Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Valiantangel Wins Rejoicing Swiss!

Congratulations to Valiantangel, our July 2015 Rejoicing Swiss Champion! 
 Final standings are shown below.
Results for each round can be found at the tournament page.
Many thanks to blkmagic(*)(SR)(TM) for thinking of and directing this very enjoyable tournament, and thanks to all who participated and made it a success!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Analysis on Gorgonian vs Valiantangel (by Gorgonian)

Please find Gorgonian's annotations on his game against Valiantangel in the Rejoicing Swiss below.

Gorgonian: I haven't gotten around to analyzing/annotating the endgame yet, but I thought what I have done might be useful.

[Event "rated standard match"]
[Site "Free Internet Chess Server"]
[Date "2015.07.24"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Gorgonian"]
[Black "Valiantangel"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[WhiteElo "2020"]
[BlackElo "1901"]
[ECO "C02"]
[TimeControl "2700+45"]

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.c3 b6 5.Bb5+ Bd7 6.Bd3 Ne7 7.Nf3 

{In preparation for this game, I had to look at quite a wide variety of opening lines. I had switched from 1.e4 to 1.d4 recently as my main weapon with white, but in looking at what my opponent played against 1.e4, I was mostly intrigued by the way he handled the French Defense. Against 1.d4, it looked likely to head towards a Bogo-Indian Defense, which I would be fine with. I thought I had a better chance at an opening advantage in the French, though, based on his history. Against the French Defense, I normally play 3.Nc3, but it was the Advance Variation where it looked like I could get an advantage. I spent a lot of my formative years playing the Advance Variation, and I have kept one system in reserve despite switching to the Sicilian a few years ago. The line of Sicilian I play can easily transpose to a French Advance. I like the Paulsen Attack sub-variation and had recently come across a somewhat complete system for the French Advance that uses that idea. I brushed up on this system and planned to try to head towards it if my opponent played 1… e6, and, indeed, he did.

When my opponent played 4… b6, I was caught a little bit off-guard.  I knew there was a line of my system that had an early b6, but not this early. I remembered only a little bit about it, but wasn't sure 
how important it was. An odd sequence of moves stuck in my head, and I remember having some trouble determining the purpose for it.  Following b6, white plays Bb5+ followed by retreating by Bd3. Why take two moves to move the bishop from f1 to d3? An examination of the purpose of b6 helped me to solve the mystery. When black plays b6, the idea has nothing to do with reinforcing the c5 pawn. Instead, black is trying to play Ba6 to trade bishops. The c8-bishop is, of course, the problem piece in the French Defense. It is much more difficult to trade the bishops from d7 than it is from c8. Additionally, if Bb5+ were met by Nbd7, the knight is no longer supporting a bishop move to a6.

Recalling the time I spent solving this mystery is what helped me to remember what to do if black plays b6 during the actual game. The fact that the d-file gets clogged up a little in the process helped out during the game, also.}

7...Nf5? 8.dxc5 bxc5? 
( 8...Bxc5 9.Bxf5 exf5 10.Qxd5 {Black has one more piece developed and a better pawn structure.} )
9.Bxf5 exf5 10.Qxd5 Bc6? 
( 10...Nc6 
( 10...Na6?? {Loses a piece, at best, and narrowly avoids getting mated.} 11.Ng5 Be6 
( 11...Qe7?? 
( 11...Qc8?? 12.Qxf7+ Kd8 13.Ne6+ Bxe6 14.Bg5+ Be7 15.Qxe7# )12.Qxa8+ )
( 11...Qb8?? 12.O-O Be6 13.Nxe6 fxe6 14.Qxe6+ {Winning the N on a6.} )
12.Qc6+ {Winning N on a6} ))

11.Qxd8+ Kxd8 12.Bg5+ Kc7 
{My goal after winning the pawn was to finish development while maintaining the integrity of my pawn structure. The immediate problem is that Bxf3 would damage the pawn structure. I wanted to reinforce the f3 knight with Nbd2, but the bishop on c1 was in the way.  Therefore, 12.Bg5+ seemed to be the answer. Here, I naturally followed up with 13.Nbd2, but the position of the bishop on g5 is somewhat precarious here. Nbd2 takes away some of its retreat squares. It turns out that after 13.Nbd2, h6 is a pretty strong reply. Black gains considerable initiative and space on the kingside.}

13.Nbd2 Nd7? 
{At this point in the game, I was quite pleased with the outcome of the opening. I was a pawn up, my pieces were either developed or soon would be, and my king was going to be quite safe after I got castled.  I was oblivious to the h6 threat, so mentally, that wasn't a problem as long as my opponent was also in the dark.

