This is a game against a 1662 which turned into a short vs long castle pawn storm game. These tend to be very exciting and this was no exception, the possibility of a quick checkmate by throwing pawns down the board is always fun. It tends to come down to activity and aggression, whoever has more of it generally wins due to the lack of time to fix innacuracies or act passively.
The opening position is rather sharp but playable for both sides. White attacks the knight with 6. Qd3 and the game follows 6…Nxc3 7. Qxc3 d5 8. Ne2 0-0 9. 0-0-0
It turns into a great game and a perfect example of how double edged opposite side castling can be
So I thought beating a 1750 was going to be good for the next couple days, I could live off that victory. Last night I was pitted against an 1830 and won so this is now the highest rated ranked game I’ve won. This win wasn’t very difficult but that’s because they made a miscalculation early on which I capitalized on and held throughout the game.
It’s odd, I don’t know what separates people in these elo brackets. The 1600s and the 1800s have felt the same to me. It could be a side effect of 3 minute. I think a lot of it comes down to intuition and many people don’t seem to have it enough to pull them through the opening without making a mistake. Many of my games are won out of the opening due to uncalculated play from my opponents. It’s as if everyone just makes moves for a little bit in the opening and then they decide to play with what they end up with, they don’t even consider taking advantage of anything early.
I was watching the LiChess TV stream of the top 3 minute games and these players are 2400+ and they too missed things which it seemed apparent to me. The positions were verified by post game analysis once they had finished playing. It could just be the clock pressure. I am rarely behind on time and instead I tend to be +30 or 40 seconds usually which gives me some extra space to breathe when things do get dicey.
As you can see above I have a full minute and some change on the clock here while White is completely lost, the pressure on the weakened Queen side is too much. White ends up losing on time being down 4 pawns in a Queen vs 2 rook ending.
So I just played a game against a 1748, it was an exchange Caro where I played an early a6. White had castled but neglected the development of a knight and bishop while I forwent castling in lieu of development of all the minor pieces. White struck me as an aggressive player, they employed the typical bishop/Queen battery aimed at h7 in hopes the knight would move and it would be undefended. After playing h6 and castling White immediately sacrificed the dark squared bishop in order to take on h6, something that is commonly done to break the King side open and make way for the Queen and knight to jump in.
Now I’ve been here a lot on the receiving side, I don’t make sacrifices like this unless I know they’ll work. The Greek gift is an example of that, it’s a position that is known and when used will net a positive end result. This sacrifice made by White here was unsound, it missed the key components that the Greek gift has and that is tempo. In the gift once the bishop is capture White is able to bring the knight in with check and make way for the Queen while the King retreats.
The sin committed by White in this game was the lack of follow up, once the bishop was sacrificed what came next? The places the Queen would come in to the attack were protected and the knight was unable to jump into anywhere meaningful, the best option was to slide the Queen over to the d file and attack the h pawn but the King could simply defend. White jumps the Knight in for the sake of having it close but it attacks nothing as every space is covered by pawns since White having made no threatens I was able to counter attack the White Queen.
From here the game falls into a reoccurring theme, White makes a move in defense and I again have the attacking initiative. At one point White seems to think giving up a piece for a pawn push is a good idea, however, it ends up back firing again as they go on the defensive and lose tempi. The game really comes to a decisive end when I am able to fork the Queen and bishop which is still aiming into the King side, it leaves White a minor piece down with too many weaknesses to protect. Surprisingly they opt to trade a set of rooks off while giving me the open e file.
The final blow comes from a threat of a Queen trade and a triple attack, White declines the trade and loses the rook with check which was part of the triple attack. They let the time run out and the game ends. For me this was the greatest game I’ve ever played, I had a centi pawn loss of only 20 and two inaccuracies while fending off an attack from a player 250 points higher than myself.