Danish Championship – Round 7

April 18th, 2014 2 comments

Today I lost. Allan is a very strong and he simply found too many resources for me to deal with all of them. After 34.Nc6! there are plenty of decent moves available to me, but I missed that after 34…Kf6 35.Nxa5 Nbd7 White could play 36.f4! and I would be worse. Then I fell apart, running short of time.

It will be interesting to see the big title game tomorrow between Sune and Allan.

Rasmussen,Allan Stig (2499) – Aagaard,Jacob (2520) [A13]
DEN-ch DM 2014 Skorping (7), 18.04.2014

1.Nf3 d5 2.c4 e6 3.g3 dxc4 4.Qa4+ Nd7 5.Bg2 a6 6.Qxc4 b5 7.Qb3 Bb7 8.0-0 c5 9.d3 Bd6 10.Nc3 Ngf6 11.a4 b4 12.Nb1 a5 13.Nbd2 Nb6 14.Qc2 0-0 15.b3 Nfd7 16.Bb2 Ba6 17.Rfd1 Qc7 18.Ng5 Rac8 19.d4 g6 20.Qe4 Be7 21.dxc5 Qxc5 22.Nxe6 fxe6 23.Qxe6+ Rf7 24.Ne4 Qf5 25.Bh3 Qxe6 26.Bxe6 Rc2 27.Rd2 Rxd2 28.Nxd2 Bxe2 29.Re1 Bd3 30.Bd4 Bc5 31.Nf3 Bxd4 32.Nxd4 Nc5 33.Bxf7+ Kxf7 34.Nc6 Kf6 35.Nxa5 Bc2 36.Rc1 Nxb3 37.Nxb3 Bxb3 38.Rc6+ 1-0

Categories: Authors in Action Tags:

Danish Championship – Round 6

April 17th, 2014 No comments

Today’s game was up and down. I was better, but overplayed my position and at the end I was even a bit worse. But with neither player having more than a minute, a draw was agreed.

Aagaard,Jacob (2520) – Skytte,Rasmus (2430) [B49]
DEN-ch 2014 Skorping (6), 17.04.2014

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6 5.Nc3 Qc7 6.Be2 a6 7.0-0 Nf6 8.Be3 Bb4 9.Na4 0-0 10.c4 Bd6 11.g3 Nxe4 12.Rc1 Be5 13.Nf3 d6 14.Nxe5 Nxe5 15.Qd4 Nf6

r1b2rk1/1pq2ppp/p2ppn2/4n3/N1PQ4/4B1P1/PP2BP1P/2R2RK1 w – - 0 16

I had planned 16.Nb6 Rb8 17.Rfd1. The main point is that 17…Rd8 loses the extra pawn to 18.c5! on account of 18…d5 19.Bf4, winning a piece.
Apparently Black has 16…Nc6! and the game is not so clear. We both made a lot of mistakes from here on. Chess is just very difficult!
16.Rfd1 Bd7 17.c5 Nd5 18.Nb6 Bb5 19.Nxa8 Rxa8 20.cxd6 Qxd6 21.Bf4 Nc6 22.Bxd6 Nxd4 23.Bxb5 Nxb5 24.Bf4 Na7 25.Rxd5 exd5 26.Rc7 b6 27.Rd7 Nc6 28.Rxd5 f6 29.Rd7 Rc8 30.Rb7 b5 31.Rb6 Nb4 32.Bd6 Nd3 33.b4 ½-½

A lot of people are making fun of the retired bit. I think they are not getting it. A retired gardener is still allowed to mow the lawn; even at his friend’s house. But the attitude with which he does it, what he thinks of when he does it and what he does between the occasional bit of gardening is different. I play this event and it is fun. I play for entertainment; hang out with friends, eat good food (sort of; the hotel is mediocre in this department) and goof around.

When I come home I will not worry about playing chess until the end of July, when I will look at flights to Tromsoe, where I think I will make the Danish squad.

