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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Missing the Best Move

I recently won a game on Queen Alice that was pretty interesting. While doing my PM with Firebird I found a couple of interesting things.

First, starting around move 17, the engine wanted me to seek play on the Q-side with moves like 17.Qc2, 17.Qb3 or even 17.Rf2 followed by Rb2. I checked it out with Fritz 10 and it came to the same conclusion, but it seemed to me that White’s chances lay in a direct K-side attack.

Even at move 19 the engines were still suggesting 19.Qb6, the concept of an assault on the K seemed to be eluding them. This seems to be one of those situations where when there are no tactics available the engines are at a loss to conceive of a strategic plan.

At move 29 the engines suggested Rxh5+ believing White had an advantage of nearly 6.0. While that may technically be true, it seemed to me that after 29.Rxh5+ Qxh5 30.Nxh5 Rag8 31.Qf3 Black could still put up resistance, so I opted to play 29.Rf5 instead. That way I could pick up the exchange after 29...Rag8 30.Nxg8+ Rxg8 31.Rxf7 Rxg3 32.Rf6+ Kg7 33.Rxe6 Rxc3 34.Rxa6 Nxd4 35.Re7+ Kf8 36.Rb7 Rc8 when White should win without much difficulty, but Black chose to resign at that point.

But look at this position after Black’s 27…Qb7 and see what you would have played. I missed it. See the game for the amazing continuation.

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