Tuesday, December 16, 2014

2014 Winter League Concludes With a Surprise Winner!

Chess heals body and soul.
The last meeting of 2014 had twenty-three players and a great night of chess action.

From worst to first! The 49’ers were in dead last place after the first lap thru the league. After three rounds they had two losses and a draw in their matches so far.

On the second lap, they went a perfect 3 and 0 in their matches and took first place!
The 49’ers won their match 3.5 to .5 to clinch the top spot! The players are listed now on the right side of the blog!

The Thunder also finished with the same Team Record as the 49ers with 3.5 points, but the 49’ers out-scored them in Match points with 13.5. The Thunder only had 11.5.
It was a wild ride for the 49’ers. The final standings are:

49’ers  3.5 points – 13.5 points
Thunder  3.5 points – 11.5 points
Tigers  2.5 points – 12.5 points
Oilers  2.5 points – 10.5 points

Congratulations to all the players on another great and exciting season. It’s impressive that all the teams were tied at the end of 5 rounds.

Here is a game from the final round. Luke S of the Thunder – playing Black – help earns them 2nd place.

1. e4     c5
2. Bc4   d6
3. Nf3   Nc6
4. Nc3   a6
5. d3   b5
6. Bb3   Bb7
7. a3    Nf6
8. Nd5?   e6
 
White’s lead is development is gone now and the game is even.

9. Nf4   Be7
10. O-O   Ng4
11. h3    Ne5
12. Nh2   O-O
13. Bxe6   fxe6
14. Nxe6    Qd7
15. Nxf8    Rxf8
16. f4    Ng6
17. c3?    d5!
 
This weakens White’s center (-.6).

18. e5?    d4!

Now Black’s sleeping bishop on b7 comes to life! (-2) White’s position is slipping away.

19. Qg4?   Qd5!

After move 19. ......Qd5.
Three straight weak moves by White and three best replies by Black puts this game solidly in control of Black (-3). The old adage “to take is a mistake” is on display here. White would love to trade queens here, weaken Black’s pressure and free his backward knight. Black doesn’t bite and loads up on the h1 – a8 diagonal (-2.6).

20. Nf3    dxc3
21. bxc3    Qxd3
22. Ra2?    Bc8

(-4.1) White needed to be quicker in getting help to the center. 22. Bd2 connects the rooks and helps in the best way (to only -3 pawns positionally).

23. e6    Qxc3?!

(-2.1) Black needed to look deeper but time pressure is now an issue for both players. 24. ….Qc4 attacks 3 pawns at once (c3, e6, f4), and the other two are bigger prizes. Now 24. f5 helps consolidates White’s center (-3).

24 . Bb2??    Qe3+!

(-8) Black now collapses White’s position – with a tempo (extra move after the check)!

25. Kh1    Bxe6
26. Re1    Qxe1
27. Nxe1    Bxg4
28. hxg4    Rxf4
Resigns

White was short of material and time. Nice effort by Luke S.

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