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woensdag 8 juli 2015

The Amsterdam Pub Crawlers' tournament

In this year's Amsterdam Pub Crawlers' tournament, held on 5th July, I was lucky enough to be paired with former winner, Ivo Timmermans. This is the resulting sob-story. We started and continued very well, scoring 8/10 in the first five rounds, my own score on board 2 being a perfect 5/5. In round 6 we were paired against the formidable Li Riemersma and Eddy Sibbing. Playing black against Sibbing, I got lucky when he dropped a pawn for no compensation and won quickly. Ivo's game was entirely different. His game, rook & bishop -v- rook & knight but with a pawn minus, went to the wire, finishing with 3 united black pawns marching down the kingside against Ivo's surviving (black-squared) bishop and h pawn. Riemersma's flag eventually fell in a position in which his pawns had been successfully blockaded and were destined to fall.

To the last round, then, on 10/12 with my perfect score still intact. I was paired against Hilke van den Berg with the advantage of the white pieces. After 20 moves of a Grand Prix Attack we reached the sharp position below with white to play.
The iPad version of HIARCS suggests 21 Re2 here but I thought 21 fg was winning (as indeed it is) and I played it: 21 fg cd 22 gf+ Kh8 (if 22 … Kg7 23 Qg5+ Kh8 24 Qe7 wins) 23 Ng6+! Kg7 (23 … hg?? Qh6 mate) and then needed to find 24 Ne7! +- but instead played 24 Nf8? allowing black to gain a small edge with 24 … Qf6 which he was able to convert to a win.

Ivo, meanwhile, bravely and successfully battled on for the full point, even refusing a draw in an inferior or, at best, equal position. Thus we finished on 11/14 with my score a very satisfactory 6/7, enough for a share of fourth place. Except that it could and should have been more! Had I converted what was a winning attack we would have shared first place, finishing even further above our predicted position than we did. However, the chess gods can take away as well as give, and they chose the worst possible time to hand me such a difficult position. Maybe next year will be different.


2 opmerkingen:

  1. 24.Ne7 is a nice silent move! Silent moves are not that easy to spot of course (because you don't consider them first), so you should not feel too bad about Nxf8, a "human" move :) . Still a very nice performance Clive, congratulations!