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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Not very magical, still... » » Lobothoughts on the chessboard game (No Bill Allowed!) (3 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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LobowolfXXX
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Bill's first move didn't surprise me, but I have to admit that his second move did. It's an interesting task to try to predict what someone's chess will be like based on what his bridge is like. I expected the more usual 2. Nf3. c3 on move 2 is totally playable; just not the main line. I don't know if it's a line he's used to and likes, or if he's trying to dictate the opening - in a main line Sicilian (1...c5), black usually dictates what follows in the opening, choosing a variation. After c3, there are fewer mainstream options: Everything other than 2...d5 or 2....Nf6 is a relatively minor sideline. I never liked the 2...Nf6 lines for black, so we'll see what he does with ...d5
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
magicalaurie
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This game's reminding me a little of a Texas hold'em! 'Cept we've got bonus insider narration.
tommy
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The best chess player I ever played was a lawyer. We met once a week for a year and we would play about three or four games. In that year I only beat once. In that game I won, I played wild in the sense made an unusual opening and was making moves that were surprising, counterintuitive of you will. Anyhow it threw him and I was well ahead, he almost got stalemate but I beat him. It is like boxing; if you are up against somebody bigger and better, then you have to do something surprising. I am rooting for Bill by the way.
If there is a single truth about Magic, it is that nothing on earth so efficiently evades it.

Tommy
LobowolfXXX
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Tommy makes an excellent point, which, given his background familiarity with gambling, doesn't need surprise me. The gist is that variance helps the side that is more likely to be in trouble if things go normally...so if the normal expectation is bad for you, generally you should be mixing it up. This is true as a generalization in any competitive endeavor; Conversely, the side with the advantage should try to keep things as simple as possible. This was a strategy I employed in chess when I beat the highest rated player I ever beat in a tournament, playing a very offbeat opening (with black, no less). It's to Bill's advantage here that my general style is to mix it up a bit. If I were more temperamentally suited to caution, my expectation would probably be higher here. There's a reason Tex Cobb was able to beat Earnie Shavers but not Muhammad Ali (above and beyond the skill difference between Shavers and Ali).

This strategy is elaborated upon in the excellent book "Chess for Tigers," by the late Simon Webb, which focuses much less on chess per set than on gamesmanship and outside-chess strategic considerations.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
landmark
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Quote:
The gist is that variance helps the side that is more likely to be in trouble if things go normally...so if the normal expectation is bad for you, generally you should be mixing it up.


A successful electoral strategy, too, as recent events have borne out.
LobowolfXXX
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I meant Cobb was unable to beat Larry Holmes. He wouldn't have beaten Ali, either, but they never fought.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
LobowolfXXX
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Well, 3.f3 is sort of reminiscent of the "Fantasy Variation" of the Caro Kann (1. e4...c6 2. d4...d5 3. f3). I haven't studied the c3 Sicilian in a long time (by which I mean more than 20 years), but I can't imagine this is a theory-approved option here. It takes away the g1-knight's naturally best square, for starters. It does have one thing going for it, though...I hate this position. If I'd known we were going to end up here, honestly, I would have played 1...e5. Playing Nf6 now runs into 4. e5, which is a disaster now that d5 is not available for the knight. Playing Nc6 to prevent his future e5 would probably be met by Bb5 renewing the possibility and letting him develop a piece with annoyance. Playing e5 creates a hole on the d5 square, where he could potentially sink a piece later, unassailable by any of my pawns. Playing e6 hems in the QB, although it doesn't have anywhere to go on the kingside now. Playing a6 seems just silly. Capturing the pawn justifies f3, although if my e-pawn had moved, then it would be a crusher, as white's reply fxe4 would allow the crushing Qh4+. But moving my e-pawn just in the hopes that he'll leave it there isn't worth basing a strategy on. I suspect that Bill is rather unused to opposing the "hypermodern" style (the most succinct and fundamental description of which is that it involves controlling the center without occupying it). My early move d5 is antithetical to that strategy, but I'm going to switch horses fianchetto the king's bishop and see if I can get him to overextend himself in the center. I'm sure that g6 isn't the best move here, but there's something to be said for just aiming for the type of middlegame that one is most comfortable with.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
LobowolfXXX
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The analysis thread looks awfully lively, with the number of views and posts! I'm looking forward to checking it out.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
LobowolfXXX
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After 5...Qe5+, I'm liking things again. I was actually on the verge of playing Qd8, which I think it still quite a nice position for black, when I noticed that the queen check actually gives white some trouble, mainly because all of the interpositions seem helpful to black or harmful to white.

