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  #1  
Old 01-31-2020, 08:26 AM
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Chess training game between glee and NAF1138 - comments etc


As titled, this is a training game.
Please use this thread for all comments, analysis and questions (including spectators.)

NAF1138 has asked for a tactical game!

My next post will give the actual game thread.

N.B. There is a previous training game (Dead Cat v glee) here.
  #2  
Old 01-31-2020, 08:31 AM
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The game is here.
  #3  
Old 01-31-2020, 08:53 AM
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The most popular opening moves for White are:

1. e4

Possibly the oldest opening move (since the moves of the pieces last changed in the Middle Ages); often leads to open games and sometimes gambits.
Standard replies include 1. ... e5, 1. ... c5, 1. ... e6, 1. ... c6, 1. ... Nf6, 1. ... d6, 1. ... d5 and 1. ... g6.

1. d4

Along with e4, probably the most popular opening move; can leads to semi-open and blocked games.
Standard replies include 1. ... d5, 1. ... Nf6, 1. ... f5 and 1. ... g6.

1. c4

Came in about 100 years ago; often leads to manoeuvring positions.
Standard replies include 1. ... e5, 1. ... c5, 1. ... e6, 1. ... c6, 1. ... Nf6 and 1. ... g6.

1. Nf3

Also came in about 100 years ago; and likewise often leads to manoeuvring positions.
Standard replies include 1. ... d5, 1. ... c5, 1. ... e6, 1. ... Nf6, 1. ... d6 and 1. ... g6.

Professional players will have prepared analysis for at least one opening (in which case it will be very detailed), or far more often two or three. (Having this choice makes it harder to predict what they will play* - and hence harder to prepare for them.) This analysis can easily go to move 15 (or even further in highly-analysed openings.)

Note that is is far more important to understand the ideas in the opening as opposed to learning variations.

There is a continuing battle to find new moves and new ideas in existing openings.

*I remember preparing to face a Grandmaster in the British Championship. I looked up 50 of his recent games. He had four different openings in his repertoire.
  #4  
Old 01-31-2020, 05:12 PM
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So, I figure I don't really stand a chance of winning so I am going to talk through all my moves out loud in this thread and maybe get better at how I think about stuff as a result.

As it stands, I ignored all the good advice to have novices ignore openings and I learned three openings but only the first several moves of each. After a certain point I figured that I needed a basic plan of attack at the start of any given game rather than just waiting to see what my opponent was going to do and hoping he made a mistake before I did.

So, as white I play the English, and as black I play either kings Gambit declined or... The French! So because 1e4 was the first move, I'm playing the French 1...e6.
  #5  
Old 01-31-2020, 07:12 PM
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What do you do as Black if your opponent plays something other than 1. e4? I mean, there's nothing wrong with the King's Gambit Declined, but I don't think 2. f4 is played that often, so if I was going to prepare two openings as Black, that wouldn't be one of them.

It will be interesting to see what sharp tactical lines glee can come up with in this game, given we have just had a fairly quiet, positional game with the same opening.
  #6  
Old 01-31-2020, 07:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NAF1138 View Post
As it stands, I ignored all the good advice to have novices ignore openings ...
Nobody should ignore openings! (As a strong player once said to me "Every game has an opening" )

Quote:
Originally Posted by NAF1138 View Post
... and I learned three openings but only the first several moves of each.
By all means know the first few moves (It's unlikely there will be a surprise that early), but don't play them automatically. Keep thinking about what is happening ... and of course:

- develop your pieces
- control the centre
- make your king safe

As Dead Cat remarked, what is your opening v 1. d4?
  #7  
Old 01-31-2020, 07:32 PM
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Sorry I mistyped it's queens Gambit declined not kings. I was posting while distracted! But that's my 1d4 opening.
  #8  
Old 01-31-2020, 07:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dead Cat View Post
It will be interesting to see what sharp tactical lines glee can come up with in this game, given we have just had a fairly quiet, positional game with the same opening.
The French is one of the most solid openings. Black lets White have a slight advantage in the centre, but keeps everything defended.
So we may get a positional game after all...

