Through analysis dedicated to my Scandinavian Defense group --B-division 1st round

Mar 12, 2012, 1:16 PM |
(ERRATA and post-post mortem by Fritz DONE. They are in bold and italic and underlined ) SORRY IT IS MESSY BUT I MIGHT MAKE A BREND NEW REVISED EDITION, AFTER I HAVE MORE Qd6 GAMES.

Only one rated player joined this tourney so this tourney cannot be a rated one. (Lot of rated players are busy for another concurrent championship) This would be a great chance for practicing my tournament play before struggling in rated event, though.

Luckily I got the black pieces against 1. e4 (My white opening still have plenty of holes and unfamiliar part. Same against 1. d4 as black also but the problem is less.)
As a future reference the annotation would look long and silly but I anticipate that someday someone would somehow like to learn this opening for some reason and it would be worthwhile somewhat.

The game lasted 45 moves and I would break them down in several parts. Early opening (B01, Qd6 Scandinavian):
  • 5. ...c6 was always shunned by Fritz and engine though played by Tiviakov and is one of the most common move apart from ...a6. (evaluation for 5.Bc4: +0.28, +0.68 after c6, 16~17 ply depth)
  • 8.d3!? (+0.13/19--->+0.03/18) was acceptable by Fritz. I set 0.15 as thershold so no recommendation was shown.
  • 8.g4 (-0.31/18) weakens the king safety while black can still O-O-O and simply 8...Bg6 (-0.23/16) punished it. YET 8... Bxg4 (+1.39/18) is UNSOUND. Refutation for 9...Nxg4 (+4.37/18) was 10. Bxf7+ Kxf7 11. Ng5+ Kg8 12. Qxg4 Nd7 13. Re1 Nf6 14. Qc4+ Nd5

Late opening - early middle game (with 4 variations of a bishop sacrifice on e6 pawn which I did not risk to play in the game - just tried to provide best offense and defense in those variations.)
  • 11. ...Qc7 (0.00/17 --> +0.37/17) was truly a mistake. Fritz gave a great move THAT EQUALIZE VERY EFFECTIVELY ROBBING BISHOP PAIR AND CHECKMATE THE OPPONENT QUEEN! Rarely do I accept Fritz's recommendation on opening moves but this move is just nice: 11...Ne5 forking Q and B 12. Qf4 Nxc4 13. Qxc4 Qb4 "checkmating" the queen 14. Qxb4 Bxb4 15. Ne4 b6 destroy a horse-hole 16. Be3 O-O-O 17.Rad1 (0.00/17)
  • 12. Re1?! may not be that bad (very small drop in engine value) but really committed a bit early.
  • In variation 12...Bd6?! (+0.32/16), 2 out of 4 moves listed against 13 Bxe6?? (-1.45/18) fails, namely 14...Kf8? and 14...Be7??. 14...Kf7 wins so Bxe6?? is a ghost threat. There are much calculation error corrected by Fritz and you may see them in the computer-analysed version attached (that part is long...).
  • 13. Bf4 is okay and do not deserve ?! mark. It goes into black's plan of trading down though.
  • 14. Bg5? (+0.21/18-->-0.38/17) is a mistake that I thought it was correct. Much better was trading down iteh 14. Bxd6 Qxd6 15. Rad1 Rhg8 etc...(shown in the com-version) Retreating the bishop either attracts pawn storm or loses time.
  • After 14...h6 (-0.38/18) , 15. Bh4 (-0.41/16) is not a mistake. Instead, 15. Bxf6 (-0.79/16) was wrong now. [I thought it was okay as I intend to respond with 15. ...Nxf6? (-0.08/16) Fritz gave : 15. ...gxf6 [I marked it with ?? for losing a pawn but sorry, I overlooked my knight] 16. a4 f5 17.d4 Nf6 18. a5 Kb8 19 Bf1 a6 20 Ne2 c5 (-0.79/16) AND I do not understand well the idea behind white's retreating move. Also I cannot convince myself that black was better... 
  • I would still like to know why 17. Qxg3 (-0.14/17, without queen) was preferred over 17. fxg3 (-0.45/17, with queen) where the same pawn structure arises very soon.

