Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Palooka versus tayhk match, continued

Hi Pilgrims,
Time for some more entertainment (remember this is our mantra for chess).

Below is game 9 in the informal (ongoing) match between myself and tayhk via the server ( ).

The Eraclides-tayhk games are complicated because of the respective styles or bad habits (take your pick) of both players: combative with a liking for complexity. They are best enjoyed with a merlot, one glass as you play over the game the first time, then a second glass as you play over the game again to analyse the critical positions. The notes are light but if you delve too deeply into the positions (as we did when playing the game) you may need something stronger than wine by the end (I recomment a cognac).

Currently we are in the middle of our 24th and 25th games. The score of completed games so far is: 23 Games played - The Palooka (GE) 9 : 8 Tayhk (Draws: 6).

In this game the win of a piece leads to some difficult play for White until he can convert his advantage. The final position is attractive, even piquant.

The Palooka (George Eraclides) Versus tayhk (of Singapore)

Ruy Lopez Steinitz Defence

Played in November 2005

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 d6 4. d4 exd4 (4...Bd7 is better) 5. Qxd4 Bd7 6. Bxc6 Bxc6 7. Nc3 Nf6 8. Bg5 Be7 9. O-O-O (White gets an easy game with more space in the centre but the Steinitz defence to the Ruy Lopez is solid enough) h6 10. Bf4 (10. Bh4 is gnerally better in these type of positions; Black now gets equality) Nh5 11. Be3 Bf6 12. Qd3 Bxc3 13. bxc3 Qe7 14. Nd2 Nf6 15. f3 O-O (15. O-O-O was safer but he wants to attack on the Q-side) 16. c4 (White also has aggressive instincts; he first stabilises the centre then plans to attack on the K-side) a6 (he plans b5 but White has the better prospects for an attack) 17. g4 Nh7 18. h4 Rae8 (he picks the the wrong Rook to move and his Knight will pay for this error) 19. Rdg1 Qe5 20. Bd4 Qf4 (this comes to no good) 21. g5 h5 (21...hxg5 22Rg4!) 22. Qc3 f6 23. g6 Re7 24. gxh7+ Kxh7 25. Be3 Qe5 26. Qxe5 Rxe5 27. Bd4 Ra5 28. Kb2 Bd7 29. Rg3 (a White coming up, but concentration is needed against tayhk) Ra4 30. Rhg1 Rf7 31. Bc3 b5 (counterplay is his only hope) 32. cxb5 axb5 33. Nb3 Be6 34. Nd4 Bd7 (taking the Pawn at a2 does not help him: 34...Bxa2, 35. Ra1 b4 36. Bd2; or 34...Rxa2+ 35. Kb1 Bc4 36. Nxb5 with Nd4/f5 also as options) 35. Ne2 c5 36. Nf4 b4 37. Bd2 Ra7 38. Nxh5 Be6 39. Bf4 Rxa2+ 40. Kb1 Raa7 (40...Rfa7 41. Rxg7+ will win)41. Bxd6 Kh6 42. Nxg7 Rxg7 43. Bf8 1-0

The final position, with the impertinent White Bishop spearing the Black Rook, is quite piquant, and may be worth a cognac in its own right.

Until next time, may all your games be brilliant wins – except in cases where you ever play me.