Back from vacations, I found the usual pile of errands, tons of unattended emails, papers to review to take care of at work. I got home pretty tired tonight, and I was more than else looking for some relaxation when I logged on the Internet Chess Club for a couple of blitz chess games. Instead, I found some fulfilment by winning a short game with the black pieces. White was International Master Vladimir Barskij, Fide ELO 2419 in the current list, number 2273 in the world. Not a top chess player, but one of those I sometimes have a chance of beating.

Here is the game, with minimal commentary - not a particularly interesting game, but I sometimes do use this blog as a sort of logbook - a dump of memories. Please excuse the scarce interest of the game and the post in general!

Barskij-Dorigo, ICC 5' chess, August 21st, 2009

1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Bf5 3.c4 c6 4.Nc3 e6 5.Qb3 Qb6 6.c5 Qxb3 7.axb3 Na6 (diagram)

Up to here, these moves are well known, although not played very often. The setup put together by black is the so-called "Keres defence", with which black tries to solve radically the problem of the lightsquared bishop in queen's openings, by developing it at once. This leads to the weakness of the b7 square, which white tries to exploit with Qb3, and the position resulting from the variation played in this game may continue with a tactical melee. In this game, white feels insecure about his next move (which he plays after some thinking), and he chooses a secondary variation. Best here is 8.e4! Nb4 as played in a couple of recent games by Peter Svidler. 8.Nh4?! Bc2 9.Ra3 Nb4 White is still in control of the position, and if he can unwind he will have the upper hand, thanks to the open a file and the c5 wedge. However white here loses his thread: 10.Kd2 Nf6 11.Na2? Ne4+ 12.Ke1 Nxa2 winning a pawn 13.Rxa2 Bxb3 14.Ra3 Bc4 (diagram)

Black has a technically winning position, although the endgame is far away... But white hastens the end with a careless move; 15.Nf3 was needed here. 15.Bf4? g5! 16.Be5 f6 17.f3 fxe5 (diagram)

since he now is down a piece and his center is collapsing. 0-1