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Civis Illustris
You always have to find the best continuation, but there are some exercises which may not end in the side to move winning, but merely drawing.
 

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Civis Illustris
I was asked to show a few of my games, so I wanted to post them here.
Obviously, I'm not a master and there are a lot of mistakes in my games, but they have their interesting moments. I have already mentioned this game against an FM in another thread, which I remember well because I left a rook hanging on e6 (where it could be taken by a pawn) for quite a few moves:

I think this one was pretty sharp; it was against a FIDE Master in 2014. On move 21, I was desperately trying to avoid a queen exchange while still maintaining some initiative -- so I played Re6, where the rook could just be taken by a pawn ... and I left it hanging on that square for 5 moves ... so there was a bit of tactics and calculation involved. Unfortunately, the computer gives Qg6 as an alternative to Re6 :/ I remember that during the game, I actually expected him to play Qd7 rather than Qc8. On Qd7, only Re6 would have worked, as Qg6 would have run into Nd5.

Another interesting game I had was this one against a player from Afghanistan ... I suppose he is some kind of refugee ... and for some reason, he runs around with a German rating of about 2200 (even more back then). I had the black pieces. Granted, I was in some trouble in that game, but my opponent failed to put me away around the time control and it had a very interesting finale:


My main mistakes were 36. ... Qxd5? — I remember from my notes that I did consider Be5 there, which would have kept the balance, but I think I was just too eager to get the material back — followed by 37. ... Bg7? ... According to my notes I somehow missed the fact that a8 would have been covered after 37. ... Kh8 38. Nxf6 Rxf6 and there is no Ra8+.
His time control move 40. Qg5? offering a queen trade gave the advantage away again.
I guess he was hoping for some advantage in an endgame where my bishop would be blocked by my pawns in the centre, which were on the same colour as my bishop, and I guess he thought he could just invade my position with his king ... but then this position came about:

Haidary Hameedullah - Bindig Markus (45.h4  ).jpg


White had just played 45. h3-h4 and I was rather distressed calculating a lot of losing variations with his king coming in or his knight coming to g5 ... when it suddenly dawned on me that I had a winning shot. Note that the bishop on e5 is x-raying the a1 square and that, if the d3-pawn were gone, I could play d4-d3, put the bishop on c3 and support the advance of my d-pawn – and his rook would have no way of returning to stop the pawn!

So I found 45. ... Rf4+! 46. Kg5 Rxe4! 47. dxe4 d3 48. f4 with a completely winning position:

Haidary Hameedullah - Bindig Markus (48.f4).jpg


White has just played 48. f2-f4 ... note that if he had tried to stop the pawn with 48. Ra2, I would have had Bc3 and there would have been nothing he could do.
Now, in this position I saw that 48. ... d2 was winning, but I wasn't really sure if I had missed anything after 49. fxe5 d1Q 50. e6 followed by Kf6 with some mating threats ... in fact, there's nothing for white. Black could just play 50. ... Qg1+ 51. Kf6 Qg6+ 52. Ke7 Qg7+ winning the rook.
I saw that, but I still felt rather unsure about it ... so I was trying to find an easier and safer win ... maybe something that wouldn't require me to give up my bishop just like that?! I played 48. ... Bc3 – the point being that after 49. Rd7 d2 50. Rxd6 I could just play 50. ... Bd4 blocking the d-file and white would have no way of preventing me from promoting to a queen on d1. At the same time, the bishop covers f6 preventing the king from coming in with a mating attack ...

I suppose my opponent saw that as well ... he had 15 minutes left on his clock (which is actually still quite a lot) ... but he neither resigned the game, nor did he make a move: He simply let his clock run down until he lost on time ... It was the first time somebody ever did that to me ... it's pretty bad behaviour actually, but I didn't care much as long as got the win. We won the team battle quite convincingly as well, which actually enabled us to escape demotion in that season ...

That's not the end of the story, though ... I'll continue this in another post later.
 
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LCF

a.k.a. Lucifer
White had just played 45. h3-h4 and I was rather distressed calculating a lot of losing variations with his king coming in or his knight coming to g5 ... when it suddenly dawned on me that I had a winning shot. Note that the bishop on e5 is x-raying the a1 square and that, if the d3-pawn were gone, I could play d4-d3, put the bishop on c3 and support the advance of my d-pawn – and his rook would have no way of returning to stop the pawn!

