Sunday, September 28, 2008

Medicine Hat Open

Round 1
Paired against an unrated junior Jordan Schibler. He is in grade 10 and came second at the Alberta chess challenge. I now dread playing juniors. I had a strong advantage (+2.8) and an attack against his king but I erred on my 20th move. I got distractred from my attack when I thought I could fork his rook and then pick off his center pawns.

Right after I played 20.Be7 I saw that If I took the d6 pawn my bishop could be trapped, but I didn't retreat the bishop and hoped that my opponent wouldn't see that. He didn't, but after that we traded down to a rook ending where I was at best equal. We played until all the pawns were gone and then admitted the draw. The correct move in the diagram is of course 20. h6. A disappointing result.

Round 2
Stan Longson (1378). I played too conservatively in the opening and gave him an advantage. Fritz says it was not as much an advantage as I thought. Position after 18...Qe7

He made the following interesting tactical play 19. Nxg6. I was worried about my weak king but luckily he started to tire and made a string of small blunders that I took advantage of to capture a full point. He had this problem in all the games I saw him play. After concentrating so hard for a few hours, sometimes you just go blank for a while, and in chess that when it all falls apart. I won but was still not very happy with my play.

Round 3
John Quiring (1817). He played a line of the Petroff where he sacs a knight on f7. I had not seen this exact line before but I was pretty sure I should be able to take the knight and come out with the advantage. I missed a very simple queen check in my calculations allowing him to recapture a knight and come away with two free pawns and a strong attack on my open king.

8.g6?? (Nd6 was needed). I played well enough from then on to last to move 48, but there was no way to save the game. This was the one move of the tournament that really bothers me. At this point I had 1.5/3 and had not played a good game.

Round 4.
A very interesting round. On board 1 Keith MacKinnon was playing John Quiring and had a winning position but overlooked a devastating tactic. John missed the winning move and then shortly after flagged and withdrew from the tournament. On another board, Don MacKinnon sacked his queen and then missed a mate in one, which his opponent also didn't see, and then went on to lose. My opponent was Roy Yearwood (2174). He is probably my favorite strong player to play against because I enjoy going over the game with him afterwards, plus in my two previous games against him I played reasonably well.

Chaisson,Terry (1811) - Yearwood,Roy (2174) [B00]
Med Hat Open Hewlett (4), 28.09.2008
B00: Queen's Fianchetto Defence, Nimzowitsch Defence
1.e4 Nc6 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nc3 d5 last book move according to Fritz 4.e5 Nd7 5.d4² Black has a cramped position. Black's pieces can't move: c8+f8 5...Nb6 6.Be2 At first Roy thought that this was a novelty but he opened up his book "Play The 1...Nc6" and found a game from 1994. I liked this more than Bb5 because I think it leaves more flexibility 6...Bf5 7.Nh4 e6 This looks weakening to me but Roy didn't like the idea of retreating the bishop [7...Be6!?² should be considered-Fritz] 8.Nxf5± exf5 9.0–0 Be7 10.Bb5 Qd7 11.Qf3 g6 [11...0–0!? 12.Qg3 Rfd8±]

12.a4!+- A strong move that takes advantage of the placement of the black knights. Fritzs gives me a plus 1.4 12...a6 13.Bxc6 bxc6 Black has to double another set of pawns or lose a pawn after a5. The structural weakness make any endgame dangerous for black 14.Bh6 Played to prevent castling [14.Ne2 0–0+-] 14...Bf8 [14...Qe6!?±] 15.Qf4 I wanted to keep pressure on but fritz sees [15.Bxf8 Rxf8 16.a5 Nc4 17.Qd1 Nxb2 18.Qb1 Nc4 19.Qb7 Ke7 20.Qb4+ Ke6 21.Na4 Rfb8 22.Nc5+ Ke7] 15...Bxh6 16.Qxh6 Qe7 17.b3 Nd7 18.Rfe1 0–0–0 19.Qe3 Nf8? [19...Nb8 20.Ne2+-]

20.a5? [20.Qd3+- and White has triumphed 20...Kb7 21.b4 Ne6 22.b5 Qd7 23.Reb1 c5 24.bxa6+ Ka8 25.Rb7 Rb8 26.Rab1 c4 27.Qf3 Rxb7 28.axb7+ Ka7 ¹] 20...Ne6± 21.Na4 Kb8 22.b4! Ka7 23.Nc5 Nxc5 24.bxc5 [24.dxc5?! g5=] 24...Rb8 Here my cell phone rang. Although I hadn't heard any announcement about cell phones, I believed that Roy could have claimed a win. The funny thing is that the exact same thing happened to Roy the day before. During that game Roy told his opponent that he could claim a win but his opponent declined and they played on. In the spirit of giving back, Roy did the same for me. He made his next move and then offered a draw. Although I still have the advantage, I gladly took the draw because I would not have felt right about continuing to try to win. 25.Reb1 Rb5 ½–½

Round 5
There was now an uneven number of players in the tournament and I knew I had a long 5 hr drive so I withdrew. Plus with only 2/4 I was pretty sure I wasn't in the running for a prize. Keith had 4/4, another unrated junior (Ben ???, an exchange student from Europe) had 3, and three others had 2.5/4.

Overall another so-so tourney with some good moments balanced with some bad play. Because I played an unrated player, I'm not sure what my ratings will be but I'm expecting an Rp=1750?? and I will lose a few points I'm sure.

ps. I guess I ended up winning a class prize with 2.5/5. The TD gave me a half point bye for my last round.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Jamin Gluckie Match : Part I

Game 1

A titanic back and forth struggle. Jamin surprised me with his opening and made any preparation I had done moot. I missed a bishop move in the late opening that cost me a pawn. After taking a long time I came up with a good plan to fight back. I managed to equalize and actually had an advantage for a brief time. Jamin fought back and regained the advantage. It came down to a Queens and pawns ending that I think I should of been able to draw but I made a beginner mistake when I allowed him to trade Queens.

I played 53. Qf4?? and let him trade queens into a won ending. Argh... My only explanation for this horrible move is that it had come down to 2 mins on both of our clocks and I don't seem to play very well in time pressure. I'll post more of the game later.

Game 2

A very disappointing game. The only good thing about it was that I managed to surprise Jamin by playing the Dutch. He's never seen me play this before, mainly because I never played it in anything other than a blitz game online. I quickly lost my way in the opening when Jamin didn't follow the same line he played in the Canadian Open. I was hallucinating some phantom counter tactical move and walked into dropping a piece. I didn't want to lose in less than 25 moves so I played another 10 moves before I resigned. I don't really want to post anything from this game because I don't think there much to learn from it but this was my last chance to save the piece with a6 but instead I played 13. O-O-O??

At this moment I'm still planning on playing in the Med Hat Open this weekend.