Odds And Ends

 

These are games with offbeat openings.

 

 

Mike Splane

Robert Sferra  (2197)

9-22-1989

Comments:

Bob’s idea of placing 7 pawns on the third rank gave him a cramped but solid position. I ran short of time trying to figure out how to win Sacrificing a piece to break down the defense is a normal technique used against positions where the pawns are blocked and one side has a big space advantage. Once I saw the correct idea the game ran smoothly.

1

e4

b6

2

d4

Bb7

3

Nc3

d6

4

Nf3

g6

5

Bb5+

c6

6

Bc4

e6

7

d5

cd

8

ed

e5

9

Ne4

a6

10

Bg5

f6

11

Bd2

Nd7

12

0-0

Qc7

13

Qe2

Be7

14

Bb3

Kf8

15

Nh4

Nc5

16

Nc5

bc

17

f4

Kg7

18

c4

Rf8

19

Bc2

Bc8

20

fe

de

21

Bc3

Nh6

22

h3

Nf7

23

Rae1

Bd7

24

Qd3

Rfg8

25

Rf2

Kf8

26

Qf1

Ke8

27

Rf6

Bf6

28

Qf6

Qd6

29

Be5

Qf6

30

Bf6+

Kf8

31

Be7+

Kg7

32

Bc5

Re8

33

Bd4+

Kg8

34

Re8+

Be8

35

Bh8

Kh8

36

c5

Kg7

37

b4

Bb5

38

a4

Bc4

39

d5

Be6

40

b5

ab

41

ab

g5

42

Nf3

h6

43

b6

Nd8

44

Be4

Bd7

45

b7

Nb7

46

Bb7

Kf6

47

c6

Bc6

48

Bc6

Ke6

49

d7

Ke7

50

Ne5

Kd8

51

Nf7+

Kc7

52

d8/Q+

1-0

Analysis: a) I rarely face Owens Defense, my only other games being against Kermit Norris. I typically played a gambit line with 1. e4 b6  2. d4 Bb7  3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bd3 e6  5. Nf3 Bb4  6. e5 Nd5  7. 0-0. Black wins a pawn on c3 but White has compensation in his extra space and better piece mobility.

b) I was planning a sac on g6, so I left my knight on h4. After Black prevents this with 24. … Rfg8 I considered relocating my knight to e4 via f3 and d2. Nd6 seems a good reply to this plan so I didn’t carry it out. I failed to see he can’t ever play Nd6 due to the rook capture on e5.

c) 25. Rf2 was a waiting move. I didn’t see the sac on f6 until he moved his king.

d) I was short of time, so he didn’t resign.

 

 

Mark Gagnon

Mike Splane

1993

Comments:

This game was probably the most fun of all the games I’ve played…yet I lost! I thought I’d try slugging it out with Mark, a born tactician with a flair for the offbeat. I still show this one to strangers.

1

g4

e5

2

h3

Bc5

3

c4

b5

4

b4

Bf2+

5

Kf2

Qh4+

6

Ke3

Qg3+

7

Nf3

Qf4+

8

Kf2

e4

9

d3

Qf6

10

Bg5

Qa1

11

Qc2

fe

12

Nc3

Bb7

13

Bg2

Qc3

14

Qc3

fg

15

Qe5+

Kf8

16

Rc1

d6

17

Qb5

Bc6

18

Qa5

f6

19

Bf4

g5

20

Bg3

h5

21

Qc7

hg

22

Bd6+

Ke8

23

Qg7

Rh3

24

Qg8+

Kd7

25

Bb8

g3+

26

Ke3

Rb8

27

Qb8

Rh1

28

b5

Rc1

29

bc+

Ke7

30

Qc7+

Ke8

31

Qd7+

Kf8

32

Qd6+

Kf7

33

Qg3

g1/Q+

34

Qg1

Rg1

35

c7

0-1

 

Analysis: a) 5. …  Qf6+ wins a critical tempo over the game. 

b) 11. … fe+ is a fatal mistake, losing the queen. The winning move was 11. … a5 ! opening the a file when the queen can escape to a2 or c3, depending on White’s reply.

c) After 16 Rc1 White’s queen can not be prevented from getting to c7 and winning. 

d) after 21. Qc7 The only chance for counterplay is to try and queen the g2 pawn, so Black gives up his knights.

e) 26. … Rb8 was the only way to meet the threat of Qf7+, Qc7+. etc.

f) 28. Qa7+ and 29. Kd2 also win, but Mark wanted to finish artistically.

g) after 29 bc+ White wins if he can get his queen to g2, or to g3 when the Black king is outside the queening square of the c-pawn. Black can’t stop both of these ideas simultaneously.

h) I played it out to here so Mark could have the artistic satisfaction of winning while a whole rook down. He played a great game!

 

Bob Pearson  1957

Mike Splane

4-23-1987

Comments:

I have no idea what to call this opening. I frequently adopt this flexible piece setup for Black when faced with a novel opening. I’m a firm believer in giving White enough rope to hang himself.

1

Nf3

c5

2

b3

Nc6

3

Bb2

Nf6

4

e3

d6

5

d4

cd

6

Nd4

Bd7

7

Be2

g6

8

0-0

Bg7

9

f4

0-0

10

g4

Nd5

11

Qd2

Qb6

12

c3

e5

13

f5

ed

14

ed

Rae8

15

Rf3

Nf6

16

g5

Ne4

17

Qc2

Ng5

 

Analysis: a) after move 12, Black has 9 possible captures, an exceptionally large number for any position, while White has only 2. Normally the two sides combined will have in the range of 5-8 possible captures. 12.c3 loses; it’s passive when the position calls for active piece play.

 

Gerhard Ringel   (1928)

Mike Splane

10-12-1989

Comments:

I think this is my only tournament game versus 1. f4. I was having trouble as Black against this opening in speed games; my plan of breaking with e6-e5 was too slow and White often played d4 followed by his own central pawn break. To speed up my play in the center I tried Bg4 to remove a defender of e5 and to rid myself of a bad bishop. When White allows g7-g5 the game is quickly decided.

1

f4

d5

2

Nf3

Nf6

3

e3

Bg4

4

Be2

e6

5

5 b3

Bd6

6

Bb2

c6

7

Ne5

Be2

8

Qe2

Nbd7

9

0-0

Qc7

10

Ng4

0‑0‑0

11

d4

g5

12

Ne5

Rdf8

13

fg

Ne4

14

Qh5

Ne5

15

de

Be5

16

Be5

Qe5

17

Na3

h6

18

Qf3

hg

19

g3

Qb2

20

Nc4

Qc2

21

Rfc1

Qh2+

22

Kf1

g4

23

Qg2

Ng3+

24

Kf2

Ne4+

25

Kf1

Qg2+

26

Kg2

dc

27

Rc4

f5

28

Rd1

Rh3

29

Re1

Rfh8

30

b4

Rh2+

31

Kf1

Rh1+

32

Ke2

R8h2+

33

Kd1

Rd2+

 

Analysis: a) 14. Nf7? Bh3+ 15. Kh1 Ng3+

17. … Qb2 wins a piece, but I thought it was more effective to open files against his king. We both missed 19. Qf5+