Monday, September 17, 2012

Live Blog from Week 3

Live from UT Dallas Chess Team Room...

9:52 Alec draws to secure the match. Sarah is winning. I am out. Good job Dallasites!

9:38 2-0! Ino and his crazy games.

9:33 Games cleared up a bit. Alec is clearly in control now as well as Ino. Sarah still has a bit of work to do to convert her advantage.

9:23 Slow making little progress except Sarah letting the game go on longer than it should.

9:09 Everything now looks great for us. Ino up 35 minutes with Perez having 1 minute to find perfect moves. Alec kinda playing too passive with his unstoppable passed pawn but it's still better. Sarah just up a piece for nothing.

9:03 Board 4 is toying with my opinion. It's just flip flopping from "better for white to lost for white to hang a bishop for no reason". I give up trying to predict it.

9:01 Nevermind...just got a glimpse of Sarah's position. Ino CANNOT lose anymore.

9:00 My early prediction is simple: if Ino doesn't lose, we should take this match.  If that happens, then it's a coin toss.

8:55 Ino's horsey is now on f3. Lots of pressure on e4 but just as much pressure from white with his knights.

Alec is trying to trade queens now that he has the passed a-pawn but his opponent is correctly clinging to his king side attack...or lack of it. Not entirely sure how black can break white's fortress in time.

8:48 Ino's games are never done getting more complicated. It's unbelievable. 

8:43 If Alec can somehow trade queens off the board and take on a6 and put bishop on d5...daydreaming again. Sorry.

8:37 Sarah's position is very complicated.  Still better but needs to find correct moves.

8:25 Jeffrey just finished his game. I looked away for a sec then couldn't find his game. I assumed he disconnected again but good news everybody! 1-0 Dallas.

I am not liking Ino's position but I never like Ino's positions.

Sarah seems to be on the right path to a victory while Getz has a Sveshnikov set't ask me.

Season's Successful Debut

Hello Fellow Chess players, 

A bit late but here's Cristian Chirila's analysis of his win in week 1. Enjoy! 

"The first game of the season started with a clean victory against the Seattle Sluggers, by a coincidence I had to play against a fellow Romanian.  1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c6 This is the first surprise, previously he used to play the King's Indian Defense for which I was prepared. 3.e3 [3.Nf3 d5 4.e3 Bg4 Entering a popular line of the Slav defense] 3...g6 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.Be2 0–0 6.0–0 d6 7.Nc3 Nbd7 [7...Bg4 This is the mainline which usually leads to very complicated positions. For example 8.h3 Bf5 9.b4 Qc7 10.Bb2 Re8 11.Nd2 e5 12.e4 exd4 13.exf5÷] 8.b4 a6 9.a4 Re8 10.Ba3 Aiming my bishop towards his future weakness on d6 [10.a5!?] 10...e5 11.b5?! A little too over optimistic, I severely underestimated his response [11.a5 exd4 12.Nxd4 c5 13.Nb3²] 11...exd4 12.exd4 [12.Nxd4?! axb5 13.axb5 c5 14.Nc2 Nb6³ My c4 pawn will be prove to be an important weakness in the future] 12...axb5 13.axb5 c5 14.Re1 b6 [14...cxd4 15.Nxd4 Nb6 16.Qd2 Ng4³ /ยต White already has to think about solving the problem of the c4 weakness if he wants to stay in the game] 15.Bb2 Bb7 [15...Rxa1 16.Qxa1 Nh5 17.g3 cxd4 18.Nd5 d3 19.Bxd3 Rxe1+ 20.Nxe1 Bxb2 21.Qxb2 Nhf6 Black solved all his problems and the game will most probably head towards a peaceful result] 16.Rxa8 Bxa8 17.d5

