The Fabulous 10s: Mesa Showdown

Mesa Showdown

IM Danny Rensch and his American Chess Events hosted an interesting “Experience vs Youth” event in Mesa, Arizona in January 2010.

GM Yermolinsky, Danny and I represented the “A” squad in a Scheveningen-style pairing system.  “Youth” (in some cases adults younger than I) took on the “A” team and some interesting games were played.   There were even a few upsets.  A young player Chakraborty downed Danny in a Sicilian endgame.  Yermo was held to a draw by the very same Chakraborty although I was able to defeat this upstart by confusing him as black in a Sozin Sicilian.  I drew in round one after messing up a good position vs. young NM David Adelberg.  It turns out Adelberg was trying out a suggestion from GM Fedorowicz that he had gleaned at the World Youth.  Yermo and Danny were able to dispatch Adelberg. And so the vicious circle goes.

[Event “mesa showdown”]
[Site “mesa az”]
[Date “2010.01.30”]
[Round “4”]

Pedram Atoufi  2331 – M. Ginsburg  2427  Sicilian Scheveningen   Game in 1 hour

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nc6 5. Nc3 d6 6. Be2 Nf6 7. O-O Be7 8. Be3 O-O 9. f4 Bd7 10. Nb3!

I think this is white’s best chance.  In Milman-MG, North American Open 2009, white allowed the exchange of knights on d4 and black’s position was fairly easy to handle.

10…Qc7 11. Bf3 Rfd8 12. Nb5?! Nothing is gained by this knight expedition.

12…Qb8 13. c4 a6 14. N5d4 Nxd4 15. Nxd4 b5 15…e5!? is interesting and possibly a little stronger.

16. cxb5 axb5 17. Qb3 b4 18. e5 At the time I thought this was a blunder.  But, it’s actually all right!

18…dxe5 19. fxe5 Qxe5 20. Bxa8 Ng4! White after the game admitted he had totally overlooked this nasty zwischenzug.  Black doesn’t have to recapture any pieces yet.  And indeed, I thought I was winning now.  But white after some cogitation finds a resource!

White to play and not lose!

21. Rf4! Forced but adequate!

21…Qxe3+ The rather annoying fact is the ‘brilliant followup’ 21…Ba4 trying to deflect the white queen off e3 is met by the calm 22. Nc6! and white is fine.  There is luck in chess; white missed black’s 20th move, is being led downstream by force, and has amazing defensive shots to hold the game in the aftermath.  Readers – have you experienced this?  Your opponent totally does not see a strong tactic, then down the road has shot after shot to keep afloat.  I would call that luck in chess, although some might disagree and say it’s just happenstance.

22. Qxe3 Nxe3 23. Nc6! The eternal point!  White keeps the balance.

23…Bxc6 24. Bxc6 Bc5 25. Kh1 e5 26. Rf2 f5 27. h3

This position is about equal with black’s very active minor pieces keeping white at bay.  But,eventually


The game result was only decided when white went wrong in time-trouble. I will locate and post the other moves.

In Other News: Must-See Videos

There are certain videos chess players must watch to become stronger.

Techno Viking (pay attention to the altercation starting at 0:38)

Arbeit Nervt by Deichking

Did you think I would only assign you two videos?

Dancing Bear

Test Your Tactical Skills

Aries2-Valet 2253  ICC 5-minute blitz

1. d4 c5 2. d5 e5 3. Nc3 d6 4. e4 a6 5. a4 Be7 6. Nf3 Bg4 7. Be2 Bxf3 8.
Bxf3 Bg5 9. O-O Bxc1 10. Qxc1 Ne7 11. a5 Nd7 12. Na4 b5 13. axb6 Nxb6 14.
Be2 O-O 15. Nxb6 Qxb6 16. Ra3 f5 17. Qa1 a5 18. exf5 Nxf5 19. c3 a4 20. b3
Rab8 21. bxa4 Qa5 22. Bb5 Ne7 23. Qa2 g6 24. c4 Nf5 25. Rd1 Nd4 26. Qd2 Qc7
27. Rh3 Rf4 28. Ra3 Rbf8 29. Rf1 Qe7 30. a5 e4 31. a6 Qg5 32. a7?  Nf3+ 33.
Rxf3 exf3 34. g3 Qh5?

