Saturday, 3 March 2012

Junior Club: Competition game from round 3

Here is a game that was played in round 3 of the junior club competition.

1. d4 d5 Both players choose very good moves to occupy the centre and free a bishop.

2. f3? 
 White's idea is to play e4, but the weakening of the h4 - e1 diagonal is a big price to gain a strong pawn centre.  In fact if you consider 2...e6, 3.e4 dxe4, 4.fxe4 Qh4+  Black wins a pawn and there is no strong centre.  Another downside to f3 is it takes away the knight's best developing square.  Knowing when to make a pawn advance is difficult and I would much prefer to see pieces getting developed on move 2.  If you were to study opening play you would probably come to realise that a second pawn move is often good on move 2 and in double queen pawn openings 2.c4 is a very good move for White.  Perhaps we will discuss that in another article.

...Nc6 Perhaps e6 is better
3. c3 White doesn't need to protect his pawn on d4 as the queen is already providing adequate cover.  Too many pawn moves means that your pieces are not getting developed.  Bf4 would have been much stronger, as it not only develops a piece, but can offer emergency cover along that weak dark square diagonal.
...e6 4. e4 dxe4 5. fxe4

 ...Nf6?  developing a piece is usually the best thing to do, but we must always be on the lookout for moves that win material.  Here Qh4+ wins a big central pawn, takes away Whites castling rights and makes White's game really difficult.
6. Ne2?? Missing the attack on e4, White could have caused trouble for Black with another pawn move e5!  After all those pawn moves the first piece move is a blunder, chess is a cruel game.
... Nxe4 7. d5? loses another pawn, much better is Nd2
exd5 8. h4?

White has just made too many pawn moves, 7 pawn moves out of 8 is not good play.  Get those pieces out.  Moving pawns leave weak squares in your position, if your opponent can amass a superior force then the battle will be theirs and you will taste defeat.
...g6 Here ...Bc5 develops a piece but with the super strong threat of Bf2 checkmate, or supporting a knight fork on f2.
9. Bg5 I think this is the reason for h4, which shows White has a certain logic to his play, which could be honed into strong play.
White now loses the plot completely over the next few moves
10. Ng3 Nxg3 11. Rh3 Bxh3 12. gxh3 Nxf1 13. Kxf1 Bxg5 14. hxg5
Black is a full rook up, but worse for White is that his king is fully open.  A good player will attack the White king in such open positions.
O-O 15. Nd2 Qxg5 Black smells a weak king and quickly moves his heavy pieces into the attack.
16. Nb3 Qf5+ 17. Kg1 Qxh3 Black's queen is well placed for the final kill, but she needs support.

18. Nd4 Nxd4 19. cxd4 Rae8! A good move as the rook will spring into the attack
20. Qc1?? The final mistake, as this allows the rook to land on e2 when White can't avoid check mate.

Re2 21. Qd1 Qh2+ 22. Kf1 Qg2# *
A good game between two juniors.  Black punished White for making too many pawn moves and blundering a piece or two.

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