Sjeng : NK2001 games

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Week 1 - Day 1

Game 1 : Fritz - Sjeng

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. f3 O-O 6. Be3 e5 7. Nge2 c6 8.
Qd2 Nbd7 9. O-O-O a6 10. Kb1 b5 11. Nc1 bxc4 12. dxe5 Nxe5 13. Qxd6 Qa5

Sjeng went out of book now. Fritz got out of book on the next move. My Fritz 7 book
has 14.Qc5 here, which is not nearly as good as Sjeng's move.

14.Bd4! Re8

The ChessBase guys, Frans Morsch and Mathias Feist were getting worried at this point. Sjeng
was happily displaying a +1 score and Fritz agreed with it. White threatens Bxe5 and after the series
of exchanges he is simply a pawn up with black's attack completely gone. Certainly a very good situation
to be in vs. the potential winner of the tournament!


15. b4??

Ouch. A horrible move. Black's winning chances depend on an attack vs the king, and
with this move White welcomes him with open arms. I later found out that Sjeng blindness
to the attack was caused by a cut 'n paste error in the kingsafety evaluation. Ouch again!
After fixing it Sjeng quickly realizes 15. Bxe5 is the better move.

15. .. Qa3 16. Bxe5 Nxe4 17. Nxe4 Bxe5 18. Qd2

The score was plummeting rapidly now. White is helpless.

Fritz had predicted all moves except for Bd4 and b4, and would predict the remaining ones too,
causing it to win the game with only 4 minutes of thinking time used.

18. ..  Be6 19. f4 Bg7 20. Bxc4 Bxc4 21. Nc5 Rab8 22. N5b3 Re3 23. Qd8+ Rxd8
24. Rxd8+ Bf8 25. Rhd1 Be6 26. R1d3 Re1 27. Re8 Rf1

Game 2 : Gadget - Sjeng

1. e4 c5 2. c3 Nf6 3. e5 Nd5 4. d4 cxd4 5. Nf3 e6 6. cxd4 b6 7. Nc3 Nxc3 8.
bxc3 Qc7 9. Bd2 Bb7 10. Bd3 d6 11. O-O Nd7 12. Ng5

White gambits the pawn for attacking chances.

12. .. dxe5 13. Qh5 g6

A forced weakening of the black kingside.

 14. Qh3 Be7 15. Rfe1 Bxg5?

While this removes the knight from it's attacking position, it also enhances
the weakness of the black squares. Black surely had better alternatives.

16. Bxg5 Qxc3 17. dxe5 O-O

Castles into a very dangerous position. The d7 knight holds off the mating threats.

18. Rac1 Qb4


19. Qh4?

After the queen trade the black weaknesses lose most of their importance and
he gets the better of it now.

19 .. Qxh4 20. Bxh4 Rfc8 21. Rcd1 Nc5 22. Bc4 Ba6 23. Bxa6 Nxa6 24. Re2
Nb4 25. Bg5 Rc5 26. Be7

Locking in the king.

26. .. Rd5 27. Red2 Nxa2

With a little help from the backrank tricks black gives birth to two connected passers.

28. Rxd5 exd5 29. Rxd5 Nc3 30.Rd7 b5 31. g4 a5 32. g5 b4


White's pieces look great but accomplish nothing. Black just has to push his pawns.
The win is trivial.

33. Rd3 Rb8 34. h4 b3 35. e6 b2 36. exf7+ Kxf7 37. Rf3+ Kxe7 38. Re3+ Kf7
39. Re1 b1=Q 40. Rxb1 Rxb1+ 41. Kg2 a4 42. f4 a3 43. f5 a2 44. fxg6+ Kg7
45. gxh7 a1=Q 46. h8=Q+ Kxh8 47. Kh3 Rg1 48. h5 Qe1 49. g6 Qg3#

Game 3 : Sjeng - Tao

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e5

Tao (or is it Cock de Gorter?) chooses the gambit way.

 3. dxe5 Ng4 4. e4 Nxe5 5. f4 Nec6 6. Be3 Na6 7. Nc3 Bb4
8. Ne2 d6 9. a3 Bc5 10. Bxc5 Nxc5 11. b4 Ne6 12. f5 Nf8 13. Nf4

Black has lured the white pawns forward in the hope that they will
become weak. Even so, white has a comfortable game.

13. .. Nd7 14. Be2 a5 15. b5 Nce5 16. O-O O-O 17. Qd5 Nc5
18. Rad1 Ncd7

Simply Re8 may have been better, keeping the knights on their good squares.


19. Ne6

Bang! This move got me excited, even if it's not really that dangerous.

19 ..  fxe6 20. fxe6 Kh8 21. exd7 Nxd7 22. Rxf8+ Qxf8 23. Qf5

I'm not sure if allowing a queen trade was really the best plan here.

23. .. Qxf5 24. exf5 b6 25. Nd5 Ra7 26.Rf1 Ne5 27. Rf4 Rb7 28. g4


With black's pieces locked in on the queenside, white starts to press on the kingside.

28. .. Bd7 29. Ne7 Rb8 30. g5 Rf8 31. Nd5 Rxf5 32. Rxf5 Bxf5 33. Nxc7 Be4
34. Ne8 Nf7 35. Bh5 g6 36. Be2 Bc2 37. Nf6 Nxg5 38. Nd5 Kg7 39. Nxb6

White gets a passed pawn, in exchange for a blacks majority on the kingside. The
passer looks dangerous, but is it really? I have the feeling it should have been
possible for Sjeng to get more out of its position, but I cannot point out obvious

Be4 40. Nd5 Ne6 41. Kf2 Nc5 42. Bf3 Bd3 43. Be2 Be4 44. b6
Bxd5 45. cxd5 Kf6 46. Bb5 Ke5 47. Bc6 Ke4 48. b7 Na6 49. Ke2 Nb8 50. h4 h6
51. Kf2 Kf4 52. Be8 g5 53. hxg5 hxg5 54. Bf7 Na6 55. Be8 Nb8 56. Kg2


White's advantage is not enough for the win.

