Wednesday, February 18, 2009

am team east, rd 5: no rossilimo but a pseudo-zwischenzug

Vicary,Elizabeth - Pena,Joel [B22]
Amateur Team East, 17.02.2009

1.e4 c5
2.Nf3 g6

I was too lazy to prepare anything against this move, which is very stupid because Perelshteyn's very good and very, very popular book, Chess Openings for Black, Explained, recommends it. I know c3 and d4 are both moves, and I figured c3 was a better choice against a kid.

3.c3 Bg7
4.d4 cxd4

5...d5 is a much better move. I learned this because I looked this position up for one of my kids last month. Other than knowing that, I'm kinda on my own here. I don't play this exact structure for either side, so I don't have any pre-formed plan, and I was trying to puzzle out things like where the bishops go and the queen and what, if anything, I'm going to try to do, later.


I felt like my d4 pawn might be a little vunerable and so I'm preventing Bg4. I also suspect the Bc8 might be jobless.

7.Nc3 0–0
Am I playing for space on the center and the queenside? maybe I am?!
9.Be2 I felt insecure about putting it on c4.
10.0–0 Rc8

Now, I feel like this position looks like a very typical position, like your world's most average middlegame position, but aren't I already better? I felt I was.

12.b3 b5 Now I did something very stupid. I felt like I deserved to be better, so I thought that a break in the center ought to work. And for some reason, I calculated the line 13. e5 b4 14. Nb5 Ne4 15. Qxb4 and I thought, super, I'm up a pawn. 14...Nd5 never even crossed my mind.

13.e5 I should just play 13.Bd3 b4 14.Ne2+/=.

where should my knight go?
My original intention was to play Nb5, but I got scared it was going to get trapped. Here's a sample line: 14.Nb5 Nd5 15.exd6 Qb6 16.dxe7 (I missed this good idea : 16.Nc7! Nxe3 17.fxe3 Qxd6 18.Na6=) 16...Rfe8 17.a4 a6;
I completely missed that I could even consider taking on f6: 14.exf6 bxc3 15.fxe7 Qxe7 16.Qe1:

analysis diagram: guess what rybka thinks?
I assumed this must suck for me, but the computer seems to think white's just winning the c3 pawn and calls it –0.24. a long, strange forced line: 16...Qd8 17.Rc1 Qc7 18.Ba6 Nb7 19.Bc4 Qa5 20.Qxc3 Qxc3 21.Rxc3 d5 22.Bxd5 Rxc3 23.Bxb7 -/=

but back to reality, I actually played...
14.Nd1 Nd5
I felt that I needed to exchange some pieces, and of course I was hoping for the cheapo 15...Bxh6 16.Qxh6 Nc3 17.Ng5
16.Bxg7 Kxg7
17.Ne3 d5
I knew I probably shouldn't do this, that the trade isn't quite favorable, but I just couldn't think of what else to do.

19.hxg4 Qb6
Oh god, why do I have such a miserable positon against a kid? also, he's the kid on the sled on the cover of this month's chess life for kids. and I know I did it to myself with the godawful e5 b4 stupidity. I have no idea whta to do here or how to not lose my d pawn basically immediately, so I figured I would manufacture fake threats on the kingside.

20.g3 Nc6
21.Bd1 Nb5
22.Kg2 h6
23.Rh1 Rh8
This was a total bluff. I played it knowing ...hxg5 is very good for him, but gambling that he would feel that closing the position was safer.

25.Rh4 now I defend my pawn, gleeful.
26.Be2 Nca7 Now I started preparing e6 and Ne5
27.Re1 Rc6
28.Bd3 Nc3
29.Rf4 Nc8
30.Bb1 Na7
31.Bd3 Nc8

He offered me a draw here, but I have a rule not to take draws from children.
32.Bc2 So now I "triangulate," because I want his knight on a7 when I play e6. If it's on c8, then black can defend f7 with Nd6.
33.e6 Rxe6
34.Ne5 Rxe5

35.dxe5 At the time, I thought this capture was obvious, as it unisolates my d pawn, and if 35. Rxe5 Nc6 looks annoying, but I missed how strong 36.Rxf7+ Kxf7 37.Qf4+ Kg7 38.Re6 is.
36.a3 Nc6
37.axb4 axb4
38.Qd3 Ne7
39.Ra1 Nf5
40.Qa6 Qxa6
41.Rxa6 Ne2 I have no idea why he didn't defend his b pawn.
42.Rxb4 h4

43.Bxf5 hxg3 He wants to throw thismove in to weaken my pawns (44.fxg3? gxf5), but that's not really how zwischenzugs work
44.Bh3 gxf2
45.Kxf2 Rxh3
46.Kxe2 Rg3
47.Ra7 [47.Rb7 Rxg5 48.Rxe6] 47...Rxg5
48.Rf4 Rxe5+
49.Kf2 Rf5
50.Rxf5 gxf5
51.b4 Kf6
52.b5 Ke5
53.b6 f6
54.b7 actually he played to mate, but I'm too lazy to input the rest 1–0


Malcolm said...

Really nice post. :-)

I enjoy this style of commentary. Probably helps that you're in a good mood about the games, rather than cursing poor play.

Can see this game + comments being useful as a sort of "how to handle random, nothing special middlegames by a decent player" lesson. I found it always hard to teach people how to just play and not always want something to happen (sure enough.. as soon as you did that, something certainly happened, but it wasn't nice).

I don't know if you get much feedback on the annotated games of your own that you post here, but please keep doing so. I like reading through them.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry if I missed it but what did your team name turn out to be?

Elizabeth Vicary said...


we were called "madoff with your pieces"

Anonymous said...

Didn't you consider 12.e5 (i.e., one move before you played it in the game)? Especially if you wished to play e5 anyway, why not do it when it forces his N back to e8? Not to mention avoiding all the time you spent dealing with the consequences of 13.e5 b4. And there's the added bonus that should Black answer 12.e5, dxe5?, it looks to me like he then loses a piece to Rad1 due to his d7-bishop being pinned.

My personal rule is, always be looking at possibilities of central aggression....especially when you're playing White.

Anonymous said...

Great posts!

Seems to me White paid too high a price to keep the bishop pair with 13.b3. Black got a lot of mileage out of the weak c3 square. What about this instead: allow ...Nc4 Bxc4 Rxc4, then swap dark squared bishops, play d4-d5, and post a knight on d4. If b7 moves, play Nc6. If e7 moves, capture and hammer the d6 square.

Elizabeth Vicary said...

Thanks for the suggestions, they're great and v useful, please keep them coming!