Club Games - Mark Blackmore on a roll

Annotations by the dead chuffed MB, interruptions by DR

Coburn - Blackmore, Mark (142) East Devon Major, 1996

1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 e6 3. g3 Be7 4. Bg2 d5 5. O-O O-O 6. a4

 

tSlD-Tj+
XxX-LxXx
-+-+xS-+
+-+x+-+-
p+-P-+-+
+-+-+nP-
-Pp+pPbP
RnBq+rK-

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 Bxa3

 

t+lD-Tj+
+x+s+xXx
-+x+xS-+
X-+x+-+-
p+-P-+-+
L-P-+nP-
-Pq+pPbP
R-B-+rK-

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

 

t+-D-Tj+
+-+l+xXx
-+-+xS-+
X-+x+-+-
-+xP-B-+
R-P-+-P-
-Pq+pPbP
R-+-+-K-

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

 

t+-D-Tj+
+-+-+xXx
-+-+x+-+
X-+l+-+-
-+-PqB-+
R-P-+-P-
-+-+-P-P
R-+-+-K-

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

 

t+t+-+j+
+l+-+xXx
-+d+x+-+
+-P-+-+-
x+-P-+-+
R-+q+pP-
-+-B-K-P
R-+-+-+-

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 please.

[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 attacking side]

27... Ba6 28. Qe4 Bb5

 

t+t+-+j+
+-+-+xXx
-+d+x+-+
+lP-+-+-
x+-Pq+-+
R-+-+pP-
-+-B-K-P
R-+-+-+-

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 clearly agreed.

29. Bf4 Rd8 30. Bd6

 

t+-T-+j+
+-+-+xXx
-+dBx+-+
+lP-+-+-
x+-Pq+-+
R-+-+pP-
-+-+-K-P
R-+-+-+-

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

 

-+-T-+-J
+t+-+xXx
d+lBx+-+
+-P-+-+-
x+-P-P-+
R-+-K-P-
-+q+-+-P
R-+-+-+-

And the King's starting to look draughty.

35... Rb4 36. h4 Qb5 37. Qd3 Qb7

 

-+-T-+-J
+d+-+xXx
-+lBx+-+
+-P-+-+-
xT-P-P-P
R-+qK-P-
-+-+-+-+
R-+-+-+-

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+

 

-+-T-+-J
+-+-+xXx
-+-Bx+-+
+-Pl+-+-
xD-P-P-P
+-+-Q-P-
-+-+r+t+
R-+-K-+-

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 convincingly outmanoeuvred.

0-1

 

Blackmore, Mark - Dean (140) East Devon Major, 1996

1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 Bf5 4. Nf3 e6 5. Bd3

 

tS-DjLsT
Xx+-+xXx
-+x+x+-+
+-+xPl+-
-+-P-+-+
+-+b+n+-
pPp+-PpP
RnBqK-+r

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

 

tS-+jLsT
Xx+-+xXx
d+x+x+-+
+-+xP-+-
-+-P-+-+
+-Pq+n+-
pP-+-PpP
RnB-K-+r

And Black equalises, Dean told me afterwards. A little optimistic, I felt.

8. Qxa6 Nxa6 9. Be3 c5 10. Nbd2 Rc8 11. O-O

[11. Ke2]

11... Ne7 12. Nb3 b6 13. Rac1 Nc6 14. a3 Be7 15. Ng5

 

-+t+j+-T
X-+-LxXx
sXs+x+-+
+-XxP-N-
-+-P-+-+
PnP-B-+-
-P-+-PpP
+-R-+rK-

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

 

-+t+j+-T
X-+sLxX-
-Xs+x+-X
+-XxP-+-
-+-P-P-+
PnP-B-+n
-P-+-+pP
+-R-+rK-

[17... f5 I thought was better.]

18. f5 Nd8 19. g4 h5 20. g5

 

-+tSj+-T
X-+sLxX-
-X-+x+-+
+-XxPpPx
-+-P-+-+
PnP-B-+n
-P-+-+-P
+-R-+rK-

Charge!

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

 

-+t+-Tj+
+-+-Lx+-
-+-+s+x+
+x+xP-Px
x+xP-+-P
P-P-+r+-
-P-BnR-+
+-+-+-K-

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 move]

33. Ng3 Kg7 34. Nf1 Rcd8 35. Ne3 Rd7 36. Kh2 Rdd8

 

-+-T-T-+
+-+-LxJ-
-+-+s+x+
+x+xP-Px
x+xP-+-P
P-P-Nr+-
-P-B-R-K
+-+-+-+-

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]

1/2-1/2

 

Dobber, P - Blackmore, Mark (136) East Devon Major, 1996

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Bxc6 dxc6 5. O-O Bg4 6. h3 h5 7. d3

 

t+-DjLsT
+xX-+xX-
x+x+-+-+
+-+-X-+x
-+-+p+l+
+-+p+n+p
pPp+-Pp+
RnBq+rK-

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

 

-+jT-LsT
+xXd+-+-
x+x+-X-+
+-+-X-+x
-+-+p+x+
+n+pBq+p
pPp+-Pp+
+-+r+rK-

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.

13. Qg3

[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

 

-+j+-+tT
+xXd+-+-
x+xL-X-+
+-+-Xp+-
-+-+p+sX
+n+p+-+q
pPp+-+p+
+-+r+rBk

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 Bxg1

 

-+j+-+tT
+xX-D-+-
x+x+-X-+
+-+-Xp+-
-+-+p+sX
+-+p+r+q
pPpN-+p+
+-+-+rLk

22. Kxg1

[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. Rxf2 a5

 

-+j+-+tT
+-X-+-+-
-+x+-X-+
Xx+-Xp+-
-+-+p+-+
+-+pR-P-
-+-+-R-X
+-+-+-+k

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 position.

