The Great Match

Ray and I picked a team each (the Lions and the Tigers).

Some games from the match:

Click [...] for list of games


[Event "Lions vs. Tigers"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2008.12.12"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Pawel"]
[Black "Adam"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C47"]
[PlyCount "46"]

1. e4 1... e5  2. Nf3  2... Nc6  3. Nc3 (3. d4 {Scotch Game})
(3. Bc4 {Italian Game}) (3. Bb5 {Ruy Lopez (Spanish Game)}) 3... Nf6 {
 These all-square Four Knights' positions are pretty dull and I think are
best avoided.} 4. g3 {This move lets you put your Bishop on g2 but it already
had a way out. Also, on g2, it doesn't have a very good view.} (4. d4 {
Scotch Four Knights'}) (4. Bb5 {Four Knights' Game}) (4. Bc4 $6 4... Nxe4) 4...
Bc5  ({I have seen people play the sacrifice} 4... Nxe4 5. Nxe4 d5 6. Nc3 e4
7. Ng1 Bc5) 5. Qe2 5... Ng4 {
 There's more to say about this move than the obvious.} 6. Bh3 (6. h3 6...
Nxf2  7. Rh2 {and Black has won a pawn but the Knight cannot retreat.  So
White does best here to grab two of Black's active pieces for a Rook.} 7... O-O
8. Rxf2 Bxf2+ 9. Qxf2 {with a roughly equal game.}) 6... Nxf2 {
 Now this move actually forks the Rook and Bishop.} 7. Rf1 7... d6 {
 Ah, Black misses one.} (7... Nxh3 $1) 8. Bxc8 8... Rxc8  9. Na4 ({
It's still best to take the two pieces for a Rook:} 9. Rxf2 9... Bxf2+  10.
Qxf2) 9... Ng4  10. Nxc5 10... dxc5  11. h3 (11. Qb5 {forks two pawns.})
11... Nf6  12. d3 12... Nd4  13. Bg5 {Oh dear... I fear the clock is to
blame.  The rest of the game is not so interesting any more.} 13... Nxe2 
14. Kxe2 14... h6 { White should keep the Bishop.} 15. Bxf6 15... Qxf6  16.
g4 16... Qe7  17. c4 {
That makes a weakness on d3, and Black can gang up on it.} 17... Qd7 {
 White can try to make a nuisance down the f-file.} 18. Rfd1 18... Rd8  19.
Ne1 19... h5  20. Nf3 20... hxg4  21. hxg4 21... Qxg4 { Black has
broken through: not only is White losing but the Rook on a1 is doing nothing.}
22. Rg1 Rh2+ 23. Ke3 23... Qf4#  0-1

[Event "Lions vs. Tigers"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2008.12.12"]
[Round "2"]
[White "Jim"]
[Black "Levi"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C40"]
[PlyCount "56"]

