#24, 25, 26 Yuce, Aytac ICCF: 2132 vs Gombac, Jan (FM) FIDE: 2250

#24 Yuce, Aytac ICCF: 2132 vs Gombac, Jan (FM) FIDE: 2250

Chess960 start position: 382 (NRKRNBBQ)

Time control: 15+5

Site: http://en.lichess.org/BBB6l0dXeGBt

SP382

1. f4 Nb6 2. Nb3 g6 3. Bd4 f6 4. Nf3 Bg7 5. e4 e5 6. Be3 Nd6 7. d3 Be6 8. fxe5 fxe5 9. c4 Nf7 10. Be2 Bh6 11. Qg1 Qf8 12. a3 d6 13. Nbd2 Bxe3 14. Qxe3 Qh6 15. Qxh6 Nxh6 16. h3 Kd7 17. Ng5 Bg8 18. Kc2 Ke7 19. Rf1 Nd7 20. b4 Nf8 21. Rf2 Nf7 22. Nxf7 Bxf7 23. Rbf1 Bg8 24. g3 Ne6 25. Nb3 h5 26. Rf6 Nf4 27. R6xf4 exf4 28. gxf4 Rf8 29. Nd4 c5 30. Nb3 b6 31. Kd2 Be6 32. h4 Rf6 33. Ke3 Rbf8 34. d4 cxd4+ 35. Nxd4 Bd7 36. Bd3 Rc8 37. Rg1 Bg4 38. e5 dxe5 39. fxe5 Rff8 40. b5 Rc5 41. Bxg6 Rxe5+ 42. Kd2 Rf2+ 43. Kc3 Re3+ 44. Bd3 Rh2 45. Rxg4 Rxd3+ 46. Kxd3 hxg4 { White resigns } 0-1


 

#25 Gombac, Jan (FM) FIDE: 2250 vs Yuce, Aytac ICCF: 2132

Chess960 start position: 883 (BRQKRNNB)

Time control: 15+5

Site: http://en.lichess.org/WXelWmC50TNS

SP883

1. Nf3 (I would like to distinguish starting positions of chess960 into 2 groups-ones that are more “natural” and the others, that are more “clumsy”. This one is certainly one of the latter group for black, so it requires especially precise play from him. Pawns on a7 and f7 are unprotected and especially the f7 pawn is very problematic, since white has an immediate threat of Ng5 (or Ne5) and it is not so easy for black to find a natural way of defending against it.)

1… g6! (I think this is the correct approach-black opens the h8-bishop, prevents the move Ne5, while in case of 2.Ng5Nh6 white actually wouldn’t prove anything. Much worse would be, of course, 1…f6?, closing totally the bishop on h8 plus losing the possibility of later developement of the knight to f6.)

2. d3 (White is already pointing his queen’s eye to the h6 square, where black’s knight might be in the near future.)

2… d6 3. g3 (It was to early to go for 3.Ng5?!Nh6 4.Nh7?Ng4 and black is winning, but not 3…Qf5? 4.Ng3! and black is on the ropes.)

3… Nd7? (But this is a mistake, since now white will really get what he wanted at the very start. Instead, black had 2 decent options-the solid 3…Ne6 with approximate equality, or the sharp 3…b6, which can lead to big complications after 4.Ng5Bh1 5.Nf7Kd7 6.Nh8 with unclear play.)

Game25a

 

 

 

position after 3… Nd7?

 

 

 

 

4. Ng5 Nh6 5. Ne6+ (Probably it was even better to take the pawn by 5.Nh7Ng4 6.Qf4, but I wanted to have the activity of my pieces.)

5… fxe6 6. Qxh6 Nf6 7. Ne3 Qd7 8. b3?! (I wasn’t sure whether this move is really essential, or could I just castled here, because 8.0-0Qa4(?) worried me a little. Well, actually white can now play 9.b3 and on no account can black take on a2-it would simply cost to many tempo. Therefore the move 8.b3?! is actually a loss of time, since white will play b4 in a moment. The advantage, however, stays clearly with white, since black has a problem not only with his somewhat spoiled pawn structure, but also with his bishop on a8.)

game25b

 

 

 

position after 8. b3?!

 

 

 

 

8… O-O-O (Hardly any better would be 8…b6 9.Ba8Ra8 10.0-0Kc8 (What else?) 11.c4Kb7 12.b4, etc.)

9. c4 Kb8 10. O-O Rg8 11. b4?! (This move belongs into white’s plan, but, speaking concretely, much better would be to play here 11.Qh3!e5 12.Qg2, avoiding what could have happened in the game.)

11… Bg7?! (This “natural” move gives white a definitive advantage. It was worth trying 11…e5, preventing the retreat of Qh3 and intending to continue with g5 and Rg6, harassing white’s queen, even though white will be able to play Nd5 at the right moment, exchanging knights and making possible the queen to retreat to h5, still preserving the advantage.)

game25c

 

 

 

position after 11… Bg7?!

 

 

 

 

12. Qh3 e5 13. Qg2! (Unusual set-up for white’s queen and light-squared bishop, but now black can open up his a8-bishop only at the cost of serious weakening of his pawn structure, which actually happened.)

13… Qc6 14. Qxc6 bxc6 15. a4?! (And this is already the first step into the wrong direction-white prepares b5, but this brakethrough is the wrong one (Why to open up black’s a8-bishop and also exchanging black’s c6-pawn, which is a weakness??). Instead, white should aim for the c5 push, but in that case pawn stands better on a2, preserving the possibility of the defense of the b4-pawn by means of a2-a3. So, after 15.c5, followed by Rfc1, Nc4, Na5, white would have had an overwhelming advantage.)

game25d

 

 

 

position after 15. a4?!

 

 

 

 

15… Kc8 16. b5?! (White is very consistent in carrying out his wrong play, but it is also true that here 16.c5 is less strong (but still the way to go!) than on the previous move: 16.c5Kd7 17.Bg2Rb8!? 18.Nc4Nd5 19.Bh3e6 with some annoying counter-play, although concretely here white has 20.b5! and black is still in deep trouble.)

16… Kd7 17. Nc2?! (Better was 17.Bg2 with the idea of 17…c5 18.Bh3 and f2-f4, still with some annoying initiative.)

17… cxb5 18. axb5 (From practical point of view, more dangerous for black would be 18.Rb5!?Bh1 19.Kh1Rb8 20.Rfb1Rb5 21.Rb5Rf8!? 22.f3!?, with the idea of Nb4 and Rb7-white’s initiative is still unpleasant, but black can hold with precise play.)

