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  1. #1
    Account Permanently Banned Arrogant-One's Avatar
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    Grandmaster Theatre - The Battle of Alex!

    Welcome, young and old - gather around the fire. It seems you've caught me with an old favorite. I call it The battle of Alex.

    Queensland Open 2006

    White: Stahnke, Alex
    Elo/FIDE: 1290

    Black: [Alex]
    Elo/Fide: 1703

    1. Nf3 e6
    2. g3 d5
    3. Bg2 Nf6
    4. O-O Bd6
    5. d3 O-O
    6. Nbd2 Nbd7
    7. e4

    And so we have our first major decision of the game. At this point I was thinking that this young lad has played a very solid, blunder free, yet unambitious opening (much the kind I prefer to play myself). Do we play c4 and go for a good chunk of the centre, or try to mix things up with more active play?

    FEN Viewer


    7. ... Ne5
    8. Re1 Nxf3+
    9. Nxf3 dxe4
    10. dxe4 e5

    FEN Viewer


    Playing e5 is a good move despite the fact that Black's dark squared Bishop now must protect it. It has solidified the position, allowed the light squared Bishop room to move, and allows White to hopefully make a mistake (as most kids do). But not this one unfortunately.

    11. c3 Ng4
    12. h3 Nf6
    13. Qb3 b6
    14. Bg5 h6
    15. Be3 Be6

    FEN Viewer


    Black is slightly better here. Notice that if 15.) ... Nxe4 then 16.) Nxe5 Nxg3 17.) Nc6 Qd7 and Black is completely lost.

    Anyway, back to the real game.

    16. Qc2 Qc8

    FEN Viewer


    Okay, clearly I haven't gotten it yet. This is no ordinary kid and cheap tricks which sometimes work on other kids will not get the job done this time!

    17. Kh2 - perhaps an error, I think h5 may be better, as if Bg5 then the f3 Knight can kick from h2.

    17. ... c5
    18. Rad1 Qc7
    19. Nxe5!

    Unbelievable! No doubt this kid beat Tony Weller the round before he played me - it clearly was no fluke! I had to go into a deep think here to navigate my way through this mine field.

    FEN Viewer


    19. Nxe5 Bxe5
    20. f4 Nh5!

    FEN Viewer


    Okay, the Bishop or Knight was a goner - that much was obvious. But Nh5 does several things.

    Firstly, it creates play, secondly it gives white an isolani, and thirdly, creates a threat on g3 once the Black Queen hacks off e5.

    21. fxe5 Qxe5
    22. Bf2 Rad8
    23. Bf3 Nf6
    24. Kg2

    FEN Viewer


    Okay, move 24 and the kid is still playing strong and the position is relatively equal. Let's not forget that the kid has already sac'd a piece against me.

    Final Analysis: Not good!

    Lets see what happened next ...

    24. ... Bc8
    25. g4 Bb7
    26. Bg3 Qg5
    27. e5

    FEN Viewer


    Okay, clearly this youngster has the initiative. If Fritz would look at the board right now I bet it would say that White is up 0.75.

    27. ... Bxf3+
    28. Kxf3 Nd7
    29. Qf5

    A chance to swap Queens with relative equality again - but I get greedy and say 'No Swap!'

    FEN Viewer


    29. ... Qe7
    30. Kg2 Nb8?

    A stupid and unnecessary move. Rfe8 is much better!

    31. Rxd8 Rxd8
    32. e6 Rd2+
    33. Kf3

    This is probably the 'critical position' for Black. What to do here? The e6 pawn is a source of annoyance, the Bishop bears down on the Knight at b8, and counterplay is negligible.

    FEN Viewer


    Play continued ...

    33. ... Nc6
    34. Bh4?!

    FEN Viewer


    What kind of move is this for a 12 year old?

    Obviously taking leads to mate with QxB PxP+ Kf8 and Re8 thanks for coming!

    Also interesting, and possibly winning, is g5 followed by 34.) ... PxP+ 35.) QxP QxQ 36.) KxQ Bg3 and the Rook taking the b2 pawn thereafter.

    34. ... f6
    35. Qg6 Rd6
    36. Bxf6!

    FEN Viewer


    At this point I am wondering whether my medical insurance is paid up, because this looks like its going to hurt - A LOT !!!

    Notice how 36.) ... Qf8 does not work because 37.) QxP+ QxQ 38.) BxQ KxB 39.) e7 and Black must sac the Knight to prevent the promotion!

    36. ... Qxf6+
    37. Qxf6 gxf6
    38. e7 Nxe7
    39. Rxe7 Rd2
    40. Rxa7 Rxb2
    41. Ra6 Kg7
    42. Ke4 Kg6

    FEN Viewer


    And so we have reached an endgame of complete equality. Therefore the Alex's agreed to a draw - an equitable result many would say.

    I hope you've all enjoyed today's production and I look forward to seeing you next time for another exciting night of Grandmaster Theatre!
    Last edited by Kevin Bonham; 17-11-2009 at 05:15 PM.

  2. #2
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    AO - you almost have the FEN thing right but:

    (i) don't put a space after the square brackets around FEN.
    (ii) don't leave a line after the square brackets around FEN either.
    (iii) I recommend always testing any FEN position with the preview post function before posting it to check for bugs of this kind.

    In this case I fixed them.

    Interesting game. Stahnke's ability to stir up complications will stand him in excellent stead for the future and in this game he played above his (rapidly rising) rating. Also I think Stahnke is younger than 12 since he is listed by the ACF as being 9 and as being the top under-10 in the country.
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  3. #3
    Account Permanently Banned Arrogant-One's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham
    AO - you almost have the FEN thing right but:

    (i) don't put a space after the square brackets around FEN.
    (ii) don't leave a line after the square brackets around FEN either.
    (iii) I recommend always testing any FEN position with the preview post function before posting it to check for bugs of this kind.

    In this case I fixed them.

    Interesting game. Stahnke's ability to stir up complications will stand him in excellent stead for the future and in this game he played above his (rapidly rising) rating. Also I think Stahnke is younger than 12 since he is listed by the ACF as being 9 and as being the top under-10 in the country.
    Thanks Kevin. So I shouldn't leave a space after the opening [FEN] and I shouldn't leave a line afterwards - agreed (I knew that one but got sloppy).

    Yes, I fear this Alex may attend the Gold Coast Open and cost me first place!!!

    I didn't know he was the best Under 10 in the country though, just that an IM on the Gold Coast tutors him.

  4. #4
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    "Okay, clearly I haven't gotten it yet. This is no ordinary kid and cheap tricks which sometimes work on other kids will not get the job done this time!

    17. Kh2 - perhaps an error, I think h5 may be better, as if Bg5 then the f3 Knight can kick from h2.

    17. ... c5"


    1)17.Kh2 is no error. Looks like a normal move to me.
    2)17...c5? was an error for black. if you got a black square bishop it is not a good idea to restrict its mobility

  5. #5
    CC Grandmaster Desmond's Avatar
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    Generally a much more intersting offering than your first GM theatre. I'm not so sure I would be agreeing to a draw in a position where I was no worse vs a player over 400 points below me though.
    So what's your excuse? To run like the devil's chasing you.

    See you in another life, brotha.

  6. #6
    Account Permanently Banned Arrogant-One's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boris
    Generally a much more intersting offering than your first GM theatre. I'm not so sure I would be agreeing to a draw in a position where I was no worse vs a player over 400 points below me though.
    True enough, but I was traumatised as a result of his quality of play, the fact he beat Tony Weller the previous round, and the two piece sacrifices he had used on me.
    Last edited by Arrogant-One; 22-06-2006 at 02:25 PM.

  7. #7
    Account Permanently Banned Arrogant-One's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelBaron
    "Okay, clearly I haven't gotten it yet. This is no ordinary kid and cheap tricks which sometimes work on other kids will not get the job done this time!

    17. Kh2 - perhaps an error, I think h5 may be better, as if Bg5 then the f3 Knight can kick from h2.

    17. ... c5"


    1)17.Kh2 is no error. Looks like a normal move to me.
    2)17...c5? was an error for black. if you got a black square bishop it is not a good idea to restrict its mobility
    I concur on both counts Michael. Thank you for your feedback.

  8. #8
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    I don't think giving up a piece with an immediate forced recovery really counts as a 'sacrifice'.

  9. #9
    Account Permanently Banned Arrogant-One's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pax
    I don't think giving up a piece with an immediate forced recovery really counts as a 'sacrifice'.
    MMMMMMMM ..... You say potato, I say Potato.
    Last edited by Arrogant-One; 11-07-2006 at 02:57 PM.

  10. #10
    Illuminati Bill Gletsos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arrogant-One
    MMMMMMMM ..... You say potatoe, I say Potatoe.
    A Plectropterinae by any other name is still a .....
    The Force can have a strong influence on the weak-minded.
    Mos Eisley spaceport The toolbox. You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy.

  11. #11
    Reader in Slood Dynamics Rincewind's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arrogant-One
    MMMMMMMM ..... You say potatoe, I say Potatoe.
    I agree with Pax. A sacrifice is by definition a loss of material for other forms of compensation. If the material is recovered, or mate can be given, by force then it is just a garden-variety combination.
    So einfach wie möglich, aber nicht einfacher - Albert Einstein

  12. #12
    CC Grandmaster Desmond's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Gletsos
    A Plectropterinae by any other name is still a .....
    I learnt my new word for the day...
    So what's your excuse? To run like the devil's chasing you.

    See you in another life, brotha.

  13. #13
    CC Grandmaster
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arrogant-One
    MMMMMMMM ..... You say potato, I say Potato.
    I played a wicked sacrifice today. I allowed by opponent to play Bxf6, in a cunning knight sacrifice. He was devastated by my reply of Qxf6, immediately recovering the piece, and with the bishop pair to boot! He practically resigned on the spot.

  14. #14
    CC Grandmaster Garvinator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boris
    I learnt my new word for the day...
    see, chesschat can teach you things

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