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Posts Tagged ‘Team4545League’

New Team4545League season is on the way

I know, it has been a long time without any updates but for the rest of the year it will hopefully improve. Vacation time is over and one of the places I visited was this one:

Image taken from wikipedia

I think you all know where this is and it was incredible to see the tower with my own eyes.

Anyway, back to some chess related stuff. I have joined the new Team4545League season in round 3 and of course I felt quite rusty. In my first game everything went quite smooth and despite the pressure the game was equal most of the time. Then, in this position, I got too excited:

Can Black win back the pawn with Nxd4?

No, White threatens a backrank mate, which I completely missed. Now my only chance was to put queen and rook on active squares and make use of the slightly unsafe position of White’s king. We reached the following position where White just captured with the queen.

This was the only move that was not good in this position. White will lose material or gets mated so I luckily got away with my blunder. No hard feelings though because some months earlier it was the other way round in at least 2 games – that’s chess.

Game 2

The other game was a positional desaster. In the opening I missed the only move that kept the advantage:

The best move is now 9.e5, which works because the knight can jump to g5 threatening e6, which is quite nasty for Black. I missed it and followed the wrong plan to exchange dark bishops, which left me with a super-bad light bishop and a terrible position. There was another interesting tactic that I missed as well:

It looks that after Ne2 the queen is almost trapped after Qxb2. I checked a4 followd by Reb1 but now Black can capture the e-pawn with the knight to win a tempo at my queen. The right idea after Qxb2 would have been to play Qa5! and now there is no escape anymore. I never even considered a queen move here so this was a good kick at myself to look at the moves more systematically to find hidden resources.

Anyway, with a good portion of luck I managed to draw the game. Black missed the winning idea in the following position:

He had to get the bishop to b5 somehow, even if this means that a pawn had to be scacrificed. White can try to protect his weak d-pawn with king and rook but there is not enough space so sooner or later we will reach a Zugzwang position. 40…b4 was the winning move.

That was an interesting game and I learnt much about middlegame strategy and endgame play with bishop+knight vs rook.

 

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TL Playoffs, here we come!

Yes, we made it! After losing the first two games in our TL division, the Dreadful Knights performed great and have entered the playoffs as wildcard team.

Everything is possible. 🙂

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New U1600 champion

The chessmasters are the T45 champion in the U1600 division. Super-Kallistos played a Smith-Morra Gambit and was always one step ahead of his opponent. Super-Signalman merciless exploited a blunder and won a game after offering a draw 4 moves ago. werty only had to appear, his opponent missed the game – and it was over!

I had to play another tough game and lost but not without fighting. To get into a better mood I joined the STTourney 4 hours later and won a nice Sicilian.

The victory boosted the ratings of the three best players and the team will change for the next TL. pablito15 and I have started a team that puts more focus on communication, chess improvement and analysis. With some strong and motivated players in our team I am curious if this works out as planned.

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We made it – our team is in the playoff finale of the Erg U1600 section!

As expected my opponent played the Pirc defense. I had prepared some opening moves but didn’t know that the resulting positions are so tactical. Around move 22 I was strategically lost but managed to get a draw. You can play through the game here.

22…Ne4 just played and I am looking into a dark future

I am not unhappy with the result. Similar to the previous game, I simply need more practice. This will give me the chance to study the various openings, middlegames and endgames that arise in my games. Getting punished for mistakes is hard but a good way to make progress and that’s why it’s important to play against strong players. It’s one thing to read a book, it’s a completely different matter to see positions on the board and to understand the reason behind the moves.

The next (final?) TL game in the tournament will be a tough one but as I already mentioned in the Blog, all players < 1800 are within my reach and I will play for a win.

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The playoffs!

My Team4545League playoff game is scheduled for Friday 9pm. My opponent was kind enough to accept one of the proposed times. 6 hours difference and my general unwillingness to play on the weekend unless absolutely required usually results in very late start times (10pm), which is bad for the concentration. I am very excited this time because I studied regularly and need a tough opponent to test me. I should have done more tactics though, I took a one month break and focused on other things (strategy, endgame).

The most important points for the game will be:

  • Play concentrated.
  • Play to win!
  • Manage the time better: 20min must be left after 20 moves, 5min after 30 moves. The idea is to spend enough time in the middle game but not too much. Last time I terribly went down in the endgame, blundering away a won position. This should not happen again.

I expect that my opponent will play fast and think when I think so I need to find a way to optimize my own play. I will tell more later.

Paul is on the way back to his home country, Australia. I hope he is in good shape when he arrives there, his game could be the decisive one.

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The chessmasters have convincingly beaten the Gomers Pawn Stars and are now in the playoffs! I could not play this round so Paul had the chance to play again. In a long struggle he finally won the endgame, well done! I feel a little bit guilty that I have joined his team. My initial rating put me into second rank and he dropped to place five. We will figure something out for the next game so that he has a chance to play if he wants to.

I am really excited how far our team will get and I hope we can play together next season as well. However, due to the expected rating increase of most players this will not work out. I am prepared to look for a new team that needs someone who can play in the second half of the tournament. Fortunately there are plenty of other options to play long games at ICC.

This week I will start with my endgame training. The first round is just a refresh of the basics, easy stuff for a poor U1600. I have no clue how to get more practice, most of my games end much earlier so the motivation to do more is lacking. Somewhere I read though that the endgame will teach you how to play with your pieces. I wonder if this is true. It makes sense because with few pieces on the board it will be easier to calculate the positions and you are forced to find safe squares to avoid losing material. This will be helpful in the middlegame as well.

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TeamLeague news

Round 4 of the Team4545League is over. The match was already decided before I started playing so I could take it easy. My opponent Salvatore wanted to surprise me and played 1. e4. Well, he wasn’t prepared for the Scandinavian though! I had a rather bad day and tried playing for tricks. This allowed Salvatore to get his queen pawns moving and to gain a lot of space. I was able to hold the position and after some inaccurate moves I was even better. Instead I allowed a passed pawn that finally decided the game. The power of a passed pawn became visible again, I really have to force myself not to allow it. This kind of counter play can quickly kill any advantage I might gain.

Especially bad that day was that my whole thinking was messed up. I had no real plan and didn’t work hard enough to calculate the best moves. It was a deserved loss and I learnt some good lessons. The whole game can be found here.

For our team round 5 will start today. Kallistos, our highest rated player, cannot play so I will play board 1. My game will be the final one, Sunday night. This round will decide if we have a chance to move forward to the playoffs – we need to win the match, then it will be in our own hands. I really like the Team4545League, it’s very exciting to play in a competition and slowly we get something like team spirit. Let’s hope for the best.

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