05 October 2015

Tunnel Vision

It seemed to me that playing a thematic attack against the King's Indian Defense gave me a straightforward victory. However, post-game analysis reveals several errors in my game. My tunnel vision in pursuit of one idea led to missing a checkmate in one, another checkmate in two, and several better moves throughout. Had my opponent been more alert in defense, he could have recovered from the early error that gave me an attack. Even when I had the victory thoroughly in hand, I missed several opportunities to close the deal.

The battle was a three minute blitz game at 3:00 am. I was awake due to eating an excess of refried beans and rice at dinner.

Stripes, J (1846) -- Internet Opponent (1855) [E90]
Live Chess Chess.com, 05.10.2015

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nf3 Bg7 4.Nc3 d6 5.e4 0–0 6.Be3

I prefer 6.Be2 when I'm awake.


6...Ng4 points out the flaw in 6.Be3.


7.dxe5 is better.

7...Nbd7 8.Bg5

It is interesting that the only master games that have reached this position, and a majority of the amateur games, have done so with White to move. The difference is due to White's poorly timed Be3 followed by the subsequent 8.Bg5. White has already squandered his opening advantage.


Black might have played 8...h6, provoking the wayward bishop to move again.

9.Be2 h6 10.Be3 a6 11.Qc1

Black to move


11...Nc5! The h-pawn is less vital than White's e-pawn. 12.Bxh6 Ncxe4.

12.h4 Ng4?

This error gave me a lasting initiative, almost. It should have done so. I maintained the initiative, however, because my opponent missed every opportunity to capitalize on the errors in my myopic attack.

13.Ng5+! hxg5 14.Bxg4?

14.hxg5+ Kg8 15.Bxg4 with clear advantage.

14...gxh4 15.Bg5

Black to move


15...Bf6 refutes White's move order error.

16.Rxh4+ Kg8 17.Bh6

17.Be6+ Rf7 18.Bh6.

17...Rf7 18.Be6

18.Bxg7 Rxg7 19.Be6+ Kf8 (19...Rf7 20.Qh6) 20.Qh6.


White to move


19.Bxg7! Nxe6 20.Rh8+ Kxg7 21.Qh6#.

19...Kxf7 20.Bxg7 Kxg7 21.Qh6+ Kf7 22.Qh7+ Ke8

White to move


23.Qxg6+ Kd7 24.Qf5+ Ke7 25.Rh7+ Ke8 26.Qh5+ Kf8 27.Qf7#.

23...Kd7 24.Qg7+ Qe7 25.Qxg6 Nd3+ 26.Ke2 Nf4+

White to move


Box, as they say. Only move.

27...exf4 28.Rh1 Qe5 29.Rh7+ Kd8 30.Qg8+ Qe8 31.Qg7 Bf5

White to move


I have been trying to pin my opponent's queen with my rook for seven moves. Now, finally, I get to do that. I might have chosen a better target: 32.Qxc7#.

32...Bxe4 33.Rxe8+ Kxe8 34.Nxe4 Rd8

34...f3+ 35.Kxf3 Kd8 36.Qf8+ Kd7 37.Nxf6#.

35.Nxf6# 1–0

It could have been a satisfying win if I had not taken the time to examine it. Instead, it is an instructive win that shed light on a mental error that sometimes plagues me in over the board play. Myopia produces an inflexible approach to the game. Instead of orchestrating an attack by always seeking the best moves, I charge in like a bull in a china shop. Sometimes that still gets the job done, but sometimes that gives the opponent counterplay.

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