Remember loads of C.C's ago when in December I went to the
SNCL at North Queensferry and took pictures of this house.
I was impressed. I siad it would have taken them weeks to put
up all the decorations. The Christmas spirit is alive and well.
Or so I thought.
I passed by there again on the way to the February SNCL.
Look at this...
...they cheat. They leave the decorations up all year
round and only switch them on in December. Huh!
Now by coincidence I was sent two games by players both called Wallace.
Mike Wallace of Sandy Bells and Ronnie Wallace from Aberdeen.
Both had the Black pieces, both played 1...e5 and both won!
Will these coincidences never cease?
If you put the mouse pointer over the Rook it will
play the Twilight Zone theme.
S.McKee - M.Wallace, Edin West v Bells, 2007
Black plays the opening well, equalises and can even claim a slight plus.
White's 11th. move 11.c4 though tempting is wrong.
It creates a massive target on d3 (backward pawn on an open file).
and gives the Knight a base on d4. Black should simply have
played 11...Qd6. Played to swap off his Bishop for the Knight
and plonk the nag on d4. Such a knight is worth more than a Rook.
Black instead strayed into a self-made mess moving his Queen to all
the wrong squares allowing the minor pieces to whip up an attack.
Here with White to play....
....18.f4 would have put Black under tremendous pressure.
Instead White brought things to a head too soon and did not maximize his plus.
He went for another pawn but this allowed Black counter-play.
White should not have allowed the f2 pawn to fall.
Here he played 24.b3?
24.Re2 Nf4 25.Re3 holding the g-pawn tactically (Rg3+).
Alas White lost the plot and hung a Rook though by then
the game was beyond repair.
[Click here to replay the game]
S.McKee - M.Wallace
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.d3 Nc6 4.Nc3 Bb4 5.Bd2 d5 6.exd5 Nxd5 7.Nxd5 Bxd2+ 8.Qxd2 Qxd5 9.Be2 0-0 10.0-0 b6 11.c4 Qe6 12.Ng5 Qg6 13.Bf3 Bb7 14.Be4 Qh6 15.Bxh7+ Kh8 16.Be4 Rad8 17.Bd5 Rd7 18.Nxf7+ Rdxf7 19.Qxh6+ gxh6 20.Bxf7 Rxf7 21.Rfe1 Nb4 22.Rxe5 Nxd3 23.Re8+ Kg7 24.b3 Rxf2 25.Re7+ Kf6 26.Rae1 Rxg2+ 27.Kf1 Nxe1
H.Flockhart - R.Wallace, SNCL. 2007
This is a good game with an instructive point.
I get sent dozens of games and when I see the moves;
1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nc6 3.Nf3 Nf6 I visibly cheer up and no longer
think of ending my life. Something that often crosses my mind
when I see the moves 1.d5 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6....
White played 4.Ng5 and why not? I'm sure if you knock out
the opening book on your computer it too will go for this move.
It hits f7 and were it not for over 150 years of theory then most
Black players would stumble into a lost game. Players did 150 years ago.
Black played the 6...Bd7 variation and later White could have had a
safe pawn up position by simply playing 8.Bxd7+ Nxd7 9.d3.
Time passed, moves were played.
As in the previous game White played c4 leaving a weakling
on d3, though this time there was tactical justification.
We reached this position with White to play.
Take a moment or two. What would you do?
Time's up. So what did you choose?
Attack or defence.
You can most likely see the f4 threat but is it a threat?
Yes it is a threat. Black is on top and your job is to mess it up.
Black will by now have racked a win up in his mind.
Unsettle him, plants seeds of doubt, make him work for it.
Think; "If this guy is any good then why is playing me?"
White helped Black's attack and played 21.h3.
Black's game played itself and he wrapped it up without much effort.
A swindling try was to ignore the threat.
21.Qa5 b6 22.Qa6 f4 23.c5 fxe3 24.c6 exf2+ 25.Kh1 Qxc6 26.Qxd3.
A plausible series of moves.
An unsettled Black has to refrain from grabbing the Bishop and
find 23...Rg6! (we will never know...).
At least 21.Qa5 was a gamble. With 21.h3 White fell on his sword.
Pity that. I like 4.Ng5 players they usually, and this is no exception,
throw up interesting games.
[Click here to replay the game]
H.Flockhart - R.Wallace
1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nc6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Ng5 d5 5.exd5 Na5 6.Bb5+ Bd7 7.Qe2 Qe7 8.Nc3 0-0-0 9.a3 Nxd5 10.Bxd7+ Rxd7 11.d3 Nc6 12.Nxd5 Rxd5 13.0-0 h6 14.Nf3 g5 15.Qe4 Qd7 16.c4 Rxd3 17.Nxe5 Nxe5 18.Qxe5 Rg8 19.Be3 Kb8 20.Rab1 f5 21.h3 f4 22.Bc5 Bxc5 23.Qxc5 f3 24.g4 h5 25.Qf5 hxg4 26.Qxd7 Rxd7 27.hxg4 Rh7 28.Rfe1 Rgh8
Speaking of strange things.
Recently I was at the Edinburgh Chess Club taking
photographs of Edinburgh v Musselburgh.
This is what came out.
They are all Vampires.