Early Middlegame- late mddlegame(most of them are the thought during my game which helped be sidestep from dangers and saw good opportunitys to secure a win)
  • In variation 18...Nb6 I supplied two knight moves (Nxb2??, Ne5??) at move 20 to show that it loses but I overlooked... [Fritz 10: 20...Nd6 (+0.21/20) 21.Raf1 Rh7 22.g4 Kd7 23. Kf2... ] and there was a way out. The ?? mark on 19...Nxc4 should be dropped. Anyway the game move was better, though this shows that I see too much ghost and need more tactical awareness.
  • My argument of 19.Ne4!? (should be ?!) wasted tempo was verified.
  • In the variation 19.Bxd5!, 19...cxd5 and 19...exd5 was examined. In the line 19...cxd5, 22.Rf1 f6?! (+0.35/16) intended to defend a pawn but Fritz gave much better way to do so!
    [22. Ne5! attacking the knight while adding 2nd defender 23. d4 Nf3+ 24. Rxf3 Rxd6 25.Raf1 Rb6 26. b3 Rc6 27. c3 (the rook scans through b and c file and forced those pawn to advance) f5 now the f pawn was defended 28. g4 f4 29.g3 Ra6 30.gxf4 Rxa2] (0.08/16)
  • 19...exd5 was perfectly alright (+0.00/16) and perhaps better than 19...cxd5 (+0.16) as in the game. In 19...exd5 variation 21...d4 (+0.94/16) intending prefaring Ne5 was a mistake. Playing 21 ...Ne5 (+0.10/16) right away is much better (the e5 pawn was firmly defended by my f6 pawn, no need to free the line for my rook to defend it!)  The continuation suggested was [21...Ne5 22. d4 Nc4 23. g4 Rg7 24. Na4 Rxe7 25. Rxe7 Nd6]. 22.Na4 (-0.94) was a bad response to 21...d4 while the correct refutation was [22. Ne4 (+0.94/16) Kb8 23. g4 Rhf6 24. b4 b6 25. Nd6 Ne5 26. Nf5 Rh8 27. a4 ]which make white gaining massive space on both wings and a nice advanced outpost. Why 22.Na4? was bad? Simpliy because 22...b5! kills the white horse, though white can get back 2 pawns by Rd1-e6xc6(check)-c4xd4. After the incorrect 22...Ne4?! 23. Nc5! proceeding from 22 Na4?, I correctly saw black will be in disaster by playing 23.b6?? (+1.48/16) BUT Fritz told me by trading piece with (+0.32/16) [23...Rhe8! 24.Rxe8 Rxe8 25.Rf1 Nd7 26.Nxd7 Kxd7 27. Rxf6 Re5] still gave black a reasonable game (though 1 pawn down) 


BACK TO MAINLINE. 20.Bxc5? chopping my knight was considered best against the folk on c2 BUT best and obvious defense was [20.Re2 (-0.12/16) Rhe8 21. Rf1 b5 22. Bb3 f5 23. Nd2 a5 24. Bxd5 cxd5]

20...cxd5 (-0.55/16) was really better than 20...exd5(-0.38/16) as it avoided symmetry of pawn structure that can lead to draw. 21. Nd2 should have the "?!" dropped as no improvement was given.

Both 21...b5!? (-0.25/16)and 21...e5!?(-0.27/16) are okay. Fritz gave latter the continuation [ 22.c4 Kd6 23.Rad1 Rhe8 24.cxd5 Kxd5]

Calm Fritz had better idea of activating the king (-0.55/16) [21...Kd6! 22.g4 f6 23.Rac1 Rc8 24.Kf2 Rhf8 25.Ke3 f5 26.gxf5 Rxf5] Black will play e5 next.

25.c3? was bad but I did not know this before reading the report. [25.Nb3! (-0.49/16) was the correct way to stop the advance of black's b-pawn! Kd6 26.g4 Rbc8 27.Nd4 a6 28 a5] Although my king move was a great positional idea... I overlooked a nice punishment line due to fear of being checked: [25...bxc3! 26.Rxc3+ Kd6 27.b3 Rb6 28.Rfc1 Ne5 29.a5 Ra6 30.Nf3 Rb8 31.Kf2 Rxa5 gained a pawn]

My 26...f5? turned a -0.50 game to a 0.00 one. The reason of this could be: white gained access to seventh rank by 28.Rc7 and have counterplay on me.Instead of ...f5 I should play [26...Nc5 (-0.55/19) 27.cxd5 Kxd5 28.Ne4 Nxe4 29.dxe4+ Kxe4 30.Rc4+ Kd5 31.Rc7 a6 32.Rfxf7 Rxf7 33.Rxf7 Rc8 34.Rd7+ Ke5 give black 1 pawn up ] 

28...Nc5? (+0.41/16) has correct tactical idea to justify it but it turned my position even worse. Correct move by white against it was [29.Rc1 (0.41/16) Nxa4 30.Rd7+ Ke5 31.Rcc7 Kf6 32.Rh7 Kg6 gave white a pain of rook on 7th while blacks are passively placed on 8th rank]

29.Rxa7? (-0.66/16) suggested by me was less worse than the game move 29.Rf3?? (-1.31/16). 29. Rxa7? Ra8 30.Rh7 than 30...Rxa4? is not really now-or-never moment for grabbing the pawn back. Inseting moves 30...Rh8!(-0.66/16) 31.Rc7 Rhc8 32. Rh7 than ...Rxa4 yields the same position as 29. Rxa7? but with black rook gaining the open c-file.

