Bringing Chess to Visually Impaired People

The Gazette - November 2018

Sponsored by Geoff Patching
Edited by Julie Leonard
The views expressed in the Gazette do not necessarily reflect the policies or views of the BCA, nor those of the editor.

Games from the IBCA World Team Championship 2018

Each of the players in our squad was asked to select a game for the gazette.

Steve considers this game to be the best one he played at the event.

Round 1: D, Jandric (Serbia) 2197 v S. Hilton 1874

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. Bb5+ Bd7 4. Bxd7+ Qxd7 5. O-O Nc6 6. c3 Nf6 7. Re1 e6 8. d4 cxd4 9. cxd4 Be7

10. Nc3 O-O 11. h3 Rfd8 12. Bf4 d5 13. e5 Ne8 14. Qe2 Rac8 15. Rad1 Bb4 16. Rd3 Ne7 17. Bd2 Ng6

18. Nh2 Qe7 19. Rg3 Qd7 20. Ng4 Be7 21. Rd3 b5 22. a3 a5 23. g3 b4 24. axb4 axb4 25. Nd1 h5 26. Nh2 h4

27. Ng4 Qa7 28. Kg2 Rc4 29. b3 Rc2 30. Nde3 Ra2 31. Rc1 Qb7 32. Rc2 Rda8 33. Be1 Rxc2

34. Qxc2 Rc8 35. Qe2 1/2-1/2

Bill selected this game and points out how he could have made it even better.

Round 5: W. Armstrong 1812 v E. Emre (Turkey) 1549

1. d4 Nf6 2. Bf4 e6 3. e3 b6 4. Nf3 c5 5. Nbd2 Nc6 6. c3 Bb7 7. Bd3 Be7 8. O-O O-O 9. Rc1 d6 10. Ne4 Qc7

11. Nxf6+ Bxf6 12. dxc5 Ne5 13. cxd6 Nxf3+ 14. gxf3

White could have replied 14. Qxf3 and made the win a much simpler process.

14. … Qd7 15. Be4 Bxe4 16. fxe4 e5 17. Bg3 Rfd8 18. f4 Qe6

19. Qd5 Qxd5 20. exd5 exf4 21. Bxf4 Re8 22. Kf2 Rad8 23. Kf3 Be5 24. Bxe5 Rxe5 25. e4 Rxd6 26. c4 Rh5

27. c5 bxc5 28. Rxc5 g6 29. Kg3 Re5 30. Rc8+ Kg7 31. Rc7 Rf6 32. Rxf6 Kxf6 33. Rc6+ Ke7 34. Kf4 Rh5

35. Rc7+ Kd6 36. Rxf7 Rxh2 37. Rxa7 Rxb2 38. Ra6+ Kd7 39. Ke5 Rb7 40. Kf6 Rb8 41. e5 Ke8 42. e6 h5

43. d6 h4 44. Ra7 Kf8 45. e7+ Kg8 46. Rd7 1-0

Graham chose this game in which he lasted 41 moves against a FIDE Master before conceding.

Round 7: G. Pennington 1701 v R. Draganov (Russia) 2149

1. c4 e5 2. g3 Nf6 3. Bg2 Bc5 4. e3 Nc6 5. Nc3 O-O 6. Nge2 Re8 7. d3 d6 8. O-O Bg4 9. a3 a5 10. Qc2 Qd7

11. Bd2 Bh3 12. Nd5 Nxd5 13. cxd5 Bxg2 14. Kxg2 Ne7 15. Nc3 c6 16. Qa4 Red8 17. e4 Qg4 18. Qd1 Qg6

19. Be3 cxd5 20. Nxd5 Nxd5 21. exd5 Rdc8 22. Qd2 a4 23. Rac1 b6 24. f3 Qf5 25. g4 Qd7 26. h3 Qb5

27. Bg1 Bxg1 28. Kxg1 Qxd5 29. Rxc8+ Rxc8 30. Rc1 Rxc1+ 31. Qxc1 Qc5+ 32. Qxc5 dxc5 33. Kf2 Kf8

34. Ke2 Ke7 35. Kd2 Kd6 36. Kc2 Kd5 37. Kd2 Kd4 38. Ke2 f6 39. Kd2 g6 40. Ke2 f5 41. Kd2 b5 0-1

Chris has written up his game against an International Master for us.

