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Old July 27th 04, 07:05 AM
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Default Feedback on a Tarrasch, U1200

Hey there. I'm looking for a critique of my thinking in the following
game. First I'll give an unannotated PGN, then follows long
commentary. It's mostly whether the commentary is right or not that
I'm looking for, but anything that helps my game in any way is good,
too.

[Event "Practice Game"]
[Site "Abington USA"]
[Date "2004.07.20"]
[Round "2"]
[White "Sigma Chess 5.1.3"]
[Black "Frazier, Glenn M"]
[Result "0-1"]
[WhiteElo "1300"]
[BlackElo "1166"]
[ECO "D34"]
[Opening "Queen's G-D, Tarrasch, Prague V, 9.Bg5"]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 c5 4. cxd5 exd5 5. Nc3 Nc6 6. g3 Nf6
7. Bg2 Be7 8. O-O O-O 9. Bg5 c4 10. Ne5 Be6 11. f4 Qb6
12. Nxc6 bxc6 13. f5 Bc8 14. Na4 Qb4 15. a3 Qb5 16. e4 Re8
17. exd5 cxd5 18. Nc3 Qxb2 19. Nxd5 Bb7 20. Rb1 Qxg2+
21. Kxg2 Bxd5+ 22. Kh3 Bxa3 23. Bxf6 gxf6 24. Re1 Rec8 25. Qg4+ Kf8
26. Qf4 c3 27. Qh6+ Kg8 28. Rb5 c2 29. Rxd5 c1=Q 30. Rxc1 Bxc1
31. Qxf6 a5 32. Rd7 Rf8 33. Kg4 a4 34. d5 a3 35. Rc7 Bb2
36. Qg5+ Kh8 37. Qd2 Rfb8 38. Rxf7 a2 39. Qh6 Rg8+ 40. Kf3 Bg7
41. Rxg7 Rxg7 42. Qc1 a1=Q 43. Qxa1 Rxa1 44. d6 Ra4 45. Ke3 Rf7
46. g4 Rxg4 47. Kf3 Ra4 48. Ke3 Rxf5 49. d7 Rd5 50. Kf3 Rxd7
51. h4 Rd3+ 52. Ke2 Rh3 53. Kf1 Ra2 54. Kg1 Rd3 55. h5 Rd1# 0-1

Sigma Chess's prefs were set to make it play at about 1300 ELO, and
ExaChess 3.1 Pro was used as an interface, giving Sigma a specially
prepared opening book. Time control was a straight 40/60. This is part
of a series of "practice" games against computers at long time
controls, in preparation for my return to tournament play after a
three-year hiatus.

1 d4 d5
2 c4 e6
3 Nf3 c5
4 cxd5 exd5
5 Nc3 Nc6
6 g3 Nf6
7 Bg2 Be7
8 0-0 0-0
9 Bg5 c4
10 Ne5 Be6
11 f4 Qb6

11 ... Nxe5 Is a more "normal" approach in this position, according to
books and databases. 12 dxe5 d4 13 exf6 gxf6 14 Bh6 dxc3 15 bxc3 Qb6+
16 e3 (16 Kh1 Rfd8 17 Qc2 Bd5 Rubinstein-Perlis, St. Petersburg 1909.)
16 ... Qxe3+ 17 Kh1 Rfd8 18 Qh5 f5 19 Bg5 Qc5 Z. Azmaiparashvili - S.
Lputian, USSR 1980.

12 Nxc6 bxc6
13 f5

My plan to begin with focused on building a Queenside attack involving
the pusing of one or the other of my doubled c-pawns. The question is
if I will get enough breathing room to marshall all my pieces for it
without my back ranks getting to muddled.

13 ... Bc8
14 Na4 Qb4
15 a3 Qb5
16 e4 Re8
17 exd5 cxd5
18 Nc3

At this point I took a very long think, burning more than half of my
remaining time: when a computer offers tactical complications like the
ones coming up, do you accept? Or do you try to throw sand on the
fire? Sigma Chess, my opponent, was stopped down to about an ELO of
1300 and so was far from infallible, but I'm a lowly USCF 1166, so
quieting things down was yet a big temptation.

18 ... Qxb2!?

I accepted. The big worry up front was the revealed attack against my
Rook on a8 combined with the fact that the White Knight from d5 will
have two different captures that will occur with check, and so allow
no in between moves on my part.

19 Nxd5

White had many other captures that could have started the furball, but
this one was best, and also most interesting.

19 Bxf6 Bxf6 20 Nxd5 (20 Rc1 Bb7 =/+; 20 Bxd5 Qxc3! 21 Bxa8 Bxd4+ 22
Kh1 Qxa1! 23 Qxa1 Bxa1 24 Rxa1 Bxf5 25 Bd5 c3 -/+) 20 ... Bxd4+ 21 Kh1
Qxa1! 22 Qxa1 Bxa1 23 Nc7 (23 Rxa1 Rb8 -+) 23 ... Re3 24 Bxa8 Bb2 and
the two Bishops together with the extra pawn are very good for Black.;
19 Bxd5? Nxd5 20 Nxd5 (20 Bxe7? Nxc3) 20 ... Bxg5 -+

19 ... Bb7?

Always recheck your calculations! I had spent a very long time
puzzling through this knot of exchanges before making move 18, so much
that I was worried about my clock already! So on move nineteen I just
gave the board a quick glance to confirm my existing calculations.