1. e4 {Great move! It does all three things I want to see: gets pieces going,
helps castling, and gets hold of the centre. 3/3.} 1... e5  2. Nf3 {
Another great 3/3 move.} (2. Bc4 { 3/3.} 2... Nc6 {
2/3.   Can you see why 2...Nf6 is better?  It also stops White's next move!} (
2... Nf6) 3. Qh5 { You get a point for the attack, but it doesn't really help
White's game.  Now, Black has to be careful:} 3... Nf6 $4  (3... g6 $1) (
3... Qf6 $1) 4. Qxf7# {Well, that's exactly how my first game in a chess club
ever went.  But you should only ever fall for it once!}) (2. c4 {
That's at best 1/3.} 2... Bc5  3. Qa4 {Hmm.  1/3 for the opening tasks, but
Black can now make a fork that White can't defend.} 3... Qh4 { Attacking f2
and e4.  If White's Queen was back on d1, then Qe2 or Qf3 defends both pawns.}
4. Nf3 4... Qxf2+ { Now, I think here the players decided that it was
checkmate, but White can slip out...} 5. Kd1) 2... Bc5  3. g3 {Not sure what
your idea was here.  The Bf1 can already get out and the Black Queen dare not
move to h4!} (3. c3 {looks good to me, getting on with trying to take over the
centre and being able to attack the Black Bishop at the same time.}) 3... d6 {
} 4. Nc3 {See above: I don't like to see the Knight on c3 too early.} 4... Bg4
 5. Bb5+ 5... c6 { The pawn on c6 defends the check and attacks the Bishop.
} 6. O-O $2 {Missing Black's threat...} 6... Qf6 $2 { Black continues to
attack - in fact, I like this idea of ganging up on the Knight on f3 - but
misses an easy picking.} (6... cxb5 {wins a piece.}) 7. b4 $2 {
Three pieces are now hanging!} 7... Bxf3  8. Qe1 8... Bxf2+ $2 {
 This is the wrong pawn to take.} 9. Rxf2 {Now the Black Bishop is pinned!}
9... Nh6  10. d4 $2 (10. Be2 $1 {
saves the White Bishop and captures the Black Bishop!}) 10... Ng4  11. Nd5
$5 {That's a really interesting move.  The board is on fire!} 11... Qg6 {
 White now has threats on c7 and f3,} 12. Rxf3 12... O-O $2 {
 Oh dear, walks into a new threat!} 13. Ne7+ {A fearsome fork.} 13... Kh8 
14. Nxg6+ 14... hxg6  15. Qf1 15... Kh7  16. Qh3+ {
Another fork, but there is a defence.} 16... Kg8  (16... Nh6) 17. Qxg4 17...
cxb5  18. dxe5 18... Rc8 {
 Although Black is losing, he is using his pieces to fight!} 19. Bg5 19...
Rxc2  20. Qc8+ $4 {Oh dear...} 20... Rxc8  21. Raf1 21... Na6  22.
Rxf7 22... Rc2  23. Rxb7 (23. exd6) 23... dxe5  24. Bh6 $2 (24. Rff7 {
is very strong}) 24... Rd8  ({Both sides have missed that Black can play} 
24... gxh6) 25. Bxg7 25... Rdd2 { The board has flared up again!} 26. Bh6 $2 {
White has found a good idea but missed a couple of others...} (26. Rf8+ $1
26... Kh7  27. Rh8# {and White mates.}) 26... Rg2+ { White now played 27.
Rf8 "checkmate" here, but sadly White has to get out of check.} 27. Kh1 27...
Rxh2+  28. Kg1 28... Rcg2# { An exciting game!} 0-1

[Event "Lions vs. Tigers"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2008.12.12"]
[Round "3"]
[White "Theo"]
[Black "Dan"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B01"]
[PlyCount "57"]

1. e4 { Great move! It does all three things I want to see: gets pieces going,
helps castling, and gets hold of the centre. 3/3.} (1. d4 1... d5  2. Nc3
2... Nf6  3. Nf3 3... Nc6  4. Bg5 4... Bf5  5. e3 5... Nb4  6. a3
6... Nxc2+  7. Kd2 7... Nxa1  8. Qxa1 8... Ne4+  9. Nxe4 9... dxe4 
10. Bb5+ 10... c6  11. Ba4 11... exf3  12. gxf3 12... Be6  13. Rg1
13... Bd5  14. Kd3 14... b5  15. e4 15... Bxe4+  16. fxe4 16... bxa4 {
} 17. d5 17... cxd5  18. exd5 18... Qxd5+  19. Ke3 e5 20. Rd1 20... Bc5+
 21. Ke2 21... Qc4+  22. Ke1 22... f6  23. Be3 23... Bxe3  24. fxe3
) 1... d5 { I quite like this for Black.  After 2.exd5, you can play a solid
game with 2...Qxd5 and 3...Qa5, or a tricky line with 3...Nf6.} 2. exd5 2...
Qxd5  3. Nc3 3... Qd8  (3... Qa5 {is much better.}) 4. Bc4 {
Another 3/3 move.} 4... Nf6  5. Nf3 5... h5 { That's really 0/3.} 6. O-O
6... Bg4  7. h3 7... Bf5  8. Ne5 e6 9. Qf3 {
White is developing fast and making threats.} 9... Nc6 $2 { That doesn't help.
} (9... Bxc2) 10. Nxc6 10... bxc6  11. Qxc6+ {
White has a fork of King and Rook so Black mustn't move the Queen.} 11... Qd7
$2 { But he does!} 12. Qxd7+ $2 {But White misses it!} 12... Kxd7  13. d3
13... a5 { Generally, move a piece instead of a pawn.} 14. Bf4 14... g6 
15. Be5 {White makes a pin so the Knight can't move.} 15... Bd6 $2 {
 Missing something important.} (15... Bg7 {
and Black can get out of the pin by ...Ne8}) 16. Bxf6 16... Rhf8 { That pawn
isn't in any trouble, so I would try to use the Rook to make trouble.} (16...
Rhb8) 17. Ne4 17... Bb4  18. c3 18... Be7  19. Bxe7 19... Kxe7 {
 When you are losing, you should swap off pawns but not pieces.  Do you
remember this?  Do you understandwhy?} 20. f4 20... Bxe4  21. dxe4 21... f5
 22. exf5 22... exf5  23. Rfe1+ 23... Kd7  24. Be6+ 24... Kd8  25.
Rad1+ 25... Ke7 { White's pieces are ideally placed, but Black's Rooks are
just stuck behind their own pawns.} 26. Bc8+ 26... Kf7  27. Rd7+ 27... Kf6 {
} 28. Rde7 {Sneaky!} 28... Raxc8  29. R1e6#  1-0

