I'm having super-duper fun.
Sam Collins gave me a carry bag full of score sheets
from various tournaments. The SNCL, The Glasgow Open, the
Scottish Chess Supplies 'One Day Tournament' The
Ayrshire Congress. etc.
I'm banging them into a database so they can be
down loaded from the Chess Scotland site.
That will teach me for complaining about a lack of games.
But I despair... Look at this...
It is the art of Patrick Coffey, or Offey, as he calls himself.
(written, I hasten to add, in the space for the opening).
How am I meant to decipher that. No names,
dates and where on earth was it played.
What are the moves 45 - 52?
Now look at this. It's a Colin McNab scoresheet.
Clear and perfect.
Some players have wee foibles in the scoring of the
game, but if it's clear you can get used to it.
Roddy McKay notates in long hand, (d2-d4) and uses
'S' for Knights. In most books on composed problems
they use 'S' for Knights. It's German, 'Der Springer'.
But top marks for the best score sheet is Ian Marks!
Look at it. Even though I shrunk it down to half it's
size it is still perfectly readable.
The date, the place, the board number, the round.
He even puts down the fact that he was mated.
So what happens when Mr Scruffy meets Mr Tidy.
P.Coffey v I.Marks Glasgow Open 2005.
Actually nothing brilliant happens here.
It's a normal tournament 'bread and butter' game.
White gets nothing from the opening and we have an even
middle game. I have seen hundreds of these games.
The higher graded player (white) has been here before.
He knows all he has to do is make legal moves
and his opponent will slip up.
The lower graded player knows he is doing OK. He has
played well and is holding his position together.
Suddenly 'the moment arrives'. Every game has it's moment.
Black played 30...Bxg5 and allowed white a winning
passed pawn. I've looked at 30...Bd6 and I'm reaching
positions that give white a plus. No clear wins.
white must play the correct and best moves.
In the comfort of my bedroom it's easy.
But based on the evidence of what happened in
the actual game. (White wrapped it up in a sloppy fashion.)
Pat was not in top form as he surprisingly missed two
killing exact moves that would have given me
the confidence to say after 30...Bd6 white would have
ground out the win with correct (and exact) play.
Here white played 31 c4. 31 Rd1 wins on the spot.
The King cannot get into 'The Square.'
And here white pushed the g-pawn. 35 g7
OK it looks natural and it wins...
...but 35 f3 is the best and correct move.
I even Fritzed it. 35 g7 = 2.25 35 f3 =7.94
You can argue with me but you cannot argue with 7.94
(just out of curiosity I've just let Fritz look at
white's 31st move. 34 c4 = 0.91 34 Rd1 = 8.31)
Nit picking? Not at all.
Remember what I was saying a few C.C's ago and how
Keith Ruxton always played the best and exact moves
irrespective of the position.
Getting into the habit of doing this (I should talk)
and you won't let any wins slip through your fingers.
If good players like Pat Coffey are letting these
wee inexact moves slip into their games. What are
the weaker playing?
It is the stronger players responsibility to give
the weaker player a lesson. If Pat had played 34 Rd1!
then you can be sure that in the future Ian Marks would
always look at every capture that gives his opponent
a passed pawn. There is nothing like an instructive loss
to hammer home the point.
A quick break to show a picture of Doris Day from the
greatest musical ever made. Calamity Jane.
Right back to the chess.
Perhaps Pat Coffey pointed out the Rd1 idea in the analysis room?
I don't think so. I cannot see these two sitting down and
analysing a game. Ian Marks would have taken one look at
Pat's score sheet and run away.
So do readable score sheets matter? Yes.
Botvinnik wrote a neat and tidy score sheet.
Hugh Alexander once spoke of Botvinnik's habit of writing his
move down with such careful precision, that his opponent
felt like resigning at move one.
Kasparov reads Chandler Cornered!
Look at this picture from his latest book signing
in London. He has a framed picture of me and my £50
lifted from a previous C.C.