always ahead on time. White played impatiently as if he had this before. When Black played Bg5, he started to slow down thinking of what to play. Gradually, his position deteriorated until to the point he had a lost position which is now the current position. If one knows that he’ll be grinded the same way Karpov would, would one continue on hoping his opponent would slip and lose half a point or go for weird, complicated sac that has high chances for Black to go wrong. Guess what he chose?

21. Rxf4? (!)
Who wants to get tortured? Obviously, no one would want that. Anyone who has watched any of the SAW films know what suffering is like. If what was happening in the game happened in real life, it would be him failing to solve the trap and die like the rest. I will go any further to how people died in those films as it might scare the life out of any faint-hearted person who hasn’t seen these films before. To translate what my opponent did in this game, he gave up and picked up a gun. I’ll leave that to the reader what would happen next.

21. ... Rxf4 22. Bxg6!
Same in poker, ALL IN!

22. ... hxg6 23. Qh5!
This complicates things a bit. The obvious 22. Rxg6+? Kf7 23. Qh5 fails to 23. ... Qh4!! silencing any double checks since any double check loses material. The next move by Black decides his fate. Relating to Saw, will he let his opponent get what he wants, an escape to this misery?

23. ... R4d7!
The answer is No to the question. One should get what one deserves whether it is because one succeeds or one fails. Take note that 23. ... R8f7 24. Rxg6+ Rg7 25. Rh6!! gives the game to White since 25. ... Rh7 26. Rxh7+ Qxh7 27. Qg5 hangs a rook. See the importance of the queen. Without the queen on e7, Black would be quite lost right now but that’s life. It’s unfair. One just has to deal with it.

24. Rxg6+ Rg7 25. Nf3 Nd8
Opening up the light-squared bishop. Now, any dxc4 threatens an attack based on g2. White resigned since
26. Ng5 Rxg6 27. Qxg6+ Qg7 forces an exchange of queens since an attack on g2 would happen with dxc4 and Nf7. White would also have to endure a rook vs. three pawns endgame with both sides having pieces which should favor Black.

Round 3 with annotation

I had a good sleep after round 2. I knew that I have equal chances with winning just like anyone else since there are still four games. I did nothing but sleep, wake up, take a bath, dress up, and eat. I was a bit late but 2 hours in 40 moves is not that much of a problem if I just lose about 10 minutes. I was able to make it there. I saw the pairings and saw myself black against an expert, Sheldon Pimentel. Finally having black, I walked calmly since I’m more comfortable playing black than white. I didn’t lose much time and played my favorite Nimzo-Indian. Easy as it was throughout the game, I felt nervous about drawing because a draw might kill my chances for placing. What’s ironic is that he played as if I was going for a draw too! Here’s the game.

Round 3 CFC rated Classical 2 hrs./40 moves + 1 hr.
White: Sheldon Pimentel 2059
Black: Jan Edmund D. Lazo 1994
Opening: Nimzo-Indian Defense, Classical, Noa Variation

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Qc2 d5
The line I’ve recently studied and been using. This move fights for control in the center, giving a stronger control over e4, and allows an Ne4 with a possible idea of Bf5. The main lines go 5. cxd5 Qxd5 6. Nf3 Qf5! 7. Qxf5 exf5 8. a3 Be7 with solid, equal position and 5. a3 Bxc3+ 6. Qxc3 Ne4 7. Qc2 Nc6 8. e3 e5! 9. cxd5 Qxd5 10. Bc4 Qa5+ 11. b4 Nxb4 12. Qxe4 Nc2+ 13. Ke2 Qe1+ 14. Kf3 Nxa1 with a very complicated game.

5. Bg5
A move I’ve never had before. I’ve read a book about the Nimzo-Indian and it said that a combination of Bg5 and Qc2 can’t be good but that was with 0-0, not d5. It is the move after cxd5 exd5 which gives White a theoretical plus but probably not now because of the move more testing than the text move. I guess he wants to avoid the main lines of this variation.

5. … h6
A more testing reply would be 5. … dxc4 because now Black can keep pawn with b5, c6, and a6. It also attacks the d4 pawn and gives the d5 square for a piece, probably the knight or queen. The game went 5 … dxc4 6. Nf3 b5 7. a4 c6 8. Bxf6 gxf6 9. g3 a6 10. Bg2 Ra7 11. 0-0 Rd7
12. Qc1 0-0 13. Qh6 Bxc3 14. bxc3 Kh8 15. Nd2 f5 16. Rfb1 e5 17. Nf3 Rd6 18. Qe3 e4 19. Nd2 Nd7 20. g4 Nf6 21. gxf5 Bxf5 22. Qf4 Qd7 23. Bxe4 Nxe4 24. Nxe4 Rg6+ 25. Ng3 Bxb1 26. Rxb1 f5 27. f3 Qg7 28. Kf2 Qf6 29. axb5 cxb5 30. Rd1 Kg8 31. d5 Qxc3 32. d6 Qf6 33. d7 c3 34. Nxf5 c2 35. Rd6 Qd8 36. Qe5 Rxf5 37. Rxg6+ hxg6 38. Qe8+ Rf8 39. Qxg6+ ½-½. I would say that in this game, White struggled to get the half point. The text move simplifies the game.

6. Bxf6 Qxf6 7. a3 Bxc3+ 8. Qxc3
Before I continue on, I would like to say few things about this position. The position shows that the dark-squared bishop and a knight have been removed from both sides with queens on opposite squares (c3 & f6). There is still equal number of pawns, bishops, knights, rooks, and queens. Therefore, the position is dead equal with Black achieving his goal, equality. Black also gets the chance to move first! The next few moves prove my point that this position is dead equal.

8. … c6
I decided to play this position like the Semi-Slav with dxc4, b5, and c5 later on if White chooses to play 9 e3 or 10 e3 since I didn’t like the position that would arise from Nc6, Bd7, and 0-0-0, and 0-0 Qxc7 Nc6 with gambit play.

9. Nf3 Nd7 10. g3?!
Better is to play 10. e3, Bd3 but allowing a Semi-Slav position to arise with dxc4, b5, and Bb7. As game continued, White does play e3 anyway since his bishop is hitting granite.

10 … 0-0 11. Bg2 b6 12. 0-0 Ba6 13. cxd5 cxd5 14. Qd2 Rac8?!
An inaccuracy. The text move requires Black’s queen three moves to go to b8 to be able to exchange all major pieces. White can then improve his position while the black queen moves. Better is 14. … Rfc8! 15. Rfc1 Qd8 with the idea of 16. … Rxc1, 17. … Rc8 18. Rxc8+ Qxc8 or 18. Rc3 Rxc3 19. Qxc3 Qc8! exchange major pieces and heading into a bishop & knight vs. bishop & knight ending with equality.

15. Rfc1!
Moving the right rook in the c-file and giving the f1 square for the bishop.

15. … Qe7
Black can’t do anything right now so…he begins the Black’s queen’s trip to b8!

16. e3 Qd6 17. Rxc8 Rxc8 18. Rc1 Qb8
Finally, the queen made it! Now, the game head to an endgame.

19. Rc3 Rxc3!
If 20. … bxc3, then Black can work on with White’s light -square weaknesses with Bc4, b5, Nb6, etc. So, 20. Qxc3 is practically forced.