[Event "Lions vs. Tigers"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2008.12.12"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Sam"]
[Black "Andrew"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C47"]
[PlyCount "58"]

1. e4 {Great move! It does all three things I want to see: gets pieces going,
helps castling, and gets hold of the centre. 3/3.} 1... e5 {
 Another great 3/3 move!} 2. Nf3 {Even better: It gets pieces going, helps
castling, and gets hold of the centre, and it makes an attack! 4/3!} 2... Nc6 {
 Because of White's attack, Black chooses a 2-point move.} 3. Nc3 {
Ah, now that's worth only two.  The two three-point moves are:} (3. Bc4) (3.
Bb5) 3... Nf6 { These all-square Four Knights positions are a bit dull. 
White should start a fight at some point with d4, so I like to play c2-c3 at
some point.} 4. d4 {That I like.} 4... Bd6 { That looks like it ought to be
worth three points (gets pieces going, helps castling, and gets hold of the
centre) but it is unkind to the Bc8.} 5. Bg5 {2 points.} 5... O-O {
 Two points.} 6. Bxf6 {I like the idea, but to be harsh, not worth any points.
Before this move, White has moved out three pieces and Black has moved four. 
After this move its two-four to Black!} (6. d5) 6... Qxf6  7. Nd5 {
One point for the attack.} 7... Qe6  8. Nxc7 {
There's something right and something wrong with this move:} 8... Qe7 {
 That makes it all right.} (8... Bxc7 {Bishops can move backwards!}) 9. Nxa8
9... exd4  10. Nb6 {No need for this.} 10... axb6  11. e5 {White should
get back to the job of developing and castling.  White's advantage is the
extra Rook, but those Rooks need to get to d1 and e1 as fast as they can to do
any good.} (11. Bd3) 11... Nxe5  12. Nxe5 12... Qxe5+  13. Be2 13... Re8
 14. O-O $4 {Allows Black two big chances which he was noble not to take!} (
14. Kf1) 14... Bc5  (14... Qxh2# {is even better!}) (14... Qxe2 {
wins a piece}) 15. Bb5 15... d3  16. Re1 {That's a good idea.} 16... Qxe1+ {
} 17. Qxe1 17... Rxe1+  18. Rxe1 18... dxc2 { This is a tricky position. 
White is ahead by the Exchange, but might have to lose a Rook for a new Black
Queen.  But White is lucky to have a two-move idea to win the c-pawn:} 19. b3 (
19. Re8+ $1 19... Bf8  20. Rxc8 $1 {
and somehow all the obstacles on the c-file have vanished.}) 19... Ba3  20.
b4  (20. Re8+ {still works}) 20... c1=Q  21. Rxc1 21... Bxc1 {
 Black can now change gear and concentrate on getting a new Queen.} 22. g4
22... Bf4  23. h4 23... d5  24. a4 24... Be6  25. g5 25... d4  26.
h5 26... Bxg5  27. f3 27... Bf5  28. a5 28... d3  29. axb6 29... d2 {
  ...and Black got checkmate with the new Queen in the last seconds of the
game, without allowing a stalemate.} 0-1

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