Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Stay Focused or Get Fried Caro-Kann

My attitude cost me a chance at brilliance. I met Corey Acor a third time in the fifth round of the 2009 Southern Open. Acor drew Grandmaster Julio Becerra in an earlier round. In my previous meetings, Corey Acor edged out my London System with his King's Indian Defence. So I was due for Black.

I only played two of the five rounds. We had company visiting that weekend, so I put in for half points byes in rounds 3-4. I got a bye win in round 1 due to their being an uneven number of players entered into the schedule I chose. This is my final round game.

Corey Acor defeats my Caro-Kann Defence after I missed a good shot. Corey was outplaying me when all of a sudden I had an opportunity for a brilliant sacrificial attack. The problem is that I did not look deep enough at the combination. I was discouraged about the trend of the game and tired. I glanced at the sacrifice, figured it did not work and I pretty much I gave up. The lesson is stay focused to achieve the best results.

Acor (2350) - Sawyer (1943), Southern Open (5), 02.08.2009 begins 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Bf5 5.Ng3 Bg6 6.Nf3 Nd7 7.Bc4 e6 8.h4 h6 9.Qe2 Ngf6 [9...Bd6=] 10.Ne5 Nxe5 11.dxe5 Nd5 12.a3 Be7 13.h5 Bh7 14.Qg4 Rg8 15.Bb3 Qc7 16.f4 0-0-0 17.Bd2 Qb6 18.Qf3 Bc5 19.0-0-0 Ne3 20.Rde1 Nf5 [20...Nxc2! 21.Bxc2 Bxc2 22.Kxc2 Rxd2+ 23.Kxd2 Qxb2+ 24.Kd3 Rd8+ 25.Kc4 (25.Qd5 Rxd5+ 26.Kc4 b5#) 25...Rd4+ 26.Kxc5 Qb6#] 21.Nxf5 Bxf5 22.g4 Bh7 23.f5 Rge8 24.Rh2 Kb8 25.f6 g5 26.hxg6 Bxg6 27.Rxh6 Rd4 28.Rxg6 Rxd2 [28...fxg6 29.f7+-] 29.Kxd2 fxg6 30.f7 Rd8+ 31.Kc1 Bf2 32.f8Q Bxe1 33.Q8f4 Qg1 34.Qf1 1-0

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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Friday, May 8, 2015

Zilbermints Philidor Counter Gambit

Zilbermints wrote to me: "I crushed Tatai with the PCG on ICC". Here is his game vs IM Stefano Tatai. Clearly this gambit places a lot of pressure to play very accurately. White has good moves, but in an unbalanced tactical position White needs to play many good moves in a row to gain the advantage. Lev shows that in a three minute blitz game, a prepared attacker has great practical chances against a human opponent.

The Philidor Defence can be played in many ways, either solid or aggressive. As I see it, Black has three key choices:
1. Play ...Nbd7 with ...c6, or play ...Nc6.
2. Play ...exd4, or protect and hold e5.
3. Play an early ...Nf6 or play first ...f5.

This last approach is the Philidor Counter Gambit. After 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 White can play 3.Nxe5 against openings such as 2...Nf6, 2...d5, or 2...f5. However 2...d6 protects e5, therefore Black forces White to enter the fray in a manner that can threaten the Nf3. Lev Zilbermints ends up on top in this short tactical clash.

Ornitologo (1885) - Zilbermints (2055), ICC 5 0 Internet Chess Club, 26.04.2015 begins 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 f5 4.dxe5 [Common alternatives are 4.Nc3+/= and 4.exf5+/-] 4...fxe4 5.Ng5 d5 6.Nc3 [Komodo and Houdini prefer 6.e6+/- while Fritz prefers 6.c4+/=] 6...Bb4 7.e6 [Or 7.Be2 Nc6 8.0-0+/= Stockfish] 7...Nh6 [7...Qf6! 8.Nf7 Bxe6 9.Nxh8 Nc6 gives Black compensation for the pawn.] 8.Qh5+ Kf8 9.Nf7 [9.Bd2; 9.Be3; or 9.f3] 9...Qe8 10.Bxh6 [10.Qxd5! Nxf7 11.exf7 Qxf7 12.Qd8+ Qe8 13.Qxc7+- and White is up a pawn with a solid position.] 10...Bxe6 11.Qe5? [11.Qg5! gxh6 12.Qf6 Qxf7 13.Qxh8+ Qg8 14.Qf6+ Qf7 15.Qxh6+ Qg7 16.Qxg7+ Kxg7 17.0-0-0+/-] 11...Qxf7 12.Bxg7+? Qxg7 13.Qxe6 Bxc3+ 14.Ke2 Nc6 [14...Bxb2-+] 15.bxc3 Qxc3 16.Rd1 A knight fork is coming, so White resigns 0-1

You may also like: Caro-Kann (1.e4 c6) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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