Monday, September 10, 2007

"The Human Punchbag Fights Back"

As you might recall, swashbuckling Streatham and Brixton Chess Club First Teamer Robin Haldane competed in the Coulsdon Premiership International Chess Tournament at the end of August. Robin was bottom seed by over 100 rating points in a field that included two Grandmasters. Thus the term "human punchbag" might well spring to mind - especially if you play over this third round disaster of his as black against Jack Rudd:



Ouch.

But fortunately, that's not the whole story: the human punchbag fought back - thanks to Michael Basman for that phrase - with Robin managing four draws and the following smashing win against Ian Snape, eventually finishing a respectable 8th with three points from nine games.




Robin's also kindly annotated this game for the blog, which you can also copy and paste into your computer programmes if you wish:

Robin Haldane v Ian Snape

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 g6 6. Be3 Bg7 7. f3 O-O 8.
Qd2 Nc6 9. Bc4 Bd7 10. O-O-O Rb8
{
I have played against Rb8 a few times in rapidplay and as it is not covered in my opening books I never know what to play. So as usual I thought I would make it up as I went along.
}
11. h4 b5 12. Bb3 Na5 13. Bh6 Bxh6 14. Qxh6 e5 15. Nde2 b4 16. Nd5 Nxb3+
17. axb3 Nxd5 18. Rxd5 Rb6 19. h5 g5 20. f4
{
I did not fancy playing 20 Rd6 as after f6 in reply the White Queen is shut out of the game.
}
20... Bg4
{
This must be better than 20 -- gf4 21 Nf4 or 20 -- Be6? 21 f5.
}
21. fxe5
{
Afterwards Ian pointed out he should have played 21 -- de5 when 22 Rd8 Rh6 23 Rf8+ Kf8
24 Ng3 Rf6 seems to give Black an edge in the endgame.
}
21... Bxe2
{
Now it remains to be seen whether White has enough for the piece.
}
22. exd6 Rb5
{
The alternative was 22 -- f6 when play might continue 23 Re1 Ba6 24 e5 Rb5 25 ef6 Qf6
26 Qf6 Rf6 27 Rd1 Rb8 28 d7 Rf8 29 Re5 when I prefer White's position.
}
23. Re1 Rxd5 24. exd5 Re8
{
If 24 -- Bb5 25 Re7 Re8 26 Qg5+ Kf8 27 Qf6 wins.
}
25. d7 Re5
{
I was expecting 25 -- Qd7 when White can play 26 Qg5+ Kf8 27 Qf6 Qg4 28 d6 Re6
29 Qh8+ Qg8 30 Qg8+ Kg8 31 d7 Rd6 32 Re2 Rd7 33 Rd4 when White is a pawn up pressing for the win.
}
26. Qc6 Bb5 27. Rxe5 Bxc6 28. dxc6 Kf8 29. Kd2
{
Now the complications have died down and White is threatening to exchange into a won king and pawn endgame if for instance 29 -- h6 White wins by 30 Re8+ Qe8 31 de8=Q+ Ke8
32 g4 Kd8 33 Ke3 Kc7 34 Ke4 Kc6 35 Kf5 Kd7 36 Kf6 Ke8 37 c4 and White queens on the kingside before Black queens on the queenside.
}
29... f5 30. Rxf5+ Kg7 31. Rd5 Kh6 32. c7 Qf6 33. d8=Q Qf4+ 34. Kd3 Qf1+
35. Kd4 Qf2+ 36. Kc4 Qe2+ 37. Kxb4 Qe1+ 38. c3 a5+ 39. Kb5 Qf1+ 40. c4, resigns. 1-0.

Black resigns having run out of a checks.

A close game that could easily have gone either way.


The tournament itself also seems to have been a success, with Lars Stark achieving his third and presumably final IM norm, Jovica Radovanovic his second. The internet coverage was very good, and you can still find all the details and games played at the above link. But make sure you play through the second game above, before you do anything else.

4 comments:

Jonathan B said...

I'm no expert on this line but ...Rb8 and ...b5 looks a bit ropey to me.

What about cxb3 for White (instead of axb3). In a similar position didn't Fischer say something about White being lost in the endgame but mating Black long before then.

Still, very nice win Robin. Of all the variations I wouldn't like to play against you, defending the Yugoslav Attack must be very high on the list.

Tom Chivers said...

Would you rather play the Yugoslav against Robin, or be a pawn up?

Jonathan B said...

Depends on the position where I was a pawn up.

Generally speaking I'd try not to accept any sacrifices at all ... not that I get to play Robin too often.

ejh said...

I thought he played the Morra, anyway...