18… Bxh1 19. Kxh1 c6? (The better freeing pawn move was 19…a6 and after 20.ba6?Ra8 21.Nb4Rgb8, followed by c7-c5 and equality. More promising for white is 21.b6cb6 22.Rb6 with an advantage, but black as well has an earlier improvement: 19…Ra8! 20.Nb4a5! 21.Na6…(21.ba6 transposes into 19…a6, with equality.) 21…c6 with totally double-edged play.)

game25e

 

 

 

position after 19… c6?

 

 

 

 

 

20. bxc6+ Kxc6 21. Nb4+ Kd7 22. Na6! (This prevents Rb8 and thus prepares Rb7.)

game25f

 

 

 

position after 22. Na6!

 

 

 

 

22… Ra8? (It was absolutely essential to play 22…Ke6 even though after 23.Rb7Rd7 24.Rfb1 black cannot avoid the loss of the a7-pawn.)

23. Rb7+ Kc6? (This allows mate, but black’s position is lost even in case of 23…Kd8 24.Bc3, or 24.Nc7, etc.)

24. Rc7+ Kb6 25. Rb1+ { Black resigns } (It’s easy to see the mate in case of 25…Ka6 26.Rc6Ka5 27.Bc3Ka4 28.Ra6mate, but in case of 25…Ka5 the finish is more pretty: 26.Nc5!!dc5 27.Bc3Ka4 28.Rcb7 (Or 28.Rc5a5 29.Rcb5 with mate to follow.) with the unstoppable 29.Ra1mate, although the prosaic 26.Bc3 mates even 1 move quickly: 26…Ka4 27.Rcb7 with the following 28.Ra1mate, or 26…Ka6 27.Rc6mate.) 1-0

(Annotations: Jan Gombac)


 

 

#26 Yuce, Aytac ICCF: 2132 vs Gombac, Jan (FM) FIDE: 2250

Chess960 start position: 559 (RNKNQRBB)

Time control: 15+5

Site: http://en.lichess.org/FY2Mhwsyna48

SP559

1. e4 g6 2. Nbc3 Bd4 3. Ne2 Bb6 4. Ndc3 f5 5. exf5 Rxf5 6. g3 Nbc6 7. O-O-O Ne6 8. f4 Ned4 9. Bxd4 Nxd4 10. Nxd4 Ra5 11. Nb3 Bxb3 12. cxb3 O-O-O 13. Na4 Qf7 14. Kb1 c6 15. Nxb6+ axb6 16. Qe3 Kc7 17. d4 Rda8 18. a3 Rb5 19. Ka2 e6 20. Bf3 Rba5 21. b4 Rf5 22. Qb3 Rf8 23. Be4 Rf6 24. Rc1 g5 25. d5 exd5 26. Bxd5 Qh5 27. Bf3 Qxh2 28. fxg5 Rf5 29. g4 Rxg5 30. Rh1 Qg3 31. Be4 Qxb3+ 32. Kxb3 Rxg4 33. Bxh7 Rg3+ 34. Rc3 Rg2 35. Be4 Re2 36. Bd3 Rd2 37. Rf1 Rh8 38. Rf7 Rhh2 39. Bc2 b5 40. Rh7 Rxc2 41. Rxh2 Rxh2 42. Rd3 d5 43. Kc3 Kd6 44. Rg3 Rh7 45. Kd4 Rh6 46. Rg8 Rh4+ 47. Kd3 Rh3+ 48. Kd4 Rb3 49. Rg6+ Kc7 50. Rg2 Kb6 51. Rc2 Rh3 52. Rg2 Rh4+ 53. Ke5 Re4+ 54. Kd6 Re3 55. Rd2 Ka7 56. Kc7 Rb3 57. Kd6 Kb6 58. Kd7 Rh3 59. Kd6 Rh6+ 60. Ke5 Kc7 61. Kd4 Kd6 62. Rg2 b6 63. Rg8 c5+ 64. bxc5+ bxc5+ 65. Kd3 Rh3+ 66. Kc2 Rh2+ 67. Kd3 Rxb2 { White resigns } 0-1

 

 

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An interview with Jan Gombac (FM)

We recently made a short interview with Jan Gombac (FM) about chess960 and current chess politics. He is not only a strong SP518 player, but also a strong chess player.

chess959: Thanks for accepting an interview with chess959.

jangombacJan Gombac: You are very much welcome.

 

 

 

 

chess959: I would like start with a very tricky question:

Jan Gombac: Sure.

chess959: Which one is a chess variant: Chess960 or SP#518 (RNBQKBNR)?

Jan Gombac: Well, actually I would say that SP#518 is more of a chess variant, while chess960 is generally chess.

chess959: Chess960 discourages addictive game play. In chess lets face it what do we do these days? We play one game online. If we win we play another straight away because we are already familiar with the opening that worked for us and little energy is required to replay that opening . So we dive right back in again and again repeating the same opening book looking to gratify ourselves with another win. If we have lost a game, do we actually try a new idea or just play the same opening plans hoping that we will get lucky next time? Because the Chess environment starts predictably, it encourages us to treat the game like a poker machine. This phenomenon of Chess was not a problem before the internet when we used to play chess in a physical club in our town! But these days we are all online at any moment of the day or night ready to dive onto the chess poker machine pulling the same levers expecting to get a different result. But Chess960 just does not work like that. You have to be disciplined at move one and it takes a lot of energy to play the opening phase without rote memorization to fall-back on. So if you have lost a couple of games, Chess960 encourages you to go and take a break, because there will be no getting lucky unless you are fresh and thinking creatively. What do you think?

Jan Gombac: Well, partly I agree-a player certainly needs to be more fresh in chess960 than in traditional chess. And as for trying to introduce an improvement after a loss (or even after a win out of unsuccessful opening) it depends on a player/person who plays the game. Another matter is, of course, at what point does this improvement comes. Sometimes it comes-believe it or not-even after the move 30.

chess959: We now know that some people intentionally misdescribe chess960 as a chess variant. What could be the main reason for this?

Jan Gombac: Very good question. I’ll explain it. Who benefits from not promoting chess960? Players? Not really. After all-the main reason why they started to play chess was-at least in big majority of cases-an opportunity to be original, plus who really wants to make long lasting and exhausting, computer-based opening preparations before literally every game? Spectators? No. Who wants to watch same movie over and over again? (Watching same opening moves over and over again.) Arbiters? They couldn’t care less whether chess or chess960 is played. So-logically it’s the organisers, who benefit from organising chess tournaments and publishers of chess databases and books. They are afraid that they will lose all that. However, they obviously don’t know that we could have all that in chess960 too. So, players and spectators are the servants of tournament organisers. It should be the other way around, of course. I think chess players should really stand up for their rights.

chess959: The group of “960” could be: Levon Aronian, Alexander Grischuk, Alexandra Kosteniuk, Peter Leko, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Hikaru Nakamura, David Navara, Judit Polgar, Peter Svidler. Any others?

