This article was written by club member Alan Griffiths and he sent it to me on 28th November 2012. Finally I’ve got around to posting it, sorry for the delay.
Because of my work and other things I often find myself away from my home chess club in Nottingham. Recently I found myself in Baarn (in the Netherlands) and after a bit of research found a local chess club: Baarnse Schaakvereniging http://www.baarnseschaakvereniging.nl. I found an email address on the site and arranged to play at the club.
My Dutch is very limited (I can guess what a menu means and order a cup of tea) but this wasn’t a problem as the chess players I met were all capable of conversational English and curious about their foreign visitor.
In addition to inter-club matches they play a weekly club competition at a rate of 35 in an hour and a half plus 15 minutes to finish. I don’t know exactly how this works, but they draw matches between the players expected each week and have a result at the end of the season. And, thanks to the magic of email my name was already in the draw!
The second game I played needed almost all of the 3.5 hours and was the last finished, so it caught the eye of one of the members who chooses a “game of the week” to put on the internet. It was an enjoyable and well matched game and it appears here:
Partij van de Week 26
I don’t follow all of the commentary, but I gather they’ll try to uphold the honour of the club by finding me a stronger opponent next time. I look forward to that!
For the benefit of English readers, here’s my own commentary on the game:
Meijer,Marco – Griffiths,Alan [E38]
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Qc2 c5 5. dxc5 Na6 6. Nf3 Bxc3+
Fritz says 6… Qa5 and 6… Nxc5 have both been played. With the white knight on
f3 I thought of getting a black knight established on e4.
7. Qxc3 Nxc5 8. b4
(Or 8. Nd2 Qb6 +=)
8… Nce4 = 9. Qc2
(9. Qb2 preserves the pawn at the expense of an eccentric piece placement.)
9… Qb6 =+ 10. e3 Qxb4+ 11. Nd2 b6 12. Bd3 Bb7 13. O-O Nxd2
(Fritz suggests 13… Nc5 14. a4 Bc6 15. Ba3 Qa5 16. Nb3 “with advantage to Black.”
During the game I thought this line looked awkward.)
14. Bxd2 Qe7 15. Rab1 d6
White has the two bishops, some space and better development for the pawn.
But this is likely to evaporate and the weakness of his c pawn dominate unless
he plays actively. So:
16. e4 O-O 17. e5 dxe5 18. Bb4 Qc7 19. Bxf8 Rxf8
White’s active play has given Black two pawns and active play in return for the exchange.
Fritz suggests 20. a4 which avoids the target on f3.
20… e4 21. Be2
(21. fxe4 Ng4 is an amusing echo of the alignment after 8 Qb6)
21… Rc8 22. Rbc1 exf3 23. Bxf3 Bxf3 24. Rxf3 Ng4 25. g3
horrid, but necessary (25. Rh3 is met by Qc5+ and so is 25. Rg3)
25… Qc5+ 26. Kh1 b5 27. Qd2 Ne5 28. Rf2 (28. Rf4 bxc4 29. Rd4 f5 -+) 28… bxc4?
(Missing the simple 28… Nd3 -+)
29. Rc3 Qd5+ 30. Kg1 Nd3 31. Re2 Rb8 32. Qc2
(Just in time I realized I couldn’t play 32… Rb2 33. Rxd3 Rxc2 34. Rxd5 Rc1+ 35. Kf2 exd5 36.Re8#
Fritz give the improvement 32… h6 33. Rxc4 Rb2 34. Rc8+ Kh7 35. Qxb2 Nxb2 36. Rxb2 Qd4+ 37. Rf2 -+)
33. Kg2 Qd5+ 34. Kg1 Rc8 35. Rd2 Qd4+ 36. Kf1 Qf6+ 37. Kg1 Qd4+ 38. Kf1 Qf6+
39. Kg1 Ne5 40. Qe4 Rb8?
(40… Qg5 41. Qf4 h6 -+)
41. Re2 ?
(41. Rf2 Qg5 42. Re2 =)
41… Nd3 42. Kg2 ??
(42. Rec2 Rb1+ 43. Rc1 Qf2+ 44. Kh1 Rxc1+ 45. Rxc1 -+)
42… Qxc3 43. Re3 Rb2+ 44. Re2 Rxe2+ 45. Qxe2 Qc2 1-0
Forcing a simple endgame 45… Qc2 46. Qxc2 Ne1+ 47. Kf1 Nxc2 -+. Fritz prefers 45… Qa5 $142 46. h4 Qd5+ 47. Kg1 -+