                                            Position after  17. d5

White already is enjoying a comfortable space advantage which guarantees him a risk free game 17...Bb7 18.h3 h6 19.Qd2 Nf8 20.Bd3 White's plan in this structures is to change the heavy piece in order to be able to use his king and king side pawns in order to create a breakthrough inside blacks camp. 20...Rxe1+ 21.Nxe1 Bc8 22.Nc2 Ne8 23.Ne3 h5?! I think this can be considered as an inaccuracy as it will prove to be a potential target in the endgame. 24.Ne2 Be5 25.f4 Bxb2 26.Qxb2 Qe7 27.Nf1 The start of a wrong plan 27...Ng7 28.Neg3 Nh7 [28...h4! 29.Ne4 (29.Ne2 Bf5 30.Qc2 Nd7=) 29...Nh5³ I completely overlooked this move, black has grabbed the initiative and white is the one on the defending seat] 29.Qa1 Nf6 30.Qa8 Qb7 31.Qxb7 Bxb7 I have reached this endgame thinking that it is most probably a draw, but I was going to try and pose as many problems as I could for my opponent before agreeing to it. 32.Nd2 Bc8 33.Nge4 Nxe4 34.Nxe4 Ne8 35.Nc3 Nc7 36.Na4

                                           Position after 36. Na4

36...Na8 37.Kf2 Kg7 38.Kf3 Kf6 [38...h4 39.Nc3 Nc7 40.Ke3 f6 41.Ne4 Ne8 42.Nd2 g5 43.Kf3²] 39.g4 With the pawn on h6 I think the position would have been much harder to convert. 39...hxg4+ 40.hxg4 Kg7?! [40...Ke7 41.Kg3 Bd7 42.Kh4 Bc8 (42...Kf6 43.Nc3 Nc7 44.Ne4+ Ke7 45.Kg5±) 43.Kg5±] 41.f5 Black is already in trouble 41...gxf5 42.Bxf5+- Bxf5 [42...Bb7 43.Kf4 f6 44.Bd7+-] 43.gxf5 f6 [43...Kf6 44.Kf4 Kg7 45.Kg5 f6+ 46.Kh5 transposes] 44.Kg4 Kg8 45.Kh5 Kh7  

                                          Position after 45...Kh7

White cannot make any progress using his king, therefore its time to redirect the knight to a more powerful square 46.Nc3 Nc7 47.Ne2 Ne8 48.Nf4 Ng7+ 49.Kg4 Kg8 50.Ne6 Kf7 51.Nc7 1-0"

That's it for now. We will have Puchen Wang's analysis of his win in week 2 soon(ish).

Good luck to the team tonight against the mighty Sharks!


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Destiny Excommunicates Archbishops

As the Dallas Destiny manager I'm happy to report that we picked up our first win of the season last Wednesday, beating St Louis 3.5-.5. This win moved us to 2-1 on the season into 3rd place in the Western Division. I know that St Louis was in the process of hosting the Kings vs Queens tournament and as a result I'm sure some of their best USCL players were occupied or worn out. I am going to provide some analysis of the games from boards 3 and 4 from our match. I hope you enjoy!

Board 3: Kiewra-Eckert

1.e4 d6 It just goes to show, you can never successfully prepare for anyone in the USCL because they are also preparing something for you! I hadn't seen any games where Eckert played this move before and I was thoroughly surprised.

2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 e5 Transposing into a Philador. I felt good about this having wins under my belt in this system against such strong players as IM Marko Zivanic and GM Mekheil Kekeleidze.

4.Nf3 Nbd7 5.Bc4 Be7 6.0-0 0-0 7.Bb3 exd4 I'm not sure if this is how the opening is supposed to go or not, but it did not work out in the game due to White's spatial advantage. More common is 7.c6 with ideas to leave the position closed and play on the Queenside.

8.Nxd4 Nc5 9.Re1 Nxb3 10.axb3 c6 11.Qf3 Kh8 12.h3 Be6 13.Nf5 Bxf5 14.Qxf5 Qd7 15.Qf3 The ending is comfortable for white, but I think black suffers more in the middlegame due to his lack of space. White can now play natural developing moves and focus on the weak d6 pawn.

15...a6 16.Bf4 Ne8 17.Rad1 f6 18.Rd3 Rd8 19.Red1 Qe6 20.Ne2 Qf7 21.c4?! Better is Ng3 suppressing black's counterplay. I calculated 21.Ng3 g6 22.Bh6 Rg8 23.e5!? but black seems fine after 23...d5. Thus I played c4 which controls d5 and prepares a c5 thrust. If black answers with b6 my idea works perfectly, however black found active counterplay with...

