Monday, January 12, 2015


Some time ago Daniel Sadkowski asked my opinion about Negi's new book. He assumed by default that I bought the book as it largely overlaps with my repertoire. However I shocked him by replying that I don't have it. I haven't bought any openingbook anymore the last 20 years. In the post-mortem after my game in Opwijk somebody asked me how I can have often a better knowledge of openings without possessing books than my opponents have.

In my article using databases I explain how in a quick efficient way to get results. The results are more than sufficient for a player of my rating but it would be a big mistake to deduct that we always will be successful. I frequently use correspondence-games in my preparation but correspondence is very different from standard-chess. The same remark can be made for standard-chess compared with blitz. It is not because an opening is fully playable on a certain tempo that the same results will be achieved on a different tempo. An example I mentioned in my article Achilles.

We shouldn't forget that in standard-chess we don't have access to engines (if we don't cheat of course) neither have the time nor the means to inspect all the details. So the danger is real that a player at the board gets into nasty problems if you just follow without serious study a correspondence-game. Something like that happened in my game of the 3rd round Open Leuven. I had no experience with the Chinese dragon so I tried to patch this gap by memorizing some critical lines of correspondence-games. The correspondence-game which I followed, was Delizia, Costantino - Silva, Marcus Antonio Roli played in 2012.
[Event "Witold-ROW(s)"] [Site "ICCF"] [Date "2012.03.01"] [White "Delizia, Costantino"] [Black "Silva, Marcus Antonio Roli"] [Result "1-0"] [WhiteElo "2325"] [BlackElo "2316"] [PlyCount "97"] [WhiteTeam "Witold’s Friends"] [BlackTeam "Rest of the World"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 g6 6. Be3 Bg7 7. f3 Nc6 8. Qd2 O-O 9. Bc4 Bd7 10. O-O-O Rb8 11. Bb3 Na5 12. Bh6 Bxh6 13. Qxh6 e5 14. Ndb5 Nxb3 15. axb3 Bxb5 16. Nxb5 Qa5 17. c4 d5 18. Qg5 Nd7 19. exd5 a6 20. Na3 b5 21. Qd2 Qb6 22. cxb5 axb5 23. d6 Rfc8 24. Kb1 b4 25. Nc4 Qa6 26. Rhe1 Rb7 27. Qe2 Ra7 28. Kc2 Rb7 29. f4 Rb5 30. Kb1 exf4 31. Qd2 Ra8 32. Re7 Nc5 33. Qd5 Ne6 34. Qe4 Kf8 35. Rd5 Rxd5 36. Qxd5 Rd8 37. Rb7 Ra8 38. Rxb4 Qa1 39. Kc2 Rd8 40. Na5 Qe1 41. Nc6 Rd7 42. Rc4 Kg7 43. b4 Qe2 44. Kb3 h5 45. Ne5 Ra7 46. d7 Ra1 47. Rc2 Qd1 48. Qxd1 Rxd1 49. b5 1-0
As expected, Iuliia deviated from the game at move 17 because d5 is obviously not a standard move which a human will think about in this type of positions. Unfortunately I quickly realized that the resulting position was not simple at all to play. The position is very rich and many details influence the evaluation. Naturally inaccuracies and even blunders became quickly unavoidable. Below the game with some comments.
[Event "Open Leuven 3de ronde"] [Date "2014"] [White "Brabo"] [Black "Morozova, I."] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B78"] [WhiteElo "2337"] [BlackElo "2072"] [PlyCount "61"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 g6 6. Be3 Bg7 7. f3 O-O 8. Qd2 Nc6 9. Bc4 Bd7 10. O-O-O Rb8 {(I only found 1 game in the database of my opponent with the Chinese Dragon. Nevertheless I had reviewed the opening in my preparation. Not very extensive obviously as there was no time but sufficient to stay at least on equal terms.)} 11. Bb3 Na5 12. Bh6 {(By coincidence I had studied the same line a week earlier for the preparation against De Vos Nils, playing for Brasschaat. Once more an example of reusing preparations in later games. Besides by reusing the analysis, I was able to concentrate more on other lines which Iuliia has in her repertoire.)} Bxh6 13. Qxh6 e5 {(More popular is b5 but e5 is not a surprise as it even scores better and is played most often nowadays in correspondence-chess.)