Wednesday, December 18, 2019

My most beautiful move part 4

Almost 8 years I am running this blog (I started in Dutch and after 1,5 years also translated the articles to English). Only last year in June I had for the first time no inspiration but normally there is always something which I bump against worth to share on this blog. I rarely get feedback about my articles but the statistics of my blog tell me that there seems to be a quite large loyal reader-audience. Sometimes a player tells me that they used something from my blog successfully in their games see chesslinks. Nonetheless I can definitely use some motivation as I spent for sure at least 1000 hours already at writing articles for this blog.

However recently I met the negative side of blogging. Many Flemish players know meanwhile that I maintain a blog. Also more and more people start to realize that I am actually playing the lines about which I write. So in the last year I experienced an exponential growth of opponents using the content of the blog against myself. Thanks to my article Dutch steps in the English opening part 2Belgian FM Adrian Roos could anticipate my switch from the Stonewall to the Leningrad Dutch against the English in our interclub-game of last season. Belgian FM Roel Hamblok admit that he read in my article killer novelties that I don't answer 1.d4 f5 2.Nc3 anymore with 2...d5 but that I recently switched to 2...Nf6. Besides he told me that thanks to my article leela lc0 he was not only able to install the engine on his computer but he also used it intensively to prepare our game.

Even against non titled players I am not safe anymore. John Weynen, 1584 fide confessed after our game that thanks to my article cats that he was aware about the winning piece-sacrifice on e5 against the lion which of course he avoided. I wasn't able to check with Marie Dgebuadze, 1915 fide but it seemed a too big coincidence that Marie played at move 15 in a very rare line exactly the recommendation I gave for white in my article the scientific approach part 2. Each of the examples mentioned were played solely in 2019 and probably I am still missing some.

Belgian FM Warre De Waele made some time ago the remark that I share a lot of information about myself on my blog. He didn't say that I was stupid but I also realize that speaking is silver and silence is gold. The Dutch blogger Maaike Keetman even got explicitly the choice between her blog or a national selection to EK/WK from her coach Zhaoqin Peng, a Dutch grandmaster. She chose to play so stopped blogging since 2015.

No, this is not a prelude to the end of this blog. I think this blog has more value than the few ratingpoints I lose. Besides the losses shouldn't be exaggerated. The openings only had a limited impact on the results of my games. Also many articles needed research and interesting analysis which I probably would've never made otherwise.

Sometimes I also discover some unexpected positive side-effects from this blog. In tournaments I am sometimes addressed by total strangers for me, following my blog already for years. In the last open of Leuven I noticed that the tie-breaking system was changed from TPR to Bucholtz. Last year I wrote in my article byes that TPR isn't fair when byes are allowed. Maybe it is coincidence but I guess somebody of the organization read my article and liked my comment. However the best initiative must be a reaction on my article "my most beautiful move part 3" by Marcel Van Herck, reading my blog already for many years. He used the theme of the article to organize a study-competition. In the 12th ARVES Jenever tournament 2019 the participants had to create a study in which a piece is captured by black with check. White can recapture but prefers instead to interpose a piece to stop the check. The winner was the Russian grandmaster (compositions) Oleg Pervakov with below magnificent study.
[Event "White wins, study by Oleg Pervakov"] [Site "?"] [Date "2019"] [Round "?"] [White "?"] [Black "?"] [Result "1-0"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "r6b/2K5/6P1/5N2/kN3Q2/8/6b1/6q1 w - - 0 1"] [PlyCount "13"] [SourceVersionDate "2019.12.10"] 1. Nc2+ Bd4 (1... Kb3 2. Ncd4+ Bxd4 3. Nxd4+ Ka3 (3... Kc4 4. Ne2+ +-) 4. Qg3+ Kb2 (4... Kb4 5. Qb3+ Kc5 6. Ne6#) 5. Qb3+ Ka1 6. Nc2#) 2. Nfxd4 Be4 (2... Ra7+ 3. Kd6 Qd1 4. Kc5 Ra5+ 5. Nb5+ Kb3 6. Qc4+ Kb2 7. Qc3+ Kb1 8. Qxa5 Qxc2+ 9. Nc3+ Kc1 10. Qa1+ Kd2 11. Qd1+ Qxd1 12. Nxd1 Be4 13. g7 Bh7 14. Nf2 +-) 3. Qxe4 Qg3+ 4. Kb6 (4. Kd7?? Ra7+ =) 4... Ra6+ 5. Kxa6 (5. Kb7?? Ra7+ 6. Kxa7 Qc7+ =) 5... Qxg6+ (5... Qd3+ 6. Nb5+ Qxe4 7. Nc3+ +-) 6. Ne6+ {(Our theme.)} (6. Qxg6?? {(Stalemate)}) 6... Qxe4 7. Nc5# 1-0
The jury praised the composition because it wasn't only economically (they mean that only few pieces were used on the board) but also that no less than 4 queen-sacrifices were inserted into the solution. The other studies are definitely also worth a look. Please see the link above to check them.

