(206) Vicary,Elizabeth - Sandburg,Evan [B31]
Marshall July Open (2), 12.07.2008
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 g6
What was disconcerting here is that I'm pretty sure I switched lines, and don't take here anymore, but for the life of me, I could not remember what I switched to. Not even the first move. But I taught a couple kids to play 4. Bxc6 a few months ago, so I remember that well enough.
4.Bxc6 dxc6 5.d3 Bg7 6.h3 e5 7.Nc3
The knight usually goes to f6, which I think is part of some unbelievably long-winded plan of Ng8-f6-e8-c7-e6-d4. Seems ridiculous to me, also. Also, I can't play 8. Nxe5 because of 8...Nxe4.
7... Ne7 8.Be3 Qd6 9.Qd2 0–0 10.g4
Yeah, I don't know about this anymore either. I figure he wants to play ... f5, because I can't see how else he's going to activate his knight. I'm not sure that ... f5 is a good move, really, because it seems like if I take it, then I should get either the e4 square if he recaptures with a piece, or an exposed king to attack if he takes with the pawn. But still, I kinda wanted to stop it just to piss him off.
Let me tell you what I do know: in the main position of this opening:
white has four plans:
1. 0-0-0 and a kingside attack with a pawn storm (I guess h4? I think I read somewhere h3 and g4, but I never understand what those pawns are threatening there.)
2. 0-0 and kingside attack based on trading dark bishops and playing f4.
3. 0-0 and a3, b4 to loosen up the queenside
4. playing a4 and getting a knight (my memory says the c3 knight, but that looks crazy slow to me) to c4.
I am incredibly proud of myself for knowing that.
Now back to the game.
10....Be6 11.0–0–0 f6 12.Bh6 b5 13.Bxg7 Kxg7 14.g5? a5 15.Rdg1 a4 16.gxf6+? Rxf6 17.Nh2 a3! [17...h5!] 18.b3 Qd4 19.Ng4 Bxg4 20.hxg4 Ng8 21.f3 b4 22. Qh2
OK, at this point I have 2 minutes left for 8 moves, I'm down a piece, and I'm quite possibly getting mated. Or his a pawn is queening. It turns out I play much better in time pressure when I'm completely lost, because I don't agonize over decisions too long. Starting from this point, I am quite proud of my play, which is not something I can remember feeling.
22...bxc3? 23.Qxh7+ Kf8 24.Qb7 Rd8 25.Re1 Qd7 26.Qa6 Rf7 27.Rh8 Re8 28.Reh1 Rd8
He had 12 minutes last move but spent a long time here, leaving himself with just a minute for the last two moves. I had had 40 seconds for 6 moves at some point, but it didn't bother me because I had already relinquished any expectations.
29.Qc4 Qe7 [29...Qd4 30.Qa6 Qe3+ 31.Kb1 Qxf3] 30.Qxc3 Qg5+ 31.Kb1 Qe7 32.Qc4 Rd4 33.Qa6 Rxf3 34.Qxa3 Rd8
I just felt like this move would be annoying. It stops checks on f6 and takes some squares from the knight.
39... Re8 40.Qd6+ Kg7 41.Qh2 Kf8 42.Rh7 Qf1+ 43.Kb2 Re7
48.e6 Qa5 49.Qb8+ Re8 50.Rf7# 1–0
I had two other thoughts while playing this game that I would like to tell you about.
2. I want to do a project at the next big open that I can't for some reason play in. I want to hang out in the low sections and collect data on which openings are most effective at different rating levels. For example, is it really true that the Grand Prix works every single time under 1500? Maybe the Dutch scores 85-90% under 1200? I could make a CLO article out of it, right? Definitely. It's probably the most interesting thing in the world to enthusiastic D players.
*although surprisingly not my young opponent, who was totally fine.