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 ""]
[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.}