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BigTy's Training Log 
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Rook

Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2008 6:50 pm
Posts: 110
Location: B.C, Canada
Rating Class: Class A (1800-2000)
Post Re: BigTy's Training Log
Had another 15 minute game on chesscube today. My opponent played poorly by sacking way too much material for an attack that was easy to repel. I expected better from someone who is almost 2000 on that website.

The opening was an exchange french (again!!!). I found it amusing how my opponent plays a dull opening with white, and then tries to liven it up himself with an unsound piece sac. Well, that's amateur chess for ya... I do not really know any theory in this exchange french. It is so symmetrical that I figure I can get a fine position just my making natural developing moves, and have therefore saved my study time for more critical lines. Someday I should look into it though. Here is the game; I can't be bothered to analyze it.



So far I have noticed that on chesscube, the 1900-2000 crowd tends to play pretty badly in 15 minute games. Unfortunately, they also play quite fast, so I have to be careful not to run out of time as I am figuring out how to convert my advantage.


Tue Aug 09, 2011 10:37 pm
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Rook

Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2008 6:50 pm
Posts: 110
Location: B.C, Canada
Rating Class: Class A (1800-2000)
Post Re: BigTy's Training Log
Here is a 15 minute game I played on chesscube on Wednesday. I finally had a decent opponent who was about the same rating as me. I tried a variation of the Winawer that I have not played before. He deviated from the mainline pretty early and I was not sure what to do, but I think I managed to play fairly well. I ended up sacking an exchange to get into some drawn endgame, but of course my opponent wouldn't accept a draw and ran me out of time. Here is the game:



Comments:

A lot of players do not like to play 7...0-0 because it gives white very good chances of developing a strong kingside attack, has a lot of theory, and often leaves black with little counterplay. It is a mainline though, so it cannot be as bad as many people think it is. The line I played (8...f5) seems to give white a much harder time checkmating the black king than the other mainline (8...Nbc6) does.

10.Qh5 is an important sideline that I was not really ready for. More common is 10.Bg5 Rf7 11.Qh5.

I remembered that 10...h6 is the best response to 10.Qh5, but after that I was on my own.

Fortunately, 11.Nf3 is not white's most critical try. After the thematic Ne7-f5-d6-e4 maneuver, I believe that black has nothing to complain about.

The problem with positions like the one after 17...Ne4, is that black's only real counterplay seems to be against the weakened white queenside. Meanwhile, white can think about attacking black's king or the weak e6 pawn. Fortunately, white's pieces were not optimally placed for these plans in my game, but the lack of aggressive options for black is kind of discouraging; good position or not.

Perhaps exchanging on e5 was wrong. I thought I would be shielding the e6 pawn from a rook on the e-file, but it turned out to be a target for white's light squared bishop. Also, white's f4-f5 break became a constant worry for me.

24...Rf7?! was a waste of time. I was worried about the f5 break and was very low on time at this point.

I am not sure that sacking the exchange was necessary. I was afraid that if I moved the rook away, white would play 27.Bb4 (suddenly the bad bishop is quite good, followed by 28.Bg6 and 29.f5, causing all sorts of trouble. I thought of allowing 27.Bb4, and then exchanging queens on b6. I was worried about the doubled b-pawns, but maybe they are not so bad, as white's a-pawn would be very weak. Perhaps that was the best winning try, though white still has the eventual plan of f5, with a potentially dangerous passed e-pawn in the future. I do not think the exchange sac is bad though. I have a good knight and a pawn for a rook in a closed position. I doubt black is objectively worse. I was low on time though and just focused on holding the position, rather than trying to find some way to play for a win.

The rest of the game is not really worth commenting on, as I had almost no time left, and my opponent had lots. I will probably try this variation out again in the future, though it seems a bit passive for me. I am used to having more counterplay with black. I would like to try the poisoned pawn variation too. What I need is more mainline Winawer games and less bloody exchange frenches!


