Saturday, 24 February 2007

Stream of Chess Consciousness - 2

I started playing and analysing a game in this previous post. I will continue on from the position shown on the left. A replayable board is below.

11.Qd2. Avoiding the discovered attack on my Queen by Nd5 that I missed previously.

11...a6. I was a little surprised by this. I expected Rc8 instead, which must be a decent move, but Hiarcs was still in its opening book so there have to be good reasons for this move. I can only think that it either aims to keep my knight out of b5, or alternatively prepares to play b7-b5.

At this point I tried to come up with a plan and decided that I would try to take advantage of the position of the Black bishop on e6 by playing f4 followed by f5.


Hiarcs was now out of its opening book, so I guess that my last move wasn't necessarily the best.

12...Qc7. I had realised that by advancing my pawn to f4 that my King might be exposed on the open b7-g1 diagonal, so I had expected Qb6+ to which I was happy to reply Kh1 tucking my King out of the way. Qc7 attacks the pawn at c4 again so I played


Fritz tells me this isn't a good idea, even though it seems an obvious move. Black attacks the c4 pawn, I defend the c4 pawn. It prefers Rac1 which develops the rook and indirectly defends the c4 pawn because Bxc4 would lose to various discovered attacks on the Black Queen and pins of the bishop on c4 against the Queen. However, the analysis required to justify such a move is beyond me at the moment - perhaps it always will be!


Creates potential threats along the weakened diagonal. I thought a lot here about whether or not I should exchange off the Knight with my Bishop. I didn't want to do it if I could avoid it, because I didn't want to give Black the Bishop pair. So I checked for danger and decided to play...

14. h3? Qc5+ 15. Kh1

Here I had analysed Nf2+ and decided that after Kh2 my King was safe, there were no more tactics and Black's Knight was virtually trapped. Fritz analysis shows I was wrong - I missed 15...Bxc3 Qxc3 16.Nxe4 winning an important pawn. However, Hiarcs played...


My heart sank at this. My Queen and Knight are both threatened, forcing an exchange of Queens. So much for my plan to attack!

14. Qxe3 Nxe3

Here I should have moved my attacked Rook and defended the Knight at c3 by playing Rfc1. Instead I tried to be clever and decided to attack Black's stranded Knight instead.

15...Rf3? 16. Bxc3 17. Rc1

Now when Black moves the Bishop I planned to take the Knight on e3.


Oops! Missed that completely. Well, actually I think I considered it for a fleeting second and thought I would play Rd1 or Rc2, but of course either of those puts the Rook en prise to the Knight.

Time for another takeback! I don't usually do takebacks, honest! But this is a computer opponent and I am trying to learn. 14.h3 appears to be my first serious mistake so I'll go back to there for my next post on this game.


Dan Scoones said...

You have independently discovered an excellent training method! It also works well with annotated games. The value of this technique is that the feedback is so immediate and so thorough that it doesn't take long to raise your game to a much higher level.

By the way, your comment about the knight exchange on d4 was revealing. It is not that White's queen is powerfully placed on d4, since it must retreat soon. The plus from Black's side is exchanging pieces to minimise his space disadvantage, but there is a downside in that White is left with more control over d4. This is a typical tradeoff that masters understand automatically.

Anonymous said...

Hey Son --

I would have chosen a different plan than f4. I think it's a little too loosening too early, as the rest of your pieces aren't quite ready for such a commital advance on the kingside.

Also, I think that in most of these positions, your bishop belongs on e3, not g5, to protect the soon-to-be-weak dark squares after either f3 or f4. I guess I might be wrong, as you were apparently still in book, but it just doesn't feel right.

I've had nice success with a slow plan typically involving f3, Be3, Kh1, Rac1, and b3, although that is all obviously quite slow. That said, Black doesn't have too many active ideas either, so there is usually enough time to get all that in.

- AndyMack

Ryan Emmett said...

Hi Dan. Thanks for your comment!

Although learners like myself are usually told that analysing your games is a good way to improve, I often find it difficult to remember exactly what my thoughts were on each individual move after the game.

That's why I decided to analyse my games in brief segments like this, so that each move is still very fresh in my mind. The discipline of writing about it on this blog will hopefully encourage me to continue - as will helpful comments like yours!

I appreciate your point about my comment about the exchange of Knights on d4 being revealing. I realise now that my surprise at this move was due to an important misconception. I already guessed in my previous blog entry that it was partly justified by the exposure of the White Queen on d4, but I hadn't thought about the exchange as a way to minimise Black's space disadvantage - thanks for that insight. Also that White's real advantage to counterbalance this is his increased control of d4. Now I understand!

Your blog looks great - I've added it to the links section on my blog. BTW - I love the look of the diagrams on your blog; really crisp and clear. Do you mind me asking how you create them?

Ryan Emmett said...

Hi Andy - nice to see a familiar name! Thanks for taking the time to comment.

I guess you're right about f4 not being the best idea at that point of the game. I considered f3 but I think I rejected it because I didn't want to block my light-squared bishop behind yet another pawn.

On reflection, perhaps this doesn't matter because it reinforces e4 and protects g4. Also, I suppose it's my dark squared bishop that's more threatening given the finachettoed pawn structure of the Black Kingside.

Thinking about it even more, I'm sure it's just the bishop on e2 that put me off playing f3. I'm quite happy to play openings like the Samisch variation against the King's Indian

1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 g6 3 Nc3 Bg7 4 e4 d6 5 f3 O-O

where the bishop is still on f1. I'll think I'll try to bear that in mind in future.

Dan Scoones said...

I make my diagrams with either ChessBase or Fritz. I like to use the black and white board from Fritz 4 (this can be selected in Options, I believe.) To make a diagram, just use the Edit Copy menu to get the diagram into the Windows clipboard. Then open a graphics program, paste it in, and save it as a .jpg file. I think you can handle it from there!

Ryan Emmett said...

Thanks for the tip, Dan. I'll keep experimenting!