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A Tactical middlegame 
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King

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Post A Tactical middlegame
A game played from chess.com site, a correspondence game.
Note: He thinks I was using a chess engine. I am not totally sure why he thinks that, I agree that the position was very easy for me to mess up, but it was correspondence...

Also, the game is not over, but I already know how to finish him. After 45.Ke1 I will play Qe3+ followed by f2#, which is a very pretty checkmate


I tried the 2...g6 for my sicilian defense. I have not tried it in a long time although I used to always play this, just wanted to give it a shot.

10...a6 was setting up for Qc7, which was the only move I could come up with.
13...b5 was setting up for Nc4, which I could have gone straight away.
14.Rc1 was a mistake from him, losing the b2 pawn, but the rook's location allows possible future c file attack.
17...Nh5 was not a good move from me, my idea was to go to f4 then e6 trying to swap off the knights, only realizing he can stop it. Even if he allows it, his other knight will be in the middle as well.
20...Qa7 pinning the knight, idea of e5 forcing the trade of queens.
22.Qg5 attacking the e7 pawn, I do not think it would be safe for him to capture the pawn due to possible queen traps, but what if he had a way to escape? So i decided to play very safe with my position, which was up a pawn (trying to wait to the endgame and use the pawn to win the game. And in case you do not know, I usually play very passively, basically defend until the end of the world, sometimes I find loopholes in their attacks and use that as a weapon).
23...Nf6, realization of wasting two tempos on the moves of the knight.
26.h5, he is trying to breakthrough my position using pawns, but his pieces are not in position to attack and this also exposed his king, which allows a great possibility of counter-attack.
27...Qd7 forcing the capture of my g6 pawn, so my pawn structure stays as solid as possible.
29...e5, I wanted to get rid of that knight although it makes my d6 pawn backward, I was starting to get worried about that knight so I just wanted to prevent it from doing anything at all

Now starting to see tactics all over the place:
32.Rh1: He prepares for g5, which is very scary, so I had to do something about it, the move was Bc6 pinning the f3 and e4 pawns. You may be wondering why.
If I did not play Bc6, just assume the was not there:
after 33...Nh5 34.Rxh5 gxh5 35.gxh6 Bxh6 36.f4 Qg4+ Kf1 37.Kf1.... that position would be scaring the heck out of both of us, and very easy to miss any sort of tactics, which i happen to do very frequently recently in my games. SO i just wanted to secure the 1 pawn advantage and plays Bc6, not allowing the e4 push at all after him playing f4.
33.Rxh6+: I confess I did not see that one coming, I had to take it otherwise the rook is too scary on the h file along with the support of the queen, so Bxh6 was played.
34.g5, forking the two pieces, also note my king is some danger, but 1 good thing, he still cannot play e4 after f4 due to the pin.
I had to choose between bishop and knight, and I find that I would rather lose the bishop comparing to the knight because his pawn on h6 will actually make my king safer than ever because he cannot capture his own pieces, I played Ng4, a very interesting move i thought. if he takes the knight straight away, I would take the pawn with the queen with a check, saving the bishop and sets up a skewer.
I do not know why he took the bishop right away instead of Rh1, I think that could have killed me, I was going for Rh8 and Rf8 to set up some defense and possible counter-attack, again, the position is very interesting to look at (note: if I lose both my bishop and knight, I still have good chances because his bishop and knight was not doing anything).
35.gxh6, a move I had hoped for for so long, now I have no more threats from h file, I retreat my knight to f6, and the only thing I have to defend for is the g6 pawn now, which is a much easier task.
38...e4, he cannot take due to the discover attack from the rook on d8 and loss of his queen, he plays Nf4 trying to get something out of it, the knight also hits the g6 pawn, which I still had to look out for since his bishop is unleashed now.
40...Bc4+, now he has to either play Bd3 or Nd3 to take the queen, he chose the bishop and I would have done the same since Qh3+ would have been too hard to defend.
41...Qf5 (this is when he said I was using an engine) now he is suffering hard because of the pinned bishop, a double pin, the bishop is locked down completely and he does not have any time to unpin it. This move also blocks the attack of the knight on g6 because his bishop cannot capture.
42.Ne4 Taking advantage of the pinned bishop completely, now his queen is under attack, although his bishop is hitting the knight, he cannot do anything about it!
43..Qc1 he has to guard the knight on f4
43...Qc5, punishing his mistake, note: he does not have time to capture my bishop.
44...Ng3+ now it is just executing a checkmate, 45.Ke1 Qe3+, no matter what his next move is, f2 is checkmate.

I did not use a chess engine to analyze this, but this is what I have came up so far, there may be many mistakes I have missed during the analysis, please do point them out :)

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Sun Nov 18, 2012 12:30 pm
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King

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Post Re: A Tactical middlegame
I love the fact that you have had the guts not to use an engine. I'm not a big one for overloading advice as I generally think one ' lesson ' should be enough. In all honesty I find nothing wrong with your notes as your reasoning is clear. What was missing was a plan. A plan stops your pieces being single units, and combines them into a sum worth more than thier parts - ie one big bad attitude piece! The simplest and primary plan of all, is to take over the centre. You had many oppotunities. The key move for black in most 1.e4 openings is the pawn break ...d5.., in Sicilians this is often prefaced by the move...e5.... So e5 first, then d5 next move. Result hoped for is two thirds board domination, like instant. This centre plan is what I would have been wanting to play almost on any move from 12...Qc7 onwards.


