Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Analysis :: Foxwoods 2009 (round 2)

[Event "Foxwoods"]
[Site "Preston CT"]
[Date "2009.04.10"]
[Round "2"]
[White "Reed, Harvey"]
[Black "Chen, Jeremy"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D55"]
[WhiteElo "1429"]
[BlackElo "1274"]
[PlyCount "45"]
[EventDate "2009.??.??"]
[SourceDate "2007.01.03"]

1. d4 e6 2. c4 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Nf3 Be7 5. Bg5 O-O 6. e3 c6 7. Bd3 c5 8. Bxf6 Bxf6 9. cxd5 cxd4 10. Nxd4 exd5 11. O-O Nc6 12. Nxc6 bxc6 13. Rc1 c5 14. Nxd5 Bxb2 15. Rxc5 Be6 16. Nc7 Qd6 17. Bxh7+ Kxh7 18. Qxd6 Rad8 19. Rh5+ Kg6 20. Qc5 Bf6 21. Nxe6 fxe6 22. Rh3 Rf7 23. Qh5# 1-0

Reed,Harvey (1429) - Chen,Jeremy (1274) [D55]

Foxwoods Preston CT (2), 10.04.2009

1.d4 e6 2.c4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 Be7 5.Bg5 Even though Black has already played ...Be7, White intends 6.e3 and wants to get his dark bishop outside the pawn chain. 5...0–0 6.e3 White prepares to develop his light bishop. 6...c6 [6...h6 is stronger.] 7.Bd3 Prepare to castle.

 7...c5 8.Bxf6 White wanted to give Black an isolani without the possiblity of Black's knight recapturing. [Fritz suggests 8.cxd5 cxd4 9.Nxd4 exd5 which gives Black an isolani, but 8...Nxd5 is possible.] 8...Bxf6 9.cxd5 cxd4 10.Nxd4 exd5 Black has two bishops, and an isolani. It's up to White to prove that the isolani is more of a liability than the benefit of two bishops.

11.0–0 White is playing tough but conservative. As a result he missed a simple combination to pick up a pawn. [Perhaps 11.Qh5 could be considered for the power of double attack (mate and double attack on d5). 11...g6 only 12.Qxd5] 11...Nc6 White has a choice, retreat the d4 knight (say to f3), and risk creating an isolani, or exchange knights, and help Black create hanging pawns. In the judgement of White, creating the hanging pawns was the more profitable choice because he is confident that he can keep them from advancing, which means that they then become a target and a liability. In fact, immediately after the bxc recapture, the c-pawn is backward, and White thinks he can put pressure on it quickly. Black won't be able to immediately advance to c5 because of the Bxh7+ tactic. 12.Nxc6 bxc6 13.Rc1 White starts to apply pressure on the c6 pawn.

13...c5? Black wants to get his hanging pawns moving, but this fails to tactics. 14.Nxd5 Black cannot recapture. Black also has an isolani again. White is attacking c5, while Black is attacking b2. 14...Bxb2 Black wants to trade off his isolani. However, with White's Rxc5 recapture, this attacks the c7 square twice. 15.Rxc5 Be6 16.Nc7 White feels he has an advantage. 16...Qd6?? Black is double attacking White's rook and knight, trying to force them back. [16...Rc8 Doesn't work 17.Nxe6 Rxc5?? (17...fxe6 18.Rxc8 Qxc8 19.Qc2) 18.Nxc5; 16...Rb8 A little better 17.Nxe6 fxe6 but still results in an isolani. 18.Rb5] 17.Bxh7+ White didn't see this tactic twice in one game (also on Black's 13th move).

17...Kxh7 18.Qxd6 Rad8 19.Rh5+ Black still has two bishops, so White still has to be very careful, and keep Black on the run. 19...Kg6 [19...Kg8 Holds out longer.] 20.Qc5 Threatens 21.Qg5#.