19 ... Nxd5 20 Bxd5 Bxg5! This was the strong move I completely
missed. It simultaneously threatens Be3+ and also Re2, putting immense
pressure on White's open King position. 21 Rb1 (21 Bxa8 Re2! 22 Rb1
Be3+ 23 Rf2 (23 Kh1?? Rxh2++) 23 ... Qa2 24 Rb8 Bxf2+ and the Rook
comes back having earned interest.) 21 ... Be3+ 22 Kh1 Qxd4 23 Bxa8
Bxf5 (23 ... Qxd1 24 Rfxd1 Bxf5 and Black is more than compensated or
the Rook at a8.) 24 Qxd4 Bxd4 25 Rxf5 Rxa8 and for the Rook, I have a
Bishop and two pawns, including one advanced passed pawn.

20 Rb1

All else looks to come out about even, or even worse for White, but
this move of course skewers a prize for the computer.

20 Nxe7+ Rxe7 21 Bxb7 comes out even.;
20 Bxf6 Bxd5 21 Rf2;
20 Nxf6+ Bxf6 and White is in real trouble.

20 ... Qxg2+!

I have to admit that part of the motivation here was the interesting
prospect of trying to cobble together compensation for the Queen out
of a hodgpodge of lesser material plus outside passed pawn threats.
From here, it looked to me a bit desperate for Black, but also very
satisfying in its imbalances.

20 ... Qxa3 21 Nxe7+ Rxe7 22 Bxf6 gxf6 23 Qg4+ Kh8 24 Rxb7 Qe3+ 25 Kh1
is a little less hairy, but also not as strong a try, I think.

21 Kxg2 Bxd5+
22 Kh3 Bxa3
23 Bxf6 gxf6
24 Re1 Rec8

24 ... Be4?? 25 Qg4+

25 Qg4+

Which way to go?

25 ... Kf8

25 ... Kh8 looked reasonable because the White King is penned into a
little box by my sniper on d5. With Kh8 the way is cleared to bring my
Rooks into that region via the g-file. However, my longer-term plan at
this point was focused on making my two passed pawns as
valuable/irritating as possible, as quickly as possible, in order to
prove compensation for the Queen. For that, I need my rooks on the
queenside.

26 Qf4 c3
27 Qh6+ Kg8
28 Rb5 c2

This whole game is about compensation for material.

29 Rxd5 c1=Q
30 Rxc1 Bxc1
31 Qxf6

So that's two pawns and a Bishop for a Rook. By the book, it's even,
but on a bet I'd prefer White's position without much doubt. Still,
there's a good bit of play left in my own position.

31 ... a5
32 Rd7 Rf8
33 Kg4 a4
34 d5?

34 Qc6 Be3 (34 ... Bb2 35 f6 a3 36 Qd5 h6 37 Rxf7 Rxf7 38 Qxa8+ and
it's all over for Black.; 34 ... a3? 35 Qxc1 a2 36 f6! Kh8 (36 ...
a1=Q?? 37 Qg5+ Kh8 38 Qg7++) 37 Qa1) 35 Qd5 and then what do I have?

34 ... a3
35 Rc7?

Can computers be said to have "lost the thread"? The last two moves
seem to totally ignore the general principles involved here. If I were
White, I'd first focus on shutting down black's only real weapon, and
then afterwards dispatch the opponent with superior firepower. Letting
the a-pawn march and, more seriously, giving up control of the
critical a1-h8 diag, just doesn't cut it. 35 ...
35 Qa1 a2 (35 ... Bb2 36 Qa2 is not as good because the White Q sits
on a light square, immune to shoving from the Black B.) 36 Rb7 Rfd8
and Black strives to maneuver the Bishop to d4.

35 ... Bb2

escaping the Rook, attacking the Queen, controlling the queening
square, protecting the King's broken castle, all while controlling the
long diagonal. A very happy square for my Bishop, all in all.

36 Qg5+ Kh8

36 ... Bg7?? 37 f6 and mate is inevitable.

37 Qd2 Rfb8

In this case, the compensation is easier to predict.

38 Rxf7 a2
39 Qh6??

39 f6 Bxf6 40 Qc2 (40 Rxf6 a1=Q and the material tables are turned
decisively.) 40 ... Rg8+ 41 Kh3 Rg7 42 Rf8+ Rxf8 43 Qxa2 By the old
formula, material is even, but now the imbalances favor Black, I
think. The situation looks a bit like a bear being pulled down by a
wolf pack.

39 ... Rg8+!
40 Kf3 Bg7

Time control was 40/60. We both just barely made it, I, because I
burnt so much time considering tactics at the beginning of the
complications twenty-some moves in, White because it just methodically
banged out moves at just the "right" pace, it being a piece of
software.

41 Rxg7?

White looks lost either way, but this just seems to hasten things
without reason. 41 Qc1 a1=Q

41 ... Rxg7
42 Qc1 a1=Q
43 Qxa1?!

I think I would have kept the Queens on were I White in this position,
but I'm an U1200 player, so maybe I don't understand something.

43 ... Rxa1
44 d6 Ra4

The White King is cut off and the rest of the game is clockwork
technique. Still, Sigma Chess doesn't resign, it seems, so I'll
happily practice the Rook dance to the end.

45 Ke3 Rf7
46 g4 Rxg4
47 Kf3 Ra4
48 Ke3 Rxf5
49 d7 Rd5
50 Kf3 Rxd7
51 h4 Rd3+
52 Ke2 Rh3
53 Kf1 Ra2
54 Kg1 Rd3
55 h5 Rd1++ 0-1

Comments are deeply appreciated!
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