Colorado Springs Chess News

The Knights Are Better Here!


Ahead To Advancement

Posted by Paul Anderson on June 28, 2013 at 11:00 PM

Game Of The Week


This week's game comes from the Wednesday night, month long tournament in June.  You get one 3 hour game (G90) each week and the results are combined into a Swiss tournament.  One problem that has arisen is that with so much time between rounds (1 week) some players forget they entered the tournament and fail to show up, causing a forfeit win for someone there.

One participant was very upset when these forfeit wins occurred in the final round, effecting the prize payouts.  So, now we have decided to implement fines, according to USCF rules, to encourage players to remember it is their obligation to contact the TD if they cannot make it any week.

In June, Jason Loving, a local expert, was incorrectly paired and suffered an upset.  He didn't care about the pairing mistake but was disappointed that  he was not going to be facing me in the final round.  Some people have gotten the impression that I breeze through these tournaments winning every game. 

However, I know that is far from the truth.  There have been a couple of times where I have won every round, but it is not easy to do.  My longest streak of USCF wins is 10 games.

In fact, I lost in round 3 and was paired against Jason Loving in round 4.  He got what he wanted after all.  When I failed to beat him, he offered to write about the game for the newsletter.  Here is what he had to say:

So, here's my annotations on the game in PGN format.  I'm not sure how you'll want to display it, whether you'd like to set up the game as playable through or if you play through several moves, put a picture of the position, and continue. I think it would be awesome if you also included your thoughts on the game so it could have both sides.

[Awesome it will be.  My comments will be in brackets from here on.]

Paul Anderson vs Jason Loving

1. d4 Nf6 2. Bg5 e6

Ne4 is more fun, but I don't know the lines well enough to play it in a serious game. e6 offers a solid position.

[Jason played Ne4 last time we played and lost in 21 moves:]

3. Nf3 

e4 is the mainline, but Paul usually prefers to avoid the mainline. Now the opening is a Torre attack. (3. e4 h6 4. Bxf6 Qxf6 {And black often has to play Qd8 later and ends up with a french-like position.})

[I played a similar line against Robert Ramirez and got the draw.  I was hoping to improve on that result:]

3... Be7

Avoiding making a claim on the center, waiting to see how white will set up his center first.

4. e3

(4. c4 {Transposes into a Queen's Gambit Declined after d5} 4... d5)

4... O-O 5. Bd3 d5

Black is finally forced to place his central pawns. Delaying for another move allows white to play e4, which gives him excellent attacking chances on the kingside after an eventual e5.

6. O-O Nbd7

The goal of this move, as opposed to, say, c6, is to play c5 in one move.

7. Nbd2 c5 8. c3

So here is what I thought was the first really important position. White has developed soundly but passively, looking to the fact this his bad bishop is outside of his pawn chain while black's is still inside to give him a small edge. This is a point where black really must come up with a plan. The first question is which side of the board to play on, after which it is apparent that the kingside is an awful idea, the middle is rather locked (only white can open it, with e4, but in post game analysis we concluded that black could secure a draw in this variation without too much difficulty), so this leaves the queenside.}

8... Qc7

This move strives for an advantage, rather than seeking equality.  (8... b6 {Is probably good enough for equality, though it is passive, planning Bb7, staving off white's e4 advance. If white plays c4, then Ba6 swaps off black's bad bishop for the white's good one.}) (8... Rb8 {Is the move that black would like to play, as it allows the pawn storm to move forward quickly, but it runs into the rather abrupt Bf4, after which Ra8 is forced.} 9. Bf4 Ra8 (8... a6 {Is another way of going about the pawn storm, but is isn't as fast as the Rb8 idea. The problem is that if white plays a3, then black will have to spend another tempo pushing the pawn to a5. An example is:} 9. Re1 b5 10. a3 Qb6 11. e4 {And black's counterattack isn't fast enough to be meaningful. White is dictating the play.})

9. Bf4

This is the first move that had to be examined when playing Qc7. The other option (which I thought to be more dangerous) was Rc1.} (9. Rc1 Rb8 10. c4 {And suddenly the c file is about to be opened and black's queen is under attack, and it still can't easily move away, as Bf4 would come, hitting the rook.} 10... dxc4 11. Nxc4 b5 {Was as far as I calculated and concluded it was manageable for black, though probably better for white.})

9... Bd6 10. Bxd6 Qxd6

I think it is important to compare this to the position prior to 8...Qc7. Black's queen effectively jumped forward two squares and the dark squared bishops are gone. This means 1) White has exchanged his "bad" bishop for black's "good" one. 2) White exchanged his active bishop for black's passive bishop. 3) Black's queen is significantly more active, covering the e5 and c5 square now. These factors mean that black will have great play in the short run, but if White keeps black contained, the superiority of the light squared bishop on d3 will shine over its c8 counterpart.}

[I was looking for the long-term advantage and favored 1 and 2.]

