Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Vicary - Zheng: memory lane

Vicary,Elizabeth - Zheng,Lucas [B08]
Marshall Sat g/60 (1), 19.07.2009

1.e4 d6
2.d4 Nf6
3.Nc3 g6
4.Nf3 Bg7
5.Be2 0–0
6.0–0 Bg4

dammit. I'd just been studying the pirc, but what a waste if my opponents are not going to play properly. 7...Nc6 is "normal," when I was psyched to play this plan that goes 8. d5 Bxf3 9. Bxf3 Ne5 10. Be2 c6 11. f4 Ned7 12. dxc6 bxc6 13. Qd3 (D)

I love pre-fab attacking plans.

and then Ra-d/e1, and Bc1 or Bg1 (after Kh1), Qh3 and some big attack with f5. Black can also play 8... Nb8, then I play a4 (and a5 if they let me), or Nd2-c4 (if they stop a4 with 9...a5).

Lucas Zheng played against my kids when he was in 3rd grade, by the way. Now he's my height.

8.a4 I don't know-- what am I doing?? you tell me. Chessbase suggests 8. Qd2 or 8. h3-- Qd2 with the idea of Rd1 and general development. 8. h3 to be followed by 8... Bxf3 9. Bxf3 e5 and 10. g3 and Bg2. huh, ok.

9.d5 Rybka suggests 9.dxe5 dxe5 10.h3 Bxf3 11.Bxf3 and to just be like 'what? I have 2 bishops'

9...a6 This raises the question: of all the legal moves, which is, on average, the best? I was at a very very large dinner table at Friday's, back when the World Open was at the Adam's Mark (oh the memories. on this topic, does anyone remember in the mid 90s when the fire alarm went off in the middle of the night and everyone came out in their pajamas? that was my fault.) and someone (I think Jenn) proposed looking at many games to determine how frequently bad moves were made with different pieces. For example, perhaps king moves are more likely to be mistakes than rook moves? I'm not sure what the larger point of the discussion was, but it quickly degenerated into a dispute about whether castling should be in its own category, or count as a king move or as both a king and rook move.

Jumping ahead 10–15 years, I figured the move a5 for white must be above average.

10.a5 Nh5
11.Nd2 I'm moving my knight to c4 (this is my one "nugget" of information on the pirc), plus I can deal with the Nf4 threat by recapturing with the other knight. I can also kick the knight out "by hand:" 11.h3 Bxf3 12.Bxf3 Nf4 13.Kh2 Nf6 14.g3 N4h5

12.Nxe2 f5
13.f3 He's not supposed to be able to checkmate me without a light squared bishop, right? I just kept telling myself that.
14.Bf2 Nhf6
15.c4 g5
16.Nc3 so my queen hits g4
17.b4 g4
18.c5 Qe8 I thought for a long time here, but pretty incoherantly.
19.Qb3 I threaten c6!

20.Na4 again, I thought for a while and then panicked and chose something randomly. the main idea of this move is that my queen now defends f3 so the Nd2 can go to c4.

20...Bh6 This puzzled me at first, then I decided black must intend to move the king and play Rg7. That means I can ignore him for a while.
21.Nc4 Bf8
22.cxd6 Bxd6 I hadn't really decided what to do if he made the better recapture 22...cxd6 , but I figured he probably wouldn't, since he just played ...Bf8.
23.Nc5 Bxc5
24.bxc5 now I felt winning. 24...Rg7

25.c6! boo!
25...bxc6 [25...Nf8 26.cxb7 Rb8 27.fxg4 hxg4 28.Ba7]
26.dxc6 Nf8
27.Nb6+ Kh8
28.Nxa8 Qxa8
29.Rac1 Qe8
30.Kh1 g3
31.Bg1 gxh2
32.Bxh2 Ng6
33.Qd3 Nh4
34.Rf2 Qg6

35.Qd2 oh look, I could have played 35.Qxa6! Nxg2 36.Rg1. my technique sucks. the game went on for a while but I won in the end. 1–0

On a side-note, the Manhattan Marauders* (formerly the Queens Pioneers, but really, what kind of a lameass, silly name is that?) team captain, Mr. Dmitry (no c!) Shneider, informed me yesterday that the team Stripunsky-Vovsha-Milman-Vicary will be one of his possible line-up choices. Quaking in fear, anyone? I'm afraid this blog will mean I'm the easiest person to prepare for, ever.

