Wednesday, March 5, 2008

That was a tough fight - second game of match

I told about my latest effort, against my chesscomputer, which ended in a narrow draw. Well, naturally we had to have second game, me being black this time. There was quite much on the line, I was playing against my computer´s best level, and if, I would win, I could consider the computer finally beaten by me! Well, this game turned out to be one of my hardest chessgames...

Chess 2001 (Level 11/15 min./move) - ChessWanderer 8.-18. 2. 2008

1. e4 e5 2. Nc3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. Nf3 d6 5. d3 h6

This situation I found bit difficult, I just felt this move is necessary, well I don´t think it´s bad here though usually it is, being this early in the game. Later I found that Nf6 has been played but I didn´t quite like that due to Bg5..

6. Na4 Computer goes out to get my bishop, well I don´t mind, this takes time and I get nice pawns in the center. 6.-Nge7 7. Nxc5 dxc5 8. c3 Qd6 9. Qb3

Okey, this is typical for this computer - not really great move, but does develop the queen and threaten f7, tactics is what computer wants. Well..Here I could just protect f7. But, I thought about something else, namely to try to take advantage of white queen´s bad place. 9.-Na5 Go ahead, take my pawn! I analyzed variations here a lot, and thought my position would have some potential...Well, computer liked it too. 10. Bxf7+ Kf8 11. Qb5 Queen has to retreat, threatening the loose knight. 11.-Kxf7 12. Qxa5 Nc6 By this move I felt I would really make white queen feel itself woulnerable. 13. Qa4

Here I simply thought, that I would take on d3 with my Queen, and have quite nice position as black! Agree? Well, my queen is on a great place, and white is denied castling at the moment! What more could you ask?! I thought computer had really went badly wrong, and white is just suffering. Until...To my big surprise, I found out that after Qxd3 white has nice blow with Qxc6! I would have to take, bxc6 but then Nxe5+ would win the queen back in style, white would be up a pawn, I would have triple pawns on the c-file and just struggling horribly! You can never be too sure about anything against computers, can you =) So I had to think of some other move, as I cannot snap the weak white pawn straight away! 13.-Rd8 This seemed like best, though now I figured I was somewhat uncomfortable. 14. Be3 this is nice move, I was sure computer would play this. Now I just went for the best I could, not losing though but not having advantage I earlier thought. 14.-Qxd3 I take the pawn back. 15. Qxc6! Wow, now computer plays this move! Now again bxc6 would be just losing. Did I miss it? Well no. Here is nice move and situation you don´t get to see everyday...15.-Qxe3!

Double queen sacrifice!! Pretty pretty, eh? =) Well, now game goes into much calmer waters though after forced moves. 16. fxe3 bxc6 17. Nxe5+

Challenging world for a game - sounds like fun =)

Yes, and that is exactly going on with me and world at Game is about vote chess. If You feel like joining in the game, be most welcomed =) Chessworld is all of chess playing people, after all...Will be exciting game I have no doubt.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

My best game of chess?

Now, after last game being one of the worst ones I´ve played, I decided to change the tone somewhat. And present game that I enjoyed playing a LOT, game that changed my chessplaying, since (and this IS something) I actually had this A-ha-experience during this game, about how do I want to play this game, in the best way...Game was again against my chess computer, that I wasn´t really able to beat on a regular basis, mainly because I think my whole playing strategy was not right, and got punished duly for that time after time. So, onto the game and it´s details...There is a question mark in header for a reason, but this is the game I´ve maybe thought in my mind and gone through afterwards more than any other game.

ChessWanderer - Chess 2001 (Level 11, 9 min./move) 2.- 21. 10. 2000

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. c3 Nf6 4. Qc2

I used to play this kind of opening system in sicilian. 4.-Nc6 5. Be2 Be7 6. 0-0 d5 7. exd5 Qxd5 8. c4?