There is a stronger move than 31.b3 (0.30/16) to refute 30...Rf6? which is a wrong move that I sucessfully avoided [31.d4 (+0.86/16) Nd3 32.b3 Rc8 33.Nc4 Kxd4 34.Rd7+ Kc3 35.Rf3 with my king in danger and at least cannot defend black pawns.]

Another 31.b3 (-0.79/16) - the one corresponds to 30...Rxa8?! : stronger move that allows white to get back in the game was [31.d4 Nd3 32.b3 Ra2 33.Rd1 Rd8 34.Nf3 Nf2 35.Re1 Ne4 36.Rb7 37.Rd7+ Kc6 38.Ne5+ (-0.23/16) gives black trouble of defending]

After 32.Nc4 I thought blak can take the pawn on d3 by Nxd3 BUT 32...Nxd3?? was a blunder! Correct was 32...Kd4 to add contorl to d3 and eventually that pawn can be safely taken (need long time). Refutation to the quirky Nxd3?? was 33.Rd1 Ke4 (3.57/16) than not 34. Rxh6?? (0.00/16) but [34.Rd7 f4 35.R1xd3 winning a piece!!!]

Back to the game. 29.Rf3?? (-1.31/16) could be more strongly meet by [29...Rb7 {29...Nxa4?! (-0.74/16)was played in the game } 30.Rxb7 Nxb7 trading off white's active rook 31.Nb3 $c8 32.g4 f4] 32.Rh7!? was interesting: Fritz considered it a  blunder (-2.11/16) since he think I can play 32...Rh8, chase the rook to harmless f7 or g7 square and my another rook can go to d8 and hit the white knight and pawn. But this CANNOT BE FORCED as the the black rook has a7, b7, e7, h7 squares for attack but I have only 3 defenders (including the king)! Thus chasing the white rook can only get draw by repetition and the -2.11 was chimeric.

Late middlegame - early endgame (completion of toughwork!)

33.Nb3?? was a blunder which gained mutual concensus during play - both side think it is the only choice, presumebly we both think the knight must be activated. Fritz suggested [33.d4 (-0.84/18) Na4 34Nc4 Kb5 35.Ne5 Nb6 36.Rb3] and seemed to allow white to stay in the game.
OH NO! 34...Kb5?? was my blunder! (-1.41 --->+2.06) HARSH refutation [35.Rb7+ Kc4 36.Na5 Kd5 37.Rb5+ Ke4 38.Re5+ Kxd4 39.Nc6+ FORK Kc4 40.Nxd8 Nd3 4. Ree3] CORRECT MOVE (34...Na4 or 34...Nd1 was suggested as best moves but the continuation were too "inhumane") [34...f4 (-1.38/16) 35.gxf4 gxf4 36.g3 Rg8 37.g4 Na4 38.Na5+ Kb5 39.Nb3 Nb6]
Even my opponent did not knockout me at once she got back into the game by playing 35.Rf2 (-0.57/16). After 35...Na4 best move was [36.Ra7 (-0.44/16) Nc3 37.Rb7+ Kc4 38.Na5+ Kd5 39.Rxb4 killing my extra pawn] Yet White played 36.Rb2? letting my king penetrate in by 36...Kc4.  [37.Na5+ (-0.98/16) Kc3 38.Ra2 Nb6 39.Rc7+ Kd3 40.Nc6 Nd5 41.Rb7 Rd6 42.Nxb4+ Kxd4 trading off the queenside pawns gave white more chances to draw ]
Instead white played 37.Nc1??(-1.64/16) BUT...BAD NEWS! MY LAST and 2nd BLUNDER COMES! [Correct move (-1.64/16) 37...Rc8 38.Rc2+ Nc3 29.Rb2 Rb8 40.Rc7+ Kxd4] 37...Rxd4 grabing the pawn while offering the trade seems too innocent and my opponent agreed by playing 38.Rxd4+??  BOTH SIDES OVERLOOKED the strong 38.Rc7+ Nc5 (38...Kd5 Rd7+) 39.Rc2+ Kd5  40.R2xc5+ PICKING UP A PIECE!!! LUCKY ME TO WIN DESPITE 2 GROSS BLUNDER!

Afterthoughts: Readers may saw that I need to avoid many pitfalls in order to win even though my opponent gave me quite a lot of tempos and I gained serious advantage in time and opening knowledge (Scan-Qd6 only). Win can be a sure one but is seldom without hardship and struggle. Full alert must be given and evaluation of positional/tactical element is an effective way to reduce calculation load.This through analysis including playing against myself for both sides deepened my understanding of the typical tactics and the positional play in this opening. You can see this opening can often lead to queenless endgames where rook/knight play plays major role. Try this opening if you like such kind of endgame or improve this technique!

Thanks for watching. I will upload a machine-checked version about 1 week later (I would like to check the variations also and post errata if needed).

Afterthoughts after post-post mortem: Too many mistake in analysis (both ingame thought and post game) were found, mostly tactical in nature. Tactics in action is difficult to master so I was smart to avoid complications that I cannot handle during the game:)