Monday, August 25, 2008

Team4545 League round 4

So play continues in the Team 45/45 league on ICC. My fourth round game came after spending the day with my parents. My fiancee and I went down to Bloomington and saw Bottle Shock with them for my Mom's birthday. Good movie, reminded me of some great times in Napa. Having seen a movie about good American wine, we decided to get some good American wine. Half price wine, as it turned out. So we got some excellent Stag's Leap cab for like $50 when it normally retails for $100, and we also killed a decent bottle of Russian River Pinot. Then Bri drove us back to Indy, and we got back right before my game. I wasn't really drunk anymore, but I was really sleepy and little out of it. My only goal in the game was to play more prophylactically, taking my opponent's plans into account without fail (which is harder than you might think to do every move when you're not in the habit of doing so). I think I achieved that, even though I lost. It was the first time I'd played this line of the Sozin in a long game, and I definitely didn't understand the position very well. I'd never looked at it prior to this game. In any case, my opponent played the middle game well, I over pressed a little on the kingside and ended up with a very passive rook tied to the defense of an over-advanced pawn, and I lost.


Interestingly, that h-pawn advance is not unheard of by any means in this variation as I found out after the game. It's just usually not put under pressure because there's so much going on in the center. I really should have played ...d5 at some point, though as I pointed out in the notes I missed the tactical subtlety that keeps that move from restricting my b7 bishop. Isn't there some adage about meeting a wing attack with central action (that's a joke, I know Steinitz said it, please don't leave me a bunch of forum posts about Steinitz's laws)? Prophylaxis is good, but development is pretty important too. Especially in the opening. A good training game (which is what I think of these 45/45 games as), if I ever face this position for real OTB I think I'll handle it better.

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