I want to start this with an apology to those in the 20minute rapid pool on chess.com. I generally don’t play longer controls online because of the possibility of cheating so my rating is very low compared to my usual modes. In efforts to equalize my rating across all time controls I’ve been jumping in the rapid game pool the last couple days. Playing against someone 4 or 500 points above your own level can be frustrating but insightful experience.
The two games I wanted to share today I played Black and both started in the Indian defense but transposed to different openings. The two critical position in each game are in the positions below. The analysis will have the full variation.
I enjoyed this game since I was put into a new position by move 2. It’s not uncommon for people online to play specific systems that they’re comfortable with and not many people know. The opening below is completely playable but not played very often, it transposes to something like a Semi-Slav where Black looks to play and solidify d5.
Although not familiar with this opening, the principles of opening development are enough to make it through anything unfamiliar. I simply exchange the wing pawns since that’s my typical play in every Slav or Semi Slave structure, get the Knights to c3 and f3 to influence the center, look for good squares for the Bishops (there is a pin option on a good diagonal) and put my Rook on the open c file to pressure a piece with few defenders.
Every piece is serving some purpose in the opening, the last two pieces (The King’s Rook and Queen) have yet to be determined where they would be best. From this point on it becomes about developing a plan, there is pressure on the c6 Knight and one of the defenders of it is pinned to a Rook. The Knight attack was the start point for my middle game plan, which slowly compounded until it ended up being able to cause enough problems Black missed the proper defense and everything began to fall apart.
This game should have been a 20 minute rapid game but ended up being more of a Blitz game, instead of the allotted 20 minutes it was over in about 6 and a half minutes. Many of the moves were straight forward after an early tactical opportunity where I was able to win a pawn and threaten the White Queen and a Knight fork simultaneously. It wasn’t an easy defense and White missed the most accurate move to stop a total collapse of the position. This is position is also a good example of clearing the c file with the c5 push and putting a Rook on the open file before White has time to react, this is common in both the Caro-Khann and Indian defenses I play. The opponent was a 1579 which is one of the highest rapid wins I have to date.