Thursday, February 19, 2009

am team east game 4: I choose happiness

Malinskiy,David - Vicary,Elizabeth [B33]
Amateur Team East (4), 19.02.2009

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e5 6.Ndb5 d6 7.Bg5 a6 8.Na3 b5 9.Nd5 Be7 10.Bxf6 Bxf6 11.c3 Bg5 12.Nc2 Rb8 13.a4 bxa4 14.Ncb4 Bd7

Ok, so I thought during the game that this was all theory.

15.Bxa6 Nxb4

oh my goodness me, what a huge shocker, this is a normal move! Anand has played it. I was convinced in the game that my opponent had dementia, he was this very old Russian guy, and it looked so weird plus why should I think this guy keeps up on Sveshnikov theory? wow I am very surprised. some people will do anything for a passed pawn.



I guess this move is "too early"? Everyone else goes Bc6, but then white sacks on a4 and starts pushing the b pawn, and black vainly attempts to get play going on the kingside before failing and suffering for eternity, so I don't really know why I shouldn't be trying for "early," probably because it doesn't work out so well. [17...Bc6 18.Rxa4 Bxa4 19.Qxa4 Qe8 20.Qxe8 Rfxe8 21.b5 is Anand -Van Wely Corus 2006. It's so depressing. So, I know I've been saying this for along time now, but I'm going to give up the sveshnikov. It just doesn't make me happy. I feel guilty all the time, I lose constantly, even when my opponent does nothing, I still get not very good positions. Maybe I'm just not smart enough to play it, but I'm ok with that. I just want a nice simple strategic position. I don't want to work so hard anymore. Dave told me to play the caro kann, and that's what I'm going to do. I'm going to be so much happier.

Also my kids play it (some of them) so it will be professionally useful.

18.exf5 Rxf5
19.Bd3 Rf8
20.Ra3 Qe8

I wanted to play ...e4 and ...Qe5, although the e4 pawn is supersoft. I also kinda wanetd to overprotect a4 and maybe play Bd8-b6 and stop Qd1–h5. But I don't know. I don't know what I'm doing, honestly.

21.Qe2 g6

Here I got this was some weird, probably irrational fear of Bc4 and having to move my king to the h file and some imaginary mating tactics on h7, and I thought my king would be better placed on g7, but that might be wrong plus it costs a lot of time.

22.Bc4 Kg7
23.Rd1 Bd8
24.Rad3 Bc6
25.Qd2 Bxd5

26... Bb6
27.Rf1 Bd4 [27...Rf4!]
28.Rxd6 Qe7

I expected this: 29.Rxd4 exd4 30.Qxd4+ Qf6 31.Qxf6+ Rxf6 and thought it was pretty good for me. I still think so, if he plays 32.b5 Rf4 I win a pawn right away 33.Be2 Re4 34.Bd3 Rd4 35.Be2 Rd2 36.Bc4 Rxb2. And otherwise I just take the pawn.


29...Qxb4 30.Rc7+ Kh8 31.Qh6 seemed like I should avoid it.

30.Rc7 Qxc7

I felt I should be a tiny bit better here because my bishop has a target and his does not. For really no reason I felt quite confident at this moment that I would win this game in high style.


31...Qa7 I'm sure I looked at this move, but now I can't remember why I didn't play it. Kinda stupid not to, since his b2 pawn should be weaker than my a4 pawn.

32.Qxa4 Rxb2
33.Qa6 Qe7 [33...Qc5 34.Qe6 I felt this might be called "losing control."]
34.Qe6 Qf8

At this point I was outside talking to Lenderman in that area you aren't supoposed to stand and talk in and he was describing his game and I was getting excited, convincing myself that I might be completely winning, since he has no way to defend the f pawn.

35.Qd7+ Kh8
36.Qf7 I had not seen that way.
37.Bxf7 e4
38.Bd5 oh well. ½–½


Tim said...

Those four old Russian guys were WAY tougher than they looked. I was lucky to get a miracle drawn ending.

Anonymous said...

The name of this "very old Russian guy" is Malinskiy, not Malinksy.

Anonymous said...

Screw the Caro-Kann. Play the French. You'll never go back.

Anonymous said...

