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Road to 2000

Standard Chess
Written by Aleksandar Trailovic

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This book records my journey towards achieving a rating of 2000 on

My starting rating was 1571 when I started the project even though this was
not depicting my real strength. The reason is this was a new account and I
have only played several games before starting this project, while my FIDE
rating is 2144. It took me 37 games to reach the rating of 2002 which were
played over a course of a year and four months.
I have analyzed all the games to the best of my ability except two games. One
of those two games was played against an engine and the other one was
mysterious, since my opponent resigned after only a few moves in an equal
That still leaves us with 35 thoroughly analyzed games where I did my best
to make learning material out of those games for the reader. I pointed out the
important plans and ideas in each game and I marked all the errors and
explained why they are errors while offering a correct move in the text.
There are a total of 27 diagrams in the book and they are there to help
exemplify my textual comments or to show some pretty positions that are
about to escalate into a combination.
I hope the readers will enjoy this book and a learn a lot from my small chess

Table of Contents
Foreword 2
Game 1 5
Logesh_S (1629) – ChessLessons64 (1571) 5
Game 2 11
ChessLessons64 (1663) – littlejohny (1785) 11
Game 3 15
safadig2000 (1627) – ChessLessons64 (1754) 15
Game 4 17
ChessLessons64 (1797) – vingelm (1819) 17
Game 5 21
ChessLessons64 (1847) – PoeticPictures101 (1747) 21
Game 6 25
ChessLessons64 (1891) – lakelanao (1817) 25
Game 7 29
Armando81 (1773) – ChessLessons64 (1831) 29
Game 8 33
ChessLessons64 (1871) – ssangel (1718) 33
Game 9 36
ChessLessons64 (1900) – shaipelshani (1754) 36
Game 10 40
Shaipelshani (1750) – ChessLessons64 (1926) 40
Game 11 43
ChessLessons64 (1935) – phoef (1924) 43
Game 12 45
Ramirz64 (1735) – ChessLessons64 (1909) 45
Game 13 51
1chidi (1753) – ChessLessons64 (1928) 51
Game 14 52
ChessLessons64 (1946) - 1chidi (1749) 52
Game 15 56
1chidi (1745) – ChessLessons64 (1962) 56
Game 16 61
Arya8415 (1833) – ChessLessons64 (1975) 61
Game17 65
ChessLessons64 (1966) – kansk (2110) 65
Game 18 68
Ralph2 (1910) – ChessLessons64 (1945) 68
Game 19 69
ChessLessons64 (1925) – pramod_singh (1890) 69
Game 20 72
Magnetkingg (1735) – ChesLessons64 (1898) 72
Game 21 73
ChessLessons64 (1911) – masterSH (1923) 73
Game 22 79
ChessLessons64 (1933) – haiderchessfsd (1880) 79
Game 23 84
Robbels (1798) – ChessLessons64 (1950) 84
Game 24 87
Salvokappa (1910) – ChessLessons64 (1962) 87
Game 25 91
ChessLessons64 (1941) – Maya_Prasad (1825) 91
Game 26 92
ChessLessons64 (1950) – Amir_007 (1881) 92
Game 27 95
ChessLessons64 (1932) – Guychmyrat (1782) 95
Game 28 97
ChessLessons64 (1943) – BishopCommander12345 (1795) 97
Game 29 101
Darthalbino79 (1773) – ChessLessons64 (1941) 101
Game 30 103
ChessLessons64 (1954) – dartalbino79 ( 1767) 103
Game 31 106
BWI12 (1981)- ChessLessons64 (1944) 106
Game 32 107
ChessLessons64(1953) – Luigi2004SGMv(2162) 107
Game 33 109
ChessLessons64 (1951) – dartalhbino79 (1790) 109
Game 34 113
Dathalbino79(1799) – ChessLessons64 (1942) 113
Game 35 115
Danmik (1897) – ChessLessons64 (1955) 115
Game 36 119
ChessLeessons64 (1971) – flawless (1827) 119
Game 37 127
Tapan2 (1839) – ChessLessons 64 (1988) 127
Game 1
Logesh_S (1629) – ChessLessons64 (1571)

1. e2-e4 , c7-c6
2. d2-d4 , d7-d5
3. e4xd5 , c6xd5
4. Bf1-d3 , Nb8-c6

After the exchange on d5, white usually plays 4. c4 (Panov Attack), but in
this game white opted for 4. Bd3. It is a less common way to play, but it is
actually a very decent try. In this setup white wants to bolster his d4 pawn
with c2-c3 and Nf3, develop the bishop on f4 and sometimes use an outpost
on e5 for his f3 knight and in many cases organize a king side attack when
black castles there.
At the moment the d4 pawn is attacked and either 5.c3 or 5. Nf3 would be
dealing with that nicely, but …
5. Bc1-e3!? , …
This move is not in the spirit of the position. That bishop was meant to be
developed on f4 and sometimes on g5 in order to have greater influence on
black's position. Now this bishop is just defending the d4 pawn - a very
passive role.
5. … , Qd8-b6
I have noticed that by moving his c1 bishop white left his b2 pawn
unguarded, so I tried to take advantage of that. In reality it is an empty threat
that white can just ignore with 6. Nc3!, where 6...Qxb2? 7. Nxd5 would be
almost winning for white. In the game my opponent gave a lot of credit to my
move and reacted to it.
6. b2-b3 , Ng8-f6
Note that the d4 pawn is not hanging, 6...Nxd4? 7. Bxd4, Qxd4 8. Bb5+ wins
the queen, a typical discovered attack when we have a queen 'defending' the
d4 pawn through the d3 bishop.
7. Ng1-f3 , Bc8-g4

White has been playing a bit passively compared to black's play, but he has
developed more of his king side pieces. Now it would be a good idea to castle
and make it more risky for black to undertake any actions on the queen side.
Also the d4 pawn is not in danger after 8.0-0, Bxf3? 9. Qxf3 , Nxd4? 10. Qf4
and the d4 knight is lost due to the pin, 10...Ne6 doesn't help 11. Qa4+, Qc6
12. Bb5
Another good approach for white would be 8. a3, gaining control over the b4
square and thus preventing black from his active operations on the queen side
in this manner.
In the game white was just to concerned about his pawns (that were never
really hanging by the way) and decided to 'prevent' Bxf3
8. Nb1-d2 , Nc6-b4!
Here I am breaking one of the basic rules in chess by going for active
operations on the flank before completing development and putting the king
to safety. For this I have to have very specific reasons. Here it is just that the
moment is precisely this one. On the next move white can play 9.a3 and
prevent me from jumping there, also the knight on d2 is kind of awkwardly
placed. If it was still on b1 then it could protect the c2 pawn from a3 if
needed and it wouldn't disconnect the d1 queen form the d3 bishop. In this
position white can't take advantage of black's undeveloped king side, hence
this queen side activity is justified.
9. Bd3-e2? , …
Here white should just give up the bishop pair and play a slightly worse
position with 9.Qe2, Nxd3 10. Qxd3 It would be risky for black to go for the
c2 pawn with 9...Rc8 because after 10. 0-0, Nxc2 11. Rac1, Nb4 12. Rxc8,
Bxc8 13. Ne5 white gets great play for a pawn, due to black's undeveloped
king side and white's control of the c file (Rc1 soon to come) and a great
knight on e5.
This was the strength of 8...Nb4 move, it has forced white to react to it and if
he doesn't react properly, the position can suddenly turn very grim for him.
9. … , Bg4-f5
There is no way to defend the c2 pawn. 10. Rc1. Nxa2. Imagine if white had
castled few moves ago, now he would have an option of playing 10. Ne1
since the e1 square would be free. Even better if white had played 8.a3 none
of this would happen. Black is now a pawn up plus he gets a bishop pair by
force and white ends up with a weak pawn on e3 in a few moves
10. 0-0 , Nb4xc2
11. Ra1-c1 , Nc2xe3
12. f2xe3 , …
Black has to decide how to finish his king side development. The most
obvious move is 12...e6 opening the diagonal for his dark squared bishop. I
played that move thinking that it would be nice to place that bishop on a3
which would disturb white even more and help win the c file eventually. But
there is even better way to handle the king side development, although less
obvious. 12...g6! With the idea of playing 13...Bh6 pressuring the e3 pawn,
followed by 0-0 and Rc8. 12...e6 is also fine, but 12...g6 is stronger and more
12. … , e7-e6
13. a2-a4 , a7-a6
14. Bb5+ looked unpleasant to me, hence I took time to prevent it
14. Nf3-e5 , Bf8-a3
This bishop wants to go to d6, but first it gains tempo on the c1 rook and
forces It of the c file (15. Rc3, Qa5 and white has to give up another pawn in
order to save the rook 16. b4, Bxb4 )
This allows a small combination for white, which doesn't really work 15.
Nec4, dxc4 16. Nxc4, Qb4 17. Ra1 and the bishop is trapped and it looks like
white has won the pawn back, but after 17...Nd5 with the threat of Nxe3
white is in a really bad shape. After I played 14...Ba3 I saw this variation up
to 17. Ra1 didn't find 17. Nd5 in my mind and thought that it would be a
good way for white to regain his pawn.
15. Rc1-a1 , Ba3-d6
16. Nd2-f3 , 0-0
Black king is now safe and his rooks are connected, white is a pawn down
and has two weak pawns (b3 and e3). White's position is lost but black still
has to convert it. The most logical plan is to occupy the c file.
17. Be2-d3 , Bf5xd3
White's last move opened another door for black 17... Rac8 and if 18. Bxf5,
exf5 black will secure the f5 pawn with g7-g6, switch his rooks to the e file,
chase the e5 knight with f7-f6 and put a lot of pressure on e3. During the
game I didn't see this plan, since the capture on d3 looked like a simple and
good move at the same time.
18. Qd1xd3 , h7-h6!
There was a hidden threat in this position. If black wasn't careful and played
18...Rac8?, then after 19. Ng5 (threatening 20. Rxf6 and 21. Qxh7#), h6
white doesn't play 20. Rxf6, hxg5 when black is still winning, but instead 20.
Nd7! Winning the game instantly.
19. g2-g4 , …
White starts a desperado attack, which should not lead anywhere.
19. … , Bxe5
This was unnecessary, but I wanted to reduce the number of pieces around
my king. Instead 19...Rac8 20. g5, Bxe5 21. dxe5, Ne4 22. gxh6, gxh6 23.
Kh1, Kh8 was the way to go since white king is in a much less safe spot than
his adversary and black knight on e4 is a monster. On top of that all of white's
pawns are weak. My choice is less precise, but it is also more clear to
20. Nf3xe5 , …
Now that the threats on the king side are neutralized, black has a simple
winning plan – infiltrate through the c file. 20...Rfc8 21. Rac1 22. Rc7, Rxc7
23. Qxc7 followed by 24...Rc8 and 25...Qc3 or 25...Qc2.
White can't really oppose this. But in this position my thinking started to
resemble my opponents thinking in the early game. If you remember, in the
opening he reacted to my 'threats' that were not really threats. Similarly, here
I noticed that he can play Rxf6 followed by Nd7 and I wanted to prevent
that. The truth is – there is nothing to prevent. White would not gain anything
by performing that operation.
20. … , Ra8-d8?
If black wants to insist on controlling the d7 square, than the more logical
way to do it would be 20...Qd6, intending to play the rook on the c file on the
next move.
20. Kg1-h1 , Nf6-e4
21. Qd3-e3 , Qb6-d6
Here I realized my mistake and decided place the queen on d6 to cover d7,
but now there are better options, first of all 21...Qxb3 22. Rb1, Qxa4 23. Rb7
is an advantage of two pawns. Second option is to chase the knight from e5
21...f6 22. Ng6, Rfe8 with e6-e5 soon to come
22. Qe2-f3?? , …
White blunders for no apparent reason. After 22. Rac1, f6 23. Nd3, e5 black
is much better but there is still a lot of play left, now black just wins a lot of
22. … , Ne4-d2
23. Ne5xf7 , Nd2xf3
24. Nf7xd6 , Rd8xd6
Game 2
ChessLessons64 (1663) – littlejohny (1785)

1. d2-d4 , Ng8-f6
2. c2-c4 , g7-g6
3. Nb1-c3 , d7-d5
4. Bc1-g5 , d5xc4?!

In many d4 openings it is fine to

take on c4 most of the time for black. In queen's gambit accepted black does
it instantly, in orthodox defense he takes sometimes, in main line Slav it
also and in Grunfeld defense it happens when white plays his queen on b3.
There are other examples, but in this particular position it is not a good
decision. Here white is ready to grab the full center with e2-e4 and has a
knight on c3 which will help support that center. Another nuance is that since
black has committed to fianchettoing his dark squared bishop, he will not be
able to put pressure on that c3 knight (by playing Bb4), which gives white a
lot of chances to hold onto that marvelous center.
A good way to approach this position would be 4...Ne4.
5. e2-e4 , Bf8-g7
6. Bf1xc4 , c7-c6?!
This move has two drawbacks. First it was not needed since white was not
threatening to push d4-d5 and secondly it loses a tempo if black decides to
challenge white's center with c6-c5 later on. Sometimes that square is useful
for the b8 knight also, but now it is occupied by a pawn. It was much better to
castle and then organize c7-c5 or e7-e5 depending on the circumstances.
Now that white doesn't have to worry to much about his center he can
conduct a following plan: First develop his remaining pieces, then centralize
his rooks to provide a support for the central pawns and finally organize a
central breakthrough which would lead to a superior position or a king side
attack depending on what black does.
7. Ng1-f3 , 0-0
It would be nice if 7...Bg4 was possible, but after 8. Qb3! Black is in big
8. h2-h3 , …
Now 8...Bg4 was a threat (because Qb3 doesn't work anymore) so white takes
time to prevent it
8. … , Nb8-d7
9. 0-0 , Nd7-b6
10. Bc4-b3 , h7-h6
11. Bg5-f4 , e7-e6
After this move black's c8 bishop is locked in, but it didn't have any great
prospects anyway. Maybe it was better to play b7-b5 on move 8 and to
develop the bishop to b7 and play a7-a6 and c6-c5 later on.
12. Qd1-d2 , Kg8-h7
13. Ra1-d1 , Qd8-e7
14. Rf1-e1 , …
White has finished the first phase of his plan. He has developed all of his
pieces and his mayor pieces are centralized. His pawn center is very strong
and it is not clear how will black challenge it.
This is as good as it gets when it
comes to having a pawn center. Now comes the maneuvering phase and
organizing e4-e5 or d4-d5 sometimes. Usually d4-d5 will happen if black
pushes c6-c5 otherwise e4-e5 seems more natural. There are also options of
transferring one of the knights to c5 or pushing the g and h pawns. There is a
lot of possibilities for white here, he just has to take his time and chose the
right options depending on black's moves.
14. … , Rf8-d8
15. Qd2-e2 , Nf6-h5?!
I don't like this move since it puts the knight on the edge of the board where it
can run into some trouble. Also, if white gets e4-e5 while the knight is not on
f6, there will be no Nf6-d5
16. Bf4-h2 , a7-a5?
Black had to admit his mistake and go back with the knight before it gets cut
off from the game
17. e4-e5! , …
Now there is a threat of trapping the knight with g2-g4 and in order to
prevent that black will have to disorganize his pieces
17. … , Bg7-f8
The only way to save the knight. Funny variation is 17... Bh8 18. g4, Ng7
19. Nf6+ and black has to give up his queen. After 17...a4 18. Bc2 black
remains with the same problems as before.
18. g2-g4 , Nh5-g7
19. Nc3-e4?! , …
It looks tempting to attack that f6 square immediately, but it was better to
play 19. Bg3 with the threat of 20.Bh4 when g5 is not possible because then
white would make a Q+B batter along the b1-h7 diagonal in a few moves.
If black evades Bh4 with 19...Qb4, then 20. Bc2 followed by h3-h4-h5 leads
to a winning attack.
19. … , Nf6-d5?
Black had to defend that f6 square with the other knight 19...Ne8 with a bad
position but better chances to organize the defense, with bishop defending the
h6 pawn.
20. Bb3xd5? , …
During the game I wasn't sure about this move since it looked like if it is
good then it is winning, but if it isn't good, white might lose a big portion of
his advantage. I saw that after 20...exd5 21. Nf6+, Kh8 22. Qd2 black will
have problems defending h6 pawn, because on the next move Bf4 is coming
(after 22...Ne8), but I failed to realize that after 20...exd5 the e6 square is
available for black knight and he can prevent Bf4 with 22...Ne6! And white is
still better but he was winning before 20.Bxd5.
20. … , c6xd5?
From the paragraph above we can conclude that now the e6 square would not
be available for the g7 knight and black will not be able to defend the h6
21. Ne4-f6+ , Kh7-h8
22. Qe2-e3 , Ng7-e8
If 22...g5 then 23. Nxg5 wins, if 23...hxg5 then 24. Qxg5
23. Bh2-f4 , Ne8xf6
23...g5 doesn't work again, 24. Bxg5 etc
24. e5xf6 , Qe7xf6??
Black is lost even if he doesn't lose his queen, but now he is even more lost if
it is possible to say something like that
25. Bf4-e5
The queen is lost due to the deadly pin and black resigned
Game 3
safadig2000 (1627) – ChessLessons64 (1754)

1. e2-e4 , c7-c5
2. Ng1-f3 , g7-g6
3. Nb1-c3 , Bf8-g7
4. a2-a3 , …
An unusual move. Probably white wants to prepare a retreat square for his
light squared bishop (Bf1-c4-a2), but there was no need to do that right now.
More logical way to play would be 4. Bc4 and then if needed a2-a3 at some
point. Another sound option would be to transpose to open Sicilan with 4.d4
which looks like the most promising attempt.
4. … , Nb8-c6
5. h2-h3 , …
It appears to me that white is playing safety first. It is not a bad approach,
albeit slightly unusual. He has denied black any shenanigans on the g4 square
in the near future, so I have decided to focus my play on the center. I have
opted here for more or less standard approach of e7-e6, Nge7 and d7-d5
sooner or later which should give black a decent game.
5. … , e7-e6
6. Bf1-c4 , Ng8-e7
7. d2-d3 , 0-0
8. 0-0 , …
Black is ready to play d7-d5, but I have noticed that by delaying it for a move
I could set up a trap which could work if white is not careful and wouldn't
hurt me if white avoids it. Let's say that white has already developed his c1
bishop onto the e3 square. If that would be the case I would win material by
going d7-d5 with a tempo and then proceeding with d5-d4 forking white's
light pieces on c3 and e3. On the other hand e3 looks like a natural place for
the c1 bishop, so I have decided to delay d7-d5 with a waiting move, that
does something good also (covers the g5 square).
8. … , h7-h6

If White decides to remove the bishop from c4 (in order to be able to play
Be3 on the next move) then black will just take the center and have a nice
position, 9. Ba2,d5. Another try would be to prevent d7-d5 with 9. e5 (now
after 9...d5. 10. exd6, Qxd6 the position is about equal, but black doesn't have
that strong central duo. But black could challenge that e5 pawn with 9...f6
instead, where 10.exf6, Rxf6 11. Ba2, d5 leads again to a central pawn duo
and a good position for black or 10. d4, cxd4 11. exf6, Rxf6 12. Nxd4, d5
leads to a good position for black as well. So no matter what white does,
black will achieve d7-d5 sooner or later and get the slight edge, for this
reason an improvement in white play should be looked for earlier in the
In the given position white went for the worst option – running into a trap.
9. Bc1-e3?? , d7-d5
10. e4xd5 , e4xd5
11. Bc4-a2 , d5-d4
White loses a piece for a pawn.
12. Be3xh6 , Bg7xh6
The rest of the game doesn't need any commentary on specific moves. It is
just realizing a big material advantage with centralization of the pieces and
trying to activate while at the same time covering against white's small
threats. One can go here for trading method to simplify the task of winning ,
but I went for the most optimal method and that is using material advantage
to gain even more material advantage and end the game sooner. It is an
optimal method but has to be carefully conducted, because it gives opponent
more options to escape if mistake happens on the part of the stronger side.
13. Nc3-e4 , b7-b6
14. Nf3-h2 , Bh6-g7
15. f2-f4 , Ne7-d5
16. Qd1-f3 , Nd5-e3
17. Rf1-f2 , Bc8-b7
18. Ra1-e1 , Qd8-e7
19. Nh2-g4 , Kg8-h8
20. Ng4-e3 , d4xe3
21. Re1xe3 , Ra8-e8
22. c2-c3 , f7-f5
23. Qf3-g3 , f5xe4
24. Qg3xg6 , Qe7-f6
25. Qg6-h5 , Qf6-h6
26. Qh5-g4 , Nc6-e5
27. Qg4-g3 , Ne5xd3
28. Rf2-f1 , Nd3xf4
29. Rf1-d1 , Bg7-e5
30. Rd1-d7 , Nf4-e2+
31. Re3xe2 , Be5xg3
32. Rd7xb7 , Qh6-c1+
33. Re2-e1 , Qc1xe1#
Game 4
ChessLessons64 (1797) – vingelm (1819)

1. d2-d4 , Ng8-f6
2. c2-c4 , e7-e6
3. Ng1-f3 , Bf8-b4+
4. Nb1-d2 , 0-0
5. g2-g3 , b7-b6
6. Bf1-g2 , Bc8-b7
7. 0-0 , Nb8-a6
8. Qd1-c2 , …
From this square the queen controls the e4 square and sometimes helps
pushing e2-e4. Sometimes there are also tricks with the f3 knight jumping to
g5 and allowing the c2 queen to threaten checkmate on h7 while at the same
time opening the long diagonal for the g2-bishop. At the moment the h7
square is covered, but in the future that might not be the case. For example
8...Ne8 would be a blunder due to the above mentioned set up, where after 9.
Ng5 white wins material.
Black has various ways to play here. He can attack white's center
immediately with 8...c5, he can play 8...Be7 and allow 9.e4 in order to
counter attack his center with 9...d5, or he can stop white from playing e2-e4
with the move played in the game. All three approaches are sound.
8. … , d7-d5
I have decided to chase the b4 bishop back and then try to force black into a
hanging pawns formation or/and isolated pawn on d5 (it is black's choice),
where my plan would be to attack those pawns. After the exchange on d5,
black will eventually play c7-c5 and then d4xc5 leads to the mentioned
9. a2-a3 , Bb4-e7
10. c4xd5 , e6xd5
Taking with the piece is less sound in my opinion and even if it works it
requires very precise play, for example 10...Nxd5?! 11. e4, Nf6 12. b4 and
now if black wants to challenge white's center, something like this might
happen 12...c5 13. dxc5, bxc5 14. b5, Nb8 15. a4, a6 16. Bb2 where white
enjoys a small advantage due to better piece activity and a strong pawn on b5.
11. Nf3-e5 , c7-c5
12. d4xc5 , b6xc5
This is what I was talking about in the comment after move 9. Black will
eventually have to play c7-c5 and then white can capture that pawn and force
either hanging pawns or an isolated pawn on d5 (if black recapture with a
piece on c5). Whether this leads to some advantage or not it is questionable.
It looks like black is fine after 12...bxc5 and even more fine after 12....Nxc5,
but I was aiming for this position since I had some idea of how to play this

Hanging pawns, are they good or

bad? If they help you in organizing your maneuvers and achieve a material
advantage or a decisive attack against an enemy king they are good. If your
opponent surrounds them and wins one or both of them without any serious
consequences they are bad. So, it depends. Here it looks like they are good
enough to make the position balanced.
I have decided to develop my bishop on b2 and try to combine pressure
against these pawns with some king side threats if possible. Another
approach is to block these pawns instantly with 13. e4, d4 14. Ndc4 this
option is available to white on almost every move in the following 4-5
13. b2-b3 , Na6-c7
14. Bc1-b2 , Nc7-e6
15. Rf1-d1 , Qd8-c7
16. Ra1-c1 , Ra8-c8
Here I didn't see any way of increasing the pressure on the hanging pawns so
I decided to bring my queen closer to the black king in order to create some
threats there. Objectively going for 17.e4, d4 18. Ndc4 was more promising.
17. Qc2-f5 , Rf8-d8
18. Nd2-f3 , …
I have played this move on order to be able to play 19.Nxf7 followed by
Ne5+ and Qxe6, but if black just plays 18...Qb6 then none of this works. It
was better to just go for a restrictive move 18.e3 with an equal position.
Note that once that I moved my queen to f5, e2-e4 is not possible anymore,
18. e4?, dxe4 and white can't play 19. Nxe4 because of 19...Bxe4 20. Bxe4,
g6 and white loses a piece.
18. … , Qc7-d6
Black protected his e6 knight so 19. Nxf7 doesn't work, but it was better to
play 18...Qb6 with the same idea but without placing the queen onto the d
file, because of white's next move.
19. e2-e4 , …
Due to the position of black queen d5xe4 is not possible, Nxe4 can't be
played because of the f7 weakness. But I didn't play this move just because I
noticed that black can't capture the pawn instantly, I played it, because I
wanted to go with it to e5 and fork the f6 knight and d6 queen. So, white is
threatening 20. Nxf7 followed by 21.e5 where the material would likely be
equal but black king would be somewhat vulnerable. Black's best option here
is to chase the queen from f5 with 19...g6 20. Qh3. Note that even though
queen is not attacking f7 anymore, black can't play 20...Nxe4, because the
queen is attacking h7 now, 21. Nxf7, Kxf7 22. Qxh7+, Ke8 23. Ne5 and
black will lose a lot of material to avoid being checkmated. So 20...d4 is
probably best with a very complex position.
19. … , d5-d4?
This just walks right into Nxf7
20. Ne5xf7! , Kg8xf7
21. e4-e5 , Qd6-d7??
This is probably the worst spot to put the queen on since the other knight is
coming to e5 soon with a fork to king and queen. After 21...Qb6 22.exf6,
Bxf6 23. Ne5+, Ke7 24. Bxb7, Qxb7 25. Re1, Qd5 26.f4 White is a lot better
but black is not lost just yet, although any slight imprecision would lead to a
losing position, since his king is very weak. For example 26...d3 27. Qh5, d2?
28. Qf7+, Kd6 29. Nc4+ winning or 27...Rf8 28. Rcd1 and white just wins
through the center
22. e5xf6 , Be7xf6
Maybe black thought that this bishop is covering e5 form f6, but didn't realize
that the bishop is pinned. Now black's position is totally lost but he played a
few more moves
23. Nf3-e5+ , Kf7-e7
24. Ne5xd7 , Rd8xd7
25. Rd1-e1 , …
After this move black loses even more material, since there is no good way to
defend the e6 knight, because of the g2 bishop influence
25. … , Rd7-d6
26. Bg2xb7 , Rc8-b8
27. Bc4-d5 , Rb7-b7
28. Rc1xc5 , Ke7-d7
29. a3-a4 , Bf6-e7
30. a4-a5 , Rb6-a6
31. Bb2xd4
Black is totally pinned everywhere, white could win even more material by
playing Rxe6 followed by Rd5+ on previous two moves, but it looked more
convincing to me to just put my opponent into a position where he almost
can't move anything. Maybe this influenced his decision to resign here
Game 5
ChessLessons64 (1847) – PoeticPictures101 (1747)
1. d2-d4 , d7-d6
2. c2-c4 , e7-e5
3. Ng1-f3 , f7-f6?!
Very rarely black plays f7-f6 in the first few moves and for a good reason – it
is usually a bad move! Here Black bolsters his e5 pawn but at what cost? He
has weakened the b1-g8 diagonal and his g8 knight doesn't have god squares,
same goes for the f8 bishop. If the knight goes to e7, it blocks the bishop and
if bishop is developed there than the knight has problems.

