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.}
{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).}
{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).}
{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


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.


[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.}

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.


[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.}
{Trying to get space in the center and hoping for an eventual e5 push, pointing everything at his castle.}
{He has other plans for the center, however.}
10.d5 Ne7 11.Nh4
{To free up my queen, and allow the move f4.}
{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.}
{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.}
{White doesn't take advantage with Qxd6, but I also miss out on the correct response to his mistake.}
{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.}
{He, however, did not take advantage of it. 23. dxc7 and I'm pretty much done for.}
{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.}
{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.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Bring it on.

I'm back at school and once again have no free time. I am trying to keep up with my games and I've got a really great one going on against my husband, Matthew. I'm not sure how long it's going to take me to finish, but it's been a great game so far and I can't wait to throw it up here.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

How to End a Vacation

It's the end of spring break. I really should be reading about Governmental accounting, but I'm taking a short break to post a game I recently played on FICS. It was an easy win, and a nice way to close out the vacation.

All Good Things...

[Event "FICS rated standard game"]
[Site "FICS, San Jose, California USA"]
[Date "2011.03.12"]
[Round "-"]
[White "Karaboul"]
[Black "LindseyAnn"]
[TimeControl "900+5"]
[Result "0-1"]
[WhiteELO "1469"]
[BlackELO "1505"]

{To morn (celebrate?) the end of spring break, here's a game I played on FICS. I'm definitely getting more confident OTB and while this game is characterized more by my opponents mistakes than my own brilliance, capitalizing on mistakes is skill in itself.}
1.e4 e5 2.Bc4
{When I see this move as black, I know I've got to be ready for aggression and (usually) weak play.}
2...Nf6 3.Qf3
{And, I was not wrong. I was a bit nervous about slipping up in a live game, but I managed to hold it together.}
3...Nc6 4.c3 Bc5 5.b4 Bb6 6.b5 Na5
{I still don't have a clear plan at this point, but I'm trying to keep the pressure on him as much as he's keeping it on me.}
7.Na3 c6
{Trying to get my light-squared bishop into the game.}
8.d4 exd4 9.e5 Qe7
{This was the move I was most proud of. This is the sort of thing I usually miss in a live game, but I took the time to think and find it.}
{My opponent did not take time to think. He is on tilt and things end soon after this bishop sac.}
10...Kxf7 11.Bg5
{He gives me the fork...}
{...and I don't miss it.}
12.Kd2 Qxg5+
{White resigns and I close out my vacation with a self-esteem booster.}

Friday, March 11, 2011

Off the Board Weakness

A few of my biggest personal weaknesses are displayed in the following game. During the game I was stubborn, short-sighted, brittle, easily agitated, and not willing to put in the effort from the start because things weren't going my way.

It is a Ruy Lopez opening which put me off from the start. Fully realizing that I have the potential to influence the character of the opening, I still let it bother the heck out of me. I proceed to play uninspired moves and the instant things don't go exactly the way I expect them to, I start pushing pawns and not considering the consequences.

So, here you have it: in true form, a Lindsey meltdown. All I can do is be better next time...


[Event "Let's Play!"]
[Site "Chess.com"]
[Date "2011.03.10"]
[Round ""]
[White "chessdude46"]
[Black "lindseyann"]
[TimeControl "1"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO " "]
[WhiteELO "1222"]
[BlackELO "1231"]

{A recent and terrible loss. My opponent was rated much lower than me, but he played the Ruy Lopez which always puts me off.}
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Bxc6 dxc6
{And we arrive here. My least favorite opening of all time. I'm seriously considering switching to 1...c5 after 1. e5.}
5.O-O Bg4 6.Nc3
{He leaves the book here.}
6...Nf6 7.d3 Bd6 8.Bg5
{No one has made any major mistakes at this point, but look at how ugly this position is.}
8...O-O 9.Qe2 Be7 10.Rad1 Nh5
{It would have been a bit more practical to play Nd7 right here. But, I was eyeing N to f4 and eventually that move will be my undoing.}
11.Bxe7 Qxe7 12.h3 Bxf3 13.Qxf3
{So, all of the trades happen pretty much as I expected them to and black really has nothing to show for it. Neither does white. Snooze fest.}
{All I had in mind at the end of it all was this move. Thinking that if I could just have a strong knight on f4, maybe I could break through with pawn f5 and actually give this game some character.}
{For some reason, I completely missed this response. He let all the air out of my plan and I sort of gave up at this point. I'm not very proud of that fact, but its the counterpoint to all that resilience I showed during the live game.}
14...Nxe2+ 15.Qxe2 Rad8 16.Rfe1 f5
{I really wanted to make something happen. I hoped that opening up everything would magically work in my favor. This was not the correct way to play. Better here would have been a good old fashioned rook lift, Rd6.}
17.d4 fxe4 18.Qxe4 Rf4
{Getting frustrated and lazy, I make my worst move of the game. I didn't consider the fact that my pawn on e5 would be pinned if he played Qxf4.}
{Which he did. There was no coming back from that point and I resigned.}