*Greg claims** teams cannot just change their name, but I say if it quacks like a duck and plays in Manhattan and also floats, why look in its mouth?

**update: Greg writes to say "teams can change their name, just not 1 month before the season begins."


Anonymous said...

"I'm afraid this blog will mean I'm the easiest person to prepare for, ever."

This is why I believe in not having an opening repetoire. Impossible to prepare against.

Polly said...

Where in Manhattan will the former Queens Pioneers being playing? Marauders sounds more dangerous then Pioneers.

Anonymous said...

Elizabeth, I appreciate your writing very much. Your pictures are lovely. Your comments are honest. Every day I run through a list of chess blogs. I have yours at the top of the list.

I appreciate how you have been explaining your inner thoughts and emotions during a chess game. It is entertaining. I can relate.

"One question often posed by my students is whether we must simultaniously prepare two or more different systems against an opening. My personal opinion is that only professional grandmasters can afford this luxury. All other chess players should focus on one specific system every time, so as to specialize in it and reap maximum benefit." -Efstratios Grivas from the introduction of Beating the Fianchetto Defenses.

Sooner or later the preparation runs out. I read that most class level games deviate before the tenth move.

Unless one is bungled, the real chess happens in a middlegame that begins moderately level.

Peace, -Some old club hobbyist slacker.

Anonymous said...

"Rybka suggests 9.dxe5 dxe5 10.h3 Bxf3 11.Bxf3 and to just be like 'what? I have 2 bishops'"


As for the narrow-broad opening repertoire, I used to think the way Grivas does, and if I were advising a strong young player I might say the same, but at my (high) age and (low) rating this game will never be anything but a fun pastime for me. And I think it's fun to play different openings.

What's more, I KNOW there's nothing worse than to sit down to a game and go "I REALLY don't feel like playing this opening again, but it's all I know." One day I sat down to play a 2100 player (I was 1600 at the time), and I felt that way, and almost before I realized it I had reached out and played 1.e4 for the first time in 25 years.

I still lost, but it was a long, interesting game, and I was fine out of the opening, in part because I was thinking rather than remembering.

Rick Massimo

Anonymous said...

It's funny that you mention this, because I'm forming a chess club, and one of the guys in it plays a fianchetto English (1.c5, 2.g3, 3.Bg2) every single time he has white. I'm trying my darnedest to figure out how to blunt it. I was on the right track the other night, but I stupidly hung my queen and threw away the game.

Anonymous said...

"Queens Travel Agents"


"Moon Over Manhattan"

Lauri said...

Great story, Mr. Massimo!

Anonymous said...

You omitted a move pair in your note to 7...Nbd7 (namely, 12. f4 Ned7).

Elizabeth Vicary said...

thanks everyone, esp the old hobbiest club slacker!

Anonymous said...

I guess it's actually 11. f4 Ned7 12 dc bc. But you're so quick to thank that I can't change histoty.

Anonymous said...

And the Executive Board votes are in!

My analysis:

The breakdown of votes by region is interesting. What constituencies does the "Other" category comprise? I'm particularly curious, because that was the area where Atkins, Goichberg, Berry and Mottershead performed worst, while Hecht, Lugo, Korenman, Lafferty and Sloan performed best in that same category!

Nietman backers must be a powerful force in the upper Great Plains: Goichberg, Sloan and Haring all tanked in region IV relative to their performance elsewhere. Goichberg got his revenge in the New England and Mid-Atlantic regions I and III, where he and his slate stomped the Polgarites.

Atkins and Berry did best in their own regions, suggesting a dedication to retail politics, while none of the Polgarites did nearly as well in his home region as he did in "Other." Sloan also did better in "Other" than in his home region, albeit by a slimmer margin. Sloan also did anomalously well in region IX (CO, UT, KS, WY). Perhaps he swept the Mormon vote.

"Other" does not like Mottershead. At all. As for the regions where he performed more strongly -- the Midwest, Highland South, Mountain West and Pacific Northwest -- I surmise that these were the places where people were least inclined to vote straight tickets.

Lafferty cratered in the Northeast compared with his showing elsewhere. My wild stereotypical speculation: Northeastern voters are the best-connected and thus were most likely to know he'd dropped out of the race. Why did Korenman outperform the rest of the Polgar slate? Probably all the GM endorsements he was sporting.