Sunday, 14 October 2018

The 2000 ELO Challenge



Just when I was feeling smug about myself breaking into the 1900 ELO bracket again on chess.com rapid time control, my wife decides to offer me a challenge:


Break ELO 2000 by 31st December on chess.com rapid time control 15|10 



I am like... 😲



I have barely 2.5 months to move up another 100 ELO points. In theory, I need to win around 15-20 games in a row, and against opposition whose ratings are in the 1800-2000 ELO bracket range.

This is going to be hard.


I don't believe I've won that many 1900-2000 rated players before on chess.com. Maybe a dozen at best. Winning on a regular basis is going to take considerable effort and training on my part.

Am I going to try? You bet I am. Challenge accepted! 

I will have to mentally prepare myself for a much higher level of opposition than the one faced this afternoon:

A game that I liked (ChessBase 14)
[Event "Live Chess"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2018.10.14"] [Round "?"] [White "opponent"] [Black "myself"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "C02"] [WhiteElo "1792"] [BlackElo "1900"] [Annotator "Mark"] [PlyCount "69"] [EventDate "2018.??.??"] [TimeControl "900+10"] {Getting into the 1900 ELO range again for the 3rd time in the past 30 days is sweet. The challenge is staying there!} 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 c5 4. c3 Nc6 5. Be3 $5 {an interesting sideline known to have some poison} Nge7 (5... Nh6 $5 6. Bxh6 gxh6 7. Nf3 Qb6 8. Qb3 Qxb3 9. axb3 cxd4 10. cxd4 f6 11. exf6 Bd6 12. Nbd2 O-O 13. Bb5 Rxf6 $15) 6. Nf3 (6. dxc5 $2 Nf5) 6... Nf5 7. Qd2 Bd7 (7... Nxe3 8. fxe3 Be7 9. Bd3 Bd7 10. O-O Qb6 11. Kh1 Rc8 $11) 8. Bd3 (8. dxc5 Nxe3 9. Qxe3 b6 10. cxb6 Qxb6 11. Qxb6 axb6 12. Nbd2 h6 13. Nb3 g5 14. Nbd4 Nxd4) 8... Nxe3 9. fxe3 Be7 10. O-O Rc8 11. Na3 a6 {stopping any pieces landing on b5} 12. Rae1 (12. Nc2) 12... O-O 13. Bb1 {White wants to create a bishop queen battery along the b1 h8 diagonal} f6 $5 {I thought it was time to undermine the center. } 14. e4 $2 (14. exf6 Rxf6 $15) 14... cxd4 15. cxd4 (15. exd5 $2 dxc3 $17) (15. Nxd4 fxe5 $17) 15... Bb4 16. Qd3 {[%cal Ge4d5,Gd3h7] the threat is exd5} dxe4 ( 16... Bxe1 $4 17. exd5 $14) 17. Rxe4 f5 $1 {stops all immediate threats and gives Black long term positional advantage} 18. Rh4 Ne7 $1 {[%csl Gd3,Gf1] [%cal Ge7d5,Gb4a3,Gd7b5,Gb5f1] a good regrouping} 19. g4 $2 {loses further material} (19. Ng5 Ng6) 19... Ng6 20. Rh5 (20. Rh3 Nf4) 20... Nf4 21. Qb3 Bxa3 22. bxa3 Nxh5 23. gxh5 {Black is up in significant material and now only has to be careful to convert the point} Qe8 24. h6 $2 Qg6+ {White loses more material with no compensation} 25. Kh1 Qxh6 26. d5 exd5 27. Qxd5+ Qe6 (27... Be6 {objectively is stronger according to Stockfish but when up in material, just force a winning endgame is simpler.}) 28. Qxb7 (28. Qxe6+ Bxe6 29. Nd4 Bd5+ 30. Kg1 g6 {doesn't inspire much hope for White}) 28... Bc6 {[%csl Gf3] [%cal Gc6h1] a very annoying pin for White} 29. Qb2 (29. Qxa6 $4 Bxf3+ { wins the White queen}) 29... Rb8 30. Qc3 Be4 {trying to force simplications} ({ instead the natural} 30... Rfc8 {wins the house}) 31. Bc2 (31. Bxe4 fxe4 32. Nd2 Qd5) 31... Rfc8 32. Bb3 Rxc3 33. Bxe6+ Kf8 34. Kg2 Ke7 35. Bb3 {and here my opponent decides to call it a day.} 0-1

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