Day 2-Rounds 2 and 3

Day two started off early. I knew that I needed to create some sort of a daily plan that would work and keep me energized throughout the day. With the round starting at 9am, I woke up at 7.30. The plan was breakfast, then shower and play.

I was paired against a young FM rated just under 2300. Here is the round 2 game.

[Event “?”]
[Site “?”]
[Date “2010.09.03”]
[Round “?”]
[White “Bluvshtein”]
[Black “Seyb”]
[Result “1-0”]
[ECO “A00”]
[PlyCount “85”]
[EventDate “2010.09.02”]
[SourceDate “2010.09.03”]

1. d4 g6 2. c4 Bg7 3. e4 d6 4. Nc3 e5 5. d5 f5 6. exf5 gxf5 7. Qh5+ Kf8 8. Be3
Na6 9. g3 Qe8 10. Qe2 Ne7 11. O-O-O Bd7 12. Nf3 Ng6 13. h4 Nc5 14. h5 e4 15.
Nd4 Ne5 16. Kb1 Rg8 17. Bh3 Qf7 18. Ncb5 Rc8 19. Nxa7 Ra8 20. Nab5 Bxb5 21.
Nxb5 Ncd3 22. Nd4 Nxc4 23. Rxd3 exd3 24. Qxd3 Qxd5 25. Bg2 Qxg2 26. Qxf5+ Ke8
27. Qe6+ Kf8 28. Bg5 Qxh1+ 29. Kc2 Qe1 30. Qxe1 Be5 31. f4 Rxg5 32. fxg5 Nxb2
33. Nf3 Nc4 34. Nxe5 Nxe5 35. Qe4 Kg8 36. Qxb7 Rxa2+ 37. Kb3 Rf2 38. Qxc7 Rf3+
39. Kc2 Rxg3 40. Qd8+ Kf7 41. Qf6+ Kg8 42. h6 Rg2+ 43. Kb3 1-0

My opponent surprised me in the opening, as I didn’t find any games of him in this opening. I got creative, having never really studied this line. 8.Bd3 is more normal than what I played. Putting the bishop on e3 is somewhat committing. I arranged my pieces in an interesting way, though I got an advantage in the opening.

18.f3 should have been played. That was my original intention. 18.f3 exf3 19.Nxf3 Nxf3 20.Qxf3 is better for white, since I shouldn’t be scared of the capture on c3 in a position where black’s king is so exposed. My 18th move was not crucially wrong however.

After my opponent’s 22nd move, I started calculating heavily. It’s hard to calculate very long lines and have faith in your own variations, but I was already calculating the sacrifice of the two rooks when I played my 22nd move. Those calculations were not all correct however.

23.Ne6+! Ke7 24.Rxd3 exd3 25.Qxd3 Nxb2 26.Bg5+  should have been played, where the lines all go in my favour. The knight on e6 is simply a monster. I am not sure where my calculations went wrong in that line, but I didn’t realize how simple and convincing it was.

25…Qf7 was very interesting, where I have to reply with 26.Bc1 with an unclear position. I have very serious compensation but I am down material. Something like 26…Nxb2 leads to even more complications. Simple moves like Qf7 in very sharp positions are easy to miss.

I recalculated everything agains after the 27th move. Of course, I have perpetual. But I did not go into the line to take a perpetual. I played Bg5 confidently. This was a true test of confidence.

EDIT BELOW

Fortunately, my opponent played 28…Qxh1 which is losing on the spot. All of my calculations revolved around 28…Nd2+ 29.Kc1 Nb3+! 30.axb3 Ra1+ 31.Kd2 Qxf2+ 32. Ne2 Bc3+! 32.Kc2 Rxg5 33.Rxa1 Ba5. However, my evaluation of the final position was wrong. I thought I am the one fighting for a win, but it is probably not the case after 33…Ba5 or Bf6. That line of calculation is still impressive nonetheless. In that long line, I can run away to a draw with 33.Kxc3, where my opponent is forced to give a perpetual. I saw that as a worst case scenario.

After I got the queen back everything went smoothly. My opponent’s position is very difficult due to the vulnerability of the king. I converted the advantage pretty well.

