Game Two

This is a pretty interesting game. White, played by Robert Chen, is a 1600-something player and appears to be pretty solid. The time control was 40/2 plus an hour for sudden death. The evaluation is even for a good portion of the game, but black underestimates white’s attack and presses onward with a poor plan.

1. d4 d5 2. Bf4 Nf6 3. Nf3 e6: The London System is pretty uncommon around my area, much more so than in other locations. It’s an excellent choice, but because I’ve devoted little time to it I know only the very basics.

4…Ng5!? This isn’t such a poor try; white doesn’t have h3 in yet and he’ll probably miss his dark-square bishop. In the London-proper he will put his pawns on dark squares which will mitigate the weakness left by the missing piece. My opponent told me later he was planning to play h3 on the next move. 5. Bg5 is more accurate than 5. Bg3 as white can keep a small advantage. It’s not very theoretical.

5. Bg3 (5. Bg5 Be7 6. Bxe7 Qxe7 7. c4) 5… Nd7 6. Ne5 Nxg3 7. hxg3 Nxe5 8. dxe5 c6 9. Nd2 Qc7 (9… Qb6 {White is obliged to protect the weak b2 square since his dark-square bishop is gone. I

ruled this out because it wasn’t clear to me what the queen’s aim was. Perhaps
that it prevents an easy f4 is good enough.}) 10. Nf3 Be7 11. c3 Bd7 12. a4 a5
13. Qc2 h6 14. Be2 b5 15. axb5 cxb5 16. g4 f6 {This is a positional mistake. I
didn’t realize the difficulty presented by the queen with my weak light
squares. I thought I would be able to evict the queen with my useless
light-squared bishop. Better was b4, activating the lazy bishop.} 17. Qg6+ Kf8
18. exf6 Bxf6 19. g5 Bxc3+ 20. Kf1 Bxb2 21. Rb1 Qc3 {The queen and bishop are
redunant so this “takes a piece off.” A closer inspection reveals that
white’s threat is empty.} 22. Nd4 a4 {I looked at the rook lift but though I
could bring my plan off more quickly…} 23. Rh3 a3 24. Rf3+ Ke7 25. Rf7+ Kd6
26. Rxd7+ Kxd7 27. Qxg7+ Kc8 28. Qxh8+ Kb7 29. Qh7+ Qc7 30. Qxc7+ Kxc7 31.
Nxb5+ Kc6 32. Nxa3 Rxa3 {The wrong piece. Taking with the bishop allows access
to f8 with slim chances for black. This is better than the text.} (32… Bxa3
33. g6 Bf8) 33. gxh6 {1-0 I tried a few tricks but could not stop white’s
eager pawns.} 1-0




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