Saturday, 29 September 2018

The Final Round of the QCD Adult Chess League Season 2.

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Today was the final round of the QCD adult chess league this year.

The league is now in its second season since it's inauguration last year in 2017. A total of 17 teams participated this year (up from last year's 14) with many strong local chess players coming out of 'retirement' to throw their hat into the ring. The top teams were quite close, although one, in particular, stood out amongst the rest. It was 'Pawnstars', last season's runners-up. They had managed to grind a result round after round and won the league with 1 game left to go. Worthy and deserved champions.

Personally, I really enjoy the league. My team remained intact from last year, and as a result, we have bonded well and grew to appreciate each other's strengths and weaknesses. I dare say overall, my team has made significant progress from last season. Consider our score from last season +0/=1/-7 and this season +4/=1/-5. What a vast improvement! We joked at the start that our KPI this season was simply to win 1 round, who knew we would reach 4 victories?!  My team captain Mr. Ong Yujing (a.k.a Newbie/Scorekeeper) has been ever faithful in keeping us organized and making sure we showed up for all of our rounds. I don't think we forfeited any boards except for 1 time this whole season. His chess blog can be found here.

Back to my game: Objectively my play was probably the worst when compared to previous rounds. Most likely it was due to lack of familiar territory (The opening started as a Pirc but ended up as a Sicillian Dragon, an opening which my opponent plays as Black!) I feel relieved to have actually survived an attack and even converted the win in the end. Sometimes chess is a mysterious game indeed!

Here's the game in full with my annotations.

A game that I liked (ChessBase 14)
[Event "QCD adult chess league 2018"] [Site "?"] [Date "2018.09.28"] [Round "10"] [White "Liew , Mark"] [Black "Opponent"] [Result "*"] [ECO "B07"] [Annotator "water"] [PlyCount "111"] [EventDate "2018.09.28"] [SourceVersionDate "2017.09.20"] 1. d4 {I truly underestimated my opponent today. He put up a very good fight.} d6 2. e4 Nf6 3. Nc3 g6 4. Be3 Bg7 5. Qd2 {the Pirc Defense.} Ng4 $6 6. Bg5 h6 7. Bh4 Nf6 (7... g5 $2 8. Bg3 e5 9. d5 f5 10. exf5 Bxf5 11. h4 $14) 8. f4 O-O 9. Nf3 (9. O-O-O $1 c6 10. Kb1 b5 11. Bd3 b4 12. Nce2 Nbd7 13. Nf3 a5 14. e5 (14. g4 $1 Nxg4 15. Rhg1) 14... Nd5 15. f5) 9... c5 10. O-O-O $2 {now we entered a sicillian dragon open favorable to Black!} (10. d5 $1) (10. dxc5 dxc5 11. Qxd8 Rxd8 12. e5 $16) 10... cxd4 11. Nxd4 Nc6 12. Nxc6 (12. Bf2) 12... bxc6 13. e5 Ne8 14. exd6 $2 {[%cal Gg7c3] opening up lines for the dragon bishop} (14. Be2 Qc7 15. Bf3 Rb8 16. Rhe1 $14) 14... Nxd6 {[%csl Ge6][%cal Gc8e6,Ge6a2,Gg7b2, Ga8b8,Gb8b2,Gd8b6,Gd8a5] around here I took about a 5-10 min think, realizing that I am in big big trouble. Just look at all the wonderful attacking motiffs that are starting to appear!} 15. Bc4 $2 (15. Bxe7 {i saw this continuation but decided it would just suffering for White.} Qxe7 16. Qxd6 Qe3+ $1 17. Qd2 Qb6 $15 {Black still has the attack}) (15. Be2 Be6 $1 16. Bf2 Qa5 17. Bd4 Bxa2 18. Bxg7 Kxg7 19. Qd4+ Kg8 20. Qa4) 15... Qb6 (15... Bg4 $1 {and Black wins.} 16. Bxe7 Qxe7 17. Qxd6 Qe3+ 18. Qd2 Qc5 19. Bb3 Bxc3 20. Qxc3 Qxc3 21. bxc3 Bxd1 22. Rxd1 $17) 16. Bb3 (16. Bxe7 Nxc4) 16... Be6 17. Rhe1 $2 (17. Bxe7 Nc4 18. Bxc4 Bxc4 19. Bxf8 Rxf8 {white has nothing to fear here.}) 17... Nc4 18. Qe2 (18. Qf2) 18... Na5 $2 19. Bxe6 fxe6 20. Qxe6+ Kh7 21. Qe3 {trying to stop Black's attack} (21. Rd7 $1 Rab8 22. Na4 Qb4 23. Re4 Qb5 24. Qxe7 {White wins.} ) 21... Qb8 22. b3 {stopping Nc4 for now.} Qxf4 23. Bg3 Qb4 24. Be5 (24. Qxe7 $1 Qxc3 25. Be5) 24... Qa3+ 25. Kd2 $1 (25. Kb1 {was playable.} Nc4 $1 { initially I dismissed Kb1 because i saw this possibility but Stockfish shows the refutation} 26. bxc4 Rab8+ 27. Nb5 $1 (27. Bxb8 Rxb8+ 28. Nb5 Qb2#) 27... Qxe3 28. Rxe3 cxb5 29. Bxg7 Kxg7 30. Rxe7+ Rf7 31. Rxf7+ Kxf7 32. Rd7+ Ke6 33. Rxa7 bxc4+ 34. Kc1 $16) 25... Rad8+ 26. Ke2 Bxe5 27. Qxe5 Qb4 28. Ne4 Qb5+ 29. Qxb5 cxb5 30. Rf1 Rde8 $2 31. Rd7 {with a hidden threat.} Nc6 $2 32. Nf6+ $1 { wins material. The rest is technical grind.} Kg7 33. Nxe8+ Rxe8 34. c3 a5 35. Rf4 Ne5 36. Rb7 Rc8 37. Kd2 Rd8+ 38. Kc2 g5 39. Re4 Ng6 40. g3 Kf6 41. Rxb5 Nh8 42. Rxa5 Nf7 43. g4 Nd6 44. Rd4 Rc8 45. c4 Nf7 46. Rf5+ Kg6 47. Rd7 Re8 48. a4 h5 49. h3 hxg4 50. hxg4 Nh6 51. Re5 Nxg4 52. Rexe7 Rxe7 53. Rxe7 Nf6 54. Re6 $1 Kf7 55. Rxf6+ $1 {the point} Kxf6 56. Kd3 {White stops Black's g pawn. There's no way Black is stopping 3 connected passed pawns.} *

May I never have to go through that again! If you're an adult in Singapore and love to play chess, feel free to send me an email: and I'll hook you up for next season.

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