29 September 2009

Dodging a Bullet

The Fall Club Championship for the Spokane Chess Club began last Thursday. It continues through five Thursdays, plus one week for make-up games. I have never won a club championship, but am the second seed. Last January, I started the Winter Championship as the top rated player, but a late entrant put me at number two. We tied with 2 1/2 each and a C class player that beat me in round one won the event.

In USCF rated play, I've lost four games in 2009. Two were in the last club championship. I should have lost my fifth last Thursday, but my opponent missed several knockout blows, then let me have the advantage.

Stripes,J (1836) - Blue,A (1448) [A09]
Fall Club Championship, Spokane 2009

1.Nf3 d5 2.c4 d4 3.g3 c5 4.Bg2 Nc6 5.d3 e5 6.Na3


6...Be7 7.Rb1N

7.Nc2 h6 8.Bd2 Nf6 9.a3 a5 10.0–0 0–0 11.Rb1 Bf5 12.b4 axb4 13.axb4 e4 14.Nh4 Bh7 15.bxc5 g5 16.Rxb7 Kg7 17.Qc1 Ng8 18.dxe4 gxh4 19.Qb2 Bf6 20.Qb5 Ne5 21.Nb4 Ra5 22.Qb6 Nxc4 23.Qxd8 Bxd8 24.Bf4 Rxc5 25.Rc1 Be7 26.Nd5 h3 27.Bxh3 Bxe4 28.Rxe7 Bxd5 29.Be5+ Kg6 30.Rd7 Nxe5 31.Rd6+ Kg7 32.Rxc5 ½–½ Capece,A-Ranieri,F Bratto ITA, 2006

7...f5 8.0–0 Nf6 9.Nc2 0–0 10.a3 Nh5 11.b4 f4 12.b5 Qb6 13.Bd2 Nd8 14.Nxe5 fxg3 15.fxg3 Qd6 16.Nf3 Bg4 17.e4 Nf7 18.Qc1 Ne5 19.Nxe5 Qxe5 20.Bf4 Nxf4 21.gxf4 Qf6 22.Qd2 Qh6 23.Ne1 Bd6

Will f4 fall?

24.e5 Bxe5 25.Bd5+ Kh8

And only now I see that Qg2 does not win a bishop due to Bh3.

26.Ng2 Bh3 27.Rb2 Bxg2 28.Qxg2 Bxf4

White has problems, but they are not yet fatal.


29.Re2 Bd6
a) 29...Bxh2+ 30.Qxh2 Qg6+ 31.Qg2;
b) 29...Rab8 30.Kh1 b6; 30.Ref2
(30.Rxf8+ Rxf8 31.Kh1 Qh4 32.Bxb7 g5 33.Bd5 g4 34.Qg1 g3 35.Rg2 Bf4 36.Qe1 Qh3 37.Qe7 Qh6 38.Qe6 Qh4)
30...Rxf2 31.Rxf2 Re8


29...Bxh2 30.Rxf8+ Rxf8 31.Qxh2 Qc1+ 32.Kg2 Qxb2+


30.Rbf2 b6 31.Qg4


30...Bxh2 31.Rxf8+ Rxf8 32.Qxh2 Qc1+ 33.Kg2 Qxb2+


31.Qc6 Qh5 32.Rbf2=

31...g5 32.Rbf2 Rh3–+ 33.Qg1?

33.Bd5 Rxd3 34.Rf3 Rxf3 35.Bxf3 d3–+


33...g4 34.Rg2 g3–+


34.Re1 Bg3 35.Qxg3 Rxg3 36.Rxf6 Qxf6 37.hxg3–+


34...Bxh2 35.Qg4 Bd6+ 36.Kg2 Rhf3 37.Qc8+ Rf8 38.Qxf8+ Rxf8 39.Rxf8+ Bxf8–+

35.Rg2= Rxg2 36.Qxg2


The game is turning my way.
36...Qh4 37.Qe2 Rf8 38.a4=

37.Qe2 Be3??

And it has fully turned.

38.Qg4+- Rf6

38...Bf4 39.Qc8+ Kg7 40.Qg8+ Kf6 41.Qf7+ Ke5 42.Re1+ Be3 43.Qe7+ Kf5 44.Qe4+ Kf6 45.Rf1+ Bf4 46.Qe6+ Kg7 47.Qf7+ Kh8+-


Black must lose material and face a hopeless finish, or ...

39...Kg7 40.Qg8# 1–0

Alton scores his share of upsets, and upsets are the norm in our club championships. Lucky for me that he missed some opportunities.


  1. What a crazy game, lots to calculate. I would say congrats for winning but that wouldnot do justice to the play of your opponent.

  2. Yes, I have to agree with chesstiger about the game.

    I would like to ask you whether we could exchange links, because I have also the chess blog - http://www.elo2000.com