If Ne2, it's awkward for white to untangle his kingside pieces.

If Be2, the bishop is taken away from what would probably be it's most logical development, to g2.

If Qe2, I simply reply Bg7, and white will almost certainly trade queens (else the kingside pieces stay tangled up), leaving me in firm control of the d4 square and setting up the d-pawn as an endgame target.

c4 created a permanent weakness on d4, and lost a tempo, as the pawn took 2 moves to get from c2 to c4, but the pawn wasn't doing much on c3 except for taking away the natural square for the b1 knight. The f3 pawn poses a similar problem on the kingside.

Black doesn't have a corresponding problem to the d4 hole at d5, because the d5 square can still be controlled by playing e6. My other bishop is probably going to b7; sometimes, potentially opposing diagonal bishops are problematic for the side that doesn't get there first. If he could get a bishop to g2 before mine goes to b7, it could be hard to get mine to b7 (pushing b6 would drop the rook, and playing Nc6 first would allow Bxc6, ruing my pawn structure) - but here's another hidden downside of the pawn move f3 - it means my bishop can effectively get on the long white-squared diagonal before his.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
LobowolfXXX
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So, the development of the minor pieces looks pretty straightforward as far as what should go where, but the question now is the move order, and whether white can create any unpleasantness in response to a poorly chose order.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
LobowolfXXX
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Color me surprised! d4 is possibly Bill's best move of the game (not counting 1. e4). Black's position after c4 was, in my estimation strategically lost after c4, and it was fairly sophisticated for him to realize that the positional detriments that would be incurred by trying to keep the pawn would be worse than just losing the pawn. Generally, less experienced players are extremely reluctant to part with material, and I was expecting Bill to compound his difficulties by delaying the (apparently) inevitable as long as possible. The problem is, giving up the pawn doesn't solve all of his problems, though it frees up his game to some extent. The d-pawn was in the way of his pieces, and now it isn't, which is good for white; in the minus column, though, I still control the d4 square, and...he's down a pawn. That raises the question of how to capture. PxP creates a passed (unassailable by other pawns) pawn for me, but at the expense of giving up the d4 square. That would be a distantly third option. The point of controlling a square is to be able to use it for your pieces. Taking with the knight keeps his possible counterplay limited by posing a threat (Nc2, forking the king and room), and also leaves the bishop guarding c7 (he can threaten his own knight fork after either Nb5 or Nd5, which could be annoying. Now, I can chase he knight with a6 or e6, respectively, so, coupled with the tempo gain by threatening Nc2, I should have time to consolidate a little.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
landmark
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Quote:
Black's position after c4 was, in my estimation strategically lost after c4,


Did you mean "Bill's position after c4 was..."
LobowolfXXX
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Whoops! Good catch. lol That's what I get for doing my write-ups without the board in front of me
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
LobowolfXXX
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I was just thinking how much I'd love to play an endgame with a knight against his light-squared bishop, and here I am offering to trade that bishop off, in exchange for my "good" (not on the same color squares as my fixed pawn, on c5) bishop. So, what gives?