Jan Gombac: Sure, why not? They all enjoy chess960 very much and play it very well. However, I do believe that sooner or later everybody would play (at least some!) chess960.

chess959: Bobby Fischer was a genius and so often he used language in a way that we are not familiar with. We think we understood him but actually we were not listening, we were just operating off our own assumptions of what we think he meant. One of the biggest controversies is what Bobby meant when he talked about “pre-arranged” chess games…..

It sounds like match fixing……..I used to get confused about what Bobby was talking about. But Bobby was talking about “pre-arrangement” in the sense that both players have organised what they are going to play on the board before they get there (independently from each other).

The idea of “pre-arrangement” is that as Bobby noted, it should be stated up front (acknowledged rather than blindly accepted). What is the difference between playing from an opening book in your mind, compared to if both players actually used a physical opening book as they were playing through the opening?

Jan Gombac: Well, it is certainly true that many games in chess are nowadays pre-arranged literally move by move. So that there is no play whatsoever. And another bad thing about it-these games then go into chess databases and people use them as a “study material”. That is another thing that wouldn’t be possible in chess960. Players can, of course, always pre-arrange the result of the game, but I’m totally sure that in chess960 we would have considerably less of that. If players in chess are allowed to use opening book during the game, I somehow consider the game to be pointless in it’s bigger part. If they only use opening book in their mind (memory), it’s what we have in chess nowadays. Somewhat less pointless as the previous option, but still pretty pointless. Because of the high speed of the development of chess openings it is impossible to compare, for example, Carlsen and Kasparov. In chess960 that would be totally possible.

chess959: You correctly pointed out that players and spectators are the servants of tournament organisers. And these organisers are the servants of the sponsors. There is a closed door there. How can players open it? I mean how can they break this?

Jan Gombac: Well, to openly speak out about their true game-preferences, plus-if necessary-by boycotting chess tournaments in the sense that they simply wouldn’t participate in them. Also, believe me, top chess players have more than enough money, so they could easily organise chess960 tournaments themselves and participate in them as well. All at the same time. They are therefore not even depending on chess money anymore.

chess959: Jan thanks for your open and brave answers. Looking forward to play an interesting training games with you in chess959.

Jan Gombac: Well, as I said, you’re more than welcome. I also look forward to these games. So, thank you too.

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#21, 22, 23 Gombac, Jan (FM) FIDE: 2250 vs Yuce, Aytac ICCF: 2132

#21 Gombac, Jan (FM) FIDE: 2250 vs Yuce, Aytac ICCF: 2132

Chess960 start position: 864 (BBQRKRNN)

Time control: 15+5

Site: http://en.lichess.org/VxOHL8pvzVq7

SP864

1. c4 Ng6 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. b3 O-O 4. Ng3 c5 5. Bxf6 exf6 6. Be4 Bxg3 7. hxg3 b6 8. Bxa8 Qxa8 9. d4 d6 10. O-O Rfe8 11. e3 Qe4 12. Qa3 a5 13. Rd2 Ra8 14. Qa4 h5 15. Qd7 Rad8 16. Qh3 Qg4 17. Rfd1 cxd4 18. Rxd4 Qxh3 19. gxh3 Re6 20. Rd5 Ne5 21. Nd4 { Black resigns } 1-0


 

#22 Yuce, Aytac ICCF: 2132 vs Gombac, Jan (FM) FIDE: 2250

Chess960 start position: 864 (BBQRKRNN)

Time control: 15+5

Site: http://en.lichess.org/7Rw1pzSXWla2

SP864

1. c4 Nf6 (Since I’ve noticed that we are playing the same position as in the previous game and that the first move was also the same, I didn’t want-already from psychological point of view-to repeat the move from that game (1…Ng6), although it’s also perfectly playable.)

2. b3 Ng6 (There was a threat of Bxf6 and Bxh7.)

3. Nf3 b6 (It is more essential to open the bishop on a8 than to castle short-black in fact didn’t castle in this game-so I did it right away.)

4. Ng3 Nf4?! (Interesting position: I didn’t want to castle yet, because white’s bishops are looking towards black’s kingside and besides the position of the knight on g6 worried me in connection with possible advance of the h2-pawn. But probably black could have castled here, since it’s not clear what white is doing in case of 4…0-0 5.h4Nf4, or 5.e3Bf3 6.gf3Nh4. Another possibility was to play 4…c5, playing symmetry. But people are usually reluctant to follow symmetry with black pieces, when it’s not really necessary. Sometimes even when it’s necessary.)

game22a

 

 

 

Position after 4… Nf4?!

 

 

 

 

5. Rg1?! (In fact white could have castled here after all. I intended to continue then with 5.0-0h5, but after 6.d4! white pushes back black’s knight, or even shuts down black’s a8-bishop in case of 6…c5 7.d5, so that all black’s activity looks premature.)

5… d5 (At first I wanted to play here 5…c5, but I didn’t like the variation 6.Bf6gf6 7.Bh7Bf3 8.gf3Rh8 9.Bb1Rh2 10.Nh5!? (not that it is necessarily bad for black!) while castling again seemed dubious to me: 5…0-0?! 6.d4 and black has problems.)

6. Bxf6 gxf6 7. cxd5 Bxd5 8. Be4 Qb7?! (This leads to some problems, since due to the position of black’s queen on the long diagonal white can now go for the h7 pawn. Thus, the simplest solution was just 8…Be4 9.Ne4c5 and black is alright.)

game22b

 

 

 

 

Position after 8… Qb7?!

 

 

 

9. d3 c5 (The knight on f4 was hanging plus at some point black needs to open up his bishop on b8.)

10. Bxh7! e6 (Of course, 10…Bf3? 11.gf3Rh8 12.Be4 doesn’t help black.)

11. Be4 f5 12. Bxd5 Qxd5 13. Qc4 Qd7 14. a4 Ke7 (Having in mind possible transformation into some endgame, black “castles in the center” and connects his rooks. However, despite the fact that white cannot castle short anymore, it is by no means clear whether black has sufficient compensation for the pawn.)

15. Qb5? (Black’s predictions about some endgame have immediately come true! But this move is careless, since it allows serious weakening of white’s pawn structure on the queenside. Instead, white should have been more cautious and play 15.Nf1!, followed by g3 (pushing black’s knight away from active square f4 and then continue with Ne3, Kf1-Kg2, artificially castling and connecting his rooks with it.)

game22c

 

 

 

Position after 15. Qb5?

 

 

 

 

15… Qxb5 16. axb5 Nd5 (And already there are threats of Nc3 or Nc7.)

17. d4? (It was better to allow the pawn on b5 to be taken than to open up the center with the inactive rook on g1.)

17… Nc3 18. Rc1 cxd4 19. Nxd4 Rxd4 20. Rxc3 Rfd8 (White has managed to avoid direct loss of the b5-pawn, but black has now huge compensation for the pawn: white’s Rg1 and Ng3 are totally out of play and white’s queenside pawns are still very weak. Therefore, black already has serious advantage.)

21. f3?! (Preventing Rd1mate and trying to activate the g1-rook by the help of Kf2, but at the same time weakening dark squares. However, the passive 21.Rc1-intending e3-is also unlikely to be the saving opportunity.)

21… Be5! 22. Rc4? (This loses right away. 22.Rc1 should have been played anyway.)

Rd1+ 23. Kf2 Bd4+ 24. e3 Bxe3+! 25. Kxe3 Rxg1 26. Rc7+ Rd7 27. Rc2 Rb1 28. h4 Rxb3+ 29. Kf2 Rxb5 30. h5 f4 { White resigns } 0-1

(Annotations: Jan Gombac)


 

#23 Gombac, Jan (FM) FIDE: 2250 vs Yuce, Aytac ICCF: 2132

Chess960 start position: 758 (RKBNNBRQ)

Time control: 15+5

Site: http://en.lichess.org/eGNfQpY22XYx

SP758

1. g3 g6 (Just like in the traditional chess, in chess960 we also want our queen to be open as quickly as possible. Due to its great influence on the battle. But-as in traditional chess-we don’t want to get out with our queen to early-especially if all the opponent’s pawns are protected and there are no targets to attack-since we don’t want our opponent to get some extra tempo by attacking it.)

2. Nc3?! (It was more natural to play 2.d3Bg7 3.Bd2 and only then maybe Nc3)

2… Bg7 (Now due to the pressure on c3 white cannot easily develop his bishop on c1 which also means that he is having a hard time to castle. However, in this game I have decided to play “highly originally” from the very start, so this didn’t bother me too much.)

3. Nd3 (This early “cavalier set-up” cannot be to promising for white, since there are no weak spots in black’s position that could be attacked/occupied by white knights. But also nothing would be achieved by 3.Nd5Nc6 and then e7-e6.)

3… e6 4. a4 (Activating the rook on a1-what else to play?)

4… d6?! (The best way of exploiting white’s clumsy set-up was to just play 4…d5-unlike white, black can still put some pawns in the center!)

5. a5 a6 6. Ra3 Bd7 7. Bg2 Bc6 8. Rb3 Kc8?! (Probably it was better first to include exchange of bishops: 8…Bg2 9.Qg2Kc8!? and black enjoyes solid, “hedgehog” position.)

9. Bxc6?! (We don’t want to exchange pieces when the other side has lack of space, so 9.e4 was a serious alternative.)

9… bxc6? (Serious positional mistake-now the a6 pawn is weak. In case of the correct 9…Nc6 I intended to sacrifice the whole rook: 10.Rb7!??Kb7 11.Nb4d5 and now, of course, also temporarily the knight by 12.Ncd5Nb4 (Or 12…ed5 13.Qd5, attacking only with the queen and the knight, with unclear position.) 13.Nb4Kb8 14.Nc6Kc8 15.Ne7Kd7 16.Qa8Ke7 17.Qa6 and I considered 3 pawns to be enough for the piece, but in fact after 17…Nd6 black has significant lead in development plus those 3 extra pawns are in front of the white’s king, so they cannot easily be advanced. Therefore in this position black is somewhat better.)

game23a

 

 

 

position after 9… bxc6?

 

 

 

 

10. Nb4 d5 (This also weakens the c5 square which will later prove to be decisive, so I was more expecting 10…Kd7. But it is also true that then black’s knights will remain passive for some further time, especially the d8-knight, so that without the communication between his rooks and with the weaknesses on a6 and c6 black shouldn’t be able to hold the position.)

11. Na4?! (Probably premature direct occupation of the c5-square; it was time to put some pawns in the center, so that 11.e3 should have been played, followed by d2-d4, making sure that white’s bishop will get out too one day plus taking over the control of the c5 square anyway!)

11… Bd4?! (This move speeds up white’s developement. Instead, black had a nice opportunity to go into the counter-attack with 11…Nd6, followed by N6b7 or Nc4-white is still not very well developed and his pawn on a5 is undefended at the moment!)

12. e3 Ba7 13. Nxa6 Bxe3? (Here it was much better to just play simply 13…Nb7, after which I intended to sacrifice the exchange by 14.Rb7Kb7 15.N6c5Bc5 16.Nc5Kc8 17.a6?!, but this pawn on a6 can actually easily turn out to be weak, so that better is 17.b4 with very good compensation for the exchange.)

game23b

 

 

 

position after 13… Bxe3?

 

 

 

 

 

14. dxe3 Rxa6 15. Bd2 Nb7 16. Qf3? (It wasn’t clear to me how white can improve the position after 16.Rb7!Kb7 17.Nc5Ka7 18.Qf3Nd6 19.Qe2Nb5 but here 20.c4! should do the job.)

game23c

 

 

 

position after 16. Qf3?

 

 

 

 

 

16… Qf6 (Not 16…Na5? 17.Ba5Ra5 18.Qf7Ra4?? 19.Qe6Kd8 20.Rb8mate.)

17. Qe2 Ra8 18. a6 Nbd6 19. Nc5 (In the heat of the battle I simply didn’t notice that here white can finally castle-19.0-0! with the decisive positional advantage. How pleasant is to castle after all that drama?)

19… Nb5 20. Rxb5 (Of course, white wants to brake through, while now after 20.0-0Ned6 black could still put up some resistance, even though white’s advantage is overwhelming-he has a clear plan of putting the bishop on b4 and opening up the center by f3 and e4, whereas black has no real coordination between his rooks and no serious counter-play. But, anyway, I again didn’t notice that castling is possible for me.)

cxb5 21. Qxb5 Nd6 22. Qb7+! Nxb7 23. axb7+ Kb8 24. Nd7+ Kxb7 25. Nxf6 Rgd8 26. Bb4 Ra4 27. c3 h5 28. Kc2 Kb6 29. Be7 Rda8

30. Nd7+ Kc6? (Final mistake. However, after 30…Kb5 31.Ne5 white should also win in the long run.)

31. Ne5+ Kb7 32. Nxf7 Kb6 33. Ne5 c5 { Black resigns } 1-0

(Annotations: Jan Gombac)

 

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#20 Yuce, Aytac ICCF: 2132 vs Grabinsky, Aaron (NM) FIDE: 2337

#20 Yuce, Aytac ICCF: 2132 vs Grabinsky, Aaron (NM) FIDE: 2337

Chess960 start position: 626 (BRNKQBRN)

Time control: 15+5

Site: http://en.lichess.org/XgUALRdP

SP626

1. Ng3 e6 2. e4 Ng6 3. d4 c5 4. b3 {maybe c3 holding the center with pawns is better. }

4… b6 5. dxc5 {even here better to play c3 than give up the center. Also, White would have retained the option of playing d5 restricting Black bishop on a8}

5… Bxc5 6. Nd3 Be7 7. Be2 Nd6 8. Bf3 {maybe f3 is possible. At least White wouldn’t get doubled pawns.}

8… Nh4 9. Qe2 Nxf3 10. gxf3 {Qxf3 is obviously bad because of f5}

10… g6 {designed to prevent Nh5}

11. O-O-O O-O-O 12. c4 {a good move, creating a bind on d5, however, black can still free himself by playing d5 himself.}

12… Nb7 {Wasn’t too happy about knight’s placement on d6 :) }

13. e5 {maybe White should hold off on this as it increases the scope of Black bishop on a8. Maybe f4, with f5 ideas. White can always play f3 again if need be.}

13… d5 {clearly best, freeing black’s central position.}

14. exd6 Nxd6 15. Ne4 Nxe4 16. fxe4 f6 {I don’t think I should allow e5 with my pawn on f7. f6 stops it in that I can go f5 now, when White’s e5 would have been counter-productive.}

17. Kb1 Qc6 {starting to build up pressure against the center. Notice how black has an edge now because of his two bishops and better pawn structure. Hence, Bf3 earlier might not have been
best.}

18. Rge1 Rge8 19. f3 Kb8 {no need to rush for black}

20. a4 a6 {contemplating b5. I don’t think a4 was so helpful, however, it’s already difficult to play for white.}

21. Rc1 Rd7 {simply increasing the pressure by doubling rooks.}

22. Red1 Red8 23. Nf2 f5 24. Rxd7 Rxd7 25. Be5+ Ka7 26. a5 {rather desperate I think, but Bc5 was coming after which white’s position is falling apart anyway.}

26… bxa5 27. Rd1 Rxd1+ 28. Qxd1 Bc5 29. Nd3 Bd6 30. Bd4+ Kb8 31. Ne5 Qc7 {yea, so Bb6 scared me for a second, but Qe7! and black’s fine. After this the two bishops should win the game. Black’s also a pawn up. So, earlier white maybe should have chose c3 to protect the center and then maybe play d5 themselves; also, f3! instead of Bf3 would have been more resilient as white’s bishop looks blocked, but it would have been able to free itself eventually with moves like g3 and f4 later, followed by Bf3, when white’s doing fine. } { White resigns } 0-1

(Annotations: Aaron Grabinsky)

 

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#18, 19 Plaskett, H James (GM) FIDE: 2438 vs Yuce, Aytac ICCF: 2132

#18 Plaskett, H James (GM) FIDE: 2438 vs Yuce, Aytac ICCF: 2132

Chess960 start position: 285 (NRKBNRBQ)

Time control: 15+5

Site: http://en.lichess.org/iCKsc2KGQnwb

SP285

1. f3 Nb6 2. Bf2 f5 3. Nb3 Nf6 4. h3 e5 5. e3 Be7 6. g4 Be6 7. Qg2 g6 8. Be2 O-O 9. Nd3 d6 10. gxf5 Bxf5 11. f4 Be4 12. Qg1 Nfd7 13. fxe5 Nxe5 14. Nf4 Nf3 15. Qg4 Ng5 16. Bh4 Bf5 17. Qg2 h6 18. Nd4 Be4 19. Qg4 Kh7 20. Rg1 c5 21. Bxg5 cxd4 22. Bxe7 Bf5 23. Nxg6 Bxg4 24. Nxf8+ Rxf8 25. Rxg4 { Black resigns } 1-0


 

 

#19 Yuce, Aytac ICCF: 2132 vs Plaskett, H James (GM) FIDE: 2438

Chess960 start position: 285 (NRKBNRBQ)

Time control: 15+5

Site: http://en.lichess.org/XNjX8HPqFLdr

SP285

1. f4 Nb6 2. Nf3 g6 3. Bd4 f6 4. e4 d6 5. Nb3 Be6 6. Be2 Bd7 7. Qg1 e5 8. Be3 Qg7 9. d4 exf4 10. Bxf4 Qe7 11. Bd3 Ng7 12. O-O-O c6 13. Rfe1 Bc7 14. Kb1 Bg4 15. h3 Bxf3 16. gxf3 Nd7 17. Qh2 Ne6 18. Be3 a6 19. Qd2 Ng5 20. Bxg5 fxg5 21. Qe2 Qf6 22. Bxa6 Qxf3 23. Qxf3 Rxf3 24. Bf1 Kd8 25. Rd3 Rf4 26. Nd2 Ke7 27. Rf3 Rbf8 28. Rxf4 Rxf4 29. c3 h5 30. Kc2 g4 31. hxg4 Rxg4 32. Bd3 Rg3 33. Re2 Nf6 34. Nf1 Rg1 35. Ne3 h4 36. Rg2 Rxg2+ 37. Nxg2 h3 { White resigns } 0-1

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#17 Yuce, Aytac ICCF: 2132 vs Miljkovic, Miroslav (GM) FIDE: 2494

#14 Yuce, Aytac ICCF: 2132 vs Miljkovic, Miroslav (GM) FIDE: 2494

Chess960 start position: 140 (NBRQNKBR)