How should white respond to this unusual way of playing? Here white should
just claim the center and develop his pieces behind it and slowly build up his
play. He has a long term advantage. One really nice way to go about this is to
play 4.e4! And follow it up with probably Nc3, Be2, 0-0, Be3, develop the
queen and rooks and proceed from there. In the meantime black can't do
much. White can also start with 4. Nc3, but he should prevent black from
pushing e5-e4, because this allows him to rectify his mistake form move 3 by
pushing f6-f5. In the game I failed to notice this.
4. g2-g3?! , c7-c6?
Black had to take the opportunity to advance with his e pawn, 4...e4 5. Nfd2,
f5 where he will have more freedom for his king side pieces compared to the
position after move 3.
5. Qd1-c2?! , …
At this point I become aware of e5-e4 and I wanted to prevent it and at the
same time I wanted to control the f5 square to give less options to black's c8
bishop. The proper way to go about this was to play 5. Nc3 and don't mind
the c8 bishop. After this simple move black is struggling to find a decent way
to develop. If he tries to maneuver his g8 knight to f7 it will not be allowed
5...Nh6 6. Bxh6, gxh6 7. Bg2, Bg7 8.e4 with the idea of playing Nf3-h4 in
the near future. If black decides to go for f6-f5 and secures his e5 pawn first
with 5...Nd7 then after 6.Bg2, f5 white is ready to play 7.e4 where opening of
the center will benefit him more.
After my imprecise move, black had the opportunity to go 5...f5, because e5
isn't really hanging
5. … , Qd8-e7?!
After 5...f5 white isn't ready to play 6. e4 because fxe4 7. Qxe4, Nf6 8. Qe2
black can either go 8...e4 or sacrifice a pawn with 8....Bg4 with great
compensation thanks to his lead in development. Here we can see how loss of
one tempo can make a huge difference in determining who will benefit more
if the position opens up.
On the other hand white can't take twice on e5 6. dxe5, dxe5 7. Nxe5?, Qa5+
winning the e5 knight.
If we add all this up we come to conclusion that white can't do much to
prevent 6....e4 (after 5...f5).
6. Nb1-c3 , Nb8-d7
Now that the black queen is clumsy on e7, 6...f5 is not so good anymore 7.
dxe5, dxe5 8. e4!, fxe4 9.Nxe4, Nf6 10. Bg2 Again, the evaluation changes in
white's favor now because of the position of black's queen.
7. Bf1-g2 , g7-g6
8. 0-0 , Bf8-h6
Here white can play straightforward with 9.d5 with the idea of organizing c4-
c5 in the future, for example 9...Bxc1 10. Raxc1, Nh6 11. c5! And if
11...cxd5? 12. Nxd5 just wins and if 11...Nxc5 12. dxc6, dxc6? 13. Nxe5!
Black's position is busted. The best answer is 11...dxc5 but after 12. dxc6,
dxc6 13. Nd2 white is much better.
When I was looking at this position during the game I didn't see any of the
above mentioned lines, but an interesting thought occurred to me. Black is
cramped and doesn't have much space. It looks like it will stay like that for a
while. He wants to exchange some pieces in order to get more room for his
remaining pieces. How about we deny him that option. So, I came up with a
move that prevents the exchange of dark squared bishops.
9. e2-e3 , Nd7-f8?
Better Is to go back with the bishop and prepare f6-f5 9....Bg7. After the
move played in the game 10.d5 is very strong followed by b2-b3 and Bc1-a3
or if black goes c6-c5 then a2-a3 and b2-b4. I have decided to infiltrate to d6
with my knight which is winning if it happens, but black can prevent it.
10. Rf1-d1 , …
This was played to prepare Ne4-d6
10. … , Nf8-e6?
Black continues his maneuver form previous move, but he had to provoke me
to occupy the e4 square with a pawn 10...Bf5 11. e4, Bg4 and there is no
more Nc3-e4-d6. White is still much much better but black can play on.
11. d4xe5 , d6xe5
12. Nc3-e4 , …
Black is lost here. He can't develop his pieces and white is already fully
developed and in his territory. When that knight jumps onto d6 it will be a
monster inside black's camp.
12. … , Ke8-f8
13. b2-b3 , Kf8-g7
14. Bc1-b2 , Ne6-c5
I played my previous two moves in order to prevent black form playing f6-f5
(pressure on e5), but now another option arose – to pin the c5 knight 15. Ba3,
b6 16. Nxc5, bxc5 17. Qe4. This is probably the strongest way to continue,
but the move played also wins and is more in line with the plan made several
moves ago.
15. Ne4-d6 , b7-b6
16. b3-b4 , Nc5-b7
17. c4-c5 , …
Cementing the knight on d6 and freeing the c4 square for the other knight\
17. … , b6xc5
18. b4xc5 , Nb7-d8
19. Nf3-d2 , Bc8-e6
20. Nd2-c4 , Kg7-f8
Black is almost out of moves that don't lose material. He maybe wanted to
develop the knight to e7, but if he moves the queen to c7 then 21.Ne8+ wins
it, so for that reason he probably went back with his king. Or maybe he just
wants to bring the bishop back to g7 in order to free the h6 square for the g8
knight. This takes a lot of time and black is already behind on time, the
evaluation didn't change – black is lost here
21. Rd1-d2 , Bh6-g7
22. Ra1-d1 , Qe7-c7
23. Bb2-c3 , a7-a5
Black is trying to prevent Bc3-a5, since that would be devastating, so he
played his pawn to a5 to include the rook into coverage of that square. But is
that squared covered?
24. Bc3xa5! , Ra8xa5
25. Nc4xa5 , Qc7xa5
26. Nd6-c4! , …
The monster knight delivers the blow, queen on a5 is hanging and the d file
has opened
26. … , Be6xc4
27. Rd2xd8+, Kf8-e7
28. Rd1-d7+ , Ke7-e6
29. Qc2xc4+, Ke6-f5
30. Bg2-h3+ , Kf5-g5
Now 31. Qh4# is checkmate, but I missed that move because I saw a
checkmate in two moves!
31. Qc4-g4+ , Kg5-h6
32. Qg4-h4#
Game 6
ChessLessons64 (1891) – lakelanao (1817)

1. e2-e4 , e7-e5
2. Ng1-f3 , d7-d6
3. d2-d4 , e5xd4
Despite giving up the center this move is not so bad. Black will end up with
either a very solid position albeit slightly passive or with good counter
chances depending on the next few moves. Now white can chose between 4.
Nxd4 and 4. Qxd4. Both are good moves but they lead to different type of
positions. If white takes with the knight he will avoid exchanges (which will
benefit him since he has space advantage), but he will give black more
options to develop counter play on the queen side or in the center. On the
other hand capturing with the queen almost forces the exchange of the f1-
bishop for the c6 knight, but gives white more control over the position.
4. Qd1xd4 , Nb8-c6
White has to pin this knight in order not to lose time with the retreat of the
queen and the queen likes the d4 square at the moment.
5. Bf1-b5 , Bc8-d7
6. Bb5xc6 , Bd7xc6
This is slightly unusual, because black gains some central protection by
capturing 5...bxc6, but still it is perfectly playable.
7. Nb1-c3 , Ng8-f6
White has to decide soon what to do with his c1 bishop. In the lines where
black recaptures 6...bxc6, that bishop is well placed on f4 to support e4-e5.
When black has doubled pawns on the c file, e4-e5 gains value, because if
black exchanges on e5 that would leave him with two doubled isolated
pawns. Here (thanks to black's 6th move) exchange on e5 would leave black
with no weaknesses on the queen side, so I thought that the bishop doesn't
belong on f4 and I planned to develop it on g5. It hasn't crossed my mind that
that bishop could be developed on the a1-h8 diagonal, which might be the
most promising placement for that bishop. Something like 8. b3, Be7 9. Bb2,
0-0 10. 0-0 looks good with small advantage to white.
8. Bc1-g5 , Bf8-e7
9. 0-0-0 , 0-0
10. Rh1-e1 , …
Here white could try 10.e4-e5, but with simple 10...dxe5 11. Qxe5, Bd6 black
keeps everything together. I must add that this is almost the only way to
equality after 10.e4-e5. Knight moves are not good and 10....Bxf3 is terrible
after 11. gxf3, dxe5 12. Qxe5, Bd6 13. Qe3 ( white is threatening 14.
Ne4) Qe8 14. Bxf6, Qxe3+ 15. fxe3, gxf6 white gets a big advantage. Also
11...Ne8 12. Bxe7, Qxe7 13. f4 with a dominant position for white.
10. … , h7-h6
11. Bg5-h4 , Nf6-d7
During the game I thought that this move is bad, because of 12. Bxe7, Qxe7
13. Nd5, Bxd5 14. exd5, Qf6 15. Qxf6, Nxf6 16. Re7, but after a few more
moves I realized that this leads nowhere, since black can play 16.... Rfc8 and
17...Kf8 and white can't keep the rook on the 7th for very long.
12. Bh4xe7 , Qd8xe7
13. Nc3-d5 , Bc6xd5
14. e4xd5 , Qe7-f6!
Now I have realized that the exchange of queens leads to total equality, so I
decided to keep things complicated even though I didn't see a clear way to
gain advantage. This kind of approach can sometimes backfire.
15. Qd4-e4 , Nd7-c5
16. Qe4-e7 , ….
Here I thought that since the knight moved away this intrusion might work,
but actually 16...Qxe7 17. Rxe7, Rfc8 18. Rde1, Kf8 with a threat (19...Ne6),
so white has to retreat his rook form e7. So black can exchange the queens
and kill the game if he wants or he can play on and try for more, like he did
in the game.
16. … , Qf6-f4+
17. Kc1-b1 , Ra8-c8
18. Rd1-d4 , Qf4-f5
I didn't like the possibility of Rfe8 where I would have to play with two rooks
vs the queen with so many pawns on the board and somewhat disconnected
rooks. The truth is white would be good there, for example 19. h3, Rae8 20.
Qxe8, Rxe8 21. Rxe8+, Kh7 22. Re7!, Na6 and black has a tied up knight.
During the game this looked totally unclear to me, since black can attack my
king side pawns and some of my pieces simultaneously, plus my king is not
the safest king in the world, so I retreated my queen to avoid exchanging her
for the opposing rooks.
19. Qe7-e3?! , a7-a5
20. g2-g4 , …
Here I thought that my chances are getting better, since soon I will have the
option to open the g file maybe. In reality black is just fine.
20. … , Qf5-g6
Here I declined 21. g4-g5 because I thought that after 21...hxg5 22. Nxg5,
Rfe8 I am losing a piece because my queen is overworked (protecting g5 and
e1 at the same time). The analysis shows that I was scared of the ghost, since
22...Rfe8?? 23. Qxe8! leads to a checkmate. This just shows how poorly I
played this game and was off form in general. Objectively 21.g5 doesn't bring
white much, but it is a decent try that could yield some benefits if black goes
21. Nf3-h4 , …
I thought that placing this knight on f5 might be a good idea, but now my e1
rook is loose and I would be forced to exchange the queen for two rooks in
unfavorable circumstances, unlike on the previous move.
21. … , Qg6-f6
22. Nh4-f5? , …
Now black can play 22...Re8! 23. Qxe8+, Rxe8 24. Rxe8+, Kh7 the
difference between this and the similar position that could arise a few moves
ago is that white rook on d4 is hanging (after g7-g6), so white has to take care
of that first and he has weakened his king side a bit. 25. Rd2, g6 26. Ne3,
Kg7 Here black is just better. White's rooks are disconnected, the e file is
clogged and there are some weaknesses on the king side (because of g2-g4).
22. … , Rc8-e8!
Either rook to e8 is fine.
23. Nf5-e7+ ?? …
I thought that after 23...Kh7 or Kh8 I will somehow generate some attack on
the black king. I couldn't quite see how, but I still went for it. This is a very
poor approach in general. You don't have to calculate everything, but you
should see at least some variations that work and have a general idea how
you will continue the game. Here 23. Ne7 loses on the spot, I was very much
shocked after:
24. … , Re8xe7!
I played a few more moves on inertia, but the game is just lost here, white
loses a piece with no compensation. This is an example of over pressing in an
equal position without any justification. If you are playing against somewhat
weaker opponent and the position is equal and you are not playing so well
maybe it is better to take that draw and accept that there is nothing to be
gained by making unsound moves that will complicate matters in order to get
a chance to win.
Game 7
Armando81 (1773) – ChessLessons64 (1831)

1. e2-e4 , e7-e5
2. Ng1-f3 , d7-d6
Prior to playing this game I was analyzing the loss from game number 6 and
here I thought – why not try out the opening that defeated me in the previous
3. d2-d4 , Nb8-d7
Here I deviated from how my previous opponent played against me since it
feels to me that this move offers positions that are more rich in ideas.
4. g2-g3 , …
This is slightly unusual move, but it looks decent. The 'normal' move here is
4. Bc4
4. … , Ng8-f6
5. Nb1-c3 , c7-c6
This is an important move in this structure, because it controls the d5 square
and at the same time gives developing options to the black queen, since the
e7 square is reserved for the f8 bishop. Later on, this move might support
pawn advance to b5 or d5 depending on the circumstances.
6. a2-a4 , Bf8-e7
7. Bf1-g2 , 0-0
One of the main plans for black here is to go b7-b6, a7-a6, Bc8-b7 and
eventually b6-b5. If white tries to sabotage that plan with 8.a5 than black can
go Rb8 (8...b6? 9.axb6 and there is a pin on the a file) 9. 0-0, b6 10. axb6,
axb6 and white can't make good use out of the a file and black will soon
develop some good play on the queen side with b6-b5-b4. 11. Ra7 achieves
nothing and that rook will be kicked out soon 11... b5! (with the idea
12...Qb6) and if 12. Be3 to prevent Qb6, then 12...Ng4 takes care of that.
8. 0-0 , b7-b6
9. h2-h3 , a7-a6
10. b2-b3 , …
Since white has already played h2-h3 (and prevented Ng4) it makes more
sense to develop the c1 bishop on the e3 square rather than on b2 or a3. This
is logical, but objectively that bishop has more prospects on b2 or a3 from
where it will put pressure on black's center pawns, so b2-b3 is a good move.
It is apparent that the c8 bishop is going to be developed to b7, so white
might think along the lines – let's take advantage of that and go for the f5
square with 10.Nh4, but then black has 10...g6 stopping that idea and white
can't capitalize on weaknesses of dark squares around black king since the e7
bishop will soon go to f8 in that case.
10. … , Bc8-b7
11. Bc1-b2 , Qd8-c7
12. Rf1-e1 , b7-b5

This is a typical way of achieving counter play in this opening (Philidor

defense). Sometimes black will push b5-b4 to pressure the e4 pawn and
sometimes he will exchange on d4 and than play c6-c5 with a tempo and a
very sharp position. If white had developed his bishop on e3 earlier he would
already be in an unpleasant spot because of the e4 pawn (the rook would not
be protecting it and b5-b4 would be a threat).
Here white has several good ways to continue, but the one I like the most is
rerouting the c3 knight with 13. Nb1!?. That knight can later go via d2 to f1
and e3 or it can go to c4 if black moves or exchanges his b5 pawn.
White chose to push his d pawn which is not somewhat a dubious move since
it will open files on the queen side where black is more ready for combat.
13. d4-d5 , b5-b4?!
It looks like the moment is right for this move, but the tactics don't favor
black completely. It was much better to play 13...Rfc8 threatening to take on
d5 and crush through the c file. The best white could do there is 14. dxc6,
Bxc6 15. axb5, axb5 16. Rxa8, Rxa8 simplifying and reducing the pressure
and in the end we got an equal position where black has more activity.
After the text, white can't move his c3 knight, because then the d5 pawn
drops, so he is forced to take on c6
14. d5xc6 , b4xc3?!
The problem with this move is that after 15. cxb7 black can't take on b2
therefore it was better to play 14...Bxc6 and after 15. Nd5 (15. Na2?, a5)
Bxd5 16. exd5, Nc5 the position is about equal.
15. c6xb7 , Ra8-b8
During the game I thought that this was good for me since I have all the open
files, but if you look at the position closely you will notice that if white
reroutes his f3 knight to either f5 or d5 and his g2 bishop via f1 to c4,
suddenly it is white to be preferred.
16. Bb2-a3 , Nd7-c5
17. Nf3-h2 , …
A simple way to play for an advantage would be 17. Bxc5, Qxc5 18. Bf1,
Qc6 19. Bc4, Qxb7 (Rxb7? 20. Bd5) 20. Qd3 and than reroute the knight
towards f5 or d5 with a clear advantage thanks to great control over the light
squares. Black has to worry about his a6 pawn all the time and if he ever
pushes a6-a5, then the b5 square becomes available for white pieces.
17. … , Rb8xb7
18. Qd1-e2 , a6-a5
19. Ra1-d1 , Nf6-d7
20. Nh2-g4 , Nc5-e6
Here I am aiming for the d4 square although that doesn't achieve much.
21. Ng4-e3 , Ne6-d4
Here 22. Rxd4, exd4 23. Nd5, Qd8 24. Rd1 followed by Rxd4 and Nxc3 with
a big advantage for white was the best way to play. The move white chose is
also good but not as strong as the exchange sac.
22. Qe2-d3 , Nd7-f6
23. Ne3-f5 , Nd4xf5
24. e4xf5 , Rb7-b6
25. Ba3-c1 , Rb6-b4

The only chance to equalize in this position lies in the possibility of d6-d5
connecting those central pawns. Since 25...d5 26. Bxd5, Rd8 didn't work
because of 27. Qc4, I have played 25...Rb4 to threaten d6-d5 (denies the c4
square from the white queen and also has the Rb4-d4 idea if needed). In order
to preserve the advantage white must stop black in achieving d6-d5. He can
do this in several ways. Removing the queen from the d file (to avoid future
pins) seems fine, so 26. Qa6 or 26. Qe2 are good moves. Another option was
to play 26. g4 and answer 26...d5? With 27. g5.
My opponent noticed that Rb4-d4 makes d6-d5 possible and decided to deny
me that move, but failed to realize that the rook is covering the c4 square so
d6-d5 is still possible. Now the position is about equal, but it is more pleasant
for black, thanks to the strong pawn center.
26. Bc1-e3? , d6-d5
27. Qd3-a6 , …
27. Bxd5?, Rd8 and there is no 28. Qc4 so white loses the bishop.
27. … , Rf8-d8
28. Rd1-d3?! , …
White has the wrong plan. He is preparing to double the rooks on the d file in
order to attack my d5 pawn, but that plan has no prospects and it will just
make his rooks in a way of each other. It was better to offer the exchange of
queens with 28. Qa7 which black will refuse with 28...Rb7, but there is no
clear way for black to make progress and the game goes on.
28. … , h7-h6!
This takes away the g5 square from the e3 bishop, and prevents white from
ever exchanging that bishop for the f6 knight. It also gives some air to black
king if needed.
29. Re1-d1? , …
This move loses material by force. White went from big advantage into an
equal position and then into a losing one in just a few moves. This shows
how chess can be a cruel game. You can play better than your opponent for
the majority of the game and than make a few bad moves and just lose the
29. … , d5-d4
30. Be3-c1 , e5-e4
The rook has nowhere to go, so white gives up the bishop.
31. Bg2xe4 , Nf6xe4
32. Bc1xh6 , …
Here everything wins , but I figured if I trap his queen the game might end
32. … , Nd7-c5
Game 8
ChessLessons64 (1871) – ssangel (1718)

