A short 12 move game where both sides were aggressive. The major difference was that I was aggressive with a plan and Black seemed to be aggressive and uncoordinated.
This game my opponent played a unique opening where I was able to exploit some of the weaknesses it produced. As you can see by the image below the f pawn has already been moved and is the only thing stopping checks coming from the King side. I coordinated a Knight sacrifice which opened the diagonal for the Queen to come into the fight Checking the King via the h4-f2 diagonal and subsequently wrecking the position on White’s King side while gaining a Rook. Further along in the the game I was able to throw my Queen away for another attack as the White King was suspiciously hanging out in the middle of the board.
I’m actually surprised at the quality of this game whilst knocking back screwdrivers, something about the acidic combo of vodka and orange juice gets all the cylinders going. It was lucky enough that I played against my most well prepared defense also, the Marshal QGD. Its a 74 move game so it was by no means quick but it was fairly neat with no major mistakes made.
The King’s Gambit has always been known as one of the most exciting openings in chess history, it leads to odd piece placement, Kings who are stuck in the center of the board and gaps the surrounding defense ready to be exploited. Qh4+ is a common idea in King’s Gambit for Black to start to put pressure on the White King with hopes of getting the dark square bishop involved on the f2- c6 or e1 -b4 diagonal, both of those are seen in this game.
This game was against a 1730 rated player using Philidor Defense, something I haven’t had a lot of experience with but I don’t mind playing instead of the Spanish with 2…Nc6. The Bishop feels natural on c4 targeting the f7 pawn and assisting in the middle protecting d5. My rating is conservatively about 1200 right now and to be able to have such an interesting game come out in my favor was a great feeling. It includes a couple positional and tactical sacrifices that are always awesome when on your side.
In this post I wanted to talk about the idea of creating and exploiting stacked pawns that can occur early on in a game. When I first started playing I opened with the Ruy Lopez as many new players do. It was common, well studied and had a solid set up for white with good attacking and tactical chances. I traded the Bishop for Knight on c6 early instead of keeping pins and pressure on pieces, of course later on I learned of the benefits of the latter. I wont discount the idea of stacking an opponents pawns early on, especially if the player is lower rated. It provides and early weakness and a clear target to work towards from the opening. As you’ll see in this game I was able to stack Blacks pawns early and plant a Knight on e6 waiting until it was clear to attack. Doubled pawns aren’t always a problem, the second game is one I played as Black where I used the stacked pawns to my advantage and involved them into my position and attack instead of letting it become a weakness.
1.d4 d5 2.c4 Nf6 [This defense to the QGD is quite common and already puts Black into a tough spot with either 3…Qxd5 or 3…Nxd5 4. Nc3]
3.cxd5 Nxd5 4.Nc3 e6 5.e4 [e4 puts to question the Knight on d5 and if the event of Nxc3 it follows pawn takes bxc2 giving white a stronger pawn structure]
…Nxc3 6.bxc3 e5 7.Nf3 Bg4 8.Be2 [A standard bit of attack and parry with a pin, typical of the QGD, the computer recommends that I instead move 8. Rb1 targeting the weak b7 pawn but complicates the position slightly.]
…Bxf3 9.Bxf3 Nc6 10.Be3 exd4 11.cxd4 Bb4+ 12.Bd2 [ This was a blunder due to it allowing the line (12… Qxd4 13. Bxb4 Qxb4+ 14. Qd2 Qxd2+ 15. Kxd2 O-O-O+ 16. Ke3 Nd4 17. Rac1) with quite a nice flourish of the long castle into a check]
…Qe7 13.Rb1 Bxd2+ 14.Qxd2 O-O-O 15.Bg4+ Kb8 16.O-O Rxd4 17.Qb2 b6 18.Rfd1 [A mistake that dropped the balance to -2.01, I was intending that trades be made for the rooks to simplify the position and leave the g7 pawn exposed]
…Rxd1+ 19.Rxd1 Rd8 20.Rxd8+ Qxd8 21.Qxg7 Nd4 [This move centralized the Knight with the support of the Queen however it left the f7 pawn free for the taking, Kb7 was the best move for Black but not easy to see immediately]
22.Qxf7 Qh8 23.f4 Nc6 24.Qd7 Qa1+ 25.Qd1 [A mistake, Kf2 was the best move but felt risky to a normal human to leave the a2 pawn free with a check however after the check from 26…Qa3+ 27. Bf3 would be a suitable defender]
Qxd1+ 26.Bxd1 [Being the player I am, I wanted to trade Queens and utilize my passed e and f pawns to win me the game]
…a5 27.e5 Ne7 28.Bc2 c5 29.e6 Kc7 30.Bxh7 Kd6 31.f5 Ke5 32.g4 Kf6 33.h4 c4 34.Kf1 c3 35.Ke1 c2 36.Kd2 b5 37.Kxc2 b4 38.h5 a4 39.Bg6 b3+ 40.axb3 axb3+ 41.Kxb3 [ The previous line of moves wasn’t pretty or graceful but allowed me to have complete control over the game and with plenty of time on my hands I wanted to secure the pawn advance}
…Kg7 42.Kc4 Kh6 43.f6 Nxg6 44.hxg6 Kxg6 45.e7 Kxf6 46.e8=Q Kg5 47.Kd5 Kxg4 48.Ke5 Kf3 49.Qh5+ Ke3 50.Qh4 Kd3 [From here I found the quickest route to a mate in 6 which doesn’t also happen in the Queen and King end game]
51.Qd4+ Ke2 52.Ke4 Ke1 53.Kf3 Kf1 54.Qf2# 1-0