Table of Contents
- Coburn - Blackmore, Mark (142) East Devon
- Blackmore, Mark - Dean (140) East Devon
- Dobber, P - Blackmore, Mark (136) East Devon
- Blackmore, Mark - Pittman (145) East Devon
- Spiegel, Jack - Blackmore, Mark (144) East
Devon Major #5, 1996
Annotations by the dead chuffed MB, interruptions by DR
1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 e6 3. g3 Be7 4. Bg2 d5 5. O-O O-O 6.
I've never seen this before or since. Maybe he felt safe playing
something different because of my lower grade. It was an advantage,
I think - it's so much easier to beat someone if they refuse to
take you seriously.
[6. c4 Nbd7 Catalan main line.]
6... Nbd7 7. c3 a5 8. Na3 c6 9. Qc2
Aggression being the better part of valour, I thought I'd get my
queenside advance in first.
[Impertinent note from typesetter: I thought giving
up this Bishop was very risky]
10. Rxa3 b5 11. Bf4 Nb6 12. axb5 cxb5 13. Ne5 Nc4
14. Nxc4 bxc4 15. Rfa1 Bd7
This is the good bit. My Bishop, currently attracting Norris
McWhirter's attention as the world's worst piece, is about to
become Man of the Match.
16. b3 Bb5 17. e4 cxb3 18. Qxb3 Bc4 19. Qc2 Nxe4
20. Bxe4 dxe4 21. Qxe4 Bd5
Ha! However, Bishop aside, I felt that White still had the edge.
But those light squares will eventually prove fatal.
22. Qd3 Qb6 23. c4 Bb7 24. Bd2 Qc6 25. f3 a4 26.
Kf2 Rfc8 27. c5
Now, I'm well aware that I'm more of a tactician than a strategist,
but this struck me as a terrible positional error. Now those pawns
are going nowhere, and the light squares are mine to do with as I
[Impertinent note from typesetter: Mark is clearly
more of a strategist than his opponent! the rest of the game is a
nice illustration of the strategical principle that
opposite-coloured Bishops are a powerful factor in favour of the
27... Ba6 28. Qe4 Bb5
I'd have welcomed a Queen-swap - the b-file would be mine, so my
passed Pawn would be quicker, I hoped. But to be fair, Coburn
29. Bf4 Rd8 30. Bd6
Looks impressive, but I was more concerned with making sure I could
challenge on the b-file.
30... Ra7 31. Qg4 Kh8 32. Qe4 Rb7 33. Ke3 Qa6 34.
Qc2 Bc6 35. f4
And the King's starting to look draughty.
35... Rb4 36. h4 Qb5 37. Qd3 Qb7
Too late now.
38. Kf2 Rb2+ 39. Kg1 Bb5
I liked this better than ...Bh1.
40. Qf3 Bc6 41. Qe3 Rg2+ 42. Kf1 Qb2 43. R3a2
Qb5+ 44. Re2 Bd5 45. Ke1 Qb4+
Some people are on the pitch! They think it's all over!
46. Kf1 Rxe2
He's dropping a Rook (at least). Possibly my best game,
if only because it's the sort of position in which I'm usually
1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 Bf5 4. Nf3 e6 5. Bd3
I know this probably isn't the best, but I've had good results with
this and feel more comfortable with it.
5... Bxd3 6. Qxd3 Qa5+ 7. c3 Qa6
And Black equalises, Dean told me afterwards. A little optimistic,
8. Qxa6 Nxa6 9. Be3 c5 10. Nbd2 Rc8 11.
11... Ne7 12. Nb3 b6 13. Rac1 Nc6 14. a3 Be7 15.
At this point, Dean said, he became convinced I had no idea I was
doing. He was probably right.
15... h6 16. Nh3 Nab8 17. f4 Nd7
[17... f5 I thought was better.]
18. f5 Nd8 19. g4 h5 20. g5
20... exf5 21. Rxf5 g6 22. Rf2 Ne6 23. Rcf1 O-O
24. Rg2 Nb8 25. Nf4 Nxf4 26. Rxf4 Nc6 27. h4 c4 28. Nc1 b5 29. Rgf2
a5 30. R4f3 Nd8 31. Ne2 Ne6 32. Bd2 a4
You think you're bored? Imagine how I felt!
[Impertinent note from typesetter: Black deprives
himself of his only active plan, namely ...b4, with this
33. Ng3 Kg7 34. Nf1 Rcd8 35. Ne3 Rd7 36. Kh2
If there is a way through it was beyond me. Besides, I could feel
myself slipping into a coma.
[The White dark-squared Bishop can put no pressure on
the f6/f7 points. - DR]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Bxc6 dxc6 5. O-O Bg4 6. h3
h5 7. d3
Here my knowledge of theory ran out, and I was wary of arsing it up
and dropping my Bishop.
