Exeter Chess Club: Simultaneous Display Post Mortem[Index to games at end of page]
Although he obviously knows a lot of theory International Master Gary Lane wasn't out to play right down the line - he deviated in the sharper bits of theory against Mark and Steve. Rather, he played mostly solidly - certainly in only a few games did he set out for mate straight away. His opening repertoire leaned heavily on his published books (Ruy Lopez, Bishop's Opening, Closed Sicilian, Alapin Sicilian) and unpublished ones (Blackmar-Diemer Gambit, which I think no-one accepted).
"When I attacked, I won" he said afterwards: this indicates some need for better defensive technique (Bruce, Daniel, Geoff). On several occasions it seemed he just pushed a queen near an Exeter King's-side, hoping that things would turn up. This 'fishing' for opportunities can be seen in the games with Iain, Geoff and Ivor. Also, there were a couple of games where we seemed to be doing well to start with, but the moment we started mixing it, we fell apart (Sean, Iain). There are a couple of games where GL adopted standard attacking formations, and the attack went like clockwork - my guess is our mistake here was allowing such a formation to start with (Bruce, Tom, Keith).
Masterly judgement was apparent in the games - where after a fair opening, our player's pieces seemed to start going backwards (Geoff) or became decentralised (Iain); when GL was at a clear disadvantage in a game, he cold-bloodedly made the most of his own advantages (Ivor, Steve, Chris).
GL wasn't out to knock us out in the opening, and in most of the games we seemed to be still in the game at move 15. We did best when we played his strategy back at him - kept solid and played good positional chess (Mark, Steve, Gill), kept centralised (Matthew), didn't let him settle with a stable centre (Matthew, Steve), insisted on some play of our own (Iain, Ivor, Steve...) didn't take his word for it (Ivor, Steve, Chris). And I'm sure we were all reassured to watch GL play with a flourish Qe8+ Nxe8 (oops) as he was finishing off little David Butler...
Several folk did well for much of the game, outplaying our esteemed visitor for at least some of the time. This goes some way towards suggesting that masters don't do anything very different to club players, rather they do it more or faster.
- "When I attacked, I won..."
- Mixing it...
- Doing better...
White's standard attack has yielded results; the B cannot retreat to e7 because of the mate. Black should have hit harder at the centre with ...Qb6 and/or ...f6 - see Matthew's game, where both featured.
I have never believed in playing the Gurgenidze line against a White move order without Nc3.
[5. Nbd2] But the dismal text leaves the Bishop exposed...
5... dxe4 6. Bxe4 Nf6 7. Bd3
...and the d-pawn undersupported.
7... O-O 8. O-O Bg4 9. h3 Bxf3 10. Qxf3 Nbd7 11. Re1 Re8 12. Bf4 Qb6 13. Re2 Nd5 14. Be5 Nxe5 15. dxe5
a pungent rejoinder! Showing this to a group, it took a while for the true position to be seen:
- oh no, we can't take the e-pawn!
- oh yes we can, the b-pawn is going!
- oh no we can't, you shouldn't snatch pawns in the opening, you lose time and might get the Queen stuck!
- oh yes we can, we only need one move to complete development and it's actually the Rook on a1 that is stuck!
[16. Rxe5 Qxb2]
16... Qc7 17. Rae1 Bg7 18. g3 e5 19. Nc4 b5 20. Nd2 f5 21. Qg2 Rad8 22. Bc2
Black has consolidated his gains although is a little loose. White must avoid exchanges and seek to make the most of any opportunities; Black has no need to provoke a crisis yet and should try slowly to improve his position.
Just sets up the f2-f3 break for White.
Watching, I was anxious about
but that's my style.
23...Nf6 24. f3 Qb6+ 25. Kh2 exf3 26. Rxe8+ Nxe8 27. Bb3+ Kh8 28. Qxf3 Nf6 29. Re7
How quickly the scene changes!
29... Ne4 30. Qf4 Qc5 31. Re6 g5
[31... Bh6 32. Qxh6
[32. Qe5+ Qxe5 33. Rxe5 Kg7-/+]
[32. Qf3 Ng5-+]
32... Qf2+ 33. Kh1 Qxf1+ 34. Kh2 Qf2+ 35. Kh1 Nxg3#]
32. Qe3 Qxe3 33. Nxe3 Rd2+ 34. Kg1
and again: Black is horribly loose
34... Bf8 35. Re8 Kg7 36. Nxf5+ Kg6 37. Rxf8 Rxb2 38. g4 Nd2 39. Ne7+ Kh6 40. Rg8 Nf3+ 41. Kf1 Nh2+ 42. Ke1 Nf3+ 43. Kd1 Nh4 44. Nf5+ Nxf5 45. gxf5 Rf2 46. Bc2 Kh5 47. Rc8 Kh4 48. Rxc6 h5 49. Rh6 Kxh3 50. Rxh5+ Kg3 51. Rxg5+ 1-0
Definitely the right idea - insisting on a share of the game.