11. Re1

White's plan revolves around playing e4 at a timely moment. Play on the kingside is limited, and the queenside is black's domain. (Always play where your pieces are)

11... Rb8

The continuation of the plan begun with Qc7. Ideally black would play b5, b4, and a5, a4, a3, undermining white's pawn chain.}

12. a4

Slowing black's attack. The immediate b5 is no longer possible.

12... a6

In such positions, it is often necessary to play the b pawn forward one first, and only then push the a pawn forward one, as otherwise the other side could lock down the queenside by pushing their a pawn again. This isn't the case in this example.

13. Qb1

This turned out to be a mistake, but there is a rather great idea behind it. If black plays b5 now, it is met suddenly by b4!, when the queenside is locked and white has all the play. The alternative, c4 followed by b5 (intending play on the b2 pawn) runs into the problematic e4!} (13. a5 {Runs into the simple} 13... b6 {When black opens up the queenside for play.})

13... e5

An attack on the flank (or the movement away from the center) is met by a counterattack in the center! This is a basic rule, but it is often forgotten.} (13... b5 14. axb5 axb5 15. b4 c4 16. Bc2 Bb7 {The locked up state makes it difficult for black to make any meaningful progress on the queenside, and e4 is coming for white.} 17. e4 ) (13... c4 14. Bc2 b5 15. axb5 Rxb5 {And black has play against the b2 pawn (it can't move due to en passant) except for...} 16. e4 {And black's pieces are running for their lives.})

14. Bf5

Trying to take control of the d4 square. The downside is that it gives black a free hand.} (14. dxe5 {Seemed to be most logical.} 14... Nxe5 15. Nxe5 Qxe5 16. Nf3 Qh5 {And black is slightly better owing to a better center.})

[The immediate 14. e4 might be the best idea to keep my bishop and rook active.]

14... e4  15. Bxd7

Necessary, any knight move loses material.

15... Nxd7

(15... Bxd7  {Would be natural, but after} 16. dxc5 Qxc5 17. Nd4 {White enjoys a reasonable position.})

[Realized this option too late and my Knight outpost idea was not going to be as good as I hoped.]

16. dxc5 Nxc5

The point of capturing on d7 with the knight. The knight now has a lovely outpost on d3.

17. Nd4

This is probably the second key position for black. White's next move, almost regardless of what black does, will be c4, as he has to undermine the massive block that is black's center before black overruns white's king. Black would love to play f5-f4, swing the Queen over to either h6 or g6, move the knight to d3, and take the e3 pawn with his f pawn, or push on to f3 depending on the situation. Black also wants to move the bishop out to g4 or h3, and maybe even use a rook lift to get the rook into the battle.  Unfortunately, the only one of these that black has time for is the f5-f4 push.

[Now I begin to realize my King is very lonely.  I need to be sure my pieces can get back to protect him, as Black's Queen and Bishop are looking pretty scary.  The Rook is going to have to go e2 so the Queen can move to f1 quickly.  Also, the d2 Knight may have to redeploy to c1 to unseat the Black Knight on d3.  I will be on the defensive for awhile.]

17... f5

(17... Be6 {Strives to hold black's center together before launching an attack. It's slower, but probably still effective.}) (17... b5 {Is ineffective at stopping c4.} 18. axb5 axb5 19. Ra5 Bd7 20. b3 {and c4 will come soon.})

18. c4 Nd3 19. Re2 Qg6

A huge positional blunder. (19... f4  20. cxd5 Qg6 {The main threat is Bg4, winning material.} 21. Ne6 This move stops Bg4, but allows f3. I am unsure how else white would defend, though. 21... Bxe6 22. dxe6 f3 {And black wins material. I haven't checked this with a computer, but it seems won for black.})

[I thought 19...f4 20. f3 would work, but there still seems to be a lot of problems for White.]

