29 April 2017

Watching Fireworks

A couple of evenings ago, I played a blitz game online that seemed as though it turned bad in a hurry. My assessment was wrong. At the very moment when my opponent opened up the center and initiated exchanges, causing me to feel helpless, I had a clear win. My assessment, much to my delight, was completely wrong. I made the only moves that seemed sensible, and it turns out that most of them were the best possible move.

Stripes,J (1978) -- Internet Opponent (1921) [A33]
Live Chess Chess.com, 26.04.2017

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 c5 4.g3 cxd4 5.Bg2

5.Nxd4 may be more accurate.



6.Nxd4 Bb4+ 7.Nc3 Bxc3+


8.bxc3 0–0

8...Qa5 9.0–0 0–0 10.Qb3 d5 11.Rd1 Ne4 12.cxd5 exd5 13.Nxc6 bxc6 14.c4 Be6 15.cxd5 Bxd5 16.Qa3 Qb5 17.Bf3 Nf6 18.Bf4 Bxf3 19.exf3 Rfe8 20.Rd2 Re6 21.Rad1 ½–½ Schlosser,P (2485) -- Hracek,Z (2455), Brno 1991.

9.0–0 a6 10.Ba3 Re8

White to move


11.c5 Qc7 12.Rb1 Rb8 13.Qb3 Qe5 14.Bxc6 dxc6 15.Nxc6 Qh5 16.Nxb8 Ng4 17.h4 g5 18.c6 gxh4 19.c4 bxc6 20.Nxc6 Bd7 21.Ne7+ Kg7 22.gxh4 f5 23.Qg3 Kf6 24.Rb7 Rxe7 25.Bxe7+ Kxe7 26.Rd1 1–0 Schroll,G (2385) -- Kwatschewsky,L (2300), Gamlitz 1993.



11...Ne5 and White's advantage is minimal.

12.cxd5 Nxd5?

12...exd5 hold White to a minimal advantage.

White to move


13.Nxc6 is better 13...bxc6 14.c4+-.




Only non-losing move.

14... Nxd1?

I saw and expected 14...bxc6 15.Qxd8 Nxe2+ 16.Kh1 Rxd8 but I didn't realize that I was winning here.


Only non-losing move.

White has an overwhelming advantage, but I did not yet know that. I thought I was fighting for a slightly worse position, thinking that I would be down an exchange. On ChessTempo, it is possible to train with tactics exercises labelled "counting pieces". That's where my assessment failed during this game.

Black to move

15...Nc3 16.Nxb7!

The best move.

16...Nxb1 17.Rxb1+-

The best move.


White to move


18.Bxb7 is better 18...Rab8 19.Bd6 Rbd8 20.c5.


18...Red8 is also losing, but keeps the game going longer.


The best move.

19...Rxb7 20.Bxb7

The only non-losing move, of course, but easy.

20...Rb8 21.c6 1–0

Black must give up the rook to stop the pawn from queening.

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