King's Island Round 2

Here is the second round from my recently playing in the King's Island Open U1900 section. The only benefit of losing the first round is that it typically fires me up to want to play well and try hard to win my next game. I felt that I played this game moderately well, making a few inaccuracies in the opening but playing a solid middlegame, seizing my opportunity when it arose and executing the endgame well. As always comments are welcome! 


  • 3 years ago


    Hey Simon! 
    If you look at the bottom left-hand corner of the board you should see a small gray square with an arrow coming out of it. If you click it then one of the options should be "get PGN/FEN". If this doesn't work let me know and I can just e-mail it to you directly :)


  • 3 years ago



    one stupid question here. How I can download this game in pgn format?



  • 3 years ago


    Thanks so much for the great comment! Yes I definitely have the problem of not really knowing how to proceed in the middlegame unless my opponent lays a bit of a gift at my feet, and indeed in this game I make some middlegame errors and clearly O-O-O is not the best plan, and need to work on that aspect of my game the most I think. The other rounds will show this problem as well once I put them up, hopefully what I will improve upon when I play in the Cardinal Open in Columbus at the end of January! Thanks again for the great comment :)

  • 3 years ago


    For anyone who avoids ...Nc6 because they don't like Bf1-b5xc6 this 2. Ne2 becomes a gift. But, really Black needs to threaten pawn e4 to see how White defends. That helps Black decide how to proceed. So, 2...Nf6 or 2...Nc6 and 3...Nf6 are in order. Also possible is 2...d5 since White doesn't have Bb5+, though White can play as in a Scandinavian Def. with exd5 and Nc3.


    In symmetrical positions the side with only a slight edge, usually a space advantage, can in practice be winning. In this game the simple ...Ne7 causes Black a lot of trouble with his development and letting White have Nd5 makes it hard for him to develop Bf8. In this position after 7. Nec3 Black can't even fianchetto with 7...g6 because of 8. Nf6# This makes me wonder about 3...e5 rather than 3...Nc6 intending 4...g6 or 3...e6 4. d4 cxd4 5. Nxd4 for a Maroczy Bind vs. Paulsen.


    11...f4 would have been interesting. It still forces a LSB trade at c8, but it also shuts out Bd2 and may give Black some offensive chances on the king-side. It also helps ...Nc6-d4 stay on the board to help in that offensive try.


    Until 15. Qg4 neither player was making a lot of headway to take offensive positions without the other challenging (Nd5 ...Ne7, Bg4 ...f5, ...fxe4 instead of ...f4), but I like White's tries better. Nd5 & Ne4 stay good and Qg4 might help. You just need to keep up the effort and look for ways to invade Black's position. Whether these pieces can work together in any meaningful way is always an issue.


    I agree with your comments about Qe6+ and Nxe7.


    22. gxf3 +/-  as you're up two pawns with doubled f-pawns and Qa5 is awkward. It still doesn't entirely solve the question of how you might invade with more pieces beyond the Qe6xd6 to win the game, but it's a great start in that direction.


    30. Qd5 ! It moves a pawn up the board with two threats. Terrific stuff.


    I also like 36. b4, so Black can't play ...a5-a4 to make pawn b2 backward. It's confusing perhaps if he then plays 36...a5, but Black has to do all the heavy lifting to get rid of the pawns and White can use some of that time to push his king and pawns up the board. As you said, this is +-


    40. Kc4 and you can get your king up the board with perhaps Rb2 if the pawn needs defense. The quicker you use your king to fight ...Rb7 the quicker you control the b-file from b2-b8.


    Once you got your king and pawns a few moves up the board your technique was very good.


    The odd opening threw you a bit, but more experience with Ne2 and you will have seen all the tricks and odd variations, so stick with it. I liked your method of getting good pieces in the middle-game, but your notes didn't indicate you had an idea of how to use them all until Black's position became a bit weak and you just rolled over him. Stronger opposition will require a more focused force (usually) to achieve winning positions. Work on making your pieces work together throughout the game instead of just when the opponent gives you something.

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