20. f4

And just like that, black's attack is gone! His pieces can't get over to the kingside with his pawn still on f5. If black can't find something effective on THIS TURN, he's going to be in for a long obnoxious grind as white uses his superior knight to torment black.

20... Nxf4

Hanging a piece. Whoever said that 2000 players are so good anyways? (20...exf3 {is necessary.} 21. N2xf3 f4 {Defending the knight, continuing something of an attack. It's not great for black, but it's probably about equal.})

21. exf4 Qb6

22. c5

The move I missed (any other move allows black to reclaim his piece with a great game). The game is probably resignable. White is up a piece for two pawns, and his knights are vastly superior to black's bishop. The only thing black can gloat about is a nice space advantage, but that will go away once white starts nomming black's weak pawns.

22... Qxc5

I had nothing more interesting to do than keep playing, so I figured I'd make him earn his win.

[Even a bad plan is better than no plan.]

23. Nb3 Qd6

Forcing white to react for a turn.

24. g3 Bd7

Simple development, allowing for a potential b5 push, possibly allowing Be8 and swinging over to the kingside. The game is lost for black, but that doesn't mean black can't make it complicated for white.

25. Qa2

I was quite thrilled to see this move. Positionally, it makes quite a bit of sense, piling on the weak d5 pawn. However, it decentralizes the queen further, making black's next move not only possible, but a reasonable threat.

25... b5

When you're in a losing position, the best thing you can do is try to make the position as complicated as possible (often by launching an attack on the king) and hope the opponent screws up at some point. This move aims to destabilize white's hold on d4. If white maintains his knight there, the game is hopeless for black, if black manages to dislodge the knight somehow, black may still be in the game.

26. axb5 Bxb5 27. Nxb5

Not forced, but makes a lot of sense, the knights were redundant anyways, might as well trade one off for a useful piece.

27... Rxb5

The threat is Qb6+. Qxa6 doesn't work because the knight on b3 is loose. So far, complications have been created, check.

28. Nd4 Qc5

Now comes the effort to break the blockade on d4. The game for black depends on it. This is important because the passed pawns are absolutely useless to black if they're blockaded (they can even be a bad thing!)

29. Rd1 Rb4 30. Rc2

(30. Red2 {Would have made black's day.} 30... e3 31. Rd3 e2 {And suddenly black's winning!}) (30. Qa3 {Seemed to me to be the best move. After this move, the queen gets back into the game.})

30... Rc4 31. Rxc4

b3 would have won effortlessly. (31. b3 {Taking and moving the rook are bad as they release the pressure on d4 (though, obviously it must move).} 31... Rc3 32. Rxc3 Qxc3 33. Qd2 {Now the game really is resignable.})

[I still like Rxc4, gaining a Pawn back right away.]

31... dxc4

Now black can at least hit the knight with his other rook.

32. Qxa6

Mixing defense with offense! There is no good way to proceed with black, only "less bad" options. A couple examples of bad, though tempting, options include:

32... Rd8

The only move to keep some pressure (and therefore, hopes of drawing) (32... Kh8 33. Qc6 {Is resignable.}) (32... Re8 {Trying to prevent Qe6+} 33. Qc6) (32... Rf6 33. Qb5)

33. Qe6+ Kh8 34. Qe5

And black's left in a bad way, but it was necessary.

34... Qb6

Again, black must keep some pressure, some threats going, or the position is resignable, as black is a piece down.

[For a Pawn.]

35. Rd2

Qxf5 allows for more complications. (35. Qxf5 Qxb2 36. Qxe4 c3 37. Qe3 c2 38. Rc1 Qxd4 {3v2 pawns on the same wing with a rook is a theoretical draw.})

[37. Re1 removes the pin on the Knight allowing it to protect c2 and creates mating threats.]

35... Qb4

Overreaching, but there aren't really any good moves for black.

36. Nxf5 Qb6+ 37. Kf1

Kg2 was much simpler (though, objectively the same), as it kept the king safe.

37... Rg8

And black's initiative is gone. The game is resignable, but, again, I didn't have anything more interesting than forcing Paul to prove the win.

[Even a bad plan is better than no plan.]

38. Rd7

Simple and strong.

