Quicker and bloodier but…

This server-based standard correspondence chess game began on 10 February and ended a few days ago on 10 April when, after exactly two months of play, my opponent playing Black accepted my call for a draw. This is not the first time I’ve played from the Queen’s pawn game, Chigorin variation opening to a draw. But that earlier game, mentioned in this column two years ago, had a much different look when my opponent and I decided to step away from the board.

Quicker and bloodier but just as mentally challenging, this more recent game found us, after trading Rooks on the d8 square as forced on our next moves, looking at an endgame to play out with armies of exactly equal size (one Rook and seven pawns, those pawns facing each other in essentially two pawn islands) that would have taken a fiendishly long time to work through. All things being equal then, we decided to end this game by declaring it a draw.

The position of pieces at game’s end, and our move record:


1.Nf3 Nc6 2.d4 d5 3.g3 Nf6 4.Bg2 e6 5.O-O Bd6 6.Re1 O-O 7.Nbd2 h6 8.e4 Nxe4 9.Nxe4 dxe4 10.Rxe4 a6 11.Ne5 Nxe5 12.dxe5 f5 13.Re1 Be7 14.a3 Qxd1 15.Rxd1 Rb8 16.b4 b6 17.c4 Bb7 18.Rd7 Bg5 19.Bxb7 Rxb7 20.Bxg5 hxg5 21.Rad1 Re8 22.Rd8 1/2-1/2