Rapid Game Seaman-Wainscott 0-1

A couple of weeks ago I played a rapid game against one of my niece’s school coach. As I am her private coach this felt like it should be some sort of epic struggle!

Afterwards, the game yielded some interesting analysis, though I was annoyed to find that there is an easy refutation to what I thought was interesting as you will see below when you see the move 22.Qc8+ in the analysis to White’s 20th move.

Til Next Time,

Chris Wainscott

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Interesting Position From a Game of Mine

Thursday of this past week I played a game which wasn’t all that interesting in and of itself, but which contained a very interesting position.

Here is the position with White to move:

Here my opponent did me just about the biggest favor possible and played 15.0-0??

After the game though, some friends and I analyzed this position to great lengths. It was one of those analysis sessions where each contributor found and refuted one another’s ideas back and forth. It’s sad that such sessions are so rare these days.

What would you have played here? See below for the complete game and some analysis. Granted, I ran the lines through an engine to verify them so the analysis won’t be 100% what we were looking at on the 8th, but it’s pretty close.

Til Next Time,

Chris Wainscott

If you like this blog, please consider becoming a Patreon supporter. Any money I raise will go towards lessons and stronger tournaments.

If you can spare it, please click here and become a supporter. Even $1 a month can help me achieve my dream.

Interesting 15+15 Game I Just Played

A friend has been trying to talk me into playing in the lichess 45/45 league. I’ve been playing some 15+15 games to establish my classical rating and I just finished this one.

Overall I am pleased with the game, though you will see that there are many areas in which I could improve here.

I’m curious what the readers think…

Til Next Time,

Chris Wainscott

If you like this blog, please consider becoming a Patreon supporter. Any money I raise will go towards lessons and stronger tournaments.

If you can spare it, please click here and become a supporter. Even $1 a month can help me achieve my dream.

Interesting Position in the Marshall

I’ve been looking at some various positions that I might want to play. I’ve been thinking about playing the mainline Marshall instead of playing anti-Marshall setups as White.

So I was looking at this position:

Here the main move for White is by far 17.Nd2. It’s almost universal. I was looking at a different move which I am working on, but I then started asking myself, why not 17.Bd1 in this position? Doesn’t that force the light squared bishops off?

So I was trying to determine the consequences of giving up the light squared bishop for White. Then I turned the engine on. The engine shows that there is a brutal tactical refutation after 17.Bd1.

Have a look. The solution appears at the end of the post.

Til Next Time,

Chris Wainscott

If you like this blog, please consider becoming a Patreon supporter. Any money I raise will go towards lessons and stronger tournaments.

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Solution: 17…Rxe3 18.fxe3 Bxg3. Here everything wins. Feel free to analyze all of the lines with or without an engine.

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A Dream Result for Carlsen

Yesterday Magnus Carlsen put the cap on the midway point of a dream year in which he’s won six tournaments already. He finished with eight points from eleven games in the GCT event in Zagreb, Croatia.

This hearkens back to an event ten years ago, the 2nd Nanjing Spring Pearl tournament where Magnus scored the best ever performance rating of 3002 with eight points from ten rounds.

Over the next ten days we will look at those ten games, including his round one win annotated by Magnus himself in Chessbase Magazine 133.

Round One

Carlsen – Leko 1-0

Tomorrow we’ll look at round two!

Til Next Time,

Chris Wainscott

If you like this blog, please consider becoming a Patreon supporter. Any money I raise will go towards lessons and stronger tournaments.

If you can spare it, please click here and become a supporter. Even $1 a month can help me achieve my dream.

Slav’s and Pawns

A few years ago I lost a game on the White side of the Slav because my opponent won my c pawn and I went full blown panic thinking I had to win it back immediately rather than let him hold on to the pawn while I built up my position.

Since then I have learned the importance of other elements such as time and space rather than being so materially minded, which is why I can appreciate this game between Sasha Grishchuk and Lev Aronian from Bilbao 2009.

Granted, this game is in a line of the Semi-Slav, but same idea. In this position Black has temporarily won White’s c pawn.

White builds up some nice advantages, and then Black sacs an exchange – I presume since the dark squares around his king look a bit tender.

After some mutual positional pawn sacs being down the exchange proves to be a bit too much for Black and White converts a nice opportunity.

Here is the game, with annotations by the well-known attacker, Polish GM Michal Krasenkow. This comes from Chessbase Magazine issue 132.

If you’re not familiar with Krasenkow you should listen to Ben Johnson’s Perpetual Chess Podcast interview with him here. You can (and SHOULD) order Krasenkow’s recent book on his best games here.

Til Next Time,

Chris Wainscott

If you like this blog, please consider becoming a Patreon supporter. Any money I raise will go towards lessons and stronger tournaments.

