Kenilworth Kibitzer

A blog for members of the Kenilworth Chess Club.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

 

Playing that Special Someone, Part 1

Most chess players probably have that one opponent who, although they are otherwise no more skilled than you, seem to dominate you in face to face match-ups.  One or two drubbings can be written off as bad form or bad luck, but anything more starts to look like a pattern.  

Last week I was playing just that opponent in the Westfield Club Championship.  Up until this year, we had played 4 times and I was down +0 -2 =2, with one of the two draws being a lucky save on my part.  Then a few months ago we met again, and I was prepared, psychologically ready to trash my nemesis.  After a cute tactical trick I was piece up in a rook endgame, when I decided under time pressure to sac back the piece to take the rooks off the board and transpose to a won king and pawn endgame (so I thought).  It was only in the midst of this horrid combination I realized my opponent could promote a pawn if all the pieces were off, so I had to break off midway and try to defend a rook vs bishop endgame, which I ultimately failed to do.  I would post the position except I think I would have to gouge my eyes out like Oedipus if I saw it again.  

So now the score was +0 -3 =2, and worse I had another bad memory to contemplate.  For this most recent game, I was reminded of Kasparov's comment about how Polugaevsky felt in a candidates match against Karpov - 'Is it altogether possible to beat this person?'   

I have Black in this game:

1. e4    e5          Lately I've played the Ruy Lopez from both sides
2. Nf3  Nc6
3. d4    PxP       Imagine my surprise to get the Scotch splashed in my face
4. NxP  Nf6      Here I got ready for a dive into the complexities after 5. NxN bxN 6. e5!? Qe7
5. Nc3  Bb4      Instead we get the tepid 4 Knights
6. f3?!  O-O
7. Be2  d6?!      d5 is clearly stronger, but I was setting the ol' sucker trap, hoping...

8. O-O??  (Praise be!)  NxN         and 9. QxN?? is met by Bc5 pinning the Queen

Here White could have resigned, but given our record why do that?   Thankfully, my opponent played on, because otherwise we would have been robbed of an interesting game (foreshadowing: I do not cooly convert my extra piece).

9. Bc4    Bxc3
10. bxc3 Nc6
11. Qe1   Be6?!   d5 is already stronger
12. Bd3  Ne5
13. Bg5  h6
14. Bh4  Ng6
15. f4?!   NxN
16. QxN
With few pieces left on the board, Black needs only one or two more consolidating moves to put paid to any White threats.  I decided to maneuver my knight back to c5 with gain of tempo on the White queen, but I forgot to check all move orders thinking White simply had to avoid the queen exchange.

16. .....   Nd7??     But this traps the unfortunate bishop
17. QxQ  RxQ
18. f5      Bxf5?!   Bxa2 was surely better but I was not in an objective mood here
19. exf5  f6

Leading to the following endgame which will be discussed in Part 2.  Looks easy, right?  A pawn up (almost two with White's doubled isolated pawns), a knight that looks more mobile than its bishop counterpart.  All true, but all the same it transpires that the White's position is almost defensible, and we will see that a draw can be achieved in some circumstances.


Comments:
Ian,
You're not going to say who it is that you played?
 

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]



Links to this post:

Create a Link



<< Home

Archives

February 2009   March 2009   April 2009   May 2009   June 2009   July 2009   August 2009   September 2009   October 2009   November 2009   December 2009   January 2010   February 2010   March 2010   April 2010   May 2010   June 2010   July 2010   August 2010   September 2010   October 2010   November 2010   December 2010   January 2011   February 2011   March 2011   April 2011   May 2011   June 2011   January 2012   February 2012   March 2012   May 2012   July 2012   December 2012   January 2013   February 2013   July 2013   October 2013   March 2014  

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to Posts [Atom]