A Game at the Black Dog Cafe

Here is a game between Carlos Alonso and John Chancy played recently at Black Dog Cafe one afternoon. This was a friendly game with no time control. Here is the game score along with John’s annotations of the game:

Alonso, Carlos – Chancy, John [C01]
Black Dog Cafe, 10/30/2010

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. exd5 exd5 4. Nf3 Bd6 5. Nc3 c6 6. Bd3 Ne7 7. O-O Qc7
Also possible are the following good alternatives…Na6, 0-0 and Nd7.

8. Ne2 Bg4?!
Far better is 8… Bf5

9. Ng3 Nd7 10. Re1+/= O-O-O
(0.50/14) Rybka. Also good is h6, h5, or Nf8.

11. Be2?!
(-0.06/14) Giving away all the advantage.

Ng6= 12. Ng5!?
[ 12. a4 ]

12… Bxe2 13. Qxe2 Rdf8?!
Cline’s every auspicious move 13. [ 13… Nf6 The best move by far. ]

14. Qg4 (Diagram)

Diagram After 14.Qg4

At this point I went into a deep think trying to fathom the complexities of the position. Unfortunately, a good portion of my “fathoming” involved the illegal move Nf6, which I realized I couldn’t play the moment I touched the piece to move it. Finally, I chose a move that I was not totally comfortable with, but we were both getting older.

14… h5
In my home post-mortem, I was somewhat satisfied that Rybka liked this move equally best with the other move I seriously considered, Kb8. The engine rated both as (0.00) at 14 ply deep.

15. Qf5!
The best move by far. Black should now content himself with 15… Ne7 16. Qh3 Kb8. Instead I played…

15… h4? 16. Nf1
Though this is a very reasonable choice, Rybka likes “getting right to it” with 16. Nxf7+/=. In this tense game of brinkmanship, Black blinks first and plays the first real stinker of the game.

16… Rh5??
The point of this move was to anchor the über knight to g5 and prevent it running wild thoughout the Black camp. But the best laid plans of mice and men…

17. Qg4
Carlos chooses the 2nd best move, retaining his slight advantage and allowing me one last chance to find the correct path through the minefield. The engine clearly identifies the strongest move as 17. Qxf7!! Rxf7 (box) 18. Re8+ Qd8 19. Rxd8+ Kxd8 20.Nxf7+ Ke7 21. Nxd6 Kxd6 and White is clearly better!

17… Rxg5??
Black is losing now, but I saw nothing better. The only move to hold the position seems to be 17… Rhh8 (box) +/=

18. Bxg5
The rest should be mop up.

18… Bf4 19.Bxf4 Nxf4 20. Re7 Qd6 21. Rae1 Ne6 22. R7xe6 fxe6 23. Rxe6 Qf4 24. Qxf4 Rxf4
Black is still just barely in the game.

25. Re7 g5 $2 26. c3 Kd8 27. Re3 Nf6 28. g3 hxg3 29. hxg3 Re4 30. Rxe4 dxe4 31. Ne3 b5 32. g4 Kd7 33. Kg2 Ke6 34. f3Nd5 35. Kf2 Nf4 36. Nd1 1-0
I resigned at this point as my wife was “hailing” me on the cell phone. I felt at the time that surely White is winning and we weren’t going to be able to finish the game properly. Rybka rates the final position as +/- (1.13/16 ply).

Well played Carlos!! I enjoyed that game immensely, though it may not have appeared so during the game, as I was pulling my hair out most of the time.


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