21...f5! 22.e5 dxe5 23.Rxd8 Bxd8 24.Rxd8 White has no advantage after 24.Bxe5 Bf6! 25.Qxf5 Bxe5 26.Qxe5 Qxf2+

24...exf4 25.Nxf4 g6 26.Qc3+ Ng7 27.Rd6 Kg8 28.Qd4 Re8 29.Rd7 Re7 30.Rd8+ Re8 31.g3 Ne6 32.Nxe6 Qxe6 33.Qd7 Qxd7? The rook ending is a headache for black. Black could equalize here with a series of precise moves: 33...Qe1+ 34.Kg2 Qe4+ 35.Kh2 Rxd8 36.Qxd8+ Kf7 37.Qh8 Qe2 38.Qxh7+ Kf6 39.Qh8+ Kf7 40.Qd4 Qxb2= The match was already over though and the price of this mistake was not very high. Doug offered me a draw which I would have gladly accepted, but because total points are important to the tiebreak system I needed to play on.

34.Rxd7 Re1+ 35.Kg2 Re2 36.Rxb7 Rxb2 37.Ra7 Rxb3 38.Rxa6 c5 39.Rc6 Kg7 40.Rxc5 Kf6 41.Rc8 Rc3 42.h4 h5 43.c5 Ke6 44.c6 f4 45.gxf4 Kf5 46.f3? My friend IM John Bartholomew pointed out that I missed a nice win: 46.c7 Kg4 47.f5! strips black's King of any shelter.

46...Kxf4? White is winning anyway at this point. 47.c7 Rc2+ 48.Kh3 1-0

Board 4: Hua-Xiong

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 0-0 8.Qd2 Nc6 9.0-0-0 d5 10.exd5 Nxd5 11.Nxc6 bxc6 12.Nxd5?! cxd5 13.Qxd5 This line has been almost nonexistent at the high level in the last several years due to the excellent play black receives for the pawn. Michael Adams tried it with white against Alexei Federov in 2001 in a losing effort.

13...Qc7 14.Qc5 Taking the rook on a8 is a bad idea. 14.Qxa8 Bf5 15.Qxf8+ Kxf8 16.Bd3 Qe5 17.Bxf5 Qxe3+ 18.Kb1 Qb6! with a winning position for black.

14...Qb7 15.b3!? more common is 15.Qa3.

15...Bf5 16.Qa5 Rac8 17.Bd3 Qc6 18.Bxf5 gxf5 19.c4 Qg6 20.g3 Rc6 Despite white's extra pawn the position is more pleasant for black who can generate threats against white's King without having to worry about his own King too much. In order for white to win he would have to neutralize black's attack by trading pieces and escape into a favorable ending while avoiding the tactical pitfalls in the position, much easier said than done :)

21.Qd2 a5 22.h4 a4 23.h5 Qe6 24.h6 axb3! Xiong finds a winning piece sac. 24...Bf6 was also winning, but this is nicer and effective.

25.hxg7 Qxc4+ 26.Kb2 Rb8 27.Rc1 bxa2+ 28.Ka1 Rb1+ 29.Rxb1 axb1=Q+30.Kxb1 Qb3+ 31.Qb2 Qd3+ 0-1

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

New Season

Aloha again. We are back for yet another reason of exciting USCL. First week's match vs LA was a doozy. I didn't have the heart to review the games with such swings (at one point or another, all games had +-12 eval for one side). We luckily drew with the GOTW Holt's swindle.

Moving on to week 2, we got our good partners from SF. Interesting fact: every season I debut vs SF. Anyway, I'll go over my game with GM Wolff.

Wolff-SF (2623) - Bercys-DAL (2576) [C06]

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 Be7 4.Ngf3 didn't really expect this move. Wolff hasn't played a lot recently but from his past his move was mainly Bd3.

4...Nf6 5.e5 Nfd7 6.Bd3 c5 7.c3 Nc6 8.0-0 a5 9.a4!? Tough move to judge. White locks up the queen side but gives up a really strong outpost on b4. After the game I saw that Mickey Adams played it before as well but I doubt white has anything.

9...b6 I think better than what Adams' opponents did by playing cxd4 early. This move order does not allow for Nd2-b1-c3 repositioning.

10.Re1 Ba6 11.Bb1 cxd4 12.cxd4 Nb4 13.Nf1 Rc8 14.h4?!

I was taken aback by this move. I didn't know why white had to rush anything. I expected Ra3.

14...Bxh4 NOM 15.Nxh4 Qxh4 16.Nh2 h6 I like this prophylaxis. Dark squared bishop cannot annoy as easily now.

17.Ra3 Rc4 Only move to prevent a serious initiative from taking over.

18.Nf3 Qe7? This is where I started losing it. Correct placement for the queen was on g4. It protects e6 from there and allows safer castling...but I didn't want to castle so the whole idea was just bad.

19.Rae3 Kd8? Following through with the wrong plan. Advantage is almost gone without Kd8...and with it, white puts out tremendous pressure. Correct was the simply Nf8! White has no h pawn to harass the knight on g6. h4-h5 is the main weakness to all g6 knights. Really should have seen this move.

20.Bd2 Rc6 21.Nh2 Kc7 22.Rg3 f5?! This move is technically a "?" move but the reason I played it was to keep some hope alive for a swindle. Our boards 2-4 were not looking so hot so I couldn't force myself to play a correct move g6 which basically gave my opponent permanent initiative.

23.exf6 gxf6 24.Ng4 h5? The stretch from 18th to 24th move is just terrible. Here the simple Qf8! held the balance and was gonna kick out the knight with h5 afterwards.

25.Nh6! I severely underestimated this move. The knight simply cannot be touched.

25...h4? Mistakes will NOT stop. Houdini likes Qf8 Qxh5 e5...but I am not houdini and opening up the position like that as a human is a suicide mission.

26.Rh3? White lets one go. I had no idea that 26. Nf5! Qf8 27. Rg7! was just crushing. Black has no way to survive the onslaught.

Position after 27. Rg7!

Kb7 27.Rxh4 Qf8 The main idea was 27...Nd3 but after recalculating this mess I realized I overlooked some stuff: 28. Nf5 Qf8 29. Rxh8 Qxh8

30. Bxd3 Bxd3 31. Ne7! with a strong attack.

28.Qf3 Ka7 Repositioning for the fight to draw.

29.Qh3 Bc8 30.Nf5 Rg8? Overlooking white's

possible finisher next move...

31.Ng3? Wrong again! 31. Rh7! was similar to 27. Rg7! idea. Game is practically over. With this last error, we enter the endgame phase. I will skip to it... f5 32.Nh5 Nf6 33.Nxf6 Qxf6 34.Rh7+ Ka8 35.Bc3 Qd8 36.Re3 Rc7 37.Rxc7 Qxc7 38.Qh4 Qd7 39.b3 Qc7 40.Qh2 Kb7 41.Rh3 Rg7 42.Qxc7+ Kxc7 43.f3 Kd6?

Overlooking a not so hard drawing resource. 43...Ba6! with the idea of Bd3 was basically forcing white to exchange on b4. Which is very drawish afterwards.

44.Kf2 Bd7 45.Bd2 b5 46.Bf4+ Kc6 47.axb5+ Kxb5 48.Rh8 Nc6 49.Bd6! Oh the trickery...

49...Kb6 50.Bd3 Kb7 51.Be2 Rf7 52.Ke3 Rg7 53.Bf1 Kb6 54.Kf4 Kb7 55.Bc5?! Not sure if white should have allowed my king to get c7. It protects better from there.

55...Kc7 56.g3 Rf7 57.Be2 Kb7 58.Kg5 Rg7+ 59.Kf4 Rf7 60.Ke3 f4+! Only chance to draw.

61.gxf4 Ne7 62.Bxe7 Rxe7 63.Bd3 Rg7 64.Rh7 Rxh7 65.Bxh7 Kc6 66.Bd3 Kd6 67.f5 e5?? I won't post a diagram here as it's not hard to click a link above...but this move. Wow. Leads to a lost endgame. 67...Ke7! followed by Kf6 fortress should hold it...but I thought he could put me in a zug somewhere. Bad, bad, bad.

68.f6! Be8 69.Bf5 Bf7 70.Kd3 Be8 71.Kc3 Bh5 72.Kd3 Be8 73.Ke3 Bf7 74.Bc8 Bh5 75.f4

Game drawn by mutual agreement ?????????????????????????

White is winning. I am sure of it. 75...exd4 76. Kxd4 Bd1 77. Kc3 and black will eventually be put in a zug with black bishop on h5 and white bishop on c8 with white king on c3. It's sometimes better to be lucky than to be good!


Tomorrow, we play Hikaru-less (PHEW!) St. Louis. Let's do this!

