Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Negative Thinking?

"In hindsight, I don't want to be like the people I've liked"

Last Friday, a day after this game was played, I had an entirely separate lengthy discussion with the other Krakens about a particular poker hand. I argued that, despite playing marginally suboptimally, the fact that I had gone into battle with a precise plan vastly outweighed the minor mathematical and strategical leaks. And I still think I was right.

Now, contrary to popular belief, chess and poker are different animals. Obviously, having a plan is important, and executing moves with a certain degree of moxie can convince your opponent of things that aren't there, but there is absolutely no way that 10. dxc5 should be any good here.

Back story! A few weeks ago, I was absolutely destroyed after the standard 10. Re1 c4, and I didn't fancy reliving that particular memory. In addition, after a long day of training for my new job, I was a bit fuzzy and fancied some fruit. So I convinced myself that opening up the position for my two bishops wasn't entirely dreadful. And, after 10... Nxe5 11. Nxe5 Qxe5 12. Be3 Nf5 13. Bd4 Nxd4 14. cxd4, I went on to win.

Were my actions correct this time? Despite knowing I'd led myself down a very sketchy path, I felt comfortable with what I was doing. Perhaps this showed and convinced my opponent that there was some hidden merit to it. 

Either way, going into tomorrow's third round, I'm in a seven-way tie for 2nd. Get there, one time.

Tournament Diaries Index


Anonymous said...

Taking on c5 is an idea that can usually be considered in that type of French position. In recorded games, only one other person has tried it in that precise position. The advantage is that it leads to a position where Black's standard ideas are disrupted. Computer engines aren't greatly impressed but give the assessment of equal to slightly worse.

Writers of books sometimes give the impression that there are only a limited choice of moves in the positions they analyse. In practice there's usually a wider range of moves provided there are no forced tactics. These moves are the choices of those who hadn't read the books or didn't believe them.


Jonathan B said...

Spassky used to favour dxc5 against the Winawer at one point. Played it a few times against Korchnoi in their 1977/78 candidates final iirc. Presumably not thus exact position though

Anonymous said...

Spassky would take at move 8 after Nf3 at move 7. Various ideas were tried in the 77/78 match including the one seen in the game of Black taking the e5 pawn. A more generous annotation would say that White tried an old idea of Spassky in a slightly different setting.


AngusF said...

As a player of the White side of the Winawer, I think I prefer Black in the position after 14. cxd4.

I would be fearful of ...Qc7 and ...b6 (possibly prepared by ...Rb8) with play for Black on the queenside.

I'm doubtful White will have enough on the kingside.

Jonathan B said...

I seem to remember that one of Boris' ideas was the Ra1-b1-b4-g4 rook shuffle.

Jonathan B said...

Might have to dig out Ray's book on the match to see what he's got to say about all this.

PJM said...

Well, Jonathan, after 14... Qf6, I employed 15. Rb1 and 16. Rb3...

I guess I'll stick the entire game up again this evening.

Jonathan B said...

A vague memory has just surfaced - me being duffed up by the S&BCB Arts Correspondent in about a dozen moves. One of those being dxc5 in a Winawer. Not a main line, though.

Perhaps Martin remembers this?

Matt Fletcher said...

Doesn't look like the worst move - and if you feel comfortable then go for it. Not sure why Black un-triples the pawns on move 13 - Qc7 looks plausible?

Tom Chivers said...

New job!? Congratulations. What is it?

Anonymous said...

Move 13, if you don't take on d4, the pressure of the Bishop on g7 might become a problem. Hitting the f5 Knight with g4 or the white square Bishop come into consideration.

We're familiar with the concept of sacrificing material for time and structure. In the case of dxc5, it's a sacrifice of one of the positional elements, namely pawn structure. It comes off well, with the later position with the pawns on d4 and c5 looking very good as a route to playing for a win with little risk of losing.


Matt Fletcher said...

RdC - if g4 then I think I'd take the B - White's made a further concession to his pawn structure so it makes more sense then.

If Bd3, not sure - maybe 0-0 but I'd concede that White looks to have enough to compensate for the mangled Queenside pawns. Or maybe Nxd4 again because I've (sort of) gained a move compared to the game because I'm not sure the B is taht much better on d3 than e2.