20. Qxc3 Qc8!
Since White has control of the c-file, Black neutralizes it. The exchange of major pieces is complete. The game heads on to the endgame of bishop and knight vs bishop vs knight.

21. Qxc8+ Bxc8 22. Bf1
Taking control diagonal Black left for the exchange of queens. What does Black do now to neutralize it since he can’t play Ba6 yet?

22. … Nb8!
Yes, this is the move even though this completes the undevelopment of Black’s pieces. Why?
Simple, neutralize the bishop with Ba6, place the knight on c6. In other words, redevelopment.

23. Ne5 f6 24. Ng6 Kf7 25. Nf4 Bd7
Better and much more obvious is the simple 25. … Ke7 walking the king to the other side.

26. Bh3 Ke7 27. Kf1 g5 (!)
I would have to play it anyway to develop my bishop and protect my pawns from harm. It also allows me to play my type of ending: bishop vs. knight ending with me having the knight! I don’t need to but I want to.

28. Nd3 Bb5 29. Ke2 Nc6 30. Kd2 Bxd3 31. Kxd3 Kd6 32. b4 e5 33. f3 Ne7
Black has no other move and waits for his opponent to react in this position. He waits for f4 when he can respond with e4+, f5, g4, h5, closing the kingside for the moment until h5-h4-hxg3 is possible with Ng8-f6-h5 attacking g3.

34. e4?
I guess White wants to win, but perhaps his desire to win overwhelmed him. It is a saying to break open the center when one has the bishop, as I would say, this is not the case because of…

34. … Nc6!
Yes, as obvious as it could ever be, this is the move. White can’t protect his d4 pawn anymore and has to trade it one way or the other. The open center ironically killed White.

35. exd5 Nxd4?!
A more accurate move is just 35. …Kxd5 36. dxe5 Nxe5+ 37. Ke2 Kd4 with a won endgame for Black since White will lose his queenside pawns sooner or later. The text move however, give a more interesting game.

36. Kd5 a5!
Avoiding b5 when this and Bf1 hold off Black’s queenside pawns. This also forces the exchange of queensides pawns which makes Black’s plan on making a queenside passer stronger.

37. bxa5 bxa5 38. Bc8?
The obvious 38. Bf1 or 38. a4 were the only moves possible trying to save his remaining queenside pawn from the knight and having the time to post bishop on diagonals to stop the passer. Black now chops it for good.

38. … Nc2 39. Ba6
He finally corrects the bishop at the ideal diagonal. This is his only chance which would require trapping the knight temporarily on d3.

39. … Nxa3 40. Kf5
He doesn’t want to trap it first and try to get some pawns but still not enough. 40. … Bd3 is obviously forced if he wants to save the game. Now watch how the knight dances around

40. … Kxd5 41. Kxf6 a4 42. Bc8 Nc4 43. Bf5 a3 44. Bb1 Nd2 45. Ba2+ Kd4
Black will chop the f3 pawn and create another passer so White resigns.

Lesson: Play it because it’s the best move, whether theoretically, strategical, and/or practically. Don’t follow a saying without thought cause every position is more likely different than not.

I'll post games 4-6 but only have round 6 annotated. I wasn't able to annotate round 4 and 5 completely.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Round 2 game w/ annotation

After I finished my game through a zugzwang at about 4 pm, one of the Filipinos had a laptop. It has Fritz 11, books, videos, everything a chess player would need. I was amazed by how many books he had in PDF, about 340, but not as much when he told me how he got them all. Anyway, I, along with him, looked at my first game against Olden-cooligan. I was sad to see that many of what I thought were best moves I did not play because I was “not in the mood.” Sadden but somewhat happy to know that my analysis was correct, I ate lunch and looked up on some of the lines I will be playing as Black for the second round. Happy to be finally be Black and be in my comfort zone, I was calm just waiting for the first round games to end and play my second game. More than an hour later, the pairings were up. Shocked to see what was posted, I saw myself playing David Southam as White! The pressure is in me to win this. I already used up a lot of my energy to make a middlegame zugzwang (technically because of the amount of material left in the board). Even worse, he won’t let me play my Bb5 Sicilian! I can’t really play the Open Sicilian and prefer something closed like the Closed Siclian or the Grand Prix. That means I have to go to my non-comfort zone. As I sat down, I saw a guy, probably in his 50s, with his glasses and a look I can’t seem to describe. When the some of them started, we soon shook hands and started the clock. This is the game.

2009 Toronto Labour Day Open Round 2 Board 3 CFC-rated 2 hrs./40 + 1 hr
White: Jan Edmund Lazo (1994)
Black: David Southam (2146)
Opening: Sicilian Defense, Alapin Variation with d5

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3
If I could ever go back in time, I would have played 2. Nc3 instead going for a Grand Prix or a Closed Sicilian. The type of position that arose in the game didn’t suit me and was shown by my mediocre play even though I was tired and not used to the time control.

2. ... e6
I always hate it when my 3. Bb5 isn’t it allowed. I’m more or less playing this game on my own. I remembered ideas relating the Bb5 Sicilian with the Alapin, c3 Siclian, even though I forgot what I studied about the c3 Sicilian. Nevertheless, it has served me well so I went for it.

3. c3 d5 4. exd5
4. e5?! attempts to transpose to the French Advance but it fails to 4. ... d4! since 5. Qa4+ Nc6 6. Bb5 Bd7
7. Bxc6 Qxd4 8. Bxf3! Qxd8+ 9. gxf3 gives Black fantastic compensation in the form of White’s weak pawn structure, an isolated pawn (h3), backward pawns(d4, f4, f3), doubled pawns (f4, f3), and White’s lagging development.

4. ... Qxd5 5. d4 Nf6 6. Be2
The book move is 6. Na3 threatening Nb5-c7+. This can also lead to a position similar in the 3. ... e6 variation of the Bb5 Siclian (1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 e6 4. 0-0 Nge7 5. c3 d5 8. exd5 Qxd5 9. Na3). It might then lead to a transposition with Bc4, 0-0, Nb5, etc. From here, one can notice I don`t know theory anymore and played on my own. Tired after the first game and with a different time control, I felt I should just get a draw to have a long rest for the rest of the games ahead. Convincing my opponent I deserve at least a draw was not easy.

6. ... Nc6 7. 0-0
7. Na3 is still appropriate and is definitely better theoretically and practically because I don’t have the strength to calculate long variations and strategic planning. If 7. ... cxd4 8. Nb5! Qd8 9. Nbxd4 Nxd4 10. Qxd4 Qxd4 11. Nxd4 Bd7, then the endgame resulting from this should be fine for me even though the position is drawish. At least, I have a clue what’s going to happen unlike in the game.

7. ... cxd4 8. cxd4 Be7 9. Nc3 Qd6
Safer and still better is 9. ... Qd8. This position can’t be treated like the Center Counter Defense with Qa5 because of possible b4, Nb5, Nc4, Bf4, and other moves typically played in the Qa5 Scandinavian Defense because Black lacks an important pawn, c6. When the queen’s safety is threated, it usually goes back to c7 or d8 so it’s better to just play it.

10. Be3 0-0 11. Qd2
I kept thinking how to make Ne5 and Bf3 work but can’t find any answer. So, if I ever want that to happen, I have to hit the queen and keep my d4 pawn protected. I decided to just develop everything toward the center. 11. Qd2 does the job giving the d1 square for the f1 rook and supporting Bf4 to gain time on the queen and support Ne5. Black had enough time to develop though.

