Thursday, August 12, 2010

LindseyAnn vs. MatthewMcCann 0-1

This game is a rare occurance. I actually faced my number one chess rival of all time--my husband. This is probably one of the best games I've ever had against him. I'm not sure if it's because I'm getting better or he's out of practice. With a couple of different moves I could have pulled out a draw. As it stood, I went into the endgame one pawn down and he was able to convert the advantage.

'Til Death

[Event "I Love You!!"]
[Site ""]
[Date "2010.08.03"]
[Round ""]
[White "lindseyann"]
[Black "MatthewMccann"]
[TimeControl "1"]
[Result "*"]
[ECO " "]
[WhiteELO "1350"]
[BlackELO "1475"]

{A strange opening move for me. Matt didn't want to play the Queen's Gambit, so allowed for something different.}
1...e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6
{This move takes us out of the Philidor's Defense opening.}
{While this move isn't "bad", I'm wondering why I didn't just play Nxc6 and double
his pawns.}
5...Bd7 6.Nc3 Nf6 7.Be3 g6 8.O-O Bg7 9.Nce2
{This move gives up some of the initiative. Now black has a slight advantage. Better would have been Qd2.}
9...O-O 10.c3
{My first mistake of the game. Drops the pawn for nothing.}
10...Nxe4 11.Bd3 Nc5 12.Bc2 Ne5 13.Qd2 Nc4 14.Qc1 Re8
{Nxe3 fxe3 would have given him the bishop pair and isolated the pawn, but also opened up my rook.}
{This was a mistake on my part, but he did not take advantage of the mistake.}
{While this response doesn't change the score very much, the following variation would have been better for black.}
16.Nf4 c6 17.Nxc6
{I was really, really proud of myself for finding this move because this is the sort of thing that I miss 9 out of 10 times.}
17...Bxc6 18.Bxc5 b6 19.Bd4
{This was a weak move on my part. I knew my plan was to try and win the d-pawn and I block off my rook access to the attack. It also allows him to isolate one of my pawns. Bd3 would have been a better choice.}
19...Bxd4 20.cxd4
{The position if pretty even at this point in the game, with black maintaining a slight advantage.}
20...Re4 21.Rd1
{Protecting my pawn, but 21. Bxc4 dxc4 22. Qxc4 looks alright for white.}
{After this, things get messy and the tactics overwhelm me. Funny thing is, I felt like I had a better understanding of this position when I was playing it than I do
22.Nxd5 Bxd5 23.Bxc4 Rd8
{The computer like Rc8 much better here, and with Rd8 I gain back some of the initiative (although, I do not manage to keep it as we'll soon see).}
24.Bxd5 Rxd5 25.Qc7
{I knew I couldn't save the the pawn, so I tried to threaten one of his to maintain my "advantage". However, his pieces were a lot more active and after 25. Qc2 Rexd4 26. Rxd4 Rxd4 27. Re1 Things are a lot more even and we would have been moving toward a draw.}
{This move was great on Matt's part. He didn't need to take the d-pawn because he can do it whenever he wants. Instead he creates another threat for me.}
{Rf1 would have been slightly better here, since there was no way to hang onto the d-pawn.}
26...Rxd4 27.Qxa7
{I was already losing this game, but I could have kept it a little closer.}
27...Rxd1+ 28.Rxd1 Qxb2 29.Rf1
{Ouch, steps into a forced mate. Matt misses it and is not going to be happy when he finds out.}
29...Qc3 30.Rd1
{And I step into another Mate in 3.}
30...Qb2 31.Qb8+ Kg7 32.Qg3 Qxa2 33.Re1
{My goal was to trade off our pieces and see if I could beat him in an endgame. Which is a pretty silly thing to do when you're down a pawn.}
33...b5 34.Rxe2 Qxe2 35.Qf2 Qxf2+ 36.Kxf2
{From this point forward it was pretty much over for me, but I played it out hoping for a terrible blunder on Matt's part. He did not comply with my wishes.}
36...Kf6 37.Ke3 Ke5 38.f4+ Kf5 39.Kf3 b4 40.Ke3 b3 41.Kd3 Kxf4 42.Kc3 Ke3 43.Kxb3 Kf2 44.Kc3 Kxg2 45.Kd3 f5 46.Ke3 g5

Monday, August 2, 2010

Arnez Gray Jr vs. LindseyAnn 0-1

Two games analyzed in one day! I'm on a roll. Here's a win to cheer myself up. Although as usual, my win came about by some very questionable playing by my opponent and I missed a very important queen move through most of the beginning of my attack. However, I pulled it out with a pretty mate at the end.

Also, I've included playable variations of mates that I missed along the way. This is a new experiment and it takes a lot more work than just casually mentioning the mates that I overlook.

