Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Game of the Week

W.Koester–K. Ammann
Route 20 Chess Club
Freeport, Illinois, Jan. 26, 2010

1.d4 d5 2.b3
Bill knew I'd been preparing against Bill's Opening, so he busted out something new. He likes his fianchetti.

With no better idea in mind, I decide to try a Queen's Gambit in reverse.

3.g3 cxd4 4.Qxd4 Nc6 5.Qd2 e5 6.Bg2 Nf6 7.Bb2 Bb4 8.c3 Bc5 9.Nf3??
Takes pressure off d4 and gives me the freedom to advance my f6-knight.

9...Ne4 10.Qc1 Bxf2+

I actually could have made this capture a move sooner, since 9...Bxf2+ 10.Kxf2?? is followed by 10...Ne4+.

11.Kf1 Bc5
The retreat was unnecessary; I could have played 11...Qb6.

12.e3? 0-0
12...Bg4 keeps the most pressure on white: 13.b4 Qf6 14.bxc5 Bxf3 15.Qe1 Nxc5 16.Na3.

13.Nfd2 f5
My moves are all right, but I'm missing some really strong ones, in this case 13...Qf6+ 14.Nf3 Ng5.

14.Ba3 Bxa3 15.Qxa3 Be6
With the rook behind it, 15...f4 is a great break, setting up the battering 16.Ke1 Qb6 17.Bxe4 Qxe3+ 18.Kd1 dxe4 19.Qa4 Bg4+ 20.Kc1.

16.Bh3 Nxd2
16...Qg5 17.Qc1 Qh6 was better.

17.Nxd2 d4 18.cxd4 exd4 19.e4 d3
I missed 19...fxe4+, a discovered check by my f-rook, followed by 20.Kg2 Bxh3+ 21.Kxh3, dragging white's poor king out from under his shelter.

20.Rd1 Nd4 (20...fxe4+ was still possible -- and nasty) 21.Qb2 fxe4+ (finally!) 22.Kg2 Bxh3+ 23.Kxh3 Rf2 24.Rhf1 Qd7+ 25.g4

I have a two-pawn advantage, a rook on the seventh rank and a knight on the fifth. Bill's king is out in the open, far from any protection, and the lone pawn running interference is pinned and vulnerable to attack -- say, by 25...h5. The situation has become very, very dangerous for white.

Buh thuh wha?

26.Nxf3 exf3??
Cubs fans, I know you can feel what I'm feeling now. Even 26...Nxf3 27.Rxf3 exf3 would have maintained a decisive advantage. 26...exf3?? just hands it over to white, gift-wrapped.

27.Rxd3 Rd8 28.Rfxf3
28.Rfd1 is even better. That pawn ain't going nowhere.

Now I think of it -- much too late. 28...Nxf3 29.Rxd7 Rxd7 at least keeps a rook and a knight against a queen.

29.Rf4 hxg4+ 30.Rxg4 Qf5
I was thinking "fork," but it's not a fork at all -- the g4-rook is protected. My brain has evidently turned to mashed potatoes. I lose my knight.

31.Rdxd4 Qf3+ 32.Kh4 Qf6+ 33.Kh3 Rxd4?? 34.Qxd4 Qh6+ 35.Rh4 Qe6+ 36.Qg4 Qe3+
My brain has come back on line. If I keep checking, I figure, I can get a draw by repetition.

37.Qg3 Qe6+ 38.Rg4 Qh6+

One . . .

39.Kg2 Qd2+ 40.Kh3 Qh6+
. . . two . . .

41.Rh4 Qe6+ 42.Rg4 Qh6+
. . . three!

Except I don't realize it's three. I still think it's only two. And the position never repeats again.

Let this sad story be a lesson to you all:

14C. Triple occurrence of position. The game is drawn upon a correct claim by the player on the move when the same position is about to appear for at least the third time or has just appeared for at least the third time, the same player being on move each time. [Italics mine.]

It doesn't matter what Fritz tells you after the fact, when you're entering the moves. I did not draw this game. Woe is me.

43.Qh4 Qe3+ 44.Rg3 Qe6+ 45.Qg4 Qh6+ 46.Kg2 Qd2+ 47.Kh1 Qd5+ 48.Qf3 Qd7 49.Rg1 Qe7 50.b4 b5 51.Qb3+ Kh8 52.Qh3+ Kg8 53.Qc8+ Kh7 54.Qf5+ Kg8 55.Qg6 Qb7+ 56.Rg2 Kh8 57.Qe8+ Kh7 58.Qf8 Qd7 59.Rxg7+ Qxg7 60.Qxg7+ Kxg7 61.Kg2 Kg6 62.h3 Kg5 63.Kg3 Kh5 64.h4 Kh6 65.Kg4 Kg6 66.h5+ Kh6 67.a3 a6 68.Kf5 1-0


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