Howick-Pakuranga Chess Club News
Fairhurst Pawn 14/05/13
NOTES ON GAMES by Stan Yee
Board 1 Leo Zhu vs Thinus Barnard was a Scotch Game. The opening resulted in a position similar to the Ruy Lopez Exchange
Variation, where Black has doubled c pawns after 6...bxc6 and the light squared is Bishop lured to b7. The difference is
that White still has his light squared Bishop here, so moving away from defending the f5 square with 15...Bb7?! later proved
to be a fatal mistake. In fact 6...dxc6 was perfectly playable and better, immediately covering f5 and preparing to castle
Queenside. White seized on the weakness and played 17.Nf5! threatening the fork of the d5 Queen and the g8 King with 18.Ne7+.
The reply 17...c5?! threatening mate on g2 was somewhat premature, as it uncovered a solitary threat from the b7 Bishop and
the d5 Queen, with no possibility of support from the other Black pieces. 18.f3 would have been sufficient to parry that, but
out came a bolt with 18.Qg5! simultaneously protecting g2 and threatening Black with mate on g7. 18...g6 is forced, and Black
never recovered after the subtle 19.f3! extinguishing all Blacks hopes and freeing the White Queen for the kill. Too late was
22...c4? attacking the d3 Bishop, and better was 22...Qd4+ to gain counterplay. Choosing the wrong path was 23.Qe5? when
23.Qh6+! wins immediately, as I pointed out after the game. After 23...Ng7 24.Qxh7 Qd4+ 25.Kh1 Ne6 26.Rxe6!! fxe6 27.Nxg6+
Ke8 28.Qe7++. So 23...f6? was the final mistake, costing Black the game. The get out of jail card was 23...Ng7, which I also
pointed out, but Black is still against the wall.
Board 2 Paul Spiller vs Karl Zhu was a Bird's Opening. A typical position arose from the opening, but 11...Ne4?! allows a
self-inflicted weakness on e4 after 12.Nxe4 dxe4. Later on 15.dxc5! opened the long diagonal for the White b2 Bishop. There
was a better move instead of 16.Nc6? but with the same idea of uncovering the b2 Bishop to bear down on the Black f6 Knight.
After 16.b4! the Knight can land with tempo, after 16...Bxb4 17.Nc6 Be7 to protect the f6 Knight 18.Be5 threatening to swap
the c6 Knight for the Bishop on e7 and then 20.Bd6 to pin the e7 Queen to the f8 Rook. Black does not have to take on b4 but
still cannot stop the Bishop landing on e5, thus severely restricting the movement of the Black army. Back to the game.
After 16...Qxf4?! 17.Be5! I thought 17...Qf5 was a mistake as it leaves the threat of a Knight fork on e7, with the g8 King.
Taking the pawn with 17...Bxe3+ appears logical but is fraught with danger, as after 18.Kh1 the Black Queen has nowhere to
hide and must sacrifice itself with 18...Ng4 19.Bxf4 Nf2+ 20.Kg1 Nxh3+ 21.Kf1 Nxf4 and the White Queen is more active than
the Black Rook and Bishop. I thought the cunning 17...Qg5! was the safest square and there is absolutely nothing White can do
about it. Too late was 18...a6? and developing the c8 Bishop would have been the simplest move. After 19.Rf1! the game is
lost for Black, but after 19...Qg4 20.Bxf6? was a mistake, only because 20.Rxf6! wins a piece as after 20...Qxe2 21.Bxe2
gxf6 22.Bxf6 there is a mate threat with 23.Rg3 or if the h7 pawn moves, then mate on h8. So forced is 22...Re8 23.b4 Bd6
(the Bishop has no good square) 24.Rh5 (threatening 25.Rg5+) 24...Be7 25.Nxe7+ Rxe7 26.Bxe7 and white is still a piece up.
Board 3 Daniel Gong vs Ben Lim was a Sicilian Defence Scheveningen Classical Variation. A typical position arose from the
opening, but 13...Qc4?! was a bit adventurist and leaves the b7 Bishop unguarded. 14.e5! and Black is caught with his pants
down. The followup with 15.Nxd5?! was not so good, and 15.exd6! Bf6 would have kept the pressure on. Blindness is creeping
in with 17.Qf2?! forgetting about the e5 pawn under multiple attack. Playing safe was 18...0-0 but 18...Nxe5 was perfectly
playable. After 23.Bd4? Ng4! destroys the White Kingside pawns and leaves the Knight with an outpost. After 26.Rad1? Rc4?
both players missed the fact that White has actually pinned himself on the d file and 26...Bg5! 27.Rd3 Rxc2 drops a pawn.