20...Bf6 only. 21.Nxe6 [White missed 21.Qc2+ Kxh5 22.Qh7+ Kg5 (22...Kg4 23.f3+ Kg5 24.h4#) 23.f4+ Kg4 24.Qh3#] 21...fxe6 22.Rh3 White prepares mate, expecting Black's king to run to f7. 22...Rf7 Oops. 23.Qh5# 1–0

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Analysis :: Foxwoods 2009 (round 1)

[Event "Foxwoods"]
[Site "Preston CT"]
[Date "2009.04.09"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Grossman, Kurt"]
[Black "Reed, Harvey"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "D51"]
[WhiteElo "1332"]
[BlackElo "1429"]
[PlyCount "73"]
[EventDate "2009.??.??"]
[SourceDate "2007.01.03"]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5 Nbd7 5. cxd5 exd5 6. Qb3 c6 7. g3 Bd6 8. Bg2 h6 9. Bd2 O-O 10. Nh3 Nb6 11. Qc2 Bg4 12. O-O Qd7 13. Nf4 Nc4 14. e4 dxe4 15. Nxe4 Nxe4 16. Bxe4 Nxd2 17. Qxd2 Rfe8 18. Bg2 Bxf4 19. Qxf4 Re2 20. b3 Rae8 21. Bf3 Bxf3 22. Qxf3 R8e4 23. Qc3 Rxd4 24. Rfe1 Rde4 25. Rad1 Qf5 26. Rxe2 Rxe2 27. Qd4 Rxa2 28. Ra1 Rxa1+ 29. Qxa1 a6 30. Qe1 Qe6 31. Kf1 Qxe1+ 32. Kxe1 Kf8 33. Kd2 Ke7 34. Kc3 Kd6 35. Kb4 b6 36. f4 Kd5 37. f5 0-1

Grossman,Kurt (1332) - Reed,Harvey (1429) [D51]

Foxwoods Preston CT (1), 09.04.2009

1.d4 Black was hoping to get some Queen pawn openings in this tournament, so this was a welcome sight. 1...d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 Nbd7 Leaving open the possibility of ...Bd6 later. 5.cxd5 exd5 White exchanges, signalling to Black he is seeking to avoid complications. 6.Qb3 Black is anticipating playing ...c6 and is expecting White to play e3. If so White would be right to aim for queensdie play, and Black should aim for kingside play. However, with this move, White's queen is in an awkward position for a minority attack. White's double attack on d5 is easily met with a move that Black wanted to play. 6...c6 7.g3 White signals to Black that he will fianchetto his light bishop. Black anticipates an e4 break by White, but that can be easily met with dxe, leaving White with an isolani on d4, and a bishop with no targets. [Perhaps 7.e3 is more solid. ] 7...Bd6 Black feels he has a shot at equality in a few more moves. 8.Bg2 h6 Put the question to White's bishop. 9.Bd2 0–0 10.Nh3 Black thinks that White is preparing to exchange his dark bishop on f4 without risking doubled pawns. 10...Nb6 Eyeing c4. 11.Qc2 [Perhaps 11.Bf4 is better for White, seeking to exchange Black's good bishop.] 11...Bg4 Black wants to (a) develop his light bishop, and (b) prepare to create a bishop-queen battery to double attack Whites h3 knight, or White's g2 bishop, giving White a weak light color complex, which will be important if White castles kingside. 12.0–0 Qd7 13.Nf4 Nc4 14.e4 dxe4

White now has an isolani. 15.Nxe4 Nxe4 16.Bxe4 Nxd2 Black now has the two bishops. 17.Qxd2 Rfe8 18.Bg2 Bxf4 Black exchanges in order to: (a) pull off minor pieces off the board, favorable in an isolani endgame, and (b) divert White's queen from guarding the e2 square. 19.Qxf4 Re2

