Howick-Pakuranga Chess Club News

Fairhurst Pawn 28/05/13



Board 1 Paul Spiller vs Leo Zhu was a Sicilian Defence Closed System. White played the dubious 7.f5?! but Black didn't take the pawn on offer with 7...exf5 and played 7...Na5? instead. This game ended in a weak draw after White's 20th move, with plenty of play left. Each player had only exchanged off two minor pieces, but had used most of their time on the clock.

Board 2 Karl Zhu vs Ben Lim was a Sicilian Defence Scheveningen Classical Variation. Instead of 20...Be4? a better plan would be 20...Bxf3 followed by 21...Qc4 and white's Queenside falls apart. After 22.f5?! Black should play 22...Qe5, putting more pressure on the d4 and e3 squares. After 23.Rd3? White is lost, and necessary was 23.Rde1 to cover the e2 square. The reply 23...e5! wins a piece. Now 24.Bh6?? throws away another piece, but Black decides not to be greedy.

Board 3 Judd Zhan vs Tony Booth was a Ruy Lopez Closed Variation. White won two pawns in the opening, yet it looked headed for a draw with opposite coloured Bishops. But White activated his Kingside pawns and the Black Bishop became overworked.

Fairhurst Pawn 21/05/13



Board 1 Karl Zhu vs Leo Zhu. Unknown Opening, no score sheets handed in, a suspicious draw! Note that all scoresheets must be handed in.

Board 2 Ben Lim vs Thinus Barnard was a King's Indian Defence Saemisch Orthodox Variation. Well played opening by both sides. White tried the interesting 16.Nxc6 Nxc6 17.Bc5? sacrificing two minor pieces for a Rook and a pawn. Simplier was 17.Rxc6 dxe4. After 24.Qxa7 White is clearly better. But 25.Qd7?! put pressure on himself and the simple 25.Bxe2 was sufficient. Black's reply was 25...Nf4! and the White King is in trouble. 26...Nde2? throws away the advantage, but very hard to see was 26...Nc2! The idea is that after the Rook moves there is a fork on e3, to be played after exchanging with 27...Qxg2+! The fork threat is on the c4 Bishop, the f1 Rook and the soon to be g2 King. After 27.Bxe2?! the game is even, and better was 27.g3 to push the Knight around. It went wrong for Black after 30...Bh6?! and better was the simple 30...Bxb2. After 34...Re7 White should have played 35.Qd8+, instead of 35.Qc8+, as I pointed out after the game. If 35...Re8 36.Qf6 Re6 37.Qh4 followed by 38.Rh3 is unbearable. Or 35...Kg7 36.Rh3 Bh6 37.a3 followed by rolling the Queenside pawns forward. In both cases Black is pinned down and cannot easily respond. The threat after 37.Qg4 to transfer the Queen to the h file "forced" the blunder 37...Rh8?? as after exchanging Rooks the cunning 39.Re1! wins a piece. After 39...Ng3+? 40.Qxg3!! it was all over, as the Queen still guards the Rook on e1.

Board 3 Aaron Wang vs Paul Spiller was an English Opening. Black wanted to play a Dutch Defence, but White didn't want to play d4, so we ended up with a sort of English/Dutch. White made a strategic mistake with 12.f4?! severly weakening the g1-a7 diagonal. 12...Qb6+?! was not the most accurate reply, as White could have played 13.d4 exd4 14.Na4 Qa7 15.Bxd4 and he gets out of jail. But after the "natural" 13.Kh1? Ng4! Black wins the exchange, and with it the game.

Fairhurst Pawn 14/05/13



Board 1 Leo Zhu vs Thinus Barnard was a Scotch Game. The opening resulted in a position similar to the Ruy Lopez Exchange Variation, where Black has doubled c pawns after 6...bxc6 and the light squared is Bishop lured to b7. The difference is that White still has his light squared Bishop here, so moving away from defending the f5 square with 15...Bb7?! later proved to be a fatal mistake. In fact 6...dxc6 was perfectly playable and better, immediately covering f5 and preparing to castle Queenside. White seized on the weakness and played 17.Nf5! threatening the fork of the d5 Queen and the g8 King with 18.Ne7+. The reply 17...c5?! threatening mate on g2 was somewhat premature, as it uncovered a solitary threat from the b7 Bishop and the d5 Queen, with no possibility of support from the other Black pieces. 18.f3 would have been sufficient to parry that, but out came a bolt with 18.Qg5! simultaneously protecting g2 and threatening Black with mate on g7. 18...g6 is forced, and Black never recovered after the subtle 19.f3! extinguishing all Blacks hopes and freeing the White Queen for the kill. Too late was 22...c4? attacking the d3 Bishop, and better was 22...Qd4+ to gain counterplay. Choosing the wrong path was 23.Qe5? when 23.Qh6+! wins immediately, as I pointed out after the game. After 23...Ng7 24.Qxh7 Qd4+ 25.Kh1 Ne6 26.Rxe6!! fxe6 27.Nxg6+ Ke8 28.Qe7++. So 23...f6? was the final mistake, costing Black the game. The get out of jail card was 23...Ng7, which I also pointed out, but Black is still against the wall.

Board 2 Paul Spiller vs Karl Zhu was a Bird's Opening. A typical position arose from the opening, but 11...Ne4?! allows a self-inflicted weakness on e4 after 12.Nxe4 dxe4. Later on 15.dxc5! opened the long diagonal for the White b2 Bishop. There was a better move instead of 16.Nc6? but with the same idea of uncovering the b2 Bishop to bear down on the Black f6 Knight. After 16.b4! the Knight can land with tempo, after 16...Bxb4 17.Nc6 Be7 to protect the f6 Knight 18.Be5 threatening to swap the c6 Knight for the Bishop on e7 and then 20.Bd6 to pin the e7 Queen to the f8 Rook. Black does not have to take on b4 but still cannot stop the Bishop landing on e5, thus severely restricting the movement of the Black army. Back to the game. After 16...Qxf4?! 17.Be5! I thought 17...Qf5 was a mistake as it leaves the threat of a Knight fork on e7, with the g8 King. Taking the pawn with 17...Bxe3+ appears logical but is fraught with danger, as after 18.Kh1 the Black Queen has nowhere to hide and must sacrifice itself with 18...Ng4 19.Bxf4 Nf2+ 20.Kg1 Nxh3+ 21.Kf1 Nxf4 and the White Queen is more active than the Black Rook and Bishop. I thought the cunning 17...Qg5! was the safest square and there is absolutely nothing White can do about it. Too late was 18...a6? and developing the c8 Bishop would have been the simplest move. After 19.Rf1! the game is lost for Black, but after 19...Qg4 20.Bxf6? was a mistake, only because 20.Rxf6! wins a piece as after 20...Qxe2 21.Bxe2 gxf6 22.Bxf6 there is a mate threat with 23.Rg3 or if the h7 pawn moves, then mate on h8. So forced is 22...Re8 23.b4 Bd6 (the Bishop has no good square) 24.Rh5 (threatening 25.Rg5+) 24...Be7 25.Nxe7+ Rxe7 26.Bxe7 and white is still a piece up.

Board 3 Daniel Gong vs Ben Lim was a Sicilian Defence Scheveningen Classical Variation. A typical position arose from the opening, but 13...Qc4?! was a bit adventurist and leaves the b7 Bishop unguarded. 14.e5! and Black is caught with his pants down. The followup with 15.Nxd5?! was not so good, and 15.exd6! Bf6 would have kept the pressure on. Blindness is creeping in with 17.Qf2?! forgetting about the e5 pawn under multiple attack. Playing safe was 18...0-0 but 18...Nxe5 was perfectly playable. After 23.Bd4? Ng4! destroys the White Kingside pawns and leaves the Knight with an outpost. After 26.Rad1? Rc4? both players missed the fact that White has actually pinned himself on the d file and 26...Bg5! 27.Rd3 Rxc2 drops a pawn. White loses his way with 27.a5? and he should look for complications with 27.Na5. Black sees the juicy c2 pawn and grabs it with 27...Bg5! forcing the d2 Rook to move along the d file. Now 29.Bc3?? just loses outright after 29...Be3+! Black just has too many threats, with the Knight fork on f2 forking the d1 Rook and d3 Rook, back rank mate and h file mate.

