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FIDE Rating established!

May 8, 2012

Last night’s game was a pretty cool win against a 1950, and this time it was my opponent who blew a draw in one move. But it’s a lot shorter.

Brian Beck (USCF 1790, FIDE UNR), vs. Mulazim Muwwakkil (USCF 1910, FIDE 1943)
Marshall FIDE Mondays, Rd. 4, G/120 d5
French Defense, Rubinstein Variation

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nd2 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Bd7 5. Nf3 Bc6 6. Bd3 Nd7 7. c3?!

A little passive–apparently the correct line is 7. O-O Ngf6 8. Ng3 Be7 9. Re1 O-O, where White holds on to more pieces to pressure Black’s cramped position. 7. c3 solidifies the center, but the line I play lets Black trade off a few pieces to gain space.

7. … Ngf6 8. Qe2 Be7 9. O-O O-O 10. Re1 Nxe4 11. Bxe4 Bxe4 12. Qxe4 c6

White has a slight, solid advantage; control of the center (black’s not moving that e pawn for a long time), a little lead in development, and more space both in the center and the kingside. With a fairly open center, piece play is the order of the day. I decide to go with a kingside piece attack; this isn’t as effective as I’d like, and with ideal play, Black would equalize at some point with c5, breaking up my center and/or opening the c file for black’s rooks. The better plan is to secure the center first and finish development, starting with Bf4. Instead, wanting to keep my bishop flexible, I play:

13. Qg4 Nf6 14. Qh3 Qc7 15. Re5 Rad8 16. Be3 Rd5 17. Re1 Rxe5 18. Nxe5 Qa5 19. a3 Qa4

An immediate 20. Bg5! is the best way to take advantage of Black’s cramped position, but I keep shoving at Black’s king:

20. Qg3 Ne4 21. Qf4 f5

An awful blunder would be 22. f3??, after which 22. … g5!! traps White’s queen.

22. Nd7 Bg5 23. Qe5

And here’s the line where something exciting will happen. Black’s f-pawn push drastically weakened the e-pawn, but Black has back rank tricks to stay alive.

23. … Bxe3 24. Qxe6+ Kh8 25. fxe3 Qc2 26. Rf1 Qe2??

White to play and win…

27. Qxe4!!

Black can’t recapture on e4 because 28. Rxf8 is checkmate. Black can’t recover the piece. 26. … Qd3! would save the draw for Black, after 27. h3 Qxe3+ 28. Kh2 Ng3 29. Re1! (29. Qxe3 Nxf1+ 30. Kg1 Nxe3 31. Nxf8 leads to a slightly better endgame for Black, though probably not winning) … Nf1+ 30. Kh1 Ng3+ draws by repetition. In the game, however, Black’s position is resignable in a few moves:

27. … Qxf1+ 28. Kxf1 fxe4+ 29. Nxf8 Resigns.

A solid game from me, no serious errors but not the best moves (but if I always made the best moves, I’d be aiming for GM, not expert, right?)

Well, by my FIDE rating, I’d already be an expert now! 3 games against FIDE players, with at least 1 point, is enough to establish a rating, and if I didn’t play the remaining tournament games, that rating would be 2022. Let’s see if I can keep up this pace in the last two games.

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