Questionable move, giving up squares b4 and d4 for black knight to occypy. I just tried to be active in the opening, but this is risky and describes well the way I used to play that time. 8.-Qd6 9. Nc3 0-0 10. b3 Nb4 11. Qb1

I wanted to keep d3-square in control. Well, putting queen to there already shows why my opening hasn´t gone all too well, not a good sign. You can easily get squeezed when playing like this. 11.-Bd7 12. a3 At least I can push this knight away easily. 12.-Nc6 13. Bd3 Looks like amateurish opening play huh? Well, this seemes like a good idea though and opening is quite silent anyway. Clumsy, but not loosing yet. 13.-Ne5 Now I have to exchange the knights, avoiding to get double pawns. 14. Nxe5 Qze5 15. Bb2 Qf4 Now, natural move would be Qc2 protecting d2. Well, I came up with other idea. From this point on, my playing starts to get better in my view. I was just saying to myself, ok, played not so great but I will just settle here and make one good solid move after another...applying tactics only when it´s good! Earlier, I got into lot of troubles as I said, playing fancy-feeling moves which computer can easily block if they are not correct. 16. Ne4!

Nice idea, activating knight and thus freeing my play more. Black cannot just take, cause after 16.-Nxe4 17. Bxe4 white wins pawn due to double threats. 17.-Qxd2 fails because of 18. Rd1. Thus, black decides to retreat with 16.-Ne8 17. Qc2 f5 Black desides to get active on the kingside...looks natural alright. 18. Ng3 Bf6?! Well, this gives away the bishop pair which suited very fine with me. 19. Nh5 Qg5 20. Nxf6+ this knight has done it´s job. 20.-Nxf6 21. b4!

With this move white takes good control of the queenside! With bishop pair, I liked this position pretty much. I had achieved what I wanted, taking little but clear advantages after the opening, unlike before...This is the way you want to beat those machines, by better knowledge. 21.-Rac8 22. b5! Great grip of the queenside, now very much shutting down black´s whitesquare bishop! 22.-Rf7 23. Rae1

Now, look at the position. Advantages for white: bishop pair, control over squares c6, d5 and e4 and now halfopen e-file! Black is not doing strategally good here. Nothing decisive yet though. Let´s see how situation evolves... 23.-Re8 24. f4 See how clumsy black is? 24.-Qh4 25. Re3! This moves takes ground from black´s only potential threat, his knight-queen combination. He tries to do something with it though... 25.-Ng4 26. Rh3 Qe7 Now, that black knight does have a good position right? Not really, only superficially as we will see. 27. Be2! Forcing retreat. 27.-Nf6 28. g4!

Powerful play! Immediately taking active measures to push on black´s passive position. Nasty checkmate-threat allows this move. 28.-fxg4 29. Bxg4 Rd8 Trying to do something, but really hard to find good moves being this passive, without weaking kingside, while queenside is totally being shut! 30. Re1 Again, emplying halfopen e-file with rook, also taking use of black queen´s bad spot. White´s every piece is now very active. 30.-Qd6 31. Be5! Very rude, simply tightening the grab. 31.-Qb6?! Mistake probably, but machine is trying to get some activity by queenside, other chance was just to put queen on f8, but that is really passive, again. 32. Rh4 now it was useful to cover the bishop, although black cannot take it now! 32.-a6 Trying desperately...but. 33. a4! axb5 34. axb5 Black gets a-file, but that is not any threat to white, taking with c-pawn would pose more risks. 34.-Ra8 35. Re3 continuing develop, all is headed for black´s very shaky kingside! Everything is guarded yet though... 35.-Ra5 Is the machine trying to sacrifice it´s useless bishop to get two passed pawns?! Kind of looks like it, didn´t believe it to happen though...And no reason to be worried about it anyway. 36. Rg3 Aiming at the enemy king. You can think of Rh3 too, but eventually black king would have chances to escape after white´s crash on h7. Now black feels need to put some obstacles into white´s way...36.-g6 So, maybe black did not think it has time for that fancy sacrifice on b5 ;) Well, this feels like mandatory defensive try, but does weaken kingside too for sure, which I lay my eyes upon! 37. Bh5!

Forces the exchange of black´s most important defender, the knight! Black would really need his whitesquared bishop to be active. 37.-Nxh5 38. Rxh5 Rf5 Alright, covers weak g6-spot for now... 39. Rh6 Well I´ll just go right after that pawn again! Naturally, not just the poor pawn I am after. 39.-Qa7 Hm, not interested to put that bishop to e8, giving some extra protection to it? 40. h4! Just simply forward! My pieces are well placed, so I will just add one pawn to attack also. Black does have potentially active queen-rook-combination, but that poses absolutely no danger. 40.-b6 Ok, this move tells clearly how poor black must have "felt" itself. Doesn´t do else than gives it´s queen sight to kingside. 41. h5! Now this is too much for black, he wants to try something... 41.-Rxe5 Giving up the exchange! Well, this does take away that dominating bishop. Desperate, anyhow. Which I will show right away.