Sun Nov 18, 2012 2:28 pm
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King

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Post Re: A Tactical middlegame
Pobble wrote:
I love the fact that you have had the guts not to use an engine. I'm not a big one for overloading advice as I generally think one ' lesson ' should be enough. In all honesty I find nothing wrong with your notes as your reasoning is clear. What was missing was a plan. A plan stops your pieces being single units, and combines them into a sum worth more than thier parts - ie one big bad attitude piece! The simplest and primary plan of all, is to take over the centre. You had many oppotunities. The key move for black in most 1.e4 openings is the pawn break ...d5.., in Sicilians this is often prefaced by the move...e5.... So e5 first, then d5 next move. Result hoped for is two thirds board domination, like instant. This centre plan is what I would have been wanting to play almost on any move from 12...Qc7 onwards.


That's interesting. I'm usually against locking in the dragon bishop with e5, but I guess it makes a lot of sense. It's more positional than something like the Yugoslav attack and I guess my failing to grab the centre with this motif explains why I sometimes get crushed so badly in these kinds of positions.


Sun Nov 18, 2012 9:53 pm
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King
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Post Re: A Tactical middlegame
It's obvious that you didn't use an engine, but it seems quite common nowadays that you are accused to do so if you're winning. Some people simply overestimate their 'playing strength'.
But in any case, you should work on your tactical skills, as you missed several simple wins, the most obvious was 38Bxf3 winning the queen or 38Qg4 which my feeling tells will mate.
White played the opening in a horrible way (e.g. c3 and f3) and I think you should try to punish him for that very early maybe already on move 7. I don't like d6 as I think you can simply castle and play directly d5 which normally only equalizes, but here white has weakened so many squares with f3 and c3 that black must already be better.

After you opp loses b2 it's just lost. You could win easily playing 16e5 when white must play 17Bb1 to get a square for the knight and now 17Sa4 picks up c3 and 18Nc2 Nxc3 game over.
18e5 still wins the knight on d4.

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Mon Nov 19, 2012 12:48 am
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King

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Post Re: A Tactical middlegame
35...d5 zeitnotakrobat style was also possible. But when winning it is natural not to want to take percieved risks. Sometimes it's just a common theme which is missing in our understanding, so we just work with what we know.


Mon Nov 19, 2012 5:11 am
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King

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Post Re: A Tactical middlegame
Move 34 is Nxe4 not the better solution? To be followed by check with the queen, picking up two - probably three - pawns for the piece, and a pretty crushing attack.

In general I agree with the others, definitely work on the tactics! There were some things there which I think you should normally be able to find OTB in blitz very easily as a Class C player (like Bxf3), let alone in correspondence.

I have a feeling one of two things happened here...Either you weren't giving the game your proper attention or you suffer from the same problem I had when I played correspondence a couple of times. That is, you analyse the position so deeply and get so locked in some certain variations and overwhelmed by possibilities that you forget to double check the very first move and miss an obvious threat! Maybe if you can figure out which of these was the case you will be able to figure out the lesson from the game.


Mon Nov 19, 2012 5:29 am
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King

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Post Re: A Tactical middlegame
FlintEastwood, I'm not much of a fan of your 34..Nxe4 even if ( ?!? ) it works, for the simple reason that black does not need it. Partly this explains my attitude to how thechesser finished the game off, as his tactics were sound, maybe not best, but his variations did work.

There is a psychological element to tactical variations which seems at varience to say how yours compare to the big Z. Note how Z brings pieces which linger behind the obvious lines into his tactics. His number of attackers do not lesson in number.

In many ways this explains the secret to chess, as greater force wins. Force as in numbers of attackers verses defenders. Your piece sac demands precise calculation and some luck as it is not totally forcing. Note the null moves.

Even my meager suggestion of d5 inspired by Mr Z instead of the knight retreat was easy to calculate for the same reasons, forcing ( captures and checks every move ) and brought fresh attackers ( rooks ) into the conflict zone.

Obviously you might just be a more exciting Tal like player than myself. I have been accused by one certain FM in the past, as being a " boring positional player". True, he is a total fruitcake, but nobody is wrong about everything.


Mon Nov 19, 2012 6:50 am
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King

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Post Re: A Tactical middlegame
Pobble wrote:
FlintEastwood, I'm not much of a fan of your 34..Nxe4 even if ( ?!? ) it works, for the simple reason that black does not need it. Partly this explains my attitude to how thechesser finished the game off, as his tactics were sound, maybe not best, but his variations did work.


Really? It hits the queen with tempo and looks pretty solid to me! But I didn't really analyse it, just a little glance. You think black's getting mated or something?


Tue Nov 20, 2012 2:17 am
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King

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Post Re: A Tactical middlegame
Just a glance as did yourself. Call it intuition or taste if you like. I never use an engine and certainly cannot calculate like one.


Tue Nov 20, 2012 6:45 am
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King

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Post Re: A Tactical middlegame
Ahha just seen the bishop on b1 ;) That rather changes my evaluation of the position! Definitely looks more risky. Could still be playable though, black will get the queen in with check and win another pawn, but as you say there's not really need to be so rash.


Tue Nov 20, 2012 3:11 pm
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King

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Post Re: A Tactical middlegame
Let me put this straight. Reading over again what I have written, it might come across as sarcastic or plain petty. In no way is such things intended by me. Writing not carefully done is stupid.

I apoligize without reserve to zeitnotakrobot. A great guy and someone I respect very much for the time and effort he has put into helping other players.


Tue Nov 20, 2012 3:27 pm
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King

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Post Re: A Tactical middlegame
Pobble wrote:
Let me put this straight. Reading over again what I have written, it might come across as sarcastic or plain petty. In no way is such things intended by me. Writing not carefully done is stupid.

I apoligize without reserve to zeitnotakrobot. A great guy and someone I respect very much for the time and effort he has put into helping other players.


Well I guessed either I missed some subtlety or you're worrying too much :) Internet is notoriously bad for this sometimes though - I remember our first encounter :D :D


Wed Nov 21, 2012 2:56 am
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