Better a Bad Something than Lots More Nothing?

Here’s a game from the same tournament as I wrote on last time, the third round. We played on a wooden set and I enjoy playing this opponent a lot because he’s a heck of a nice guy – he’d be nicer still if he’d drop a game once in a while! Having only one win against him in long time controls, I am still searching for a path to an advantage. Gerry studies a lot and, I’m sad to say, I achieved nothing this day but twenty moves of equality en route to a loss.

Giofreda – Wasserbauer (1770) Zofchek Mem. 2012

1. c3 e5: Black had the opportunity to transpose into a Colle with d5. I had prepared 2 Nf3 and 3 c5?! for that eventuality, to get a Benoni. We will get an Italian Game now. My opponent uses the French against 1. e4, and I have led him away from his deepest book knowledge. Of course, against a better opponent, this is only the beginning of the weaker player’s struggle and certainly not the end.

2. e4 Nf6 3. Nf3 d6 This is not the best try but it is fine. It will eventually get us into a Hungarian Defense-type position.

4. d3 h6 White’s bishop doesn’t really need g5. The f8 bishop is inside the pawn chain and can render white’s pin senseless.

5. Nbd2 Be7 6. d4 Nbd7 7. Bc4 O-O 8. O-O Nb6 9. dxe5 Nxc4 10. Nxc4?! Nxe4 I lost plenty of time on the last few moves. Sometimes you just have to play chess. I felt I could win something but am empty-handed with less than half of my allotted time.

A better continuation for white is to initiate exchanges with (10. exf6 Nxd2 11. fxe7 Nxf3+ 12. Qxf3 Qxe7 where black has to push hard if he wants to win. Despite the paucity of material he is not equal anymore). I looked at this and cannot rightly recall why I chose not to simplify.

11. Qe2 Nc5 12. exd6 Bxd6 13. Nxd6 Qxd6 Depending upon what white wants, he can trade the heavy pieces and settle for a draw.

14. Rd1 Qf6 I really thought I was better here. It looks good, doesn’t it? I frequently overestimate my position, and this is one of those times.

15. b4?! Na4 (15… Qxc3 16. Bd2  Qxb4 17. Rac1 =+) White’s fifteenth creates a pointless weakness. He’s undeveloped. His bishop cries out for the third rank with each passing move.

16. Rd4 Be6 17. Qb5 Nb6 The tactical maneuvers don’t mean much. I feel like I’m dictating the tempo but, as the old adage runs, if it seems too good to be true then it probably is.

18. Qc5 c6 19. Rf4 Qg6 20. Nd4 Bd5 21. f3 Qd3 22. Rg4 Kh7 23. Bxh6?? gxh6 1-0

This brings us to the title of the article. Yes it came late to the party, but that bishop sure came on with a full head of steam didn’t it? I’m lost after this poor move. The point is this: if you make only one move in your entire life make it come with a bang they’ll hear in their dreams.



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