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Destiny Unfulfilled.

The ride is over. The flight has landed. Our king is in a checkmate. Ok, enough of the metaphors!

Season is over so let's go over the deciding match top games.

(GM) Gurevich, Dmity - (IM)Bercys, Salvijus

Pre-game facts: I love KID. I do. But I also feel pragmatic enough to know playing KID as black against a player of Gurevich's caliber (especially with his skill to eat KID alive) was not right. I eventually found Dutch and was satisfied with his opening lines for black.

1. d4 f5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Bg5!?

This has been played (with my opponent having a good chunk of the games in this line) before but to be honest this is no way to play against Dutch. I don't see how giving up a bishop compensated for anything. Temporary discomfort? Maybe.

e6 4. Nbd2 Be7 5. Bxf6 Bxf6 6. e4 O-O 7. e5 ?!

A bit surprised is an understatement. And after I check the databases after my game I realized why - only 3 games played.

Be7 8. Bc4 c5 Computer, amazingly like 8...d5 9. cxd6 cxd6 with 10...d5. I understand the position but I think I was right to not go into a positionally damaged position against one of the better positional players.

9. c3 9. d5 is a bit premature as 9...b5! is there. For example, 10. d6 bxc4 11. dxe7 Qxe7 12. Nxc4 Ba6 with Nc6 coming. Or: 10. Bxb5 cxd5 with Bb7 and d6 coming. Bishops will get freaky...

cxd4 10. cxd4 Nc6 Rybka still likes d5...that fish lost its marbles IMO. Also, Nc6 was bad before cxd4 as 11. d5! would have given white a nice comfortable edge.

11. a3? Definitely a mistake. White had to play 11. d5 for any chance to win. 11...Na5 would have followed...

12. d6 Bg5 13. 0-0 {13. Nxg5 Qxg5 14. 0-0 f4 with complicated play} Bh6 !? with b6 and Bb7 coming. Two bishops should suffice.

12. 0-0 !? Nxc4 13. Nxc4 b5! and I felt that black was fine.

11...d5! At least equalizing. Now my knight on c6 will be attacking pawn on d4 after the exchanges and suddenly black is very active.

12. exd6 Qxd6 13. Nb3 a6 very important to kick the bishop out. In the variations without Nc6 and a3 included, a6 was never a threat because white didn't have to defend pawn on d4 with the d2 knight. Now if a4, black has Qb4+.

14. O-O b5 15. Be2 Qd5? I realized this was a mistake when I showed the game to UTD coach Rade Milovanovic. During the game I thought it pressured Nb3, allowed more coverage for c5 through Be7, defended b5 pawn if a4 was ever played and had some tricks after Bb7 on the big diagonal. Useless, useless move! Rd8 followed with Bf6 was the correct choice.

16. Rc1 Rd8 17. Re1 Bf6 I ended up doing the same...with a tempo down. That can't be right.

18. Bf1 Nxd4 I missed some things in the long run when I went for this line. But I am no longer sure if black can fight for advantage here.

19. Nbxd4 Bxd4 20. Nxd4 Qxd4 21. Qf3 Rb8 22.Red1 Qf6 23. Qc6 Rxd1 24. Rxd1 Qe7 25. g3!

Last accuracy. Trading bishops is vital because even the rook endgame with white rook on 7th rank is a draw it seems.

Bb7 26. Qb6 Ra8 27. Rd6 Bd5 No Kf7 as 28. Rxe6 and white is suddenly winning!

28. Bg2 Bxg2 29. Kxg2 Kf7 30. Rc6 Ra7 31. Rxe6 Qxe6 32. Qxa7+ Kg6 { Game drawn by mutual agreement} 1/2-1/2

Not too shabby. Could have definitely played better though.

(IM) Sadorra, Julio - (GM) Amanov, Mesgen

1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Nf3 dxc4 5. e4 A very interesting move that has gained


White basically gives up a pawn b2 for a very

pressuring position.

6. Bxc4 Nxe4 7. O-O Nxc3 8. bxc3 Be7 Black can't take the pawn because of the following line - 9. Rb1 0-0 10. Qd3 Ba5 11. Ng5 g6 12. Qh3 h5 13. g4! with a strong attack.