42. Rgxg6+! Bang! No need to take notice of that black´s meany rook there. If black would now take, it would lead to mate. Thus he played 42.-Kh8 And now, what does white do? Only promising continuation seems to be Rxh7+, but that leads to complications, with no clear winning continuation in sight! Has white calculated badly and got an inferior position? He has played strongly and forcingly until this point, but those black pieces might get active soon!

43. Rg8+!! Wow. Giving up whole rook now for black king to eat. But there it is. And he just has to swallow it...43.-Kxg8 After this, rest is very forcing. I am being two pieces down, but with a decisive attack. 44. Qxh7+ Kf8 45. Rf6+ Ke8 46. Qg8+ Ke7 47. Qf8 Mate. That´s it! Black king found no escape. The machine is beaten! You can only believe how good mode I was in. Because you do have this uncertainty always, not perfectly sure if there is winning continuation or not. And this I had to see all in my mind, not using ChessPad this time. It was pleasure. And after this win, my chessmind got it´s uplifting boost, that carries on until this day. This game wasn´t my first nice victory, but probably the most important one. I did humiliate chessmachine, after all, that for me was almost like Deep Blue (being only lil bit sarcastic), in those days.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Did I say brilliant blunders?

I guess I did. Well..Onto the next game. This is a game between me and my computer, from right in the end of last millennium. Dooming times, as one might say.

Chess 2001 (Level 11, 7 min./move) - ChessWanderer

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 exd4 4. Nxd4 Nxd4 5. Qxd4 c5?

Scotch opening. My latest move tends to take advantage of white queen´s early active positioning, but no good. Developing c-pawn this early is not best idea here, leaving important d5-square vulnerable. 6. Qd3 Qc7 7. Nc3 Nf6 8. Bg5!

Already aiming to take advantage of that d5-square. 8.-Ng4? For what exact reason? Trying to be active, but this is over the top...Wasting time, Be7 would be better try. 9. Nd5! Qa5+ Now, I guess I thought this check would give me some time, but...
10. b4! Bang! Nice little move. At the moment, I didn´t realize it true power though, thought white was just sacrificing stuff for some reason...should know computers better, huh :) Well, let´s just take the pawn as it seems we can do it... 10.-cxb4
Situation is now set up for game´s dramatic turn. Can you spot what my computerfriend had on it´s mind?

11. Qb5!! Uhm, well this is easy I thought, gotta exchange to queens now, and after make a move like Bd6 and fight...Well..11.-Qxb5 12. Nc7 Mate.

Yea, not so nice miniatyre this one. At least to me then. You can guess I was astonished, really did not see that coming at all...Well, one of my worst games, ones that make you learn :)

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Check this one out.

Pretty nice game, where I as black was really walking on the edge...

Friday, February 8, 2008

Nice little miniatyre

Hi again. This next showing is a little game I played on one chess-site in 2005, against my fellow countryman. Enjoy.

ChessWanderer - Opponent

1. e4 My only choice basically, in the footsteps of Great late Bobby Fischer. 1. -e5. 2. Bc4 Bishop`s opening, one that I like to play when not my usual 2. Nf3. 2. -Nf6 3. d3 d5 4. exd5 Nxd5 5. Nf3 Bg4? Well, this move basically gives bishop for knight, since after next move retreat is not an option in view of losing pawn on e5. Also develops my Lady just like that. 6. h3 Bxf3 7. Qxf3 c6 8. 0-0 Bc5? Another inaccuracy, this move loses time as we will see. 9. Nc3 Nf6 10. Re1 Nfd7 11. Ne4!