Thu Aug 11, 2011 10:38 pm
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Rook

Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2008 6:50 pm
Posts: 110
Location: B.C, Canada
Rating Class: Class A (1800-2000)
Post Re: BigTy's Training Log
Since the last 15-minute game I posted, I have been playing like rubbish. I am not sure why, but 15 minutes has been a difficult time control for me lately. I spend too much time trying to calculate stuff, and usually end up behind 5-10 minutes on the clock. My opponents just use my time to think, and end up beating me or winning on time. It is quite annoying, but I guess all that I can do is keep practicing. Even with the extra time, my 15 minute games are often worse than my 5 minute games. It seems like in these fast games, intuition serves me better than calculation. I am not sure why, as I seem to be doing good at tactics puzzles... Here is a game from today, where I made a simple tactical blunder and lost:



Comments:

13...Ng4 is a pretty typical move in this variation, although perhaps 15...Bd7 first is more accurate. One of the ideas is to sac the exchange on f4, and get a kingside initiative.

I have never seen 14.Qb1 mentioned anywhere before. It seems sort of awkwardly placed, apart from the fact that it threatens Bxh7. I decided to ignore the threat to my pawn, and carry on with my plan. While this plan is probably alright, 14...g6 is safer and probably better. I was afraid of 15.Bxg6, but white does not get enough compensation after 15...Bxf4. If white tries 15.Bxd6 and 16.Bxg6, black has 16...Rxf3 with a big advantage.

The materialistic fritz actually likes my exchange sac on f4. Too bad white had to play a better move than accepting it (17.Qg6!).

17...Rxf3 is bad, as seen in the game. White is the one who gets the kingside initiative. Fritz found 17...Nxh2! 18.Nxh2 Rf6 19.Qd3 Rh6, which it gives as equal. I completely missed this of course.

I missed 19.Bg6 and thought I was busted until I found 19...Ne7. White is much better now because black is very passive.

21...Qd6?? is a game losing blunder. The queen needs to stay on the seventh rank in order to defend the knight when it gets kicked to the g8 square. Of course I missed this too! White is still much better after 21...Qd7 though.

I have struggled a lot against the Tarrasch variation so far. There seems to be a lot of ways to go wrong for black. Oh well, at least it was not another boring exchange french!


Sun Aug 14, 2011 8:25 pm
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Rook

Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2008 6:50 pm
Posts: 110
Location: B.C, Canada
Rating Class: Class A (1800-2000)
Post Re: BigTy's Training Log
I had two 15 minute games against the KID on FICS in the last couple of days. Both were badly played by me, but the second one ended up in my favour somehow. I actually really like playing against the KID. Once I learn the theory better, and become more careful with my king, I think my results will become very good. Despite its good reputation, I think the mainlines of the KID are very risky for black. I am not sure that I would ever want to be black in this opening, but that is just my opinion. Here are the games:



Comments:

Mixing 6...Bg4 and 7...e5 seems like a bad choice by black because ...e5 usually provokes a closed position and a kingside attack, while ...Bg4 prepares to swap off the bishop. It is well known in the KID that the light-squared bishop is critical for black to maintain if his kingside pawn storm is to be a success. Therefore if I had played 8.d5, like I should have, black would either have to trade the bishop off and have a tougher time making the attack work, or retreat it eventually, wasting precious tempi in what may be a sharp position. 8.0-0 is a novelty apparently, but probably is not bad.

8...Nc6? cannot be good, for the reasons mentioned above. Black should probably either take on f3, d4, or play Nd7, because going into a mainline set-up without the light squared bishop or down a couple of tempi cannot be good.

10.Rc1 is probably a bit slow, and not yet necessary. I should have played 10.h3, putting the question to the bishop right away, or 10.c5, getting on with the queenside attack, and asking black what he is doing on the kingside. Even if black does not trade the bishop, h3 is still a useful move for white because it stops ...Ng4, which I somehow missed later in this game.

I think that white would be at least slightly, if not clearly, better after 14.h3. Instead I rushed ahead on the queenside, missing 14...Ng4 completely. I sacked a pawn to save the bishop pair, hoping that I could get it back later. I made some more mistakes as black's pieces came to life, and the rest of the game was a disaster.

15.cxd6 was an obviously way to avoid trouble, but I missed it.

18.d6! looks good for white, building up pressure on the d-file, and eventually winning back the c5 pawn. Now that I see this move, perhaps allowing 14...Ng4 was not a mistake after all. Still, it would not have hurt to keep the position more in control.

20.f3?! is where things start to really go down hill. Why didn't I just play 20.Nxc5, with probably at least an equal game? Time trouble I guess... Overall this was a disaster, especially considering how my opponent played the opening.