Time control: 15+5

Site: http://en.lichess.org/sM7dSO8hHHpK

SP140

1. Nf3 c6 2. c4 d5 3. cxd5 cxd5 4. Nb3 Nb6 5. Rxc8 Qxc8 6. Nfd4 e5 7. Nf5 g6 8. Nh6 Kg7 9. Nxg8 Rxg8 10. d3 Nf6 11. h3 e4 12. f3 Be5 13. Qd2 Qc7 14. Be3 Rd8 15. fxe4 dxe4 16. O-O Nh5 17. Rc1 Qd6 18. Bc5 Qf6 19. Rf1 Bh2+ 20. Kxh2 Qxf1 21. Bc2 Nf4 22. e3 Nxd3 23. Bd4+ Rxd4 24. Nxd4 Nd5 25. Bxd3 Qxd3 26. Qa5 Qc4 27. Qxa7 Qc7+ 28. Kg1 Qc1+ 29. Kh2 Qxe3 30. Qc5 Qf4+ 31. Kg1 Ne3 32. Qb5 Qd6 33. Qa4 Qg3 34. Ne6+ fxe6 35. Qd7+ Kh6 { White resigns } 0-1

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#14, 15, 16 Yuce, Aytac ICCF: 2132 vs Gombac, Jan (FM) FIDE: 2250

#14 Yuce, Aytac ICCF: 2132 vs Gombac, Jan (FM) FIDE: 2250

Chess960 start position: 94 (NNRKRBBQ)

Time control: 15+5

Site: http://en.lichess.org/UBXyo53fagx4

#94

1. f4 (Before the first move we usually check if any pawns are undefended and if yes, can they actually be attacked right away. If possible, attack on them is usually a good choice. However, in this particular case, the move 1.f4 may possibly have a drawback in a sense that the pawn on f4 is also unprotected. Another attacking move 1.g3 was possibly safer, but not necessarily better.)

1… Nc6 (I’ve been thinking here about very sharp move 1…g5!? and then, for example, 2.fxg5 Qb2 3.Nc3,etc., but since it was my very first game on lichess, I somehow decided to play more safely.)

2. g3 Nb6 3. Nb3 Na4?! (With the obvious idea -after white will castle- to either force white to play c2-c3(?), blocking the b1-knight, or after Nc3 to somewhat spoil white’s pawn structure. However, this isn’t realistic, so the move 3…Na4 is too active-instead black should just continue his development. For example 3…0-0-0 or 3…g6.)

4. O-O-O O-O-O (Originally, I was intending to play here 4…g5? 5.Nc3Nc3 6.dc3gf4??, but then it suddenly striked me: there follows 7.Rd7!!Kd7 8.Qd5mate.)

5. Nc3 Nxc3 6. dxc3 g5 (Playing in “Benko gambit style”. I didn’t want to have somewhat passive position in case of 6…g6.)

7. e4?! (White plays for the space advantage in the center, but this gives black some counter-play on the king-side. Accepting the gambit was probably better; 7.fg5h6 8.gh6Bh6 9.Kb1f5 10.e4!? and it doesn’t look like black has sufficient compensation for his pawn by means of having more central pawns, since white’s pieces are very active.)

7… gxf4 8. gxf4 Bh6 9. Be3 e5 (Taking over the control on the dark squares.)

10. Qf3 (Here I was pretty happy with the fact that I can win a pawn, but I didn’t sense the danger yet.)

10… Bxf4 (After 10…ef4 11.Bd4 with unclear play.)

11. Bxf4 Qf6 12. Kb1 Qxf4?! (In fact, here it was better to play 12…ef4-not misplacing black’s queen and having the option to attack white’s queen with Ne5-, even though the pawn on f4 cannot really be kept and with his bishop closed on g8 black cannot be better: 13.Qf2Kb8 14.Bd3Ne5 15.Rf1f3 16.Nd4, etc.)

13. Qd3 f5?! (Had I known what awaits me, I would certainly play the move 13…d6, but even here white has some annoying initiative after 14.Qh3Kb8 15.Bb5 or 14…f5 15.ef5,etc.)

14. Nc5! (That is what I’ve had totally underestimated. Now what? The threat is 15.Qb5b6 16.Qa6Kb8 17.Qb7mate, and 14…d6?? doesn’t work because of 15.Nb7! and black can resign. And since 14…a6?! still doesn’t threat 15…d6 (Because of 16.Nb7), but only weakens black’s castling position, I’ve finally decided to retreat with my knight to its initial square.)

game14a Position after 14. Nc5!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

14… Nb8 15. Bh3 b6 16. Na6 fxe4 17. Rxe4 Qf7 18. b3 (During the game I was much more afraid of the move 18.Ra4-attacking and defending at the same time.)

18… Nc6 (What could be more natural than this move, one may ask. And yet, 18…Kb7 was better.)

19. Nxc7? (An incorrect sacrifice; during the game I already considered my position to be lost in case of 19.Qb5-I’ve seen the variation 19…Qf3?? 20.Qc6Qd1 21.Kb2Qd6 22.Qa8mate. With 19…Qf6 black can probably hold, but a serious alternative for white is the move 19.Ra4, attacking with many, many pieces.)

19… Kxc7 20. Qd6+ Kb7 21. Ra4 (In case of 21.Bd7(?) I actually intended to play 21…Qd7? 22.Qd7Rd7 23.Rd7Kb8 which is hard to win for black, if possible at all. But instead, after 21…Nb8! (Playing this knight to b8 for the second time in the game!) black wins on the spot.)

21… Qe7 22. Qd3 d5 23. Qa6+ Kb8 24. Bf1 Qb7 25. Qe2 e4 26. Qh5 e3 27. Ba6 Qc7 28. Bb5 Re7 29. Qh4 e2 30. Re1 Rde8 31. Qh5 Re5 32. Qf3 Qd6 33. Rxe2 Rxe2 34. Bxe2 Rf8 35. Qh5 Qe5 36. Kb2 Qxh5 37. Bxh5 Rf2 38. Rg4 Be6 39. Rg7 Bf5 40. Bd1 Rxh2 { White resigns } 0-1

(Annotations: Jan Gombac)


 

 

#15 Gombac, Jan (FM) FIDE: 2250 vs Yuce, Aytac ICCF: 2132

Chess960 start position: 381 (NRKBRNBQ)

Time control: 15+5

Site: http://en.lichess.org/6pZiHClr8SPE

SP381

1. f4 Nb6 2. g3 g6 3. Nb3 e5 4. e4 exf4 5. gxf4 Bh4?! 6. Ng3 f5 7. e5 Bxb3 8. axb3 Ne6 9. Rf1 g5?? 10. Nxf5 gxf4 11. Nxh4 Qxe5 12. Ra1 a6 13. Bxb6 cxb6 14. Ra4 d5 15. Bg4 Kd8 16. Bxe6 Rxe6 17. Raxf4 { Black resigns } 1-0