In the battle of chess ideas, there are no sharper scenarios than “advanced passed pawn versus mating threats.”  Here is one such scenario.

Quiz Time!

White to play and win

Do you see the winning move?  It’s a little hidden.  Needless to say, white botched it and played a bad move, but cravenly wound up winning on time:

35. Kh1? R4f7 (Black is now just winning) 36. Qa5 Ra8 37. Qb6 Rfxa7 38. Qxd6 Ra1 39. Qe6+ Kg7 40. Qe7+ Kh6 41. Qe3+ Qg5 42. Qxf3 Rxf1+ 43. Kg2 Raa1 44. h4 Rg1+
45. Kh2 Rh1+ 46. Qxh1 Rxh1+ 47. Kxh1 Qd2 48. Kg2 Kh5 49. Bd7 g5 50. hxg5 {Black forfeits on time}

Whither Chess Sportsmanship?

ICC 5-minute game.  I don’t need to give you the moves.

— Game 364: Patovsk vs aries2 —
Disconnection will count as a forfeit.

The game starts, about 40 moves go by.

Your opponent offers you a draw.
Use “draw” to accept.  The offer is valid until you make a move.

At this point it’s R&B and R&N with some pawns each, approximately level, but my knight might make a fork and he has slightly weakened pawns.  So I play on, threatening a knight fork. He insta-moves, permitting my knight fork that wins his rook.  Then…

Your opponent has lost contact or quit.
{Game 364 (Patovsk vs. aries2) Patovsk disconnected and forfeits} 0-1
White disconnected and forfeits


Tags: , , , , , , ,

5 Responses to “The Fabulous 10s: Mesa Showdown”

  1. coelacanth Says:

    I’ve been on both sides of that particular manifestation of luck (and I agree it’s luck, not happenstance) in chess.

  2. Michael Goeller Says:


    I looked at 1. Qxf4 but after 1…Rxf4 2. a8=Q+ Rf8 then what? Looks like I lose.

  3. coelacanth Says:

    It looks to me like 34. Bd7 slows Black down. If 34… R4f5, then 35. B:f5, gf 36. Qf4 and White comes out on top. If 34…. R4f7, then 35. Be6.

    Yep. 34. Bd7! is a real cruncher. White wins.

  4. Andres D. Hortillosa Says:

    I think it is neither. When in trouble, the mind tends to work harder and it finds the best moves. It is simply the will to survive. The key is seeing the dire need to survive as the White play can easily ignore the threat and continue with his own.

    I saw Bd7 and if Black tries …Rh4, White can simply take with gxh4 as g4 is now protected.

  5. Leon (Akpalu on blogspot) Says:


    Hey, Mark

    You know I love you, but it really doesn’t make sense to post about someone’s poor sportsmanship by disconnecting just after you’ve shown a game where you flag your opponent when down a rook. They’re both just part of the online experience. Besides, when your opponent has just hung a rook in an even endgame, perhaps he disconnected because he was afraid that otherwise he would be even ruder! 😉

    Nope… winning a game down a rook when the opponent mismanaged his clock on the early game is pretty normal on ICC. Not good sportsmanship is disconnecting on purpose during a game. How do I know? It’s prima facie obvious to me, and furthermore some GM arbiters of good taste reinforced this opinion when discussing “hall of fame” bad sports on ICC. I certainly hope disconnecting on purpose doesn’t become a behavioral norm.

    I’m just grateful that now they just automatically forfeit someone who disconnects. I had one opponent who disconnected, found me a week later, disconnected again, same thing on the next weekend… each time he was losing a little bit more… then finally he caught up with me late at night and I knew I was too tired to play but I was so desperate to get the damn thing over with that I continued and he swindled me. The only player I’ve ever banned…

    Repetitive disconnection is ridiculous. That same person probably computer cheats sometimes as well.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: