Thursday, 3 December 2015

On the need for attack, from Viktor Korchnoi's Chess Is My Life

Over the ten years that I had been a grandmaster, my chess style had undergone significant changes. [...] In 1960, when I first became USSR champion, the journalist V. Vasiliev interviewed me, and then wrote an article entitled 'The Bishop Move', which became widely known. I told Vasiliev that I valued highly the art of defence in chess, that I saw an unusual form of romanticism in this, and that for my success I was chiefly indebted to my ability to save difficult positions. From that time, right to the present day, all this has been cited in numerous publications. But meanwhile a man, even at a mature age, is capable of changing his views. There came a time when I realized that the ability to defend was - for a good chess player - insufficient. You can't be dependent upon your opponent's will, but must try to impose your will on him. I realized that I was restricting my possibilities both as a person and as a chess player.

From childhood I had known how to defend, and nothing more. I had to relearn, and to a certain extent I was successful. I would put down my success in the 1960s, and my rise in stature as a chess player, to the fact that I learned how to fight for the initiative and to maintain it.

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Nigel vs Dane, Devour Cafe, Game 2, November 21, 2015

This game was fairly even until I made my 24th move. The idea of using my bishop to push back Dane's queen seemed sound at the time, but of course he could (and did) then safely take the bishop with his queen - if I took his queen with my queen, he could fork my king and queen and keep his lead. It was all downhill for me from there.

1.Nf3 c5 2.b3 Nf6 3.Bb2 Nc6 4.c4 d6 5.e3 e5 6.d4 cxd4 7.exd4 Bg4 8.Be2 Bxf3 9.Bxf3 e4 10.Be2 d5 11.O-O Bd6 12.Nd2 Qc7 13.g3 Qe7 14.cxd5 Nxd5 15.Bc4 Nb6 16.Re1 O-O-O 17.Nxe4 Nxc4 18.bxc4 Rhe8 19.Nxd6+ Qxd6 20.Rxe8 Rxe8 21.d5 Ne5 22.Rc1 Qc5 23.a4 g6 24.Bd4 Qxd4 25.c5 Qxd1+ 26.Rxd1 Kc7 27.Kg2 Nd7 28.Rc1 Re5 29.c6 bxc6 30.Rxc6+ Kb7 31.Rd6 Nb6 32.f4 Rxd5 33.Rxd5 Nxd5 34.Kf3 Kb6 35.g4 Ka5 36.f5 Kxa4 37.Ke4 Nf6+ 38.Kf4 Kb4 39.fxg6 fxg6 40.Kg5 Nxg4 41.Kxg4 h6 White resigns.

Dane vs Nigel, Devour Cafe, Game 1, November 21, 2015

Dane definitely 'won' the opening on this game, I think mainly due to (me not foreseeing) his pawn advance on move 9. He then miscalculated with his knight on move 24, allowing me to equalise piece-wise. As soon as I was looking slightly better (rook and king each, with me one pawn up), I offered a draw, which was accepted. I've played Dane a handful of times previously, only getting a draw and a win on one day - the rest he's won, so I'm happy getting a draw.

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Bc4 d5 4.exd5 Nxd5 5.Nxe5 Be6 6.O-O Bd6 7.d4 Qh4 8.f4 O-O 9.f5 Ne3 10.Bxe3 Bxc4 11.g3 Qe7 12.Nxc4 b5 13.Ne5 Bxe5 14.dxe5 Qxe5 15.Qd4 Nd7 16.Qxe5 Nxe5 17.Nd2 Rfe8 18.Rad1 Rad8 19.a3 a6 20.h3 Rd5 21.b3 h6 22.f6 g5 23.Kg2 Nd7 24.Ne4 Rxd1 25.Rxd1 Rxe4 26.Rxd7 Rxe3 27.Kf2 Rc3 28.Rd2 Rc6 29.Ke3 Rxf6 30.Ke4 Kg7 31.Rd3 Rc6 32.c3 Kg6 33.g4 Re6+ Draw offered by black and accepted.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Nice work, brother


My brother Brendan popped around for a visit last weekend. While he was here, we had a game of chess over a cheap bottle of chardonnay.

