Chessity Training Improves Board Vision and Tactical Accuracy
Miramonte, Roberto - Sadorra, Julio Catalino
2014 Lone Star Open 2014.02.22
Last week, I prepared for an open tournament over this past weekend: 2014 Lone Star Open FIDE event. Part of my preparation consisted of tuning up my calculation skills and combinational vision at Chessity. I even set up on a real board and re-solved positions that I missed in the games that I played because I believe that getting new ideas matters more than always getting things right. The game I'm about to show occurred in the 3rd round of the event. I came from an exhausting 2nd round in which I successfully squeezed a win from a minor-piece ending for roughly 4.5 hours.
Needless to say, I didn't have time to prepare and fully rest for this game so decided to rely on my intuition and steer the game in which he has to calculate more accurately. I chose this game for its decision-making lessons and tactically entertaining moments. I hope that you will learn from my comments as much as you enjoy seeing the tactical skirmish in the end.
1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 d5 3.c4 e6 4.g3 Be7 5.Bg2 O-O 6.O-O
the Catalan Opening is used by many strong players to safely and solidly play for a slight but long-term pressure or edge.
6... dxc4 7.Ne5!? a sideline that can be dangerous if Black doesn't know what to do.
7.Qa4 ( 7.Qc2 is a more common way of getting there.) 7... a6 8.Qxc4 b5 9.Qc2 Bb7 10.Bd2 leads to the mainline which is still being played many times at IM & GM level.)
7... Nc6! Giving back the pawn to relieve the pressure on b7, and gain some active play for my pieces.
If 7... c5 then 8.dxc5 Bxc5 9.Nc3!
9... Nc6 10.Nxc6 Qxd1 11.Rxd1 bxc6 12.Bxc6 Rb8 13.Na4 Be7 14.Bf4 White's position is more pleasant to play due his more active pieces and better pawn structure, which was eventually converted into a win in the game Li,C 2703-Nguyen,D 2496/ Zaozhuang 2012.)
8.Nxc6 (8.Bxc6 was a more reliable way to pose Black some problems and fight for an edge. A recent game between top heavyweights went like8... bxc6 9.Nxc6 Qd7 10.Nxe7+ Qxe7 11.Qc2 e5 12.Rd1 Rb8 13.Nc3 h6 14.dxe5 Qxe5 15.Bf4 Qe7 16.Rd4 Be6 17.Rad1 Rb6 18.Qd2 Kh7 19.f3 Rfb8 20.Qe3 Rxb2 21.Rxc4 R2b7 22.Ra4 Re8 23.Rxa7 Rxa7 24.Qxa7 Qb4 25.Be5 Nd5 26.Nxd5 Bxd5 27.Qxc7 Qc4 28.a3 f6 29.Qxc4 Bxc4 30.Bc3 Rxe2 31.Rd4 Bb5 32.Bb4 Re3 33.Kf2 Re2+ 34.Kg1 Re3 35.f4 Re2 36.Rd6 Rc2 37.g4 Bc6 38.Bd2 Bf3 39.h3 Ra2 40.Bb4 Rg2+ 41.Kf1 Rh2 1/2-1/2 Kramnik,V 2810-Carlsen, M 2872/ London ENG 2013)
8... bxc6 9.Bxc6 Rb8 10.Bf3
White moves back his bishop to a safe place where it still controls important squares. So how should Black proceed? Let's take stock of the current situation: for my weak pawns, I have pressure on the b-file and more developed pieces. Because I have a temporary advantage, I need to act quickly by creating threats or making the most of my advantages.
By exchanging my light squared B I rid myself of a bad piece for his important k-side defender.
10... c5 As much I'd like to create open lines, this isn't sufficient to put pressure on his position 11.dxc5 Bxc5 12.Qc2 and during the game I felt that I'm the one who had to be careful as Bf4 and pressure on my c4-pawn is coming soon.
12.Nc3 quickly played. I wasn't sure if my opponent was still in his preparation but it seemed to me that he was going for the simple idea of developing and pressuring my c4-pawn.
After assessing that the situation after the queen-exchange is favorable for me due to my active pieces and pressure on b2 , I knew this was the right time to break open the position
13.dxc5 Bxc5 14.Na4!? Questioning the intentions of my B and over-protecting his b2-pawn to liberate his bishop.