 

 

#16 Yuce, Aytac ICCF: 2132 vs Gombac, Jan (FM) FIDE: 2250

Chess960 start position: 734 (RKNQNBBR)

Time control: 15+5

Site: http://en.lichess.org/1d9gLLf60IQy

SP734

1. Nf3 g6 2. e4 d5 3. e5 f6 4. d4 Be6 5. Nd3 Bg4 6. h3 Bxf3 7. Qxf3 e6 8. Bh2 f5 9. g4 Ng7 10. O-O-O Nb6 11. Nc5 Nd7 12. Nxd7+ Qxd7 13. Bd3 Be7 14. c4 O-O 15. cxd5 exd5 16. Qe2 a5 17. gxf5 Nxf5 18. Bxf5 Qxf5 19. f4 a4 20. Qc2 a3 21. Qxf5 axb2+ 22. Kxb2 Rxf5 23. Rd3 Ra4 24. Rc1 Bd8 25. Kb3 Ra6 26. Rc5 c6 27. Rc2 Kf7 28. Rb2 Ke6 29. Kc2 Rf7 30. Rdb3 Ra7 31. Kd3 b5 32. Rc2 Ra6 33. Ke3 Rfa7 34. Kf3 Kd7 35. Rbc3 Ra3 36. Rxa3 Rxa3+ 37. Kg4 h5# { White is checkmated } 0-1

 

 

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#13 Grabinsky, Aaron (NM) FIDE: 2337 vs Yuce, Aytac ICCF: 2132

#13 Grabinsky, Aaron (NM) FIDE: 2337 vs Yuce, Aytac ICCF: 2132

Chess960 start position: 862 (RKNRNBBQ)

Time control: 15+5

Site: http://en.lichess.org/4xCxFFXh

#862

1. g3 d5 2. Bg2 Nf6 3. Ned3 Nb6 4. Ne5 c6 5. a4 Nfd7 6. f4 f6 7. Nxd7+ Nxd7 8. a5 e5 {maybe a6 is better as when White plays a6, black experiences pressure on the long diagonal.}

9. fxe5 fxe5 10. a6 b6 {notice White pawn on a6 is rather annoying.}

11. c4 Nf6 {if Black pawn was still on b7, Black could take on c4, but since he let White play a6, this is not possible.}

12. h3 {I want to play g4, with the idea of kicking Black knight away which is protecting the center.}

12… Be6 {maybe h5 was better and then Be6}

13. g4 h6 14. Nd3 Qh7 {I missed this move, very annoying pin on my knight!}

15. cxd5 Bxd5 {probably best, as it is clearly in Black’s best interests to trade light-squared bishops}

16. Bh2 Re8 {maybe just Bd6 was better as now Black cannot castle short as he moved his rook. I think Black would much rather have his king on g8, than on the queen side!}

17. Bxd5 Nxd5 18. Qg2 Bc5 {stopping my intended 0-0, very annoying! It’s hard for me to unpin my knight.}

19. e4 Bd4 {probably forced as e5 is hanging, but on second thought Bd6! might be better in view of my next move.}

20. Ra4 {threatening Rxd4 at the right moment. It’s rather difficult for black now.}

20… c5 21. Ka1 {I thought about Rxd4 immediately, but I thought it best just to free my knight first as the threat is not going anywhere.}

21… Nf6 22. Rxd4 {things start to heat up around this point!}

22… cxd4 23. Nxe5 Kc8 {forced, as Qxe4 Rc1 would be very pretty, With Nd7 mate to come! If Rxe5 Bxe5+ Qxe5 Qb7 mate! Again we see how powerful the pawn on a6 is. :) I don’t think it should have been let that far.}

24. Rc1+ Kd8 25. Nc6+ Kd7 26. e5 Qe4 {Have to admit, I missed this move. Fortunately, my position is still very good.}

27. Qg3 Nd5 28. e6+ Rxe6 29. Ne5+ Rxe5 {I wonder if Ke8 is better. e.g. Re1 Qh7 and I’m not sure if I have enough compensation. After the text, white is clearly better in the resulting endgame.}

30. Qxe5 Qxe5 31. Bxe5 g6 32. Bxd4 Nb4 33. Bg7 h5 {if Nxa6 Bxh6 Rh8, I have g5.}

34. gxh5 gxh5 35. Rc4 Nxa6 36. Rh4 Rg8 37. Bc3 Rg5 {forced to protect h5, but Ra4 is probably winning for white. Black’s main problem is the bishop and rook work together much better here than the knight and rook.}

38. Ra4 Rg1+ 39. Ka2 Nc5 40. Rxa7+ Kc6 41. Rh7 Rg5 42. h4 {Here it should just be a matter of technique, as white’s forces are clearly stronger than black’s.}

42… Rf5 43. Rg7 Ne4 44. Kb3 Nc5+ 45. Kc2 Ne4 46. Rg6+ Kc7 47. Kd3 Nf2+ 48. Ke3 Ng4+ 49. Ke4 Rf1 50. Rg5 {this is hopeless.}

50… Nf2+ 51. Kd5 {with Rg7 idea as well as taking the pawn. }

51… Nh3 52. Be5+ Kd7 53. Rxh5 { Black resigns } 1-0

{The main reason I think black lost was because he underestimated the danger of the pawn on a6. Playing a6 himself would have been safer. Also, Bd6 instead of moving his rook to protect e5 earlier would have allowed him to castle king side, thus sidestepping the danger. Finally Ke8 instead of Rxe5 may have given him an edge as my attack may have been running out of steam. After Rxe5, the resulting endgame is pretty bad for black. A general rule of thumb in endgames: “bishop and rook work better together than knight and rook” The bishop has much more range than the knight and can relocate much faster than its counterpart.}

(Annotations: Aaron Grabinsky)

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Some hard questions for chess philosophers and the elite

Which one is a chess variant: Chess960 or SP#518 (RNBQKBNR)?

Chess960 is not a variant of chess. Chess960 is a generalization of chess. If Chess960 were a variant of chess, then chess could not be a position within the variant. But it is! Chess960 encompasses chess. ~ Harry

 

When will SP#518 become an ancient variant of chess960?

Fischer is a man ahead of his time and his ideas are road markings for the 21st century. Fischer’s proposal of changing the starting positions of the pieces, making more room for creativity, is the only way that the human race can retain its vitality in the face of inevitable technological progress. Like his chess clock, which is used more and more, his idea of a chess game will be accepted – whether in twenty or fifty years is immaterial. ~ GM Ljubomir Ljubojevic, 1999

 

If the purists are so insistent that chess 960 is not “real chess”, why did we let computers rule the analysis of classic chess? When did that become acceptable? (question borrowed from Michael Sutton)

This is all about money. Database developers, chess engines, opening book publishers (and authors), chess coaches using fancy word opening repertoire, they all created the new trend and the market. ~ mirlife


 

Conclusions:

Chess is a variant of Chess960 and so are the other 959 positions. There is no difference that I can tell. Chess960 is not a variant. It is a generalised set of rules that determine all the possible positions of pieces on the back rank without violating any past rule. Not a single rule of chess is violated in the process, not one.

We are making a basic mistake in our thinking about Chess960. Nothing has been created and nothing has been destroyed in the process please understand that. We had a specific starting position SP518. Within that specific form, there is an undeniable inference that a general form is possible. That general form was there all along within the specific form, buried within it. In other words the specific has implied the general and the general implies the specific, but both entities were always existent from the moment the specific form was created. It is just a chicken and egg problem in our mind.

When Chess was invented, so too was Chess960. All that has happened is that today we have reached a moment in causality where we acknowledge that Chess960 is necessary in an age where every single chess player on the planet can analyse SP518 to death with their pocket computer. ~ Harry

 

Chess960 incorporates traditional chess 100%. When you play traditional chess, you are in fact playing chess960, restricted to one of the 960 different start positions (RNBQKBNR). I could say that the just-finished Olympiad was really a chess960 tournament restricted to RNBQKBNR, and I would not be wrong. (I would raise a storm of controversy, but I would not be wrong).

Chess960 is an evolution of traditional chess. To use an analogy, imagine I build a house on a lot that was previously empty. I call the road it is on ‘Chess Street’. The house might be in use for centuries before someone (a certain Mr. Fischer) gets the idea to build more houses on the same lot. He builds 959 similar houses and, to make it easier to identify the houses, assigns them numbers. My original house turns out to be no.518 on Chess Street. Note that I haven’t altered the function of the original house nor have I destroyed it. It is still available to everyone who used it before. But for those who are tired of the same house and want something a little different, they have many choices.

I could carry the analogy further, but I’m not sure it would help clarify the difference between traditional chess and chess960. People who want to continue living at no.518 on Chess St. can do so. They do, however, have choices that were not available 20 years ago. ~ Mark Weeks

 

We now know that some people intentionally misdescribe chess960 as a chess variant. What could be the main reason for this?

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#12 Yuce, Aytac ICCF: 2132 vs Grabinsky, Aaron (NM) FIDE: 2337

#12 Yuce, Aytac ICCF: 2132 vs Grabinsky, Aaron (NM) FIDE: 2337

Chess960 start position: 731 (RKNQBNRB)

Time control: 15+5

Site: http://en.lichess.org/6AhCGZusOASn

#731

1. g3 g6 2. d4 Ne6 3. Nb3 f5 {played to prevent e4 with central domination for white. Also, Bf7 may be good}

4. e4 fxe4 5. Bxe4 Bf7 6. Ne3 Nd6 7. Bg2 c6 {I don’t know about this move, maybe white can play d5 here, furthering the scope of the Bg2}

8. Ba5 {maybe a slight waste}

8… Qf8 {Queen was moving anyway}

9. Qd2 g5! {a good move, to prevent f4 and prepare Bg6 Maybe f2 could be a slight weakness in the future}

10. O-O Bg6 11. Rae1 {Maybe Bc3 with d5 to come was better. I feel that opening the center favors white here, as black is rather congested.}

11… Qg7 12. Bc3 {good move, my Qg7 might not have been so hot :)}

12… Qf7 13. Ng4 Bg7 14. Ne5 Bxe5 15. dxe5 Nc4 16. Qc1 {Qe2, staying in the center and attacking my knight, was better. Notice Qxd7? Rd8!}

16… O-O {finally my king is safe! I had been trying to castle for a while now.}

17. h3 {maybe Nd2, trying to trade off black’s active knight, was more pointed.}

17… Bf5 18. Nd4 Nxd4 19. Bxd4 Qg6 {I feel like the edge has shifted in black’s favor here, probably due to white’s lack of aggression. Notice c3 is bad because of Bd3}

20. b3 Nb6 21. Re2 h5 {designed to prevent g4 and maybe play g4 myself, clamping down on the light squares.}

22. Rfe1 {maybe trading with Bxb6 immediately was better, as black’s knight will be improved greatly on e6.}

22… Nd5 23. a3 {correct now, as c4? is dubious to Nb4 coming to d3 next. Also bad is trading with Bxd5 now as the king side light squares will be really weak}

23… Nc7 24. Be3 {I wonder if e6, sacrificing the pawn to open the dark squared bishop, would be worth it. It’s hard to say, but it looks interesting. For example, e6 Nxe6 Ba1! with Qb2 to follow, and pressure down the long diagonal}

24… Ne6 25. Kh2 Kg7 26. Qd2 Rfd8 27. Qb4 {interestingly, my pawns are forked but I fortunately have resources. :)}

27… Kf7 {so Qxb7, Bxc2 and black’s good to go, as Bxa7 runs into Bxb3!}

28. c4 b6 29. Qc3 Rf8 30. Rd2 Rad8 31. Red1 Ng7 32. Bf1 Kg8 33. Bd3 g4 34. h4 Kf7 {notice the king side is blocked and black controls the light squares, giving him an edge. The d7 pawn isn’t too weak.}

35. Bxf5 Qxf5 36. Bf4 Ne6 {notice how the knight is clearly better than the bishop here.}

37. Qd3 Qxd3 38. Rxd3 Nxf4 39. gxf4 Ke6 40. Kg3 Rf5 41. f3? {this might be the decisive mistake. Waiting would be better here, with a probable draw.}

41… Rg8 {notice black’s rooks suddenly becoming very powerful.}

42. Rxd7 gxf3+ 43. Kxf3 Rg4 44. Rxa7 Rgxf4+ 45. Ke3 Rxh4 46. Rdd7 Rxe5+ 47. Kf3 Kf6 {This should be winning, so long as black is careful.}

48. Rdc7 Re6 49. Kg3 Rhe4 50. Rc8 h4+ 51. Kh3 Re3+ 52. Kxh4 {Mine as well, as black is winning and it’s best to end the misery.}

52… R6e4+ 53. Kh5 Rh3# { White is checkmated } 0-1

(Annotations: Aaron Grabinsky)

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