White loses his way with 27.a5? and he should look for complications with 27.Na5. Black sees the juicy c2 pawn and grabs it
with 27...Bg5! forcing the d2 Rook to move along the d file. Now 29.Bc3?? just loses outright after 29...Be3+! Black just
has too many threats, with the Knight fork on f2 forking the d1 Rook and d3 Rook, back rank mate and h file mate.
Fairhurst Pawn 7/05/13
NOTES ON GAMES by Stan Yee
Board 1 Paul Spiller vs Karl Zhu. Paul defaulted, as he was in Fiji playing in the Oceania Zonal.
Board 2 Thinus Barnard vs Daniel Gong was an English Opening Four Knights Variation. Black dropped a pawn with 17...f6?
allowing 19. Qxe7+, and the game was soon over.
Board 3 Leo Zhu vs Byron Lam was a Caro-Kann Defence Classical Variation. A very good game with few errors. Black managed to
free himself with 21...e5 but that pawn eventually fell in exchange for the typically weak White h5 pawn. After some
manoeuvering White came up with the brilliant 34.Qf5! highlighting the weaknesses on Black's kingside, and infiltrated on f7.
The Knight fork on the c8 Rook and c6 Queen with 37.Ne7? looked natural enough, but gave Black counter play with 37...Qe4+!
But the followup with 38...Ne6?! not so good. Better was 38...Qe2! continuing to punch back. After Black's Queen blunder with
41...Rc8?? it was all over.
Fairhurst Pawn 30/04/13
NOTES ON GAMES by Stan Yee
Board 1 Byron Lam vs Ben Lim was a Sicilian Defence C3 Variation. Black played the rare 2...d6 line. White had a long
initiative, and Black was cramped. Black probably should have castled instead of playing 9...Nh5 or 10...b5, as White was
fully developed and easily took the attack to Black with 11.e5. The opening pressure got too much, and holes started to
appear in the Black camp. After 19...Re8? the thunderous reply was 20.Rc6! and Black stood to lose a piece, although it was
hard to see. The sixth rank was under attack, aimimg at d6 and f6. The a3-f8 diagonal was threatened, with an exchange on d6
and then Bc5, pinning the d6 Rook. Black decided on 20...Bb8 which dropped the exchange with 21.Nf6+ and 22.Nxe8+ but better
was 22.d6! Qxf6 23. d7 Qe7 24.dxc8! Rxc8 25.Rxc8 winning the house.
Board 2 Stan Yee vs Leo Zhu was a Sicilian Defence Kan Variation. White played the rare 6.a3 line and got into a cramped
position. 11.0-0-0?! was too dangerous, as Black had already played 7...b5. There were a few missed opportunities for White
to equalise, with 13.Qg3 or 14.e5 or 18.e5. Likewise, Black could have pressed for more with 15...b4. White got into
terrible time trouble trying to box out of the corner, and dropped a pawn with 19.e5? followed by a very complicated
combination. Still in time trouble, White missed the pin on his Queen and King on the c1-h6 diagonal after 25...Bg5!
Board 3 Kevin Guan vs Paul Spiller was a Dutch Defence. Black played the Fluid Formation. White should have castled instead
of playing 14.Ne2 and 15.Nf4, provoking Black to play 15...e5 which he was going to play anyway. After several minor piece
exchanges the game was even. Then White blundered a pawn with 29.e4? and with it the game.
Fairhurst Pawn 23/04/13
NOTES ON GAMES by Stan Yee
Board 1 Ben Lim vs Richard Jiang was a Sicilian Defence Dragon Variation, by transposition after starting with 1.d4 c5.
It was a typical Yugoslav position, except 7.Be2 and 11...a6 were unnecessary. The position after 22...Bh8 clearly favoured
White, but 23.Qf4?! was an opportunity missed as 23.f5 was required to keep the attack going. When 28.f5?! was finally played
it was too late, and the reply 28...g5 blocked the attack and kept the Black King safe. But just when White couldn't figure
out how to crack open the blockade, Black gifted the game to him with 29...Nd2+?? thinking it was a back rank mate. But it
was an illusion, and after 31.Rd1 the White King was safe and Black was a piece down.
