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Garvinator
04-07-2008, 12:24 AM
Played this 'game' last night and had no idea what I was doing. From looking over the game with Rybka opening book that Jacob was only in opening book and I did not have a clue what I was doing, except for trying to make it up as I went along, which did not last long.

I can not provide much in the way of commentary for some of my moves as I was just guessing after spending a few minutes trying to work out what to do.

Event: 2008 Winter Swiss
Site: ?
Date: 2008.07.03
Round: 1.1
White: Edwards, Jacob
Black: Gray, Garvin
Result: 1-0
ECO: B50
WhiteElo: 2061
BlackElo: 1278
PlyCount: 35
TimeControl: 0

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. c3 Nf6 4. Be2 e6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 O-O 7. Bf1 Nc6 8. d4 cxd4 9. cxd4 Bd7 10. Nc3 Rc8 11. Bf4 Nh5 12. Be3 Nf6 13. d5 exd5 14. exd5 Ne5 15. Nxe5 dxe5 16. d6 Ba4 17. dxe7 Qxd1 18. exf8=Q+ 1-0

It is these type of games that make me question the usefulness of the first round of monster open swiss tournaments.

Southpaw Jim
04-07-2008, 09:52 AM
Do you normally play Sicilian setups? Were you aiming for a particular system? (it looks like a Schev setup to me)

To my INexpert opinion, apart from not seeing the potential attack on the d-file, you wasted a tempo with Nh5, when generally (I may be wrong about this) you should be preparing the thematic Sicilian Q-side attack (ie Rc8 was probably correct). All Nh5 did was push the B to an equally effective square (IMHO) while moving your N twice.

Loss of tempo thus gave White a strong initiative in the centre. IIRC, there's a general rule about not attacking on the flank while the centre is still fluid/unresolved. In my limited experience, with most Sicilian variations one tempo can be the difference between a game and a beat-up.

More experienced players can no doubt give you better commentary though :)

Aaron Guthrie
04-07-2008, 10:22 AM
If you want the ideas of the opening, a quick way to figure that out is do a search for games by strong players in this opening. Then quickly look through 10-15 of them, just to see how they develop and such.

If you want to know why it exploded so badly, well Ne5 was obviously death, but you don't need me to tell you that. After Na5 you might be losing the a pawn (but b6!?), but it's not death right away. And the reason Na5 ends up possibly losing the a pawn is just cause of Nh5-Nf6 sequence. And the reason you played that, I guess, is because you are worried about e5. But that isn't such a big deal. If you allow it, you can just play Nd5 (*not* de5 first). The general principle is don't over-react to threats. (But then, you don't want to under react ether ala Ne5 type moves.)

Rincewind
04-07-2008, 10:29 AM
IMHO I think 4.e6 was a dangerously passive move which doesn't seem very effective to me. With c3 sicilians white will be looking to play d4 and then exchange with the c-pawn to keep pawns on e4 and d4 with a strong centre. 4.e6 didn't do much to prevent that and at the same time limited the range of your bishop. A more reliable plan would be to play 4.g6 with the idea to set up a dragon like position. White is likely (but not necessarily) to continue with the king-side castling plans so you can avoid a lot of nasty lines in the dragon where white plays o-o-o. The other advantage of the ...g6 ...Bg7 plan is that after the exchange on d4 you are hitting the pawn with your bishop so white has to defend that pawn one extra time which will occupy his pieces a little more. The B on g7 is also useful if you get to open things up on th Q-side as Jim suggested.

There are other options this is just my suggestion. But in general, if you play the sicilian as black then you need to have thought about c3.

Garvinator
04-07-2008, 03:32 PM
A few thoughts from the game (so with no after game book analysis).

It was Be2 that I had not seen before. Was aware of why white plays c3, in general terms to white can advance d4 and take with the c3 pawn, getting a strong e4/d4 centre.

Considered 4... g6, but have seen quite a few games with c3 sicilians and resulting in french type structures, so did not like the idea of the bishop on g7 with an e5/d4 pawn chain. Was not happy when looking up databases last night to see that g6 is the main book move (from my Rybka database). Just another example of me having the correct move in my list of candidates and rejecting it for the wrong reasons.

Yes I do play Sicilian set-ups, it was the early combination of Be2, Nf3 and c3 that caught me unawares and the knowledge that I was not only travelling 800 points upstream, but was playing on my opponents territory.

Mangafranga- so are you advising that I whip out a few sicilian theory books mid game. I wonder if that is illegal :hmm: as I am an arbiter as well as a bit player.

On the general side of the game and play in general. A regular habit of mine is when deciding between candidate moves to play, I do have the best move as part of them, but I reject it (insert one of many reasons here, the reason vary of course).

