|Everyone has equal standing with the Royal Game of chess.|
But first we welcome a new member to the Club - and hopefully a Kid's Night regular - Jack M.
Welcome to LCCC Jack.
The co-champions of the 960 tournament are:
If you have never played 960 chess, you should try it some time. You start the game with the pieces randomly placed on the back rank - not in the standard chess placement. This throws a player's opening "book" knowledge out the window!
Below is Vince's victory game that clinched his tie for 1st place. As you will see, with the standard opening moves out the window, chess becomes more of a puzzle than ever!
We have two of the best players at the club going at it here, and there were a dozen lead changes during the game! Our chess super Grandmaster computer Igor3200 shows us things most humans would never see. All regular notes are his. Chess computers talk to humans now, you know?
Anything your humble scribe adds will be in [brackets].
This is an exciting one and the type you see at our club all the time. Even when we play regular chess!
Set up the back row White pieces from left to right:
then mirror the Black pieces on the other side. Crazy looking eh? But it's FUN!
White: Vince V
Black: Don M
1. d4 d5
2. Bf4 b6
3. e4 Ngf6
4. h3 Nd6?
The simple 4. ...dxe4 is best. White leads in position by almost 2 full pawns (+1.8).
[Black was not afraid of 5. e5, but most players would be.]
5. Be2? .........
White forfeits all advantage and is now a pawn down in position. (-1) Better was 5. e5 g5 6. Bxg5 Nfe4 7. exd5 Nxg5 8. dxc7+ Bxc7.
[Both players feeling the pressure of playing for 1st place in a tournament. Even a fun tournament at the club. You want a free thrill ride? Play tournament chess!]
5. ........ e6??
White is back in front (+1.5). 5. ......dxe4 6. f3
6. Ngf3?? .........
Another switch in fortunes! (-1)
[Anyone see the reason here that 6. e5 was not played here? If there is danger, neither me or Igor see it.]
7. Ba6 Bxa6
8. Qxa6 f6??
This give White unnecessary counter-play (+1.2). 8. ....Nxe4 was the move.
9. Nd3?? .........
White slows down his strong king side attack and a way to maintain the advantage, 9. exd5 e5 10. dxe5 Nc5. Now the game is EVEN.
9. ......... Nc4??
Black lets the air out of his own sails. (+1.6) 9. ....dxe4 10. Nb4 c5 11. Nc6+ Kc7 12. Nxa7 e5 13. Nxe5 fxe5 14. dxe5 Nc8.
10. O-O g5
11. Bh2 Be7??
More ground lost. (+3) 11. ....h5 was best.
12. b3?! ........
Nope. 12. exd5 exd5 13. Qb5 Qd8 14. Qxd5 Na5 makes things easier on White. (+2.5)
12. ...... Na5
13. c4?? ..........
This ruins a strong position (-1) Still 14. exd5 exd5 15. Qb5
13. ....... Bd6??
Another flip flop and back to a losing position. (+2.8) 13. ...dxe4 14. Rae1 exd3
14. c5?? ..........
Missed a chance to keep or gain a greater advantage with 14. e5 fxe5 15. c5 (+.6)
14. ........ Bxh2
15. Kxh2? .........
Now White is now losing slightly. (-.6) 15. Nxh2 Qc8 16. Qxc8+ Kxc8 17. exd5 keeps the slight lead.
[15. Nxh2 is a computer move. We humans rarely like to retreat infantry. But now getting dizzy with all the lead changes .....and there is more track left on this roller coaster.]
15. ........ Qc8
16. Qb5? .........
This weakens White's position further. (-1.5) 16. Qxc8 Kxc8 17. exd5 exd5 18. Rfe1 was better.
16. ........ c6
17. Qb4 Qc7+ ??
Black lets the small lead slip away. (+.8) 17. ......dxe4 18. Nxg5 fxg5 19. cxb6 axb6 was the play.
[The gaining tempo check by Black would look like a reasonable move to most humans.]
18. Kg1 ?
Better was 18. e5 so now Black regains the small advantage (-1) after 18. ...dxe4 19. cxb6 axb6 20. Nxg5 fxg5. But instead;
18. ....... b5??
Black ruins his position (+3).
19. a4? a6?
Time pressure creeping in. First White missed 19. exd5 (+2) and Black missed 19. ...dxe4 20. axb5 Nb7 Now (+3.2)
20. axb5 axb5
21. Ra2? ..........
Ruining a winning position. 21. exd5 exd5 22. Ra3 and White can relax. Instead (+.4).
21. ........ Nb7??
The game flips for the final time with this last mis-step. Needed was 21. .....dxe4 22. Rfa1 exd3 23. Rxa5 Kb7 and it's close to even. Instead, (+3.4).
22. Rxa8+ Kxa8
23. Ra1+ Kb8
24. Qa3 Kc8?
No good but nothing is at this point. (+4.6) 24. ...Qa5 was better.
25. Qa8+ Qb8
26. Nb4 Qxa8
27. Rxa8+ Nb8
28 Na6 Black resigns
Congratulations Vince on your 1st place finish! Same to you Ken.