Thursday, 24 January 2008

Stan Kirby

Tuesday evening I had a very enjoyable game with Stan Kirby, the first time I've played him. It was round 4 of the Derbyshire Individual Championship. My standard OTB drawing streak is now at five. Of course since Stan's rating is 101, more than double my 46, I would have been happy with a draw beforehand. But I was very disappointed afterwards because I was up two pawns in the middle game, but then stupidly got my knight trapped as we went into the endgame. I think this partly due to lack of experience in endgames, and the fact that I've never really studied the endgame. So hopefully I'll give myself time to work on it.

[Event "Derbyshire Individual 2007/08"]
[Date "2008.01.22"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Stan Kirby"]
[Black "Dean Madden"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "B01"]

1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Qxd5 3. Nc3 Qa5 4. d4 c6 5. Nf3 Nf6 6. Bd3 Bg4 7. h3 Bxf3 8. Qxf3 e6 9. O-O Bb4 10. Ne4 Nbd7 11. c3 Be7 12. Bd2 O-O-O 13. c4 Qb6 14. a4 Qxd4 15. Bc3 Ne5 16. Qxf6 Bxf6 17. Bxd4 Rxd4 18. Bc2 Nxc4 19. b3 Rxe4 20. Bxe4 Bxa1 21. Rxa1 Nd2 22. Bc2 g6 23. f3 f5 24. Kf2 Rd8 25. Rd1 Nxf3 26. Rxd8+ Kxd8 27. Kxf3 Ke7 28. Bd3 e5 29. Bc4 e4+ 30. Kf4 h6 31. b4 Kf6 32. g3 g5+ 33. Ke3 Ke5 34. b5 f4+ 35. gxf4+ gxf4+ 36. Kd2 Kd4 37. Bf1 e3+ 38. Ke2 Ke4 39. Bg2+ Ke5 40. bxc6 bxc6 41. Bxc6 Kf5 42. Kf3 Kg5 43. Bb5 Kf5 1/2-1/2

I was up a pawn on after 14 moves, when in the position below, Stan played a4, he said he completely overlooked me taking d4.

I spent a lot of time on move 15, and eventually found the correct Ne5 in the position below:

This is much better than retreating the Queen to b6 and maybe getting it trapped. Shortly after I was able to take his c-pawn.

We then traded down, and on the day I thought the position below was where I made my mistake:

I played Nd2, and then when he plays Bc2 there are no safe places for the knight to go. So I should have recognised that. But there is actually an escape route: push the c-pawn up to c5 then c4, he has to take it.

So anyway I lost the knight and it turned into an endgame of me with seven pawns against him with four pawns and a bishop. I tried my best to force the passed pawns forward, and advance my king towards his.

However at the position above, I totally overlooked that I could play c5, adding another pawn to the advance. This again cost me any winning chances. I would have spotted it if I'd spent more time I think.

We agreed a draw in the position below. However luckily for me, Fritz thinks white has winning chances.

He could have brought his bishop round and blocked off the king from defending the passed pawns as below:

He could then use his bishop to stop the king defending the other pawns. Interesting!

Sunday, 20 January 2008

Nottingham Rapidplay 2008

I had a great time today at the Nottingham Rapidplay 2008. I ended up with 3 points from the 6 games played, and was pleased with my performance. Round 1, I played white against Kim Gilbert (rated 94), who turned up about 10mins late for the 30mins game. I won in a time scramble, I'd offered a draw when we were both short of time and he had a better position but even material. He'd had a much stronger position throughout so very happy with the win.

Round 2 I was black against eventual winner of the minor section, Eric McKenna (72). I managed to get a perpetual check after being close to mated. So draw was a great result.

I lost to Jon Asbury (92) in round 3, was mated in a Kings Indian Defence. In Round 4 I beat young unrated George Seabridge.

I played Dorothy Blampied (79) for the first time in Round 5, I was down the exchange but managed to win it back, and agreed a draw offer when down a pawn.

Last round I lost to a nice mating combination that sacrificed a queen against William Preston (76).

Friday, 18 January 2008

Bobby Fischer - RIP

Just heard the news that Bobby Fischer died. I hope people remember him for his chess, not necessarily for what happened in his latter years. Rest in Peace.

I've just noticed a good obituary by the Guardian newspaper here.