Tue Aug 16, 2011 2:10 pm
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Rook

Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2008 6:50 pm
Posts: 110
Location: B.C, Canada
Rating Class: Class A (1800-2000)
Post Re: BigTy's Training Log
In this game I narrowly avoided checkmate, and ended up trapping my opponent's queen! Overall I played recklessly in the opening, ignoring his attack until it was almost too late. I need to be more careful with my king! This game is good for a laugh though, and I won, so overall not too bad...



Comments:

I do not recall having seen 13...a6 before. Usually they either slow down my queenside play with 13...a5, or play on the kingside with 13...Rf6 or 13...Ng6. 13...a6 is probably slow, but at least it stops the Nc3-a7xc8 plan, which often ruins black's attack (no light squared bishop).

In 4 database games, white played 16.cxd6, with 3 wins and a draw (I knew 13...a6 was slow)! I played the slightly odd 16.Qb3 because I wanted to play c6 without it being a pawn sac. If I recall, the queen does not usually go here in this opening, so perhaps it is dubious, though after 16...Qe8, the computer thinks I am winning (comps are often bad in this opening, because it is so closed). Anyways. the database games continued 16.cxd6 cxd6 17.a5 Qe8 18.Be1! Making room on f2 for the knight and eventually going to b4 to attack d6. White should be much better here. The defensive plan to remember for white is h3+Ne1-d3-f2. That way the bishop sac on h3 is stopped, or at least delayed. This database line prepares that plan while keeping queenside initiative. It is a good example of how white should play.

19.Bxc5 is forced, because it clears f2 for the rook in order to defend.

20...Bc8! Leads to forced mate. We both missed this during the game. This just shows that I waited too long to defend my kingside. 21...Bc8 is exactly the same. 21.Bxg2, while usually good, is a blunder here.

I think my opponent missed 24.Bd1, after which the queen is stuck. To get it free, he has to play ...b5 eventually, and sac an exchange on a3, or at least try to. He tried to attack my king with his rook and bishop, but it lead nowhere.


Tue Aug 16, 2011 2:41 pm
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Rook

Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2008 6:50 pm
Posts: 110
Location: B.C, Canada
Rating Class: Class A (1800-2000)
Post Re: BigTy's Training Log
Last night my opponent tried one of my own favourites against me: the Leningrad dutch. I righteously punished him for attempting to play one of my openings against me! Honestly though, it has been a while since I have played this line with black (I usually play 8...a5 instead), and I am not sure if I have ever faced it with white. Therefore, I was struggling to remember the theory, but managed to remember enough of it to get a good game. I played a nice pawn sac that looked too risky for black to accept. He lost shortly after accepting my offer. Here is the game:



Comments:

9...c5 is usually what black plays, but both moves lead to the same thing.

13...Rd8 has only been played in 10 database games, but scores extremely well for black. At this point I did not know what to do, so I thought I would just add some more pressure to the d-file, and then play an eventual c5 to weaken the e5 square.

14.Qd3 might be inaccurate because of 14...Ne4! I saw this idea after I had made my move. Perhaps 14.Qa4 followed by 15.Rfd1 is a better way to play.

After 16.c5! I believe that white is much better. Either black will have to weaken the e5 square, or allow his structure to be ruined. In both cases, he basically has no chance of playing the thematic e5 thrust anymore. He can also grab a pawn and try to hold on, which turned out to be a bad idea.

20...Bxc3 was a blunder, but black is lost anyway. 20...Qxd7 was best, but white still wins enough material for a decisive advantage. I am too lazy to post all of the variations.


Wed Aug 17, 2011 5:50 pm
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Rook

Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2008 6:50 pm
Posts: 110
Location: B.C, Canada
Rating Class: Class A (1800-2000)
Post Re: BigTy's Training Log
It seems like I am getting white in every game lately. Here is a QGD from yesterday against a slightly higher rated opponent. I have struggled a lot trying to find the right plan for white in the exchange variation when black chooses to avoid the mainlines. Some frustrating losses with it in blitz have made me want to switch to a different opening, but I will stick with it and try to increase my understanding of it. It was a 20 minute game, which is good because I definitely needed the time to try to figure out how to win.



Comments:

I've had the position after 8...c5 at least several times. I am not quite sure what the best way to play against it is, but both the move I played in the game and the immediate 9.dxc5 score very well for white.

Fritz recommends 12...d4 for black, which has never been played as far as I know. It gives white a slight edge after 13.Bxf6 Qxf6 14.Ne4 Qe5 15.f3.

The position after 13.Bg3 has been played once before, but 13...Bb6?! is a new move and probably not a good one. Regardless of what black does, I think white is clearly better because black has a lot of weaknesses in his pawn structure. I did not know what to do after black's move, so I went after the bishop pair which is probably a decent idea.

16.Nd4!? may be better than 16.Qc3. It gives white an IQP, but it also makes black's bishop look pretty useless. White's minor pieces are better than black's, and his pawn structure is much healthier in that position. Black is probably very close to losing with precise play. My move was alright though.

I played 24.Qb5 to avoid an exchange of light squared bishops, but it is probably not a very useful move. I should have just played 24.Ba2, as the bishop ended up on that square anyway, and rightly so because d5 is a major target.

Instead of blundering a pawn with 25...Nc4?! my opponent should have tried 24...Rc5.

I made a whole bunch of inacurracies in the endgame, probably because I was in time pressure. The biggest one was allowing the knight to take my bishop on g3. I should have played 33.Bc7 but I did not think that the complications favoured me. I was down to less than a minute when my opponent traded into a lost king and pawn endgame instead of flagging me. That was quite nice of him :D.


Thu Aug 18, 2011 5:36 pm
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Rook

Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2008 6:50 pm
Posts: 110
Location: B.C, Canada
Rating Class: Class A (1800-2000)
Post Re: BigTy's Training Log
Another KID. This time my opponent played a pretty popular sideline that I can never seem to remember what to do against. I won a pawn in the opening, but allowed him to take over the d-file and get a lot of pressure. I got low on time and was saved by the 5 second increment in this game. My opponent realized he would not be able to flag me, so he went for a repetition, although the position was probably drawn anyways.



Comments:

I had no idea what to do after 9...Qe8, which has been played many times before. 10.h3 is the second most popular move, but it does not score very well and is probably unnecessary. 10.Re1 has the best score and has been played quite often in the last several years at high level, so I may look into that move some more.

11...g5?! is a novelty as far as I know, and probably not a very good one. Black can save the pawn for the time being with 13...Bxe5 because if 14.Nxh4 he has 14...Bxc3. White should probably continue 14.Nxe5 with a slight edge due to black's weakened kingside pawns. My opponent did not like the idea of giving up the dark squared bishop, and let me have a pawn instead. It was not easy for white to use that extra pawn though, as seen in the game.

Blockading the e-pawn with 19.Be4 was probably unnecessary as after 19...e4?! white can just take and play Rfe1 to get the piece back. Perhaps 19.Rad1 was better in order to fight for the d-file.

21.b4 may have done more harm than good. I wanted his knight to leave and was hoping for 21...Nxe4 22.Nexe4 Qxb4? which losses an exchange to 23.Rxd4.

Maybe walking the king over was a waste of time, but I wanted to be able to move my knight to e2 without losing a rook. I was low on time too and could not find a good way to make progress.

Instead of 30...Nb5? My opponent should have swapped everything everything on d1 and played 34...Na6, when he is at least equal, and probably the one playing to win.

37.Qd2 looks more active.

43.f4 is not a good move, but I wanted to make sure that I did not get checkmated by his queen and bishop while I was scrambling for time.

45.Rxd4 was best, but would still be tough to win. I missed the fork in time trouble.


Fri Aug 19, 2011 1:31 pm
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Rook

Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2008 6:50 pm
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Location: B.C, Canada
Rating Class: Class A (1800-2000)
Post Re: BigTy's Training Log
I managed to beat a good player (2160) on FICS on Friday. I did not deserve the win as I misplayed the position once my opening knowledge ran out.



Comments:

I played the right set-up, but the wrong move order because it has been a while since I have played this line. Black does not have to resolve the tension in the center so early and should just play 7...g6. Play usually continues 8.0-0 Bg7 9.Re1 0-0 10.Nf1 cxd4 11.cxd4 f6 with a complex middlegame in store. We could have transposed to this, but my opponent tried a different set-up.