Insert Obligatory Knight-Pun Game Title Here

[Event "Let's Play!"]
[Site ""]
[Date "2010.07.05"]
[Round ""]
[White "ArnezGrayJr"]
[Black "lindseyann"]
[TimeControl "1"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO " "]
[WhiteELO "1123"]
[BlackELO "1261"]

1.e3 e5 2.d4 Nc6 3.Nf3 e4
{This is move is more aggressive than I am.}
{But, sometimes it pays to be aggressive.}
4...Qxg5 5.f4 Qh4+
{It would have been slightly better to play 5. exf3ep gxf3 and then 6. Qh4 check when he doesn't have the pawn to interpose.}
6.g3 Qh6 7.Bg2 d5 8.Nc3 Nf6 9.O-O Bb4 10.a3 Ba5
{It might have been smarter to trade this off for the knight, since the center is all locked up and knights are probably a bit stronger. Also, it's just generally good to trade off pieces when you're ahead in material.}
11.Nb5 Bd7
{I missed a GREAT move here. 11...Ng4 and the queen has no where to go and nothing can interpose. Wow. I'd have to drop a few pawns after 12. Nxc7+ Kd7 13. Nxd5 Bxd1. But, I could have picked up the queen.}
12.b4 Bb6 13.g4
{Hanging a pawn and further weaken his king-side.}
13...Nxg4 14.h3 Nf6 15.Nxc7+
{I guess he just hates his knights, because he seems to like hanging them.}
15...Bxc7 16.Qe2 Qg6
{I remember reading or hearing a chess expert once say, "Never prepare to do something that you can just do". In this case, I was preparing to take the pawn,
Bxh3, but I could have just taken it and traded off bishops (since it's already clear that knights are going to decide this game).}
{He could have played Kh2 and ruined my plans. But, he did not.}
17...Bxh3 18.Rf2 O-O
{It would have been better to play Qg3 followed by Nf4 and picking up the rook. However, I knew I needed to get my rooks in on the action and my king tucked away and I missed this tactic.}
19.Qxb7 Ne8
{I wouldn't have been so concerned about protecting my bishop, if I had realized I had a mate in 10 after Qxb7. I do not beat myself up over missing mate in 10.
Although Qg3 was always the best move.}
20.Qxa8 Ne7
{I seem to be dropping material left and right, but I knew that if I could just get my pieces to the king side, I would find a mate.}
21.Qxa7 Nf5 22.Kh2
{Mate in 7 from here. Once again beginning with Qg3 (that move never even crossed my mind during the game).}
22...Bxg2 23.Rxg2 Qh5+ 24.Kg1 Nh4 25.Rg5 Nf3+

{I missed a mate in 5 from here, but I almost had a bow on this one anyway.}
26.Kg2 Qh2+ 27.Kf1 Nxg5
{I prolonged his pain for a while longer, and I could have had a shorter mate from here if I'd just left the rook alone. But, sometimes its better to be safe than sorry.}
28.Qc5 Nf3 29.Qxd5 Qg1+ 30.Ke2 Qe1#
{I really quite like this mate.}

LindseyAnn vs. Krasi24 0-1

As promised, here is that really embarrassing loss that I suffered recently. I've been spending a lot more time playing than analyzing. Since my last update, I've gotten a few more wins under my belt. I also suffered a crushing loss today and I have a few boards where things look very delicate at the moment.

I won six games in a row before losing, which is pretty decent. But, I'm probably not going to analyze them all here, since I find looking over my losses a lot more instructive than looking over my wins.

Without further ado, I present:

Chess Blindness

[Event "Let's Play!"]
[Site ""]
[Date "2010.07.06"]
[Round ""]
[White "lindseyann"]
[Black "Krasi24"]
[TimeControl "1"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO " "]
[WhiteELO "1242"]
[BlackELO "1378"]

1.d4 d5 2.c4 dxc4 3.Nc3 Nc6 4.e4
{Already, I've made a stupid mistake, dropping a pawn right away. Better would have been either Nf3 or e3.}
4...Nxd4 5.Bxc4 e6 6.Be3 Nc6 7.Nf3 Bb4 8.Qb3
{So I can castle without isolating a pawn.}
8...Nf6 9.Nd2
{This move was sort of pointless on my part. Bb5 or Rd1 or 0-0 would have probably been more productive. My knight seems a bit loose here and I've plugged up the open file.}
9...a5 10.O-O O-O 11.Rfd1 h6 12.a3
{After this move, I've gotten back some of the initiative that I'd given up.}
12...Bxc3 13.Qxc3 Ng4 14.Nf3
{I played this to gain a tempo, control of the center, and look after the h2 & h4 squares.}
{At this point in the game, even though I'm down a pawn, I feel pretty good about my position. My pieces seem a lot more active and better placed them him. Unfortunately I get a little to comfortable with my position soon, and I over look forced win for him.}
{I probably should have played Bf4 here, to prevent him from trading his knight for my bishop.}
15...f6 16.Nh4
{I was playing to put my knight on the hole at g6 (also, forking the queen and rook). But, I stupidly missed the easy tactic 16. Bc5 winning the exchange.}
16...Nce5 17.Bxg4
{I thought this was brilliant, since after Nxg4 Ng6 I've accomplished what I set out to do. Not only does it backfire, but the simple Bc5 is still on the board.}
{I totally missed this response, and my bishop is hanging along with my knight. However, the computer still shows me in the lead with 5.02, if I play Bc5 that is. What do you think I'll do?}
{Well, I certainly never saw Bc5. Now, my "plan" has failed and I'm pretty well psychologically devastated.}
18...Nxg6 19.Rd3
{I still could have played it, and I gave him the chance to fork my pieces.}
{Now even here I could have still played Bc5 and had the advantage...}
20.Be2 Nxd3 21.Bxd3 e5
{I won't even bother pointing out the obvious at this point.}
22.Bc4+ Kh8
{And, with that move Bc5 is no longer an option!}
23.Rd1 Bg4 24.Rd2 Rfd8
{Now, around this point of the game, I wrote in my notes: "Watch out for back-rank mates! Only bishop to f4 is keeping you safe!" But, keeping with the theme of carelessness that this game has had running through it, I soon fail to heed my own advice.}
25.Rc2 Be6 26.Bxe6 Rd1+ 27.Qe1 Rxe1#