Saturday, October 2, 2010

IM Marc Esserman Guest Annotates

Greetings USCL Fans,

I normally refrain from annotating my games in great detail, instead letting the moves do the talking, for better or worse. Botvinnik once claimed that critically analyzing your own thoughts during games will ultimately lead to chess improvement, yet I have avoided this advice, instead focusing on mastering the art of blitz, one minute, and fifteen second chess while playing poker. However, I would like to finally try my hand at the analytical approach, and see what fruits may come to bear.

I will focus on my two US Chess League games from 2010, the most recent of which was played just two days prior. Having not played many serious events since August 14th, 2005, these games provided an excellent opportunity to get some real practice in.

IM Dmitry Zilberstein (2429) vs IM Marc Esserman (2492) [D31] 10.01.2010

1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 c6?

Black makes too many useless Pawn moves, neglecting development in the process.

4. e4!± dxe4 5. Nxe4 Bb4+ 6. Bd2??

What is this? White carelessly drops a Pawn for nothing. [6. Nc3] retaining the space advantage and keeping material equality would be far more prudent.

6... Qxd4

Black gleefully grabs the pawn.

7. Bxb4 Qxe4+ 8. Be2 Na6 9. Ba5 f6?

Ever mindful, Black avoids disaster on d8. [9... Bd7] However, had he been following the events from the Olympiad earlier that morning, our hero would have been aware that Bd7! in Chao-Shulman 2010, wins by force.

10. Qd8+?

White violates a cardinal rule -- DO NOT BRING YOUR QUEEN OUT EARLY, EVER. 10. Nf3 the logical developing move refutes Black's setup.

10... Kf7?

Why this move? Black can no longer castle!

11. 0–0–0 b6

Another useless Pawn move!

12. Bc3 e5

Again! Too much blitz and poker!


White is not up to date with the current state of theory. After 13. Bh5+! White went on to win comfortably in 2000.


White underestimated the other guy's greed. Black is fully developed so he can afford to pluck off another precious Pawn.

14. Ne2 c5

After this extremely standard move, Black is completely winning three moves later.

15. Qd6!?

[15. f4] White knows better than to avoid this obvious blunder as 15... Ne7 16. Qxh8 Bf5 simply traps the Queen, for if 17. Rhg1 Qxg1 18. Qxa8 (18. Nxg1 Rxh8 19. Bxf5 Nxf5 20. Rd7+ Ke6 21. Rxa7 Nb4 22. Bxb4 cxb4 23. fxe5 Kxe5 and Black Queens in thirty moves.) 18...Qe3+ 19. Rd2 (19. Kc2 Qxe2+) 19...Bxd3 simply wins on the spot.

15...Bb7 16. Bf5??

White simply hangs a piece for nothing under no pressure at all. Pathetic. But that's not surprising as he hung two Pawns already for nothing. Where did either of these hacks learn to move the pieces? [16. Ng3] Worse would have been this mysterious move, threatening Bf5, but 16... Ne7 17. Rhg1 Qxg1 18. Rxg1 Rhd8 completely and obviously wins the Queen. White can put up feeble resistance after 19. Ne4

but the boring 19... Kf8 stops Rg7 in its tracks 20. Bxe5 Nb4, Black forgot that the Queen was hanging. 21. Qc7 Nxd3+ 22. Kb1 Bxe4 23. Bd6 Rd7, but remembers just in time to hang his Rook.

16... Qg5+ 17. f4 Qxf5

The rest is a matter of technique. Black is up a piece and two pawns for nothing, although White wins the piece back, it's still, just, a matter of technique.

18. Qd7+ Ne7 19. Qxb7 Nb4 20. Bxb4 Rhb8 21. Qd7 cxb4 22. Qxf5 Nxf5 23. fxe5 fxe5 24. Rd7+ Ke6 25.Rhd1 Nd4 26. R1xd4 exd4 27. Rxg7 Rd8 28. Nf4+ Ke5

Black is paying the price for not having castled.

