Monday, June 15, 2015

The Best Move of GM Kayden Troff

Chess is food for the mind and soul.
We had a low turnout tonight at LCCC. It's bad weather, its summer - and people need a little time off before our Fischer Random 960 tournament that starts next week!

It will be four rounds. One round a week. If you need to miss a week due to vacations - or whatever - you can still enter late or take a bye later in the tournament. A bye earns a draw score (1/2).

Be here next week for the action.

One of my study methods (not that it has made me a threat to Magnus Carlsen or anything) is to play over games of Master chess players - and above
The theory for doing this is to pick up patterns of play – such as good opening moves, development of pieces, good squares for your pieces and attacking patterns.

It is even better if the game is annotated with notes from the players, or at least one of the players. Those notes will give insight into what they were thinking and worrying about during the game, which are hints as to how you should think during a game.

Other study exercises I do is to cover up the last six or more moves of the game, and try to guess the winning moves (peek to find the winner before hand) from that point forward. Then, when you guess incorrectly, try to figure out what you missed that the Master player saw. This exercise is designed to help your ‘chess thinking’. 

You might want to start off covering up only the last 3 moves, until you are getting 2 out of 3 right or more all of the time.

You will be shocked on how hard it is to find the right moves! Even though you are looking at the position without a chess clock running and under no tournament pressure, it’s not that easy to think along with a great chess player.

My estimation is that a “C” player will average only about 55% correct, and that includes the occasional easy correct moves - like obvious and forced re-captures.
But no matter how well you do, the idea is to evaluate what you are missing in your analysis and what you are ‘tunnel visioning’ on.

For instance, I have a bad habit of focusing on a specific plan, and fail to take a fresh look at the position after each move. After all, chess masters play at a higher level and their moves have greater scope.

If you start with an entirely new look at the position after each move - as best you can – you might see something else.

And this is something WHICH is the same thing you should do in your own games!! Sometimes new opportunities – or threats – appear out of nowhere after just two half moves.

Here is a game in which I embarrassingly only got two out of seven of the last moves correct – and they were Moves 28 and 29, with 29 being an obvious capture.

This is bad because as you will see – the entire game is in the balance in these last seven moves – and I would have not played the most accurate moves and would have lost a won position.

This game showed me I need to work on my defensive skills – big time! As well as re-setting my analysis after each move – as I locked on a bad plan and stubbornly stayed with it instead of looking more.

 Now a very exciting, educational and interesting game - with notes from the winner – which includes GM Kayden Troff’s “best move I ever played.” Kayden Troff was a FM and only 14 years old at the time! Re-printed from Chess Life – May 2015, with added notes from Igor3000.

Pavlo Vorontsov – Ukraine vs FM Kayden Troff - USA
       1.      e4                    c5
       2.      Nf3                  d6
       3.      c3                    Nf6
       4.      Be2                  Nc6
       5.      d4                    cxd4
       6.      cxd4                d5
       7.      e5                    Ne4
       8.      Nc3                 Nxc3
       9.      bxc3                e6
     10.  O-O                 Be7
     11.  c4                    dxc4
     12.  Bxc4                O-O
     13.  Rb1                 b6
     14.  d5                    Na5
     15.  d6                    Bxd6

(.2) Also possible is 15. ….Nxc4. [Not only possible – but much better (-.7).
     16.  exd5                Nxc4
     17.  Rb4?                Ba6

(-.5) No better is 17. Qd3, Nxd6 18. Ba3, Nb7 19. Qe4
[Actually, Qd3 is much better. The game is EVEN with the Qd3 line. And Igor3000 actually likes 17…..b5! (-.8). I will let you follow that line on your own software.]
     18.  Ra4                  Bb5
     19.  Rb4                 Nxd6
     20.  Re1                  Bc6
Correct was 20. Rd4! (Now -1.7)
     21.  Ne5                 Bd5
Up two pawns. Clearly I should win from here. [Igor puts Black ahead only -1.8 pawns because White has the more active pieces positionally. Now watch White decide not to try and defend his weakness, but rather attack using his strength (better piece placement).]
     22.  Qh5                 Nf5
     23.  Ng4                 a5
     24.  Rf4?                Rc8?
[Neither player makes the optimum move. But at least White is staying with his plan of aggression – hoping for just one Black mis-step. Probably the same mis-steps I took when I was getting my guessing attempts incorrect.]
     25.  Ba3                  Re8
     26.  Bb2                  Rc2?
White to move after 26. ......Rc2?

Pavlo finds a great opportunity to make it more complicated. [The simple 26….Bxa6 gives Black an even bigger advantage (-2.8).]
     27.  Bf6!                 ……

Now I was afraid of losing – and I am – except for one move! [White truly has a lot of threats possible.]
27.   …..                 Re2!!

An unusual move, but the only one that wins! (-1.8)
     28.  Rxe2                Qc7

Now I have duel threats of Qc1 mating or Qxc7 taking the rook back.
     29.  Rfe4                Bxe4
     30.  Qg5                 Rc8
     31.  Bb2                 Qd8
     32.  Nf6+               Kh8
     33.  Rd2                 Qxf6
[The White bishop cannot take the Black queen because of 34. Bxf6, Rc1+ and mate the next move. And after the exchange of queens, Black is a full minor piece up in material (-3.4). ]

White resigns.
This game gave Kayden the Under 14 World Championship title!
Games to review like this is why you need to be a member of the US Chess Federation.
And of course - LCCC!

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