Blitz Adventures#2: An English Queen

[Date “2017.06.10”]
[White “Jtrot79”]
[Result “1-0”]
[WhiteElo “926”]
[BlackElo “954”]
[TimeControl “600”]
[ECO “A40”]
[Termination “Jtrot79 won by resignation”]

1.d4 b6 2.c4 Bb7 { A40: English Defense: 2.c4 Bb7 } 3.Nf3 a5 4.Nc3 e6 5.e3 Bb4 6.Be2 Bxc3+ 7.bxc3 Nf6 8.Qc2 Ne4 9.O-O f5 10.Ba3 d6 11.Qd3 O-O 12.d5 exd5 13.cxd5 Ba6 14.c4 Nd7 15.Nd4 c5 16.dxc6 Ndc5 17.Bxc5 bxc5 18.Ne6 Qf6 19.Nxf8 Rxf8 20.Rab1 Bxc4 21.Qxc4+ Kh8 22.Rb6 Nd2 23.Qc1 Nxf1 24.Bxf1 Rc8 25.Qe1 d5 26.Qxa5 Rxc6 27.Rb8+ 1-0

https://lichess.org/embed/lmyzqvcn?theme=auto&bg=auto

This is one of those games that I feel fairly proud of considering I’m not much of a blitz player. I would rather take my time to think lines through and consider the best possibilities, in this game I was able to find a happy medium between line depth and 10 minute timers.

After all the games of the Queens gambit I’ve played, I’ve never encounter the English opposition to it. Generally the Slav, QGD or Marshall are all I’ve seen with a mix of things I’m not really sure have a name. To my eye it seems like it isn’t the most suited opening to oppose the Queens Gambit, in this game my idealistic opening wasn’t hindered at all. I had pawns on c4, d4 and e3, a knight on f3 a knight on c3 and a bishop with an open diagonal. 5…Bb4 was really the first attack on my structure and the trading of a bishop for a knight allowed me to bring my wing pawn into the center and open my Queen side.

1.d4 b6 2.c4 Bb7 { A40: English Defense: 2.c4 Bb7 } 3.Nf3 a5 [This is a standard opening until a5 which is a waste of tempo, Nc3 shuts down the idea of  a pawn going to b5]

4.Nc3 e6 5.e3 [While e6 isn’t the best move, it is the structure I’m most familiar and comfortable with in going into the middle game]

Bb4 [This is the first attack on my position and the worst result would be trading of minor pieces and a pawn moving into the center, I considered a3 but there was no reason to delay castling and moving pawns so early]

6.Be2 Bxc3+ 7.bxc3 Nf6 8.Qc2 [Another move that wasn’t the best but another position which I have been in quite a few times and I had ideas involving the Queen later on]

Ne4 [No threat in this move, even solidifying it with a pawn wouldn’t make it imposing]

9.O-O f5 10.Ba3 [This is something I really enjoy doing to my opponents, taking away their ability to castle indirectly by throwing a bishop on the diagonal. It forces them to deal with the problem and most times it is a sub par solution costing time or structure]

d6 11.Qd3 [This is my first inaccuracy of the game, I was looking to push the d6 pawn into the enemy camp and unstack my pawns. The best move would have been c5]

O-O 12.d5 exd5 13.cxd5 Ba6 14.c4 [This is the exchange I wanted and the attack from the bishop to my Queen allowed me to further push my c pawn to support d5]

Nd7 15.Nd4 c5 [My opponents first mistake, perhaps he assumed I didn’t know En Passant which allowed me to break his pawn structure and attack the knight]

16.dxc6 Ndc5 17.Bxc5 bxc5 18.Ne6 [I saw this fork a while back when I first moved the Knight to d4, this line allowed me to take advantage of it]

Qf6 19.Nxf8 Rxf8 20.Rab1 Bxc4 [I’m not sure what the idea was here, just a miscalculation under time controls]

21.Qxc4+ Kh8 22.Rb6 [While this is technically a mistake, my whole plan from here on out was to push this pawn to promote and let my opponent deal with it. The best move was c7 pushing now instead of waiting]

Nd2 23.Qc1 Nxf1 24.Bxf1 [Trading was fine for more as I was already up in material and threatening to promote]

Rc8 25.Qe1 [A slow move, looking to attack the pawn and support the rook already pushing with the pawn, better to have played Ba6 attacking the rook]

d5 26.Qxa5 Rxc6[ The final mistake leading to mate in 3]

27.Rb8+ 1-0

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

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