Saturday, July 29, 2017

2017 On The Move Round 1 Matt Gurley, 1746 - Anton Taylor, 2027 Caro-Kann: Advnace Variation (B12)

2017 On The Move Round 1
Matt Gurley, 1746 - Anton Taylor, 2027
Caro-Kann: Advnace Variation (B12)

1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 c5 4. c3 Nc6 5. Be3 Bf5 6. Nf3 cxd4 7. cxd4 e6 8. Nc3 Bb4 9. Rc1 Nge7 10. Bd3 O-O 11. O-O Bg4?? After a few moves moving "out of book" by both sides I commit a huge error allowing the thematic Bxh7 bishop sacrifice that would have shortly won the game for white had he seen the possibility. Fortunately he did not. 12. h3 Bh5?? Bf5 was forced preventing the Bishop sac. Once more my opponent misses it. 13. a3 Ba5? Same reasons as the last several moves. the sac is up in the air and needs addressed. 14. Ne2 Bxf3 15. gxf3 Nf5 Ng6 is a little more accurate but this move works as well for an even yet unbalanced position with possibilities. 16. Ng3? Nxd4 is playable, probably winning, but VERY sharp. A computer makes the move quickly but a human would have to put in a lot of work to ensure that he both keeps the extra pawn and doesn't die to the given initiative of a capture. 16. ... Nxe3 17. fxe3 Qh4 18. Kg2 f6 19. f4 fxe5 20. fxe5 Rxf1 21. Nxf1 Rf8 22. Qg4? This allows a combination. Rf2+ 23. Kg1 Qxg4+ 24. hxg4 Rxb2 25. Rb1 Rxb1 26. Bxb1 Bc3 I knew this move was the error in my position even as I played it. I could find no forcing line and often in such positions I blindly move minor pieces around. Much better is b5 getting the pawns going. White can't swing his king over to that side of the board for fear of the h-pawns march as well, "dancing at two weddings". Black is winning here. 27. Ng3 Na5? b5 28. Ne2 Bd2 29. e4 Be3+ 30. Kg2 Nc6 amazingly this is the passive move that really cooks black. dxe4 is the saving move. 31. exd5 Nxd4 32. Nxd4 Bxd4 33. dxe6 Bxe5? 33. ... g6 preserves the h-pawn. 34. Be4? Bxh7+! and the bishop is immune due to the pawn queening threat. 34. ... Bd6 35. a4 b6 36. Bc6 Kf8 37. Kf3 Ke7 38. Bd7 g6? This is the result of poor calculation, low time (end of a G/30), and playing just on a few principles without considering the whole position. The best plan is Bc7-d8 mixed with moves like Kd6 and black holds his own game together by keeping the white king from assisting the passed pawn and can freely attack the queenside with his extra pawn and maybe force a bishop sac that loses. 39. Ke4 h5 40. gxh5 gxh5 41. Kf5 h4 42. Kg4 Bg3 43. Bc8 Kf6 44. Bd7 a6 45. Kh3 Ke7 46. Kg4 Kd6 47. Kh3 a5 48. Kg4 b5 49. Bxb5 Kxe6 50. Bc6 Kd6 1/2-1/2 draw finally agreed.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

2017 3 Tables- June (82) Round 3 CM Justin Arnold, 2107 - Anton Taylor, 2024 Indian: London System (A46)

2017 3 Tables- June (82) Round 3 
CM Justin Arnold, 2107 - Anton Taylor, 2024
Indian: London System (A46)

Okay, in the interest of full disclosure this is a short and somewhat embarrassing loss. When you are improving quickly it should be expected that gaps in your knowledge will cause bizarre hiccups. If you were to look at this single game as a representation of my skills I will fall sadly short of master level chess. Let me give you the setting. I was one of only a couple players with 1.5 points after two rounds. I had played a 1950 in the first round in a tough drawn position. I had fought back from a lost position to win a drawn game. The second round I played against a talented junior player who is very young and rated nearly 2090. That game was an exercise in master chess by both sides in my opinion and resulted in a draw after both of us missed our turns to win. This combination is the strongest back-to-back games I had had up to this point. This rationale is partly my excuse for the loss but here us another excuse. The position was unfamiliar and lazy calculation led to a quick loss. Let's get right into this ... 

