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  Below I present one of my very best games I have ever played.
  It is from the tournament where I won clear first. (The 1997 AL State Champ.) 
  This game was also annotated in the State Magazine, "The {Alabama} Chess Antics." 

  (I have received many e-mails from players asking me to give this game here.)  


  NO JS Re-play here. (Text-score.) You will need a chess board.  


 A.J. Goldsby I (2215) - Leo Denton (2057) 
[B09]
AL State Championship
Chickasaw, AL (Round # 3), 09.1997

  [A.J. Goldsby I] 

One of my best all-time games. (Replay this game ... but on a different server.)  

This was also the "un-official" Brilliancy Prize winner, chosen so by several of the
organizers of this tournament.

This is also from the tournament where I won clear first.


1.e4 d6;
The dreaded Pirc!  This defense used to give me a lot of trouble. I'm sure that's 
why Leo chose it.  I decide on the Austrian Attack, (a favorite of Bobby Fischer's) 
as a response.

2.d4 Nf63.Nc3 g64.f4 Bg75.Nf3,  {Diagram?}   now  5...c5; ('!?') 
This is a strange move. Theory has vacillated back and forth on the merits of this 
move over the past 25 years. First bad, then good, then bad again. Currently, theory 
says it's OK.  MCO (13) even gives it an exclam! The main stem game for this 
variation is Sax-Seirawan, Brussels, 1988.  (A 12 move draw!)

     [ The other main alternative here is  5...0-0;  with a good game for Black. ] 

 

6.Bb5+, ('!?' ...  maybe - '!')   
White chooses the sharpest variation possible.  6.d5, 6.e5,  are also playable. 

The problem with the Pirc is it is very complicated and one must know everything in 
the book. White has many options and can choose the level of sharpness with every 
move. 

I decided to test Leo's knowledge of the variation ... seeing how well he did his 
homework. (I continually choose one of the sharpest lines.) 

     [ Other options are: 6.e5!?,  or 6.d5,  or 6.dxc5. ] 

 

6...Bd77.e5!? Ng48.h3!?,  
The very sharpest response. I also could have played Bxd7+ and then d5. 

     [ The move, 8.e6!? was touted - for a few years! - as the refutation of this 
        line. Then GM Yasser Seirawan discovered a safe defense for Black. ] 

 

8...Nh6!?;  (Maybe - '?!')   
This hands the initiative solidly over to White. It's easy to condemn this move, but 
using the current state of theory and my own knowledge of the variation; 
I can't honestly suggest any real or valid improvements. 

Students of theory should check out Federov-Tseitlin, but with a warning ... logically the 
longer a variation, the more susceptible it is to improvements at various key junctures. 
(I have found several ideas in this line, but do NOT want to share them publicly!!) 

My response, 9. g4!?, is not "theoretically approved" either, but certainly is an example 
of common sense in chess. It grabs space and attempts to nail Black's KN to the edge 
of the board for the for-seeable future. 

     [ Also sometimes played is:  8...Bxb5!? ] 

 

9.g4!? Bxb510.Nxb5 Qa5+11.Nc3 cxd412.Qxd4 Nc6;  
13.Qe4 Qb4!?
;

Notice that Black cannot win the White e-pawn because he will leave the Knight 
at h6 hanging. 

     [ 13...dxe5?!; 14.fxe5 Nxe5? ('??') 15.Nxe5 Qxe5; 16.Qxe5 Bxe5; 17.Bxh6, "+/-" ] 

 

14.Qxb4 Nxb415.Rh2, ('!')   
A cute and a slightly unusual lateral protection.

15...dxe5?!;  {Dubious?} 
This seems to release the power of White's pieces. 

     [ 15...0-0; or even 15...0-0-0; may be better. ] 

 

16.Nxe5! f6!?17.a3!  (Nice.)   
Fighting for the initiative. 

     [ 17.Nf3 0-0-0 is not all that clear. ]  

 

17...Nxc2+!?;  (Maybe - '?!/?')   
This hands over the initiative solidly to White. 

     [ The move, 17...Na6; {Diagram?}  is ugly, but may be necessary; as I see no 
        forced win for White. ]  

 

18.Rxc2 fxe519.Nd5!,  (Maybe - '!!!')   
This sets a very deep and highly unusual trap. I cannot recall ever seeing anything 
 even remotely like it. 

19...Rd8?!;   
This may not be best.  

Whites 19. Nd5!, is the best. But for Black, 19...Kd7; might be better, trying to save 
a tempo.  (But 20. fxe5!, Nf7?; 21. e6+!, leaves White better as 21...Kd6; 
22. Nc7, Rce8;  23. Bf4+,  and  24. Rd1 is mate.) 

     [ 19...Kd7;  20.fxe5! Nf7?;  21.e6+! Kd6;  22.Nc7 Rac8;  23.Bf4+ Ne5;  24.Rd1# ] 

 

20.Nc7+! Kd7?(Maybe only '?!')  {Diagram?}
This is definitely wrong. 