Week 1 - Day 2

Game 4 : SpiderChess - Sjeng

1. d4 d5 2. g3 c6 3. Bg2 Nf6 4. Nf3 Bf5 5. O-O h6 6. c4 e6 7. Nc3 Be7 8. b3
O-O 9. Bb2 Nbd7 10. Nd2 Rc8 11. e4 dxe4 12. Ncxe4 Re8 13. Nxf6+ Nxf6 14.
Nf3 Be4 15. Ne5 Bxg2 16. Kxg2 Rc7

I found this a weird move. The idea could be to double the rooks on the c-file,
but Sjeng never gets around doing that. White's game is much more natural than
the cramped black position.

17. Qe2 Bd6 18. f4 Rce7 19. a3 a6 20. b4 a5 21. Bc3 a4 22. Rae1 Qa8 23. Rf3 h5?


Bad blunder, caused by ignorance of what is really going on. Because of the space
advantage and outpost on e5, white was a good attacking position. Sjeng on the
other hand reasoned that it's kingposition was much better than white's, so it was
allowable to weaken it a little in order to increase the pressure on white. In reality,
it's just the other way around.

24. h3 Qa6 25. Bb2

g4! was even possible here

Bb8 26. Kh1 b5 27. Rc3 Qb7 28. Qf3 Rc7 29. Rec1
Qb6 30. R3c2

Black has no real counterplay on the queenside. Because of the space
advantage white can manoeuver to defend easily.

30. .. g6?

Same judgement error as earlier. 31. g4! is again a possibility.

 31. Qd3 Rf8 32. cxb5 cxb5 33. Rxc7 Bxc7 34. Nxg6


The weaknesses take their toll. After fxg6 there follows Qxg6 Kh8 d5! and the
pressure of the b2 bishop is too much. Now, black is a pawn down, but the endgame
is still tenable.

34. .. Qb7+ 35.Kh2 Re8 36. Rc5 Qe4 37. Qxe4 Nxe4 38. Rxc7 fxg6 39. Kg2 Kf8
40. Bc1 Nd6 41.g4 Rc8 42. Rc5 Ke7 43. Rxc8 Nxc8 44. Kg3


44... Nd6

Ouch! This gives white an easy win. After hxg4 black has excellent drawing
chances. Sjeng did not understand the concept of protected passed pawns
yet and now pays deerly!

45. gxh5 gxh5 46. Kh4 Kf6 47. Kxh5 Kf5 48. Kh6 Kf6 49. h4 Ne8 50.
Bd2 Nd6 51. Bc3 Ne4 52. Ba1 Kf7 53. h5 Nd2 54. f5 exf5 55. Kg5 Ne4+ 56.
Kxf5 Nd6+ 57. Kf4 Nc8 58. d5 Nd6 59. Bd4 Kg8

Game 5 : Sjeng - XiniX

1. d4 c5 2. d5 e6 3. c4 exd5 4. cxd5 Nf6 5. Nf3 d6 6. Nc3 a6 7. a4 g6 8.
Bf4 Bg7 9. e4 O-O 10. Be2 Bg4 11. O-O Re8 12. Nd2 Bxe2 13. Qxe2 Nh5 14. Be3
Nd7 15. a5 Bd4 16. Ra4 Bxe3 17. Qxe3 f5

Both programs out of book now. This was one of the longest booklines in the
tournament. White has a fine position, and black has some counterplay on the

18. Nc4 f4 19. Qf3 Qf6 20. b4 Rac8 21. bxc5 Nxc5 22. Rb4 Rc7 23. Rfb1 Nd7
24. Qd3 Nc5 25. Qc2


Sjeng is commiting a strategical error. By manoeuvering all pieces to the queenside,
the vulnerable kingside becomes a major problem. XiniX doesn't hesitate to take

25. .. f3 26. Rb6

Stubbornly going on. Neither me nor Tony Werten believed g3 was playable,
but I was not able to find a win for black afterwards.

26. ..  Nd7 27. Rxd6 Qg7

Qg5 was a bit more obvious and direct, but this probably works just as well.

28. Rxd7 Qxd7 29. Qb3 Rec8

Now white loses a knight due to the power of doubled rooks.

30. Ne5 Qd6


31. Nxf3 Rxc3

The f3 threat is now gone, but at the cost of a piece and back rank
problems are right around the corner...

32. Qxb7 Rc1+ 33. Ne1 Nf6 34. Qb2 Qf4 35. g3 Rxb1 36. Qxb1 Rc1
37. Qb4 Nxd5 38. gxf4 Nxb4 39. Kf1

Game 6 : EEC - Sjeng

1. Nf3 d5 2. c3 Nf6 3. d4 c5 4. Bg5 e6 5. Nbd2 Nc6 6. e3 Be7 7. Be2 O-O 8. Bxf6 gxf6

Ugly move. After Bxf6 dxc5 Sjeng does not see that black will regain the pawn
later on.

 9. a4 e5 10. dxe5 fxe5 11. Bb5 e4 12. O-O


Oops! EEC's author had just explained me how he had increased the bonus for
castling to two pawns because of previous losses. So EEC happily gives a
knight for a pawn and a castled king.

12. .. exf3 13. gxf3 Bh3 14. Bxc6 Bh4 15. f4 Kh8 16. Nb3

Overlooking the mate.

16. .. Rg8+ 17. Qg4 Rxg4+ 18. Kh1 Bg2+ 19. Kg1 Bf3#
[Week 2]