1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 e6 3. Bf4 b6 4. e3 Bb7 5. Nbd2 Be7 6. Bd3 h3 preserving the bishop is the common plan. 6. ... O-O Nh5 punishes the omission of h3 and should give black a small advantage. 7. Qe2 d6 A hypermodern approach that I have come to like in certain Nimzo-indian positions. If white builds a classic center Black will fight on the wing with a supported c5. 8. h4 This is a divergence from theory and isn't particularly challenging to black if black takes care. 8. ... c5 9. c3 Nbd7 10. O-O-O Qc7? A slight mistake that leads to equality. the simple build-up a6 leads to a pawn rush that is faster against the white king than any attack he can muster. Not winning but white will be on his "back foot" playing precise defense rather than attacking black. 11. Bh2 e5? Another opportunity to keep the center even and play a6 to start the wing attack. 12. dxe5 dxe5 13. Nc4 Ng4?? The losing move and the rest is a blowout victory for white. (13... Bxf3 14. Qxf3 b5 15. Nd2 is the necessary line to understand after the choice to play 11. ... e5) 14. Bxh7+ Kh8 15. Bf5 Bxf3 16. Qxf3 Ngf6 17. Rxd7 Coup de grace 1-0

Monday, July 17, 2017

2017 3 Tables - June (82) Round 2 Anton Taylor, 2024 - Justin Storn, 2084 French: KIA (C00)

2017 3 Tables - June (82) Round 2
Anton Taylor, 2024 - Justin Storn, 2084
French: KIA (C00)

1. e4 e6 2. d3 d5 3. Nd2 Nf6 4. Ngf3 c5 5. c3 Nc6 6. Be2 b6 7. O-O Bb7 8. Re1 Be7 9. Qc2 Qc7 10. Nf1 O-O-O This is the first non-book type of move but isn't inconsistant with black's other moves. Even with the imbalances the position is roughly equal. Black is just a little bit better by the computer's evaluation but in practice it's probably equal. 11. Bg5 h6 12. Bh4 Nh5 13. Bxe7 Qxe7 14. a4? A useless "equal" move that appears to accelerate the attack but controlling the center after exd5! is far better. 14. ... Nf4 15. Ng3?? exd5 again is missed and a losing move is chosen in favor of the right path. Black is poised to attack directly against white's king if white plays actively in defense. Take this line for example: 15... Kb8 16. Rad1 g5 17. Bf1 h5 18. exd5 Rxd5 19. Ne2 Ng6 20. Nc1 g4 21. Nd2 h4 22. Be2 Nce5 23. f3 Qg5 24. fxg4 Qe3+ 25. Kh1 h3 26. Nf3 hxg2+ 27. Kxg2 Nf4+ 28. Kh1 Nxf3 29. Bxf3 Qxf3+ 30. Kg1 Nh3# 15. ... g5 16. Bf1 g4 17. Nd2 h5 This version of the kingside attack is one move slower than the example line in the previous comment. As a result Black is still better but not yet winning. 18. Ne2 Qg5 Black is trying to hold on to the kingside attack because he intuitively assumed he was winning in attacking on previous moves but has chosen the wrong path. 19. Nxf4 Qxf4 20. g3?? Komodo shows this is again a losing choice. By principle moving the pawns in front of your king is a horrible idea because it accelerates the potential to open lines against your king. 20. ... Qf6 21. Bg2 h4 22. b4 Komodo absolutely hates this idea and prefers to distract black's pieces with the sacrifice a4. Black is clearly winning and so white has to drum up distraction and activity to make a bid for the point. 22. ... hxg3 23. fxg3 Qh6? Rxh2! is a great sacrifice that breaks open white's position convincingly. Kxh2? is met by Qf2 when white's king gets trapped in the corner. 24. Nf1 This move order allows white to hold himself together. 24. ... cxb4 25. cxb4 Kb8 26. b5 Na5? Nd4 keeps piling on the pressure. 27. Rac1 Rc8 28. Qd2 Qg7?? Holding onto the queen is a losing retreat. White has new life a tries his best to pounce on the opportunity. 29. exd5 Bxd5 30. Qf4+ Ka8 31. Bxd5+ exd5 32. Ne3 The immediate rook trade is better by komodo but I preferred to try and develop the knight to a better place. I was distracted by trying to win the g-pawn and hold my position together and missed the winning ideas. 32. ... Rxc1 33. Rxc1 Qh7 34. Nxg4 f5 I felt I was winning but I missed the most challenging continuation. Rc7 getting a tempo on the queen is the best option. 35. Nf2 Qxh2+ 36. Kf1 Rg8 37. Qxf5? Qe5 is an easier win. the test makes it harder. 37. Qxg3 38. Rc8+ Rxc8 39. Qxc8+ Qb8 40. Qe6? The last vestige of the white win drops away here. Black's queen checks and holding the d-pawn prevents white from pushing his win. Qd7 is the right answer and wins the extra pawn. it's a hard win practically. 40. ... Qd8 41. Ng4 Nb7 42. Ne5 d4 43. Nc6 Qh8 44. Qe4 Qh3+ 45. Ke2 Qh2+ 46. Kd1 Qg1+ 47. Kc2 Qf2+ 48. Kb1 Qf1+ 49. Ka2 Qf7+ 50. Ka3 Nc5 51. Nd8+ Nxe4 52. Nxf7 Nc5 53. Ne5 Kb7 54. Kb4 a5+ 55. bxa6+ Kxa6 1/2-1/2 I very much dislike games that feature all three results. It constitutes a major hole in my ability to calculate if I see tactical shots in my post-game analysis.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

2017 3 Tables - June (82) Round 1 Anton Taylor, 2024 - Josiah Hereford, 1950 Ruy Lopez/ Spanish: Open Berlin (C67)

2017 3 Tables - June (82) Round 1
Anton Taylor, 2024 - Josiah Hereford, 1950
Ruy Lopez/ Spanish: Open Berlin (C67)

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. O-O Nxe4 5. Re1 Nd6 6. Bxc6 This is the move order in my memory but it is technically incorrect. Nxe5 is the correct order. 6. ... dxc6 7. Nxe5 Be7 8. d3 O-O 9. Bf4 Bf5 10. Nd2 Bf6 11. Qf3 Be6 12. Ne4 Nxe4 13. dxe4 Qe7 14. Nd3 Bg5 15. Qe3 Bxf4 16. Nxf4 Rfd8 17. Rad1 b6 18. Qc3 Rxd1 19. Rxd1 Rd8 20. Rxd8+ Qxd8 21. Nd3 c5 22. b3 Kf8 23. Kf1 Qd6 24. Qe5 f6 25. Qxd6+ cxd6 26. Ke2 g5 27. Ke3 d5 28. f4 Ke7 29. c3 dxe4 30. Kxe4 Kd6 31. g3?? The game has been a bit of back and forth equal maneuvering. HOWEVER, this move is the recipe for disaster. The correct order of moves is spotted quickly by komodo (31.gxf5 gxf5 32. Ne4 holds things together.) 31. ... c4 32. bxc4 Bxc4 33. a3 There is now a hole in the white position on b3. It is a technical draw but it requires great care on white's part. 33. ... a5 34. Nb2 Be6 35. Kd4 Bb3 36. c4 Bc2 37. Kc3 Bf5 38. Na4 Kc6 39. Kd4 Bc2?? The losing move  (39... gxf4 40. gxf4 Bh3 41. Nc3 h6 42. Nd5 f5 43. Ne3 Kd6 =) 40. Nc3 gxf4 41. gxf4 f5 42. Nd5 Be4 43. Nf6 Bc2 44. Nxh7 b5 45. cxb5+ Kxb5 46. Kc3 Bd1 47. Nf6 Kc5 48. h4 Kd6 49. Kd4 Bf3 50. Nh7? h5 is simpler ... the pawn is too quick. 50. ... Be2 51. Ng5 Bh5 52. Nh3 Bf3 53. Nf2 Bh5 54. Nd3 Bd1 55. Nc5 a4 56. Kc4 Kc6?? Interposes the king into the necessary path of the Bishop to route around Bd1-a4-e8-g6-h7 keeping the pawn from queening. 57. Nxa4! Be2+ 58. Kd4 Bg4 59. Nc3 Kd6 60. a4 Bf3 61. Nb5+ Ke6 62. a5 Bc6 63. Kc5 Bf3 64. Nc7+ Kd7 65. Kb6 1-0 A couple of the moves in this ending that I played are sub-par but there are many ways to win the two pawn tango.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Mistake Check-In #3

It has been quite some time since I made a "check-in" type of blog post. There is no real excuse for it other than my traditional laziness. I'm writing this very post to fight or remedy most of the recent problems I have had in my chess life. Let me break it down:

Laziness - I have noticed a horrible lack of mindfulness once more when it comes to chess. It almost feels like boredom and I go on auto-pilot until my position is worse and then I begin to think. With lesser opposition I still win in these circumstances but what about players of average to better strength? I'm losing games I should win and not putting up the most amount of resistance in the lost games. I need to reconnect with my former meditation practices and restore my mindfulness.

