The Wellington Chess Club

Julian Mazur Memorial 2015

Round 8

Congratulations to Russell Dive who won the Julian Mazur Memorial for 2015 with 7 from 8. Scott Wastney closed to within half a point by beating Ross Jackson quickly, while Russell was held to a draw by Brian Nijman (see below). Anthony Ker finished third with 6 points after a last round win against Nic Croad.

Brian Nijman annotates his draw with Russell Dive

Nijman, Brian - Dive, Russell Julian Mazur 2015

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 b6 3.Bg5 Ne4 4.Bf4 g6 5.Nbd2 Bb7 6.d5!? Nxd2 ( 6...Bxd5? 7.Nxe4 Bxe4 8.Qd4 ) 7.Qxd2 Bg7 8.O-O-O d6 9.h4 ( 9.Bh6 is obvious, and is quite good after:  9...Bf6 10.e4 ( 10.g4 [the move I analysed at the board  10...Rg8 11.e4 ( 11.Ng5 Qd7 12.Nxh7 Bh8 13.Rg1 Na6 14.Ng5 Nc5 [White is somewhat better, but Black has prospects too, despite the pawn minus] ) ( 11.g5?! Bh8 ) 11...Qd7 12.Kb1 Qxg4 13.Qe3 Ba6 14.Rg1 Qh5 15.Bg5 Bxf1 16.Bxf6 exf6 17.Rdxf1 Nd7 and Black is okay ) 10...Qd7 [to control g4 and prepare queenside castling  11.Kb1 Na6 12.Nd4 Bxd4 13.Qxd4 O-O-O 14.h4 Kb8 15.Rh3 is pleasant for White ) 9...h5 10.e4 Nd7 11.Nd4 a6 12.f3 Ne5 13.Kb1 c5 14.dxc6 Nxc6 15.Nxc6 Bxc6 16.Bc4 Qc7 17.Rhe1 b5 18.Bd5 Rc8 19.Re2 [I felt quite pleased about my position at this point, since it appears I have Russell under some pressure, but Houdini is comfortable enough with Black's position]  19...Qb7 20.Bg5 b4 21.Qd3 a5 22.Qb3 O-O 23.a4 [an important move from the standpoint of king security]  23...Rc7 24.g4 hxg4 25.fxg4 Bxd5 26.exd5 Be5 27.h5 Qa6









Moves are clickable

28.Rxe5?! ( The first move I considered, and which is the preference of Houndini is:  28.Qf3 , which, according to our silicon friend, is followed by:  28...Qc4 29.Rf2 Bd4 30.Rxd4 Qxd4 31.Bh6 Qf6 32.Qg2 Qh4 33.Bxf8 Kxf8 34.hxg6 f6 35.g5 Kg7 36.gxf6+ exf6 37.Re2 [White is clearly better, but getting to this point over-the-board would take some doing] ) 28...dxe5 29.d6? ( 29.Rh1 gxh5 30.Rxh5 Rfc8 31.Rh2 Qg6 32.Qh3 Qg7 33.Bc1 is relatively best, although Black is a little better ) 29...Qe2? [both players are basically playing on increment, and, as often the case, make back-to-back mistakes] ( 29...exd6 30.hxg6 Qc4 31.Qxc4 ( 31.gxf7+ Rfxf7 32.Rxd6 Qxb3 33.cxb3 Rf1+ 34.Ka2 Rc2 is curtains ) 31...Rxc4 32.Rxd6 Rxg4 33.gxf7+ Kxf7 and Black should win ) 30.Rd2 = ( 30.dxc7 Qxd1+ 31.Ka2 = ) 30...Qf1+ 31.Ka2 exd6 32.Rxd6 gxh5 ( 32...Qc4 is nothing special now, because White can recapture on b3 with the King  33.hxg6 fxg6 34.Rxg6+ Kf7 35.Rf6+ Kg7 36.Re6 is equal, because, once the Queens are exchanged, the e and g pawns will come off and the a5 pawn will soon follow  ) 33.Rg6+ Kh7 34.Rh6+ Kg7 35.Qe3 [Black has to be careful about moves like Bf6+ followed by Qg5+ and mate, and therefore takes the perpetual check]  35...Qc4+ 36.Ka1 Qf1+ 37.Ka2 Qc4+ 38.Ka1 Qf1+ 39.Ka2 Qc4+ 1/2-1/2

Another endgame nightmare for the webmaster unfortunately.

Forster, Bill - Stone, Andrew Julian Mazur 2015

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 Ok new plan, no more Veresovs, no more junk openings in general. Let's play real openings and principled moves.  2...g6 3.Nc3 d5 Of course the one small flaw in my otherwise cunning plan is that I don't know anything about real openings. Hmmmm, the Grunfeld. Well I do know one decent way of organising White's minor pieces, a small bit of knowledge retained from a post-mortem after being mercilessly crushed by Chris Bell in an interclub vs Upper Hutt about 30 years ago. I suspect that was the only other time I've ever ventured into a Grunfeld by the way.  4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.e4 Nxc3 6.bxc3 Bg7 7.Bc4 c5 8.Ne2 On this square the knight covers both c3 and d4 and can't be embarrased by ...Bg4 which was one of the (many) annoying things Chris Bell did.  8...Nc6 9.Be3 O-O 10.O-O Qc7









