Saturday, October 8, 2016

2016 Kung Fu Open Round 3 Christopher Johnson, 1737 - Anton Taylor, 1844 Dutch Defense (A80)

Christopher Johnson, 1737 - Anton Taylor, 1844
Dutch Defense (A80)

1. d4 f5 2. c3 e6 3. Qc2 d6 4. Nf3 Nf6 5. Bg5 Be7 6. Nbd2 Nc6 from transposition we get into a rare Dutch setup. After the previous round's game I was mentally fatigued and that may explain the strange move order. I'm just not sure. 7. e4 fxe4 8. Nxe4 O-O Komodo prefers 8. ... Nxe4 to the text move preserving the pieces. I think in a human versus human contest preserving pieces reduces the chances of trading pieces into a draw. However, on the other hand perhaps wanting the trade eevrything off would have reduced the burden on my already overtaxed brain. 9. Bd3 h6 10. Bxf6 Bxf6 11. Nxf6+ Qxf6 As you see I turned out alright ... White volunteered the tradeoffs ... these trades can only benefit black. 12. O-O Bd7 13. Rae1 Rae8 14. Re3 The engine prefers Nd2 here but I think after d5 Black rids himself of his one major weakness and is probably fine with an equal position. 14. ... Ne7 15. Nd2 Bc6 16. Be4 Nf5 This is the decisive mistake. The knight looks well posted on f5 but has no real future there AND the biggest drawback of this move is that it allows White to destroy Black's queenside which as you will see gets mopped up easily. 17. Rf3 Qe7 18. Bxc6 bxc6 19. Re1 Rf6 20. Nf1 Qf7 21. Ng3 Nxg3 22. Rxf6 Qxf6 23. hxg3 e5 24. Qa4 Rf8 25. Re2 exd4 26. cxd4 Qf5 27. Qxc6 Qb1+ 28. Kh2 Qd1 Qxa2 is a better try for equality but I considered putting the queen so far out of the play was bad. My opponent even mentioned this capture to me after the game. 29. Qe4 Qa4 30. b3 Qd7 And in enormous time pressure I crack blitzing moves by allowing the trade of the pieces. (which in this endgame meant death even with a slightly more active king. 1-0

This game teaches me a very important lesson about trading. Sometimes you should trade. I had at the time been listening religiously to GM Igor Smirnov's Youtube videos and his catchy advice is "To take is a mistake" ... of course he admits that there are reasons to make captures many times in games but I took the advice too literal and it cost me dearly in this game. My opponent had done well this tournament and won himself clear first (gaining numerous rating points after this tournament).

2016 Kung Fu Open Round 2 Anton Taylor, 1844 - Leonard Gay, 1768 Elephant Gambit (C40)

Anton Taylor, 1844 - Leonard Gay, 1768
Elephant Gambit (C40)

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 d5 Oh, wow! I knew nothing of the Elephant Gambit prior to this game. I never expected to see it in tournament play to be honest. From this moment on I was left to my own powers. As you will see I very nearly lost my skin in this encounter. Needless to say, after this game I did a lot of work on this gambit and I'm confident it is just a fun way for black to play for tactical tricks and lose a pawn in the process. 3. exd5 e4 4. Qe2 Qe7 5. Nd4 Qe5 6. Qc4 This was my "brilliant" novelty. I had no idea what the book moves were here (it's simply Nb3 with thoughts of Nc3 in the near future.). This is probably fine for white but the evaluation from Komodo drops his advantage to "slightly better". 6. ... a6 7. Nb3 (7. Nc3 b5 8. Nc6 was a position I did not see and my fear of b5 leads me off the path.) 7... Bd7 8. Nc3 Nf6 9. Nc5 I thought this was a good way to get the two bishops. As it turns out this leads to Black starting to get a better position by trading a useless Bishop for a working knight. Be2 or Qd4 might be better alternatives. 9. ... Bxc5 10. Qxc5 Nc6 With this neat tactical trick Black gains control of the game and doesn't let up. 11. a4 b6 12. Qc4 Ne7 13. Be2 O-O 14. b3 Nexd5 15. Bb2 Qe6  The last few moves are evaluated as swinging wildy from equality to a black advantage and with this position there is a kind of equalibrium reached with black looking better. White is dreaming of a safe shore but to tell the truth I was mentally exhausted. So many pieces on the board in unfamiliar territory to calculate I was swimming and fearing cracking. 16. O-O c5 17. Rfe1 Nb4 18. Qxe6 Bxe6 19. Rac1 Rad8 20. Red1 And now with more ridiculous play from both sides we reach a position with black clearly better and even dominant. It will take work but black should be able to convert this to a win by adding pressure on c2 or the d-file. 20. ... Rd6 21. Kf1 Rfd8 22. Ke1 Bf5 23. h3 e3 24. d3 exf2+ 25. Kxf2 Nfd5 26. Nxd5 Nxd5 26... Nxd3+ was a sacrifice that my opponent wanted to make but could not make work in his head. However, it gained me some more time on my clock. Time that ultimately led to a blitz battle that I won. 27. Bf3 1-0

