My Little Man's first real wargame play: Barbarossa Solitaire
This was a really close blitz game I played this last week. Checkmate came with only 0:02 seconds left on the clock! All that end game study from years ago paid off!!!!
W: Player 1546
B: Me 1604
Opening: French Advance
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.Nf3 Nc6 5.c3 Bd7
Standard advance variation. White must try to maintain the pawn chain (e5, d4,c3) as long as possible while black works to break it up ASAP. Bd7 standard line although more passive than Qb6 lines.
6.a3 Qc7 7.Bf4 f6
Standard black maneuver as he tries to get white to take on f6 breaking the chain and developing the black knight all at once.
8.Bg3 Qb6 9.b4 cxd4 10.cxd4 Be7 11.b5 Na5 12.a4 Nh6
Black decides he cannot wait any longer to develop and needs to castle. Although queen side castling is not unheard of here, the spatial edge white had on the queen side made it seem dubious.
13.h3 O-O 14.Bd3 fxe5 15.Nxe5
Isolated d pawn means black has succeeded in freeing himself. Black is a bit squeezed, but doing okay.
15...Bd7 16.O-O Bf6
The white knight needs to be whacked quickly it is WAY too strong!
17.Nb1 Qxd4 18.Qe2 Nf5 19.Bxf5 exf5 20.Nd2f3 Qd4b4
The queen is moved here in the hope of keeping pressure on the center. The black light squared bishop appears misplaced and is quite weak.
Ahh, the joys of blitz! Anything can happen and it often does!
21...Bxh4 22. Bxh4 Qxh4
White is now down a piece but this is blitz, so anything can happen!
23.Qd2 Nc4 24.Qxd5+ Bf7 25.Nxf7 Rxf7 26.Rc1 Rd8
I decided here that the knight was not worth trying to save and decided to exchange queens so I wanted to get my rooks active ASAP.
27.Qxc4 Qxc4 28.Rxc4 Rd7
Double rook ending! Now there’s something you don’t see every day! I felt good at this point, confident I could get behind his a&b pawns, stay active, and cause trouble!
29.Rc1 Rd4 30.Ra1 Rb4 31.Kh2 Rd4
The point of my 26th move. Now my rooks are very active and strongly posted.
32.Rd1 Rxa4 33.Rxa4
Here I wonder if Rxd4 is not better. After black plays Rxa1 it does allow the white rook to penetrate to the 7th rank and hit the b pawn and get quite active.
33...Rxa4 34.Rd7 b6 35.Rd5 g6 36.f3 Rb4 37.Kg3 Kf7 38.Rd7+ Kf6
I decided at this point I would bear down with the b pawn, trek the king over to the queen side when I got the chance. I also conceived of the maneuver to get the rook behind the b pawn and to the 6th rank to shield the king from checks.
39.Rxa7 Rxb5 40.Rxh7 Re5 41.Rc7 b5
Beginning of execution of plan outlined before.
42.Rc6+ Re6 43.Rc5 Rb6
Felt good here and in control of the game. Thought my king side pawns could fend for themselves, so I got ready to take my king on a journey to the other side (with all due respect to Boston! )
44.Rc1 b4 45.Rb1 b3 46.Rb2 Ke5
The king begins his trek!
47.f4+ Kd4 48.Kf3 Kc3 49.Rf2 b2 50.Rxb2 Rxb2 51.g4 Rh2 52.Kg3 Rd2 53.Kf3 Rd3+ 54.Kg2 fxg4
Now with the white king cut off from his pawns I was assured of a king and rook vs. king ending.
55.hxg4 Kd4 56.f5 gxf5 57.gxf5 Ke5 58.f6 Kxf6
At this point, I had about 1 minute left on my clock.
59.Kf2 Kf5 60.Ke2 Ke4
Here I vaguely recalled the triangle strategy on how to checkmate with K&R vs. K. Knew I needed to box the white king into smaller and smaller space and bring up my king ASAP.
61.Kf2 Ra3 62.Ke2?????
Fatal mistake. If he doesn’t allow me to push him further to the edge, I probably run out of time here at the end and lose! Kg2 was correct move.
62....Ra2+ 63.Kd1 Kd3 64.Ke1 Ke3 65.Kd1 Kd3 66.Ke1 Rh2 67.Kf1 Ke3 68.Kg1 Ra2 69.Kf1 Kf3 70.Ke1 Rb2
Here I finally remembered the concept of moving the rook one square to pick up/lose a tempo to maneuver the enemy king so he ends up in front of yours so you can deliver the rook checking blow. Took me long enough to remember!
71.Kd1 Ke3 72.Kc1 Rh2 73.Kd1 Rg2 74.Kc1 Kd3 75.Kb1 Kc3 76.Ka1 Kb3 77.Kb1 Rg1++ 0-1
This was a great game! I enjoyed every nerve wracking minute!!!!
Note: game score from pogo.com via email