32. Rxh2 Rxh2+ 33. Kxh2 a4 34. Re2 Kd7 35. Ra2 Kd6

 

-+-+-+t+
+-X-+-+-
-+xJ-X-+
+x+-Xp+-
x+-+p+-+
+-+p+-P-
r+-+-+-K
+-+-+-+-

0-1

 

Blackmore, Mark - Pittman (145) East Devon Major, 1996

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 c5 4. c3 Nc6 5. Nf3 Qb6 6. Bd3 Bd7 7. Bc2 h6

 

t+-+jLsT
Xx+l+xX-
-Ds+x+-X
+-XxP-+-
-+-P-+-+
+-P-+n+-
pPb+-PpP
RnBqK-+r

To prevent Ng5 after ...O-O-O.

8. O-O O-O-O 9. a3 g5 10. b4?

 

-+jT-LsT
Xx+l+x+-
-Ds+x+-X
+-XxP-X-
-P-P-+-+
P-P-+n+-
-+b+-PpP
RnBq+rK-

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 required.

10... cxd4 11. cxd4 g4 12. b5

[12. Ne1 Nxd4

[12... Qxd4]

13. Be3]

12... Na5 13. Ne1 Bxb5 14. Bd3 Qxd4 15. Qc2+ Bc4

 

-+jT-LsT
Xx+-+x+-
-+-+x+-X
S-+xP-+-
-+lD-+x+
P-+b+-+-
-+q+-PpP
RnB-NrK-

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?!

 

-Jt+-LsT
XxD-+x+-
-+-+x+-X
+-+xP-+-
q+s+-+x+
P-+n+-+-
-B-N-PpP
+-R-+rK-

21... Nxb2

[21... Nxd2 may have been better]

22. Nxb2 Qd8 23. Nd3 Rxc1 24. Rxc1 h5

 

-J-D-LsT
Xx+-+x+-
-+-+x+-+
+-+xP-+x
q+-+-+x+
P-+n+-+-
-+-N-PpP
+-R-+-K-

Even with two extra Pawns, Black now looks distinctly unhealthy. Still, the choice was fairly stark: win it now, or get stuffed in the endgame.

25. Nb3 Ne7 26. Nbc5 Nc8

 

-JsD-L-T
Xx+-+x+-
-+-+x+-+
+-NxP-+x
q+-+-+x+
P-+n+-+-
-+-+-PpP
+-R-+-K-

I could hardly sit still at this point. Cheapo ahoy!

27. Nd7+ Ka8 28. Rxc8+ Qxc8 29. Nb6+ Kb8 30. Nxc8 Kxc8 31. Qe8+

 

-+j+qL-T
Xx+-+x+-
-+-+x+-+
+-+xP-+x
-+-+-+x+
P-+n+-+-
-+-+-PpP
+-+-+-K-

More luck than judgement, admittedly.

[Typesetter again: but there were some grown-up decisions taken to throw the game out of a particular 'natural' continuation]

1-0

 

Spiegel, Jack - Blackmore, Mark (144) East Devon Major #5, 1996

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. d3

[4. d4]

4... Nf6 5. Be3 O-O 6. c3 d6 7. Nbd2 Be6 8. O-O h6 9. Qe2 Bxc4 10. dxc4

 

t+-D-Tj+
XxX-LxX-
-+sX-S-X
+-+-X-+-
-+p+p+-+
+-P-Bn+-
pP-NqPpP
R-+-+rK-

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

 

t+-D-Tj+
XxX-L-Xs
-+sX-+-X
+-+-Xx+-
-+p+p+-+
+-P-Bn+-
pP-NqPpP
+-+r+rK-

Hey, I never claimed to be subtle.

12. exf5 Rxf5 13. Ne4 Qc8 14. c5 Qe6 15. cxd6 cxd6 16. c4 Rf7

 

t+-+-+j+
Xx+-LtXs
-+sXd+-X
+-+-X-+-
-+p+n+-+
+-+-Bn+-
pP-+qPpP
+-+r+rK-

So I can play ...Nf6 without stranding my Rook.

17. Ne1

[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

 

-+-+-Tj+
Xx+-LtX-
-+sXd+-X
+-+nX-+-
-+p+-+s+
+-+-B-+-
pP-+qPpP
+-+rNrK-

Viking Chess

20. Nxe7+ Rxe7

[20... Nxe7]

21. Nf3 Ref7

 

-+-+-Tj+
Xx+-+tX-
-+sXd+-X
+-+-X-+-
-+p+-+s+
+-+-Bn+-
pP-+qPpP
+-+r+rK-

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 Rf4

 

-+-+-Tj+
Xx+-+-X-
-+sXd+-X
+-+-X-+-
-+p+-T-+
+p+-Qn+-
p+-+-PpP
+-+r+rK-

He offered me a draw at this move. I politely declined.

24. Rd5 Qg4 25. Ne1 e4

 

-+-+-Tj+
Xx+-+-X-
-+sX-+-X
+-+r+-+-
-+p+xTd+
+p+-Q-+-
p+-+-PpP
+-+-NrK-

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. Qg3

[26. Rxd6]

26... Qe2 27. Qc3 Rxf2

 

-+-+-Tj+
Xx+-+-X-
-+sX-+-X
+-+r+-+-
-+p+x+-+
+pQ-+-+-
p+-+dTpP
+-+-NrK-

And that was that.

0-1

Chess Quotes

"If you have any doubt what to study, study endgames. Openings teach you openings. Endings teach you chess."
— Stephan GERZADOWICZ, Thinker's Chess.