Thursday, April 26, 2012

How to Not Play Chess

Trying to get back into live chess. This was not a good way to kick it off, but at least my mistakes were so obvious that I'd be thick not to learn from them.

Why You No Play d5




[Event "Live Chess"]
[Site "Chess.com"]
[Date "2012.04.26"]
[Round ""]
[White "kambet1"]
[Black "lindseyann"]
[TimeControl "15"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteELO "1218"]
[BlackELO "1092"]

{An absolutely terrible game of live chess I played today.}
1.e4 c5
{I really need to either learn more about the Sicilian or start playing a different opening.}
2.Nf3 e6 3.Bc4 Nc6 4.c3
{The computer really wanted me to play d5 from this point on. I stubbornly refuse to comply. It logically makes sense, but I was randomly moving pieces that I've seen get moved in my correspondence games. A terrible strategy...}
4...Nge7 5.d3 g6
{Again, d5 would have given me a slight advantage. This move takes away that square from my knight, and he now has no where good to go. Not to mention, my bishop doesn't have much to do from a fianchettoed position.}
6.O-O Bg7 7.Na3 O-O 8.Bg5
{We're still even here, and if I'd just played d5 it probably would have stayed that way. Things go down hill pretty quickly from here.}
8...b6 9.Qd2 Bb7 10.Bh6 Bxh6 11.Qxh6
{I really needed to see the threat of Ng5 here (and play f6), but I did not.} 11...Qc7 12.Ng5
{It's forced mate from here.}
12...Rfe8 13.Qxh7+ Kf8 14.Qxf7#
1-0

Sunday, April 22, 2012

It's been awhile...

So, I've been away for a REALLY long time. The sad truth is, I've had no time to play chess since last July. That is really depressing. The good news is, life has been fantastic and I can't believe all the changes that have taken place over the last ten months.

I served as a graduate teaching assistant and president of Beta Alpha Psi during this semester, and I successfully completed my first semester of graduate school with all A's (despite all my commitments).  So, you can probably understand why I haven't been around lately.  Oh, and I almost forgot to mention, I've been pregnant during all of the following accomplishments.  It's been amazing.  But, I must admit it's nice to be wrapping up this semester, so I can spend the last two months of pregnancy playing chess and studying for the CPA exam.

I am VERY out of practice when it comes to chess.  I've been winning, but I think it's because I've gotten lucky and I'm playing below my rating (timeouts from the last time life got too busy).  Even still,  it's starting to come back to me.  I've been trying to spend time on tactics, because that is where I've found the most deterioration in my game.  I took a break from tactics to analyze this game, because it's been a while since I've posted in here and I didn't want to leave it completely dead.

I didn't do all the normal bells and whistles with the game that follows.  I didn't even remember to fix the spelling errors before feeding into the pgn viewer.  But, I'm still getting back into the swing of things,  so I'll take it.  The game is pretty ridiculous.  I should have lost, but a kamikaze move at the end saved the day.
Don't Stop Believing




[Event "Let's Play!"]
[Site "Chess.com"]
[Date "2012.04.21"]
[Round ""]
[White "lindseyann"]
[Black "truthform"]
[TimeControl "1"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteELO "1273"]
[BlackELO "1221"]

{Here's a game that I don't think I should have won. Just goes to show that sometimes you can get lucky when things are looking bleak.}
1.d4 d5 2.c4 dxc4 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.e3 e6 5.Bxc4 Ne4
{He finally gets us out of book. Be7 would have kept with main lines. The computer wants me to castle here, but I didn't really like his knight in my business.}
6.Nc3 Bb4
{He decides to pin my knight, so I after his knight again, while developingmy queen.} 7.Qc2 f5 8.O-O {At this point, I have the advantage. I'm not sure what goes wrong, but pretty soon he's all in my business.}
8...Nd6 9.Bb3 O-O 10.Ne5
{This may have been a little agressive. Better might have been Bd2 developing my last piece and connecting my rooks.} 10...Bd7 11.Bd2 Nc6
{Developing his last minor piece. I still have the advantage.}
12.Nxc6
{I was trying to mess up his queenside pawns, because if he doesn't take bxc6 (and instead takes with the bishop) I win his e-pawn.}
12...Bxc6
{And, that is what happened.}
13.Bxe6+ Kh8
{I think I get overconfident, because here is where things start to go downhill.}
14.Ne2
{It would have been better to play Qb3, supporting that agressive bishop.}
14...Qg5
{Here is where he puts me on the defensive, threatening mate and pointing all his pieces at my king.}
15.Ng3 Bxd2 16.Qxd2 Rae8
{The best responce here is d5, getting rid of his annoying bishop and keeping my firmly in his territory. But, I choose to retreat instead.} 17.Bb3 f4 18.exf4 {My only real option, letting his rook into the game.}
18...Rxf4 19.Rac1
{Not the best move on my part. It would have been better to play Rae1, challenging his command of the kingside.} 19...Ne4
{This wasn't his best option, because it blocks his rook, and gives me some counterplay.}
20.Qd3
{This is actually a BAD move. I shold have traded the knight. I was getting desperate and looking to point my pieces at his king.}
20...Nxf2
{He makes the correct response, and I throw everything into hoping he doesn't realize what I'm trying to do.} 21.Rxf2 Rxf2 22.Kxf2 Qxc1 23.Bc2
{So, he misses mate in one. I, however, do not.}
23...Qxb2 24.Qxh7#
1-0

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Wins and Losses

Here are two recent games. A win and a loss. I've started posting less of my wins since they all seem to happen in a spectacular 20 move mistake-fest... whereas my losses tend to have more thoughtful, deliberate play. I think this is a bad thing, since I apparently only win when my opponent does crazy things. Or, maybe I'm just really good at capitalizing on advantages. I'll begin with the win since it's a nice, short appetizer. I am proud of the fact that both of these players were rated 1500+ and my play wasn't embarrassing.


The Art of Being Underestimated



[Event "Equal Playing Field - Round 1"]
[Site "Chess.com"]
[Date "2011.06.23"]
[Round ""]
[White "lindseyann"]
[Black "latencio"]
[TimeControl "1"]
[Result "*"]
[ECO " "]
[WhiteELO "1454"]
[BlackELO "1571"]


{This is a game I won against a player rated 1580. He missed an easy back-rank mate, but I'll take the points where I can get them.}
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nc3 dxc4 4.e4 b5 5.a4 b4 6.Na2 c5
{This move takes us out of the opening. I normally don't like to be slugging it out on the queenside to regain my pawn, but a lot of time (especially since I've gotten more experience) it works out in my favor.}
7.Bxc4 e5 8.Bd5
{Thankfully, I did not miss the trapped rook.}
8...Bd7
{b3 was a better response.}
9.Bxa8 Nc6 10.Bxc6 Bxc6 11.d5 Ba8 12.Nf3 Nf6 13.Qc2 Bd6
{I always feel bad for a bishop that becomes the anchor in a pawn chain.}
14.O-O O-O 15.Be3 Ng4 16.Bxc5
{This was my first big tactical mistake. He did not find the correct response.}
16...Qc7 17.Rac1
{And his tactic no longer works.}
17...Rb8 18.Bxb4
{Technically this wasn't the best move, even thought it did lead to my win. What I'm most proud of is the fact that I saw all of these exchanges until the end, when I knew a tactic (allowing mate) would prevent him from winning on b4. He didn't not see the mate until it was one move away.}
18...Qxc2 19.Rxc2 Bxb4 20.Nxb4 Rxb4
{And he resigned before I could play Rc8#.}
*



Win Fast, Lose Slow



[Event "Equal Playing Field - Round 1"]
[Site "Chess.com"]
[Date "2011.06.23"]
[Round ""]
[White "Anari"]
[Black "lindseyann"]
[TimeControl "1"]
[Result "*"]
[ECO " "]
[WhiteELO "1516"]
[BlackELO "1448"]