} (13... b5 14. Nd5 {(I had planned this move as it is scoring best in standard-chess as well in correspondence-chess. H4 and g4 are more popular but maybe after below analysis which were made after the game, some people will give it quicker a try.)} Nxb3 ( 14... e5 15. Nf5 Nxb3 16. axb3 Bxf5 17. exf5 Nxd5 18. Rxd5 Rb6 19. Rhd1 {(An improvement on Kovacevic - Cebalo played in 2005 but already known from the correspondence-world in which it was already 4 times tested.)} Qe7 20. g4 $14 { (Kangur,Alva - Rodriguez Keith and white won in 45 moves in the ICCF Olympiad Final 17th, 2009)}) (14... e6 15. Ne3 {(Again a novelty from the correspondence-chess which has not found the path yet to standard-chess. After the normal Nxf6 I could not find an edge for white.)} Rb6 16. Kb1 {(In the correspondence-game Toropov, Maksim Olegovich - Miciak, Ing. Emanuel played in 2013, h4 was chosen which is also sufficient for a small advantage.)}) 15. Nxb3 (15. axb3 {(I investigated a lot of time on this continuation because it is not easy at all to find something with Nxb3.)} b4 {(An incredible move and of course played in correspondence-chess.)} (15... Nxd5 16. exd5 Qa5 17. c3 $14 {(A simple improvement over Qe3 played in the otb-game Yilmaz - Sirin.)} b4 18. c4 Rbc8 19. Rhe1 Rfe8 20. Kb1 e5 21. dxe6 fxe6 22. Nc2 $14 ) 16. Rhe1 $146 {(My novelty to bring new live in this variation.)} (16. Nxf6 exf6 17. h4 Re8 {(In the correspondence-game Danzanvilliers Patrice - Rilberg Stefan, h5 was chosen in 2009 but after g5 white could not avoid defeat. More prudent is to keep the retreat possible with an equal position.)}) 16... e6 17. Nxf6 Qxf6 18. f4 {(With the idea after e5 to saddle black with a bad bishop. Houdini believes it is defensible but practically this could be a good backup for 15. Nxb3.) }) 15... e5 (15... Nxd5 16. exd5 Qc7 17. h4 Rbc8 18. Rd2 f6 {(To answer h5 with g5.)} 19. Re2 a5 20. Qd2 a4 21. Nd4 Rf7 22. h5 g5 23. Rhe1 $146 {(In 2 correspondence-games of 2009 and 2011, Ne6 was chosen and black successfully defended. I expect that they also looked at Rhe1 but I can not find a forced draw for black so Rhe1 looks more than sufficient for standard-chess.)}) 16. Ne3 $146 {(Stockfish shows this move after long calculations. I only started to look seriously at it when I found out that the known alternatives do not give a clear advantage. This move also pops up in another line so it is not a complete surprise.)} (16. h4 Nxd5 17. Rxd5 Rb6 18. h5 (18. f4 Bc6 $146 {(A simple improvement on the otb-game played in 2009 between Robson - Papp which continued with Be6.)}) 18... Qe7 19. Qe3 Be6 20. Rd2 b4 21. Kb1 Rc6 22. f4 Rc7 $146 {(In the correspondence-game Alonso Gonzalez Carlos - Moreno Carretero Carlos played in 2008, a5 was chosen but black got into difficulties after f5. Rc7 looks better with a playable position for black.)}) (16. Nxf6 Qxf6 17. h4 (17. Rd5 Rfd8 {(Other moves are probably also playable.)} 18. Rhd1 Bc6 19. R5d3 Rb6 20. Qd2 Be8 $13 {(In the correspondence-game Williamson Harvey D - Rilberg Stefan black chose for the weird Ba8 and lost. Better seems Be8.)}) 17... Rb6 18. Nc5 Bc8 19. Nd3 Qe7 $146 {(This could be more accurate than b4.)} (19... b4 20. h5 Qe7 21. Qe3 Be6 22. Kb1 $14 {(White won in 52 moves in the correspondence-game Efendiyev Enver Mikhailovich - Bauer Manfred played in 2008.)}) 20. Qe3 {(I also investigated Qd2, Kb2, Nb4 and Qg5 without arriving to a final verdict what exactly is the best move.)} Be6 21. h5 { (After Kb1 maybe f5 is possible.)} Qc7 22. Kb1 Rc8 23. Qd2 b4 24. b3 Qc3 $13 {(My engines indicate this is defensible for black but I surely find whites position attractive.)}) 16... Be6 17. Kb1 Kh8 18. Qh4 Qe7 19. Rd3 Rb6 20. Rhd1 Kg8 21. h3 Bc4 $14) 14. Ndb5 {(Nde2 is the known continuation but I saw some recent interesting correspondence-games with Ndb5 so I got attracted by it. For my opponent my choice was a surprise as she did not study this before.)