Category Archives: Queen’s Gambit

Bullet Time #2: No One Knows How to Play This Line!

Last time I posted a bullet game from my bullet account it was about 1250 from the initial 1000, we’ve made it to nearly 1600 after this last game which I wanted to show. It ended up being a perfect 0-0-0 against a 1715 in an Exchange Slav which I love. There is a very sharp line that happens in the opening that’s surprisingly popular and not many people seem to know what to do.

Our analysis starts in the position above where Black played Bg4. It’s normally played to pin the knight to the Queen provided e3 has been played. This is the 4th most common move in all of Lichess’ database so it’s not rare by any means. Black is immediately posed a question, do you take the knight, move the bishop, play e3? For lower rated players it can be a bit much so early on, especially in a bullet game where calculation is kept to a minimum. The best move is Bd7 admitting Bg4 was inaccurate, however that is the 5th most common move in this position and surprisingly Nxe5 which is an inaccuracy is the most common!

The evaluation after Nxe5 dxe5 is +2 for White, essentially putting White into a winning position immediately. We’ll see why the position is so good but it most of it relates to the weakened Queen side and the initiative White gets. This position alone I spend at least 30minutes reviewing, the Lichess analysis has all the lines and comments which would be too much for the blog.

Instead of taking on e5 my opponent plays a similarly bad move which is the 4th most common played. Do you see the tread of players who can’t navigate this position? The average rating is 2142 for those who played it. There are a lot of arrows below but it’s pretty simple why this move is a blunder. White starts with Qa4 pinning the knight on c6 to the King and proceeds to follow with e3 readying Bb5. Black simply can’t defend it properly with the Queen, knight and bishop hitting c6. My opponent plays a terrible defensive move after 1. Qa4 Rc8 2. Nxc6 Rxc6 3. e3 a6 which is below.

The idea here is Black wants to stop me from playing Bb4 and adding an attacker to the rook but there is a tactical shot here. Bxa6! Black cannot recapture the bishop with the b pawn because the b pawn defends the rook on c6. Taking would allow Qxc6+ and it would be even worse for Black. After 1. Bxc6 e6 2. Bb5 the game becomes a matter of simplification and pushing my outside passed pawns. The tactics in the opening get a much deeper analysis on Lichess but the simple overview does it some justice here.

View Full Game Analysis on Lichess.org

Bullet Time #1: Best Moves with No Time?

I was never much of a bullet player but lately I wanted to start playing 2-0 for fun as a way to decompress from playing 10-0. It’s also nice to let the tactics and opening knowledge work their magic when they come with out calculation. I started from about 1000 recently and was working my way up to see how long it would take to reach my 1600-1700 range of my other time controls. I played a game today that was nearly perfect against 1651 bullet 1850 blitz player so I had to dive into it and figure out why it all worked out.

Bullet all comes down to tactics and previous knowledge, in this game we played into the second most popular line of the exchange slave. It’s a position I’ve been in a ton of times and didn’t have to think about at all.

It’s Black’s move in the position above, to me there is really only one move I’d play here and it’s h6 asking the bishop what’s up. The c8 bishop will most likely end up on b6 and the a rook on the c file opposite my Queen which is exactly what happens. There is pressure on h7 which is why h6 is a good idea proactively, I have a tactical sequence to remove the knight from f6 guarding h7 once the rook lands on c8.

Typically a rook opposite the Queen is ideal but in the position above Black can’t stop the knight being removed from f6 regardless of how they recapture. In the game I played 1. Nxd7 and the Queen or knight must take back, Black plays 1…Nxd7 2. Bxe7 Qxe7 3. Bxh7+. Even with the sequence of 1. Nxd7 Qxd7 then 2. Bxf6 Bxf6 3. Bxh7+ still.

The plan from here is very simple, control the c file, double the rooks and try to expand on the Queen side. Black doesn’t have any weakness at the moment so I would need to create and probe, if I am able to get a rook to the 7th rank or harass the a7 pawn that would be a start. Black makes a terrible mistake and gives themself a weakness with doubled pawns with: 1…Nf6 2. Rc1 Ne4 3. Bxe4 and Black now has doubled e pawns with a bishop on b7.

This is enough to be game winning now, the e pawn is a target, the c file is under my control and after Rd1 the center is under control as well. I go into the full review on Lichess.

View Full Game Analysis on Lichess.org

Super Blitz #22: Wild Knight Moves

This is a game vs a 1566 in the Traditional variation of the QGD which happens to be my favorite opening of all time.

There is one very important idea Black didn’t play to strengthen their structure which cost them the game. Black needs to play c6 in order to defend d5 in the center and then play the knight to d7.

It’s Black move, the position is equal and Black only has one real weakness which is the pawn on d5. Black needs to play c6 to bolster the d pawn, if you notice once I castle the knight on c3 threatens to capture the pawn and fork the Queen and bishop in the process.

Black does eventually defend the pawn but with the Rook instead. The fact that their bishop captured my knight allowed me to attack the d pawn twice once the King castled. There was a line to partially defend with Ne7 which I look at in the analysis. From this point Black goes down a pawn, recaptures their bishop with the Queen and I capture the knight on c6 with my bishop stacking their c pawns. We get the position below where Black is down a pawn and the Queen side structure is a wreck.

Objectively the position is lost here, even with proper defense Black has too many pawn weaknesses I could exploit while stretching their defenses too thin. The game becomes a matter of technique and clean up from here. The opening had some theory and I analysis quite a few possible lines for the future on lichess.

View Full Game Analysis on Lichess.org

Super Blitz #19: Solid Exchange Slav, Knight’s Journey

I’m trying something new here and putting the entire game as a gif at the start, it allows the reader to jump into the game immediately and then understand the analysis of the position better as we move through the post.

This game was played very well in the opening by my opponent who was 1521. Until move 15 I was in familiar territory that I’d been in multiple times, the clock shows it as I used 15 seconds and my opponent a minute. This is one of the reason having a solid repertoire in super blitz is so important, not having to figure out the moves until the middle games leaves you with so much more time than if every move was considered for the first 10-15.

The position on move 15 where both sides have a good position.

A key moment here is when both sides have a solid position and there is no clear way to proceed, I decide to make a 3 move knight maneuver to get to an outpost on c5.

We come to the position above where I have dominance over the c file, a strong knight on c5, and an attack on the g6 knight which will weaken Black structure after the recapture. The f3 knight is prepared to jump into e5 in another outpost once the g6 knight is removed as mentioned above.

Here on move 30 Black makes the final mistake after allowing a knight fork on the King and rook. The move to play is Nxe3 with a revealed attack on the bishop on c6 and an attack on the Queen from the e4 knight. The game is completely won after this and only lasts two more moves.

View Full Game on Lichess.org