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Saturday, January 12, 2013

Philidor Defense (9), a Reti defense

Today’s game is a club tournament game played at G75 with a 30 second increment. My opponent was a rapidly improving sub-class player. He opened with the Reti, a relatively passive opening with dynamic potential. I responded with my standard Philidor development, which was up to the defensive task.

The middlegame was mostly an exchange of material during which I built up a slight advantage. I had missed an opportunity early, but it was not apparent even with Houdini’s analysis.

The endgame had an exchange of draw offers, but both of us declined as we thought we had an exploitable advantage. When my opponent got the opposition deep in my territory, I twice counted the tempi necessary to promote via the Q-side vs. my opponent’s tempi on the K-side and came up short. Therefore I shifted my attention to the K-side and we fought to a draw. Subsequent analysis (appended below) indicated I did have a winning line but would not have found it over-the-board.

The variations and move symbols are Houdini’s (1.5 32-bit), diagnosed with ‘Scid vs PC’ at 20 seconds per ply and a 0.5 error threshold. The verbal comments are my thoughts during the game and my interpretations of the analysis provided by Houdini. The score chart is at the bottom of this entry.

This game shows the flexibility of the Philidor Defense.  It also emphasizes the need to advance your pawns to improve your chances in an endgame pawn race.

This analysis was played against Houdini set at full strength with 5-second moves. The FEN is below for all who want to explore further:
FEN "8/1p2k2p/2p3p1/2P1K3/6P1/8/7P/8 b - -"

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