Saturday, March 11, 2006

Chess Simultaneous Match

Yesterday I played in a Chess Simultaneous Match at work. Len, our resident Chess expert (ranked in the top group in BC) and tournament advisor/referee agreed to play against the top four players in the tournament at the same time.

The top four players, shown below are (left to right) Allan, Joel, Scott, and Andrew. There's another Andrew between the two tables who is just observing. Len, of course, is the one standing... there's no time for sitting when you're playing four people at the same time!

The game progressed well, with a few blunders here and there (can't help it when playing fast games I guess). I tried to watch the other games at the same time but it proved impossible once the board got complicated. Since I was playing, I couldn't take photos. Thanks to Tony, our other resident photographer for taking pictures of this event!

Here's me, concentrating on the board. I didn't want to lose quickly, so I couldn't afford to make any big mistakes.

In the end, however, I was the only one of the four to win my game! I'm far from being as good as Len, but I played as well as I could, and in the end, he made a mistake which gave me the winning advantage.

Len and Brent (from the Port Coquitlam Chess Club who came to watch the match) reconstructed the game and recorded the move list as well as created some computer generated images of the board positions.

Len (w)
Andrew (b)

1.e4 g6

I wanted to play something different. The three other players responded with 1. ...e5 but I chose to go a different route. This lead to a unique position and one which I may have easily lost (due to my own oversight), but it was fun.

2.Nc3 Bg7
3.Bc4 e6
4.d3 Nc6
5.f4 Nge7
6.Nf3 0-0
7.0-0 d6

Preparing for Qh4 which you see six moves later. Should have been watching this.

8. ... Nd4
9.Nxd4 Bxd4+
10.Kh1 c6

This was a mistake. Moving the pawn up one square does nothing or very little. I did this with the idea of defending an attacking pawn on the Bishop. In the end, this loses a pawn for me, and further on in the game, you'll find this pawn blocks the bishop on b7 from being useful.

11.Ne2 b5
12.Nxd4 bxc4

Agh! See, lost the pawn over the deal.

13. ... Bb7
14.Qh4 e5

Another pawn error. Now that I have the pawn on c6, I should have played ... d5, attacking on the white squares, with the help of the Bishop. As it is, it leaves me with a lone pawn on a dark square, completely unprotected, and opens up the diagonal for the white bishop. I'm even thinking that ... Nc8 would have been better, trying to drive the white Queen away.

15.fxe5 dxe5
16.Nf3 h5

We now arrive at the position seen in the image below. ... h5 was the third pawn mistake as it did nothing useful (in fact, it opens it up to attack by white's pawn on h2, breaking down my protective wall). My position is cramped, and the Knight hardly has anywhere to go (pawn at c6 coming back to haunt yet again).

So many better moves...

17.Bg5 Re8

Len missed the opportunity to play 17.Bh6 winning the Rook.

18.Nxe5 Qd4

The abandoned pawn falls, and I had to move the Queen out to get at least something going my way.

19.Bxe7 Qxe5
20.Bf6 Qxe4

21.Qg5 Qe3

Len moves in for the kill and I push for the Queen trade.

22.Qxe3 Rxe3
23.Rae1 Rae8
24.Bc3 c5

Shocking how a questionable move early on can have such a far reaching effect. Now I move the pawn but it's way too late and accomplishes little. It puts the pawn on it's own on a dark square, and it eventually suffers the same fate as the other abandoned pawn. 24. ... Re2 might be better.

25.Kg1 f5
26.Kf2 f4
27.Bd2 Rxe1
28.Rxe1 Rxe1
29.Bxe1 Kg7

... Kf7 would be safer from the Bishop.

30.Bd2 g5
31.h4 f3
32.g3 g4
33.Be3 Be4

Now the two lone peons are captured. Moving ... a5 might have been a good idea to keep a pawn alive for the endgame.

34.Bxc5 Bxc2
35.Bxa7 Bb1
36.a3 Kf7

... Kf6 would have protected more and helped keep the King on the white squares when it moved up to block the white King.

37.Ke3 Ke6

38.Kf4 Kf6

A critical moment for Len. 39.Bd4+ would have forced the King in one direction or the other, likely creating a winning position as I couldn't protect my pawns and stop the rush of enemy pawns on the other side.

39. ... Bd3

This was the move that gave me the game. In a regular paced game, Len would never have made this move, but in a simultaneous situation, it's easier to not see all the consequences of a move. In this case, it blocks the Bishop from protecting my pawn on f3 from advancing. I make a run for it.

40. ... f2
41.c6 f1Q+
42.Ke3 Qg1+
43.Kxd3 Qxa7
44.Kc4 Qxa3
45.Kb5 Qa7
46.Kc4 Qb6
47.b5 0-1

Our Chess tournament at work continues, and the top four will play a series of matches to determine who takes the top four spots.


3 Smart Remarks:

Anonymous e said...

CONGRATULATIONS to my Favorite Nephew.......I always knew you were "a Champion"

All the Best as you continue your Tournament!

4:05 PM  
Anonymous Stephanie said...

Good Job Andrew!! Hope you win 1st Place!

7:48 PM  
Anonymous Steven Smethurst said...

I didn't know BC had a chess league. i been looking for some local players for a while and besides the people that hang out at the art gallery I haven't found any.

Do you have any more information on this chess league?

9:35 AM  

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