Good start to the day. I felt like I could also trust my calculations a bit more after this performance.

Not much time to rest. After grabbing lunch I took a nap. Once I woke up from that, it was time for a shower and another round, which started at 3pm.

I was paired with an IM rated just under 2400, with black. This would be a more serious test. It is never easy to beat players of this level, especially with black. But that was my mission. Here is the game.

[Event “?”]
[Site “?”]
[Date “2010.09.03”]
[Round “?”]
[White “Eisenberser”]
[Black “Bluvshtein”]
[Result “0-1”]
[ECO “A00”]
[PlyCount “52”]
[EventDate “2010.09.02”]
[SourceDate “2010.09.03”]

1. e4 d6 2. d4 Nf6 3. Nc3 g6 4. Nf3 Bg7 5. h3 O-O 6. Be2 c6 7. a4 a5 8. O-O Na6
9. Be3 Nb4 10. Qd2 Qc7 11. Rfd1 b6 12. Ne1 Bb7 13. g4 Rad8 14. g5 Nd7 15. Bf3
e5 16. d5 Nc5 17. Bg2 Rfe8 18. dxc6 Bxc6 19. Nd5 Bxd5 20. exd5 e4 21. Rab1 Re5
22. c3 Nxd5 23. Qxd5 Rxd5 24. Rxd5 Qc6 25. Rbd1 Qxa4 26. Rxd6 Qxd1 0-1

I decided to play the Pirc again. I was hoping that the third time would be a charm, and so it was! This was the first time that I got a good position with the opening, and the game followed my preparation until my 10th move. It was a deviation from what I played against Martinez in Barcelona with my a5 and knight maneuver to b4.

My opponent offered me a draw after his 11th move. I was bit surprised. It was not surprising that my opponent wanted a draw, but it was surprising he would think I want one. We were still in a normal theoretical position. In my opinion, it is disrespectful to offer a draw to somebody rated almost 200 points higher at that point. It is similar to me offering a draw to Kramnik if he would play the Pirc against me. A bit of a side story that I thought I would share. I felt extra motivated to win now;).

I looked at 11.Rad1 before, which makes more sense. I am sure my opponent was finding my knight on b4 annoying at this point, even though it doesn’t really do anything there.

My 11…b6 idea was prepared at home, and I just have an easy game after that. I was very surprised when my opponent decided to play 13.g4. The position is just not asking for this unnatural move. An attack against my king like that simply can’t work. I reacted well, and my breakthrough with 15…e5 was at the right time.

17…cxd5 was probably more accurate, but I did not worry much about my opponent taking on c5 and creating a weakness on e4. 19…Nxd5 20.exd5 Bd7, followed by Bf5 was probably also more accurate, but the game leaves me with an advantage as well. I like the way my knights were placed.

21…Re5! was crucial to my play, and won a pawn without complications. 22.c4 Nxa4 would have offered white the best chances possible.

23.Qxd5 was a shocking move to me. Just giving away extra material like that makes little sense. I played the next few moves precisely. I am guessing my opponent missed the last move of the game when he took on d6, due to which he can simply resign.

A very smooth looking game. This is exactly why I wanted to play the Pirc in the first place. The game was a pretty easy one. I didn’t do much and my opponent collapsed on his own when he didn’t understand what he needed to do. I felt good, especially since this was the second round of the day.

With 3/3, I knew that the going would get tougher. I looked forward to the challenge.

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3 Responses to Day 2-Rounds 2 and 3

  1. Denton Cockburn says:

    Both those games came across as really easy for you. The first one had a lot of complicated lines though. It’s funny that GM games always look easy after the fact. It’s probably exhausting for the player while the game is going on though.

    I really liked that pirc game. Only …e5 and …e4 seemed to be really creative moves. The rest just seemed easy for you. I guess you can’t complain when your opponent just gives you the game.

  2. The first game reminded me the games of the old masters – that leaving rook on h1 under attack. And when the smoke is over, you have a won endgame :). In the second game his pawn attack seemed unnecessary and too risky. Yeah, and then he kind of self-deteriorated with Qxd5 and miscalculation.

  3. I’d like to thank Leon Piasetski for letting me know that I missed a move in one of the longer lines in the post. It was edited.

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