Fairhurst Pawn 7/05/13



Board 1 Paul Spiller vs Karl Zhu. Paul defaulted, as he was in Fiji playing in the Oceania Zonal.

Board 2 Thinus Barnard vs Daniel Gong was an English Opening Four Knights Variation. Black dropped a pawn with 17...f6? allowing 19. Qxe7+, and the game was soon over.

Board 3 Leo Zhu vs Byron Lam was a Caro-Kann Defence Classical Variation. A very good game with few errors. Black managed to free himself with 21...e5 but that pawn eventually fell in exchange for the typically weak White h5 pawn. After some manoeuvering White came up with the brilliant 34.Qf5! highlighting the weaknesses on Black's kingside, and infiltrated on f7. The Knight fork on the c8 Rook and c6 Queen with 37.Ne7? looked natural enough, but gave Black counter play with 37...Qe4+! But the followup with 38...Ne6?! not so good. Better was 38...Qe2! continuing to punch back. After Black's Queen blunder with 41...Rc8?? it was all over.

Fairhurst Pawn 30/04/13



Board 1 Byron Lam vs Ben Lim was a Sicilian Defence C3 Variation. Black played the rare 2...d6 line. White had a long initiative, and Black was cramped. Black probably should have castled instead of playing 9...Nh5 or 10...b5, as White was fully developed and easily took the attack to Black with 11.e5. The opening pressure got too much, and holes started to appear in the Black camp. After 19...Re8? the thunderous reply was 20.Rc6! and Black stood to lose a piece, although it was hard to see. The sixth rank was under attack, aimimg at d6 and f6. The a3-f8 diagonal was threatened, with an exchange on d6 and then Bc5, pinning the d6 Rook. Black decided on 20...Bb8 which dropped the exchange with 21.Nf6+ and 22.Nxe8+ but better was 22.d6! Qxf6 23. d7 Qe7 24.dxc8! Rxc8 25.Rxc8 winning the house.

Board 2 Stan Yee vs Leo Zhu was a Sicilian Defence Kan Variation. White played the rare 6.a3 line and got into a cramped position. 11.0-0-0?! was too dangerous, as Black had already played 7...b5. There were a few missed opportunities for White to equalise, with 13.Qg3 or 14.e5 or 18.e5. Likewise, Black could have pressed for more with 15...b4. White got into terrible time trouble trying to box out of the corner, and dropped a pawn with 19.e5? followed by a very complicated combination. Still in time trouble, White missed the pin on his Queen and King on the c1-h6 diagonal after 25...Bg5!

Board 3 Kevin Guan vs Paul Spiller was a Dutch Defence. Black played the Fluid Formation. White should have castled instead of playing 14.Ne2 and 15.Nf4, provoking Black to play 15...e5 which he was going to play anyway. After several minor piece exchanges the game was even. Then White blundered a pawn with 29.e4? and with it the game.

Fairhurst Pawn 23/04/13



Board 1 Ben Lim vs Richard Jiang was a Sicilian Defence Dragon Variation, by transposition after starting with 1.d4 c5. It was a typical Yugoslav position, except 7.Be2 and 11...a6 were unnecessary. The position after 22...Bh8 clearly favoured White, but 23.Qf4?! was an opportunity missed as 23.f5 was required to keep the attack going. When 28.f5?! was finally played it was too late, and the reply 28...g5 blocked the attack and kept the Black King safe. But just when White couldn't figure out how to crack open the blockade, Black gifted the game to him with 29...Nd2+?? thinking it was a back rank mate. But it was an illusion, and after 31.Rd1 the White King was safe and Black was a piece down.

Board 2 Judd Zhan vs Stan Yee was a Sicilian Defence C3 Variation. White played very well, and kept the initiative for a long time. After 24. Ne5 he offered a draw. But Black played on, having exchanged Queens earlier to enter the endgame. This tends to favour Black in the Sicilian, due to a superior pawn structure. On the 29th move White cracked, thinking 29.Bxc6?! should force Black to recapture with 29...bxc6, thus splitting the pawns into three pawn islands and blocking in the Black Bishop on d7. But the reply 29...Bxc6! surprised White, as it left Black's e6 pawn en prise and able to be taken with check. But on closer inspection by White, he saw that it was a trap. After 30.Rxe6+?? Kf7 the King attacks the e6 Rook as well as the g6 Knight, so 31.Nf4 to protect the Rook, then 31...g5 and the Knight is lost. So he played 30.Rd4? instead, as he was already rattled by the last Black move, and dropped the g2 pawn and the game with it.