Board 2 Judd Zhan vs Stan Yee was a Sicilian Defence C3 Variation. White played very well, and kept the initiative for a long
time. After 24. Ne5 he offered a draw. But Black played on, having exchanged Queens earlier to enter the endgame. This tends
to favour Black in the Sicilian, due to a superior pawn structure. On the 29th move White cracked, thinking 29.Bxc6?! should
force Black to recapture with 29...bxc6, thus splitting the pawns into three pawn islands and blocking in the Black Bishop on
d7. But the reply 29...Bxc6! surprised White, as it left Black's e6 pawn en prise and able to be taken with check. But on
closer inspection by White, he saw that it was a trap. After 30.Rxe6+?? Kf7 the King attacks the e6 Rook as well as the
g6 Knight, so 31.Nf4 to protect the Rook, then 31...g5 and the Knight is lost. So he played 30.Rd4? instead, as he was
already rattled by the last Black move, and dropped the g2 pawn and the game with it.
Board 3 Paul Spiller vs Biyuan Chen was a Bird's Opening. 9...0-0-0? should drop a pawn to 10.Ng5! Bg6 11.Bh5 as the
f7 square cannot be protected, but White didn't see it. The moves 12.b4 and 13.b5 seem strategically wrong, as the position
is blocked and the Black King safe. After the brilliant 15.Ng5! Black is in deep trouble. White wins two pawns with the
initiative, and shortly later the game.
Parkinson Cup 2/04/13
NOTES ON GAMES by Stan Yee
Board 1 Ben Lim vs Thinus Barnard was a Ruy Lopez, Classical Defence with 3...Bc5. White went astray in the opening with
10.e5?! 11.Bg5?! and 13.Qd3?! losing valuable tempi. Black played a perfect opening, and obviously has a very good
positional grasp. But confronted with complications he missed 16...Ncxd4! giving him the advantage, playing 16...Nxe3
instead. White saw the opportunity to win the e4 pawn and played the risky 19.Qc2!? when he should have played 19.Qe2 as
the pawn could be picked up later. Faced with being a pawn down for no return Black played the desperate 19...Nxd4!
smashing apart the seemingly very solid White central pawns, sacrificing the Knight for three pawns. White may have thought
that Black was simply going to pick up the third pawn with 21...Qxe5 but out came 21...Qc4! like a bolt from the blue,
highlighting the terrible move 15.Ne1?! which left the Rook on f1 unprotected. After 22.Qe2? and the exchange of Queens Black
infiltrated on d2 with the initiative. Some missed chances by both sides followed, most notably 37.Nf6+? was tempting but
wrong as it tied up the d7 Knight, when 37.Nexc5! would have kept the initiative and reduced the passed Black pawns to two,
and thus be able to be blocked by his extra Knight. This point and 28.a5? is a common error in positional judgement, where
White did not see the danger of the three Black passed pawns, otherwise he would have played 28.axb5 to reduce the danger.
They both got into terrible time trouble, and Black's pawn eventually arrived on c2 with Queening inevitable.
Board 2 Daniel Gong vs Hristo Kolev was a Alekhine Defence. Black tempted White too much with 8...Be6?! But it didn't seem
to matter, as White's opening play was too timid. The pawn exchanges 10. exd6 and 16. dxc6 allowed Black piece play, and to
take the initiative. 20.Nc1?! was just too passive. 21.Be2? is a blunder, but actually very hard to see. The point being the
weakness of the d2 square. 21...Rd2! wins two minor pieces and the c4 pawn for a Rook. But Black didn't see it, and played
21...Bxc3? The result was slower, but eventually the same, with a won ending for Black.
Board 3 Judd Zhan vs Andrew Janisz was a Pirc Defence. White was too keen to attack, preparing with 14.Nh2?! when he should
have castled. 14...d5 was the simple reply, busting open the centre. 16...Ng8?! was not necessary, as the threat of 17.Qh6+
is harmless. 17.h4? h5 18.Ne3 d4 and Black wins the g2 pawn, so he thought. But it was far easier than that, as after
19. Nd5?? the White Knight is trapped.
Board 1 Arvin Lim vs Ben Lim (son vs father) was a Petrov's Defence. Black offered a pawn for attacking chances with 15...
g5?! but the challenge was not taken up with 16. g4 Bg6 17. Nxg5. Later on White left his Knight unprotected on d4 and the
Black Bishop pinned it to b2 with 20...Bf6 forcing the win of material.
Board 2 Daniel Gong vs Jim Benson. Daniel won by default.
Board 3 Tony Booth vs Judd Zhan was a Ruy Lopez. All was going well for White in the middle game battle until he grabbed
a pawn with 22. Nxe5?? overlooking 22...Qh2 with a mate threat. Black trippled his major pieces on White's second rank and
the end was inevitable.