I have wondered if this is a general problem to most players, or something that only a few suffer with. It is certainly frustrating cause I at least saw the move on the board, instead of lacking complete board vision.

Southpaw Jim
04-07-2008, 04:11 PM
I wonder if that is illegal :hmm: as I am an arbiter as well as a bit player.
Well, who's going to argue with the arbiter?! :D :eek:


On the general side of the game and play in general. A regular habit of mine is when deciding between candidate moves to play, I do have the best move as part of them, but I reject it (insert one of many reasons here, the reason vary of course).

I have wondered if this is a general problem to most players, or something that only a few suffer with. It is certainly frustrating cause I at least saw the move on the board, instead of lacking complete board vision.
I do this all the time too. I think it's probably just a lack of experience in assessing positions - stronger players do this better. I don't think it's an uncommon thing for players of our level.

The only thing I'd suggest, if you haven't already, is to read Dan Heismann's articles at ChessCafe.com (Novice Nook), especially those relating to thought processes and what Heismann calls "hope" chess (not that I'm accusing you of it, it's just one of my failings).. After reading some of the 80-odd articles I realised that a lot of my problems were not a result of a lack of knowledge/study/exercises, but just poor thought processes - ie considering all the opponent's possible replies, analysing to quiescence, counting properly etc. I can't say whether this realisation has helped yet, I've only just started trying to implement it, but it can't be bad.. and I seem to be doing a bit better (if not necessarily winning) against opponents in the 1400-1600 range.

EDIT: oh, and don't forget - play the board, not your opponent ;)

Garvinator
04-07-2008, 05:01 PM
Well, who's going to argue with the arbiter?! :D :eek: For clarification purposes cause I know there will be some lurkers who could be interested in my reply to previous question.

I am not the arbiter at BCC events when I play and certainly not for my own games :eek:

Aaron Guthrie
04-07-2008, 05:10 PM
Mangafranga- so are you advising that I whip out a few sicilian theory books mid game. I wonder if that is illegal :hmm: as I am an arbiter as well as a bit player.Well I didn't say theory books. I said "do a search for games by strong players in this opening", meaning a database search. It is a very quick and easy way to get an idea of what is going on in an opening. And obviously I didn't mean during the game :P (You did after all come on here for advice, so you would suggest going on chesschat during the game? :hmm:)

Southpaw Jim
04-07-2008, 08:01 PM
It's sad that you should have to clarify things like that, apologies Garv.

Kevin Bonham
04-07-2008, 10:06 PM
11...Nh5 is the first really serious error IMO. The knight is doing nothing out there except for risking its life to discovered attacks; it is going to have to go back at some stage so the tempo gain in kicking white's bishop is illusory and all it has done is develop white's bishop for free. Surely with the bishop off c1, ...Qb6 is the natural developing move in this kind of position, if you are going to develop at all.

I would say black is still struggling anyway, and that's probably on account of handling the centre passively. It's common for black to try to equalise with ...e5 or sometimes ...d5 but it has to be finely judged, for instance 10...d5? 11.e5 would lead to a kingside smash for white or at least serious one-way pressure. If you don't have a clear plan on how you're going to execute that break and equalise then maybe cxd should be deferred, because after 13.d5 in my view black is already lost.

Of course the Sicilians I mainly play like this are Moscows with the LSBs off the board but much the same things apply there, and if it is any consolation here's a player of around my strength making the same positional error and suffering for it against me:

Bonham,Kevin - Lucas,Peter (1895)

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bb5+ Bd7 4.Bxd7+ Qxd7 5.0-0 Nf6 6.Re1 Nc6 7.c3 e6 8.d4 cxd4 9.cxd4 Be7 [9...d5 10.e5 Ne4 11.Nbd2 Nxd2 12.Bxd2 Be7 is a common continuation here.] 10.Nc3 0-0 11.Bf4 Nh5?! This knight ends up sidelined and vulnerable on this square - the start of Black's problems. 12.Be3 a6? b6 is now very weak. The Moscow Sicilian may be drawish with perfect play but Black has very little margin for error early in the game. 13.d5! Na7 [13...exd5 14.exd5 Na5 (14...Nb8 15.Na4) 15.Nd2 trapping one knight or the other.] 14.e5! g6 [14...exd5 15.Qxd5+-] 15.exd6 Qxd6 16.dxe6 Qxd1 17.exf7+ Rxf7 18.Raxd1 Nc6 19.Rd7 Bb4 20.Red1 Bxc3 21.bxc3 Rxd7 22.Rxd7 Rd8 23.Rxd8+ Nxd8 24.Ne5 Ng7 25.Nd7 Kf7 26.Nc5 Nge6 27.Ne4 b5 28.Kf1 Nb7 29.Ke2 Ke7 30.Kd3 Na5 31.Bc5+ Kf7 [White has been drifting here and 31...Kd7 would have made it harder for White to try to convert.] 32.Nd6+ Kf8 33.Bb4 Nc6 34.Ke4 Nxb4 35.cxb4 Ke7 36.Nb7 Kd7 37.f4 [37.Nc5+ Seeing that this looked good enough I overlooked an easier win via 37...Nxc5+ eg 38.bxc5 Kc6 39.Kd4 a5 40.h4 a4 41.a3+-] 37...Kc7 38.Na5 Kd7 39.Nb3 Kd6 40.g4 Ng7 41.Nc5 h5 42.h3 1-0

