Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Game 100713_1 Review and Analysis

Play along with two players in the Winter League. This game was a Thunder vs 49’ers match on one of the boards. Mike Gaal won it with a fine effort.

Remember, the positional score in will be given with a positive number for a White advantage and a Black advantage is shown as a negative number.

1. e4     e5
2. Bc4    g6
3.  Nf3    Bg7
4. d3    Nf6?

The Black e-pawn is now collectable. 5. Nxe5, Qe7 6. f4, O-O 7. Nc3, Nc6 8. O-O and Black gets nothing for the pawn.

5. Bg5    O-O
6. Nbd2    d6
7. h3    Nbd7
8. c3    b6
9. O-O    Bb7
10. d4 ?    …….

A little too early. 10. Re1 to secure the e-pawn. Black’s knight won’t stay pinned to the queen forever, and Black will have enough aimed at the pawn to win it or tie White in knots.

10.  …..     Qe7 ?!
11. Re1    c5?
Black is starting to lose space and therefore squares to place his soldiers. So Black is down the equivalent of a pawn. (+1). Now White correctly locks down the center and gains more space while restricting Black further.

12. d5!    Rac8
13. g4?    …….
Position after White's 13. g4?
We have seen this before – the weakening of the pawns in front of the king with no positive gain for it. (+.5)

13.  …..    h6
14. Bh4    g5
15. Bg3   Nh7?

Too passive. Black should be looking to counter White’s strong center with Rfe8-Nf8-Ng6-Nf4 or a6-b5-c4-Nc5.  These are better, more aggressive plans. White’s advantage grows again to (+1.6).
16. Kg2    Ndf6
17. Qc2?   ……
Now too passive by White. Stronger is Nf1-Ne3-Nf5. The lesson here is; look for holes in your opponent’s pawn structure and place your pieces in them. Now the edge is almost non-existent for White.  (+.2). 
The back and forth flow of a game is why we love this game of CHESS!

17. …..    Rcd8
18. b4?!    Qd7
19. bxc5   dxc5??

Allowing a passed pawn. It is usually better to re-capture with pawns toward the center. But here – it was a complete necessity. (+3.8)
20. a4    Bc1?
21. Bb5   Qe7
22. Nc4   Bd7?

Black is blundering now under time pressure. 22. ….a6 was needed.
23. Nxe5   Bxb5
24. axb5    h5??
25. Nc6   Resigns
The fork of the queen and rook end the issue.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Round Three of the LCCC Summer League 2014 Goes Well

Spring - Summer League action at LCCC! Get into it!
 Twenty-seven players were in attendance tonight, as we rebounded from a light showing last week. Everyone was ready to play. The results are posted on the right side of the blog.

What we do have for our readers is a tight back and forth battle to review from an earlier game from this year’s summer league. As usual, the advantages are shown - in tenths of pawn increments - as a positive number means White is winning and a negative number means Black is winning.

Scott Marvel was the winner here. Play along with these two of LCCC’s board 1 players in the Summer League:

1. b3   …….
Called the Larsen Opening, or the Queen’s Fianchetto Opening, or Owens Opening.

1. …..      d5
2. Bb7    c5
3. e3     Nf6
4. Nf3    Nc6
5. Bb5    Bg4
6. O-O    e6
7. Bxc6    bxc6
8. d3     Bd6
9. Nbd2     Qe7
10. Re1?!   ……
Challenging the bishop with the pin on the queen is a better plan for White.

10.    …..   O-O
11.    e4     e5?
Bf4 is better for Black here – pressuring both knights. (-.2 to .5)

12. h3     Bxf3
13. Qxf3    d5?!
Rfd8 or Rab8 is better for Black – developing the unused part of his army.

14. Nc4    Nd7
15.  g4?    ……..
Position after 15. g4?
Weakening the squares around the king. Bc1, Qg4, c3 – all keep the small White advantage. (EVEN)

15.  ……    Nb6
16.  Na5     Qc7
17. Bc1     Rae8
18. Bd2     Re6
19.  g5?     ……..
Qg3, Kg1, Rab1 or h4 keeps the game even. (-.4)

19. …..     Be7
20. Qg4     h6?!
21. h4    hxg5?
Qc8 by Black freezes White’s g-pawn because of the threatened Rg6 – pinning the White Queen to the King. (.4)

22.   hxg5    Rg6
23.   f4?     ……..
Kh2, then Kh3 for white allows King safety as the rooks to enter the h-file. Instead, he loses all cover.

23. ……     exf4
24.  Bxf4     Qc8?
Qd8! Triples the attack on White’s hapless g-pawn. (EVEN) Time troublewill affect the players the rest of the way.

25.  Qh5   Qe6?
Nd5! Is the right idea with …26. exd5, Qf5 27. Nxc6, Bxg5 28. Qf3, Qxf4 29. Qxf4, Bxf4+ (EVEN). Now, 26. Re2! For almost immediate h-file firepower for White and (.7). But now,

26.  Kf2??    ……
Walking into Black’s f-file rook x-ray. (-2.7)

26.  ………    f5!
27. Rh1?     fxe4
28. Qh7+     Kf7
29. dxe4?    Qxe4
30.  Kg3      Bxg5
White Resigns

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Deadly Passed Pawns - Conclusion

White to move after Black's 30. .....Nxe4
We left off at this battle royal with Black enjoying the equivalent of a minor piece and pawn lead (-3.9) due to his two pawn material lead, his more active minor piece (knight) and the semi-passed pawn on the e-file. But White doesn’t quit – and you never should either. Maybe your opponent will make some errors.

