Friday, May 31, 2013

An Instructive Game Played at LCCC at

Here is a chess game played on Chess .com with lots of lessons. Chess is a life-long learning process, and many times it’s a little painful.
Both players made errors, but hey, that is the game is really - at least at the "mere mortal" most of us play at.
He who makes the least or the smaller errors wins.
1.      e4    d5
2.      exd5  Qxd5
3.      Nc3   Qa5
4.      Nf3   Nf6
5.      Bc4   Bf5
6.      Nd5??   Nxd5
White loses a piece.
7.      Nd4   Bd7?
7.....Nf6 holds on to it. The text move doesn't.
8.      Nb3   Qb6
9.      Bxd5   c6
10.   Bc4   Bf5
White has won the opening with the more developed minor pieces. Black is totally on the defensive and seems to be winging it. White pounces on that!
11.   d3   e5
12.  Qf3   Bg6
13.  h4   h5
14.  Be3   Qc7
15.  O-O-O   Nd7
16.  d4   Bd6
17.  Rhe1   O-O
White has played very well to this point. His pieces are developed and lots of power in the center. Black realizes he is in trouble here as his King needs support.
18.  g4   hxg4
19.  Qxg4   Nf6??
A reflex rote move played quickly without looking! Uh......never do that! Black didn’t look to see that the bishop was hanging. Bh7 was the only move, and that was not so good as White’s rook returning to the g – file looked ugly for Black. Black is lost at this point, but battle on he does.
20.  Qxg6   Nd5
21.  Bxd5   cxd5
22.  Qg5  Rac8
Black tries to counter-attack, hoping White will miss something, but he doesn’t!
23.  c3   exd4
24.  Rg1    f6
25.  Qxd5   Kh8
26.  Nxd4   Qe7
It is looking worse and worse for Black. But he decides to fight on and disrupt White’s King’s home and maybe get a perpetual check chance.
This is a huge long shot, but it is impossible to draw or win a game after you resign. Always remember that!
What White needs to see in this position is that he is a piece and a pawn up and your opponent’s king is basically alone. Black is completely weak on the white squares around his king. Throw a rook to g6, then bring the other rook to g1, bring your Queen to g2, bring the knight to f5, and push the h-pawn. Basically any order of these moves and Black is toast. And White starts to do that.
27.  Nf5  Rxc3
28.   bxc3   Ba3+
29.   Kb1   Qc7
30.   Qf2?!   …..
This is an error to some extent. Threatening mate in one is almost never wrong, but it is here. But the simple 30. Bd4 holds White’s position together. What we have now is a battle of the exposed White King versus a semi-exposed Black King, with White a Rook and Knight up! If White plays simple defense, then trade pieces the win will just happen. No need to try and win quickly.
    30…....    Rf7
31.  Kc2?  b5
Overtaxing the c-pawn which Black goes after immediately. Meanwhile White’s bishop is doing nothing to help his king.
32.  Bxa7??   Qxa7
Just a pure unforced blunder here by White.
33.  Rd8+   Rf8
34.  Rxf8   Bxf8
White obviously mis-calculated and didn’t play thru the moves or didn’t play thru them thoroughly. But the trading of pieces still helps White and he is still a rook up. All White has to do is continue to TRADE! Notice in this position, if you took all the pieces off the board leaving just the Kings and pawns, White’s a-pawn  or c-pawn queen easily! That is what White needed to see. Hide the White king and force trades. Black’s King is actually quite safe for the time being, allowing his Queen to be a complete pest.
35.  Ne3?  Qxa2+
What was wrong with 35. Qd5 for White here? The White King needs help against the opposing queen. Meanwhile, the White Knight and Rook can gang up on the pinned bishop. But watch how hard it is to start an attack when your King is not protected.
36.  Kd3   Qa6
37.  Qd5   b4+
38.  Nc4   b3
39.  Rb1   Qa2
40.  Rb2   Qa4
41.  Qa5?   Qd7+
Right idea with Qa5, but wrong execution. Na5! Dooms the Black b-pawn and there are no checks for Black to be had! If Qa3, then Rxb3, rook protected by the knight. Wjhite correctly has pieces around the White King, but he didn’t use them all. Black cannot trade queens or he loses immediately, so Black has to bail with the only check he’s got.
42.  Ke3   Qe6+
43.  Kd3   Qd7+
44.  Ke4   Qe6+
45.  Kd3   Qd7+
46.  Ke2   Qg4+
47.  Kd3   Qd7+
Here Chess .com asks Black if he wants to claim the draw by move repetition. Black turned it down because he wanted White to get the practice of closing a won game out. White was asked the same question and of course turned it down since he is winning. But,
Move 41. Qa5 took White’s Queen out of the game and she is the only one who can handle the Black Queen in the open space. The plan has to be to get the White King back to his lady friend for protection.
48.  Ke4   Qe6+
49.  Ne5   fxe5
This is the right idea for White, if staying in the middle of the board. Running the King into the arms of his army on the queen-side of the board is better. It was almost painful for Black to take the knight as it weakens his King’s protection, but being down so much material of course taking the knight is forced. But now Black must stay away from a forced trade of queens, or he is lost.
50.  Qxe5    Qc6+
51.  Kd3    Qa6+
52.   c4     Qa4
“Passed pawns must be pushed.” White makes a move that tells Black the comeback ends now. Pushing any pawn is just deadly for Black. Black does not have the pieces to defend against advancing pawns.
53.  Qb8?    Qd7+
Right idea but again the White Queen wanders too far away from her mate. 53. Qd4 protects all pawns and can shield the King from annoying checks. Black would then have trouble finding moves.
54.  Ke2    Qe6+
55.  Kd3?   Qh3+
56.  Qg3    Qf1+
57.  Kd4   Qd1+
58.  Qd3   Bc5+
Obviously 59. Kxc5 allows Qxd3 and White loses. But keep this theme in mind. Black will,  as the Black Queen now has assistance from the  church.
59.  Ke4   Qg4+
60.  Kd5   Qd7+
The bishop still cannot be captured.
61.  Ke4   Qg4+
62.  Ke5   Qh5+
63.  Qf5??  Bd4+!
Now the exchange of queens is forced and a won endgame for Black has now materialized.
64.  Ke4   Qxf5+
65.  Kxf5   Bxb2
66.  Ke4   Kg8
Black’s King hurries to get “in the box” (explained in a minute) with White’s passed c-pawn, White’s only threat left. Always remember, safety first.
67.   c5   Kf8
Black made it! He is inside the box of c5-f5-f8-c8 so now the c-pawn cannot win the race to the queening square without assistance. And White’s king has to worry about Black’s b-pawn, so no help is arriving.
68.  Kd3   Bf6
69.  Resigns
An interesting game showing how weak an exposed King truly is and why it is important for the player behind in material to keep his Queen on the board.
Of course I hope other NPP’ers will chime in with notes and comments with other variations.