Opening Mistakes - I have let certain opening lines slip out of my memory. All of the following are lines that have come up either in tournament play or in practice blitz games that I need to refresh myself on: The French Defense as white in all the common lines, The Sicilian Taimanov and Rossolimo, The Nimzo-Indian (just a few minor sidelines that aren't seen often), and the Caro-Kann classical variation as black and Panov-Botvinnik attack as white. Some of these I have studied in the recent past (Taimanov) and there is therefore very little acceptable excuse for allowing these things to escape into the ether. Some of these are recent choices based on a changing trend in blitz (the panov and classical caro-kann). These are excusable gaps that I simply have not had to use in a very long time or have had little need to study until now.

Calculation - As a result of the aforementioned laziness my tactical practice habits have been left to dwindle down to zero practice. The result is that not only do I find it difficult to "start the engine" of calculation but I can tell that I am not calculating as deeply as before and my answers over-the-board are nowhere near as accurate as they had been. Simply put, there are too many mistakes that are errors by too wide a margin.

Caffeine - I have become addicted to caffeine. From experimentation and observation I discovered that I did indeed calculate better under the immediate influence of the stuff. However, there were/are unacceptable side-effects to this drug and so I have been slowly removing it from my diet. At my lowest point I had resorted to the "stronger" stimulants of energy drinks. Never Again. I resorted to this because of the next problem

Working Long Hours - I have been working nine to ten hour days at my job during the week and some weekends leading to longer nights for practicing chess and a shortened and ineffective sleep cycle. I wake up tired and go to bed exhausted. My thinking is all blurry and "muddied". I can't really reduce the amount of working hours short of quitting the job but it provides the financing for tournament trips so that's not practical.

Conclusion - These are where things sit at this moment in my personal life. I must remove the lazy habits. I must get more sleep in quantity and quality. I must find those extra moments to study and find methods to streamline that study process. I am still consuming large amounts of caffeine by my own standards and that needs to be managed. All attempts at "cold-turkey" quitting have led to disaster ... shakes, headaches, etc. So for now it just needs to be regulated in usage until it can be eliminated eventually as it was several months ago.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