White has developed optimally, but look at black´s position. That bishop is now under attack, e5-pawn is under danger, knight on f6 cannot move because of big weakness on f7...What will black do? 11.-Be7 Right, moving bishop back, which could have been moved to this square in one move too instead of two moves, thus wasting precious time! 12. Ng3! Regrouping, eyeing that weak f5-square. 12.-0-0 Ok, at least black has now castled, king to safety... 13. Nf5 here it is, right where knight wants to be! And it cannot be pushed away too easily. And that bishop is again under siege, hmm.. 13.-Bc5 Oh, again! That bishop likes to move around. Well, not sure if I would have wanted to change my beautiful knight to it anyway... Here is the situation:

Uhm, so what is the problem in black´s position, you may ask? He is castled, pieces developed, even e5-pawn seems to be doing fine. Well, look at the position again, and think if you can figure out white´s next move?

14. Bh6! This bishop wants to move too! Did you see that one coming? Now black decides to see is it taboo or not. 14.-gxh6 15. Qg3+ Ng3 Only move to prevent mate. 16. Qxg4+ Qg5 Again only move.

17. Nxh6+! Kh8 Rest is easy as black goes willingly into giljotine. 18. Qxg5 f6 19. Qh5 b5 20. Nf7+ Kg7 21. Qg4 Mate.

My latest effort...fight not without surprises...

Here we go. So, this game involves me playing white against - none other than my good old loved chess computer! Game was played like correspondence chess, I used analysisboard, not databases this time though. And definitely not chessengines! Chess came purely out of my own head. And from ehm computers "brains". So I am talking about classic tablecomputer, made in eighties and one that actually at its heyday won european microcomputer championship! And this computer is enhanced version of it. Computers rating is about 1600 - 1700 at its best, that´s an estimate Ive found from Internet. If it doesn´t sound too much, it sure does give me run for my money I can assure you! Tough game ahead..I can also tell beforehand that Ive played and watch it play tons of games before, also at this best level that it has, so I do have fairly good picture of how it plays...

ChessWanderer - Chess 2001 (Level 11, 15 min./move thinkingtime)

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be2 e5 7. Nb3 Be7 8. Be3 Nc6

So, Sicilian opening it has been..Next move is my standard move in this kind of openingposition, it keeps good control of opponents queenside. However, later on I thought I would have been better to make a move like 0-0, f3, Qd2...

9. a4 Be6 10. 0-0 d5 This is the reason for my thinking. Computer makes its good counterplay in center, and equalices easily, leading to piece exchanges. 11. exd5 Nxd5 12. Nxd5 Qxd5 13. Bb6

When playing, I thought this move was very good. Playing that blacksquare bishop into an active place, guarding square d8! I felt like these little advantages are how I can beat this machine that I am up against most efficiently.. 13. -0-0 14. Qxd5 Bxd5 15. Rfd1 I feel like being more active than computer and really gaining some advantage here already..Well, did not notice next move´s bishops exchanging forcing nature. 15. -Be4 16. Bd3 Bxd3 17. Rxd3

So, now, can you see how that bishop has good vision? Together with my rook on d3 I have control on position, quite right? Well, I thought next move could be Bd8, equalising, that is if I would face "best move". I assumed (correctly) that my playingpartner would not do it, being aggressive it wanted to grab some space rather and attack! Like this. 17. -e4. Well, I immediately thought of this as a weakness in black´s camp. Just simple threat, doesnt develop, I have time to use my control better..Typical weakness for this machine. 18. Rd7 Rab8 19. Bc5 Rfe8. In this position, I thought how would I make progress..wasn´t easy to find anything clear. With this many pieces on board. So, I decided to exchange some of them, leaving me another active rook. 20. Bxe7 Rxe7 21. Rxe7 Nxe7 22. Rd1 Rc8 23. Rd7 Ng6. 24. c3 Good move, keeping nice control of the position. 24. -b6. So, situation is like this...

How to make best of advantages I have? Black has some seriously weak pawns...Backrank-weakness (me too though), knight is little offside..Possible continuations being rook to either b7 or d6, knight to d4, or, as I calculated being best, this one: 25. Nd2 attacking the weak pawn, thus gaining time. 25.-Ne5 bit of a surprise, noticed this only as a chance, I thought computer would make move f5. Well... 26. Rb7 f5 here it is then. Now, I can snap one black pawn, but as it seems, black gets some seriously active counterplay too! But I choose to take it, even my knight will get very passive, I thought this is more momentary though... 27. Rxb6 Rd8 28. Nf1 (only move) Nc4 29. Rb4 Ne5 and this position arises.