As somebody once said "White chooses the opening; Black chooses the variation." Not 100% accurate, but an interesting thought.
  #9  
Old 01-31-2020, 07:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glee View Post
. and of course:

- develop your pieces
- control the centre
- make your king safe
This was your basic advice to me the last time I talked about chess with you, back when I first started playing my regular game (about 2 years ago). It has proven to be the best advice I have gotten and has been a good fall back when I get stuck. I tend to get analysis paralysis and focusing on those things is helpful in keeping it simple.

Last edited by NAF1138; 01-31-2020 at 07:36 PM.
  #10  
Old 01-31-2020, 07:46 PM
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I'm confident Black will play 2. ... d5, since that is the whole point of the French. Black challenges the White pawn on e4 and is ready to recapture with a pawn if White plays 3. exd5.

After 2. ... d5, White has some choices:

- 3. e5 gives White a space advantage, but the position becomes blocked

- 3. exd5 is pretty symmetrical. White only has a minimal advantage

- 3. Nc3 leads to some complicated lines (especially after 3. ... Bb4)

- 3. Nd2 prevents 3. ... Bb4 (because of 4. c3), but slows White's development temporarily

- 3. f3 is a gambit line, since after Black plays 3. ... dxe4, 4. fxe4? loses to 4. ... Qh4+. Instead White plays 4. Nc3

I thought of trying the gambit line, but if Black doesn't take on e4, the pawn on f3 looks clumsy (e.g. White can't play Nf3)

In general, I firmly believe players should try to play the best (or a good) move. Playing a weak move that sets a trap may work - but you could probably have beaten that opponent with good moves anyway.
I only play 'trappy' moves if I'm losing...
  #11  
Old 01-31-2020, 08:35 PM
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So my move here is part of a strategy I have used successfully against the advance in my games against my friend. I am curious to see if it is as solid against someone who is good. I don't think it's a "trappy" move, but it does delay my development which is a risk.
  #12  
Old 02-01-2020, 05:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NAF1138 View Post
So my move here is part of a strategy I have used successfully against the advance in my games against my friend. I am curious to see if it is as solid against someone who is good. I don't think it's a "trappy" move, but it does delay my development which is a risk.
I have played the plan of ... b6 myself - so there's nothing wrong with it! Black's idea is to exchange white-squared bishops with ... Ba6. This is good, because the Bishop on c8 is blocked by fixed pawns on e6 + d5, so is not very useful.

N.B. Once the centre is blocked, development becomes less urgent.

Note that my last move contains a trap.
SPOILER:
If 4. ... Ba6? 5. Bxa6 Nxa6 6. Qa4+ wins a piece and the game.
This is an example of the fork tactic: attacking two enemy pieces simultaneously, which are either undefended or high-value.
  #13  
Old 02-01-2020, 05:21 AM
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NAF,
when entering moves in the game thread, do feel free to quote the previous post and edit it a bit. This keeps the player's names and previous moves on display.

Spectators can use the excellent apronus website diagram to not only see the current position, but also replay the whole game (using the << and > buttons below the game position.)
  #14  
Old 02-01-2020, 08:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glee View Post
NAF,
when entering moves in the game thread, do feel free to quote the previous post and edit it a bit. This keeps the player's names and previous moves on display.

Spectators can use the excellent apronus website diagram to not only see the current position, but also replay the whole game (using the << and > buttons below the game position.)
Will do. Thanks for the tip.
  #15  
Old 02-01-2020, 08:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glee View Post
I have played the plan of ... b6 myself - so there's nothing wrong with it! Black's idea is to exchange white-squared bishops with ... Ba6. This is good, because the Bishop on c8 is blocked by fixed pawns on e6 + d5, so is not very useful.

N.B. Once the centre is blocked, development becomes less urgent.