{A fairly even game against a good opponent. I threw it away at the very end.}
1.e4 c5
{I'm still working on this opening. I'm not as comfortable as I was with good old 1. e4 e5, but I'm making progress and my games are more interesting.}
2.Nc3 Nc6 3.f4 g6 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.a3
{Out of opening book. Bc4 would have been in the Sicilian Defense / Grand Prix Attack.}
5...d6 6.Bc4 Nf6 7.d3 Bg4 8.O-O O-O 9.h3 Bd7
{The computer preferred either trading Bxf3 or retreating Be6. I didn't like either of these moves because I didn't want to loose my good bishop. However, it's pretty early in the game and there are a lot of pawns still on the board to be accurately evaluating the bishops as either "good" or "bad".}
10.Be3 b6 11.Nd5
{An error since Nxd5 exd5 and the b-pawn is pinned and hanging.}
11...Nxd5 12.Bxd5 Bxb2
{Perhaps e6 would have been better, getting more space, since that's hanging pawn isn't going anywhere for the moment.}
13.Ra2 Bg7
{Although white's very weak along the a1-h8 diagonal, this was the best retreat.}
14.Qe1 e6 15.Bb3 Na5 16.e5 Nxb3 17.cxb3 Bb5
{At this point in the game I'm pretty pleased with myself. I've got lot's of space on the queenside and his pawns are weak.}
18.Rd2 d5
{I may have gotten a bit carried away with my space advantage. f6 or dxe5 would have both been better options. I've got a nice position, but I don't have any lanes open for attack at the moment.}
19.a4 Ba6 20.Bf2 f6 21.Bh4
{It would have been better to play f6, instead of f5. That would have prevented this move (which was the purpose of Bf2 in the first place).}
21...Qc7
{g5 would have been better, but I was afraid to open everything up since I couldn't see it through to the end.}
22.exf6 Bxf6 23.Qxe6+ Qf7 24.Qxf6 Qxf6 25.Bxf6 Rxf6
{Since I didn't not take the initiative with g6, I've ended up trading down to a nearly equal position.}
26.g3 Re8 27.Kf2 Rfe6
{d4 would have controlled the weak e3 square and given me some fighting chances. We are now being evaluated dead even by the computer.}
28.Ne5 Rf8 29.Re1 g5 30.d4 gxf4 31.dxc5 fxg3+ 32.Kxg3
{Here you can really see the advantage that a knight has over a bishop in the end game. I can only cover the light squares with my minor piece, and while he's got everything posted up on dark squares it's difficult for me to get anything done.}
32...bxc5 33.Rxd5 Re7
{I chose to go for the king, when it probably would have been better to try for a passer on the queenside (for instance, c4 while the knight is pinned to his rook).}
34.Rxc5
{I've officially lost my pawn advantage and I soon get frustrated and sloppy.}
34...Rg7+ 35.Kh4 Rf4+ 36.Ng4 h6
{A mistake on my part which leads to a win he did not take. I gave it away again very soon though.}
37.Kh5 Rf5+
{And hanging my rook ended the game. I had already begun to give up on the game. Perhaps his higher rating intimidated me. However, I think considering his rating I held my own pretty well.}
38.Rxf5 *

Friday, June 24, 2011

Ouch

I'd really hoped to show you a hard fought loss. Where, despite making good moves, my opponent was able to prevail. Instead, my most recent loss is an example of me throwing away the win--twice. And one time (the last time), he hung his queen and I responded by hanging mine to him. It was not good.

Ouch



[Event "1st Fair Play Tournament 2011 - Round 1"]
[Site "Chess.com"]
[Date "2011.06.10"]
[Round ""]
[White "thefisher"]
[Black "lindseyann"]
[TimeControl "1"]
[Result "*"]
[ECO " "]
[WhiteELO "1421"]
[BlackELO "1426"]


{A recent loss.}
1.a4 e5 2.a5 d5
{I was a bit confused by this opening. Perhaps his goal is to confuse people. In that respect he succeeded; in gaining the initiative during the opening, he did not.}
3.c3 Nf6 4.b4 c5
{I probably should have just continued developing, but I couldn't resist ruining his perfect chain of pawns, while developing my Bishop.}
5.bxc5 Bxc5
{Things look pretty good for Black right now.}
6.e3 Nc6 7.a6 b6
{It may have been more prudent to simply castle here, but I figured I could win that pawn at some point.}
8.Bb5 Bd7 9.d4 exd4 10.exd4 Bd6 11.Qa4 Rc8 12.Nf3 O-O 13.O-O Ne4 14.Ne5
{The first major mistake either of us made (aside from the strange opening). I did not miss the opportunity.}
14...Nxe5 15.Bxd7
{Not the best response.}
15...Nxd7 16.Nd2 Rxc3
{This was a terrible response on my part. It would have been much better to play Nxc3.}
17.Nxe4 dxe4 18.g3 f5 19.Bb2 Rd3 20.f3 e3
{This was my worst mistake of the game. It cost me the game, since i was never able
to fix things. I believe I got over confident in my victory and forgot that my opponent always has resources.}
21.Qc4+ Rf7 22.Qxd3 Qg5
{He should have responded with f4 to prevent me from playing it (a very obvious plan on my part).}
23.Kg2 f4 24.Rac1 fxg3 25.Qxe3 gxh2+
{At this point, I have no excuses. This was just terrible. I was so focused on my pawns, that I didn't realize he hung his queen. This could make sense in blitz chess, but correspondence? Just depressing.}
26.Qxg5

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Like fire and ice and rage.

