Friday, October 05, 2007

Finding My Form

Well, I kind of brought my head above water again with that great tournament I had a few weeks back. Then I submerged for a while... Two losses in succession, one of them where I simply dropped a piece due to some wretched calculating, and then I had a rather embarrassing weekend where I came away with .5/4, but to be fair, I was pressing at that event, trying to do too much in most of the games, and looking for violence when I should have been taking deep, slow breaths.

This month has brought some games against weaker opposition at last, and they have had a calming effect on my play. Somehow, I'm working to find a rhythm again, to remember just what it takes to win and not lose, to press without over-reaching.

In this position, with the black pieces, I had already wrapped up a win, but there remained some question over just how long it would take me to convert. With great amusement though, I found:
1... a3
2.Ra4 a2!
Which works of course because of the skewer threat.
3.Kf2 Rh1

I had been a long, grueling fight, and it was nice to close out in style.

In this position, with the white pieces, I had what I thought should have been a comfortable positional edge, stemming principally from my permanent knight on d5. However, I think that my kingside advances were rather more loosening than I had intended, and now I began to worry about a potential break on the f-file.
28.Kg2 Qe6
29.g5 Rf8
And, trying to stick to my guns, I have seriously failed to prevent an f-break.
30.h5 h6!?
I rather expected 30...f6, which I suspect would have been stronger than the game continuation. I had calculated 31.hxg6 fxg6 32.gxf6 Bxf6 33.Qg3, and felt that I should still have a little something, but not so much as I would have liked. The trouble is that my knight is going to be destabilized if the center opens up and the major pieces fail to come off.
31.Rh1 f5This was a key moment. We were in mutual time trouble, and I hedged my bets that if I took on f5 he would fail to take back with the queen. Objectively, 32.gxf6 is probably better, but I felt that 32.exf5 would give me greater practical chances.
32.exf5 Rxf5?
Here, 32...Qxf5 would have called my bluff, as I can't play 33.Nf6+ now because the queen is simply too dangerous to loose on my naked king. I end up losing a rook in the check patterns in those lines. Instead, play might have gone 33.Qxf5 Rxf5 34.gxh6 Bxh6 35.hxg6 Rg5+ with relative equality heading into the endgame. I lucked out though - for a change.
33.Nf6+ Bxf6
34.Qxb7 Rxg5+
35.Kf1 Qg4
36.Rxd6 Qf4
37.Qa8+ Kh7
38.hxg6+ Kxg6?
This makes it easy. Rxf6 would have been much feistier.
39.Qg8+ Kf5
Missing all of the good moves. 40.Rxf6 was cute, as was 40.Qh7+, but it was the time control move...
40... Kg6
41.Qg8+ Kf5
42.Qh7+ Rg6
43.Rh5+ Bg5
44.Qxg6+ 1-0

So, things are looking up for the moment. Nothing too impressive, but I imagine that a few more wins, a little more confidence, and maybe I can start to work on churning out something to really write about again!


Blogger transformation said...

the best --direct-- chess blogging. thank you. dk

10:53 PM  
Anonymous Chess Teaching said...

In the first diagram White should have played 2.Rc1 after your move 1...a3
The game is still easy to win because now Black can play 2...Rxh4, but the alternative is certainly better than 2.Ra4 a2 3.Kf2 Rh1 4.Rxa2 Rh2+ 5.Kg3 Rxa2

10:25 AM  

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