Time and again, I play a "good" blitz chess game. In blitz chess you have 5 minutes thinking for the totality of your game. This demands quick reasoning and a certain level of dexterity - with the mouse, if you are playing online as I usually do.
My blitz rating on the chess.com site hovers around 2150-2200 elo points, which puts me at the level of a strong candidate master or something like that, which is more or less how I would describe myself. But time is of course running at a slower, but more unforgiving pace in my life, and I know that my sport prowess is going to decline - hell, it has already. So it makes me happy when I see that I can still play a blitz game at a decent level. Today is one of those days.

This being my blog, it sometimes collect my random thoughts as well as things I wish to remind myself of, from time to time. For no other particular reason I am pasting here the moves of the game, with minimal commentary. Of course, if you like chess and can read a chess diagram, you may want to linger around and look at the game below. Be sure to leave a comment in the thread if you like it...

Tommaso Dorigo - Otzror, chess.com July 1 2024, 5' blitz

1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Nf6 3.c4 c6 4. d4 cxd5 5.Nc3 Bf5?! 6.Qb3

This is a minor line of the Panov attack in the Caro-Kann defense, which we have reached by transposition from a Scandinavian. Black's fifth move is inaccurate, as it weakens the b7 square, and by exploiting it white gains an edge.

6. ... Qb6 7.Qxb6 

It was also possible to play cxd5 directly, but I like queenless middlegames...

7. ... axb6
8.cxd5 Na6
9.Bb5 Bd7
10.Bc4 Nb4

The battle revolves around the d5 pawn, which seems destined to fall... Now black threatens the Nc2+ fork, which I address in a radical way.

11. Kd2!? 

11. ... 0-0-0
12. a3! Na6
13.Nf3 Be8

Again, a rather radical solution, but also a strong one. Black was threatening Nc7 and to win back the d5 pawn, after which white would have nothing to show for a misplaced king. My 14th move is already meant to sacrifice the exchange in e5 (the point of the rook manouver, which will be what happens in three more moves:

15.Re5 Ng4

The analysis feature of chess.com at depth 20 does not put the rook-sac move I played with Ke2 as one of the three best ones, preferring Re1, Re4, or Re2, all with a score of about +0.8. But as soon as I play the move on the board, the evaluation actually jumps up to +1.3! This is a sign that the move is very strong AND really not trivial to conceive. A nice exchange sacrifice, indeed, and one that guarantees white a lasting initiative.

17.dxe5 e6
18.d6 Na6
19.b4! Bd7?

It was imperative to play 19....f6 here, after which white has a winning advantage nonetheless, but must be careful.


Again the strongest move here. The evaluation jumps to +5.1 after it.

20.... f6
21.Bxb6 Re8
22. Rd1

Here 22.b5 would have been even stronger, but white's position is hard to spoil at this point. Note that from a merely materialistic point of view, the head count is about equal, and yet the evaluation is at +8 in white's favor - clearly, in chess the play of your pieces is by far the most important aspect. And in this era of computer analysis, you can see that the concept has come to dominate chess tournaments at all levels. 

22. ... fxe5
23.Nxe5 g6

Can you see what is the best continuation for white here?


No, it is not this. In fact, I had less than two minutes left here, and I missed the very simple Nxd7, when black can't take back as Kxd7 Bb5+ is curtains. But fortunately, nothing can be spoiled here no more...

24.... Nb8
25.Ba7 Nc6
26.Bxc6 bxc6
27.b5?! cxb5

Finally hitting the right idea. Black is tied hands and feet and can only observe the execution.


At this point the computer informs us that it is already forced mate in 11 moves!

30. Nxd7 Kxa7

Can you see the elegant finish? It is mate in 4 now.

31.Rc7+ Ka6

It was more stubborn Ka8, but anyway...

32. Nec5+ Ka5
33. Ra7 mate.

A high-quality game considering it is 5' chess... At least, at my level of play.