Hello faithful reader. I know what you're thinking... It's summer, my schedule is light and yet, no posts have been made here in some time. Well the truth is, I've actually been playing chess--more of it than I've ever played before. A very funny thing is happening as well... I'm actually getting better. I know, hard to believe. I've been working on tactics a lot more and being very careful with my correspondence games. Lets not talk about my blitz performance, although I suppose I should be proud of the fact that I'm actually giving blitz and fast-ish standard a go.

It's been over three months of playing chess pretty regularly. Normally, chess and I have this all or none relationship. I either want to devote all of my waking moments to it, or none at all. But, I'm learning that I cannot live my life in this fashion and have a healthy pursuit of any hobby. I'm overjoyed in this subtle shift. And, I hope to keep playing chess and to keep improving. Who knows, I might even make it out to some more UCF chess stuff.

In addition to chess, this is the summer of Doctor Who and soccer. Matthew and I have been re-watching the entire run (I think we're still trying to come to grips with the death of Tennant, even though it's been two years). We've also become expert tailgaters as we support our local soccer team, the Orlando City Lions. My classes are easy, and as much as I hate to admit that I'm doing almost no work in them... um, I'm doing almost no work in them (I got a 100% on my last exam in 12 minutes, why am I paying for these classes again?). While I'm enjoying this respite, hopefully I'll be back in the muck for my last semester as an undergrad.

Now, on to chess... I played this game in an official chess.com tournament. So far, it's the only game that I've lost with one left to play (I'll probably make it to round two!). It was a pretty accurate game from both of us and I wanted to see where I went wrong. There were tiny little errors on my part, only slightly larger than his tiny errors. I suppose those are the margins that real chess gets played in. Not incredibly exciting, but educational for me. If I have time later tonight, I'll throw up a game that was a fun win where I caught some good tactics. Enjoy.

Allons-Y



[Event "15th Chess.com Tournament (1201-1400) - Round 1"]
[Site "Chess.com"]
[Date "2011.06.01"]
[Round ""]
[White "lindseyann"]
[Black "67jedichessmaster"]
[TimeControl "1"]
[Result "*"]
[ECO " "]
[WhiteELO "1412"]
[BlackELO "1402"]


{A hard fought game for both of us.}
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e3 c5 5.Bd3 Nc6 6.Nf3 Bxc3+ 7.bxc3 d6 8.O-O O-O
{With his castle, we are finally out of the book.}
9.e4
{Trying to get space in the center and hoping for an eventual e5 push, pointing everything at his castle.}
9...e5
{He has other plans for the center, however.}
10.d5 Ne7 11.Nh4
{To free up my queen, and allow the move f4.}
11...Ng6
{I was happy when I saw this move, because I knew the trade would mess up his castle, but I was never able to capitalize on it.}
12.Nxg6 fxg6 13.Bg5
{Getting my last bishop out, but it may have been better to play the more aggressive f4.}
13...Bd7 14.Rb1 b6 15.f4 exf4 16.Rxf4
{It would have been better to recapture with the bishop, putting immediate pressure on d6. He could have responded with h6 here, and I would be forced to trade off my awesome bishop for his knight (since 16...h6 17. Bh4 g5 forking my rook and bishop). However, he missed the opportunity.}
16...Qc8 17.Rb2 Bg4 18.Qe1
{I played here to try for Qg3 or Qh4 later, but it may have been wiser to simply put as much pressure on the f-file as I could.}
18...Nh5 19.Rxf8+ Qxf8 20.Rf2
{It would have been smarter to play the in-between move, Qh4, getting her out in front before swinging the rook over.}
20...Qe8 21.Qf1 Qe5
{At this point, I start to loose hope. I'm still winning according to the computer evaluation, but his queen makes me defend all my pawns with rooks and I don't have any clear plan now.}
22.Bd2 Nf6 23.Rf4
{And, here's where things start to do downhill. Better would have been Bf4, giving up on the c-pawn, but taking aim at his pawns and getting some activity.}
23...Re8 24.Qf2
{And, since I'd started to loose hope already, I failed to notice that my rook's got nowhere to go after g5. Unfortunately , he did not miss it.}
24...g5 25.Rxf6 gxf6 26.h3 Bd7 27.Qe3 h6
{This position wasn't completely lost, but I certainly didn't see a way back and I resigned.}
*

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Small Mistakes

I survived the semester. Everything went better than expected.
I've been relaxing, hanging out with people, and playing a bit of chess. All things considered, even though this break is short it's been nice so far.