Board 3 Paul Spiller vs Biyuan Chen was a Bird's Opening. 9...0-0-0? should drop a pawn to 10.Ng5! Bg6 11.Bh5 as the f7 square cannot be protected, but White didn't see it. The moves 12.b4 and 13.b5 seem strategically wrong, as the position is blocked and the Black King safe. After the brilliant 15.Ng5! Black is in deep trouble. White wins two pawns with the initiative, and shortly later the game.

Parkinson Cup 2/04/13



Board 1 Ben Lim vs Thinus Barnard was a Ruy Lopez, Classical Defence with 3...Bc5. White went astray in the opening with 10.e5?! 11.Bg5?! and 13.Qd3?! losing valuable tempi. Black played a perfect opening, and obviously has a very good positional grasp. But confronted with complications he missed 16...Ncxd4! giving him the advantage, playing 16...Nxe3 instead. White saw the opportunity to win the e4 pawn and played the risky 19.Qc2!? when he should have played 19.Qe2 as the pawn could be picked up later. Faced with being a pawn down for no return Black played the desperate 19...Nxd4! smashing apart the seemingly very solid White central pawns, sacrificing the Knight for three pawns. White may have thought that Black was simply going to pick up the third pawn with 21...Qxe5 but out came 21...Qc4! like a bolt from the blue, highlighting the terrible move 15.Ne1?! which left the Rook on f1 unprotected. After 22.Qe2? and the exchange of Queens Black infiltrated on d2 with the initiative. Some missed chances by both sides followed, most notably 37.Nf6+? was tempting but wrong as it tied up the d7 Knight, when 37.Nexc5! would have kept the initiative and reduced the passed Black pawns to two, and thus be able to be blocked by his extra Knight. This point and 28.a5? is a common error in positional judgement, where White did not see the danger of the three Black passed pawns, otherwise he would have played 28.axb5 to reduce the danger. They both got into terrible time trouble, and Black's pawn eventually arrived on c2 with Queening inevitable.

Board 2 Daniel Gong vs Hristo Kolev was a Alekhine Defence. Black tempted White too much with 8...Be6?! But it didn't seem to matter, as White's opening play was too timid. The pawn exchanges 10. exd6 and 16. dxc6 allowed Black piece play, and to take the initiative. 20.Nc1?! was just too passive. 21.Be2? is a blunder, but actually very hard to see. The point being the weakness of the d2 square. 21...Rd2! wins two minor pieces and the c4 pawn for a Rook. But Black didn't see it, and played 21...Bxc3? The result was slower, but eventually the same, with a won ending for Black.

Board 3 Judd Zhan vs Andrew Janisz was a Pirc Defence. White was too keen to attack, preparing with 14.Nh2?! when he should have castled. 14...d5 was the simple reply, busting open the centre. 16...Ng8?! was not necessary, as the threat of 17.Qh6+ is harmless. 17.h4? h5 18.Ne3 d4 and Black wins the g2 pawn, so he thought. But it was far easier than that, as after 19. Nd5?? the White Knight is trapped.


Board 1 Arvin Lim vs Ben Lim (son vs father) was a Petrov's Defence. Black offered a pawn for attacking chances with 15... g5?! but the challenge was not taken up with 16. g4 Bg6 17. Nxg5. Later on White left his Knight unprotected on d4 and the Black Bishop pinned it to b2 with 20...Bf6 forcing the win of material.

Board 2 Daniel Gong vs Jim Benson. Daniel won by default.

Board 3 Tony Booth vs Judd Zhan was a Ruy Lopez. All was going well for White in the middle game battle until he grabbed a pawn with 22. Nxe5?? overlooking 22...Qh2 with a mate threat. Black trippled his major pieces on White's second rank and the end was inevitable.

web page hit counters


Our Sponsor

Copyright © 2006 Howick-Pakuranga Chess Club. All Rights Reserved.