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A fight against the O'Kelly Sicilian.

     With one month of playing on Chess.com under my belt, I thought I would finally try my hand at commenting on one of my chess games as a blog post. I enjoy writing, so why not?
     A few weeks ago, I was mortified when Black responded to e4 with c5. I had no idea what to do with the Sicilian. I'm not yet well-versed with the main lines, but I always start with 2. Nf3 and 3. d4 if Black is willing to give me the center. In this game, I do just that.
     I was shocked when I found out that B28: Sicilian Defense: O'Kelly Variation, Normal System (1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 a6 3.d4) was so good for black in Chess.com's Opening Database (31%W-22%D-47%B). But it only seems to stay in Black's favor if Black plays very aggressively for the center.
     My comments on the game are below which were made without any computer help. Chess.com's computer analysis shows that 9.Be3 was the correct move and my move of 9.exf6 would have equalized to correct play. And of course, I made a few other mistakes along the way that I thought were good moves. But a mere mortal cannot calculate at a 2500-level, so such guidance from a machine at this point seems rather moot. Do I feel bad I missed a mate in 10? Not at all.
     I hope you find the mate as aesthetically pleasing as I do. I think it is probably my first pure mate, where the king and all the squares around the king are attacked by one and only one piece.
     I appreciate all comments and insight.


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