Moves are clickable

It turns out that I have managed to (almost - see below) reach an important Tabiya (basic opening position). The trouble with the Grunfeld is that White's impressive centre is going to be put under pressure. It's the sort of opening where some experience is definitely a plus.  11.Bf4 Not having experience, I went for a cheapo  11...Qd8 ( Hoping for  11...e5 12.Bg3 cxd4 13.cxd4 Nxd4?? when White has the surprising shot  14.Qxd4! exd4 15.Bxc7 and I calculated as far as  15...d3 16.Bxd3 Bxa1 17.Rxa1 with a winning position for White. Surprisingly, this line appears in my database as a junk internet game where White missed 14.Qxd4! ) 12.Be3 Qc7 Back to the pre-Tabiya. Since I was still clueless, it might have been best to save us both a lot of work and repeat again.   13.Qc2? This turns out to be a miserable move, scoring less than 30% in the database.  ( 13.Rc1 Rd8 is almost always played, then we really do have a Tabiya, i.e. a standard position in which knowledgeable players start the real game. ) 13...Na5! This is the problem with Qc2, it deprives the bishop of a retreat path.  14.Bb3 I wish I were less honest, then I could avoid revealing the embarrassing truth behind this apparently obvious move. ( I almost played  14.Bd3?? instead, after which I expected  14...cxd4?? ( 14...c4! is an obvious knockout ) 15.cxd4 Qxc2 16.Bxc2 which I evaluated as better for Black, and worse boring and depressing for me. I've been reading John Nunn's Lasker book, and in this situation it saved me, in a way that John Nunn would probably find disappointing and embarrassing. Apparently Lasker would employ the psychological trick of giving his opponent unexpected choices to give them a chance to waste time and energy, and possibly make mistakes. I decided Bb3 would force Black to choose between the line already given, which he can still play, and an alternative line that's probably even better for him, but more unbalanced and complex with more scope for interesting play  ) 14...Nxb3 In reality of course I was not really making a Lasker like subtle ploy, I was simply playing a forced line, but what they hey, it led to an interesting game, and Andrew plays his part by keeping the Queens on.  15.Qxb3 cxd4 16.cxd4 Be6









 

Another lapse in my chess thinking helped keep me alive. When I was thinking about Bb3 or Bd3 I planned d5 at this point, not noticing it would expose my Ra1. If I had not lapsed in this way I would almost certainly have played Bd3 and lost immediately!  17.Qd1 It's very annoying how Black now gets time for Bc4. So annoying that I considered playing ( 17.d5 Bxa1 18.Rxa1 Bd7 as a sacrifice, but I wimped out. I decided ...f6 would shield the dark squares, and that before long the Black rooks would be rampant in the wide open queenside spaces ) 17...Bc4 18.Qd2 Black has a solid positional advantage with two good bishops, continuing pressure on my centre, and scope for an annoying Queenside advance. My space advantage means less than nothing as Black only has two minor pieces to find room for and they are now both menacingly posted.  18...Rfd8 19.Rfc1 b5 20.Rab1 Qd6 21.d5?! I knew I was in trouble, but at least it's getting a bit messy and there's scope for creating complications that could go either way. Advancing one of the phalanx pawns is double edged, but hopefully I will get to use my otherwise passive minor pieces now  21...Qa3 22.Nd4 Qd3! I missed this, which basically refutes 22.Nd4. Oh well, I now have to go all in  23.Nc6 Rd7 24.f3 e6? Not the best, the comp recommends swapping Queens first when Black profits from a d file pin against the undefended Bd2  25.Qf2? I in turn could have used a d file pin to equalise by playing.  ( 25.Qxd3 Bxd3 26.dxe6 fxe6 27.Rd1 ) 25...exd5 Play gets a bit random around here  26.Nb4 ( 26.Rd1 is better ) 26...Qe2 ( 26...Qa3 leads to Black hanging on to his extra pawn ) 27.Qxe2 Bxe2 28.Nxd5 Bc4 29.Rd1









 

Now I finally have a threat  29...Re8? Which Andrew saw, but then forgot about during a long think. (One of my favourite tricks actually) ( To be fair, Stockfish only maintains an advantage for Black with the rather inhuman   29...Kh8 ) 30.Nf6+ Bxf6 31.Rxd7 White should win from here, but let's not forget who's handling the White pieces  31...a5 32.Bd4 Be6 33.Rd6 Be7 34.Rb6 b4 35.Rb2 Rd8 36.Be3 Rd3 37.Kf2 Kg7 38.Rc2 a4 39.Ke2 Ra3 40.Bd4+ Kh6 41.Be3+ Kg7 42.Bd4+ Kh6









 

I now had my last decent think of the game. It looked to me as if the a-pawn is dropping and that I might be in real danger of losing. So the repetition was a bit tempting. Naturally Stockfish is completely sanguine and assigns the highest advantage to either player in the game to date to White here. Bloody computers. Suddenly though, I had a (brilliant?) idea  43.Rxe6!? Stockfish hates this move but what would he know about chess, really. Even in the light of day I quite fancy my concept.  43...fxe6 44.Bb2 Trapping the rook  44...Rxa2?? Andrew misses my idea ( I expected  44...b3 45.Bxa3 bxc2 46.Bc1+ and my King will pick up the c-pawn. Compared to the position before 43.Rxe6 my material advantage is reduced but importantly all the drama has been sucked out of the position and I should win and certainly won't lose. ) 45.Bc1+ ( Andrew only considered  45.Bg7+ it's well known that strong backwards moves are easy to miss ) 45...Kg7 46.Rxa2 a3









 

