Continental Open 2013, Round 6, "Recover, then toss game away again..."

This is an interesting game where I tried to play an aggresive French as White, allowed a huge tactic losing a Rook, then attacked with everything I could muster, only later to not make the one move that would have (almost) equalized the game.


We played book through 7.bxc3. However I am new to the French, and not used to spotting typical tactics. 10...Nf5, and the position looks typical, except I can't take the Knight with a LS Bishop. In response I play 11.f4?? thinking I am supporting the e5 pawn, but as Maurice Ashley would say (paraphrase) "every move not only does something new, it also stops doing work it was doing". He said that in the context of scrutinizing your opponents moves (what new weaknesses were just created?), but I think we need to be diligent ourselves. In this case, 11.f4?? removes protection on the e3 square, allowing 11...Ne3-+ forking the Queen and Rook.

Doh. Doh. Doh...

This allowed the Knight to "run the table" (to use a pool table analogy). I had a choice: (a) Give up, resign and walk away in disgust, or; (b) Fight like heck, and take the game back despite losing a Rook and pawn.

I chose (b). But why don't I choose (b) in every game? I am pondering this deeply. Most of winning chess seems to be determination. See my version of determination below...

14.g4, start attacking. Don't let up. 18.Bh5+, make Black's King move, and keep it vulnerable in the center. 25.Ne5, fighting to penetrate Black's position with my Rook. Black's Rooks were not productive, so for now, White has a fighting chance. 30.gxf7, and Black can decisively win with 30...Rf8. Black chose to attack the pawn with 30...Rf3 instead.

Critical moment... White has a chance to play 31.Re8, winning the Rook back, but instead played 31.Re6+, and also had a chance the next move and instead played 32.Rd6. Even if White got the Rook back there is the issue of pawn and structure deficit, but still.

Doh. Doh. Doh.

The rest of the game was gradual attrition, although White fought hard to find any remaining tactics... The game ended with 50...Rd2+ forking the White King and Bishop.



  • 3 years ago


    @Gunners, I did not consider 12...Qg3, and I have no excuse. I rather like the possibilities from the variation you describe.

  • 3 years ago


    Bad luck with the game Harvey although you made a great fight of it and unfortunately missed Re8 which I think would come close to the draw.

    My question arises after 12....Nxc2. Did you look at Qg3 as opposed to Qf2? I think the game might go 13......Nxa1; 14 Qxg7, Rf8 and I think Nxc4 looks dangerous here for Black. If he takes the knight then f5 followed by Bxh6 maybe winning the rook - though I can't be sure.

  • 3 years ago


    It's tough to write up these games, isn't it! I get worn out trying to analyze everything afterwards, there are just so many possibilities to explore...

  • 3 years ago


    This is a nice game!

  • 3 years ago


    @lPindar, yes 32.Re8 also secures or gets close to a draw. I should have been more explicit in my description. And you are right, if he tries to protect with his King (I didn't even realize this as a possibility, thanks), there are chances for a perpetual. Much better than the game outcome Smile

  • 3 years ago


    I think 32. Re8 would still secure you a draw? 

    32. ...Kb7 33. Re7+ Ka6 etc, and you would have a perpetual check, or he loses a Rook?

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