[Event "Australian op"] [Site "Manly Sydney"] [Date "2009.01.04"] [Round "4"] [White "Sales, Jesse Noel"] [Black "Chapman, Mark"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D34"] [WhiteElo "2340"] [BlackElo "2402"] [PlyCount "81"] [EventDate "2009.01.02"] [EventType "swiss"] [EventRounds "11"] [EventCountry "AUS"] [SourceTitle "CBM 128 Extra"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2009.03.05"] [SourceVersion "2"] [SourceVersionDate "2009.03.25"] [SourceQuality "1"] {[%evp 0,81,19,29,14,20,18,0,38,25,50,52,49,3,11,20,41,17,18,17,20,15,15,34,27,33,46,10,-10,-6,57,41,52,49,68,64,62,49,49,49,88,22,27,27,23,19,21,39,43,9,29,24,46,33,41,15,27,28,14,9,45,19,23,7,53,65,60,14,23,35,71,74,73,83,99,84,92,87,96,108,196,207,194,202]} {Feeling intimidated by higher-rated chess players is a common experience, but it can be frustrating and anxiety-inducing. Let's explore how to overcome this fear.} 1. Nf3 {[#] Indeed, World Champion Kramnik's style of play is admirable, and his chess openings are among my favorites as well.} d5 2. d4 e6 3. c4 c5 {The Tarrasch Variation is on the board. Although I haven't faced IM Mark Chapman in play, my review of his games on Chessbase reveals his solid approach to the game. Currently, I'm feeling a bit uneasy, but as the white player, I have the opportunity to set the game's tempo, at least for a while.} 4. cxd5 exd5 5. Nc3 Nc6 6. g3 {This is the most reliable response that most GMs utilize.} Nf6 7. Bg2 Be7 8. O-O O-O 9. Bf4 {Indeed, this strategic move enhances the bishop's utility at that post while also allowing the rook to develop at c1.} Be6 10. dxc5 {It's a logical move, resulting in an isolated pawn at d5 that will become a target in the future.} Bxc5 11. Rc1 {The game has unfolded in line with the opening theory; time will reveal how Black's position will be challenged. However, it is crucial to maintain self-control and the equilibrium of the chess position.} Be7 12. Nb5 {[#] My current position is a result of setting the pace. Overcoming the internal fear of facing higher-rated players involves thorough preparation and understanding the opponent's favorite openings and strategies before the tournament begins.} Rc8 13. Qa4 {Now is the time to apply pressure, as the white pieces are fully coordinated.} a6 14. Nbd4 Bd7 15. Nxc6 Bxc6 16. Qb3 {[#] In bird's eye view, I call the bishop at c6 a "BIG PAWN"...} Ne4 17. Nd4 Nc5 18. Qe3 {The queen is shifting to a more pertinent role, yet it is entirely strategic.} Re8 19. Nxc6 {The 'BIG PAWN' is gone...} Rxc6 20. Rcd1 {It's time to put pressure on Black's isolated pawn. Moreover, beyond analyzing World Champion Kramnik's openings, it's crucial to comprehend how pawn structures influence the opening setup, which is to grasp the fundamental purpose of the opening.} Bd6 21. Qf3 Bxf4 22. Qxf4 Rd6 23. Rd2 Ne4 24. Bxe4 Rxe4 25. Qf3 Qa5 26. Rfd1 {I believe the position here isn't too complex if you're well-prepared for endgames. Tactical play involves deep thinking, whereas endgame strategy requires advanced thinking and visualization.} Qxa2 27. Rc2 {[#] Indeed, Black overlooked the clever move 27. Rc2; the pawn at a2 was of no real value, yet the potential for improved piece positioning was more substantial.} Re8 28. Rc7 {The adage "To err is human, to forgive is a divine gift" holds true. I graciously forgive my opponent for capturing my a2 pawn... (joking)...} d4 {Defending the f7 pawn.} 29. Rxb7 Qe6 30. Rd2 {[#] (Please take the time to analyze this position as your endgame assignment. Which has better prospects?)} h6 {We call this move " FIRE EXIT"...} 31. Rc2 Qd5 {This queen exchange favors white; let's analyze it as follows...} 32. Qxd5 Rxd5 33. Rd2 Ree5 34. Kf1 Kf8 35. Rb4 Rh5 36. h4 g5 {Indeed, it seems there was a miscalculation by Black.} 37. Rdxd4 Rxd4 38. Rxd4 gxh4 39. Rxh4 Rb5 {Obviously, white is pawn up and enough to win it.} 40. Rxh6 a5 41. Ra6 {Black resigns, acknowledging no opportunity to equalize the position. I am pleased that my diligent study of chess openings and endgames has yielded positive results. I wish you success in adopting a similar approach to enhance your chess skills.} 1-0