Friday, April 26, 2013

Anger Management

Many people have an "anger management" problem of a specific kind: they put up with repeated small intrusions in their lives, saying nothing and setting no limits. Then, finally, the explode all out of proportion.

Wall,B - Guest3797656, 2013

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.Bxf7+ 

4...Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.Qh5+ Ng6 

7.Qd5+ Kf8 8.Qxc5+ Qe7 9.Qe3 Nf6 10.Nc3 Kf7 

Black is looking to castle-by-hand.

Previously seen: 10...c6 11.0-0 d5 12.f3 Qe5 13.d4 Qd6 14.e5 Qe6 15.exf6 Qxe3+ 16.Bxe3 gxf6 17.Bh6+ Kf7 18.Rae1 Re8 19.Rxe8 Kxe8 20.Re1+ Kf7 21.g4 Be6 22.Ne2 Black resigned, Wall,B - Quack,, 2010

11.0-0 Re8 12.f4 Kg8 13.d4 d5 14.f5 Nh8 

Black has allowed White's "Jerome pawns" to swarm, bypassing ...Nxe4 several times. Soon he will strike back, but it will be poorly matched to the position.

15.e5 Ng4 16.Qd3 c6 17.h3 Nxe5 18.dxe5 Qxe5 

The "science" is probably good here, as Black has returned his extra piece for two pawns, but he hardly has the advantage that he had at, say, moves 4, 6 or 8.

19.g4 d4 

Again, Black "fights fire with fire," or aggression with aggression, but only after he has allowed White to bottle up his Bishop and Knight, which should have been attended to instead. Another explosion is building up.

20.Bf4 Qc5 21.Na4 Qb4 22.b3 b5 23.a3 Qe7 24.Rae1 Qxe1 25.Rxe1 Rxe1+ 26.Kf2 Re8 27.Nc5 Nf7 

Black has aggressively exchanged his Queen for two Rooks, and achieved - what? White's pieces (including his King) are better developed and more prepared to swing into action.

28.g5 a5 29.f6 g6 30.h4 Bf5 31.Qxd4 Rad8

Finally. I still think White has the better game, however.

32.Qc3 Bg4 33.Qxa5 Re2+ 34.Kg3 Bf5

Again, passively allowing White's King to intrude, when 34...Rxc2 35.Kxg4 Rxc5 was the assertive way to go.

35.c3 Rd5 36.Qa8+ Nd8 37.Qb8 Rc2 38.Be5 Re2 39.Bd6 Re8 

After making "scary" threats on the Queenside, Black's Rook returns to defense.


Threatening 41.Bxd8 Rdxd8 42.Qc7 and 43.Qg7 mate.

Black resigned.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Don't Put Me In, Coach

I have a friend who told me that she once helped her team win a basketball championship game. As the seconds were ticking down at the crucial end of play, she said, "I went up to the coach and said 'Don't put me in, coach!' and she didn't, and we won the game..."

I thought of that as I won my last game in the third round of the Italian Game Thematic Tournament, qualifying for the fourth round. I won both games against each of the other players in my quad rated lower than me. I drew both games against the player rated higher than me.

The curious thing was that I had played against the higher rated player in round one, where I won with Black, but lost with White playing the Jerome Gambit. In the second round, against the same opponent, I drew with Black, but lost again with the Jerome Gambit. This round I drew with Black - but my opponent declined to allow me to play the Jerome Gambit, and I drew with White, as well. This allowed me to tie him at 4-0-2.

In all fairness, even if I had played the Jerome Gambit and lost (or won) we both would have moved on to the fourth round, anyway. 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Brain Freeze

The Jerome Gambit can have many diffierent kinds of effects on a defender. I particularly like the "brain freeze." In the following game, each player has at least 15 minutes to start with, and yet...

majorminor - Mzolisi
standard, FICS, 2012

1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Nf3 Bc5 5.Bxf7+ Black forfeited on time