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

The story so far…

As it stands I’ve been seriously playing since November 3 2016 when I decided to subscribe to the Diamond membership on chess.com, before that I played a few games here and there only able to use the most basic analysis. I took what I knew about the opening, controlling the center and jumped in to some 10 minute blitz games. My first 3 games were losses against far higher rated players, once my rating was stabilized in the 700-900 range my first game was a success as black.

In this game taking in the spirit of blitz I tried a defense that was odd to me and seemed to break some of the opening rules, Alekhine’s Defense with the Brooklyn variation, moving the knight twice was that rule. I had seen people open with the minor pieces looking to transpose to certain lines with quite the success against me, as a beginning player it felt more comfortable to have pawns charge into the center. Both me and my opponent played very sub-par leaving pieces hanging and position undefended however a comeback in my first win as Black felt great.

Even with the success of the Brooklyn variation I had this very first win I never considered playing this line again and never dove into the main lines of the defense.

[White “GreenCactus1”]
[Black “Jtrot79”]
[WhiteElo “752”]
[BlackElo “936”]

[Date “2016.11.01”]

1.e4 Nf6 2.e5 Ng8 3.Nf3 d5 4.d4 Nc6 5.Bb5 a6 6.Ba4 b5 7.Bb3 f6 8.Nc3 Bg4 9.Bxd5 Bxf3 10.Qxf3 Rb8 11.Bxc6+ Kf7 12.Qh5+ g6 13.Qf3 Qxd4 14.Ne2 Qxe5 15.Bf4 Qxb2 16.Qd5+ Kg7 17.O-O Qxc2 18.Nd4 Qc4 19.Qxc4 bxc4 20.Rfc1 h5 21.Rxc4 g5 22.Bxc7 Rc8 23.Bf3 Rh6 24.Ne6+ Kf7 25.Re1 g4 26.Be4 Kxe6 27.f3 f5 28.Bd3+ Kf7 29.Bxf5 Rf6 30.Be6+ Rxe6 31.Rxe6 Kxe6 32.h3 Kd7 33.Bf4 Rxc4 34.Be3 Bh6 35.Bxh6 Nxh6 36.hxg4 Rc1+ 37.Kf2 Rc2+ 38.Kg3 Rxa2 39.gxh5 Nf5+ 40.Kg4 e6 41.Kf4 Rxg2 42.h6 Nxh6 43.Ke3 a5 44.Kd3 a4 45.Kc3 Rg3 46.Kb4 Rxf3 47.Kxa4 e5 48.Kb4 e4 49.Kc4 Rd3 50.Kb4 Kd6 51.Kb5 e3 52.Kb6 e2 53.Kb7 e1=Q 54.Kb6 Qc1 55.Kb7 Rb3+ 56.Ka8 Qa1# 0-1

(A brief annotation of my first game and what I imagine I was thinking)

1.e4 Nf6 2.e5 Ng8 [With this move I only sought to throw my opponent off and perhaps a push to e6 with dxe6 taking an early advantage]

3.Nf3 d5 [Playing for tricks which I felt a lower opponent might fall into with exd6 and pressing for center control after the recapture]

4.d4 Nc6 5.Bb5 a6 6.Ba4 b5 [All standard developing moves and looking to make the bishop retreat while opening the queen side]

7.Bb3 f6 [Certainly not the best move, I believe I wanted to remove a pawn from the center and develop my knight with recapture. E6 would have been better allowing my bishop means to get into the game]

8.Nc3 Bg4 [A bad move, I couldn’t see the pressure on d6 between the knight and bishop, I focused on developing too much and watched to many video about attacking and pinning knights]

9.Bxd5 Bxf3 [Having something taken from me I immediately wanted to take something back even if it was leaving that piece hanging]

10.Qxf3 Rb8 [With this move I looked to unpin the knight from the rook, leaving the knight hanging in the process]

11.Bxc6+ Kf7 12.Qh5+ g6 13.Qf3 Qxd4 14.Ne2 Qxe5 [My opponent had sent his Queen in only to be kicked out, in doing this he left the d4 pawn hanging which upon capture targeted the weak e5 pawn wiping out his center, by only attacking the Queen the e5 pawn fell]

15.Bf4 Qxb2 16.Qd5+ Kg7 [e6 would have clearly been a better move allowing for a slightly safer king]

17.O-O Qxc2 18.Nd4 Qc4 19.Qxc4 bxc4 [A Queen trade for me in this situation was in my favor]

20.Rfc1 h5 [e5 is something I missed and I’ve learned to always look for now a days, anytime a pawn can fork two minor pieces it’s generally a good idea]

21.Rxc4 g5 22.Bxc7 Rc8 [Seeing so many pieces on one file felt like a good idea to put a rook there and try to pick something up]

23.Bf3 Rh6 24.Ne6+ Kf7 25.Re1 g4 26.Be4 Kxe6 [I saw a piece which it’s defender had been blocked, now the prospect of a discover check and series of forced moves to mate would put me off from doing such things]

27.f3 f5 28.Bd3+ Kf7 29.Bxf5 Rf6 30.Be6+ Rxe6 31.Rxe6 [Here my opponent missed a hanging rook and opted for a check instead, this was the turning point of the game as the recapture of rooks would leave me a piece up]

…Kxe6 32.h3 Kd7 33.Bf4 Rxc4 [A clear blunder as the rook is left hanging, presumably trying to save losing the bishop in trade]

34.Be3 Bh6 35.Bxh6 Nxh6 [Looking to trade pieces off with the advantage I have now]

36.hxg4 Rc1+ 37.Kf2 Rc2+ 38.Kg3 Rxa2 39.gxh5 Nf5+ 40.Kg4 e6 41.Kf4 Rxg2 42.h6 Nxh6 [I wanted to take care of any loose ends and ensure there wouldn’t be any pawn pushes]

43.Ke3 a5 44.Kd3 a4 45.Kc3 Rg3 46.Kb4 Rxf3 47.Kxa4 e5 48.Kb4 e4 49.Kc4 Rd3 50.Kb4 Kd6 51.Kb5 e3 52.Kb6 e2 53.Kb7 e1=Q 54.Kb6 Qc1 55.Kb7 Rb3+ 56.Ka8 Qa1# 0-1 [A very standard end game with the Queen and Rook roll enabled by a rook cutting the King off from the passed pawn]

Chess games and writings.