Chess Non-Players Wearing Maggie’s Drawers

GM Alexander Motylev, the top seeded player, deservedly finished tied for second place in a large, eight player group hug at the recently completed Portugal Open, only one half-point behind the winner, GM Karen H. Grigoryan. After winning his first two games against much lower rated players, Mustafa Atakay, only rated 1886, representing the USA, and IM Rafael Rodriguez Lopez of Spain, rated only 2212, Motylev faced IM Ismael Alshameary Puente, rated 2385, also from Spain. Before the opening had been completed the game ended in a perpetual check after move fifteen. As it turned out Motylev could have used the extra half point. Under ordinary circumstances Motylev would have had Mustafa for lunch, even playing with the black pieces. Motylev, as the notes will show, made no attempt to win. THAT IS THE PROBLEM WITH CHESS! Motylev, and all the other players wearing short drawers, have ruined the Royal game. If a guy like yours truly, who has been playing Chess for half a century now has lost interest in the game because of the proliferation of draws, Chess has a MAJOR PROBLEM! The fact is that there is no incentive for players to strive for a win, so they will continue to embarrass Caissa, and themselves, until Chess is consigned to the dust bin of history.

What if a player received on 1/4 point for a draw? How many GMs would be looking for an opportunity to finagle an early draw?

If a game is decisive the two players combined receive ONE POINT. If the game is drawn the two players receive ONE POINT. If the two drawers receive only one quarter of a point the total number of points awarded to the two drawers is ONE HALF POINT! One half point is one half of the one point awarded to the two players who played a decisive game, which is the way it should be. It is way past time to change the rule because if this is not done IMMEDIATELY, Chess will die a slow death, but it will, nevertheless, be dead’ern HELL.

Because of my interest in Go I have learned of several tournaments in which children were offered the choice of Chess or Go. I have been informed the vast majority of children who have done this much prefer Go because, unlike Chess, there is always a winner. If anyone reading this doubts what I write all you have to do is to teach both games to children and then ask them which one they prefer to play. It’s that simple. Chess people want nothing to do with the idea, but people of the Go community are up for the challenge.

IM Ismael Alshameary Puente (2385)

vs GM Alexander Motylev (2640)

Portugal Open 2020 round 03

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 Be7 5. Bg5 O-O 6. e3 Nbd7 7. Qc2 h6 8. Bh4 c6 9. Rd1 a6 10. a3 b5 11. c5 Re8 12. Bg3 Nh5 13. Be5 Nhf6 14. Bg3 Nh5 15. Be5 Nhf6 ½-½

1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nf3 d5 4 Nc3 Be7 (SF 10 @depth 58 plays 4…Bb4; Komodo @depth 43 prefers 4…c5) 5. Bg5 (Although the most often played move, Stockfish and Houdini show 5 Bf4) 5…O-O (In order of games played at the venerable ChessBaseDataBase 5…h6, Komodo’s move, is the leader with 6037 games, followed by the move in the game, castles, showing 5607 games. Stockfish advocates 5…Nbd7, which has been played in 1331 games) 6 e3 (This move, the choice of Komodo, has been played about nine times as often as any other move. With 6428 games played it dwarfs the second most played move, 6 Qc2, which shows only 471 games. SF 10 would play 6 Rc1, a move having been played in only 112 thus far. After this post expect that to change! Insert smiley face here…) 6…Nbd7 (The most often played move, but is it the best? SF 10 @depth 42 plays 6…h6, as does Komodo 13.1 @depth 45, but the same engine @depth 42 plays the seldom played 6…b6) 7. Qc2 (Komodo 13.01 @depth 42 plays the game move, but Komodo 13.25 @depth 46 would play the most often played move, 7 Rc1) 7…h6 8 Bh4 c6 9 Rd1 (The most often played move, but Komodo 13.2 @depth 42 plays 9 a3) 9…a6 (The programs prefer 9…b6) 10. a3 (By far the most often played move but SF 090519 @depth 29 plays 10 Bd3. Komodo 10.2 @depth 28 plays 10 Be2) 10…b5 (The machines prefer 10…b6) 11. c5 Re8 (SF & Houey play 11…Nh5)
12. Bg3 (The Fish & the Dragon both play 12 Bd3) 12…Nh5 13. Be5 Nhf6 (SF plays 13…f6) 14. Bg3 Nh5 15. Be5 Nhf6 ½-½