1. d2-d4 , d7-d5
2. c2-c4 , c7-c6
3. Ng1-f3 , a7-a6
Whenever black plays a7-a6 in the Slav defense, white has the option of
going c4-c5 if he likes. With the pawn on a7 an undermining of white's center
with b7-b6 is stronger, once the pawn moves from a7, b7-b6 is less effective
(since black will have to recapture on b6 with a piece leaving him with a
backward pawn on c6). Nonetheless, b7-b6 is still good most of the time in
the near future but just loses a bit of power.
4. c4-c5 , h7-h6
This is a mysterious move to me. Maybe black was thinking that after 4...Nf6
5. Nc3, Bf5 6. Nh4 the light squared bishop of his might be exchanged for the
white knight, so he made some room for that bishop on h7. Even if that
happens it is not a big deal. So I would prefer here 4...Nf6.
5. Nb1-c3 , Ng8-f6
6. Bc1-f4 , e7-e6?!
This doesn't make sense. On move four black lost time in order to make Bf5
convenient and than he denies himself the option of developing the bishop to
f5. Who knows what was the idea behind h7-h6 in my opponents mind, but
now it looks like he didn't play it to tuck the bishop to h7 eventually or he
forgot about his plan. White is clearly better now. 6...Bf5 would give white
just a slight advantage.
7. h2-h3 , …
Bishop on the h2-b8 diagonal is a very strong piece that can't be opposed at
the moment, so I have decided to lose some time in order to preserve that
bishop (by making a retreat square on h2). This is a decent approach although
it isn't the only good one. Another way of playing would be to develop very
quickly with 7.e3 and if black goes for 7...Nh5 then 8. Be5, Nd7 9. Be2 and
black probably has to retreat the h5 knight to f6.
7. … , Nb8-d7
8. e2-e3 , Nf6-e4?
Black is going for the complications when he is behind in development and
space, this is not a good idea most of the time.
Black could instead just develop what he can and prepare b7-b6 or go for it
right now 8...b6 9.b4, a5 10. a3, Be7 11. Bd3 with small advantage to white.
9. Nc3xe4?! , …
I took the bait here and captured this knight because I have analyzed dxe4 10.
Nd2, f5 11. Qh5+ where white wins and 10...Nf6 where white just stands
better after almost any move 11. Nc4 or 11. Be2 or 11. Qc2 for example.
What I failed to see is10...e5!, where I can't capture on e5 (since my center
would fall apart) and after 11. Bh2, exd4 12. exd4, Nf6 Black has gained
some freedom for his pieces.
In the last line in the above paragraph white is better, but let's compare that to
positions that arise after 9. Bd3!
White threatens to capture on e4 twice so black must react. Let's take a look
at three most logical reactions to white's threat.
A) 9... f5? 10. Bxe4, fxe4 11. Ne5 it is hard to deal with Qh5+ and Ng6
threats at the same time, black is lost here.
B) 9... Ndf6 10. 0-0, Nxc3 (white was threatening 11.Bxe4 followed by Nd2
and winning the pawn on e4 for free) 11. bxc3, Be7 12. Qc2, 0-0 13. Rab1,
Nd7 14. c4, white is much better here, black has no space his pieces almost
don't have where to go and after white doubles on the b file with his rooks,
black will never develop his c8 bishop and his a8 rook. Later white can
organize a king side attack or a central breakthrough depending on what
black does.
C) 9... Nxc3 10. bxc3, Be7 11. 0-0, 0-0 12. Rb1 similar as variation B)
So, 9. Bd3 would lead to almost winning position.
9. … , d5xe4
11. Nf3-d2 , Nd7-f6?
As I explained in the previous comment, 11...e5 was the way to go. Now
white is again much better. The point is that black can't defend his e4 pawn
while his bishop is on c8. He can slow me down a bit with some queen side
threats, but that is just temporary.
12. Nd2-c4 , …
Maybe a bit imprecise. The easiest way to capitalize on this position is to
quickly finish development and than make threats against e4 pawn. 12. Be2
followed by 13. 0-0 was the strongest continuation
12. … , Nf6-d5
Here white has a choice between Nd6+, Bd6, Be5 or Bg3 (h2). All these
moves look really good, so it doesn't matter much what white plays here.
13. Bf4-d6 , Bf8xd6?
This move just loses. Black's best was 13...b5! 14. Bxf8, Kxf8 15. Nd6, f5 16.
Be2 where white is much better, but black can still play on.
14. Nc4xd6+ , Ke8-e7
15. Nd6xe4?! , …
Since black king is in a really awkward spot it was better not to allow an
exchange of queens and play either 15. a3 or 15. Qh5, Qa5+ 16. Kd1 where
white's attack is stronger.
15. … , f7-f5?
Black's best chance was to go for an endgame a pawn down and hope for a
miracle, 15... Qa5+. If white avoids the exchange of queens with 16. Nd2,
then after 16...e5 white is still better but has to play precise.
16. Ne4-d2 , Rh8-e8
Black will take care of his king with this artificial castling, but apart form
being a pawn down he has undeveloped queen side, very bad bishop on c8
and uncover-able holes on e5, d6 and b6.
17. Bf1-e2 , Ke7-e8
18. Nd2-c4 , Kf8-g8
19. 0-0 , Re8-f8
20. Be2-f3 , Rf8-f6
Black is obviously hoping for some kind of king side attack, but with a
bishop on f3 and a knight on e5 (soon to happen), this is just not gonna work.
21. Qd1-d2 , Ra8-b8
22. Ra1-c1 , Bc8-d7
23. Rf1-e1 , f5-f4
24. e3-e4 , Nd5-d7
25. Rc1-d1 , Ne7-g6
White has centralized all of his pieces and is ready for a breakthrough in the
center. If you give this position to any engine to evaluate, it will show that
white is up a piece, even though he is just up a pawn. This shows how tied up
black is here.
26. d4-d5 , Ng6-h4?
Better was 26...Rf8 to prevent material loss, but still it wouldn't help.
27. Nf3-e5 , …
27. dxc6 just wins the bishop immediately, but I didn't want to take any risks
because of 27... Nxf3+. In reality, that doesn't work, but 27. Ne5 is a more
safe approach.
27. … , e6xd5
28. e4xd5 , Rb8-c8
29. d5xc6
We played 12 more moves, but there is no point in showing those .
Game 9
ChessLessons64 (1900) – shaipelshani (1754)
1. e2-e4 , e7-e6
2. d2-d4 , d7-d5
3. e2-e4 , c7-c5
4. Qd1-g4?! , …
This is a dubious move and I was aware of this when I played it. It was
popular in the early 20th century and was played sometimes by Nimzowitch
with success. White sacrifices a pawn sometimes temporary, sometimes
permanently and wants to restrict black with the e5 pawn. Black will have
trouble with developing his f8 bishop because the g7 pawn is under pressure.
If black is not careful, white can get a good position with great winning
chances. On the other hand if black plays sound he is guaranteed an
4. … , Nb8-c6
5. Ng1-f3 , h7-h5?!
This weakens black king side to some extent, it was more prudent to go with
normal developing moves and solve the problem of the f8 bishop 5...cxd4 6.
Bd3 , Nge7 7. 0-0, Ng6 8. Qg3, Qc7 9. Re1 and now that the g7 pawn is
covered, black can develop his f8 bishop if he wants.
6. Qg4-g3 , c5xd4
7. Bf1-d3 , Bf8-b4+ ?
This is not a solution for the pressure against the g7 pawn. Once white deals
with the check, the pawn on g7 will be in trouble and black will have three
bad options: 1) to go back to f8 with the bishop, 2) to leave his king in the
center with Kf8 or 3) to weaken his dark squares with g7-g6.
Black has many good options here and we give you the simplest one which
would preserve him a slight pull 7...Nge7 8. Nbd2, Qb6 9. Nb3, Nb4 and
taking on d3 on the next move. In this manner black returns the extra pawn
but gains a small but permanent advantage on the queen side, where he can
utilize the c file and threats against the d and b pawns. The exchange on d3 is
important in this line, because it gives the e7 knight an option of going to g6
to cover the g7 pawn and allow development of the f8 bishop.
8. Nb1-d2 , g7-g6
White is already doing well after the mistake on move 7 by his opponent.
9. a2-a3 , …
This move asks black a question: Do you realize that you need to go back
with your bishop to the king side to cover all those weak dark squares?

Here the pawn formation on the

king side screams to the b4 bishop: 'Go back and cover those dark squares!
Look at the holes on g5, f6, e7, h6.'
But black has many choices and some of them seem natural, but they are not
so good.
9...Bc5 looks decent on the first look, but after 10. Nb3, Bb6? 11. Bg5, Qc7
12. 0-0, Nge7 11. Bf6, Rf8 12. Qg5 black will have a hard time. He will
almost never be able to castle queen side, because he will first have to
develop his c8 bishop and if that bishop goes to d7 than the e7 knight will be
hanging once black castles and if he moves that knight then the bishop on f6
is preventing him from castling. If he decides to develop his c8 bishop on b7
or a6, first it will take a lot of moves to do that and secondly it will weaken
the queen side and allow white to organize attack there. In the meantime
white is absolutely safe. Black has a better option in this line 10...Be7, but
still white is better there.
9...Ba5 leads to the similar issues so it is best to go 9...Be7 or 9...Bf8
9. … , Bb4xd2+ ?
This just leaves all the dark squares unprotected for good.
10. Bc1xd2 , Bc8-d7
11. 0-0 , Ng8-e7
12. b2-b4?! , …
Imprecision on my part. After 12. Bg5!, Qc7 13. Bf6, Rf8 14. Qg5 or 14. Qh4
white locks a big advantage. The move I played gives black the option of
going 12...Nf5 and if 13. Qf4 then the bishop will have hard time getting to
g5, because the queen is in the way. White is still better there, but 12. Bg5
would totally bind black.
I didn't rush with Bg5 because I thought that 12... Nf5 was unplayable due to
13. Bxf5, gxf5 14. Qg7, but I didn't see that black has 13....h4!, which saves
12. … , Ne7-f5!
13. Bd3xf5?! , …
Here 13 Qf4 was necessary in order to preserve the advantage. I was thinking
13...exf5 14. Bg5 and 13...gxf5 14. Qg7 both look very bad for black. But
Black has 13...h4!,as mentioned earlier which buys him just enough time to
consolidate. For example 14. Qg4, exf5!, attacking the queen and when the
queen moves 15...Be6 consolidate black's position and white can't play Bg5,
since there is no square from which the queen can support the bishop there.
13. … , g6xf5?
As mentioned several times 13...h4 was the way to go.
14. Bd2-g5? , …
I was so tied up to my plan that I failed to see that there is a forced win 14.
Qg7, Rf8 15. Ng5 with a very strong threat 16. Nh7
14. … , Ng8-e7
15. Bg5-f6 , Rh8-g8?
This move just loses material on the spot, but black removes all the bind from
the black position if white goes for it.
16. Qg3-h4 , …
16. Qxg8, Nxg8 17. Bxd8, Rxd8 18. Nxd4 wins material, but than there is a
long grind to win that position. By not taking material here I am making
black's defense tougher and increasing the chances of him making fatal
mistake. It is less safe way to play, but I had a lot of time on my clock and I
liked my position so I deliberately went for objectively inferior move which
doesn't lose the advantage.
16. … , Bd7-b5
17. Rf1-e1 , Qd8-d7
Here black's best try was 17...d3 18.cxd3, Bxd3 but after 19. Rad1 white is
winning, the h5 pawn I s a goner and 19...Be4 is easily stopped with 20. Ng5
18. Nxd4 , Ne7-g6
Black can't win a piece with 18....Rg4 19. Qxh5, Rxd4 because of 20. Qh8+
19. Qh4xh5 , Ng6-f4
20. Qh5-h7 , Rg8-f8
The pawn on g2 is untouchable, 20....Rxg2+ 21. Kh1 and in order to prevent
back rank mate, black has to give up his rook with 21...Ng6
21. g2-g3 , Nf4-g6
I played 21.g3 in order to set up the combination which will finish off the
game. For this combination to work I needed the black knight to be on g6.
22. Nd4xf5! , …
23. Nd6+ and 23. Ng7+ are threats so this knight must be captured, but that
allows the final breakthrough.
22. … , e6xf5
23. e5-e6! , …
The queen is attacked and 24. exf7++ is threatened so black has no choice but
to take that pawn. This is why I needed the knight on g6, because in the end it
becomes loose and allows for the combination to work.
23. … , f7xe6
24. Qh7xg6+ , Rf8-f7
This allows checkmate, the alternative was to give up the queen with 24...Qf7
25. Rxe6+, Kd7 26. Re7+
25. Qg6-g8+ , Rf7-f8
26. Re1xe6+
The checkmate is forced, so black resigned here.
Game 10
Shaipelshani (1750) – ChessLessons64 (1926)

1. e2-e4 , c7-c5
I am playing the same opponent here as in the previous game, so I have
decided to go for Sicilian since form this opening it is likely to get a
complicated position and my opponent has shown in the last game that he is
not so good in complicated positions. When I say complicated I don't
necessarily mean sharp, because even strategic battles can be complicated.
2. Ng1-f3 , g7-g6
3. Bf1-c4 , Bf8-g7
4. 0-0 , Nb8-c6
5. c2-c3 , d7-d6
6. d2-d4 , Ng8-f6
Here white has several approaches and they are all fine.
First he could push 7.d5 and gain space. Another option is to open some lines
and bank on the fact that his c3 pawn is covering the d4 square, 7. dxc5, dxc5
8. Qe2 with Rd1 and h2-h3 to follow with a nice position. Also he could just
wait with 7.Be2 and keep his center as it is for the time being. The most
aggressive approach is to go for 7.e5 which my opponent chose and it leads
to complicated play which is not so clear.
7. e4-e5 , d6xe5
8. d4xe5 , Qd8xd1
9. Rf1xd1 , Nf6-g4
It is apparent that white can't protect the e5 pawn, so he is advised to give it
up in a way that will disrupt black's play the most. The most logical way to
do this is to play 10. e6 (which is the best move by the way) and after
10...Bxe6 11. Bxe6, fxe6 12. Ng5, Nd8 white has good compensation for the
10. Bb5 or 10. Bf4 are also interesting ways to sacrifices that pawn, but my
opponent chose to give it for nothing and ended up in a really bad position.
10. Rd1-e1? , Ng4xe5
11. Bc4-b5? , …
Why let black shatter your pawn structure? It is beyond my comprehension.
11. Nxe5, Nxe5 12. Bf1 was the most normal way to play.
11. … , Ne5xf3+
12. g2xf3 , Bc8-d7
13. Bc1-e3 , b7-b6
14. Nb1-d2 , 0-0
15. Ra1-d1 , Ra8-d8
16. Be3-f4 , e7-e5
Now the dark squared bishop of white's will be out of play for some time
very likely.
17. Bf4-g5 , f7-f6
18. Bg5-h4 , Nc6-e7
This knight is aiming for f5 from where it will cover the d6 square and
prevent any threats of Nd2-e4-d6.
19. Bb5-c4+ , Kg8-h7
20. f3-f4? , …
White wants to open some lines but it was better to just tuck the bishop away
with 20. Bg3 and hope for a miracle, now the opening of the position will
favor black.
20. … , Ne7-f5
21. Bh4-g3 , Nf5xg3!?
Counter intuitive move. At first it looks like white is rectifying his pawn
structure after this move, but actually this is played to give black more targets
as you will see from the following moves. Another good approach was to
play on brute force 21...Ba4! 22. b3, Bc6 with a threat of 23...Rxd2 followed
by Nf3+ it is hard for white to defend against that.
22. f2xg3 , e5xf4
23. g3xf4 , Bg7-h6
Now white will not be able to defend his f4 pawn without severe
consequences. The problem is that the d2 knight is loose in many variations,
since it is defended by a rook and if that rook is attacked white is just not
going to be able to save material.
24. Re1-f1 , …
This loses material, but the alternative was to give up the f4 pawn which also
leads to a lost position.
24. … , Bd7-g4
This is what I was talking about in the comment after move 23
25. Nd2-f3 , Rd8xd1
26. Rf1xd1 , Bg4xf3
Game 11
ChessLessons64 (1935) – phoef (1924)
This is a game I played against an engine, but during the game I wasn't aware
of it. After I lost the game I went on to check my opponent's profile and there
was a note by another player accusing him of cheating. This intrigued me and
I took the time to take a look at several of his games and it was obvious that
the accusations are legit. Against lower rated players he would make beginner
mistakes and fall into well known traps and then against players of similar
rating to his he would play strong opening with perfect execution.
On a side note I didn't play well this game but even if I played my best I don't
stand a chance against the engine so the result would most likely be the same.
I have decided to include the game since there is still something to be learned
from it and to keep the form of the book intact.
1. e2-e4 , e7-e5
2. Ng1-f3 , Nb8-c6
3. d2-d4 , e5xd4
4. Bf1-c4 , Bf8-c5
5. c2-c3 , Ng8-f6
6. c5xd4 , Bc5-b4+
7. Bc1-d2 , Bb4xd2+
8. Nb1xd2 , …
With some transposition we eventually got into Italian game. The key feature
of this position is that white will end up with an isolated pawn on d4 (after
thematic d7-d5 by black). This position should be around equal but with
enough play that the stronger player can outmaneuver the weaker one.
8. … , d7-d5
9. e4xd5 , Nf6xd5
10. Qd1-b3 , Bc8-e6
I didn't expect this move, since I thought that queen is attacking the b7 pawn.
Once Be6 was played I felt that taking the pawn was very risky, but I was
wrong there. 11. Qxb7 was the right move albeit not bringing much of an
advantage if black plays correctly. If you take a closer look at the position
you might realize that black has only one move that doesn't get him into
inferior position and that is 11...Ndb4 with threats of 12...Nc2+ and 12...Rb8.
Everything else leads to trouble, but this move looked so strong to me that I
rejected 11. Qxb7 because of it. Let's see what could have happened in this
line. After 11... Ndb4 black is threatening to trap white queen and the fork on
c2 so 12. Bb5 countering both threats. 12... Bd5 (defends the c6 knight) 13.
0-0, 0-0 14. Bxc6 (the only way to save the queen) Nxc6 15. Qa6, Bxf3 16.
Nxf3, Nxd4 17. Nxd4, Qxd4 18. b3. Qb6 19. Qc4 in the end the material is
even but black has weak pawns on the queen side.
11. 0-0 , 0-0
Now I have realized that if I don't take that pawn I have nothing to play for,
since black is so solid in the center and has finished his development.
12. Qb3xb7 , Nc6-a5
13. Qb7-a6?! , …
This is imprecise. It was better to play 13. Qb5 attacking both knights where
black must play 13...Nxc4 14. Nxc4 and now after 14....Rb8 white can go 15.
Qc5 with an equal position. On a6 queen is a great target for the knight and
this brings trouble for white since she has to keep guard of the c4 piece as
13. … , Na5xc4
14. Nd2xc4 , Nd5-b4
This is what I was talking about earlier, this move attacks the queen and
opens the e6 bishop to attack the piece on c4 at the same time so white is in
trouble. If the queen was on b5 this would not be possible and that is why 13.
Qb5 was the correct move.
15. Qa6-b5? , …
This move shifts the evaluation of the position form equal to losing because it
allows black to play several moves with tempo on the queen and gain
material advantage in the end. When playing 13. Qa6 I saw this line and was
planning to play 13. Qa4 here and to reply to 13....Bxc4 with 14. Qxb4 with
an extra pawn, but here I realized that my rook on f1 would be attacked so I
abandoned this line. The truth is this is the only way to play but it had to be
improved upon. Instead of 14. Qxb4? White can play 14. Rfc1!, saving the
rook and attacking another black piece. The line might continue 14...Bd5 15.
Qxb4, Bxf3 16. gxf3 and white has an extra pawn but a weak king and weak
pawns. It doesn't look like black can checkmate white but still it would
require precise play from both sides not to end up in grim position.
After the move I made, the game is over and the engine is brutal.
15. … , Ra8-b8
16. Qb5-c5 , Nb4-d3
17. Qc5-c6 , Be6-d5
18. Qc6-a4 , Bd5xf3
19. g2xf3 , Qd8-g5+
20. Kg1-h1 , Qg5-d5
21. Nc4-d2 , Rb8xb2
22. Qa4-c4 , Qd5-f5
23. Ra1-d1 , Rb2xd2
It is hard to understand why people use chess engines to cheat in casual
online games. At least it is hard to understand why a normal person would
use it. In reality there is nothing to be gained from doing so besides the
assured victory in the game. I hope we won’t encounter any more of those in
the matches that will form this book.
Game 12
Ramirz64 (1735) – ChessLessons64 (1909)
This game exemplifies the importance of careful play in the endgame.
Sometimes the position may seem totally dull and a player can relax to much
and not notice the nuances of the position which might cost him dearly.
1. d2-d4 , d7-d5
2. e2-e3 , Ng8-f6
3. f2-f4 , c7-c5
4. c2-c3 , Nb8-c6
5. Bf1-d3 , Bc8-g4
6. Ng1-f3 , e7-e6
7. Nb1-d2 , Bf8-d6
8. h2-h3 , Bg4-f5!
It is obvious that white is going for the king side attack with Nf3-e5 in mind,
since move three. When you meet that kind of opponent you have two
choices. You can allow him what he wants and try to outplay him in the
position he is aiming for or you can steer the position into something totally
different where he will have no way of setting up his favorite scheme and
force him to find good moves which he might fail to do.
Here I could play 8...Bh5 9.g4, Bg6 with a better position but in the spirit of
what white implied that he likes. Another option is to exchange on f3 which
would lead to exactly what he wanted after 9. Nxf3 followed by Nf3-e5. The
third option is the move I played which will lead to opening of the e file and
long term positional advantage for black. The key is the option of kicking the
e5 knight (it will eventually arrive there) with f7-f6 and ensuring that the e
file is open which will allow black to put long term pressure against the e3
pawn and deny any kind of active play to white.
9. Bd3xf5 , e6xf5
10. Nf3-e5 , 0-0
11. 0-0 , Rf8-e8
12. Nd2-f3 , Nf6-e4?!
This is a slight mistake since white can now be clever and play 13. Nd2
forcing the knight back from e4 because black doesn't want to allow
exchange on e4 when he has to capture with the pawn there. It would not be
the end of the world but it would not be in synergy with his main idea of
8...Bf5. For this reason it was better to postpone invasion on e4 and play 12...
Qb6 or 12... Rc8 improving the position further.
On the other hand playing Nd2-f3 only to play Nf3-d2 on the next move is
counter intuitive, so it is no wonder my opponent missed this opportunity.
13. Bc1-d2? , f7-f6
Black plays according to his plan and now white will suffer along the e file
for a long time.
14. Ne5xc6 , b7xc6
15. Qd1-c2 , Qd8-b6
16. Ra1-e1 , c5-c4
Now, if white ever pushes his b pawn he will have a weakness on b3 (after
the exchange c4xb3). Nonetheless in some variations that is his best option.
17. Bd2-c1 , Bd6-f8
18. Nf3-d2 , …
Here white could try 18. b3, cxb3 19. axb3, Reb8 20. Nd2 but after 20....a5
his position doesn't look good. Note that in this variation we are abandoning
the e file in anticipation of capturing the b pawn in the near future where we
need a rook on a8 to support the passed a pawn (for this reason 19....Reb8 is
better than 19...Rab8). The second important detail is that we don't have to
rush with 20...Nxd2 and 21...Qxb3 since that pawn isn't going anywhere after
20....a5 and we don't mind closing of the e file anymore since we will win the
pawn on the queen side.
18. … , Ne4xd2?!
It was better to continue to apply pressure with 18...Rab8. Again a small
nuance, we would like to play our e rook there but since the b pawn is
guarded (because it is still on b2 and bishop secures it) white has extra
options, after 18...Reb8? 19.g4! There is a problem with the knight on e4 and
white neutralizes some of black's advantage.
19. Qc2xd2 , …
It was better to capture with the bishop and allow the rook to go back to
defense on b1. In this manner the bishop would not be imprisoned on c1 for
the next twenty moves or so.
19. … , Re8-e4
The next several moves are just improving the position while maintaining all
the positive aspects of it.
20. Qd2-f2 , Qb6-a5
21. a2-a3 , Ra8-e8
22. Re1-e2 , g7-g6
23. Rf1-e1 , Bf8-d6
24. Kg1-f1 , Qd8-c7
25. Qf2-f3 , Qc7-g7
26. g2-g4 , Qg7-d7
27. g4xf5 , Qd7xf5
28. Qf3-g4 , Qf5xg4?!
It was better to not improve white's pawn structure and play 28...Qe6!, where
white has unpleasant choice between entering a bad endgame or keeping the
queens on the board and risking to be crushed in the middle game.
After 29. Qxe6, R8xe6 black will switch one of his rooks to the b file to tie
white's force to the defense of the b2 pawn and then advance his king via g7
towards h4 or via e6 towards e4 depending on what white does. Big
advantage for black there.
If white just waits with for example 29. Rf2 then black can deny him the
exchange of queens with 29...f5 and after let's say 30. Qg3, c5!, white is in
trouble. For example 31. Rfe2? , cxd4 32. cxd4, c3! (32...Bxf4? 33. Qxf4,
Rxf4 34. exf4 and black has to give back the queen he just won) For this
reason we play 32...c3 because after 33. bxc3, Bxf4 34. Qxf4, Rxf4 35. exf4
the a6-f1 diagonal is open, so black has 35....Qa6 pinning the e2 rook and
29. h3xg4 , f6-f5?
Giving up all the advantage that was slowly accumulated during the last 30
moves. After this move white will exchange on f5 and the h pawn can't be
utilized while the weakness on f5 will provide white with enough resources
to compensate for his bad bishop and weak pawns on e3 and b2.
Black should just play 29...Kg7 or 29...g5 trying to prey on the weak pawns
on g4 and f4.
30. g4xf5 , g6xf5
31. Re2-g2+ , Kg8-h8
32. Re1-e2 , h7-h6
33. Re2-f2 , Kh8-h7
34. Rf2-f3?! , …
The simplest way to play was 34. Rh2 with the idea of Rh5 attacking the f5
pawn. Black can reply to Rh5 with Kg6 at any time but then he blocks the g
file so he can't make us of it and the position reaches dynamic equilibrium.
34. … , Re8-g8
35. Rf3-g3 , Rg8xg3
36. Rg2xg3 , Re4-e6
37. Bc1-d2 , Bd6-e7
38. Bd2-e1 , Re6-g6
39. Rg3xg6 , Kh7xg6
40. Kf1-g2 , Kg6-h5
White is in time to prevent black king from entering to g4 and black can't try
to swing his king to the queen side since then white will play Bh4 and the
pawn endgame is drawn since the h pawn can't advance. If black avoids the
pawn endgame then white can even gain advantage by moving his bishop
along the h4-d8 diagonal securing his king the h4 square. With all this in
mind, black has to stay with his king on h5 and the only trick left is to play
c6-c5 trying to make some kind of entry for his bishop.
41. Kg2-h3 , Be7-f6
42. Be1-f2 , Bf6-e7
43. Bf2-e1 , c6-c5
44. Be1-f2 , Be7-d6
The position is equal and black's only hope is that after cxd4 white recaptures
with cxd4 and allows c4-c3. There are many ways white can deal with this.
First he can make sure that his f4 pawn is protected so he can recapture with
his e pawn on d4. The moves that accomplish this are 45. Kg3 and 45. Bg3
when after 45...cxd4 46. exd4 black can't capitalize on the weakness on f4
since there is no way for his king to penetrate and it is only one weakness and
there are no breakthroughs possible. Another approach would be to play 45.
Be1 and after 45...cxd4 46.cxd4 there is no c4-c3 since the bishop is covering
that square. Finally 45...dxc5 solves all of these problems as well.
In the game white was too relaxed and allowed me to achieve my only
winning plan.
45. Bf2-h4?? , c5xd4
46. c3xd4 , ….
Because the f4 pawn is unguarded white has to recapture in this manner.
46. … , c4-c3!
Now the black bishop gets enough targets and white is lost.
47. b2xc3 , Bd6xa3
48. Bh4-d8 , …
After 48. Be1, Bc1 there is a problem with the e3 pawn and the a pawn will
cause a lot of trouble too.
48. … , Ba3-c1
49. c3-c4 , d5xc4
White is trying to get some counter play with his passed d pawn but it should
not work.
50. d4-d5 , Bc1-a3
I was going for the safe play which is also good but more convincing was
50....c3 with an easy win.
51. Bd8-a5 , Kh5-g6
52. Kh3-g3 , Ba3-c5
This was unnecessary since the e3 pawn will be pushed soon anyway. More
precise is 52... Be7 blocking the d pawn and supporting the advance of the h
pawn, but in the end it all leads to victory.
53. Kg3-f3 , Kg6-f7
I wanted to put the king as close to the d pawn as possible before advancing
my pawns. Another approach is 53...h5 54. e4, fxe4+ 55. Kxe4 , h4 56. f5+,
Kf7 57. Bc7, c3 58. Kd3, h3
54. e3-e4 , f5xe4+
55. Kf3xe4 , h4-h5
56. Ba5-e1 , Bc5-b6
From here the bishop will support a7-a5 and at the same time control the d4
square to prevent white king from attacking the c4 pawn and control the d8
square if necessary.
57. Ke4-e5 , a7-a5
58. d5-d6 , a5-a4
59. Be1-b4 , h5-h4
As soon as white stops one of black's pawns this opens up a possibility for
another one.
60. Ke5-e4 , h4-h3
61. Ke4-f3 , Kf7-e6
Here I used the time white has to give me while he is dealing with the h pawn
to capture his f pawn and advance the king to support my c and a pawns and
the d pawn is not a threat since my white bishop can't afford to aid him since
he is busy guarding my a and c pawns.
62. Kf3-g3 , Ke6-f5
63. Kg3xh3 , Kf5xf4
Now the black king will advance towards the queen side pawns and white
should resign here but he played on.
64. d6-d7 , Bb6-d8
65. Kh3-g2 , Kf4-e3
66. Kg2-f1 , Ke3-d3
67. Kf1-e1 , c4-c3
68. Bb4-a3 , Kd3-c2
69. Ke1-e2 , Kc2-b3
70. Ba3-d6 , a4-a3
71. Bd6xa3 , Kb3xa3
72. Ke2-d1 , Ka3-b2
Game 13
1chidi (1753) – ChessLessons64 (1928)
1. c2-c4 , g7-g6
2. d2-d4 , Bf8-g7
3. Nb1-c3 , Ng8-f6
4. e2-e4 , d7-d6
5. Ng1-f3 , 0-0
6. h2-h3 , Nb8-c6?!
I wanted to play e7-e5 on the next move but it was better to just play 6...e5 or
prepare it with 6....Nbd7. The point is that if black plays it now, he doesn't
lose a pawn for nothing, that is if white elects to capture it, because black gets
sufficient compensation for it and the move played in the game allows d4-d5
when the c6 knight can't go to d4 or e7, so it is slightly unfavorable.
7. Bf1-d3?! , …
Bishop doesn't belong here in this setup since there is no pressure on the e4
pawn and there will be pressure on the d4 pawn or square if that pawn moves
or gets exchanged in the near future. For these reasons this bishop belongs on
e2 to allow the queen to influence the d4 spot.
On top of that white had a chance to take advantage of my imprecise play by
playing 7.d5 and putting my knight in an awkward spot.
7. … , e7-e5
8. d4-d5 , Nc6-d4
Now that there is a pawn on e5 this move is possible and of course the
development of the light squared bishop on d3 helps this matter a lot. If white
captures 9.Nxd4, exd4 suddenly the g7 bishop is very strong, there are nice
outposts on e5 and c5 for the f6 knight, the e file is open to allow pressure
against e4 pawn which will lose some support due to the d4 pawn kicking the
knight from c3. A sample variation might continue like this 10. Ne2, Re8 11.
f3, Nd7 12. 0-0, c5 with an excellent position for black.
9. 0-0 , Nf6-d7
9...c5 and 9...Nh5 were other good alternatives.
After the move in the game it looks like white can actively develop the
bishop on g5 but that is not possible because of intermediate move
10...Nxf3+ winning a piece. My opponent played very quickly and...
10. Bc1-g5??, Nd4xf3+
After realizing that he loses a piece he showed high class and instantly
resigned and asked for a rematch.
Game 14
ChessLessons64 (1946) - 1chidi (1749)

