Speelman's Agony: Playing up a class

by Jonathan Speelman
2/2/2020 – A hungry Hungarian A-player sent GM JON SPEELMAN two hard fought battles for your review and study. A mini-GM lesson! | Send in your own games! | Jon welcomes submissions from readers. If your games are selected for the Agony column, not only will you get free detailed commentary of your games by one of chess’s great authors and instructors, and former world no. 4 player, but you also win a free three-month ChessBase Premium Account!

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Agony & Ecstasy #115

This week's pair of games are by Istvan Biro a Hungarian who lives in Békéscsaba the main town town of Békés county nearly 200 kilometres east of Budapest.

He writes:

Istvan BiroI was born in 1985 and my father taught me the rules of chess when I was 7 or 8. I became a club player at the age of 15 at a local club which unfortunately no longer exists.  I graduated as an engineer and have been working as an engineer for 13 years. I play for two clubs Orosházi SE in the second division in the Hungarian championship and a smaller club in the county championship. I do not have much time nowadays as I'm a proud father of my 3-year-old son who is also interested in chess at such an early age. I'm Trying to figure out how to play at least a little chess. My peak rating was 2048, currently my rating is 1948 and it is my target to get back above 2000.

Istvan sent two very hard fought battles with variations and I've added further notes as JS.  He also sent introductions to both games, and we start with the loss:

The first game was an extremely intense struggle where both of us were trying to win. Albert is a strong FM whose rating is currently below 2200 but he was over 2300 for several years. He still plays very strong chess. I misjudged my position after 17.g5 I should have gained an edge by taking the bishop on h3, and then playing for f4. Unfortunately I was consumed a lot of time figuring out who to gain something out of the position. When I reached a decent position by move 37 I was already under severe time pressure. I misjudged the position I thought rook ending was an easy draw, and after few mistakes from both of us when I had it I ruined my position with 67. Kg6 (missing b1Q+) instead Ke6 was a safe way to play.

 

Click or tap the second game in the list to switch


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Jonathan Speelman, born in 1956, studied mathematics but became a professional chess player in 1977. He was a member of the English Olympic team from 1980–2006 and three times British Champion. He played twice in Candidates Tournaments, reaching the semi-final in 1989. He twice seconded a World Championship challenger: Nigel Short and then Viswanathan Anand against Garry Kasparov in London 1993 and New York 1995.

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