Fighting back against GM Alexander Onischuk

On September 23rd 2011, I had not only my first game against a person of the caliber of a GM, but my first real game over-the-board. I have been playing for a couple years online. I do most of my learning from internet reading, and spending ridiculous amounts of time looking at my correspondence games before making a move (oh, and vote chess has played an immeasurable role as well). I have not had the luck of having friends who play the game in a serious manner, and have only recently considered joining a club.


Playing primarily online you run into the problem neglecting opening study. When you are allowed to look at a database, other than giving each position a cursory Google search for info on the line, I (and I suspect most novice, internet players) make the best looking move from the database. Thus, my main fear in playing this simul was paying to get a board, and blundering on move 5 and not getting much out of the game. I am happy to say that didn't happen. I blundered on move 6. Sheeeeeeesh. But this isn't a tale of wasting money and more importantly opportunity. Instead, it is a tale of the fighting back.

The main thing I got out of this game is to always fight back. I read plenty of articles about how chess is flawed because of the draw, and how draws make chess less entertaining since people want to see a winner. But there is nothing like being a lost position, and seeing the glimmer of a draw on the horizon to make you play better.


That being said. I also wonder if I would play with the same intensity after a mistake against someone less impressive than GM Onischuk. If I were playing someone of my level or for purpose of argument lower, would I still get the adrenaline going to fight back, or would I succumb to the mental whispers telling me to give up, because clearly I suck? I guess that's one of the many things that separates average players from good ones. Can you fight back in any situation against any opponent?


  • 5 years ago


    thanks _valentin - during my post-game analysis, I actually noted that it seems black cannot keep the piece (I wasn't positive however, I kept thinking I was missing something). I should probably caveat what I said in that while it wasn't an objective blunder, in the moment it felt like one.


    Afterward, though, I figured this may be an interesting opening choice if you need a win (given the berlin defenses reputation as a drawing mechanism for black) and want to create more, or at least different, imbalances than the main line.. the forced mate/lost queen after the attractive looking pawn fork after 8. Bg5 f6 I imagine could pick up a couple wins in novice games

  • 5 years ago


    Well, 6.Re1 is not a blunder, as you claimed it was.  It's just a pawn sacrifice, and black cannot keep the extra piece.

    There have been at least two games with that same line as yours, both continuing 8.Bg5 Nbxd4 9.Bxe7 Nxe7 10.Qxd4 O-O 11.Nc3, and while white lost in both, it was not due to the opening choice exclusively.

    Take a look at for those games, if interested.

  • 5 years ago


    @ozzie_c_cobblepot - I may have seen it during the game, but I'm forgetting now. I noticed it while writing this entry, and marked it in my scorebook to look at later.

  • 5 years ago

    NM ozzie_c_cobblepot

    • Did you look at 14.Qxa7?
    • I agree, it's too bad that you lost the piece a second time to the pin on e4. After that, I don't think you have any hope at all of saving the game - in reference to your comment about blockading doubled pawns.

    Good job getting the piece back in the opening!

  • 5 years ago


    Congratulations on fighting back against such a player. It's impressive you managed to keep your composure and take the piece back !

    And welcome to the real chess world Smile

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