My 2021 Chess.com Daily Chess Championships Blog

My 2021 Chess.com Daily Chess Championships Blog

ScottAStewart
ScottAStewart
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Link to my Group Standings

I'm through to round 2!

The final game a dead rubber, I have a piece for 2 pawns and I offer my opponent a draw and he happily accepts.

Win Number 14, 

Despite the mistakes and blunders the game was a wonderful too and throw struggle with some great material imbalance. It probably should have ended in a draw but with one game still in the balance I am relieved to get the full point and advancement into round 2 with 1 game to spare. 

A couple of games from Rauri @Meow909

Rauri up to now is undefeated in his group and looking like he will advance to the next round.

In this game, there was a large clump of pawns in the centre of the board which, once opened, may allow some pins in the position. After allowing black to relieve the tension, white finds themselves under attack, losing pieces in the process and after the loss of the queen and blacks knight having an outpost, white resigned. The final position on the board had both queenside rooks never moved and black's light squared bishop and queen on their starting squares, with the queen never moving in the game.

 This one just because of the tactics starting after move 25 ...exf4, resulting in a pin by white and two dangerous looking forks by black which end up not helping black's final position. There was also the funny looking Ne6 on move 23 but due to tactics wasn't able to be taken.

Win Number 13

Another miniature, the game with the accidental sac that brings about a rapid end to this game.

Win Number 12

A fun game, Black employs some unorthodox development and commits a couple of minor errors. The biggest of which was with being behind in development opened up the centre allowing a forced mating attack.


Win Number 11

The one with the horrible blunder, that I got away with. After dropping a piece I considered resigning, but decided to keep playing good moves. But there is a good question there. When should one resign?

Win Number 10

My second game against the top seed has ended in a  win for me. The game itself was a lot quieter than the other. It was a Ruy-Lopez; Cozio Defence. Black plays Ne7 and Ng6. An interesting idea where Black eyes off the key f4 square with the king side knight. The game was tilted in Whites favour when Black dropped a pawn in the opening. White manages to hold everything together and trade down to a Good Knight v Bad Bishop ending and eventually white converts the advantage.

Draw Number 1

Ooof, it is oft said that chess is cruel. I felt as though I was comfortable winning this game. He had a persistent attack but I believed I had it held and under control and then suddenly I don't. My mating threats are all gone, His Knight and Queen are penetrating and I thought it was all over and I was going down in a whimper. Thankfully my opponent didn't find his multiple chances to seal the deal and he accepted my draw offer. 

A quick update on the other BCC members.

@Meow909 Rauri is undefeated on 14 wins in his group. @pauldao Paul is looking like he will finish in 3rd position, losing 4 games to the 2 highest rated opponents. @tooambitious Leo was caught out on holidays when the event begun and times out in the majority of his games making his event a non-event. Gavin Varley is also competing though I cannot find his group to comment. On facebook he reported I am playing in the tournament too - was going okay but had a few losses today. Sitting third but don't think I will make it any higher! happy.png

Win Number 9

Another miniature this time the Morra Gambit strikes.

Win number 8,

not a lot to write about, but here it is

Victory against the top seed!

Just won  a nice game against the top seed in my group, the rating difference between us is small only 50 points. The game was a Queens Pawn game with an early Kings Side attack down the h file. Neither side had finished developing and after an exchange sac, A Queen on a Rambo mission started gobbling pawns with tempo with Black finding a line that managed to hold his army together while developing . The attacking side's Queen gobbled a third pawn the a-pawn temporarily restoring material equality on the board, but alas the last pawn was poison. Trapped in the corner she eventually fell to a rook and the entire position collapsed shortly after resigning 3 move before mate.



 

6th Win, I missed this one. The Botez Gambit happily accepted happy.png

Happily as the move before I had blundered a pawnhappy.png

Win number 5

This is the game I referred to a couple of posts back regarding my twilight chess activities and my annoying habit of playing the second move in a line I have analysed. I fun game where, despite the drama of some blunders, Black was never in trouble.




Win number 4, the one with the feral penguin!

I am happy with this game, no slips to speak of and a very solid win with some nice tactical themes throughout.

An Annoying Habit

Last night I woke at 3:30am and couldn't get back to sleep, so I sat down to check on my games. Before going to bed I had been studying this annoying passed a-pawn. I was going to have to deal with it once my opponent retreated his Bishop on g5 which was hanging or exchanged it for my knight of f6 and pushed the a-pawn which had just chased my Queen from b6 to where I was intending to return if the feral penguin marched on to a6.

I made a few moves and the game pops up, the penguin has bolted (he's pushed his pasty) (a horrible blunder) and I replied instantly with my Qb6?? and then the reality of the move I just played manifested itself in my mind. I had met his blunder with a blunder! I hadn't captured the g5 Bishop and my whole position was falling apart. (I am not sure why I wanted to play Qb6 at all anymore, it doesn't seem to help my position at all, maybe just tired lol) This is a problem I have had for a long long time especially in OTB (over the board) games. Often playing the second move of a line I have been analysing especially when the 1st move of the line was a forced recapture or such. Anyway the crisis has passed and my opponent has missed their chance. *phew*

A Cross table complete with links yay!!

The bug that bugging us all for the last 3 days has been fixed. Why were we so annoyed? Because a tournament is not just about your own games, it's about your opponents games as well. In Daily chess you can study your opponents and prepare for them. It is great to be able to follow other games in your group and this page fixes you up so you are just 1-click away from the play. It is also nic to be able to see how you are fairing.