The scene is set for another epic Forster late night time trouble endgame meltdown. If I had been able to summon up just a little brain power, I would have realised that b3 is not even a threat as I can then calmly play Rxa3. So I can just bring my King over, mop up the annoying pawns and win easily with my (let's not forget!) whole extra rook. Instead I see ghosts and think I have to give up most of my cunningly aquired material advantage  47.Bb2+?? This isn't even slightly logical, I am trying to leave Black with a b-pawn not a more remote a-pawn but if he moves his King I won't manage even that.  47...axb2 However it's much more sensible to grab the piece in case I come to my senses and realise that after ( 47...Kf7 48.Bc1 b3 49.Rxa3 is an easy win for White, as before ) 48.Rxb2 I am still winning, but some finesse and skill is required and I'm in full blown panic mode still and can't provide it.  48...h5 49.Kd3 Kf6 50.Kc4 g5 51.Rxb4 Bxb4 52.Kxb4 Ke5

 

I think that if I hadn't so recently been a whole rook up I might have summoned the presence of mind to realise that I can retreat my King in time and enjoy a simple extra pawn win. Now I violate one of my personal favourite endgame rules: When ahead don't get involved in commital tempo races unless absolutely necessary. Prefer calm positions, the ideal is serene symmetry plus your (hopefully winning) material advantage. Instead I commit to a mad race, going after the e6 pawn, whilst Black eats my pawns. I am a couple of tempi too slow.  53.Kc5?? g4!! The only drawing move, the rest is routine  54.Kc6 gxf3 55.gxf3 h4 56.Kd7 h3 57.Ke7 Kf4 58.Kxe6 Kxf3 59.e5 Kg2 60.Kf5 Kxh2 61.e6 Kg2 62.e7 h2 63.e8=Q h1=Q 64.Qe4+ Kg1 65.Qxh1+ Kxh1 1/2-1/2

Round 7

Ker, Anthony - Forster, Bill Julian Mazur 2015

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Bc4 I didn't watch Anthony make this move carefully enough. I saw him grab something from his kingside and move it towards the queenside, and wrote down the expected Nxd4. Then I looked up and saw that I had to correct my scoresheet, and that, much worse, several hours of prep were wasted. I knew Anthony used to play the Scotch Gambit. I knew it wasn't very good. That was the extent of my book knowledge and in these sort of sharp positions that's definitely not ideal! Oh well, fall back to first principles - develop pieces, fight for central control, that sort of thing.  4...Nf6 5.O-O Bc5 6.e5 d5! An important resource and a good pattern to know - if you can react to e5 this way it's basically always the right thing to do. Of course you can't do it if you have a bishop on e7 or g7 because then White captures two pieces while you capture one.   7.exf6 dxc4 8.Re1+ Be6 Of course you have to let White have a pawn on g7 but its bark is worse than its bite (we're going to castle queenside) and in return you get a massive central presence  9.Ng5 Qd5 ( After Ng5 I deperately wanted to play  9...Qxf6?? of course, that way it looks as if I remain a pawn up, without the structural damage on g7, a big centre and even a development advantage. But why would a borderline genius like Anthony Ker allow such a thing? I smelled a big hairy rat. Eventually I saw the problem  10.Nxe6 fxe6 11.Qh5+ wins the bishop on c5 ) 10.Nc3 Qf5 11.Nce4 O-O-O 12.fxg7 Rhg8 13.g4 This worried me, I have been compelled to put my Queen into an advanced spot and of course I was worried about it getting trapped (or driven from the defence of Bc5). So I was on the lookout for g4 but had discounted it now my Be6 is unpinned because I can take it with check. But of course then the Bc5 drops off.  13...Qe5 Phew, this is obviously forced, but it felt wrong and I was pleasantly surprised that I couldn't see a discovery that was going to hurt me. Actually I did see a way for White to win material, but I could see that it would rebound.  14.Nxe6 Bugger, I was hoping for ( 14.Nf3? Qxg7! Wins outright as it happens ( not  14...Qd5 15.Nf6 ) 15.Nxc5? White definitely can't take the bishop  15...Bxg4 My intention although Qxg4+ is even better  16.Kf1 and my intended  16...Qf6 not only wins the piece back, it's totally winning, Bh3+ is even better ) 14...fxe6 15.Bh6 I now settled into a long think. After a while I decided that I had to try to use the massed forces I have assembled in the centre for immediate counterplay, so on principle  15...d3! To my amazement Anthony replied instantaneously  16.c3!