} Nxb3 15. axb3 Bxb5 16. Nxb5 Qa5 17. c4 $6 {(I follow a correspondence game of 2012 but now after elaborated analysis I am trusting more Na3 to seek some advantage.)} (17. Na3 $1 Rfd8 (17... Rbd8 18. Kb1 $1 $146 {(In the correspondence-game Schilcher Andrian - Privara Dr Igor played in 2013, Qg5 was played. White won a pawn but black found enough activity to make a draw. Kb1 is possibly a refinement. I also looked briefly to Qd2 and h4 with a pleasant game for white without finding a concrete advantage.)} Qc7 19. Qg5 $1 {(C4 and h4 are interesting alternatives but at the moment my preference is Qg5.)} Kg7 20. Nb5 Qe7 21. Rhe1 $14) 18. h4 {(Already chosen in 4 correspondence-games and probably the strongest but Kb1 is not bad either.)} b5 19. h5 Qc7 { (1 correspondence-game continued with Nxh5 but after g4 white quickly got a too strong attack.)} 20. hxg6 $146 {(The critical position as now several plans are possible. As the 3 correspondence-games ended in draws i tried to find some fresh interesting ideas.)} ( 20. Qg5 Qe7 21. b4 $146 {(Hxg6 is a transposition to a variation discussed after 20.hxg6. B4 without hxg6 is an independent line.)} (21. Rd3 a6 $1 22. hxg6 {(I also looked at Re1 to thwart d5 but again without finding a concrete advantage.)} (22. Rhd1 d5 23. f4 h6 24. Qxe5 Qxe5 25. fxe5 Nxe4 26. Rxd5 Rxd5 27. Rxd5 gxh5 {(We still follow a correspondence-game of 2013 between Jan Willem van Willigen and Dr Igor Privara in which black gradually managed to equalize. )}) 22... fxg6 {(Giuliani answered with Nb1 and although white pushed for a longtime, he did not succeed to breakthrough. Some alternatives which I investigated are c3, c4 and Rhd1 without making substantial progress.)}) 21... Qe6 $1 22. Nb1 Ra8 $1 23. Nc3 a5 $1 $44 {(A gambit which gives black good compensation.)}) 20... fxg6 21. Qh4 {(Only now we are on new territory.)} (21. Qg5 Qe7 22. g4 $1 $146 {(With Rd3 we would transpose to the correspondence-game Giuliani Sante - Voll Aleksey Borisovich EU/TC8/final played in 2012. I also looked at b4 but black seems to possess some adequate resources.)} Rf8 $5 23. Rd3 $1 Qc7 $5 24. Nb1 $1 b4 $5 25. Nd2 a5 26. Kb1 $1 Ne8 27. Qe3 $14) 21... Qe7 $14 { (After b4 as well Nb1 a small edge is shown by my both top-engines.)}) 17... Rfd8 $6 $146 {(An expected novelty as I must admit that I did not think black knew the correspondence-game with d5 or would find the critical move at the board. By the way it is one of the main reasons why I chose this variation.)} (17... d5 $1 18. Qg5 (18. exd5 Nxd5 19. Rxd5 Qa1 {(The trick why d5 works.)}) 18... Nd7 19. exd5 a6 20. Na3 Qb4 $146 {(In the correspondence-game Delizia Constantino - Silvia Marcus Antonio Roli played in 2012 black chose for the aggressive b5 and in the end lost. B5 is maybe playable but Qb4 looks much better.)} 21. Qe3 b5 22. cxb5 Nc5 {(This is the most precise continuation.)} 23. Kb1 Nxb3 24. d6 f6 25. f4 Nd4 26. fxe5 Nxb5 27. Nxb5 Rxb5 28. Rd2 $13 {(The e-pawn drops and the advanced d-pawns looks insufficient to win the game.)}) 18. Qg5 $6 {(Stockfish is enthusiastic about this move which I discovered already during my preparation but at the same time this also proofs the limitations of such preparation. Only later so after the game after many hours analyzing I found that solely Kb1 is enough for some advantage.)} (18. Kb1 $1 Qb4 $5 (18... a6 $5 19. Nxd6 Qb6 20. c5 {(All tactics which without an engine is impossible to discover.)} Qxc5 21. Nf5 Ne8 22. Ne3 Rbc8 $5 23. Nd5 Qd6 $14) 19. Rd3 a6 20. Na3 b5 $5 21. Rhd1 { (Houdini believes Rc1 is doable but it is not pleasant for black.)} Ne8 22. h4 (22. Nc2 Qc5 23. Ne3 $1 Qa7 {(Bxc4 is better although white also should be better.)} 24. c5 $1 Qxc5 25. Nd5 Rd7 26. Rc3 Qa7 $16 {(White can double the rooks on the c-file and/ or build an attack on the kingside with h4.)}) 22... Rdc8 23. Rc3 Qa5 24. Qd2 Qb6 $14 {(The fork with b4 is easy to parry with Rd3.)