Thursday, December 08, 2022

Game 2


  1. Game 2:

    Overall question: At what point(s) did you feel like you had no plan or even an idea of how to proceed? After move 57. It were the last 5 minutes and I didn't need to write the moves anymore. I totally outplayed him in 5 hours. This is what Stockfish thinks:

  2. But since I had to THINK in order to come up with a PLAN, I used too much time, allowed his king to walk towards his pawns, let him conquer mine and let him shove his pawns towards promotion. When he promoted, I gave up in disgust. 

    Please note: my comments are based on my impressions and may be totally off the mark. It is virtually impossible to get inside someone else’s head regarding their thoughts during a game. It’s sometimes difficult for me to even figure out what’s going on inside my own head!

    [Event "Computer chess game"]
    [Site "STUDIE-PC"]
    [Date "2022.11.29"]
    [Round "?"]
    [White "Tempo"]
    [Black "Kees"]
    [Result "0-1"]
    [BlackElo "1971"]
    [ECO "D01"]
    [Opening "Richter-Veresov, 3.Bf4"]
    [Time "18:04:47"]
    [Variation "2.Nc3"]
    [WhiteElo "1720"]
    [TimeControl "1/259200:300"]
    [Termination "normal"]
    [PlyCount "114"]
    [WhiteType "human"]
    [BlackType "human"]

    1. d4 Nf6 2. Nc3 d5 3. Bf4 c6 4. e3 Bf5 5. f3 e6 6. g4 Bg6 7. h4 h6 8. Bd3
    Bxd3 9. Qxd3

    You have a lead in development and more space on the kingside with the potential to break open some lines there.

    9... Bb4 10. O-O-O

    Question: Why not bolster the WNc3 with 10. Ne2? Black’s only immediate means of increasing pressure against WNc3 is with … Qa5 with a ‘threat’ to disrupt the pawn structure in front of your king. His King is still in the middle. Castling long takes long. I looked for ways to open up the center. I'm ahead in development

    10… Nbd7 11. Nh3

    Question: What was your plan here? 11. Ne2 would maintain control of c3 and also indirectly provide a defense of the a2-pawn. The WNe2 would ‘defend’ f4 and potentially allow it to be occupied in support of the pawn advance. Additionally, the line of the WRh1 would not be blocked. Prophylaxis on the queenside and in the center, combined with potential aggression on the kingside. I didn't want to clog up my posisition with pieces. I connect the rooks, and to swing over the h rook to e1. Protecting the e pawn not hindered by a knight.

    11… Qa5 12. Kb1 (tactically forced to avoid losing the a2-pawn) 12… Nb6

    At this point, Black shows his hand: he intends to ‘attack’ your king with three pieces, possibly adding pawns to the mix if/as needed while ignoring your kingside pawn storm. [Three piece ‘rule’: one piece to sacrifice, one piece to protect the mating piece and the mating piece – mating threats can materialize quickly.] If he can get the queens off the board, he will have the opportunity to castle queenside and open up the c-file with pressure on your castled position. There is no real threat here

  3. 13. g5

    Black has the opportunity to sacrifice here with 13… Bxc3, allowing 14. gxf6. Then he adds the third piece with 14… Na4. Things get tactically ‘interesting’ at this point because the Black queen and knight work together quite well to create potential mate threats. Black took a different route, trying to get all three pieces in place.

    13… Nh5 14. gxh6 gxh6 15. Be5 O-O-O

    Black had the opportunity to equalize here with 15… Bxc3 16. Bxh8 Na4 (Again, notice the excellent coordination between the Black queen and knight.)

    16. Bxh8 Rxh8 17. Nf4

    Question: Why not 17. Ne2? 
    Nf2 you mean? It removes the possibility of the exchanges on c3, and moves the knight toward the kingside, possibly allowing either knight to go to f4 without the possibility of Black doubling the f-pawns. Since the g-file is the only open file and Black already has lost the exchange, it seems that the g-file would be a natural avenue for penetrating into Black’s position. It looks like the initiative might have shifted to Black at this point – or maybe I’m seeing a mirage. I'm ahead materially., so trading pieces is not bad. I must get my rooks to work. Opening the e-file, saccing my f pawn and my rooks come to life. Making use of his opposed king. Answer a flank attack with a counter strike in the center.

    17… Nxf4 18. exf4 Nc4

    Although you are up an exchange, Black is forcing play around your king while his own king is perfectly safe. Since you have taken no steps to occupy the open g-file, he doesn’t have to worry about his king for the time being.

    19. Ne2 Qb6 20. Qb3 Rg8

    I wonder if he considered 20… Nd2+ 21. Rxd2 Bxd2, regaining the exchange? If the queens come off, Black should have some advantage with control of the open g-file and a bishop versus knight with no good points for the knight in the center. He could equalize here. But since he is much higher rated, he declined.

    21. c3 Rg2

    Nice tactical awareness. WNe2 is hanging, and b2 comes back into play, this time with the combined pressure of BNc4 and BRe2 (if White captures on b4). That strong BNC4 combined with the BR on the 2nd rank balance out being down an exchange. White’s major pieces lack coordination.

