SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
It has been a long weekend with me travelling to Barcelona (and back!) for the 3rd round of the Catalan Team Championship. ( More on that later.) I have quite a bit of accumulated material to post on the blog that I just could not find the time for , in the next day or two it will happen. Stay tuned!
INFORMATION IN CHESS: BUT THERE IS NO COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE !
(I found this classy video over the weekend on one of my favourite chess websites Chess For All Ages . Thx, Mark!)
According to wiki Dematic is a material handling and logistics automation company based in Luxembourg. It has production and management sites in Europe, China, Australia and the USA and is represented in 35 countries on all continents. With an installed base of over 5,000 systems, the company has around 4,000 employees worldwide and generates a global business volume of approx. 1 billion Euros.
Last September Dematic hosted and sponsored the Supply Chain Advantage, the annual logistics conference in Park City, Utah. The theme was ” the knowledge to give you an unfair edge.” The idea, or should I say one of them, is that inorder to win you don’t always have to play fair. No doubt that is true in the business world. Dematic then goes on explain how investing in innovation and information can lead to a real competitive advantage… Maybe even an unfair advantage.
It is curious how once again the old fashion chess theme is used in promoting modern and innovative ways of thinking for the modern business world. It is even embarrassingly outdated, as we in the chess world know that the non-chess playing world has an idea of the game of chess that is hundreds of years old….
The game of chess has changed a lot since Paul Morphy and Lowenthal, London 1858
Today databases and chess engines have equalized the information game: even lowly club amateurs in Ottawa have the exact same information as the top grandmaster professionals. Barring cheating with use of chess engines during a game (is that what the woman is doing in the video above?) innovation today in the game requires a Carlsen to re-investigate old-fashioned and discarded openings such as the Ponziani opening! Infact, there is no competitive advantage to be had in the game of chess by information…
INVERTED MOVE ORDER!
From this weekend’s Bundesliga! Position after 42 moves. Material is even and Black has every hope to make a draw.
Black had calculated that a winning try with 43.Rd7 would not work: 43…RxR! 44.BxR –threatening the Knight as well as PxP queening a pawn–44… Nb6 45.PxP NxB and the pawn is contained in time.
HOWEVER, he was shocked to find out that he is lost when White uncorked the immediate 43.Bd7!! After 43…Nb6 followed 44.PxP when Black has a choice of hopeless endings. He chose to allow the pawn to Queen, but White won easily enough as White has a passed e-pawn.
As explained last week on this blog, this Saturday’s match up with Sabadell would be of critical importance for deciding this year’s championship. Sabadell had considerably reinforced its team this year, with not less than 10 gms registered–including two 2700-plus players!
My team EEBCN lost with a dignified 4-6 result, our first loss in the past 2 years! However, we were out-gunned by an average of 100 points per board, and though we all fought valiantly, the best we could have done was a tie 5-5 had I won a crazy game with Paco (I was somewhat better at one point) and had our board 2–Vitkor Moskalenko–won (he missed winning a pawn at one pont). Both of games were drawn.
SATURDAY’S MATCH RESULTS
STANDINGS AFTER 3 ROUND
Vallejo versus myself. Here Paco (as he is affectionately called in Spain) is considering his third move. Notice his apple and my trademark coffee thermos on the floor. Next time I play Paco I will bring a bigger one!
My game with the Spanish superstar Paco Vallejo was a wild affair where I was put under pressure right from the opening! The time control of 90 minutes for the whole game (plus 30-spm) did not help. After about 12 moves I was already down to 10 minutes while White had more than an hour extra!
Fortunately, however, the Tajmanov Sicilian is one of my boyhood openings and I have developed a very fine sense of survival thru the years…I did not lose my head and managed to keep things together, despite White’s creative play here.
In the end, even though Paco tried to keep me under constant pressure, I managed to get some counterplay against the White King and I was probably even better for several moves (!) but could not enjoy it for long as I had virtually no time left. Then Paco started to run out of time and the advantage changed hands several times in the final moves. In the final position, where Paco offered a draw with just seconds on his clock, Black is suffering.
POSITION AFTER 7.Qf3!?:
Home preparation. The Queen move is little studied and very, very interesting. White intends to castle Queenside and attack
POSITION AFTER 13.e5!?:
White plays to keep the pressure on Black! For a pawn, White gets full compensation and the initiative
POSITION AFTER 19.g4!?:
White does not allow Black to breath and keeps the pressure. He plans to advance his pawns on the Kingside.
