USCF Home Chess Life Magazine 2014 February The February Check is in the Mail
|The February Check is in the Mail|
|By Alex Dunne|
|February 18, 2014|
McGREGOR 2010 EN CHAMPION!
Stephen McGregor of Houston, Texas has won the 2010 Electronic Knights Championship. Ceding four draws along the way to John Robertson in the preliminaries, Dana Sylvander in the semifinals, and the second and third place finishers in the finals, Barry Endsley and Paul Boymel, Stephen clinched first place by a healthy margin.
GAME OF THE MONTH
The following struggle is not for the timid. It is a board-wide fight where every square on the board is bitterly contested.
SICILIAN DEFENSE (B23)
1.e4 c5 2.Nc3
The Closed Sicilian was last popular back in the Fifties with Smyslov and in the Sixties when Spassky and Karpov were its leading practitioners.
But the trio mentioned above generally continued with 3. g3. This variation of the Grand Prix Attack had its heyday in the Sixties and Seventies and then faded.
The long diagonal is the natural hunting ground for the dark-squared Bishop.
4.Nf3 Bg7 5.Bc4
This is White's counter-diagonal to the g7 Bishop, but the White Bishop can be diminished somewhat by ...e6. To counter this, White may play for a Pawn advance to e5 or f5. White tried 5. Bb5+ Bd7 6. Bc4 in Pirs-Muller, Slovenia-Germany CC 2012 but after 6...Nc6 7. 00 Na5 the d7 Bishop didn't seem misplaced.
5...Nc6 6.0–0 Nf6
McGregor chooses an aggressive post for the Knight. Stephan-Leupold, Simagin Memorial 2008, chose 6...e6 7. d3 Nge7 8. Qe1 00 =
Not 7. e5? dxe5 8. fxe5 Nxe5 9. Nxe5 Qd4+ 10. Kh1 Qxe5 11. Re1 Qd4 12. Nb5 Qd8 with a Pawn more.
8. f5 has had mixed results. Bulgarini-Thannhausser, ICCF 2001: 8...gxf5 9. Qe1 fxe4 10. dxe4 Be6 11,. Nd5 Bxd5 12. exd5 Nb4 had Black better.
8...e5 has been played but is too weakening after 9. fxe5
Equal was 9. e5 Ne8 10. Bb5 Bd7 in Sazon-Luddecker, ICCF 2002.
Bussom-Hadley, Express Tournament 2011 saw 9...a6 10. a4 d5 11. e5 Nd7 12.Bd2 which was equal.
van Overdam-Van der Brande, Czech Republic-Belgium 2012 continued 10. e5 with some pressure.
With b3 shut out and c3 unstable, Black has equalized here.
White chooses to simplify, ending his kingside attack for now.
11...Nd7 12.Qxd8 Rxd8 13.Nb5 a6
Black can also play 13...c4 14. Bd2 b6 11. Bxa5 a6! =
14.Nd6 Bf8 15.Nxc8 Nxb3 16.axb3 Raxc8
The simplification has produced an ending with a mildly bad White Bishop. Chances remain even.
17.Bd2 Be7 18.g4 f5 19.exf6
A major decision -- 19. g5 locking the kingside would have offered excellent drawing chances but Bussom is still playing for the win. The e5 square becomes the pivotal point now.
19...Bxf6 20.Rae1 Re8 21.Bc3 Bxc3 22.bxc3 c4!
Black cannot afford to remain passive. This thrust guarantees Rook activity.
White stakes it all on e5 and e6, After 23. dxc4 dxc4 24. b4, the squares e5 and e6 are still weak but the protected passed a-Pawn is eliminated. At this stage of the game it does not look like a major player, but...
23...dxc4 24.d4 Nf6 25.h3
Awkward for White is 25. Ne5 Rc7 26. Re3 Rf8 27. Rg3 a5
Now the e6 Pawn will fall, as does c3, but as they do, the a6 Pawn quickly comes to life and the tide of battle shifts to Black's side.
26...Nxc3 27.Nxe6 b5 28.f5
White will have a dangerous force on the kingside, but with two Rooks and the King, Black is ready to defend there while the a-Pawn takes its steps toward a1.
