Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Howards Way

Last night I played Howard in the club championship, I'd played him a few weeks ago with the same colours in the Derbyshire Individual, so was wishing I'd studied that game beforehand. He doesn't think much of the way I play against the Sicilian, but it's all I know really and I don't think it's unsound. Where I'm going wrong is more middle game planning & tactics as far as I can see so won't worry too much about the opening for now.

[Event "Spondon Club Championship 2007/08"]
[Date "2008.04.29"]
[White "Dean Madden"]
[Black "Howard Bradbury"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B50"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. g3 Nc6 4. Bg2 Bg4 5. h3 Bh5 6. g4 Bg6 7. d3 e5 8. O-O Be7 9. Nc3 Nf6 10. Bg5 Nd7 11. Bxe7 Nxe7 12. b3 f6 13. Qd2 O-O 14. Nb5 Nb6 15. a4 a6 16. Nc3 Bf7 17. Rfb1 d5 18. Rd1 Qc7 19. Rac1 dxe4 20. Nxe4 Rad8 21. Qc3 Rc8 22. Nfd2 Nbd5 23. Qb2 Nf4 24. Re1 Nxg2 25. Kxg2 Ng6 26. Kh2 Bd5 27. f3 f5 28. Ng3 fxg4 29. hxg4 Qe7 30. Rf1 Qh4+ 31. Kg2 Nf4+ 32. Kf2 Qh2+ 33. Ke3 Qxg3 34. c4 Bc6 35. Ne4 Bxe4 36. dxe4 Rcd8 37. Rcd1 Rxd1 38. Rxd1 Ng2+ 0-1

I'm quite pleased with how I played the first h of the game, I was thinking clearly and had lots of plans during the game instead of aimlessly moving about, and was recognising his threats.

By move 23 he had got a strong knight on f4 (below), I think this shows the power of controlling the centre.

This weakened my kingside greatly, and he was able to launch a big attack that picked up a knight and left me with the position below to which I resigned:

Tuesday, 29 April 2008

CTS current rating

I've decided on making Chess Tactics Server part of my official training, not sure on how I'll monitor it, but it's just something I enjoy doing now and then, it's very easy to just open it up and do a few problems. My current ratings etc are below. I don't think I'm really rated around 1163, but this just reflects the fact that I play quite slowly, if I can speed up a bit it will help my game I think.

Rating 1163
RD 57.4
Tries 829
Success 71.2 %
Highest rating 1181
Date of highest rating 2007-12-08 21:26:03
Latest action 2008-04-28 21:46:20

Looking back at some older posts, my rating is slowly rising, what I hope to get out of it is speed in recognising the basic motifs, whereas my circles training will focus on slightly more difficult problems.

Rating 1105
RD 51.1
Tries 583
Success 71.4 %
Highest rating 1146
Date of highest rating 2007-10-06 22:09:59
Latest action 2007-10-18 22:11:55

Rating 1100
RD 39.2
Tries 290
Success 70.7 %
Highest rating 1100
Date of highest rating 2007-08-12 12:09:55
Latest action 2007-08-12 12:09:55

Update: I've been on a bit of a roll and have got it up to 1215, hopefully this reflects the improvements I've made in my game in the last 6 months or so.

Monday, 28 April 2008

Getting back into the circles

I'm about to continue with the circles, after I put it on hold for a couple of months. I'd got through 136 problems, with about 50% accuracy. So that seems as good enough a point to start on circle 2. I realise the classic way of doing the circles was to do the whole thousand problems in one go, but it seems the alternative way of doing mini-sets works quite good as well. So will see how quickly I can go through the 136 again, and how accurately, then decide on whether to do another circle of the same problems or try another set. As I'm doing the problems from a book, I tend to just do them on lunch breaks etc, when I'm on the pc at home I prefer to use Chess Tactics Server, which I think complements the circles well. Good luck to the fellow knights who have joined during my temporary hiatus.

Sunday, 27 April 2008

Catching up with the blogs

I'd taken a break from reading chess blogs for a while, but am now catching up with what I missed, thanks to Bloglines keeping a list of them. More bloggers are now posting video clips, analysing games and books etc. There are a bunch of good ones at Barnet Elizabethans Chess Club, and also BDK has posted reviews of all his books, starting here.

There's a good write-up of a players experiences playing in Moscow here, here and here.