I have no idea what to do with the d7 knight in the position after 13.Re1 since the ...e5 break is not playable here (it would be if I hadn't exchanged on d4 so early). I thought of leaving it on d7, because it guards e5, and instead putting the bishop on b7. It seems quite passive there though. I could try 13...b6 with the idea of 14...Nb4 and 15...Ba6, but after 14.Rc1 Bb7 15.Qe2 Rac8 16.Bb5 Rfe8 black seems quite passive. I had no plans for the knight on b6, except maybe an eventual push with the a-pawn. The point was to try to get the bishop off the back rank, in order to finish development.

17.Ba3! Rf7 18.Bd6 looks really strong for white.

20.Ba3 wins an exchange, which somehow both players missed. Instead of the blunder 19...a6? which is meant to prepare ...Bb5, 19...Bb5 right away is playable, and solves a lot of black's problems.

It took me a few minutes to play 21...Qf4, but I am happy that I found it because it seems like black's best way of trying to defend the weaknesses in his position.

23.Qxa6? Ra8 is really annoying for white.

After 23...a5 I had about 37 seconds left, whereas my opponent had more than 5 minutes. How I managed to win on time remains a mystery to me.

Black is at least equal, maybe even better after 28...Rxa2 because it is not possible to guard the bishop and the d4 pawn at the same time. Instead of playing 29.Bc1, my opponent chose to part with the bishop. A bad decision.


Sun Aug 21, 2011 4:27 pm
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Rook

Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2008 6:50 pm
Posts: 110
Location: B.C, Canada
Rating Class: Class A (1800-2000)
Post Re: BigTy's Training Log
Here is a chesscube game from last night. I am still not sure if I want to play the Taimanov variation (as in this game) or the fianchetto variation against the modern benoni. The Taimanov is more aggressive and fits better with the theme of my white repertoire, but on the other hand I have some very good coverage of the fianchetto variation in Avrukh's book: GM repertoire 2. So I may try both for a while and see what I like better. My opponent played a line in this game that is supposed to be winning for white. Navigating through the complications in a 20 minute game is easier said than done, however.



Comments:

11...Qxd7 is better, because it stops g4. White still has a big edge though because he has managed to play the critical e5 break so early. The 3 games I found with 11...Nxd7?! continued 12.g4 Nxf4 13.Bxf4 dxe5, and white won all of them. The move 12...dxe5 is a new one as far as I can tell, and although it probably is not good, it definitely made for a confusing position during the game.

13.fxe5 was likely a better move, but both captures give white a big edge.

16.Kg3 was probably the best move. It gets out of any pins and helps solidify the kingside. It is pretty safe on g3 as well, and if black opens the g-file, white would probably occupy it first.

17.Qb1? is a mistake that does nothing but put the queen out of play. I was worried about ...Bd4+ and ...Ne5, and did not know what to do. Black can take a perpetual here, but he decided to go for more.

The piece sac with 25.hxg6 is not correct, but since I was already up a piece and tired of being harassed, I decided to try for some initiative myself. My opponent defended like a donkey and hung mate in one shortly after. Overall it was a poorly played game from both sides.


Sun Aug 21, 2011 5:14 pm
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Rook

Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2008 6:50 pm
Posts: 110
Location: B.C, Canada
Rating Class: Class A (1800-2000)
Post Re: BigTy's Training Log
I decided to update my online (standard, 15 minutes or more) ratings every two weeks, because I am lazy:

FICS: 2034 (+42)

Chess.com: 1807 (+32)

Chesscube: 2046 (+7)

Chesstempo Standard: 2349.6 (-87.2)

Chesstempo Blitz: 1930.8 (-11.3)

This seems pretty decent overall. I only did 6 problems on chesstempo standard in the last two weeks as they take so much time and energy to solve. I expected to drop in rating, and expect to drop some more because problems that are over 2300 are very difficult for me.

On Chesstempo blitz I got up above 1970 about a week ago, and then started doing really crappy this week. If I take my time and get them right, I lose points for being slow, and if I go faster I often get them wrong and lose a whole tonne of points. It is tough. I will probably end up doing tactics less often because I often feel burnt out, and because I do not think that doing them 5 days per week instead of say, 3, is going to make much differece in my games, especially in fast time controls.

Chesscube rating should be lower because I went on tilt after losing to some sub 1900 player (whom I swear was cheating) and ended up winning some blitz games to get my rating back up. I will try to avoid blitz in the future if I can, at least until I see some improvement in my overall game.


