Meeting every MONDAY night 6pm to 9:30pm at the Hartland Senior Center, Room 53 or 54 at 9525 East Highland Rd (M-59),just west of US-23, Howell, Michigan. We have our own beautiful PRIVATE room in the HSC. Use the entrance at the far West end of the building. Stop by and ask for Mike, Ken or Vince. We offer free instructions and lessons to beginners. Contact the LCCC by email: email@example.com
Tuesday, January 27, 2015
Twenty-One Entered the NPP Club Championship
Who will be #22? We are looking for one more player to enter
to give us an even number of players. One of our players had a busy day the
next day and volunteered to take a BYE for the 1st round.
That means that if someone joins the tournament now, they
will be given a BYE for the 1st round also. So, the first person to
let us know they want to play in the tournament, has a guaranteed spot. So …get
The tournament pairings were done in a Swiss System format.
This means the players were listed top to bottom by club rating. Then, a line
was drawn in the middle. The top player on the list was paired with the 1st
player listed on the bottom half. And the pairings went on from there.
In this format, in the first round, one player is usually a
much stronger player than the other. But it all balances out in the later
rounds. As the scores come in, the next round has the winners playing the other
winners and the people that lost are playing the other people that lost.
Eventually, in the latter rounds, people are playing people equal to their own
strength. And this is a four round tournament.
Anyway, according to the Tournament Director Ken T., we only
had one upset in the first round. The rest of the games went as the ratings
said that they would. Well, the truth be known, we came within about 30 seconds
of another upset – and a big one!
Our recent tournament winner and your humble writer Mike Nikitin, almost dropped his
game against Marcello Milani! And Mike had White! But, when one player loses
his concentration in chess, and the other player battles on – turnarounds can
happen. This could have been one of those times.
1. e4 e5
2. Nf3 Nc6
3. Nc3 Nf6
4. Bc4 Be7
5 d3 O-O
6. O-O d6
7. Be3 a6
8. d4 b5
9. Bb3 Bg4
10. d5 Nb5?
Black has played well until this move. He has developed his
pieces to stay even with White and castled early. But the last move traps his
knight. In addition, the more aggressive move of 11. ….c5, after 11. a3, c5 12.
axb4, cxb4 is better for Black than what happened.
White is up the equivalent of (4) pawns. Three for the
knight and one for White’s better position. The c5 move instead of what
happened only leaves White at (2.5).
After 11. a3
11. a3 ..........
11. ........ Nxc2?
12. Bxc2 Qc8
13. Bd3 c6
14, Rc1 a5?
The move for Black is still ….c5. This gives white a
stronger position and is now up (5.9).
15. dc Qxc6
16. Nxb5 Qe8?
This grows White’s lead to (7.2), but 16. …Qd7 would have
shrunk it to (5.4). Now White has the killer pin of 17. Nc7, but he doesn’t see
17. h3? Bxf3
18. Qxf3 Bd8
(Black saw it)
19. Bg5 d5?
20. Bxf6 Bxf6
After Black’s 19th move and White’s 20th,
Black had the awful choice between 20. …gxf6 which blows open his king’s
protection. That is why he made the better choice of Bxf6, but it still left
Black down (9)! That is the equivalent of White having another queen on the
21. Nc7 Qe7
22. Nxa8 Rxa8
23. ed Bg5?
24. Rc4?! Rf8
White had killer move 24. d6! (12.5) as both Black’s queen
and rook are attacked. After 24. …Qf8, 25. d7, Rd8 26. Qf5, g6 27. Qxg5 it is
all but over. But White plays lazy with this big lead and allows Black some
25. Qe4? f5!
White plays “hope chess”, hoping Black won’t see his mate in
one on h7. But this allows Black a little counter striking.
26. Qe1 e4
27. Bb1 Qe5
28. Qxa5 Be7
29. b4? Bd6
Position after 29. ......Bd6
Make no mistake – Black is way behind in material and
position at (8.3). But he does have a mate in one threat now of his own at h2!
Black can try hope chess being down so much. Maybe White will be over confident
and overlook the threat.
Truth be told – your author did overlook it for about 30
seconds. I was considering b5???, but decided to take one last look to see
where Black’s pieces could move.
Ohhhhhh……hello! I’m about to lose this game! So I had to
spend another five minutes figuring out how to save myself.
30. g3 h5
31. b5 h4
32. Qc3 Qxd5
33. Rd4 Qe5
34. Qc4+ Kh7
35. Qd5 ……
Once the forced trade of the queens, Black is out of
The lessons here are …..never think your game is won until
it’s won….and never ever quit trying!