Saturday, 26 April 2008


Last night I played for Spondon 'D' in our last game of the season against West Notts 'C'. This was a crucial game to decide which of us would win a promotion place to Division 3. Luckily for us, two of our opponents didn't turn up, so we knew we were getting promotion after half an hour. Whether this will actually happen though is a bit confusing in that Spondon 'C' may well be swapping places with ourselves, so we might actually stay where we are.

[Event "Derby League Division 4"]
[Date "2008.04.25"]
[White "Michael Zhang, West Notts 'C'"]
[Black "Dean Madden, Spondon 'D'"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B01"]

1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Qxd5 3. Nc3 Qa5 4. d3 c6 5. Bd2 Qc7 6. g3 Nf6 7. Bg2 Bf5 8. Nge2 e6 9. O-O Be7 10. Re1 O-O 11. Nd4 Bg6 12. Be3 Nbd7 13. Qe2 Rfe8 14. Bf4 Qb6 15. Nxe6 fxe6 16. Qxe6+ Bf7 17. Qh3 Qxb2 18. Ne4 Rad8 19. Ng5 h6 20. Nxf7 Kxf7 21. Rab1 Qxc2 22. Rxb7 Bc5 23. Be3 Bxe3 24. fxe3 Qxd3 25. Bxc6 Rxe3 26. Rf1 Ke8 27. Bxd7+ Rxd7 28. Rb3 Qd4 29. Rxe3+ Qxe3+ 30. Kh1 Qe2 31. Qg2 Qxg2+ 32. Kxg2 Rd2+ 33. Rf2 Ne4 34. Rxd2 Nxd2 35. Kf2 Ke7 36. Ke3 Nf1+ 0-1

Anyway, I had a good win against Michael Zhang, graded 90. I played a pretty standard Scandinavian opening. On move 14 he'd just played Bf4.

I don't know why I missed e5, I didn't consider it at all, was too preoccupied with Qb6. After I played that he made his fatal mistake of playing Nxe6, I'm not sure exactly what he was aiming for, but it looks like he miscalculated the sacrifice.

There were some hairy moments after this but I eventually managed to force the extra knight advantage to a win. I concentrated on playing simple safe chess, as I'd learnt from experience that I could still throw it away with all the power that was still left on the board.

I was a bit nervous of what I'd need to do in a knight & pawns v pawns endgame, but needn't have worried.

Sunday, 20 April 2008

Nottingham Congress 2008

This weekend I played in the minor section of the Nottingham Congress. It was five rounds of 36 moves in 90mins plus 15mins to finish. I ended up with two wins and three losses, was hoping for a little bit more, but judging against my opponents grades I did better than would be expected.

I enjoyed the experience, they had to stop any more entries due to so many people entering, about 150. Round 1 I played against David Scorer, graded 92. I only lasted 23 moves.

[Event "Nottinghamshire Congress Minor 2008"]
[Date "2008.04.19"]
[Round "1"]
[White "David Scorer"]
[Black "Dean Madden"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "E67"]

1. Nf3 Nf6 2. g3 g6 3. Bg2 Bg7 4. O-O d6 5. d4 O-O 6. c4 Nbd7 7. Nc3 e5 8. dxe5 dxe5 9. e4 Re8 10. Qc2 c6 11. b3 Qc7 12. Bb2 Nc5 13. Rad1 Nh5 14. b4 Na6 15. a3 f5 16. exf5 Bxf5 17. Qc1 e4 18. Nd4 Bxd4 19. Rxd4 Nf6 20. Qg5 Kg7 21. Nxe4 Bxe4 22. Rxe4 Rxe4 23. Qxf6+ 1-0

I could have hung on a bit longer if I'd played 21...Qe7 below.

Round two I played young Tobias Stables. Although he resigned after 11 moves, he had me worried early on after playing a move I hadn't seen before against the Fried Liver.

[Event "Nottinghamshire Congress Minor"]
[Date "2008.04.19"]
[Round "2"]
[White "Dean Madden"]
[Black "Tobias Stables"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C57"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. Ng5 Bc5 5. Nxf7 Bxf2+ 6. Kxf2 Nxe4+ 7. Ke3 Qh4 8. Qf3 d5 9. Bxd5 Bg4 10. Qxe4 Nd4 11. Qxe5+ 1-0

When he played 4...Bc5 (below), I had to do a lot of thinking as to whether to still play Nxf7 as I expected Bxf2+ afterwards which would lead to a wild game.