31.    Rc1  …….
Getting out of Black's intended  knight fork with 31. .....Nc3.

31. …..     b3?
Black already is not playing the best moves.
Nc3 is still required to maintain the huge advantage. The knight is untouchable there and keeps the White bishop off so many key squares. Part of Black’s advantage is that due to the current pawn structure and location of pieces, the knight is at least a point better piece than the bishop.  Restricting the movement and scope of your opponent's pieces is the same as being up actual material. Always remember that the strength of a piece is not always their “starting value – it’s usefulness is!
Black’s advantage is down to (-1.8).

32. Bd3    f5
33. f3     Nd6?
33. …..Nd2, 34. Rxc5, e4 35. fxe4, fxe4 36. Bc2, bxc2 37. Kf2, Nf3 38. Rxc2, Ne5 and the advantage for Black is -2, instead of the now (-.4). If White was not down material, he would be winning positionally. Black’s big edge is now gone.

34. Rxc5    Rc8?
34. …..  b2 makes White work for the b-pawn, then Black can make progress on the King-side. White is now winning, even being down two pawns (.3). His passed pawns are much more scary now than Black’s.

35. Rxc8   Nxc8
36. g5??    ……..
Both players are in time pressure now. Bc4 keeps the game even. Black would have to let the b-pawn go in order to get his king over to stop the White passed pawns. Black has a (-5) advantage now. It’s all down hill for White from here.

36. …..    Kf7
37.  Bc4   ….
One move too slow! That is why chess is such an amazing game.

37. …..    b2
38. d6+    Ke8
39. Ba2?  ……
Bd3 keeps an eye on the King-side enemy pawns too. Black has a (-9) lead. That is the equivalent of a Queen folks.

39. …..  Nxd6
40. Kf2   e4
41. f4?    Nc4!
42. Ke2    Na3
43. b6    Kd8
44. Kd2   b1 (Q)
45. Bxb1   Nxb1+
46. Kc2   Na3+
47. Kc3    Kc8
White resigns because he can't stop the Black pawns from reaching the end of the board and promoting.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Round Two of the Summer League Completed

LCCC league play has no drama or intrigue......just a lot of fun for all!
Two rounds of five in the books as they say and the Gamma Rays are tied for first with the 300 Spartans.

The Rays get the slight edge with their 6 team points to the Spartan's 5.5.

The Red Dragons are Tied with the Four Aces for 3rd with 4.5 team points nad 4 points respectively.

Its Your Move and Team 6 are tied for 5th - both with 2 team points.

Round 2 was a Fischer 960 round - which is always a fun round!

The Four Aces defeated the Red Dragons 2.5 to 1.5.
The 300 Spartans defeated Team 6 - 3 to 1
And the Gamma Rays defeated It's Your Move 3.5 to 1.

I will be highlighting more of the games from the Summer league soon.

Sorry for the delay in getting the endgame posted. It will be up soon.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Game Review - Passed Pawns are Deadly!

Here is a game from our league play. Enjoy the review.

1. c4      e5
2. Nc3   Nf6
3. e4      Bb4
4. Nf3    Bxc3
5. bxc3   d6
Doubling pawns by trading a bishop for a knight is not considered enough of an advantage – unless it is part of an overall plan, strategy or tactic. The pin or threat of pin is the reason for the position of the piece.

Here White gets another center pawn, a half-open b-file and the bishop pair as compensation for the weakened pawn structure.

6. Qc2    Bg4
7. Be2    Nbd7
8. h3      Bh5
9. d4      Bg6
10. Bd3    c5
11. O-O    O-O
12. Re1    Re8
White has a .5 advantage according to Fritz, so basically even.
13. d5    Rb8
14. Nh4    a6?
15. Nxg6   hxg6
16. Bg5    b5?
Black is losing ground. 16. Qc7 gets the lady and knight out of the pin.

17. Rab1     b4
18. cxb4?   ……

18. Bd2 loads up on the b4 square and undoubles and protects the pawns after the exchange with the bishop.

18.  …..     Rxb4
19. Rxb4    cxb4    (.5)
After 19. .......cxb4 for a slight advantage for White and White's move.

20. Be3?   Nc5

White loses his small advantage. 20. a3 isolates the surviving queen-side pawn.

21. Bxc5 dxc5
22. Qa4 Qb6
23. Rb1 a5
24. g4?
Weakening the f-pawn and possibly locking his bishop behind his own pawns. The game is now even.

24.  .…    Rb8
25. a3      Nh7
26. Be2    ….
26. Bc2 was needed to allow the Queen to get to b3 and help out if needed on the King side, while the bishop watches that pesky pawn.

26.  ….    Ng5
Black up (-2)

27. Qb5    Qxb5
28. cxb5   Nxh3+?
Center pawns are usually worth more than a or h pawns, especially with your king on the same side as the edge pawn. 28. ……Nxe4!, and White’s d-pawn is isolated.

29. Kg2   Ng5
30. a4??    Nxe4
30. f3 keeps the game close (-.5). Instead Black has two passed pawns (b & c) and wins the endgame (-3.9 – almost a 4 pawn lead!).

We will analyze how Black handled this end game next.