Blitz Adventures #5: Executing A Perfect Trap

I learned about this trap by browsing through the games of a random opponent after falling for it myself. I was determined to never again give White the satisfaction again. I actually had this position once before in a blitz game, however I wasn’t fortunate enough to pull it off. As I drug my Queen to capture his rook my mouse decided d5 was a better square and therefore released her there.  That being said, I’m quite happy to be able to have a recorded game where this line was played.

//www.chess.com/emboard?id=3561824

White “Jtrot79”]
[Result “1-0”]
[WhiteElo “971”]
[BlackElo “894”]
[TimeControl “600”]
[ECO “D20”]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 dxc 4 3. e3 b5 [Here is where the line starts, Black trying to keep his pawn can lead to all sorts of tactical problems, the worst being further defense of the defender via c6]

4. a4 c6 [At this point unless Black wishes to sac his pawns and allow my wing pawn to come to the center with a move like 5…Bd7 a piece will be lost]

5. axb5 cxb5 6. Qf3 [Here trap in its fruition, Black must sacrifice the Knight in order to allow the Queen to defend the rook once the Bishop move to block the incoming Queen’s check]

…Nc6 7. Qxc6+ Bd7 8. Qa6 e6 9. b3 Bb4+ 10. Bd2 Bxd2+ 11. Nxd2 c3 12. Ne4 c2 13. Bxb5 Bxb5 14. Qxb5+ Qd7 [These moves seem self explanatory, White is looking to trade off material and eventually castle while dealing with the pawn on c2]

15. Qxd7+ [Now this is the only mistake on White’s part this game, both moves are winning but it is recommneded to play (15. Nd6+ Ke7 16. Qxd7+ Kxd7 17. Nxf7 Nf6 18. Nxh8 Rxh8 19. Rxa7+ Kd6) Which is a line I actually looked at temporarily but never analyzed completely. I wanted my Knights to defend each other and block Black from defending the c2 pawn which made the idea less appealing to me.]

…Kxd7 16. Rc1 Rc8 17. Ne2 f5 18. N4c3 Nf6 19. Rxc2 Rc6 20. O-O Rhc8 [I was able to recapture the pawn and have my Knights coordinate quite well, over all a success on my part I felt having my short term plan completed]

21. Rd1 Ne4 22. d5 Nxc3 23. dxc6+[I really enjoyed the tactical complexity here, threats of doubled Rooks, pawns forking pieces, Knights being traded. In the end my opponent blundered and resigned. The best line would have left me up a pawn and a Rook to my opponents Knight. (22… Rxc3 23. Nxc3 Rxc3 24. Rxc3 Nxc3 25. dxe6+ Kxe6 26. Ra1 Nb5 27. Ra5)]

Daily Games #1: Unfamiliar Territory

In this game I play white in a Rossolimo Attack with 3…Nf6 which is unfamiliar territory for me. I was reviewing a few games by the great attacking Tal and this opening seemed to do well against the Sicilian and it fit my more aggressive opening style as of late.  In the opening book the 3…Nf6 with 4.Nc3 and e5 seems to give white fairly good winning chances and I would have to agree after the capture of Bxc6 forcing Black to stack pawns early on. The game is fairly even as I am better in the opening and my opponent in the middle game, however as the late middle game comes around the advantage switches back. Some critical mistakes are made in the end game and it allows me to find a mate in 5 as my opponent plays the losing move out of 2 possible moves.

//www.chess.com/emboard?id=3552644

[Date “2017.07.13”]
[White “Jtrot79”]
[Result “1-0”]
[ECO “B30”]
[WhiteElo “1628”]
[BlackElo “1339”]
[TimeControl “1 in 1 day”]

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.Nc3 e5 5.Bxc6 bxc6 6.Nxe5 Bd6 7.Nf3 O-O 8.e5 Re8 9.O-O Bxe5 10.Nxe5 Rxe5 11.f4 Re8 12.d3 d5 13.h3 Qd6 14.a3 h6 15.Re1 Ba6 16.b4 c4 17.dxc4 Bxc4 18.f5 Qg3 19.Bb2 d4 20.Rxe8+ Rxe8 21.Qxd4 Bd5 22.Nxd5 Nxd5 23.Qf2 Qe3 24.Bd4 Qxf2+ 25.Kxf2 Re4 26.Rd1 Rf4+ 27.Kg3 Rxf5 28.Bxa7 Nc3 29.Rd8+ Kh7 30.Bd4 Ne2+ 31.Kh2 g5 32.Rh8+ Kg6 33.Rg8+ Kh5 34.g4+ Kh4 35.Rh8 Ng3 36.Rxh6+ 1-0

