Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Games from IHSA State Tournament

In the first round, Prospect's Robert Moskwa had the Black pieces against Benet Academy's 1968 rated Max Zinski.  By a somewhat circuitous route, the players wound up in a Sicilian Dragon with White playing the system with Bc4, h3 and 0-0.  Max played the opening well and put Robert in a very cramped position by landing a White pawn on f6.  However, Robert defended well and as often happens in the Sicilian, if White cannot find a way to convert his space advantage into an attack on Black's king, he often finds himself over extended and vulnerable.

This win turned out to make the difference in the competition for the the top medal on first board as Max didn't lose another game and finished 5.5-1.5.  As none of Eric Rosen or Matt Wilber's opponents finished with scores that good, Robert ended up getting the edge on tie break points.

In the last round, Robert played White against Stevenson's 2043 rated senior Kent Cen.  Again Robert found himself in a tough position out of the opening, and again he defended well.  The game wound up in a king and pawn ending where Kent played an instinctive move with less than ten seconds on his clock that turned out to be the losing move.

Black to play and draw.  Kent instinctively played to get his king in front of the White pawns with the natural looking 56...Ke4?? which lost to 57.Kc4 Ke5 58.Kb5 Kd6 59. Kxb6.  He could have drawn with 56...Ke2! 57.Kc4 Kd2, when White has nothing better than 58.Kb5 Kc3 59.Kxb6 Kb4=.


Brad Rosen said...

Congratulations to Robert and Coach V. Hart. It will be very interesting to see how Robert fares at the IL Denker Qualifier.

Bill Brock said...

In Moskwa-Cen, the try 55.Rc6 can be answered by the straightforward 55...Kd5 56.Rxb6 Kc5 57.Rxa5 Kc6 with a fortress draw.

Vince Hart said...

Theoretically, 55.Rc6 and 55.Rxe3 are both draws. Practically, however, with seven seconds left on the clock, I'd rate Black's chances of defending the latter higher. Moreover, with rook and two pawns against rook, White's losing chances are pretty much nil while there are a couple of landmines in the king and pawn ending.

Josh Loo said...

IMO, If black plays Ke2, then Kd4 Kd2, c4 Kc2, c5 bxc5, Kxc5 Kb3, Kb5 White wins.

Vince Hart said...


That's why Black doesn't play ...Kb3. He plays ...Kc3 and meets Kb5 with ...Kd4 followed by Kb5 Kd4 Kxa5 Kc5=.