Thursday, September 4, 2008

NY State Championship: Round 5

Back to our scheduled programming. I didn't sleep very well Sunday night after discovering my computer had died, and probably wasn't anything I could resolve. There was the angst of why does this crap happen to me? Then there were the what ifs. What if I had done this, or that? The usual ruminations of a person who beats up on herself way too often.

Unfortunately 9 AM rounds come way too soon when one hasn't had much sleep. Despite the lack of sleep I played pretty well. I got paired up against an 1882. We reached the following position.

I came up with 24. Bxh6. It's a pretty little combination that wins me a pawn after 24...Bxh6 25. Nxf6+ Kg7 26. Nxd6 Bxc1 27. Nxe5 Bd2 28. Red1 Bc3 29. Nf3 b6. I was very pleased with myself for finding this line and working it all the way out to my 29th move. However there's an old axium that says "If you find a good move, look for a better one." It seems the combination would have been more effective after 24. b6 Ra8 25. Bxh6 Bxh6 26. Nf6+ Kg7 27.Nxd7 Bxc1 28. Bxb7 Bxd7 29. Bxa8 Bd2 30. Red1 Bb4 31. Bd5 axb6.

I had looked at b6 at some point, but given my history of losing over extended pawns I opted not to play that way. Sometimes one needs to forget about history. The game continued 30. Rdc1 Bf6 31.Nd2 Rce8 32. Bf3 Bg5 33. e3 Bc8 34. Ne4 Be7 35. Ra1 f5 36. Nd2 Bf6 37. Ra2 Bd738. a5 Bd8 39. axb6 Bxb6 40. Kg2 Re7 41. Rh1 Rd8 42. Nb3 d5 43. Na5 dxc4 44.dxc4 Be8 45. Rd1 Rxd1 46. Bxd1 Kf6 47. Nb3 Bf7 48. Be2 g5 49. Bf1 Rd7 50. Rd2Rxd2 51. Nxd2 Bc7 52. Nb3 Bb6 53. f4 Bh5 54. Kf2 Bd1 55. Nc1 gxf4 56. gxf4 Bc257. Bd3 Bd1 58. Ke1 Bf3 59. Nb3 Bb7 60. Ke2 a6 61. bxa6 to reach this position.

I didn't really see a way to force my way in so I offered a draw at this point. We had played for over four and half hours by now. A possible continuation might have been 62. Kf3 Ke6 63. e4fxe4+ 64. Kxe4 Bb7+ 65. Ke3 Kf6 66. Be4. He can simply move the bishop away and not trade. Even if he does trade I'm not convinced it's easy for white to get in. Maybe someone in my audience with Rybka or understands Monte Carlo analysis can find a win. Likeforests or Chessaholic perhaps???


E said...

I let Rybka 3 loose on it briefly. With just a slight advantage for White it's most likely to become a draw. If not by repetition, the 50 move rule will take care of it.

iw said...

What is your avaialbility this w-end?

Anonymous said...

According Fritz 11 white has only winning chances if black plays Bc6 in this position. For the rest it's a very small advantage of 0.30 for white.

Vic said...

I am a real novice at chess so
please indulge me. I am puzzled
why in this case Nf6+ doesn't win
the Queen. Clearly I am missing
something as it appears that
this move forks the queen with
a check ? I thought that once Black's
bishop recaptures with ..Bxh6, the
queen is lost.

Thanks for explaining my error (and I must say, for your woderful Blog !)


Polly said...

Vic: In order to get Nf6+ in I had to take on h6. When he recaptures on h6 his bishop is hitting my queen. When I take his queen he takes mine. That's why I only get a pawn out of the entire combination.

e & tiger: I find with so few pawns on the board, and the minor pieces it's hard to make any progress. Only a blunder on black's part would allow me a win.

iw: I haven't firmed up my weekend plans yet. When I have a better idea I will let you know. With the crappy tropical storm Hanna weather we're supposed to have, Saturday afternoon is a good possibility.

Vic said...


Yep, just didn't see it. As I said,
I am a real novice :).

Thanks much.


Anonymous said...


After Bxh6 Bxh6 white's queen is also attacked. That's the reason why Nf6+ doesn't win the black queen, it's just a trade.

Anonymous said...


The only way to get a slight advantage her is with moving your knight all the way to g3.

I did let fritz 11 play out this position and it became a position where white is a pawn and bishop vs bishop but helas it are opposite colored bishops which is by no doubt a draw since black will sacriface his bishop for the pawn and then white hasn't mating material left.

Chessaholic said...

Hey Polly! Thanks again for the fun games the other night. We certainly are a good match-up, our score is now +1 -1 =1 :)

Interesting position you have there. Sure looks drawish, but I will run a Monte Carlo analysis on it tonight and see if it comes up with anything useful. Stay tuned.

Ed said...

Engines should be pretty close to useless in this sort of position. Schematic thinking is useful; wher shoudl the White pieces go?

One thing to consider is maybe White shouldn't push the e-pawn so fast. Perhaps manuever the Knight to g3 and see how Black defends the f-pawn (directly, or by counter-attacking the c-pawn). After that, White can think about pushing e4 (with the pieces now better placed to support advancing the f-pawn). Sometimes it might even be possible to sac on f5.

There's no hurry. Even if Black can hold, there's no counterplay for White to worry about. Unless I were short of time, I'd make Black prove it.