Chess Edinburgh lewischessmen2-75h 

Chandler Cornered

More Olympiad Arguments + The Toad

'Pictures of Lizzy' are being emailed to me on a regular
basis. I'm not trawling the net for these pics. Honest.

In the last piece I mentioned the New Scottish Chess.

Now remember the turmoil over team selection in the
recent Olympiad? The Scottish Notice Board boiled over.

Well in the New Scottish Chess, Alan McGowan does a well researched
piece about the controversy covering the team selection for the 1968 Olympiad.
This appears to have been as equally as heated as the recent 2006
debate and resulted in several members of the executive resigning.

And that is all I'm going to say about it.
If you want all the facts then buy the mag or join the SCA (I have)
and you will get 6 magazines free (plus all kinds of other things).

Intrigued. I went to the Chess Scotland site and downloaded
the Scottish Players games from the 1968 Olympiad.

(This feature is open to anyone but I'm putting forward a motion that
only SCA members will be able to download games - another reason to join).

Well I found a whole clutch of brilliant blunders.

What is the collective term for a group of blunders?
A bundle of blunders?
A set of blunders?
A catastrophe of blunders?

More blunders?
Oh yes. We can only win if out opponent blunders.
Recognising positions where blunders abound is
part of the art of chess playing.

A.Malagon - D.Levy, Lugano Olympiad, 1968
White forgot a Reinfeld rule. Check all checks.
He played 33 Rg1? 33 Kb1 was the move leaving a
complicated game with chances for both sides.

33 Rg1 Ba4+ 34 Kb1 Qxf8 0-1.
I lost my Queen in the same manor to Neil Berry in 1997.
My first loss as a Bells player thus ending a run of 25 games. W.24 D.1.

K.McAlpine - R.Keene, Lugano Olympiad, 1968
Now this is a very instructive blunder. Look and learn.

Black has just played 9...Bxf3 and White instead of playing
the simple 10 gxf3, starts to think of pawn structures.

"I don't want doubled f-pawns. But If I play 10 Qxf3 then my Bishop
on b5 hangs. I'll swap off my Bishop with a check and then play Qxf3."

10 Bxc6+? Qxc6 and the Bishop on c1 is attacked giving
Black time to play 11...Be4 and remain a piece up.
The good news is White's pawn structure stayed intact and
it remained that way when White resigned a few moves later.
The moral: Don't think about forced re-captures. Just do it.

K.McAlpine - J.Boey, Lugano Olympiad, 1968
Who says there is no luck in Chess?
This one is just plain unlucky.

Look at the position. White to play. He is the exchange
down but there is still some chess left in this position.

Who amongst us would not play 33 Bd5 here?

33 Bd5 protects the Bishop and d-pawn. Eyes f7 for some
possible counter play (e4-e5-e6 ideas) and hits a8 to
prevent the Rook from getting behind Black's passed a-pawn.

33 Bd5 is a good move until you spot that the d-pawn
is pinned and Black has a stinker of check on d6.

33 Bd5? Qd6+ and White resigned ( 34 Kg1 Qxd5).

And in good Chandler tradition the best (worst) is saved till last.

S.Kagan - M. Freeman, Lugano Olympiad, 1968
White to play. 31 Ne6 is the best looking move.
However White has an idea and played 31 Rdxe7?

Can you see the forced win? It's 31 Rdxe7 Bxe7 32 Rxe7 and White
has winning moves like Qa1+ and Qd7 up his sleeve.

Unfortunately this is all pie in sky.
31 Rdxe7 Bxe7 23 Rxe7 Rxf4 and White can resign.

But amazingly Black did NOT take the Rook.
He believed White. He thought the sac was sound.
So from the diagram play went...

31 Rdxe7? Qxa2? 32 Rxh7+? Kxh7 33 Qd3+ and Black resigned??

It looks scary but there is no win. 33...Kg8! 34 Qg6+ Bg7
and if both players thought 35 Re7 was winning then 35 Qa1+
and gxf4 stops that plan. OK then what about 35 Ne6 or 35 Nh5.
Well 35...Qxf2+ and mate appears to halt that little idea.

In Black's defence we can assume he was in time trouble.
The funnies happened around about moves 30 - 36.
This is where the usual 'time bombs' are.

"Time trouble is not an excuse for losing" - Alekhine.

I'm afraid Mike Freeman committed the biggest blunder of all.
Resigning in a won position.

I have had three players resign against me in won
positions (one in a correspondence game!).

I have not resigned in a won position (yet) but I have resigned
in a drawn position. Though I only realised this about 5 years
after the game was played when I was entering it into a database.

Here is the S.Kagan - M. Freeman game. It got very complicated.
Watch the Knights do a tango of death in the centre of the board.

[Click here to replay the game]
S.Kagan - M. Freeman

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 g6 4.c3 Nf6 5.e5 Nd5 6.0-0 Bg7 7.d4 cxd4 8.cxd4 0-0 9.Nc3 Nc7 10.Bc4 d6 11.Bf4 dxe5 12.Bxe5 Nxe5 13.Nxe5 Be6 14.Be2 Nd5 15.Ne4 Nf4 16.Nc5 Qxd4 17.Nxe6 fxe6 18.Nd3 Nxe2+ 19.Qxe2 e5 20.Rad1 e4 21.Nf4 Qxb2 22.Qxe4 Qe5 23.Qc4+ Kh8 24.g3 b5 25.Qb3 a6 26.Rfe1 Qf6 27.Rd7 Qc3 28.Qd1 Bf6 29.g4 g5 30.Re3 Qc4 31.Rdxe7 Qxa2 32.Rxh7+ Kxh7 33.Qd3+

And finally a game from the recent Hawick tournament.

Nigel Chapman (1659) - James Turner (1451), Hawick, 2006.
Here is position after two moves each.

There is no rule that states White must play 1.e4 or 1.d4.
White is inviting Black to over-extend and launch
a premature attack.

Black restrains himself, develops sensibly and does
not try to hang onto a gambit pawn offered by White.

Eventually we reach a position where Black,
who has played quite well up to move 10, has to
make a decision that governs the course of the game.

Here he could have (should have) played 10...e5.

This vacates e5 for the d7 Knight and Black is doing OK.

What happens is Black sits back and waits for more White 'daft' moves.
The juicy 10...e5 is ignored and instead Black found 10...Rc8?
The move 10...Rc8 is not the blunder - it's the strategic thought
behind the move that is wrong.

White sent the g and h pawns off on a bayonet charge.

All we need to do then is remember that Black is under 1900
and watch him succumb to the attack. The only question being,
will White miss the final combination when it presents itself.

Black plays his part with some typical under 1900 defending.
12...Kh8, 15...f6 and 17...Kg8.

White spots the shot. The Black Queen is forced to an undefended square,
White checks and uncovers an attack on the hapless Queen and it's all over.
(same theme as A.Malagon - D.Levy).

White is happy because he has notched up another point without
going the expense of shelling out 14.95 for an opening book.

Black is not too bothered and has most likely dismissed
the whole episode as an unlucky freak game.
After all, "How can anyone lose against 1.h3 2.a3?"

[Click here to replay the game]
N.Chapman - J.Turner

1.h3 d5 2.a3 e5 3.c4 dxc4 4.e3 Be6 5.Qc2 Nf6 6.Nf3 Nbd7 7.Bxc4 Bxc4 8.Qxc4 Bd6 9.b4 0-0 10.Bb2 Rc8 11.Nc3 a6 12.g4 Kh8 13.g5 Ne8 14.h4 Qe7 15.h5 f6 16.Nh4 Qf7 17.Nd5 Kg8 18.g6 Qe6 19.Ne7+

Mike Basman named this 1.h3 2.a3 'attack' the Global Opening.

Now much as I admire Mike Basman's imagination, I think the
name Global Opening is rather poor. It's not catchy enough.

I advocate we call it The Toad.

Simply because a few night ago in Sandy Bells, young Graeme Kafka was
playing 5 minute chess and at the same time taking part in a Pub Quiz.

The Pub where the Quiz was being held happened to be on the other
side of Edinburgh and Kafka was taking part via his mobile phone.

"Name four British amphibians?"

Asked Kafka suddenly to a bunch bemused chess players.

This only succeeded in me observing that there was no
opening named after a British amphibian. So The Toad it is.

Here is a picture of a Toad. The Natterjack Toad.

Nobody has ever seen the face of a Natterjack Toad.

A Toad is the ideal creature to represent this opening.
It crawls along sneaking up on it's unsuspecting prey.

Important Fact No.187:
The Toad, unlike it's cousin, the Frog, does not jump. The Toad crawls.

I did consider calling The Toad, The Frog, but there is a chess player
called Ilya Frog and people would associate his name with the opening.

I played him once. Ilya Frog. A rather jumpy lad with huge bulging eyes,
he ate worms. At school his nickname was Tad.
Once upon a time he went a courting...

(That's enough of the IlyaFrog jokes...Ed)

There is no chess player called Toad.
We have a Todor, but no Toad.

Which is rather a pity. Imagine the note when the guy is in trouble.
'..and Toad is in a hole.'

Mental Note No.110:
Next time I'm annotating a Todor Dimitrov game I must say;
'..and Todor is in a hole.'

So what are the four British amphibians?
I suggested "toad, frog, newt and er.....tadpole!"

Kafka shrugged his shoulders and sent it as the answer.

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