Thursday, June 23, 2011

Opponent vs SirIvanhoe - Team 4545 League Play

Joust enough for a draw

I drew the black pieces for round 6 of the T49 tournament and decided to try the Caro-Kann again against my opponent, especially as he had recently played the Classical Variation at least twice, and I rather fancied that. I was delighted when my c6 was met with a standard d4, but was surprised when my opponent offered the Advance Variation, not only because I knew he had played the Classical Variation, but also because I had played the Advance Variation twice before in this season earning a win and a draw, a fact which I expected that my opponent might have discovered. But the good news for me was that I was comfortable with the line and was ready to play. My team already had one loss against it in the round and needed to score 2 points in the last 3 games to assure a playoff berth. Check out the game score with my analysis below.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Sir Ivanhoe vs Opponent - Team 4545 League Play

Round 5 of T49 has found the Knights of Ni in a position to win a playoff spot with any match points earned in the last 2 rounds of regular play. My teammate had been thwarted in our first game of the round, so I especially had an incentive to pitch hard for a win in my matchup.

Knights Duelling, by Eugène Delacroix

I thought that I might try and offer an Urusov Gambit via Ponziani's 3.d4 in the Bishop's Opening for the first time in slow play and put up with Two Knights Defense lines if my opponent went that way. I had observed that my opponent was practicing Philidor lines against 1.e4 in recent games, so I made a point of researching and analyzing positions involving setups with d6, especially the night before the game.

I was rewarded with 3... d6, a move which I knew to be a mistake and that I knew how to take advantage of. But having secured extra material, I was reminded that league players usually play their toughest when they are down material. And so I kept my eye open for another tactical opportunity, hoping to avoid a long slog through an endgame.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Nakamura Blitzes the ICC

GM Hikaru Nakamura got online in Madrid, Spain to claim the win and the $600 top prize at the 1st ICC Open from June 3-5, 2011. Check out the link for results and PGNs.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Timely Tactic #11 - SirIvanhoe vs. Opponent

This position is from my latest game in the Team4545 league. My opponent has just played 42... Qf6 blocking the check, probably the only move that doesn't lead immediately to a forced mating line. To be sure, White has an overwhelming advantage here. But of course, it doesn't matter if you don't know how to execute the win. What single motif tactic is the best move in this position?

You can see the full game score after the break.