11. ... Nd5
Preventing d5 and allowing an exchange on d5 which decreases the strength of my isolated d pawn in the open position. It sounds good but Black must not forget his own development. 11. ... Bd7 and 11. ... b6 are booked.

12. Rac1 Nxc3 13. bxc3
It seems disadvantageous for me to play 13. Rxc3 since it leaves me with an isolated pawn with a lead in development but that’s what the c3 Siclian was all about, iniative. White`s ideas would be doubling on the d file with Rfd1, posting a piece on e5 (Ne5), a rook transfer to the kingside (Rh3), attack h7 with Bd3, Qe2-e4-h5, going for an all-out assault on the kingside or just a central breakthrough with d5. A possible variation is 13. Rxc3 Qd5 14. Bc4 Qh5 15. a3 (preventing Bb4 and Nb4-d5) 16. Qe2 Bd7 17. Rfc1 Rac8 18. Ne5 Qxe2 19. Bxe2 Nxe5 20. Rxc8 Rxc8 21. dxe5 with White having the better placed pieces

13. ... b6 14. Rfd1 Bb7 15. Bf4 Qd8
Black offered a draw. Assuming from the way he played, how much time he spent, he was also tired and wanted to get an early rest from chess to be able to play tomorrow. His strategy of drawing did work but only because I was also tired. Talk about coincidence. It`s just what I needed but as I usually did, I declined on the basis of my piece development. I misplayed it in the end though.

16. c4?!
It’s not best to play this yet since not all of my pieces are not well-placed to make a passer in the center by playing d5. A stronger idea lies in Bd3 since Black is out of defenders in the kingside with Qe2-e4 and Ng5. If 16. ... Bd6, then White can follow his idea of meeting Black halfway with 17. Qe3. White now threatens Bxd6 Qxd6 c5! and he has his kingside ideas of Qe4 and Ng5. So, if 17. ... Bxf4 18. Qxf4 Ne7 19. Ne5, White has the initiative and an attack.

16. ... Bd6
Blockading d6, the square meant for the d4 pawn after a d5 break. His idea is to reduce the amount of pieces on the board and thus reducing the value of the hanging pawns since Bf6 does no harm to White’s pawns. Black has no time for something like Qd7 since d5! hits hard as cxd5 cxd5 Na5/b8 d6 with Rc7, Bb5, Rfc1, grinding Black.

17. Qe3
White meets Black halfway asking if he really wants to exchange bishops or not. If not, then White will exchange bishops and play c5 since there are no exchange of queens if bxc5 dxc5.

17. ... Ne7
Black opens the bishop and clears the c-file for the rook. This also allow Nf5 hitting the queen and Ng6 if there is a need to defend. I saw that this could be an opportunity to get my draw even at the cost of an inferior position so I went for it despite my desire to win. I realized here that I’m psychologically not in the position to force a win since there is nothing concrete and I lack time.

18. Bg5?!
This had to be the time to play 18. Bxd6! Qxd6 19. c5 Qd8 20. Ne5 with Bd3/b5, Qb3/d3/g3/h3, and c6 if allowed. This should be enough to compensate for the outpost on d5.

18. ... Nf5
Black accepts the exchange of queens since he lacked development and he gets one of the bishops.

19. Bxd8 Nxe3 20. fxe3 Raxd8?!
Wrong rook but at least he developed his rook. Black is at least equal now.

21. Nd2
Supporting c4, White’s main weakness, and allowing a possible Bf3, challenging the Indian bishop. It also supports e4.

21. ... Rc8 22. Bf3?
This give Black a tempo. Better is 22. Rc2 since this will be played anyway to overprotect the c4 pawn. White will then play Rb1 (preventing Bb4), Kf2 (Bxh2?? g3!, Nf1+-), Bd3, and Ne4 trying to force c5.

22. ... Bxf3?
22. ... Ba6 23. Be2 Bb4 increases the pressure on the c pawn and should win the c4 pawn.

23. Nxf3?
Another mistake. White intended to play 23. gxf3 forming a bigger center but probably denied it because of the unstable committing pawn structure. It actually is better as it doesn’t misplace the knight, and sets a blockade on e5 after Kg2 and f4. White can then move his king to d3, move his knight to f3. White can’t progress but can hold off Black.

23. ... Rc7 24. Rc2 Rfc8 25. Rb1!
White prevents 25. ... Bb4! which forces the exchange of minor pieces and then wins the c pawn in the double rook ending. White has some drawing chances but a pawn is a pawn. It would be slim. I offered a draw and he accepted. Maybe, he realized that I threatened to not play on until 11 pm. He seemed tired as we had about the same time left on the clocks. He accepted and we shake hands. A quick draw but playing up to 11 pm since 10 am seemed tiring if it risks placing in the tournament.

I happily meant back home drawing a worse position and having more time to sleep. I still had chances of placing for the tournament. That’s game 2 and must be lesson for me how not to play the Alapin.

Well, that's game 2. I'll try to post as much as I can this week since Thanksgiving Open is coming close. I've decided to play in the open section seeking to improve my game and rating since I felt I wasn't put in the edge and rather lost cause of myself. Whatever happens, it should be a learning experience for me.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

2009 Toronto Labour Day Open Round 1 with annotations

First tournament in Toronto excluding the nationals, first game with this new time control, a first open tournament in Canada where I see more than 150 players. It was like my first tournament in the Philippines when I was still unrated. Anyway, that’s that for now for a bit of description of what I thought before the start of the tournament. Now, it’s time for the first round, against an 1800! My first impression because of his name and rating was that he must be a weakness meaning I can easily just crush him in about 20 moves but it actually took a lot longer and made my life harder. In the end, I would say that the game had an awesome end. Zugzwang I think is what is called. It means that Black’s pieces are stuck and can’t prevent the inevitable just like the Immortal Zugzwang Game, done by Aron Nimzowitsch, said to be like me by one of my friends, Hemant Persuad. There were lots of struggles for both sides but it seemed that White got the better of it. I will now show you all why with my notes.

2009 Toronto Labour Day Open
White: Jan Edmund D. Lazo (1994) Round 1 CFC rated
Black: Ben Olden-cooligan (1800) Board 29 2 hrs. /40 + 1 hr.
Opening: French Defense, Advance Variation, 3. Bd7 with Qb6

1. e4
I decided to not play the Bird attempting to turn it into a Nimzo/Dutch hybrid. I wanted to but said to myself I’m not ready for it. I wanted to win convincingly, not a grinded Karpov torture even though I usually do it myself.

1. ... e6 2. d4 d5 3. e5
I had played the 3. Nc3 where my opponent played the Classical Variation (3. ... Nf6). I got a winning attack by sacking my knight on e6 for two pawns and got a rook for in exchange of my other knight (so not like me to lose both knights but as usual, when I get the chance, I promote a knight!). I made a mistake by making what seemed to be a logical move and then lost the game by a simple bank rank mate. A usual ending to my so-called winning position. In fact, I played it well but knowing that I have excellent results with the French Advance, I decided to play it.

3. ... c5 4. c3 Nc6 5. Nf3 Bd7 6. Be2 Nge7 7. Na3
The move said to gain an advantage. White plans on overprotecting d4 and support b4 for queenside action. 7. 0-0 is OKAY but if I want to play this system, I think I have to concede with Be3 which got annihilated in Kagramanov-Shirov game. If Black keeps holding back on taking on d4, then I might have to play Na3. So, I must as well play it.

