ROUND 2 REPORT

(1) Prizes:

Blood and glory – All players
Creatures of the night – dikankan-Aytacoglu
Best fight – Deloriann v Cinek56
Best game – snowDeath
Brilliancy prize – szveltz (12.Bd6!)
The lord of tragedy –  P1nForkww
Colour blind – You know who you are!

(2) Games:

All games can be found with light annotations by Aidan on the Lichess study: https://lichess.org/study/seGPh5fb

(3) Round report by Aidan:

Thank you all, this round we welcomed some new players, everyone played with no byes, and it was a bank holiday weekend, yet all games were played. Thank you to the players who showed kindness when your opponents’ got confused. Two players however get the ‘colour blind’ award for playing with the wrong colours, we won’t name and shame…

Firstly, everyone is awarded the ‘blood and glory’ award for 27 completed games without a single draw!

Round 2 had quite a few one side games providing illustrative examples of what to do and more importantly, what not to do!

Two bonus prizes, firstly to the top board players dikankan & Aytacoglu, starting at 10pm UK time, and rumour has it midnight where one of the players was. Congratulations “creatures of the night”.

Secondly, P1nFork gains the “lord of tragedy” award, by playing a brilliant opening, getting reined back in, falling behind, fighting back, and brilliantly outplaying his opponent in an endgame only to lose on time just at the point of reaching a clearly won pawn endgame.

Onto the games!

  • Aytacoglu v dikankan: A nice technical Grunfeld game. White builds a strong centre, Black applies pressure to the centre. White tries to find a way to make progress, over stretches  and Black manages to find a tactical way to destroy the centre.

  • BehindBluEyes v straven239: An exciting exchange French. I know that sounds like an oxymoron, but both sides played some excellent chess. White initial gained an initiative through pressure down the e-file and gaining the bishop pair. Black however uses the d5 output and pressure against the weak d5-pawn to get right back into the game, sadly a tactical oversight let White in, and White given half a chance finished it off brilliantly.

  • Riff-Art v Alienmove22: A great game with two ‘how not to guides’. Firstly, don’t play a dubious opening like Black. The Black King gets stuck in the centre and White picks up huge central control. Do carry on like White brilliantly converting the advantage to a clear two pawn material advantage. However once ahead don’t play like White did next. White carried on hunting more material, taking no time to consolidate the position and getting the White pieces spread across the board on undefended squares. As a result White drops a piece, however White would still have been in a good position if White could just mobilise the Queenside pawns, but it is hard to turn things round once the wheels start coming off. Do play like Black, resilient, and grabbing your opportunities with both hands.

  • snowDeath v Chalkenstein: A model London System game by White. This game reinforces a belief that I have that the London system is very dangerous, Black really appears to do nothing wrong, but it is almost impossible for Black to generate active play because White’s position is so solid. White is able to dominate on the Kingside and breaks through with a nice attack. White’s play is practically flawless and an easy winner of the best game prize.

  • hsk4u v Damien2020: An interesting 1.b3 opening. Both sides play well, but Black can’t find an active plan, and White gained a small advantage. This was neutralised and an equalish position arose. Both sides played ambitiously to reach a level pawn ending, but White became too ambitious when Black’s King was more active, and in a pawn endgame the slightest imbalance can be fatal, and in this case was.

  • Yolksac v harrison4: White suffered from a lack of ambition in an offbeat Colle. Black didn’t seizing space and initiative. After that White just suffered. Lovely play by Black, and a demonstration that in chess there is no successful truly defensive style of play, all successful styles of play are based on active play (e.g. counterattack).

  • Swanonch v Jamie_K: A fantastic game by Jamie_K. White developed well, but as often happens in the Caro-Kann, Black develops his pieces more harmoniously, onto better squares. By castling on opposite sides the game is always likely to become very sharp, and Black was better placed and broke through. A nice feature was Black balancing attack, development and defence; 13…0-0 and 16…Bf4+ are moves that attacking players should learn from!

  • nokiokid v Ped123: Black played the rare Owen’s defence. A useful learning point here is to avoid 3.Nc3 in favour of 3.Bd3, the difference being that later White can defend the d4 pawn with c3. White didn’t handle the subtleties well and Black gained a good advantage. Black then played ambitiously to place his Queen near White’s castled King, and White got flustered and blundered losing two of the pawns sheltering the White King with check, White held on valiantly, but without succeeding in generating further complications or counterchances.

  • ewaawoowaa v Sundower: A rare gambit line in the Caro-Kann, nicely refuted by Black – or at least equalised again. White then overpressed, and Black hit back with a lethal counterattack. An impressive game by Black.

  • szveltz v AdeDoesChess: The winner of this week’s brilliancy prize. An aggressive version of the Veresov opening that worked out well. The move 12.Bd6 is not an incredible tactical masterstroke, in many ways it is far better, it is an incredibly powerful positional masterstroke. The bishop on d6 is the ultimate spanner-in-the-works, embedded in Black’s position and making it impossible for Black to co-ordinate. It is practically impossible to challenge. AdeDoesChess makes a great effort and playing round the bishop, but in the long-run it just does too much damage. A highly recommended game for understanding how dominant a minor piece can become.

  • Steerpike2020 v verybadchess: Black uses a common tactical motif against the Bc4 line of the Pirc/Modern. This gives Black the bishop pair and a useful …e5 and …f5 pawn centre, which squeezes White. Eventually a pawn falls and so does the game. As with Yolksac v harrison4 we see that a knight on g3 is pretty badly placed if the opponent has a fianchetto position.

