Saturday, 10 August 2019

SCL is back! My first game in August

After a month long break, the slow chess league is back. I haven't won a single month in 2019 yet which is why I'm keen to try to win this month to qualify for the SCL championships in Jan 2020.

My first pairing was with a young Canadian player who was a strong tactician. Luckily for me, he was prone to impatience and got too optimistic at one point, allowing me to capitalize on his poor king safety and secure an all important first round victory.

Here is the game in full with annotations from me: A game that I liked (ChessBase 15)
[Event "Live Chess"] [Site "Chess.com"] [Date "2019.08.08"] [Round "?"] [White "dr_chessdad"] [Black "happycuber"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D02"] [WhiteElo "1823"] [BlackElo "1788"] [Annotator "Liew,Mark"] [PlyCount "49"] [EventDate "2019.??.??"] [TimeControl "2700+45"] { Before this game I was debating on whether i should play the London, the Colle Zukertort or even the Tromp. I eventually decided that the London would give me the best chance of scoring a win, based on what I saw in my opponent's previous games.} 1. d4 Nf6 2. Bf4 d5 3. e3 Bf5 {as expected, London vs an early..Bf5} 4. Nf3 $6 {nowadays this is considered an inaccuracy.} (4. c4 e6 5. Qb3) (4. Bd3 {are the main lines.} Bxd3 (4... e6 5. Bxf5 exf5 6. Qd3 Qd7 7. Ne2) 5. cxd3 $5) 4... e6 5. c4 c5 $6 {I don't think highly of this move. Black is not ready to open up the position yet.} 6. Nc3 $2 (6. cxd5 {was best} exd5 {forced} (6... Nxd5 $2 7. Bxb8 $1 Qa5+ (7... Rxb8 8. Bb5+ {is just bad for Black}) 8. Qd2 Qxd2+ 9. Nbxd2 Rxb8 10. e4 $1) (6... Qxd5 $2 7. Bb5+ Nc6 8. Nc3 {White is better}) 7. Bb5+ (7. Qb3 Qc8 8. dxc5 Bxc5 9. Bb5+ Nc6 10. O-O {White has good play against the IQP}) 7... Nbd7 8. dxc5 a6 9. Bxd7+ Qxd7) 6... Nc6 7. cxd5 Nxd5 8. Nxd5 Qxd5 { a critical position. Black is very close to equalising and seizing the initative. I had a think over 10 mins} 9. Qa4 $1 {Apparently a novelty according to the database.pretty much the only move which retains the balance.} O-O-O $4 {my opponent gets too greedy.} ({Correct was} 9... cxd4 10. Bc4 Bb4+ 11. Qxb4 $1 Nxb4 12. Bxd5 Nxd5 13. Nxd4 Bg6 14. Bg3 $11 {Not the best outcome but at least White has reached an equal position}) 10. Bc4 {gaining a vital tempo back on development} Qd7 11. O-O $18 {White has everything now. Good development, king safety and the attack} Bd6 12. Bxd6 Qxd6 13. dxc5 Qxc5 { the c file is now open for business.} (13... Qc7 14. b4 $1) 14. Rac1 Qb6 15. Bb5 {[%csl Rc6] putting more pressure on the pinned piece.} Be4 $2 {trying to confuse matters.} (15... Kb8 16. Bxc6 Bd3 17. Rfd1 bxc6 18. Ne5 Bb5 19. Qg4 $18 ) 16. Ne5 {[%csl Gc6,Gf7] the knight on c6 is heavily attacked plus there's a threat of Nxf7 forking} Rhf8 17. Nxc6 {not the best but still winning nevertheless} (17. Bxc6 $1 bxc6 18. Nxc6 {is stronger then what happened in the game.}) 17... bxc6 18. Bxc6 Bd3 19. Rfd1 Kb8 20. Qf4+ (20. Rxd3 $1 Rxd3 21. Qf4+ Qc7 22. Qxc7+ Kxc7 23. Be4+ {is a cleaner approach}) 20... Kc8 $2 { Black practically admits defeat with this move. White gets a relentless attack down the c/d files.} (20... Qc7 21. Qxc7+ Kxc7 22. Be4+ {wins a piece}) 21. Be4+ Kd7 22. Rxd3+ Ke7 (22... Ke8 23. Rxd8+ Qxd8 24. Bc6+ Ke7 25. Ba4 $1 { [%csl Gd1][%cal Gc1d1,Gd1d7,Gf4d6] keeping the mating attack strong. Computer claims at least +18 for White here.}) 23. Rc7+ Ke8 24. Bc6+ Qxc6 25. Rxd8+ { and my opponent had enough} 1-0

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