Thursday, April 2, 2009

Attempting a Kick-Start

My preparations for BCC, Thailand Open didn't go as planned. I never got around to any problem solving or training games and my opening preparation is patchy. In my first game I tried to get into tournament mode by concentrating on calculation more than on general strategy. Unfortunately my brain didn't quite manage to adapt.

The time control was 90 minutes for the game and an additional 30 seconds for each move.

BCC Thailand Open 2009 (1)

1.d4 f5

I have heard that Japaneese players generally are good at calculating - possibly because many are experienced Shogi players. So maybe it wasn't a great idea starting the game by weakening my king's position. On the other hand this is the only opening against 1.d4 on which I have done any work lately.

2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.g3 Bb4!?

Entering the Stonewall with 4...d5!? would probably have been the most sensible choice as that's what I have been spending my time on recently.

5.Bg2 0–0 6.Nh3 Ne4

6...d5 of course is an option but with White’s knight committed to h3 so early it’s tempting to play for ...e5. Probably 6...d6 is the safest way to do so. Two possible continuations are:

a) 7.0–0 Bxc3 8.bxc3 Nc6 9.c5 Ne4 10.cxd6 cxd6 11.Qc2 d5 12.Ba3 Rf7 13.f3 Nd6 14.Rae1 b6 15.e4 += Poulsen-Jakab, Budapest 2004.

b) 7.Qb3 Bxc3+ 8.bxc3 Nc6 9.0–0 Qe8 10.Nf4 Rb8 11.Qa3 b6 12.Nd3 Bb7 = Oliwa-U.Krause, Germany 1995.

7.Bd2 Bxc3 8.Bxc3 d6 9.Nf4 Qe7 10.Qb3 Nd7 11.c5 Ndf6 12.cxd6 cxd6 13.Rc1 g5!? 14.Nd3 b6 15.Bb4 Nd5 16.Ne5 Bb7 17.Nc4 Nxb4 18.Qxb4 (D)

Here I spent a lot of time (probably close to 40 minutes) trying to find out whether there was anything for Black in the game continuation or after 18...Qg7 (or 18...Qf6 19.f3 Qxd4) 19.f3 Qxd4 20.fxe4 and now either 20...Rac8 or 20...fxe4.

The correct continuation proably is 18...Rac8 19.0–0 Bd5 20.Bxe4 fxe4 21.Qxd6 and now 21...Qf6! with excellent chances.


When I played this I had realized that it lost a pawn rather than winning one. But by now I was down to 13 minutes on my clock and I wanted to play something forcing in order to have something to show for my lengthy calculation.

19.Bxb7 Qxb7 20.Rg1 Ne4 21.f3 Nf6?

A better practical chance would have been 21...d5 22.Ne5 Rac8 23.Rxc8 Qxc8 24.fxe4 Qc1+ 25.Kf2 Qf4+ which I probably would have played if I had realized how bad the game continuation was.

22.Rxg5+ Kh8 23.Qxd6!

After 23.Nxd6 Qd7 I probably have sufficient compensation for the pawn.

23...Rad8!? 24.Qe5

I thought that after 24.Qxe6 the open files towards White’s king would be sufficient practical compensation. That probably was a misevaluation - Rybka doesn’t believe in Black’s chances at all.


A good practical try.

25.Kf2?? (D)

This is a terrible blunder. 25.a3 and quite a few other moves keeps the advantage.


This I played quite quickly. Not because I really was in time trouble but because I had a little more than five minutes left and wanted to get my time up somewhat by playing some ’obvious’moves quickly. Actually 25...Rd5! almost wins on the spot 26.Qf4 loses to 26...Ne4 and after 26.Qg3 or 26.Qe3, Black can choose between 26...Ne4+ and 26...f4.

26.Ne3 f4?

I am a pawn down for nothing but this turns the position into a forced loss.


This I only saw when I was waiting for my opponents move.

27...Qd7 28.Rc7!

This is not the only winning move but it’s the quickest.

28...Qd5 29.Nh6?!

Actually 29.Rg8+ Kxg8 30.Ne7+ is even stronger.

29...Qxe5 30.dxe5 Nd5 31.Rcg7!

This came as a small surprise. When the move appeared on the board it took me only a couple of seconds to see the idea but there’s nothing to do.

31...Rc8 32.Rg8+! 1–0

No comments: