Friday, November 16, 2007

Chess: Another London Win, a Caro Kann Draw

[Event "ICC correspondence 2007Quad.08.02"]
[Site "Internet Chess Club"]
[Date "2007.08.18"]
[White "sdo1"]
[Black "The7thGuest"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteElo "1971"]
[BlackElo "2035"]
[ICCResult "Black resigns"]
[Opening "King's Indian: London system"]
[ECO "A48"]
[NIC "QP.03"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 g6 3. Bf4 Bg7 4. e3 O-O 5. Nc3


This is a thematic and positional mistake. White should play the Knight to d2 instead of c3 if developing before moving the c pawn in any case, and especially in the London where c3 is a support for d4 and the Knight at d2 helps support the thematic e4 push coming later.

5. ...d6 6. h3 Nbd7 7. Bd3 c5 8. O-O a6 9. a4 b6


I was not happy with my position. The fifth move still irked me. In OTB play that would probably have been enough to lose the game for me, and as improving real time play is a reason I play correspondence, perhaps I can translate the experience into a beneficial mindset OTB. The position, while not what I wanted, is still a good one and 9. a4 took steam out of any expansion Black had wanted Queen side.

10. d5 h6 11. e4 g5 12. Bh2 g4 13. hxg4 Nxg4 14. Bg3 Nde5 15. Nxe5 Nxe5 16. Re1


Black lashed out with his King side pawns and his Knights, but I think he only damaged his position. The dark Bishop is still a nuisance to him, his Knight's post is temporary, and his King has a lot of open attacking ground to the front. My goal from here was to exchange off his King side pieces while getting my pieces to the King side. If he didn't exchange off his Knight for the light Bishop, I had several candidate plans with the f and e pawns and the e file to get my pieces into the action. One enticing target is the isolated h pawn.

16. ...Bd7 17. Qh5 Bg4 18. Qh2 Nxd3 19. cxd3 Ra7 20. Re3 Kh7 21. Bf4 Rh8 22. Rg3 Bd7 23. Re1 b5


I thought 23...b5 was a mistake. I was expecting something to get the Queen involved in the center or King side defense. Perhaps Qf8, e5, or f6 were better defensive tries.

24. Qh5 Qf8 25. e5 dxe5 26. Bxe5 Rg8 27. Ne4


Now my pieces are all on the King side and in great attacking position. Black doesn't have time to do anything on the Queen side with his pawns and Rook and still defend the King.

27. ...Bxe5 28. Qxe5 Rxg3 29. Nxg3 Bc8


After the exchanges and the retreat of the Bishop, White's pieces are still in attacking position, the Black King is still exposed to those pieces, the Black Queen is the only Black piece directly defending the King but is very over worked. The ISO doubled d pawns can't be exploited and the d5 pawn will soon advance into the Black position. The Black Queen side is ready to give up material.

The White Queen rules all, attacking in every direction and in command of the board.

30. axb5 axb5 31. Rc1 Bd7 32. Rxc5 f6 33. Qe3 Ra2 34. Rc7 {Black resigns} 1-0


33...Qf7 or Qe8 probably gave the most resistance. Ra2 loses material very quickly. After 34...Qd8 35. d6 the e pawn will fall and Black will be compelled to lose more material.

In the other game of our match (2007Quad.08.01) I relied on my trusted Caro Kann against the higher rated player. The Caro Kann player must not fear the exchange of his light Bishop, and in fact he must be able to embrace it in several lines of the Classical variation. The tempi invested by White in the exchange should allow Black more than enough compensation.

In this game the CK lives up to its dull reputation as both players could find no chinks in the opposition's defense.

[Event "ICC correspondence 2007Quad.08.01"]
[Site "Internet Chess Club"]
[Date "2007.08.18"]
[Round "-"]
[White "The7thGuest"]
[Black "sdo1"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[WhiteElo "2055"]
[BlackElo "1969"]
[ICCResult "Game drawn by mutual agreement"]
[Opening "Caro-Kann: classical variation"]
[ECO "B18"]
[NIC "CK.10"]

1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Bf5 5. Ng3 Bg6 6. Nf3 Nf6 7. Nh4 e6 8. Nxg6 hxg6 9. c3 Nbd7 10. Bd3 Bd6 11. Qf3 e5 12. Be3 exd4 13. Bxd4 Qe7+ 14. Qe2 Be5 15. Bxe5 Nxe5 16. O-O-O O-O-O 17. Bc2 Qc7 18. Rxd8+ Rxd8 19. h3 Re8 20. Rd1 Ned7 21. Qd2 Nb6 22. Kb1 Kb8 23. Qg5 a6 24. Bb3 Nbd5 25. Qh4 Qe5 26. Qc4 Qc7 {Draw (Black Offered)} 1/2-1/2


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