28...gxf5 29.gxf5 Kf7 30.Rf4 Kf6 31.Rh4 h5!
A brilliant defensive resource that will lead to one of the dangerous White Rooks being exchanged. With the Black King a Rook safer, the Black queenside Pawns become a Rook more dangerous.
32.Kg2 a5 33.Rxh5 Rh8 34.Rg5 Rhg8 35.Rg4 a4 36.Kf3 b4 37.Nc5
White threatens a perpetual check with the Knight
37...Kf7 38.Nb7 Nb5 39.Rxg8
White cannot escape with 39. Re5 Rxg4 40. Kxg4 b3 41. cxb3 c3 42. Nc5 c2 43. Nd3 Rd8 44. Nc1 Rxd4+ 45. Kh5 Rd1 46. Rxb5 Rxc1 47 bxa4 Rb1
39...Kxg8 40.d5 Rc7 41.Nd8 b3 0-1
Onward, onward, ever onward ! White resigns as Black is now ready to give up his whole army for the queenside Pawns. The conclusion could have been 42. f6 b2! 43. Rg1+ Kf8 44. Ne6+ Kf7 45. Nxc7 Nxc7 46. d6 Ne6 47. d7 a3 48. Re1 Nd8 49. Kf4 Kxf6 50. Re8 Nc6 51. Rc8 b1(Q) 52. Rxc6+ Ke7 and wins. A great struggle as befits our new Electronic Knights champion
2010 Electronic Knights finalists
Le Roux 19.55
Charles Jacobs 13W31 5-1
Gregory Sanders 13W12 5-1
Thomas Hooper 13W42 4-2
Ronald Roberts 13W40 4 ½-1 ½
Jonathan Allen 13W26 4 ½-1 ½
Carl Gibson 13W24 4 ½-1 ½
John Badger 13W29 5 ½ -½
Drew Tuck 13W37 6-0
Mark Laboda 12P03 5-1
Wayne Flanagin 11P07 6-0
Jimmie Blevins 13SQ09 5-1
Kendrick Aung 13SQ09 5-1
Bradley Boyd 12C21 4 ½- 1 ½
Tim Rutledge 12C17 6-0
Norman Cotter quotes Steinitz,”I may be an old lion, but if you put your head in my mouth, I will bite it off”.
KING’S GAMBIT (C30)
CHARLES JACOBS WINS 13W31
Charles Jacobs, Jr. of Anchorage, Alaska and previous winner of a Master level Walter Muir and John Collins, scored first in another Walter Muir event.
SICILIAN DEFENSE (B93)
Stan VerNooy born 9/10/1946 died June 7, 2013. Stan, a mathematics professor, enjoyed playing chess online.
NIMZOINDIAN DEFENSE (E32)
Gunter Neumann of Bayside, New Jersey, born May 9, 1935 died in late 2013. Gunter played in a number of Palciauskas tournaments .
OLD BENONI DEFENSE (A43)
WILLING TO PLAY A PRISONER ?
Occasionally I receive a letter from a prisoner who would like to play an unrated, social game of chess. If you would like to do a good turn and play one of these prisoners, please send me your name and address.
Quote: I began to play postal chess. At one point I was playing fifty games at once, using booklets from Chess Review -- pg. 22 of The Stress of Chess by Walter Browne
White’s resignation may be premature, but it is quite understandable facing the fall of his center
MODERN DEFENSE (B06)
Black does an outstanding job of defending against the White pieces, but in the end a hop-skipping Knight does him in.
CARO-KANN DEFENSE (B12)
2010 ELECTRONIC KNIGHTS
Paul Boymel is a civil rights attorney living in Potomac, MD. Besides his second place finish in the 2010 Electronic Knights, Paul was also the highest scoring player in the 1984 season of Jeopardy. Paul has been playing CC since 1972
FRENCH DEFENSE (C18)
Barry Endsley of League City, TX finished third in the 2010 Electronic Knights. Barry had previously tied for first in the 2011 Michigan State CC Championship and he tied for third in the 2007 Electronic Knights.
ENGLISH OPENING (A37)
Enjoy the show !
ENGLISH OPENING (A26)