Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Contenders, ARE YOU READY?

Here is a picture of a gladiator. Next to him is some woman off TV from a few years back.

The gladiator has sent in his Round 8 game. Apparently he thinks it's of high enough quality to nick the best game prize off the top people's mits.

Mark Josse (2128) - (2391) Thomas E. Rendle
[Notes by Tom 'Nacho Libra' Rendle]
1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nd2 a6 4. Bd3 c5 5. dxc5 Bxc5 6. Ngf3 Ne7

6... Nf6 7. Qe2 Nc6 8. c3 was Roberts - Rendle from the British in 2006. I now feel the knight is better placed on e7.
7. O-O Nbc6 8. a3 O-O 9. exd5
9. b4 Ba7 10. Bb2 Ng6 is the mainline, with approximate equality.
9... exd5 10. b4 Ba7 11. Bb2 Ng6 12. c4 dxc4 13. Bxc4
13. Nxc4 might've been better, although Black should be doing fine after Be6. 13... b5?! 14. Be4 is a bit of a pain.
13... b5 14. Ba2 Bb7 15. Nb3 Nf4 16. Bb1

16. Nc5 Bxc5 17. bxc5 Qc8 18. h3 Qf5 and Black is slightly better. 16. Qxd8 Raxd8 with Nd3 to follow gives Black an excellent position.
16... Qc8

16... Re8 is the safe option, probably forcing the exchange of Queens via 17. Qxd8 Raxd8 18. Bc2 Re2. I have to admit I was already hoping for a mate on g2....

17. Ng5
17. h3 Nxh3+ 18. gxh3 Qxh3 19. Qd3 Qg4+ 20. Kh1 g6

17... Rd8 18. Qc2
18. Bxh7+ Kf8 19. Nd2 Nd4 is crushing. For example, 20. Be4 Nde2+ 21. Kh1 Bxe4 22. Ngxe4 Qg4

18... Rd3
My opponent had been counting on 18... Nd3 after which White can fight on after 19. Qe2 Qf5 20. Nf3
19. Bc1?? Qg4
20. Bxf4 Nd4 21. Bg3 Nxc2


Here is my opponent from today, John Anderson. He used to work with the above woman on ITV before Sky ruined the programme.

John Anderson (2208) - (2074) Philip J. Makepeace

1. Nf3 Nf6 2. d4 e6 3. g3 d5 4. Bg2 Nbd7 5. O-O c5 6. c4 Be7 7. cxd5 exd5 8. Nc3 O-O 9. dxc5 Nxc5

Being an exponent of the Caro-Kann, and therefore a fun guy, I was happy with an IQP position. Black's control over e4 already is of note.

10. b3 b6 11. Nd4 Qd7 12. Bb2 Bb7 13. Qc2 Nce4 14. f3 Bc5

Just the start of a flurry of tactics.

15. Na4! Rac8 16. Qd3 Nd6 17. Kh1 Nc4?!

Flashy, but not optimal.

18. bxc4?!

18. Nxc5 bxc5 19. bxc4 cxd4 20. cxd5 Bxd5 21. Qxd4 Rc2 22. Qb4 should hold. Though, with the rook looking menacing on the seventh, it's understandable why white didn't go for this.

18... Qxa4 19. cxd5 Bxd5 20. e4?!

Black now gets a chance to optimise his position free of charge.

20... Bc4 21. Qd1 Qb4 22. Rf2 Bb5 23. a4 Ba6 24. Rd2 Rfd8 25. Bh3 Rc7 26. Rc1 Ne8 27. Bc3 Qc4?

Setting a trap while falling into a bear pit.

28. Nf5?

28. Ne6! Rxd2 29. Bxd2 wins an exchange.

The more obvious 28. Ba5? is slapped back by 28... Qxc1! 29. Qxc1 Bxd4 30. Qd1 bxa5 31. Rxd4 Rxd4 32. Qxd4 Rc1+ 33. Kg2 Bf1+ 34. Kf2 Bxh3 35. Qxa7 which is unclear, but black shouldn't lose.

28... Rxd2 29. Qxd2 Qd3

I offered a draw here thinking that, once the queens come off, the big knight on f5 is worth my queenside majority. However, Mr. Anderson had other ideas.

30. Qxd3 Bxd3 31. Rd1 Bc2 32. Rd8 Bxa4 33. Be5! Rb7 34. Nd6?

I can only assume Neo missed my annoying reply. 34. Nxg7 Kf8 35. Bc8 Re7 36. Bf6 instead resembles a position from a helpmate problem.

34... Re7 35. Bf4 g5!

Now everything comes off. Arthur and Billy begin to look decisive.

36. Bxg5 Bxd6 37. Bxe7?

Losing on the spot. 37. Rxd6 Rxe4 38. Rd2 would instead have won first prize in the unhappy raffle.

37... Bxe7 38. Ra8 a5 39. Kg2 Bb5 40. Ra7 Bc5 41. f4 Bc6 42. Bd7 Bxd7?!

42...Bxe4 is best. And by quite a way too. However, I saw the winning method after the swap and so went down that path instead.

43. Rxd7 Nd6 44. e5 Nc4 45. Kf3 a4 46. Ke4 a3 47. Rd1 b5 48. f5 b4 49. Rd8+ Kg7 50. f6+ Kh6 51. g4 a2 52. Rd1 b3 53. Kf4 b2


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