Tuesday, 13 November 2007

8th Sheffield Congress

Over the weekend I played four games in Sheffield in the U100 section of the Spectrum Chess tournament. Unfortunately I lost all four, all my opponents had grades in the 80s compared to my 46. I was disappointed with the first two games because I was completely over-run in the openings, and played particularly badly. The last two were better, but again I made simple tactical mistakes.

[Event "Sheffield Congress 2007"]
[Date "2007.11.10"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Andrew J Smith"]
[Black "Dean Madden"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B01"]

1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Qxd5 3. Nc3 Qa5 4. Nf3 c6 5. d4 Bf5 6. Bd3 Bxd3 7. Qxd3 e6 8. O-O Bb4 9. Bd2 Nd7 10. a3 Bxc3 11. Bxc3 Qc7 12. d5 Ngf6 13. dxe6 fxe6 14. Rfe1 Nc5 15. Qc4 b6 16. b4 b5 17. Qxc5 O-O-O 18. Rxe6 Rhe8 19. Rxc6 1-0


The first game on the Saturday morning was against Andrew J Smith, he basically destroyed my Scandinavian defence. I'd read the Andrew Martin book on the defence recently, and he said you should try to delay playing Nf6 as long as possible (not sure I understand why), so anyway for the first dozen moves, Fritz screams at me to play Nf6, which I will do in future.

Move 16 I give away my knight for no reason, then after he pins my queen to my king I give up. Terrible play.

[Event "Sheffield Congress 2007"]
[Date "2007.11.10"]
[Round "2"]
[White "Dean Madden"]
[Black "Benjamin Hobson"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C58"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. Ng5 d5 5. exd5 Na5 6. Bb5+ Bd7 7. Be2 Nxd5 8. Nxf7 Kxf7 9. Bh5+ g6 10. Qf3+ Nf6 11. d3 gxh5 12. Bg5 Bg4 13. Bxf6 Bxf3 14. Bxd8 Rxd8 15. gxf3 Rg8 16. Nc3 Bh6 17. Nb5 a6 18. Nxc7 Rc8 19. Nd5 Rxc2 20. Rb1 Rg2 21. Ne3 Bxe3 22. fxe3 Rxb2 23. Rc1 Rxa2 24. Rd1 Rxh2 25. Rxh2 Rxh2 26. d4 Rh1+ 27. Ke2 Rxd1 28. Kxd1 exd4 29. exd4 h4 0-1


In the afternoon I played against Benjamin Hobson. He obviously knew the two knights defence much better than me, and outplayed me again in the opening. I unsoundly sacrificed my knight early on in what I thought would resemble some fried liver. Lightly grilled spam is a more a fit description I think.

The book move 7 should have been Qe2. Move 8 was the unsound sacrifice which I spent a lot of time trying to analyse, but just couldn't figure everything out. Anyway he defended correctly against it and for some strange reason I decided to give my bishop away as well.

[Event "8th Sheffield Congress"]
[Date "2007.11.10"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Dean Madden"]
[Black "Michael Bolan"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B01"]

1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Qxd5 3. Nc3 Qa5 4. d4 c6 5. Nf3 Bf5 6. Bd2 Qc7 7. Bc4 Nf6 8. O-O e6 9. Re1 Be7 10. Nh4 Bg6 11. Nxg6 hxg6 12. h3 Nbd7 13. b3 O-O-O 14. Ne4 Nxe4 15. Rxe4 Nf6 16. Bf4 Bd6 17. Bxd6 Qxd6 18. Re2 Qxd4 19. Qe1 Rd6 20. Rd1 Qxd1 21. Qxd1 Rxd1+ 22. Kh2 Ng4+ 23. Kg3 Nf6 24. Kh2 Rhd8 25. Bd3 Nd5 26. a4 Nf4 0-1


Saturday evening (all games were 1hr 30mins for 36 moves followed by 15mins to finish), I played as white against Michael Bolan's Scandinavian which I felt comfortable against. Move 20 was where I made the fatal mistake:


I thought that by playing Rd1, I would be scaring away his queen, but as soon as I put down the piece I realised it was a blunder and that he would win rook and queen for queen. I've done that a few times by simply not counting the captures.

