Thread: Chess
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Old Mar 26, 2010, 6:00pm   #8
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Originally Posted by killcrazy View Post

please. i anotated it already so we can compare notes

OK, here's the first half. I'll need to start calculating deeply from this point on to say anything useful, but maybe this will be a good start. I've never tried to annotate a game for anyone other than myself so this was interesting (and time consuming!)
time control is 34 moves in 85mins + game/20mins,
What the hell?
1. e4 c5 Sicilian. Preparation is often more important than outright skill since so many lines are sharp and difficult to figure out over the board. It’s intimidating and is inviting a theoretical battle.
2. Nc3 Nc6 White immediately baulks and plays something hoping to transpose into less theoretical lines. Black plays a flexible move that would likely be played in a lot of systems.
3. g3 g6 Hypermodern ideas that seem to apply more logically to black’s setup than whites. White already has a clear line of development for his light bishop, and if the centre locks, he could end up with a bad bishop stuck behind pawns. Black, on the other hand, will have a very useful bishop on g7 influencing e5 and d4.
4. Bg2 Bg7Completing their ideas without being sidetracked.
5. d3 Since d4 is firmly under black’s control for the time being, white must be content with the single square advance. Allows the dark bishop freedom, at the cost of pinning the knight to c3 when the bishop takes advantage of the open diagonal
d6Black continues to play solid, flexible moves. Developing efficiently and not directly engaging white’s centre.
6. Be3 Finally contesting some of the dark central squares.
…Rb8 This is the sort of move I wouldn’t look for. I would instinctively play Nf6 and prepare to castle. Nf6 isn’t as flexible though. The rook will probably come to b8 anyways, but knowing that kc favours the dutch, f5 would be a tempting move and Nf6 obviously prevents this. Rb8 prepares for immediate queenside expansion with b5 whenever desired. It also removes any threats of tactics involving the discovery e5.
7. Qd2 My first thought was that white is looking to trade off black’s bishop, greatly weakening the king side and then taking advantage of the dark square holes around that area, or having a more even contest in the centre. This seems like a good plan in the abstract, but it is not an option while black keeps his knight on g8 (another reason why black’s flexible 6th move was superior to mindless development). d2 is a fine square for the queen regardless. Castling long would be a wild decision considering black’s ambitions on the queenside.
…b5 Black wastes no time and throws the pawn forward. Black’s pieces are coming alive, mostly bearing down on the queenside. White looks a little cramped with the blocked in light bishop, but the disadvantage is slight. Black’s threat is …b4, kicking the knight which is partially pinned to the b2 pawn and the rook on a1. Nd1 would hold things together but already black would have a large space advantage and a clear plan forward.
8. f4 (80) These moves have been played in 5 minutes, apparently. Is this a book line I’m unfamiliar with? Regardless, white choses to ignore the queenside contest to push forward with his own plan of taking space on the kingside, following a principle of chess, where you find counterplay in another area of the board. g4 has become a very inviting hole as a price for this push. The longterm plan appears to be a pawn storm to greet the black king when he castles. The knight has remained on g2 to allow this development, but it will surely be looking for an opportunity to support the attack. Both players are playing aggressively and confidently.
b4 (80) Black likewise continues with his plan, which appears to be at least a move ahead of white’s. White only one reply, Nd1. Na4 fails quickly to Qa5 and the knight is lost since b3 hangs the rook. Black can try to force the opening of the b file by means of …a5, Be6 and …a4.
9. Nd1 Any other move loses material. From here, Rb1 and a possible b3 could slow black’s queenside play while the knight could swing over to f2.
…Nd4 White no longer has the option of busting open black’s kingside with f5 since that drops a pawn. 10. Bxd4 cd and a subsequent …e4, fe de would hand black a very strong centre, the bishop pair (with white having the so called bad bishop), completely ruin white’s kingside play and gain a wide open queenside. More simply it could be met with 10…Bxd4 forcing 11.c3 bc 12. bc and then retreating the bishop ending with control over the open b file and. Ne2 would divert white from his plan and hand black the initiative if he doesn’t already have it. That leaves:
10. c3 The knight has to be dealt with somehow and the other options don’t work.
…bxc3 There is no other reasonable alternative.
11. bxc3 (74) Nxb3 and Qxb3 does not remove the offending knight and divert white’s pieces to the queenside when he wants to play on the kingside. The drawback is that black has gained what he looked for in controlling the open b file for invasion by rook and queen.
…Nb5 (72) On first glance, Nc6 looks more natural. It can’t be chased by a4 and it won’t block the b file for the rook on b8. The only thing the knight gains by being on b5 is access to a3, which prevents white from also placing a rook on the b file. If a4 is played, the knight must retreat to c7 blocking in the queen and passing the initiative back to white. From there, it will be difficult to bring the knight back into play as long as the c3 pawn continues to control b4 and white keeps his pawn on d4.
12. Rb1 (67) Trying to take advantage of black’s last move by pinning the knight and contesting control of the b file. Now c4 and a4 are threats.
…Bd7 (67) Calmly dealing with the threat and developing a bishop. Black has the option of forcing trades by …Na3. It occurs to me now that the reason for playing Nb5 instead of Nc6 might be to keep whites knight on d1 tethered to the defence of the c3 pawn, critical in limiting black’s piece activity and maintaining control of the d4 square. a4 can no longer put a stop to this though since it is en prix to the light squared bishop on d7. c4 of course defeats the purpose.
