Idiographic vs. Nomothetical Ideas in Chess: Part Two

I have been notoriously inconsistent with the second part of any blog I divide into parts. My whimsical nature means new fancies and a new indentured servitude to this moment’s fashions.┬áNabokov told us, “Existence is a series of footnotes to a vast, obscure, unfinished masterpiece.” Still I know it’s a bit of a cop out and a shame when a part deux never materializes. This one’s for my grandfather, for whom the Korean War was just a giant after party – with some killing thrown in ; we think he’d have gone after any belief that had “ism” as a suffix…

Here’s a game I played online at the usual time control of Game 30. It features another sideline to the Albin Countergambit. This time I made my emphasis for the game “challenging beliefs”. I did my best to try nothing but concrete evaluations. A regular Kasparov!

1. d4 d5 2. c4 e5 3. dxe5 d4 4. Nf3 Nc6 5. e3 Bb4+ 6. Bd2 dxe3 7. fxe3 Qe7 {
The problem with this move is that white can get in Nc3 instead of Nd2. Nd2 is
an important concession for black (if the queen captures on d2 it will have to
move again and cost white time). Although pressure on the e5 pawn is the plan,
and Qe7 is called for, move order is still important.} (7… Bxd2+ 8. Nbxd2 Nh6
9. Qb3 {Knights are very good in these types of structures. I want to play Bg4
if white allows it. It is not as easy to defend the pawns with a bishop as it
is to attack them with the knight. I can always play Ng8-e7-g6 if white plays
h3. Eventually the e5 pawn will fall. This is mostly on account of a)
potential rook pressure along the e-file and b) the lack of defensive help
from white’s knight.}) 8. Be2 Be6 {I decided to treat this position like an
isolani. This was nomothetical then, to put this bishop here. It turned out to
be correct, but of course I can’t yet bank on f5 an d5 weaknesses. I’ll get a
beautiful weak square on d4 if white advances his other pawn. It will also be
fixed.} 9. Bxb4 Qxb4+ 10. Nc3 Rd8 (10… Qxb2 {I rejected this because I’m two
moves from castling, I’ll be obliged to make a few hard-to-find defensive
moves to secure my position, which may come at the cost of more development.
The b pawn seems like a true white elephant. As far as concrete variations I
didn’t get very far. The move deserved consideration. Some of these pawn grabs
are traps and some are not. Some patterns stick in your memory, black losing
his queen in Sicilian variants, but a lot of times it pays to be frisky.}) 11.
Qc2 {I was frightened of Qb3. My hope of gaining an advantage was saved the original source. Qb3
is a crusher because I lose a move. I don’t like the capture for black because
my queenside pawns would become weak along an open file. If I recapture then
my knight is no longer targeting e5.} Nh6 {!} 12. O-O Ng4 {? White’s queen can
roost on e4 and be nigh unassailable.} 13. Qc1 Ngxe5 14. Ng5 O-O {? I wanted
the knights in this position. This is incorrect. White’s bishop will be quite
good. A queen trade is in the offing, due to their proximity, and then I’ll be
denied the advantage of a queen with the knight pair.} 15. Qc2 g6 16. Nxe6 fxe6
17. b3 {The game becomes difficult from here on out. Playing attack and
defense simultaneously is perhaps the last trick a chess player learns.
There’s precious little shorthand, and general principles are apt to lead the
unitiiated into an unbalanced and inappropriate balance of forces in an area.
I’m still not very good when under the gun. The signals that tell GMs about
piece distribution and the “value of time” are still invisible.} Rd7 18. Rxf8+
Qxf8 19. Rf1 {This position is equal. I sensed this. I tried to make a move
that would not wreck my position. Besides the plan to attack the base of
white’s pawn chain I’m fresh out of ideas. In four moves white’s knight can
get to f6 and the first player will be better for black’s inactivity.} Qc5 20.
Qe4 Qb4 21. Nd1 Rd2 22. Qf4 Rxe2 {A blunder. Unfortunate for white since I
believe his position was easier to play. White also has some concrete ideas
where as I had been trying to muster up the courage to take the a-pawn.} 23.
Nf2 Qf8 24. Qg3 Qc5 25. Kh1 Qxe3 26. Qh4 Kg7 {Missed Re1!. Due to heuristics I
thought I’d generate favorable tactics by securing my king and protecting e6
while involving the c6-knight somehow. This meant elaborate pawn moves and was
really quite silly. It came to me more naturally than Re1.} 27. Nd1 g5 28. Qh5
Qd2 29. Qxg5+ Qxg5 {Whew, thank God for blunders!} 0-1


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