Taking out my frustrations over the board
I was matched with yet another Class A player ( near expert strength). I knew I was going to have black against him and found a game in my database where we had played before. It was an exchange C-K and I like the line with 5…Qc7 as it sets up some interesting dynamics. Last time we played I missed a nice little tactical maneuver after he played 6Qb3, Nxd4 can be played and creates some interesting dynamics. He chose to play 6.Ne2.
(60) (Class A 1900+) - Duval,G [Blunderprone]
B13: Caro-Kann: Exchange Variation and Panov-Botvinnik Attack 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.Bd3 Nc6 5.c3 Qc7 6.Ne2 Nf6 7.Bf4 e5
I was inspired to play this line as I had seen this before in study exchange variation C-K games with this line. 8.dxe5 Nxe5 9.0–0 Bd6 Black gets a very active position with the e5 advance. The game is no longer a closed position. 10.Bb5+ Bd7 11.Bxd7+ Qxd7 12.Nd4 0–0 13.Nd2
15…Nxf2 OK, in hindsight I should have played more conservative. But playing against a strong player gave me a chance to take some chances with very little to lose. The exchange I envisioned gave me a Rook and Pawn for the two pieces at the very least. At best I had a mate threat or a rook for a knight. So I decided to mix it up.
This did leave me with an IQP that was hard to defend in the middle game which I didn't take into consideration and should have. This was a lesson learned, and a new position for my daily training. [¹15...Qa6!?= is interesting] 16.Rxf2 [16.Nf5 Qb6 17.Rxf2 Ng4 18.Ne7+ Kh8±] 16...Ng4 17.N2f3 Nxf2 18.Qxf2 Rfe8 19.Re1 [19.Nf5 Qd7 20.N3d4 f6±] 19...Qf6 [19...Rxe1+ 20.Qxe1 Qd7 21.Qd2²] 20.Qg3 [20.Rf1 Rad8±] 20...Re4 [20...Rxe1+ 21.Qxe1 h6 22.Nh4] 21.Nd2 [¹21.Rf1 Rf4 22.Qh3²]
21...Rxd4? I saw a rook for two pawns and a knight. Again, in an IQP I should have played more conservatively but for some reason, this was more satisfying than winning. Creating an imbalanced game against a strong player and lasting to almost an endgame was rewarding in some sense. [¹21...Rxe1+ would allow Black to play on 22.Qxe1 Qb6] 22.cxd4+- Qxd4+ 23.Qf2 Qxb2 24.Nb3 [24.Qxa7 Rf8 (24...Rxa7?? 25.Re8#+-) 25.Nb3 h6±] 24...Qxf2+ [ I could have kept the queen on the board. 24...Qa3 25.Rd1±] 25.Kxf2 Kf8 26.Rc1 Re8 27.Rc5 Re5 28.Nd4 Ke8 29.Nb5 a6 [29...Rf5+ 30.Ke2 Rh5 31.h3±] 30.Nd6++- Kd7 31.Nxb7 f6 [31...Re6 32.Rc2 Rb6 33.Nc5+ Ke7 34.Ke3+-] 32.Rc2 Ke7 [32...f5 33.Nc5+ Kd6 34.Nxa6+-] 33.Nc5 [33.Rc7+!? seems even better 33...Kf8+-] 33...a5 34.Nd3 I totally went out to lunch on this move. I recall that 2 connected passed pawns in some positions are worth a rook. But they have to be on the 5th and 6th rank. On 6th and 7th you even have winning chances. I played the fool here and played 34… Ke6?? simply worsens the situation 35.Nxe5 fxe5 36.Ke3 d4 37.Ke4 h6 38.Rc4 g6 39.Ra4 0–1
No guts no glory. I took my lumps, satisfied that I didn’t play a timid game. I was clouded with a frustrating day at work and put on the fog lights of an attacking and imbalanced game of a chess instead. In this case, I veered off the road with little damage. But I did get a rush of adrenaline and sharpened my axe a little more.