38... Qb3

Hoping for a perpetual.

39. Nh6

A very pretty way to finish (or it should have been), though Rxg7 brute forces the mate quite nicely without a loose knight.

[Nxg7 mates!  "Mate in 9" would have been my highest number announced for moves to mate, but I am not a computer (39. Nxg7 Qf3+ 40. Kg1 Qe3+ 41. Kg2 Qe2+ 42. Kh3 Qg4+ 43. Kxg4 h6 44. Kh5 Rf8 45. Nf5+ Rf6 46. Qxf6+ Kg8 47. Qg7#).]

39... Qf3+ 40. Ke1

And the game is suddenly equal! This is why resigning is pretty much always suspect, because even a strong 2050 player like Paul can throw the game away with one careless move. (40. Kg1 {This move leads to a forced mate. The black queen can't stop the king from runing to h4 where it will be safe.} 40... Qe3+ 41. Kg2 Qe2+ 42. Kh3 Qf1+ 43. Kh4 {And white's king is safe, and Nf7 checkmate is coming (Qxg8 checkmate on any rook move by black).})


40... Qh1+ 41. Kd2 Qxh2+ 42. Kc1 Qh1+

A small finesse. The idea is that if the king comes forward, the Queen can come forward as well, and if it comes too far forward, black's rook will come into the battle with a likely mate. 

[Who cares?  I hate this game now.]

43. Rd1

Acknowledging potential of black's last move, putting the rook back on the first rank.

[Why didn't I just play 40. Kg1?]

43... Qxh6 44. Qxe4

And black, miraculously, has an equal position, though his pieces are somewhat oddly placed. I only had about 5 minutes left to play the rest of the game though, so my mind was focused on obtaining a draw.

[My mind was focused on 40. Kg1!!!]

44... Qa6

Simple and to the point. Defends c4 while creating counterthreats of my own.

[Simpler would have been 40. Kg1!!!!]

45. Rh1

Attempting to use the superior placement of his rook to force an advantage.

[I hate my Rook!]

45... Qa1+

Trading off queens.

[I hate my Queen!]

46. Qb1 Qxb1+ 47. Kxb1

The ending is interesting, upon going into it I was convinced white was better as it seemed "apparent" that black's pawn on c4 couldn't hold. On the other hand, I underestimated how strong my king was right by the majority of the pawns.

[Why are we still talking about this?  This should have been over by now.  I would have gotten rating points and money.]

47... g5

Absolutely essential. Passiveness is a luxury that can not be afforded in rook and pawn endgames. Black needs to make his king and rook as active as possible.

[I hate Rook and Pawn endgames!]

48. f5

Taking activated the rook, and not taking activated the rook. Not taking was probably best. (48. Rc1 gxf4 49. gxf4 {Black is struggling for the draw.})

[Taking the game back to 40. Kg1 was best!]

48... Kg7 49. Rd1

White was playing quickly, attempting to take advantage of black's time pressure, and in doing so, allows black to get the upper hand!

[Uh oh, I messed up the mate,  I messed up the endgame, and I better come up with a plan not to lose this stupid game now.  I am not so mad as to give up the draw as well.]

49... Kf6 50. Rd5 h5 51. Kc2 Rb8

The game continued for several more moves, black had a better position and was up a pawn, but had 8 seconds on the clock and was unable to find a winning continuation, so settled for the draw.

[I hate draws!]

Ahead To Advancement 


[Event "June Panera Wednesday"]

[Site ""]

[Date "2013.06.26"]

[Round "4.3"]

[White "Anderson, Paul"]

[Black "Loving, Jason"]

[Result "1/2-1/2"]

[ECO "A46"]

[PlyCount "140"]

[EventDate "2013.06.05"]

[TimeControl "5400"]


1. d4 Nf6 2. Bg5 e6 3. Nf3 Be7 4. e3 O-O 5. Bd3

d5 6. O-O Nbd7 7. Nbd2 c5 8. c3 Qc7 9. Bf4 Bd6 10. Bxd6 Qxd6 11. Re1 Rb8 12. a4

a6 13. Qb1 e5 14. Bf5 e4 15. Bxd7 Nxd7 16. dxc5 Nxc5 17. Nd4 f5 18. c4 Nd3 19.

