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.
I don’t play against the Grunfeld too often and I usually don’t enjoy it when I do. Black’s goal of a swift Queen side attack in conjunction with the g7 bishop is completely different than the standard QGD or QGA which I feel more comfortable in. I’m not quite sure of my opponents rating since they were the default 1500 rating but they seem to be in the 1700s classical and 1500s blitz which seems low, however it’s a new account.
They played well, only 5 inaccuracies and 2 mistakes. I think they used the opening book and chose the highest win percentage lines, something common in correspondence games, it’s noticeable when 7…Nc6 is played instead of c5 which is the thematic break in the Grunfeld. Nc6 scored 41% winning for Black but is seen as an inaccuracy and the game changes completely without the c5 break as Black’s main plan. I follow up Blacks move with f4 which takes us out of book and they immediately make a mistake.
The typical Grunfeld opening, Black is looking to play c5 and pressure the Queen side while opening up the g7 bishop.
I mentioned in the intro that Black immediately started to make mistakes when taken out of the opening book. After f4 they played e6 allowing Ba3 and preventing the King from being able to castle. This one mistake plagues Black til move 15, wastes time having to move the bishop back to swap it off and removes their castling ability anyway as the King recaptures.
The Queen side structure is something you’d see from a Grunfeld opening where Black has more pawns on the Queen side but in this position Black is about to lose the a and b pawns after axb5 axb5 Bxb5 Rxb5 and left with only the c pawn which becomes a target.
The c pawn is eventually lost and we end up in this position where Black appears to have a tactical shot. Black plays Ne6 with a discovery on my Queen and an attack on the d4 rook. Play follows as 1…Ne6 2. Qxc8+ Kg7 3. Qb7 Nxd4, if you’re following along mentally there is a attack on the f7 pawn 4. Rxf7+ Kh6 5. Nxd4 Qd1+ 6. Kg2 Qxd4.
The below position picks up from the above with 7. Qe7 and Black is simply lost here. There is no perpetual since my King can hide on h3, mate is coming after Qh4.
So I managed to play against two of my favorite opening structures in one game. The KID has been popular because it’s aggressive and is a a must know when playing online at this point, I enjoy playing against it because I know it well. The Exchange Grunfield is very similar to the Marshall Defense against the Queens Gambit (if you’ve read I’ve wrote about the Marshall on this blog you’ll know I say to never play it).
Black is going for the counter strike to the center from the flanks as more modern openings go. The downside here is if you don’t know that you have to play on the flanks and continue in the fashion of a normal game White gets an absolutely awesome position. I have a feeling that Black knew some theory but it quickly ran out in the next 3 moves as c5, the proverbial pawn break Black needs after 6…Nxc5 7. bxc3, was never played.
Here is the position stated above, Black needs to break the control White has over the center immediately. Rather than c5 Black plays a6 which is far too slow and continues to push the Queen side pawns in lieu of developing the Queen side pieces.
We come to the above position where Black has played b5 and I respond with a4. Playing a4 forces Black to make some choices where none of the answers lead to anything good. The computer recommends Black to play b4 in the attempts to undermine the structure temporarily giving away a pawn and then play Nc6 to fork the b and d pawns while accepting isolated a and c pawns.
Minor advantages add up over time, the weak c pawn, the lack of center control, the eventual two bishops all culminate in a dominate position for me in the end. Check out the full game and analysis on Lichess below.
This is a game against a 1662 which turned into a short vs long castle pawn storm game. These tend to be very exciting and this was no exception, the possibility of a quick checkmate by throwing pawns down the board is always fun. It tends to come down to activity and aggression, whoever has more of it generally wins due to the lack of time to fix innacuracies or act passively.
The opening position is rather sharp but playable for both sides. White attacks the knight with 6. Qd3 and the game follows 6…Nxc3 7. Qxc3 d5 8. Ne2 0-0 9. 0-0-0
It turns into a great game and a perfect example of how double edged opposite side castling can be