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Danish Championship – Round 5

April 16th, 2014 2 comments

Today’s opponent is one of my really good friends. Last time we met, in the 2012 championship, I had no fight left in me and we made a draw. But all our other games have been hard fought, with a score of 1-1 with a few draws on top. Still the danish state bookmaker Oddset were fearing foul play when more than 90% of all bets put on the game were put on it being a draw. Maybe this was influenced by the fact that we were playing tennis at 10am! But this means nothing, we are playing again tomorrow…

Lars Schandorff (2531) – Jacob Aagaard (2520) [D35]
DEN-ch 2014 Skørping (5), 16.04.2014

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.cxd5 exd5 5.Bg5 c6 6.e3 Qb6!?
A silly move suggested by Nikos as a surprise weapon.
7.Bxf6 Qxb2 8.Qc1 Ba3 is a famous mess.
7…Ne4 8.Bf4 Na6 9.f3
During the game I feared White would be better after 9.Nxe4 , but the computer gives a nice line: 9…Nb4 10.Qb1 dxe4 11.Qxe4+ Be6 12.Nf3 Nd5 13.0–0–0 Nxf4 14.Qxf4 Qa5 15.a3 Bxa3 with perpetual check.
9…Nd6 10.a3 Bf5 11.Qd2
11.e4 Bg6 is better for White according to Komodo, but I am happy be be Black here.
11…Be7 12.b4 Qd8
12…0–0 made more sense. I did not want to give White a chance to put the knight on a4 before taking on c5. Only later I realised the knight is better on c3.

r2qk2r/pp2bppp/n1pn4/3p1b2/1P1P1B2/P1N1PP2/3Q2PP/R3KBNR w KQkq – 0 13

Played with a draw offer. Lars was clearly unhappy. If he had played 13.Bxa6 bxa6 14.Bxd6! I would have taken it, although I am not worse as I was thinking. 14…Qxd6 15.Nge2 0–0 16.0–0 a5 17.b5 Rac8 with about even chances.
13…Nc7 14.Kf2
Lars could not find a plan.
14…0–0 15.g3 Ncb5!
With his last move Lars indirectly decided to take on d6 with the bishop. As this knight is my best piece, I decided to support it!
16.Nc5 b6 17.Bxd6 Nxd6 18.Nb3 Re8
Threatening …Bg5.
Here Lars was down to 5 minutes. I really lost my cool entirely. I did not think long and clearly enough to realise that I have to win on the queenside only and that the kingside is irrelevant. Thus the right move is 19…a5!.
r2qr1k1/p3bppp/1ppn4/3p1b2/1P1P3P/PN2PPP1/3Q1K2/R4BNR b – - 0 19

19…g5? 20.hxg5 Bxg5
I am still better, but why did I weaken my position. Lars now found a few good moves quickly.
21.Re1 a5?!
Trying to bring in the remaining piece.
21…Qf6 22.Kg2 Re6 was a more natural way to play.
21…Nc4 22.Bxc4 dxc4 23.Nc1 c5 24.bxc5 bxc5 25.d5 Re5!? was a strong option suggested by Schandorff.
22.Nh3! axb4
I did not want to take on h3, as the bishop needs to defend h7 and the king.
During the game I thought 23.Nxg5 Rxa3 24.e4 dxe4 25.fxe4 Bxe4 26.Nxe4 Nxe4+ 27.Rxe4 Rxe4 was overwhelming, but I did not see 28.Bd3 when White is back in the game.
23…Ra3 24.Nxg5 Rxb3 25.Nh3 Qf6?
To be honest, I completely missed my opponent’s next move.
26.Nf4 b5!
4r1k1/5p1p/2pn1q2/1p1p1b2/1P1P1N2/1r2PPP1/3Q1K2/4RB1R w – - 0 27

I managed to recover and keep some advantage.
Apparently this does nothing for White’s position.
27…Bg6 28.Kg1 Nc4 29.Bxc4 bxc4 30.Nxg6 Qxg6 31.Qh2 Rxb4
With an extra pawn and a clear advantage, I won on time. Not a great game. Actually, a really poor game, ruining by White’s bad clock handling.


THREE New Books on April 30th

April 16th, 2014 10 comments


As originally announced, three new books will be available on April 30th – Mating the Castled King by Danny Gormally, Mikhail Tal’s Best Games 1 – The Magic of Youth by Tibor Karolyi and Endgame Play by Jacob Aagaard.

If you read a previous post about how Endgame Play would be delayed due to paper trouble at the printer, then you may be surprised. Me too. Printing on time has gone from “a losing cause” to back on schedule in just a couple of days. But I will take good news even if the process is bizarre.

