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 ""]
[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 ""]
[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.