}) 18... Ne8 19. Kc2 $5 {(From here onwards I started to think myself. I quickly realized the position is totally unclear how to continue. Kc2 does not spoil anything but more critical is without doubt h4 and Kb1.)} (19. h4 $5 Nc7 20. Nxc7 Qxc7 21. Rd5 b5 22. c5 dxc5 23. Qxe5 Qxe5 24. Rxe5 Rbc8 25. Rd1 Rxd1 26. Kxd1 a6 {(I could not catch Stockish making a mistake but in this endgame there are surely practical chances for standard-chess.)} 27. Kc2 $5 Kf8 28. g4 $5 h6 29. Rd5 Ke7 30. f4 Rc6 31. Kc3 Rc8 32. h5 Rc6 33. Re5 Re6 $4 {(Kf8 and black defends.)} 34. Rxe6 Kxe6 35. g5 $18) (19. Kb1 $5 Qb4 20. Rd3 $5 a6 21. Na3 b5 22. h4 $5 f6 $1 23. Qg4 Ng7 $1 24. h5 $5 {(An important alternative is Rc1.)} gxh5 25. Qh4 $5 Rf8 26. Qh3 $5 {(Rhd1 and Nc2 are important alternatives.)} bxc4 27. Nxc4 a5 28. g4 a4 $1 29. gxh5 h6 $1 {(Black must play very precisely to avoid immediately a disadvantage.)} 30. Rg1 Rb7 31. Nxd6 $5 Ra7 32. Qe6 Kh7 33. Qc4 Qb6 34. Rgd1 axb3 35. Rxb3 Qd8 {(Black has good compensation for the pawn but I must admit we are pretty far away from the game and the final position is neither clear to conclude the analysis.)}) 19... a6 20. Ra1 Qb4 21. Nc3 b5 $6 {(In the game I expected Nc7 and that is indeed approved by the computer with approximately an equal position.)} 22. cxb5 $2 {(I saw Nd5 and rated it better for white during the game but I thought my move is winning. Blacks 23rd move was a cold shower.)} Rdc8 {(I only considered axb5 after which by the way white only has an equal position. However Rdc8 is much stronger.)} 23. Ra4 $2 {(With Qd2 I could have limited the damage but I did not feel at all the danger.)} (23. Qd2 $1 Rxb5 24. Kb1 Rbc5 $1 25. Rxa6 Qxb3 26. Ra3 Qb4 27. Ra4 Qb7 28. Rc1 $1 Nc7 $15) 23... Qxb5 {(Stefan Docx asked me after the game if I missed this move and I could only confirm. I wrongly assumed Qc5 was obligatory as was the case after 21.Ra4 but with the rook on c8 black can just pick up the pawn.)} 24. Ra3 Qb4 25. Qe3 d5 {(I also saw the move but I hoped Iullia would not find it. Black gets now a winning attack.)} 26. exd5 Nd6 27. Kd1 {(The win after Rha1 and Kb1 were also found by my opponent. Kd1 was the only move to complicate a bit.)} (27. Rha1 Nb5 $19) (27. Kb1 Nc4 $19) 27... Nf5 {(Black want to keep the knights on the board but Nb5 wins much more direct.)} (27... Nb5 28. Nxb5 Rxb5 29. Re1 Rxd5 30. Ke2 Rc2 31. Kf1 {(Black stopped here with her calculations. As often 1 move too early.)} Rdd2 32. Qxe5 {(This allows a nice finish.)} Rf2 33. Kg1 Rxg2 34. Kh1 Rxh2 35. Kg1 Rhg2 36. Kh1 Qh4 37. Qh2 Qxh2#) 28. Qd3 Nd4 29. Re1 Nxb3 30. Na2 a5 $4 {(Black was convinced there was somewhere a direct win hidden and spent hereby more than 10 minutes. Suddenly she realized that less than 5 minutes remained to play till move 40, panicked and played probably one of her most horrible blunders.)} (30... Qb6 31. Rxe5 Nd4 32. b4 Nb5 33. Rb3 Qg1 34. Re1 Qxg2 35. Qd2 Qh3 $19 {(My both engines show this mainline. Whites position is totally loose so black must be able to win with some strong moves.)}) 31. Nxb4 {(I captured the queen only after a minute of reflection as such sort of present is very rare. In the evening my opponent left the tournament. On one hand understandable but on the other hand I find this weak. There were still 3 rounds to play and such blunders are unavoidable in any chess-career.)} 1-0
I was of course ironic with "some comments" as I spent a lot of time analyzing the opening. Besides I don't call this studying an opening but rather researching an opening. Obviously something you learn but eventually the return is low. In standard-chess it is not necessary to know this depth of details. Besides I believe few or no opening-books contain such detailed analyses. Vass on chesspub indicated that opening-books are written for tournament-players and little or nothing is relevant for correspondence-chess.

