Blitz Adventures#1: Losing on Turn 2

[Date “2016.11.02”]
[Black “Jtrot79”]
[WhiteElo “852”]
[BlackElo “874”]
[TimeControl “600”]

One of the most important things in chess and especially in blitz is to have a strong understanding of the fundamentals. People often play lesser known and sharper lines where prep and main line studies fall into uselessness, having a strong understanding of the game is vital and much more important than memorizing lines of openings.  I wanted to showcase this game and highlights some of the mistakes many new players make, having learned them myself and utilized them I saw quite an increase in my strength. Having good fundamentals sets up your opening and therefore sets up for a good middle game in which you have a plan and a goal in mind. Off the top of my head I would say the most important things are:

  1. Control the center
  2. Develop the minor pieces
  3. Castle
  4. Initiate a planned attack

1.e3 d5 2.Qf3 Nf6 3.c4 Bg4 4.Qg3 e6 5.cxd5 exd5 6.f3 Be6 7.f4 Bd6 8.Qf3 O-O 9.b3 c6 10.Bb2 Nbd7 11.Bxf6 Qxf6 12.Nc3 b5 13.Nge2 b4 14.Rc1 bxc3 15.Nxc3 Rfe8 16.g4 g5 17.h4 d4 18.hxg5 Qg7 19.f5 Bd5 20.Qf4 Bxh1 21.f6 Bxf4 22.fxg7 Kxg7 23.Kd1 Bxg5 24.Ne4 Bf3+ 25.Be2 Bxe4 26.Rc4 c5 27.Rxd4 cxd4 28.exd4 0-1

1.e3 [Already on white’s first move violated rule 1 and he has given me the initiative by allowing me to move into the center first]

…d5 2.Qf3 Nf6 3.c4 Bg4 4.Qg3 e6 5.cxd5 exd5 [Allowing this sequence and trade still gives me control over the center and will make Re1 a better move as the file is now semi open]

6.f3 Be6 7.f4 [The opponent has moved his pawn twice, not only is it not a center pawn but his minor pieces are completely undeveloped]

…Bd6 8.Qf3 O-O 9.b3 [It’s only getting worse from here by moving more pawns, both my Bishops are reasonably positioned in the center and my king is safe]

…c6 10.Bb2 Nbd7 11.Bxf6 Qxf6 [A poor trade for white, his only active minor piece has been traded and allowed me to activate my Queen]

12.Nc3 b5 13.Nge2 b4 14.Rc1 bxc3 15.Nxc3 [Whites King is still in the middle, this gives me a primary target for my developed pieces]

…Rfe8 16.g4 g5 17.h4 d4 18.hxg5 Qg7 19.f5 [All of these moves were in an effort to break both pawn shields in the event the king managed to castle I would still have some counterplay]

…Bd5 20.Qf4 Bxh1 [A deciding point in the game, Bishops are remarkably good at skewering and should be use to their full power. My opponent missed Nxd5 which was the best response but I would still have a strong advantage]

21.f6 Bxf4 [I should have captured the Queen first, my opponent managed to overlook the other Bishop hanging]

22.fxg7 Kxg7 23.Kd1 Bxg5 24.Ne4 Bf3+ [Intermediate checks are a good way to force certain moves and gain a little time on the clock]

25.Be2 Bxe4 26.Rc4 c5 27.Rxd4 cxd4 [With the loss of this Rook the game was sealed and White resigns after the next move]

28.exd4 0-1

Walking with the Queen

While blitz chess is all fun and daily is very analytical I was looking for the right balance between the two, the answer was Rapid. It is classified as anything over 10 minutes but less than an hour. This allows for accurate chess but at a faster pace where blunders, mistakes and time trouble can still arise. This is one of the first games where I started to experiment with the Queen’s Gambit system, one that I would continue to play and make one of my all time favorite openings.
[Date “2017.01.14”]
[White “Jtrot79”]
[WhiteElo “962”]
[BlackElo “945”]
[TimeControl “1800”]

