“Ymosodiad Dewr; Amddyffyniad Sicr”

Round 2: Cardiff (2Ѕ) – (3Ѕ) “United Chocolates”

Charles Cobb Ѕ-Ѕ Wukits (2288)

Tim Kett 0-1 Schwanninger (2207)

Alan Spice 1-0 Kreindl (2201)

John Trevelyan Ѕ-Ѕ Lenz (2189)

Gary Dawson 0-1 Zisfkovits (2118)

Peter Davies Ѕ-Ѕ Petschar (2004)

A tragic near-miss against this amusingly titled outfit from Austria. Unusual for such a relatively weak team to have their sponsors as the main part of their name (maybe the “Chocolate Men” actually all worked for a confectionary company - we never did find out, despite considerable speculation. They didn’t eat or dish out any chocs during the game either – disappointingly).

Anyway, dragging myself reluctantly back to the chess….we knew both before and afterwards that this was / had been a very good chance for a result (the tournament was decided on Match Points primarily over Game Points). Despite this defeat we eventually finished the tournament above this mob and if we could only have got a result in this match we may even have been able to avoid the dreaded bye.

Charles had a very interesting game in which he successfully provoked his opponent into a speculative sacrificial attack but then could not quite refute it and the game ended in a repetition which neither side could afford to avoid.

[White "Wukits, Rene"]

[Black "Cobb, Charles"]

1. d4 e6 2. c4 Nf6 3. Nc3 d5 4. Bg5 Nbd7 5. e3 c6 6. Nf3 Qa5 7. Nd2 dxc4 8.Bxf6 Nxf6 9. Nxc4 Qc7 10. Rc1 Be7 11. Bd3 O-O 12. O-O Rd8 13. Qe2 Bd7 14. Ne4 Be8 15. Nc5 Rac8 16. b4 b6 17. Na6 Qb7 18. Ne5 Nd5 19. a3 Bd6 20. f4 Nc7 21.Rf3 Bxe5 22. fxe5 Nb5 23. Bxh7+ Kxh7 24. Rh3+ Kg8 25. Qh5 Kf8 26. Qg5 Kg8 27.a4 Nxd4 28. Qh5 Kf8 29. exd4 Ke7 30. Qh4+ 1/2-1/2

I played the opening in rather sterile fashion and allowed Black to at least equalise easily. From there on it was a long hard struggle just trying to neutralise what should never have been sufficient winning chances for my opponent who nevertheless did well to keep setting me problems.

Right on the second time control we reached the following position:

[White "Kett, Tim"]

[Black "Schwaninger, Wolfgang"]

1. e4 g6 2. d4 Bg7 3. Nf3 c5 4. dxc5 Qa5+ 5. Bd2 Qxc5 6. Nc3 d6 7. Bd3 Bg4 8.h3 Bd7 9. O-O Nf6 10. Be3 Qa5 11. Qd2 Nc6 12. Rad1 Rc8 13. Bh6 O-O 14. Bxg7 Kxg7 15. Nd5 Qxd2 16. Rxd2 Nxd5 17. exd5 Nb4 18. Re1 Rfe8 19. c3 Nxd5 20. Be4 Nf6 21. Bxb7 Rc7 22. Ba6 d5 23. Ne5 Rb8 24. Nxd7 Rxd7 25. Bf1 Rc7 26. b3 e6 27.c4 a5 28. cxd5 Nxd5 29. g3 Rbc8 30. Bg2 Rc1 31. Rxc1 Rxc1+ 32. Kh2 Nb4 33. Bf3 Ra1 34. a4 Rb1 35. Bd1 Nd5 36. Rd3 Kf6 37. Rf3+ Ke7 38. Be2 f5 39. Bc4 Rb2 40.Kg2 Kd6 41. Rd3 Kc5 42. h4 h6 43. Bxd5 exd5 44. Rc3+ Kd6 45. Rc8 Rxb3 46. Rh8 Rb6 47. Rxh6 Kc5 48. h5 gxh5 49. Rxh5 Rf6 50. Kf3 Kc4 51. Rh8 Rd6 52. Rc8+ Kb4 53. Kf4 d4 54. Ke5 Rd7 55. Ke6 Rh7 56. Rd8 Kc3 57. Kxf5 d3 58. g4 Rf7+ 59. Ke4 Re7+

A very tricky choice – especially when you’ve only got about three minutes to make it in ! White has three viable moves: Kf3, Kf4 or Kf5.