2017 Owensboro June Open Round 4 Anton Taylor, 2027 - Andy Porter, 2112 Caro-Kann Panov-Botvinnik (B13)

2017 Owensboro June Open Round 4
Anton Taylor, 2027 - Andy Porter, 2112
Caro-Kann Panov-Botvinnik (B13)

1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. c4 Nf6 5. Nc3 Nc6 6. Nf3 g6 I have some reasonable experience in the Panov (as you see from previous games, actually) but I had never encountered g6 until this game that I can recall ... at least not in serious tournament play. 7. Be2 Bg7 8. O-O O-O 9. Ne5 Be6 10. Nxc6 bxc6 11. Bf3 Qc7 Rb8 was slightly better for Black because it ties up the bishop to the pawn's defense. 12. Qa4 This is objectively the inferior move to settling the center (which is fast building in black's favor) by either cxd5 or c5. However, keeping the tension could lead to double-edged positions that could favor me. 12. ... Rfd8 13. c5 I play this move here to make the rook and bishop both look a little foolish. It isn't good for white but there isn't much better and it will take black precise timing to take any advantage. 13. ... Bg4 14. Bxg4 Biting the bullet and trying to grab e5 while it is offered. there are holes in white's position. Double-edged with a slight advantage to black. 14. ... Nxg4 15. f4 h5 16. Ne2 Nh6? This gives white some breathing room. Rdb8 once again attacks the pawn and keeps the bishop occupied. 17. Bd2 Qd7 18. Qc2? I feared Qf5 but komodo recommends Nc1 with the plan of Nb3 making things solid and removing/defending the weaknesses on d4 and b2. 18. ... Nf5 19. Qd3 Re8 20. Bc3 Rab8 All of the moves recommended for move 21 for white by the machines are drawish "passing" moves. That means that in practical play it is lost. If you're not going forward you're going backwards. 21. g3 Qe6 22. Kf2? A waste of time and justifiably losing. 22. ... Nh6 23. h4?? Ng4+ 24. Kg1 Qe4 25. Rf3 Nf6? irrational fear brings the knight out of white's face. Black is still better but komodo gives several good alternatives. keeping the tension and simply playing a5 ridding black of an endgame liability seems very logical. 26. b3 Ng4 the knight goes back to where it should have stayed. 27. Re1 Qxd3 28. Rxd3 Nf6 29. Rb1 Ne4 30. Be1 f6 31. b4 a5 32. Ra3?? b4!? is the lever to break things open and complicate things. Ra3 can be classified as "cute" but is mostly useless. 32. ... axb4 33. Rxb4 e5 34. Ra6 exd4 35. Nxd4 Nxc5? Bf8! It can't be a coincidence that yet another bishop "retreat" is the cook in my calculations that I never considers. Black is still better but the margin gets smaller and his life is complicated by white. 36. Rxb8 Rxb8 37. Rxc6 Nd3? Ne4! keeps things in black's favor. This give white room to play for a win. 38. Bc3 Nb4 39. Bxb4 Rxb4 40. Rc8+ Kh7 41. Nb3? I was low on time and couldn't calculate my originally intended Ne6. However, I chickened out and played the text which is a hard fought drawing move. 41. ... f5 42. Kf2? Rd8 getting behind the pawn is the best drawing option. 42. ... Ra4 43. Rc2 Bf6 44. Ke3 Kg7 45. Kd3 Ra3 0-1 The final position is a draw but I was low on time and crumbled. 

Thursday, July 6, 2017

2017 Owensboro June Open Round 3 Marquis Quinn, 1672 - Anton Taylor, 2027 English: Anglo-Indian (A17)

2017 Owensboro June Open Round 3 
Marquis Quinn, 1672 - Anton Taylor, 2027 
English: Anglo-Indian (A17)

1. c4 Nf6 2. Nc3 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. d4 c6 5. cxd5 exd5 6. a3 Up until this move we have followed theory. The text restricts the bishop but it finds a good home anyway so it is useless. 6. ... Be7 7. Bg5 Nbd7 8. e3 O-O 9. Be2 Re8 10. O-O Nf8 11. h3 Once again white plays a useless pawn move. This one is arguably a little more useful that the previous rook pawn advance but the bishop it is meant to restrict is happoy on other squares as well. 11. ... h6 12. Bxf6 Probably an error. White should keep his fine bishop and not give it up voluntarily. 12. ... Bxf6 13. b4 Bd7 14. Rc1 Ne6? An error on my part but not losing. Qe7 is better because it connects the rooks and eyes a3 if white advances b5 for a minority attack. 15. Qb3 Qe7 More or less a transpositon had I played Qe7 earlier. 16. a4 Qd6 17. e4?? I expected b5 here continuing white's plan. This move just loses a pawn and ultimately the game. 17. ... Nxd4 18. Nxd4 Bxd4 19. exd5 Bxc3 20. Qxc3 Qxd5?? A "winning blunder" Black is better after the pawn is lost but why not simply Qxe2! winning a piece? I was caught up in the variation from seven moves before and this was the move I had calculated. I did not take enough time on this move. 21. Bc4 Qg5 22. Qf3 Be6 23. Rfd1 Bxc4 24. Rxc4 Rad8 25. Rcd4 Rxd4 26. Rxd4 Re1+ In case you were wondering this ending is an excercise in good technique but should be completely won by black. 27. Kh2 Qe5+ 28. Qf4 Qxf4+ 29. Rxf4 Kf8 30. Rd4 Ke7 31. Kg3 Re6 32. f4 Rd6 33. Rc4 Kd7 34. Kf3 Rd5 35. g4 Rd3+ 36. Kg2 b6 37. h4 Kd6 38. b5 of all the moves to be tried giving black a passed pawn is not the best idea. 38. ... c5 39. Re4 Rd4 40. Kf3 Rxe4 41. Kxe4 Now with the rooks off the board any drawing chances white had are gone. as the saying goes "most rook endings are drawn" This one probably wouldn't be regardless but the win is easier after they get traded off and white should have avoided it. 41. ... Ke6 42. f5+ Kd6 43. g5 h5 44. g6 f6 45. Kd3 Ke5 46. Kc4 Ke4 47. a5 Kxf5 48. Kd5?? After this move komodo gives quite possibly the worst evaluation I have ever seen in a game -250.00!! 48. ... bxa5 49. Kxc5 Kxg6 50. Kc6 a4 51. Kb7 a3 52. Kxa7 a2 53. b6 a1=Q+ 0-1 Forced mate in 12.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

