A successful tournament
Today I had a good tournament result. I went 4-0 to win the tournament, beating a
1300, 1500, and 2 1800 players. My rating at the time was 1836 so now it will
increase about 25 points.
The games are below. In game one, I was dead lost very quickly, yet my opponent
did not take advantage of it and suddenly my position went from being dead
lost to being just fine. This happens alot when you're playing low-rated players.
On one hand, they play such weird stuff that you are out of book almost
immediately, on the other hand, they are so weak that they never capitilize
on the mistakes you made because you are unfamiliar with the position.
In game 1, my opponent had a backwards pawn and I began to apply pressure
to it. I made some suspicious moves and suddenly his pieces were coming out
and he was soon going to unbackwards his pawn and would have at least an
I was discouraged but then suddenly realized that by swinging my rook from d3
to g3, (a very typical maneuver btw), I could start attacking his king. This lead
me to save the game regardless of his successful unbackwardsing of the pawn.
In game 2 , my opponent played a ridiculous opening that lost an amazing
number of tempi right out of the opening. His queen was getting chased all
over the board, and even when it got out of attacks on c2, I still continued
to attack it indirect with Rc8, threatening Nb4 at some point. This prevented
him from playing Bd3, which would be a fork and then walk into a discovery,
yet he played Bd3 anyways and soon he was losing a ton of material. The rest
of the game my attacks forced him to be passive and finally he realized
that he was never going to get his pieces developed and I would build and finish
him off so he resigned.
In game 3, we played the grand prix attack. I almost gave up this opening,
but as I mentioned recently I watched a video by Roman Dzindziashvili in
which he recommends the move Bb5 (instead of Bc4), and I've been getting
absolutely stellar results with this. The game transpired identical to the roman
video for a bit, then he played pawn to e6. At this point my experience
in the Bc4 system proved useful as I knew the right thing to do was to sacrifice
my f pawn, opening up the position and ruining his pawn structure. He did
not accept the sacrifice, although as you see in the game that didn't work out
for him since the f-file was opened and my pieces were breathing down his
throat hardcore. At one point in the game I had 6 tempi to his 2, AND threats
that meant I would continue building the position.
In game 4, my opponent played 1.Nc3. I've never, ever read anything about
this opening period, so I improvised and played d5. He played e4 and ok, we
played some chess. He avoided an exchange of knights and I pinned his knight,
hoping that his move h3 forcing the exchange of the bishop would give him
a problem to worry about on g3. The game seemed to demonstrate that as
later when I played Bd6, attacking his g3 knight, he felt compelled to move it
again and it never had a good home. Notice how my d5 and e6 pawns limited
the activity of that knight for the entire game.
At one point I played Qd5, starting a standoff between the queens. I really expected
Be2, maintaining the tension, and of course if I initiated the exchange, his
bishop would come to f3 and get a good position. Instead he immediately
exchanged and I felt happy about this as I forsaw his pawn structure and dark
squared bishop, and the coming minority attack, being to my advantage. Note
that theoretically white has the same kind of attack on the kingside yet it
seems a lot slower than mine can be.
So the attack got started and he played a4, sacrificing a pawn. Unfortunately,
I didn't see the point of this sac, which was that he would double his rooks and
play Bc2 and win some material back. Later, I found the maneuver Ne8-c7,
defending the a6 pawn and the a8 rook therefore maintaining my pawn. Instead
of Rc8, I should have played this maneuver immediately and I would had safely maintained
the extra pawn till the end.
As the game went, he certainly put up resistance, but he was slightly worse,
in the end I was a pawn up in a rook and 4 pawns vs rook and 3 pawn ending.
I owe this win entirely to silman's book: "Silman's complete endgame course"
from beginner to master". in which it advised gaining a lot of space with the
pawns and pushing the king back. I did this, and I ended up winning another
pawn. At this point, I had very little time, about 2 minutes and he had 5 seconds
and was moving very quickly (there was a 5 second delay as well). I imagine
that I would have had great difficulty converting this endgame, but the book
had a very simple formula for winning it that worked easily and I had no
problem getting the win. I have practice winning that position against fritz,
my friends, and myself, so the entire thing was second nature to me. It can
actually be quite difficult to pull of if you don't know the easy plan. I am talking about
2 connected pawns on the side of the board + rook vs rook endgame.
The plan is very simple. You advance the rook pawn first, leaving a little
space for your king and hiding from the checks using the pawns. You push
the opponent's king back with your rook (and influence of your pawns and
king). Then you advance both of your pawns to the 6th rank. He might
check you a few times, but when the checks run out you will be threatening
back rank mate so his rook will have to become passive. At this point, the
win is very easy if you know the plan. Make a "bridge" with your rook, moving
it to the e or d file. Now using this rook as a shield from checks, bring your
king up to the top of the board, and finally exchange rooks which cannot be
declined because it's also a mate threat.
At this point you have 2 connected pawns vs. king so winning is a breeze.
Here are the games. I won't analyze them right now because I am very tired
but if anyone would like to comment on them, regardless of strength please
do. I especially look forward to comments by any high rated players. I've had
about 4 hours total of chess coaching in my life, so I'm starved for that kind
of experience =)