I mostly wanted to try out this nifty WordPress Chess plugin. I haven’t played any serious tournament chess since my senior year of high school in 2004. So here’s a game from the 2004 Virginia State Championship (where I placed 38 or something terrible like that). I never became that great of a player, but for scholastic high school tournaments, the standard game time is 30 minutes. I’m a slow analytic thinker, so I performed much better when I had at least an hour, as I did in the state tournament.
(I’m analyzing this game eight years later after having played hardly any chess, and I wasn’t that great to begin with, so take the following analysis with a grain of salt.)
In this game, I play white, and defend against the Sicilian opening with the Smith-Morra Gambit. I was rated 1030 and my opponent 1559. He really shouldn’t have succumbed to the gambit, but he was, fortunately for me, having an off-day and must not have been very familiar with the gambit. Typically higher players will not go for it. But it’s what I had studied against the Sicilian, so I probably would’ve played it against anyone.
The opening is a gambit for white because I sacrifice my d4 pawn immediately. Black takes. I’m down a pawn. I offer up my c3 pawn as well. Black takes the bait. After 4. Nxc3, just look at how open white’s position is compared to black, who has only moved one pawn so far. Is it worth sacrificing a pawn for such position? Of course. That’s the point.
Black makes small moves, trying to build up a defense, while I prepare for an attack on e5. When black tries 9. … Qc7 to try defending against the attack, 10. Nb5 quickly puts him back in his place. And with 11. e5 the attack begins, and it’s pretty much all downhill for black. After 19. Ndxf7, black resigns. Both his queen and rook are under attack, and he’s bound to lose the exchange no matter what. My pieces are breathing down his neck and his demise is only a matter of time.
Again, I was very fortunate with this game; I don’t think a 1500’s player would typically take the gambit. But not only did my opponent take the gambit, he allowed me to setup my attack exactly as planned. It’s definitely one of my greatest victories with the Smith-Morra gambit, but the victory was more a matter of luck.
Anyway, I think this chess plugin is quite nice. Perhaps I’ll post some other old games; it’s fun to look back on them, even though some of them are a bit over my head now that I’m so out of practice.