13. Ne2 Adding an extra defender to the c3 point, developing a piece, clearing the way for a kingside castle which will provide support for the f pawn advance and get the king out of the centre before it explodes. Nf3 looks more active, but it will be blocking the rook and doesn’t allow the d1 knight to get into the game.
…e6 Perhaps anticipating an impending f5 push. This will allow black to keep his kingside relatively intact and provide a refuge for his king. It also allows the king’s knight to develop. 13…Nf6? would lead to 14.e5 de 15. fe Ng8 (…Ng4 16.h3 Nh6 17. Bxh6 Bxh6 18. Qxh6 just drops a knight with no compensation at all) 16. Bf4 and black is in trouble. Black is right to maintain tension on the b3 point and shun a3 for now.
14. O-O Puts the rook behind the attacking pawns, though it’s unclear if perhaps the rook will belong on the h file after all. At any rate, white can feel more confident in creating central breaks now that his king is slightly more tucked away.
…Ne7 As discussed above, …Nf6 would have been a blunder. This move further dissuades white from playing f5, which seems to be white’s only immediate plan. The kingside castle is prepared in case white tries anything in the centre before the king can escape.
15. d4 (57) Castling often foreshadows central play. Here, white attempts to resolve the issue of his b3 pawn, and get his plans moving before black can find a way to make progress on the queenside.
…cxd4 (60) To not exchange drops a pawn.
16. cxd4 Nxd4 is playable because the tactic 16…Nxd4 discovery on the rook is met easily by 17. Rxb8 Qxb8 and then white has his choice of recapturing methods, likely cxd4 anyways. 16.cxd4 has the advantage of keeping 2 pawn islands instead of 3, not having an isolated pawn on the open c file and maintaining a formidable centre with pawns on f4, e4 and d4.
…O-O White has built a very strong centre, and if he chooses to advance it, black would not want an uncastled king.
17. Nf2 Freed from the burden of guarding b3, white reroutes his knight to the kingside to support his designs over there, leaving black to play on the vacant queenside if he wishes.
…Na3 The d4 pawn is unassailable anyways, bolstered as it is by 3 white pieces. It is also blocking whites dark bishop from coming to d4 and threatening to exchange off black’s dark bishop, which is very undesirable. After the inevitable exchange of rooks, black will be threatening to play Nc4 forcing the exchange of knight for dark squared bishop which will greatly assist in the defence of his kingside in the event white gets anything going over there.
18. Rxb8 The simplest reply to resolve any tension on the queenside.18. Rc8 also looks playable.
…Qxb8 Obviously.
19. Qc3 (40) White must still prevent Nc4. 19. Qc1 needlessly retreats the queen to a less involved square on a file open to harassment by a black rook. 19.Qd3 allows black annoying moves like 19…Bb5 20.Qxa3 Bxe2 21.Re1 Bc4 and black has an excellent bishop on c4 which is causing trouble for the white rook which wants to support the f pawn push but now can’t. Also, the queen will be stuck baby sitting the a2 pawn. This would hand black the initiative.
…Nb5 (44) No other option.
20. Qd3 Well centralized and available to keep an eye on the b5 knight.
…Qd8 (35) Black uses up almost a quarter of his clock trying to find a move. And indeed it is not easy. There is really nothing to play for on the queenside anymore. The centre and the kingside is where the action will be, so shifting his pieces in that direction makes sense. White’s kingside play is not coming so quickly, however. Black has a very solid and flexible structure and white will have to smash every pawn he has against black to generate real complications.
21. a4 White has an interesting try available to him: he can give up his central dominance in exchange for an outside passed pawn by …Nc7 22. Qa3 Bc6 23. d5 ed 24. ed Nc7xd5 25. Bxa7. Without this line, I don’t like this move. Black’s knight on b5 is not doing anything useful as it is. This simply gives black an easy target. White should be working to advance his plans on the kingside and the centre, not giving black counterplay on the queenside.
…Nc7 Possibly a better square anyways.
22. Qa3 (32) Not even a substantial threat. Perhaps hoping black will make a mistake by playing d5. The white queen is now stuck guarding white’s a pawn. Hardly the best use of her majesty.
…Bc6 (31) 22…d5?! would be a mistake as it allows white to lock black down with 23.e5, and ugly situation for black to be in. However, because of the line discussed above, I think Be8 might be better since it will not give black the temp he needs to win the a pawn by chasing the bishop on c6. This move might be giving up too more space to white than preventing white from obtaining an outside passed pawn is worth though. I’m not sure what the correct evaluation of this is.
23. Bd2?! White misses a good try and instead looks to be shifting his pieces to the queenside.
…d5 preventing the line discussed above, but accepting white’s option of playing e5 and greatly constricting black’s game.
24. Bb4 Putting his bishop on a useful diagonal with tempo but giving up designs on the kingside for now, it seems.
…Re8 Forced
25. Rc1 White apparently decided back on move 21 that he had nothing to do with all of his strength on the kingside and centre, and has generated very rapid play on the queenside. The game has become much more interesting. Black now has some material to work with. I think it would have been better for white to try to slowly increase pressure on the kingside and let black run his clock down trying to find a productive plan on his own.
…Bb7Clearing the square for the e7 night to hop to, which will snap off white’s queen-bishop battery. Black’s pieces are starting to unwind.
We will die so gloriously that ever having lived will seem like folly. ~ Comeau
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