Saturday, October 16, 2010

Date Night

In a date with Destiny, the guy Slugger didn't have such a great time.

The Slugger's date showed up to the party (which coincidentally consists of chess games) on time, but what about Slugger?

Well, I've got to say....half of Slugger showed up on time, and the other half of the guy...well...wasn't quite there. Sorta like a hole in his heart, just...well, half-empty. Some might say that it's half-full, but....not quite. More like half-empty, but not half-full, because it seemed more half-empty than half-full...if you know what I mean. Or, actually, half-full might be a better descriptor, because half-full is a (w)hole that is half-empty, while half-empty is a whole that is half-full. Wait a second. I think I'm getting some things mixed up here. Isn't half-full and half-empty the....same...thing?


Well, as it so happened, alternate personalities Slava Mikhailuk and Alex Guo arrived a little bit late--10 minutes, to be precise. Ms. Destiny was not happy at all.

Board 3: FM Keaton Kiewra - FM Marcel Milat, 0-1!!

She certainly did not seem happier one and half hours later. FM Marcel Milat outmaneuvered FM Keaton "the Beaten" Kiewra to achieve a superior ending:
(after 30...Bd5)
Keaton's pieces had experienced a temporary flourish of activity and initiative, noted by an obstinate rook on d6. But three pieces is....three pieces. There's not much you can really do with three active pieces, and in the above diagram, traded the rooks, and Keaton's pawn structure cost him the game.
(after 38...Nd4)
Can't defend all those pawns at the same time. FM Milat brings in the win for Seattle.
Board 2: FM Slava Mikhailuk - Julio Sadorra, 0-1
(after 21...b4)
Jules is going for a queenside attack, while White stakes his hopes on a kingside attack. 22.g5?! I'm not too sure about this move. By now, Black seems to have obtained the better position because of better minor pieces and actual targets on the queenside, but 22.g5 seems to exacerbate the situation, if nothing else, simply because it drops the c-pawn. Jules now has a far advanced c-pawn, the a-pawn is still a target, and now he potentially has d4 for his knight. If Black exchanges down, then White's kingside attack fails, and Jules takes the point.
Actually, that did happen.
(after 29.Rg2)
Apparently, White's attack has broken through, but Jules found this nice move: 28...Qxg2+!, which exchanges away the queen and rook, after Black's Rg7. Afterwards, Jules just had too many pawns.
Board 1: Bercys - FM "Cozy" Cozianu, 1-0
To be brutally honest, Cozianu, it just seems like you got a s****y position out of the opening.
Here's how the game went:
(after 1...c5)
(after 8.Bb5+)
8...N6d7!?, This, is the first time in my chess career that I have had to use two numbers to write down a knight move! This kind of move means that Black might be in some trouble. A good opening usually doesn't have the knight dancing around while shutting in the light-squared bishop.
(after 12.Nd2)
Alright. Black's probably in some doodoo now, as Nc4 and Na4 are coming. Positionally, 12...b5 is forced. But guess what?

(after 17.Qe2)
You get THIS position. White has tremendous pressure, and Black decides to give the a-pawn. Not sure whether there's sufficient compensation. Black's not lost, but certainly losing.

(after 32...Rf7)
Black launches a kingside attack to complicate the position, with ideas concerning the h-pawn and Rook infiltration on the queenside. White finds the consolidating move 33.Ne2!. White now loses two pawns, but the win is simplified. Soon afterwards, Black resigns in the following position:

(after 38.Kd2)
Black's pretty much lost, so it makes sense for Black to resign here. However, White still has some work to do in order to fully convert the point. If anything, the other Destiny members will still be somewhat uncertain of the outcome of this game.
Board 4: Guo - WFM Zorigt, 0-1
Out of the English Opening arose the following position:
(after 24...bxc5)
To be honest, the game felt like a really good story with a -crappy- ending. Things were going great throughout the game but things fell apart, and in postmortem with the rest of the team, I kept on having sentences in the form "he could play that" or "he could play this", which just made things worse.

In the above position, for example, White has a terrific position. Black's light-square bishop is blunted by his d-pawn. Black's knight is hanging out on the sidelines. Black doesn't have any real targets to attack, while his hanging pawns are more of a burden then an asset. White's bishops are on the most active posts they could be and in addition, there're hardly better place for White's rooks.

Being short on time and wanting to conserve time for later decisions that I felt could be more important than the present one, I played 25.Nh4?, which just ends up losing time. I missed the rather elementary defense 25...Red8. Lol, and with that, it was pretty clear to me that I let slip the win. 25.Nh4 popped out to me because I felt like there was a killer move, and Nh4 seemed to be it, as the d-pawn was almost undefensible. Except it wasn't. The pawn was perfectly defendable.

But I was right about one thing. As a good friend pointed out, simply 25.g5! would have secured a large positional advantage for White. 25...hxg5 26.Nxg5 and either the h-pawn or the d-pawn falls. If instead 25...Nf5, the only other option, 26.gxf6 gxf6 27.Nh2! Black has four pawn islands! and now White's knight moves to h2 opens up the long diagonal and threatens to attack the f6-pawn, while the d-pawn is about to fall as well.
Analysis position: after 27.Nh2!

Here, the variations split into two options: 27...Bxh2+ or 27...Ne7.

1) 27...Ne7 28.Ng4 Be5 29.Nxe5 fxe5 30. Qb5, and a few moves later, one of the pawns must fall. White's unopposed dark-square bishop should also help in converting the advantage.

2) 27...Bxh2+ 28.Kxh2 White's already set up to swing his rook to the open g-file. Sample variation: 28...Ne7 29.Rg1 Ng6 30.Bf3 Qd6+ 31.Kh1 Re7 32.Qf5. The basic idea in the variations: -Rook on g1, -Rook on c1/d1 (depending on where pressure is best applied), targets-f6, d5, c5, a7. At any rate, White has a pretty large advantage.

Oh well. Can't kiss all the girls.

As it turns out, White even had a chance to obtain the better position later in the game with 34.Nc3!, but at that point, it's essentially useless to talk about such opportunities, as 1 minute does not compare with 30 minutes. The tremendous amount of complications later in the game, and my time shortage, sealed my fate.

Now that I reflect on this past Monday, it seems that I might've played on a little too much. My apologies, and good game, WFM Zorigt!
Well, that wraps up what happened last monday. Still two more matches to go! Both Seattle and San Francisco have had disappointing matches recently, and with playoff position up for grabs, these last few matches are especially critical.

And we'll see whether the Sluggers can get a second date with Destiny

1 comment:

Angel said...

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