Some friendly sparring
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Some friendly sparring

Nietsoj
Nietsoj
Mar 13, 2018, 12:45 PM |
2

There's this guy here on the site that has set aim to get a title relatively late in life. Many titled players have their major development in their youth and teens. But some get serious about chess at a much later age. One of them is Dan Schultz, and he has a blog where he writes about his ambitious learning journey towards master.

I am also a late bloomer, and became serious (well, as serious as you can get with full time work and a family) about chess at the age of 35. My goal is not to reach master level; I have my goal set at 'only' reaching a playing strength of 2000+, hence the name of my blog.

Seeing as Dan and I are in a similar situation, and are on a similar learning trajectory, I thought I'd challenge him to a friendly game. This is a daily game, and the time control was 3 days per move. You will find the full game below, although I have chosen to present a middle game position (after move 28) as the starting point.

The pawn on c5 is insufficiently protected, but taking it entails some risk for white. I took the pawn, quite unaware of the dangers ahead...

To take or not to take, that is the question.

 

After taking on c5, I found myself in some trouble. My pieces were awkwardly placed, and lacked coordination. However, Dan went easy on me, and let me off the hook. And eventually, he blundered into an endgame that was easily winning for white. After move 39, the game is no longer interesting, and black should probably just resign. I didn't see a point in playing the game out to mate, so I offered a draw.

But the interesting part of the game is the middle game. How do you think black should play after 29. Rxc5? Would you have taken the pawn as white? Please leave your comments below.