Now Black has a rook on the 7th. 20.b3 Rae8 [Black considered 20...g5 and saw 21.Qf6 (The likely response is 21.Qc1 Qxd4 which wins a pawn.)  but didn't see the continuation 21...Re6 such is tournament chess. 22.Qxe6 Bxe6] 21.Bf3 Anticipated. This just hastens the queen and rook endgame where White has an isolani, and Black has a rook on the 7th. 21...Bxf3 22.Qxf3 R8e4 Now Black aims to win the d4 pawn. 23.Qc3 Rxd4 Black is estimating that the endgame favors Black, especially as the heavy pieces get traded. 24.Rfe1 Rde4 25.Rad1 Qf5 Increasing pressure on f2. This was a theme for the game for a few moves, and makes double attack easier. 26.Rxe2 Rxe2 27.Qd4 White can't defend the f2 pawn and the rook pawn at the same time. 27...Rxa2 Black captures second pawn up, and defends the a7 pawn. [Fritz likes 27...c5 28.Qd8+ Kh7 29.Rf1 forced 29...Rxa2 Black captures the rook pawn in any case. 30.Qe7 b6] 28.Ra1 Rxa1+ 29.Qxa1

29...a6 Black is playing it safe. [29...Qc2 30.Qxa7 (30.Qa3 a5 Provoking White. 31.Qxa5 Qb1+ 32.Kg2 Qxb3 33.Qd8+ Kh7 34.Qe7 Winning.) 30...Qxb3 Winning.] 30.Qe1 Qe6 Black is interested in exchanging queens. [30...a5 is probably better, preparing to create a protected passed pawn.] 31.Kf1 Qxe1+ 32.Kxe1 Kf8 Now the game is a matter of endgame technique. 33.Kd2 Ke7 34.Kc3 Kd6 35.Kb4 b6 36.f4 [36.Kc4 Ke5] 36...Kd5 37.f5 0–1

Monday, April 13, 2009

Tournament Report :: Foxwoods 2009

[NOTE: To see the pictures full-size, click once]

I played in U1500 section the Foxwoods 2009 tournament last week Thursday 9 April to Sunday 12 April. The crosstable is here

RESULT: 4.5/7.0 

If I won my last game I’d be in line for about $500-1000 in prize money. The pairing sheet for the last round is below. I have White on the 4th board.

Even so, I’m thrilled with 4.5 points. I will be analyzing games and will post analysis shortly. For now, here is a qualitative summary:
  • Overall the environment, hotel, food, people, and of course chess(!) was great.
  • My two losses were completely the result of my head not being “in the game”, and trying to push the game too much, one the result of eating poorly and quickly right before my last round.
  • The draw was hard fought – first I was down a pawn, then picked up two pawns to be a pawn up in a knight/pawn endgame
  • The four wins were pretty smooth. Of course I usually found the much longer but comprehensible (to me) path to victory (other people pointed out shorter wins), but practice will help.
Thursday I worked until 2:00 pm, before leaving to pick up Kappy. We arrived a bit before the tournament started and had a chance to walk around and take in the venue, minus players, organizers, and spectators. Here is what we found, two huge empty playing halls:

with lots and lots of boards:

and when the rounds started, the venue was full of chess players, ready, willing and able to rip into their opponent's chess positions!

Round 1, Thursday PM, I played Black, win:
Grossman-Reed (0-1)
This game started as a QGD (Queen's Gambit Declined), then White exchanged cxd, opening the position a bit. The middlegame featured mostly play in the center with many exchanges. Eventually Black doubled his Rooks, and planted one on the 7th. This was a turning point since White was a bit awkwardly placed, and couldn't answer an additional double attack on his d4 pawn, then ultimately lost it. This motivated White to muster an attack against Black's doubled rooks, which forced an exchange of one pair, but one Black rook remained, on the 7th again, this time picking up the a-pawn. White allowed the exchange of queens, which shifted play into a king and pawn endgame, where Black is up two pawns. The rest was technique. White resigned a few moves later.

Round 2, Friday AM, I played White, win:
Reed-Chen (1-0)
This game started as a QGD with an early 5.Bg5. Black challenged White's center with 7...c5 which left Black with an isolated pawn on d5 after exchanges. White tried to keep the iso blocked, but Black challenged White's blocking knight with a c6 knight, so White exchanged, aiming to trade advantages (iso, for a backward pawn on c6). Before White had a chance to put pressure on the c6 pawn, Black pushed the c6 pawn to c5 thinking this will become a strong "hanging pawn" pair. The truth was that Black committed a tactical error, allowing White to pick up the c5 and d5 pawns in exchange for giving Black the b2 pawn. This rattled Black, and two moves later he committed a similar (motif) tactical error, and lost his Queen. He continued to fight valiantly, but was checkmated on move 23.

