[blind-chess] Friendly, Coaching Game Sought

Hi Jim,
Great idea!
I really like your attitude.
pastede below is the resulting game that Uwe and I played on this list earlier 
this year, annotated 
by Rod McDonald..
Good Luck, Alvin
As most chess players know, there are 20 possible ways for white to
make his first move, and black then has 20 possible ways in which
to reply. thus there are 400 possible ways for a complete first
move in chess. Not all of these moves are "good", but very likely
some game, somewhere, has featured every one of the 400
The vast majority of chess games nowadays, at least among strong
players, can be reduced to just four first moves for white. In
their order of popularity they are:
1.   e4
2.   d4
3.   Nf3
4.   c4
Most chess "experts" recommend that beginners play 1. e4, and being
a beginner of about 60 years' duration, I usually do. This opening
tends to lead to "open" games, with an early attempt at a clear
When a player begins with 1. d4, it usually signifies that he is a
"positional" player, looking for long-term strategic advantage from
a solid position.
When a player begins with 1. Nf3, it is a safe assumption that he
is "holding back" his intentions until he sees how black will
attempt to set up his position, and then counter it.
The move 1. c4 - the English Opening - can be either sharp like an
open game, or positional like a closed opening.
This brief introduction does not mean that other moves are "bad".
In the hands of the right player 1. g3 can be very effective.
Napoleon liked to play 1. Nc3. But beginners like you and I should
not waste our time on "flank openings" until and unless we really
understand what we are doing, because these first moves are really
used just to be "different", or to get "out of the book".
So now let us take a look at the recent Uwe-Alvin game. I will
leave their comments in place and add a few of my own.
Open chess match number 1
Uwe vs. Alvin
1.   d4     ...
             Uwe: White occupies an important central square. He
             tries to control the black squares.
             Rod: In the classification of chess openings, this move
             is known as the "Queen's Pawn" opening. It invariably
             evolves into something more definitive.
1.   ...    d5
             Alvin: Black moves to control the center squares of the
             board. A "closed" game where both Pawns have the
             immediate protection of their respective Queen.
             Rod: The classical response to the Queen's Pawn
             opening. Black's first move leads to a symmetrical pawn
             structure in the center. Most of the time, however, one
             player or the other is going to try to disrupt this
2.   Nf3    ...
             Uwe: White brings his first piece into the battle. The
             knight on f3 controls the center (squares d4,e5)
             Rod: As the opening evolves, we now have what is called
             the "Queen's Pawn, Zukertort Variation". White's second
             move is something of a "waiting" move. More common for
             white is 2. c4, but we'll get there.
2.   ...    Nf6
             Alvin: Black brings out his first piece, protecting d5
             and attacking e4.
             Rod: Black, too, is waiting to see how white sets up.
             Now it is the "Queen's Pawn, Zukertort, Chigorin
             Variation". Both sides have adopted a similar approach
             to controlling the center.
3.   g3     ...
             Uwe: Controls the black squares f4,h4; developing the
             bishop to g2 from where it attacks the white squares
             along the h1-a8-diagonal (e4,d5).
             Rod: Now we have the "Queen's Pawn, Zukertort,
             Chigorin, Catalan Variation". Both 3. c4 and 3. Nc3 are
             more usual here.
3.   ...    e6
             Alvin: Black anticipates White's Fianchettoed Bishop
             and gives additional protection to its d5 Pawn and
             opens a path for its f8 Bishop to develop.
             Rod: Black's setup is a typical "orthodox" formation
             against the Queen's Gambit - which white hasn't
             committed to as yet. Slightly more aggressive was 3.
             ... c5,, while 3. ... Nc6 and 3. ... g6 are also lead
             to equality for black.
4.   c4     ...
             Uwe: Once White decided to control the black squares,
             he should attack and occupy the white squares
             (c4,b5,d5,e4). 4. c4 occupies a white square, attacks
             d5 (indirectly e4).