How to continue? Rd4 would not be so clear endgame to me... So I wanna free the knight, giving my king some space. However, f3 is not an option, and h3 doesn´t do much after Rd1. Thus, I chose this one... 30. g3? Mistake, really. Should not give weakness like that voluntarily. Black exploites it immediately, as expected. Better would have been to try that h3 anyway I guess. It´s bit hard to see continuation though. Notice that Rb6 is out of question, because of repetition. 30.-Nf3+ 31. Kg2 Ne1+ 32. Kh1 Nd3 This is the reason, knight gets really active now, and also, has double threat on me. Should have noticed that one. Well, I thought now that losing one pawn still not so bad, I felt my queenside pawns are gamewinning asset. 33. Rb6 Nxf2+ 34. Kg2 Nd1 35. Rxa6 Nxb2 36. a5! Well, I felt this pawn that I finally get to move, gives me some advantage, and I was sure black cannot stop it without some damage... 36.-Nc4 37. Kf2 What else? 37.-Rd3 38. Ra8+ Gaining time! Kf7 39. a6

Rxc3? Mistake! Only move seems to be e3+. Now I was sure I am winning this game. 40. a7 Rc2+? Again! e3+ only try. 41. Kg1 Ra2 42. Rc8 Nb6 43. Rb8 Now I will win machine´s knight. 43.-Rxa7 44. Rxb6

I am winning! Right? Well, having extra knight...Okey black has two pawns more, but I should snap them at some point. To be honest, with black´s next move, it is truly not so easy as you will see! Black is more active, white is passive, and I must really be careful not losing my own pawns, cause without them I just cannot win this! 44.-g5 45. Rb2 Tough choise. Seems like best. 45.-Kf6 46. Ne3 Ra1+ 47. Kg2 (better than Kf2, leaving more options, and a trap which I didn´t think machine would fall for =), but anyway: 47.-Re1 48. Kf2 Rh1?? 49. Nf1! winning black rook) 47.-f4

We have come to critical point. Black pawns are getting active! I do not wish to exchange pawns, but knightmoves don´t seem to bring anything clear. Thus, I chose a move, that let´s black get evenmore active, cause I felt I would get position more close one (one that requires more positional understanding), and so my knight would have more effect! 48. Rf2 f3+ 49. Kh3 Re1 50. Nc2 Rd1 and now, my next move..I thought I will give my king more activity. Also, hard to find concrete other good continuations, obviously knightmanouvers would come into account, didn´t find anything clear. 51. Kg4? Threatens Kh5, and takes away move h5 from black. However... 51.- Kg6! This simple move gives black the advantage! My king is trapped now, in a very uncomfortable place. Now as I calculated, I was actually losing the game and instead of trying to find a win, was desperately seeking a draw! 52. Ne3 Rd3

53. Ra2! Surprise! Here it is. Sacrificing my knight. Now you may ask, is this really drawing the game?! No, it is not. I mean, in theory. I should be losing anyway. BUT. Against my opponent, I knew through my calculations and knowledge, that all other continuations were hopeless. This was the only one giving me chance to escape! You will see now why and what happened... 53.-h5+ Of course, first making active move putting my king calmly back. 54. Kh3 Rxe3 And now, comes the final chapter of this game. I will simply start give my beloved machinefriend some checks, let´s see how she deals with those. 55. Ra6+ Kg7 56. Ra7+ Kh8 57. Ra8+ Kg7 58. Ra7+ Kg6 59. Ra6+ Kf7 60. Ra7+ Kf6 61. Ra6+ Ke7 62. Ra7+ Ke6 63. Ra6+ Kf5 64. Ra5+ Kf6 65. Ra6+ Kg7 66. Ra7+ same exact position occurring third time, and draw! What happened, huh? Well, machine just didn´t want to give away her two pawns for win, that´s what happened! Guess you can call this also the horizon effect. It simply saw it would lose not just one, but two pawns, if it´s king would escape, and didn´t want to allow that, uhm, in fear of losing I guess. So, this lucky break gave me a draw and not a loss! This is where knowing your opponent came into play. I knew I had a chance. This is how chess is many times, you think you have advantages, you push, and push, it´s real close, you push some more, and find yourself being almost dead until manage miraculously to save the game! Woah. Beauty of chess. More detailed analysis of this game will be added later...Here´s the final position: