Friday, September 19, 2014

Come From WAY Behind Victory – Morals: Never Get Lazy / Never Quit

Chess is a great Fall - Winter activity. Come join us!
This game is from the Mid-America Class Championship in Chicago, Illinios in 1990. 

The player’s identities and ratings will be hidden because the winner was guilty of making very silly moves during the game.

He only allowed us to use this game if we kept his identity a secret.

Only the players initials will be given, and no hint of their playing strengths will be forthcoming.
We strive never to embarrass players – so don’t ask for those details. The records are sealed! On to the game.
Mike Nikitin (W) (1528) and T. B. (Iowa) (B) (1683)
1.     e4     e6
2.     d4    d5
3.     e5     c5
4.     c3     Nc6
5.     Nf3     Qb6
6.     Na3     f6?
One move too early. 6. …cxd4 is book, then f6. It’s the right move even after White’s next move.
7.     Bb5     Bd7?!
8.     Bxc6    Bxc6
9.     O-O     Nh6?
A knight on the rim is grim (+2.4 for White!). 10. exf, gxf 11. dxe, Qxc5 12. Nd4, Kd7 13. Qh5 and it’s looking bad for Black. White missed it however.
10. Nc2?!    Nf5
11.  g4     Ne7
12. Rb1?……
White was winning (+1), but he keeps wasting moves. He wants to develop his bishop, but 12. dxc, Qxc5 13. Be3 is stronger and quicker. Now the game is even.
12.  …..Bb5
13. Re1    Nc6
14. Be3?   …….
Much better was 14. exf6! , gxf  15. Rxe6. But White is thinking only defense and wasting moves and opportunities.
14.  ……  Qc7
15. Bf4    fe
16. Bg3    Be7
17. Qd2    O-O
18. Ng5?    Bxg5
Black’s e-pawn has been hanging for a few moves now. White is too worried about imaginary threats instead of looking for chances for himself. All these wasted moves by White gives time Black needs to take the initiative (-1.3).
19. Qxg5     Qf7
20.   de        Bd3
White to move after 20. .....Bd3
21. Rbc1     Be4
22. Qe3      Qg6
23. Qe2     Bf3
24. Qf3     Qxg4
25. Qxc5     Qh3
Threatening mate in one and Black is now winning big (-5.5).
26. Ne3     Be4
27. Qb5     Rf3?
The simple 27. ….Nxe5 threatens Nf3 next and the fork of White’s King and Black would be up (-6). But the text move cuts White’s deficit in half (-3).
28. Qf1     Qh5
29. Rcd1     Nxe5
30. Rd2?     Rf6??!
Instead, 30. …. Rxe3! 31. Bxe5, Rxe1 32. Qxe1, Qf3 33. Qxe4, Qxe4 and it’s over! Instead, White escapes disaster to fight on, despite the fact he falls farther behind   (-4.3).
31. Bxe5     Qxe5
32. Qh3     Rh6?
This is the first of three straight questionable moves by Black. 32. …  Qf4 keeps White on his heels. Instead White gets counter-play.
33. Ng4     Qg5?
Black is overconfident and plays on auto-pilot thinking the position will win itself. 33. ….  Rg6 is a more economical way to pin the White knight to the King, freeing the Black Queen for better duty.
34.  f4     Qg6?
35. Qg3    Rh5
36. Re3     Rf8
37. Rdf2    Rhf5
38. Ne5     Qh5
39. Ng4    Qg6
Black’s advantage has evaporated and up only a pawn up in material. Black simply fell into the dreaded pitfall of “overconfidence – itis”. Once he got a great position over a lesser rated player, he stopped working. But the chess pieces don’t move themselves and the General still has to work until there is total victory or surrender.
To put it in the prospective of today’s view of the news – the Commander-in-Chief  of the winning side - went golfing instead of tending to business.
40. Ne5     Qxg3
41.  hg     Rh5
42. Rh2     R8f5
43. R3e2     Rxh2
44. Rxh2     g5
45. Ng4     Rf8
As his huge edge has faded, Black is now demoralized and is not thinking clearly. It’s the endgame and it is time to get the King into the game with Kg7 (-.3). White is still slightly behind, but winning positionally. White has the more active minor piece as Black’s own pawns block the Black Bishop’s scope of the board.
46. fg      Rf3
47. Nf6+     Kg7
48. Nh5+?    Kg6
It’s hard for White to see that taking the bishop and doubling Black’s center pawns is now the correct play. The worthless check and keeping the Knight only activates Black’s King further (-2.4).
49. Nf4+      Kxg5
50. Nxe6+    Kg4
51. Nd4     Rxg3+
52. Kf2      Rh3?
Advancing the h-pawn first with h5 was much better (-1.5).
53. Rxh3     Kxh3
54. Ne2     Kg4
55. Kg1      Bf3
56. Nd4     h5
57. Kh2     h4
58.  a4     a5
59.  b4     ab
60. ab     h3?
White correctly places his pieces on dark squares. Black’s best plan is to centralize his King and activate his bishop on long diagonals. Then White has to waste time eliminating the abandoned h-pawn, while Black moves to the Queenside and overloads the White Knight’s defensive abilities with his King and Bishop.
But instead, Black pushes on the King-side to a drawish position – until….
61.  a5     Bg2??
This move to secure the h-pawn actually loses for Black!! White visualized this favorable ending since move 56 when he started setting it up and was thrilled and relieved when Black walked into it.
62.  b5!     Kf4
Black now realizes he can’t stop White’s pawns on the queenside.
63.  a6     ba
64. ba     Ke5
65. Nc6     d4
66.  a7     d3
67.  a8(Q)    d2
68. Qa4+     Kf5
69. Qa5+    Resigns
  This is why we love chess. One wrong flinch….. and the tables turn. White was a punching bag for 61 moves, but pulls off the guillotine choke in the last 7 moves!

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