             Rod: Ah, here we are - a typical Queen's Gambit, which
             is not really a gambit at all because black cannot
             capture a pawn and hope to keep it. Other possibilities
             for white include 4. Bg2, 4. Nc3, 4. Be3 and 3. Bf4.
4.   ...    Bd6
             Alvin: Black continues to develop and work toward
             Castling his King.
             Rod: 4. ... Nc6 would be a more natural response for
             black. If black wants to move his kingside bishop, 4.
             ... Bb4+ is more aggressive, while 4. ... Be7 seems a
             more logical resting place for the bishop. 4. ... dxc4
             and 4. ... c5 are also to be considered.
5.   Bg2    ...
             Rod: An obvious choice. However, 5. Nc3 0-0 6. Bg5 Be7
             7. cxd5 Nxd5 8. Bxe7 Qxe7 9. Bg2 Bd7 10. 0-0 Bc6 11.
             Qd3 Nd7 gives white a slight advantage.
5.   ...    dxc4
             Alvin: Black captures undefended soldier.
             Rod: Now we have a Queen's Gambit Accepted. While black
             captures the "unprotected" pawn, it quickly becomes
             apparent that white can recapture quite easily. the
             problem is that black, by capturing the c4 pawn, is
             giving up his claim to control in the center. Much
             better for black to continue normal development with 5.
             ... 0-0 or 5. ... Nc6.
6.   Qa4+   ...
             Uwe: with the idea to recapturing on c4.
             Rod: The quickest way to recapture the pawn. But white
             should instead try for continued smooth development
             with 6. 0-0 or 6. Nbd2. For example: 6. 0-0 0-0 7. Nbd2
             Bd7 8. Nxc4 Bc6 9. Be3 Nbd7 10. Rc1 Nb6 11. Nxd6
             clearly favors white.
6.   ...    Nc6
             Alvin: Good move for White. Black can only block check
             on King.
             Rod: 6. ... Bd7 is slightly better. e.g.: 6. ... Bd7 7.
             Qxc4 Bc6 8. Nc3 Nbd7 9. 0-0 0-0 10. Qd3 Re8 11. Bd2 h6
             12. Rad1 Qe7 13. e4 Bb4 with a slight edge for white.
7.   Qxc4   ...
             Rod: As noted earlier, white is in no hurry to regain
             the "lost" pawn. Continuing white development with 7.
             Nc3 or 7. 0-0 should also be considered.
7.   ...    O-O
             Alvin: King safety is first.
             Rod: Good move. Both 7. ... h6 and 7. ... a6 are also
             good defensive moves here.
8.   O-O    ...
             Rod: Good move here, too. 8. Nc3 is equally good here.
8.   ...    a6
             Rod: Umm, while not bad, black should complete his
             piece development with 8. ... Bd7. A possible
             continuation might be: 8. ... Bd7 9. Nc3 h6 10. e4 e5
             11. Nxe5 Nxe5 12. dxe5 Bxe5 13. Be3 b6 14. Rfd1 Qe7 15.
             f4 Be6 with a slight edge for white.
9.   Bg5    ...
             Uwe: By attacking and pinning the knight, White puts
             pressure on the white squares (d5,e4,h7).
             Rod: While this is not a bad move, it is not the best
             choice here. White should probably try to get his queen
             to a more comfortable square, such as c2. 9. Nc3 and 9.
             Rd1 are also good choices. The problem with the current
             move is that if black quickly attacks the bishop with
             9. ... h6, white must either retreat or exchange the
             bishop for the knight on f6.
9.   ...    e5
             Alvin: Opening a path for the c8 Bishop.
             Rod: Not a good move. 9. ... h6 10. Bxf6 Qxf6 11. Nc3
             Bd7 12. Rfd1 Qf5 13. Ne5 Nxe5 14. dxe5 Bb5 15. Nxb5
             axb5 16. Qxb5 Qxe5 regains an equal position for black.
             The right place for the c8 bishop is on d7.
10.  Nc3    ...
             Rod: A good move, both completing white's piece
             development and bring pressure ont he d5 square, which
             black has just abandoned with his last move. 10. d5 and
             10. rd1 are also quite good.