2017 Owensboro June Open Round 2 Anton Taylor, 2027 - William Brooks, 1623 Sicilian: Moscow Variation

2017 Owensboro June Open Round 2
Anton Taylor, 2027 - William Brooks, 1623
Sicilian: Moscow Variation

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. Bb5+ Bd7 4. a4 Nf6 5. Nc3 Nc6 6. O-O g6 7. d4 This is my divergence from common theory in this system. It seems foolish to open things up when the bishop gets fianchettoed but I felt the queenside activity and the transfer of the king's knight over to that side makes up for the weaknesses. 7. ... Nxd4 8. Nxd4 cxd4 9. Qxd4 Bg7 10. f3 O-O 11. Qf2 Bxb5? This gives white a small advantage. The rook attack on a7 wins the initiative and controls a full file. 12. axb5 b6 13. Be3 Qd7 14. Rfd1 Rfc8 15. e5 Ne8 16. Bd4 d5 17. Ra4 Nc7 18. Rda1? This drops the advantage in favor of equality. Qe2 holds the advanced pawns and prepares the doubling on the file. The text is just harder. 18. ... Nxb5 19. Nxb5 Qxb5 20. Rxa7 Rxa7 21. Rxa7 e6 22. c3 Rb8 This move made me happy. Black's passive rook gets even more passive and I can work freely with my own rook. Qd2-g5-e7 seems like a possible plan (but black can impede the progress of this plan. 23. g4 This was my idea: advance the pawns and break on the f5 square. The unfortunate side effect of this idea is that my king too gets exposed and black gets counter chances. the queen route plan has no such drawback. 23. ... Qb3 24. h3 guarding the g-pawn after Qe4+ when I advance my f-pawn. 24. ... b5 25. f4 Bf8? This position is lost for black but I could not calculate just how. I felt I was winning. 26. f5 gxf5 27. gxf5 Qd1+ 28. Kh2 Qh5 29. fxe6? let's look at a potential variation: 29. Qg1+ Kh8 30. Qg4 Qxg4 31. hxg4 Kg8 32. Ra6 exf5 33. gxf5 b4 34. Kg3 Rc8 35. Kg4 Be7 36. Kh5 Bf8 37. Ra1 h6 38. Ra5 bxc3 39. bxc3 Bg7 40. f6 Bf8 41. e6 fxe6 42. Kg6 Rc7 43. Ra8 Rf7 44. Bc5 e5 45. Bxf8 Rxf8 46. f7+ Kh8 47. Rxf8#  Considering that this is not a mainline and certainly not the best play by black there is so much to calculate I just couldn't do it. However, I did not need to calculate all of this and instead I could just have trusted in the rook lifting between the a-file and g-file operations. I did see that but I went about it with the text move that is drawn technically. 29. ... fxe6 30. Ra1? This is the wrong timing of the lift. Qf6 right now is best. I saw this move but I thought the rook on g1 was safer than leaving it on the seventh rank. 30. ... Rb7 31. Qf6 Qe8? Qe2+ was the drawing method. This is much better for white. 32. Ra6 Re7 33. b4 Bg7 34. Qf1 Rf7 35. Qa1 Rf8 36. Qd1 Qf7 37. Qg4 Re8 38. Ra5? pointless Rb8?? 38... Kh8 39. Rxb5?? Qf1! 40. Rb7 Bh6 and black is winning. So, in essence the pawn is indirectly defended so this rook move is a waste. 39. Ra7 winning 39. ... Qg6 40. Qxg6 hxg6 41. Re7 Kf8 42. Rxe6 Kf7 43. Rd6 Ke7 44. Rxg6 Bf8 45. Bc5+ Kf7 46. Rf6+ Kg7 47. Bxf8+ Rxf8 48. Rxf8 Kxf8 49. Kg3 1-0 Two extra pawns is enough for my opponent to resign.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

