Amatuer versus Master – Game Four

This game is from the very first event that I played on the ICCF server. This game was from the Diamond Jubilee section DJ-CT18/pr11. My opponent was an International Master from Brazil. His English was not that good so he had his American fiancee translate for him. I got some translated notes and I will include some of his comments below.

During this game I was not aware that ICCF rules allowed me to use chess engines. At the time that this game was played my strongest chess engine was Deep Rybka 4.

Fausto started off with some comments about the move order and how I could have transposed into a Sicilian defense. I almost never play the White side of a Sicilian Defense and I preferred to stay with the English Opening in this game.

According to Fausto, White wins 47% of the time after 3. d4 cxd4 and Black wins 41% of the time. Fausto thought that I had a better move number 5. Instead of 5.g3, he recommended 5.Nc3 with a 57% chance of winning. After his fifth move he gives the game as being equal.

At Move Number 6 Fausto thought that Nc2 was better with a 60% chance of winning. He thought that 8.e4 was my best move. Anything else would give Black the advantage. My ninth move was not in his database. He stated that Black’s advantage was -0.26. He stated that my tenth move was the only in the chess literature. Move 12 was preparing to castle. I dropped a pawn without apparent compensation and began to struggle from there. It was about this point in the game that I stated to him that castling is overrated. Delaying castling here may have cost me this game.

When I played 14.f4 I planned to keep my King in the Center. I then changed my mind and castled into a weak position. On Move number 15 all of the chess engines were saying to play Nxc5, but Black still has an advantage.

I castled on move number 18 and Fausto said that playing 18. a4 would equalize. From move number 18 on I was pretty much lost.

Mike Serovey