Knowing When to Fold ‘Em

While watching the first board game during the last round of the Ga Open I noticed there was one other game still going and checked it out. This was the game:

Jason Robert Wright (1302) vs Rachel Doman (1139)

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 exd4 4. Bc4 Bc5 5. c3 d6 6. cxd4 Nxd4 7. Nxd4 Qf6 8. Be3 Ne7 9. Nc3 c6 10. O-O O-O 11. Rc1 Ng6 12. Nc2 Bxe3 13. Nxe3 Ne5 14. Bb3 Rd8 15. Qd2 Be6 16. Bxe6 Qxe6 17. b3 Rd7 18. Rfd1 Rad8 19. Qc2 b5 20. Ne2 Rc7 21. Nd4 Qd7 22. Nxb5 Rdc8 23. Rxd6 Qe7 24. Nf5 Qe8 25. Nxc7 Rxc7 26. Rcd1 Rc8 27. f4 g6 28. fxe5 gxf5 29. exf5 Qxe5 30. Rd8 Rxd8 31. Rxd8 Kg7 32. Rd1 Qe3 33. Qf2 Qg5 34. Qg3 h6 35. Qxg5 hxg5 36. Rd7 Kf6 37. Rxa7 Kxf5 38. Rxf7 Kg6 39. Rc7 c5 40. a4 Kf6 41. a5 Ke6 42. Rxc5 Kd6 43. Rc1 Ke5 44. a6 Kf4 45. a7 Kf5 46. a8=Q Kg4 47. Qf3 Kh4 48. Qh3 1-0

When looking at the game the Queens had just been traded, leaving White up a Rook and a pawn. The game continued another dozen moves until it ended in checkmate. Granted, these were two lower rated players, but Rachel is a veteran at a young age, having played 174 USCF rated games since her first rated tournament since 2010.

What to make of this game?

Jhonel Baldago Baniel (1912) vs Damir Studen (2373)
Ga Open Rd 5

1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Nf3 dxc4 5. g3 Bf5 6. Ne5 Nbd7 7. Nxc4 Nb6 8. Ne3 Bg6 9. Bg2 e6 10. O-O Qd7 11. Qd2 Rd8 12. Rd1 Bb4 13. a3 Ne4 14. Qe1 Nxc3 15. bxc3 Ba5 16. a4 Nd5 17. Nxd5 cxd5 18. Ba3 Rc8 19. Bb4 Bxb4 20. cxb4 O-O 21. b5 Rc4 22. e3 Rfc8 23. Rdc1 Qc7 24. Rxc4 Qxc4 25. Bf1 Qc3 26. Qxc3 Rxc3 27. Be2 Kf8 28. Kf1 Ke7 29. Ke1 Kd6 30. Bd1 f6 31. Kd2 Rd3 32. Ke2 e5 33. Bc2 Rc3 34. Bxg6 hxg6 35. Kd2 exd4 36. exd4 Rf3 37. Ke2 Rb3 38. Ra2 g5 39. h3 Rb1 40. Ra3 f5 41. f4 Rh1 42. fxg5 Rxh3 43. Kf3 Rh2 44. Kf4 g6 45. Ke3 Rh1 46. Ra2 Re1 47. Kf3 Re4 48. b6 axb6 49. Rb2 Kc7 50. Rc2 Kb8 51. Rb2 Ka7 52. Rb4 Ka6 53. Kf2 b5 54. Rxb5 Rxd4 55. Ke3 Rg4 56. Kf3 Rxg5 57. Rxd5 Rg4 58. a5 Ra4 59. Rd6 Kxa5 60. Rxg6 Rc4 61. Rg5 Rc5 62. Kf4 b5 63. Rxf5 Rxf5 64. Kxf5 b4 65. Kf6 b3 66. g4 b2 67. g5 b1=Q 68. g6 Qb6 69. Kf7 Qc7 70. Kf8 Qf4 71. Ke7 Qg5 72. Kf7 Qf5 73. Kg7 Kb6 74. Kh8 Qh5 75. Kg7 Kc7 76. Kf6 Kd7 77. Kf7 Qf5 78. Kg7 Ke7 79. Kh8 Qf8 80. Kh7 Kf6 0-1

Mr. Studen, a former Georgia state champion, needs no introduction. It is more than obvious this game should have been resigned far earlier, as a show of respect for such a strong player. Is it really possible a 1900 player did not know the game was beyond hope after, say, 63 Rxf5? I leave it to the reader to determine when these games should have been resigned.

One of the major changes to the Royal game since it has moved to ever faster time controls is that games are continued long after they should have been given up as lost. Damir Studen must have felt like Rodney “I don’t get no respect” Dangerfield. Is it any wonder stronger players have given up the game? How interesting can it be for the best players to be forced to sit at the board playing out a clearly won game? It was not always this way because “back in the day” it was frowned upon for a much lower player to force his much stronger opponent to demonstrate a simple checkmate. There was a time when the time control was move forty and then additional time was added to the clock. The vast majority of games were concluded around move forty because after reaching time control a player would have time to survey the ruins of his position, and would then resign.
What is being taught to the children? Maybe consideration should be given to teaching the of showing respect for ones opponent.

Kenny Rogers – The Gambler

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