Saturday, December 31, 2005

The Perfect Chess Opening

I know Anthony reads my chess posts. Good. This one's for you, Neo.

I have about 5 games of chess going at any given time on Its Your Turn. Most of my chess games are on a ladder of which I'm a member (currently ranked No. 756 of 1874 players) and once every blue moon, I play a game I really look forward to, a game which I actually get excited about. Not the kind of excited you get when see the bus coming, but the kind of excited that makes you get up out of bed in the morning and walk to your computer before you make coffee or go to the loo. I get excited about these kinds of games typically because I'm trying some cool strategy which is actually working. It is rare, believe you me.

In this particular game I achieved the traditional opening which I was taught so many years ago by Larry Evans. Most chess players use their opening moves to get into this coveted position... the problem is that but everyone knows that, too, so each player's attempts are almost always mucked up when the other player prematurely attacks.

Here's the game I played (no running commentary this time):

1. e4 e6
2. d4 Nc6
3. Nf3 a6
4. Be3 b5
5. Nc3 f6
6. Bd3 Bb7
7. Qe2 Bd6
8. e5 fxe5
9. Bg5 Nxd4
10. Nxd4 Qxg5
11. Ne4 Qf4
12. Nf3 Bb4+
13. c3 Bxe4
14. Bxe4 c6
15. g3 Bxc3+
16. bxc3 Qh6
17. Nxe5 Nf6
18. Nxc6 Nxe4
19. Qxe4 d5
20. Qe5 Kd7
21. Nd4 Rac8
22. Nb3 Rc4
23. Nd2 g5
24. Nxc4 bxc4
25. Qd4 Ra8
26. Rd1 Qf8
27. Qxc4 Rc8
28. Qa4+ Rc6
29. c4 Qe8
30. Rd4 Kd6
31. Qb4+ Rc5
32. Qb6+ Qc6
33. Qxc6+ Kxc6
34. O-O dxc4
35. Rfd1 Kb5
36. Rb1+ Ka4
37. Rd6 a5
38. Rbb6 c3
39. Rb3 Rc4
40. Rd3 c2
41. Ra3+ Kb5
42. Rdb3+ Rb4
43. Rc3 Rc4
44. Rab3+ Rb4
45. Rxc2 a4
46. Rxb4+ Kxb4
47. Rc7 Ka3
48. Rc2 h5
49. Kg2 g4
50. h3 1-0 (resigns)

And here's a beeeee-yooo-tiful pin/decouvert. Again, I'm only really pleased about this because I planned this pin and the game unfolded exactly so. What a rush. (No, I'm not an amazing player at all—Chess is a bloody difficult game to master and you have to relish your infrequent victories else you'll succumb to perpetual discouragement and crippling meloncholy.)

If I learned one thing about this game, it's that my end game spews chunks all over the sidewalk. I mean, spewage... everywhere. I'm sure I could have mated this guy around move 40, but no... I had to go spew outside instead because I had no freakin' clue what I was doing. Way room for improvement.

P.S. If you're a member of Its Your Turn, you should be able to interactively review this game by clicking here. And should any of you wish to spare with me, my nick is slade95816.


MaVeRiCk said...

I've learned how to play chess about 5 times, but it always takes too long between games for me to remember everything I was taught the last time. If I was to start again, I wouldn't know the first thing to do...well, I know of the pieces are that's a start...but I still find it interesting to read your blogs:)

I only wish I could win a game that wasn't against somebody under the age of 10...

So good luck to you as you continue to climb your ladder!

Anonymous said...

Interesting game. You take what I would call an unjustified risk with 9 Bg5. It seems based on the assumption that the opponent will not respond optimally. Which, of course, he doesn't. He does well at first ... by 11 Ne4 he's up two pawns, but then 11 ... Qf4?? Your gamble pays off. If he played say Qxg2, you drop a third pawn, and a queen trade is almost certain, leaving you with poor chances for regaining the lost material.

I have to wonder at the utterly bizarre 23 ... g5?? which not only fails to defend his rook at c4, but also leaves his rook at h8 hanging. Luckily you go for the pin and he only loses one rook out of it.

Anyway, I thought your endgame was good. A couple moves were clearly not super helpful, but none of them caused you any trouble, and your rook dance around moves 39-44 was fun to watch (although 44 ... Kc5 would have put you in a decidedly unpleasant situation).

Happy new year!


Ross Pruden said...

A famous man once said, "If you want to curse a man, teach him chess."

On the nostalgic five day trans-siberian train ride, there used to be nothing to do but dance on its disco car... or play chess on its chess car. This had the odd result of converting its passengers into either chess grandmasters or disco dancing queens. :)

Lacie, if you challenge me to a game on Itsyourturn, I promise not to act like a 10 year old. For at least five moves.

Ross Pruden said...


He came very close to boxing in my Queen with c4 (I almost didn't see it) and so I'm betting he moved g5 to tighten the noose... probably overlooking that my knight countermove to attack e4 (and prevent Re4) was also attacking his rook at c4. Happens to me all the time -- you focus all your energies on one area of the board, forget about an the other side of the board, and then curse yourself as soon as you've moved!

Also, he could have MUI (moved under the influence.)

Leslie said...

Fun blogging Ross. Perhaps one day, my 8 year old son, Scott, will teach me to play Chess. Then I'll have a clue about your moves. ;-)

Like Lacie said, keep climbing that ladder Ross. Upward ho...Up you go...just win the dang games.

Ross Pruden said...

Leslie, my Dad taught me how to play originally, you know and he played with me for a while. And then he seemed to stop when I began beating him. Wonder why...