Sun Aug 21, 2011 10:10 pm
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Rook

Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2008 6:50 pm
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Location: B.C, Canada
Rating Class: Class A (1800-2000)
Post Re: BigTy's Training Log
I have been too tired from work lately to analyze my games for the last few days, so I will try to catch up today, as I had a lot of opening issues in my games and feel that most of them really should be looked at. All of the following games are either 15 or 20 minutes per side; most often 15. Here is a Benko Gambit from Sunday:



11...Qc7?! is really not a great square for the queen. I have seen this variation before, and it has been played in the database 98 times, so it isn't terrible. I just do not see what the queen is really doing on that square. 11...Qa5 is the main move, but it has a lot of theory which my opponent either didn't know, or wanted to avoid.

13...Rb4!? is the first new move, and it may not be as bad as it looks. I guess black's idea is to play ...c4 without allowing b4 in response. I gave accidentally gave him the option of doing that on the next move, but he did not do it, so maybe he had other plans. Normal is 13...Nb6, but black puts little pressure on the white position here and probably will not have enough for the pawn after white makes a few more consolidating moves.

14.Rd1 was an automatic move. Perhaps I should have thrown 14.a3 in first, and only then played Rd1. I was a bit concerned about the b3 pawn becoming weak after playing a3 though. However, I do not think it will become weak, as I played a3 later in the game and was alright.

For some reason I thought that I could meet 14...c4 with 15.a3, but black just plays 15...cxb3 and gets good play. Probably white should answer 14...c4 with 15.Nd4, taking the space left by black's pawn, and heading for the c6 square. I am not sure if allowing c4 was a good idea though, as white's queenside becomes weakened after ...cxb3.

18.Ne1 is an idea in some benko lines, but with the queen on c2, it may be incorrect as the knight won't be able to go to that square right away. I thought of playing 18.Nxe5 Nxe5 19.f4, but was discouraged by the weakened dark squares on the kingside, although black has nothing concrete. Anther idea of 18.Ne1 is that it threatens to play 19.f4, but that threat is pretty easy to deal with.

The knight on d3 may look strong, but I am fairly confident that white can play around it without too much trouble. White has 2 connected past pawns on the queenside as well, so I think white's chances are much better after move 20 or so. I was using a lot of time though because I had to play precisely in order not to fall for some tactical shot with a knight so deep in my position.

24.Bd4 is a stronger move than what I played. The dark squared bishops will likely be exchanged, and after that the d4 square is more useful for the knight as it will help the queenside pawn advance, and will prevent ...Bb5-a4 from black. 24.b5?! came into consideration, but I rejected it after 24...Bxb5 25.Rxb5 Rxb5 26.Rxd3 cxd3! 27.Qxc7 dxe2 28.Bd2 Rb1+, when I am not so sure that white is better anymore. Besides, this would be tough to try to win without much time left on the clock.

24...Bb5?? blunders a piece, after which my opponent should have resigned but didn't. Instead he disconnected 2 moves away from being checkmated and made me wait for the win. This seems to happen a lot on chess.com and it is pretty pathetic. Anyways, black could try 24...Bxd4 25.Bxd4 Bb5, though after 26.Qc3 white must be better. The position is hard to win though, and I probably would have flagged. I was blitzing the rest of the game, but managed to win before my time ran out, although my technique wasn't great.


Thu Aug 25, 2011 1:53 pm
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Rook

Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2008 6:50 pm
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Location: B.C, Canada
Rating Class: Class A (1800-2000)
Post Re: BigTy's Training Log
Here is some rubbish from Monday where I played terribly and won on time. I am not going to analyze the game, just the opening as there is a key idea I have to remember next time this line crops up. I was tired and did not know the opening, so the game was a big disaster. I need to learn this semi-slav better, as it is currently my main defense against 1.d4.



5.cxd5 transposes to a line of the QGD exchange variation which is supposed to be harmless because the knight is already on f3, making the Kasparov/Botvinnik plan of Nge2/f3/e4 no longer possible. Black still needs to know what to do though.

Believe it or not, the mainline is 7...g6! which seems counter-intuitive with the bishop already on e7, but which makes a lot of sense when you consider that black's problem piece is the bishop on c8 in these positions. Play usually continues 8.e3 Bf5 9.Bd3 Bxd3 10.Qxd3 Nbd7 11.0-0 0-0 12.Rab1 a5 13.a3 Re8 with a plus score for black, although it is probably equal. I need to remember this ...g6 idea, and then I will get a decent game next time.

