Saturday, April 27, 2013

At last, a good game

The few people who have commented on my silly Internet games have mostly observed that they suck, and that their dog could play better - blindfolded. But I think that this is a really nice game. Even my harshest critic, Houdini, which usually finds a big improvement for me somewhere, came up empty.

I've always found the "Brand X" 2.Bc4 against the Sicilian, a staple of Internet players, a bit annoying. It gives White no advantage, and sometimes he even manages to hang a piece. (The link is to my YouTube video "Sicilian Defense: The Most Useful Trap You've Never Seen." Commenters have said that it sucks, I'm stupid, and I have the voice of Kermit the Frog. Thanks, everyone.) But if White doesn't hang a piece, I play ...e6 and ...d5 and White exchanges pawns, we end up with an Exchange French pawn structure. Borrring! But IM John Watson says that as far as he recalls he has a perfect score from the Black side of the Exchange French, so I might want to learn to play such positions.

I often try to squeeze White's king bishop out of play with ...c4, but White usually manages to resuscitate it by playing c3 and repositioning it on the b1-h7 diagonal. In this game, though, I was surprised to realize that I could play ...cxd4! and initiate an attack against f2, taking advantage of White's laggard development. My bishop was the star of the game, executing a double switchback from b8 to a7 and back again. The game concluded with a fun king hunt.

This game raised my record on GameKnot to 63-0. One more win will give me 64, the most significant number in chess. That's right, kids - the age at which Fischer, Steinitz, and Staunton died.

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