As non-correspondence-player why would somebody make such analysis. The answer is simple. I find it fascinating. I understand most people are indifferent by seeing details and rather prefer watching a battle on the board with mistakes but I can also enjoy a lot discovering small nuances in a certain type of position. This time I even found some ideas which probably are useful in correspondence-chess. In fairness I have to admit that with engines becoming ever stronger, it is not so unusual to find ameliorations on older correspondence-games.

Such research takes time, a lot of time. During 2 weeks each day I worked with my notebook which I only gave a break at night to cool down. This cooling is no luxury as despite I bought the new notebook only a few months ago, it produces (probably the fan) more and more noise.

In my previous article I mentioned time is scarce for me but last Christmas-holidays I had much spare time available. Just like previous year (see article the lucky one) I was again in Russia. Naturally there were the New Year festivities, visits and excursions but in the end most of the time is spent in the apartment of the parents-in-law. To entertain small children isn't always easy (especially as they don't understand sufficiently the Russian language). I had the splendid idea to bring along the first book of the the chess-steps but after 1 lesson my youngest already gave up. Boring and if you check below video then you understand that my son prefers something more active.

By the way not only children are enjoying the ice-slide but also many adults dared a ride. Big fun of course only for the parents watching attentively - ready to help when something goes wrong- it was pretty cold. No this kind of daredevilry is not for me. I rather prefer an interesting chess-opening which I can investigate quietly in a warm and cozy environment.


No comments:

Post a Comment