My chess week has gotten off to a pretty good start. Yesterday I won two of my ongoing correspondence chess (cc) games, and today’s news includes my advance to the semi-final round of a rather large club thematic cc tourney in which I’ve been playing.
The Ruy Lopez thematic tourney started with 505 players in May and, with all first round matches completed, 88 of us remain for the semi-finals. I was in my mid-twenties when I started studying the Ruy and tried to play it regularly for a number of years. Though it’s been a long time since I’ve used it very much, I’m still comfortable with it on both sides of the board. If pace of play continues throughout these later rounds as it has been so far, and it probably will, the semi-finals should wrap up late Spring or early Summer of 2017, and the finals should conclude sometime during the Winter of 2017-18.
Playing in a different club tourney game against White’s King Pawn opening in early August, I replied with a variation of the Pirc Defense. This game ended yesterday when I caught the White King in a Queen-Rook combination checkmate on our game’s 48th move. The final board position and full move record are posted here:
1.e4 d6 2.d4 a6 3.Bc4 e6 4.Bf4 b5 5.Bb3 Nf6 6.Nc3 Bb7 7.Qe2 Be7 8.O-O-O O-O 9.Qf3 d5 10.Qg3 Nh5 11.Bxc7 Nxg3 12.Bxd8 Nxh1 13.Bxe7 Re8 14.Bh4 h6 15.Nge2 Nxf2 16.Bxf2 dxe4 17.Bh4 e3 18.Nf4 b4 19.Na4 Nd7 20.Nh5 Bd5 21.Bxd5 exd5 22.Nf4 Re4 23.g3 e2 24.Re1 Rxd4 25.Rxe2 f6 26.Ne6 Re4 27.Rxe4 dxe4 28.g4 Ne5 29.Nac5 Nxg4 30.h3 Ne5 31.Nxe4 Nf3 32.Bg3 Re8 33.Nd2 Rxe6 34.Nxf3 Re3 35.Be1 Rxf3 36.Bxb4 Rxh3 37.c4 Rh4 38.b3 g5 39.a4 g4 40.Kd2 g3 41.Ke2 g2 42.Kf2 Rg4 43.Kg1 h5 44.Bc3 h4 45.Bxf6 h3 46.c5 h2+ 47.Kxh2 g1=Q+ 48.Kh3 Qg3# 0-1
My second win yesterday came in a game that started on the last day of August. Against White’s 1.e4… I played a variation of the Philidor Defence. Play ended when White resigned after my 46…Nh2 giving me the win by default. The final board position of this game and its full move record follow here:
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 d6 3. Bc4 Qe7 4. d3 Be6 5. Bxe6 Qxe6 6. Be3 Nf6 7. Nbd2 Nc6 8. O-O O-O-O 9. a3 d5 10. exd5 Nxd5 11. Re1 Nxe3 12. Rxe3 f6 13. Nb3 b6 14. c3 g6 15. Qc2 h5 16. d4 Bh6 17. Re2 Rhg8 18. a4 a5 19. Rd1 Rd7 20. Qe4 Qd5 21. Qc2 g5 22. Red2 g4 23. Nh4 Bxd2 24. Qxd2 Qxb3 25. Nf5 exd4 26. cxd4 g3 27. fxg3 Re8 28. d5 Qb4 29. Qxb4 Nxb4 30. Rd4 Re1+ 31. Kf2 Re5 32. Ne3 f5 33. Nc4 Rdxd5 34. Rh4 Nd3+ 35. Kf3 Ne1+ 36. Kf2 Nd3+ 37. Kf3 Re4 38. Rxe4 fxe4+ 39. Kxe4 Rd8 40. h3 Nf2+ 41. Kf3 Nh1 42. g4 Rf8+ 43. Ke3 Ng3 44. b3 Nf1+ 45. Ke2 hxg4 46. hxg4 Nh2 0-1
And the adventure continues.