Capablanca-Fan
05-07-2008, 01:19 AM
Bonham,Kevin - Lucas,Peter (1895)

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bb5+ Bd7 4.Bxd7+ Qxd7 5.0-0 Nf6 6.Re1 Nc6 7.c3 e6 8.d4 cxd4 9.cxd4 Be7 [9...d5 10.e5 Ne4 11.Nbd2 Nxd2 12.Bxd2 Be7 is a common continuation here. What is the official verdict? I wouldn't mind taking Black here, since it looks like an easy French or Caro with the problem B exchanged] 10.Nc3 0-0 11.Bf4 Nh5?! [This knight ends up sidelined and vulnerable on this square - the start of Black's problems. But now 11... d5 is answered by the powerful 12. Ne5] 12.Be3 a6? 13.d5! Na7 [13...exd5 14.exd5 Na5 (14...Nb8 15.Na4) 15.Nd2 trapping one knight or the other.] 14.e5! g6 [14...exd5 15.Qxd5+-] 15.exd6 Qxd6 16.dxe6 Qxd1 17.exf7+ Rxf7 18.Raxd1 Nc6 19.Rd7 [[B]maybe here 19. Nd5, stopping Black from introducing an imbalance, and its strong position would contrast with Black's lousy one on h5] 19... Bb4 20.Red1 Bxc3 21.bxc3 Rxd7 22.Rxd7 Rd8 23.Rxd8+ Nxd8 24.Ne5 Ng7 25.Nd7 Kf7 26.Nc5 Nge6 27.Ne4 b5 28.Kf1 Nb7 29.Ke2 Ke7 30.Kd3 Na5 31.Bc5+ Kf7 [White has been drifting here and 31...Kd7 would have made it harder for White to try to convert.] 32.Nd6+ Kf8 33.Bb4 Nc6 34.Ke4 Nxb4 35.cxb4 Ke7 36.Nb7 Kd7 37.f4 [37.Nc5+ Seeing that this looked good enough I overlooked an easier win via 37...Nxc5+ eg 38.bxc5 Kc6 39.Kd4 a5 40.h4 a4 41.a3+- By coincidence, in my club game tonite, I converted by going into a very similar P ending that would have resulted in distant passed Ps] 37...Kc7 38.Na5 Kd7 39.Nb3 Kd6 40.g4 Ng7 41.Nc5 h5 42.h3 1-0

Kevin Bonham
05-07-2008, 08:20 PM
What is the official verdict? I wouldn't mind taking Black here, since it looks like an easy French or Caro with the problem B exchanged

Recent practice slightly favours white but with a very high proportion of draws, many of them short (+6=28-3 with both >2300 in last 12 years). I've not seen a recent theoretical assessment of the position (the main recent book on the Moscow is Pedersen's which only covers 5.c4 and not 5.0-0) but I suspect that it is =. I usually try to avoid that kind of line that looks like an Advanced French with the c-pawns swapped but if the opponent plays accurately in the Moscow they will equalise. Fortunately for me, most don't. ;)

Those kinds of positions can be quite amusing for me as I play the French with black but never play the Advanced with white, while most of my Sicilian-playing opponents don't play the French with black. So both sides can be feeling their way a bit sometimes and wishing they could turn the board around!


But now 11... d5 is answered by the powerful 12. Ne5]

Indeed, so maybe ...Bd7 was itself an error and white was already better at that stage. If so, more evidence for my view that it is easy for black to go wrong in these lines that are theoretically level.


[maybe here 19. Nd5, stopping Black from introducing an imbalance, and its strong position would contrast with Black's lousy one on h5]

Or also 19.Ng5 (which does allow black to imbalance the minor pieces if he wishes, but not comfortably.)

Desmond
07-07-2008, 11:03 AM
Well, who's going to argue with the arbiter?!Chessplayers.