1st Justin Davis 6/6
2nd Mathew King 5/6
3rd Stewart Holdaway 4/6
4th Cedric Backhouse 3.4/6
5= Dennis Davey Johan Van Vurren 3/6
7th Clive 2.5/6
8th Frank Visser 1/6
9th =Jack James Derrick 0/6
My first tournament this year for the club was a rather predictable event. Chess has a great thing called ratings National (NZCF) and international (FIDE), these ratings are usually accurate and Justin being the top seed won this event. Below is my game against him.
King,M (1829) - Davis,J (1863) [B01] Palmerston North Club Rapid Championship, 25+5, 11.06.2010
1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qd6
A favourite move of GM Tiviakov. This opening is solid but in general doesn't give black many winning chances at the GM level.
4.d4 Nf6 5.Nf3 c6 6.Ne5 Nbd7 7.Nc4 Qc7 8.Qf3 Nb6 9.Bf4 Qd8 10.Be5
10...Bg4 11.Qg3 h5 12.f3 Be6 13.Ne3 Nbd5 14.Ncxd5 Nxd5 15.Nxd5 Qxd5 16.Bd3 f6 17.Bb8 h4 18.Qc7 Kf7 19.Qxb7 c5 20.Qxd5 Bxd5 21.c4 Bxf3 22.Bxa7 Bxg2 23.Rg1 Rxa7 24.Rxg2 cxd4 25.Bg6+ Kg8 26.c5 ½-½ Grischuk,A-Tiviakov,S/Sochi 2006
11.Na5 Nbd5 12.Nb3 Nxc3 13.Qxc3 Bd5 14.Qg3 b5 15.Bd3 g6 16.0-0 Bg7 17.Rfe1 0-0 18.h3 a6 19.Nc5 Ra7 20.a4 Qa8 21.c3 Nh5 22.Qe3 Bxe5 23.Qxe5 Ng7 24.Be4 Rd8 25.axb5 axb5 26.Ra6 Rxa6 27.Nxa6 Bxe4 28.Nc7 Qb7 29.Rxe4 Rd7 30.Na6 Rd6 31.Nc5 Qb6 32.Qxe7 Nf5 33.Qe8+ 1-0 Chernov,V-Muse,D/Berlin GER 2010
11...Nbd5 12.Ncxd5 Nxd5 13.c3 f6 14.Bg3 Bf7 15.Bc4 e6 16.0-0 Be7 17.Nxd5 cxd5 18.Bb5+ Kf8 19.Rfe1 g6 20.Bd3 Kg7 21.Bf4 a6 22.a4 Re8 23.Qe2 Bd6 24.Bxd6 Qxd6 25.Qd2 Re7 26.f4 Be8 27.Qf2 Bd7 28.Re3 Rg8 29.Qh4 Rf7 30.a5 Qc7 31.Rf3 Kf8 32.Qe1 Ke7 33.Qd1 Kd8 34.Qb3 Kc8 35.c4 Bc6 36.Rf2 Kb8 37.c5 Kc8 38.Qc3 g5 39.Re1 gxf4 40.Rxe6 Bd7 41.Rd6 Rg4 42.Be2 Rh4 43.Bf3 Re7 44.Rxd5 Re3 45.Qc2 Qxa5 46.Rf1 Re1 47.Rh5 Bb5 0-1 Valentine,B-Crouch,C/London ENG 2009
12.Nexd5 Nbxd5 13.Bc4 Qa5?!
A mistaken plan Justin acknowledeges after the game. Better is 13...e6 if 13...Qb6 14.0-0!
14.0-0 Nxc3 15.bxc3 Nd5 16.Rab1
Black is in serious difficulties now in fact I would say losing. His king is still in the center and the bishop on f8 needs a pawn to move before it can be developed.
I was very happy with the position now, the problem is I had used a good chunk of time and was under 5 minutes as opposed to Davis who still had over 10 minutes.
This rook is untouchable because after cxb5 Bxb5 f7 and a8 are hanging Bc6+ is also coming putting the black king in great danger.
18.Bxd5 cxd5 19.Qxd5 Rc8 20.Qb7 Qc4 21.Rb3
This was my first tournament of the year and the rust is starting to show I saw Rc5 but couldn't analyse it properly in the time pressure. Winning is 21.Rc5! Rxc5 22.dxc5 Qxc5 23.Qa8+ Kd7 24.Rd1+ Ke6 25.Bd4
Now I simply missed 23...Kd8. At the 2009 Gordon Hoskyn memorial tournament FM Nic Croad gave me a strong observation. He roughly stated that after looking at my games I seem to play a few moves and then sacrifice something and sometimes when you have the advantage simple play is best. Of course 22.Bg3 is the sane choice.
22...exd6 23.Re1+ Kd8 24.Qxa7 Qc7 25.Qa4
25.Qa6 This would give white some compensation.
Black won in a few moves after mutual mistakes, white hanging his rook being the final one.
I will now give a segment out of the book Masters of the Chess Board by Richard Reti on Emanuel Lasker
"In analysing Lasker's tournament games I was struck by his lasting and at first incredible good luck. There are tournaments in which he came out on top and won almost every game, though in a losing position in every other game, so that many masters spoke of Lasker's hypnotic influence over his opponents. What is the truth? Again and again I studied Laskers games too discover the secret of his success. There is no denying the fact that over and over again Lasker's lay-out of the game is poor, that he is in a losing position a hundred times and nevertheless wins in the end. The hypothesis of lasting luck is too improbable. There is only one answer which may sound paradoxical at first blush: Lasker often deliberately plays badly. The motive is not far to seek. It was Dr. Tartakower who created the paradox which my give us the explanation: " a game is always won through a mistake, either the opponent's or one's own."
The reason I include the above quote is to try and bring attention to the point a plus/minus evaluation does not automatically translate to a won game, sometimes we feel (especially when playing certain players) because we have a winning position we surely must win the game. Unfortunately this is not always the case. Now Masters of the chess board was first published back in 1933 so it is probably ok to question Reti's conclusion because in my humble opinion he is giving Lasker too much credit. Lasker was undoubtley a great practical player but to say he played into losing position's purposely is going too far.
A game of chess does not travel down a flat road, it is fill of up's and downs as can be seen from my game. What matters most is you concentrate on each move until the end. Sounds simple enough right?