1. d2-d4 , c7-c6
2. e2-e4 , d7-d5
3. e4xd5 , c6xd5
4. Bf1-d3 , …
This is a modest system at first glance, but it contains quite a few nuances
and if black is not careful he can come under a serious attack in many
4. … , h7-h6
This looks a bit strange, more logical is 4...Nf6 or 4...Nc6
5. c2-c3 , Ng8-f6
6. Bc1-f4 , e7-e6
7. Ng1-f3 , Bf8-d6
8. Nf3-e5 , a7-a6?!
Another strange move, 8... Nc6 makes much more sense.
9. Nb1-d2 , Nb8-d7??
Here black was suppose to guard the bishop first with 9...Qe7 and then play
Nbd7 or to play 9...Nc6 without leaving his d6 bishop unguarded. The move
he played allows for a typical combination of discovered double attack. This
pattern can occur in many positions so it is advisable for the reader to
remember it.
10. Ne5xf7 , …
This wins a pawn outright plus black's pawn structure becomes ruptured to
some extent.
10. … , Ke8xf7
11. Bf4xd6 , Qd8-b6
This move makes it a bit awkward for white since he has to abandon the
control of the e5 square if he wants to save the b2 pawn. On top of that the
bishop is not very good on the a3-b8 diagonal when the king is already on f7.
To some extent it would be better for white if there was a pawn on f7 and the
king was still on e8, because then black would have problems with his king
and his h8 rook. In the game black can solve this easy with Re8 soon to
follow, but he is a pawn down so this compensates for the fact that the dark
squared bishop is on the wrong diagonal. The quality of that bishop can also
drastically change if the position opens up.
12. Bd6-a3 , e6-e5
13. d4xe5? , …
This gives black to much activity and some compensation for the pawn. This
was the moment to give back the material in order to preserve the winning
advantage. After 13.0-0!, exd4 white can choose between a simple 14. cxd4,
Qxd4 15. Nf3 and beautiful but hard to find 14. Nc4!, when the knight gets to
d6 and makes the a3 bishop great again or black just loses after 14...dxc415.
Bc4+ where 15...Kg6 16. Qd3+ leads to a checkmate in several moves and
15... Ke8 16. Re1+, Kd8 17. Re6 leads to a devastating attack where black
probably has to give up his queen.
13. … , Nd7xe5
14. Bd3-e2 , Bc8-g4
Here I was thinking about 15. Bxg4?? but luckily just before playing it I saw
15...Nd3+ 16. Ke2 (16.Kf1, Qxf2#), Nxg4 and white is lost since the d3
knight is untouchable due to Nxf2+ with a royal fork.
15. 0-0 , Rh8-e8
16. Be2xg4 , Ne5xg4
17. h2-h3 , Ng4-e5
18. Nd2-b3 , …
The idea of this move is to organize a maneuver of the a3 bishop to a better
position. Now Bc5 is possible when the bishop will relocate to d4 form where
it will have much more influence on the game.
18. … , Ne5-c4
19. Ba3-c5 , Qb6-c6
20. Qd1-c2 , a7-a5
Black is threatening to win a piece with a5-a4 denying support to the c5
bishop but white is on time to move the bishop from there and it was his plan
regardless of that threat. In that view 20...a5 is a pointless move that just
weakens black queen side. White is close to winning again.
21. Bc5-d4 , Re8-e7
This has to be neutralized before black doubles on the e file, hence the next
22. Ra1-e1 , Ra8-e8
23. Re1xe7 , Re8xe7
24. Nb3-d2??, …
This allows 24...Re2 and turns a winning position into an almost equal one.
After 24. Nc5 followed by Nd3 and b2-b3 white would establish central
control and could turn to realization of his extra pawn. If black had played
here 24...Re2 the only way for white to preserve some advantage would be
25. Nxc4!, Rxc2 26. Ne5+, Ke6 27. Nxc6, bxc6 28. Rb1 with an extra pawn
but huge activity of black pieces which gives him a lot of compensation.
After 24...Re2 25. Rd1?, Qe6 black is in the driver's seat all of the sudden.
24. … , b7-b5?
Missing his chance. As mentioned above 24...Re2 was the way to go.
25. Nd2-f3 , b5-b4
It was better to move the king from any possible forks on e5 in the future
with 25...Kg8. Now white can choose between 26. cxb4, axb4 27. b3, Na5
28. Qd2 with a double threat 29.Qxb4 and 29. Ne5+ or the approach I took in
the game.
26. b2-b3 , Nc4-a3
27. Qc2-f5 , b4xc3
28. Nf3-e5+ , Re7xe5
29. Bd4xe5 , c3-c2
This pawn isn't going anywhere.
30. Be5-b2 , Na3-b5
31. Rf1-c1 , …
The c2 pawn will disappear soon and the game is totally lost.
31. … , Qc6-b6
32. Rc1xc2 , Nb5-d4
33. Bb2xd4 , Qb6xd4
34. Rc2-c7+ , Kf7-g8
35. Qf5-g6! , …
A checkmate is threatened and 35...Qd1+, 36. Kh2 leads nowhere for black
and the move played in the game doesn't work either.
35. … , Qd4-a1+
36. Kg1-h2 , Qa1-e5+
37. Qg6-g3 , …
Defends the rook and forces a trade of queens. My opponent wrote in the chat
that he could save himself with 36...Nd4 on the previous move, but I replied
to him that I had 37. Rc8# planned in that case.
37. … , Qe5xg3+
38. Kh2xg3 , d5-d4
39. Kg3-f3 , d4-d3
One more small pitfall to avoid is 40. Ke3??, Nd5+, so I played an
intermediate move to remove the rook from a possible fork
40. Rc7-c8+
I chatted a bit with my opponent and he confessed that he played about 20
games prior to this one. Twenty blitz games is something that might not drain
you too much, although that is debatable too, but playing twenty standard
games in a row is definitely not healthy. Each of those takes between ten and
forty minutes, that is a lot of time and a lot of mental drain. From this we can
draw an important lesson that nothing should be done in excess, most of the
time at least.
I proposed that we call it a day, but my opponent insisted on playing another
game claiming that he can beat me with white if he doesn't blunder. So I gave
him a chance.
Game 15
1chidi (1745) – ChessLessons64 (1962)

1. c2-c4 , e7-e6
I have decided to change the opening this time around and avoid king's indian
and steer the game into the queen's gambit declined.
2. Nb1-c3 , d7-d5
3. c4xd5 , e6xd5
4. d2-d4 , Bf8-e7
This is an interesting move order to deny easy Bg5 to white. Now he can't go
e2-e3 because he will block his c1 bishop, but he can wait with 5. Qc2 or
play 5. Bf4 if I elect not to play my knight on f6 on the next move to allow
him Bg5.
5. Ng1-f3 , c7-c6
Again a useful move with the same idea as before. 5...Nf6 would allow 6.Bg5
transposing into the normal QGD positions.
6. g2-g3 , …
As mentioned before 6. Qc2 or 6.Bf4 are more normal moves.
6. … , Bc8-f5
7. Bf1-g2 , Ng8-f6
Now I don't really mind Bg5 anymore since white has developed his light
squared bishop on the dead diagonal. From g2 that bishop is hitting the wall
on d5 so white will eventually have to go for e2-e4 which will leave him with
an isolated pawn which doesn't guarantee me an advantage, but doesn't do it
for him as well.
8. 0-0 , h7-h6
Making a small luft for the f5 bishop in case of 9.Nh4, I have 9...Bh7
9. Rf1-e1 , 0-0
10. Nf3-d2 , Nb8-d7
11. e2-e4 , d5xe4
12. Nd2xe4 , Nf6xe4
13. Nc3xe4 , …
This is what I was talking about in the comment after move seven. Isolated
pawn can be a strength when you have active piece play, but with the bishop
on g2, white can't hope for a king side attack. Most probably he will have to
find an opportune moment to exchange the d4 pawn for the c6 pawn or to
capture something on d5 in the future and force black to recapture with the
pawn reaching approximate equality.
13. … , Rf8-e8
14. Bc1-f4 , Bf5xe4
Here I have decided to give up the bishop pair in order to get a strong knight
on d5. The more ambitious approach was 14...Qb6 which might yield some
success if white isn't careful, but allows 15.d5 where there are many
possibilities. For example 15...Bxe4 16. Bxe4, Nf6 17. dxc6, Bc5 with nice
play for black, but white can play 16. Rxe4 with more or less equal position.
15. Bg2xe4 , Nd7-f6
16. Be4-g2 , Nf6-d5
17. Bf4-e5 , Qd8-b6
18. Bg2xd5 , c6xd5
White took his opportunity to exchange on d5 and rectify his pawn structure.
The position is now equal but there is a lot to play for because the queens are
on the board and both d pawns are somewhat weak in the future and there are
two open files, so there is plenty of room for error.
19. Qd1-f3 , Ra8-d8
20. Qf3-d3 , Be7-b4
21. Re1-c1 , Bb4-d6
Initially I had plans involving f7-f6 to deal with the e5 bishop, but as It
turned out that bishop is quite strong (plus it is threatening Bc7 at the
moment), so I have decided to exchange it and try to do something on the e
file if allowed.
22. Be5xd6 , Rd8xd6
23. Rc1-e1 , Rd6-e6
24. Re1xe6 , Re8xe6
My idea here was that if white tries to contest the e file with 25. Qd2 I would
go 25...Qa6 with Re2 in mind and pressuring the a pawn a2 pawn at the same
time, but this just doesn't work. To be fair white can't play 26. Re1 because of
simple 26...Qxa2, but he can go 26. Qc3 and if 26...Re2, then 27. Re1, black
must exchange the rooks first because the rook on e2 is hanging (unlike if it
was on e6),so 27...Rxe1 28. Qxe1, Qxa2 and white has 29. Qe8+, Kh7 30.
Qxf7 and black doesn't have time to pick up the pawns because white is
threatening perpetual check.
25. Ra1-c1 , …
This move is fine too. White gives up the e file but gains the c file,
maintaining the equilibrium.
25. … , g7-g6
Of course 25...Qxb2?? 26. Rc8+ followed by checkmate is out of question.
26. b2-b3 , Re6-e4
27. Rc1-c5 , Qb6-e6
28. Kg1-g2 ,
A good prophylactic move covering some light squares weaknesses on the
king side.
28. … , b7-b6
29. Rc5-c7 , …
White has activated his rook on the 7th rank and is threatening to capture on
a7. How would you respond to this?
The most intuitive approach is to just save the a7 pawn and play 29...a5 and
continue form there. Another, more practical approach is to win some time by
letting white capture that pawn and make some threats around the white king.
If he defends correctly it will probably end up in a draw by some kind of
perpetual check or material concessions by white. If he doesn't defend well
you might even win the game.
29. … , h7-h5!
The idea is simple, go h5-h4-h3 and create checkmating opportunities. Note
that this doesn't weaken our king position at all since we are first to execute
the h pawn march.
Of course, white can stop all this with 30. h4, but there is a free pawn on a7,
so we are giving him a decision to make. It is always good to give your
opponent something to choose from because most likely it will consume his
time and gain you a clock advantage plus sometimes he might go wrong.
Here he can't really go wrong since both options lead to equal position, but he
can choose one that requires him to play very precisely on his subsequent
moves and make a mistake later.
30. Rc7xa7 , h5-h4
If white allows that pawn to get to h3 he might as well resign, because with
no minor pieces on the board he will not be able to cover the g2 square and
his rook is far away form the action so disaster will follow. This implies that
he must stop h4-h3
31. g3xh4? , …
In general this is not a good way to deal with advancement of the h pawn, but
here in particular, because it is losing on the spot. The correct reply was 31.
h3!, hxg3 32. Qxg3 where the h3 pawn covers the important g4 square and
black has nothing better than 32...Rxd4 with approximately equal position but
with a lot of play left.
31. … , Re4-g4+?
When I started my h pawn march I saw that Qg4+ doesn't lead anywhere so I
opted for this move since it looked like it leads to a promising attack, but I
failed to see a sneaky little move which is 31...Qf5!, with a threat of giving a
check with the rook and discovering an attack on the d3 queen. The king can't
hide form the check and 32. Qg3 runs into 32...Rg4 (same goes for 32. Qf3 or
32.Qh3), so the only other option is 32. Qd2 (to remove the queen form the
discovered attack, but then the queen abandons he third row so 32...Qg4+
leads to a disaster. For example 33. Kf1, Qh3+ 34. Kg1, Rg4+ and checkmate
on the next move, or 33. Kh1, Qf3+ 34. Kg1, Re2
32. Kg2-f1 , Rg4xh4
33. Kf1-g2? , …
The only defense was 33. Qe3. During the game I thought that that move is
loosing too, since I saw 33...Re4 with threats 34...Re1+ and 34...Qh3+ after
the queen moves away, but I missed that 34. Qc3 defends against both
33. … , Qe6-g4+
Now black is winning. If 34. Kf1, Rxh2 there is no defense to 35...Rh1+. If
34. Qg3, Qe4+ 35. Qf3, Rg4+ or 35. Kg1, Rg4 or 35. Kf1, Qh1+ 36. Qg1,
Qf3! With a deadly check on d1 to follow accompanied by Rg4 after that and
winning. White can try 35. f3 but after 35...Qe2+ 36. Kg1 (36. Qf2, Rxh2+),
Rxd4 and Rxd1 is deadly. Note that white had an option of giving a check
during the last several moves with his rook but that wouldn't change the
evaluation of any of the lines, since there is no follow up to that check.
34. Kg2-h1 , Rh4-h3
35. Qd3-f1 , Qg4-h5
36. Qf1-g2 , Rh3-d3
With a devastating threat of Rd1
37. h2-h3 , Rd3xh3+
38. Kh1-g1 , Qh5-d1+
39. Qg2-f1 , Rh3-h1+
0-1 White resigns.
Game 16
Arya8415 (1833) – ChessLessons64 (1975)

1. e2-e4 , c7-c5
2. Ng1-f3 , g7-g6
3. d2-d4 , c5xd4
4. Nf3xd4 , Nb8-c6
5. Nb1-c3 , Bf8-g7
6. Nd4-e2 , …
A strange move at first sight, but a totally playable one. White wants to
develop his bishop on g2 and for that he will need some time. He loses one
tempo to retreat the knight, but if he would try to preserve it on d4 he would
lose two tempos! The explanation is this 6. Be3, Nf6 and now white has to
play 7. h3 to stop Ng4, but after 7...0-0 8. Bg2, Ne5 he would have to deal
with Nc4 threat and lose more time. Since 6.Nxc6 is out of the question (if he
wants to develop his bishop on g2), 6.Nde2 becomes the most logical choice.
This line has some unpleasant history with me. A couple of years ago I was
playing in an open tournament and was about to face an international master.
Before the game I checked his games and noticed that he plays this line so I
tried to find a way to reach a good position from the opening. I found and
interesting approach that hasn't been played against him and while I was
preparing for his replies to my weapon I guessed his potential moves quite
deeply and it all happened in a game. During the game I was so excited that I
predicted his replies that I hastily played a move that was supposed to be
played after I played something else. This already helped him, but in the later
stage of the game I outplayed him and got a great position and a big clock
advantage (about an hour difference) and then he showed why he is an IM by
bluffing me! He offered me a pawn in exchange for an attack and I was
calculating this attack of his and couldn't find a win for him but I figured that
he sees something that I don't so I rejected the pawn, but as it turned out
taking that pawn was the only way to go for an advantage. A few moves later
I blundered and lost a game.
To be honest I forgot my preparation for that game when playing this one, but
all I remember is that my plan involved pushing the b pawn. To some extent
this game resembles the one mentioned above, so I guess this line has some
kind of a curse for me or something, if such things exist at all.
Joking aside, probably on some subconscious level, my mind was
remembering the negative experience in this position and was programmed to
make a big blunder somewhere during the game.
6. … , Ng8-f6
7. g2-g3 , 0-0
An interesting option here was immediate 7...b5.
8. Bf1-g2 , Ra8-b8
So I am going with my plan of pushing the b pawn to dislodge the c3 knight.
My idea is to exchange that knight of, if it lands on d5 and when white
captures on d5 with the pawn to block that pawn with d7-d6 and in that way
make the g2 bishop point at his own pawn which can't be advanced. Then in
some distant future I want to round up that pawn and win it. This is exactly
what happened in the game.
9. a2-a4 , a7-a6
10. 0-0 , b7-b5
11. a4xb5 , a6xb5
12. Nc3-d5 , Nf6xd5
The alternative was 12...d6, but I already had this exchange planned, despite
not being the most optimal move.
13. e4xd5 , Nc6-e5
14. Ra1-a7 , …
If 14. Nd4, Qb6 it is not possible to play 15. Be3 due to 15...Nc4.
14. … , Bc8-b7
15. h2-h3 , …
Now it was better to develop the bishop on the strong diagonal 15. Be3,
because 15...Ng4 can always be answered with 16. Bd4. Obviously white
intends to develop bishop there, but he wanted to deny me the option of
playing Ng4, which was unnecessary.
15. … , d7-d6
16. b2-b3 , Qd8-c7
The idea of this move is to connect the rooks and at the same time defend the
bishop on b7 in order to allow 17...Ra8 to neutralize that annoying rook on
17. Bc1-e3 , Rc8-a8
18. Ra7xa8 , Rf8xa8
All of the sudden there is no more rook on a7 for white and black controls
both a and c files. The c2 and d5 pawns are weak, while black has only b5
pawn to worry about.
19. f2-f4 , …
That knight was strong on e5 but it will be as annoying on f6 pressuring the
d5 pawn or on c5, so there was no reason to kick it from e5 for now. On top
of that this pawn move slightly weakens the pawns on the king side.
19. … , Ne5-d7
20. Ne2-d4 , Qc7-c3
It seems that 20...Rc8 is a stronger move where 21.Nxb5, Qxc2 is bad for
white and 21. Bf2, Nf6 forces white to exchange his c2 pawn for the b5 one,
leaving him with two weak pawns (b3 and d5) plus black pieces have greater
activity than white's.
21. Qd1-d3? , …
White has only one good move here and that is 21. Re1, but after 21...Ra2 22.
Nxb5, Qa5! 23. Nd4, Bxd5 black is better. After the move played in the game
black has a strategically winning position, because all of white queen side
pawns are weak.
21. … , Qc3xd3
22. c2xd3 , Ra8-a3
23. Rf1-c1 , Nd7-c5
Here white could complicate things with 24. Nc6 and that was by far his best
try, but he decided to go for a checkmating trick.
24. Nd4xb5 , Ra3xb3
25. Be3xc5 , Rb3xb5
26. Bc5-e3 , Bb7xd5
It was stronger to play 26...f5 and show understanding that the d5 pawn can't
be defended. I just grabbed that pawn since I saw that I have a defense to his
checkmating trick.
27. Bg2xd5 , Rb5xd5
28. Rc1-c8+ , Bg7-f8
29. f4-f5 , Kg8-g7
And that's it. 30. Bh6 is prevented so there is no checkmate.
30. f5xg6 , f7xg6
31. Rc8-c3 , Kg7-f7
32. Rc3-b3 , Bf8-g7
33. Kg1-g2 , Bg7-e5
34. g3-g4 , Rd5-a5
35. Rb3-b7? , …
Abandoning the third row is a big mistake since the lateral attack on d3 will
win that pawn.
35. … , Ra5-a3
36. Be3-g5 , Be5-f6
37. Bg5-f4 , Ra3xd3
During the game I thought how lucky I was to have this capture protect my
pawn and then on the next move I completely forgot about it.
38. g4-g5 , Bf6-d4??
For some reason I completely forgot about the fact that the d6 pawn is
attacked and blundered hard while trying to set up an exchange of bishops.
39. Bf4xd6
Now it is not clear if black can win or not.
I will skip the next 15 moves since they have no learning value and jump into
this instructive moment. Just when I thought that my opponent allowed me to
maybe round up his h pawn with Bf6 and transferring the rook to the fourth
rank (Re6-c6-c4) he surprised me with
54. h4-h5! , g6xh5
55. Rb7xe7+! , Re6xe7
56. Bb4xe7 , Kf7xe7
And since I have the bishop that doesn't cover the queening square of the h
pawn and his king is close to the pawn the position is drawn.
A beautiful combination to secure the draw which I didn't see at all.
ChessLessons64 (1966) – kansk (2110)

This was the first relatively strong opponent that I have faced in this series of
games. I was very excited when the game started, because I felt this game
would be a test of my ability to reach the rating from the title of this book.
1. d2-d4 , b7-b6
2. e2-e4 , Bc8-b7
3. Nb1-c3 , d7-d6
This is a strange move. If black wants to go for e6-d6 setup it makes more
sense to play 3...e6 and when white loses some time for 4. a3 (to stop
annoying 4...Bb4) then go for 4...e6 maybe. Because of the way black played,
white doesn't need to play a2-a3 and practically wins a tempo for free.
4. Ng1-f3 , e7-e6
5. Bf1-e2 , Nb8-c6?
Believe it or not this is a losing move. The problem black has is a weak
diagonal a4-e8 and undeveloped king side. White can now take advantage of
that by playing 6. d5!, and black has several options to deal with this move
but they are all bad.
6...Ne5 7. Nxe5, dxe5 8. Bb5+
6...Nb8 7. dxe6, fxe6 8. Nd4, Qd7 9. Bg4
6...exd5 7. exd5, Ne5 8. Bb5+, Nd7 9. 0-0
There are other sub-variations, but in all cases black is either material down
or so far behind in development that he is losing.
6. 0-0 , …
The move suggested above was stronger, because it takes advantage of
black's setup immediately. The move I played secures the advantage but is
less precise. I saw the possibility of 6.d5 but figured to tuck my king away
prior to engaging in active operations on the opponents side of the board.
6. … , Ng8-f6
7. d4-d5 , e6xd5
8. e4xd5 , Nc6-e7
9. Be2-b5+ , Nf6-e7
10. Rf1-e1 , a7-a6
I saw this move when playing 7.d5 and thought of it as black's only try. I
realized that I will have to decide on whether to plunge the bishop on c6 or
retreat it and allow b6-b5. I felt that 11. Bc6 was the right move but couldn't
convince myself with calculations. Post game analysis has shown that 11.
Bc6 is winning. 11...Bxc6 12. dxc6, Ne5 13. Nd4 and white is threatening f4
after which black will have no way of developing his pieces. He can try to
complicate things with 13...b5, but after 14. f4, b4 15. fxe5, bxc3 16. exd6,
Qxd6 17. bxc3 On top of being a pawn down there is no clear way how will
he castle king side ever and now that the queen side is shattered, going there
is not an option.
Black can try 12...Nc5 but after 13. Nd4, d5 14. Qf3 he is running out of
moves and is bound to lose material soon.
11. Bb5-a4 , b6-b5
Here I was considering 12. Nxb5, but couldn't find anything. It still appears
to me that white has compensation there for the piece, but I felt there was no
need to sacrifice the piece.
12. Na4-b3 , Nd7-c5
Black starts to untangle slowly. It was time to take measures to preserve the
d5 pawn. A great move here is 13. Ne4 attacking the c5 knight and opening
up the possibility of c2-c4 to secure that d5 pawn and lock the b7 bishop for
good. Here I started to lose the feel for the position and played a suboptimal
13. Bc1-g5? , h7-h6
14. Bg5-h4?? , …
The previous move turned a winning position into a better one and with this
move I just gave up all of the advantage. The problem of this move is the
advancement of black's king side pawns, which will lead to problems for
white. With 14. Be3 white would keep the advantage, but I just didn't see f7-
f5 coming at all.
14. … , g7-g5
15. Qd1-d4? , …
And this move just gives advantage to black. So on three moves straight I
went from winning, to being better, then equal and finally to being worse.
Very embarrassing, I have to admit.
It was important to keep the queen on d1 to counter f7-f5 advancement. 15.
Bg3, f5? 16. Nd4!, now we can see why the queen on d1 is important,
16...f4? 17. Qh5+, Kd7 18. Bxf4, gxf4 19. Qg4+, Ke8 20. Nc6 with a
devastating attack for white. Of course black doesn't have to play 15...f5, he
can go for 15...Bg7 instead but hen white has time for 16. h4 with equal
15. … , Rh8-g8
16. Bh4-g3 , f7-f5
Now I have problems with my dark squared bishop and the avalanche of
black pawns will open up my king, while black king is perfectly safe in the
middle of the board plus he will soon be even safer on the queen side.
17. h2-h3 , Qd8-d7!
Preparing long castle and supporting the advancement of the g pawn.
18. a2-a4 , f5-f4
19. Bg3-h2 , g5-g4
White is just lost here. If I capture the pawn I have problems defending the
g2 spot 20. hxg4, Qxg4 and if I don't capture it I am losing as well. I have
decided to sacrifice the piece here, but it was all in vein.
20. Qd4xf4 , g4xf3
21. Qf4xf3 , Nc5xb3
22. c2xb3 , 0-0-0!
Black king is absolutely safe on the queen side while white is going to fall
under unstoppable attack very soon, plus I am a piece down. The game lasted
for 13 more moves but I could as well resign here as well.
This game really put a question to me reaching the rating from the title of this
Game 18
Ralph2 (1910) – ChessLessons64 (1945)
1. e2-e4 , d7-d6
2. d2-d4 , Ng8-f6
3. Nb1-d2 , g7-g6
4. Ng1-f3 , Bf8-g7
5. Bf1-c4 , 0-0
I just feel that the light squared bishop doesn't belong on c4 in Pirc defense.
Here if black ever decides to go for d6-d5, it will come with a tempo attack
on the c4 bishop. Sometimes Nxe4 will be possible as well, followed by d6-
d5. 5. Bd3 seems more optimal.
6. Qd1-e2 , …
Maybe this move was played to prevent 6...Nxe4 where 7. Qxe4 counters it,
or he was just preparing e4-e5. I am not sure since with my next move I
denied him that option.
6. … , d6-d5
This is a typical operation in the center, when white has a pawn duo on d4
and e4. This kind of operation lessens the mobility of white's center and it is
often a mean to equalize.
7. e4xd5 , Nf6xd5
8. 0-0 , Nb8-c6
9. Rf1-e1 , Bc8-f5?!
Here I started to lose thread slowly. There were two very simple moves that
lead to equal play and those are 9...Bg4 10. c3, e5! And 9... Nxd4 10. Nxd4,
Bxd4 11. Qe4, Nf6. The second one is more risky since the dark squared
bishop is kind of off side and white has great compensation for the pawn. I
saw that possibility but didn't like it (wrongly). For some reason I felt that I
can push for an advantage and decided for Bf5 to play as active as possible,
but that was just the wrong judgment, black can't play for an advantage here.
10. c2-c3 , Nd5-f4
11. Qe2-f1 , Rf8-e8?
I am preparing e7-e5, but this is the wrong plan, now that white has secured
that square. The correct approach was to go for c7-c5 and try to dislodge
white's strong d4 pawn in that manner. 11...Na5 12. Be2, c5 13. dxc5, Nxe2
14. Qxe2 and now black has a strong move 15...Qd5 coming, attacking the c5
pawn and once the d2 knight goes to b3 to defend that pawn, black can play
e7-e5 with excellent play. It is important not to play e7-e5 while the knight is
on d2 since, that would allow strong maneuver Nd2-c4-d6.
12. Nd2-e4 , e7-e5??
After 12...Nd5 white is much better but the game goes on. After 12...e5 white
is just winning. First he will take a free pawn and than he will use that pawn
to make problems for black on the f6 square.
13. d4xe5 , Nf4-d5
14. Bc1-g5 , Nc6-e7
15. Ne4-f6+ , Bg7xf6
16. e5xf6 1-0
After I move my e7 knight, white will exchange on e8 and win the d5 knight,
so I resigned.
Last three games were terrible for me. In the first one I blundered in a
winning position. In the second one I lost the feel for the position and
developed some pieces on the wrong squares and slowly turned a winning
position into a losing one. Finally in the third game I failed to find the right
plan, overestimated my chances and quickly lost. After this, I have decided to
introduce training sessions prior to playing my games to raise the level of my
play. As of now, before every game I will solve five tactics puzzles. If this
doesn't bring improvement I will add strategy training. I do feel that that kind
of training would help me the most at the moment, but I think it would
consume to much of my time, so for now I am not going to implement those.
Game 19
ChessLessons64 (1925) – pramod_singh (1890)

1. d2-d4 , c7-c5
2. Ng1-f3 , …
If white wants to fight for an advantage he should play 2. d4-d5 almost
exclusively. I was aware of this, but since I felt comfortable with the
positions that arise after 2. Nf3 I went for that move. In truth I forgot that it is
a big difference between 1.d4, Nf6 2. c4, c5 3. Nf3 and the game. In the
variation mentioned, black will not have a strong center from the get go. So,
actually I felt comfortable with the positions that arise after the mentioned
variation, but not so much with the positions that come from the move order
played in the game.
2. … , c5xd4
3. Nf3xd4 , d7-d5
Now it become apparent that black will most probably get a central
advantage, so I have decided to give him that and to counter attack his center
afterward. Not a bad plan, but there is another approach and that is to not give
the center to the black player so easy. 4. Bf4, Nd7 5. Nf3 with an equal
position. White could also go for active play with 3. e4, dxe4 4. Nc3, Nf6 5.
4. g2-g3 , e7-e5
5. Nd4-b3 , Nb8-c6
6. Bf1-g2 , Bc8-e6
7. 0-0 , h7-h6!
This is a really good move, because it counters my plan. If black had played
7...Nf6 I was planning to go 8. Bg5 and at some point exchange on f6 and
play either c4 or e4 and blockade black's center along the light squares. Now
that is much harder to do.
8. c2-c4?! , …
I knew that I have to somehow attack black's center and I had two options,
the move played and 8. f2-f4. The second one would balance things out as it
turns out after 8...exf4 9.gxf4 there is a threat of 10. f5 and both 10...g6 and
10...Nge7 are not ideal, so black would have to make some concessions with
one of those two moves and that would balance things out.
8. … , d5-d4?!
Black was suppose to take 8...dxc4 and force white to find the way to get
back the pawn or get enough activity or some other compensation. I was
planning to play 9. N3d2 followed by 10. Qa4 but it looks like black is better
9. Nb1-d2? , …
White should continue to attack the black's center while he has the
development advantage. 9. f4!, and if 9...exf4?! 10. Bxf4, Bxc4? 11. N1d2,
Bd5 12. Ne4 black will have to be very precise not to get in trouble since his
king side is undeveloped.
9. … , a7-a5
10. a2-a4 , …
The way out of this mess was shown by a computer and it is not something
that a human would consider, it starts with 10. Ne4, Bxc4 11. Nec5.
10. … , Ng8-f6
11. f2-f4 , …
Now this move comes with not much impact, since black has already
developed another piece on the king side and is ready to fight against white's
counter attack.
11. … , e5xf4
12. Rf1xf4 , Bf8-d6
Here I realized that my position is bad and I have decided to go for tricks.
13. Bg2xc6+? , b7xc6
14. Rf4-d4?
Before playing 13. Bxc6+? I saw this variation and I saw that black has a
beautiful reply that wins material. I decided to go for it and try to bluff my
opponent since I didn't like my position already. This is a perfect example of
a bad bluff. In chess you should rarely bluff, but when you do it should be
done in a manner that can't just give you losing position if your opponent
reads your bluff.
This position reminds me of one that I have seen during the US woman’s
chess championship last year. I can't remember who were the girls involved
in the game but the tactical shot was the same.
14. … , Bd6-c5!
A beautiful move that pins the rook and unpins the bishop at the same time. If
white captures on c5, then the d4 rook loses protection. White can try with
15. Nf3 to defend exchange down, but I just didn't want to bother with it, so I
Game 20
Magnetkingg (1735) – ChesLessons64 (1898)

1. e2-e4 , d7-d5
2. e4xd5 , Qd8xd5
3. Nb1-c3 , Qd5-d6
4. d2-d4 , Ng8-f6
5. Ng1-f3 , Bc8-g4
6. h2-h3 , Bg4-h5
There is some logic in exchanging on f3 and not allowing g2-g4, but that
comes with the price of giving up the bishop pair. So it is a matter of
7. g2-g4 , Bh5-g6
8. Bf1-g2 , Nb8-c6
9. Bc1-e3 , e7-e6
It was time to go for 9...0-0-0. Although it leads to very sharp play it was the
right way to go. 9...e6 is also playable but gives white some advantage, due to
lack of counter play.
10. Qd1-d2 , …
A strange move. White is probably preparing long castle, but the queen
doesn't belong on d2. The best way to play here was 10. Ne5 with
complications that should favor white.
10. … , h7-h5
11. g4-g5 , Nf6-e4
12. Nc3xe4 , Bg6xe4
Black has a very strong bishop on e4 that can never be chased away (it can
only be exchanged for the g2 bishop when the f3 knight moves. This bishop
guarantees black equality or more and white should abandon his ambitious
plans and try to keep the balance.
13. a2-a3? , …
13. 0-0, Qd5 14. Qe2 was better.
13. … , Qf6-d5
14. Rh1-g1?? , …
White probably realized that his g2 bishop is hanging if his f3 knight moves.
So he defended the g2 bishop, but what he overlooked is that the f3 knight is
also hanging.
After a normal move 14. Qe2, black can claim a small advantage with
14. … , Be4xf3
15. c2-c4 , Qd5-e4
16. Bg2xf3 , Qe4xf3
17. h2-h4 , 0-0-0
0-1 White resigns.
Game 21
ChessLessons64 (1911) – masterSH (1923)
Prior to this game I have decided to improve my training with some strategic
lessons. Namely I have decided to analyze a game from the book by David
Bronstein, Candidates Tournament 1953, before I play each game. This
would serve as a warm up for the game and also could provide some food for
thought during the game in choice of openings and sometimes in later stages
of the game.
1. d2-d4 , Ng8-f6
2. c2-c4 , g7-g6
3. Nb1-c3 , Bf8-g7
Speaking about food for thought, the game I analyzed just before playing this
one was featuring the Grunfeld defense where white played a g2-g3 system.
Hence, if black continued with 3...d5 (The Grunfeld) I would go for 4. cxd5,
Nxd5 5. Nf3, but he went into the King's Indian waters so none of that
4. Ng1-f3 , 0-0
5. Bc1-f4 , d7-d6
6. e2-e3 , Nb8-d7
7. Bf1-e2 , Rf8-e8
Note that this move doesn't help black play e7-e5 on the next move. After 8.
0-0, e5? 9. dxe5, dxe5 10. Nxe5, Nxe5 11. Qxd8, Rxd8 12. Bxe5, black loses
a pawn. For this reason, maybe it was better to play 7...Nh5 8. Bg5, h6 9.
Bh4, c5.
8. 0-0 , Nf6-h5
Black is going after the dark squared bishop, but white has a tactical way of
preventing the exchange black has in plan.
9. Bc1-g5 , h7-h6
10. Bg5-h4 , g7-g5
It looks like black will be able to
trade the h5 knight for white's dark squared bishop. But the following
maneuver is typical way to prevent black from achieving that. I advise the
reader to remember this maneuver since it is a very important one and similar
ideas can be used in many positions where black goes after the dark squared
bishop on the king side.
11. Nf3-e2 , …
The point. The knight on h5 is attacked so if black captures on h4 it will ruin
his pawn structure and he will not win any material since white can take on
11. … , Nh5-f6
Everything else involves a devastation of the king side pawn structure.
11...Nf4 12. exf4, gxh4 13. Nb3 or 11... e5 12. Bxg5, hxg5 13. Bxh5, exd4
14. exd4, Bxd4 14. Nde4 and white is much better.
12. Bh4-g3 , e7-e5
The only thing white has to worry about is not to allow f7-f5 in an awkward
moment when the g3 bishop might get shut off. With the black rook on e8
(instead of on f8) this scenario is very unlikely to happen. Still, I developed
my queen on c2 on the next move to take control over the f5 square for the
13. e5xd4 , e5xd4
14. e3xd4 , Nd7-f8
15. Ra1-e1 , …
I have chosen to develop this rook on the e file, because sometimes I might
be playing f2-f4, so it is handy to have other rook on the f file. On the other
hand one of my main plans involves a well prepared c4-c5, In that case it
would be good to have a rook on d1, but I had a feeling that it is more
important to have the f2-f4 available if needed, so I went for Rae1. In this
game I never played f2-f4, although there was a moment where that move
would be excellent, but I went for the more quiet approach.
15. … , Nf8-e6
This move is slightly awkward to meet, because I either have to play 16. Qd3
and potentially expose my queen to some tactics in the future or to play what
I played and move one of my knights out of the action for quite some time.
16. Nd2-b3 , Ne6-f8
This doesn't make much sense, since the knight just came form f8 to e6 on
the previous move. My opponent probably realized that that knight looks
good on g6. Black's best idea would be to try to organize d6-d5 with 16...c7-
c6, but white doesn't have to allow that and after 17. d5, cxd5 18. cxd5, Nc7
19. Qd1, white is clearly better since he has more space and the d6 pawn is
weak. If black would be able to somehow place one of his knight on e5
instantly he would be fine, but it is hard to see how he gets to e5 with any
17. Be2-f3 , …
this was the moment for previously mentioned advance of the f pawn. 17. f4
and if black allows the f file to be opened white has big advantage because
the position becomes open and black still didn't develop his queen side. If
black tries to close the f file with 17...g4 then after 18. f5 black's pieces are
boxed in. I saw all this, but didn't like 18...Nh5 where I would have to part
with my dark squared bishop. What I failed to see was that after 19.Qd3!,
Nxg3 20. Qxg3, black's king side is falling apart.
So I chose to pressure the b7 pawn and slowly build up my position. It is a
fine approach as well, but 17. f4 was stronger and more in line with 15. Rae1.
17. … , Ra8-b8
Now black had the option of exchanging his knight for the g3 bishop, but he
will still have some problems with his king side pawns. 17...Rxe1 18. Rxe1,
g4 19. Be2, Nh5 20. Qe4 .
18. c4-c5 , Re8xe1
19. Rf1xe1 , g5-g4
20. Bf3-e2 , Nf6-h5
Black's problem is his king side pawn structure as we have seen in many
variations so far. Particularly when white has achieved c4-c5 and black has to
worry about his d6 pawn sometimes and has hard time to play c7-c6 which
gives white the d5 square to use.
21. Qc2-e4 , …
I rushed a bit here, it was stronger to exchange on d6 first and deny c7-c6
forever. 21. cxd6, cxd6 22. Qe4 and black is not in good shape.
21. … , Nh5xg3
22. h2xg3 , h7-h5
If black tries 22... dxc5 then only white will benefit from opening of the d
file, 23. dxc5, h5 24. Rd1
23. Nc3-d5?! , …
This looks strong, but there was a better move more coherent with the
previous moves that were all part of the attack on the black's comprised king
side. 23. Qd5!, and black has to go for 23...h4 24. gxh4, Qxh4 25. g3, Qh6
26. cxd6, Qxd6 (26... cxd6 27. Ne4) 27. Qh5, Qg6 28. Qc5! And black will
lose material or get completely tied up after 28...Qb6 29. Qg5!, Qg6 30. Qd8,
Qd6 31. Qe8
23. … , Nf8-g6
24. Bf1-d3? , …
Here I was over confident and didn't see that black can hold this position. It
was better to play 24. Ne3 preserving the advantage and not allowing
simplifications that arose in the game.
24. … , Bc8-e6
25. Nd5-f4 , d6-d5
I was basing my last few moves on the idea of eventual Qh7+ followed by
Qxh5, but black can allow this and be fine. 25...Nxf4! 26. gxf4, Qf6 27. cxd6,
cxd6 28. Qh7+. Kf8 28. Qxh5, Bxb3 followed by 29... Qxd4 and white has
nothing. My opponent tried to not to allow my queen to give a check on h7
which probably means that he believed in the strength of that check as I did.
26. Qe4-e3 , Ng6xf4
27. g3xf4 , Qd8-f6
28. Qe3-e5 , Qf6xe5
29. d4xe5 , Be6-d7
30. Nb3-d4 , …

This is a typical example where two

bishops are not stronger than a bishop and a knight. White has a beautiful
knight on d4, space advantage in the center and black's bishops don't have
good diagonals to operate on. But black is not worse, if he finds the right plan
the position will be equal. He definitely needs to open some files and
diagonals. F7-f6 is out of question because white will always reply with e7-
e6 followed by f4-f5, so the breakthrough move must be b7-b6. It would be a
mistake though to start with it because 30...b6? 31. c6! Lives black boxed in.
So b7-b6 is the right plan but it has to be prepared so 30...c6! is a good move
(blocking the c5 pawn) and on the next move black can go b7-b6 with equal
chances. In the game my opponent seemed to not understand what his goal
should be here.
30. … , Rb8-e8?
This looks like it is preparing f7-f6, but as I explained above that is not
31. Kg1-f1?! , …
I wanted to have my rook defended in case of 31...f6 32. e6, f5, so I could
play 33. exd7, but this was unnecessary. Better was 32. g3 followed by 33.
Kg2 with an option of attacking the h5 pawn form h1 with the rook. Now
black has enough time to organize attack on my queen side pawns and I am to
slow to attack his h5 pawn.
31. … , Bg7-f8
32. b2-b4 , a7-a5
33. a2-a3 , Kg8-g7?
This is a very bad move for two reasons. First it is not connected with black's
main plan – organizing opening of the lines on the queen side. Secondly,
white will eventually play Bf5 and then if black captures on f5 the knight will
come to f5 with check. I am not sure what was my opponents idea, but
probably he wanted to be closer to the h5 pawn or was again preparing the f7-
f6 breakthrough, which can never work here.
The right way to go was 33...axb4 34. axb4 , Ra8 and the active rook will
compensate for the lack of space. Black will attack b4 pawn (or c5 pawn if
white plays b4-b5 at some point) and this will balance the position.
34. g2-g3 , c7-c6
It is to late for this. As the matter of fact, this move just makes a hole on d6
for the white knight.
35. Kg1-g2?! , …
This plan was supposed to be executed after 31. g3, but now the window has
opened on d6 and it was time to go for it. 35. Bf5!, Bxf5 36. Nxf5+, Kg6 37.
Nd6, Ra8 38. b5! (not to allow counter play along the a file), cxb5 39. Ke2
and the king marches toward d4 with dominant position for white. I mixed
my plans here and gave black a chance to rectify his mistakes.
35. … , a5xb4
36. a3xb4 , b7-b6??
Black is now totally lost. His chance was again in activating his rook with
36...Ra8 when I would probably have to go for opposite color bishops after
37. Rh1, Kh6 38. Nf5+, Bxf5 39. Bxf5, Ra4 40. Bxg4 and I don't know if
white is winning here. It looks like there would be a big fight ahead in that
37. Bd3-f5 , …
I played this prosaic but strong move. There was another strong continuation
but more esthetic, 37. b5! And white gets a monster passed pawn in all
variations, for example 37...Bxc5 38. bxc6, Bxd4 39. cxd7, Rd8 40. Bb5
37. … , Bd7xf5
Black loses a piece after 37...bxc5 38. Bxd7, Rd8 39. Nf5+, Kg6 40. Nh4+
38. Nd4xf5+ , Kg7-g6
39. Nf5-d6 , Re8-b8
Black is lost In all variations 39...Bxd6 40. exd6, Rxe1 41. d7 (40...Rd8 41.
Re7) or 39...Rd8 40. Ra1 followed by Ra6
40. Re1-a1 , …
This wins, the threat is simple and strong 41.Ra6, but more poetic was 40.
b5!, and in all variations white gets an unstoppable passer on the c file or two
connected passed pawns so black is lost.
40. … , b6xc5
41. b4xc5 , Bf8xd6
42. e5xd6 , Kg6-f6
Now that black has captured on d6 white doesn't need to go for c6 pawn
immediately. He can first cut off black king from coming to help, hence the
next move.
43. Ra1-e1 , Rb8-b3
44. d6-d7 1-0 Black resigns
If black kept his rook on the 8th rank white would just bring his king to help
promote the d pawn, while black king can never join the action.
Game 22
ChessLessons64 (1933) – haiderchessfsd (1880)

