Pete's Pathetic Chess: 'Horrible Mistake'

Pete's Pathetic Chess: 'Horrible Mistake'

pete
pete
Jun 15, 2015, 12:00 AM |
67 | Fun & Trivia

Many comments on my previous articles have noted that while my Monday column is fun, it provides little in the way of chess instruction. 

That's clearly true. As an intermediate player, I've got decent general chess knowledge, but I have to defer to chess professionals to actually teach the game. To that end, Chess.com publishes excellent weekly columns by GM Gregory Serper, IM Jeremy Silman, GM Bryan Smith, and GM Daniel Naroditsky. Those articles are a fantastic resource for chess players looking to improve.

But what if I could team up with a much better player and turn my chess incompetence into a teaching tool? That way, beginning and intermediate players might be able learn from my terrible moves, so as not to repeat my mistakes.

We asked the legendary grandmaster Roman Dzindzichashvili to analyze and annotate one of my horrible blitz efforts. Alonside GM Dzindzi's comments, I try to explain what I possibly could have been thinking during the game.

Finally, we ran the moves through Stockfish 6 to get the cold, hard numbers on my chess buffoonery. 

After looking at the results, my hope is that by playing though my game, at least you might learn what not to do.

Let us know what you think of my pathetic chess in the comments below and on Facebook, or check out the end of the game now. 

The Game: Chess.com blitz, 10 minutes per side.

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Bg4

Pete:

I am glad my opponent avoided the many Sicilian lines I have no clue about. Up until Black's fifth move, I am still in my very limited "opening book." 5...Bg4 is a move I am happy to see, because I wanted to play f3 anyway. 

GM Dzindzi:

Clearly one of the worst moves that can be played in this position. One of the main ways to play this position for White is f3 and g4. Black is playing Bg4, to make sure White gains the tempo...bizarre.

Stockfish 6:

+0.74, depth 25. Also, beep boop.

6.f3 Bd7 7.Be3 Nc6 8.Qd2 Nxd4 9.Bxd4 e5

Pete:

I'm still happy with my opening and position. My bishop looks nice on e3. I am pretty sure I have control of the d5 square. I can't wait to bring my bishop to the a2-g8 diagonal because I seem to remember much better players doing that.  

GM Dzindzi:

Putting the bishop on d7 and playing e5? All that after losing a big tempo in the opening? Black's position now should be considered as lost.

Stockfish 6:

+0.67, depth 25. Why am I being used to analyze such an inconsequential chess game?

10.Be3 h5


Pete:

I want to play Bc4, and h5 doesn't seem to threaten anything serious. After all my pieces are out, I'll have to decide which way I want to castle.

GM Dzindzi:

There it is. After 10 moves, we have White developing normally, and Black has made a series of random moves, not connected with each other.

Stockfish 6:

+1.15, depth 25. You know, I could run a lot faster if you didn't have so many Taylor Swift gossip browser tabs open.

11.Bc4 Rc8 12.Bb3 Qa5 13.O-O


Pete:

I could castle either way, but I'll go kingside because my rook will be on the f-file and I can play f4 to attack the king.

GM Dzindzi:

Castling queenside is a more aggressive and stronger continuation. 13. 0-0-0 Be6 14. Kb1 Be7 15. h3 h4 16. Bg5 Bxb3 17. cxb3 Rc6 18. Qd3 -- zero counterplay for Black.

Stockfish 6:

+0.98, depth 25. How do you know if you're becoming self-aware?

13...Be7 14.f4


Pete:

My hope is to open the f-file with f4. Maybe I can attack on f7. I seem to have a lot of space and my pieces have room to move.

GM Dzindzi:

After 14. Qf2, Rfd1 and Rd2, White's position is technically winning. Black has weaknesses on h5 and d6. The complete domination by the white pieces is the most accurate and professional way to win the game without any counterplay.