Note that my last move contains a trap.
SPOILER:
If 4. ... Ba6? 5. Bxa6 Nxa6 6. Qa4+ wins a piece and the game.
This is an example of the fork tactic: attacking two enemy pieces simultaneously, which are either undefended or high-value.
This is, fortunately for me (?), a trap I have fallen for in the past. You only need to have it happen once!
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  #16  
Old 02-03-2020, 04:48 PM
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Well the game has taken an unexpected turn - I was all set to play a gambit (or at least a tactical line) - but between us NAF and I have come up with a blocked centre, leading to quiet manoeuvring on the sides.

My last move shows what I think - I'm just trying to gain some space on the Kingside with a pawn move.
My second choice would have been 5. a4 - trying to gain some space on the Queenside with a pawn move.

These sorts of plan in the opening (not developing a piece, nor getting castled) are only possible in such a closed position.
  #17  
Old 02-03-2020, 08:27 PM
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Well... Now I have to think a bit, because those weren't moves I would have been expecting.

Ball seems to be in my court and I need to figure out what to do with it.
  #18  
Old 02-04-2020, 01:34 PM
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Decided not to overthink things too much and continue my development.
  #19  
Old 02-04-2020, 02:03 PM
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Some analysis here which could affect future moves, so the players may want to avoid reading it for now:

SPOILER:
I certainly wouldn't say your move was wrong, but I'd have been tempted to play ...c5, to try and give my dark-squared bishop a bit more scope. Also, as a general rule, if your opponent is pushing forward on the flanks, opening up the centre can be a reasonable response. It also avoids shutting the bishop in. But I really have no idea if this is the right plan here.

I did also wonder about ...g6 and ...Bh6, with the aim of exchanging dark-squared bishops, but Black's very white-squared pawn structure put me off that idea (as well as the time it would take) - I'd be concerned about dark-square weakness after that manoeuvre, even with White's dark-squared bishop off the board. Plus White can easily avoid the exchange with f4 or Nd2.

Last edited by Dead Cat; 02-04-2020 at 02:04 PM.
  #20  
Old 02-05-2020, 01:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NAF1138 View Post
Decided not to overthink things too much and continue my development.
A reasonable reaction!

I've not had this particular sequence of moves before, even though I have played many games starting 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. e5.

Since the centre is blocked, both sides have a wide choice of plans and moves.
It's hard to decide which is best when there are no forcing variations to analyse.

My experience tells me that the advance by White to h5 will be useful as it prevents Black playing either ...h5 or ...Ng6.
I'm not trying to predict Black's next move(s) at this point.*

*apart from Ba6, which is undoubtedly coming sometime.
  #21  
Old 02-05-2020, 08:14 AM
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I'm gonna be honest, I have no clue what to do about the pawn advance. So, I'm stopping it, and am going to try to get back to my plan, and watch for an opening.
  #22  
Old 02-05-2020, 03:07 PM
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I'm gonna be honest, I have no clue what to do about the pawn advance. So, I'm stopping it, and am going to try to get back to my plan, and watch for an opening.
Again a sensible choice, because otherwise I would always have the possibility of h6, putting your Kingside under pressure.

Here's how I see the game going (it's not a certainty because there's no 'rush' about the position.)

SPOILER:
7. ... Ba6 8. Bxa6 Nxa6 9. Qd3 Nb8 10. OO c5 11. c4, after which the centre opens up and I hope my slight lead in development will prove significant.
  #23  
Old 02-05-2020, 05:14 PM
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I don't know if anyone else is feeling the tension I am feeling but, I am rapidly reaching the end of my rope when it comes to plans. This last move may have come too soon. We will see.

Last edited by NAF1138; 02-05-2020 at 05:16 PM.
  #24  
Old 02-06-2020, 02:44 AM
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I'm not tense, I'm enjoying it being somebody else's problem .

I like c5, it gives you the options of either opening the c file or, perhaps, shutting in White's bishop with c4. Then Ba6 isn't essential and you can continue developing pieces. Though it's maybe a bit passive - I don't know what the long term plan would be from there.