Chess-compositions are the ideal playing-ground for themes which we rarely or never see in standard tournament-practice. Exceptions confirm the rule as I recently bumped by coincidence against below game while analyzing the opening of my game against the Dutch FM Joey Grochal with exactly our theme.
[Event "16th European Individual Championship Women"] [Site "?"] [Date "2015.05.29"] [Round "?"] [White "Arabidze, Meri"] [Black "Hoang, Thanh Trang"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "A40"] [WhiteElo "2403"] [BlackElo "2472"] 1. d4 e6 2. c4 f5 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 Bb4 5. Qb3 Qe7 6. Bg5 b6 {(I chose for the more solid 0-0 against Joey Grochal in the 8th round of Brasschaat played in 2019)} 7. g3 Bb7 8. Bg2 h6 9. Bxf6 Bxc3+ 10. Qxc3 {(I find it strange that both colors missed Nd2. Of course it looks natural to take back immediately.)} (10. Nd2 Bxd2+ 11. Kxd2 Qxf6 12. Bxb7 Qxd4+ 13. Ke1 c6 14. Bxa8 {(This looks easy to calculate especially for +2400 players.)}) 10... Qxf6 11. O-O O-O 12. Rfd1 d6 13. e3 Be4 14. Ne1 Nd7 15. f3 Bb7 16. Nd3 a5 17. Rac1 Rad8 18. Qc2 e5 19. c5 dxc5 20. dxc5 Ba6 21. c6 Bxd3 22. Qb3+ Qf7 23. Qxd3 Nc5 24. Qxd8 Rxd8 25. Rxd8+ Kh7 26. Rcd1 Qxa2 27. Bh3 Qb3 28. Bxf5+ g6 29. Bh3 Qxe3+ 30. Kh1 h5 31. Rf1 Nd3 32. Rd7+ Kh6 33. Rxc7 Nf2+ 34. Kg2 Nxh3 35. Kxh3 Qe2 36. Rc1 g5 37. Rh7+ Kxh7 38. c7 g4+ 39. fxg4 Qxg4+ 40. Kg2 Qe2+ 41. Kh3 Qg4+ 42. Kg2 Qc8 43. Kf3 Kg6 44. Ke4 Kf6 45. Rc6+ Ke7 46. Kxe5 Kd7 47. Rc3 Qe8+ 48. Kd4 Kc8 49. Kd3 Qb5+ 50. Kc2 Qe2+ 51. Kb3 Qxh2 52. Ka2 a4 53. Ka3 b5 54. b3 Qd2 55. Rf3 b4+ 56. Kxa4 Qd7+ 57. Kxb4 Qd6+ 0-1
I suspect the theme is so rare that we miss it when it occurs on the board in a game. Especially nowadays when play is much faster, we see many players trying to play some quick moves which at first sight look forced. Only afterwards we discover with an engine that the automatic move wasn't forced at all.

Writing a blog brings a mix of positive and negative emotions. I would like to see more positive reactions here and ask for some abstention of people using my blog against myself. Of course I am 100% responsible for what is published here but my motivation to continue will ultimately depend if there exists an acceptable balance.


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