Fourth position

Played another G/45 at the Mechanics Institute club this past weekend. Here’s a final-round game that’s kind of comically inept, although that sounds harsher than I mean it.

But there’s a long sequence where every move by either of us improves the other guy’s position by a half-pawn or more.

C’mon gang, let’s count the wrong moves!

Mays (1985) – Slater (2140 til I die)

Screen Shot 2015-09-15 at 7.17.23 PM

Stockfish recommends: 15…b6  -0.9  (because 16.Nxf6+ Bxf6 17.Qxa8 Bb7 18.Qxa7 Qc6 19.f3 Ra8 20.Qxa8+ Bxa8 is -2.00 I did see this line, which is completely forcing, but my eval at the end was ‘white has no weaknesses, material’s about even and  just because you found a tactic doesn’t mean you should play it.’)

Game line:

15…Qc6 (-0.5)

Screen Shot 2015-09-15 at 7.15.37 PM

16.b4?! (-1.3) cxb4 (correct!)


Now Stockfish recommends: 17… f5 18. Nd2 Bxb4 19. Rec1 Qd5 20. Qxd5+ Rxd5 21. Nf3 b6 -1.5

Game line:

17…Be6? (-1.0)

18.Rfc1  Qd5 (-0.7 ; better Qe8, which never crossed my mind)

19.Rc7 Rd7  (otherwise Rxb7 Qxb7 Nxf6+ lurks)

20.Rxd7  Qxd7 

Here’s where it gets funny.

Screen Shot 2015-09-15 at 7.47.06 PM

21.Bc5? (-1.5; better Nc5 at -0.7)  Rd8?  ( now -0.8; f5 was much better)

22.a3? (-2.1; Bxe7 was much better)  b6? (-0.7; f5 was much better)

24. Bxe7  Qxe7

25. Qg3? (-1.3; Rc1 was much better)  Kf8? (Rd4 and then Qd8 was much better)

and so on. 8 correct half-moves, six of which are exchanges, and 10 stinkers between us in that sequence.

(White kept going for broke and eventually overpressed, hanging a piece, so I won.)

The learning*:

Uh, it’s a very concrete position with few elements in common w/ previous posts. But I should have given f5 more serious examination. It’s the right move more than once, and I failed to recognize that I can drive white back instead of playing defensively.

( * “Excuse me, stewardess — I speak Corporate!”)

2 thoughts on “Fourth position

  1. Mr. Slater,

    I am officially psyched that 1) You are still playing OTB and 2) the Reassembler blog is still kicking!

    I was fortunate enough to play your former USATE teammate Denys a few weekends ago at the NE Open. With brutal efficiency, Denys demonstrated how to rip apart my beloved Grünfeld. My head is still spinning from that one. Maybe I should be looking at the Dutch now?!

    Keep up the good work! by the way, why aren’t you at 2200 yet?! :)

    1. Hey!!! Ditto — I saw you on a crosstable or two recently and tried (what I thought was) your old work email.

      I mean, not that you or I ever wasted your time with chess at work. :)

      Remember faxing me all that Kudrin French analysis, in the run-up to my first-ever game against a GM?

      I’m not a 2200 because… because… [ / has total psychological breakdown, curls up in fetal position for 20 minutes / ]

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