Saturday, 19 July 2008

Round 7 versus Bert

In round 7 last Tuesday I was initially scheduled to play Harry Ratner, but since he didn't appear, organiser Bert Loomes took his place instead. It was a very interesting game, which I could probably spend hours analysing. It was very tight at the start, but then burst open with lots of tactical opportunities. I would have been happy with the draw initially, as I think I've always lost to him previously, but should really have won the game with the chances I had.

He played the Philidor defence, which looks to me as somewhat defensive for black, and blocks his own pieces in. So I tried to play positive and attacking, developing my pieces to good squares. It looks like I should have taken his pawn on e5 early on, as it would make the pawn that he takes back with very vulnerable. Below is the position before my 13th move.

I struggled for a while to come up with any ideas. I thought about Nh4, but saw that he could play Nxe4 leaving a discovered attack on h4. So I dismissed it, thought about other stuff, reconsidered Nh4, and played it forgetting what I'd only just thought about!

I was very lucky in that white is actually attacking the d6 pawn with his knight if black takes the h4 knight, which then leads to a fork of king and b7 bishop. He actually played 14...Bxd5 leaving the position below.

I rightly spotted Ba5 which attacks both the queen and d5 bishop, leading to a great position, even though the h4 knight is still undefended. When he played Nb6, I should have just taken it as I would still have the same advantage. But I picked the moves in the wrong order, and played Qxd5 instead. I was lucky in that he took back with his bishop after we swapped queens, as it lead to the position below:

I can now play Bxb5 because of the undefended rook. After he then moved his king, I missed the obvious bishop fork on c6, I was too worried about moving the h4 knight to safety. After that I threw away more of my advantage by not playing simply and safely, looking for tactics where there weren't any.

I managed to keep a pawn advantage going into a rook endgame, but didn't really have any strategy on how to force a win. I was trying to push a passed pawn, but he was able to defend against it easily. I should have got my king involved more, but kept putting it off. We swapped off rooks and it was a very drawish 2 pawns each endgame. I offered a draw in the position below but he wanted to play on.

He played e3, which was in fact a big blunder but I didn't take advantage of it. I played Kf1 to stop his pawn, but the possible winning move would have been f4, as I could still take his pawn later, and would have a pawn advantage. There would still be plenty of work to do, but would have had better chances.

Anyway I ended up with pawn against king, but had no chance of winning due to losing the opposition.



Pete said...

Thanks for posting the game Dean, I enjoy following them. I found this one really interesting. I put the game into fritz and choose which move I would play before looking to see which fritz chose or you played... I missed the same winning moves too! lol. Good luck for your next game in the final round.

Dean said...

Thanks Pete. You had a good win against Nathan, I only saw the last few moves when you were up a queen. Your game the week before looked interesting, you had two passed pawns and a queen against a bishop and queen. I would be interested to know if you missed any winning chances? I felt sorry for you as you were short on time, and had a certain someone talking loudly next to you which I know is very distracting.

Pete said...

Yes, I really enjoyed my game against Mick Orridge. Even though I lost it was a really exciting game. Mick is a nice opponent to play and he played some great moves. Unfortunately we both stopped writing down our moves at around move 50 so I'll never know if I missed any chances in the end game. I didn't notice anybody talking loudly and wasn't distracted - luckily, when I am in a game and deep in thought I am often completely oblivious to everything going on around me.

Congratulations to you for increasing your rating by 10! All your effort doing the 'circles' seems to be paying off.