Continental Open 2013, Round 2, "You mean I didn't have to lose?"

Aug 17, 2013, 10:48 AM |

This game is another Sicilian, this time I have the White pieces. And I know Sicilian as White less than I do as Black, but oddly my best Sicilian attacks have been as White. For example a recent DHLC game with Docterrific:

White was tossing material overboard like crazy to get at the Black King. On move 23.Rxf6 White equalizes due to initiative even though behind in material. However, of course there was that pesky pawn in the eventual endgame that White couldn't stop, but if White knew how to continue the attack after 23,Rxf6, that wouldn't have mattered. But I digress...

4.Nf3, White is going for Grand Prix Sicilian, but is making it up after this point. My opponent is making things up to. Like the 7...Qh4+ epedition. After messing around between King side push and some wandering by White's Knight on the Queenside, we arrive at 17.Nd5 which seems like a reasonable position from White's perspective. The centrally posted Knight is strong, and is eying the b6 square. Black needs to defend the b6 square, perhaps with 17...Bd8. Instead, Black plays 17...h5?, allowing for a Knight fork, 18Nb6+-.

After 20...Kd7, Black's King lost the right to castle, is in the center, and opposed by the White Queen. This is a critical position. White should play to vigorously tear open the center (perhaps with a d4 pawn push), exposing the Black King further. Instrad, White plans on a Queen excusion into Black territory, envisioning moves like Qe6+.

21.Qb3 thru 23...Qa6, White is attacking in the center, and Black plans a counter attack near the White King. So far, so good for White. White can choose to continue attacking with 24.dxc4, which BTW White wanted to do. However, White talked himself out of that, opting for a defensive move 24.Bf2 which is still ok (not quite as strong), and Black proceeded with 24...Qe2?? which should be doomed, unless White helps Black realize his dreams. 

Caution, the following moves are not for the faint of heart.

Here, White can still play 25.dxc5 and still have a decive attack. White will have none of that, and instead decideds that defense against a non-existent threat is the optimal course. Instead, White plays 25.Kg2, "just to play it safe". White still has an advantage, and that should be enough for him to win. But no...

Not too late to turn back, the game gets worse...

Now Black is smelling blood in the water even though White still has a sizeable advantage, so Black plays 25...h4. Ooh, scary, but the point is this was the "breaking point" in White's mind, and as opposed to playing defensively against Black's Queen, White decides to ignore the pawn advance. A simple 26.h3 would suffice, then White can get back to the very real attack against the Black King. White clevery plays 26.g4 even outsmarting himself, inviting 26...h3 which is still ok for White, but now White panics a bit. 27. Kg3 Qd2, and even at this point, 28.Re3 could help, or at least not move the Rook away from f3.

Last straw.

28.Re1?? Qf4+

White resigns. What?? Game should have continued... 29.Rxf4! White to win.

Like I said, hilarious. Sort of. A few days after the fact... the old adage that "chessplayers never win, instead their opponents hand them victory" is so true, LOL.