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e5 3.cxd5 Qxd5 4.dxe5 Qxd1+ 5.Kxd1 b6 6.f4 Ba6 7.Nf3 f6 8.Bd2 fxe5 9.Nxe5 g6 10.Nc3 Bd6 11.Nf3 Nf6 12.h3 b5 13.e3 b4 14.Bb5+ Bxb5 15.Nxb5 Na6 16.b3 Ne4 17.Rc1 Nf2+ 18.Ke2 Nxh1 19.Rxh1 h6 20.Nh4 g5 21.fxg5 hxg5 22.Nf5 g4 23.Nfxd6+ cxd6 24.Nxd6+ Kd7 25.Ne4 gxh3 26.gxh3 Rhe8 27.Nf6+ Kd6 28.Nxe8+ Rxe8 29.h4 Kc5 30.h5 Nc7 31.h6 Ne6 32.h7 Rh8 33.e4 Nd4+ 34.Ke3 Nc2+ 35.Kd3 Nd4 36.Bf4 Ne6 37.Be5 Rd8+ 38.Ke3 Ng5 39.h8=Q Rxh8 40.Rxh8 Nf7 41.Rh5 Kc6 42.Bh2 Kd7 43.Ra5 Ke6 44.Rxa7 Nd6 45.Bxd6 Kxd6 1-0

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e5 [This seems to be a popular answer to the Queen’s Gambit as I’ve seen over the time playing it, if unprepared it can be quite deadly. If 3.dxe4 then the Black d pawn moves to d4 and can become and effective central wedge]

3.cxd5 Qxd5 4.dxe5 [Not having much experience with the counter gambit I wasn’t sure of the progress and made an obvious mistake here allowing the queen trade and the loss of my ability to castle for a pawn]

Qxd1+ 5.Kxd1 b6 [Allowed me to take initiative back and work to keep the center advantage I have]

6.f4 Ba6 7.Nf3 f6 8.Bd2 fxe5 9.Nxe5[I was comfortable trading my stacked pawn and opening Blacks pawn shield]

…g6[removes any possibility of having a safe kingside castle, giving me +1.5 on the engine]

10.Nc3 Bd6 11.Nf3 Nf6 12.h3 b5 13.e3 b4 14.Bb5+ [Although not the best move I was looking for the trade of bishops and the recapture with the knight putting pressure on d6]

…Bxb5 15.Nxb5 Na6 16.b3 Ne4 17.Rc1[Generally a sound move however in this position it was a mistake overlooking the Knight fork in the next move]

Nf2+ 18.Ke2 Nxh1 19.Rxh1 h6 20.Nh4 g5 21.fxg5 hxg5 [I felt good having the pawn majority on the kingside and f5 allows me to pressure the Bishop]

22.Nf5 g4 23.Nfxd6+ cxd6 24.Nxd6+ [The engine throughout all this puts the game as flat 0]

…Kd7 25.Ne4 gxh3 26.gxh3 Rhe8[The deciding mistake of this game putting the King and Rook in the position for a fork]

27.Nf6+ Kd6 28.Nxe8+ Rxe8 29.h4 Kc5 30.h5 Nc7 31.h6 Ne6 32.h7 Rh8 [Standard pressure on promoting, having more Rook space is incredibly important I learned. Being able to protect the pawn and pressure the 1st through 6th rank is a great advantage]

33.e4 Nd4+ 34.Ke3 Nc2+ 35.Kd3 Nd4 36.Bf4 Ne6 37.Be5 [When a piece is pinned the best thing to do it to attack it again]

…Rd8+ 38.Ke3 Ng5 39.h8=Q Rxh8 40.Rxh8 Nf7 41.Rh5 Kc6 42.Bh2 Kd7 43.Ra5 Ke6 44.Rxa7 Nd6 45.Bxd6[trading for blacks last piece is a clearly won game seeing as there is very little room for counter play, the opponent resigned after]