1. d2-d4 , Ng8-f6
2. c2-c4 , c7-c5
3. Ng1-f3 , …
In order to fight for an opening advantage, white has to push d4-d5. As I
mentioned earlier in the book, sometimes you can go for the move that
doesn't promise you an advantage, but gives so you a position you are
comfortable with. After this game, I am starting to think that I should try
3.d4-d5 when the next opportunity arises.
3. … , g7-g6
4. Nb1-c3 , Bf8-g7
5. g2-g3 , 0-0
6. Bf1-g2 , c5xd4
For the last four moves white had the option of d4-d5, and it would be the
best move, but I was firm with my decision to not push that pawn.
7. Nf3xd4 , d7-d6
8. 0-0 , Qd8-b6
9. Nd4-b3?! , …
This is not a bad move, but I give it a dubious sign because it doesn't take
advantage of black's last move. Namely the queen on b6 is a good target and
9. Be3! would exemplify that. I was thinking about that move during the
game, and I wasn't worried about 9...Qb2?, which just felt like a wrong move.
Post game analysis have shown that 10. Ncb5 gives white almost winning
position. Nc7 is a threat and if black plays 10...Nc6 then 11. Nc7 puts him in
a tough spot where he would have to go for the complications with 11...Ng4
and hope to somehow survive (which is unlikely), since 11....Rb8 loses to 12.
Rb1, Qxa2 13. Nxc6
What did worry me was 9...Ng4, where I couldn't find a good jump for my d4
knight, but I didn't see that my c3 knight can jump well here, 10. Nd5!. If
black goes for 10...Nxe3?, then he will get the worse of it after 11. Nxb6,
Nxd1 12. Nxc8, Rxc8 13. Bxb7
9. … , Nb8-c6
10. Bc1-e3 , Qb6-d8
11. h2-h3 , Bc8-e6
12. Nc3-d5 , Ra8-c8
13. Ra1-c1 , b7-b6
14. Nb3-d4? , …
This just blunders a pawn. The correct way to maneuver this knight was 14.
Nd2 to allow b2-b3 if needed with an equal game.
14. … , Nf6xd5?
Black chose the wrong order. In the end he got the position he wanted, thanks
to my mistake, but he could force the position he wanted with 14...Nxd4 15.
Bxd4, Nxd5. On top of that this move just loses if white plays accurately.
15. c4xd5? , …
After 15. Nxe6, Nxe3 16. Nxd8, Nxd1 17. Nxc6 white wins an exchange and
the game. I rejected 15. Nxe6, thinking that somehow I am losing a piece
there, but probably I lost count somehow while calculating.
15. … , Nc6xd4
16. Be3xd4 , Rc8xc1
This is the point of black's operation. Now he wins a pawn.
17. Qd1xc1 , Bg7xd4
18. d5xe6 , f7xe6
I was hoping the bishops of opposite color will give me some compensation
and the next move also makes black king slightly weak.
19. Qc1-c4 , Bd4xb2
20. Qc4xe6+ , Kg8-g7
20...Rf7 runs into 21. Bd5 and 20...Kh8 is of similar strength like move
played in the game. Now black is a pawn up, but his queen is struggling to
find active tasks and his king is somewhat exposed, so white has some
chance to hold this since the opposite colored bishops make it harder for
black to stabilize.
21. Rf1-b1 , …
I played this with the idea of taking over the c file, but I didn't see that black
can block that file by placing the bishop on c5. On the other hand sometimes
that bishop might aid the defense of black king so we can look on it's
blockading role as a drawback in some sense. Objectively, blocking the c file
is a sound choice by black.
21. … , Bb2-d4
22. e2-e3 , Bd4-c5
23. h3-h4 , …
With this move I am trying to open black's king's position even more with h4-
h5 or to provoke h7-h5 by black and make g6 pawn slightly more vulnerable.
In reality none of this works if black plays solid moves, but still one has to
23. … , Rf8-f5
It made more sense to try to activate the queen since she is currently not
participating in the game. A logical way to do this would be 23...Qe8 with the
idea of 24...Qf7
24. Bg2-d5 , Rf5-e5?
My previous move was played to prevent this move and black still played it. I
was already down on time since I had spent a lot of time when I realized that
I am probably going to lose the pawn few moves back. At this point I had
only a couple of minutes left on the clock and my opponent probably tried to
take advantage of that by playing very fast.
This is a classical mistake that many inexperienced players make. When your
opponent is down on time, it is not always best to spam moves as fast as you
can to apply time pressure on him, because by using that method you can
easily ruin your position. The optimal approach is to play forced moves fast
and to take some time on those occasions when you can complicate matters
for your opponent to find those moves that would make his options less clear.
With his last move my opponent gave up all the advantage he had and now he
is even worse, but what amazes me is that he continued to play fast until he
ended up in a losing position and then he started to play slowly. This is a
recipe for disaster and I strongly advise the reader against this method. It
makes much more sense to take time to think while you have a good position
in order to maintain it or improve it than to play fast and get a bad position
and only then take your time to try to save things.
Again 24...Qf8 was a solid choice.
25. Qe6-f7+ , Kg7-h8
If 25...Kh6 then after 26. g4 white wins.
26. g3-g4 , …
This imprecise move allows black to activate his queen and equalize the
position. The precise way of playing is 26. Be6!. With this subtle move white
would block the c8-h3 diagonal and black queen would stay out of action for
quite some time, while white could continue with his attack with g3-g4 and
26. … , Qd8-c8
I thought that this wasn't threatening since the queen has to guard the g8
square, but I forgot that black can sacrifice the exchange in order to give his
queen freedom.
27. Kg1-h2 , Re5xd5!
This is what I missed and now black queen gets active which is enough for
the draw with accurate play.
28. Qf7xd5 , Qc8xg4
29. h4-h5 , …
There was no way to save this pawn so I was hoping to at least ruin black's
king side pawns in order to have easier time if my opponent decides to
exchange queens.
29. … , Kh8-g7
Black can play like this, but taking on h5 with the queen was also fine,
immediately or after giving a couple of check to drive the white king to f1.
The resulting endgame would be about equal but far from an easy draw since
both sides could make a mistake and lose a game easy.
30. h5xg6 , h7xg6
31. Rb1-g1 , Qg4-h4+
32. Kh2-g2 , Kg7-f6
33. Kg2-f1 , e7-e6?
White has activated his rook and black is practically playing without the
bishop, so black's best option was to go for an endgame after 33... Qh3+ 34.
Ke2, Qf5
With his last move he has opened the 7th rank which gives white more
options against black king.
34. Qd5-f3+ , Kf6-g7
35. Rg1-g4 , Qh4-h5
Here, I missed a winning continuation 36. Qe4, Qf5 37. Qb7+, Qf7 38. Qc8
with a deadly threat of 39. Rh4, if black stops it with 39...Qf6, then white
maneuvers his rook to the third rank with 40. Rf4, Qe7 41. Rf3!, and 42. Rh3
can't be prevented.
35. Qb7+ was also winning in a similar fashion.
36. Kf1-g2? , a7-a5?
Black had to play 36...d5 to prevent white queen form entering through the
7th rank. Again 37. Qb7+ or 37. Qe4 are winning moves, but I didn't see that.
37. a2-a4? , d6-d5
Finally black blocked the h1-a8 diagonal and the position is even again.
38. Qf3-g3 , Qh5-f5?
In the last three moves me and my opponent made two serious errors each,
that is quite an achievement! Here it was important to block the queen entry
route with 38...Bd6!, to prevent 39. Qc7+. Of course 39. Qxd6? Is met by
39. Qg3-c7+ , Kg7-g8?
This loses instantly. After 39...Qf7 40. Qc6, Qf6 41. Rf4, Qe7 42. Kf1, Bd6
43. Rg4, Qc7 44. Qe8, Qf7 45. Qc8 white is probably winning but will have
to prove it still.
40. Rg4-f4 , Qf5-g5+
41. Kg2-f1 , Qg5-e7
42. Qc7-e5 , Bc5-d6
43. Qe5-f6! , Qe7-e8
Of course 43...Bxf4 44. Qxe7 doesn't work and 43... Qxf6 44. Rxf6 is a
losing endgame for black since he loses his e6 pawn. The game continuation
leads to a forced mate.
44. Rf4-h4 1-0 Black resigns.
We advise the reader to read the comment after the 24th move again and
remember this method of exploiting opponents time trouble and what is more
important not to apply the method my opponent used in this game since it is a
recipe for trouble.
Game 23
Robbels (1798) – ChessLessons64 (1950)
1. d2-d4 , d7-d5
2. c2-c4 , e7-e6
3. Nb1-c3 , Bf8-e7
This move order is used to blunt the exchange variation with Nge2. After
3...Nf6 4. cxd5, exd5 5. Bg5, white will have the option to develop his king
side knight on e2 later and speed up his play in the center with f2-f3. 3...Be7
prevents Bg5 on move 4 or 5, so white usually has to develop that bishop on
f4 or to play a waiting move 4. Nf3 and then he will not have an option of
Nge2 anymore. In the game my opponent didn't go for exchange variation
anyway so this move order didn't matter that much.
4. Ng1-f3 , Ng8-f6
5. e2-e3 , …
I find this move a bit strange since it voluntarily blocks in the c1 bishop.
White probably wants to develop it on b2, so it is not the end of the world,
but this kind of play is more common in Slav defense (when black plays
2...c6) in order to avoid variations where white has to sacrifice the pawn on
c4, because when black has a pawn on c6 he can sometimes protect the c4
pawn, after dxc4.
In the game I don't have the pawn on c6 so if I ever capture on c4 I am not
really threatening to hold on to the pawn with b7-b5 since the b5 pawn would
lack support.
5. … , 0-0
6. Bf1-e2 , …
In Queen's gambit declined the natural square for the light squared bishop is
d3. From there it looks at black's king side and it controls the e4 square. On
e2 it is doing nothing. Maybe some day it will get to f3 and do something on
the h1-a8 diagonal, but for the moment this is a very passive development.
6. … , b7-b6
This is the easiest way to solve the problem of development of the c8 bishop.
Since I have a pawn on e6, c8-h3 diagonal can't be used to much success, so I
prepare Bb7, a standard plan in Queen's gambit declined.
7. 0-0 , Bc8-b7
8. c4xd5 , Nf6xd5
I didn't want to take on d5 with a pawn, since we developed our bishop on b7.
After 8...exd5 white could go for a classic plan of 9.Ne5 followed by f2-f4
and chances for a king side attack. This method of play was introduced with
great success by Harry Nelson Pillsbury about 130 years ago.
One small note, Pillsbury had a bishop on g5 in those position if I remember
correctly, but still since I developed the bishop on b7 I have more options if I
keep the long diagonal open.
9. Nc3xd5 , Bb7xd5
This move is fine, but 9...Qxd5 is even better, since it ties up the f3 knight
(because of the g2 square). In both cases the position is about equal.
10. a2-a3 , c7-c5
This move balances out the central pawns and now it will be hard for any side
to play for a win.
11. d4xc5 , Be7xc5
12. b2-b4 , Bc5-e7
13. Bc1-b2 , Be7-f6
It is important to contest white on the long diagonal, it could be done
immediately like in the game or with some preparation 13...Nd7 followed by
14...Bf6 is even more precise.
14. Nf3-d4 , …
The only way to prevent exchange of dark squared bishops, but is it worth it?
After 14. Bxf6, Qxf6 15. Qd4 white has a tiny advantage in the sense of
better development, but easy play since the position simplifies. Now he also
has a small edge but the position is somewhat more complex and given the
rating difference, there is some chance that the lower rated player might go
wrong somewhere. Also the d4 knight is now pinned and white has to be
careful about that as well. 14. Nd4 is not a bad move, but from practical point
of view maybe not a great choice since it gives me some chance to turn the
tables in the future.
14. … , Nb8-d7
15. Be2-a6 , …
Interesting idea, fighting for the c file. More testing for black would be 15.
Rc1, Rc8 16. Rxc8, Qxc8 17. Qa4 where black has to find 17...a5 in order to
avoid some trouble. After 18. bxa5, bxa5 white doesn't win the pawn with 19.
Qxa5, because of 19...Bxg2! 20. Kxg2, Qb7+ and 21...Qxb2, but I would
have to find this defense or suffer some after 15...Qb7 16. Ba6.
15. … , Nd7-e5
There was an interesting option of exploiting the looseness of the b2 bishop
with 15....Nc5 16. bxc5, bxc5 but after 17. Nxe6 things are not so clear. I
didn't see this line during the game, but even if I did I would probably not go
for it.
16. Ra1-c1 , Qd8-d7
Here I was intrigued by 16...Nf3+ 17. gxf3, Be5 where at first it looked like I
had good winning chances, but then I realized that after 18.f4 my attack is
stopped. I was trying to figure out a way for this sacrifice to work, so I spent
a lot of time here. This put me at a big clock disadvantage, but maybe that
has helped me in the future, since my opponent (similarly to my opponent
from previous game), started to play very quickly after this move.
17. Ba6-b5 , Qd7-b7
18. f2-f3?! , …
Right pawn, wrong square!. It was necessary to kick the strong e5 knight with
18. f4 with an equal position.
18. … , Rf8-d8?!
Here I had a chance to clamp on the c4 square with 18...a6 19. Be2, b5
followed by intrusion on c4 with slight advantage to black.
19. Qd1-a4?! , …
This gives me the option of winning that c4 square again. 19. f4 kicking the
knight away was the way to go or just a simple 19. Be2, as long as black can't
play b6-b5 with tempo.
19. … , a7-a6
20. Bb5-c6?? , …
This just loses a piece, thanks to the pin on the a1-h8 diagonal. White had to
admit his mistakes and go back with his bishop 20. Be2 where black has the
advantage after 20...b5 21. Qc2, Rac8 followed by 22...Bc4, but white can
still play on.
20. … , Ne5xc6
21. Nd4xc6 , Bd5xc6
22. Rc1xc6 , Bf6xb2
0-1 white resigns
In the comment after move 14 I have mentioned that white has to be careful
about the pin on the long diagonal and at that time he was probably aware of
it, but few moves later he probably forgot about it and it cost him dearly.
Game 24
Salvokappa (1910) – ChessLessons64 (1962)

1. e2-e4 , c7-c5
2. Ng1-f3 , Nb8-c6
3. Bf1-b5 , g7-g6
4. 0-0 , Bf8-g7
5. c2-c3 , Qd8-b6
With this move I am challenging the b5 bishop and putting some pressure
against the b2 pawn, which will disturb the development of the c1 bishop to
some extent. Of course, white has many ways around it, but at least I give
him some problems to solve.
6. Bb5xc6 , d7xc6
All three captures are fine here, but I like this one since it gives more freedom
to my light squared bishop and gives me the d file to eventually operate on.
7. d2-d3 , Ng8-f6
8. h2-h3 , 0-0
9. Qd1-c2 , Qb6-a6
Since there is no light squared bishop for white this kind of move is fine. If
white had a light squared bishop, imagine it being maneuvered to f1 or e2.
This would make my queen feel awkward, but since this is not possible she
feels fine. The idea behind this move is to get away from the g1-a7 diagonal,
since white will soon develop the bishop there and would tie my queen to the
defense of the c5 pawn. It was obvious that this move (Be3) was coming
since my opponent guarded the b2 pawn with Qc2.
10. Bc1-e3 , Rf8-d8
Before dealing with the c5 pawn black gets his rook onto the semi open file.
This kind of move is strong because of absence of white's light squared
bishop again. Imagine a white bishop on b3, looking at my f7 pawn. In that
scenario I would be more hesitant to move my rook from f8, from where it is
guarding the f7 pawn. As you can notice from the comments, I am basing a
lot of my play on the fact that white exchanged his bishop for my knight.
These are small details, but very important ones, that sometimes are
Black would be happy if white goes 11. Bxc5 now, because after 11...Qxd3,
probably the e pawns will get exchanged as well as the queens and the
position would open up which would benefit the bishop pair in black's
11. Rf1-d1 , b7-b6
12. Nb1-a3 , h7-h6
13. Na3-c4 , …
This runs into small tactical operation that ends in material equality, but with
more lines open, which definitely benefits black. 13. Ne5 was a better choice.

13. … , Nf6xe4!
14. Nc4-e5 , …
After 14. dxe4, Rxd1+ 15. Qxd1, Qxc4 16. Qd8+, Kh7 17. Qxe7, Be6 18.
Qb7, Rd8, black gets a lot of activity for his pawns and will soon get back at
least a pawn while keeping the piece activity.
14. … , Ne4-f6
15. Ne5xc6 , Rd8-e8
16. Qc2-c1 , Kg8-h7
17. Nc6-e5 , Bc8-e6
18. d2-d4 , Ra8-c8
It is important to keep the pawn on c5 in order to control the d4 square. It
would be a big strategic mistake to play cxd4 and give white a strong central
post on d4, where he could establish a piece for a long time.
19. g2-g4?! , …
Obviously white has g4-g5 in mind, but this can be dealt with, on the other
hand pawns don't go backwards and this move permanently weakens white's
king side pawn structure. Any non committal move was much better at this
19. … , Nf6-d5
With this move black blunts the g4-g5 thrust, since the knight won't be
attacked and black will just play h6-h5 in response.
20. d4xc5 , b6xc5
21. Be3-d2 , …
White is already much worse (if not strategically lost), but this move just
blunders a piece (which I didn't see during the game). Now the rook doesn't
control the d3 square and after 21...f6 the e5 knight doesn't have where to go.
21. … , Re8-d8?
After 21...f6 black wins a piece. In this game I was spending a lot of time
thinking about general plans and some abstract ideas that on several
occasions I missed the concrete moves that were important. As a result I
missed my chances and got into time trouble at the same time.
22. Qc1-c2 , Qa6-b7
I saw that 22...Nb6 intending Nc4 sometimes and Bd5 sometimes was strong,
but I wanted to reposition my queen prior to doing that and later changed my
mind completely about Nb6. In reality it was a strong maneuver that could be
played now and on the next few moves as well.
23. Re1-d1 , Rd8-d6
Again 23...Nb6 was strong, now with aided power of tying white's knight's
up. They are defending each other, but had I moved my knight to b6 and
opened up a diagonal for the queen, both white knight's would be attacked
and if either of them moves the other one becomes loose.
24. Ra1-d1 , …
It was better to cover the c4 square and a2 pawn with 24. b3
24. … , Rc8-d8
Again 24... Nb6 25. Bf4, Rxd1 26. Rxd1, Bd5 with big advantage to black.
25. Bd2-c1 , Qb7-c8
Now 25...Nc7 with the idea of Bd5 to take advantage of weakened white king
side was very strong.
26. Ne5-c4 , Rd6-a6?
I completely missed 26...Bxg4! Idea here. A sample line shows how good
that continuation is, 27. Nxd6, Rxd6 28. hxg4, Qxg4+ 29. Kxf1, Qxf3
At this point I was already down to just a few minutes. There was a 10
seconds increment, but still I had to play very fast. What is even more
intriguing is that I didn't play fast even now, because I was so much
interested in the position that it just hooked me to take my time. A few moves
later a sound came form my computer warning me that I am under a minute.
That came as a big shock, because I wasn't even aware of how much time I
was spending on some abstract strategic ideas.
27. a2-a3? , …
White had to guard the g4 pawn with 27. Nce5, but luckily for him, I didn't
see this idea at all.
27. … , Nd5xc3?
27...Bxg4 was the winning move. Here white has a saving combination which
he missed as well.
28. b2xc3? , …
After 28. Rxd8, Qxd8 29. Rxe6!, Rxe6 30. bxc3 white saves himself.
28. … , Be6xc4
Now white is strategically lost again, but it was more sound to insert the
exchange of rooks first with 28...Rxd1. Exchange of one pair of rooks limits
white's resources to make threats and it was the most logical thing to do. Here
I was already under the minute and I guess I lost my compass to some extent.
29. Re1xe7 , Ra6-f6
Again 29...Rxd1 followed by 30...Be6 would leave white with no chance
30. Nf3-e5 , Bc4-d5?
Here I was playing literally on increment alone and made several horrible
moves. 30...Rxd1 31. Qxd1, Re6 with strategically winning position for black
was the way to go.
31. c2-c4 , Bd5-e6
32. Bc1-b2 , Rf6-f4
33. Rd1xd8 , Qc8xd8
34. Re7xe6 , Rf4-d4
35. Bb2xd4 , black run out if time 1-0
While in the several previous games I was rewarded for getting into time
trouble in this game I lost a game because of it. As I mentioned earlier I
wasn't even aware that I am so low on time until it was to late. This made me
very upset I have to admit, because I was slowly outplaying my opponent
with better understanding of the position only to waste it all with horrible
moves in time pressure.
Game 25
ChessLessons64 (1941) – Maya_Prasad (1825)
1. d2-d4 , d7-d5
2. c2-c4 , e7-e6
3. Nb1-c3 , Ng8-f6
4. Bc1-g5 , Bf8-e7
5. e2-e3 , h7-h6
6. Bg5-h4 , Nf6-e4

Here we have a starting position of the Lasker defense in the Queen's gambit
declined. I never studied theory about this position, but I knew the name of
this system and I have faced it several times in blitz and I tried with
confidence 7. Bxe7, Qxe7 8. Nxe4, thinking that I have great position.
Somehow the results were bad for me there and I thought since it was blitz
games I was probably messing something up. Then one day I watched a
broadcast of some big tournament and in one of the games this position has
been reached. The commentator explained that after 7. Bxe7, Qxe7 white
can't go for 8. Nxe4 if he wants something out of the opening. From that day
I started playing 8. Rc1 and had better results. I never had this position in
classical games, but in blitz it was working for me. Since the game we are
talking about now was a standard one (15m+10s), I was happy to try this
variation out for the first time in somewhat longer time control game.
7. Bh4xe7 , …
Here my opponent didn't reply instantly, but started to think. This made me
conclude that he was considering a capture on c3. Since I never saw that
before, I imagined that it is not good for black for some reason and I started
to think how this would unfold. While I was still figuring it out, my opponent
7. … , Ne4xc3?
I quickly realized that 8. bxc3?, Qxe7 plays into black's hands. Then I started
analyzing 8. Bxd8, Nxd1 9. Bxc7, Nxb2, black knight on b2 seemed a little
offside and I was trying to figure out a way to take advantage of that and then
all of the sudden I realized, that I don't have to play 9. Bxc7, but can play 9.
Be7!, attacking the rook on f8 and winning a tempo to go to a3 and trap the
black knight.
8. Be7xd8 , Nc3xd1
9. Bd8-e7 , Rf8-e8
Black's best chance was to give up the exchange with 9....Nxb2, but he/she is
lost anyway.
10. Be7-a3 , …
The d1 knight is now surrounded and about to be captured, so white is
absolutely winning since black has no counter play for the lost piece. My
opponent played 10...Nxf2 and continued to play. I think that this was a waste
of time since there are literally no chances for him in this position, but I tried
my best to play the most accurate moves and somehow checkmated him at
move 21! This easy win was a pleasant medicine for the painful loss in the
previous game and I was looking forward to playing my next game.
Game 26
ChessLessons64 (1950) – Amir_007 (1881)