  1. What a crazy blitz game. It must have been a lot of fun for both sides.

    White totally owned the board during the middle game and should have won easily, yet somehow managed to lose. Both sides made a lot of bad mistakes and missed many great moves.

  2. Yes, games like this can be fun (when you're 1300), but the players should seriously study what they did in order to improve. Far too many mistakes were made for this to be anything but instructive of what *not* to do.

    6. Nd5?? just drops a piece for nothing, and black keeps it comfortably after 7. Nd4 Qc5 or Nb6.
    7. .. Bd7?? is a bad mistake allowing white to accidentally recover his piece.

    How white manages to actually lose the position after 19. Qxg4 is amazing.
    Where was this played and who played it? Giving anonymous games is silly.

  3. This was a 'colorful' game on "what not to do." The target audience was the 1300 crowd. Lessons were shown and therefore given:
    Developed pieces - good,
    rote moves bad.
    Trading pieces when up significantly in material - good,
    allowing trades when down material - bad.
    Pushing passed pawns - good,
    exposed king - especially in the center of the board - bad.
    Counter-attacking when behind - good,
    giving up and resigning - bad.
    Getting king "in the box" to stop a passed pawn - good,
    not safe-guarding the kind before starting a winning attack - bad.

    I did find another comment made about games similar to this one;

    "As a rule, the more mistakes there are in a game, the more memorable it remains, because you have suffered and worried over each mistake at the board." - Victor Kortchnoi

    Of course, errors are not good for a chess game, but errors are unavoidable and in any case, a game without any errors, - or as they say - 'flawless game' is colorless. - Mikhail Tal

  4. I'm not against publishing such games, but they should be properly annotated to reflect the true state of the board.

  5. To me this looks like a typical blitz game, with both sides making a lot of mistakes and missing a lot of good moves. I love to play blitz. It is a lot of fun, especially when the game swings back and forth a few times, but I was surprised that a blitz game would be used as an example, as blitz is usually played just for fun, to avoid the stress of intense tournament style thinking.

    For analysis it would be much better to use a game played with long time controls and where each player gave a lot of thought to each move.