Monday, December 1, 2008

National Chess Congress 2008: Things Are Fine at First

Eric at a training session with Kasparov in 2005.
Vicary,Elizabeth - Liao,Eric [B40]
National Chess Congress 2008 (1), 28.11.2008
1.e4 c5
2.Nf3 e6
3.b3 So I play 3. Bb5 against 2... d6 and 2... Nc6, but obviously I can't do this after 2... e6. And while I don't know anything special about 3. b3, black never does either, and by now I've played it enough times that I think I'm getting a sense of the pawn structure.
3...Nc6 This is of course fine, but it allows me to get into what I know. Some black players try to avoid transposing back to Bb5 lines with 3...b6.

4.Bb2 d5 Probably it's not a bad move, but maybe it's unnecessarily early. In positions where white has already doubled black's c pawns with Bxc6, it can be risky to play d5 too soon because by fixing the pawn structure, black makes him pawns more obvious targets.

5.Bb5 I can take first, but I didn't see any reason to. Black isn't threatening to play d4 or take on e4: in the first case I take on c6 and put the b1 knight on c4; in the second I play Ne5 and his pawn structure is too much. I could also probably take on d5 and play d4.
6.Bxc6+ bxc6

Black needs to immediately play ... f6 and ...e5 to shut out my Bb2. This kind of position is why I love the Bb5 Sicilian-- no kid will ever figure out the slightly weird positional ideas they need to find over the board.

8.Nbd2 Be7
9.0–0 0–0
10.Ne5 Black just doesn't really have a plan here.
11.f4 Bd6
12.Rf3 I feel like I'm playing very childishly.

Black should have played 12...Nh5, which is very annoying and forces 13.g3
13.Qe1 Bb7
14.Qh4 Be7
15.Rh3 h6

16.Qg3 Even better: 16.Ng4 Nxg4 (16...Qxf4 17.Nxf6+) 17.Qxg4 d4 18.Rxh6 Bf8 19.e5

A better try for black is 17...Qa5 but then I can play 18.Nxf7: 18...Kxf7 19.Qg6+ Kf8 20.fxe6 Kg8 21.Rxh6 Rf8 22.Bxf6 Rxf6 23.Qh7+ Kf8 24.Qh8#

18.fxe6 fxe6
19.Ng6+ Ke8
20.e5 Be7
21.exf6 Qxg3
22.Rxg3 Bxf6
23.Be5 d4
24.Ne4 Bxe5
25.Nxe5 g5
26.Rf3 Rac8
27.Raf1 1–0
Immediately after this game I began to feel sick, so I took a bye in the evening round and slept and read the first half of Outliers, by Malcolm Gladwell, who write the brilliant Blink and The Tipping Point. This one is equally great. I'm going to go finish it now.


Mike Klein said...

i got a few gladwell quotes from "outliers" in my feature on kaidanov, coming up next chess life issue.

when it comes to superior baby-sitters, you are an indeed an outlier.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for providing the link to Outliers. I had been meaning to order it when I finish my Obama-directed reading list: The Defining Moment and Team of Rivals.

Anonymous said...

Nice game! I like the Ne5 and f4 stuff. I would only have thought of playing pawn to e5 in that kind of position.

BTW, Google's new Life magazine photos has cool retro-chess pics: Some really nice, little known photos of Bobby Fischer are in there, too.