I've been trying to learn the Sicilian as black. It's actually been frustrating and resulted in a few games thrown away (and lots of games that are still unclear at the moment). This is a resent loss that I analyzed. I didn't make any giant mistakes until the very end, so I'm please with that. But, I never felt like I was making the best move and I was usually right.

Small Mistakes



[Event "Let's Play!"]
[Site "Chess.com"]
[Date "2011.05.02"]
[Round ""]
[White "Lijinsuk"]
[Black "lindseyann"]
[TimeControl "1"]
[Result "*"]
[ECO " "]
[WhiteELO "1335"]
[BlackELO "1308"]


{A chance to learn from small mistakes.}
1.e4 c5
{I'm attempting to make the Sicilian my new standard opening with the black pieces. It's been a strange learning process thus far.}
2.Nf3 d6
{This is the Kopec Variation, but Nc6 was what the computer liked best here.}
3.d4 cxd4 4.Qxd4 Nc6 5.Bb5 Bd7 6.Bxc6 Bxc6 7.Nc3 Nf6 8.O-O
{This is the first move that takes us out of book. Bg5 would have kept us with theory.}
8...h6
{I'm not really sure why I played h6 here. Weakens my king-side when I know that I must castle in this direction. It's not a terrible move, but e5 would have been a bit better.}
9.Be3 e5 10.Qd3 Be7 11.Nd5 a6
{A little better would have been 11...Nxd5 12. exd5 Bd7 with things looking pretty even.}
12.Nxf6+ Bxf6 13.Rfd1 Bb5 14.c4 Bd7
{It would have been better to retreat back to c6 with the bishop. I've cut off defense of my d-pawn and given white more of the advantage.}
15.c5
{White doesn't take advantage with Qxd6, but I also miss out on the correct response to his mistake.}
15...Qc7
{This was another misstep on my part. For whatever reason, I didn't realize that I after cxd6 I wouldn't be able to take back.}
16.cxd6 Qc6 17.Rac1 Qb5 18.Qxb5 Bxb5 19.Bb6 O-O
{While this seemed like a natural move, I would have been in even bigger trouble if white had played d7. Better would have been Kd7, especially since the queens are off the board.}
20.Bc5 Rfd8 21.Bb6 Rd7 22.Rc7 Rxc7
{This was a big mistake on my part. Worst of the game so far.}
23.Bxc7
{He, however, did not take advantage of it. 23. dxc7 and I'm pretty much done for.}
23...Bd7
{To try and stop his pawn.}
24.h3 Re8
{Maybe better would have been g6 to try and attack the knight by maneuvering the bishop to f8. He doesn't have a huge advantage, but things still seem grim for black.}
25.Rc1 Bd8
{It's not usually a good idea to start trading off pieces when you're down material. This is no exception.}
26.Bxd8 Rxd8 27.Rc7 Bc6
{Another terrible move on my part. Better was Be6 avoiding the trades.}
28.Nxe5 Rxd6 29.Nxf7
{He misses a fun tactic here. Better is: 29. Rc8+ Kh7 30. Rh8+ Kxh8 31. Nxf7+ forking the king and rook.}
29...Rd1+ 30.Kh2 Bxe4 31.f3 Bc6 32.Ne5 Rc1 33.Nxc6 Rxc6 34.Rxb7 Rc2
{A futile attempt for counter play at this point.}
35.a3 Kh7 36.Rb6 g6
{I thought if I wasted a move he might play Rxa6 Rxb2, which wouldn't have really helped me.}
37.b4
{And when he didn't and I realized there was nothing I could do, I resigned.}
*

Monday, April 18, 2011

One Month

Wow, it's been a month since I've last updated the old chess blog. School has been crazy. Deadlines and exams every week. It's finally winding down. Just one more quiz and three more exams until I'm in the clear.

I've been keeping a few games running, mainly with Matthew. I'm posting a series of our last three games. They are ridiculous. For some reason, I never take his threats seriously and I always makes some sort of outrageous mistake toward the end (or in the beginning). So, without further ado, here they are:


Back from the Dust and Back into the Dust

This was the game my last post alluded to. I had suffered an early loss of material, but I held on and fought back. Then, I walked into a mate.





The Game is Afoot

I actually played a wonderful opening, had a material advantage. And then, I walked into a mate.





Walked into a Mate

I never found my footing in this game and then I walked into a mate.




School will be out soon. Just have to survive finals week and maybe I'll have enough time to actually beat Matt.