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Pete's Pathetic Chess: 'Never Good'

Pete's Pathetic Chess: 'Never Good'

pete
Aug 24, 2015, 12:00 AM 49 Fun & Trivia

Chess.com fans have marveled at my uncanny ability to play pathetic chess, and yet win all the same.

That won’t be the case today. Unlike the first two games featured in this column, this next game boasts the logical and just conclusion of some truly horrendous chess.

Along the way, enjoy comments by the brilliant grandmaster Roman Dzindzichashvili, my own thoughts, and a fictionalized translation of the strong chess engine Stockfish’s evaluation.

Let us know what you think of my pathetic chess in the comments below and on Facebook.

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

1.e4 c5 2.c3 d5 3.exd5 Qxd5 4.d4 cxd4

Pete:

I don't know a lot about the c3 Sicilian. I would be much happier if White just played a normal open Sicilian. I like to play d5 here as early as possible so White can't build up a two-pawn center. 

GM Dzindzi:

Not one of the better choices. Much better is Nf6.

Stockfish 6:

+0.30, depth 25. Here we go again. 

5.cxd4 Nf6 6.Nc3

Pete:

I was expecting White to attack my queen, but I'll move her to a5 instead of back to the home square. From a5 the queen can put pressure on White's king. 

GM Dzindzi: 

And this is why. Black loses a tempo and, it's never good in the opening.

Stockfish 6:

+0.36, depth 25. Are you supposed to be this far behind already?

6...Qa5 7.Nf3 Bg4

Pete:

I never know where to put my light-squared bishop as Black. Here I will at least pin his knight and I always have the option to trade it. 

GM Dzindzi:

Another bad move. Normally in the opening, when you play Black and after seven moves you've made three mistakes in an open position...you lose. White is practically winning here.

Stockfish 6:

+1.07, depth 25. I am just a humble computer but I think you needed to play e6.

8.Be2 

Pete:

Time to bring out the rest of my pieces and try to castle. 

GM Dzindzi:

Returning the favor. White must play a lot more aggressively to capitalize on Black's poor opening play, e.g. 8. h3 Bxf3 (8... Bh5 9. g4 Bg6 10. Ne5 Nbd7 11. Bb5 O-O-O 12. Nc4 -- This makes Black's position look even worse if it's possible!) 9. Qxf3 Nc6 10. Bb5 Rd8 11. O-O e6 12. Bxc6+ bxc6 13. Qxc6+ Rd7 14. Bf4.

Stockfish 6:

+0.41, depth 25. Oh look, you're losing slightly less. 

8...e6 9.O-O Nc6 10.Bf4

Pete:

Everything is going as planned. On my next move, I will develop my dark-squared bishop to form a battery with my queen. 

GM Dzindzi:

After a series of passive and weak moves by White, the position doesn't look too bad for Black.

Stockfish 6:

=0.00, depth 25. An evaluation of zero already? Surely with accurate play you will achieve this draw. 

10...Bb4 11.Nb5

Pete:

Interesting move here by White. He is threatening my c7 square, forking my king and rook. But I can take his knight on f3 first. If he takes with the pawn, I've messed up the pawns around his king. If he takes with the bishop, I can capture the knight on b5, winning a piece. Of course, Black can always give check on c7 first, but what if I just move my king and then attack his weak pawn on d4? Looks like he could be in trouble there. 

GM Dzindzi:

This is bad...now Black is much better: (11... Nd5 12. Nd6+ Bxd6 13. Bxd6 Rd8 14. Bg3 [14. Ba3 Nf4 (White is lost)] 14... O-O 15. Qb3 Bxf3 16. Bxf3 Nxd4 (no explanation needed).

Stockfish 6:

-0.93, depth 25. Something tells me you won't be converting this easy win.   

11...Bxf3 12.Nc7+ Ke7 13.Bxf3 Rad8 14.d5 exd5 15.Re1+

Pete:

This game has turned crazy. I think my plan to allow his check on c7 worked out OK for me, but I really don't understand his last move. If we trade everything on e1, I will be way ahead. My king is in check so I pretty much have to take this rook. 