As Jeremy Silman (author of "How to Reassess Your Chess" - good book) might say, there's more to "good" vs. "bad" bishops; there's also the consideration of "active" and "inactive" bishops. By recapturing on d4 with my knight, I sort of made a virtue out of necessity for Bill's Bd3 move. On the one hand, Bd3 was the obvious way to defend against the knight fork on c2. But it's also a good square for his "bad" bishop, or more accurately, it's a stepping stone to e4, where the bishop could be annoying to me, hitting on the long diagonal that I'd intended to put MY bishop on.

There are other ways to deal with that, but they're not really appealing. Playing f5 would create my own backward pawn, the e-pawn, and create holes for him to attack and occupy, on e6 and e5. Playing Nf6, a natural developing move that hits e4, cuts my dark squared bishop off from its preferred resting spot on the long diagonal, g7 (and he could chase it off of that diagonal by playing f4, which looks a bit anti-positional, but could be annoying, and he has good piece control over e4.

Moreover, my "good" bishop isn't all that great. It doesn't have any squares on the kingside, and thanks to his f3 move, it doesn't really have any targets if I put it on b7. It could help control d5, but that's a defensive task that can be handled by playing e6.

Finally, by keeping my dark squared bishop's retreat to g7 open (by eschewing Nf6), I've kept my "bad" bishop active. Mostly, this move is about limiting his counterplay; with the advantage (control of d4 + an extra pawn), that's important. My advantages are longterm, so my focus is on making sure he doesn't get manage to randomize things. In boxing terms, when you're winning on points, you usually don't want to mix it up.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
LobowolfXXX
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BxB (Bxf5) is pretty much forced...I suppose I should be figuring out which way to recapture on f5. I think each choice has some merit. Some spectators may be surprised that I haven't definitely thought even one move ahead, but for the reasons given in my last post, it wasn't something I think I needed to worry about too much - either recapture is preferable to letting him keep the bishop unchallenged on d3.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
LobowolfXXX
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Really unfortunate. Bill apparently took his eye off the board. It happens to the best. Anatoly Karpov allowed a simple double attack that cost him a piece and resigned in 12 moves against Larry Christiansen. Vladimir Kramnik offered a queen trade and allowed a one-move checkmate. Sammy Reshevsky, in a tournament to determine a challenger for the world championship, allowed a simple 2-move checkmate - and Laszlo Szabo didn't see it; the game was drawn! Similarly, world championship candidate Miguel Najdorf offered a queen "trade" by putting his queen on an unprotected square - and rather than taking the free queen, his opponent retreated his queen. International Master Kamran Shirazi once won a lost queen & pawn ending when his opponent hallucinated on which way the pawns were going, and played a queen move that allowed PxQ. He also won a R & pawns vs. Q & pawns ending - with the ROOK - when his opponent, also an IM, kept making aimless queen checks until he could only avoid mate by giving up his queen. Shirazi also dropped a rook in 5 moves in a US Championship and resigned. So Bill's got world class company.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
LobowolfXXX
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No updates laely, because in a position like this, the loss of the bishop pretty much made it a mopping up operation. The side without such a material deficit really needs compensation in the form of piece activity, but with only the knight developed, there's no such attack. His only chance would be in the middle game, so each exchange only helps black (picture a military battle where one side has 500 extra men. If it's 28,300 vs. 28,800, you've got a fight. 700 vs. 200...not so much). But if he's going where I think he is with BxN, there may be a nasty tactical shot coming in a few moves. What Bobby Fischer called the scorpion's sting at the tail end of the combination. Here's hoping I lose my a-pawn...
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
LobowolfXXX
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Time to see how well I can predict Bill's plans...and how well he can smell a trap.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
NYCTwister
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You're more subtle than I am.
I'd have kept the bishop and just smashed.
If you need fear to enforce your beliefs, then your beliefs are worthless.
LobowolfXXX
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Well, I figure my worst case scenario is trades on d4, in which case we're just simplifying into a piece-up endgame; OTOH, based on his capture on d4, I think he was relying on the a7/d4 fork to regain some material, so I'm fully expecting the capture on a7.
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
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