Playing over Game 3 of the currently ongoing Kramnik-Aronian match from Tuesday night, where Aronian sacrificed his queen right after the opening, it reminded me of how I've played several games this year where I've been on 'his side' of things - playing against the queen with a platoon of lesser pieces.
Personally I'm a big fan of playing unbalanced games, especially with actual material imbalances, as it's usually all about who can take hold of the initiative and harmoniously bring their pieces into the thick of the battle, whilst dodging the opponent's deadly threats - in short, tactical skirmishes across the whole board.
The first of these games can be seen near the bottom of two posts ago - the game I achieved my first IM norm through, with RRBN vs. QR, in January.
|Final position: 46...Bd6-e7 0-1|
The second was in a local tournament game in March where I only had RRBN against my opponent's QRN, but weaved a mating net quickly thanks to a blunder.
The third was a dramatic game which I played in Round 3 of the recent Doeberl Cup, against Hungarian GM Adam Horvath.
|Photo: Agus Setiabudi|
|After 20...Kg8-h8 - the tension is building...|
|After 30...h7-h6 Houdini says =+ (!), but after 30...Rxf4? it's clearly +-.|
|After 44...Rb7xBg7 45.Qe8xPe6|
|After 69...Nf4-h5+ - threefold repetition with 70.Kh3, or...|
So, the win was much more difficult than I thought, and I was feeling confused and frustrated. I could see no way to make progress - but as I had lost all objectivity, it did not even enter my mind that there was indeed no win. White kept one of the knights pinned with the queen, and was safe - so nearly 6.5 hours into the game, I cracked under the tension and lost on time. A good lesson it was - the game can be played through below.
Apologies for blog inactivity since February - this year I've already played 60 rated games through January-April, a new record for the first four months of one year. At the HD Bank Open in Vietnam at the start of March, I scored the worst performance of my life, scoring 3/9 and losing 59 rating points - there were several factors to my failure, but in general I seem to be scoring worse against lower rated players this year compared to the last couple of years.