 

Win Number Three! The overworked piece.

this game was fun, I had to fend off an attack but unfortunately for my opponent his Queen was left overworked and underpaid. Unable to do all that was required of her I got to dine on Pizza and well it's an uphill battle from there. Some accurate manoeuvrings to fend of the attack and it was point number three for me. 

Win Number Two!

I was almost in trouble in this one, maybe I was I'll have to ask blowfish to be sure. (Blowfish says I was on the money! A little harsh with my ?? on Bd3 but the position was already lost) A nice win happy.png

First Blood

I have just recorded my first win (other than the 4 withdrawals/timeouts) The game is provided below with some rudimentary analysis. The game itself is a miniature where Black weakens squares in front of his own king and is checkmated in short order. 

  

Ballarat Chess Club and it's participating members

The Ballarat Chess Club is one of the oldest chess club's in the Southern Hemisphere. It has existed on and off for over 150 years. https://www.ballaratchess.com/history/historyindex.html It is most prominently known for it's organisation of one of Australia's most popular weekenders. The Begonia Open, a 7 round swiss held over the Labour Day weekend. It was the last major OTB event held in Victoria before Covid lockdown and will be (we hope) the first to be held in 2021 post lockdown. 

The club has over 40 IRL (In real life) members and 66 Online Members here on chess.com (many of our former members are still connected online) The club meets at the Mechanics Institute Library every Thursday night from 7:30pm from the 14th of January. It also meets virtually on a Monday night here on chess.com. https://www.chess.com/club/ballarat-chess-club  It has a vibrant junior chess scene with 18 in the junior club pre-lockdown. The Junior club will be meeting at 6pm on a Thursday nights from the 21st of January.

Having a look at how my fellow Ballarat Chess Club members @Meow909 @toambitious @pauldao3 are placed. Rauri (Meow909) is top seed in his group. (toambitious) a 12yo from Flemington Melbourne and our current Monday night Champion has landed in the same group as a 2200 FM. Paul, a 9yo local having moved to Ballarat last year has got a 1900 rated player in his group.. I'll have a more detailed update once/if they manage to correct the cross-table bug.

Oh No! That First Blunder!

As per usual lazy play against low rated players can lead to very tough games. I am 600 - 1000 rating points above this player and just moving on auto-pilot has cost me a pawn. If I am to advance to round 2 I can't be this sloppy. I can count my lucky stars it is was only a pawn. I am not out of this game yet! But still feel as though I have had a dagger thrust through me. How can one be so careless.

Update (He played a Botez gambit on the very next move!) I gladly accepted.

Bugs

Bugs happen and the one annoying everyone at the moment is the lack of the pairings cross-table. It won't be the first, occasionally the wrong player will be awarded their group win. Though for most people things will run oh so smoothly. The difference with the current bug is that it is affecting everyone in the entire tournament. Be patient, they will get on top of it sooner or later.

Daily Chess

Daily Chess more traditionally known as Correspondence chess does allow a long time to consider your moves. Currently I have approximately 100 games in progress and I am active in over 50 tournaments. If I advanced to the next round in all of them at the same time I would be in trouble. That'd be over 400 active games but fortunately it doesn't work like that. Rounds go for months. 24h/move we can expect the longer games of the round to go for upwards of 3 months.

So other than the longer time controls postal chess does allow the consultation of chess databases and opening books. It also allows the use of an analysis board to go through your games a very handy tool. The consultation of engines and table-bases is strictly not allowed on chess.com.

The big dangers in Daily Chess is missing the start of the tournament. Over half the field will time out without making a move. I think this is magnifies by the start date being when many are nursing hangovers after New Years revelries. 

They are out for blood!
I kid you not, move 3 and I am having to stop a scholars mate!!

I guess that rules out 3....g6 ?? for now. 

and this game an early raid attempt on f7. No harm in trying I guess tongue.png

A stroke of Luck

Seems I've been dealt a stroke of luck and have landed in one of the lower groups, not a master in sight. Top seed in my group is rated 1756. All players need a closer inspection of coarse. Some people don't play daily chess in general. You can be surprised by a player with a daily rating of 800's but look closer and they have blitz and bullet in the 2000's grin.png

Waiting for Pairings

The event is so large it is taking a long time for it to crunch through the multitudes. The event is saying starting soon but no group pairings are yet displayed..... adding to the suspense, I will begin to my games shortly.

Not a lot of mystery about my opening moves; with white I play e4, the Sicilian and King's Indian Defence as black. I've had a broader repertoire in the past including the d4 system Torre Attack and f4 The Bird. With Black the Dutch, dabbled a bit with the Benoni and I wore out the Benko for a few years. Consistently had what would be known as a dark square repertoire with Black, the pirc, the mainline dragons. 12 years ago I spent a lot of time studying the Najdorf but I only tread those waters now for fun grin.png 

IT HAS BEGUN!

The long awaited 2021 chess.com chess championships has just begun, 16505 players have entered and a good many of us have been counting down the days, hours, minutes and seconds to get that first glimpse of the group we find ourselves...  and welcome to my blog where I will share all the thrills and spills, high's and lows and my  thoughts of the tournament as I attempt to progress through the 1st round. I will also follow my fellow Ballarat Chess Club members @Meow909 @toambitious @pauldao3.

I still haven't ventured a peek at my group, but a bit about this event. The 16 thousand plus players are split into groups of 12 in rating order so the top 1300+ players will be top seed of the 1300 odd groups. So it's going to be a pot luck whether the top seed in my group is a master or some 1900 rated player. This fact alone could determine my fate in this event as only 1 player can advance.