Texas Chess Association

Texas Knights Games Sep-Oct 2017

[Event "?"] [Site "?"] [Date "2017.07.31"] [Round "4"] [White "Trakru, Priya"] [Black "Yerra, Sai Sneha"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C77"] [PlyCount "49"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] [SourceDate "2017.08.12"] {The National Girls' Tournament Of Champions ( formerly known as the National Girls' Invitational Tournament ) is an annual tournament held in conjunction with the Barber and Denker Championships ( for K-8 and K-12, respectively ) . This year, the three were held from July 29 through August 1 in Norfolk, Virginia, a beautiful, historic, and wet site. Norfolk is home to the largest Navy site in the world, the USS Wisconsin, and claims the wondrous banks of the Elizabeth river. I had the honor of representing the great state of Texas, along with Justin Wang ( Barber ) and Hiren Premkumar ( Denker ) . The Texas team placed 3rd overall, and each of us won a $70 gift certificate to the bookstore ( I'm very excited to read my newly acquired 'The Life and Games of Mikhail Tal' ) . Also, huge congratulations to Justin Wang, who tied for first in the Barber section with Christopher Shen! Participants in each of the three tournaments are champions of their respective states- to qualify, one must win their State Championships or be the highest eligible player from their state. The tournament is six rounds- with thousands of dollars in scholarship money for winners. This was not one of my better tournaments. I ended with 4/6- 3 wins, 2 draws, and 1 loss. However, I am very grateful for this amazing opportunity and hope to qualify again ( see you next year, Wisconsin! ) . The following game was my fourth round. I played Sai Sneha Yerra, a very strong 1600 from New Hampshire.} 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 {the starting moves to the Ruy Lopez} a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. d3 {the main move here is castle, but I prefer playing d3 first} b5 6. Bb3 Bc5 7. O-O O-O 8. c3 d5 {I would be lying if I said that I knew what to do here. Since d5 is not the main move ( and Ruy Lopez is not my main opening ) , I was completely lost. I spent a few minutes here and decided on} (8... d6 {black continues with a more 'normal' Ruy Lopez position. d5 immediately opens up the position- it is safe move, but perhaps it would be a bit better to do after more preparation.} 9. h3 h6 10. Re1 Re8 11. Nbd2 Be6 12. Bc2 Bb6 13. Nf1 {the more common move} (13. a4 {offers white a better position than Nf1 immediately} Rb8 14. Nf1 d5 15. axb5 axb5 16. Ng3 Qd7 17. d4 dxe4 18. Nxe5 Nxe5 19. dxe5 Qxd1 20. Rxd1 Nd7 21. Nxe4 Nxe5 22. Bf4) 13... d5) 9. Qe2 (9. exd5 {during the game I also considered this ( and it is the main move ) , but I didn't really like it because} Nxd5 10. Re1 (10. Nxe5 { scared me because of} Nxe5 11. d4 Bg4 12. f3 Bf5 13. dxc5 Nd3) 10... Bg4 11. h3 Bh5 12. Be3 Bb6 13. Bxb6 Nxb6 {felt like black had good counterplay. However, this is significantly better for white than what could have happened with Qe2 ( with proper play by black )}) 9... dxe4 (9... d4 {the best move for black here. Black plays d5 to open the position and get more space. By playing d4, black squeezes white and gains more counterplay} 10. Bg5 h6 11. Bh4 Qd6 12. Bg3 dxc3 13. bxc3 (13. Nxc3 $2 Bg4 {and black is better}) 13... Nh5 14. a4 Bg4 15. Bd5 Rab8 {looks fine for black}) 10. dxe4 Qe7 11. Bd5 (11. Bg5 {probably would have been stronger.