Agree about old Russian guys (in general). I'm much more scared of them than of young Russian guys - who never experienced the Gulag. Some day I'll dig out my game with Grechikin - a sprawling, topsy-turvy see-saw epic, something Turgenev might have written, or even Tolstoy. Grechikin, who beat me in that game, is only 2200. In contrast, I am ahead vs. Lenderman in recent contests - though he is 40 (50?) years younger and 300 points higher. Another old Russian who gave me much trouble is Solonkovich.

Anonymous said...

I had a 15+ year love affair with B33 but just recently dumped it for the CaroKann myself. You will be happier!!

Anonymous said...

"Screw the Caro-Kann. Play the French. You'll never go back."

I definitely agree; don't let you deceive by Topalov's easy game against Kamsky with the C-K.
I recently gave up the C-K and THAT made ME happy.
Some bad things about the Caro-Kann:
1. You have to be prepared for a lot of completely different variations and opening 'tabiyas' (Advance Variation 3.e5/ Exchange variation 3.ed [advertised by Alburt& Dzinzhi] / Main Line 3.Nc3 / Tarrasch 3.Nd2 / Panov-Attack 3.ed, 4.c4 maybe followed by a later c4-c5 / 2.c4-Variation / Fantasy Variation 3.f3 / Two Knights Variation Nf3-Nc3)

2.You don't get ANY counterplay at all; in most lines you must be happy with a draw but you have to fight for it.

3. The C-K is complete rubbish against weaker and you will find yourself drawing against players with 300-400 rating points below yours; that's because the C-K is very easy to play for white especially in the Exchange variation which gives Black NO winning chances at all.

4. In some lines of the Panov Attack play may transpose into other closed openings (which then makes only sense to play when you also play this line against 1.d4)

Summa Summarum you will have to learn an awful lot and the fun is only on the other (white) side of the board.

I switched to the Scandinavian temporarily, simply because it's easy to learn and most white players are not very well prepared against it; I for myseld at least get much better positions as with the C-K and I don't have to do much for it..

Actually I plan to go for the new tricky lines in the Philidor Defense (Starting with 1..d6 2..Nf6 3...Nbd7 aiming for the Hanham Variation) in the near future; I am just studying 'The Philidor Files' by GM Bauer for that purpose.

But the French may be also a good choice...

...but don't pick up the C-K, it's a sucker...

Rihel said...


I am really enjoying your detailed comments for your games. Much more interesting than reams of computer variations found in most modern chessbooks.


an ordinary chessplayer said...

Dave this, Dave that, Dave, Dave, Dave...

Oh wait, come to think of it, Dave has given me some pretty good advice recently.

Actually, I think the Caro-Kann is pretty sweet, especially against the kiddies. You might still have some trouble against the old Russian guys, but que cera cera. Been thinking about playing it more myself, except Dave recommends I stick with 1...e5.

But don't try to "choose" happiness, that's not how to get it. And even if you could get it that way, someone would notice and take it away. Choose freedom. Then they will only kill you, but you will still be free.

Back me up here Dave.

gurdonark said...

I'm merely a B player, and when I look at my recent ICCF string of losses, I'm amazed I'm even that. A 2100+ can play a lot of things that a 1600 can't.

Yet I'll deposit 2 cents that the problem with the Sveshnikov, to me, is that it's a lot of work on theory and on tactics without a lot of bang for the buck. Ideally, one wants a defense that lets one roll over lesser-ranked players like rabbits and challenge, in your case, a 2300, with a system that will get you rolling with aplomb. Yet my observation of the Svesh is that there are tactical risks at every turn that even a less-practiced white can uncover, and that stronger players usually can exploit its weaknesses even against a well-studied opponent.

If I were to take up a Sicilian line, I think I'd choose one of those arcane-but-solid things like the Kan or the Taimanov, where in return for putting up with a few cramped initiative-stifling variations I at least know I'm apt to be solid when it's all said and done. Ideally, a Kan, say, lets one grind down a lower-rated opponent while staying solid, and lets one try to wear down a higher-rated opponent in interesting lines.

But the Svenshnikov is just so much work. Maybe it's all work when you're 2100. But it's a lot of work.