Blitz Adventures#7: Opposite Color Bishops

[Date “2017.12.25”]
[Black “Jtrot79”]
[Result “0-1”]
[ECO “D00”]
[WhiteElo “1018”]
[BlackElo “1013”]
[TimeControl “600”]

//www.chess.com/emboard?id=3771632

This was a fairly accurate game for the time controls and elo rating of me and my opponent, the only real time inaccuracies and mistakes became prevalent was in the late end game. The time was about a minute on both sides near the 55th move and demonstrates the difference in the color of the bishops even under time stress.

1.d4 d5 2.Nc3 [I expected some kind of transposition to a Queens Gambit however this move blocks any possibility of that happening]

…Nf6 3.Nf3 e6 [With e6 the position is nearly equal and white retains very little of his initiate with the first move. A superior option for white would be 3.Bg5 e5 4.e4 Be7 with the idea 5. e5 transposing into the main line of the French Defense. Personally I would try to avoid this as Blacks position is uncomfortably cramped and white still retains the opening edge]

4.Qd3 [This move tips the scale into blacks favor as one of the basic principals is to develop the Queen last as it can be exploited while giving tempi to the opponent]

…Bb4 5.Qb5+ [A beginners move to use the Queen to try to pin a piece so early in the opening, it allows Black to place his Knight where he already wanted to go and paints a target on the Queen once Black has castled. A better plan would be to move the pawn from e2 to e3 and support the center while bringing the bishop out to pin the Knight to the King]

…Nc6 6.e3 Bxc3+ [While not the most accurate move I enjoy the weakness of double pawns as targets and you’ll notice this is where all the play on my side happens and also where the game is won]

7.bxc3 a6 8.Qc5 Ne4 9.Qa3 Qd6 [Based on my opponents use of the Queen I doubted he would trade Queens and a central square for her to hold is ideal]

10.Bb5 Bd7 11.Bxc6 Bxc6 12.Qxd6 [The Queens come off after white traded one of their most active pieces for my Knight, something I accept willingly as both of my minors are more active]

…cxd6 13.Bb2 [This Bishop stares at its own pawn and doesn’t have much of a future]

….Bb5 [My bishop however looks to cut the King off from castling and keep him in the center of the board and also hinders the other rook from entering the game]

14.h3 Rc8 15.a4 Bc4 16.Nd2 O-O 17.Nxe4 dxe4 18.a5 d5 [While not the most exciting position I have a very solid setup which is what I strive for as Black. More space on the Queen and King side, more active pieces and a safer King]

19.Ra4 Bb5 20.Rb4 Rc4 21.Rb3 Rfc8 22.O-O [Some shuffling around allows White to get his castle in however in the process it allowed me to better position my pieces and get the coordination needed to cement it]

…R8c7 23.Rb1 [The first mistake in my eyes, lining the rook up in front of a pawn that its impossible to defend once the rook has found safety]

…Ba4 24.Rb4 Bxc2 25.Rc1 Ba4 26.Ra1 Rxb4 27.cxb4 Bb5 28.Ba3 Rc4 29.Rc1 Rc6 30.Rxc6 [I wanted to trade on my terms and I had thought about bringing the pawn closer to the center with the recapture however I figured better of it. Potential problems with the connected pawns on the edge with only one pawn there to defend. My connected pawns become all stars later on in the game]

…Bxc6 31.Kh2 f5 32.Kg3 g5 33.h4 h6 34.hxg5 hxg5 35.f4 gxf4+ 36.Kxf4 Kf7 37.g4 fxg4 38.Kxg4 Kf6 [The idea of these exchanges was to clear any problems that might arise from stray pawns on the king side while I focused my efforts on the Queen side, it also cuts the White King off from the action for the time]

39.Kg3 Kf5 40.Bc1 e5 41.Bb2 exd4 42.Bxd4 Bd7 43.Bh8 Ke6 44.Bd4 Kd6 45.Bc5+ Kc6 46.Bd4 Kb5 47.Bc3 Kc4 [A slow but methodical walk of the King to the area of importance, having secured my pieces on light squares I had very little to worry about]

48.Be1 Kd3 49.Kf2 Kc4 50.Ke2 d4 [An inaccuracy as (50… Bg4+ 51. Kd2 Kxb4 52. Kc2+ Kc4 53. Bc3 Kb5 54. Bd2 Be6 55. Be1) would have allowed me to easily pick up a pawn via the double attack on the bishop and pawn]