Last edited by Dead Cat; 02-06-2020 at 02:44 AM.
  #25  
Old 02-06-2020, 10:40 AM
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It's amusing that neither of us want to move our White-squared bishops - both hoping to save a move before those bishops are exchanged.

Also can I emphasise that starting a game with so many pawn moves is incredibly rare!
(I feel much better now that the audience has now seen me develop two pieces. )

I note that Dead Cat has suggested a possible . ...c4. Although this takes a square away from the bishop on f1, it really blocks in the bishop on c8 - so not advisable.
  #26  
Old 02-06-2020, 10:49 AM
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It's amusing that neither of us want to move our White-squared bishops - both hoping to save a move before those bishops are exchanged.
I agree! I didn't have any more useful moves but typically I wait for the Whites light square bishop to move before I make the exchange. Since you knew what I was up to right away I just delayed as long as I could, but I can't hold off any longer.

Last edited by NAF1138; 02-06-2020 at 10:49 AM.
  #27  
Old 02-06-2020, 04:44 PM
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Ok all my major opening ideas are more or less exhausted. Now I'm in a position that I feel pretty comfortable in but a lot is going to depend on what glee decides to do from here.

This is more or less when I am expecting things to go south for me pretty quickly.
  #28  
Old 02-07-2020, 03:15 PM
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Nah, it will probably just go south slowly, like in my game . Like a good anaesthetist putting you under.

I think I can see merit in white playing c4, possibly prefaced with b3.
  #29  
Old 02-08-2020, 06:09 AM
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NAF has played sensibly in the opening and I only have a slight advantage.

I decided to play 11. dxc5 for a couple of reasons:

- it takes one of my pawns off a black square, which gives my black-squared bishop more room
- it opens the centre a bit, allowing for future tactics

My last game prediction didn't fare too well , so let's try again.
SPOILER:
11. ... bxc5 12. OO Nc6 13. Rd1 Be7 14. c4 OO 15. Nc3
  #30  
Old 02-08-2020, 10:04 AM
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Ok, I have a plan, I'm not sure if it's a good one but I at least think I know where I am heading for my next few moves.
  #31  
Old 02-09-2020, 05:22 AM
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Ok, I have a plan, I'm not sure if it's a good one but I at least think I know where I am heading for my next few moves.
I always found that when I could predict the next few moves for both sides, I really understood the position.
So far we're following my last (spoilered) prediction, so that's helpful.
And my understanding of the position is (wait for it...):

- I have a slight lead in development
- NAF will soon have a couple of decisions to make (see spoiler below)
- I am better (but only slightly)

Here's a comment for the kibitzers:

SPOILER:
A lot will depend on which side NAF castles and how he reacts to my c4 plan.
If he goes Kingside (which I expect), there will be some positional play (although I might get a sneaky Kingside attack due to my space advantage there.)
If he goes Queenside, then there will be attacks on both sides of the board against the enemy King - with hopefully some tactics.

