Saturday, January 7, 2017

Chess in 2017

Well I sure hope 2017 is a better year for me than 2016. Last year really was a horrible one for me in chess terms. I was playing good about a year ago, and then around Easter time I caught an infection and it went post viral knocking me out for the best part of 3 months. I had to withdraw from the MCC City of Melbourne Open because I was getting headaches during the games, and I didn't enter any other Monday night events at the MCC. I had a lucky run in the Best in the West finishing equal first though my play really didn't warrant it.Out of the 4 games I played, I was dead lost in 1 and worse in 2 others. It was about this time that I developed a frozen shoulder that plagued me for the rest of the year and which is still proving a nuisance. I played the MCC Christmas Swiss, but I could really only focus for half a game, and faded badly toward the third hour of play. I even tried my hand at Correspondence, but felt so sick I missed deadlines and lost games by forfeit. All in all, 2016 will not go down as one of my favourite years!

So what about 2017? I am sitting here feeling positive, though I could say the same about this time last year when I was doing ok in the Australian Championship. This year I just want to get back on track with some regular play. It would be nice to feel well enough to play a full game of chess! I have decided that what I really want is to get the maximum enjoyment out of the game by playing and studying as I want. As I've reached the senior level of over 50's, I have little else to prove or achieve, other than to keep playing and enjoying the game.

The Melbourne Chess Club is my first hope, and I want to continue playing Monday night tournaments. I also hope to play a few weekend events this year, but I find these increasingly tiring so it will depend on my health. I don't like studying openings, so after 50 years of bluffing through I hardly seeing the point of starting with any great depth now.I'll keep looking at endgames and whole games, and finding interesting manouvres to broaden my chess knowledge, and help with my coaching.

To start the year here's a little miniature from 1925. One of the openings that has gone completely over my head and I have no feeling for is the Grunfeld, so I try to avoid it. I therefore like this game as the inventor of the Grunfeld gets smashed up quickly!

Grunfeld-Torre Baden Baden 1925

1.d4 f5 2.Nf3 [I guess the Staunton Gambit wasn't exactly Grunfeld's style] 2..e6 3.g3 [All I really know about the Dutch is that white's king side fianchetto is the best way to deal with black's king side attack] 3..Nf6 4.Bg2 d5 5.0-0 Bd6 6.c4 c6

[Black is playing a Stonewall system. To be honest, I've seen this sort of system used a lot as white, so I'm surprised more players don't try it with black as well] 7.Qc2 0-0 8.b3 Ne4 9.Bb2 Nd7 10.Ne5 Qf6

[Black is massing his forces on the queen side, while white gets ready to expand on the queen side. The knight on e5 needs to do something so exchanging on d7, or dropping it back to d3 both make sense. Instead, white decides to up the stakes] 11.f3 Ne5

[Black has both knights hanging, but which to take, if either? Fritz likes the move 12.c5 hitting third piece!] 12.dxe5

[Who could resist this move which maintains an attack on black's remaining knight while forking a queen and bishop? Certainly Grunfeld couldn't. But he was in for a nasty shock] 12..Bc5+ 13.Kh1

[Now Carlos Torre finishes the game with an excellent stroke] 13..Nxg3+ [This opens the h-file with deadly effect. Grunfeld resigned. After 14.hxg3 Qh6+ 15.Bh3 Qxh3 is mate!

Hopefully I'll catch up with some chess friends a bit more this year in Melbourne and see some games that rival this effort!

No comments:

Post a Comment