Online chess novelties

From time to time, I get the urge to play online blitz chess. I’ve played on the Internet Chess Club for years but a few weeks ago my “Chess for Life” co-author Natasha Regan tipped me off about Chess24 blitz tournaments to which she was currently addicted! And indeed, I can say that I also spent much more time than was good for me trying to boost my rating from its starting point at 1500! The tournament format is very well executed and my particular favourite was the Opening Theme tournament. In the one I played, all games started from the basic Grunfeld position…

 

Starting position for the Grunfeld theme tournament

…and all players took turns to play the position with Black and White. I decided that I didn’t need to be particularly sensible and came up with a few X-rated ideas, all of which got me better positions than I’ve ever had through the main lines! So just as a little bit of fun, here are 2 of the nicest games I played:

As always, a playable version of this game is available at 

http://cloudserver.chessbase.com/MTIyMTYx/replay.html 

and you can download a pgn at 

http://cloudserver.chessbase.com/MTIyMTYx/replay.pgn

 

Sadler,Matthew D – NN

Chess24 Blitz 2017

 

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.e4

 

 

This line actually has a good blitz pedigree: both Lautier and Nakamura have played it!

 

4…dxe4 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bf4

 

A nice little subtlety to ensure that Black can’t castle without weakening himself

 

6…Bg7 7.Qd2 g5 8.Bg3 Nc6 9.0–0–0

 

 

I wondered about 9.Nb5 immediately but I decided that I was bound to get the chance later!

 

9…Bf5 10.h4 g4 11.Nb5 Rc8

 

Heading towards disaster. Castling was a good option

 

12.d5 a6

 

 

12…Nb8 13.Nxa7 trapping the rook on c8 seemed quite funny, but the text allows a very unusual finish!

 

13.dxc6 Qxd2+ 14.Rxd2 axb5 15.cxb7 Rb8 16.Bxc7 Rxb7 17.Rd8#

 

 

Sadler,Matthew D – NN

Chess24 Blitz 2017

 

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Nh3

 

 

Surely no one has played this was my first thought when it popped into my head. And indeed, I may adorn this move with TN (Sadler)!

 

4…Nc6 5.Nf4 dxc4 6.d5 Ne5 7.Qd4 Ned7 8.e4 Bg7 9.Bxc4 0–0

 

 

Here I suspected that Black was teeing up for …Nb6 and …Nfxd5 discovering an attack on the White queen on d4, so I thought I would be subtle

 

10.Bb3 Nb6 11.e5 Ng4 12.Nd3

 

 

It’s a bit fragile and wouldn’t survive Hurricane Stockfish but against a human it’s just fine!

 

12…Bf5 13.h3 Bxd3

 

13…c5 14.Qf4 Bxd3 15.hxg4 c4 16.Qh2 g5 was as far as I had seen with a “I must be able to think of something”. Looking at it now, I’m sure I would have gone for 17.Bxg5 cxb3 18.f4 hoping for f5 though Komodo refutes this with consummate ease: 18…Bxe5 19.fxe5 Nxd5 20.0–0–0 Nxc3 21.bxc3 bxa2 22.Kb2 a1Q+ 23.Kxa1 Qa5+

 

14.hxg4

 

Now it’s very tempting!

 

14…Ba6 15.Bh6 c6 16.Qf4 cxd5 17.Bxg7 f5 18.Rxh7 Kxh7 19.Qh6+ Kg8 20.e6

 

 

and Black resigned.

 

 

 

 

 

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