If NAF plays ...dxc4, his c-pawn should become weak.
If NAF plays ...d4, he will have a strong passed pawn, but I intend to plonk a Knight on d3 to blockade it.
If he leaves his pawn on d5, I hope to pressurise it.
  #32  
Old 02-09-2020, 02:26 PM
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::Mr. Kubrick briefly hovers over, wonders about the 11. dxc5, then spirits away again::
  #33  
Old 02-09-2020, 05:45 PM
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A little heads up for everyone. I'm on vacation for the next few days which doesn't mean I will stop making moves but might slow down my thought process a touch. Also, I am second guessing my plan right now and so I am running over a couple of scenarios.
  #34  
Old 02-12-2020, 11:56 AM
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Nah, it will probably just go south slowly, like in my game . Like a good anaesthetist putting you under.
In our game, the Queens came off early and so it was reasonable to play for a better endgame.
Here there are still plenty of pieces left - therefore middle game plans and tactic will be important.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dead Cat View Post
I think I can see merit in white playing c4, possibly prefaced with b3.
I have indeed played c4 (see my Spoiler from 5 posts ago), but didn't need b3 first as Black's pawn on d5 is pinned against his Queen.
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Old 02-12-2020, 02:07 PM
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Boy I am very uncertain about this move. I have spent the last half hour counting potential responses to it and I just don't know. Could be my undoing.
  #36  
Old 02-12-2020, 03:28 PM
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I wonder whether...
SPOILER:
...Black may be able to free his position a bit with ...f6? If exf6, the black-squared bishop gets more scope, on a choice of diagonals, whereas if White instead replies Ne4 (I move I assume he would like to play at some point), ...f5 harasses the knight. But then I saw that Nd6+ Bxd6 exd6 Na6 doesn't look great. On the other hand, perhaps ...fxe5 Nxe5 Nxe5 Bxe5 O-O is playable? White's minor pieces are much better placed than Black's in this position, but at some point White will have to try and deal with Black's central pawns. Hang on - Qg4 might be crushing here, Black's bishop has no good square to go to - on f6 or d6 it is lost to the knight, on g5 White exchanges it for the knight and then wins a pawn, and on d8 the c-pawn falls. So Black must defend with ...Rf7, I think. That might give enough time to play Ne8-f6 before White can gather more pieces into the attack. If Black can exchange off a few of the White pieces his central passed pawn might come to the fore.


What say you, glee?
  #37  
Old 02-12-2020, 06:50 PM
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Dead Cat's (Spoilered) idea above is one of several that Black has to consider.

SPOILER:
If 15. ...f6, I would reply 16. exf6*.
Now if 16. ...Bxf6 17. Bxc7 Qxc7 18. Qxe6+ wins a pawn.
However 16. ...gxf6 is complcated (I can consider 17. Bxc7 or 17. Ng6.)

*partly as it's a forcing continuation and also because Black could have played 15. ...f5, when 16. exf6 en passant transposes.
  #38  
Old 02-12-2020, 08:39 PM
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Boy I am very uncertain about this move. I have spent the last half hour counting potential responses to it and I just don't know. Could be my undoing.
Request: Could y'all be more explicit with your descriptions of "this move," "now," and "from here"? Reading this two days after it's posted, I have no clue was move you're talking about, when "now" was, and where "here" was when you posted it.
  #39  
Old 02-12-2020, 08:49 PM
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After 15. Nc3...

SPOILER:
I don't see how White can only claim a small advantage. It seem obvious to me that the backward c pawn is a liability. After Ne4 and Ne1-d3, there's no useful regrouping of the black knights that compensate for the firepower pointed at that pawn, not to mention the lack of light square control caused by the exchange of bishops on a6. Not to mention easy access to the passed d6 outpost. I smell calamari.

Consider also: 15...O-O 16. Ne4 Rfd8 17. Nd1 Rb8 18. Qg4 with a sneaky threat. For instance ...Rxb2 19. Nf6+ Bxf6 20. exf6 Ne8 21. Bxh6 Ne5 22. Qg3 Nxc4 23. Bxg7 and watch that h pawn be the hero.

Last edited by Chessic Sense; 02-12-2020 at 08:54 PM.
  #40  
Old 02-13-2020, 03:47 AM
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I agree that
SPOILER:
Black's knights are a problem and he'd probably like to reposition/exchange at least one of them ASAP. I also agree that the light squares are weak. However, there's no clear win available to White at the moment, so I think 'small advantage" is a fair description.
  #41  
Old 02-13-2020, 04:57 AM
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Originally Posted by NAF1138 View Post
Boy I am very uncertain about this move. I have spent the last half hour counting potential responses to it and I just don't know. Could be my undoing.
Cheer up - that was the move I was expecting (see spoiler in post 29.)
You have a strongly supported central passed pawn.
I will need to heed Nimzowitsch's advice:

"the passed pawn is a criminal who must be kept under lock and key"
"first restrain, then blockade, lastly destroy"

So controlling d3 will be important (to stop the pawn advancing.)