    The rest of the game:

    22. Rhe1 Be7 23. Qxb6 axb6 24. b3 Ne3 25. Rd2 Nf5 26. Rg1 Rh2 27. Kc2 Bxh4 28. Rg8+ Kd7 29. Nc1 Rh3 30. Nd3 f6 31. Re2 Rxf3 32. Rb8 Nd6 33. Rh2 Kc7 34. Rh8 Nf5 35. Kd2 Bg3 36. Re2 Kd7 37. Rh7+ Kd6 38. Rxb7 Here I slowly took over Bxf4+ 39. Nxf4 Rxf4 40. Rxb6 e5 41. dxe5+ fxe5 42. a4 e4 43. a5 Kc7
    44. Rg2 Nd6 45. Rg8 Rf2+ 46. Ke1 Rf3 47. Rh8 Rxc3 48. Rh7+ Kc8 49. Rxh6 Kd7
    50. a6 Rc1+ 51. Kd2 Rg1 52. Rh7+ Kd8 53. Rb8+ Nc8 54. Rh8+ Kd7 55. Rhxc8
    Ra1 56. Ra8 Rxa6 57. Rxa6 Kxc8 0-1

    Thank you again for sharing the games and your thoughts!

  4. It's a luxury problem. Outplaying a higher rated player but not winning by not being able to find an adequate endgame plan FAST. This happens time and again lately. I don't bother anymore. I decided to study the Art of Attack first. For good reason.  


  1. In response to my question: “Why not 17. Ne2?” Tempo asks: Nf2 you mean?

    No, I meant 17. Ne2, withdrawing the c3-knight. I came to that conclusion on my own, prior to seeing any Stockfish analysis.

    After noting your question, I set Stockfish running on Chess Tempo and the evaluation of potential moves (after 5+ minutes) is 17. Ne2 [2..88]; 17. Ka1 [1.64]; 17. e4 [1.53]; 17. Rh2 [1.51]; 17. Rdg1 [1.37]; 17. Rhg1 {1.35]; 17. a3 [1.15]; 17. Nf4 [0.76]. Those evaluations are irrelevant except as an indication of relative worth of potential moves (with the appropriate followup, of course, by Stockfish or another strong engine – not by me).

    After17. Nf4 Nxf4 18. exf4 Nc4 19. Ne2 Qb6 20. Qb3 Rg8 21. c3 Rg2 22. Rhe1 Be7 23. Qxb6 axb6 24. b3 Ne3, the evaluation shifts in Black’s favor.


    I think the Black’s pieces are much more active than White’s at this point. It’s because the BNe3 coordinates well with the BRg2 and the BBe7, with obvious targets on f4, f3 and h4. White will be hard-pressed to cover all of them. Additionally the White king position is somewhat “loose” with the Black rook on the 2nd (7th) rank and the possibility of putting the BB on a3 (as opportunity occurs). With the BNf4, White has no way to break open the e-file using the f-pawns. It seems difficult to coordinate the White rooks with the WN.

    After 25. Rd2 Nf5 26. Rg1, apparently you are looking to either gain control of the g-file or swap off Black’s remaining rook. But Black does not have to go along with your plan: he can target either the f3 or h4 pawn. Since the h6-pawn would be vulnerable on the h-file after capturing the h4-pawn, Black should have targeted the f3 pawn with 26… Rf2, giving you the opportunity to get at least one rook onto Black’s back rank with 26… Rh2 27. Rg8+, even though there are no immediate targets available.

    Your 27. Kc2 is just as good as 27. Rg8+. (You follow up with Rg8+ later.) It induces Black to overestimate the value of grabbing the h- pawn with 27… Bxh4 as compensation for the exchange. 27… Bd6 would have put pressure on f4, preventing your knight from regrouping toward the fantastic outpost on e5. If you can get your knight in there (or at least threaten to put it there), it would be very weakening for Black to try to kick it out with … f6. The weakness is not the Black e6-pawn but instead, the 7th rank that will be open from h7 to b7. Once your rook penetrates on that open 7th rank, it becomes very difficult for Black to coordinate his defense. Imagine the Black bishop on d6, covering b8 and f8 rather than doing nothing on h4; the loss of the initiative is not worth the pawn.

    After 27. Kc2 Bxh4 28. Rg8+ Kd7 29. Nc1 Rh3 30. Nd3 f6 31. Re2 Rxf3 32. Rb8 Nd6 33. Rh2 Kc7 34. Rh8 you are back in control and have attacking possibilities.

    Skipping ahead: did you consider 40. Rg2 with the idea of getting the second rook behind the Black king? If Black is not careful, he could be checkmated in the center of the board! It looks like you would have better chances of fighting the Black pawns with both rooks behind them. It would also make it easier to support the a-pawn in the race to queen a pawn.

    Thanks for the exercise and your comments!

    1. At 17:Ne2: I wanted to invite him to exchange on c3 as long as possible to get rid of his bishop. With knight and queen against queen there is no mate for black. I certainly looked at 40. Rg2 looking for a mate in the middle. With 40.Rxb6 I created a passed pawn on the rim where the black knight has trouble to defend.

  2. For the first time I have plans in the middlegame. For all those years I played without any plans, because plans didn't work due to lack of tactical skills. Now my tactical prowess increases, I started with making plans. Not necessarily the right plans, but I will learn from the feedback. My chess education has begun. That is why I started to study The art of Attack. It will help me to develop plans. I merit the feedback on my middlegame plans more than the missed wins in the endgame.