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Rapid Game 3 of 4

Hi everyone! I'm back again after a few weeks away. I hope you've been well. Work and life got really busy for me for a bit but things have calmed down for now. My girlfriend and I recently celebrated our one year anniversary together, and I was even able to convince her to let me teach her chess! Believe it or not, she'd never played a game up until our cabin trip to celebrate the one year. Work picked up for a bit and I was mentally exhausted and didn't have the capacity to write but things have calmed down and gone back to normal now for the time being.

Now that you know what I've been up to, lets jump in where we left off last time! I'm excited to be back and to share the last two games of this rapid series. I have some fun games in upcoming posts so stick around!

Without further ado, here we go!

This was another game I had played on stream last month. A high rated viewer challenged me a 10 minute rapid game so I had to accept. I'm ALWAYS eager to play stronger players as an opportunity to learn.

1. e4 c5 2. d4 cxd4 3. c3 d3?! The computer gives this move a certain look but its still a playable line by black. The first time I saw this variation GM Eric Hansen played it against me and yes I lost miserably.

4. c4 Nc6 5. Bxd3 g6. I love playing the smith-morra gambit against the sicillian. It forces black to play into whites play and avoids the millions of lines that exist in the sicillian, Not to say the morra doesn't have its own bag of lines and theory but its certainly not the extend of the more popular choices,

6. Nf3 d6 7. Nc3 Bg7 8. O-O Nf6 9.Re1 Bg4 10, h3 Bxf3 After 10 moves the position is pretty even and so far no big thumbs down from our friend stockfish,

11 . Qxf3 Ne5 12. Qd1 O-O 13. Be2 Rc8 14. b3 Nfd7 15. Bb2 Nc5 16. Rb1 Qa5?? and stockfish is sad with two big thumbs down shaped like question marks.....BUT WAIT I GOT A BLUNDIE OF MY OWN. 17. a3?? F in chat. The correct move to play for white was 17. b4 and if Qxb4 then you have Nd5 hitting the queen and hitting the e7 pawn/square that'll get us a fork. To be honest, I didn't see that idea initially and I played a3 to push for b4 to fork the queen and knight but that doesn't win, its too slow and allows blacks queen to run back to d8 to cover the e7 square. This is something you'd see straight out of a tactics puzzle. A tricky but fun move to find.

....b6 18. Nd5 Qxb3?? and fork incoming. Here I played 19. Qxb3 immediately but Mr. Fishy likes Bxe5 a little bit more but in my head this was a minor detail in a still winning position.

.....Nxb3 20. Nxe7+ Kh8 21. Nxc8 Nd2 Sure they're attacking my rook, but after all the trades I'm going to be up material. 22. Bxe5 Nxb1 23. Bxg7+ Kxg7 24. Rxb1 Rxc8 25. Rxb7 a5 26. Rb5 Ra8 27. f3 Kf6 28. Kf2 h6 29. c5 dxc5 30. Rxc5 g5 31. a4 Kg6 32. Bb5 h5 33. Ke3 h4 34. e5 Re8? That's a free rook and that's the game as well. 1-0

This was a game that went very well for me, especially against a 2200 so you could probably imagine my excitement that I would get to share this game with all of you.

Though my opponent was playing well up until his blunder on move 16. There wasn't much else to say on this game. In my book this was a cleanish game with only one blunder on my part. I played the same opponent in my 3rd game and will be showing that game in the final part of this rapid series.

As I mentioned earlier in the blog, I have a few blitz game that I'm gonna be showing that I played against a 1600 FIDE rated player and all I can say right now is that there is a LOT of things to learn from those games. Not that there were a lot of mistakes but there were a lot of instructive moments and positions that I am sure you coaches might find of use to show your students.

Well friends that's it for now. A short and sweet post for y'all to get back into the swing of things after a lil break. I'll see you all soon. Next week? It's a date. As always, stay safe and be good.

Christopher Herrera

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