I felt good about the round, so I walked over to see the top boards. It was great to see so many top players, but a bummer that I couldn't understand their positions LOL:

Round 3, Friday PM, I played White, loss:
Reed-Shefton (0-1)
White opened 1.d4 and ended up in a Grunfeld/King's Indian. Pawn structure-wise it also had a Benko like feature with the c and d pawns. When I post my analysis I'll figure it out more exactly. The bottom line is that the position was very unfamiliar, and White quickly got into a defensive posture. This is ok, if White would have stuck to defense. Instead, White engaged in dubious exchanges, and lost a piece outright. And if that wasn't enough, White then launched into a completely unwarranted adventure with his a-file rook, and then promptly lost control of the a-file. Black penetrated with all three of his pieces, against White's queen and rook, and White was overpowered. This loss was constructive though because it showed me the difference between having my head in the game, for each and every move, and what happens if you don't.

Round 4, Saturday AM, I played Black, draw:
Parrish-Reed (1/2-1/2)
White opened 1.e3?! Wow, Black was taken aback, and the rest of the opening was White waiting for Black to overextend, and Black trying to figure out when he might be overextending. As you can imagine, the position became very closed, with the first pawn exchange happening on move 15. This pawn exchange was the result of Black trying to get a break in. The break allowed Black to put pressure on f2, starting on move 17, which was significant because White isn't castled yet. Meanwhile Black has an isolated pawn on h6 that is under attack but can't be taken due to the threats on f2. However, Black spaces a bit and ends up losing the pawn on move 23. However, Black did have some positional compensation and managed to double rooks, with one of them on the 7th on g2, increasing the persistent pressure on f2, and allowing an exchange of rooks on h2, in order to take support away from pushing the now passed White pawn on h5. The queens were exchanged directly after, and now it's a rook/knight/pawn endgame. White soon lost his h-pawn, as well as traded down to a knight/pawn endgame. Black was very comfortable in this type of endgame, and was soon a pawn up, with the remaining pawns on the a. b, c-files. Draw. And I forgot to take a picture. Darn it.

The organizers open the partitions between the two playing halls for Saturday PM. Prior to this, the lower sections (me) play in the hall that have latecomers play fast games to catch up. This is a noisy process, hence the partition, so as not to disturb higher rated players. After opening the partition, it's cool to see how big the venue really is:

Round 5, Saturday PM, I played White, win:
Reed-Fisher (1-0)
Black played a Slav but played his bishop to f5 before playing ...e6. White decided to play conservative and played e3, keeping his dark bishop on c1 without first moving it on g5. Early in the opening, Black moved his knight to e4, and White prepared for the knight being there a long time, first by challenging the Black e4 knight with a bishop on d3. Rather than have the tension build, Black immediately exchanges his e4 knight for White's c3 knight, opening the b-file and strengthening the center after 10.bxc3. At this point White realizes he needs to play on the queenside, and start immediately before Black can muster any center or kingside action. By move 23, White has a rook-queen-rook b-file battery staring down at Black's b7 pawn, with a pawn on a6 in reserve. Black is defending with a rook on b8 and a rook-queen battery on the 7th. White led the combination with Rxb7 and ended up a pawn up with a rook on the 7th. The rook on b8 couldn't take because axb7 promotes, so after Black's rook steps aside, White's rook picks up the g7 pawn. Two pawns up in a rook and pawn endgame is a decisive advantage, and White won 10 moves later.

