The rapid competition at my chess club started tonight. They were essentially 25 minute games. I won 2 but lost my third and final game to Les Mikolajczyk(a middlegame miscalculation *tsk tsk*). Les and I played the Bb5 Sicilian main line and I ultimately paid the price for a rash pawn move to e5 as I didn't take the time to calculate. Ouch!
I am not totally happy with the other 2 games I won either. I didn't really have to do anything special except not blundering and slowly improving my pieces to better squares. In my first game, my opponent erred and trapped his own Queen and it was pretty much downhill all the way for him from there onwards leading to a winning Q+R v R+N endgame. In my second game, I could easily have lost and my opponent missed the tactical shot and blundered his Rook and resigned. If I had been playing my brother-in-law, I would've got whacked easily.
I notice a dangerous pattern appearing in my play. I would take my time to calculate and then spot the move I AM NOT supposed to make but 3 moves later, I had totally forgotten about it and blundered just the same.
At the same time, I looked over my brother-in-law's play. He was White and played the Nimzo Indian (albeit his opponent missed a winning tactical shot that would have won him a piece). Bill Gletsos won his game in a French Exchange. The endgame was reached as shown.
It looked tricky and curiously enough, Steven, Bill and I couldn't find a way for White to win from this position. However, things are now more apparent with Fritz and indicates White can win but he has to be precise. The familiar theme of zugzwang raises its head again. The quickest way for White to win is 1. Bb8 (blocking off the crucial b8-h2 diagonal for the Black king) then h5! (to first crimp the Black g7-pawn) and subsequently play Bc7 and once the Black King moves to e6, then f4 followed by Be5.
One thing for sure, I learnt a lot about this endgame play from Fritz.
Anyway, next week. It'll be another issue and I'm already looking forward to it. I'm not entirely happy with one of the players tonight. As soon as she finished, she started to talk loudly, disturbing other players. I can understand if you want to raise an issue but I would really really appreciate if you can at least whisper or take it out of the playing hall. Silence is golden. :)