Over the course of the next 8-10 moves, the game would continue pretty much as planned: castling, finishing development, keeping my pieces safe, preserving pawn structure.

A situation began to develop on the e-file that had me concerned, however. The rook on e2 found itself without any protection, and the bishop on e5 vulnerable to a pin to it. I didn't see any immediate tactical shots to capitalize on this, but it is the type of position that can certainly lead to them.

I also had a feeling like I needed to keep my bishop on the a1-h8 diagonal rather than its perpendicular since I felt like it could be held out of play by a pawn chain on h6-g5-f4 if I tucked it away on h2. This led me to a plan of playing c4 with tempo on the knight, and then shoring up chain with b3, also keeping the knight out of a4.  However, I was still concerned with the potential pin on the e-file.  Now that the heat is off, it seems like this was just a case of seeing ghosts since the bishop is adequately defended and Re3 can be played easily afterwards if the pin becomes a reality. At the time, though, I was quite concerned and was desperately searching for a way to create an extra tempo to defend the rook and keep the knight out of a4. I decided to play Re3 to safeguard against the pin tactics and deal with Na4 issues if they arose.}

( 13...h6! {Black regains the pawn in this line.} 14.Be3 
( 14.Bh4?? g5 15.Bg3 f4 {The bishop is trapped.} )
14...g5 15.b4 {Creating an escape square for the bishop.} 15...cxb4 
( 16.Bd4 bxc3 17.Bxc3 )
16...Bxb4 -/+ )

14.O-O f6 15.exf6 Nxf6 16.Bf4+ Kb7 17.Rfe1 h6 18.Re2 Re8 19.Rae1 Rxe2 20.Rxe2 Rh7 21.h4 Nd5 22.Be5 g6 
{In this position, the minor pieces for each side are pretty equal, though black does have a minor plus in the bishop pair. White has a rook on one of the two fully open files, while black can occupy the d 
or e-file pretty easily. White's lack of a light-square bishop makes the d3 square a surprisingly nice home for black's knight, if it can get there. White obliges this by playing 23.c4. A much better plan for white would be to retreat the bishop to h2 and infiltrate on the e-file with the rook.}

( 23.Bh2 Re7 24.Rxe7+ Bxe7 25.Nc4 f4? 
( 25...Kc8 {White has a nice knight on c4 and overall nice activity while still maintaining a solid pawn structure (only h4 is in question).} )
26.Na5+ Kb6 27.Nxc6 Kxc6 28.Ne5+ Kb7 29.Nxg6 Bf6 +- )
( 23...Nb4 24.a3 Nd3 25.Re3 Rd7 {Black improves his knight and activates his rook.} )
24.Re3 Be7? 
( 24...Re7 25.Bf4 Rxe3 26.Bxe3 Bxf3 27.gxf3 Na4 28.b3 Nc3 29.f4 
( 29.a3?? f4 {Trapped bishop.} )
29...Nxa2 += {Black regains the pawn. White is still better due to the ability to get the knight to e5 where it will harass the g6 pawn.})

25.b3 Nd7 26.Bb2 g5 27.hxg5 hxg5 28.Ne5 Nxe5 29.Bxe5 Kc8 30.Rh3 Rxh3 31.gxh3 Kd7 32.f4 Ke6 33.Bb8 a6 34.Kf2 Bf6 35.Kg3 a5 36.Nf3 gxf4+ 37.Bxf4 a4 38.Be3 axb3 39.axb3 Be7 40.Ng5+ Kf6 41.Bf4 Kg6 42.Ne6 Kf6 43.Nc7 Be4 44.Nd5+ Ke6 45.Nxe7 Kxe7 46.Bd2 Bc2 47.b4 cxb4 48.Bxb4+ Kf7 49.Kf4 Be4 50.Ke5 Kg6 51.Be7 Bb7 52.h4 Bc8 53.Bg5 Kh5 54.Kf4 Bd7 55.c5 Kg6 56.Ke5 1/2-1/2