A Game of Material and Activity

Here’s a game I played with the black pieces (online) which show the importance of activity of one’s pieces, or, the consequences when there is a major lack of piece activity. In short, I sacrificed material to severely limit the activity of my opponent’s knight, bishop and rook. In the end, it all payed off, as almost all of his pieces were immobilized.

1.b4 d5

2.e3 Bf5

3.Bb2 Nd7

4.a3 Ngf6

5.Nf3 e6

6.Bb5 c6

7.Ba4 Be7

After Bb3 the idea of trapping the bishop came to mind. But first finishing development.

8.O-O O-O

9.h3 b5

10.Bb3 a5

11.bxa5 c5

Here we go. Sacrificing a pawn to immobilize the white squared bishop.

12.c3 c4

13.Bc2 Bxc2

But now white’s entire Queen side becomes passive. Look at the knight on b1, it literally can’t go anywhere. The dark-squared bishop on c1 and the rook on a1 are not active either. Ideally, I want a black knight on a4, a black pawn on e4, and a black knight on d3, and those white pieces will be burried alive.

14.Qxc2 e5

Nc5 immediately may have been better as a4 is white’s freeing move.

15.Qf5 e4

16.Nd4 Nc5

17.Ra2 Na4

18.Ba1 Rxa5

19.Nc6 Qc7

20.Nxa5 Qxa5

And that’s black rook for a white knight. However, that knight (and white’s Queen) are its only active pieces.

21.g4 Qd8

22.h4 Qd7

23.Qxd7 Nxd7

24.g5 Ne5

25.Kg2 Nd3

See my comment at move 13. Mission accomplished. I’m down in material (2 points), but white simply can’t use his Queen-side forces (11 points).

26.Kh3 f6

27.gxf6 Rxf6

28.f4 exf3

29.h5 f2

30.Kg4 g6

White resigned. None of his pieces (except for the king) can move.

Blindfolded timed chess game

Today (21-10-2019) I was challenged to a game of chess with the black pieces. Nothing special, as it happens 50% of the time. However, in this case I was blindfolded (literally) and the game was timed (9 minutes per person for the whole game).

My opponent told me his moves, and I told him mine. He moved both the white and black pieces, and handled the clock for both sides (pretty fair ;-)).

Here is how the game went:

  1. e4 c6
  2. Nf3 d5
  3. Nc3 Bg4
  4. Be2 e6
  5. 0-0 Nf6
  6. d4 dxe4
  7. Ne5 Bxe2
  8. Qxe2 Qxd4
  9. Bf4 Be7
  10. Rad1 Qb4 – The Silicon Monster even likes white position. White has a lead in development, and the black king will be stuck in the center.
  11. Rb1 too passive. 0-0
  12. f3 -trying to complicate matters, but now the position is lost. exf3
  13. Rxf3 Nbd7
  14. Nxd7 Nxd7
  15. Rh3 Bc5+ (I missed Qxf4, winning the bishop.)
  16. Be3 Rad8
  17. Qh5 Bxe3+
  18. Kh1 Bh6
  19. Re1 Nf6
  20. Qe2 Bd2
  21. Rf1 Bxc3
  22. bxc3 Qe7
  23. Rxf6 Qxf6 – 1 minute on the clock!
  24. Qh5 Qg6 – Missed a mated in one 🙂 Qf1++ Time pressure and being blindfolded don’t mix well.
  25. Qd1 A final trick Rxd1++ Black sees it, it’s just mate.

Not too bad. Next time, two boards blindfolded!

Beating a computer at chess (max level)

Now and then I play a quick game of chess against on my mobile phone. We all know that computers are much better at the game nowadays. I’m impressed by the way modern chess computers play, and here’s another example. However, now and then I manage to beat the computer (AI Factory), which has an estimated elo rating of around 2000. Here’s a nice example of me winning a chess game against a computer at max level, within 20 moves:

“][Date “2019.04.11”][White “U”][Black “Cpu (12)”][PlyCount “37”][Result “1-0”]
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 a6 4. d5 exd5 5. exd5 d6 6. c4 Bf5 7. Nc3 Nd7 8. Bd3 Ne7 9. O-O g6 10. Re1 Bxd3 11. Qxd3 Bg7 12. Bf4 Nb6 13. Ne4 Nb6c8 14. Bg5 O-O 15. Bf6 b5 16. Bxg7 Kxg7 17. Qc3+ Kh6 18. Nf3g5

Final position after Nf3-g5, in which black resigned. The black king is in trouble.