11. Kb1 Nbd7 12. h4 Nb6 13. h5
One of a number of clockwork attacks... Fischer talks about having the attack on the fianchettoed King position down to a formula.
13... Nxh5 14. g4 Be6 15. Nc1 Nf6 16. Nh3 Bxg4 17. fxg4 Nxe4 18. Nb3
15. Nxe4 is only superficially attractive.
15. d4 exd4 16. Nxd4 Nhf4 17. Qf3 Ne6 18. Nf5 Ne5 19. Qg3 Kh8 20. Kh1 c6
Black seems to have fair chances at this point.
An unusual line which GL hadn't known about, despite penning a book on this 2.c3 variation! Black insists on a slice of the centre and free development. The question is whether all this can be safely attempted at once.
8. Qd2!? Bxc3 9. bxc3 e4
With hindsight ...exd4 may have been better.
10. Qe3 Nge7 11. Nd2 Bf5 12. Bc4 Qa5 13. Rb1 O-O 14. O-O Nd5 15. Qg5
Fishing... White has some advantages (pawn centre, better Bishop, good Rook on b1, loose Black pieces) but Black has definite chances against the pawns. Perhaps Black should have paused somewhere to stop the incursion of the Rook.
15... Nxc3 16. Rxb7 Bg6 17. d5 Nd4 18. Nb3 Nde2+ 19. Kh1 Qxa2 20. d6
Black looks a little scattered now. Both sides have been looking loose, but it is a Black piece that falls...
GL made several attempts to play the Blackmar, but was never allowed (see also Matthew's game).
2... c6 3. e5 Bf5 4. Nf3 e6 5. Be3 Nd7 6. c4 dxc4 7. Bxc4 Nb6 8. Bb3 Nd5
Black's Knight is a definite asset.
9. O-O Bb4 10. a3 Ba5 11. Nbd2 Bd3 12. Re1 Nge7 13. Bc2 Bxc2 14. Qxc2 Nf5 15. b4 Bc7 16. Ne4 Nfxe3 17. fxe3 Rb8 18. Qf2 Qe7 19. Qg3 f5 20. Ned2
Fishing for a King's-side attack... Ivor will have none of it.
20... Rg8 21. Nc4 Kd7 22. Nd6 g5 23. e4 f4 24. Qf2 Ne3 25. Rxe3 fxe3 26. Qxe3 g4 27. Nd2
After the exchange sac., White's central pawn mass looks dangerous. Rather than seeking exchanges (...Bxd6) or passive defence (...Rg7), Ivor correctly looks for opportunities for active play.
27... Qg5 28. Qd3 Bxd6 29. exd6 Qb5 30. Nc4 Rbf8 31. Qc3 g3 32. hxg3 Qg5 33. Ne5+ Kd8 34. b5 Qxg3 35. Qxg3 Rxg3 36. bxc6 bxc6 37. Rb1 Kc8 38. d7+ Kc7 39. Rc1 Rxa3 40. Rxc6+ Kb7 41. Rxe6 Rd8 42. d5 Re3 43. Kh2 Rxe4 44. Nf7 Ra4(...)
the P cost Black a rook, but simplified into a R+PP/RNP ending in which the master could see no way forward
Optimistic - Keith is hitting back hard (right idea) but is only counter-attacking, not defending. The Knight should have been kept out of f5 by:
Played almost instantly
[17... Kxg7 18. Bh6+ Kxh6 19. Qxf6+ Kh5 20. Bd1+]
Black ensures himself good development.
9. d3 Be6 10. Re1 Qd7 11. Nbd2 dxe4 12. dxe4 Bxb3 13. Nxb3 Rad8 14. Bg5 Qd3
Rather than meekly conceding the d-file after Rad1, Black insists on chopping some wood.
15. Bh4 Qxe2 16. Rxe2 Nd7 17. Bxe7 Nxe7 18. Na5 f6 19. Nd2 Nc5 20. Ndb3 Nd3 21. Rd2 Nf4 22. Rad1 Rxd2 23. Rxd2 Ne6 24. Nb7 Rc8
White is a little better placed, but the Black Knights cover a lot of key points.
