Friday, June 22, 2007

Back with a new Discipline - I hope...

I have been away from the game of chess for quite some time. My last tournament game for many months was back in December. Then work intervened, and chess had to take a temporary backburner that became a long break, and then a longer one, and before I knew it, I had to go searching through boxes even just to find my chess books.

Needless to say, I am back, hopefully to stay, and whatever the conventional wisdom is, I don't seem to have that many cobwebs in my brain, thank heavens!

The world of chess has not stood still though. The World Championship has come and gone, uncommented upon on this blog. Players have risen and fallen, and it is time to get cracking again. So, without further ado, I shall begin with a recap of my own recent game history, looking at success, failures, learning experiences etc.

My first game back went off with a bang, round one on a Tuesday night at Metrowest. I started in the U1900 section, as the top rated player, and had the luxury of the white pieces to boot.

White: Joshua Haunstrup (1880)
Black: Amrit Gupta (1784)
Event: MCC Summer Solstice (1)
Date: June 5, 2007
(B42 Sicilian, Kan, 5.Bd3)

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6 5.Bd3 Nc6
This move came as quite a surprise. I think I vaguely new that this was a line, a rather stodgy line, but it seems unnatural - a sort of uncomfortable hybrid between the Taimanov and Kan variations. It would make sense in the position after 5.Nc3, but here?
6.Nxc6 bxc6
Apparently this move has had a lousy reputation ever since Fischer smashed it up in a now somewhat ancient game, but it's not objectively so bad if black follows up correctly. At this point, white would like to play e5 as in some 2 knights' lines, but Qa5 puts the kabosh on that, so castling comes first.
7.0-0 Nf6?!
7...d5 was almost necessary.
8.e5 Nd5 9. a3
This move probably was not necessary, but I wanted to cut back on his options.
9...Bc5 10.c4 Nb6 11.Qg4! g6?!
I think that 11...Kf8 or even 11...Bf8 would have been preferable. Now Gupta has serious positional problems.
12.Nc3 d5
I was eyeing d6 with the knight via e4, so Gupta resorted to desperate measures.
The black position seems rather helpless already, but it gets rapidly worse.
This just gives me a tempo.
14.Qf3 Bxd6
It's pretty much all over from here.
16.c5 Be7
17.cxb6 Qxd3
18.Bh6+ with rapid mate to follow

Well, welcome back, right? More thoughts and recap to follow.


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