51.Kd2 Kxb4 52.exd4 Kxa5 53.Ke3+ Kb6 54.Kxe4 Kc6 [My whole goal was to have connected passed pawns and in the event the center white pawn got too close I would sac my bishop for it. The connected pawns would mean White only could capture one while the other promoted]

55.d5+ Kd6 56.Bb4+ Kc7 57.d6+ Kc6 58.Ke5 Bg4 [Here is where the power of an opposite color bishop really comes to light in the end game, if the pawn was ever pushed I could capture and have the King support the Bishop. Even without the Kings support the Bishop threat shut down whites hopes to get a promotion. White wasn’t able to find the proper counter play¬† which allowed me to work on the passed pawns]

59.Kf6 b6 60.Ke7 [The real nail in the coffin, the only attempt would be to use the King and Bishop together to stop the pawns but White has moved further away from where he needed to be]

…a5 61.Bc3 a4 62.Bd4 b5 63.Bc3 a3 [This was a mistake, not game losing but certainly it would have made things harder, 64. Bb4 attacking the a3 pawn and blocking my b5 pawn advance]

64.Ba1 b4 65.Bd4 b3 66.Bc3 b2 67.d7 Bxd7 [As I had said, this was never going to work but perhaps it would throw me off in the stress of time troubles]

68.Bb4 b1=Q 69.Bxa3 Qe1+ 70.Kd8 Qe8# [A swift end as my opponent cut a mate in 7 down to a mate in 1]

0-1

Blitz Adventures#6: The Ruy Lopez

[Date “2017.11.24”]
[White “Jtrot79”]
[ECO “C84”]
[WhiteElo “947”]
[BlackElo “990”]
[TimeControl “600”]

//www.chess.com/emboard?id=3726316

This is probably one of my most accurate games to date, at least at the 10 minute time controls. I spent a little time today reviewing the typical opening variations of the Ruy Lopez and found a variation that I enjoyed and came up often in matches online. To be exact it is the “Ruy Lopez Opening: Morphy Defense, Closed, Martinez Variation, 6…b5 7.Bb3” which I had seen Fischer play a lot and incorporated the ideas that I wanted to go for when setting up an early position.

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Be7 6.d3 b5 7.Bb3 [This entire move order is by the book and exactly what I had prepared for]

…O-O 8.Bg5 [The least popular move in the data base coming in at 12 with 1 game played, this also being the last move in a Grandmasters game. I was looking to trade the Bishop for the Knight to relieve some of the pressure on the center with ideas of attacking Queenside. My opponents next move might as well have been a wasted tempo as I was going to trade all along and put his Bishop in a passive position]

…h6 9.Bxf6 Bxf6 10.c4 [ As I had said I was looking to open the Queen side as my opponents pieces were still undeveloped and passive on the back rank or King side]

….Na5 [At this point the position is slightly in Blacks favor however I expected this move and if the Knight were to swap for the bishop I would be able to develop my Queen with the recapture]

11.cxb5 axb5 12.a4 Nxb3 13.Qxb3 bxa4 14.Rxa4 Rxa4 15.Qxa4 [Having completed my idea to open my Queen side, I was looking to put the Rook in the center opposite the Queen and bring the Knight to c3 taking hold of the center and threatening some discovery on the Queen]

…d5 16.Rd1 dxe4 17.dxe4 [Here my Rooks protection from the Queen was overlooked and my opponent must have thought he had a back rank mate and quickly made the move]

…Qxd1+ 18.Qxd1 Rd8 19.Qc2 Bg4 [Completely fine as I needed an opening to escape to free my Queen from babysitting the back rank]

20.Nbd2 c6 21.h3 Bh5 [The best move was to capture the Knight and bring Blacks Rook to d6 to protect his c6 pawn which has some ideas of trying to promote]

22.Qxc6 Bxf3 [Wasted tempo on a move that should have been done in the first place]

23.Nxf3 Rd1+[Harmless check and it allows me to secure my King with ideas of marching up the g file with my pawns]

24.Kh2 Bg5 25.Nxg5 hxg5 26.Qc5 f6 27.b4 Rd4 28.f3 Kf7 29.b5 Ke8 30.b6 Kd7 31.b7 Rb4 32.Qxb4 Kc7 33.b8=Q+[The typical pawn escort followed by a quick mate in the center of the board]

…Kc6 34.Q4b5# 1-0