Re2 Qg6 20. f4 Nxf4 21. exf4 Qb6 22. c5 Qxc5 23. N2b3 Qd6 24. g3 Bd7 25. Qa2 b5

26. axb5 Bxb5 27. Nxb5 Rxb5 28. Nd4 Qc5 29. Rd1 Rb4 30. Rc2 Rc4 31. Rxc4 dxc4

32. Qxa6 Rd8 33. Qe6+ Kh8 34. Qe5 Qb6 35. Rd2 Qb4 36. Nxf5 Qb6+ 37. Kf1 Rg8 38.

Rd7 Qb3 39. Nh6 Qf3+ 40. Ke1 Qh1+ 41. Kd2 Qxh2+ 42. Kc1 Qh1+ 43. Rd1 Qxh6 44.

Qxe4 Qa6 45. Rh1 Qa1+ 46. Qb1 Qxb1+ 47. Kxb1 g5 48. f5 Kg7 49. Rd1 Kf6 50. Rd5

h5 51. Kc2 Rb8 52. Rd4 Rb4 53. g4 hxg4 54. Rxg4 Kxf5 55. Rg1 g4 56. Rb1 Rb3 57.

Ra1 g3 58. Ra5+ Ke4 59. Rg5 Kf3 60. Rf5+ Kg2 61. Rf4 Rb4 62. Kc3 Rb3+ 63. Kc2

Rb4 64. Rd4 Kh2 65. Rd2+ g2 66. Kc3 Rb3+ 67. Kxc4 Rxb2 68. Rxb2 Kh1 69. Rb1+

g1=Q 70. Rxg1+ Kxg1 1/2-1/2


This Week In Chess


On June 25th, the Colorado Springs Chess Club held a Bughouse event (2RR, G5), where players chose partners and play as a team where you can drop in captured pieces from your partner in leiu of a move. 

Isaac Martinez & Daniel Herman repeated their dominance from last month and  tied with Gunnar Andersen & Shirley Herman to split the 1st place points.


Here are the results:


Score, Player:


5.0 Isaac Martinez & Daniel Herman

5.0 Gunnar Andersen & Shirley Herman

4.0 Alex Torres & Kevin Kaaoush

3.0 Paul Anderson & Eugin Pahk

3.0 Mark McGough & Joe Pahk


Tuesday Night Chess Tour Cumulative and 2nd Quarter Results


Current Standings (rank, name, total, quarter): 


1    Paul Anderson    60.50    35.50

2    Isaac Martinez    37.50    32.50

3    Mark McGough    33.25    21.25

4    Mike Madsen    24.50    17.00

5    Daniel Herman    19.00    15.00

6    Alex Torres    15.00    7.00

7    Jeff Fox    14.75    10.25

8    Dean Brown    14.50    7.50

9    Shirley Herman    14.50    12.50

10    Koji DelConte    13.50    7.00

11    Joe Pahk    13.00    11.50

12    Tim Brennan    12.00    0.00

13    Peter Grigg    12.00    9.00

14    Josh Bloomer    10.50    8.00

15    Richard Buchanan    9.75    9.75

16    Alex Freeman    8.50    3.50

17    Sara Herman    7.00    3.00

18    Tom Richardson    7.00    7.00

19    Eugin Pahk    7.00    4.00

20    Kevin Kaaoush    7.00    7.00

21    Gunnar Andersen    7.00    7.00

22    Randy Canton    6.00    6.00

23    Brian Rountree    6.00    2.00

24    Josh Divine    4.25    4.25

25    Scott Williams    4.00    4.00

26    Kathy Schneider    4.00    3.00

27    Peter Barlay    3.50    3.50

28    Joe Polanco    3.00    3.00

29    Anthea Carson    2.00    0.00

30    Mike Wanek    2.00    0.00

31    James Powers    2.00    0.00

32    Wes Smith    2.00    1.00

33    William Wilken    2.00    2.00

34    Imre Barlay    2.00    2.00

35    Rebecca Herman    1.50    0.00

36    Mike Toth    1.00    0.00

37    Buddy Diamond    1.00    0.00

38    Curits Holsinger    1.00    1.00

39    Evan Baron    1.00    1.00

40    Teppei Monjiyama    1.00    1.00

41    Nicholas Wyle    1.00    1.00

42    Katie Wise    1.00    1.00

    MAX POSSIBLE    80.00    52.00

Categories: 2013

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