Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Elusive 1900

I was hoping to use last week's tournament as training before the Kings Island Open. I was in a confident mood, since I had a good chance of reaching 1900, but a first round draw put a dent in my confidence, and I could not recover ending with a dismal 1-1=3. If nothing else I got a good lesson in humility. The above position is from my loss. I am Black with the move.

Some observations:

My Bishop is better, therefore I should try to exchange off other pieces, I can challenge the e-pawn with either c5 or e5. If I had taken my time I would have seen that White's main idea is to put a Knight on e5, and as long as I have a Knight on d7, I can chop it off. In the game I instinctively played 15...Nf6 ?!

1. Nc3 c6 2. d4 d5 3. g3 Nf6 4. Bg2 Bf5 5. Nf3 h6 6. Nd2 e6 7. O-O Bd6 8.e4 dxe4 9. Ncxe4 O-O 10. Re1 Be7 11. c3 Nbd7 12. Qe2 Re8 13. Nc4 Nxe4 14.Bxe4 Bxe4 15. Qxe4 Nf6 16. Qc2 Rc8 17. Bf4 c5 18. dxc5 Bxc5 19. Rad1 Qe7?? 20. Bd6 +-

17...Nd5 was better
19...Nd5 =

My best performance in a chess tournament came a week after a dismal one, so I am hoping that history will repeat itself!

As training for the Kings Island Open I plan to:

  1. do 45 min./day of aerobic training
  2. get at least 7 hrs of sleep/day
  3. play a G/90 game against Master William Williams
  4. do 250 problems/day on the Chess Tactics Server


  1. what section are you playing in?

  2. First recommendation: change "illusive" to "elusive" as it's easier to spell. :=) Then good luck this weekend man!


    e⋅lu⋅sive   /ɪˈlusɪv/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [i-loo-siv] Show IPA Pronunciation

    –adjective 1. eluding clear perception or complete mental grasp; hard to express or define: an elusive concept.
    2. cleverly or skillfully evasive: a fish too elusive to catch.

  3. Thanks Alex, when do plan to play next?

  4. Ivan,

    My next big tournament is Moscow Open then Foxwoods. Hopefully by the end of 2009 I will have collected a couple IM norms: otherwise, I am surely going to be behind Erik comes December of 2009!

  5. Moscow Open, That's pretty big!

    Have you played there before?

  6. First time. My brother lives there, so I will have home bed edge. :-)

  7. Interesting position. You seem to imply that you're better in the diagram because of your bishop. I'm not convinced that's true. As the game proves, White's bishop is quite effective on f4.
    The real problem with Black's position is lack of space. If you try to keep your knight on d7 then you have no active plan (Black's queen hardly has a square) and White develops naturally with Bf4 and Rad1.
    So your plan with 15...Nf6 is good, I think: drive away the queen and play for ...c5. Like you suggest, 17...Nd5 improves on your play: I think Black is equal in that case. 16...Qd5 17.Ne5 c5 is also worth considering.
    The lesson here is that bad bishops (like White's) aren't always bad, and that trying for active counterplay is often more effective than trying to stubbornly defend one's weaknesses (like e5).