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Live in Active Culture

I (for the most part) fear live chess. Sometimes, I feel like I've become dependent on moving all the pieces around before I make a decision. I've been trying to get myself out of that comfort zone during spring break. Mainly, because I don't have enough future time to devote to starting a large number of correspondence games.

I've had a couple of terrible losses OTB. But since I just analyzed a really depressing game, I thought I'd throw up an awesome live game I played this morning. It really lifted my spirits, since I navigated the ups and downs of a real-time game with better resilience than I usually demonstrate. The end of spring break approaches...

Live in Active Culture

[Event "FICS rated standard game"]
[Site "FICS, San Jose, California USA"]
[Date "2011.03.10"]
[Round "-"]
[White "LindseyAnn"]
[Black "Balaz"]
[TimeControl "900+5"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteElo "1432"]
[BlackElo "1342"]

{A rare live game from me. I felt really good about this game, but I made a "slip of the mouse" mistake after getting flustered in the opening. I very proud of the fact that I recovered well from the situation and stuck to a clear plan.}
1.d4 d5 2.c4 dxc4 3.Nc3 Bf5
{I don't think this is the best move in this situation. The computer likes c5 and e5, I would have probably developed a knight, but what do I know...}
4.e4 Bg6 5.Bxc4
{If ever there was a position for me to get into in a live game, this is it. I have a clear plan from this point to use the openings on the queen side to get in his business.}
5...e6 6.Nf3 Bb4
{I normally don't mind at all Bxc3 bxc3, giving myself more open space where all my pieces are. In this situation (live, yikes!), I didn't think about the fact that I need the knight to protect e5. But, the truth is it doesn't hurt me to badly technically. Psychologically, on the other hand...}
7.O-O Bxc3 8.bxc3 Bxe4
{I got upset that I missed this, and...}
{...I suffered a "mouse slip" while trying to decide on my next move. Oh no! I had been considering playing Bb3 to prevent him from castling.}
9...Bxf3 10.Qxf3
{At this point, I decided not to focus on the pawn I'd lost, but instead on my awesome development.}
10...c6 11.Rab1
{I decided there was no rush to correct my Bb2 mistake, since he still can't castle.}
11...Nf6 12.Ba3
{Now, when I stop his castle, my rook is already where he wants to be.}
{He gives me a good tactic here...}
{...and I miss it. Better is 13. Bxb5 cxb5 14. Qc6+, winning the rook.}
{This seemed like a bad mistake for him. d5 looks like his most important square, and putting something there (Nd5 or Qd5) and stopping me from taking his pawn seems like a much better idea.}
{I take advantage of the misstep, and get more activity on the queenside.}
14...Rc8 15.Qxb5 Rxc3 16.Rb3 Rxb3 17.axb3 Qb6 18.Rc1 Qd8
{We'd both been playing pretty solid for the last few moves. But, things were already looking pretty bad for his king. It would have been better to give him more (and not less) breathing room, or start moving him away from the attack.}
{The computer likes Qb7 here, but I wanted to keep the pin and bring in my light square bishop.}
{He could have attempted to save the pawn and take a little more space on the queenside with a5.}
20.Bb5 f6
{He attempts to give his king somewhere to run, but it was too little too late.}
21.Qxa7 Nc7
{Mate from here and I don't miss it.}
{Black resigns. Here's the mate that never would have happened if we'd played it out:}
22...Kf7 23.Rxd7+ Qxd7 24.Qxd7+ Kg6 25.Bd3+ Kh6 26.Bc1+ g5 27.Qf7 f5 28.Qf6+ Kh5 29.Qxg5#

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

I Don't Understand that Move?

See my previous post to understand where I've been lately (it's where I always am when I'm not playing chess). I picked this game to annotate because it was one of my last losses before I went back to school. And, wow. What a loss it was. We traded back the advantage more times that I can count and the swing in score from one move to the next (especially toward the end) is out of control.