10.  ...    exd4
             Rod: Or 10. ... Nxd4 11. Nxd4 exd4.
11.  Nxd4   ...
             Rod: This sequence of exchanges can come in various
             ways, but the result is the same...
11.  ...    Be6
             Alvin: Move the defending Queen.
             rod: Oh NOOOOO! 11. ... Nxd4 is necessary here. Up to
             now both players have been playing like experts, with
             only minor variations from the "best". But black's 11th
             move is a real game-loser.
12.  Nxe6   ...
             Rod: Of course.
12.  ...    fxe6
             Not a good move, but had to recapture.
             Rod: True, a necessary evil.
13.  Qxe6+  ...
             rod: Right on.
13.  ...    Kh8
             Alvin: Cannot capture or block Queen attack, so must
             move King.
             Rod: Yeah, forced.
14.  Qb3    ...
             Uwe: Attacking b7.
             Rod: Good choice.
14.  ...    h6
             Alvin: Attack g5 Bishop.
             Rod: Black's best chance seems to be 14. ... Rb8 15.
             Nd5 Qe8 16. Bxf6 gxf6 17. e3 Ne5 18. Rfd1 Qb5 19. Qc2
             Qc4 20. Nc3 Qf7 , but black's position is still
15.  Bxf6   ...
             rod: Good move. Even better is 15. Qxb7 hxg5 16. Qxc6
             Rb8 17. b3 Be5 18. Rad1 Qe8 19. Na4 Qxc6 20. Bxc6 g4
             21. Rd3 Kg8 22. Rc1 Bd6.
15.  ...    Qxf6
             Alvin: but now Black will lose the b7 Pawn.
             Rod: Much better than anything else.
16.  Qxb7   ...
             Rod: The obvious next move.
16.  ...    Na5
             Alvin: running to avoid capture.
             Rod: Yes, well, other locations would be better. e.g.:
             16. ... Ne7 17. Ne4 Qe6 18. Qb3 Qxb3 19. axb3 Rab8 20.
             Nxd6 cxd6 21. Rxa6 Rxb3 22. Rb1 d5 23. Re6 Rf7.
17.  Qd5    ...
             Uwe: Saving the queen and attacking the knight again.
             Rod: Very good.
17.  ...    Qe5
             Alvin: Ready to capture Queen if she captures Knight.
             Rod: At this point 17. ... Bb4 would have been better.
18.  Qxe5   ...
             Uwe: White wins the exchange (bishop vs. rook) on a8.
             Rod: Sorry, Alvin, it's time to go. Black is really
18.  ...    Bxe5
19.  Bxa8   ...
19.  ...    Rxa8
             Alvin: Black is down 4 points but the game continues.
20.  Rac1   ...
             Uwe: White brings his rooks into the game and attacks
             the c7-pawn.
20.  ...    Rb8
             Alvin: Blacks Rook ready to capture White's Pawn on b2.
21.  b3     ...
21.  ...    Bxc3
             Alvin: a necessary sacrifice
22.  Rxc3   ...
22.  ...    Rc8
             Alvin: Getting ready for Whites battering ram.
23.  Rfc1   ...
             Uwe: Putting more pressure on the c7-pawn.
23.  ...    c5
             Alvin: Black can  hear a fat Lady humming.
24.  Rxc5   ...
24.  ...    Rxc5
25.  Rxc5   ...
25.  ...    Nb7
26.  Rc6
             White offers a draw. and Black accepts gratefully .
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----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Jim" <jhomme1028@xxxxxxxxx>
To: <blind-chess@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Thursday, June 17, 2010 8:20 PM
Subject: [blind-chess] Friendly, Coaching Game Sought

Would one of the higher rated players on this list like to play me a
friendly game? I would like to play the game and possibly annotate as we go.
I'm not sure how to do it without giving away what we're thinking at the
same time, so I'm open to suggestions.



Jim Homme
Skype: jim.homme
"Every day's a gift."

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