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 [A more aggressive opening against Blacks’s Sicilian. I believe this move is a good counter to the unbalance Black looks to create by playing on the Queen side, it removes the Knight which is a primary piece and in place will allow White to trade and stack Blacks pawns]

….Nf6 [This move makes sense to me. Black looked to play on the Queen side but the threat of White trading the Bishop off and dampening the initiative may make Black feel as he needs some pressure on the other side of the board]

4.Nc3 e5 5.Bxc6 bxc6 [Stacking pawns early gives me a weakness to target and I will nearly always look to inflict something early on to exploit later. The line recommended here is dxc6  and generally goes against the idea of always taking toward the center and if you will notice the pawn on e5 is hanging, the reason dxc6 is recommended is that it allows the Queen to enter the fight in the middle which will ensue. The main lines get incredible sharp and most people who play the Sicilian at a lower level may not know them. (5… dxc6 6. Nxe5 Nxe4 7. Nxe4 Qd5 8. d3 Qxe5 9. f4 Qd5 10. Qe2 Be7 11. c4 Qe6 12. Be3 b6 13. O-O Qg6 14. Ng3 Qg4 15. Rae1 Qxe2 16. Rxe2 Be6 17. Ne4)]

6.Nxe5 Bd6 7.Nf3 [I’ve gained a pawn and retreated to a position that suits the Knight better and will allow me to defend the e5 square again]

…O-O 8.e5 [As stated with in the previous move of Nf3]

…Re8 9.O-O Bxe5 10.Nxe5 Rxe5 11.f4 Re8 12.d3 d5 13.h3 Qd6 14.a3 h6 15.Re1 Ba6 16.b4 c4 17.dxc4 Bxc4 [These moves have all been slow and developing. Over the course of this however I gave Black some initiative back and the position looks better to be in their favor. Black has more active pieces and his Bishop is much better than mine is]

18.f5 [ A mistake on my part, this move really accomplishes nothing besides freeing the Bishop from guard duty which is what I wanted to accomplish. A better move would have been Be3 getting the Bishop to an active square and clearing out my back rank to where I can connect my Rooks]

…Qg3 [This is a mistake on my opponent, Black should have played d4 attacking the Knight and threatening to trade rooks with check. This would allow a piece to be won]

19.Bb2 [My initial plan when I moved 18.f5, I wanted the Bishop on the long diagonal towards Blacks King]

….d4 [My opponent plays d4 now but only for it to become a mistake, now I have the Rook check and force trade which allows me to capture the undefended pawn on  d4]

20.Rxe8+ Rxe8 21.Qxd4 [The aforementioned line which Black allowed me to play]

…Bd5 [Here Black threatens mate on g2, trading is in my favor as the Bishop was a very active piece and I wanted to free my own Bishop]

22.Nxd5 Nxd5 23.Qf2 [Blacks pieces were coordinating quite well and I wanted to relieve the pressure by forcing a Queen trade]

…Qe3 [Delaying the trade was actually a poor choice on his part it allowed me to get the Bishop active]

24.Bd4 Qxf2+ 25.Kxf2[The line Black chose gave me the opportunity to get my Bishop to a more active square and also my King closer to the center which is important in an end game situation]

…Re4 26.Rd1 [Simply defending and brining my Rook to a more active file, simple yet effective]

…Rf4+ 27.Kg3 Rxf5 28.Bxa7 Nc3 29.Rd8+ Kh7 30.Bd4 Ne2+ 31.Kh2 [A fairly standard line of moves both sides taking pawns and bettering the position]

…g5 [A key move which had long term consequences]

32.Rh8+ Kg6 33.Rg8+ Kh5 [It was here in which the mate in 5 became possible, the alternative move would have been Kh7 which lead to an endgame where I was up two pawns but Black still has chances]

34.g4+ Kh4 35.Rh8 Ng3 36.Rxh6+ 1-0

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]

Chess games and writings.