Wednesday 13 March 2013

My games from Cannes, Part 3/3

This is the last part of my games in Cannes.
After some essential parts from my games, I will write some comments about my games in 2013.
It is very important to periodically do some analysis based on general conclusions (not only just analysis of the games and positions).
That can show us if our chess development is in the right direction.
Of course, the answer should not be just yes or no, because the question is much more complex then it sounds.
First of all, the last three games from Cannes...

IM Bejtovic Jasmin E2382 - GM Degraeve Jean Marc E2591

As always, the position in the introduction is the position from the first game.
Degraeve played Keres Variation of The English Opening, and we got this structure, in which I like to play.
There are a lot of subtle moves in this type of positions.
For example, Mihail Marin in his famous trilogy on The English, recommends that you should play Bg5.
I decided to keep my dark squared bishop as it can be very useful later in the game.
The main thing in this type of position is strategic understanding, and it is better to learn how to play out of structure, then to learn opening theory.
This structure is explained very well in the Sokolov´s book, Winning chess middlegames, and I can refer to a game Petrosian-Spassky in their WC match (I am not sure is it first in 1966 or the second one 1969). Spassky was Black and the game arose from The Tarasch Defence, so interested readers can do a little research.
Anyway, Degraeve played:


The alternative was 13...Bf8 when my intention was 14. g4! (remember this move! It is very important and typical for this structure). Later on, I would put my knight on d3, rooks on c1 and e1 and either push h4-g5 or jump with my knight on c5 or e5 (after preparatory Bg3).
The third candidate move would be 13...Bf5 with intention to take on d3 (if I go there) but I would play 14. g4, Bh7 and than organise a pressure against d5 (as his bishop is isolated on h7).
The idea behind his move is that I can either continue as in the game, or move my knight on d3, so he can hit it directly after Bf5.

14. Nfxd5!, Nxd5
15. Nxd5, Bxg3
16. hxg3, Qxd5
17. f4, Qd6
18. d5, Ne7
19. Re1

We reached this position, in which he knew it that I should have better chances, somehow, but the position is very tense, and advantage can go on his side if I don´t play aggressively enough.
My main idea is to somehow exchange (or push from d6) his queen, and than to go further with my passer. In order to do that I was ready to play Qb3-Qa3.

20. Qe2, Bb7
21. Rad1, Rad8
22. Qb5!

Everything was very natural, and I attacked his rook on e8.
My idea is to defend my pawn on d5 with my rook from e5.
Then I can double my rooks on e-file and simply win.
In order to stop that he should play 22...Bc8 with idea of 23...Bd7.
In that case I would keep stable advantage because his pressure on d5 pawn would become weaker.
He was not aware of all of my threats....

23. a4

I am going to soften his structure on the queen side with a4-a5.

24. a5, Rxe1+
25. Rxe1

We reached this position.
He is under pressure, and he made decisive mistake.


He should play 25...Qd7 when White is clearly better but not winning.

26. Qd3!

Taking into account the weak square on h7!
If I go there he will be mated. So he has to protect it.

27. axb6

The simple chess.
He can not take on b6 because of Qb3 winning a piece on b file.

28. Qa3!

After this I am just winning.
We will exchange the queens, and he will win the d-pawn but for a price of complete pinning.

This game would be one of the best I ever played if there were not such a big blunder by both of us at the end.

I played:

34. Bxd5+?

Instead, I am winning with 34. Bf1 and 35.Bc4. Then I can do whatever I want. Basically, everything reasonable is winning.


If he played 34...Rxd5 we both calculated 35. Re7+, Kf6
36. Rxb7, Rxc5 37. Ra7, Ra5 and now 38. b7, Rb5 
39. Rxa6 with check. He has to go on seventh rank (otherwise Ra5) and then Ra7 and simple march of a pawn wins.
Yeah right!
If he plays 37...a5 I have nothing.
For sure he has to find some accurate moves in this endgame, but he would survive.

35. Rxd5!

Simply missed by him.
He resigned immediately.

36. b7, Rd1+
37. Kf2, Rb1
38. Bb4 ...and b pawn promotes.

Eight round: IM Bejtovic Jasmin E2382 - GM Safarli Elitaj E2638

The pawn endgame from this game was already analyzed, so I will just show something very rare in the opening.

This is position after just 10 moves. 
This is actually the recommendation of British Grandmaster Nigel Davies on his Chessbase dvd about The Scotch Opening.
What I can recommend ,with a hand on my heart, to my readers is that not waste a money on that dvd
The point is that after:

11. Ke2

White should not be scared of check on c4 (White would take on f2 then).


I seen this and everything was really fishy here.
I didn´t have much time to check everything with my engine as I had couple of other things to prepare (with higher priority).
White is still in the game, but has to find some strange computer moves in order to keep the balance.

12. Rd1, Rd7
13. Be3?

White should play 13. Na4 but this is not what can be the position on anyone´s repertoire with White pieces!


He won a pawn, and later on, he won a pawn endgame which can be seen in one of my previous articles.

Ninth round: IM Lekic Dusan E2421 - IM Bejtovic Jasmin E2382

I was very disappointed to lose without a fight in eight round, and to lose a chance for GM norm.
The last round was played the morning after that and I was not in a mood to do my best (of course this is only my fault).
In this position I didn´t dare to play the most critical:

17...Rxf5 with complicated position

I played:


...and got very passive position which I should defend very accurately in order to save a draw.
The critical moment came in the next position.

Here I should play 23...Bxc3 24. bxc3, Nc5  and somehow Black is still only slightly worse.
I didn´t calculated well and decided on general principles to keep my bishop alive.

24. Re1!

Now I can not stop his sacrifice on e5 with a winning attack.
I tried six, seven moves more, but at the end was forced to resign.


I played 29 games in 2013.
It is almost the third part of all my games in one year.
My performance was clearly better than in 2012, and it seems that a lot of things are in the right place right now.
I am not as effective against weaker opponents as I would like to be, but there are some very good victories against higher rated opponents.
I think that I started to calculate much better then before, and that my defencive abilities clearly developed.
The second thing is that I got used to my new opening repertoire (I started with it in late 2011).
This was not so clear after the Czech tour, but I felt that I underperformed there.
In Prague I did quite good result, while in Marienbad I did clearly worse than I can.
I can refer the readers to my game in the last round.
I know that it is not good thing to only count the things which goes our way (that is extremely delusional), but that game is the big exception.
It is not normal not to win the position like that.
As I thought, the tournament in Cannes was the highest point of the first part of 2013.
I only can hope that I would continue to play like that.
The bad thing is that I still has some defeats which are so hard to explain.
However I do not have plans to change much in my play now but the intensity of my trainings is the same as under Autumn of 2012.

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