Wednesday, July 1, 2015

First Round of the 2015 LCCC Fischer 960 Tournament Completed

But, if you still want to play, the next round is July 13 at 6:30. Be here. The current tournament standings and next round pairings will be published later.

We plan on being open on July 6 for casual chess – starting at the usual 6pm time. So stop by.

Paul Mills visiting the USCF St. Louis Chess Club
In the mean time, LCCCer Paul Mills plays this casual Fischer 960 game as Black and comes up with a very nice tactic shortly after his opponent’s opening blunder. [from left to right, the pieces are lined up like this  – NRBKQNRB]

   1.      d4                    d5
   2.      Bf4?                Ne6
In a 960 Random game, White’s advantage of first move is sometimes even greater because – sometimes – White can attack an unprotected pawn in the random piece set up. In this set-up for instance, the a-pawns are unprotected.
White throws all his advantage away with his second move. This move allows Black extra tempos (extra moves) and allows a trade of a knight for a bishop. A bishop is considered slightly stronger than a knight in most situations. (-.8)

   3.      Qd2                 Nxf4
   4.      Qxf4                Nb6
   5.      Nb3                 g5
   6.      Qd2                 Nc4
   7.      Qd3                 b6
   8.      Qxh7               f5?
Paul thinks he is trapping White’s queen behind enemy lines or under attack, but the simple 9. g4 frees her and evens the game (.1). But White misses it so (-.9).

   9.      Qh3                 Bd7
  10.  Bd7                 O-O-O
  11.  g3                    e6
  12.  N1d2               Bb5
Paul is slowly building his advantage in the position with space gain, King safety and better piece activity (-2).

White to move after 12. ..... Bb5
  13.  Qc3                 Qh5?
The best was 13. …e5!, expanding in the center and cramping the White queen further. But Paul has an idea because he knows White wants to castle queenside, but needs to protect some pawns and a rook first, so

  14.  Rg2?                Nxb2+!
Brilliant! The knight is untouchable because either capture allows a mate in two with ….Qxe2+ and then Qe1#. White has to let the knight get away with pawn thievery (-3.8).

  15.  Kc1                 Na4
  16.  Qe3                 Rde8?
Paul should of taken more bounty with 16…..Qxe2.(-2.8)

  17.  f3?                   Qf7
Double missteps here. Paul needed 17. ,,,,,f4! 18. Qg1, Nc3 and another White pawn falls (-5). Instead (-2) and White gets back in the game.

  18.  Nc5!                Nxc5
  19.  Rxb5               Qd7
  20.  Rb1                 Na4
  21.  Nb3                 Qc6
  22.  Qd3                 Qc3?
  23.  Qxc3?              Nxc3
White is in a little time pressure but still should have seen 23. Qa6+ and then Qxa4 (+2). Instead (-3).

   24.  Ra1                  Nb5?
Paul is having trouble coming up with a plan and is starting to get short of time himself (-1).

   25.  e3                    Nd6
   26.  h4                    g6
   27.  gxh                  Rxg2
   28.  Bxg2               Bf6
   29.  h5                    Rh5
   30.  Kd2                 Rxh5
   31.  Rh1                 Rh4
   32.  Rxh4               Bxh4
Draw agreed

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