Round 3: C. Ross 2214 v O. Müller (Germany) 2291

{B52: Sicilian: Moscow Variation}

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. Bb5+ Bd7 4. Bxd7+ Qxd7 5. O-O Nf6 6. Qe2 Nc6 7. Rd1 e6 8. d4 cxd4 9. Nxd4 a6

10. c4 Nxd4 11. Rxd4 Qc6 12. Nc3 Be7 13. b3

{13. a4 to restrain the black queen-side is also possible. Black has a cramped position and doesn’t have any obvious pawn-breaks. The rook on d4 seems slightly precarious, but is indeed holding up a lot of ground and preventing Black from freeing himself.}

13... b5

{Black takes the opportunity to break. The pin on the c4-pawn prevents White from capturing on b5.}

14. e5

{White attempts to create tension since Black is somewhat behind in development. The open diagonal from a1-h8 becomes a point of focus and with the white heavy pieces ranging along it, both sides have to tread very carefully not to lose material. 14. Bd2 and 14. a3 were the calmer routes.}

14... dxe5 15. Qxe5 Nd7

{Black aims to place his dark-squared bishop along the long diagonal as quickly as possible, since all of the white heavy pieces are lined up there. White is now threatening to take on b5, as the knight on c3 is indirectly defended by the queen on e5, since Rd8+ tactics would be available. White would have to be careful of his back-rank though, so this would have to be timed carefully. 15... Rc8 would avoid all of those tactics and keep the pressure down the C-file.}

16. Qg3

{Defending the loose knight on c3. 16. Qxg7 isn’t possible due to 16... Bf6 17. Qg4 Bxd4 18. Qxd4 Rg8 and Black’s winning.}

16... Bf6 17. Rd6 Qb7

{Black has to be very careful here. 17... Qc7 18. Rxe6+ is possible.

17... Qc8 18. Bg5 O-O 19. Rxd7 Bxg5 is fine for Black. White now has a very strong response.}

18. Bf4

{Preventing any forks with Be5. Annoyingly, White fails to appreciate that the threatened fork is not a threat!

18. Bg5! Puts Black in a really awkward position and should win a clear queen-side for White.

18... Be5 19. Rxd7! Gaining tempo on the misplaced black queen (had she been on c8, this wouldn’t be possible.)

18... Bxg5 19. Qxg5 and both g7 and b5 are attacked. b5 will fall giving White a clear advantage.}

18... b4

{Exploiting the pin on the c3-knight. Things will now get somewhat messy and it all depends on who can hold their nerve the best!}

19. Rad1

{Messy, but not playable is 19. Nd5 Bxa1

(19... exd5 20. Re1+ Kf8 21. Qg4 and the knight on d7 can’t move due to Rxf6 and Bh6+ tactics.)

20. Nc7+ Qxc7 21. Rxe6+ fxe6 22. Bxc7 O-O and Black has too much for the queen.}

19... bxc3 20. Rxd7 c2

{A very scary position for White, but seemingly tenable due to the dark-squared bishop on f4 controlling the queening square. This advanced pawn on c2 can be a huge asset, or a weakness in an end-game.}

21. R1d3 Qe4

{White’s back-rank still proves to be a problem, but intriguingly, both the dark-square bishop and queen can defend backward to cover the all-important squares. IF White can survive the tactics, the end-game looms well for him. Unfortunately, there was a twist here, as Black had an unstoppable winning plan.

21... Qb4 with the simple intension of Qa3 and supporting the pawn home. White doesn’t have time to protect the back-rank threat on e1 and stop Qa3 at the same time. 22. Qe3 Bb2 is crushing.}

22. f3 Qe2 23. Bc1

{By this retreat, White has just about solved all of the tactics. The queening square is blocked and with Qf2 coming in, the pawn on c2 will soon fall, giving White a clear end-game advantage. Black only has one way to salvage the position now.}

23... Rd8!

{By this sneaky exchange, Black removes all White’s defensive opportunities. The rook on d3 will prove too loose to hold. White can’t defend the back-rank and stop the penetration of both the black queen and black dark-squared bishop without losing significant material. White has no option now apart from cash out in a perpetual.}

24. Rxd8+ Bxd8 25. Rxd8+ Kxd8 26. Qd6+ Ke8 27. Qb8+

{27. Qc6+ is the cleanest way to obtain the perpetual. Nevertheless, Black refrains from venturing into the middle of the board, where he would be cut down by the joint efforts of the white queen and dark-squared bishop.}

27... Kd7 28. Qb7+ Kd8 29. Qb8+ Kd7 30. Qb7+ Kd8 31. Qb8+ Kd7 1/2-1/2

Paul has given his choice the subtitle: “A Good Knight Out in Sofia”!

