Friday, May 8, 2009

Palmy 60/60 game

Baker,J (unr) - King,M (1885) Palmy Club 60/60 (5.1), 30.04.2009

I finished the tournament on a perfect score but my last round opponent played a nice game to come within a whisker of beating me. John Baker had defeated 2nd seed Stephen Taylor earlier in the tournament and would no doubt have finished higher up in the standings if he didn't default round 4.

26.Bxh6! gxh6
Black could decline the sacrifice by 26...Qd6 27.Bf4 Qd7 and still have some compensation for the pawn deficit. Being the stronger player I thought the sacrifice must be accepted as a matter of honour. It must be refuted! Sometimes one's ego can blur the lines of common sense.
27.Qxh6 Qd6?
I would like to say I saw the whole Bf8 line and was not satisfied with a draw by repetition so decided to sac my Queen. Reality is I missed the fact the Queen covered the f4 square!
27...Bf8 28.Qf6 Qc7 29.Qg5+ Bg7 30.Nd5!? Qd6 31.Nf6+ Kf8 32.Nh7+ Kg8 33.Nf6+ Kf8 =
28.Rf4! Qxf4
Still losing but possible to play is 28...Rc5 as pointed out by Stewart after the game 29.Rcf1 Bg5 30.Rg4 Re5 31.Rxg5+ Rxg5 32.Qxg5+ Kf8 33.Qf6 Rd7 34.e5 Qc6 35.Bd5
29.Qxf4 Bd6 30.Qh6 Bf8 31.Qg5+ Bg7 32.Rf1 I should also mention that I am down to my last 7 minutes 15 behind my opponent and the time control is flat rate!

Right at the point where the final blow should be delt white has a brain explosion. Caught in my time pressure he is moving too quickly not thinking about his moves and ultimately gives me the chance I was praying for.
Winning is 33.Ne2! White doesn't have a mate but black is just lost suffering from an ultimately indefensible position.
33...axb5 34.Qh5
34.h4! And the march of the h-pawn up the board will ensure an edge for White still.
34...Rd7 35.Rf4?! Rc2 36.e5?? After playing 30 odd moves and gaining a winning position white throws it all away in the space of 3 moves!
36...Bxg2+ 37.Kg1 Ne2+
White's best is to give his queen for the knight or suffer heavy material losses with Kh2 so white resigned.

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