After "preparing" for a good two hours today against Bob Smith, I had to lose! I'm just beside myself. I saw nearly the same lines my much stronger opponent did - but, for whatever reason, I just chickened out.
Mr Smith is an Olympiad representative for NZ and I desired nothing more than to score a win against him. So, I frantically went through some of his games. I noticed that against 1. d4, he has a wide array of defences. But against 1. e4, he responds with either 1...c5 or 1...c6. I thought, well that makes it easy. There was only one problem. I never play 1. e4 or, at least, very rarely.
Also, I noticed the game Charles, G. - Smith, R.W. at the Auckland Zonals last year. For whatever reason, I had this feeling that Bob will reel out the Najdorf. And so...
Queenstown Chess Classic
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be3 e5 7. Nb3 Be6 8. f3 Nbd7 9. Qd2 Rc8 10. g4 Nb6 11. O-O-O Be7 12. h4 Qc7 13. Kb1 Nc4 14. Bxc4 Qxc4 15. g5 (15. h5 h6 16. g5 hxg5 17. Bxg5) 15... Nh5 16. Na5?! (16. Rdg1) 16... Qc7 17. Nd5 ( I had hallucinated on the line 17. Qf2?? Qxa5 18. Bb6 Qb4 19. a3 and after this move, Black simply plays ... Qc4 I completely overlooked that my knight on a5 had already been captured! Of course, later on I still managed to "lose" the piece. 17... Bxd5 18. exd5? (Bob suggested 18. Qxd5 Qxc2+ 19. Ka1 O-O 20. Nxb7) 18... Bd8 19. Nb3 Qc4 20. Rhe1 O-O 21. Bf2 f5 22. gxf6 Rxf6 23. Re4 Qc7 Now, I'm really losing the thread of my position. 24. c3 Qf7 25. Nd4? Not the best. But I thought my best try. Again, my problem is that I failed to look more deeply missing the simple Black defences that now transpire over the board. 25... exd4 26. Bxd4 Ng3 27. Rg4 Rg6 28. Rf4 Bf6 29. Bf2 Re8 I just gave up. My position is lost. 0-1
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