Monday, March 30, 2009

Reykjavik Open 2009 Rd. 6

I never have photos of me playing chess, so it is nice that someone posted this one on the blog. This is me on the right playing today's opponent, while in the center of the photo is the lady to whom I lost in the next round.

I deserved what I got today, and possibly should have even lost. As black I have a pretty predictable set of lines against 1. e4, and that bit me hard today. I considered playing something I have never played before, just to throw off my opponent's preparation, and I should have done so I guess, but I decided to stick with what I knew. My opponent planned things perfectly, using a line I have never had played against me and which I have never studied. I was lucky to get a draw...

[Event "Reykjavik Open 2009"]
[Site "Reykjavik, Iceland"]
[Date "2009.03.29"]
[Round "6"]
[White "Eiriksson, Vikingur"]
[Black "Cross, Ted"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "B33"]
[WhiteElo "1882"]
[BlackElo "2076"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 e5 6. Ndb5 d6 7. Bg5 a6 8.Na3 b5 9. Nd5 Be7 10. Bxf6 Bxf6 11. c3 O-O 12. Nc2 Bg5 13. h4
My opponent deserves full credit. He found a gaping hole in my opening knowledge here. I knew instantly that I was going to suffer. I know only the next two moves of this line, and I just knew that my opponent had spent all day studying this line on his computer. He confirmed that afterward.
13...Bh6 14. g4 Bf4 15. Qf3 Be6
A common alternative, though I didn't know it, is 15...Rb8.
16. Bd3
This move is fine, but also decent is 16. Nxf4 with a game so complex that I am not even going to try to give you any analysis.
Here is where my lack of knowledge hurt. This is bad. Instead, 16...Re8 is fine here.
17. Nxf4 exf4 18. Qxf4 Ng6 19. Qg3 Ne5 20. Be2 Bc4?!
Again not so good. Better was still 20...Re8.
21. f4 Nc6?!
Better is 21...Nd7.
22. Bxc4 bxc4 1/2-1/2
I offered a draw because I saw more danger of losing than of being able to make any sort of comeback to win. I saw some possible pressure against the 'e' pawn if he went after the pawn on c4, but he could just castle queenside and my attack would probably not be enough.

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