Rapid Time#2: Bringing Down the Castle

Over the last week or so I’ve thrown just about all my free time into understanding and developing a bond with aggressive and tactical ideas instead of my previous ideas of slow and positional play. While the latter is certainly a way to go I don’t think it quite fits me as well as I thought it did. I like the idea of the logical chess board, steady development, control in the center, a safe king, good pawn structure, these are all great things. In practice however,  no matter how much I love the idea of going through the opening and setting up to a perfect position it just doesn’t have that spark of ingenuity and excitement.

GM Simon Williams always say that Chess is like a story you tell, in the opening, middle game and end game all your pieces play the role of that story you are telling. Everyone knows a good story needs drama and suspense with a daring protagonist and his unrelenting antagonist fighting along the way. While positional and slower chess sets up for a story more like Lord of the Rings, tactical and aggressive styles feel more like the swash buckling Three Musketeers or the ever cunning Locke Lemora. So it is here now that I found a deeper appreciation for tactical and daring play styles of Tal, Morphy and Alekhine. The successful execution of pieces in combination or daringly sacrificing everything to expose the enemy King and claim victory is something I admire much more than a slow and smothering win.

//www.chess.com/emboard?id=3547216

[Black “Jtrot79”]
[WhiteElo “1000”]
[BlackElo “1030”]
[TimeControl “900+10”]
[EndTime “17:36:46 PDT”]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Bc5 4.Bxc6 dxc6 5.O-O b6 6.d3 Ba6 7.Bg5 Nf6 8.c4 Qd6 9.Nc3 O-O-O 10.Nxe5 Qxe5 11.Bxf6 gxf6 12.Ne2 Bd6 13.f4 Qh5 14.f5 Qxh2+ 15.Kf2 Qh4+ 16.g3 Qh2+ 17.Ke1 Bb4+ 18.Qd2 Bxd2+ 19.Kxd2 Qh6+ 20.Kc2 b5 21.cxb5 Bxb5 22.Rh1 Bxd3+ 23.Kb3 Qd2 24.Rhd1 Qxe2 25.Kc3 Qc2+ 26.Kb4 Rd4+ 27.Ka3 Qa4# 0-1

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Bc5 4.Bxc6 dxc6 5.O-O [This has been a standard game so far to this point, nothing very inspiring. With White castling already I had a target painted on h2]

…b6 [With this move here I looked to get out of the typical lines of the Ruy Lopez and get both Bishops pointed towards my opponents Kingside, additionally it pinned the pawn to the Rook on f1]

6.d3 Ba6 7.Bg5 Nf6 8.c4 Qd6 9.Nc3 O-O-O [I feel as though any real attacking position has opposite side castling with the aggressor going long, it allows both Rooks to control a file very quickly]

10.Nxe5 [I’m not sure the idea behind this move, perhaps my opponent wanted to chase the Queen while developing forward]

…Qxe5 [With this move I had 3 pieces pointed toward my opponents King]

11.Bxf6 gxf6 [This trade was completely in my favor as I wanted to add pressure to the White King, taking back with the pawn opened the g file for my Rook]

12.Ne2 Bd6 [Here I am threatening mate on h2 and looking to create weaknesses in the White Kings defenses allowing for exploitation later on]

13.f4 [Upon initial view this move seems to attack the Queen and block h2 from being hit. It also give the King and escape square in the event of h2 falling]

…Qh5 [Keeping pressure on the h2 pawn and Kingside in general]

14.f5 Qxh2+ [The King chase begins]

15.Kf2 Qh4+ 16.g3 Qh2+ 17.Ke1 Bb4+ 18.Qd2 Bxd2+ 19.Kxd2 [I was looking for the most forcing line and attempting to push the White King towards my other pieces]

…Qh6+ [I missed a tactic here, 19…Bxc4 would have allowed for capture of a pawn however the line suggested by the computer allowed White to get pieces onto the defense and muddies the water potentially allowing mistakes on my part. I prefer my move which forces the King towards my side]

20.Kc2 b5 21.cxb5 Bxb5 22.Rh1 Bxd3+ 23.Kb3 Qd2 [My strongest pieces makes her way back into the fight. The computer again recommends a move Qe3, that seems to allow White some wiggle room and sharper lines on my part. Granted it is mate in 6 with Qe3 it isn’t the easiest to find and I already had a winning position and idea]

24.Rhd1 Qxe2 [Removing a defender of some squares to allow more control. This is the slower positional player in me coming to light]

25.Kc3 Qc2+ 26.Kb4 Rd4+ 27.Ka3 Qa4# 0-1 [In the end my plan worked as I had hoped with the enemy King on my side of the board where his squares were the most restricted]

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