} h6 12. Bh4 Na5 13. Nbd2 Nxb3 14. Nxb3 Bd6 15. Na5 Qe6 16. Bxf6 Qxf6 17. a4) 11... Bb7 (11... Nxd5 {is not the best option because} 12. exd5 Na7 13. Qxe5 Qxe5 14. Nxe5 Rd8 15. Nd3 Bf8 16. Nf4 Bb7 17. Rd1 {Computer says this is 0.1 better for black, but during the game I felt this was easier for white to play}) 12. Bg5 Rab8 {A big mistake. This allows white to continue their plan and development. If black is able to exchange white squared bishop for white's white squared bishop, then the rook will be misplaced and black will just have wasted a tempo.} (12... Nd8 {the best move here. It exchanges the worse bishop and gets more space for black. Allowing white to dominate the center ( especially because of the Bg5 pin ) leaves black with no counterplay} 13. Bxb7 Nxb7 14. Nbd2 h6 15. Bxf6 Qxf6 16. a4 c6 17. axb5 axb5 {this is fairly equal- white has a nice possible outpost on f5, but it's difficult to get there. Black has a bishop and possible the d file, but it's impossible to maintain both.}) 13. Nh4 {-my favorite move of the game. Nh5 takes advantage of the undefended f5 square.} Qd8 {is not a particularly good move. It was probably made to have a tempo when white does Nf5, but Qd8 does virtually nothing to better black's position. Qd8 also allows for white to take advantage of the open d file and in the future, a discovered attack ( with Rd1 )} (13... Bc8 {is a better move here. While it may look like it hangs the c6 Knight, it actually doesn't.} 14. Bxc6 (14. b4 {which looks strange, but computer found it as the best line} Nxb4 15. cxb4 Bd4 16. Nd2 Bxa1 17. Rxa1 { and white is up +1 and has much easier play}) 14... h6 15. Bd5 hxg5 16. Ng6 Qd6 17. Nxf8 Kxf8 18. Nd2 Bg4 19. Nf3 {and while white is up a clear exchange, black has decent counterplay.}) (13... h6 {another alternative} 14. Nf5 Qd8 15. Bh4 Be7 16. Rd1 Qe8 {this position does look very cramped for black, but it is significantly better than almost all alternatives}) 14. Rd1 {threatening BxN} Bd6 15. Nf5 Na5 {hoping for a quick exchange} 16. Qf3 {rejecting the trade and indirectly attacking f6} (16. Bxb7 Nxb7 17. b4 h6 18. Bh4 Kh7 {white is still better, but black is out of immediate danger}) 16... Bxd5 17. Rxd5 (17. exd5 $2 {lets go of all advantage white had. It closes off the d file for the rook ( and lets go of the pin ) and allows for a strong control of the center for black} Nc4 18. b3 e4 19. Qh3 Nb2 20. Re1 Nd3 {and if Rxe4, Nxf2! is winning for black}) 17... Nc4 {with the idea of Nb6 and Nbd7- blocking off the pin and defending f6 another time} 18. Nh6+ Kh8 19. Ng4 h6 $2 {this allows white to win material and almost checkmate. Better was} (19... c6 20. Rd3 Nxb2 21. Bxf6 gxf6 22. Nxf6 Kg7 23. Qf5 Qxf6 24. Rg3+ Qg6 25. Nd2 {white is up material and is better, but black has some counterplay}) 20. Bxf6 {it's all over now} Qd7 21. Bxg7+ {checkmate is inevitable} Kxg7 22. Qf6+ Kg8 23. Nxh6+ Kh7 24. Nf5 Rg8 25. Qh6# 1-0 [Event "2017 Barber Tournament"] [Site "?"] [Date "2017.07.30"] [Round "3"] [White "Wang, Justin"] [Black "Wu, Sijing"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B22"] [WhiteElo "2330"] [BlackElo "2112"] [PlyCount "87"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] 1. e4 c5 2. c3 d5 3. exd5 Qxd5 4. d4 Nc6 5. Nf3 Bf5 6. Be3 e6 $6 {This move doesn't lead to a good line for Black.} (6... Nf6 $142) 7. Na3 cxd4 8. Nb5 O-O-O 9. Nbxd4 Bg4 $6 {This is not a good move for him because I can play Qa4 and the pin is useless.} (9... Bc5 $142 10. Qa4 {[%cal Ra1d1] is good for me.}) 10. Be2 Nf6 11. Qa4 Nxd4 12. Bxd4 Bc5 {Diagram [#]} 13. O-O-O $2 {This move loses some of my advantage. I realized that Rd1 was better right after I made this move.