2017 Owensboro June Open Round 1 Stephen Wilson, 1204 - Anton Taylor, 2027 Caro-Kann (B10)

2017 Owensboro June Open Round 1 
Stephen Wilson, 1204 - Anton Taylor, 2027 
Caro-Kann (B10)

1. e4 c6 2. Nc3 d5 3. d3 e5 This move has been tried several times in the database and even by the likes of Anatoly Karpov. However, I am not convinced that it is even particularly good since it only becomes a second target for white's pieces. There is no satisfactory alternative and the only move more commonly played is dxe4. 4. Nf3 Bg4 5. Qd2 As ugly as this move looks it really isn't as bad as it first appears. There is no satisfying punishment mostly because the absence of the light square bishop only gives white's pieces squares to play on with impunity. I do not think a master would make such a move but it seems strangely playable. 5. ... Bxf3 6. gxf3 Be7 This move keeps the enemy queen out of g5 and prepares to play Bf6 to protect the e5 pawn. 7. Ne2 Preparing f4 is unnecessary and playing it immediately is just good for white. 7. ... h6 A somewhat tricky move I considered that kingside castling was probably dangerous and so preparing g5 at some point was useful. the positionb is roughly equal. 8. Qc3 d4 9. Qb3 b6? I was uncertain what to play here. A pattern that was not at all clear to me is in the following variation: 9... Na6 10. Qxb7 Nb4 11. Kd1 Bc5 12. a3 Rb8! and the queen is lost. Had I seen this pattern Na6 would have been played. I missed Bc5! 10. f4 Nd7 equal with chances for both sides. This should technically favor me in this matchup where I have several years of tournament experience on my relatively new to tournament chess opponent. 11. c3 c5 A terrible blunder. Nc5 occured to me after I hit the clock and is komodo's recommendation to keep equality.  12. Bh3! This and Bg2! are both considerably good moves and probably winning. 12. ... Ngf6 13. Bd2 A wasted move giving black some initiative. This is what he needs more than anything. 13. ... g5 One good blunder deserves another. I simply make a giant hole on f5 for white's pieces to jump into. But if this is not the right move (and probably never correct) then the earlier h6 is suspect as well. 14. fxg5 hxg5 15. Bxd7+? Oh, thank God, one attacker down. Black is on the defense and this trade releases a little pressure. Nxd7 16. Ng3 Nf8 17. Nf5 Ne6 Now black is okay and can try once more to drum up an attack in an equal position. 18. Qd5 Qxd5 19. exd5 Nf4 20. Bxf4 gxf4 21. Ng7+?? The decisive blunder. The desperado knight has only to go back after making a useless check and once more concede a monstrous initiative only this time the target is glaringly obvious. 21. ... Kd7 22. c4 Rag8 23. Nf5 Bf8 24. h4 Rh5 25. Nxd4 cxd4 26. Ke2 Rg4 27. a3 Be7 28. b4 Rhxh4 29. b5 f5 30. a4 e4 31. dxe4 fxe4 32. Rxh4 f3+ 33. Kd2 Bxh4 34. a5 Bxf2 35. axb6 axb6 Amazingly Komodo gives Rg1 as winning by force ... for example: 35... Rg1 36. Rxg1 Be3+ 37. Kd1 Bxg1 38. bxa7 f2 39. a8=Q f1=Q+ 40. Kd2 Be3+ 41. Kc2 d3+ 42. Kc3 Qc1+ 43. Kb3 Qc2+ 44. Kb4 Qb2+ 45. Ka4 Qa1+ 46. Kb4 Bd2+ 47. Kb3 Qc3+ 48. Ka2 Qxc4+ 49. Kb2 Bc1+ 50. Ka1 Qd4+ 51. Ka2 Qb2#  36. c5  36. ... bxc5 37. b6 Bg3 0-1 White concedes that his pawn will not have a future and extends his hand. 