Round 6, Sunday AM, I played Black, win:
Desmond-Reed (0-1)
Black plays QGD, White plays exchange variation. This signals to Black that White will be conservative. On move 11 Black exchanges his g4 bishop for White's f3 knight, seeking to remove a defender of h2, since Black thinks he will be able to muster a kingside attack faster than White can start a minority queenside attack. Both Black and White vigorously attack, White with queenside minority attack, White with a kingside attack. On move 17 White takes his eye off the queenside attack, which stops, and begins responding to Black's kingside attack. On move 21 White allows his g3 bishop to be exchanged by a bishop-queen battery, thus losing a pawn after fxg recapture, and leaving a Black queen on g3. This gets Black's attention, who promptly moves resources from the queenside attack to the kingside. In a few moves White's other bishop on g4 is exchanged for Black's remaining knight, and White gains another pawn after the hxg recapture. At this point, White's only king cover is the g2 pawn, with Black's queen on g4, and Black's rooks moving into kingside attack position, so White brings his rooks and queen into position. For the next 16 moves Black and White maneuver their rooks and queens in order to attack and defend White's king respectively. On move 42 Black forces an exchange of rooks, which decreases the amount of force on the board, and increases the scope of heavy pieces. On move 49 Black's h-pawn is now advanced to h4, and forces a trade of queens, down to a winning rook and pawn endgame for Black. Black won 7 moves later.

Round 7, Sunday PM, I played Black, loss:
Reed-Rajendran (0-1)
White opened 1.d4 and Black played a Nimzo-Indian defense. By move 9 there is a massive exchange of pawns (c and d-file) and soon White's queen on c2 is opposed by a Black rook on c8. Rather than be conservative and move the queen off of the c-file, White plays for an edge, and loses the queen for two pieces and a pawn on move 16. White resigned immediately. No picture. There is no excuse for this poor result, but two reasons are (a) shortly before the round, I was actually contemplating withdrawing from the last round (heavy work schedule the following day), and worse yet (b) eating poorly right before the round, plus fatigue set White up for massive headaches. The lesson is that chess is a sport and White needs to make sure both mind and body are fit. 

All in all this was a great tournament!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Analysis :: Eastern Class 2009 (Round 1)

[Event "Eastern Class"]
[Site "Sturbridge MA"]
[Date "2009.03.06"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Jackson, Dane"]
[Black "Reed, Harvey"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "D03"]
[WhiteElo "1546"]
[BlackElo "1436"]

1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Bg5 e6 4. e3 Be7 5. Bd3 Nbd7 6. Nbd2 O-O 7. c3 b6 8. Qc2 c5 9. dxc5 bxc5 10. O-O c4 11. Be2 Rb8 12. Bf4 Rb6 13. a4 a5 14. h3 Nc5 15. Nd4 Bd7 16. N2f3 Nd3 17. Bxd3 cxd3 18. Qxd3 Rxb2 19. Rfb1 Rxb1+ 20. Qxb1 Qc8 21. Be5 Ne4 22. Nb5 f6 23. Bh2 Nxc3 24. Qd3 Bb4 25. Nfd4 e5 26. Na7 Qb7 27. Ndb5 Rb8 28. Nxc3 Qxa7 29. Qxd5+ Kh8 30. Ne4 Be7 31. g4 Qb7 32. Qd3 Bc6 33. Nd2 Rd8 34. Qe2 Bb4 35. Nb3 Bh1 36. Qf1 Rd3 37. Rb1 Qd5 38. Bg3 Bf3 39. Kh2 Rxb3 40. Rxb3 Qxb3 41. Qb5 Qg8 42. g5 Qc8 43. Qd3 e4 44. Qd5 fxg5 45. Qxg5 Qe8 46. h4 Bd1 47. Bc7 Qf8 48. Bf4 Bxa4 49. Qe5 Bc2 50. Qb8 Qxb8 51. Bxb8 g6 52. Kg3 Kg7 53. Be5+ Kf7 54. f3 Ke6 55. Bh8 exf3 56. Kxf3 Bd6 57. Bb2 Be5 58. Ba3 Kd5 59. Ke2 Bc3 0-1

Jackson,Dane (1546) - Reed,Harvey (1436) [D03]

Eastern Class Sturbridge MA (1), 06.03.2009
[Reed, Harvey]