} (13. Rd1 $142 e5 14. Be3 Qe4 15. Qxe4 Nxe4 16. Nxe5 Rxd1+ 17. Bxd1 Bxd1 18. Bxc5 $1 $16 {with a P up.}) ({Also better was} 13. Bxf6 $142 Bxf3 14. Bxd8 Bxe2 15. Kxe2 Qe5+ 16. Kf1 $16) 13... Qe4 14. Qc4 Rd5 {Diagram [#]} 15. b4 $6 {This move makes the position equal.} (15. Rd2 $142 $14 {[%cal Rh1d1]}) 15... b5 16. Qxb5 Bxd4 17. Qa6+ Kb8 18. Rxd4 Rxd4 19. Nxd4 {Diagram [#]} Rc8 $4 {This move loses the game. I don't think he saw my continuation.} (19... Bxe2 $142 20. Qxe2 Qxg2 $11) 20. Nb5 (20. Qd6+ {is also possible.}) 20... Qf4+ 21. Kb1 Bf5+ (21... Qxf2 22. Bxg4 Nxg4 23. Nd6) 22. Ka1 Qxf2 23. Qd6+ Ka8 (23... Kb7 24. Nd4 $18) 24. Nc7+ Kb8 {Diagram [#]} 25. Ba6 $2 {This move gives some of the advantage away.} (25. Nxe6+ $142 Ka8 26. Bf3+ Be4 27. Bxe4+ Nxe4 28. Qd5+ Kb8 29. Qe5+ $1 $18 {I didn't see this move in my calculations.}) 25... Ne4 $2 (25... Qb6 $142 26. Qxb6+ axb6 27. Bxc8 $18) 26. Qc6 $18 {Now my position is winning.} Qb6 27. Qa8+ Kxc7 28. Qxc8+ Kd6 29. Qf8+ Ke5 30. Qxg7+ f6 31. Bd3 Qc6 32. Rc1 Bg6 33. Bxe4 Qxe4 34. Qc7+ Kf5 35. Rf1+ Kg5 36. Qg3+ Kh6 37. Qf4+ Qxf4 38. Rxf4 Kg5 39. Rf1 e5 40. Kb2 Bd3 41. Rf2 e4 42. Kc1 f5 43. g3 Kg4 44. Kd2 1-0 [Event "2017 U.S. Girl's Junior Championship"] [Site "?"] [Date "2017.07.08"] [Round "1.2"] [White "Nguyen, Emily"] [Black "Eswaran, Ashritha"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A62"] [WhiteElo "2048"] [BlackElo "2086"] [Annotator "Nguyen, E"] [PlyCount "83"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 c5 {She almost always plays the Benoni in the database, so this is what I mainly prepared against.} 4. d5 exd5 5. cxd5 d6 6. g3 {The g3 system isn't the best, but I wasn't very familiar with the theory of the Benoni so I chose a more solid approach.} (6. Nc3 g6 7. e4 { This is the main line.}) 6... g6 7. Nc3 Bg7 8. Bg2 O-O 9. O-O Na6 10. Bf4 Nc7 11. e4 Bg4 12. h3 Bxf3 13. Bxf3 Nfe8 {During the game, I thought this move was a little too passive. It blocks coordination between her pieces, and it's difficult for her to put a knight on e5. I think she might have been preparing f5, but this seems to help white more.} (13... Re8 {This would have been a better way to play. She can develop her rook to a natural square that targets my e-pawn, and it's harder to make progress for white.} 14. Re1 Rb8 { Followed by b5 and black should be doing okay.}) 14. Qb3 { Putting some pressure on b7 and on the a2-g8 diagonal in case she ever plays f5 } Qf6 $2 {When she played this move in the game, I was completely surprised because I didn't think she would let me take the b7 pawn. My queen isn't going to get trapped because her queenside pieces are completely paralyzed and clumsy. She also has no play on the kingside.} (14... b5 { This move was simply better, and now my queen looks weird on b3.} 15. a3 { a3 should be played to slow down her pawns, but now black's position is solid.} (15. Nxb5 Rb8)) 15. Qxb7 g5 {She probably thought she was setting a trap after playing Qf6, but missed my important resources.} 16. e5 $1 {e5 opens up the long diagonal, taking advantage of her missing light-square bishop and clumsy queenside pieces.} dxe5 17. d6 { d6 opens up my light squre bishop and her position just crumbles.} (17. Ne4 { Ne4 also looked appealing to me during the game, but after} Qf5 18. d6 exf4 19. dxc7 {White looks better, but it's not as clear as what happened in the game.}) 17... Qxd6 (17... Nxd6 18. Qxc7 gxf4 19. Bxa8) (17... exf4 18. dxc7) (17... Ne6 18. Qxa8 exf4 19. d7) 18. Bxg5 f5 19. Qb3+ Kh8 20. Bxa8 {Now I am just up an exchange with a better position. I made a few inaccuracies during the conversion and played somewhat too passively, but I won nevertheless.