7... Bxf3 8. Qxf3 Qd7 9. Be3 O-O-O 10. Nd2 f6 11.
Nb3 g5 12. Rad1 g4
Even at the time I was thinking 'this can't work, look at my
development', but I'm damned if I can find the refutation. It was
worth it just to see the look on Dobber's face, anyway.
[Impertinent note from typesetter: in these
opposite-side castling situations, unless there is an obvious coup
in the centre, the medals go to the side who succeeds with an
attack on the King. Black's pieces are actually all on the
King's-side, where they belong, whereas White's pieces and
especially Pawns do not look as though they are ready to attack on
the opposite wing]
13... Bd6 Now d3-d4 is ruled out. 14. f4 Nh6 15.
f5 gxh3 16. Qxh3 Ng4 17. Kh1 Rdg8 18. Bg1 h4
While this was fun, I couldn't actually find a spectacular win
despite the position seeming to beg for one. I decided to get rid
of his key defensive piece, after which which the threats from my
Knight would be overwhelming.
19. Nd2 Qe7 20. Rf3 Bc5 21. Rdf1
[22. Rxg1 Qc5]
22... Qc5+ 23. Kh1 Qxc2 24. Nc4 b5 25. Ne3 Nxe3
26. Rxe3 Qxb2 27. Qh2 Qxa2 28. Qg1 h3 29. g3 h2 30. Qf2 Qxf2 31.
Afterwards Rh3 was suggested to me, which I'd missed, but in
retrospect I'm glad I did. White would eventually pick up the Black
f-pawn, and I'm more than capable of making a mess of that kind of
32. Rxh2 Rxh2+ 33. Kxh2 a4 34. Re2 Kd7 35. Ra2
1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 c5 4. c3 Nc6 5. Nf3 Qb6 6. Bd3 Bd7
7. Bc2 h6
To prevent Ng5 after ...O-O-O.
8. O-O O-O-O 9. a3 g5 10. b4?
Oops. I spent bloody ages working out why Pittman couldn't play
...Nxd4 after ...g4, Ne1, completely forgetting that he could play
...Qxd4 instead and my Rook is hanging. Desperate measures are now
10... cxd4 11. cxd4 g4 12. b5
[12. Ne1 Nxd4
12... Na5 13. Ne1 Bxb5 14. Bd3 Qxd4 15. Qc2+
Letting me off the hook.
[15... Nc4 stops Bb2]
16. Bb2 Qc5 17. Nd2 Kb8 18. Rc1 Rc8 19. Bxc4 Nxc4
20. Nd3 Qc7 21. Qa4?!
[21... Nxd2 may have been better]
22. Nxb2 Qd8 23. Nd3 Rxc1 24. Rxc1
Even with two extra Pawns, Black now looks distinctly unhealthy.
Still, the choice was fairly stark: win it now, or get stuffed in
25. Nb3 Ne7 26. Nbc5 Nc8
I could hardly sit still at this point. Cheapo ahoy!
27. Nd7+ Ka8 28. Rxc8+ Qxc8 29. Nb6+ Kb8 30. Nxc8
Kxc8 31. Qe8+
More luck than judgement, admittedly.
[Typesetter again: but there were some grown-up
decisions taken to throw the game out of a particular 'natural'
1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Nc6 3. Nf3 Be7
[3... Nd4 The Shilling Gambit was tempting, but with
150 pounds at stake I felt it wasn't really the game.]
4... Nf6 5. Be3 O-O 6. c3 d6 7. Nbd2 Be6 8. O-O
h6 9. Qe2 Bxc4 10. dxc4
Some people would say that this move is an intelligent attempt to
induce strategic weaknesses in my position. I, however, would say
that this move is a pile of pants.
10... Nh7 11. Rad1 f5
Hey, I never claimed to be subtle.
12. exf5 Rxf5 13. Ne4 Qc8 14. c5 Qe6 15. cxd6
cxd6 16. c4 Rf7
So I can play ...Nf6 without stranding my Rook.
[Impertinent note from typesetter: White starts to
drift. He should pick a plan and go for it hard. This is what Black
did, and is why Black won.]
17... Nf6 18. Nc3 Raf8 19. Nd5 Ng4
20. Nxe7+ Rxe7
21. Nf3 Ref7
It's hard not to laugh at my transparency, but at the same time
route one seems to be fairly effective. Spiegel, certainly, was a
nervous wreck at this point. 22. b3 Nxe3 23. Qxe3
He offered me a draw at this move. I politely declined.
24. Rd5 Qg4 25. Ne1 e4
The final insult. White's whole plan has been based around winning
my d-pawn, and I don't even have the decency to defend it.
26... Qe2 27. Qc3 Rxf2
And that was that.