Round 4: S. Stoykov (Bulgaria II) - P. Benson 1928

Scotch Game, C45

(White was not FIDE rated but during this event generated a rating of 1716.)

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4

(The Scotch Game, both strategically and tactically easier to handle than the Ruy Lopez or the Giuoco Piano.

However, do not become lured into thinking the Scotch Game is easy to play. Knowing which minor pieces should be retained and which ones to remove according to how the pawn structures evolve is vital. Get this apparently simple task wrong and long-term suffering is your legacy.)

3. ... exd4 4. Nxd4 Bc5 5. Nxc6 bxc6

(Excellent, some pawn structure imbalance offering opportunities for both players to test the other during the middlegame struggle.)

6. Bd3 Qh4 (Aggressive, the black queen goes on a kingside sortie before the g8 knight shuffles out.)

7. Qe2 Nf6 8. h3 O-O 9. g3 Qh5 10. Qxh5

(A rather shallow understanding of the position, White is thinking purely of the black pawn islands being problematic in any ending. Fine as far as it goes, just the little problem of getting to an endgame with an equal position from which to start grinding. Instead the more knowledgeable players seem to prefer, 10. g4, leaving Black to choose between either e5 or h4 for the queen.)

10. ... Nxh5 11. Nc3 Re8 (Black correctly starts a siege on the white e4 pawn. White on the other hand has absolutely no chance of trying to mount anything on the black c6 pawn, well not for a very long while.)

12. Kf1 (Castling by hand seemed at the time to be the sensible plan of developing the h1 rook, finding king safety, and avoiding losing the h3 pawn. Retrospection suggests a plan of putting pawns on g4, f3, combining Bg5 with O-O-O would create fewer problems.)

12. ... Bb7 13. Kg2 d5 (The dynamic approach. A calmer method was to play Bb4 to be followed by putting pawns on d6 and c5 and increasing the pressure with Nf6.)

14. Bd2 (In time Black will bring more pressure to bear on the e4 pawn with Nf6 so perhaps White should try to eliminate this potential attacker with pawn g4 and then Bg5.)

14. ... Nf6 15. Rhe1 Rad8

(Black is setting up a tactic trying to exploit the undefended white d2 bishop. Instead a slower system involving pawn h6 combined with doubling rooks on the e-file should also keep White on the defensive.)

16. f3 dxe4

(A critical decision. On the plus side Black fixes a target on the light squares, the big discussion is now over the relative futures of each light square bishop. On the minus side the black queenside pawns will now find safe mobilisation a difficult task.)

17. fxe4 Nd7 (Eyeing the excellent outpost for a knight on e5.)

18. Be3 (The white king will eventually become uncomfortable on the h1 - a8 diagonal so the f2 square is reclaimed to permit advancement toward the centre.)

18. ... Re7 19. a3

(A sure sign that all is not happy in the white camp. Such a non-entity of a move suggests White does not have a plan of action, only sad reactions to whatever Black produces.)

19. ... Bxe3 20. Rxe3 Nc5

(Is this the first hint of something amiss in the black strategic planning department? Outposts such as the e5 square scream louder than a banshee to be occupied by this knight. Perhaps Black does not wish to limit the activity of the e7 rook? No problem, the e7 rook is ready to do a sidestep with Red7 increasing pressure up the d-file with the plan of pawn c5 then pawn c4 to follow.)

21. Kf2 Nxd3+ (A very serious misjudgement. It is most likely as further trading down occurs there will be a white knight left fighting against the black bishop, so which of them will have the better prospects?

It is not the pieces themselves which determines superiority, it is weaknesses in the relative pawn formations, and the emphasis is on the word - "Weaknesses".)

22. Rxd3 Rxd3 23. cxd3 f6 24. Na4

(Heading for a good outpost on c5 from where it will fight for control of light squares in the black defences.)

24. ... Bc8 25. h4 f5 (Very committal. There is no need for Black to challenge like this yet, simply centralise the king before thinking about pawn moves.)

26. Nc5 fxe4 (Again very committal, king centralisation is preferable.)

27. dxe4 (The white e4 pawn needs to be defined - Is it isolated or passed? The answer has nothing to do with the pawn itself but everything to do with the remaining pieces around it. If the black king, rook and bishop can gang up on it, forcing all the white pieces to defend it, then it is most definitely isolated. If the black trio fail to combine against it then the status of the e-pawn is passed, meaning one of the black units must be continually on guard against advancement.)

27. ... Bg4 (Preventing any ideas of Rd1 with Rd8 and Ra8 in mind, though if this is really what White wishes for then, Rc1 with Rc4 and Ra4 targets the black a7 pawn.)

28. Rf1 (White prefers not to send the rook wandering into the black queenside. If 28. Rc1 Rf7+ 29. Ke3 Rf3+ costs white the g3 pawn without any obvious compensation. Instead 28. Rc1 Rf7+ 29. Kg2 and the white king is cut off from the centre.)

28. ... Rf7+ (Black must make a challenge on the f-file at some point, White must not be permanently allowed to have a rook preventing the black king from centralising.)

29. Ke1 Rxf1+ 30. Kxf1

(It is likely both kings will centralise and prevent each other from making serious incursion. The critical factor will be whoever has more pawn weaknesses in need of defending. The black queenside pawns cannot offer any defensive support to each other, but providing they stand still they are not easy targets for the white knight. The entire white pawn formation could probably be transferred onto the dark squares if required. The black queenside pawns cannot force the creation of a passed pawn. White does not need to create another passed pawn, the knight will simply keep jumping around with threats of forks in several directions, sooner or later something should happen. Enough chat, just bear in mind the above points while observing each minor piece in action.)

30. ... Kf7 31. Kf2 (White must not fall into 31. Na6 Bf3 32. Nxc7 Bxe4 when the valuable passed e4 pawn has been given up for a virtually useless c7 pawn.)

31. ... Ke7 (The black king is placing itself close enough to the c7 pawn to offer a defence should White now try Na6. Perhaps a summary of the important factors in the position might assist? The black c7 pawn is a fixed weakness continually in need of a defence, this will tie the black king down to remaining on certain squares. The white passed e4 pawn is a strength in need of restraint. The black kingside pawns are potential targets to be threatened into advancing until they become fixed. Any king and pawn ending is winning for White, the doubled black c-pawns would behave as a single pawn, White would only need to advance the queenside pawns planning abandoning the passed e-pawn in favour of winning both black c-pawns and then forcing a queenside pawn through to promotion. In retaliation the black king would have to take the white e-pawn, sprint kingside to wipe out the white pawns and then push a pawn through, but this should be far too slow, a white queen should make her presence felt long before a black promotion can occur.)

32. Ke3 Bd1 (Black chooses to place the bishop aggressively, the alternative was to place it on the h5 - e8 diagonal and shuffle, waiting for White to try to force something.)

33. Kd4 Bc2

(More testing was 33. ... Kd6 forcing White to work much harder to gain a dark square entry for the king.)

34. Ke5 (The white king now has ideas of invading the kingside once the knight has prodded the black kingside pawns into movement.)

34. ... Bb1 35. Nb3

(More temptation to be resisted is 35. Ne6 apparently winning a pawn but 35. ... Bxe4 is an annoyance as White dare not capture the bishop as there is no way to win such a pawn ending. Of course after 35. Ne6 Bxe4 36. Nxg7 White should be able to make something with the kingside pawn majority, but as the black kingside pawns are always vulnerable why take the risk of losing the passed e-pawn?)

35. ... Kd7 (Instead 35. ... Ba2 36. Nd4 Bc4 37. Nf5 g6 after which the knight slowly shuffles itself onto either g5 or f6, forcing the h7 pawn to advance, the black kingside pawns will soon become fixed after which White will soon pick off a pawn or two somewhere.)

36. Nd4 Bd3 (An unfortunate square but sensible options were in short supply. Instead 36. ... g6 37. Ne6 forces the black king to remain defending the c7 pawn and threatens Nf8+ picking off the black h7 pawn or the black g6 pawn should Black try 37. ... h6. Note that if 36. ... g6 37. Ne6 Bxe4 fails this time as 38. Nc5+ followed by 39. Nxe4 and White wins a piece.)

37. Ne6 h5 (Black is very short of time, instead 37. ... Bc2 38. Nxg7 and White should have a decisive pawn majority on the kingside.)

38. Nc5+ 1-0 (It is reckoned backward knight captures are the most difficult to envisage, a good generalisation but not a rule, White will play 39. Nxd3 winning a piece.)