7. ... cxd4 8. cxd4 Qb6
When I saw this move, I was happy. I know exactly how to handle Qb6. I’ve faced it many times and most of it I’ve won. I even play it myself when my opponent declines my 1. e4 d5!? (!) with 2. e5?! The plan I’ve had most problems with was with f6. The theory on f6 is new so I’ve had some pitfalls. One of them was my first game against Jose Luna, a junior expert and is one of the high rated juniors in Calgary. I will not spend time on analysis just yet because these are still book moves.

9. 0-0 Nf5 10. Nc2 Be7 11. g4!?
The opening book I saw in Fritz 11 is 11. Rb1 preparing b4 and only then g4. Ideas for Rb1 are protect the b pawn, allow the dark-squared to develop, push b4 and b5 driving the knight away from c6. Ideas for g4 are drive the knight away to the rim, taking away the f5 square at the same time for Black, move the f3 knight, push f4 and f5 crushing Black of space in the kingside. In other words, the main idea needed here is gain space and if ever, on both sides. I decided to just play g4 right away and make use of the tempo spent on Ra1-b1 for something else but it seemed to me in the game too committing. Ra1-b1 forces a concession with a5 trying to prevent b4 which discourages long side castling.

11. ... Nh4
If Black can play it, then Black should! 11. ... Nh6 makes the knight awkwardly placed and for the moment withholding Black’s kingside pawns. 11. ... Nh6?! 12. Ne1! (That’s why the bishop is on e2 instead of d3 besides the vulnerability from Nb4 and blocking the defense of the d4 pawn) White’s plan is simple and easy to understand: push that f pawn to f5! If White hasn’t castled, then Rg1 could have been played which would be fine for Black. Black can even castle kingside if that was the case. Unfortunately, it’s not. So, why bother putting it in an almost useless square? Just exchange it!

12. Nxh4 Bxh4 13. f4
Boldly pawn pushing saying that he will not take a draw for an answer. No other move makes sense with g4 right now.

13. ... f6?
I would have played the safer 13. ... Be7! , 14. ... 0-0, and only then f6 when exf6 is met with Rxf6. The dark-squared bishops are usually best placed in a3-f8 diagonal. This just allows a possibility of g5 when the bishop gets trapped for little or no compensation. Right now, it threatens fxe5 and Nxe5, winning a central pawn. If Black does exchange pawns on e5, then fxe5! is best as explained in the next few moves with some analysis. Back to the suggested move, after 13. ... Be7 14. Rb1 0-0 15. Be3 f6, Black has the easier game. Here, White finally is better if not slightly according to the chess engines.

14. Kg2
Playing safe just after pushing his pawns. Avoiding any tricks. 14. Be3? just gives the b pawn with little compensation after 14. ... Qxb2 15. Qd2 Qb6 16. Rab1 Qd8. I would say this is the most practical move to play avoiding Nxe5 tricks other than Kh1.

14. ... fxe5
Or else g5! comes strong. Why else would anyone play f6 and not exchange pawns on e5? So, Black takes it. Now, White has to make a decision. Is it dxe5 or fxe5?

15. fxe5
Of course even though it’s obvious. These are the pros and cons of 15. dxe5:

1.) The d4 outpost is open for the White knight.
2.) The pawn duo e5 and f4 and soon f5 can be used as wedge and can become
a passer.
3.) The g1-a7 diagonal is opened for the White bishop and queen.
4.) Black can castle kingside and exert pressure on the f4 pawn.
5.) The White king has a bit more shelter.
6.) If the d4 square is not occupied by a White piece, then Black can play d4 and possibly play Bc6 dominating the h1-a8 diagonal.

Seems to be more minuses than plusses to me. What about 15. fxe5?

1.) White has control of the f-file
2.) Black is prevented of short castling which is usually desired.
3.) The center advantage is kept (d4, e5 vs. d5, e6).
4.) The White king has less shelter and is more vulnerable to kingside
attacks if Black castles long.
5.) The center is kept closed for the French bishop.

In my opinion, the lesser of the two evils is the obvious 15. fxe5.

Besides, 15. dxe5 Be7! 16. Qd3 0-0 (0-0-0!? is much more interesting) 17. Be3 Qc7 should give Black at least equal chances.

Now, let’s see how Black reacts.

15. ... Qd8?
This is a clear error. Black tries to prevent g5 but it actually fails. Better is the simple 15. ... Be7 admitting that the dark-squared bishop was misplaced on h4. White still retains a small edge after 16. Bd3 Nb4 17. Nxb4 Qxb4 18. Rf4 or 16. Qd3 with ideas of Bd2, Ra1-b1/c1, and a latter b4. I would say that 16. Qd3 makes more sense following the rule of moving a piece once and with purpose during the opening. It allows Bc1-d2-e3 because of the tactical trick of Qxb2? Rfb1!, gives control of the b1-h7 diagonal meaning that it is watching the h7 pawn, and is adds another controller of the f1-a6 diagonal which prevents Bb5 for the moment. If 16. Qd3 Nb4 17. Nxb4 Qxb4 18. Bd2 Qb6, position is somewhat equal but slightly better for White for me because of rook coordination and king safety. Back to the game, the text move is a clear error because...

16. Qd3?!
NOOOO!!! This lets Black of the hook. It allows first of all 16. ... Be7! since 17. g5 Qb6 18. Bh5+ g6! 19. Bxg6+ hxg6 20. Qxg6+ Kd8 and Black escapes with Kc7 and Ra8-g8 to follow. What’s the move then? None other than 16. g5! The reason 16. Qd3 fails is because it gives black too much time to escape. An alternative to g5 is 16. Bd3. Both moves can transpose since 16. Be7?? 17. Qh5+ g6 18. Bxg6+ hxg6 19. Qxg6+! (a slower way of course to torture my opponent is 19. Qxh8+? (!) Ke7 20. Qxd8+) Ke7 20. Qf7# But, 16. g5 is much more direct. After 16. g5 g6 17. Bd3 Ne7 18. Qg4 Nf5
19. Bxf5 exf5 20. Qxh4, Whites wins a piece. So much for being called The Tactician among the Three Brothers in Calgary. My opponent could have, as Yuekai Wang said, died like a pig! Sigh... “So sad” – Krishneel Singh

16. ... Qe7?!
Now, Black escapes g5! However, Black’s queen is vulnerable in the a3-f8 diagonal so I think this is not best. As said, 16. ... Be7! is best securing the bishop. If 17. Bd2 Qc7 18. b4 Rc8, White has an edge but Black holds.

17. Bd2?!
Nope. This move preparing b4 is somewhat slow and may not do much to Black’s solid position. Better is 17. b3! exploiting Black’s misplaced queen. Whatever is next, it will soon be Ba3 or Bd2 if Ba3 can’t be played.

17. ... Bg5 18. b4
Squeezing Black of space.

18. ... Bxd2 19. Qxd2 a5?
This is a wrong time to fight back pawn move with pawn move such as this. Better is simply 19. ... Rc8 and if 20. b5, then 20 ... Nd8 with the idea of Nd8-f7-g5-e4. An alternative to Rc8 is 19. ... Qh4. Even with something like Rac1, White still retains an edge with b5, Nb4/e3, Rc7, etc. The reason why this is wrong is the text move which closed the position even further but with the c and f files open and the minor pieces severely cramped and stuck defending, Whites is just better if not clearly.

