|Posted by Paul Anderson on March 29, 2011 at 10:45 PM|
Game Of The Week
In the final round, I knew I would be white against the defending and 2-time champion, Jeff Fox (1999, 2009). Jeff had knocked me out of title contention last year in the third round. I have never gone 3-0 before. Usually, my losses came in the third round.
Now, I am closer than ever to a title. I have played Jeff more than anyone else at the club and have many games to go over. This time I can do real preparation. My first source is my database of 543 games. Jeff is in there 16 times as black. Most of the games are before 2004.
So, I focus on the last 3 contests. I notice he is playing g6 to my d4 and we get into the Modern Defense, with me winning. So, I decide to stick with what works. My second source is a signed copy of “Chess Openings for White, Explained” I have on loan from LM Brian Wall. I turn to chapter 23 and glean what I can.
However, it is more complicated than what I would like, so I return to the database and find a game Jeff Fox played against NM Josh Bloomer in a club simultaneous exhibition. Jeff got mated in 12 moves (included below). That is exactly what I want.
During the game, I blitz out my first 7 moves before Jeff leaves my preparation, but I am happy. I have a time advantage, and Jeff is out of his comfortable pawn structure.
Anderson,Paul - Fox,Jeff [B07]
CSCC Championship Colorado Springs (4.1), November 2, 2010
1.d4 g6 2.e4 Bg7 3.Nc3 d6 4.Be3 Nf6 5.Qd2 Ng4 6.Bg5 h6 7.Bh4 g5 [7...c6 8.f4 Qb6 9.0–0–0 e5 10.dxe5 dxe5 11.Qd8+] 8.Bg3 c6 9.h4 Qa5 10.f3 Nf6
I am up 11 minutes at this point. All I need is a draw to win the title. I make an offer, but there really is no upside for Jeff to accept, other than to be nice to me. Clearly, that is not his plan.
So, I just try to keep my plan simple and create as much of a time cushion as I can. Jeff will use as much of the 90 minutes as he can. He does not like to waste any time no matter how few moves the games is. I want to keep him from castling kingside, protect my king, and focus on winning the g pawn.
11.hxg5 hxg5 12.Rxh8+ Bxh8 13.0–0–0 Nbd7 14.Bc4 Nf8 15.e5 dxe5 16.dxe5 Nh5 17.Bh2 Ne618.Bxe6 Bxe6 19.Qxg5 Bg7 20.g4 Bxa2
One of the problems with playing quick is that you can miss some shots. I miss getting his queen off when, on move17, I protect the bishop from capture rather than just taking the g5 pawn. Once the knight takes the bishop, I can sacrifice the other bishop on f7, push the pawn with check, and win the queen with a discovered attack. Of course, I can’t complain too much because Jeff bails me out on the next move (Ne6), losing the pawn and getting his knight trapped.
21.gxh5 Kf8 22.h6 Bh8 23.Nxa2 Qxa2 24.Rd7 Qa1+ 25.Kd2 Qa5+ 26.c3 Qc5 27.b4 Qf2+ 28.Ne2 Re8 29.Bg1 Qxf3 30.Bc5 f6
I am up 27 minutes, but I am having a hard time slowing down and finding a good plan. I can’t for the life of me, see how good h7 is (mating by move 30). I am just focusing on avoiding any counter-play on his part that could cost me the game.
The stress of the title is getting to me. I find it very hard to sit at the board while he is thinking. Finally, I see a way to trade queens and go into a piece-up endgame that I couldn’t lose. And with a draw or a win claiming the title, I went for it.
31.exf6 Bxf6 32.Qf4 Qxf4+ 33.Nxf4 Kf7 34.Be3 b5 35.Nh5 Bh8 36.Rxa7 Rd8+ 37.Kc2 Kg6 38.Ng3 Be5 39.Ne2 Bf6 40.Rc7 Rd6 41.Bc5 1–0
After I leave the board, I realize how much the championship means to me. 14 years is a long time. I can understand now why Michael Jordan wept as he clung to his first NBA championship trophy, but he only had to wait 7 years.
Something you strive for continues to grow in meaning each time you fail. And when that burden of failure is finally released, you can taste the sweetness that comes from perseverance.
Jacob had to work 7 years for Rachel.
“And Jacob served seven years for Rachel; and they seemed unto him but a few days, for the love he had to her.”
Genesis 29:20, KJV
And when he failed to get her, he worked another 7 years. I didn’t have to work that hard for my wife (just the championship), but I appreciate her just as much. I told her I would call her with the results.
She never doubted me for a second. I never believed it would actually happen. I couldn’t get the words out. I just felt tears welling up, and all I managed to say was, “I won.”
The Long And Winding Road To Triumph, Part IV
[Event "CSCC Championship"]
[White "Anderson, Paul"]
[Black "Fox, Jeff"]
1. d4 g6 2. e4 Bg7 3. Nc3 d6 4. Be3 Nf6 5. Qd2 Ng4 6. Bg5 h6 7.
Bh4 g5 8. Bg3 c6 9. h4 Qa5 10. f3 Nf6 11. hxg5 hxg5 12. Rxh8+ Bxh8 13. O-O-O
Nbd7 14. Bc4 Nf8 15. e5 dxe5 16. dxe5 Nh5 17. Bh2 Ne6 18. Bxe6 Bxe6 19. Qxg5
Bg7 20. g4 Bxa2 21. gxh5 Kf8 22. h6 Bh8 23. Nxa2 Qxa2 24. Rd7 Qa1+ 25. Kd2 Qa5+
26. c3 Qc5 27. b4 Qf2+ 28. Ne2 Re8 29. Bg1 Qxf3 30. Bc5 f6 31. exf6 Bxf6 32.
Qf4 Qxf4+ 33. Nxf4 Kf7 34. Be3 b5 35. Nh5 Bh8 36. Rxa7 Rd8+ 37. Kc2 Kg6 38. Ng3
Be5 39. Ne2 Bf6 40. Rc7 Rd6 41. Bc5 1-0
This Week In Chess
On March 29th, the CSCC had 10 members in attendance. The participants played in an unrated, Swiss tournament (4SS, G15). Jeff Fox went unbeaten to win the event. Here are the results:
4.0 Jeff Fox
3.0 Alex Torres
2.0 Paul Anderson
2.0 Paul Covington
2.0 Kenton Lloyd
2.0 Larry Kledzik/Dean Brown*
0.5 Jason Feith
0.5 Jeff Beckman
* substitution in 3rd round