25. Kf1 Kf8 26. f3 Ke8 27. g3 Rb8 28. N3c5 Nxc5 29. Nxc5 Rb6 30. b4 Rc6 31. Ke2 a5 32. Ke3 axb4 33. cxb4 Rd6 34. Rxd6 cxd6
35. Ne6 Nc6 36. a3 Kf7 37. Nc7 Nd4
Black's knights have always managed to find the right squares at the right time.
Black is clearly winning
Now it's not quite so clear, but I think Black should still be all right.
19. Bxh7+ Kxh7 20. Ng5+ Kg8 21. Qxg4 Qxd4 22. Qh5
White is fishing hard but Black is so well-placed; better developed, better control of the centre, with chances against the scattered White pieces and King. Here
[22...Rf6] may have been worth a look, giving Black one more move in defence.
22... Qd3 23. N1f3 Qc2+ 24. Bd2 Nxd2 25. Ra2! Qf5 26. g4 Qd3?
[26... Be8! 27. gxf5 Bxh5 28. Rxd2 Bxf4]
Not an easy move to spot in a hurry - this is the secret weapon of the simul. player, forcing opponents to make a decision.
27. f5 Qe2+ 28. Kh3 Rxf5 29. gxf5 Nxf3
White is only slightly better placed; 21...Nd5 and only then ...c6 may have held.
21... c6 22. Rxe7 cxb5 23. Nd6 Rb8 24. Nxb5 Rfd8 25. Re2 Rd7 26. Rae1 Bf6 27. Kf1 Kg7 28. Na3 Rd5 29. Re8 Rbd8 30. Rxd8 Bxd8 31. Re8 Kf6 32. Ke2 Be7 33. Nc4 b5 34. axb5 Rc5 35. Nxa5 Rxb5 36. b4 Re5+ 37. Kd3 Rf5 38. f3 Rg5 39. g4 h5 40. Nc6 Bd6 41. c4 hxg4 42. hxg4 1-0
White has a good Knight post on d5, but Black has made a firm stand in the centre and there is nothing for White on the long White diagonal.
12... Be5 13. Re1 Qd7 14. Bg5 f6 15. Bf4 Rae8 16. Qd2 Re6 17. a3
Optically Black is better-placed, and while you need to translate that into a concrete plan, I think that is the correct assessment of the position, and that Steve has outplayed his opponent.
17... Rd6 18. Bxe5 fxe5 19. c4 dxc3 20. Nxc3 Rxd3
White has been careless; Black is clearly winning.
21. Qg5 h6 22. Qh4 Qd4 23. Qxd4 cxd4 24. Na4 Rd2 25. b4 Bc2 26. Nc5 Rfxf2 27. Bd5+ Kh7 28. h4 Rfe2 29. Rf1 Ne7 30. Bf3 Re3 31. Ra2 Kg8
Eye off the ball, I think; GL was coming around very quickly now.
I think Black is winning, but less clearly: White's pieces now start coming out because of the loose b7 and second rank targets. Perhaps Steve over-reached, but I don't know where.
32... Re1+ 33. Kg2 Rxf2+ 34. Kxf2 Rc1 35. Ke2 Bg6 36. h5 Bf7 37. Rb2 Bd5 38. Nd3 Bxf3+ 39. Kxf3 Rc3
The Black pawns, which have for so long been immobile, are revealed as targets.
40. Ke4 Rxa3 41. Nxe5 Rxg3 42. Kxd4 Rh3 43. Rc2 Rxh5 44. Rc7 Nf5+ 45. Ke4 (...)
Steve allowed White to capture both Q-side pawns, and sacrifice the wN to queen the b-pawn; GL then won a tricky KQ/KNPP ending ...
The sacrifice went something like...
(...) 1. Rc8+ Kh7 2. Rh8+ Kxh8 3. Ng6+ Kh7 4. Nxh4 Ne4 5. b6
Then GL let Steve waste moves with the K to capture the N while the pawn Queened...
(...near the end...)
GL was having trouble approaching with the K; there were several nasty forks with the Q on g2. I wrote this position down, (after Qg3+ Kd7) and now White played Qg2+. I think GL mistakenly assumed he couldn't capture the N, while my faithful companion Fritz took one electronic look and crashed out:
1. Qxg4+ Kf2 2. Qh3 Kg1 3. Qg3+ Kh1
usually a drawing resource...
4. Qf2 g4 5. Qf1# 1-0
In the event White approached with his King and ate the King's-side... 1-0.
Another of these standard attacks - White's moves follow without much thought. (I don't mean to be rude, I fell foul of one of these clockwork attacks myself at Paignton. The thing is to nip them in the bud, or keep things fluid rather than wait for these to arrive.)