Analysis Medley #2: When You have No Idea

Analysis Medley #2: When You have No Idea

Jan 16, 2010, 6:35 PM |

Hey everyone, this time I'm here with 4 games, and not all of them are miserable! I decided to post all of them at once in this second analysis medley of mine. Let's go right ahead. 

1) When you have no idea:

Have you ever played a game, in which you had no idea about what's going on from beginning to end? Well, I did! This was easily the most complicated, most messy game I have ever played in my life, and after putting in hours of analysis in it, I still don't have a clue about the resulting position.

We followed the rapid game between Kramnik-Seirawan at the rapid section of Amber Blindfold 1994 (yes, there was a time Kramnik and Seirawan were actually opponents), in which I doubt even these top players clearly understood everything happening on the board. That game ended in Kramnik's favour:

And they say 1.Nf3 is the most timid of openings!

I was impatiently waiting for my opponent to deviate from the game (as it ended in a loss for black), and I was watching the game before us get more and more complicated with horror. Anyway, I won't pretend I have the tiniest idea about the opening and directly get to the point where we stepped out of our sole map into this crazy forest of material imbalances.
So, instead of Seirawan's 18...Qc5, black has played 18...Qa5 (an intelligent point to deviate, in my opinion), and left me all alone in this position. You are white, you have a piece for three pawns, and black has all the initiative. What to do?

OK, the most critical position of the game. Looks like white should be easily winning, right? Well, that was my dream after this Rxb7+ move, but when I sat down to analyze this position, I seriously went crazy over it. Black has so many resources here, perpetuals, mates, forks, all kinds of stuff. However, it turns out there was a puzzle-like win here for white, and I missed it... Try to go deep here and find the line that wins by force.

And once again, I had no idea whatsoever about this position. Even looking at it with an engine now, I can't just conceptualize anything. My engines all evaluate the position as complete equality. The main reason I offered a draw was that I just couldn't keep up with all of my games in the level I wanted to, and this game was taking too much of my energy and time because of the complications, and I didn't know what I was walking into, not in the beginning, and not in the end! So, I guess the draw was justified after all.

2) Just don't break anything.
Now let's switch gears and look at a not so complicated game, where I went a pawn up early against weaker opposition and all I had to do was keep making calm moves and not break anything. Smile

Another completely natural looking move, right? But in reality, this was a mistake. White can win his pawn back here, do you see how?

Other than missing that Ng5, I think I've played not too bad in this game.
3) Revenge!
Remember my painful loss in my previous blog post? I managed to win against the same player in our second game, and kept my chances of advancing to the next round in our tournament. Here's the game:

I'm not sure why my opponent played this move, perhaps to pile up on the c pawn with Nd7, Na6 etc. I thought a lot about my next move here, and I think I found a good one. What would you play as white?

I played f4, and because I have a policy of such complete transparency with you guys, I'm going to reveal my brilliant notes from the game with you. You might notice how generous I am when it comes to exclamation points! Laughing
These are my notes I took during the game before playing f4, without using the analysis board (honest!): 
14.f4! exf4 15.Bxf4 Qd8 16.Bg5! Nd7 17.Qf2!
14...Nbd7 15.fxe5 Nh5 16.Nd6! Rxe5 (16...Re7 17.Bd4 Nxe5? 18.Bxe5 Rxe5 19.Rxf7) 17.Rxf7 Bxd6? 18.cxd6 Qxd6 (Qc8? 19.Bd4) 19.Rd1!
Let's see how inaccurate they were now, in the subvariations:
So, in the end, I happened to be at the winning end of a swindle, but my analysis was really sloppy and full of mistakes. And I should better listen to Botvinnik's advice of sitting on my hands when I have a winning position, I have a huge tendency to mess things up!

4) Finally, a trophy!

To call this a trophy may sound a little cheap, as in the end, I won due to a horrendous blunder of my opponent, which is obviously not frequent in his play, and I should consider myself lucky. However, this one piece is one of the very rare games where I managed to play almost without any significant inaccuracies, and even made some subtle positional maneuvering!

Black's first mistake. Brobably black thought losing a tempo with the bishop here wasn't a problem, as it was hitting the h pawn twice, but that wasn't quite the case. Do you see the refutation here?


White's positional edge here, with the bishop pair against two knights and the dark square weakness, stopping black from castling, should be decisive. But how to carry on?


Black can't capture the bishop due to mate in one and resigns.

So, this was all. As a conclusion, I could perhaps make a general assessment of my play:

I have begun pulling off some good moves like that Nb5, Qc3&Qa3 maneuver in game 4, f4 in game 3, but my play, as you have especially seen from the notes in the 3rd game, is still full of blunders. I can't back up my ideas with accurate and objective calculation, and I just couldn't score the forced win in the first game in that puzzle-like position. I hope cutting down on my games will help.

Thanks to all my opponents for the games, and thanks for reading, hope I could make it worthwhile. All analysis here and in my previous blog posts is done with the help of Rybka 3 Human and sometimes Deep Fritz 11.

I appreciate feedback & comments!