20. b5!
This is stronger now than before because of the fact it becomes closed so the a1 rook can move to the c file. Black’s lack of coordination of pieces along with less space gives him the disadvantage. Where will the knight go now?

20. ... Nb4??
Black hopes to exchange it but doesn’t realize that the knight is trapped. 20. ... Na7! is objectively better hoping to relocate it to b6. Another is Nd8 but this is a tempo down version with a5 pawn keeping the a8 rook out of play. In the end, with b6, the a8 rook goes to c8. This is the best of what one can do with less space. That’s partly the reason why I like playing the Advance. When White can push those pawns safety to the fifth rank with no counterplay for Black, it’s pretty much over and is just pure torture. Compared to a game I had in the nationals with the French Advance, Black still has some chances to live here and has some space to move.

21. Ne3?!
Stronger is Ne1! and now, Black has no counterplay and will lose the knight after a3! after Qh4 or Rc8. How I wish it was that simple but chaos again!

21. ... Qg5!
The main reason why Ne3 is inaccurate. Black now threatens Nc2 since Qxc2 Qxe3 gains nothing. Anything else is met with a3! White finds a distraction.

22. h4! Qh6 23. Rf3
I spent some time calculating on Rf3, Rac1, a3. I eventually concluded that 23. a3 fails to 23. ... Nc2! 24. g5 Nxe3+!, 23. Rac1 fails to Nxa2! (Qxa2 Qxe3), and Rf3 which allows Qxh4 and Qxg5 as shown in the game. After the game, I soon saw that I missed Rfc1 which could be better. I didn’t want to give up the f-file and so never thought about it. But, in fact, it does trap the knight. 23. Rfc1 0-0 24. a3 Qxh4 25. Bf1 Nc6 26. bxc6 Bxc6 27. Bd3 with some if not insufficient compensation. What I played gives me more initiative instead.

23. ... Rc8 24. g5 Qxh4 25. a3 Qxg5+ 26. Rg3 Qe7
I analysed a seemingly strong move, 26. ...Rc2? At first, after 27. Qxc2? Nxc2 28. Rxg5 Nxe3+ 29. Kg1 Nf5, Black holds the position is possibly better despite White being an exchange up because of Black’s kingside passers. But then, it fact, 26. ... Rc2? loses to 27. Qd1! when the knight, rook, and queen are all en prise.

27. axb4 axb4 28. Nc2?!
Rounding up the b4 pawn before it gets dangerous but 28. Ra7! is better first placing the c8 rook into passitivity before rounding it up. So, 28. Ra7 Rb8 29. Nc2 0-0 30. Nxb4 with about a +1.5 advantage for White.

28. ... 0-0
Finally, after 28 moves, Black finally castled short. It would have been much better to castle long before to exploit the early pushing of kingside pawns by White. I would say that this is an achievement already. I can’t imagine the regret my opponent felt ever since 13. ... f6 and 15. ... Qd8 were played.

29. Bd3?
It had to be first 29. Nxb4! to remove Black’s most potential hero in this position and thus removing any counterplay by Black. It’s also prevents Rc3 which disrupts most of White’s plans on the kingside. After 29. Nxb4, probably best is to battery on the f-file with 29. ... Rf7 and wait for White’s response whether he plays on the kingside with Rh1, Bd3, Qg5/h6 or the queenside with Ra7. A sample move order would be 29. Nxb4 Rf7 30. Ra7 b6 31. Rb7 and if 31. Qh4 Rxb6 32. Rcf8 Bf3, White wins. So, with 29. Bd3, White gives Black an entry point: c3

29. ... Rc3!
Taking advantage of the b4 pawn. Now, any Bxg6 would result in Rxg3+ or Rxh3 if the g3 rook goes to h3. White decides on continuing on his kingside attack. Another is 29. ... b3 but it does allow Ne3 with ideas of Ng4-f6/h6. Without the b4 pawn, these moves would have not been possible at all. White has nothing better than the text move.

30. Rh1
31. Qh6 fails to 31. ... Rxd3! 31. Bxh7+ Kxh7 32. Rh1 Kg8 Qh6 fails to Rxg3+! See the power of the c3 rook. It just stops my classic bishop sacrifice.

30. ... g6 31. Rgh3
White cowers away but for the right reason. If 31. Rxh7 Qxh7 32. Rxg6+ Qxg6! 33. Bxg6 Bxb5, White’s advantage doesn’t seem much with the rooks having the files and ranks and Black’s bishop being active.

31. ... Rfc8
Black suicides. Black doesn’t realize how important the queen really is. Let’s see first what the Black queen is doing:

1.) It defends the seventh rank.
2.) It controls the a3-f8 diagonal.
3.) It protects the light-squared bishop.
4.) It acts as the sole defender of the kingside by protecting f7, f8, f6,
g7, h7.
5.) It controls the h4-d8 diagonal.
6.) It protects the important b4 pawn.

As one can see, the Black queen is doing at lot of things and greatly influences the position. It could also mean that it is overloaded. If that’s the case, then it is much better to keep it and play 31. ... Rf7 instead. Now, White has nothing better than take the b pawn with Rb1, Nxb4. A possible line is 32. Rb1 Rc8 (anticipating Nxb4) 33. Nxb4 Rcf8 34. Rf1 Rxf1 Bxf1 and White should still have an edge. The text move allows Rxh7 and the forced sequence as shown in the game.

32. Rxh7! Qxh7 33. Rxh7 Kxh7 34. Nxb4
Now, let’s see the result of the exchanges. White has gained two pawns and the queen in exchange for his two rooks. Currently, White has a queen and a knight for two rooks and pawn but the weaknesses around Black’s camp make the Queen superior to the two rooks. Take note that the extra pawn is the g pawn which decreases the value of the extra pawn.

34. ... Rb3
A better move would have been the prophylactic 34. ... Be8 anticipating Qg5. 35. Qf4 Rb3 36. Qh4+ Kg8 37. Qe7 Bf7 38. Qxb7 Rf8 lets Black live longer.

35. Qg5
White tactically defends the knight and threatens mate.

35. ... Be8
Defending g6

36. Qe7+ Kh6 37. Qxe6 Ra8 38. Qe7 Rb2+?!
Black has no good moves. He can only wait with Rc8-a8-c8-a8 etc. but the text move again helps White start the king march. Yes, the king march. It’s similar to the Short-Timman where Black was placed in a zugzwang and White started marching his king to h6.

39. Kg3 Rb3?
Better is still to wait with Rc8 waiting for White to blunder with Kf4?? Rf2+!!

40. Qf8+!
Initiating the Zugzwang.

40. ... Kh7 41. e6 Rc8 42. Kf4!
Here comes the king marching its way to f6 for the g7 mate.

42. ... Ra8 43. Ke5 Rb2
Setting up one last trap hoping for Kf6?? Rf2+. Too bad it fails to the text move.