1. d2-d4 , d7-d5
2. c2-c4 , c7-c6
3. Ng1-f3 , Ng8-f6
4. Nb1-c3 , a7-a6
5. c4-c5 , …
Whenever black plays a7-a6, this kind of move gains in strength. The natural
break for black against the c5 pawn is b7-b6, but when there is a pawn on a7,
b7-b6 is a more solid choice, since black has an option of replying to eventual
c5xb6 with a7xb6 and bringing one more pawn towards the center. On the
other hand it is possible to organize successful b7-b6 even with the 'a' pawn
on a6, so the line is completely fine.
5. … , Bc8-f5
6. Qd1-b3 , Qd8-c8
Precise play. 6...Qc7? Would give white a free tempo after 7. Bf4!, Qc8 since
7...Qxf4? 8. Qxb7 is not good for black.
7. Bc1-f4 , e7-e6
8. h2-h3 , …
Making a luft on h2 for the h4 bishop If needed and preparing g2-g4 in some
8. … , Bf8-e7
9. e2-e3 , h7-h6
10. Bf1-e2 , 0-0
11. g2-g4 , …
There was no need to rush like this, but I felt that there are good chances of
making black uncomfortable in this manner. Simple 11. 0-0 was a stronger
move and playing in the center and on the queen side afterward.
11. … , Bf5-g6?!
This is not a good square for this bishop here, since it can be attacked with a
knight. It made much more sense to play 11...Bh7 and tuck the bishop away
to safety.
12. Nf3-e5 , Bg6-e4
13. f2-f3 , …
After 13. Nxe4, dxe4 14. Nc4, white has a big advantage due to the great
outpost on d6 and if black plays a better move 13...Nxe4, white can develop a
strong attack with 14. h4.
13. … , Be4-h7
14. h3-h4 , Nb8-d7
15. g4-g5 , Nf6-h5
The only move.
16. Ne5xd7 , …
16. Bh2 was a better try. For example 16... hxg5 17. hxg5, Bxg5 18. Nxd7,
Qxd7 19. Kd2 with problems for black since white is going 20. Rag1 next
with a strong attack. A better move for black is 16...Nxe5 17. Bxe5, f6 18.
Bd6 with unclear position.
16. … , Qc8xd7
17. Bf4-h2 , e6-e5!
A great move, liberating black a lot and giving him counter play at the same
18. Bh2xe5 , f7-f6
19. g5xf6 , …
It was worth considering 19. Bh2, fxg5 20. hxg5, Bxg5 21. Be5 with the idea
f3-f4, but black can sacrifice on f4 sometimes and get an attack.
19. … , Be7xf6
20. Be5-d6?! , …
It looks like 20. f4 would lead to a nice position for white after Ng3 21. Rh2,
Bxe5 22. fxe5, Nxe2 23. Nxe2
20. … , Bf6-e7
21. 0-0-0? , …
First of all white can repeat if he wants with 21. Be5. Second, he is not
obliged to go for this sacrificial line at all. What went through my head when
deciding for this line I really don't know. I guess it was a brain fart, or
somehow I lost the grasp of the position for a moment.
21.Nxd5 lead to a good position for white, after 21...cxd5 22. Bxe7, Qxe7 23.
Qxd5+. Kh8 24. Qxh5, Qxe3 25. Qe5, Rxf3 26. Qxe3, Rxe3 27. Rd1, we
could get to the same position by starting with 21. Bxe7 as well.
21. … , Be7xd6
22. c5xd6 , Nh5-g3
23. Rh1-g1 , Qd7xd6
24. f3-f4 , Ng3-f5!
Now white can't successfully defend the e3 pawn in the long run, so I went
for the complications, but was severely punished.
25. e3-e4 , Qd6xf4+
26. Kc1-b1 , Nf5-d6
And black won in 10 moves from now. 0-1.
In this game I was better for the majority of the game, but my opponent
defended very well when it was important and on move 21, I made a howler
which cost me the game.
Game 27
ChessLessons64 (1932) – Guychmyrat (1782)
1. c2-c4 , e7-e6
2. Nb1-c3 , d7-d5
I wanted to play the English opening, but my opponent wouldn't allow it, so
we go into queen's gambit declined.
3. d2-d4 , Ng8-f6
4. c4xd5 , e6xd5
5. Bc1-g5 , Bf8-e7
6. Qd1-c2 , 0-0
7. e2-e3 , c7-c6
8. Bf1-d3 , h7-h6
9. Bg5-h4 , Bc8-g4
I don't really see the point of this move. White delayed the development of
his g1 knight so he is most likely to develop it on e2 and since the bishop on
g4 only influences the development of the knight on f3, this move doesn't
make much sense. A normal square for this bishop in this line is e6, so
9...Be6 was a solid move.
Now white has an option to ignore the bishop and continue with 10. Nge2 or
to force the bishop to move to the right square, but to lose a tempo. I chose to
win a tempo and improve black's bishop's position.
10. h2-h3 , Bg4-e6
11. Ng1-e2 , Nb8-d7
Here white has a decision to make.
He can castle short and prepare e3-e4 or b2-b4-b5 or he can castle long and
go for the king side attack. In general the e3-e4 plan is the most solid one
since it gives black very little counter play if executed properly. I was lured
into a king-side attack by the fact that I have won a tempo thanks to black's
9th move. I figured that the extra tempo might be very helpful when there will
be attacks on both sides. This a good logic, but concrete position overrides
general principles always. Here white would secure advantage by playing
12.0-0. After the move I played it becomes anybodies game, since black can
develop a fast attack on the queen-side.
12. 0-0-0?! , a7-a5
13. Kc1-b1 , a5-a4
14. g2-g4 , b7-b5
As you can see black's pawns are really fast. Here I regretted a little that I
castled queen-side, but since I can't turn the time back, I have decided to
make my own threats on the king-side as fast as I can.
15. Rd1-g1 , Nd7-b6
16. g4-g5 , h6xg5
The best move. At first 16...Ne8 looks appealing but white can sacrifice a
piece for a very strong attack, 17. gxh6!, Bxh4 18. hxg7, Nxg7 19. Nf4, Kh8
20. Qe2
17. Bh4xg5 , Rf8-e8?
This move is a waste of time. Maybe black wanted to free up the f8 square
for his bishop in order to safeguard the g7 pawn, but his best chance lies in
the counter attack, so 17...b4 was the way to go, after 18. Nd1, b3, it is not
clear who's attack is stronger.
18. Ne2-f4 , b5-b4
Now it is already to late, since white has moved his knight to f4, so he can
transfer the other knight to e2 and is also ready to capture on e6, so the
knights don't get in a way of each other and to remove a dangerous light
squared bishop. Here I made a mistake and moved my knight immediately,
instead I should play 19. Nxe6 to ensure that this trade happens and then
transfer my other knight to f4. 19. Nxe6, fxe6 20. Ne2, Qd7 21. Nf4
19. Nc3-e2? , b4-b3
20. a2xb3?! , …
20. Qxc6 , Bd7 was a better way to play in order to open as few lines as
possible for black.
20. … , a4-a3?
Very creative but wrong! After 20...axb3! 21. Qxb3, Nc4 22. Nxe6, Qa5!,
black is threatening Nd2+ and has a very strong attack.
21. Nf4xe6 , f7xe6
22. Qc2xc6 , Be7-f8
I didn't take on c6 just to win a pawn, the idea of that move is to tie black's
pieces to defense, since suddenly the b6 and f6 knights and the e6 pawn are
all loose.
23. Bg5xf6 , …
Black is losing a piece by force and his position is lost. Black resigned on
39th move 1-0.
Game 28
ChessLessons64 (1943) – BishopCommander12345

This game shows an interesting feature of the game of chess. Sometimes a

position can look so bad and still there are defensive resources which can
help get counter chances.
1. c2-c4 , e7-e5
2. Nb1-c3 , f7-f5
3. d2-d4 , …
White doesn't have to play in this forcing manner. He can play slowly with
3.e3, but I was happy to go for the 3. d4 continuation since if an exchange on
d4 occurs, black will end up with somewhat weak pawn on f5 and his a2-g8
diagonal will be somewhat weak. On top of that white gets a great square on
d5 for his c3 knight, which seems like a good achievement.
3. … , e5xd4
4. Qd1xd4 , Nb8-c6
Black wins a tempo, but white regains it with his next move so all is even in
the fight for tempos.
5. Qd4-e3+ , …
This was my idea when playing 3.d4. Now I found 5...Qe7 to be awkward for
black because of 6.Nd5 and black has some problems defending the c7 pawn.
Post game analysis has shown that this is playable for black 6...Qxe3 7. Bxe3,
Bd6 8. c5, Be5 9. Nf3 and here it looks like black will lose material (there is
a threat to exchange on e5 and then play Nxc7+) or will have to play 9...Kd8.
The truth is, black has a saving move 9...Nf6!, which gets him out of trouble.
10. Nxe5, Nxd5 11. Nxc6, dxc6 12. Bd4, but white ends up with long term
advantage in view of the bishop pair and the pawn structure advantage.
5. … , Bf8-e7
6. Nc3-d5 , Ng8-f6
During the game I thought that this move was terrible, but after taking a
closer look into the position it turns out that black has to play this way, since
it is the only clear way to get rid of that pesky knight from d5. Let's say that
black doesn't want to play 6...Nf6. In that case there is no visible way of
developing the queen side. For example, he can play 6...d6 and develop the
bishop on d7, but what next? Where will his queen go after those moves?
If he instead tries to develop the bishop on b7 via 6....b6, he faces the same
problem – the queen can't get of the 8th rank and therefore he can't develop
his queen side.
For these reasons 6...Nf6 is not a bad move, but rather a necessary one.
7. Nc3xd5 , g7xf6

The first impression after looking at this position is that black's chances are
horrible. White's pawns all look nice while black's king side pawns are totally
shattered. The hidden detail here is that white is underdeveloped. He has only
queen in play and this queen is blocking the development of his light pieces.
Of course with accurate play white has long term advantage, but here there
are so many good looking moves and it is easy to go wrong when you have a
lot to chose from. Do you invade with 8. Qh6 or do you go after the f5 pawn
and h5 check with 8.Qf3 or 8. Qh3? Do you develop your light squared
bishop on g2, h3 or e2? How about dark squared bishop?
That is a lot of question to answer and it can be tricky to navigate through all
of them.
I didn't like 8. Qh6, Bb4+ 9. Bd2, Qe7 as it felt like letting black of the hook,
so I have decided to cover the b4 square first while somewhat developing.
8. Bc1-d2 , Nc6-e5
9. Ra1-c1? , …
Here an aggressive move was more appropriate, 9. Qh6!, since the c4 pawn is
not really hanging 9...Nxc4? 10. Qh5+, Kf8 11. Bh6+, Kg8 12. 0-0-0 with a
very strong attack for white.
Black can defend better with 9...Nf7 but after 10. Qf4 white has an
9. … , b7-b6?
It was a perfect moment to take advantage of white's poor development with
9...d5!, with equal chances. It would not be smart for white to go for the c7
pawn with 10. cxd5, Qxd5 11. Rxc7?, when after 11...Be6 black has full
compensation for the pawn and a better position due to the better
development and great piece activity.
10. Qe3-h3 , …
I wanted to combine threats against the f5 pawn and giving the check on h5.
This made me put a queen on a not so great square sine she is in line with the
c8 bishop which can be important in some lines when black goes for d7-d5.
For these reasons it was better to play 10. Qh6 threatening 11. Qh5+ and in
that way also threatening the f5 pawn without giving black counter chances.
10. … , d7-d6?
This move loses. After 10...0-0 white can't play 11. Qxf5, because of 11...d5!,
so he would have to go for 11. Nf3 with some advantage.
11. Qh3-h5+ , Ne5-f7
12. Ng1-f3 , …
This knight is headed towards d4 from where it will attack the f5 pawn and
the weak squares on e6 and c6.
12. … , Bc8-e6
It was better to just give up the f5 pawn with 12...0-0 13. Nd4
13. Nf3-d4 , Qd8-d7
14. g2-g3 , …
Now the light squared bishop will take advantage of the weak light squares as
well, once it gets to g2.
14. … , c7-c5
15. Bf1-g2 , Ra8-c8
Black decided to save the rook, but will lose his knight because of that.
16. Nd4xe6 , Qd7xe6
17. Bg2-d5
the f7 knight is lost and therefore black resigned. 1-0

The next game I played will not be featured in this book since it was against a
cheater. It was a much higher rated player so I didn't lose many rating points,
but still when I realized that I was cheated I felt really bad. I don't really
understand why people do this, since there is nothing to be gained from it at
least in online casual games.
How did I figure out that I was cheated? Well, my opponent had big
discrepancy in his blitz and standard ratings and he played really fast and
strong in the most complicated spots. So how can someone play so fast in a
game where he has a lot of time to think (when I say fast I mean for every
move he used exactly two seconds) and then his blitz rating is 800 points
lower than his standard rating? So when he plays blitz he is rated 1300 but
when he plays 15 minutes plus 10 seconds increment he uses only two
seconds for each move and has a rating of 2100. I think the only thing
stopping him from reaching 3000 rating points is other computer users and
the fact that he only played a couple of dozens of games using this time
After this game I have decided not to include it in the book and if I ever have
strong evidence like this for any future games, they will not go into the book.
Fortunately around 30 games this is only the second game where I strongly
believe that the opponent was using help of an engine.
Game 29
Darthalbino79 (1773) – ChessLessons64 (1941)

As the saying goes – After the rain comes the Sun, after unpleasant
experience in the omitted game I had a very pleasant experience meeting the
player from this game. We were playing two games, after that we were
discussing chess a bit, then my former coach came by and two of them had a
nice chat and it all ended up in three of us connecting in real life. We might
play again in the future so don't be surprised if you see more games played
against this opponent.

1. d2-d4 , Ng8-f6
2. Ng1-f3 , e7-e6
3. Bc1-f4 , d7-d5
4. e2-e3 , c7-c5
5. c2-c3 , Nb8-c6
6. Nb1-d2 , Bf8-e7
7. Bf1-d3 , 0-0
8. Nf3-e5 , Nf6-d7
I wanted to do something about the knight on e5 immediately and this is one
way of doing it, but there was another equally good approach with 8...c4 with
the positional threat to take on e5 and then to start marching the b pawn,
hence white would probably go for 9. Nxc6, bxc6 10. Be2 when the f4 bishop
is preventing black to take advantage of the semi open b file. The reason why
this bishop is so good is that it covers the b8 square for black heavy pieces
and it controls the e5 square, while black doesn't really want to play Bd6 to
contest that bishop since that would leave him with a bad light squared
bishop given the pawn structure. So the position is about equal.
9. Qd1-h5 , …
Very direct. White is trying to take advantage of the fact that the knight
moved from f6, but black can defend with his pawns. I opted for f7-f5 which
is an equalizing move, but if black was more ambitious he could try 9...g6
with sharper play and some chances for white to make a wrong step.
9. … , f7-f5
10. Ne5xd7 , Bc8xd7
11. Ng1-f3 , Bd7-e8
12. Qh5-h3 , h7-h6?
If you look at the position before 12...h6 you can see that black has
consolidated and that white's only plan is the one involving g2-g4 strike.
With that in mind it makes sens to stop that plan or blunt it at lest. There are
several ways of doing this, but the most obvious ones involve not doing
anything on the king side and answering g2-g4 with g7-g6 and action on the
queen side or doing something about g2-g4 right now. So the first approach
would be 12...c4 13. Bc2, b5 14. g4, g6. The second approach would be
12...Bg6 where 13. g4?? loses to 13...fxg4. And it is possible to combine both
approaches in some lines, for example 12...c4 13. Be2, h5! Stopping g2-g4
and getting ready to go g7-g5 with very interesting play.
When I played 12...h6 I had g7-g5 in mind, but I totally missed the g2-g4
idea which completely counters all my plans involving g7-g5.
13. g2-g4! , Be8-g6?!
It is to late for this, it was better to accept a much worse endgame after
13...Bd6 14. Bxd6, Qxd6 15. gxf5, cxd4 16. exd4, exf5 17. 0-0-0. Qf4+ 18.
Nd2 and after soon to follow Qh3-g3 black will probably have to exchange
queens when the pawn structure will favor white because they both have light
squared bishops and white's is much better.
14. Qh3-g3 , …
14. Rg1 looks stronger at first sight since 14...fxg4 loses to 15. Qxg4 and the
g7 spot is weak so black loses material. Objectively the move played in the
game is as strong.
14. … , Kg8-h8
15. Nf3-e5? , …
White had almost winning advantage and now with this move it all
evaporated. The thing is with every exchange black gets a little bit of breath
and if you don't let those exchanges happen black might just suffocate. Here
15. Rg1 was very strong, slowly building up the pressure for the final attack.
It would be very hard for me to find a good defense In that case.
15. … , Nc6xe5
16. Bf4xe5 , Be7-h4
17. Be5xg7+?? , …
Probably white miscalculated here something, after 17. Qg2, Qg5 the position
is about equal.
17. … , Kh8xg7
18. Qg3-e5+ , Qd8-f6
The game lasted nine more moves, but white is lost here with no counter play
so we will not show those moves.
On the other hand the next game was so interesting that we will show every
move of it. To some extent that game looks like it was played in the 19th
Game 30
ChessLessons64 (1954) – dartalbino79 ( 1767)

1. d2-d4 , d7-d5
2. c2-c4 , Bc8-f5
This is the so called Baltic Defense, a dubious opening, which can surprise
opponents sometimes and get the rewards from that element.
3. c4xd5 , Bf5xb1
This is more or less mandatory, since after 3...Qxd5 4. Nc3 white gets a very
good position for free.
4. Ra1xb1 , Qd8xd5
5. Qd1-a4+ , …
I wanted to save my a2 pawn, but this wasn't necessary, since after 5.e3,
Qxa2 6. Bd2, black loses to much time and white will simply develop with
Bd3 and Nf3 and gain a big advantage. Of course, black doesn't have to
capture on a2, but white is just better in that case as well.
5. … , Nb8-c6
6. Ng1-f3 , 0-0-0
7. e2-e3 , e7-e5
8. Bf1-c4? , …
This move almost loses the game. White is underdeveloped (because of 5.
Qa4+, which lost time) and he has to worry about his b1 rook in many
variations, while trying to put his king to the safe place.
8. Bd2 was an approach to solve all this and reach an equal ending, if black
takes active measures. For example 8...Nxd4 takes advantage of the
undefended rook on b1, since 9. exd4, Qe4+ wins that rook. White has a
saving move 9. Rd1, when after 9...Nxf3+ 10. gxf3 black doesn't have time
for 10...Qxf3 because of 11. Qxa7 and 11...Qxh1 is not good in view of 12.
Qa8+ followed by 13. Bg5+. If black defends the a7 pawn first with 10...Kb8
then 11. Bc3 forces an endgame which is about equal.
8. … , Qd5-e4!
9. Rb1-a1 , e5xd4?
This gives white just enough time to solve his development problems. After
9...Bb4+ 10. Ke2, exd4 11. Rd1 it was black to be preferred. Now white has
an advantage all of the sudden.
10. 0-0! , h7-h6
With his last move white gives up the pawn, but puts his king to safety and is
ready to attack in the center and on the queen side. There was a threat of 11.
Ng5 as well hitting the f7 pawn, so black stops that with his last move,
although the analysis has shown that white gets the advantage either way.
11. e3xd4 , Nc6xd4?
This knight must guard the a7 pawn, so it should not be moved. Black should
continue his development with 11...Nge7 and hope to survive, now white is
winning but it requires some precision.
12. Nf3xd4 , Rd8xd4
13. Qa4xa7! , …
Probably my opponent didn't expect this since my bishop was hanging, but
13...Rxc4 14. Qa8+ followed by 15. Qxa8 leads to a totally busted position
for black.
13. … , Bf8-d6
14. Qa7-a8+ , Kc8-d7
15. Bc4-b5+ , Kd7-e7
We have a position here that doesn't look like it is from a game that was
played in the 21st century. Black king is in the center which is open and it is
lined up with his queen along the e file. The first thought that comes to mind
is to somehow win that queen by placing one of the rooks on e1. At the
moment that is not possible, since the queen would just capture the rook. All
white needs to do is to connect his rooks and then play one of them on e1 and
he wins the queen. But where to develop that bishop? I thought that
developing it with a tempo would be my best try, since it guarantees a win of
the black queen.
Objectively that is not a good move, since it gives black counter play along
the h file and actually it gives black the advantage! The correct move was 16.
Bd2! With double threat of 17. Bc3 (which wins the rook, since it can't move
because then the f6 square would be controlled and Qe8 would be
checkmate) and 17. Re1 which would win the queen. I went for the elegant
but wrong move:
16. Bc1-g5+? , h6xg5
17. Rf1-e1 , …
White does win the queen, but black gets great counter play against white's
17. … , Bd6xh2+
18. Kg1-f1 , Bh2-e5
19. Re1xe4? , …
This move loses, but I got lucky in the game and wasn't punished. White
must first deny the f6 square from the g8 knight by interposing 19. Qe8+, Kf6
and only then capture on e4. You will see the difference in the analysis of
black's next move.
19. … , Rd4xe4?
Black has a crushing attack after 19...Rh1+ 20. Ke2, Rxe4+ 21. Kf3, Nf6!
With the threat of 22...g4#. Now It is clear why white had to interpose a
check on move 19 and make black king occupy the f6 square.
The move my opponent played looks strong also, since it threatens mate in
one, but it was not the right move.
20. f2-f3? , …
This leads to a draw by perpetual check, white could play for a win by
playing g2-g3 after forcing the black king to an unfavorable square. 21.
Qe8+, Kf6 22. Qd8+, Kg6 and now when the king is lined up with the rook
on e4 along the b1-h7 diagonal white can go for 23. g3, Rh1+ 24. Kg2, Rxa1
25. Qxg8 with double threat 26. Bd3 and 26. Bg8
20. … , Rh8-h1+
21. Kg1-f2 , Be5-d4+
22. Kf2-g3 , Bd4-e5+
Here a draw was agreed, since after 23.f4?, gxf4+ white loses material or gets
mated soon, so I would have to go back with my king instead with 23. Kf2
which leads to a perpetual check by the bishop.
½- ½
Despite all the mistakes made by both sides this was a very interesting game
and highly instructive one.
Game 31
BWI12 (1981)- ChessLessons64 (1944)

This game is a puzzle to me, since my opponent resigned after the opening in
a position where he was slightly better. Maybe he had to go somewhere, or
something else happened which was more important than this game for him. I
tried to find out what was it by asking him in the chat, but he didn't reply. I
will just give the moves we played until he mysteriously resigned.
1. e4, c5 2. Nf3, g6 3. d4, cxd4 4. Nxd4, Nc6 5. c4, Nf6 6. Nc3, d6 7. Be2,
Nxd4 8. Qxd4, Bg7 9. 0-0, 0-0 10. Qe3, Be6 11. Bd2, Ng4 12. Qg3, Ne5 13.
Nd5, Nc6
White resigns 0-1
Game 32
ChessLessons64(1953) – Luigi2004SGMv(2162)

1. d2-d4 , e7-e6
2. e2-e4 , b7-b6
3. Nb1-c3 , Bf8-b4
4. Ng1-e2 , …
Here I came to an interesting idea of fianchetoing my f1 bishop, but in reality
this idea cannot bring white an advantage. The problem is that if white does
that, black will just strike with d7-d5 and blunt the g2 bishop. More normal
move was 4. Bd3
4. … , Bc8-a6
5. g2-g3 , …
Since my plan didn't give me an advantage, maybe it was better to play more
solid and go for 5. a3, Bxc3 6. Nxc3, Bxf1 7. Kxf1 with no risk at all.
5. … , Ng8-e7
6. Bf1-g2 , 0-0
7. Bc1-d2 , d7-d5
This is the problem. White has achieved his dream setup, but black negates it
with one simple move. Now the g2 bishop doesn't look smart anymore. I
opted for not closing the center yet, but it is hard to believe that black will
voluntarily capture on e4, therefore white can't make any progress.
8. 0-0 , Bb4xc3
9. Bd2xc3 , Ba6-b7
10. e4-e5 , …
If white had wanted to go for complete equality he could have exchanged on
d5, I wanted to try something on the king side, but this was a poor judgment.
Had I had a bishop on d3, then this would have been a reasonable plan, but
with the bishop on g2 there is nothing to dream about on the king side, and
white should be careful not to fall behind. 10. e5 is not a bad move, but it
contains some risk and from practical point of view it was wiser to go for
10. … , c7-c5
Black has easy play, attack with c7-c5 use the c file and pressure the d4
square. On the other hand white doesn't have many options. His best plan is
to tuck the c3 bishop away with b2-b3 and prepare a timely c2-c4 to liquidate
the strong d5 pawn.
11. Qd1-d2 , Nb8-c6
12. f2-f4 , …
Here and on the previous move, it was better to go for the b2-b3 plan.
12. … , Ne7-f5
13. Bg2-h3 , Nf5xd4
14. Ne2xd4 , Nc6xd4
15. Bc3xd4 , c5xd4
16. Qd2xd4 , Ra8-c8
If this pawn structure remains unchanged it is only black who can count on
advantage, therefore this was the moment where white could have changed
the pawn structure and achieved equality with 17.f5! Tactics don't work
against white here and this was the only opportunity to go successfully with
this breakthrough. I played a passive move and my position started to become
worse and worse.
17. c2-c3? , Rc8-c4
18. Qd4-d3 , b7-b5
19. Ra1-d1 , …
19. b3 was offering better practical chances, even though white has to play
accurately after 19...Qb6+, black has to do it too. After the move played in
the game black is just slowly increasing his advantage with no risk
19. … , Qd8-b6+
20. Rf1-f2 , b5-b4!
21. c3xb4 , Rd4xb4
22. b2-b3 , Rf8-c8
23. f4-f5? , …
White is in bad shape, but defending passively was the right approach, so
23.Bf1 would be much better. The time when f4-f5 was god is long gone,
now this move just creates a target for black on e5.
23. … , Rc4-e4
24. f5xe6 , f7xe6
25. Qd3-f3 , Re4xe5
Black is strategically winning, but I made his task much easier with the next
26. Bh3-g2? , Re5-f5
0-1 White resigns.
Game 33
ChessLessons64 (1951) – dartalhbino79 (1790)