  • Bobik98 v Kobra666: A reverse Sicilian style English opening. Both sides play pretty consistently and a locked centre gives White Queenside possibilities, and Black the chance to develop a Kingside initiative. Black’s Kingside initiative proves stronger and Black’s attack crashes through despite White almost troubling the Black King.

  • Leilapeymani v Zigger88: Another Colle. Black plays an interesting line trading off White’s great bishop on d3, but Black need to follow it up with 7…d5! or 8…d5! – instead White gets a powerful pawn centre and the bodyblows 11.d5! and 16.e5! go a long way to explaining why the idea of a pawn centre is such an important one in chess and win the game for White. A very illustrative game for anyone interested in the idea of a ‘pawn centre’ and what ‘pawn centres’ are all about.

  • Smthdeedog778 v Mark2_alias: Smthdeedog unveils a murderous version of the London system, it almost worked too, but White missed 9.Nb5! and was forced into retreat. The time that White invested in attacking and retreating instead of getting castled and developing comes back to haunt White, who is playing two pieces down with an unsafe King. Fundamentally that will never work and did not in this case as Black showed fine skills in converting Black’s advantage.

  • ChilliReyes v jcruz4: A bit of an obscure e4 e5 opening, resulted in a lot of manoeuvring. White was probably doing slightly better when Black had a bit of a moment and lost two minor pieces for a Rook. It then quickly got worse when one of Black’s Rooks found itself trapped, and soon White was a full piece up and Black decided to call it a day.

  • ersZ43T v Irenge: A trap opening by Black works spectacularly well and after 5 moves Black was a piece up and the game was effectively over.

  • chagdarsuren v P1nFork: Such sorrow. P1nFork plays a beautify opening, proving once and for all that 2.Bc4 is completely ineffective against the Sicilian defence. Chagdarsuren fights back brilliantly, cleverly going a pawn down, but getting the rest of his house in fine order. 20.Rxf6 is a lovely tactic that comes out of the blue, and White swaps off into at first an equal endgame, and then one that is slightly better for White. Black then does the almost impossible, outplays White with N vs B in an ending with pawns on both sides (which bishops usually dominate knights). Just as Black reaches a completely won endgame it is all over, forfeited on time.

  • onlinek v NotJudit: A high quality game by White. Black plays a few inaccurate moves in the opening and White seizes the advantage and never lets go. While Bd6 is our brilliancy prize, here we have a similar idea with White securing a knight on the e6 square on move 17. White sets up nice Queen fork, forking a Rook on h6, and a pawn (and entry into Black’s castled position) on a7 – losing either is fatal and the game is quickly over.

  • forknskewer64 v Tilbs_11: Another Colle. Both sides play well, but White unveils the thematic e3>e4>e5 and Black fails to prepare for it and loses a piece as e5 forks a bishop on d6 and a knight on f6. Black manages to generate a slightly scary looking pawn mass in the centre, but in the end it isn’t scary enough.

  • diegoff29 v Johnc75: A great theoretical success for Black in the opening, whose Black Lion defence succeeded in equalising. Sadly a tactical oversight results in Black losing a piece on move 11, and White has no trouble converting.

  • Blackscorpion2020 v bikerpeavey: A Nimzo-Indian. Both sides missed 7.Qa4+ which would have been a big problem for Black and a really tense and interesting position arises in which both sides gain attacking possibilities. Just as we reach maximum tension, White blunders the Queen, and everything stops.

  • robbo1985 v jonmill: Yet another Colle, this time vs the KID. Black doesn’t quite get the opening right and White has the better central position, White presses forward ambitiously and Black misses the brilliant 13…b5! which would have turned things around. White wins a big central pawn and ends up with a huge knight on e4, and a huge pawn on d6. And you thought all the pieces were the same size. Just look at this game!

  • Deloriann v Cinek56: A bit of a perplexing game, and therefore worthy winner of this week’s best fight prize. Both sides played quite brilliantly and quite horribly, and it kept me guessing to the end. I loved it.

  • Winwick v Mags2020: Probably the most theoretically important game of the round. If you play 1…e5 look at this game. If Black isn’t prepared, then Black will almost certainly lose. Black wasn’t prepared, Black most certainly lost.

  • dmh6 v Calcina: An interesting game, Black is in sacrificial mood from the start, and White displays a little lack of technique in moving the g1-knight 4 times in the first 12 moves rather than deploying any of the rest of the White forces and getting castled. Such provocation is too much for Black who sacrifices a piece. White fails to play the clinical 14.Kg3 which is completely winning as White is left a piece up and Black’s attack has run out of steam. The position is only slightly better for Black, but Black is able to complete development and White’s stranded King is a fatal long term problem, which Black exploits nicely.

  • Damo770 v Dr_MelR: Another opening in which White is passive and Black picks up a healthy advantage. Black is however unable to seize the key tactical moments (16…dxc3!). The game stays balanced, but White eventually wins a central pawn, and that is all it takes.

  • freddiecrane v FADEC: An odd game. White plays some really nice ideas in the opening, and 14.Bc6 would have left White with a big advantage. After this White seems to completely forget that there are any other pieces than the White Queen, and keeps on moving it around, and due to an oversight loses it. White’s remaining forces that are all still on the back rank and lambs to the slaughter.

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