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Hi everybody. I think this game is a good example of how to play when you are "ok with a draw". There is no magic bullet of how to earn a draw. Some people think the exchange French or the exchange Slav are "drawish". Well they're probably right, in some sense. But, to paraphrase a common chess-ism, "the second-most-difficult thing to do in chess is to draw a drawn game". Enjoy!
ending was great
More comments on this game, since I just analyzed it with Rybka. Both myself and my opponent did quite well.
First, to comment further on pyromaniac579's points.
Rybka doesn't like 13.Nb5 at all, and in fact after ...Nc6 prefers to retreat the e5 knight to d3. After 13.Nb5 Nc6 14.Nxc6 bxc6 15.Nc3, the eval is at -0.30, compared with 13.Nd3 which is at +0.20. The only game in my DB with this position has white playing 13.Rfc1
The relocation of the bishop from e1 to a3 via the maneuver Bd2-c1-b2-a3 scores almost exactly 0. The line I'm looking at is 17.Bd2 Rfc8 18.Bc1 Qc6 19.Bb2 Bf6 20.Rfc1 Rc7 21.Ba3 b6 which has an eval of 0.00. Perhaps this piece was better on d2 as in the game. Note that my move 17.Rb1 is Rybka's first choice and scores +0.23. The other plan it's looking at in that position is f3 and Bf2.
21.Rfb1 is actually quite dangerous for white. I wouldn't like to play it. Here's the line. 21.Rfb1 Bxa4 22.Rxb7 Rxb7 23.Rxb7 Ra8 24.Rxe7 Bb3 25.Rb7 a4 26.Bc1 Bc4 27.Bxc4 dxc4 28.Bb2 a3 29.Ba1. Now Rybka says that white has a +0.34 edge here, I suppose because black can't come in on the b file. But I would be worried about a plan for black like Kf8-Ke8, Bf8, Kd8-Kc8, and Rb8. The key move is 23... Ra8! instead of ...e5.
I don't disagree with the esteemed Mr. Tal, but there are always times when one is ok with a draw. Note this is different from "playing for a draw". One is always happier with a win. But sometimes a hard-fought draw is nearly as fulfilling.
Tal says in his book ("The Life and Games of Mikahil Tal") that to play for a draw from the very first move is to some degree a crime against chess, and I think that I pretty much agree with that. So a guide how to play when you're OK with a draw is not a good thing IMO, it's just not in the sense of the beautiful game of chess to do that... the game looks pretty interesting all the same =)...
@chesscrazee You might be right. I made the move h3 on instinct because of the bishop colors, fixing the h4 pawn on a dark square.
Looking again, the g2 pawn only becomes weak after I carried out the maneuver 41. exf5 and then 42. d5 which opens the 6th rank for black's rook.
the move h3 was a weak one
it makes a hole on g3 and makes the h4 pawn a good asset for black
any way it was a good resource ful game by you
Thanks for sharing cool games...
@tournamentguy Yes, that's right, and I don't remember who said it.
paraphrase a common chess-ism, "the second-most-difficult thing to do in chess is to draw a drawn game". Enjoy!
is that because the hardest thing to do in chess is win a won game?
i cant remember who said that, was it Lasker?
Wow! Nice game!
About Nb5 Nc6 Nxc6 bxc6 Nc3 - it's worth considering. But maybe black can play c5 right away (dxc5 d4 winning Nc3), or black can play Rb8 instead. (Maybe c5 right away makes sense, taking advantage of the awkward Qb3/Be6 placement.)
Yes, I very much like your idea of relocating the bishop to a3. I may have been too eager to get the queens off the board against such a dangerous opponent. Good piece of analysis with the intermediate Bb2, Rfc1, then Ba3. As you know, and as you probably saw in the actual game, tempos don't matter as much in positions such as this.
21. Rfb1. Yes, I think this is a very worthy candidate move. In addition to the line you mentioned, I think white can also play Rfb1 Bxa4 Ra1 Bc6 (for example) Rxa5 with some future pressure on the b7 pawn.
I think this game would be a great one to analyze with a Grandmaster - I'm sure I misplayed it in many ways - but white's position was really quite good, as you've noted.
It is a draw.. because white cannot move anywhere.. and to win in chess you must mate the king, but if that cannot be done, then it is a draw, White has nowhere to move, its called a stalemate, meaning its a draw because white has no legal move.
I'm a beginner and I would have said that Black wins cos White has no moves left?
Sir: Very nice draw! I have a few questions/possible improvements over the game, and I'd be really greatful to hear what you think!
so here goes: 1. On move 13, I thought nd3 was a bit passive (your knight on e5 is strong too!) -- what about nb5(!?)? Nc6 seems forced but 14.Nxc6 bxc6 15.Nc3 seems like a pleasant alteration of the structure for you. Even if he gets in c5, I think you still stand much better, i.e. 15...Nd7 16.Qa3 Rc8 17.Rfd1 c5!? 18.dxc5 nxc5 you have the queenside majority, b5 and d4 for your knight and his a pawn is weak.
2. What are you're thoughts about a plan of Bd2/c1/a3 around move 17? I'm thinking something along the lines of 17.Bd2 Rc8 18.Bc1 Qc6 19.Bb2 with rc1 and ba3 to follow. I just have a feeling that a lot of white's difficulties later on were caused by that locked-in bishop... :-(
3. what wre you're thoughts during the game on 21. rfb1(!?)? If Bxa4 22.Rxb7 rxb7 23.rxb7 e5 -- all of which seems rather forced -- I think you win the a-pawn after ra7
your friendly neighborhood Pyro
@JPatrick When you say "white gets nothing significant from the queenside push" are you talking about the move 6.b4
Very nice game!
On the white side of this, I've been experimenting with 6.b4 on the grounds that I'm not really sure where the light squared Bishop goes at this point. It is fair to say, though that White gets nothing significant from the queenside push. What seems to happen is that the queenside reaches equilibrium and the game goes sterile.
@Ozzie Yes. I think that 6.b4 does grant Black early equality. I regard it more as a surprise weapon, that leads to positions which could arise either from a Slav or a Gruenfeld. After all, equality isn't necessarily drawish. Since I almost always open with 1.Nf3 as White, I would arrive at the position via a different move order. Most likely 1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.e3 Bg7 5.d4 c6 6.b4
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