Some key games for this gambit are as follows:

Leisebein, Peter - Froemmel, Andreas
Correspondence Game 1987

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 d5 3. exd5 e4 4. Qe2 Qe7 5. Nd4 Qe5 6. Nb5 a6 7. d4 Qe7 8. N5c3
Bf5 9. g4 Bg6 10. Bg2 h5 11. g5 f5 12. gxf6 Nxf6 13. Nd2 e3 14. fxe3 Bxc2 15.
e4 Qb4 16. Nf3 Ba4 17. a3 Qb3 18. Nd2 Qc2 19. e5 1-0

Nixdorf, Andre - Schulz, Hans Juergen
Hamburg 2007

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 d5 3. exd5 e4 4. Qe2 Qe7 5. Nd4 Qe5 6. Nb5 Na6 7. c4 Nf6 8.
N1c3 c6 9. d4 Qf5 10. dxc6 bxc6 11. f3 Bb4 12. a3 cxb5 13. axb4 O-O 14. Nxe4
Nxb4 15. Ra5 Bd7 16. Nxf6+ Qxf6 17. Qd2 Nc6 18. Rxb5 Rfe8+ 19. Kf2 Nxd4 20. Rd5
Nb3 21. Qg5 Qe6 22. Qe3 Nxc1 23. Qxc1 Bc6 24. Rd1 Ba4 25. Rd3 Rab8 26. Ra3 Qe5
27. Qc3 Rxb2+ 28. Kg1 Qc5+ 0-1

Paul Morphy - Augustus Mongredien
Paris 1859

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 d5 3. exd5 e4 4. Qe2 Qe7 5. Nd4 Qe5 6. Nb5 Bd6
7. d4 Qe7 8. c4 Bb4+ 9. Bd2 Bxd2+ 10. Nxd2 a6 11. Nc3 f5
12. O-O-O Nf6 13. Re1 O-O 14. f3 b5 15. fxe4 fxe4 16. Ncxe4
bxc4 17. Qxc4 Kh8 18. Bd3 Bb7 19. Nxf6 Qxf6 20. Rhf1 Qd8
21. Rxf8+ Qxf8 22. Qb4 1-0

2016 Kung Fu Open Round 1 Lu Zhang, 1662 - Anton Taylor, 1844 Caro-Kann Defense (B12)

Lu Zhang, 1662 - Anton Taylor, 1844
Caro-Kann Defense (B12)

1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 Bf5 4. Bd3 Bxd3 5. Qxd3 e6 After this game was played my friend SIM Wolff Morrow recommended the following line to me as giving black an edge and I have to agree. (5... Qa5+ 6. Bd2 Qa6 7. Qxa6 Nxa6 Komodo still believes this to be equal but a human ... well, it looks easier to play for black. ) 6. Nf3 Nd7 7. O-O Qb6 This is a sideline I enjoy playing. 8. a4 This is a novelty. It makes some sense to grab space here but push too hard and I think white will get into trouble (as in this game). Komodo believes this is equal but recommends my reply. 8. ... c5 9. a5 Qc6 10. c3 Ne7 11. Bf4 Komodo assesses this position as equal. I think this move is simply a istake. Black will get in h6 and g5, gain a tempo, and possibly get in a Nf8-g6 maneuver. ... This was my idea and you can thank GM Simon Williams for the inspiration from his work on The Lion and the Dutch Defense. 11. ... h6 12. Bg3 12. b4 was a much better alternative and may well be the reason that Qc6 is less favored than Qc7 earlier. After b4 b5 comes with gain of tempo and black's queenside starts to look silly. With the absence of the light square bishop perhaps a6 might have been an ok reply to b4 when white's a-pawn becomes a target if he opens the b-file. The question remains though, In that case what will black's plan be for his sad bishop on f8 in that case? g6 followed by bg7? That doesnt work. Nf5 followed by Be7? That's probably the best try but it leads to an equal position. 12. ... g5 13. Nbd2 Nf5 14. Rfe1 Be7 It is here that Komodo starts to see an advantage for black. The "tall pawn" on e7 is actually contributing to the kingside attack by holding g5 and there is no way for white to add pressure to that square. It is a testament to white's former superior position though that the evaluation is only now good for black after white has wasted some moves. 15. Nf1 h5 16. h3 O-O-O Castling is probably unnecessary or even slightly dangerous here but I felt I needed the extra rook to join in the attack to ensure success. 17. N3h2?? A decisive blunder under pressure. From here the game is won. 17. ... h4 18. a6 b6 19. b4 c4 20. Qb1 hxg3 21. Nxg3 Nh4 22. Ng4 Rdg8 23. Ra2 Ng6 24. b5 Qc7 25. Ne2 Nf4 26. Nxf4 gxf4 27. Qd1 Nf8 28. Qf3 Ng6 29. Kf1 Bg5 30. Nf6 Bxf6 31. exf6 Nh4 32. Qe2 f3 33. gxf3 Qh2 34. Qe5 Qxh3+ 35. Ke2 Qxf3+ 36. Kd2 Qxf2+ 37. Re2 Nf3+ 0-1