Chess Edinburgh lewischessmen2-75h 

Chandler Cornered

The Natterjack Trap +The McAlpine / Berry Blunder

Gilbert Finklestein has stalked and trapped a Natterjack Toad.

"Hi Geoff, My Name is Gilbert Finklestein. Worm Breeder.
You said nobody had seen the face of a Natterjack Toad.
Well today using some worms as bait I set up a Natterjack Toad
trap and I caught one. Here is a picture of it's face."

Unfortunately Gilbert does not elaborate as to exactly what
goes into making a Natterjack Toad trap and as nobody has
ever seen the face of a Natterjack Toad, till now.
We cannot really argue with him.

Kenny McAlpine Part 2
In the previous C.C. I found A Kenny McAlpine blunder
that was never played. The person who entered the moves
into the database made an error that made it look like
a blunder had been played. In R.Toran - K.McAlpine
the database said this position arose.

Saying that Black had just played 17...Qb8.
Infact thanks to research by J.B. Henderson, it transpires
that Black played 17...Qd8 so the Knight on d7 does not hang.

I have now removed the bogus position in case
anyone sees it and uses it in a book of blunders.
That is the 2nd mistake in a few months I have found
in database entries. How many more are out there?

I also have to give credit to Keith Ruxton who
suspected the move was a typo and suggested it was.
I ignored him. The conversation went something like this:

"Geoff, I think the blunder in the Toran - McAlpine game
is a typo. International players do miss such things."

"Huh...and what do you know? You cannot even name four
British Amphibians." (see last C.C.)

Here he is...

...Mr Smug correct again.

I've seen a lot worse than two players missing a
piece hanging so I thought it was OK. It Happens.

Recently I gave a game N.Craigmile v M. Wallace.
I finished the game on move 19 with 0-1.

The game actually continued on for another 17 moves
but I never gave them because I thought there was
an error in the score sheet. In this position:
White has just played 21 Ne3 hitting the Bishop on g4.

Black played 21...Ne7? White replied 22 Ne5?

I thought. "this cannot be correct. Why not take the Bishop?"

So I left out the moves from 19 onwards fearing a
mistake had been made in recording the moves.

I questioned Mike Wallace about the game a few days later.
No. The score sheet was correct. There was a double blunder.
Both players missed the fact that the Bishop was hanging.

Anyway all this has a happy ending because I have found
another Kenny McAlpine Olympic blunder! This time it's
from the Havana Olympiad of 1966.

No I was not looking for another Kenny blunder on purpose.
I checked my database to see if it was me who made
the original mistake. So I did a search for Kenny's games,
I saw the following and skipped through it out of curiosity.

This position arose and has few turns well worth knowing.

L.Witt - K.McAlpine. Havana, 1966
First note that 31...Ra5? is mated in 4 by the x-ray 32 Qa8+.
A shot that could easily be missed by both players.

What actually happened was Black played 31...Qe7.
Black may have seen the next move but perhaps
missed the 34th move.

play continued 31...Qe7? 32.Qxd5! Nxd5 33.Ra8+ Qf8 34.Bh7+ Kxh7
35.Rxf8 and Black the exchange down resigned a few moves later.

A check on h7 that lures the King away from protecting
a piece, usually a Rook, on f8 is a fairly common tactical idea.

However, the idea may be ancient but it still traps the unwary.

S.Mannion - N.Berry, Hawick, 2005.

Black has emerged from the opening with a solid but static
looking position. His c-pawn hangs and after that threat is
stopped, where is his counter play going to come from?
The Bishop on c8 is buried and moves to free it will give
White new targets.

You see Neil Berry has a problem here. He is a good chess player.
He knows his position is pretty grim. Not lost in anyway I can
I can demonstrate. Just very difficult to play.
Especially against the calibre of Steve Mannion.

A weaker player would think Black is doing OK.

"Hey material is even - I must be OK."

Black should have admitted to himself that his position was bleak
and defended with 17...c6. Instead he has an idea. An active idea.
This is usually a good plan when your opponent has you bottled up.
Suddenly they see you untangling and they panic-sac.

So Black sets off on down a path that a weaker player would never have chosen.

They would reject 16...Nxe3 because it trades off their good Knight
and protects the backward d-pawn with fxe3.
A weaker player would also discard 17...c5 because it losses a pawn.

Under normal circumstances Neil's idea, based on the 'loose' Bishop on d3.
Would have been OK. He has simply missed the check on h7.

What I am trying to say is.... A weaker player would not have fallen for
this trick because they would not even consider Neil's idea.

This is a good players 'bad move.' (does that make sense?).

This is the trouble with being a good chess player.
You can get yourself into a right proper mess by
finding moves weaker players would never even consider.

Chess Maxim No.113
An under 1600 player can get themselves into difficulties.
But to really screw things up you need to be over graded 2000.

Play from the diagram position continued:

16....Nxe3 17.fxe3 c5? 18.dxc5

Giving us this position.
Black should have stopped and done his check all checks routine.
Perhaps then he would have discovered the hole in his idea.
Note in Neil's mind's eye the f8 Rook is safe. It's protected twice.

Play continued 18...Bxc5? 19.Bh7+ Kh8 20.Qxc5.
And Black now noticed the loose Rook on f8 and the
Queen on c5 smiling at it. Black resigned a few moves later.

Here is the complete game.

[Click here to replay the game]
S.Mannion - N.Berry

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 Nc6 4.Ngf3 Nf6 5.e5 Nd7 6.c4 dxc4 7.Nxc4 Nb6 8.a3 Ne7 9.Bg5 h6 10.Bh4 Qd7 11.Rc1 Nf5 12.Ne3 Nxh4 13.Nxh4 Nd5 14.Qc2 Be7 15.Nf3 0-0 16.Bd3 Nxe3 17.fxe3 c5 18.dxc5 Bxc5 19.Bh7+ Kh8 20.Qxc5 Rd8 21.Be4 Qa4 22.Qb4

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