20...Kf7; is much better.  It still may be losing, but it sure looks more convincing than 
the move actually played. 

     [ 20...Kf7; 21.fxe5 Rhf8; 22.Be3 a6; 23.e6+ Kg8; 24.Rd1, "+/=" 24...Rxd1+; 
       25.Kxd1 Rf1+; 26.Ke2 Rh1; 27.Nd5 Rh2+;   ( 27...Kf8??; 28.Rc8# )   28.Kd3 Rxc2; 
       29.Kxc2 Kf8; 30.Bg5 Ng8; 31.b4 Nf6; 32.Bxf6 Bxf6;  This is probably forced. 
        ( 32...exf6?!;  gives White a passed-pawn.)   
33.a4, "+/=" (08 Sept, '99) ]

 

21.f5!!{Diagram.}  (Maybe - '!!!')
A brilliant retort. 

This is one of the very best moves I have ever made in any State Championship. 

  (Many lower-rated players who were watching this game completely failed to 
   grasp the reason for this move.) 

     [ Some players predicted the move: 21.Be3!? ]  

 

21...Nxf5!;   
This may be forced. 

     [ If 21...gxf5?!; 22.Bxh6 Bxh6?; 23.Rd1+ Kc8;    (23...Bd2+; 24.Rdxd2+ Kc8;  
          25.Na6#)    
24.Na6#,  is mate!  Practically every strong player who was watching 
       this game must have missed this, because everyone seemed to think Black 
       was winning here. ] 

 

22.gxf5 Rc8;  
Black seems to be about to regain his piece with great advantage, but... 

23.Bh6!,  (Maybe - '!!')   
More than one strong player who was watching this game thought that White was 
lost after Black's 22nd move. (!!) 

23.Bh6!,  (probably deserving two exclams)  ... seals Black's fate. 

     [ 23.Bg5 Rxc7; 24.Rd1+ Kc8; 25.Rxc7+ Kxc7; 26.Bxe7 gxf5; "/+" (Maybe "-/+")  ].  

 

23...Rxc7;   
Again this is forced. 

     [  23...Bxh6?;  24.Rd1+ Bd2+;  25.Rdxd2#, Mate!! 
        (Its relatively rare to get a mate like this in the middle of the board, especially 
         with Queens off the board.)  ] 

 

24.Rd1+! Kc825.Rxc7+ Kxc726.Bxg7 Rg827.Bxe5+ Kc6;  
28.fxg6 Rxg6
29.Kf2!,  (Correct.)  
White wants to guard key squares - using his King to do it. 

White is choosing his moves and captures very carefully. 

Black could resign now. 

     [ 29.Bc3 Rg3;  is better for Black than the actual game continuation. ]

 

29...Rg530.Bc3 e631.Rd4 b632.Rh4 h533.Rf4 a6;  
34.Kf3 Kd5
35.Rd4+ Kc636.Re4 Kd537.Rd4+ Kc5;  

Black is putting up stiff resistance, with his opponent (me!), somewhat short of time.

     [ Or 37...Kc6;  38.h4, "+/-" ] 

 

38.Rd7 h439.Rd3 b540.Ke4! Kc4;  (Maybe - '?')  
Perhaps subconscious self-emulation? 

     [ Better was: 40...Kc6;  But White is still winning after: 41.Be5 Rg1; 42.Rd6+ Kb7; 
       43.Rxe6 Rh1; 44.Kd5 Rxh3; 45.Re7+ Ka8; 46.Kc6 Re3; 47.Kb6;  "+/-"  
       Black must give up his Rook to avoid mate. ] 

 

41.Bb4!,   
Now mate is unstoppable. 
(Unless he wants to exchange, something I was sure he did not want to do.)  

41...Rg3; (?)   
It looks like Black had to give up his Rook here to prevent mate. 

     [  The move 41...Re5+; looked forced here, but then Black could resign. 
         ---> 42. Kxe5, Kxd3;  44. Kxe6, ("+/-")  ].  

 

42. b3#.   

I think this was one of those games where only the contestants had any real idea of 
what was going on. There was no reason not to believe Leo when he said that he 
saw the mate. Otherwise, there was no reason for him to play the way he did. 

This was one of my very best queenless games! 

  1 - 0  

***

 If you have enjoyed this game and would like to obtain a copy of this 
 game, send me an e-mail.  (A fairly complete opening survey is contained.) 


  Copyright (c) {LM} A.J. Goldsby I 

  Copyright (c) A.J. Goldsby, 1995-2008. 
  Copyright A.J. Goldsby, 2009. All rights reserved.  


  I have not changed these notes, this is pretty much the way the game   
   appeared in the,  "Chess Antics."  
('97 or '98.)   


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