Saturday, 13 October 2007

Opera game

Thursday I played my first round game against Phil Smith in the Derbyshire Individual Championship. I'd played Phil twice before so I knew he'd play the Philidor defence, so I did a bit of research into it and realised he was playing the opening moves to the famous Opera game!

So my first seven moves were the same as Morphy, and his first six the same as the Duke and Count. I was up a couple of pawns due to this, but unfortunately didn't play the rest of the game like Morphy!

[Event "Derbyshire Individual Championship"]
[Site "Rolls Royce"]
[Date "2007.10.11"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Dean Madden"]
[Black "Phil Smith"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C41"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 Bg4 4. dxe5 Bxf3 5. Qxf3 dxe5 6. Bc4 Nf6 7. Qb3 Bd6 8. Bxf7+ Kf8 9. Qxb7 Nbd7 10. Bc4 Nc5 11. Qc6 Ncxe4 12. Nd2 Nc5 13. O-O Ke7 14. b4 Qd7 15. Qxd7+ Ncxd7 16. c3 Rhb8 17. Re1 Kf8 18. Ne4 Nxe4 19. Rxe4 Nf6 20. Re2 h6 21. Be3 Re8 22. Bb5 Re7 23. Bc6 Rd8 24. Bxa7 Nd7 25. Bxd7 Rexd7 26. Be3 Bxb4 27. h3 Bxc3 28. Bc5+ Kg8 29. Rc1 Rd1+ 30. Rxd1 Rxd1+ 31. Kh2 Kf7 32. Re3 Bd4 33. Bxd4 exd4 34. Rf3+ Ke6 35. a4 c5 36. Ra3 c4 37. a5 Rb1 38. a6 Rb8 39. a7 Ra8 40. Ra6+ Kd5 41. Ra5+ Kc6 42. Ra4 Kb5 43. Ra1 c3 44. Rb1+ Kc4 45. Rb8 Rxa7 46. Rc8+ Kd3 0-1

My problems came later on when I overlooked my weak back rank, and allowed him to get the two pawns back with what I thought was a mate threat. A simple h3 in a position like that below would have solved my problems

I didn't realise at the time, but I could have refuted his bishop sacrifice by taking it and at the position below, playing the un-natural looking Re1.

I am getting seriously fed up of being up in material only to lose in the late middle or end game!

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