} Nxa8 21. Qd5 Qg6 22. Be7 Nac7 23. Qxc5 Rg8 24. Rad1 f4 25. Bh4 Qe6 26. Kh2 Bf8 27. Qa5 Rg6 28. Ne4 Qf5 29. Qa4 Rb6 30. Qc2 Rh6 31. Qd3 Rg6 32. g4 Qe6 33. Qd7 Qxa2 34. Bd8 Rg7 35. Qf5 Rf7 36. Qxe5+ Bg7 37. Qh5 Bxb2 38. Bxc7 Qc4 39. Be5+ Kg8 40. Qg5+ Kf8 41. Bxb2 Qb4 42. Bd4 1-0 [Event "2017 U.S. Girl's Junior Championship"] [Site "?"] [Date "2017.07.10"] [Round "3.1"] [White "Nguyen, Emily"] [Black "Bykovtsev, Agata"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "E69"] [WhiteElo "2048"] [BlackElo "2045"] [Annotator "Nguyen, E"] [PlyCount "163"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 g6 3. c4 Bg7 4. g3 d6 5. Bg2 O-O 6. O-O c6 7. Nc3 Qa5 8. e4 e5 9. h3 Nbd7 10. Qc2 exd4 11. Nxd4 Re8 12. Be3 Nb6 13. Nce2 $2 {Nce2 was just a pretty bad move, because it's way too passive. I lose control of the d5 square and weaken my e4 pawn.} (13. b3 {This is much more solid, and I still have the bind in the center. I can potentially play Rad1 and put pressure on her weak d6 pawn.}) 13... Qe5 14. f3 {This isn't a pretty move to play because it blocks my bishop, but I guess it's the only move.} Qe7 15. Bf2 d5 {And black ha s equalized because I retreated my pieces too much and allowed her to play d5.} 16. cxd5 cxd5 17. Nc3 (17. exd5 Nfxd5 {This isn't good for white because black will play Ne3 next, and black is the one with a better position.}) 17... dxe4 18. Rfe1 Bd7 19. Nxe4 Nxe4 20. Rxe4 Qd6 21. Rd1 {Now I prefer black, because my kingside is a little weak and my bishops are kind of passive.} Rxe4 22. Qxe4 Bc6 23. Qe1 {Qe1 looks a little funny, but I had to support my rook and defend against her Rd8 threat.} Re8 { This move is also natural, forcing my queen to a weirder position.} (23... Rd8 {Now if she plays Rd8, I can sipmlify the position after} 24. Nxc6 Qxd1 25. Nxd8 Qxd8) 24. Qf1 Qb4 {I'm not so sure about this move, because it allows me to gain the bishop pair and create a target on c6.} (24... Rd8 { I thought she should have played Rd8 now, and after} 25. Nxc6 Qxd1 26. Nxd8 Qxd8 {we reach basically the same position, but my queen is more passive on f1. }) 25. Nxc6 bxc6 26. b3 Qa5 27. a4 Qb4 {Agata was starting to enter time pressure, so I think she was just trying to make natural moves and annoy me on the queenside.} 28. Qd3 {Now I can activate my queen.} Bf6 {Bf6 looks somewhat dubious to me, because the bishop is weaker on f6, but she was probably trying to play Rd8 to challenge me on the d-file.} (28... Nd5 {I think this move was better for black, centralizing her passive knight on d5 with annoying threats of Nc3.} 29. f4 (29. Bxa7 Nc3 {and the b3-pawn falls.}) 29... Nc3) 29. Qc2 Bc3 30. Rd3 Nd5 31. f4 {Now I can finally open up my unopposed bishop, which aims towards her knight on d5.} Be1 {I found Be1 to be a little bit annoying for me, because she's trying to get rid of my bishop pair. In addition, black is aiming to further weaken my kingside.} 32. Bxa7 Qb7 33. Bc5 Qd7 {I'm not so e about this move either, because she is moving her queen too much, and this self-pins her knight to her queen.} (33... Nb4 {Perhaps this was a better chance for her to try to draw the game. I am forced to trade into opposite colored bishops, which is pretty annoying, especially with my weak king.} 34. Bxb4 Qxb4 35. Qxc6 Bf2+ 36. Kh2 Qe1 {and the position is unclear.}) 34. Bxd5 $2 {Bxd5 was a super questionable move. I was starting to get low on the clock and wasn't sure how to improve my position. I guess I was worried about potential Nc3 threats. However, Bxd5 gets rid of my beautiful bishop and vital defender. Now, it's clear to see that my king is difficult to defend.