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Saturday, April 27, 2013

Philidor Defense (17), exposing the king

Today’s blog entry is from round 3 of my chess club’s weekly tournament. The game is G75 with a 30 second increment. White opened with e4 and I defended with my favorite Philidor Hanham. On White’s 6th move he captures my e5-pawn, which immediately equalizes for Black.

White breaks a pin of his Queen by moving pawns to h3 and g4. Black cannot resist the opportunity to open the castled position by trading a Knight for 2 pawns. Later, Black opens the f-file and establishes a winning battery.

White is now down 2 pawns and significantly behind on the clock (Black has 35 minutes and White has 2). Instead of playing murky tactics, Black elects to not trade pieces, planning on exchanging the time advantage into a material advantage. White resigned to end the game.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Philidor Defense (16), advanced pawn

Today’s blog entry is from round 2 of my chess club’s weekly tournament. White opened with e4 and I defended with my favorite Philidor Hanham. On White’s 5th move he advanced the d4-pawn which created a weakness within his central pawns. The next several moves had Black advancing his Q-side while threatening the d-pawn.

On move 21, White thought that a K-side attack was possible and more interesting than the Q-side/center positioning battle. Houdini calculates that it was more advantageous to immediately take the attacking Bishop, but my analysis was lengthy and the result still murky and I settled for a safe Rook move ... seeing that White could not make headway in his attack. When White pursued his attack, I gained significant material, then proceeded to remove all his attacking options, and got a resignation.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Indian Defense, out of book early

Today’s blog entry is from an online turn-based tournament game. My opponent sacrificed a Bishop to initiate an K-sides attack. He had no advantage that would justify this attack. After fending off the attack, Black initiated an attack of his own. With the White pieces so poorly placed after trying to attack, the game did not last long.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Bird’s Opening (6), trading into a draw

Today’s blog entry is from round 1 of our chess club’s weekly tournament. I trotted out my Bird’s Opening and when my opponent immediately went out of book, we started playing chess. We maneuvered, each looking for a weakness to attack. When none appeared and our piece count was down, he offered and I accepted a draw.

 Move #20 again shows how my weak calculation skills harm a game. Miscalculation of this sequence took the game from a plus score to a minus one.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Philidor Defense (15), imbalanced line

Today’s blog entry is a Chessmaster 10 game. This is the closest any opponent has come to the tricky Hanham Philidor line that leaves Black down significantly in material, but with a large lead in development. It would have been more instructional if CM would have followed book and entered the variation. Maybe next time (sigh).

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Queen’s Pawn Game, early checkmate

Today’s blog entry is from an online game. This is a great way to experiment with openings. A miscalculation by my opponent gave me a material lead, so the plan was to complete development and then trade down to an endgame. During this process, I blocked both K-side and Q-side castling. While my opponent was trying to resolve that, he left a pretty mate.