If you can spare it, please click here and become a supporter. Even $1 a month can help me achieve my dream.

Space Can be a Disadvantage Too

One of the things that we learn as we progress in chess is that having more space means having an advantage.

Here is an amazing example where that is not the case. In this game Lautier builds up a sizeable space advantage against the German GM Nispeanu, but at the cost of a lack of king safety.

Nipeanu coolly and calmly maneuvers his pieces into place and then smashes open the position and suddenly Lautier’s advantage becomes a wide open field for his opponents pieces to start charging through.

The annotations are from English GM Peter Wells. This game appears in Chessbase Magazine 130 from June 2009.

Til Next Time,

Chris Wainscott

If you like this blog, please consider becoming a Patreon supporter. Any money I raise will go towards lessons and stronger tournaments.

If you can spare it, please click here and become a supporter. Even $1 a month can help me achieve my dream.

Finally Beat Another 1900!

One of the odd things when you look at my history on the US Chess website is the fact that while I have a reasonable record for my rating against 2000, 2100, and 2200 I had only managed one win against a 1900.

Until today when I beat a talented junior in round one of the WI G/60 State Championship.

Hopefully this is a sign of things to come.

Til Next Time,

Chris Wainscott

If you like this blog, please consider becoming a Patreon supporter. Any money I raise will go towards lessons and stronger tournaments.

If you can spare it, please click here and become a supporter. Even $1 a month can help me achieve my dream.

Understanding What’s Important

One of my bigger struggles is looking at a position and not understanding what the most important feature is.

It’s not necessarily that I look at the position and don’t understand the answer to that question – it’s that I often don’t even ask the question.

Take this position for instance:

The game is Aberg-Smith 2012 and it’s Black to move. Take a minute and ask yourself what the most important feature is.

I spent time trying to get the knight to the c4 square. But I never did like the idea of 17…Na3 18.Ra1 Nc4 19.Rxa7 and now Black is in a world of pain.

Then I thought about playing …f5 to try to lock down e4, but that doesn’t do much either.

Here’s the thing though…this game appears in the “no pawn break no plan” chapter of Pump  Up Your Rating by Axel Smith. So had I asked myself the question I would have noticed that Black can play 17…e5 right now to undermine White’s c pawn before it gets too dangerous, but that if Black doesn’t do so now, then White will play f4 and that’s that as far as the …e5 break goes.

So after 17…e5 White is forced to take or make serious concessions.  Then after 18.dxe5 Bxe5 White is still slightly better, but that c pawn doesn’t look nearly as scary as it did before.

I need to start adding a step where I ask myself in any position I’m analyzing “What is truly the most important feature of this position?” Hopefully if I do so I’ll get in the habit and this will simply become second nature.

Here is the entire game for anyone who is interested.

Til Next Time,

Chris Wainscott

If you like this blog, please consider becoming a Patreon supporter. Any money I raise will go towards lessons and stronger tournaments.

If you can spare it, please click here and become a supporter. Even $1 a month can help me achieve my dream.

Too Much Garry? No Such Thing!

So I come across this position in Timman’s latest book The Longest Game about the five Kasparov-Karpov matches from 1984-1990.

Here Garry plays 13.Bf4 with Timman noting “Against Marjanovic in La Valetta 1980, Kasparov had played 13.exd5 and won convincingly.”

I was wondering about that game and so I looked it up. Wow…just wow.

The blunder happens in this position:

The threat of course is 17.Nh6+ with the discovered attack on the queen. This game is the stem game in this line, and Marjanovic chooses the worst way to deal with the threat by moving his king to h8, after which his position implodes since the knight on c3 is able to come into the attack via e4 with tempo since the queen is unguarded on d7.

An interesting factoid here is that this game also seems to be a possible example of who was staying current in chess literature at the time and who wasn’t due to the very next game in this line, which took place the following year in Buenos Aires between Argentinian IM Raimundo Garcia and Columbian Augusto Pereira.  I can find ratings in the high 2200’s for Pereira so it seems likely he was close to FM strength although he never got the title.

The two games are the same through White’s 19th move:

Here Pereira deviated with 19…Qc5 rather than 19…Qf6. No matter, he still lost quickly.

The reason for my comment about staying current in literature is that back in these days there were no databases and it could be hard to find recent games. Those players who were better at it often had an advantage over those who weren’t.

The Kasparov game had been published in Informant 30, but unless players took the time to truly read and digest the Informants they would often be at the mercy of their better prepared opponents.

Til Next Time,

Chris Wainscott

If you like this blog, please consider becoming a Patreon supporter. Any money I raise will go towards lessons and stronger tournaments.

If you can spare it, please click here and become a supporter. Even $1 a month can help me achieve my dream.