} (34. Kh2 {This move was much better, simply getting out of the back rank and into a more solid position. Kh2 also supports my weak pawns on g3 and h3.}) 34... cxd5 35. Qg2 {I thought I could win the pawn on d5, but it's not so clear.} Qf5 ( 35... d4 {This move is interesting, simply giving me the pawn, but black has a lot of play against my king.} 36. Rxd4 Qf5 37. b4 Qb1 {My king is just too open, and the second rank is weak. Re2 could potentially be a deadly threat.}) 36. Rd1 { Again, I am way too passive, retreating all of my pieces way too many times.} ( 36. Qxd5 {would have simply won a pawn.} Qxh3 37. Re3 { Black's attack is gone now.} Rxe3 {fails to} 38. Qd8+) 36... Re4 37. Bd4 Qe6 { I was really unhappy with my position here in the game. Her pieces are positioned and coordinated perfectly against my king, and Re2 is coming.} 38. Rd3 Bb4 39. Bf2 Be1 40. Rd1 {A horrible blunder on the 40th move. I was trying to win still but didn't realize my best chances were to hope for a draw.} (40. Bd4 {Repeating the position would have been much, much smarter because now I have half an hour instead of one minute to make a decision.}) 40... Bxf2+ 41. Qxf2 {Now that I had half an hour to think about my position, I realized... it sucked. I was extremely unhappy here, because sure, I was up a pawn and had two connected passed pawns on the queenside. But then again, her d-pawn is much stronger and in an ending like this, king safety has priority over material. My kingside pawns are really weak, and her queen and rook dominate the game.} Qxh3 {I was super relieved when she took my pawn on h3, because it allowed me to take off her strong pawn on d5 and get back into the game.} ( 41... Re2 {This move would have just crushed me. My pieces are uncoordinated and paralyzed, no match for her strong queen and rook.} 42. Qf3 Re3 43. Qf2 d4 {I can never take this pawn, and now I can't do anything except sit there and get crushed... oops.}) 42. Rxd5 h5 43. Re5 {I wanted to trade off the rooks because I thought without her rook, she had no winning chances and I was the one who could press for a win. If she doesn't trade, she's forced to move the rook to a passive file and her attack is significantly weaker.} Rb4 44. Re3 { Re3 is a bit passive, but I wanted to consolidate my position because there is no rush.} (44. f5 {f5 was probably stronger, trying to generate play of my own. However, this move is psychologically hard to make because of my king.}) 44... Qd7 45. Kh2 Rd4 46. a5 {Now black has to think about how to defend against my passed pawns, which can potentially be very dangerous.} Rd5 47. b4 Qd6 48. Re4 Kh7 49. Re5 Rd2 50. Re2 Rd1 51. Qc5 Qd3 52. Qe7 {Black's position is getting harder and harder to defend because there is no more counterplay against my king. She has to also worry about her own king in addition to my passed pawns.} Qd5 53. Qe4 Qb3 54. f5 {I now create pressure against her king and completely kill her counterplay. My centralized queen defends my own king while attacking her king, and I was content with my position here.} Rd7 55. fxg6+ fxg6 56. a6 { White's position looks crushing here, and it wasn't too difficult to win in the end.} Qa4 57. Qc4 Ra7 58. Ra2 Qd7 59. b5 Rc7 60. Qxc7 Qxc7 61. a7 h4 62. a8=Q Qxg3+ 63. Kh1 Qe1+ 64. Kg2 Qg3+ 65. Kf1 Qd3+ 66. Kf2 Qd4+ 67. Ke2 Qc4+ 68. Ke3 Qe6+ 69. Kd4 Qd6+ 70. Qd5 Qb4+ 71. Kd3 Qb1+ 72. Kd2 Qb4+ 73. Kc2 Qe7 74. Ra8 Qe2+ 75. Kb3 Qe3+ 76. Ka4 h3 77. Qd7+ Kh6 78. Rh8+ Kg5 79. Rxh3 Qc5 80. Rg3+ Kh6 81. Qd2+ Kg7 82. Qc3+ 1-0