Kxd6 1-0

A Game for days

After playing blitz primarily in the beginning I decided to dabble in daily chess which has the requirements of one move a day at the minimum. This kind of chess is typically good for deep analysis of a position and learning. On chess.com and other similar sites there are no rules about using opening books or other items to play these games due to the fact it can be impossible to tell if someone is cheating with the extreme time controls. This is my first daily game played in January which gave me about 2 months of general practice to understand some fundamentals and theory. I played white here, it was a fairly short game for the time controls. The opening is similar to the previous game I reviewed in that I never took it up as something of interest even with success. Part of the reason is the McConnell Defense isn’t a very popular response to the Kings Pawn Knight Variation.
[Date “2016.12.09”]
[White “Jtrot79”]
[Black “Smithsonian66”]
[Result “1-0”]
[WhiteElo “1447”]
[BlackElo “1117”]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Qf6 3.d4 Nc6 4.Bg5 Qe6 5.d5 Qd6 6.Nc3 f6 7.Be3 Qb4 8.Rb1 Nh6 9.a3 Qa5 10.Be2 Nd4 11.Bxd4 exd4 12.Nxd4 c5 13.Nf5 Nxf5 14.exf5 d6 15.Qd3 c4 16.Qe4+ Be7 17.Bxc4 O-O 18.Qxe7 Bxf5 19.O-O Qc5 20.Qe2 Rae8 21.b4 Qc7 22.Nb5 Qb6 23.Qd2 a6 24.Nd4 Bg4 25.Qf4 Bd7 26.Nf5 Re5 27.Bd3 Rxd5 28.Ne7+ Kh8 29.Nxd5 Qc6 30.Qh4 g6 31.Bxg6 Rf7 32.Bxf7 Be8 33.Qxf6# 1-0

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Qf6 [An interesting choice to defend with, this blocks the knight from f6 and the pawn, additionally it gave me a target early on]

3.d4 Nc6 4.Bg5 Qe6 5.d5 [As with any opening where the Queen is activated to soon I decided to play aggressively and pressure with tempo and develop my pieces into the game]

…Qd6 6.Nc3 f6 7.Be3 Qb4 8.Rb1 [a3 is clearly a better move leading to Qe7 as the Queen is misplaced with a5]

Nh6 [A mistake, the knight on h6 doesn’t pressure the center and isn’t a threat on g4]

9.a3 Qa5 [The Queen is limited in her options with this move]

10.Be2 Nd4 11.Bxd4 [A blunder on my part, a better line would have been 11. Nxd4 exd4 12. b4 Qxa3 13. Qxd4]

12.Nxd4 [I was looking to exploit the center king with Nxd4…Nf5 with a trade of knights and recapture on exd5 leaving the file open]

c5 13.Nf5 Nxf5 14.exf5 d6 15.Qd3 c4 16.Qe4+ [Allowing me to put pressure on the king as I had planned earlier and also allowing the pawn on c4 to hang]

Be7 17.Bxc4 O-O [I have to imagine this was a blunder due to the threat of an imposing queen on a center king and a need to castle to avoid further issues]

18.Qxe7 Bxf5 19.O-O Qc5 20.Qe2 Rae8 21.b4 Qc7 22.Nb5 [This and the last move allowed me to advance my position while attacking Blacks Queen and saving my own]

Qb6 23.Qd2 a6 24.Nd4 Bg4 25.Qf4 Bd7 26.Nf5 Re5 27.Bd3 Rxd5[This was a critical blunder, hanging my pawn knowing the capture would lead to Ne7 forking the King and Rook]

28.Ne7+ Kh8 29.Nxd5 Qc6 30.Qh4 g6 [With this move mate in 5 is unstoppable, h6 being the best move]

31.Bxg6 Rf7 32.Bxf7 Be8 [A move allowing an acceleration to mate] 33.Qxf6# 1-0

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