9. Qe2 O-O 10. Re1 Nc6 This move felt a bit too passive...10...c5 was definitely worth a look.

11. Qe4 Bf6 12. h4 Ne7 Black is simply too passive!

13. Bd3 g6 14. Bg5 Bxg5 15. hxg5 It sure looks like white is gaining quite a bit of initiative, don't you think?

15...Bd7 16. Ne5 Bc6 17. Qh4 Nf5 18. Qf4 Qd6 19.g4?! Risky looking but we had to win the match.

Ne7 20. c4 Be8 21. Rad1 Nc6 22. Be4 Nxd4 23.Kg2! Ba4 24. c5 Qxc5 25. Rh1! (The exclamations are for gutsiness itself.)

Ne2? Loses! Does anyone remember the game "Simpson - Sadorra" where white could have sacrificed a queen and be winning! If you don't remember, check the game out here. 19. Qxd7! is what I am talking about. Now coming back to this won't believe but black is winning again! By sac'ing a queen...again! I don't know if this is Ino's effect where his opponents must sac a queen to win...but check this out. 25...Bxd1 seems to lose to 26. Nd7! but suddenly 26...f5!! and complications arise where the computer likes black. Astounding...

26. Qh2 h5 27. Rd2 Bb5 28. gxh5 gxh5 29. Bf3 Rfd8 30. Rxe2 Bxe2 31. Bxe2 Rd2?? Loses instantly. 32.Qf4!

Rf8 33. Qxd2 Qxe5 34. Bf3 b5 35. Rxh5 Qg7 Here comes the circus! Why else would black clown around? Ino's opponent's hobby perhaps? I look forward to more performances. I left the room around here for an instant.

36. Qd7 c5 37. Qxb5 Qd4 38. Qb1 Rd8 39. Qh7+ I came back and still playing. As coach Rade says, if he enjoys playing a lost position, you should enjoy winning it!

39...Kf8 40. g6 fxg6 41. Qxg6 Rd7 42. Qxe6 Rg7+ 43. Kh3 Rf7 44. Qc8+ Ke7 45. Qc7+ Oh no! White is going for a perpetual!

45...Kf8 46. Qb8+ Ke7 47. Qxa7+ Kf8 48. Qb8+ Ke7 49. Qe5+ Or not...

49...Qxe5 50. Rxe5+ Kd6 51. Rd5+ Ke6 52. Rd3 Ke5 53. Kg3 Rg7+ 54. Bg4 c4 C-pawn reaching dangerous has only three more moves until promotion!

55. Rd7 Rg6 56. f4+ Ke4 57. Rc7 Kd3 58. f5 Ra6 59. Rxc4 Oops. No more C-pawn.

59...Rxa2 60. Rf4 Ke3 61. f6 Ra8 62. f7 Rf8 ! Only move! What great defensive efforts!

63. Bh5... tick tock...

{Black forfeits on time} 1-0

Gutsy game by IM Julio Catalino Sadorra! I hope that Amanov's clowning around does not skew the greatness of this game in the GOTW voting.

Ino was definitely a bright star during this bleak season. If I remember correctly, 4.5 out of 6 for Board 2 was 2nd All-Star team so 5 out of 6 is a clear clinch for sure. Team record does not help much though.

Overall note about the league - I don't follow baseball or football trends, but I was told that in baseball is West is crowded and East is stacked up at top with weaker bottom half. I know the same is in the NBA so it makes you wonder why is USCL the same way too. Anyway, playing in the super competitive west was a blast. Thanks to manager Keaton Kiewra, ass. manager Igor "Freshmans" Schneider, our TDs Tautvydas Vedrickas and Chaitanya Vaidya for their time, and of course our loyal fans. We will see you next season. In the playoffs hopefully!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Victory in the Lone Star State!

Hello again!
So we finally got a way overdue victory against a Carolina. Let's review!

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 3.c4 b6 4.g3 Ba6 5.b3 Bb4+ 6.Bd2 Be7 7.Bg2 c6 8.0-0 d5 9.Qc2 0-0 10.Bf4 Nbd7 11.Rd1 Ne4?!

Up to this moment, I was thinking that my opponent prepared for me. However, this last move (and my opponent thinking for some time still in the opening theory) made me think that my opponent expected my new addition to my white repertoire as I demonstrated over last few months.

Here I sat down to analyze why Ne4 is not played instead of Rc8. Rc8 had a vital role of protecting c-file of any invasion from white's queen. Additionally, white usually places knight on c3 blocking that idea but only after Rc8...

12.Nbd2 g5!? I saw this move but I pushed it to the back of my mind as I did not expect my opponent purposely weakening his position in such a drastic way. 13.Be3 f5 14.cxd5 cxd5 15.Qc6 I was really happy with this position to be honest. I thought I had really strong momentum here. However, I missed the simple 15...Kh8! and I can't take the pawn since the queen is suddenly trapped! 16. Qxe6 Rf6 17. Qxd5 Nc3. Oops?
Position after 17...Nc3

Luckily my opponent missed this fantastic resource and went for the move that I thought couldn't possibly work because so much would fall. My intuition was right. f4? 16.Qxe6+ Kg7 17.Nxe4 fxe3 17...dxe4 fails due to 18. Ne5! +/- 18.Nc3? Obvious blunder. I felt like there were just too many moves that were good and I must have went for the worst one out there. Lacking the great in depth calculative abilities I thought that line 18. Qxd5 Bxe2 19. Nexg5 Bxg5 20. Nxg5 exf2+ 21. Kh1 is a bit dangerous and pawn on f2 made me really uneasy. exf2+ 19.Kxf2 Nf6 20.Kg1 Bc8? Black returns the favor yet again!
20...Rc8! offered quite a bit of pressure and compensation.
Possibly black's last chance.

21.Qe3? This move is a blunder simply because I missed a clear win with 21. Qe5! h6 22. Nxg5! hxg5 23. Nxd5 and white wins. Ng4 22.Qd2 Bb4 23.a3 Bxc3 24.Qxc3 Ba6 25.h3 Nf6 26.Nxg5 Qe7 27.e4 I sat here for quite a while. My first consideration was 27. Qc7! but after I saw Nd7 I ruled it out as insufficient. Or to be more specific - downright scary. I just wanted to stay in control. h6 Obviously 27...dxe4 28. d5 +- 28.Qb4! I was really happy I found this move because it helped liquidate some material and make this game a lot easier. Qd7 29.e5 hxg5 30.exf6+ Rxf6 31.Re1 Re8 32.Rxe8 Qxe8 33.Re1 Re6 34.Rxe6 Qxe6 35.Qd2 Kf6 36.h4! Finishing blow. gxh4 37.Qh6+ Kf7 38.Qxe6+ Kxe6 39.gxh4 Be2 40.Kf2 Bd1 41.Bh3+ Kf6 42.b4 a5 43.Kg3 axb4 44.axb4 Bh5 45.Kf4 Bg6 46.Bg2 Bf7 47.Bf3 Be6 48.h5 Bf7 49.h6 Bg8 50.Bh5 Bh7 51.Bd1 Be4 52.Bf3 Bc2 53.Bxd5 Kg6 54.Be4+ Bxe4 55.Kxe4 Kxh6 56.Kd5 Black resigns 1-0

Quick notes on the other three games:

Simpson,Ron (2330) - Sadorra,Julio (2471) [E06]

Ino is a nut job. And he somehow wins those positions! I, for one, don't know how! Game was insane and impossible to evaluate for a human. There is absolutely no point in running this game through a computer since it will show mistakes from as soon as complications started to until they died. Human element of chess cannot be accounted for. Maybe Ino will post his thoughts later. For Ron Simpson's analysis, click here.

Keaton...well as GM Dan said "Keaton I love you but your openings couldn't get any worse!"

Position after move 16. Qd1

22 moves later...
Move 39. How did THIS happen? I don't know either.

Bapat,Udayan (2214) - Lopez,Nelson (2229) [D20]

Last not but not least our hero for few matches himself lost and he couldn't have picked a better day! This game started off with fireworks right off the bat. 3. exd5 promised a super sharp play afterwards...wait...I am confusing variations here... it's the dreaded exchanged French! I for one, am not sure, how exchanged French is suppose to play for a win. Draw, maybe. Win? Unlikely.

Of course, Nelson took this game into his hands and made most of this dreadfully boring variation.

14...g5?! as the game proved seemed dubious at best. 14...Rb2! offered good chances and great counter-play.

Final note: I hope Ino (Julio for those who didn't catch on yet) wins or at least qualifies for some prize in this week's GOTW. The game is TOO crazy to not qualify!

Until the next blue moon...