1. d2-d4 , d7-d5
2. c2-c4 , Bc8-f5
3. c4xd5 , Bf5xb1
4. Ra1xb1 , Qd8xd5
5. Ng1-f3 , …
As I mentioned in my analysis of whites 5th move in game 30, taking the
pawn on a2 is not good for black. Over there I offered 5.e3, but after 5.Nf3
the position is similar. 5....Qxa2? 6. Bd2, Nf6 7.e3, white will play Qc2 or
Ne5 and threaten Bc4 with combined attacks on f7 and c7 and black will
have to lose a lot of time to evacuate his queen which will allow white to
regain material or to harmonize his pieces very well and gain big positional
5. … , Nb8-c6
6. e2-e3 , 0-0-0
6...e5 would be premature here in view of 7. dxe5, Bb4+ 8. Bd2, Bxd2+ 9.
Qxd2, Qxa2 10. Rd1, Rd8 11. Bd3 with a big positional advantage for white
7. Bf1-e2 , …
7.Bd2 was more precise in order to preempt blacks ideas of Bb4+ after e7-e5
7. … , e7-e5
8. 0-0 , e5-e4?!
Closing the center allows white to develop strong queen-side attack while
black is to slow on the king-side. It was better to play 8. …exd4 9. exd4,
Kb8, just not 9...Nxd4 10. Nxd4, Qxd4 11. Qb3 where black has to worry
about his f7 pawn and Be3,Bf3 coming soon.
9. Nf3-d2 , f7-f5
10. Bf1-c4?! , …
White should start attacking immediately, 10. b4! Would put black in a
critical position. 10...Nxb4 11. Qa4 with numerous threats or 10...Bxb4 11.
Bc4, Qd6 12. Qb3 (threat is 13.a3), b6 13. Ba6+, Kb8 14. Nc4 with a strong
attack for white
10. … , Qd5-d7
11. Qd1-a4 , …
Again 11. b4 was stronger.
11. … , a7-a6?
This provides a target for white, it was better to continue development and
not touch anything on the queen-side, 11...Nf6, although white would have an
attack after 12. b4 it would be less strong since there is no target on a6
12. a2-a3 , …
Again 12. b4 is much better, for example 12...Kb8 13. b5, Nce7 14. Qb3 with
a winning position for white.
12. … , Nc6-e7
13. Qa4-c2 , …
Here there was an option to enter a favorable endgame with 13. Qxd7, Kxd7
(Rxd7 14. Be6) 14. f3, Nf6 15. Bb3 with the idea of transferring the bishop to
c2 and trying to win the e4 pawn. Keeping the queens on the board is also
fine since white still has better attacking chances.
13. … , Ng8-f6
14. b2-b4 , Ne7-d5
This move is logical, black takes a great square in the center with his knight,
but it was necessary to stop the b pawn with an awkward move 14...b5.
Luckily for black I didn't take advantage of his imprecision.
15. Nd2-b3?! , …
I made the same mistake as my opponent. I played a move that is strategically
desirable, but missed a better move that is tactically and strategically called
for 15. b5!. The only way for black to prevent opening of the lines is 15...a5
but after 16. Be2 and 17. b6 and 18.Nc4 black is just busted, he loses at least
a pawn and stays in a bad position.
15. … , g7-g5
Here Black had a chance to tie up some of white's pieces with 15...Qa4.
Again 15...g5 is a logical move which starts counter play on the king-side and
in the center, so we can understand how black decided what to play.
16. f2-f3? , …
It was better not to touch anything in the center and keep the operations on
the queen-side going with 16. Nc5, Bxc5 17. bxc5, Qc6 18. Bb3! With an
idea of playing 19. Ba4 with a strong attack for white, since black will have
trouble defending the b7 pawn.
16. … , e4xf3
Black had a chance to totally block white here with 16...g4! 17. fxe4, Nxe4
18. Nc5, Bxc5 19. bxc5, Rhf8 and black's strong nights give him good
fighting chance
17. Rf1xf3?! , …
Here 17. Bd3 was much stronger or 17. Na5, fxg2 18. Rxf5 with an
overwhelming position for white in both cases. Now white's advantage is
slowly diminishing.
17. … , Nf6-e4
18. Nb3-c5 , Bf8xc5
19. b4xc5 , Rh8-f8
20. Bc1-d2 , …
After this move white's advantage has evaporated. Last attempt to fight for an
advantage was 21. Rh3 with the idea of 22. Rh6 and black would probably
stop that with 21...Rf6 but then 22. Qb3 would force 22...b5 and white can
win a pawn (23.cxb6, cxb6 24. Bxa6+) with an unclear position.
20. … , Ne4xd2
21. Qc2xd2 , f5-f4??
Here I was given another chance to win the game. Black was suppose to
prepare f5-f4 with 21....Qc6 first
22. e3xf4?! , …
After 22.e4!, Ne3 23. Rxe3!, fxe3 24. Qb4 white is winning, also 22...Nf6
23.d5! (with 24. Qb4 intended) is winning for white. I thought that my center
will collapse if I push that e pawn and didn't see that my threats against b7
are so strong that black doesn't have time to capture my central pawns. This is
why I decided to take on f4. White is again better here (thanks to untimely f5-
f4 by black), but 22.e4 just wins on the spot.
22. … , Rf8xf4
23. Rf3-b3 , Qd7-a4?
This is another losing move (which wasn't punished), black had to play the
ugly 23...b5 and hope to stay alive somehow 24. cxb6, Nxb6 25. Bxa6+, Kb8
Here white could play with the queen and some pawns against two rooks
after 26. Rxb6+, cxb6 27. Rxb6+, Ka7 28. Rb7+ or he could try 26.Rc1 with
an idea of Ba6-e2-f3
24. Qd2-e2? , ….
Now white doesn't have any advantage anymore again. He actually has to
play very precise in order not to lose the game as we will soon see. After the
calm 24. Qd3 white would be winning since the b7 pawn can't be defended
apart from 24...b5 25. cxb6, Nxb6 26. Bxa6+, Kb8 27. Rb4 and black has no
counter play against the d4 pawn, is a pawn down and under an attack.
24. … , Rd8-e8
25. Qe2-d3? , …
Here 25. Qh5 was necessary in order to tie up black queen to defense of the
e8 rook.
25. … , Re8-e3
26. Qd3xh7 , Qa4xc4
27. Qh7-g8+ , Kc8-d7
28. Qg8-g7+?? , …
Last chance to save the game was 28. Rb4, Qa2 29. R4b4. Qc4 with perpetual
attack against the black queen, since she has to defend the d5 knight. If black
tries 28...Qxb2 with the idea of 29.Rxb2, Re1# then black king gets under the
perpetual check after 29. Qxd5+. After the move played in the game black
king found cover and in a few more moves I resigned.
Game 34
Dathalbino79(1799) – ChessLessons64 (1942)

1. d2-d4 , Ng8-f6
2. Ng1-f3 , d7-d5
3. Bc1-f4 , e7-e6
4. e2-e3 , Bf8-e7
5. h2-h3 , 0-0
6. Bf1-d3 , c7-c5
7. c2-c3 , Qd8-b6
8. Qd1-b3 , …
White chose a quiet system which is perfectly fine, but if he wants to try for
an advantage he should not play 8.Qb3. The reason is that black can play c5-
c4 and force the exchange of queens with the a-file opening as well. This will
give black the initiative on the queen-side, because of the active plan of
pushing b6-b5-b4 which white can hardly prevent.
Because of the reasons explained above, it was better for white to avoid this
kind of exchange of queens and play something like 8.Qc2.
8. … , c5-c4
9. Qb3xb6 , a7xb6
10. Bd3-c2 , b6-b5
11. Nb1-d2 , …
White could try to slow down black with 11. Bxb8, Rxb8, with the idea of
dragging the black rook away from the a file for a move, but this wouldn't
stop blacks advancement of the b pawn eventually. 12. a3, Ra8! 13. 0-0, b4
11. … , Nb8-c6
Now black has a clear plan push the b pawn all the way to b4, exchange it for
the c3 pawn at the convenient moment, then advance the other b pawn and
combine all that with the attack against white's queen-side pawns. White's
best response to this is to defend smartly, without trying anything on the
king-side or in the center.
12. 0-0 , b5-b4
13. e3-e4? , …
As I mentioned earlier white should not try anything like this, because this
will open the position for black pieces which are more active. Here white had
a chance to set up a positional trap by offering a pawn with 13.a3!, bxa3 14.
bxa3, Rxa3 15. Rxa3, Bxa3 16. Rb1. This would relieve all the pressure from
the queen-side for white and black would suddenly have no targets to attack
and no way of developing the c8 bishop in the near future, since it is tied up
for the b7 pawn.
13. … , Bc8-d7?!
This is imprecise. After simple 13...dxe4 14. Bxe4, Nd5 both f4 bishop and
c3 pawn would be hanging so white would have to give up his light squared
bishop 15. Bxd5, exd5
If white captures on e4 with the knight, then 14.Nxe4, Nd5 15. Bd2, f5 16.
Ng3, bxc3 17. bxc3, Ra3.
In both cases black has big positional advantage, white is having problems
with his queen-side pawns and black's pieces are much more active which
presents many tactical opportunities as well.
14. Nf3-e5 , Bd7-e8
15. Ne5xc6 , Be8xc6
16. Bf4-g5?! , …
White is going for the cheap threat (17.e4-e5 wins the piece), but ends up
short payed after black's precise reply. White's best bet would be to close the
center with 16. e5 and try to get rid of the weak c3 pawn after 16...Nd7 17.
cxb4, Bxb4 18. a3, Be7 19. Nb1, with the idea of playing that knight to c3
16. … , h7-h6
17. Bg5xf6 , Be7xf6
Black has a massive advantage now, he plans to exchange on c3, play b7-b5
and pressure white's a and c pawns.
18. e4xd5 , e6xd5
19. Nd2-f3? , …
This is a losing move, even though after a better move 19. a3 (to prevent
19...Ra3) black is still dominating hard after 19....bxc3 20. bxc3, b5
19. … , b4xc3
20. b2xc3 , Rf8-e8?
Simple 20...Ra3 just wins the c3 pawn and white's position collapses
21. Rf1-e1? , …
Again black had to stop Ra8-a3 move, with something like 21.a4, Re2 22.
Rfc1 and maybe he can save this position.
21. … , Re8xe1+
22. Nf3xe1 , Ra8-a3
After the c3 pawn falls white's position will collapse and he resigned after
three more moves.
Game 35
Danmik (1897) – ChessLessons64 (1955)

1. d2-d4 , d7-d5
2. Nb1-c3 , Ng8-f6
3. Bf1-g5 , Nf6-e4?!
There is plenty of good moves here. Some of them are 3...c5, 3...h6 or
3...Nbd7. The move I played is problematic in a sense that creates
unfavorable pawn structure for black. After the exchange on e4, black always
have to worry about his e4 pawn and white has more pawns on the king side
and they often just win a lot of space which makes it hard for black to
organize play.
4. Nc3xe4 , d5xe4
5. c2-c3 , Qd8-d5?!
I wanted to attack white's center as soon as possible with c7-c5, but at the
moment that just loses a pawn since my bishop on f8 is boxed in and can't
support the c5 square. I can't play e7-e6 because of a pin, so I have decided to
remove the queen from the pin. Better approach would be to postpone c7-c5,
or abandon it all together with 5...h6 6. Bf4, Bf5 and after 7.e3 white has a
more pleasant position, but black is still in good shape.
6. Bg5-f4 , c7-c5
7. e2-e3 , c5xd4
I have to make this exchange, since after e2-e3 the d4 pawn is supported and
white threatened c3-c4 followed by d4-d5.
8. e3xd4 , Nb8-c6
Black can try to support the e4 pawn instead, but white is better there as well
8...Nd7 9. Ne2, e6 10. Ng3, Nf6 and the e4 pawn is secure, but black has no
good way to deal with white's queen-side pawns, when they start rolling in
the future.
9. Qd1-b3! , Qd5xb3
White is at this point much better. Black's problem is that he can't utilize his
pawn majority on the king-side, while will start moving his queen-side pawns
slowly and create other positional gains as he goes. By making this exchange
of queens I made white's pawn mass even stronger, so I should probably have
avoided taking on b3 via 9...e6 10. Bc4, Qf5 11. Ne2, Be7, but after 12. d5!
White can take advantage of better piece placement and keep his advantage.
Still, this was much more preferred for black than the game continuation.
10. a2xb3 , Bc8-e6
11. Bf1-c4 , Be6xc4
12. b3xc4 , e7-e6
As you can see the a2 pawn got to the c4 square by making two captures and
now white has even stronger pawn mass. Just imagine the situation after b2-
b4. White can organize three different pawn advancements b4-b5, c4-c5, d4-
d5 and choose which one to go with depending on the situation. At this point
I felt really pessimistic about the outcome of this game.
13. Ng1-e2 , Bf8-e7
14. Bf4-e3?! , …
This move doesn't make any sense and it is hard for me to find the ideas
behind it. White had a choice here between slowly building up with the
mentioned plans with 14.0-0 or 14.b4 or any preparatory move or to advance
in the center instantly with 14.d5 and increase his advantage even more. With
the move played he wastes some time but his position is still very good,
because of the reasons mentioned before
14. … , 0-0
Here it was maybe better to play f7-f5 and try to generate some counter-play
on the king-side, since white allowed it with his last move.
15. 0-0 , b6-b6
Probably 15...Rfd8 was a better move in anticipation of the possible d4-d5
16. b2-b4 , f7-f5
17. Ne2-f4?! , …
I like the knight on e2, because it protects some of the white's pawns. By
moving it to f4 white left the c3 pawn unguarded which might count in the
future. Here white could keep his big advantage with many moves, such as
17. Ra6, 17. Ra2, 17.c5. Now it seems that he is slowly losing the thread
17. … , Kg8-f7
18. d4-d5 , e6xd5
19. c4xd5?! , …
This allows black to finally get counter-play, because suddenly white's pawn
mass is somehow controlling less squares. White should play against he a7
pawn with 19.Nxd5 (with the threat of 20.Nc7) and when black defends the
c7 square white continues with Ra1-a6 and doubles the rooks on the a file. If
black ever attacks the c4 pawn somehow, white just pushes it forward. In
these scenarios white is much better, but in the game his advantage is already
smaller and he has to play precise now, because black knight starts to jump
and the c3 pawn becomes the target for black's rooks.
19. … , Nc6-e5
20. Nf4-e6 , Rf8-c8
21. Be3-d4 , Be7-f6
22. Ra1-a6?! , …
This would have been a good move if there had been a pawn on c4 ready to
advance to c5 (and if it had not been hanging), but white can't afford this kind
of move now, since he has to protect his own pawns first. If he wanted to
double up on the a file he should play 22. Ra4 to keep the b4 pawn protected.
Another solid move would be 22. b5, but after the move played, black
organizes the exchange of the d4 bishop, since it is the only piece that keeps
white's queen-side pawns together. On top of that I noticed that back rank is
weak and that will help me to come out ahead in the following operations.
White's advantage has evaporated and now he has to be careful not to end up
in a bad position.
22. … , Ne5-d3
23. Rf1-a1? , …
Now white's position is going from equal to worse. He had to defend the c3
pawn with 23. Ra3, even though black is better after 23...a5 24. Rfa1, a4 25.
Bxf6, Kxf6 26. Nd4, Ke5, white can make some problems for black with 27.
d6. After the game move black gets somewhat easier position to play,
compared to the variation offered.
23. … , Bf6xd4
24. Ra6xa7+? , …
This is a losing move, because now white will suffer because of his weak
back rank. He had to try 24. Nxd4, Rxc3 25. Nxf5, Nxb4 and only now 26.
Rxa7+, Rxa7 27. Rxa7+, Kf6 and to prevent mate and save the piece 28.g4,
Nxd5 29. Rxg7, h5! , and black is much better and has excellent winning
chance, but has to work for it more, while the game continuation loses
24. … , Ra8xa7
25. Ra1xa7+ , Kf7-f6
26. Ne6xd4 , Rc8xc3
27. h2-h4 , …
If 27. Ra1, then black picks up the pawns with 27...Nxb4 and 28...Nd5 or
27. … , Rc3-c1+
Now white king is in the mating net sometimes and sometimes the e pawn
marches forward, depending on what white does.
28. Kg1-h2 , Nd3xf2
29. g2-g3 , Nf2-g4+
30. Kh2-g2 , Rc1-d1
31. Nd4-e6 , Rd1-d2+
32. Kg2-g1 , e4-e3
33...Ne5 is a threat with the idea of Nf3+ followed by a checkmate and
33...e2 is a threat, black can't stop both
33. Ne6-g5 , h7-h6
Here 33...e2 was simpler followed by 34...Rd1+, but I wanted to organize a
mating attack, which I didn't since my opponent ran out of time.
Game 36
ChessLeessons64 (1971) – flawless (1827)

1. d2-d4 , Ng8-f6
2. c2-c4 , e7-e6
3. Ng1-f3 , d7-d5
4. Nb1-c3 , c7-c5
With some tricky move order we reached the Tarrasch defense of the Queen's
gambit declined.
5. c4xd5 , e6xd5
6. g2-g3 , Nb8-c6
7. Bf1-g2 , Bf8-e7
8. 0-0 , Bc8-e6
9. Bf1-e3 , Nf6-g4
This move tries to take advantage of white's previous move, but in reality the
gain is not so big. After white evades this attack on his e3 bishop, the knight
on g4 will look awkward and will probably have to move back or become a
target often.
10. Be3-f4 , c5xd4?
This capture makes sense when there is no bishop on e6. The reason is
obvious, here white will attack that bishop upon recapturing and if there was
no bishop on e6 white would not have a strong positional threat after
recapturing on d4. A more logical move would be 10...0-0 with a balanced
11. Nf3xd4 , Be7-f6?
After 10...cxd4? Black's position become much worse and after 11....Bf6? It
is actually a losing position! The best try was 11...Nf6, but white can force a
favorable opening of the position which would benefit his bishop pair. 12.
Nxe6, fxe6 13. e4!, This is a thematic thrust, in positions where black
allowed for the e6 bishop to be captured by a knight. A sample variation
might look like this 13... d4 14. e5, dxc3 15. exf6, Qxd1 16. Raxd1, Bxf6 17.
bxc3, Bxc3 18. Rb1! And white is much better (despite being a pawn down).
The bishop pair is raking across the board, there are multiple weak targets in
black's camp (b7,c6, e6), black's king is delaying the engagement of the rooks
and white can win the pawn back whenever he wants or he can decide to keep
the pressure. Even though this would be a very bad position for black, it is
still better than going for a losing one like in the game.
12. Nd4xe6 , f7xe6
13. Bg2-h3? , …
A mistake that gives up the winning advantage. Here a thematic thrust 13. e4!
Would win on the spot, since black can't react in the center, because of the
loose knight on g4 (see comment after move 9). 13...Nge5 14. exd5, exd5 15.
Bxd5, white is a pawn up and had better piece activity with an extra benefit
of black's king being stuck in the center. On top of all this the light squares
are white's to play with, so white is winning there. I didn't even consider this
move, even though it is a thematic move for this structure, this is something I
shouldn't be proud of, but I just liked the Bh3 idea and didn't look any
13. … , h7-h5
14. f2-f3? , …
If black replies correctly here he can equalize. The last try here was to try and
take advantage of the g4 knight again with 14. e4 (here this move comes with
lesser effect, since the knight is not really hanging), d4 15. Nb5, e5 16. Bd2
with some advantage for white, but black gets good play here compared to
where he was a few moves ago.
14. … , e6-e5?
Again a move that turns an equal position into a lost one. After 14...g5! No
matter how white decides to resolve the complications black gets good play
and equal chances, for example 15. fxg4, gxf4 16. Rxf4, Be5, black will go
h5-h4 on his next move and get a strong attack on the king side
15. f3xg4?! , …
Here a more subtle approach would be stronger. Let's say white retreats his f4
bishop 15. Bd2, Nh6 and now let's try to attack along the light squares 16.
Qb3! If you look at the position more deeply you will realize that black is
having a lot of problems. If he plays 16...d4 then 17. Ne4 and the diagonals
h3-c8 and a2-g8 are problematic for black and white will soon open some
files for his rooks and there is not much black can do about that.
After the move played in the game white is much better, maybe strategically
winning, but there is still a fight ahead.
15. … , e5xf4
16. Rf1xf4 , …
Here a simple 16. Qxd5 was a stronger move.
16. … , h5xg4?
This is a mistake, since it opens the range for the h3 bishop. Black should
instead go for activation of his bishop and opening of the h file in a manner
that hinders the h3 bishop. So, 16...Be5 17. Rf3, h4! Similar to the line in one
of the variations earlier, even though here this would not equalize, but it was
still black's best try.
17. Bh3xg4 , Bf6-e5
One move to late.
18. Rf4-f5 , Rh8xh2

At first black's attack looks very dangerous, in particular if white greedily

takes the rook 19. Kxh2, Qh4+ and black gets away. After I realized that
taking a rook is not an option I started looking for in between moves. The
first one that crossed my mind was 19. Bh5+. The idea of this move is to
move the king to an awkward square. If it goes to e7 it blocks the diagonal
for the queen, so white can safely capture on h2 and if it goes to d7 it allow
Qxd5 with check and after white exchanges queens he can again safely
capture the h2 rook. As soon as I saw all this, I played the move. While my
opponent was thinking, I have realized that he can capture the rook and that I
had another option instead of 19.Bh5+. The correct move was 19. Rxe5+! (to
remove the e5 bishop and to open the a4-e8 diagonal briefly by removing the
knight from c6 temporarily in order to allow the queen to come to a4 with
check) 19...Nxe5 20. Qa4+ no matter how black reply white can either safely
capture on h2 or continue with his attack (in case of the black king moving
onto the f file). This would be completely winning for white, but my
hastiness almost cost me again.
19. Bg4-h5+ , Rh2xh5!
The only saving move.
20. Rf5xh5 , Qd8-b6+
This is what saves black, because now he can castle away to relative safety.
He is an exchange down, but white king is somewhat exposed and black's e5
bishop is very strong, so black can put up a good fight here.
21. Kg1-g2 , 0-0-0
22. Nc3-a4 , …
This is how I wanted to solve the problem of the b2 pawn and the threat of
d5-d4. In fact d5-d4 wasn't that of a threat, so a calm 22. Qd2 was a far better
22. … , Qb6-b5
Black's best try was 22...Qb4 to try a queen transfer via a3-f8 diagonal. Now
white gains valuable time and his extra material can tell suddenly.
23. Ra1-c1 , Qb5-b4??
This is a blunder that loses a piece, but even after 23...Kb8 24. Rc5, Qb4 26.
Rh4 black is in a very bad shape. This could have been avoided, had black
played 22...Qb4.
24. Rh5xe5 black resigns 1-0
Game 37
Tapan2 (1839) – ChessLessons 64 (1988)

1. e2-e4 , c7-c5
2. Ng1-f3 , g7-g6
3. d2-d4 , c5xd4
4. Nf3xd4 , Nb8-c6
5. Nd4xc6 , …
A strange move. Sometimes white goes for this kind of exchange, when there
is a black knight on f6 in order to gains some time and space with e4-e5. In
the game though, there is no black knight on f6 yet, so this exchange seems
5. … , b7xc6
6. Bf1-d3 , Ng8-f6
Here I don't mind being pushed away with 7. e5. Since there is no knight on
c3 I can safely play 7...Nd5
7. h2-h3 , Bf8-g7
Sometimes black can equalize after exchanging the light squared bishops
with a typical operation that looks like this 7...Ba6 8. Bxa6, Qa5+. In the
game, white made several suboptimal moves and developed his bishop onto a
passive square, so I judged that there is nothing to be gained from this
operation and decided to keep the pieces on the board and try to take
advantage of my central pawns in the middle-game.
8. Qd1-e2 , 0-0
9. 0-0 , Ra8-b8
This little move is aimed against the c1 bishop development. White will have
to secure the b2 pawn first.
10. Ra1-d1 , Qd8-c7
11. Nb1-d2 , d7-d5
It felt to me that the time was ripe for the central operations to start going.
White hasn't developed his queen-side yet and he can't attack black's center
with success for the time being. 12.e5 doesn't look good for white and the
best he can do is sit there and try to organize c2-c3-c4 in the future. For
example after 12.exd5, cxd5 13. c3, e5 we reach a position where white can't
do anything about black's center for the moment and black has many plans,
but none of them are so clear, so he can make a wrong step because he has
too many options.
12. e4-e5? , Nf6-d7
13. e5-e6 , …
This was obviously white's idea, but this thrust leads nowhere in terms of
attack and it will result in a change of pawn structure, which will give black
even more central pawn power.
13. … , Nd7-c5
Here 13...Ne5 was also good. I went for Nc5 because I wanted to secure the
option of gaining the bishop pair in case I don't find another way to get
advantage. After 13...Ne5 14. exf7+, Rxf7 white can deny the bishop pair
advantage to black with 15. Ba6, even though black would keep the big
advantage after 15...Bf5. I just wanted to secure that bishop pair by covering
the a6 square with my knight, even though in the end I didn't go for it, it gave
me a sense of security and confidence.
14. e6xf7+ , Rf8xf7
15. Nd2-f3 , e7-e5
Black has achieved a beautiful central position and white is in a really bad
shape, unless... Unless my internet breaks! At this point I have lost internet
connection and by the time it came back half of my thinking time has
evaporated. I was lucky enough to get back my connectivity in time to have
some reasonable amount of thinking time left.
16. Qe2-e3? , …
This loses material by force. White could try 16. Ng5, Re7 17. Qe3, Nxd3
18.cxd3 with a bad position but even material and some chances for black to
go wrong.
16. … , Nc5-e6
Now there is a threat of e5-e4 and this will attack at least on white's piece and
open the g7 bishop in order to attack the b2 pawn. The conclusion is that at
least white loses a pawn.
17. Bd3-f1 , e5-e4
18. Nf3-g5 , Ne6xg5
19. Qe3xg5 , Bg7xb2
I have estimated that it is safe to take this pawn, since white doesn't have any
activity with most of his pieces and can't take advantage of the weakened
dark squares around black king. Indeed, after-game analysis have shown that
this was the best approach.
20. Bc1xb2 , Rb8xb2
21. Rd1-d2 , Qc7-f4
Here white can avoid the exchange of queens but will allow a strong attack
after 22. Qd8+, Kg7 23. Qa5 (to protect the rook and keep guard off the f2
square) but here 23...e4-e3 breaks white's position.
22. Qg5xf4 , Rf7xf4
White opted to defend this endgame a pawn down, but it was a task hard to
complete, since white is just lost here. The game lasted 11 more moves and
after my opponent resigned my rating become 2002.

This is was the end of this small chess journey. It was a very interesting
experience both playing the games and analyzing them for this book. I hope
that the reader was having as much pleasure, going through the games as I
did playing them. It is my hope that this book will help the reader to improve
his understanding of chess and become a better chess player.
If you have time, please leave a comment regarding your experience with my
book. An honest review is much appreciated, because it helps me learn about
the good points in my work as well as what needs to be improved on.
Thank you again for choosing to read my book and good luck on your chess