Lichess4545 Ledger 015
Issue #015 - February 6, 2017
State of the League
There was a huge amount of chess related content produced from round 4 and due to the plan to have @thibault's interview published (Go check it out here if you haven't already), we held onto a lot of tremendous content. This week we've unboxed all the stuff from round 4 of 45+45. Our main chess content in the "Chess For You" section is a write-up by @kjar on his entire week of preparation for his game against @FelixNL. Moreover, we have other new contributors to the ledger with @Journey_to_NM's video of his round 4 45+45 game and @Fuzz0410's puzzles from Round 4. Thanks so much for your interest in sharing chess related content to the chess community. Thanks as always to @Atrophied for his dedication to putting out content each week as well!
In 45+45, the much anticipated battle between heavyweight titans of 45+45, FM lovlas and LM TonyRo, was contested this past week. We also had our highest rated player by Lichess classical rating (~ 2650!!), @DM_CaptainObvious, play and win their first game in the league after waiting patiently as an alternate. Finally, Petrojan Horse continues to look unbeatable so far this season and remains the only team who has won all their matches.
In Lonewolf, a few players still remain at a perfect 4/4. Pre-tournament favorite LM Atrophied dropped another game, this time to @mariuseg and is at 2/4. The battle of Lonewolf moderators @lakinwecker vs @JPTriton was also contested and won by @JPTriton.
In other league news, Blitz-Battle #2 was contested this past Sunday where @Tapcon took the gold with a score of 7.5/8. See the full standings at https://www.lichess4545.com/blitzbattle/season/2/summary/. Overall, 22 players took part in the high intensity action. Thanks to @iebrian who did a fantastic job running the tournament.
Finally, the moderators of 45+45 are considering an addition to the rules of the League to deal with "Cheat detected" games (ban or yellow card). With this occurring multiple times in the League, we are working on how to address it in future games. To be clear we still ban players who are marked by Lichess with "This player uses chess computer assistance." Please share any thoughts you have with the Lichess4545 moderators about this issue, if you have any.
Notable Lichess4545 community member video/contributions:
@Atrophied continues to post his Lonewolf and 45+45 games
@Journey_to_NM plays his Lonewolf Game in Round 4 vs @ianremsen on a tablet!
@Fuzz0410 has put together a collection of tactical puzzles from Round 4 games in 45+45. They have all been uploaded into a Lichess study. The first puzzle is embedded below. Open the study in Lichess to see all the other puzzles.
Stats from Round 5 of 45+45: Thanks to @somethingpretentious for his work to automate the process of coming up with these stats. It is much appreciated!
- Biggest upset: 144 point difference Treppenhouse 1886 beats bandessz 2030 Gamelink
- Lowest ACPL game: 6 ACPL by s2004k1993 against kobol Gamelink
- Lowest combined ACPL game: 28 combined ACPL gandalf013 vs DK_Chess Gamelink
- Highest ACPL game: 117 ACPL by Immortality in loss to skillet Gamelink
- Highest combined ACPL game: 210 combined ACPL skillet vs Immortality Gamelink
- Longest game: Reached move 88 majsza vs xVaria Gamelink
- Quickest mate: Mate on move 29 by jorjor5379 against hive Gamelink
- Fastest draw: Ends on move 25 SuperIntegration vs robinhood76 Gamelink
- Fastest resign: Resign on move 17 by glbert against agrav123 Gamelink
Stats from Round 4 of Lonewolf:
- Biggest upset: 405 point difference mariuseg 2017 beats LM Atrophied 2422 Gamelink
- Lowest ACPL game: 5 ACPL by DonJohn against blaser Gamelink
- Lowest combined ACPL game: 22 combined ACPL ChukoDiman vs Aeilnrst Gamelink
- Highest ACPL game: 87 ACPL by EamonMont in loss to Beauvain Gamelink
- Highest combined ACPL game: 141 combined ACPL EamonMont vs Beauvain Gamelink
- Longest game: Reached move 61 Alex_slow vs inflammableking Gamelink
- Quickest mate: Mate on move 25 by kjar against jaunte Gamelink
- Fastest draw: Ends on move 24 ChukoDiman against Aeilnrst Gamelink
- Fastest resign: Resign on move 11 by hitecherik against carrotop Gamelink
Finally as always feel free to join #lichessledger on slack if you want to help or contribute in any way to this newsletter.
Chess For You
Written by @kjar
Why do we play slow games online? While there is plenty of room for different opinions, very few people would argue against huge educational value of thoughtful chess. Close your Facebook account, switch YouTube off, spend a solid two hours playing a game, and then take your time to do some proper analysis.
Throughout this season, I've also seen a lot of players mention spending time on opening preparation. Here is a huge advantage of online chess--you have access to all the games your opponent has played. No need to buy expensive databases, no need to guess how their opening repertoire has evolved. And this is a huge asset to leverage. Here, I'd like to write a quick summary of how I prepared for my recent game against FelixNL. I was taking notes throughout the whole week, so this summary is not affected by actual game results and the line we ended up playing. I hope this would be helpful for those who would like to use a somewhat systematic approach to their opening prep. I am also very open to discussion and training specific opening lines with those who may be interested.
Season 6, Round 4. My team, Bobby Fischer and the Checkmates, playing against Petrojan Horse. After 3 rounds, we have 5 points (2 wins and 1 draw). Our opponents have won all their matchups, so they have 6 points. I am playing Black, my current rating is 2088, my opponent's rating is 2264.