"I Don't Understand that Move?"

[Event "Let's Play!"]
[Site "Chess.com"]
[Date "2011.01.02"]
[Round ""]
[White "lindseyann"]
[Black "test_tube_baby"]
[TimeControl "1"]
[Result "*"]
[WhiteELO "1347"]
[BlackELO "1303"]

{This game should be interesting. One of the last losses I suffered before the semester started up. If the computer's judgment means anything, we both played some terrible chess. Enjoy the ride.}
1.d4 d5 2.c4 dxc4 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 Nc6 5.e4 Bg4 6.Be3 Qd6
{He makes the first mistake. I couldn't have missed 7. e5 if I wanted to. I could, however, mess up the continuation.}
7.e5 Qb4 8.a3
{I was overly concerned with winning the c-pawn. I tend to get flustered when people try and protect it. I was also concerned about my b-pawn, but as you can see, 8. a3 does nothing to protect it.}
8...Qxb2 9.Na4
{At this point, I began to convince myself that I could trap his queen. There's an important lesson to be learned here: If a situation on the board doesn't actually exist, and you can't really see a clear way to make it exist, maybe just try and make the "best" move. In this case, Na4 was the best move, but you'll soon see that I get carried away with the idea of trapping his queen.}
9...Qb5 10.Rb1
{I should have (once again) just played exf6.}
10...Qa5+ 11.Bd2 Qa6 12.Nc5
{And again, I thought I could trap his queen. And again, exf6 was the best move for me.}
{At this point, my queen side is looking bad. I can't clearly remember, but I'm hoping that I realized my whole "trap his queen" strategy was hopeless.}
{But, I didn't.}
{He would have done much better to simply win my bishop. 13...Nxb4 14. exf6 Qxc3+ 15. Qd2.}
{Woohoo! I finally did it.}
14...O-O-O 15.Be2 Nxd4 16.Bd2
{This was a terrible move. Much better would have been Nxd4 (especially since I'd just unpinned that knight).}
16...Nc2+ 17.Kf1 c3
{Making that pawn a thorn in my side (as he well should).}
18.Ne4 cxd2 19.Nexd2 exf6
{He would have done a bit better to play Bxf3 wince that knight is holding things together right now.}
{Another terrible move on my part. After this he should have played Ba3, making my move pointless and getting his bishop into the fray.}
20...Bf5 21.g3 Bb4 22.Kg2
{Another terrible move on my part. Tactics are all over this board and I miss all of them.}
{He failed to capitalize with 22...Bxd4 23. Nxd2 Ne3+ (winning my knight).}
23.Bd1 Ne1+
{He still should have taken on d2.}
24.Rxe1 Bh3+ 25.Kg1 Qg4
{With this move, I could have gotten back in the game. I make the correct response, but I'm pretty much defeated on the mental front at this point.}
26.Re4 Bxd2 27.Nxd2 Qd7
{The computer scores us as almost even at this point.}
{Hoping he misses the most obvious mate in the world (never a good strategy... slightly better would have been Rb2).}
28...b6 29.Nf3 Rhe8 30.Rd4
{I try to throw away the game again. After 30...Qxd4, I can't take with the knight because of Re1#. He could have won the rook.}
{But he doesn't see it either.}
{So, I decide to hang my knight, when the bishop and queen will choke my king.}
{He misses it and gives the game back to me.}
32.Bxe8 Rxe8 33.Rbd1 Qf5 34.Qb5
{Wait, what? He sends me a message, "I don't understand this move?". Neither do I, Test Tube Baby. Neither do I...}

Spring Break!

Here's a brief update. This semester at school as been (without a doubt), the most intense semester I've ever had. Free time is a concept of the past and to be honest, I'm really afraid of what the end of the semester holds. I've been keeping pace, but barely. It's spring break now. If you've read "Ender's Game" (and you should), you might remember a scene when Ender goes home before the final conflict with the buggers. That's what this spring break feels like to me.

I've had six days without school, which is apparently how long it takes to catch up on all the house work that got thrown to the wayside (scrubbing grout is really not the same as floating on a lake in a hand made canoe). It is also the amount of time it takes for me to realize that I miss chess.

So, I am back if only for a moment before I get thrown back to the wolves. I hope to get an annotation or two going before time runs out. But, I'm basically back at it on Sunday and I have a few moments of fun & family planned as well.

Oh, chess.