GM Dzindzi:

White decides to give away some pieces...why not start with the rook?

Stockfish 6:

-1.50, depth 25. This game makes my CPUs hurt. 

15...Bxe1 16.Qe2+ Kd7 

Pete:

I completely missed his move Qe2 check, leaving my bishop on e1. Am I in trouble now? I can move my king to either f8 or d7. I will choose d7 because it leaves my rooks connected and my back rank a little stronger.

GM Dzindzi:

Suppose this was the best move (which it's not). I would have a very hard time to play it. Black is moving its king into the crossfire, instead of simply hiding on f8...must have been a tough decision!

Stockfish 6:

=0.00, depth 25. And now for Pete's next trick, he will turn an easy win into a dead draw. 

17.Bg4+ Nxg4 18.Qxg4+ Ke7 19.Qe2+ Kf8 



Pete:

Looks like I have to go to f8 now with my king, because if I go to d7, White can always check me on g4 with his queen. I am also worried about him taking back on e1 with check somehow, even though my queen guards that square for now. 

GM Dzindzi:

Now Black is making the losing move...the same move that was winning a few moves ago.

Stockfish 6:

+4.02, depth 25. Let me get this straight. Of the three legal squares you could have moved your king, you chose the one that loses instantly? 

20.Rxe1 g5

Pete:

He took back on the e-file with his rook, doubling there with his queen. His knight is still on c7, so he is attacking e8 three times. He was threatening mate by sacrificing his queen on e8, so I needed to create an escape square for my king with g5. If he plays Bxg5, I will move my king to g7, letting him take my rook. After I take back, material will be pretty even and my king will be safer.  

GM Dzindzi:

There is no knight on f6 and Qe8+ is a deadly threat. 

Stockfish 6:

+6.40, depth 25. There may be some flaws in your defensive plans. 

21.Be5 Rg8 22. Nb5

Pete:

He decided not to take the bait on g5, instead covering the g7 square with his bishop and attacking my rook in the corner. I have no choice but to move it to g8. He moved his knight back so it is guarded by the queen. Maybe next move he wants to play his bishop to c3, attacking my queen and blocking its control over the e1 square. I can't allow that. 

GM Dzindzi:

Why not Bxg5 with mate after Bh6+? Isn't it what White played for? Now White is completely lost. 

Stockfish 6:

-6.61, depth 25. Do you even know you're winning now?

22...Nxe5 23. Qxe5 Qxb5 

Pete:

I will take his bishop with my knight. This is a fantastic move for me. First of all, it clears out two pieces that are attacking my exposed king. When he takes back on e5 with his queen, it will leave the defense of his knight, and I will win a piece. Then I will be up a whole rook and my king should be pretty safe, since my opponent has just a queen and rook left. 

GM Dzindzi:

A continuation of the horror show. Re8 was an instant win: 22... Re8 23. Bd6+ (23. b4 Qb6 24. Bd6+ Kg7 25. Qb2+ d4) 23... Kg7).  After 23...Qxb5, White has the upper hand again.

Stockfish 6:

+2.20, depth 25. Your human games sure do have a lot of nonsensical swings. Now White is back to winning. 

24.Qe7+ Kg7 25.Qxg5+ Kf8 26.Qxd8+ Kg7 27.Qg5+ Kf8 28.Qh6+ Rg7 29.Qd6+ Kg8 30.Qd8+ 1-0

Pete:

Wow, that did not work out at all. I seriously underestimated the power of my opponent's rook and queen against my king. I had an extra rook very temporarily, as White was able to win it easily. My other rook was useless in the defense and in the end it wound up entombing its own king on the back rank. 

GM Dzindzi:

There is no life after death. Honestly, both players were supposed to lose because of the moves played. There is no justice often in chess. Frequently one of the players that played bad wins. The interesting thing is this: many players make those errors in blitz games. It's OK to make them in blitz games and learn from them for tournament games.

Stockfish 6:

White mates in one. Another fine effort, Pete. Can't wait for the next game. 

Let us know what you think of Pete's Pathetic Chess in the comments section. 

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