44. Nxd5! 1-0
Exclamation mark for making the right move and not being tempted to Kf6?? If White does want that, then 44. Nc2 prevents Rf2+! Anyway, it would have been a beautiful end but this ends beautifully too threatening 45. Nf6# Black can’t seem to bear it to see himself get mated in three as any other move allows 45. Nf6# Mate in three as shown: 44. ... Rf2 45. Nf6+ Rxf6+
46. Kxf6 Ra1 (or any other move) 47. Qg7#

Wow! Never expected a game like that with an 1800. I’ve taken a lot of risks but that’s just me. After that, I think I had it the game checked by Fritz 11 with the help of one of the Filipinos there. I just ate, drank, and analysed. One thing I’m still sure of in Toronto is the Transformer theme, “More than meets the eye”. Next game is today, tom, or on Monday. I’ll be back. I have to go eat my lunch.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Round 5 and 6 and the Summary

Round 5

I played white against Frilles rated about 2140 I think. I was able to play my Bb5 Siclian but he played Nd4. I took and castled when I should play c3. I played it as if I had some sort of kingside attack and then tried to play c3 but was going to lose pawn but instead lost the exchange. He gave it back but he had the two bishops and my position was shaky. I tried to advance my pawns and find a way to exchange queens to have some chance in the endgame but instead almost got mated since I resigned. He was good and funny when we were playing. I guess I need more theory.

Round 6
I had black against Tyler Longo (1991). We had a symmetrical position since we played my Queen Indian set-up with a queen indian set-up as well! He was able to establish a knight on e5 and was forced to find ways to remove or trade it in my favour. I had to close position and had a stonewall pawn centre (d5, e6, f5). I took his knight and weaken his pawn structure and made it more inflexible. I soon played Bg5 just like in a Sveshnikov to make my dark-squared bishop more active. I doubled up on the f-file before he did and played Qe7 so that every move he makes has a counter. Since his position is more natural in a way and had his pieces centralized with me not having any attack yet, he decided to place his rook on g3. This allowed me to play f4 and get the better position since every move he makes will the pawn and/or open the position for my "indian" bishop. He thought for about half an hour and decided that if his rook went to h3 or f3, he will lose a pawn and if he ever gets in back, his pieces will be misplaced which would more likely give me the win. So, he sac the exchange and sac his bishop for two pawns and had a strong attack. He missed R4d7! which safeguards my king without little or no any material. He soon resigned after commenting on my scoresheet which he said what I was doing was illegal. I don't know if it is but that would just too cheap if it worked and can't be boasted as win.

I have 3.5 out of 6. I won thrice, lost twice, and drawn once. I can say it is a learning experience and my performance is at least about 2050 I think since I didn't lose to anyone lower than me. My games have shown me I'm don't know enough theory and a lot of players play d4 and know the nimzo and queen indian defenses. If I have to rely on my endgame skill to win, then it might not be enough. Well, that's that for now. I'll be annotating all of my games to learn more where I went wrong and where I was right. For now, I have to sleep.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Toronto Labour Day Open

Sorry guys for not blogging about my games. I forgot to and was so tired. Anyway, for now, I'll describe the my games a bit. After a few days after the tournament, I'll be annotating all of the games regardless of how horrible or beautiful they are.

Round 1
I was white against Ben Olden- cooligan (1800). I can't believe he had the guts to play in this section with such a rating. Anyway, he played the French Defense so as always, I play the Advance Variation (3. e5) and push my pawns to gain more space and have an attack. He played the Qb6 line with an early Bd7. I played the Na3 which is said to aim for an advantage going for Nc2 overprotecting the important d4 pawn. After pushing my g and f pawns to the 4th rank, he started retreating. Fritz said that I could have trapped his dark-squared bishop but I didn't see far enough. I pushed my b pawn and he fought back with a5 and soon he had three pawns for the piece but I had the iniative. I soon got his queen and pawn for my rooks and got him in a zugswang. When that happened, I had a king march and soon won. I wasn't able to do the mate though cause he resigned.

Round 2
I had white again. This time, I was against David Southam (2146). It was a c3 sicilian but I completely forgot what to do since he played the what i call the Scandinavian line, Qxd5 (!). I was so clueless so I went passive. I had the better development but my key pieces are misplaced (light-squared bishop) He offered a draw maybe because of that or that he was tired. I'm not sure. I declined and soon had a worse position. I offered a draw and surprisingly he accepted.

Round 3
Finally I had Black. Unfortunately, the players here all like to play d4 (dang) so I had to stick with what I know best, Nimzo/Queen Indian Defense. I was against Sheldon Pimentel (2059 i think). It was a Classical Nimzo and he played Bg5 after d5. I forgot what to do here so I just played h6 and after Bxf6 Qxf6 a3 Bxc3 Qxc3, I played c6 and went for a semi-slav position. He played g3 and so after we developed our pieces, he exchanged pawns and later exchanged the all our major pieces. He tried to provoke weakenings by played Ne5 after i played Nb8 and soon i had my pawns on h6, g7, f6, e6, d5. In other words, my position is a bit shaky. Soon, he had nothing else constuctive to do and decided to move the king to f1. I played g5 and pinned his knight with Bb5. I exchanged it off with his knight and so now got a knight vs. bishop ending. I don't know what Fritz or Rybka would say but i could be worse with perfect play on both sides. I'm not sure yet. Back to the game, he pushed his pawns and soon I had a perfectly placed knight on d4. He had an isolated pawn on d5 but an active king on e4. I forced an exchange of pawns in my favour on the queenside and later chopped his a3 pawn which decided the game. he resigned before i can even get my knight.

Round 4
The most critical and important game in this section. I would say that this game would decide who will win or just have the higher chances for the first prize. This is a must-win game but ended in horrible loss due to a natural move. It's a Queen Indian with me as Black (what an opening for a must-win situation). We played the classical lines with g3 and latter Ne4 for me exchanging knights, until I think we varied when he moved his queen to d3. I took his d pawn, exchanged bishops and played d5 so I would have no major weaknesses since he has his rook, queen, and knight on the d-file. I was surprised he played Be3 in that position. I just don't know why. So, I pushed my center pawns to e5 and d4 making them all retreat and played Nd7 planning Nc5. His queen went to g4 (makes sense if he wants to exchange bishops or have tricks on the g-file. More importantly, it's the only logical move if the queen is on e4 which is was. After Qg4, I played a5 trying to establish the knight on c5 but he fought back with b4 reasoning out that he need to b4 square for the knight to go to d5. So, I went back to b7 and after Rab1 Qc7 bxa5 bxa5 Rcd1 Ne6! Na3, I calculated that if Qc5, White has no good reply. I instead moved way too fast and touched the f8 rook and soon got crushed with c5. I had no sacs good enough to compensate for my material loss. I lost too many pawns and resigned. Horrible...truly horrible. I wonder what Fritz would say because it looked to me i was better in that position had i played Qc5! i could just take the pawn and check on d5. Well, one move decided the game but it had to be the 1st prize as well. Oh well...

Round 5 and 6 is 10 hrs from now. I hope i can play Bb5 sicilian and my Scandinavian defense.Ok, I have to go and sleep and eat.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

First Poll is finally closed. Yay?!

