Saturday, October 27, 2007


ICC Blitz #6 and #7

This post is games 6 and 7 in the series looking at 11 of my recent ICC blitz games. The 11 games with light Fritz analysis are: here. These are the two games against lands and were both fairly short and easy victories.

In the first one (lands-GlennWilson) the time control is 1 3. I play a Pirc and get a comfortable position from the opening although White does have a space advantage:

After 18. Nxf4:

Black to move and win.

In the second game (GlennWilson-lands) the time control is 3 1. We play a Danish Gambit/Goring Gambit. After 7. Bxe6 fxe6:

What should White play here? (It is a standard manuever in this opening).

Just a couple moves later, after 10.Qc8+ Kf7:

Black to move and win.

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ICC Blitz #5

This is game 5 in the series looking at 11 of my recent ICC blitz games. The 11 games with light Fritz analysis are: here. Today's game is #5 from the bottom in the list of games at that link: GlennWilson - GoldPawner. The time control is 1 3.

I'm White and the game begins 1. e4. We head towards a Danish Gambit/Goring Gambit. After 10. ...Rg8 we get one of the typical types of position for this opening where I am at least even:

I simplify intending on leveraging my pawn at g7 for endgame advantage. After 29. ... Rb8 we have:

Here White can end Black's misery. Do you see how?

There were significant inaccuracies by both players. On the plus side, I formed a reasonable plan from the opening based on the pawn at g7 and followed through on that plan.

After looking at five of these games I have some tentative thoughts:
1 - I have gotten into some wild positions that I am unable to follow in blitz. As neither me nor my opponent can really follow the tactics it does create an element of luck.
2 - My openings are not a problem, per se. I am getting good middlegame positions from the openings. But, opening selection may be part of the issue with #1 above.
3 - I am missing simple tactics. True, these are blitz games but, for one example, my opponent left a piece hanging in this game on move 21. I did not notice. All I had to do was take the piece. I walked into mate in 1 in an earlier game. I see this as the area I really need to work on. So much for the Tacticus Maximus nickname. :(
Update: I should have included:
4 - Do not over play the position as in ICC Blitz #4. Do not take crazy risks to "play for a win" when the position is saying "take the draw."

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Saturday, September 01, 2007


My Opening Repertoire

My general thoughts on the opening are in Simple Chess Opening Guidelines.

As Black I play 1...d6. This can become a Pirc, a King's Indian or a Moron. See Simple Opening Repertoire for Black: The King's House.

As White I play 1. e4 and often use the e4d4 repertoire.

Lately, against 1...e5 I play the Danish Gambit or Goring Gambit.

Against the Sicilian I play the Ken Smith Gambit, also known as the Smith-Morra Gambit. :-) A great story about the SMG: In fact, when Mario Campos Lopez played the French Defense (1...e6) instead of the Sicilian against Smith, Bent Larsen gave Lopez's move a question mark along with the comment "stronger is 1...c5 which wins a pawn".(WikiPedia).

I'll also play the King's Indian Attack (this is The King's House approach as White) against the Sicilian, French or Caro-Kann.

In Blitz I'll play the Wilson Gambit against 1....d5.

Sometimes I play the Panov Botvinnik attack against the Caro-Kann. Sometimes I play an Advance against the French.

I used to play the King's Gambit but that just requires too much preparation. As white I have very little preparation required by sticking to openings with simple ideas. As Black I know the Moron, KID and Pirc well enough to make it to the middlegame.

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Sunday, August 12, 2007


HCC Saturday August 11, 2007

I played in the August 11 HCC Saturday Open and finished second with 2.5 points in three rounds. The tournament crosstable will is here.

I have modified my ISAM method to comply with new (as of Jan 1, 2007) USCF rules that the player make the move on the board before recording it on the scoresheet. Changing a 20 year habit proved not to be too difficult but I think there were times I played a little more impulsively than usual.

You can play over all of my games from that event in your browser from the link in the sidebar HCC August 11, 2007 under games archive. The positions below are from those games. So if you are interested in puzzles try these before playing over the games (where all is revealed).

This USCF Press Release lists the top World Youth Qualifiers. Number one for Girls under 8 is Evan Xiang at 1484. My first round opponent.

In this position Evan can win a piece. Do you see how? She did. Black to move:

Coming back from a piece down I see a chance for a draw. Do you? Do you see what I didn't see? (Fritz did). White to move:

My game with Alan Rodenstein was largely "positional" or perhaps "anti-positional". In any case, it may threaten my claim that chess is all tactics. I played the Moron Defence.

The game ends with a "subtle positional manuever" :-). Black to move:

In my game with Will Clayton I was in a swashbuckling mood and offered a Danish Gambit but he didn't want to go there. The game continued in gambit style. In the opening, the center, piece development and king safety are important concepts to keep in mind. This game illustrates their importance through the endgame.

White can put a big hurt on black here:

How does White continue:

I can't believe that I missed this shot for White:

Compare White's rooks to Blacks. How to turn the development advantage into something more concrete and lasting? White to move:

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Sunday, July 15, 2007


Danish Gambit

The Danish Gambit is exciting and aggressive but quite simple at the same time. There is not a ton of theory to distract one from just thinking (an often overlooked skill in learning openings). The main line ends with a position that is useful for study with each side having a pawn majority. It strikes me as a great first gambit for a young player to learn.

Searching online for good material on the Danish Gambit I ran across this Lesson on Gambits from ChessKids Academy. Very nice.

I have a pgn file of short Danish Gambit games you can download called Danish Minis.

Some other online Danish Gambits are at Danish Gambit, Danish Gambit Games 1-0, and Understanding the Danish Gambit.

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