Thursday, 5 August 2010

King's Head Blues

My local club in London is King's Head. But just to be awkward, I play for Muswell Hill and Drunken Knights instead. Today I was up against one of their strongest players, the ever-cool Rick McMichael, who wouldn't look out of place in The Boat That Rocked.

"Hang on! What about yesterday's game?", I hear you cry. Well, if you're really interested, here are the moves from Makepeace - Ledger:

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 exd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nxc6 bxc6 6. Bd3 d5 7. cxd5 cxd5 8. 0-0 Be7 9. Bf4 0-0 10. Nc3 a6 11. Ne2 c5 12. c3 Bd6 13. Qd2 Rb8 14. b3 Rb6 15. Ng3 ½-½

I basically had one of my uninspired moments, and I considered a draw versus a player of Dave's strength to be a reasonable return. One could argue that I don't necessarily deserve to be playing in the British Championship proper if I'm prone to such lapses in spirit. But it's been a tough fortnight, so bite me. I definitely won't be making the mistake of commuting on my own again. I did something similar in 2007 (from Norwich to Great Yarmouth) but that involved a spirited car journey there and back with my two best mates. It appears there's a possibility the congress will be returning to Norfolk in 2012 - if that's the case, I would love to replicate those two weeks. Anyway, before I get all teary in reminiscence, back to today.

Richard J. McMichael (2287) -(2074) Philip J. Makepeace

1. d4 c5

The lethargy of yesterday having been replaced by adrenaline and a
pack of salami, I was really up for it.

2. e3 d5 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. Bd3 Bg4 5. c3 Nf6 6. Nbd2 e6

The alternative 6...e5 7. dxe5 Nxe5 8. Bb5+ Bd7 9. Bxd7+ Nexd7 leads to a much more open position. But I thought I'd have a sit and see what McMichael planned to do with his queenside.
7. O-O c4 8. Bc2 b5 9. e4 Be7 10. Re1 O-O 11. Qe2

The start of an 'artificial' plan, as Rick himself put it. I now have time to stick a knight on f8 via d7 if white decides to push Eddie on.
11... Re8 12. Qe3 dxe4 13. Ne5!?

Interesting and not what I'd expected. But 13. Bxe4 Nd5! is annoying, so fair enough really.

13... Nxe5 14. dxe5 Nd5

15. Qg3 h5!

Rick admitted he'd given very little thought to this shove. Luckily, he has an easy way out of the maelstrom.

16. Nxe4 Bh4 17. Qxh4

17. Nf6+? Qxf6 18. exf6 Bxg3 19. hxg3 Nxf6 20. f3 Bf5 21. Bxf5 exf5 should be
able to be converted despite the doubled pawns.

17... Qxh4 18. Bg5 Qxg5 19. Nxg5 Nf4 20. g3 Nd3 21. Bxd3 cxd3 22. f3 Bf5 23. Ne4 Red8 24. Nd6 Rxd6!?

Played quite quickly, with the self-assurance that it would hold. Given what ensued, I was livid with myself for many hours after the game for going down this route. However, it's my follow-up plan which is the guilty party. I'd therefore like to take this opportunity to apologise to David, Sheila, Lateefah, Grant and anyone else who was forced to endure me being a grumpy so-and-so.

25. exd6 Rd8 26. Kf2 Rxd6 27. Ke3 f6 28. Kd2 e5 29. a4!

It now dawned on me that the rooks were going to start throwing their weight around before I could engage my plan of giving Eric a clean path.

29... a6 30. axb5 axb5 31. Ra8+ Kf7 32. Rea1 Kg6 33. Rb8 Bh3?

It turns out the pawn can be defended with 33...Bd7. My idea of getting the bishop to e2 is pretty daft as white merely needs to use his extra rook to munch as many pawns as he desires before snapping off the bishop.

34. Raa8?

Taking on b5 was clearly best.

34... Bf1?

34...Bg2 was my last chance. The rest is silence.

35. Rd8 Rb6 36. Rab8 Ra6 37. Rxb5 Kf5 38. f4 Re6 39. fxe5 Kg4 40. Rd4+ Kf3 41. Rf4+ Kg2 42. exf6 Re2+ 43. Kd1 gxf6 44. Rbf5 Kxh2 45. Rxf1 Kxg3 46. Rg1+ Kh4 47. Rh1+ Kg4 48. Rfxh5 Rxb2 49. R5h2


1 comment:

  1. Norwich to Great Yarmouth is a great deal further - or at least takes a great deal longer - than it appears from a map. Actually this is true of most journeys in Norfolk: it's almost as if the air were thicker, slowing everybody down.


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