So I found 45. ... Rf4+! 46. Kg5 Rxe4! 47. dxe4 d3 48. f4 with a completely winning position:
Thanks you for the analysis... 48. f4? was probably a desperation.
 

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Thanks you for the analysis... 48. f4? was probably a desperation.
It was ... but there was nothing he could do anymore. The game was theoretically lost after 45. h3-h4??
 

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Yeah, from +- straight to -3. It's good lesson though on how to create a passed pawn.
It wasn't +- either. White wasn't winning in this position because Rf4+ was a serious threat... It would probably have ended in a draw with best play. White could have played 45. Ra2 to defend against my threat, but then I would get my king off the back rank and get it active enough to hold. White could also have tried to rush forward with the king with 45. Kh5, but after 45. ... Rf5+ 46. Ng5 (only move ... 46. Kh6 Bf4+ -+; 46. Kg4 Rf4+ -+) 46. ... Bf6 I would win some material, but White has 47. Ra8+ Kg7 48. Ra7+ with perpetual check.

Haidary Hameedullah - Bindig Markus (46...Lf6).jpg


I think my opponent wanted to prepare this idea with h4 (so the knight on g5 would be covered right away), and that's how he ran into that loss.
 
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a.k.a. Lucifer
White could have played 45. Ra2 to defend against my threat
That Rf4+ with tempo made it work.

I have question for you as to how you see the board. For example, I am able to play a game without looking at the board against a decent opponent. Because most moves come from memory. Extremely easy in the beginning, in the opening, even though there is a lot pieces still on the board. Things get increasingly difficult after the middle game. All the mental energy is spent on reconstructing the board visually. It is always fuzzy. Even when I try to image an empty board, as an exercise, the squares get skewed. I cannot hold a vivid picture of it.

What is your experience? Are you able to hold it in your hand head and vividly see all the squares?
 
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You mean if I can play blindfold?
Yes, that's not much of a problem.

Actually, I can't really sit still. In a long game (or even in rapid), if my opponent doesn't make a move within 30 seconds of me making a move, I usually get up and walk around ... and I usually think about my position in my head while walking around. Sometimes, I get struck by some idea, so I go back to the board to calculate, but even there, I often close my eyes or look down while calculating because the pieces on the board can be quite distracting if you want to calculate deeply.
 

LCF

a.k.a. Lucifer
You mean if I can play blindfold?
No no. I know you can play blindfold!

I mean can you see the entire board as vividly in your head as if you were looking at it with eyes. With out fuzziness. Picture an empty board with no pieces on it. Is it clear and vivid in your head. Do you require much energy to see imagine it?
 

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Yes ... not entirely sure what you mean by 'without fuzziness', but I could immediately tell you the colour of a square for example (e.g. if you asked me 'What colour is b3?', I could immediately tell you it's white).
 
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Did that come with time?
Yes ... I think a lot of decent players can do that ... with most 2200+ players you can basically analyse your whole game without a board (although you usually still use a board because you want to go really deep sometimes)

Also, can you draw?
Yes. I actually make quite a lot of draws.
 
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I wonder if this is common with player over 2200...
Oh, ok ... by drawing, you actually really inquired about making draws in chess rather than drawing pictures :D

Your drawing percentage depends a lot on your playing style, I think.
 

LCF

a.k.a. Lucifer
Oh, ok ... by drawing, you actually really inquired about making draws in chess rather than drawing pictures :D
No no. You understood it right. Drawing as in drawing pictures. Art.

I am asking these questions to see how you are wired differently than me. For example, I cannot draw. I cannot keep a picture as a whole in my head without it being fuzzy. There is a resemblance of a picture. Something my brain connects to a real thing. But never a clear and vivid snapshot. I look at a face, I see the features. I close my eyes, it is distorted and fuzzy.
 

LCF

a.k.a. Lucifer
YouTube started to show me ads for drawing classes!

I mean seriously... that's it for privacy my friends. That is it...
 