EDIT: Hmmm, the whole game did not show up for some reason, but that is okay as I analyzed all that I wanted to. It was terrible anyway.


Thu Aug 25, 2011 2:21 pm
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Rook

Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2008 6:50 pm
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Location: B.C, Canada
Rating Class: Class A (1800-2000)
Post Re: BigTy's Training Log
Here is Tuesday's game. I think that I had a slight edge out of the opening, missed a couple of chances to maybe increase that edge, and instead ended up in a simplified position where both players got into time trouble and I ended up losing.



If I recall, black should not play ...a6 in this line, but should instead play ...Na6-c7. The line he played is playable of course, but I think that theory really likes white. I never know where to retreat the bishop in these lines. Fortunately, 10.Bd3, as played, is the most popular and best scoring move in the database. I did not want to put the bishop on e2 because it makes it tougher to play e5 because if a Rook is played to e1, the bishop will be in the way. However, putting the bishop on e2 may have the advantage that it could go to f3 to cover some of the holes that my opponent creates with his next move.

14.Re1 has not been played many times and is probably not the best move. Instead, 14.Kg2! looks good, and usually continues 14...Bg4 15.h3 Bxh3 16.Qxh3 which looks at least slightly better for white, if not clearly.

23...c4?! looks like it weakens the dark squares unnecessarily. 23...Ra6 right away looks preferable, when white cannot take the b5 pawn because e4 would hang.

25.e5 dxe5 26.fxe5 Nd7 27.Nxd7 Qxd7 28.Bc3 looks like it might give white good chances, but it is not so clear after 28...b4. I should have tried this, as I made no progress in the game continuation.

25.Bc3? is actually a losing move, although both players missed it. Black has 25...Rxe4! 26.Rxe4 Nxe4 27.Qxe4 Bxc3 28.bxc3 Rxa5! with two pawns up no matter what white does. White can try 28.Nxc4 instead, but black still ends up one pawn ahead, with a better minor piece and a safer king.

I did not see 33...Rxe4 until right after I moved. Both players were in time trouble here, so the play became sloppy, especially on my part.


Thu Aug 25, 2011 5:00 pm
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Rook

Joined: Sun Aug 10, 2008 6:50 pm
Posts: 110
Location: B.C, Canada
Rating Class: Class A (1800-2000)
Post Re: BigTy's Training Log
Here is Friday's game. I had no idea what was going on in the opening and got an uncomfortable position. Instead of punishing me, my opponent opted for some queenless middlegame which looked to be more or less equal. Later on he brought his king out... and it got checkmated! Here is the game:



3...c6 is a more popular move, and may be more logical for me because I play the semi-slav. However, I thought my opponent was going to play a KIA, so I figured I would just play similar to how I play against the KID with the white pieces. Next time I will try 3...c6, unless my opponent has already committed his d-pawn to d3.

5...cxd4 6.Nxd4 e5 7.Nxc6 bxc6 8.c4 Rb8 is a line I play against the Gruenfeld, but with reverse colours. This idea did not occur to me during the game, but I am sure that white is at least equal with the extra tempo, considering it is tough enough to get an edge against the Gruenfeld with white.

7...cxd4 is the critical move. I was afraid of 8.Ne5, but black has 8...Be4 9.Bxe4 Nxe4 10.Nxc6 Qd7 11.Rd1 Qxc6 12.Qxc6 bxc6 13.Rxd4 Nd6, although I think white will eventually get his pawn back. Black is at least equal here though because he is up a pawn for the moment, and has play down the b-file. A quick database check reveals that 7...cxd4 is the most common move, and the only one where white does not have a large plus score. Also, after 8.Nxd4, the move that is always played, black has 8...Qxd4 9.Bxc6 Bd7.

I was worried about getting behind in development after something like 11.Be3 Qxb2 12.Nc3, but black is winning after 12...Ne5.

I don't understand why my opponent played 12.Qb3? weakening his pawns, and giving up his chances to attack my centralized king. 12.Be3 was more in the spirit of the position.

According to the computer, white is lost in all lines after 24...g5!, which was played. White's king came out too early!

26.Bxf6+ Ke8! 27.Rh1 Rdd2 and mate is unstoppable. I was worried about 26.Bxf6+ in the game, and I am not sure that I would have found this line.


Sun Aug 28, 2011 12:15 pm
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