Cris Angel's perspective:
In this order, here are your instructions:
1. Get a pillow. Put it on the floor.
2. Sit down in a comfortable chair.
2. Lean a TINY bit towards the direction of the pillow on the floor.
4. Go ahead. Look at the rating of each of us.
The pillow will catch your faint.
There. You didn't hit your head, did you?
Now comes reality. I lost. Of course I did. You didn't expect anything less did you?
With that said, let's recall my goal in games, especially my games with stronger players.
1. Focus as much as possible. Feel that I am doing my best.
2. Do NOT give the opponent an easy win. Make them fight for it.
Well, I did INDEED accomplish both of those goals! So this is a big fat success for me!!
Worth noting, since it is not considered cheating, I DO use the game explorer for online games. This is what I like to do (although I will admit to forgetting sometimes and jumping the gun). I like to look at the position and come up with some candidate moves on my own. THEN, I'll look at the game explorer (master games) and see if any of the moves I had in my mind are there. If so, then I play it -- sometimes I look at the other moves as well to see if I can figure out anything better. If my candidate move is not there, I look at the moves in the game explorer to see if I can figure out the meaning behind them. In this game, the 3. d4 move wasn't one of my candidates. I therefore studied that a bit before I continued so I could see the meaning behind the move and then I played it.
Gunners2004 is a very kind opponent and quite generous in his time when helping me. He has helped me of late but in this game, I did NOT get much guidance at all, possibly because I wasn't asking for it. I really wanted to try on my own as much as possible and I did all of the moves on my own. I did express from time to time the doubts in my moves and sometimes I'd be reassured that I was doing okay. At one point, the panic was starting to come out and I was writing in the chat:
"oh dear... oh dear" all over the place because I actually started to get nervous. That was towards the end when I was doing well.
I did get chastized on one move where I was very simply told, "that wasn't the best move, Michaele". ***sigh*** When doing this annotation, I can't remember where that was.... I'm still not sure where I went wrong. This was very difficult.
Here we go. I'll try to explain my thought processes as I go along. I don't think I'll have too many variations here unless it is a spot where I had several choices and I might just explore to see what I could have done.
I AM still very much a beginner as you will see. I did, however, try to develop, build a strong center, defend a strong center and put thought into my moves.
It's not a TOTAL miracle since I didn't win or even draw. But it's a VERY good showing by me against a much stronger player so it's definitely a victory for me.
Gunners2004's perspective entitled:
"Bitter Sweet Symphony" or My game against Dr_Cris_Angel
I must admit that this game was a surprise. A pleasant surprise.
Anybody who has played Dr_Cris_Angel (or read her excellent blogs) will be familiar with some of the terminology that she uses to describe her play such as "I suck", "another cris_angel moment", "brain fog" and the classic "cris_angel blunder" (leaving a piece en prise, mostly the queen) and so on. She had a crisis of confidence recently and has taken a hiatus from competitive chess.
I'm hoping that the game I am including in this blog will encourage her to come back to the board.
As you will see from this game, the doc is a very capable player indeed.
Let me give you the background to this game.
It was decided that the time element would be removed from the equation so this is an online game with each player having 3 days for their next move. No assistance was given during the game, with the exception of one point very late in the game.
I was Black and I decided early on to move the game into unfamiliar waters, but the doc was unfazed and honestly, had me on the back foot for a large portion of the battle. It was only towards the end of the game did I manage to gain some advantage. Bottom line, I was a little fortunate to win the game.
Worth noting that a large part of this game was completed as Dr_Cris was watching the Miami Marlins, during which she danced for about 3 minutes - something to think about Michaele!
Dr_Cris_Angel (1193) vs Gunners2004 (2015)
1. e4, d5; 2. exd5, c6; 3. d4
Thought she would play dxc6, retaining the extra pawn. The position which started as a centre counter gambit now deviates to a Caro-Kann variant.
3.....cxd5; 4. c4, c6; 5. Nc3, Nf6; 6. Nf3, Be7
both sides continue developing
7. cxd5, exd5; 8. Bb5+!
gaining a tempo to faciliate castling
8.....Nc6; 9. O-O, O-O; 10 Bf4
I decided here to play a little bit more aggressively to try an put the doc under some pressure
10......a6; 11. Ba4, b5; 12. Bb3, Bg4
this move tries to exploit the pin on the f3 knight and the pressure against the isolated white pawn on d4 - will white begin to feel the pressure?
Releasing the knight from the pin, but at the expense of breaking open white's kingside defences as after Bxf3 white cannot capture with the Queen as she will lose the d4 pawn
13.......Bxf3; 14. gxf3, Qd7; 15. Rfe1, Rac8; 16. Re2
Dr_Cris regularly tells me that finding a plan is the part of the game that she finds most difficult, but this looks like a sound plan to me! She intends to play Rae1 and gang up on my bishop on e7, all this time her bishop and knight are aiming uncomfortably at my d5 pawn, I'm not liking this!
16........Rfe8; 17. Rae1, Na5
We all know the phase "knight on the rim is dim" but I didn't care. Had to get rid of that bishop!
Naturally retaining this bishop
No "hanky panky" against h7 please!
Now she's probing my new weakness, the uncomfortable knight on f6
19......Bd8; 20. b4?
Oh thank you lord, she's given me a nice outpost for my dim knight
20.....Nc4; 21. a4?!
winning a pawn
22. Qd2, Rxe2; 23. Rxe2, bxa4!
could have easily recaptured with the knight here but i thought the presence of a passed a-pawn would unsettle white a little bit
24. Bb1, a3; 25. Ba2
With the dual purpose of halting my a-pawn and reminding me of how weak that darned d5 pawn is
I'm carrying on in the same reckless manner as before, trying to apply more pressure on the c-file
At last putting the d5 pawn out of it's misery
26.......Qxf6; 27. Bxd5
This protects the pawn at f3, but in actuality I was more worried about Nxd5 (27. Nxd5, Qxf3; 28. Re3, Qg4+; 29 Rg3 with a long struggle ahead). The move played allows me to gain control over c1 at the same time reducing white's offensive capabilities
27.......Qg5+!; 28. Qxg5, Bxg5; 29. Ne4?
A perfectly logical move, attacking the bishop on g5, but in actuality loses white the game. It allows blacks rook to penetrate on c1, with devastating consequences. Na2 however ugly was necessary to cover c1.
29......Rc1+; 30 Kg2, Nd3!
The knight cannot be stopped from heading to f4, winning material or forcing mate.
31. Nxg5, Nf4+; 32. Kg3, Nxe2+; 33. Kg4, Rg1+; 34. Kh4, Kg7?
34......h6 would have been a quicker way to mate
If 35. Bxf7 i would have played 35....Rxg5; 36 Kxg5, Kxf7 and the a-pawn queens
35......h6; 36. Bc4, g5+; 37 Kh5, Nf4#