Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Women's Championship - Round 3

Third game of SDCC's Women's Championship. I won first board. :)



  2. I also really like the viewer, but I want to find another solution that will let me host the pgn, and will still work when is down.

    This new viewer will not be it, though, because it isn't displaying on my iPhone, which is one of my requirements.

  3. I think white had a couple of opportunities to play stronger with Nd6, for example at move 29. If then 29...Qxd6 30.Qh7

    32.Nd6 was also worth a try, hoping for Rf8?? 33.Qxf8+ Kxf8 34.Re8 mate. Of course you play 32...Qc7 with about the same position as the game. Doesn't hurt to try though, hey?

    52.Re2 was a misguided winning attempt, the sort of thing I've done many times.

    An eventful game, rich in tactics, low on control.

  4. Thanks Bruce! I would love if you'd take another look from black's perspective. I had the board flipped wrong so it had been viewed from Mayra's perspective by default. :)

  5. I should explain the "low on control" comment.

    Look at the position after white's move 43. What should you play?
    First, some general considerations. You are not yet in an endgame. Why? It is not safe for either king to approach the center. Queen and rook 'endings' are actually middlegames. If you do simplify the position and trade pieces, what kind of ending do you want? You are 2 pawns up. All endings are won, but what would be easier - the queen ending, the rook ending, or a pawn ending?

    The pawn ending is easiest, and that's true even if you lose your queen pawn for free. You could beat the world champion in a 4 vs 3 pawn ending. In winning won positions, pawn endings are the holy grail.

    In any queen ending, there is always the possibility of a slip that allows a perpetual check. Let's not go there, even though with the pawn on the 7th it's won. I would not completely rule it out of course if there exists a simple win.

    The rook ending would be easier, far less chance for something to go wrong and much better technique. White could march her king around and maybe win the queen pawn, but then you trade rooks and you're back to finding the holy grail pawn ending. Note that if you lose the queen pawn for free in the rook ending, then all the pawns would be on the same side of the board with 3Ps vs 2Ps generally considered drawn.

    What about staying the middlegame instead of going for an ending? As a rule, it's better to have a won ending than a won middlegame. The defense has less resources.

    For this reason, black will resist the trade of queens. This makes your queen stronger in the sense that black's queen will always run away, leaving your queen in a commanding position. White's rook is passive and rooks do not make good blockaders, as their power is diminished. This makes your rook stronger too.

    Your queen and rook are basically free to roam, at a time of your choosing. Since it's a middlegame, this means attacking. White does not have such a luxury with her rook, although in the given position her queen still has freedom. In order to control the position and assure the win, the following plan jumps out:
    (1) Keep your king safe.
    (2) Do not allow your opponent's rook to move.
    (3) Centralize your queen.
    (4) Make your opponent's queen defend something important. This is the basis of good technique. Make the defender defend, not roam all over the board causing trouble.

    So with this plan let's look at some concrete lines.

    43.Qg4 Qc4
    44.Rb1 Qd4
    45.Rd1 Qxf2 ouch

    43.Qg4 Qc4
    44.Kg1 Qe4
    45.Kh2 Rg5
    46.Qf3 Qxf3
    47.gxf3 Rd5

    43.Qg4 Qb4
    44.Qe2 Qd4
    45.Kg1 Qd3
    46.Qg4 Qe4

    I should add that through moves 35-39 you played perfectly and with beautiful control.

  6. I wanted to add that 14...Bh7 gives you a much more stable position.

    Also, my earlier suggestions about white playing Nd6 were not clear. Those moves can be refuted. It's just that white is already lost, so all is fair, sound attempt or not.

  7. Thank you so much, Bruce! Your feedback is always greatly appreciated, and you give so much useful info!