If he chose to trade queens 14.Qxd8 Rxd8 here's what I'll get:
14... Bd4 Centralizing a piece is always helpful for one's position, unless it doesn't work tactically.
Critical moment. How should Black develop his initiative? After studying the position for roughly 15 min, I found way to attack my opponent's main weakness (k-side) and get my worst-place piece into the game (f8-rook).
15.e3 Be5 only worsens White's situation as it makes it difficult to develop his bishop.
15... Qa5! (15... Qd5 is a nice centralizing move but it runs into an unpleasant pin after 16.Rd1! )
16.Bd2 (16.Qxc4?? Rb4 wins a piece.)
16... Qh5 this was the main idea
In retrospect a better way to continue the attack was 17... Rd7! (with the idea of Bxf2) 18.Bc3
Black to play
18... Qh3! 19.Qc6 Rd5 with Ng4 and mate to follow.) Back to the game:
Which rook to use?
(18... Rd8? is bad because it will run into back rank problems after 19.Bg5! usually when the opponent makes counter-threats or improves a piece with tempo it's a sign that it's not the right way to go...)
19.Bc3 ( 19.Qc6 Bxf2+! 20.Rxf2 Rxd2 -/+ )
19... Rfd8 now my worst-piece finally comes into play!
20.Qc6 20.Bxd4?! ( 20.Qa6 g5 practically leads to the same thing.) 20... Rxd4 21.Qb3 g5 with an attack.
20... Ne5 21.Qe4 f5!
another soldier joins in with tempo, which gives me more attacking possibilities like f5-f4.
22.Qf4 giving back the pawn in hopes of relieving pressure, unfortunately there is no forcing or effective way for him to achieve it
( 22.Qc2 was a better retreat, but it probably seemed risky to him as it leaves his king alone.22... f4!? )
22... Qxe2 23.Kg2 ( 23.Bxd4 ( 23.Rae1 Nf3+)23... Rxd4 24.Nc3 Nf3+ 25.Kg2 Qxf1+ 26.Rxf1 Rxf4 27.gxf4 Nxh4+ and Black is a pawn up for nothing in this ending.)
How can Black exploit White's weaknesses?
24.Rad1 ( 24.Bxd4 ( 24.b3 Bxc3 25.Nxc3 Qc6+ -+ underlines the exposed positioning of the king on g2.)24... Rxd4 25.Nc3 Qc6+ -+ )
No mercy, only accuracy like I practiced in Chessity training puzzles!
If 24... Qxa4, which I believe he was hoping for gives him a bit of hope to survive 25.Rxd4!? 25... Rxd4 26.Qxe5 ofcourse Black should still win but why give the opponent any chances of survival?
25.Qg5 Qxa4 26.Rxd4!?
Still not giving up on creating counterplay which I gladly welcomed for which you will see in a bit :
26... Rxd4 27.h5
Ofcourse white doesn't really have any k-side attack and other safe knight retreats win, but it was aesthetically pleasing to spot this forcing counterblow.
28.gxh4 Rg4; 28. Kh2/g1 Nf3 all wins the queen and 28.Kh1 Nf3 29.Qe3 Rh4+ 30.gxh4 Qxh4+ 31.Kg2 Qg4+ 32.Kh1 Qh3 leads to a Chessity-like chekmate puzzle :).
28... Nf3 exploiting another weak square
29.Qe3 ( 29.Qe7 Rh4+ 30.Kg2 ( 30.gxh4 Qg4#)30... Rh2+ 31.Kxf3 Qe4#)
29... Rh4+ Hunting the enemy king "Chessity style"!
30.Kg2 ( 30.gxh4 Qg4#)
and White resigned due to the incoming mate on g4.
I was very happy with this game because I was able to use the board vision and tactical skills (e.g. Qe2-b5, Ne5-g6, Ng6-h4!) that I practiced at this website. Subsequently, I pulled off another win in the 4th round and a solid draw in the last, to finish solo first place. Here's the link to the final standings of the event: http:// cajunchess.com/tourns/pastTourns/pastTourn8. shtml.
Anyway, time to get back to training!