Also my pawn on c4 takes away squares from your Knight on c7.
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  #42  
Old 02-13-2020, 05:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chessic Sense View Post
Request: Could y'all be more explicit with your descriptions of "this move," "now," and "from here"? Reading this two days after it's posted, I have no clue was move you're talking about, when "now" was, and where "here" was when you posted it.
When NAF1138 posted 'Boy I am very uncertain about this move. I have spent the last half hour counting potential responses to it and I just don't know. Could be my undoing',
he was referring to 14. ...d4
  #43  
Old 02-13-2020, 05:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Chessic Sense View Post
After 15. Nc3...
You make good points, but I still sense only a small advantage.
SPOILER:
The backward c-pawn is potentially weak and I was looking forward (as you suggest) to getting my Knights on e4 and d3 to attack it. (The Knight on d3 is an ideal blocker of the d4 passed pawn, as it can still attack 'over' the pawn.)
I also agree that White has some hopes of attack on white squares (due to my pawn on h5 plus playing 11. dxc5 and 14. c4.)
However Black does have a strong passed pawn and only one weakness so far...

Last edited by glee; 02-13-2020 at 05:09 AM.
  #44  
Old 02-13-2020, 09:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chessic Sense View Post
Request: Could y'all be more explicit with your descriptions of "this move," "now," and "from here"? Reading this two days after it's posted, I have no clue was move you're talking about, when "now" was, and where "here" was when you posted it.
Yes, can do.
  #45  
Old 02-16-2020, 09:45 AM
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Ok, spent the whole of the 14th traveling and most of yesterday sleeping the travel off. But I'm back, I'm going to reexamine my position and make a move soon.
  #46  
Old 02-16-2020, 11:44 AM
NAF1138 is online now
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: North of Philly
Posts: 10,115
15.... 0-0-0

This has been more or less my plan from the start, but I briefly reconsidered it because... Well playing glee is a bit intimidating. But, I said I wanted a tactical game and this should do that. I think it's a sound idea, but honestly I mostly play other 1200 rated players so I am very much out of my depth now.
  #47  
Old 02-16-2020, 05:17 PM
glee is offline
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Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Obama country
Posts: 15,843
The game is livening up!

I see a couple of plausible game continuations from here:

SPOILER:
16. ...Nb4 (trying to force ...d3) 17. a3 d3 (...Nc6 here is just wimpy) 18. Qe4 winning a (key) pawn


or

SPOILER:
16. ...f6 17. Ne4 fxe5 18.Bg3 (a 'positional ' pawn sacrifice to give the White Knights 'outpost squares' on d3 and e4)
  #48  
Old 02-17-2020, 10:44 AM
NAF1138 is online now
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: North of Philly
Posts: 10,115
Those spoiler boxes are mocking me.

I haven't looked yet, and I won't till the game is over, but I'm wondering if my move came anywhere close. The middle game is the point where I feel I tend to make very basic errors, but I'm feeling like I have a bit of initiative and want to build up my attack with 16...Rdf8. But I have reached the stage where every move I make leaves me feeling like I'm missing something better that is obvious. That said, I don't see how glee's last move negates my idea and maybe I have a little bit of tempo?

It would help if I had any clue as to what he was thinking.

One of the benefits/harms to my game that comes from playing the same person primarily is that I can pretty easily guess his moves before he makes them, but I have no clue where glee is going right now.
  #49  
Old 02-17-2020, 10:52 AM
glee is offline
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Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Obama country
Posts: 15,843
NAF, I appreciate you not looking at the spoiler boxes - I don't want to be effectively playing myself!

However they are jolly useful to:

- show my thought processes
- keep spectators informed

I suggest you now look back at the earlier spoiler boxes, because the game has moved on past their contents.
  #50  
Old 02-17-2020, 12:32 PM
Dead Cat is offline
I was curious...
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: UK
Posts: 4,513
It seems to me that
SPOILER:
17...f5 18. exf6 e.p. Bxf6
is reasonable for Black, or have I overlooked something?
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