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Threefold repetition

Last night I had a bit of a silly game. For the first time ever, I drew a game due to threefold repetition. To be honest I wasn't in the mood that much for the game, what with it being my birthday and I was a bit drained after spending the afternoon walking round Sherwood Forest with the wife and dog. I was particularly annoyed with myself a couple of moves after move 13, when I realised I totally missed playing 13...b5 below:

The final position is below:

We both took turns moving our light bishops, and repeated the moves. We both thought for a long time before repeating the moves a second time. For my part, I just didn't want to give up that bishop which I felt would have weakened my kingside. Looking at the position I suppose I have a slight edge and should maybe have taken his bishop.

But then again, it's not bad to draw with black against a higher rated opponent. What is a bit concerning is the fact that I've drawn my last four standard OTB games, but again they've all been against higher rated opponents who I would have lost to a few months ago.

The game, for what it's worth, is below:

[Event "Derbyshire League"]
[Date "2008.01.15"]
[White "Ashton Alfred, West Nottingham 'C'"]
[Black "Dean Madden, Spondon 'D'"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "B01"]

1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Qxd5 3. Nc3 Qa5 4. Bc4 Nf6 5. Nf3 c6 6. O-O Bf5 7. d3 e6 8. Bd2 Qc7 9. Nd4 Bg6 10. Re1 Qb6 11. Nb3 Nbd7 12. Na4 Qc7 13. g3 Ne5 14. Bf4 Bd6 15. Bxe5 Bxe5 16. d4 Bd6 17. Nc3 O-O 18. Bd3 Bh5 19. Be2 Bg6 20. Bd3 Bh5 21. Be2 Bg6 22. Bd3 1/2-1/2

Wednesday, 9 January 2008

When Harry met Dean

Last night I played Harry Ratner in round 3 of the Derbyshire Individual tournament. We agreed a draw after my 38th move, plenty of pieces left but it looked very even and difficult to get an advantage. I'd appreciate any advice on what I could have done differently throughout the game.

I think in general I could have moved my queen about more to threaten his pieces and pawns. I think he had the advantage through most of the game with more active pieces, so I tried to keep the game tight and not leave anything unprotected. A few months ago I would have done something wreckless which allowed a tactic against me, but I think I'm learning to be more patient when under attack.

[Event "Derbyshire Individual 07/08"]
[Date "2008.01.08"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Dean Madden"]
[Black "Harry Ratner"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "A05"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. g3 Nf6 4. d3 g6 5. Bg2 Bg7 6. O-O Nc6 7. Nbd2 Bd7 8. Nh4 Rc8 9. f4 b5 10. f5 Qb6 11. fxg6 hxg6 12. Ndf3 Bg4 13. h3 Bxf3 14. Nxf3 Nh5 15. Qe1 Ne5 16. g4 Nxf3+ 17. Rxf3 Nf6 18. Be3 Nd7 19. Rb1 Ne5 20. Rf2 Qc7 21. Bf4 e6 22. Bxe5 Bxe5 23. Rf3 c4 24. c3 cxd3 25. Rxd3 Rd8 26. Rbd1 Rd7 27. Kh1 Rh7 28. Rf3 Ke7 29. Bf1 a6 30. Rc1 Qb7 31. Qe2 Bg7 32. b3 Rc7 33. c4 Rc8 34. Qe1 bxc4 35. Bxc4 Rch8 36. Bf1 Rh4 37. Kg2 R8h7 38. Rd1 1/2-1/2

The final position is below:

Fritz threw up an interesting move I could have played in the last two moves: Qa5. This would have created below:

If he played Rc8, I could take the rook, he'd take back with the queen, then I could skewer king and rook with Qg5. If he plays Rxg4, I can fork queen and king with Rc7. Moving his queen first allows Rc7 followed by the other rook taking f7 and forcing a mate. Very interesting position and am not surprised I missed it.

Sunday, 6 January 2008

Teamleague T35

My first post of 2008... I haven't played much OTB chess recently, that should change on Tuesday though as I've got a Derbyshire Individual match against Harry Ratner. I have been quite busy on FICS, playing lots of games, but unfortunately my rating is still around the 1450 level. I've been asked to join the admin team at TeamLeague for T35, on the board and as a tournament director. I think I'll enjoy it, so am looking forward to it getting started. I'll again captain KnightRiders in the U1600 section. The OCL tournament is almost at a close, my team didn't do very well, and will probably finish bottom. Was disappointed with some noshows. I've also been playing in the 90-30 mamer tournament on fics, the first few rounds were frustrating due to noshows, but it has been enjoyable in the later rounds. I haven't done much recently regarding the circles, I do some problems now and again in the book but haven't added up my progress.