Sunday, July 2, 2017

2017 Summer Party Round 5 Anton Taylor, 2026 - Connor Zhang, 1558 Spanish/Ruy Lopez: Caro Variation (C70)

2017 Summer Party Round 5
Anton Taylor, 2026 - Connor Zhang, 1558
Spanish/Ruy Lopez: Caro Variation (C70)

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 b5 5. Bb3 Nf6 6. O-O Be7 7. c3 O-O 8. Re1 Bb7 9. d4 d6 10. Nbd2 Na5 This is the first real divergence from common theory. Yes, this move is thrown in at times but not normally in this position. More interesting alternatives are Re8 and Nd7. 11. Bc2 Nd7 12. Nf1 Rc8 c5 is the right move order. 13. Ng3 Nb6 14. dxe5 dxe5 15. Nxe5 Bd6 16. Nf3 f6 17. Qd3 Be5 18. Nxe5 fxe5 19. Qe2 Qf6 20. Nf5 Nac4 21. b3 Nd6 22. Ng3 Nd7 23. a4 Nc5 24. Ba3 Ne6 25. f3 Nf4 26. Qf2 Rfd8 27. Rad1 bxa4 28. bxa4 Nc4?? Up to here black has made several innaccuracies but I think this one might be the most useful. When your f-pawn is gone your king becomes vulnerable along the long diagonal. 29. Bb3 Quick solution. Qf7?? It was better to move the king off the diagonal. now he loses the piece and gives me an extra move because the king will have to move anyway to prevent the queen getting pinned. 30. Qc5 Nd3 31. Rxd3 Kh8 32. Bxc4 Qe8 33. Red1 Rxd3 34. Rxd3 Qxa4 35. Nf5 Qe8 36. Ne7 Rd8 37. Qxe5 h6 38. Qf5 Ng6+ is a faster mate but a harder pattern for me to see. 38. ... Rxd3 39. Ng6+ Kh7 40. Nf8+ Kh8 41. Qh7# 1-0

Saturday, July 1, 2017

2017 Summer Party Round 4 NM Davis Whaley, 2335 - Anton Taylor, 2026 Queen's Indian (E15)

2017 Summer Party Round 4
NM Davis Whaley, 2335 - Anton Taylor, 2026
Queen's Indian (E15)

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 b6 4. g3 Bb7 I remember years ago studying a set of games by Peter Leko and a few others where Black plays a system based on Ba6. I could not recall any of that system beyond Ba6 at the board and so I opt for the "safer" continuation. 5. Bg2 Bb4+ 6. Bd2 Bxd2+ 7. Nbxd2 O-O 8. Qc2 d6 9. O-O Nbd7 10. e4 e5 11. d5 c6 I'm not certain how I feel about this move. It seems to be a bid for the long diagonal but it creates several holes. I think the move in the database (a5) is far superior. Trying to create a knight outpost on c5 is probably worth more than freeing the bishop. If it is so important to give the bishop life then a path like Bc8-g4 seems fine. 12. dxc6 Bxc6 13. b4 Qc7 14. Qd3 Rfd8 15. Nh4 a5 16. a3 axb4 17. axb4 Rxa1 18. Rxa1 Ra8? The firt trade seems fine but This second offer to trade benefits white. The simple g6 makes the knight on the rim grim. 19. Rxa8+ Bxa8 20. Nf5 Ne8 21. Nb1 Ndf6 22. Nc3 Bc6 23. f4 g6 24. fxe5 dxe5 25. Ne3 Nd6 26. Ncd5 Bxd5 27. exd5 Nd7 28. g4 e4 This move interested me. I envisioned a drawn ending with a small advantage 29.Bxe4 Nd5 30. Qd4 Nexc4 29. Qd4 f5? Here I go wrong. Far better is Qa7 keeping an eye on the c5 square keeping the pawns at bay and looking at invading along the a-file. 30. gxf5 gxf5 31. Bh3! This seems so obvious now but it was a bolt out of the blue for me. There is no satisfactory answer but my response is a howler. 31. ... f4?? The reason this move is so poor is because it gives the knight access to g4. It would have been better to lose the pawn. 32. Be6+ Nf7 33. Ng4 This was my feared continuation but Nf5! threatening mate on g7 is stronger. 33. ... Kf8 forced. White's threat is Bxd7 when black can't recapture or fall into the fork Nf6+! 34. Qxe4 Nde5 35. Nxe5 Qxe5 36. Qxe5 Nxe5 37. c5 bxc5 38. bxc5 Ke7 39. Bf5 h6 40. Kf2 Nf7 1-0 there is no way to complicate the ending. It is over.