Dennis M's Chess Site

This is a blog for chess fans by a chess fan. I enjoy winning as much as anyone else, and I've had a reasonable amount of success as a competitor, but what keeps me coming back to the game is its beauty. And that, primarily, is what this site will be about! All material copyrighted.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Depth in Blitz

When I presented a 1 0 game illustrating a nice positional trap, one writer expressed skepticism about the value of "bullet" games, while another expressed a more moderate statement of doubt about the possibility of deep combinations at that speed. I've disputed the first claim already, and will probably address the latter at some point as well.

For now, however, I'd like to show a couple of my better blitz games, in the hopes of demonstrating that beauty and depth are available even at very short time limits. I strongly recommend printing these games out and taking a look at the variations, too - even though I'm not an impartial judge, the games are both very nice!

DM - NN [B10]
Internet blitz (3 0), 30.12.2000

1.e4 c6 2.Nc3 d6 3.Nf3 e5 4.d4 Qe7 5.dxe5 dxe5 6.a4 Nf6 7.a5 h6 8.h3 Nbd7 9.Bc4 Nc5 10.Qe2 Qc7 11.0-0 g6 12.b4 Ne6 13.b5 Bc5 After a rather strange opening, Black hopes to compensate for his relative lack of space and development by trying to take over the d4 square. I therefore prepare for this idea, and even play to turn it against my opponent. 14.Rd1 Nd4 15.Nxd4 Bxd4

16.Rxd4! One of the exciting aspects of this game, to me, is that while my computer programs fail to predict my sacrifices (because of their long-term justification), they also show by further analysis that they are sound as well - go humans! 16...exd4 17.e5! Nh7 [17...dxc3 loses, unsurprisingly - opening up the center to the crossfire of White pieces against Black's uncastled king is suicidal. 18.exf6+ Be6 (18...Kd8 19.Bf4 Qxf4 20.Qe7#; 18...Kf8 19.Bf4 Qxf4 20.Qe7+ Kg8 21.Qxf7#) 19.Bxe6 fxe6 20.Qxe6+ Kf8 (20...Kd8 21.f7 (threatening Bg5+ followed by Rd1+) 21...Qe7 22.Bg5 Anyway! 22...Qxg5 23.Qd6+ Kc8 24.bxc6 bxc6 25.Qxc6+ Kd8 26.Re1 with a forced mate.) 21.bxc6 bxc6 22.Ba3+ c5 23.Re1+- followed by Re5, winning.] 18.e6! f5 [18...dxc3 19.exf7+ Kd8 (19...Kf8 20.Bxh6#; 19...Kd7 20.Qe6+ Kd8 21.Qxg6+-) 20.Bxh6+- cxb5 21.Rd1+ Bd7 22.Be6 Nf8 23.Bg5+ Kc8 24.Bxd7+ Qxd7 (24...Nxd7 25.Qe8++-) 25.Qe8+ Kc7 26.Bf4+ Kc6 27.Qe4+ Kc5 28.Be3+ Qd4 29.Qxd4+ Kc6 30.Qxc3#; 18...Bxe6 19.Bxe6 fxe6 20.Qxe6+ Kd8 looks like Black's best bet, but White is winning here too (but not mating) after 21.bxc6 Qxc6 (21...bxc6 22.Ne4+-) 22.Qe5 Rf8 23.Qxd4+ Qd7 24.Nd5+- with a target practice position for White against Black's weak king and uncoordinated pieces.; 18...fxe6 19.b6! Qg7 (19...Qe7 20.Ba3) 20.Bxe6 Qe7 21.a6!! bxa6 (21...dxc3 22.axb7 Bxb7 23.Ba3 c5 24.Qb5+ is the end of Black's world.) 22.Ba3 Qxe6 23.b7 Qxe2 24.bxa8Q Qe6 25.Ne4]

19.b6!! A move with three ideas: to move the queen from its good defensive spot, to clear b5 for the white knight, and to take control over c7 for possible mating configurations! 19...Qg7 keeping the e5 square covered. [19...axb6 20.axb6 Rxa1 (20...Qb8 21.Rxa8 Qxa8 22.Qe5 Rf8 23.Qd6 Qa1 24.Nd5 Qxc1+ 25.Kh2+-) 21.bxc7 Rxc1+ 22.Kh2 dxc3 23.Qe5 Rf8 24.Qd6+-; 19...Qb8 20.Nd5! cxd5 21.Ba3! dxc4 22.Qxc4 and the threat of 23.Qb5+ Kd8 24.e7# wins for White: 22...Qe5 23.Qa4+ Kd8 24.e7+ Qxe7 25.Qxd4+ (25.Bxe7+ also wins, but 25.Qxd4+ is more effective.) 25...Qd7 26.Qxh8+ Qe8 27.Qc3 axb6 28.axb6 Qf7 29.Rd1+ Ke8 30.Qh8+ Nf8 31.Bxf8 threatening to mate with 32.Ba3/b4/c5+, so Black has to bleed some more. 31...Qxf8 32.Rd8+ Kxd8 33.Qxf8+ Kd7 34.Qxh6 with a routine win.] 20.Nb5! cxb5 [20...d3 would have led to an Anderssen-style finish:

21.Qxd3 Qxa1 22.Qd6 Qxc1+ 23.Kh2 cxb5 (23...Qf4+ 24.Qxf4 cxb5 25.Bxb5+ forces mate. (25.Qc7 also wins.) For example: 25...Ke7 26.Qc7+ Kf6 27.Qc3+ Kxe6 28.Bc4+ Kd6 29.Qd4+ Ke7 30.Qg7+ Ke8 (30...Kd6 31.Qc7#) 31.Bb5+ Bd7 32.Bxd7+ Kd8 33.Bb5 Nf8 34.Qc7#) 24.Bxb5+ Bd7 25.Bxd7+ Kd8 26.e7#] 21.Bxb5+ Kf8? Disappointingly, my opponent defends weakly, which diminishes the game's aesthetic quality. Still, overall, this was one of the most beautiful blitz games I've ever played. [21...Kd8 22.Bxh6! Qe7 (22...Qxh6 23.e7#; 22...Qf6 23.Qc4 Qe5 24.Qb4 wins - the idea is Re1, overloading the Black queen.) 23.Qe5+-; 21...Ke7 22.Ba3+ Kf6 23.Bd6+-] 22.e7+ Kg8 [22...Qxe7 23.Ba3+- is presumably what he missed.] 23.e8Q+ 1-0

DM - NN [B21]
5 0 game, 1997

1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Nxc3 a6 5.Nf3 e6 6.Bc4 b5 7.Bb3 Bb7 8.0-0 b4 9.Nd5 exd5 10.exd5 d6

Here I thought for between 90 and 120 seconds, trying to figure out how best to exploit my lead in development and Black's exposed king. In particular, I wanted to keep my opponent from castling - but how to do that? Finally, I came up with a solution. [10...Bd6 11.Re1+ Ne7 12.Ng5 h6 (12...0-0 13.Qh5 h6 14.Ne4 Qc7 15.Bxh6 Bxh2+ 16.Kh1 Qe5 17.Bg5 Nxd5 and now 18.Rad1+- gives White a winning attack, as opposed to the natural but bad 18.Bxd5 of Zelic-Sermek, Makarska 1995 (0-1, 57)) 13.Qh5 0-0 14.Ne4 Qc7 (14...Bc7 15.d6 Bxe4 16.dxc7 Qxc7 17.Rxe4) 15.Bxh6 gxh6 (15...Bxh2+ transposes to the Zelic-Sermek game) 16.Qxh6 f6 (16...f5 17.Ng5) 17.Ng5! (17.Rac1 Qb6 (17...Bxh2+ 18.Kf1 Qf4 19.d6+ Nd5 20.Bxd5+ Bxd5 21.Qg6+ Kh8 22.Re3+-) 18.Rc6!

is crushing. The rook is immune, of course: (18.Nxd6 Qxd6 19.Rxe7 Qxe7 20.d6+ is faster but less attractive.) 18...dxc6 19.dxc6+ Rf7 20.Nxf6#) 17...Rf7 18.Nxf7 Kxf7 19.Qh7+ Kf8 20.Rxe7 Bxe7 21.d6 with mate in three.] 11.Qd4 [11.Nd4 Be7 12.Ba4+ Nd7 (12...Kf8) 13.Re1 Bxd5 14.Nf5 Be6 (14...Bb7 15.Nxd6+) 15.Rxe6 fxe6 16.Nxg7+ Kf7 17.Nxe6 Kxe6 18.Qg4+ Kf7 19.Qh5+ Kf8 20.Bb3 Qe8 21.Qh6+ Nxh6 22.Bxh6#] 11...Nf6 12.Bh6!!

Black's position may be defensible by a computer, though White retains sufficient compensation in any case, but for a human it's just too much: the e-file, the bishop on h6, the a4-e8 diagonal and so on. 12...gxh6 This lets White demonstrate his main idea, after which the win is straightforward. [12...Rg8 is a reasonable idea, but once the king is stuck in the center, White can build up his attack pretty much at leisure: 13.Rfe1+ Be7 14.Re2 Nbd7 15.Bd2 Nb6 16.Rae1 Nbxd5 17.Nh4 Rc8 18.Nf5 and Black's edifice is on the verge of collapse. For example: 18...Kf8 19.Bxd5 Nxd5 20.Bxb4 Nxb4 21.Qxb4 Rc7 22.Nxe7 Rh8 23.Nf5 threatening 24.Qxd6+ Qxd6 25.Re8# 23...Bc6 24.Rd2 Rd7 25.Qc3 Qf6 26.Rde2 with a forced mate.; 12...Be7 is another good try, hoping to buy out for a few pawns. Once again, though, White has too many active pieces, and once they're swarming Black is in big trouble. 13.Bxg7 Rg8 14.Ba4+ Nbd7 15.Bxf6 Bxf6 16.Qf4 Bxd5 17.Rad1 Bxf3 18.Bxd7+ Qxd7 19.Qxf3 0-0-0 20.Qxf6 Rg6 21.Qd4 Qb7 22.f3 is nearly winning for White.] 13.Rfe1+ Be7 [13...Kd7 14.Ba4+ (14.Rac1 might be even better.) 14...Kc7 15.Rac1+ Nc6 16.Bxc6 Bxc6 17.Rxc6+ Kb7 18.Qxb4+ Ka7 19.Re3 forces mate in three (the threat is 20.Rxa6+ followed by 21.Ra3+)] 14.Qxf6 Rg8 15.Rxe7+ Qxe7 16.Re1 Qxe1+ 17.Nxe1 Rg6 18.Ba4+ Nd7 [18...Kf8 19.Qd8+ Kg7 20.Qb6 Bxd5 (20...Bc8 21.Qc7 Bd7 22.Bc2 Rg5 23.Qb7+-) 21.Qd4++-] 19.Bxd7+ Kxd7 20.Qxf7+ Kc8 21.Qxh7 1-0


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