Wednesday, 11 April 2007

Stream of Chess Consciousness 4

Well here it is at last - the finale to my game which I have been posting on this blog. I am attempting to follow the 'stream of consciousness' that swirls through my head when I play a chess game in order to root out any misconceptions and fallacies I might be labouring under.

This post starts off from the position after 23....Kg7 (see the diagram). You can play through the entire game using the arrows under the replay board below.

24. Nb6 I seem to have developed a bit of an initiative over the last few moves, so I tried to keep this going by threatening the bishop.

24...Bc6 25. Nd7 I think this forces the exchange of bishop for knight since the rook at f8 and the pawn at c5 are forked and if the rook moves away then Nxc5 protects the pawn at e4. If then b6 to remove the Knight, the a6 pawn is left hanging.

25...Bxd7 26. Rxd7 b5

Do I exchange pawns or not? I wasn't sure and went after the c-pawn instead.

27. Rc7 bxc4 28. bxc4 e5

Somewhat bizarrely, I missed this completely. I seemed to have forgotten that the e-pawn could actually move out of the attack from my rook!

29. f5 I wanted to avoid exchanging. fxe5 Rxe5 just seems to let Black protect the pawn at c5 and leaves my e4 pawn isolated and weak. I preferred to advance the pawn to f5, keeping the position closed and possibly entertaining thoughts of f6 in future.

29...Rc8 30. Rd7 Rcd8 31. Rfd1 Rxd7 32. Rxd7 gxf5 33. exf5 Kf6 34. g4 e4 35. Kf2 Re8 36. Ke3 h5

I had a long think here. I wasn't sure whether or not to play Rd6+ to win the pawn at a6 and give myself an outside passed pawn. I decided against this move because I like my rook where it is - attacking the pawn on f7 and tying Black's King to it's defense. Instead I tried to improve my worst placed piece - or in this case - pawn, and see what Black would do.

37. a4 hxg4 38. hxg4 Kg5

Abandoning the f pawn doesn't look like a good idea to me.

39. Rxf7 Kxg4 40. f6 Kf5 41. Re7 Rf8 42. f7 Kf6 43. Re8

I had seen this far when I took the f pawn and now expected Black to take back with the rook which should lead to a draw.

Kxf7 ?? Clearly this leads to a lost King ending. The computer is giving me too much now - even I should be able to finish the game from here without mishap. I played the last moves quickly and finished the game with a win - hooray!

44. Rxf8+ Kxf8 45. Kxe4 Ke8 46. Kd5 Kd7 47. Kxc5 Kc7 48. a5 Kb7 49. Kd6 Kc8 50. Kc6 Kb8 51. Kb6 Kc8 52. Kxa6 Kc7 53. Kb5 Kb7 54. Kc5 Kc7 55. Kd5 Kd7 56. a6 Kc7 57. a7 Kb7 58. a8=Q+ Kxa8 59. Kc6 Kb8 60. c5 Kc8 61. Kb6 Kb8 62. c6 Ka8 63. Kc5 Kb8 64. Kd6 Kc8 65.
c7 Kb7 66. Kd7 Ka6 67. c8=Q+ Kb5 68. Kd6 Kb4 69. Qc2 Ka3 70. Qb1 Ka4 71. Kc5
Ka3 72. Kc4 Ka4 73. Qb4# 1-0

I haven't checked the moves of this final post with Fritz, so there may be many things I have missed. I welcome your comments once more on my conduct of the game and if my moves and/or descriptions of my thoughts reveal any misconceptions that I should iron out of my play.


Tom Chivers said...

Is your stream of consciousness really that organised and rational!? I typed out my thoughts once (as best I could) during a correspondence game for each move and whilst not a huge mess, they were mostly composed of "mms" and "not sures"!

Ryan Emmett said...

Hi Tom.

To be honest, my thoughts tend to be a bit messy too!

I guess it's impossible to capture what I was thinking about in detail, but I try to post my thoughts immediately after the game so that I have a fair chance of remembering some of what was going on in my head!

I probably make it sound much more organised than it really was. lol.

I've found it very useful to post my thoughts like this and would recommend it to anyone.

I have now looked at this game with Fritz and discovered that I should have played 43. Rxe4! It looks like Black can take my pawn on f7 with his Rook or King, but if he does either then I can check with the rook at f4 and force an exchange of rooks to get to the winning King endgame. Fortunately, my silicon opponent allowed me to exchange rooks anyway. :)

I didn't even consider Rxe4. I think this is partly because I had made several moves forward with the pawn and have a tendency to only look at moves that advance pieces further up the board. I suppose it's an optical 'illusion' thing.

Also, I made the mistake of not checking my earlier analysis when I got to that move. If I had stopped and considered if there might be a better move than 43.Re8 I might have had a chance of finding Rxe4, but I just played it with no extra thought.

I feel that discovering mistakes like this myself probably makes it more likely that the lesson will sink in and I won't make the same mistake again!