Round 5: Neither Team Deserves Kudos
Arizona and Carolina had a hard-fought but horribly blunderful 2-2 draw in Round 5.
On board 4, we were somewhat lucky as Warren Harper scored a win over Craig Jones in a game with numerous errors. Warren made the proverbial next-to-last mistake. On board 3, Robby Adamson’s opponent Simpson played a higly dubious opening but Robby tanked and could only get an equal rook ending – and drew. Our top two boards were a major disappointment. On board 1, IM Altounian was crushing over IM Milman. We were hampered here as his computer kept disconnecting to the apparently finicky U of Arizona network. He missed a mate in two and numerous other wins, to land in a B + 3 pawns vs lone Rook that was drawn, since the B was virtually a tall pawn. And I totally botched my game in mutual time pressure after playing a nice middle-game.
FM Zaikov (CAR) – IM Ginsburg (ARZ) Round 5 USCL Bogo-Indian
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Bb4+ 4.Bd2 a5 4…Bxd2+ 5. Qxd2 Qe7 is quite possible; as is 4…Qe7. I once shocked Seirawan, World Open 1984, with 4…c5 but many games have been played with that in the meantime.
5.Nc3 d6 6.Qc2 Nbd7 7.a3 Bxc3 8.Bxc3 At this point, Zaikov’s relayer typed bc3 and the computer, of course, played b2xc3. The move was “taken back” on ICC and I was given 5 more minutes. USCL rules state this is what happens when there is a typing typo. I wish he had been given 5 less minutes!
8…Qe7 9.g3 e5 10.Bg2 0-0 11.0-0 Re8 12.e4 b6!? 13.Rae1?! Aggressive but it looks strange. In the game, since e5 strongpoint is held, the rook winds up doing nothing here. I would prefer putting it on d1 or c1.
13…h6 Basically a waiting move to tempt white into his next.
14.Nh4 Ba6! If 15. b3 a4!
15.Nf5 Qf8 16.f4 White might as well try this. He has used most of his time already. But I have a surprise!
Position after 16. f4. No need for panic.
16…Bxc4 17.fxe5 dxe5 18.dxe5 Rxe5! A N/f6 move would be bad for black. The text is virtually forced and also good for me.
19.Bxe5 Nxe5 20.Nxh6+ Kh7 21.Rf5 Qc5+ 22.Kh1 Kxh6 Black has great compensation although white gains the exchange with his next move.
23.b3 Rd8 24.bxc4 Qd4 25.Qc1+ Kh7 26.Ref1 Nfg4 27.Qg5 Rd6 Black has the solid 27…f6 here and I have tremendous chances, especially since white is lower on time. The text is fine but white counter-sacrifices to reach a draw.
28.h3 Rh6 29.Rxf7! Nxf7 30.Rxf7 Ne3 31.e5! Forcing a draw by interrupting the black queen defense of g7.
Position after 31. e5.
31…Qd1+??? At this point we both had less than a minute (but we get 30 second increment). I thought white had blundered and was looking forward to 32. Kh2 Ng4+ winning the queen and the game. I didn’t get below 20 seconds here which is a mistake; I should have double-checked this.
Absolutely forced and drawing was the simple 31…Rg6. If 32. Qh5+ Rh6 33. Qg5 Rg6 repeats. If 32. Qf4 I can check on the back rank with my queen then take the bishop on g2. His K will be too open and it’s an immediate draw. If he gets too frisky by running his king up when I check with the queen, I can even win. I suspect he would have taken the immediate repetition.
32.Bf1! Oh. He had that? Chess psychologists say the most commonly overlooked moves are the backwards diagonal ones. G7 and E3 hang and I am lost. IM Altounian missed the mate in two at some point after this horrendous blunder, so you get a sense for how aggravating this match was.
32…Rg6 33.Qxe3 Black resigns 1-0
Really an irritating collapse and unnecessary defeat. Consider that it’s hard to construct any position where white has three pawns and a bishop versus a lone rook with no strange starting king placement and white cannot win (which is what happened in Altounian-Milman, as white ’created a chess puzzle’ to reach a drawn game) and you will sense how incredibly annoying and aggravating (did I mention that? ) this match was.
An in an Unrelated Matter: A Strategic Moniker Change for Humpy
Chessbase ran a story about the Humpy Koneru (or is it Koneru Humpy?) exit from the World Championship cycle. I think she would do better if she adopted a stage name suggested by an ICC wag: Swindella McQueen. Many years ago Charlie Hertan adopted the name Mister Donkey in USCF play and such change of monikers makes sense: as Charlie explained, if he lost, his ego did not suffer. Only Mr. Donkey had to suffer. The Chessbase article suggested Humpy had to get mentally tougher. Well, under my dramatic moniker change, only Swindella has to get tougher. Humpy can stay the same. The reason I am suggesting this name change is the same reason the talent agent had way back when he told Penis Van Lesbian to change his name to Dick Van Dyke – the original name just won’t draw the big audience for the singing and dancing. Just like ‘Humpy’ won’t pack the house in a chess event.
And When The Trend Catches Hold
If the Humpy strategem works out, we might see some other moniker changes. Here is a set of representative items.
Old: Elizabeth Vicary New: Micah Twinkleton Perth
Old: Irina Krush New: Larabeth “Sandwoman” Gudmundsson
Old: Anna Zatonskih New: Gerta “The Ligatrix” Raus
Old: Chuchanik Airapetian New: Mokra “The Countess” Volovich
Old: Rusudan Goletiani New: Nellie “Say What?” Fourflusher