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Ok ... part 2 of the story: We left off in a position where my opponent chose neither to resign nor to make a move, but to sit there like an idiot for 15 minutes and simply let his time run down. I was rather convinced that my final position was winning, anyway:

Haidary Hameedullah - Bindig Markus (48...Lc3).jpg


Position after 48. ... Bc3:
The bishop on c3 fulfills quite a potent role:
- It covers a1 making Ra1 to stop the d-pawn impossible
- It covers d2 rendering Ra2 to stop the d-pawn useless
- It is ready to block the d-file on d4. One important line here was 49. Rd7 d2 50. Rxd6 Bd4! and white cannot stop the d-pawn.
- It also defends my king because it covers the square f6 preventing the white king from creating mate threats.

I had calculated a few desperate lines for white here, for example 49. f5 d2 50. f6 d1Q 51. Ra8+ Kf7 52. Ra7+ ...

Haidary Hameedullah - Bindig Markus (52.Ta7+).jpg

... Black has to be careful here not to run into 52. ... Ke6?? 53. Re7#
But after 52. ... Ke8 the black king either runs towards the rook after 53. Ra8+ Kd7, so there is no perpetual check, or after 58. ... Ke8 59. f7+ Kf8 the f-pawn gets lost eventually and white has no perpetual check, either.

Another desperate line I calculated was 49. e5 (trying to give the king f6) dxe5 50. fxe5
Haidary Hameedullah - Bindig Markus (50.fxe5).jpg

I had calculated this line and saw that here, 50. ... d2 51. Kf6 (threatening mate) Bxe5+! is winning because it diverts the king from his mate threats (at least for one move, but that's enough) and allows me to get a queen on d1.

However, when I analysed that position at home with a computer, it showed me a move I had completely missed in my calculations. After 50. ... d2? White has the Zwischenzug 51. Rd7!! and my bishop is overloaded: If it wants to block the d-file with 51. ... Bd4, white can NOW play 52. Kf6 and Bxe5+ makes no sense anymore because the white rook is already behind the d-pawn.

Haidary Hameedullah - Bindig Markus (52.Kf6-+).jpg

I would have to try to stop the mate with 52. ... h5, but after 53. Kg6 Kf8 white has 54. Rf7+ allowing the rook to return to f1 to stop the pawn.

Haidary Hameedullah - Bindig Markus (54.Tf7+).jpg

White would actually be winning in this position.

I suppose I would have stopped again after 50. fxe5 to see if there really isn't any defence to 50. ... d2 (because that's what I usually do and I still had enough time) and I think I would have spotted Rd7 there ... But it would have come with the realisation that I have nothing more than a draw. The best line of play is
48. ... Bc3 49. e5 dxe5 50. fxe5 Bxe5 (now the bishop is diverted from d2) 51. Ra2! Bc3 52. Rg2!! d2 53. Kf5+ Kf7 54. Rg1 Bd4 55. Rd1 Bc3

Haidary Hameedullah - Bindig Markus (55...Lc3=).jpg


... and this position is a draw ...

I was a bit disappointed that my move 48. ... Bc3 had essentially spoiled what I thought was a very nice endgame combination, especially since I had seen the win after 48. ... d2 – I just hoped that I could win it with less effort.
At the same time, that analysis evoked some smile in my ...

... because, to sum up the whole thing: Not only did my opponent try to be an arsehole by letting his time run out rather than resigning ... he actually did so in a position where he could have saved the game if he had just made the most obvious move :D
 
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a.k.a. Lucifer
YouTube started to show me ads for drawing classes!
I mean seriously... that's it for privacy my friends. That is it...
In the name of safe browsing, Chrome 79 will now send every URL you visit to Google’s servers

December 10, 2019


Don't be Evil
 

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Btw., some tactics from that game:

Haidary Hameedullah - Bindig Markus (34.cxd5).jpg


Position after 34. cxd5 ... Black played Rf8 here. What happens on 34. ... Qxd5 instead?

Haidary Hameedullah - Bindig Markus (38.Ta7).jpg


Position after 38. Ra7 ... Black played Qe5 here to stay in the game. What happens on 38. ... Rf7 insead?

Haidary Hameedullah - Bindig Markus (39...Kh8).jpg


In this position, white played 40. Qg5 and gave away his advantage. He had a way of ending the game instead. I saw that move, but I thought I could defend against it based on a pretty grave miscalculation. How does white win here?
 
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