Exlporing the Spanish: My Recent OTB Games
Exploring the Spanish: Part 4 - My Recent OTB Games
It has been awhile since I have posted on my blog largely due to me focusing on my OTB and longer time control chess rather than blitz which was one of the major draws of this site. However, after the recent Pittsburgh Open that I played I decided to post one of the rare games that was noteworthy over the recent months in the Spanish.
The game I wanted to explore was the game that inspired this post from the Pittsburgh Open. I was playing in the U2100 section (won by the talented young Maxim Yaskolko) where I ended with 3.5/5.0. However, I had started off rather slowly losing my first round game. Round 3 I was black against Brian Sugarnaj (1895), another strong young player and I was trying to get back into the groove of play. The game featured an interesting tactical position which I will show below. Black to play and win material and the game.
The above position arose on move 49 so the game was on the longer side with many important Spanish Chigorin ideas explored. I relied heavily on my understanding of typical piece placement and pawn breaks letting my opponent overextend into me. To be honest, I was certainly worse around moves 20-28 or so but it is easy for white to lose the thread of the position and black tends to be solid, if a bit passive in the position. Without further ado, let's look at the game.
This game featured a lot of typical Chigorin plans. For example, the queenside advance of a5 and b4 breaking open the position, bringing the rook over with Rfb8 and blockading the d pawn with a knight are all fairly typical ideas in various lines of the Spanish Chigorin. Interestingly, I had been practicing decoy tactics that often involved exchange sacrifices in a book on tactical motifs the week before which proved to be helpful at move 49. I think when it came to playing the later middle game (moves 30-50), my opponent did not really find a clear plan and did not understand white's key breaks in the position and thus kept making one or two move threats that could be avoided with relative ease. Psychological factors also played a role in this game with my higher rated opponent wanting a win and trying to keep queens on at many points where he probably should have taken a slightly better endgame position. Overall, the game was interesting enough to share here and the interesting tactical shot at the end was one of my favorite tactical positions of the tournament.
Thanks for reading and let me know what you thought about this game.