09 November 2018

Annotated Game #201: The importance of falsifying all your moves

The best thing that can be said about this next game is that it wasn't a miniature, like the previous one.  There are some useful lessons from the opening / early middlegame phase, particularly regarding the move 10 decision to avoid doubled pawns that was not in fact best.  However, the main lesson is to falsify all of your planned moves - meaning, to expend the mental effort necessary to calculate if your opponent can refute them.  This theme was originally introduced in Annotated Game #35: Thou Shalt Falsify.  Sometimes I find it all too easy to slip back into laziness, when a move looks fine (for me), or can be made on "general principles".  It does take additional mental effort to meaningfully check for your opponent's possible responses, rather than simply giving the board a cursory look.  Probably the best piece of advice I have ever received from a martial arts master is "don't be lazy", so I try to replay that in my mind whenever I am tempted to cut corners.

[Event "?"] [Site "?"] [Date "????.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "ChessAdmin"] [Black "Class A"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "C42"] [Annotator "ChessAdmin/Komodo 11.2"] [PlyCount "46"] {[%mdl 8192] C42: Petroff Defence: 3 Nxe5 and unusual White 3rd moves} 1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. e3 d5 5. cxd5 Nxd5 6. Bb5 Nxc3 7. bxc3 Qf6 {an unusual move to protect the e-pawn, immediately signaling aggressive intentions.} 8. d4 {White proceeds as usual in this variation.} exd4 9. exd4 { normally it's "dealer's choice" on which pawn to recapture with here, but with the queen on f6 I think it's probably better to use the c-pawn.} (9. cxd4 Bb4+ 10. Bd2 Bxd2+ 11. Qxd2 O-O 12. Rc1 Bh3 13. O-O Qg6 14. Ne1 Rad8 15. Bxc6 bxc6 16. f3 Rd5 17. Nd3 Rg5 18. Nf4 Qh6 19. Nxh3 Qxh3 20. Rxc6 Rc8 21. e4 Qh5 22. Qf4 Ra5 23. Rxc7 Rxc7 24. Qxc7 h6 25. Qc8+ Kh7 26. Qc4 Ra3 27. d5 Qe5 28. Rd1 Qb2 29. d6 Rxa2 30. Qxa2 {1-0 (30) Suba,M (2531)-Ljubarskij,J (2344) Bad Zwischenahn 2008}) 9... Bg4 $146 (9... Bd7 10. O-O h6 11. Re1+ Kd8 12. Ne5 Nxe5 13. dxe5 Qe6 14. Bxd7 Qxd7 15. Qf3 Kc8 16. Be3 Qe6 17. Rab1 c6 18. a4 Be7 19. a5 Rd8 20. a6 b6 21. c4 Kd7 22. c5 b5 23. Qg3 g5 24. Qf3 {Moracchini,F (2270) -Trinh,R (2230) Issy les Moulineaux 1989 1/2-1/2}) (9... Bd6 10. Bg5 Qe6+ 11. Kf1 $14) 10. Be2 {here I was transfixed by the obvious threat to create double f-pawns, so retreated the bishop.} (10. O-O $5 {the engine has no such prejudices against doubled pawns and instead sees what other possible advantages White could get in compensation.} Bxf3 11. Re1+ {this is the key idea, using the open e-file to harass Black's king. Losing the right to castle and having the king in the center is more worrisome than the kingside pawn structure, although White should be careful.} Kd8 (11... Be7 12. Qxf3 Qxf3 13. gxf3 Kd8) 12. gxf3 Bd6 13. Bf1 Qh4 (13... Qg6+ 14. Bg2) 14. h3 $16) 10... Bd6 $11 {Black has an active position, notes Komodo via the Fritz interface. The position is equal, but I don't really have many prospects for progress.} 11. O-O O-O 12. h3 Bf5 13. Bd3 {looking to trade, as Black's bishop seems more active than my own.} (13. Bg5 $5 {is a better idea, as it develops my last piece with tempo.}) 13... h6 {basically a free move for Black, preventing the previous bishop development idea by seizing control of g5.} 14. Rb1 Rab8 15. Qc2 $2 {an example of lazy thinking and not following my thinking progress, which requires *always* to falsify your intended moves.} (15. Re1 b6 $11) 15... Bxh3 {my opponent spots the tactic, which is based on the overloaded g-pawn and the now not sufficiently protected Nf3.} 16. gxh3 $6 {here it would have been better to simply accept the loss of a pawn, rather than disrupting my pawn structure for no good reason.} (16. Re1 $15) 16... Qxf3 $17 17. Bf5 Ne7 18. Bg4 Qf6 {Black is simply a pawn up now and I still have no real threats.} 19. Rb5 {I start becoming desperately aggressive with my plans now, basically trying to force counterplay.} c6 20. Rh5 {unfortunately Black has too many pieces able to defend his kingside, for any sacrificial ideas to work on my part.} Qg6 (20... Nd5 $5) 21. Qb3 (21. Qxg6 $5 {is technically much better, but at the time I didn't think I had a real chance if the queens stayed on the board. In reality, it's worse for White, as we'll shortly see.} fxg6 22. Ra5 $17) 21... Nd5 22. Kh1 $4 {simply worsens the situation. I wanted to break the pin on the Bg4, was the original thinking.} (22. Rxd5 cxd5 23. Qxd5 $19) 22... Qe4+ {now Black has mate threats, thanks to the queen and knight combination.} 23. f3 (23. Kg1 {what else?} Nf4 24. Bxf4 Qxf4 25. Re5 $19) 23... Qe2 (23... Qe2 24. Rf2 Qxf2 25. Re5 Bxe5 26. dxe5 Qf1+ 27. Kh2 Qxc1 28. Qxd5 cxd5 29. h4 Qf4+ 30. Kg2 Rbc8 31. c4 Rxc4 32. Bf5 Qxf5 33. Kg3 Qf4+ 34. Kh3 Rc2 35. a4 Qxf3#) 0-1

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