29. Nd3+ Kf6 30. Rb7 Rg8 31. Nf4 Kf5 32. Ne2 Rg2 33. Ng3+ Kg6 34. Re7 Rf8 35. Re4 Rff2 36.Rg4+ Kf7 37.Rxd4 Rg1+ 38.Rd1 Rxd1+ 39.Kxd1 Rxb2

What did we learn from this game? Remember, develop your pieces, make sure to castle, and never bring your Queen out early, or it may win you two pawns for nothing. Also, if you feel the desire to move, sit on your hands.

My other encounter was a far more complicated affair as I blundered early in the opening.

IM Marc Esserman (2492) vs IM Eli Vovsha (2539)
[B87] 09.08.2010

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3??

I do not know what possessed me to make such a blunder. As every school boy knows [2. d4! +-]

loses a Pawn but wins the Black King by force. Somehow I went on to win the game by making some completely obvious standard Sicilian moves despite reversing the opening move order in my head. The complete game is not shown here as I simply wanted to discuss how important it is to remember one's memorized openings! Until next time! Thank you all for your patience. I really could get used to the analytical approach.



Anonymous said...

Wow what insightful commentary I had no idea that these games were so complex and yet so full of blunders. Marc should seriously consider authoring a book in which he thoroughly explains all the intricacies of his past games.

mlarocca said...

Hey Marc, Love the humor. 10...Kf7? was definitely a blunder that could have lost the game. You say never move the Queen so early... I say never take a pawn or give a pawn to IM Esserman... just try to bore him to death... much more effective.

Anonymous said...

I checked Marc's history and I'm a bit confused about his claim he's been inactive since 2005. Could Marc perhaps elaborate on that. Also, I was suprised how quickly Zilberstein got in trouble with the white pieces, I'd this line just a forced loss for white?

Anonymous said...

That this pile won blog post of the week was a travesty. Bleh.

Anonymous said...

Who are the judges for blog post of the week?

Arun Sharma said...

I don't typically respond to negative anonymous comments (i.e. the last two), but I'd just like to make a couple observations.

(1) Just like GOTW, picking "Blog Post of the Week" is a very subjective decision, and no one should think that their opinion about it is somehow more valid than anyone else's. Whether this blog should have won this week or not is entirely a matter of perspective.

(2) Personally I'm in favor of more people writing blogs in such an unorthodox style. Not saying that I think this blog should necessarily have won this week, but one of the goals of this contest was the hope that we would see a greater variety of blogs this season (not that we don't appreciate the predictions, match recaps, etc., but still something original on occasion is nice). All you anonymous people who are criticizing this choice, I would encourage, if you think it was such a bad decision, try to write your own original blog and do better so that something that you don't consider to be a "pile" might win next time!

Anonymous said...

Marc was making fun of Shahade with the five years bit. The whole thing looks like a sour grapes for game of the week.

Arun Sharma said...

As Greg has stated before, no anonymous insults.

More generally, anyone who wants to criticize/suggest anything, I would strongly advise that you at least sign your name to your post if you want the slightest chance of anyone taking you seriously.

fpawn said...

Anonymous posters = Girlie men (Schwarzenegger reference)

Anonymous said...

I strongly suspect the" sour grapes" comment belongs to Chris Bird, but I could be wrong.

Anonymous said...

You are wrong.

rickford said...

Sour grapes? Come now. Marc has been repeatedly snubbed by many in the chess community who clearly a)do not understand his games, b)envy his talent, c)have something against players with heart, or c)all of the above.

Anyone who knows Marc, as I do, will find this post comedic and savagely objective at once.

Which sums up the guy pretty well, actually. Please check your cognitive dissonance at the door.

Oh, and I should offer a correction: Marc has not been inactive since 2005. He is still inactive, and should be considered so until he finally comes out of the meatlocker and starts taking real shots at all these bums.