Friday, March 25, 2016

Catalan Closed but Charged Up

How do you keep a chess position closed? That's not easy against a strong opponent. A good player forces the game open. I put my Black pawns on the light squares. White mounted a special force invasion with his queen and minor pieces on the dark squares.

I accepted the challenge to defend against the Catalan Opening. My opponent was rated 800 points above me. I went from closed to cramped until I could not defend.

When I see my opponent's handle "Alkaline", I wonder. Is that an Alkaline battery? Is that Al Kaline, the hall of fame Detroit Tigers baseball player?

No. The Internet Chess Club lists this as a chess engine with Arasan 17.5. I don't know what that means beyond lots of rating points. This player has been inactive for more than a year. He came. He saw. He conquered. He left.

The point of playing such a strong computer is to learn. I observed that White developed quickly. He fought for space in the center. He ripped the position open and invaded with energy. That's good advice for my next game!

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Alkaline (2875) - Sawyer (2028), ICC 3 1 Internet Chess Club, 05.01.2014 begins 1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 e6 3.g3 Nf6 4.Bg2 Be7 5.c4 c6 6.0-0 0-0 7.Nc3 a6!? [The main line is 7...Nbd7 8.b3 b6 9.Bb2 Bb7 10.Qc2 Rc8=] 8.a3 b5? [This is a terrible idea that leaves Black's game very cramped. He should eliminate White's c-pawn while he still can with 8...dxc4 9.Ne5 Nbd7 10.Nxc4+/=] 9.c5 Nbd7 10.Bf4 Ng4 11.e4 f5 [11...e5 12.dxe5 d4 13.Nxd4 Ngxe5 14.b4+-] 12.e5 Nh6 13.Bxh6 gxh6 14.Qd2 Bg5 15.Qd3 Qe8 16.h4 Be7 17.Ne2 Kh8 18.Qd2 Qg6 19.Nf4 Qf7 20.Rfc1 Rg8 21.Nd3 Qg6 22.Rd1 Bb7 23.Nf4 Qf7 24.Ne2 Qg6 25.Ne1 Bf8 26.Qa5 Qe8 27.Nf4 Bg7 28.Qc7 Rb8 29.Bf3 Nf8 30.Bh5 Ng6 31.Ned3 Rf8 32.Qd6 Rd8 33.Qxe6 Black resigns 1-0

You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Sicilian (1.e4 c5)
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