Moves are clickable

It turns out that this position has been reached many times before, and d3 countered by c3 is more or less automatic. The computer confirms these are the best moves. As far as I know Anthony might well have been still in book! Basically we have been in standard Max Lange Attack theory the whole time. I thought we might have transposed into the Max Lange (a variation of the Two Knights defence), but I really wasn't sure. The last time I looked at it was when I annotated Stone-Van der Hoorn in the 2013 Autumn cup.  16...Bd6 This move has been played before by one of my chess heroes, in Marshall-Tarrasch Ostend 1910! 16...d2 is more common but the computer approves of Bd6. My idea was to force f4 to loosen the White king and to prevent Qf3 threatening Nf6  17.f4 Bc5+? This is a mistake, I wanted to pin the knight to stop Nf6, but after  ( 17...Qd5 18.Nf6?? is a terrible mistake allowing mate in three after  18...Bc5+ Since the Bishop is heading to e7 anyway, I could have saved a tempo. The lesson is: Keep checks in reserve unless you have a good reason to play them immediately ) 18.Kg2 Qd5 19.Qf3 Be7 20.Rad1 A really complicated unbalanced position, with chances for both sides. Positions like this make chess a fun game. I took some time here trying to find a good plan, the knight on e4 is a great piece and restricts me a lot. Eventually I came up with  20...Rd7 21.Rf1 Bd8 22.h4 Rf7 I was pleased with this regrouping and I was rewarded with one of the slight sighs that is characteristic of Anthony if he isn't 100% happy. To be fair this is his only tell, apart from this he never shows any emotion. He sunk into a deep think here  23.Nd2?  ( After the game I said to Anthony that Nd2 must be wrong. He agreed and said he should have played  23.Ng5?? instead. What do you play then? he asked me. My intention was Bxg5 with the hope rather than the expectation of weathering the big pawn storm coming. But strangely  23...Rf6! is available, simply winning the bishop! ) 23...Bf6 Anthony missed this simple move, now Black is on top  24.Qxd5 exd5 25.g5 Bxg7 26.Bxg7 Rfxg7 27.Rde1 Re7 28.Rxe7 Nxe7 29.f5 h6!?

 

My last good idea in the game, I plan to give up my Knight to liquidate the kingside pawns, and then play an ending with 3 pawns for a piece. If the extra pawns are secure, that's normally a good strategy. Ironically it comes back to bite me later in the game.  30.f6 hxg5 Anthony missed this resource  31.f7 Avoiding my idea ( 31.fxe7 gxh4+ 32.Kh3 Re8 33.Rf7 Kd7 34.Kxh4 Rxe7 35.Rxe7+ Kxe7 And it will be hard for me to lose (although the way I play these endings with no time, anything is possible) ) 31...Rf8 32.h5? After this I should win  32...Nc6? My brain starts its characteristic late game meltdown - believe it or not my idea was to route the Knight to g6 - I didn't notice it could go there in one move as soon as the h pawn moves! The separated passers aren't actually dangerous and objectively Black is just two pawns up!   33.h6 Ne5 34.h7 Ng6 I've wasted two whole tempi that could have activated my king or secured my pawn chain, but I'm still better.  35.Kg3 Kd7 36.Rf5 Ke7? ( 36...Ke6! I didn't notice he was attacking d5! ) 37.Rxd5 Now the position is level again  37...c6 38.Rxg5 Kxf7 39.Nxc4 Rh8 40.Rh5 Kg7 41.Kf3 Rxh7 42.Rxh7+ Kxh7 43.Ke3

 

43...d2? I thought this pawn was doomed anyway, so why not slightly misplace one of the White pieces. But after this White is just a little better for the first time (my King is offside). This is all Anthony needs to win. ( After the game Nic Croad pointed out  43...b5! and if the Knight moves I can hold the extra pawn with Ne5. White can draw if he plays accurately. ) 44.Nxd2 Kg7 45.Ne4 Kf8 46.Nd6 b5 47.Kd4 Ke7 48.Nc8+ Kd7 49.Nxa7 Kc7 My last mistake ( 49...Kd6! keeping the king out draws ) 50.Kc5 Ne5 I thought I'd trapped the Knight and was maybe even winning  51.Nxb5+! Bugger, I missed that idea.  51...cxb5 52.Kxb5 Now I am on the wrong end of the piece versus three extra pawns equation. Writing about a similar position in the NZ Chess Mag recently I said that this is like being staked out in the sun to be eaten alive by ants. Exactly how it felt.   52...Nd3 53.b4 Maybe there is some way to make life difficult for White, but I wasn't up to it. The only ideas I had were to organise a blockade or to sacrifice the Knight for two pawns at a time when the resulting position is a draw. I never came close to making either idea work, but Stockfish seems to be able to hold...   53...Ne5 ...although not after this  54.a4 Kb7 55.a5 Nd3 56.c4 Ne5 57.c5 Nc6 58.a6+ Kc7 59.Kc4 Ne5+ 60.Kd5 Nd3 61.b5 Nf4+ 62.Kc4 Ne6 63.b6+ Kb8 64.c6

 

Black has material equality but White has a slight positional advantage 1-0

Round 6

Round 6 of the Julian Mazur saw the four top seeds playing on the top two boards. I didn't see much of Dive-Croad, but it looked like a patented Dive big crush from a Maroczy-ish type setup. Nic either sacrificed or lost an exchange for insufficient (perhaps non-existent) compensation. Wastney-Ker saw the classic "Anthony's 5...c5 Pirc is a target for a well prepared player..." scenario played out yet again. Interestingly Scott varied from the 7.Qd4 system with which he has done very well, for the other main option at the Wellington Chess Club in this scenario, 6.Bb5+. (Ian Sellen scored with that one a couple of years ago, and even your humble webmaster has achieved a couple of winning positions - although sadly just one draw to show for it). I didn't see exactly what happened, but presumably things didn't go smoothly for White this time, Scott used a lot of time only to reach an inferior (although hugely complicated) ending. Very unusually, Anthony despite having plenty of clock time proceeded to butcher that ending.

This week I received two games, Phillip Coghini provides some quirky annotations for his nice crush against Ed Sarfas, and Josh Wight gained a nice scalp, accounting for the veteran Don Stracy.