My first poll asks whether the Center Counter or Scandinavian Defense is a good/great opening. 10 people voted and according to the poll, the majority voted for NO. It seems that this opening is still treated as a patzer opening even though it has been used by World Champions, GMs, IM, FM, NM, and many players around the world. Statisticly, this opening offers only about 40% chance of winning for Black which is not great. I myself had employed this opening ever since I started playing professional chess and my results are about 50% considering all my games. This defense nowadays is considered a first-rated defense and therefore deserves respect. I wonder if anyone who had seen this blog knows the Portuguese Variation of the Scandinavian. The sacrifices in this opening are more like Tal's but the only difference here is that it is both correct and a Tal sacrifice. A very tactical and sharp opening this is. It can be equal or sharper than botvinik variation of the semi-slav, sicilian dragon. For those who are more solid, then the traditional Qa5 line is okay. Despite that it has been described by Fischer as weak, it is actually quite solid and hard break. It offers little risk as long as Black knows what he is doing. If Black doesn't know what he/she is doing, then Black can expect an early grave but if he does, then black has at least a draw on his hands. He can then control the light squares, prepare for a c5 or e5 break, exchange pieces, or just do whatever and outplay his/her opponent. I played Fritz 11 one time with it. In the opening, White has +70. In the middlegame, White had +50. In the middlegame, it became 0.00, a drawn position. I will post more about this opening as this is my favourite and what i would most likely play with great confidence.

There will be a tournament next Saturday. It is going to be the 2009 Toronto Labour Day Open. I'm thinking of playing in the open section right now but not sure if I should just go for the U2200 section just to have more chances of winning and getting money. I sure would like a challenge and bring myself up along with my rating. It's now a choice of safety or risk. Normally, I'm in between but now I have to choose a side. Not sure yet. I'll find out few days before. I've prepared too much on openings now. I think i can play OKAY with c4, d4, and f4 for the moment. Well, that's it for now. I'll be back soon to post more.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Best Game, Same

One of my worst problems I have as a chess player is losing a won game. Whatever I do, it just comes back and psychologically destroys my tournament. This game just shows what I mean. The advantage I got in the first 10 moves is +2 and by about 20 moves becomes +5, a rook. It`s the same advantage I got 2 years ago against a 1800-2000 rated player when I was still rated about 1600. I horribly lost that game after moving too fast and letting my opponent promote a queen when I could have just sac my rook and promote three knights for the finish. I was against Rakov Pavel. He played the Sicilian and responded with Nc6 letting me play my Bb5. he played the same line Calugar used against me in the nationals but deviated in the critical position which actually gave me my +2. It was far better to have just taken the pawn. The line I`m talking about is the sharp Qa4!? of the Rossilimo. Game with annotations are below:

2009 CYCC U14 (BC)
White: Jan Edmund Lazo Round 5 July 23, 2009
Black: Rakov Pavel Board 5 90 mins. + 30 secs.
Opening: B31 Sicilian Defense, Rossilimo Variation with 3. g6 and Qa4!? (!)

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 g6 4. c3 Bg7 5. 0-0 Nf6 6. Qa4!? (!)

This recently made sharp line is quite dangerous answering Black's Dragon set-up with aggressive set-up of his own. White defends his e4 pawn, supporting d4, attacks the Nc6 knight and therefore prevents Black from playing the freeing move d5 without losing a pawn (Bxc6 bxc6 Qxc6), and giving the f1 rook the d1 square to be used if needed. The alternative Qe2 does most of what Qa4 does but allows Black more freedom to break the centre. The main line move Re1 is also good but gives freedom for Black. More reasoning for choosing Qa4 is will be shown in the next few moves.

6. ... 0-0 7. d4! cxd4
If Qe2 was played instead, then Black would have answered d4 with d5! and therefore has equalized or almost equalized. So, 7. d4 d5! 8. e5 (exd5 Qxd5 9. c4? Nxd4 10. Nxd4 Qxd4
11. Nc3 (Rd1 Qe5) Be6 and Black has more active and better pieces, mobility, etc.) Ne4
9. Nbd2 cxd4 10. cxd4 Qb6 or Bg4 is not only good for Black but perhaps also much more comfortable to play than White. If Qa4 was played, then ... cxd4 8. cxd4 d5 9. e5 Ne4 and White has the choice to get a pawn for Black's counterplay with 10. Bxc6 bxc6 11. Qxc6 or play more quietly with 10. Nbd2.

8. cxd4
Finally, the critical position arises. The choices are:
A. d5 - answering with a countergambit
- allowing White to get a pawn
- gets initiative, open lines, more comfortable position, more active pieces, etc.
B. Nxe4 - accepting the gambited pawn
- gives the initiative to White due to undeveloped (sleeping) pieces
- precise play is required for both sides because one move can effectively decide the

Anything else will
1.)allow to play the full strength of his center pawns with e5 and/or d5 further restricting the opponent's pieces (ex. Qb6)
2.) weaken control of key squares especially the dark squares (ex. e6)
3.) lose a pawn for insufficient compensation (ex. d6).

My verdict on this is not yet final but just based on my two games and some analysis. In my first Qa4 game, I played against Arthur Calugar in the 2009 nationals. He responded with e6?! and got in an uncomfortable position which got worse little by little. Unfortunately, the pressure, desire to beat him in the middlegame instead of simplifying into a won endgame backfired and I lost but not because of the opening. Further analysis showed that he could have improved but the disadvantage of e6 still remains which are the hole on d6 and the trapped light-squared bishop.

Anyway this how the he responded:

8. ... Qb6?
This move not only allows full central control with pawns and pieces but also gives me more development. It also wastes more time for black. I'm sure if he can ever faces this position, he will not play this move again. Not only because Fritz 11 give me about +2 here but the unknown position that arosed led to agony but not like hell...well, maybe. It's better to ask. It was far better to play Nxe4 or d5 or something else to at least getting something (initiative with comfortabilty or a pawn with not much suffering to defend and find ways to wake up his pieces).
This is a common move in this variation but not in this time because of...

9. d5!
Boldly pushing the center pawn causing the knights and queen to retreat back to the their base. If 10. e5 was played first, then Black steps in with Nd5 and latter break with d6 since the c6 knight is well defended. So, 9. e5 Nd5 10. Nc3 (how else to challenge the piece) Nc7! and Black has gotten the upperhand with d5! if the bishop retreats and Be6/g4 if Bxc6 dxc6 or Ba6 if Bxc6 bxc6. If instead 9. Nc3, then a6 forces the bishop to move and only then is d6 played but if it takes the knight, then both replies bxc6 and dxc6 are reasonable although I would prefer dxc6 because every move flows (Bg4, Nd7, e5, etc.). This is similar to the Bxc6 line and seems to be an improved version. So, to summarize this, if I don't play d5, I lose my advantage because Black equalizes and maybe even get the better position.

9. ... Nd8 (forced) 10. Be3! Qc7 11. Nc3
This and Rc1 are reasonable but I prefer this so black can't play a6 and b5 since it loses the exchange (a6? Bd3 b5 Bxb5 axb5 Qxa8 +-) unlike Rc1 Qb8 which gives the possibilty of Black to free its pieces from prison with a6 and b5. As said before, Fritz gives this position +2(last time I saw it, it was about +2.10), the value of two full pawns. The reasoning for Nc3 is that it prepares e5. So, if Black prevents this with d6. then White plays Bxa7.

11. ... Qb8 12. e5! Ne8 13. Bxd7
13. e6 would reduced my advantage to about +1 because of 13 ... fxe6 14. dxe6 Nxe6
15. Bxd7 Nf6 16. Bxc8 Qxc8. This move just gets a pawn and threatens the e7 pawn. It is also possible to play 13. Rfe1 to indirectly defend the e pawn but 13. ... a6 14. Bd3 d6 gets the e pawn attacked and opens up the c8 bishop.

