Archive for March, 2009

Having a Ball with the French

Posted on: March 29th, 2009 by Graham J Ball

White: McKenna Black: Graham Ball

I think Graham expected to lose this one, he had fluked a half early in the season but maybe that actually worked in his favour.

1. e4 e6
2. d4 d5
3. Nc3 Nf6
4 e5 Nfd7
5. f4 c5
6. Nf3 Nc6
7. Be3 a6
Graham likes the 7…..a6 line for no better reason than he has forgotten about the Nb5 Nd6 manouver on more than one occasion. Its also true that with a bit of cooperation from White it can produce some interesting Q side ideas. I prefer 7……cxd4

8. Qd2 b5
9. dxc Bxc5
10. Bxc5 Nxc5
11. Qf2 Qb6
12. Bd3
Not sure about this one, Graham likes to get the bits off against a better player and surely White wants to keep the light squared bishop

12. … Nxd3ch
13. cxd3 Qxf2 ch
14. Kxf2 Bd7
15. Rhc1

After 15 minutes thought. Graham gets nervous when good players start to think, mostly because he admits he can never figure out whats to think about, too much quickplay chess!

15. … Ke7
16. Ne2 Rhc8
17. a3 h6

Can’t help but think one side or the other needs to be on b4 here but haven’t sat down and analysed it.

18. h4 Ra7
19. Rc5 Rac7
20. R1c1 Kd8
21. g4 Ne7
22. RxR RxR
23. RxR KxR
24. Ng3 g6

25. h5
(25. Nd4 better maybe)
25. … Kc6

JPM has around 15 minutes left but takes 10 of them over the next mone, GB now very nervous. now I think b4 or Nd4 probably best but JPM maybe feels he should find a winning move

26. Ng5

26. … gxh

After sitting there for 10 minutes. GB would not have taken that Knight even if it were possible.

27. Nxf7 hxg
28. Nxh6 b4

Hard for JPM to win this now even with the extra pawn coming

29. axb Kb5
30. Nxg4 Kxb4

31. Ne3?

Dont like this move, think GB has an edge now

31. … Kb3
32. Nd1?

Not convinced by this either (time trouble moves.)

32. … Kc2
33. Ke2 Bb5
34. Ne3 Kxb2

35 f5?

Swapping off alright for GB, the Bishop ought to become strong.

35. … exf
36. Ngxf5 Nexf5

Time control, now on a first look I would have thought black winning but have not yet found a winning line , the problem is the a pawn is queening on the wrong colour so if white gets his king in front of it even after losing the knight to stop the d pawn it’s drawn.

37. Nxf5 Kc3
38. Nd6 Bxd3ch
39. Ke3 d4ch
40. Kf4 Bc2
41. e6 Ba4
42. Ke5 d3
43. Ne4ch Kc2
44. Kd6 d2
45. Nxd2 Kxd2
46. Kc5 Kc3 draw

Queen’s Gambit Steamroller

Posted on: March 26th, 2009 by Phil Ramsey

John Reed recently sent me one of his best wins, played in the Pornic Open in France where he won the veteran prize. In John’s words “it just shows the power of the Queens Gambit Exchange variation, the best opening there is.” That may be true but how often do your opponents let you play it?

Here is the game with a few notes by me:

John Reed vs. T Giraud (1900)

1. d4 d5
2. c4 e6
3. Nc3 Nf6
4. cd5 ed5

The starting position of the Queen’s Gambit Exchange Version. White has the half open c-file and an extra central pawn with prospects of a central pawn storm later. What does Black have? I’m not sure really! Perhaps John could explain one day? Nigel Short seems happy to play the Black pieces here anyway.

5. Bg5 Be7
6. Qc2 c6
7. e3 Bg4
8. Bd3 Nbd7
9. f3 Bh5
10. N(1)e2 Bg6
11. O-O Bd3
12. Qd3 h6
13. Bh4 O-O
14. Rad1 Re8

The opening is over. White is ready to start pushing pawns. Black adopts a wait-and-see approach which doesn’t work very well!

15. Kh1 Nf8
16. Bf2 Ng6
17. e4 Bf8
18. e5 Nd7
19. f4 Bb4
20. f5 Nf8
21. Qg3 Qg5
22. Qh3 Be7
23. Rd3

Ooops! Black’s queen is in danger of being trapped and most of his pieces are mere spectators.

23. … h5
24. f6 Bf6
25. ef6 Qf6
26. Rf3 1-0
What a crush! A great reason to play 1. d4, except that most of the time you will find yourself in a Nimzo, or a King’s Indian, or a Slav…

Black to play and lose

Posted on: March 10th, 2009 by Phil Ramsey

Here is how Tudor won his game last Thursday night. This was the decisive game which won us the match against Holmes Chapel.

Notes by Tudor.

Tudor Rickards v. M Roberts (127).

Here is the position after 30. cxd:

Various tactics left white with not a lot more than a slightly easier position to play in time trouble.

Black decides to simplify. But this left one winning resouce I had been hoping might come into play.

30. … Q xd4 (I expected R xd4)

So what would you play to give yourself the chance of a quick swindle?

31. Qe2 (to appear to threaten a6, although Rd1 looks better …)
31. … Qd6 (Oh, yes, thank you black)
32. Qc4 and wins. Cheap but some credit for trying for the endgame with good B versus poor Kt, and the basic combo working with one pair of rooks off, and Qs still on.

International star reduced to 14 move draw by East Cheshire

Posted on: March 6th, 2009 by Phil Ramsey

Having already beaten Chorlton (twice) and High Peak this season East Cheshire is now ready to mix in international circles. So on Thursday night our number one board John Reed took on Welsh star Jon Blackburn who represented his country in Dresden last year. Jon has a FIDE rating of almost 2200 but our John held him to a 14 move draw by repetition. Notes by John below.

J Reed v J Blackburn (some huge grade)

1. d4 e6 2.c4 b6 3.Nc3 Bb4 I hate playing this . Played it on the internet and I know what’s coming.

4. e4 Bb7 5 Bd3 Nf6 6 f3 Nh5 (!?)

Huge think now. Decided that out of Be3, Ne2 I preferred 7.Nh3 Qh5 8 Nf2 (but what about g3 !!) Nc6 9. g3(!) no time to protect d4 …. Ng3 (else he is swamped if he retreats) 10 hg3 Qg3 11 Be3 (white winning now) f5 ( I now concocted elaborate drawing plan overlooking Rh3 winning)

12. Ke2 f4 13 Rg1 Qh2 14 Rh1 Qg3 15 etc

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