1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Bg5 This is the Torre Attack (Tartakower Variation) (D03) 3...e6 4.e3 Be7 5.Bd3 Nbd7 6.Nbd2 0–0 7.c3 b6 Black is anticipating  8.Qc2 which is not the most popular move in CB, but probably the most obvious to class players.  8...c5 The plan is to expand the Queenside, and in the process to displace White's d3 Bishop, thus disrupting the Queen/Bishop battery. 9.dxc5 Black was fully expecting White to play 9. b3 in order to put up more resistance. Black does not want to exchange on d4, which will not only release pawn tension, it won't displace the Bishop either. Rather, Black wants to get a c4 push in, and although it releases pawn tension, it displaces the White Bishop on d3. Then Black can think about a Queenside attack starting with ...Rb8, ...b5, ...b4, etc. 9...bxc5 [‹9...Bxc5? In addition to allowing a tactic for White, capturing with the Bishop stops the planned Queenside expansion. 10.Bxh7+ Kh8 11.Bd3] 10.0–0 This was White's last chance to stop 10...c4 with 10. b3.

10...c4 11.Be2 Rb8 Black puts pressure on b2, first step to securing the hole on b3 12.Bf4 Rb6 13.a4 The hole is becoming a reality, and the text move is easily parried with 13...a5 14.h3 Black considers this a pass, and with Black's next move, begins to get the initiative 14...Nc5 15.Nd4 Bd7 Black continues development, with the thought of tying White down to defense whenever possible 16.N2f3 Nd3 Black trades in his pressure on b2 for a Rook on the seventh, converting one advantage into another 17.Bxd3 cxd3 18.Qxd3 Rxb2 19.Rfb1 Rxb1+ 20.Qxb1 Qc8

Black trades the Rook on seventh for awkward White pieces, now White will find it hard to defend the c3 pawn 21.Be5? White is thinking that the Bishop will indirectly protect the c3 pawn, but the Bishop is easily attacked 21...Ne4 22.Nb5 f6 23.Bh2 Nxc3 Now Black has a clear one pawn advantage 24.Qd3 Bb4 25.Nfd4 e5 In the spirit of maintaining pressure and tension, Black did not liquidate with ...Nxb5. It's not clear how to hang on to the d5 pawn without liquidating though 26.Na7 Qb7 27.Ndb5 Rb8 28.Nxc3 Qxa7 29.Qxd5+ Kh8 At this point, Black realizes he botched the last segment in the game, but he does still have the two Bishops and a more active Rook. There are also vague back-rank mate ideas 30.Ne4 Be7 31.g4 Qb7 32.Qd3 Bc6 33.Nd2 Rd8 34.Qe2 Bb4 35.Nb3 Bh1 36.Qf1 

Black is tying down a Queen with a Bishop, and has the initiative 36...Rd3 37.Rb1 Qd5 Due to threats, Black is forcing White to think longer and longer on less and less time, and White drops a piece 38.Bg3 Bf3 39.Kh2? White drops a piece right before time control 39...Rxb3 40.Rxb3 Qxb3 41.Qb5 Qg8 Consolidate 42.g5 Qc8 43.Qd3 e4 The rest of the game consists of Black taking squares away from White 44.Qd5 fxg5 45.Qxg5 Qe8 [It's late at night, so we both start missing continuations. Better is 45...h6 to open air for Black King, and threaten ...Qc1 and ...Qh1#] 46.h4 Bd1 Black conserves mental energy and goes after easy and significant targets. Capturing White's a4 pawn gives White a huge new problem, a passed pawn on a5 47.Bc7 White tries to force an exchange of Queens 47...Qf8 48.Bf4 Bxa4 49.Qe5 White again tries to force the exchange of Queens. White the a5 passed pawn prepared, Black does not avoid the exchange 49...Bc2 50.Qb8 Qxb8 51.Bxb8 g6 The two Black Bishops should be able to restrain the White King. The Black King's job is to protect the kingside from unseemly advances by the White King 52.Kg3 Kg7 53.Be5+ Kf7 54.f3 Ke6 55.Bh8 exf3 56.Kxf3 Bd6 Prepare to exchange dark Bishops 57.Bb2 Be5 

58.Ba3 Black's Bishop now owns the a1–h8 diagonal, needed for queening. The Black King can restrain the e3 pawn 58...Kd5 59.Ke2 Bc3 0–1