13. ... Bxd7 14. Qxd7 Bxe5 15. Nxe5
A simpler way to play this is to just take the pawn. 17. Qxe7 Bf6 18. Qe4 Qd6 maintains the edge. I honestly didn't see this. Probably, my way of thinking is more on the positional aspects of the position rather than the material. My idea of just taking the bishop is to remove the so-called dragon bishop and exploit the dark square weaknesses in the kingside while maintaining my edge in development and initiative.

15. ... Qxe5 16. Bh6?!
Better was Bc5 threatening Bxe7/Qxe7 and so having an extra isolated central pawn. At first glance, it seems that I won the exchange but actually didn't because of ...

16. ... Nf6!
Attacking the queen and giving his rook some room. To maintain my edge, I have to retreat to a4 so I transfer my queen to h4. Moving the queen to h3 fufills the purpose of allowing the queen to go to h4 but doesn't temporarily halt the movement of Black's queenside pieces
(b5, Nb7, Rac8, etc.). 16. Ng7 Rfe1 just gives me a pawn.

17. Qa4 Re8 18. Bf4?!
Obviously better was the simple 18. Rfe1 threatening the queen and attempting to set traps involving the pin on the e-file. 18. Rfe1 Qf5 19. Ne4! just kills so 18. ... Qh5 is forced. The main line goes 18. Rfe1 Qh5! 19. Ne4!! Ne6 20. dxe6 Qxh6 21. exf7+ Kxf7 22. Qb3+ Kg7 23. Qxb7 with White having the safer king, better pawn structure, and an extra pawn. 18. Bf4 allows the text which gives Black a better position than 18 Rfe1 since Ne4 can be answered with Qxf4.

18. ...Qf5 19. Rfe1 a6?!

Better was just b6 preventing a possible Bc5, giving support to the knight when it comes to c5, and lets black play Nb7 one move faster. My queen was going to h4 anyway so this move looks slow to me.

20. Be5 Rf8 21. Qh4 Ng4
Only way to escape the doubling of pawns and setting up a trap of his own. It also attacks the dark-squared bishop which is vital for White to keep if he wants to maintain his advantage.

22. Bd4 e5?
Blocking the diagonal but opening up letting me come with tempo.
Better was 22. ... g5 23. Qh3 with White having threats of taking the e-pawn or just the knight. This allows the text move and Ne4 threatening to get the exchange. Fritz 11 gives this position at least +4.40. I recall before it was about +4.90 in first few seconds. In other words, the advantage almost equal to a rook.

23. Bc5! Re8 24. f3?
Missing the big picture. White simply wanted to connect the pawns but it turns out that he could have just played 24. Ne4!! threatening the exchange and the knight so from here, Black has to give up the exchange allowing 24. ... h5 25. Nd6! Qd7 26. Nxe8 Qxe8 with a clear advantage. It's either White mixed up the move orders or didn't see it at all. I think I didn't see it.
(too much poker)

24. ... Nf6 25. Ne4 Nxe4 26. fxe4 Qd7 27. Rac1 b5 28. Re3 Nb7 29. Rh3?!
Probably not a good idea because it give Black the h7 square to escape when in trouble and
29. ... h5 30. g4?? is answered with the simple Qxg4+!! Better is 29. Qf6.

29. ... h5 30. Qf6 Nxc5 31. Rxc5 Qg4
Threatening Qd1+ Kf2 Qd4+ and Qxc5

32. Rf3!
Blocking the diagonal with a threat of Qxf7+

32. ... Ra7 33. Qc6
Attack the e8 rook

33. ...Rd8 34. d6
Securing the pawn and successfully maintained the advantage.

34. ... Qe6 35. Rd5 Rc8
Going for exchanges of pieces to lessen the pressure.

The game goes on with the only pieces in board moving around and around trying to improve one position until one breaks and that is when Black got greedy.

36. Qb6 Rc1+ 37. Rf1 Rxf1+ 38. Kxf1 Qf6+ 39. Kg1 Ra8 40. Qb7 Rd8 41. Qe7 Kg7 42. Qc7 Qg5
43. Rd1 Qg4 44. Qc2 h4 45. h3 Qe6 46. Qc7 Rc8 47. Qa7 Qxa2?
Finally, he takes the a-pawn which weakened his control over the d-file and lost communication with his rook. Now, White responds with continuous threats.

48. d7 Rd8 49. Qc7 Qb3
Threatening 50. Qxd8 Qxd1+ Kh2 Qd2!! with an unescapable perptual check unless White decides to leave his passed pawn. But, this is not over yet.

50. Qxe5+
Without this move, it could have been a draw. Now, White next moves should decide the entire game with constant threats.

50. Kg8 51. Qe8+!! Kg7 52. Rf1! Qe3+ 53. Kh1 Qg5
No more checks! Now, FINISH HIM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

54. Rxf7+ Kh6 55. Rf8??
White makes a fatal error due to time pressure since both sides only had about 5 mins. each.
White missed the simple Qe7!! threatening mate so Qxe7 Rxe7 is forced with a completely won endgame as e5, e6, Re8 are coming with Black not being able to do anything about it or the mocking Rf1!! (exclam because of its unique idea and psychological effect) planning e5, e6 and Qxd8!! White will just place his rook to g1 until Qxd8 Qxd8 Rd1 is possible. Well, all is not over but it could have been.

55. ... Qc1+! 56. Kh2 Qc7+! 57. e5 Rxd7 58. Rh8+ Rh7 59. Qf8+ Qg7 60. Qf4+ g5
61. Rxh7+ Kxh7 62. Qf5+ Qg6 63. Qd7+ Qg7 64. e6 Qf6 65. Qc8+??

Now White lost it all with Black having this perpetual...sigh...all this annotating which took like 10 hours just to remember how I lost it all...sigh...but eventually White didn't want this draw and later lost which is even worse but at least it wasn't a draw. I didn't place in my notebook the rest of the game which shows how I lost because it was just horrible. If I played Kg1 instead, I would have added the moves because it shows that I`m playng for a win.

65. ...Qf8 66. Qc3?? Qd6+! 67. Kh1 Qxe6 0-1

Another horrible lost making this tournament the first and hopefully the worst CYCC tournament because next time, I should take it seriously and only play poker when clear first, not just qualify. One thing I can learn from this is that generally, one should not play chess like poker although my style is slowplaying and sometimes going all in and I did in this game and lost all my money (material). Well, past is past but one thing for sure is I won't quit playing this line if I keep getting positions like this.

Well, thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed the game and liked the notes. As for next games, it would be the 2009 Toronto Labour Open games on Sept 5-7. I'm kinda preparing and cleaning up the place I'm currently staying in so I'm kinda busy. Hope that you would come back and check my blog! Thanks and goodnight

Saturday, August 15, 2009

First Blog, First Post, and a First Game

Hello to all! I'm Jan Edmund and this is my blog (finally I have one). I would be focusing for the moment my chess and my life currently in Toronto due to family needs. As for the game, I can't do it right now but I should be able to annotate it. Oh yeah! This game is from the CYCC...supposedly my best game in the CYCC but it was not my time although not because of poker (won some money from lucksac). It was against Rakov Pavel and it was as usual my Bb5 Sicilian with my one and only Qa4! Stay tuned for upcoming posts as I will be posting my schedule (2009 Toronto Labour Day will be my second tournament here), games with annotations(Lazo-Pavel for starters...) and other stuff. Thanks for reading. :)