Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Don't Look Back, Like Dylan In The Movies

Three years ago, I was in exactly this position. The first two rounds saw a quick handshake with the white bits and cashing in on an early blunder with the black bits. Then I found myself on the live boards against a 2300+ player. And won. Today I wasn't really considering that an omen; there's a time and a place for that sort of hooey. And that time was yesterday and the place was here. Check it out!

Right, enough plugging. Today I was tasked with butchering the Baker. Chris Baker. No, IM Chris Baker.

Philip J. Makepeace (2074) - (2307) Chris W. Baker

1. e4 e5

So I was chatting to Roger de Coverly beforehand:

"You're not expecting a Scotch then?"

2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 exd4 4. Nxd4 Qh4!?

"We're pushed for time - can you sum it up in a word?"
"A sound?"

5. Nc3 Bb4 6. Ndb5 Ba5 7. Be3?!

7...a6 8. Nd4 Bxc3 9. bxc3 Qxe4 would have severely tested my shaky approach.

7...Nf6 8. Bd3 Ng4

I wasn't particularly worried about this as the d5 square looks very inviting for a knight at some point.

9. Qe2 Nxe3 10. Qxe3 a6 11. Nd4 Bb6

11...Nxd4 12. Qxd4 Bb6 13. Qe5+ Kf8 was suggested in the post-mortem as an alternative.

I'm not convinced about the h8 rook's long-term prospects though.

12. Nf5 Bxe3 13. Nxh4 Bd4?

This allows me an unnecessary tempo gain.

14. Nd5 Kd8 15. c3 Ba7 16. Nf5 d6 17. g4?!

I felt like doing something here - my position was becoming rather stagnant. And by stagnant, I mean it was level. And by level, I mean I was getting bored. So yeah, you get the idea.

17...g6 18. Nh6 Be6 19. Nf4 Kd7 20. O-O Ne5 21. Be2 Rhf8

I was quite surprised when he chipped the chop. There's obviously plenty of play left but I'd drifted into a position without much potential. So we keep running on +1; a good day at the grind.



  1. 6. Be2 was suggested as theory by my clubmate Mike, letting him have it - the pawn that is, for compensation?

  2. Sounds about right. I think 6...Qxe4 7. Ndb5 Kd8 8. 0-0 is the standard continuation.


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Release The Kraken by Philip Makepeace and Christopher Russell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.