Tag Archives: Rapid

Rapid Time #5: Madness in the King’s Gambit

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.

Rapid 5
1. f4 Nc6 2. e4 e5 3. Nh3 d6 4. Bb5 Bxh3 5. gxh3 Ne7 6. fxe5 dxe5 7. d3 a6 8. Bxc6+ Nxc6

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Rapid Time#4: The King Walketh (to the center of the board)

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.

Rapid#4
The critical position in the opening when Black began to lose due to Ne7 blocking the Queen from the e file.

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Chess Strategy #1: Doubled Pawns

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.

Strat #1
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. Bxc6 bxc6

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Strat #1-2
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Bc5 4. Bxc6 dxc6 5. Nxe5 Qf6 6. Nf3 Bg4 7. e5 Qf5 8. d4 Qe4+ 9. Be3 Bb6 10. Nc3 Qf5 11. h3 Bxf3 12. gxf3 O-O-O

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Rapid Time#3: Marshalling A Win

[Date “2017.10.22”]
[White “Jtrot79”]
[Result “1-0”]
[ECO “D35”]
[WhiteElo “1067”]
[BlackElo “1000”]
[TimeControl “900+10”]

//www.chess.com/emboard?id=3697998

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

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]

Rapid Time#1: Dancing Pieces

I’ve moved from blitz primarily to rapid time controls, either 15|10 or 15|5 if possible, because it has more educational value. In the long run making deeper and more thought provoking moves will benefit me more over the board in tournaments in the months to come. I realized from the adventures in blitz I often traded pieces and was too passive in most positions, in the game here I refused to trade only looking to complicate the position more. I made two primary mistakes,  a loss of a pawn in the beginning of the middle game due to me being a step ahead of myself and  the other was a knight in the end game while there was sub 30 seconds on the clock and time scramble was relevant.  In the end I was able to add enough time to the clock to work through a way to draw the game if my opponent wasn’t careful. Lucky for me he was in a rush to promote his pawn and overlooked the stale mate that was coming.  As this is a rapid game that played to a draw it is much longer than most others that I have posted.

//www.chess.com/emboard?id=3539874

[Date “2017.07.20”]
[White “Jtrot79”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[WhiteElo “1073”]
[BlackElo “1103”]
[TimeControl “900+10”]
[ECO “D50”]
[Termination “Game drawn by stalemate”]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 d5 3. Nc3 dxc4 4. Bg5 e6 5. Qa4+ Bd7 6. Qxc4 Nc6 7. e4 e5 8. d5 Na5 9. Qd3 a6 10. Nf3 h6 11. Bxf6 Qxf6 12. b4 Bxb4 13. a3 Bd6 14. Rb1 b5 15. Qd2 O-O 16. Bxb5 axb5 17. Nxb5 Nb7 18. Qc3 Nc5 19. Nxc7 Rac8 20. Nb5 Nxe4 21. Qd3 Nc5 22. Qe3 Rb8 23. Nc3 Bf5 24. Rxb8 Rxb8 25. O-O Rb3 26. Nd2 Rxa3 27. Nc4 Rb3 28. Nxd6 Qxd6 29. Rd1 Ne4 30. Qd3 Rxc3 31. Qe2 Rc5 32. f3 Nc3 33. Qe1 Nxd1 34. Qxd1 Rxd5 35. Qe2 Rd1+ 36. Kf2 Rd2 37. Qxd2 Qxd2+ 38. Kg3 Qf4+ 39. Kf2 g5 40. g3 g4 41. gxf4 exf4 42. Kg2 h5 43. fxg4 hxg4 44. h3 f3+ 45. Kg3 Kg7 46. hxg4 Bxg4 47. Kf2 f5 48. Kg3 Bh5 49. Kf2 Kg6 50. Kg3 Kg5 51. Kf2 f4 52. Ke1 Kg4 53. Kf2 Kh3 54. Kg1 Kg3 55. Kh1 f2 1/2-1/2

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 d5 3.Nc3 dxc4 4.Bg5 [A slight inaccuracy as I should have played e3 and attacked the pawn immediately however I noticed in other Queens gambit games I have a problem with the bishop being trapped behind my pawn chain]

…e6 5.Qa4+ Bd7 6.Qxc4 Nc6 7.e4 e5 8.d5 Na59.Qd3 a6 10.Nf3 h6 11.Bxf6 Qxf6 12.b4 [Here is the first inaccuracy that I feel was a major part of the struggles to come. In the QG the pawn attack on the Queen side is very important. Taking turns castling after Be2 was the way to go instead as the uncastled king is a bit of a problem later on while the pieces are dancing about]

…Bxb4 13.a3 Bd6 14.Rb1 b5 15.Qd2 O‑O16.Bxb5 [Here is where I decided to let loose and see how my opponent would handle the sac of the bishop. I wanted to castle and I wanted to clear the way in extravagantly]

…axb5 17.Nxb5 Nb7 18.Qc3 Nc5 19.Nxc7 [The computer doesn’t like this move and neither do I but I wanted to continue to be a little outlandish and see if my opponent would slip up at any point]

…Rac8 20.Nb5 Nxe4 21.Qd3 Nc522.Qe3 Rb8 23.Nc3 Bf5 24.Rxb8 Rxb8 25.O‑O Rb3 26.Nd2 Rxa3 27.Nc4 Rb3 28.Nxd6 Qxd6 29.Rd1 Ne4 [White played decently well throughout this whole time, the advantage remained on his side with a fluctuation from -10 to about -4 at this move. If I had played more accurately myself the game would have taken an even more interesting depth]

30.Qd3 [This is just bad, time started kicking in and I was looking to attempt to run his clock down more and complicate the position but in the end I just lost a piece]

…Rxc3 31.Qe2 Rc5 32.f3 [Unfortunately I miss the fork coming between my Queen and Rook, it’s quite obvious but having less than 30 seconds on the clock and definitely cause problems]

…Nc3 33.Qe1 Nxd1 34.Qxd1Rxd5 35.Qe2 Rd1+ 36.Kf2 Rd2 37.Qxd2 Qxd2+ 38.Kg3 Qf4+ 39.Kf2 g5 40.g3 g4 41.gxf4 exf4 42.Kg2 h5 43.fxg4 hxg4 44.h3 [All these moves were made in the goal to simplify the position and attempt to gain some time while forcing my opponent to consider if the recapture was sound or not]

…f3+ 45.Kg3 Kg7 46.hxg4 Bxg4 47.Kf2 f5 48.Kg3 Bh5 49.Kf2 Kg6 50.Kg3 Kg5 51.Kf2 f4 52.Ke1 Kg4 53.Kf2 Kh3 54.Kg1 Kg3 55.Kh1 [The idea with these moves was to keep my King in the corner and hopefully Black would fall for the stalemate that I could see as my only way out]

….f2 [A draw in the end was good enough for me considering I had quite a bit of fun sacing and throwing my pieces everywhere]