I was getting pushy at the start, and commented around move 9, "All this just to get a bishop?"

He replied, "Oh yeah, I'd better take it then," and then I realised the trouble I was in - I had no way of saving my queen. My own 9th move should've been to shift my white-square bishop to another square (a few options seem good), so that it was guarding the square it had vacated, preventing the knight from going there.

I can't quite recall the sequence of moves after this, but I somehow managed to even things up, and eventually I was actually better off coming into the endgame by having a rook to his knight (and a few pawns each). A silly hasty move saw me accidentally sacrificing the rook for no gain, and it was soon all over.

Nice work, brother.

1. b3 d5 2. f3 e5 3. Nc3 d4 4. Ne4 Bf5 5. Ng3 Qh4 6. d3 Nf6 7. Kd2 Bb4+ 8. c3 Bxc3+ 9. Kc2 Bxa1?? 10. Nxf5!! Qf4 11. Bxf4 exf4 12. Nxg7+ Kf8 13. Nf5 ...


Wednesday, 24 June 2015

prufrockj vs nhollyman on chess.com

Time limit: 7 days per move. 1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.h3 Bg7 5.Nf3 a6 6.Be3 e6 7.Qd2 Qe7 8.O-O-O b5 9.e5 Nfd7 10.Bg5 f6 11.exf6 Bxf6 12.Re1 Bxg5 13.Nxg5 Nb6 14.Nxe6 Bxe6 15.d5 O-O 16.dxe6 Nc6 17.Nd5 Nxd5 18.Qxd5 Na5 19.g4 c6 20.Qd2 Nb7 21.f4 d5 22.f5 Rf6 23.Qg5 Re8 24.h4 Kg7 25.Bd3 Nc5 26.h5 Nxd3+ 27.cxd3 h6 28.Qf4 Qc5+ 29.Kb1 g5 30.Rc1 gxf4 31.Rxc5 Rc8 32.Rf1 Rff8 33.Rxf4 Kf6 34.Rf1 Rc7 35.d4 Re8 36.b4 Ree7 37.Kc2 Rc8 38.Kb3 Rg7 39.Rg1 Ra7 40.a4 Rg7 41.Rc2 Ra7 42.a5 Rg7 43.Kc3 Rcg8 44.Rcg2 Kg5 45.Kd3 Rf8 46.Re2 Re7 47.Rf1 Kf6 48.Ke3 Kg5 49.Kf3 Rf6 50.Rc1 Rf8 51.Rxc6 Rg8 52.Re5 Kh4 53.f6 Rf8 54.Rf5 Ree8 55.Rc1 Rxe6 56.Rh1# 1-0

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Boris Chessky vs litohmags on chess.com

Another lucky timeout. My current chess.com rating is based more on luck than skill.

I was going to resign at one point, but Mrs Chessky felt that I needed to play to the end to be taught a lesson. Ha!

Time limit: 10 days per move. 1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 c5 3.b3 g6 4.Bb2 Bg7 5.e3 Nc6 6.d4 O-O 7.d5 Nb4 8.a3 Na6 9.Bd3 d6 10.Nbd2 Bd7 11.O-O e6 12.e4 exd5 13.exd5 Re8 14.Qc2 Nc7 15.Ng5 Nh5 16.Bxg7 Nxg7 17.f4 Nf5 18.Rf2 Nd4 19.Qd1 Qf6 20.Nde4 Qe7 21.Be2 h6 22.Bg4 hxg5 23.Bxd7 Qxe4 24.Bxe8 Rxe8 25.fxg5 Re5 26.b4 b6 27.Qa4 Ne2+ 28.Kh1 Qh4 29.Qb3 Qxf2 30.Qf3 Qxf3 31.gxf3 Rxg5 32.h4 Rh5 33.Re1 Ng3+ 34.Kg2 Nf5 35.bxc5 bxc5 36.Rh1 Rxh4 37.Rxh4 Nxh4+ 38.Kg3 Nf5+ 39.Kf4 Na8 40.Ke4 Nb6 41.Kd3 Nd4 42.f4 Kg7 43.Kc3 f5 44.Kd3 White wins by timeout