Stockfish 6:

+0.74, depth 25. You should listen to GM Dzindzi. Qf2 is a much better move (+1.16).

14...exf4 15.Rxf4 O-O

Pete:

Black seems to have castled right into my attack. I want to load up on the f-file, maybe sacrifice a rook for Black's knight, and then play Nd5. I am too lazy to actually calculate anything but this just feels right. 

GM Dzindzi:

Here is the situation. Black has a bad position and it's difficult to play with multiple weaknesses, but a6 or c6 was essential. Now White has a chance to capitalize on another mistake and end the game.

Stockfish 6:

+2.79, depth 25. White has a big advantage now. Surely he will not throw it away. 

16.Raf1

Pete:

I should put my other rook on the f-file before anything else. 

GM Dzindzi:

16. Nd5! would have led to a logical conclusion of this game, where Black has made 4-5 huge mistakes in the opening. 16... Qd8 (16...Qxd2 17. Nxe7+) 17. Raf1 -- Every piece is in play. Always look for quick destruction in those positions, and here is one. 17... Nxd5 18. Rxf7 Be6 (18... Rxf7 19. Qxd5 is a mating attack) 19. Rxf8+ Bxf8 20. Bxd5 +-. 

Stockfish 6:

+0.89, depth 25. Clearly I spoke too soon. (16. Nd5 +2.80)


16...Bg4 17. Nd5 Qd8 18. Nxf6+ Bxf6 19. Rxf6 gxf6 20. Bh6

Pete:

Surely, my plan is coming together now. After Nd5, he can't trade queens because I can win the bishop on e7 with check. I will take on f6 twice and create a huge weakness for Black's king. It's too bad Black's pawn on f6 guards g5 or I could bring my queen there. Maybe I can play Bh6 and work toward getting my queen on the g-file with check, which will end the game. 

GM Dzindzi:

White's turn to return the favor. After 20. Bd4, the game should end in 2-3 moves. White's mating attack is unstoppable: 20... Kh7 21. Rxf6 Qxf6 22. Bxf6.

Stockfish 6:

+0.86, depth 25. You played Bh6?? Your foolish human move hurts my brain. (20. Bd4 +9.05)

20...Re8 21.h3 Be6 ("Game starts all over." --Dzindzi) 22.Qe3 Kh7

Pete:

My attack has sort of fizzled out. 

GM Dzindzi:

(If Black played 22... Qb6) Did White sacrifice an exchange to trade queens and get an endgame?

Stockfish 6:

-1.03, depth 25. Your play is really living up to the name of this article. 


23.Bxe6 fxe6 24.Qf4

Pete:

I'm starting to get worried here. Maybe I can take on f6 if he moves his queen.

GM Dzindzi:

White is completely lost now (after 24... Rxc2).

Stockfish 6:

-4.91, depth 25. Maybe you should give solitaire a try. 

24...Qb6+ 25.Kh1 Rg8 26.Qxf6

Pete:

Nice. He did move his queen away, so I can take on f6. Black's second rank is weak, so maybe my attack is revitalized. 

GM Dzindzi:

Now the position is equal.

Stockfish 6:

0.00, depth 25. Right back where we started.

26...Rg6 27.Qf7+ Kxh6 28.Qf4+

Pete:

I just have to keep checking him and hope I can get a draw. 

GM Dzindzi:

Absolutely horrible mistake. Now White is lost (White could have saved the game with 28. Rf6 Rcg8 29. Qxg8 Rxf6 30. Qh8+ Kg6 31. Qg8+ Kh6 32. Qh8+ and Kg5? 33. h4+ Kxh4.)

Stockfish 6:

-4.50, depth 25. I guess you prefer a loss to a draw?



Can Pete somehow save the game despite his astoundingly poor play? Check back next Monday to see the thrilling conclusion of Pete's Pathetic Chess, with full commentary by GM Dzindzichashvili.

Let us know what you think of the game so far in the comments. 

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