Tuesday, April 22, 2008

chess: Kerr - Colin Cloudsdale (plausible idiocy)

Colin Cloudsdale and Edgar Mdinaradze tied for first in this year's South Australian chess championships, scoring 7.5 / 10. I finished with 5.5. More details here.

Here is my game with Colin Cloudsdale, in which the quality of play fluctuated dramatically. This is an exciting game with some good quality play, punctuated by some blunders and some plausible idiocy, mainly by me.

Kerr - Colin Cloudsdale
1. f4 c5
2. Nf3 Nc6
3. g3 g6
4. Bg2 Bg7
5. O-O d5
6. d3 f5
This looks strange, throwing the game into unexplored territory. It creates weaknesses on black's white squares, which white now tries to exploit

7. c3 Nf6
8. Qb3 Qc7
9. Re1 Bd7
10. Nbd2 O-O-O
11. e4?
This would be good except for a better reply, which black missed! Better would be 11. a4! with Qa3 to follow in some variations

11. ___ e6?
After the game Colin pointed out that 11___ c4! was better for black. The game might continue 12. cxd4 (12. Qd1 Qb6!+) 12___dxe4 13. Ng5 Rdf8 14. c5 Na5 15. Qa3 h6 and if 16. Nh3 (try 16. Nxe4?!) Kb8 17. b4 Nc6 18. Nc4 Nd5 black has a clear advantage

12. Ng5 c4!
13. dxc4 dxe4
if 13___Na4 14. Qa3 and if then 14___ Bf8 then 15. b4

14. Nf7
This material grab is OK. Another option was 14. c5 and then the white QN can go to c4 with active play

14. ___ Ng5!
15. Nf1!
A necessary defense. Not 15. c5? because of 15___ Nd4!

15.___ Na5
16. Qa3
White has foreseen that he can cover the crucial a7-g1 diagonal with his pawns and that the black knight is pinned to the important pawn on a7.

16.___ Kb8!
17. Be3
A good alternative might be 17. Ne3 preserving what could be a strong bishop

17.___ Bf8
18. b4 b6

19. Rad1?
White wanted to "play safe" by not greedily grabbing material but developing instead. However, after the simple 19. Nxh8! black has difficulty regaining the knight. White now plays a series of second rate moves that lets black back into the game.

19 ___ Nxc4
20. Qc1?
b3 is a better square for the queen, which keeps blacks queen tied to the protection of the knight on c4

20.___ Bg7
21. Nxh8? Rxh8!
The black bishop now looks to the a4 square - it would have been better for white to take the rook on d8 and then swap rooks if necessary

22. h3?
Another mistake. Qc2 would have kept the bishop out

22.___ NgxB
23. NxN NxN
24. RxN Ba4
25. Rd2 Rc8
Black is now winning! The bishops are very strong.

26. c4 Qxc4
27. Qxc4 Rxc4
28. Ra3
Black should now play 28___ Rxb4 still with lots of threats and a winning position. Instead he blunders

28 ___ Bd4+ ??
29. Rxd4 Rxd4
30. Rxa4 Rd3
31. Kf2 Kb7
32. b5 Rc3
Incredibly, white now manages to lose from this position by a series of new mistakes - each one of them is plausible idiocy, chess can be like that.

33. Bxe4?!
Certainly plausible. 33. Bf1 would win too, might be slower but would be surer.

33.__ PxB
34. Rxe4 Rc2+
35. Kf3?!
And here 35. Re2! would produce a safe win with no chance of losing. But short of time I wasn't absolutely certain of the win.

35.___ Rxa2
36. Rxe6 a5!
37. Re7+?
Again plausible because otherwise the black king gets out, but this is now dangerous, 38. PxPep was essential

37.___ Kb8
38. Rxh7 a4
39. Rg7 Rb2
40. Rxg6 Rxb5
41. Re6
This has become quite tricky now - certainly not what white had in mind when he sacrificed his bishop on move 33

41__ a3
42. Re1 Rb2

Who is winning now? I'm not sure - but white was short of time while black still had 18 minutes on the clock. I should explain that the time limit was 90 minutes each per game plus 30 seconds added for each move.

43. h4?
More plausible idiocy because the h pawn is further from the black king, but black's pawns are more advanced and his rook can easily stop the white h pawn. So, 43. f5! is the move, then 43.___ a2 44. Ra1 Kc7 45. Ke4 b5 46. f6 Kd2 47. Kf5 b4 48. Kg6 b3 49. f7 Rf2 50. Kg7 Rxf7+ 51. KxR b2 52. Rxa2 P=Q looks like a draw

43___ b5
I think now that white is lost

44. h5 b4 45. h6 a2 46. h7 Rh2 and wins


Anonymous said...

The only time I beat a chess master in tournament play was with the Bird. I usually fianchetto my dark-squared bishop and try to trade off the other one for a knight that battles for e5.

Do you play on FICS at all? I sometimes pop on there and play (horribly) some 5-minute games.

Bill Kerr said...

Birds with QB fianchetto has me thinking - I might try that, thanks

So far I've avoided internet chess. I like to go out and play F2F and get away from it all. Also I much prefer a slow time limit, I make too many mistakes when rushed, as this particular game illustrates (at the end)