Kf5 is the ‘go-forward’ choice – accept that Black’s d-pawn will queen but try to queen one or two of my own pawns as well. Two sample lines are: (60.Kf5) …d2 61.g5 Rf7+ 62.Ke6 Rf3! 63.g6 Rd3 64.Rxd3+ Kxd3 65.g7 d1(Q) 66.g8(Q) Qb3+ with a deadly skewer or (60.Kf5) …d2 61.f4 Re3 62. Rxd2 Kxd2 63.g5 Rf3 64.g6 Ke3 65.g7 Rxf4+ 66.Ke6 Rg4 67.Kf7 Kd4 68.g8(Q) Rxg8 69.Kxg8 Kc4 70.Kf7 Kb4 71.Ke6 Kxa4 and Black wins by one tempo.

Kf3 is the ‘defensive’ option keeping Blacks rook out of e3 and, in some variations threatening to come back to e2 but this also seems to lose by one tempo i.e. (60.Kf3) …d2 61.g5 Re1 62.g6 d1(Q) (if 62…Rg1 then 63.Ke2! the possibility mentioned above) 63.Rxd1 Rxd1 64.Ke4 Rg1 65.Kf5 Kd4 66.f4 (if Kf6 then Rf1) Ke3 67.Kf6 Kxf4 68.g7 Ke4 69.Kf7 Kd4 70.g8(Q) Rxg8 71.Kxg8 Kc4 as before.

Funnily enough Kf4 ! which I thought was neither one thing nor the other, has enough of the advantages of both variations to just hold on. It stops Blacks rook coming to e3, is in position to defend both pawns and crucially is one tempo nearer to White’s queening square (g8) than Kf3. In the actual game I played Kf5 but then seeing both the above sub-variations played something worse and lost even more quickly.

60. Kf5 Rf7+ (this prevarication doesn’t seem to change anything) 61. Ke4 d2 62. g5 (? But 62.f4 Re7+ 63.Kf5 Re3 just transposes to one of the lines above) Rxf2 63. Ke3 Rg2 64. Rc8+ Kb3 65. Rd8 Kc2 66. Rc8+ Kd1 0-1

Alan opened his account for the tournament with a well-played game on the Black side of a Dutch. His opponent was determined to stick to London system type of set up (d4 Nf3 Bf4 e3 etc) and then hold on so Alan had to make all the running from an early stage. Even though the game seemed to stay pretty level for a long time Alan’s more positive attitude paid dividends as he completely outplayed his opponent in the B v N ending.

John settled for a short, solid draw – a cunning energy-saving tactic which he used several more times throughout the tournament. Peter had the same result after a much tougher battle in which after losing a pawn for nothing he hung on with great determination to save the rook ending.

Our two losses in this match were both so avoidable and Gary’s game was the second of the disasters. Its such a shame because it could well have made a big difference to his whole tournament to have got a vital win here. As it is its very difficult when day after day you face another very strong opponent and you just need one result under your belt to gain the necessary confidence.

In this game Gary reached a position after about 25 moves on the black side of a Ruy Lopez where he was the exchange up with plenty of ways to go forward and finish the game off. He had just one weakness, a backward pawn on d6 (which could even have been left to its fate without serious consequences). Unfortunately he decided that he should try to defend the pawn and the only way to do it was with his king, completely safe on g8. Two tempi later and the poor monarch was in the eye of a storm on e7 – the whole Black position collapsed shortly after.

To lose this match by the narrowest of margins was incredibly frustrating and the mood in the camp – especially with Gary and I - was not the happiest that night !