Opposite side castles! How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb! Part I.
Here I want to share some of my recent 10 min games which are featured opposite side castling and race conditions. I use engine analysis as well to spot missing tactics or blunders in the game by both sides. Games are not perfect, but they are maybe instructive for players in the range 1500-1900. I have better performance (resultwise) in 3 min blitz game (In fact when I lose rating points in 10 min I play some 3 mins to gain them back). Last week I tried to cover some of my weaknesses in openings. I understand that in 10 minutes blitz game players with better openning repertoire will have better chance against me, while in 3 min blitz game, tatics and better positional estimation helps me more. Unfortunately 10 min is not enough to think about reasonable ideas for opening, specially when the opponent has the shotgun. So I tried to improve my weaknesses in openings. I play 1.e4, either Ruy Lopes against e5 (and sometimes king gambit) or Yoguslove attack style against c5 or even d6. My main weakness was against c5 when opponent tries to go for sicilian Pin variation. Few days ago I watched this great video by GM Yasser Seirawan :
The video is from black prespective but explains the ideas for white as well. Afterward I felt confident, and this confident helped a lot, dispite the fact that I didn't face the Pin variation in my recent games and even in my old games against the Pin variation I scored 50-50. It was just annoying and I was not able to breath, so it was not really fun game. But without that annoying things in back of my mind it is easier to play. On the other hand with black against e4 I play sicilian (sometimes Najdorf sometimes Dragon, sometimes mixing both together). And against d4 I play either dutch or KID. So lets talk less and start analysis of some of games.
Lets start with the simplest game. The computer analysis included . I also explained my ideas and explained why I made some certain mistakes. The opening is very well known so I didn't explain the ideas behind the opening, e.g g4-h4 are very common in this situation.
The following is a game against another opponent with different opening, but same spirit. It's actually very sad game by my opponent, I didn't want to put it in this series but found it intersting to show how bad can go if one start to defend and simply give open files to the opponents.I didn't annotate the game, and just used computer analysis annotation. Please watch the game first, then we talk about it.
Wow! How many useless moves I did, and why my opponent crushed even with that many inaccuracies? In fact my opponent didn't understand the importance of the race condition situation, he didn't understand that he should play in the queenside and attack directly to my king as otherwise he cannot survive. Even worse he tried to bring his other knight from the queenside to the kingside and add defender, which wasted lots of time (not on the clock, but on the game). On the other hand early in the game when I arranged my pieces nicely to attack to his king side, I sacrificed a pawn to gain an open file for my rooks. Unbelivably he simply accepted the sacrifice. It's very important to consider number of attackers and potential attackers and compare them with your defenders then accept sacrifices. e.g accepting the h pawn open lines for two rooks and even the queen can line up on the h file. So adds 3 attackers! But on the other hand one of active defenders (knight) has bin eliminated during the attack. In the end of the game black was just destructed too much and resigned because of queen blunder, but even if he was able to save the queen, he could not last more than 4 or 5 moves except giving up tones of materials. One more thing I think is important to understand is that, the king already is a piece. If situation is very harmful, king can make plan to walk over the board and escape. So lets watch the game.
I'll show another game of mine when my opponent accepted another pawn sacrifice. This time I'm black and play something between dragon and Najdorf. Computer analysis included. But about some moves. In the moves 17 and 21 I had an option to take his rook with knight by playing Ng3. But I found that my knight is a beast and it's also very good defensive pieces and while his both rooks and bishops were in the play I didn't like to give it for extra material to not giving any counter attack option. Also in the last move of the game (d5) I thought I have his h2 rook (and maybe even mate) whenever I want, so lets kik off his queen and prevent any counterplay of queen. But engine doesn't like such moves, but we are human.
Hope you enjoyed and maybe gained something. Please give me your advises about my weakness in the openings or misunderstanding of positions. Also it is nice if you can help me to improve the blog posts by offering better writing styles, better annotation, etc.