18th Annual Western Class Championships, Round 2

Here is my 2nd round game from the 18th Annual Western Class Championships with full annotations and commentary:

A third loss in a row to start off the tournament in the first three games. Quite deflating! But this young Russian girl was coached by IM Andranik Matikozian so the girl knew what she was doing and showed great technique in converting the advantage she got out of the opening.

Looking back at the game from my perspective there are a few things to note. One was that I missed many chances in equalizing the game (11...Nd5, 16...Rxd1+, 19...h6) and should have come to realize that I was worse and fighting for equality rather than focus on my opponent's lower rating and try to play outside the restraints of the position. Another important thing was to realize 3. d4 was not the standard move and then take the time to understand why it is not played often and play the right response which exploits this instead of moving quickly as I did which resulted in letting White get away with their second rate move. And probably the most instructional moment of the game was the very end! If you look at the piece activity of the respective Queens in the final position this will really tell the story.

Any thoughts or feedback would be greatly appreciated as I am always looking to find where I could have improved throughout the course of the game and I am trying to understand what I can learn from the game for the future.


  • 11 months ago


    3. ... c6 is mistake. In this openning you must fighting to the center, and i think you must make move 3. ...Nc6. You and this girl mistake at third move. She must make move 3. Nc3 if she makes 3.d4? , black take iniciative and make 3. ...Nc6/ and for example 

  • 3 years ago


    Hi Matt!

    What about 21...King takes Bishop instead of Queen takes?


  • 3 years ago


    Good game.

  • 4 years ago


    I am rated lower, not as familiar with this opening. She trapped your queen over there and your king should be castled by now. that pawn in the middle caused strife - i felt it as soon as i played the move. i am sure this is all obvious. she grabs the open d file - feisty Russian huh! I would basically add these comments: since you are leaving the king out you need a devious plan - use the king as a distraction and go with an aggressive attack; otherwise prepare the King for castling and try to nip that Russian in the bud!

  • 5 years ago


    Hey, nice to see a top player playing the 'scandi' in a rated OTB tournament.

    OTB I only use it as a suprise weapon as the better players locally prepare for it from me :)

    You may want to scan my 'scandi' love blogs:




  • 5 years ago


    He was being sarcastic. You don't meet beautiful single women playing chess.
  • 5 years ago


    If your playing chess regularly AND meeting beautiful women doing it, you've already achieved a won position in the game of Life Cool   Man, I wish I played seriously when I was in my 20's, sound like a good deal. - TJ

  • 5 years ago


    You really meet girls playing chess? As Bart simpson says ...

    Aye Carumba!
  • 6 years ago


  • 6 years ago


  • 6 years ago

    NM GargleBlaster

    I agree that 10 ...Qxb2 feels (and is!) dangerous.  However, I think it's important to examine such moves, especially when they are the sole source of counterplay in Black's position.  As far as whether the daring grab "works" or not, my guess is that White must have something, but that it's far from trivial to demonstrate what, and in any event the move provides us with a good tactical visualization exercise.

    As far as 3.d4 goes, yes, Black probably had better than transposing into the Qd6 Scandinavian, but if that was Black's largest mistake then an entire branch of opening theory is suddenly in trouble. :)

  • 6 years ago


    10. qxb2 does not feel right---.One, the position is already uncomfotable for black, and rb1 adds to the problem.It would seem your concern of d4 move is really the nut of it. D4 is rather defiant,much like those Queen computer moves; where moves are shoved at you from odd angles or battering rams. Sorry i running on. Her game is grisp and direct. Not knowing her age i say she plays well above her rating.......... Another day, another game. gg &gl

  • 6 years ago


    Tough game, and I found the annotations instructive and helpful to learn from. Thanks for sharing it.

  • 6 years ago

    NM GargleBlaster

    You have in several of these ...Qd6 Scandinavians pointed out and/or played the thematic ...Qb4 sortie with pressure on the White b2 pawn.  Therefore I find it interesting that you did not mention the possibility of 10. ...Qxb2 in your game above.  As a tactical exercise, you might want to try and calculate a few of the likely continuations.

    Here's one, and I leave the question of whether White has more than a perpetual to your judgement...



  • 6 years ago


    16..Rxe5 17.Rd8+ Qxd8 18.Bxd8 Kxd8 19.Qd1+ Rd5 isn't mate and a nice position

    18...Qxe5 19.cxd5 Qxe2 wins a pawn

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