Let's start with a very basic question - what do I need? Obviously, as Black, first, I want to equalize. Second, I want to get a position that will be somewhat interesting to play, with reasonable plans available to both sides. I want to have a chance to play for a win, if needed, as our opponents are rather strong, and as of now I have no idea what the actual score will be when the game is played. My opponent usually plays 1.d4 as his first move.
Most of the time, I respond to 1. d4 with d5, and I play either Slav or Semi-Slav. I tried experimenting with Benoni, but it didn't go quite well. Not a fan of Botvinnik and/or Moscow variations - too sharp to my taste.
Let's go through his games and see what options we have. Here are some interesting findings:
at some point, he played two games vs. JPTriton in something Lichess calls "Chameleon Slav". I have always known this line as Chebanenko (4...a6). Both times, my opponent played 5. c5. This may be interesting--not because I know how to play Chebanenko, but because there seems to be a consistent approach. I can see what are the ways of responding to this move.
In this 10-minute game against diko65, as well as in few others, my opponent faced the Queen's Gambit Declined, played its exchange version and got something called Carlsbad pawn structure. If you are a d4 player, I am sure that every once in a while you get pawns placed like this:
Basically, White has two popular plans here: playing for a minority attack on the queenside (Rb1, b4, a4 etc.) or playing Ne2-g3, f3 and, when properly prepared, e4. The idea of the minority attack to exchange queenside pawns and either get the open C-file or cause some weaknesses in Black's pawn structure: a weak unsupported pawn on c6, a nice outpost for a knight on c5, or maybe both. The idea of e4 was developed by Botvinnik, and here White is trying to get a strong attack in the center. Black is usually playing for a kingside attack, exchanging its bad light square bishop and maybe preparing f5 at some point. The good news was that even though my opponent was getting the Carlsbad structure quite a few times, he never seemed to execute either of these plans, playing more "common sense" moves instead. If I have a strong plan prepared and if I know what are the good options, I may be able to get something out of it.
The Noteboom Gambit is something that I always wanted to try. It's rather sharp, but it's "common sense" sharp. After a number of complications, Black is supposed to get two passed pawns on a and b files, instead giving White two connected passers on c and d. It's considered to be good for Black, but playing right moves is critical, and in most lines the Black king gets stuck in the center, so playing very accurately is important.
Rather often, my opponent plays the Exchange Slav. Unlike the exchange version of the Queen's Gambit, this one is rather boring and dull.
Choices to Make
First, my two "traditional Slav" options. The exchange variation is definitely something I'd like to avoid. It's boring to play, it's bland. Chebanenko? I watched this short video
It seems like the 5...Bf5 variation is very playable, and I may have chances there. I found a copy of the 10-year old book by Viktor Bologan--a solid 300 pages about all the lines of Chebanenk--and reviewed this specific chapter. I also found a rather helpful blog post (http://streathambrixtonchess.blogspot.ru/2012/08/once-was-enough-vii-chebanenko-slav.html) and another helpful video (https://ichess.net/2013/01/29/dominate-with-the-slav-defense-chebanenko-variation-gibraltar-chess-2013/). This definitely looked like something I could play. But my biggest concern is that if I went for Chebanenko, there would be no way of preventing my opponent from playing the exchange variation. Not sure if he goes for it in this specific game, but... all right, how strongly do I actually dislike it?
Then, my Semi-Slav lines. Noteboom and potential Carlsbad options. When it comes to the Noteboom Gambit, I started going through two opening surveys in the Chessbase Opening Encyclopedia. One was done by GM Dorian Rogozenko, the other one by GM Michal Krasenkow. Funny, they sort of contradicted each other on some evaluations. However, most of the lines seemed very playable, even though they required me to study some specific move orders. With the Carlsbad, as said above, I'd be comfortable to get this pawn structure from the opening. I have seen a few videos on chess.com, and simply googling for "Carlsbad pawn structure" will give you a ton of useful videos. The topic is definitely something you might like to research if 1. d4 is your main first move.
So, Semi-Slav, that's it. In order to avoid the Exchange Slav, I'll have to play 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6. This may be a surprise for my opponent, as I don't play the QGD that often, and he'll be expecting me to play 2....c6. Then, his third move is most likely 3. Nc3, and I'll play c6. If he plays 4. Nf3 or 4. Bf4, I can go for Noteboom lines (although 4. Bf4 may lead to some crazy complications; here is a very exciting game from 1981: https://chess.gallery/game/uqtS3ty3__6zcGIJHHG_LweF/ ).
If he plays 4.e3, I can even try a Stonewall-like position with 4. ... f5, as this would mean both of his Bishops will be staying in somewhat miserable positions for quite a while.
He'll have his option of playing 4. cxd, to which I'l reply 4....exd, getting the Carlsbad. Any examples of how my opponent reacted to d5 e6 c6 move order? Here is a pretty epic fight against cyanfish:
In this game, he exchanged on d5 and avoided Noteboom. Another game was:
as mentioned above
Here is the full study with comments:
From a round 5 game in 45+45 on board 3: @Dctrip13 vs @Prune2000. Black just played b6. White to move. White had just blown a winning game but finds that black has blundered it back at this moment. How does white capitalize?
For the answer see gamelink.
Lichess4545 Ledger #015 ©2017 by Thienan Nguyen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
Preparing for An Opponent in 45+45 by @kjar
Thanks to @kjar, @somethingpretentious, @seb32, and @Fuzz0410 for their contributions. Thanks to @petruchio for his help in editing this issue.