18 February 2023

Chess.com Pinpoints a Tactical Error

In last month's post, The Fascinating World of Chess960 (January 2023), I discussed a shift in focus for my own chess960 games. In a nutshell, to play chess960 I switched from a site allowing engines to a site forbidding them. I finished the post saying,
That's the background for a series of posts that I plan to write for my games on Chess.com. There are several aspects to be covered, e.g. Game review tools

I introduced those tools on my main blog in Chess.com's Game Review Tools (February 2023), using an example chess960 game. I'll use the same game in this current post. After four wins, it was the first game I lost on Chess.com starting June 2022, when I adopted the no-engine approach.

The 'Game Review Tools' post used numbers to identify the different screen shots and I'll follow the same numbering scheme in this current post. There are three different review tools that I numbered '02', '03a', and '05a'. The '02' tool shows the moves of the game and the times used for each move. It also provides (1) an entry into the '03a' and '03b' tools, and (2) a PGN download of the moves of the game, without variations or comments.

At this point, I don't see much difference between the '03a' and '05a' tools. The differences seem mainly cosmetic, so I'll continue with the '05a' tool. It's accessed via a feature called 'Saved Analysis'. In the game I was outplayed tactically and didn't know where I had gone wrong.

I had Black in a game starting 'SP350 NRKQRBBN'. I was pleased with my position after the first few moves and thought that I had equalized, maybe even gained a slight advantage. Then suddenly I had an inferior game. Why?

The '03a' and '05a' tools offer commentary on each move played in the game. I won't discuss the early comments in this post, because I'm not yet convinced they are helpful. The critical position is shown in the following screenshot, Black to move.

AV vs. bemweeks | Analysis - Chess.com • After 12.e4-d5(xP)

White has just captured a Pawn on d5 with 12.exd5, and Black has four possible recaptures. The move 12...Rxd5 is a '??' blunder, allowing the family fork 13.Ne7+. That leaves three other moves. Since White's last move also discovered an attack on the e5-Pawn, I played 12...Qxd5, protecting that Pawn. That was a mistake, which the tool flags with the remark '(?) Qxd5 is a mistake'.

What's better? The tool suggests 12...Nxd5. Now if 13.Rxe5, Black has 13...Qf6, when White is in trouble. I didn't see that possibility during the game and never recovered. Following is the PGN as provided by the '02' tool.

[Event "Let\\'s Play! - Chess960"]
[Site "Chess.com"]
[Date "2022.07.05"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Andreasvinckier"]
[Black "bemweeks"]
[Result "1-0"]
[Variant "Chess960"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "nrkqrbbn/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/NRKQRBBN w EBeb - 0 1"]
[WhiteElo "1977"]
[BlackElo "1907"]
[TimeControl "1/86400"]
[EndDate "2022.07.23"]
[Termination "Andreasvinckier won by resignation"]
[initialSetup "nrkqrbbn/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/NRKQRBBN w EBeb - 0 1"]

1. e4 e5 2. f4 Nb6 3. fxe5 f6 4. Nb3 fxe5 5. Ng3 Qf6 6. Be3 O-O-O 7. d3 d5 8. Qd2 Qc6 9. Bg5 Be7 10. Bxe7 Rxe7 11. Nf5 Red7 12. exd5 Qxd5 13. Ne3 Qc6 14. g3 Be6 15. Qa5 Bxb3 16. axb3 e4 17. Bh3 exd3 18. O-O-O dxc2 19. Bxd7+ Rxd7 20. Rxd7 Qxd7 21. Qxa7 Nf7 22. Qa5 Nd6 23. Nd5 1-0

The Chess.com tools offer several different PGN downloads. I'll discuss those in another post on my main blog.

No comments: