Thursday, March 10, 2016

Gate Closed Before Bishop Released

When a lower rated player chooses a Slav Defence Exchange Variation, he is happy to draw as White. To get a stronger player to agree to a draw, you have to play active or aggressive. Your pieces need the better squares. You need to make threats.

There's an old saying about closing the barn door after the horses get out. In this game White closed the gate before his bishop got out. At a glance 6.Bf4 looks more effective than 6.e3 and 10.Bd2. White went from "likely to thrive" to "possible to survive".

White's choice of 6.e3 is not a blunder. It's just not logical to me. It does not make sense coming from the lower rated player who chose an Exchange Slav. Compare that to the theoretical evaluations after 6.Bf4 which fluctuate from equal to a slight edge for White.

Ray Haines and all his opponents raised their ratings in this tournament. Nathan Gates seems to be improving. He outplays Haines from time to time, but not this time. White's position went from equal to slowly sliding downhill to falling off the table.

My Chess Training Repertoire this Thursday covers the Slav Exchange. Sign up if you want to receive weekly repertoire updates by email.

Gates - Haines, Houlton Open (3), 05.03.2016 begins 1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.c4 c6 4.cxd5 cxd5 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.e3 [The logical and good move is to play 6.Bf4=] 6...Bf5 7.Bb5 e6 8.Qa4 Qb6 9.Ne5 Rc8 10.Bd2 [10.b3 Nd7 11.Nxc6 bxc6 12.Ba6 Bb4 13.Bd2=] 10...a6 [10...Bd6=/+] 11.Bxc6+ bxc6 12.0-0 Bd6 13.Qb3 Qc7 14.Nd1 [14.f4 0-0-/+] 14...0-0 15.Rc1 Bxe5 16.dxe5 Qxe5 17.Bc3 Qd6 18.Bd4 [18.Bxf6!? gxf6 19.Qc3 e5=/+] 18...Nd7 19.Qc3 e5 20.Bc5 Nxc5 21.Qxc5 Qg6 22.f3 Rfd8 23.Qe7 Re8 24.Qh4 [24.Qc5 Bb1-/+] 24...d4 25.exd4 exd4 26.Nf2 d3 27.Qf4 Re2 [27...Qe6-+] 28.Rfd1 Rce8 [28...Qe6-+] 29.h3? [White has to defend g2. 29.g4 Be6 30.Rxc6 h5=/+] 29...Rxf2 30.Kxf2 Re2+ "mate next move" 0-1


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