Coghini, Phillip - Sarfas, Edward Julian Mazur Memorial 2015

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.Nc3 Bb7 5.e3 Bb4 6.Bd2 O-O 7.Bd3 d6 8.Qe2 h6 9.e4 d5 10.e5 Interesting Fritzy prefers slightly cxd5, but I like e5  10...Bxc3 11.bxc3 Ughh, I had a wee think, normally I don't like double pawns but I gauged that double pawns are better than a lost tempo for the bishop which is only blocked by pawns on d4 and e5.  11...Ne4 Mr Sarfas places his cool Knight to its most devastating square - Fritzy likes this move too  12.O-O Nd7 13.Ne1

Moves are clickable

Re route the Knight to c2 then aim for e3, as well as create options to get rid of the pesty Knight (or make a decision) with f3.  13...Qh4 For Black... Fritzy gives huge advantage to Nxd2. ( 13...Nxd2 14.Qxd2 Nxe5! ) 14.f3 Nxd2 Yeap good move - damn I'll miss this bishop (Fritzy likes Blacks move too). Looks like my pawns on black squares are a surrogate for my now missing black bishop (albeit not as good).  15.Qxd2 c5 Fritzy suggests that dxc5 is better  16.Nc2 Wasn't sure if g3 or f4 is better - anyway the Ne1 is misplaced at least now it's doing something useful (if limited).  16...Rad8 Fritzy baby suggests cxd4 or dxc4 is winning advantage for black.  17.cxd5 I was proud of this move - it achieves a few things at once - get rid of the double pawns - also potentially wins a free tempo with c4 if Bxd5, and if exd5 blocks off the Bishop's diagonal and makes the Rd8 look a bit redundant, not to mention creates a potential passed pawn or kingside pawn majority of 4 to 3.  17...exd5 18.f4 Nb8 19.Ne3 Bc8 20.Rf2 f6 21.Nxd5!? With the threat of the pin with Bc4  21...fxe5 22.dxe5 Fritzy gives g3 with a huge advantage to white - so I'm an idiot! I was thinking it but not enough to execute - so I'm a feeble idiot.  22...Be6 23.c4 Nc6 24.g3 Qh5 25.Be4 Bf5 26.Qd3 Kh8 27.Bxf5 Rxf5 28.Qe4 Rff8 29.Re1 Nd4 30.Kg2 To improve the position of the King (ever so slowly) - but really to stop Qh3 - and support the future h3 move.  30...Rd7 ooh he's tempting me - I wasn't sure if I should move e6, but could see imaginary ghost with Rd6 and then kaa powl Rxe6  31.h3 Ne6 32.g4 Qh4 33.f5 Nd4 34.Nf4 This move gives white a winning advantage - just hope I don't stuff it up! As they say its harder to win a won game sometimes.  34...Kg8 35.Ng6 Qd8 36.e6 Re7 37.Nxf8 Damn Fritzy see's something better Qd5 instead of the greedy Nxf8.  37...Qxf8 38.Qd5 Qc8 39.Rd2 Kh7 40.h4 Qf8 41.Rf2 Qf6

 

42.Kg3 Fritzy gives g5 as stronger aarrgh ( 42.g5! hxg5 43.hxg5 Qxg5+ 44.Kh1 with Rh2 and Qd8 to come ) 42...Qf8 43.g5 Qb8+ 44.Kg4 Kg2 is stronger not the idiot move Kg4  44...Qe8 45.Rf4 h5+ 46.Kg3 Qb8 47.f6! gxf6 48.Re4 gxf6 is waaay better thanks to fritzy  48...fxg5 49.hxg5 Kg6 50.Re5 Qe8 51.Rf6+ Kg7 52.Qe4 Nc6 53.Rd5 Qb8+ 54.Kh3 Kg8 55.Rd7 Rg7 56.Rxg7+ Black resigns 1-0

Stracy - Wight Julian Mazur 2015

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bc4 g6 4.c3 f5 5.d3 fxe4 6.dxe4 Bh6 7.Bd2 Qf6 8.Bxg8 Bxd2+ 9.Nbxd2 Rxg8 10.O-O Nc6 11.Re1 Be6 12.Nf1 O-O-O 13.Ne3 Rd7 14.Qd2 Rgd8 15.Nd5 Bxd5 16.exd5 Ne7 17.Rad1 Kb8 18.c4 c6 19.Rc1 Rc8 20.Rc2 cxd5 21.cxd5 Rxc2 22.Qxc2 Nxd5 23.Qc4 Ne7 24.Rc1 Nc6 25.a3 Rc7 26.b4 Qd8 27.Qe4 Ne7 28.Qb1 Qc8 29.Rxc7 Qxc7 30.Qd1 Nf5 31.h3 Qc3 32.g4 Nd4

Moves are clickable

33.Nxd4 exd4! After some rather unconventional play, Josh has emerged with a winning material advantage He finishes the game in fine style.  34.Kg2 d3 35.Qf3 a6 36.Qf8+ Ka7 37.Qxd6 d2 38.Qd5 Qc6 0-1

Round 5

A theoretical battle on one of the top boards.

Wastney - Perry Julian Mazur 2015

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6 6.Be3 Bg7 7.f3 Nc6 8.Qd2 O-O 9.O-O-O d5 10.Kb1 Nxd4 11.e5 Nf5 12.exf6 exf6 13.Bc5 d4 14.Bxf8 Qxf8 15.Nb5 Ne3 16.Rc1 This is all theory..  16...f5 ( 16...Bh6 and eventually 1/2-1/2 in 71 was Short-Carlsen London 2009 ) 17.Nxd4 f4 18.c3 Be6

Moves are clickable

The first new move of the game, and likely not the best option.  ( 18...Qc5 and ) ( 18...Qd6 have been tried before ) 19.Nxe6 fxe6 20.Bd3 Rd8 21.Qe2 Qd6 22.Be4 b5 23.Qxb5 Rb8 24.Qe2 Qa3 25.Ka1 Qc5 26.Qa6 Nc4 27.Qxe6+ Kh8 28.b3 ( 28.Rhd1! Nxb2 29.Qd6 and White takes over ) 28...Nd2 29.Kb2 Nc4+ ( Scott was concerned (I think - this is based on a chat after the game without reference to a board or scoresheet) about  29...Rc8 but the computer thinks Roger made the right decision to go for the repetition  30.a3! Bxc3+ 31.Ka2 and Black is not co-ordinating very well and the White rooks take over fairly soon ) 30.Ka1 Nd2 31.Kb2 Nc4+ 32.Ka1 Nd2 1/2-1/2

Andrew Brockway provides some very entertaining analysis of his battle with Brian Nijman.

Brockway, Andrew - Nijman, Brian Julian Mazur 2015

1.e4 Always good to play Brian. We have had a few enjoyable games. Normally with me on the losing side. I am ready for the Caro Kann, French Defence or Sicilian.   1...g6 Oops the Modern. Oh well, guess I will just have to play some sensible moves.   2.d4 Bg7 3.Nf3 c5 4.c3 cxd4 5.cxd4 d5 6.e5 Nc6 7.Nc3 Bg4 According to Hiarcs we are in a book position here so I can't have gone too far astray.   8.Be2 Out of the Hiarcs book now.   8...Bxf3 9.Bxf3 e6 Here I was concerned about the Knight getting to f5 but realised after Ne7 I could play Bg5, exchange and I thought my bishop would be better but Brian has a well placed knight and my d pawn would be weak.   10.O-O Nge7 11.Bg5 Qb6 12.Bxe7 Kxe7

Moves are clickable

Now I wasn't sure what to do. Could I let my b pawn drop and get play on the open file? (Yes according to the analysis below). I didn't fancy losing the d pawn and most likely the e pawn as well. So I pondered for a while and eventually spotted bxd5 which leads to quite a sharp position.   13.Bxd5 ( 13.Ne2 Qxb2 14.Rb1 Qxa2 15.Rxb7+ Ke8 ) 13...Rhd8 14.Na4 ( 14.Bxc6 bxc6 ( 14...Rxd4 15.Qf3 Qxc6 ( 15...bxc6 16.Rfe1 ) 16.Qxc6 bxc6 17.Rfe1 With an equal position according to Hiarcs.  ) 15.Qe2 Rxd4 16.Rad1 Rad8 With an equal position according to Hiarcs.  ) 14...Qb4 ( 14...Qxd4 15.Qxd4 Nxd4 16.Bxb7 Rab8 17.Ba6 Bxe5 18.Rae1 ) 15.a3 Again bxc6 (which I almost did this time) is better.   15...Qxd4 16.Bxc6 ( 16.Qxd4 Nxd4 17.Bxb7 Rab8 18.Ba6 ) 16...bxc6 17.Qc2 Bxe5 18.Rad1 Qf4 19.g3 Qf3

 

Brian repositions his queen nicely. I didn't anticipate this but I am pretty sure he did.   20.Rxd8 A mistake.   20...Rxd8 21.Rc1 Brian notes after the game that he didn't consider this move for me with the key reason being it is not great.   21...Kf6 22.Nc3 Bxc3 Hiarcs doesn't like this.   23.Qxc3+ Qxc3 24.Rxc3 Rd6 I thought I could possibly draw this ending. Well most likely a grandmaster would.   25.Rc5 Ke7 26.Kf1 Kd7 27.Ke2 Kc7 28.Rc4 Rd5 29.b4 e5 30.f4 exf4 31.Rxf4 f5 32.g4 fxg4 33.Rxg4 Kd6 34.Rc4 a5 35.bxa5 Rxa5 36.a4 Rh5 37.h4 Kd5 38.Kd3 Rf5 39.Rd4+ Kc5

 

So far not too bad. But now I blunder and Brian pounces.   40.Ke3 Rf3+ 41.Ke4 Rf4 was killing.   41...Rh3 Good enough I thought at the time. Now I am going to lose at least one more pawn.  ( 41...Rf4+ 42.Kxf4 Kxd4 43.a5 Kc5 ) 42.Rd7 Rxh4+ 43.Kd3 h5 44.a5 Kb5 45.Rd6 Rg4 46.a6 Kxa6 47.Rxc6+ Kb5 48.Rc8 Rf4 49.Ke3 Rf5 50.Ke4 Rf6 51.Rd8 Kc5 52.Rd5+ Kc6 53.Rd1 Rd6 54.Rg1 Re6+ 55.Kf4 Kd6 56.Rg5 ( 56.Kg5 Looking at my rook ending book I think after Kg5 the game could be drawn with best play. The analysis from Hiarcs certainly doesn't appear to be making progress for white.   56...Kd5 57.Rd1+ Kc4 58.Rd8 Rb6 59.Rd2 Rc6 -1.80/40   60.Rd8 Kc5 61.Rd1 Rb6 62.Rd2 Rd6 63.Rc2+ Kb5 64.Rc7 Re6 65.Rc1 Rc6 66.Rd1 Kc5 67.Rd2 Ra6 68.Rd1 Kb4 69.Rc1 Rb6 70.Rc2 Kb5 71.Rc1 Re6 72.Rb1+ Kc4 73.Rd1 Rb6 74.Rd7 Kc5 75.Rd2 ) 56...Ke7 57.Ra5 Kf6 58.Ra8 g5+ 59.Kf3 Kg7 60.Ra7+ Kg6 61.Ra1 Kf5 62.Ra5+ Re5 63.Ra1 g4+ 64.Kg3 Re3+ 65.Kg2 Kg5 66.Ra5+ Kh4 67.Ra1 Re2+ 68.Kf1 Rb2 69.Kg1 Kh3 70.Kh1 g3 71.Kg1 h4 72.Rc1 Rb3 73.Rd1 Kg4 74.Rd4+ Kf3 75.Rd1 Re3 76.Rf1+ Kg4 77.Ra1 h3 78.Rf1 Re2 79.Ra1 h2+ 80.Kh1 Kh3 0-1

Round 3

Ian Sellen and Phillip Coghini had a crazy game.

Ian Sellen - Phillip Coghini Julian Mazur Memorial 2015

1.c4 Nf6 2.g3 c6 3.Bg2 g6 4.e3 Bg7 5.Ne2 e6 6.O-O d5 7.d3 O-O 8.Nbc3 Nbd7 9.b3 Re8 10.Rb1 a5 11.a4 Bf8 12.d4 b6 13.e4 dxe4 14.Nxe4 Bb7 15.N2c3 Nxe4 16.Nxe4 f5 17.Ng5 h6 18.Nh3 Nf6 19.Nf4 Kh7 20.Bb2 Rb8 21.Re1 Bd6 22.Nxe6 Qd7 23.d5 cxd5 24.cxd5

Moves are clickable

24...Bb4 25.Qd4 Bxe1 26.Qxf6 Bb4 27.g4!? I wish I could add extra ! and ? characters  27...Qe7 28.Qe5 Bd6 29.Qd4 Bc8 30.gxf5 gxf5 31.Bh3 Rg8+ 32.Kf1 Ba6+ 33.Ke1 Qf7 34.Rc1 Bb4+ 35.Bc3 Rbc8 36.Kd2 Qh5 37.Nf4 Qg5 38.Qe5 Rgf8 39.Bxb4 Rce8 40.Qc7+ Kg8 41.Bxf8 Kxf8 42.Qd6+ Kg7 43.Rc7+ Kg8 44.Qg6+ Qxg6 45.Nxg6 Re2+ 46.Kc3 Rxf2 47.Kd4 Rxh2 48.Bxf5 Rd2+ 49.Ke5 Re2+ 50.Kf6 Rf2 51.Rg7# 1-0

Round 2

Andrew Stone trapped Layla Timergazi's queen in the opening. I think Layla's resignation was premature. As the classic game Forster-Nyberg Wanganui 2005 demonstrated perfectly two pieces are much better than a queen!

Timergazi - Stone Julian Mazur 2015

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e5 3.dxe5 Ne4 4.Nf3 b6 5.Qd5 Bb7 6.Qxb7 Nc6 7.Qa6 Bb4+

Moves are clickable

...Nc5 is going to trap the queen 0-1

In contrast, Lawrence put up tenacious resistance and Brian had to use all his skill and experience to slowly wear him down

Farrington, Lawrence - Nijman, Brian Julian Mazur 2015

1.e4 g6 2.d4 Bg7 3.Nc3 c5 4.dxc5 Qa5 5.Bd2 Qxc5 6.Nge2 d6 7.Be3 Qa5 8.Nd4 Nc6 9.a3 Bd7 10.b4 Qc7 11.Nd5 Qd8 12.c3 Rc8 13.Rc1 Nf6 14.Nxf6+ Bxf6 15.Be2 O-O 16.O-O Qc7 17.f4 Rfd8 18.Bg4 Bxg4 19.Qxg4 Qd7 20.Qe2 d5 21.e5 Bg7 22.Nxc6 Rxc6 23.Bd4 e6 24.Rf3 Ra6 25.Ra1 Rc8 26.Qc2 Ra4 27.Qb3 Qb5 28.Ra2 a5 29.Rb2 axb4 30.axb4 Rca8 31.h3 Bf8 32.Qc2 Ra1+ 33.Kh2 Be7 34.Qd3 Qa4 35.Qc2 Qc6 36.Qe2 Bh4 37.g3 Be7 38.Rf1 Qa4 39.Rxa1 Qxa1 40.Kg2 h5 41.Qf2 h4 42.g4 Qc1 43.Rc2 Qb1 44.Rb2 Qd3 45.Rd2 Qe4+ 46.Qf3 Qb1

Moves are clickable

47.Rd1? ( 47.Qd1 ) 47...Ra2+ 48.Bf2 Qc2 49.Kg1 Ra3 -/+ 50.Bd4 Kh7? ( 50...Bxb4 ) 51.Qd3? ( 51.Rf1 = ) 51...Qxd3 52.Rxd3 Bxb4 53.g5 b5 54.Kg2 Ba5 55.Re3 Ra2+ 56.Kf3 Kg7 57.Bc5 Rc2 58.Bd4 Kf8 59.Kg4 Ke8 60.Kxh4 b4?! ( 60...Kd7 ) 61.cxb4 Bxb4 62.Kg3 Rc4 63.Rd3 Kd7 64.Ba7?! ( 64.Kf3 ) 64...Kc6 65.Bb8?! Rc3 66.Rxc3+ Bxc3 67.Kf2 Kc5 68.Ke3 Kc4 69.Ke2 Kd4 70.Kf3 Kd3 71.h4 Kc2 72.f5 exf5 73.h5 gxh5 74.e6 fxe6 75.g6 Bg7 ( 75...d4?? 76.g7 ) 76.Bf4 d4 77.Ke2 d3+ 78.Ke1 h4 79.Bg5 h3 80.Kf2 e5 81.Kg3 f4+ 0-1

Round 1

The Julian Mazur got off to a fabulous start with two remarkable upsets in round 1. Normally you might expect such results to be anomolies caused by blunders, but not this time. Both games were stonking attacking wins! Well done Andreas Theodosiou and Phillip Coghini.

Coghini - Croad Julian Mazur 2015 2015

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 b6 4.Nc3 Bb7 5.e3 Bb4 6.Be2 ( 6.Bd3 is the normal move. It's easy for a strong player to relax when they see an unnatural move like this, as if they sense (wrongly) that nothing can go badly today... ) 6...Ne4 7.Bd2 Bxc3 8.Bxc3 Nxc3 9.bxc3 O-O 10.O-O d6 11.Bd3 The bishop goes where it really belongs   11...Nd7 12.e4 e5 In these kind of positions it is normal for Black to play like this, looking for a locked pawn structure that suits his bishop and lames White's  13.Re1 Qf6 14.Qa4 Rfd8 15.Re3 exd4 16.cxd4 c5 17.e5! ( I was about to praise the positional merits of this move versus the alternative advance  17.d5 (see previous comment about pawn structures) when I noticed there are other reasons to avoid d5! ) 17...dxe5 18.d5 This is okay now without a blocking pawn on e4, of course White is a pawn down...   18...g6 ( 18...Qe7 19.Rae1 f6 holds the pawn, but then  20.Nh4! is hard to meet ) ( Nic has emailed in to point out that he originally intended the trick  18...e4?! attacking the rook on a1, but noticed too late that White has a nice back rank counter trick  19.Rae1 exd3? 20.Qxd7! and wins ) 19.Rae1 So White recovers his pawn with advantage  19...a6 20.Nxe5 Nxe5 21.Rxe5 b5 22.Qa5 bxc4 23.Bxc4 Qf4 24.Qc3 Qd4 25.Qb3 Rab8

Moves are clickable

26.d6!? Unleashing the hounds. The computer signals 0.00 but it's definitely easier to play White  26...Bxg2 27.Bxf7+ Kg7 ( apparently getting the King further from harms way with  27...Kh8 is right, although the move played seems natural ) 28.Qg3 Ba8? This is fatal ( 28...Kxf7 or ) ( 28...Rf8 limit the damage ) 29.Re7! Kh8 30.d7 Qf6 31.Bc4! After a big think. White avoids bank rank tricks now as Bf1 is available  31...Bc6 32.Qh3 h5 33.Qg3 h4 34.Qh3? A pity, this is Phillip's only weak move in the concluding phase ( 34.Qe3! is the only really strong move, and it's an instant kill   34...g5 35.Qd3 ) 34...Rb2? ( Black can fight with  34...Rf8 35.Qe3 Qf4 ) 35.Re8+!

 

Back on track, the remaining moves were played quickly and decisively by Phillip  35...Kg7 36.R1e7+ Kh6 37.Qe3+ g5 38.Re6 Rb1+ 39.Bf1 Rxf1+ 40.Kxf1 Bb5+ 41.Ke1 1-0

Theodosiou - Jackson Julian Mazur 2015

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 Nbd7 7.Bc4 Qa5 8.Bd2? ( 8.Qd2 is the normal move, played by Mikhail Tal (to name one great player) 7 times ) 8...Qc5! Winning a piece  9.Bxf7+ White gets a rather nice attacking position and a serious development lead for his piece, giving reasonable practical chances  9...Kxf7 10.Be3 Qc7 11.O-O e6 12.f4 b5 13.f5!

Moves are clickable

Andreas has played good natural moves, and now opens lines, White's comp is growing!  13...Ne5? This is probably Black's worse move of the game, which says a lot. Basically Ross didn't do too much wrong, which makes Andreas' win all the more meritorious! ( 13...e5 14.Ne6 is rather annoying, but this is worse ) 14.Nxe6 ( White could win in Tal like fashon with  14.fxe6+ Ke8 15.Rxf6! but this isn't too bad either ) 14...Bxe6 15.fxe6+ Ke8 ( 15...Kxe6 16.Rxf6+! is somewhat fatal ) 16.Nd5 Nxd5 17.exd5 White is only a little material down and has a much easier position to play  17...Be7 18.Bd4 Bf6 19.Bxe5 dxe5? ( Black has to play  19...Bxe5 and allow  20.Rf7 ) 20.d6!

 

Diagram please! White is now winning, the advanced duo are crushing - don't forget that Black's king has moved so castling is not a legal option!  20...Qb6+ 21.Kh1 h5 22.Qd5 Ra7 23.Rae1 Qb7 24.Qd3! Andreas is merciless in this phase - he avoids a queen swap and targets the weakness on g6  24...Ra8 ( 24...Rh6 25.d7+ Kd8 26.Rxf6 Rxf6 27.e7+ Kxe7 28.d8=Q+ is not difficult to find ) 25.Qg6+ Kd8

 

26.Rxf6! Yes! Andreas plunges the dagger into the dentist's heart! Well done Andreas, play like this every week please.  26...Qd5 27.Qxg7 1-0