29 April 2014

The Blind Squirrel

Although I prefer to win by grinding down my opponent to reach a winning endgame, in blitz I reveal aggressive tendencies that arose as a consequence of my first chess book. These aggressive tendencies have manifested themselves in playing 1.e4 almost exclusively for the past several months and playing the Ponziani whenever possible (despite Dave's sage advice). Naturally, playing 1.e4 means that I face the Sicilian Defense in a high percentage of games.

A blitz game against the Sicilian Defense this morning featured blunder after blunder. There is nothing unusual in that fact. Often in online blitz, both players appear bent upon losing. My pursuit of a flawed plan was met by improper defense. Finally, my opponent thought that he had a credible checkmate threat that wins material, but overlooked my best resource.

The worst of the blunders began with this diagram.

White to move

I played 17.Qh6??

17.Qf3 was best, while 17.exd6 was better than the move played.

Instead of the natural straightening out of his doubled pawns, my opponent sought to drive back the bishop.


The game continued 18.exd6  (18.f5 was better) 18...Qxd6? (Black has a slight advantage after 18...Qf6--the aggressively placed White queen should not be ignored) 19.f5

Black to move

I was proud of my decision to offer the bishop. 19...cxd3 loses quickly to 20.f6.


Perhaps the simple refutation 19...Rfb8, freeing f8 for the queen is not so easy for Black to see.

20.f6 Rg8 21.Be2

21.Rf4 was best.

21...Qe5 22.Rae1 Qxb2 23.Rf4

Black to move


Black is winning after 23...g5.

24.Qxh7+ 1-0

Black resigned.

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