Monday, February 28, 2011

Blood on the board, redux

On my way to last Tuesday's Chicago Industrial Chess League match (DRW Trading Group vs. the AMA Rogue Squadron), I was carelessly crossing Wacker Drive (under construction) while checking my iPhone for DRW's address. Just south of the Lyric Opera on Madison, I tripped on the curb and hit the sidewalk hard. It was fortunate that I only bloodied an elbow and not my noggin.

When I told my wise wife that I'd tripped, she said that I needed to spend more time in the real world. I strategically "forgot" to confess the part about not looking where I was going. Fortunately for me, she does not read this blog.

The hospitable folks at DRW help me dress my wound and had Lou Malnati's pizza waiting for us. My clumsiness carried over to the game. After I made my 23rd move, I realized I'd dug a strange little trap for myself, which Lyle Hayhurst of DRW quickly found. The tactic is memorable for being an immediate killer that takes several moves to come to fruition--is that a contradiction?

I sacked a piece in desperation, after which the cool 30.Ng5! would have won immediately. The ending after 41.Nxd2 should also be won for White, but it's nontrivial. Your computer will mislead you if you don't have a tablebase installed: remember that king plus bishop plus rook pawn of the wrong color vs. king is a draw. But if Black sacks the knight for White's g3 pawn, White can blockade the pawns, win them, and then win the KBN vs. K ending (not as hard as it sounds). One idea for White, therefore, is to play h4-h5 an an opportune moment. However undeservedly, I escaped with a draw.

In other February 2011 blood-on-the-chess-board-in-Chicagoland news, NM Pete Karagianis led a his students into battle at the U.S. Amateur Team North. One of his young teammates lost a tooth, and Pete had to render first aid during play.

P.S. White still had a win as late as move 71.  Can you find it?

After 70...g5
White to play and win

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