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...

Monday, September 27, 2010

A Star is Born...

My name is Daniel Fernandez, IM from Texas. I am an ex-UTD student and still maintain close contacts with several of my ex-teammates from Dallas. This is the main reason I decided to join the team this year. I always closely watch the Destiny matches while they are played on ICC and this time I decided to share some thoughts from a particular game played by our new star, IM Julio Sadorra from Philippines.

Julio has been one of the few bright spots on the Destiny this year and following is his week 5 victory. Since joining the team Julio has provided a great spark (going 2-0 the past two weeks) and has proven to be a great addition to our team.

IM Sadorra,Julio (2471) - IM Brooks,Michael (2411) [E00]

Week 5, 20.09.2010

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 A move order that is becoming more and more popular. White is avoiding the Queen's and Nimzo Indians (considered two of Black's best chances for equality against 1.d4) and instead opting to play a Catalan against 3...d5 or against Bogo-Indian (3...Bb4). Also, it is worth mentioning that if White uses this move order he is limiting himself to playing the fianchetto variation against the Benoni (not necessarily a bad thing) or 4.Nf3 in response to 3...c5, which has been a battleground for many top level games over the past few years 3...Bb4+ 4.Bd2 Bxd2+ 5.Qxd2 d6 6.Bg2 0-0 7.e4 e5 8.Ne2!? A novelty proposed by Avrukh in Volume II of his Opening repertoire for White.

8...c5 9.d5 b5? This move looks far from sound. Black attempts to get a Benko-style position but with a few significant drawbacks. First, e5 is occupied by a pawn so Nbd7-e5-c4 ideas are nonexistent. This makes Black's only viable option for his b8 knight the more passive Nb8-a6-c7 route, which is not aesthetically pleasing. Secondly, White is able to construct a 'fortress' to neutralize Black's play on the a- and b-files by being able to have in a4 and knights on c3 and b5, limiting the scope of Black's rooks on the a- and b-files [Better is 9...Na6 10.Nbc3 Nc7 11.0-0 Rb8 12.a4 b6 13.Nc1 a6 14.Nd3 b5 15.b3 (Worse is 15.cxb5 axb5 16.b4 c4 17.Nb2 bxa4 18.Ncxa4 c3 19.Qxc3 Nb5 20.Qd2 Nd4 with compensation -Avrukh) 15...Nd7 16.cxb5!N axb5 17.b4 c4 18.Nb2 += Avrukh] 10.cxb5 a6 11.Nbc3 axb5 12.Nxb5 Ba6 13.Nec3 Qb6 14.a4 Nbd7?

This normal-looking move is wrong. Black's pieces get bundled up because of his lack of space. The d7 knight's only shot of getting into the game will be via b6, but that would require moving the queen and even so, White can easily stop any ...Nc4 intrusions by simply playing b3 or moving Bf1 at some point. Being down a pawn, Black was hesitant to trade pieces but in Benko-type positions, trading is never too bad unless it involves one of your rooks (your main compensation for the sacrificed pawn) [Better is 14...Bxb5 15.Nxb5 Na6 16.0-0 Nc7 17.Nxc7 Qxc7 after this series of trades, Black now clears the a- and b-files in order to allow his rooks free movement along these files. It is not so easy for White to deal with this. For example: 18.b4 cxb4 19.Qxb4 Rfb8 20.Qa3 Nd7 21.Rfb1 Nc5 22.a5 h6 23.Rxb8+ Qxb8; Black does not have enough compensation for the pawn but he is definitely doing better than he was before the trades]

15.0-0 Rfb8 16.Rfb1 Ne8 Black finally gets the idea but it would have been more efficient to use the other knight to begin with 17.a5?

White's first mistake of the game. This move seems too committal. It softens up both the knight on b5 as well as the a5 pawn, giving Black unnecessary hope.

17...Qd8 18.Bf1 Ndf6 Black correctly puts the d7 knight on f6 to pressure e4. Also, and more importantly, d6 is now defended by someone other than the e8 knight making ...Nc7 possible next move 19.Bd3 Its hard to find a better move, for example: [19.f3 Nc7 20.Nxc7 Qxc7 when Black seems to have taken care of most of his problems; 19.b4 cxb4 20.Rxb4 Bxb5 21.Nxb5 Rxa5 22.Rxa5 Qxa5=] 19...Bc8 [Trying to win his pawn back by using tactical means doesn't work, for example: 19...Bxb5 20.Nxb5 Nxe4 21.Bxe4 Rxb5 22.Bxh7+! Kf8 23.a6±; Better is 19...Nc7]

20.f4 Nd7 [I am still not sure why Black didn't play 20...Rxa5 after 21.fxe5 (21.Rxa5 Qxa5 22.Na3 exf4 23.Nc4 Qc7 24.gxf4 Ba6 25.b3 +=) 21...dxe5 22.Qe3 Rxa1 23.Rxa1 Qb6 24.Bc4 += Where in both cases White still has a positional advantage but at least Black is not losing by any material] 21.Qe1 Ba6 With this move again Black prefers to keep the tension. Maybe he is holding out for a more opportune time to take on a5? [21...Rxa5 22.Rxa5 Qxa5 23.Ra1 Qb6 24.Bc4 +=] 22.Qe3? The queen was playing a great role on e1 (keeping both e4 as well as a5 defended). I did not see the point of moving her from there except to defend the d3 bishop to avoid ...Nc7 tactics. If that was the problem then why not just move the d3 bishop? [Better is 22.Bf1] 22...Ndf6!

Taking advantage of the poor position of White's queen because now 23.fe5 is met by ...Ng4! Also, now the knight on d7 is no longer undefended once the queen leaves d8, therefore, Black is now threatening to take on b5 and recover his pawn on a5

23.Be2 Bxb5 24.Nxb5 Rxa5 25.Rxa5 Qxa5 26.Na3 Qa4 27.Nc4 Qa2?! Overextending the queen. It would have been wise to keep her on a4 from where she can still assist operations on the queenside but simultaneously be able to swing to the kingside via d7 in case things open up on that side of the board [Better is 27...Rb3 28.Qc1 exf4 29.gxf4 Qd7! unclear] 28.Qd3 Rb3?

Smothering his own queen, losing a tempo, and giving White strong counterplay along the a-file all with one move. After this move Sadorra is relentless in bringing home the point finding one precise move after another.

29.Qd1 Qa4 30.fxe5 dxe5 31.Ra1 Qb4 32.d6 Nd7 33.Ra8 Kf8 34.Nxe5! g6 [34...Nxe5 doesn't help: 35.d7 Nxd7 36.Qd6+! Kg8 37.Rxe8+ Nf8 38.Rxf8#] 35.Nxd7+ Kg7 36.Rxe8 Rxb2 37.Rb8 1-0

Sunday, September 26, 2010

First half review


Arun promised a very easy season in 2011 if I blogged. Who I am to say no to that?

So far it's been like a bad, bad dream. Seems like nothing is going our way (I am not helping).
Let's quickly review first 5 weeks.

Week 1
San Francisco - Dallas
Great start! Got bashed. I over pressed a position where I was up a pawn but basically had no advantage. I remember thinking I had chances but Danya found a precise equalizer with 24...Qd7. At the same time I saw Nelson was suffering greatly and I was very unsure about Keaton's craziness. Puchen seemed like the only one holding his own. Seeing that, I decided I had to win to have a chance for a draw even and pushed. Denied!

Week 2
LA - Dallas
I didn't play but I remember our Blizzardeer held his own against Melik in the same opening that they played just 3 weeks ago in US Open. Keaton held his ground and drew as well. Nelson delivered a nice win while Tyler won a rollercoaster game with time pressure. Dallas on board!

Week 3
Dallas-St. Louis
Wasn't playing once again, but I was in the playing area after my class. I remember seeing Alejandro going for the sac but I was unsure if he could consolidate his position before GM of the year regrouped. Sadly, latter happened. Meanwhile, Keaton held his own but Tyler was getting positionally outplayed. Soon it was all over and Nelson was last playing for tiebreaks. Setback.

Week 4
Very, very painful loss. It was a must win match and everything went wrong. I won a pawn rather easily but missed a breakthrough with d5 that would have basically finished the game. Later I also messed up an endgame. Shameful game.

Ino made his USCL debut and rocked with his usual crazy position. Bottom 2 boards lost 2 close games and that was all she wrote.

Week 5
St. Louis-Dallas Part II: Revenge of the Nerds (should have been anyway!)
If there was a single match that we should have won it was this. However, as tragedy struck again, 4 white wins later it was 2-2. I (for who knows what reason) decided sacking a pawn would be fun.

I remember looking at 18. Bxc6 bxc6 19. Rx6 Be4 but 20. Nd4 left black hopeless. Once again, I don't know why I sacked. Rf3 was just a follow through that offered some chances and I almost made them work. But I completely missed a tactic associated with h3. Oh well.

Really tough part was when Tyler let a pretty nice position slip with his 36...g4? I am not sure as to what he saw but I was very confused why he went for such complication when Bayaraa was up a queen. Team matches make people do crazy things. I won't even mention the really unfortunate end to this match.

So here we are...1.5-3.5. The universe is conspiring against us...or maybe it's all Arun's fault. Somehow. Do you know he enjoys torturing his calculus students? Pure evil!

Tomorrow vs Carolina. I won't be predicting anything because there is nothing to predict. Every match we come expecting a win. Whether board 1 is "Why did you keep playing after your team lost?" GM or IM Schroer.

I'll review other matches sometime soon too. Maybe tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Dallas Destiny recap

Hello All,

My name is Keaton Kiewra. I am a member of the Dallas Destiny, and also happen to be the mangager. We have had a disappointing start to our season with a record of 1-3. Our first 3 weeks we played the toughest schedule of anyone in the league, and started 1-2 which was not terrible, however our loss last week to the Arizona Scorpions was very disappointing.

It was a match that we needed to win, and definitely could have won. Our new board 2 stud, IM Julio Sadorra, made quick work of FM Warren Harper (who is a very strong player!) with black. At that point my game with FM Robby Adamson, as well as Bayarra Zorigt's game with David Adelberg, were unclear. IM Sal Bercys had a big advantage vs IM Levon Altounian, so we appeared to be in very good shape. As fate would have it Bayarra and I lost our games, and Sal was held to a draw.

I take our week 4 loss entirely upon my shoulders. It was my responsibility to find a way to beat Robby with white, or at least to not lose the game. I chose a bad opening, made positional inaccuracies throughout the game, and played too aggressively in an equal position. These mistakes cost me the game and ultimately cost our team the match. I promise my team that I will play better the rest of the season, and I guarantee that we will bounce back from this rough start. The Dallas Destiny has a lot of heart, and we are also way too strong to continue to be held back. Look for us to bounce back Monday with a win over a depleted St Louis lineup.