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Living in the time of miracles!

April 16th, 2014 No comments

Apparently TRT caught up with the delay and managed to finish Endgame Play in time. It will be included in the publication round the 30th April, together with Mating the Castled King and Tal’s Best Games 1 – The Magic of Youth.

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Danish Championship – Round 4

April 15th, 2014 9 comments

Most of the other guys are still fighting. It seems the three oldest players are in charge. Sune will probably win, Schandorff also. I drew. A natural standing will be Hansen & Aagaard 3/4, Schandorff & Rasmussen 2.5/4. But Rasmussen might still hold, despite being two pawns down.

My game today was not great. I did not like the way things were going after 10 moves and decided to add some irrationality with 11.g4!?!?. Of course it was not great, but I had no play! At move 21 I was a bit of a weakling when I offered a draw, but I am trying to be old and solid…

Aagaard,Jacob (2520) – Mikkel Djernes Antonsen (2467) [D38]
DEN-ch DM 2014 Skorping (4), 15.04.2014

1.c4 e6 2.Nc3 d5 3.d4 Nf6 4.Nf3 Bb4 5.cxd5 exd5 6.Bg5 h6 7.Bh4 c5 8.e3 c4 9.Nd2 Be6 10.Be2 0-0 11.g4 Nc6 12.a3 Be7 13.Bg3 Nh7 14.0-0 Na5 15.b4 cxb3 16.Nxb3 Rc8 17.Nb5 Nxb3 18.Qxb3 a6 19.Nc3 Nf6 20.f3 b5 21.Bd3 ½-½

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How can I remember all that theory? by Nikos Ntirlis

April 14th, 2014 29 comments

After the publication of the second opening book I co-authored with Jacob, there is one question that I hear more often again and again: “How can I remember all that theory?” I always thought that this is a serious question, albeit one that has a very simple answer: read and practise!

“Remembering” chess opening theory at a good level is something that means different things for different players. For example, my ambitious 11-year-old student who is preparing to get one of the top 3 places in the Greek youth championships in June has never had a chance until now to reach this position that is part of his preparation with White:

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0–0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 0–0 8.h3!

r1bq1rk1/2ppbppp/p1n2n2/1p2p3/4P3/1B3N1P/PPPP1PP1/RNBQR1K1 b – - 0 8

So, for him it makes no sense to memorize and try to understand more than 1-2 variations 3-4 moves deep starting from this position. To be honest I am not sure how many players bellow 2200-2300 need to memorize more than that. On the other hand, if you are Anand and have to face Aronian in the first round of the Candidates tournament, then it is essential to remember variations far beyond the known tournament praxis. I suppose that most of the readers of this blog belong to the first category, so the methods and ideas I am going to describe are useful only for them. I am sorry Vishy, maybe I’ll do another blog post later for guys like you!

So, after this first observation,

Read more…

Categories: Authors in Action, GM Repertoire Tags:

Danish Championship – Round 3

April 14th, 2014 3 comments

One of the great things with having Nikos helping is that people know it. So they try to surprise me in the opening!? As Black I am of course happy to get into the game without any problems and even more happy when I have a better position after 11 moves! I seriously think I played really well – for my level of course!

Also on 2.5/3 is GM Allan Stig Rasmussen, who have looked a bit shaky, but is a great fighter. GM Sune Berg Hansen has 2/3 and will definitely be a strong contender. I am just happy to have played good chess in my retirement, the others can care about titles, prizes and such stuff…

Andersen,Mads (2473) – Aagaard,Jacob (2520) [D04]
DEN-ch DM 2014 Skørping (3), 14.04.2014

1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.e3 c5 4.Nbd2 cxd4
I am happy to play the Caro-Kann, as long as I do not have to put my pawn on c6. I only do this with White!
5.exd4 Nc6 6.c3 Qc7?!
These lines are good for White if the bishop comes to f4. But here 6…Bf5 was more accurate.
7.Be2?! Bf5 8.Nf1
I was thinking that 8.Nh4 Bd7 9.0–0 was more natural.
8…h6 9.Ng3 Bh7 10.0–0 e6 11.Re1?!
Too slow. 11.Ne5! Bd6 12.f4!? with equal chances.
11…Bd6 12.Bd3 Bxd3 13.Qxd3 0–0
I think Black has been quite successful in the opening, but most of the game still remains.
14.Bd2 b5 15.b3 Rab8 16.Re2

1r3rk1/p1q2pp1/2nbpn1p/1p1p4/3P4/1PPQ1NN1/P2BRPPP/R5K1 b – - 0 16

16…Rfc8 was normal, but I wanted to open up the centre and put pressure on d4 in advance.
17.Rae1 b4 18.Ne5
I realised just after my move that he was going to play this and the game would get more concrete. For some reason I got very nervous. 18.c4 should of course be played. I did not find anything concrete after 18…dxc4 19.bxc4 , so I was contemplating  19…a5!. I felt the position was pretty unclear.
Nikos tells me that 19…Nxd4!? 20.Nxd4 Bc5 21.Nxe6 fxe6 22.Qf3 apparently is good for Black if you analyse it deeply (I had rejected it). I think I will go to the bar instead!
18…bxc3 19.Qxc3 Rdc8 20.Rc1 Rb6
I was thinking the d4-pawn would be weak in the long term. But I did not consider it a great advantage.
21.Qd3 Qb7 22.f4
With the idea f4-f5. It seemed very logical to me.
2r3k1/pq3pp1/1rnbpn1p/3pN3/3P1P2/1P1Q2N1/P2BR1PP/2R3K1 b – - 0 22

22…Ba3 23.Rc3?!
23.Rxc6 Rbxc6 24.Nxc6 Qxc6 25.f5 Here Black is marginally better after 25…exf5.
I had planned 25…Qc2, but not seen 26.Qa6! The game is very complicated here: 26…Bb2 27.Be3 Qb1+ 28.Nf1 Re8! (28…Rc3?! 29.fxe6! Rxe3 30.Qc8+ Kh7 31.Rxb2! Qxb2 32.exf7 Re2 33.Qf5+ g6 34.f8N+ with a likely draw.) 29.Bf2 Ne4 and Black keeps the pressure on.
Putting pressure on d4.
24.Rxc6 Rbxc6 25.Nxc6 Qxc6 26.Be3
26.f5 Qc2 and the d4-pawn falls.
2r3k1/p4pp1/2q1pn1p/3p4/3P1P2/1P1QB1N1/P3R1PP/2b3K1 w – - 0 27

A bit confusing to some, probably. Yes, the bishop on e3 is bad, but in order to win one of those weak pawns, I will have to exchange it anyway. So why not do it now and have the chance to break in on c1 or c3.Black is already clearly better.
27.h3 Ne4 28.Nxe4? dxe4 29.Qd1 Bxe3+ 30.Rxe3 f5
2r3k1/p5p1/2q1p2p/5p2/3PpP2/1P2R2P/P5P1/3Q2K1 w – - 0 31

I was sure this was winning already.
31.Re2 Qd6 32.Rf2?!
I was thinking that I would win after 32.Qd2 Rd8 33.Kf2 Qxd4+ 34.Qxd4 Rxd4 35.Rc2 a5 as well, though it would be less straight forward.
2r3k1/p5p1/3qp2p/5p2/3PpP2/1P5P/P4RP1/3Q2K1 b – - 0 32

The invasion is coming.
33.Qh5 e3!
33…Rc1+ 34.Kh2 e3 35.Rf3 e2 36.Qe8+ Kh7 37.Rg3 was a line I saw.
4Q3/p5pk/3qp2p/5p2/3P1P2/1P4RP/P3p1PK/2r5 b – - 0 37

But unlike the commentary rook, I missed 37…e5!! 38.dxe5 e1Q! and Black wins. A very nice line.
My move is better as it avoids calculation and eliminates all risk of errors. But obviously computer’s don’t miss things and don’t understand this!
34.Rf1 Qxd4 35.Kh2 Kh7!
I was afraid that I had messed up there, but of course this is a good move. Again calculation is avoided.
36.Qf3 Qd2 37.Rd1 Rc1!
8/p5pk/4p2p/5p2/5P2/1P2pQ1P/P2q2PK/2rR4 w – - 0 38

The pawn queens.

The games are transmitted live at http://liveskak.dk/dm/2014/


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