Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The 2016 Fischer 960 Tournament Finishes With an Upset!

Ken Tack wins the LCCC 2016 960 Tournament!

He won it with a last round victory against Jason Morris, who is the highest rated player in the club right now.

Your humble scribe does not have the game yet, but hopes to have it for you soon.

White - Jason Morris - Black - Mike Nikitin
To give you an idea of what a great game Ken had to play, here is an earlier 960 effort by Jason Morris. This will give you an idea of what Ken was up against.

But as mentioned in previous columns, 960 chess can almost force 'blindness' because your mind will picture pieces in their regular start places, instead of where they really are. This phenomenon bites Jason here, but he plays solid positional chess to turn the tables on his opponent with a material advantage.

1. c4       Ng6
2. Nb3      c6
3. e3?        Bxh2
4. d5         e6
5. Bd3       d5
6. Bd2        Qe7
7. O-O-O     O-O
8. f4       f5
9. g4       Bxg1
10. Qxg1     ......
Position after 10. Qxg1
Lets review here. White may have allowed the rook and pawn for the bishop exchange in order to "handicap" the game - since Jason is at least 500 rating points better than his opponent. Or - he fell for the 960 blindness that made his mind assume a rook was on h1.
Either way, White has improved his lot in life positionally and is less than a pawn down at this juncture - says Igor3000 - the chess computer.

10. .......         a6
11.  gf?         ef
12.  cd?         Qd6?
Black is seeing ghosts while facing this stronger opponent -fearing both a possible skewer he could maybe fall into along the c4-g8 diagonal if he played the correct Qxd5 or that cxd5 will open up the c-file for White (-3). Neither concern is real and Black's advantage stays minimal instead of growing in light of White's less than optimal last few moves (-.8).

13. Ng3      Ne7
14. e4       cd
15. e5       Qg6
16. Qf2     Nc6?!
Getting the other knight into the game with Nb6 was a better option (-.6).

17. Rg1       Qe6
18. Na5       Na7?
19. Kb1      b6
20. Bb4       Rfe8?

Position after Black's 20. .........Rfe8
Now Black is actually losing in spite of his material advantage. Just a simple check of real estate shows White has every piece in active squares and Black has only his queen in a good spot.
The best move for Black was actually to trading one of his sleeping rooks for two of White's well posted minor pieces with 20. ....bxa5  21. Bxf1, Rxf1 with a nice advantage for Black (-2).
Instead, Jason uses his positional advantage now!

21. Nb7!!      Bxb7? (Nc6)
22. Nxf5       Rd7
23. Qh2!       g6
24. Nh6+      Kg7
25. Bxg6       Kh8
26. Bxe8       Qxe8
27. Qh4        Rd6
28. e6          Rxe6
29. Qd8       Rg6
30. Qxe8+        Rg8
31. Qxg8 mate

Beautiful chess games come out of 960 games too! Great ending Jason!

And again, congratulations to Ken Tack on his fine tournament win!

1 comment:

  1. No great mystery... I simply forgot about the time control and overstepped! :-O
    I'll post the moves soon. - Jason