25 February 2017

Bishop versus Knight

The 25th annual Dave Collyer Memorial chess tournament is this weekend. I have played in more than half of them, perhaps fifteen. My best year was 2012 when I finished in second place, winning four games and taking a third round bye. IM John Donaldson played and won all five games and finished first. My worst year was 1998 when I lost five games and finished in last place.

My first round game in 1998 was memorable and I often use it teaching students.

Rodriguez,Luis (2211) -- Stripes,James (1472) [B21]
Collyer Memorial Spokane (1), 21.02.1998

1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Nxc3 d6 5.Bc4 a6 6.Nf3 Bg4 7.Ne5 dxe5 8.Bxf7+ 1–0

Last year was my second worst. I played four games, losing three. My rating dropped from 1886 to 1816. That was the start of my worst year since starting tournament chess twenty years earlier. The low point came in October in the Eastern Washington Open, which dropped my USCF rating to 1750, a nine year low. I had reached a peak of 1982 in 2012 a few months after the Collyer.

Then, I started winning again. I won a quick event at the Spokane Chess Club at the end of October, finished second in the Spokane Game 10 Championship in November, won my section of the Turkey Quads in November, and then won the SCC Winter Championship in January-February 2017.

After the low in October, I renewed the discipline and focus of my training and improved my attitude. Even so, I still play blitz marathons that put me in a bad mood and cultivate shallow thinking. See yesterday's "Attitude".

My fifth round game in last year's Collyer was a long and difficult battle with a friend who has won biggest upset more than once beating me. Although his rating seems to hover in the 1400s, he always plays well against me. He also helped me win the Winter Championship by drawing the second seed in the first round. I finished the game resolved to study the endgame, which I thought must be quite instructive. Alas, I did not even look at the game again until yesterday. Here is that ending.

Baker,Ted (1400) -- Stripes,James (1886) [A56]
Collyer Memorial Spokane Valley, 28.02.2016

Black to move
After 32.Rf2
32...Rb4 33.Ne3 Rb1 34.Ne2 Rb3 35.Nf5?


35...Bf8 36.Rf3

Black to move


36...Rxf3 is better. 37.Kxf3 g6 38.Ne3 Bxh3. If I am alert to such opportunities this weekend, I will do well.

37.Kf2 g6 38.Ne3 Be7


39.Ng4 Bh4+ 40.Kf1 Rb1+ 41.Kg2 Re1 42.Nc3

Black to move



43.hxg4 Rc1 44.Re3 Bg5 45.Rd3 Rc2+ 46.Kf3 Bh4 47.Nb5

Black to move


47...Rf2+ 48.Ke3 Rg2 49.Ra3 Rg3+ 50.Ke2 Rg2+ is equal.


48.Ra3 gives White the upper hand.

48...Rf2+ 49.Ke3 Rg2 50.Kf3 Rg3+ 51.Ke2 Rxg4

Finally, I began to feel as though I had made some progress. However, I underestimated my opponent's ability to support his d-pawn, while also mistiming my h-pawn push.

52.Rf3 Rg2+ 53.Kd1

Black to move


53...Rf2 offers Black good prospects.

54.Rf7+ Ke8 55.Rc7

Black to move


55...Bg5 56.Na4 (56.d6 Rd2+ 57.Ke1 Rxd6 favors Black) 56...h4 57.Nxc5 h3 58.Rh7 Be7 59.d6 Bxd6 60.Nb7 h2 and the computer likes Black.

56.d6 Be3 57.Nd5 Bg5 58.Rxc5 h4

Correct play should lead to a draw. Probably, I was still seeking a win.


Black to move


59...Rd2+ 60.Ke1 Rd4 61.Kf2 Rxe4 62.Kf3 Rd4=

60.Rh7+- h2 61.Nc7+ Kd8 62.Ne6+ Kc8 63.d7+ Kb8 64.Nxg5 h1Q+ 65.Rxh1 Kc7 66.Rh7 Rxg5 67.c5 Rg4 68.c6 Rxe4 69.Rh8 Rd4+ 70.Ke2 Re4+ 71.Kd3 1–0

No comments:

Post a Comment