Monday, February 11, 2008

Blunderful World

The game I played last Thursday was so full of turnarounds, you might not think two experts were playing. My opponent and I each had large winning advantages at various times in the game. Luckily, I was the beneficiary of the final blunder. Savielly Tartakower’s saying that “The winner of the game is the player who makes the next-to-last mistake” was quite appropriate here.

I managed to get a typical Botvinnik system position in an English Reversed Sicilian, but as is typical, my familiarity with the opening didn’t lead to an opening advantage. Instead, in the early middlegame, my opponent correctly sacrificed a minor piece for two pawns and an attack on my kingside. Soon there were two connected passers bearing down on my king. However, my opponent consumed a lot of time on the clock trying to win accurately. Eventually, he made a strategic mistake that allowed me to blockade the passers and take over the initiative. I traded most of the pieces down to a winning endgame, but then let my king get nearly mated and I had to give up my rook for one of the dangerous remaining passed pawns. Then my opponent had a winning rook versus bishop endgame despite my extra pawn, but time trouble caused a terrible blunder that saw my bishop triumph in a weirdly symmetrical way compared with my previous failed swindle against this same opponent.

This game highlights the tactical weaknesses of both our games which is embarrassing since we think as experts we should be less prone to such big blunders.


Robert Pearson said...

Some surprising moves from the reigning Club Champ and another Expert but as we all know it's SO much easier to see something better in the quiet of your study!

ChargingKing said...

Ernie, maybe you are better than the "weak expert" you claim to be ; )