Milton Summer Active 2012

Milton Summer Active 2012


Having been away from tournament play for several years, I decided to participate in the Milton Summer Active on Saturday. This tournament, which the organizers hope will become an annual event, was a lot of fun, with 25:00 minutes per player on the clock as opposed to more standard tournament times (e.g.: 90m + 30s).

I have analyzed all five of my matches in Deep Rybka 4, and decided I would share the results with the community. I have left the comments from the program in - good and bad - and added some commentary with "PYKE: [Commentary]" where I had additional thoughts to share.

Playing in the U1800 class, in my first game I drew a younger opponent who was rated sub-1000. His rating did not reflect his play. Although he made some positional mistakes and time forced errors, I would estimate he played at around a 1300 level. My opponent ended the day with 1.0 out of 5.0.

In my second match-up of the day, I drew the best player in the U1800 class at this particular active (rating wise). This is the type of game that can be very disheartening, but is illustrative of the principle, "When you see a good move, look for a better one". In the game, as you will see, I traded a fantastic knight for a bishop, which is in keeping with my general principle of trading my knights for my opponents bishops. The problem is, as I saw when I inputted this game into Deep Rybka 4 at 1:00am, I clearly missed a superior move that would have won me a whole piece. I saw it fatigued and half asleep, but missed it in the game. Chess is a cruel mistress sometimes.

Before showing you the game, I'll show you two puzzles. One is the clear win I missed, and the other is my opponent's brilliant mate. See if you can spot them.

Puzzle #1:






















Puzzle #2:























Although these two puzzles would be the "highlight of the night" moments from the match, the match was actually quite an interesting one apart from these puzzles, with sharp tactical lines.

In the third match, I was paired with a lower rated opposition, and finally had drawn the Black pieces. Like my second round outing, this game was "comfortable" for me, and also featured a strong tactical ending. 






















The third game is found below. Since I was having trouble posting it, I lost all of the commentary I had added. Deep Rybka 4's analysis is still present though.

The fourth game of the tournament was against a lower rated opponent, about 1450. Due to the Swiss System, my opponent had 1.5/3.0 at this stage and I had 2.0/3.0. Playing the Black pieces for a second consecutive game, I quickly found myself buried under the weight of the Yugoslav Attack. This game is illustrative that while the Dragon is a powerful response for Black, it is a double edged sword. Deep Rybka gives white an advantage for virtually the entire match. I really have no commentary to add other than, I clearly need to go back to the drawing board on how to combat the Yugoslav Attack, because I played that wrong. Mea culpa. It's also compelling evidence of IM Daniel Rensch's theory that little mistakes lead to big mistakes (

Finally, we come to my last game of the tournament. This was probably the least interesting of the five, in that my opponent made a critical blunder early. It was also the only game that I did not play a c4 or c5 based system, which is unusual for me. The move order 1. c4 Nf6 / 2. Nc3 g7 / 3. Nf3 Bg7 lead to me deciding to play an early 1. d4, instead of a more common opening for me (which would have involved immediate g3). I probably would not have played this opening if the outcome of the game had mattered really - but since it was both an Active and I was outside of contention for the prizes, I figured I would give it a spin.

Thanks for reading. :)