I rightly decided to play the move, and he indeed sacrificed his bishop. His big mistake was playing 9...Bg4 below, it's easy to overlook that the knight on e4 is no longer protected.

Round 3 I played Gary Hopkinson, graded 83.

[Event "Nottingham Congress 2008 Minor section"]
[Date "2008.04.19"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Gary Hopkinson"]
[Black "Dean Madden"]
[Result "1-0"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. Bg5 e6 3. f3 h6 4. Bh4 Be7 5. e4 O-O 6. Bd3 d5 7. e5 Nfd7 8. Bxe7 Qxe7 9. Qd2 Qh4+ 10. g3 Qe7 11. Nc3 a6 12. Nge2 Nc6 13. a3 b5 14. b4 Nb6 15. O-O Rd8 16. Qe3 Bb7 17. f4 Rd7 18. f5 f6 19. fxe6 Qxe6 20. Bf5 Qe7 21. Bxd7 Nxd7 22. Nxd5 1-0

He played the Trompowsky against my Kings Indian, something I remembered reading about but what I'd totally forgotten how to play against. I made it up and didn't do too bad in the opening. But by move 20 he'd skewered my queen against a rook and I resigned shortly after as the position was a mess.

Round 5 I had a good win against Dorothy Blampied, graded 57. I was very pleased with the Kings Indian Attack working for once like I intend it to. I had loads of pressure kingside and was able to get a few pawns advantage and convert it to a win.

[Event "Nottingham Congress 2008 Minor"]
[Date "2008.04.20"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Dean Madden"]
[Black "Dorothy Blampied"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B50"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. g3 Nc6 4. Bg2 e5 5. O-O Nf6 6. d3 h6 7. Nbd2 Be7 8. Nh4 O-O 9. Nc4 Na5 10. Ne3 Re8 11. Nef5 Bf8 12. f4 Nc6 13. fxe5 dxe5 14. c3 b6 15. Qf3 Ba6 16. Nxh6+ gxh6 17. Qxf6 Qxf6 18. Rxf6 Re6 19. Rxe6 fxe6 20. c4 Nd4 21. Bd2 Kg7 22. Rf1 Rd8 23. Rf2 Bd6 24. Nf3 Rf8 25. Nxd4 Rxf2 26. Nxe6+ Kf6 27. Kxf2 Kxe6 28. Bxh6 Kf6 29. Be3 Bc8 30. h3 Kg6 31. g4 Be7 32. Kg3 Bg5 33. Bxg5 Kxg5 34. h4+ Kg6 35. Bh3 1-0

Round 6 I lost to junior Robert Bowler, who plays very fast but very well, graded 83. I tried the same thing as in the previous game, but the board got very tight and locked up. In the late middle game he played much better, and I couldn't do anything to stop him breaking through.

[Event "Nottingham Congress 2008 Minor"]
[Date "2008.04.20"]
[Round "5"]
[White "Dean Madden"]
[Black "Robert Bowler"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "A05"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. g3 Nc6 4. Bg2 g6 5. O-O Bg7 6. d3 Nf6 7. Nbd2 O-O 8. Re1 Qc7 9. c3 Ng4 10. h3 Nge5 11. Nf1 Nxf3+ 12. Qxf3 Bd7 13. Ne3 e6 14. Qe2 b5 15. Bd2 a5 16. Rab1 Rab8 17. f4 Rfe8 18. c4 b4 19. a3 Nd4 20. Qf2 b3 21. Bc3 a4 22. Nd1 Nc2 23. Rf1 Nd4 24. g4 Bc6 25. f5 exf5 26. exf5 Ne2+ 27. Kh1 Bxg2+ 28. Qxg2 Qb7 29. Qxb7 Rxb7 30. Kg2 Nxc3 31. Nxc3 Bxc3 32. bxc3 Re2+ 33. Rf2 Rbe7 34. Rbf1 R7e3 35. fxg6 fxg6 36. g5 Rxf2+ 37. Rxf2 Rxd3 38. Re2 Rxc3 39. Re8+ Kf7 40. Rb8 Rc2+ 41. Kf3 Rxc4 42. Rb7+ Ke6 0-1