Sunday morning was a bye. Sunday afternoon I played a long gruelling game against Alan Fraser, haven't analysed it yet, but it was the most enjoyable as I spent a lot of time thinking, but unfortunately I fatigued late on.

[Date "2007.11.11"]
[Round "5"]
[White "Alan Fraser"]
[Black "Dean Madden"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B01"]

1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Qxd5 3. Nc3 Qa5 4. d4 c6 5. Bc4 Nf6 6. Bd2 Qb6 7. Bc1 Bf5 8. Nf3 e6 9. a3 Be7 10. O-O Nbd7 11. Re1 O-O-O 12. b4 Qc7 13. Ne2 Nb6 14. Bf4 Bd6 15. Bxd6 Qxd6 16. Bb3 Ne4 17. c4 Qe7 18. Qc1 Nd7 19. Nf4 h6 20. Bc2 Ndf6 21. Nh4 g5 22. Nxf5 exf5 23. Ne2 Qc7 24. f3 Nd6 25. c5 Nde8 26. Bxf5+ Kb8 27. Qb2 Ng7 28. Bh3 Rhe8 29. d5 Qe5 30. Nc3 Qxe1+ 31. Rxe1 Rxe1+ 32. Kf2 Re7 33. dxc6 bxc6 34. b5 cxb5 35. Nxb5 Nge8 36. Nd6+ Ka8 37. Nxe8 Rdxe8 38. Qxf6 Re2+ 39. Kg3 Rc2 40. Qc6+ 1-0


I decided after this to re-focus on tactical training, hence the circles. I also bought the Nigel Davies book 'Gambiteer I' which I intend to use to help practice attacking tactical play in real games.

4 comments:

likesforests said...

I play 4...Nf6 in most of my games, which prevents a d-pawn advance. The only downside is that White can often play NxN and you have to reply gxf6 with doubled pawns. But that's much better than having your whole setup collapse on you, and often the extra central pawn and open g-file provide adequate compensation... and more, since often White mistakenly believes he has a big advantage!

By the way, after 14.Rfe1 I think 14.O-O-O is the right idea. Even at the cost of a pawn you need to get your king to safety. Besides, if you look closely it sets some nice traps. Eg, you have a discovered attack on his queen, and if Rxe6 Nc5 is the winning fork. But even without those I think this is the best move because it limits your losses to a single pawn.

likesforests said...

In your third game you also made some questionable choices. For example, 10.Nh4 Bg6 11.Nxg6 hxg6. Surely you realize in exchange for the bishop pair and doubled pawns you've opened up his h-file, and two pieces are now aiming at your king. What if instead you had played 8.Nh4 Bg6 9.Nxg6 hxg6. Now you could have castled queenside and it's much harder to say that Black has compensation.

Also, after 19.Qe1? who's queen is better? If you agree that his queen is better in the center and helping to control a file then 19.Qxd4 is a better plan. Avoid piece trades when behind, but not at the cost of making his pieces better.

Any chess engine will tell you that 20.Rd1?? is a blunder, but they often miss positional errors like the above. :)

Samuraipawn said...

If your aiming for more tactical games, then the Scandy with 2. Nf6 might also be an option. In that variation you'll also have the opportunity to play the Islandic Gambit and the crazy Portuguese variation which are lots of fun.

Other than that, try to do a blunder check after every move, i.e try to make sure that you wont loose material after you've made your move. I do this by trying to visualise the new position after my thought of move and look for potential checks, captures and threats by the opponent. I thought it sounded easy enough but it proved to be harder than I thought.

Oh, and listen closely to Likesforests! He's great at pinpointing what's important to watch out for and where your weaknesses lie.

Keep up the good work!

Dean said...

Thanks likesforests and samuraipawn, I haven't had chance to look into your comments in detail yet, so might get back to you if I'm confused. Dean