POSITION AFTER WHITE’S 32nd MOVE:
Here I miss my last chance for an advantage (32…Nbd3!), albeit in a super complicated position
IN A WILD POSITION, with both players left with only 30-second increments on the clock, a draw was agreed. Paco did not see immediately how to stop the pawns. In postmortem we discovered that White has good chances if he plays perfectly…Play should continue 41…f3! 42.Rxg5! PxB! with a study-like position.
a) Delaying …a6 is a relatively new idea. But I wanted to avoid 6…a6 because of 7.f3! Nf6 7.g4!? which is hardly ever played but I find annoying.
b) Paco is the first to be creative, playing a rarely seen line. 7.Qd2 a6 8.000 Bb4 9.f3 is standard.
c) I spent a lot of time here. Nothing appealed to me: 8… b5?! 9. e5!; 8… Bb4 9. Nxc6! Bxc3 (9… bxc6 10. Bd4! e5? 11. Qg3) 10. Nd4 Bb4 11. Bf4 and Black is uncomfortable.But worth serious consideration is 8… Nxd4 9. Bxd4 e5!?
d) The immediate 9.Qg3 is worth a try
e) Black decides to castle. I considered the logical 9… Nxd4 and if 10. Rxd4 b5!? but was worried that I might be walking into a prepared line and did not want my King stuck in the centre.
f) 11. Bh6 Ne8 keeps things under control
g) Not the immediate 11… Bd7?! 12. e5! with advantage in all lines: 12… dxe5 13. fxe5 Qxe5? (13… Nxe5? 14. Nf3 Nfg4 15. Bf4 Bf6 16. Ne4) 14. Nxc6! And taking the Bishop on e7 with check!. But quite reasonable seems 11… d5!? which I did not even consider during the game: 12. e5 ( Perhaps more accurate is 12. exd5!? Nxd5 13. Nxd5 exd5 14. Bf3 Rd8 15. Kb1 though 15… Bf6 is ok for Black) 12… Ne4! 13. Nxe4 dxe4 14. Kb1 b5 and Black gets enough counterplay.
h) Instead 12. e5?! dxe5 13. fxe5 Qxe5! and there is no check on e7; Interesting is 12. Nxc6 bxc6 13. e5 though 13… dxe5 14. fxe5 Nd5 15. Bd2 Rb8 gives counterplay
i) 12… b5? 13. Nxc6 Qxc6 14. e5 dxe5 15. fxe5 Nd5 16. Bf3
j) Not necessary, but thematic. White gets full compensation plus the initiative.
k) Desperate is 15… Qxd4 16. Rxd4 Nxd4 17. Bd3! and the Black King is in trouble: 17… Bc6 (17… Nc6 18. Qh4) 18. Qh3 Nf5 19. g4 winning
l) 16… Qb6? 17. Bc7 Qa7 18. Rxf6 Bxf6 19. Rxd7 and the 2 pieces are better than the Rook and pawn
m) 17… Qb8 allows White to get the 2 pieces again
n) Consistent. Another approach, but slower, is 18. Kb1 Rad8 19. a3 Qb7 20. Bf3 Be8 21. Na4 keeping up the pressure for the pawn.
o) Probably it is wiser to delay this. 21. Qg3 is interesting; 21. Kb1 is my preference: 21… f5 22. gxf6 Bxf6 23. Qf4 Bg6 24. Qd6 keeping up the pressure.
p) Now Black gets counterplay no matter how White plays.
q) Greedy. 22… e5 was more precise
r) Paco thought that 23. Bxf4!? e5 24. Qg2! was only equal and wanted a more complex game.
s) A natural move. 25… g6 is the chess engine move, but it did not (and still does not) appeal to me.
t) A very good resource! White threatens a3 in many lines, trapping the Knight
u) It felt safer for my King to take this pawn. Perhaps best is 28… Qc7 29. a3 (29. Qe2 Ne6) 29… Nbd3 30. cxd3 Nxd3 31. Qh4 but things are too complicated to say for sure
v) 29. a3 a5!? 30. Rg1 h6 is just an inversion of moves
w) 30. a3 Nbd3! 31. cxd3 Nxd3 32. Qe2 Nf2 33. Nc2 Nxd1 34. Rxd1 Qc7 is slightly worse for White; but 30. Qe2 e4! Is definitely good for Black
x) Here lack of time takes a toll and I start to miss my chances: 30… Qc7 31. a3 Nbd3 32. cxd3 Nxd3 33. Rxd3 Bxd3 34. Nc2 e4 35. Bxe4 Rbe8 36. Qh4 Rxe4 37. Rxg5 hxg5 38. Qxg5 Kh8; But I prefer the ‘’human’’ 30… Rbe8!? after 31. a3 Nbd3! 32. cxd3 Nxd3 33. Rxd3 Bxd3 34. Nc2 Qd7 35. Be4 Rf6 Black is on top.
y) Again better is probably 31… Nbd3! 32. cxd3 Nxd3 33. Rxd3 Bxd3 34. Nc2 Qd7 35. Be4 Rbd8 with control
z) 32. axb4 axb4 33. Nb5 Qa4! is good for Black
aa) I did not even consider 32… Nbd3! 33. Nxa7 Nxe1 34. Rdxe1 e4 when Black is fine!
bb) White is now better, maybe much so. But Black is still fighting
cc) 35… e3! Is the only good move!
dd) 36. Qc3!
ee) 36…Kh7! Keeps the game alive
ff) With just seconds on his clock, and already having almost flagged, Paco offers a draw. He said afterwards that he did not see how to stop my pawns. I accepted because I am worse (maybe not lost, but close to it) and did not want to play poker. A WILD GAME!