Mark Van der Werf (2423) vs Rick Duijker (2222)

NED-ch open 07/25/2003

D11 Queen’s Gambit Declined Slav, 3.Nf3

1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 c6 3.c4 e6 4.Qc2 Nf6 5.Bg5 Be7 6.e3 O-O 7.Nc3 Nbd7 8.Rd1 a6 9.a3 h6 10.Bh4 b5 11.c5 Re8 12.b4 e5 13.dxe5 Ng4 14.Bg3 Bf8 15.Nd4 Ngxe5 16.Be2 Qf6 17.O-O Nc4 18.Bxc4 bxc4 19.e4 Bb7 20.f4 Nxc5 21.e5 Qd8 22.bxc5 Bxc5 23.Bf2 Bxa3 24.Rb1 Qc7 25.Nce2 c5 26.Nf5 d4 27.Qxc4 Qc6 28.Rxb7 Qxb7 29.Nd6 Qd7 30.Nxe8 Qxe8 31.Qb3 Bb4 32.Nxd4 a5 33.Nf5 Qe6 34.Qf3 Ra7 35.Nd6 a4 36.Qc6 a3 37.Bxc5 1-0
https://www.365chess.com/game.php?back=1&gid=86126&m=24

Theo D Van Scheltinga vs Johannes Van den Bosch

NED-ch10 1938

D61 Queen’s Gambit Declined, Orthodox defence, Rubinstein variation

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 Be7 5.Bg5 Nbd7 6.e3 O-O 7.Qc2 h6 8.Bh4 c6 9.Rd1 a6 10.a3 b5 11.c5 Re8 12.h3 e5 13.dxe5 Nh7 14.Bg3 Bxc5 15.Be2 Ng5 16.Nd4 Bxd4 17.exd4 f6 18.O-O fxe5 19.dxe5 Qb6 20.Kh1 Nc5 21.Bh5 Rf8 22.f4 Nge4 23.Nxe4 Nxe4 24.Bf2 Qc7 25.Bh4 Bf5 26.Qc1 g5 27.fxg5 hxg5 28.Be1 Qh7 29.Qxc6 Qxh5 30.Rxf5 Rxf5 31.Qxa8+ Kg7 32.Rxd5 Rf1+ 33.Kh2 Qf7 34.Rd7 Qxd7 35.Qxe4 Qf7 36.Bg3 Qe6 37.Qb7+ Kh6 38.Qe4 Kg7 39.Be1 Rf4 40.Qb7+ Kg6 41.Bg3 Rc4 42.Qf3 Qc6 43.Qxc6+ Rxc6 44.Be1 Rc2 45.Bc3 Kf5 46.Kg3 a5 47.Kf3 b4 48.axb4 Rxc3+ 49.bxc3 a4 50.b5 Kxe5 51.b6 Kd6 52.b7 Kc7 53.Kg4 a3 54.Kxg5 a2 55.g4 a1=Q 56.h4 Qxc3 57.Kg6 Qc6+ 58.Kg5 Qd7 59.h5 Qg7+ 60.Kf5 Qh6 0-1
https://www.365chess.com/game.php?back=1&gid=2666502&m=24

 

 

 

 

 

Drawing at the Charlotte Chess Center & Scholastic Academy

At the home page of the Charlotte Chess Center & Scholastic Academy one finds this:

“The Charlotte Chess Center & Scholastic Academy was formed in the spirit of growing chess in the Charlotte Metro Area.

​Chess improves social skills

Chess improves reading skills

Chess improves critical thinking skills

Chess promotes creativity

Chess promotes work ethic

Chess increases problem solving skills

Chess teaches planning and foresight


The CCCSA staff is dedicated to make sure the listed qualities of chess are passed on to its members. Donations to help the CCCSA in its efforts are greatly appreciated.” (https://www.charlottechesscenter.org/)

This is not to question the claims made at the website of the CCC&SA, which are at least debatable. Chess has done many things for many people, some good, some not so good.

What I do wish to question is what is being “…passed on to its members.” by those at the CCC&SA.

When young I was told to “Listen to what a man says but watch what he does.”

I would probably not write this if it were only the Charlotte Chess Center, but it is also a “Scholastic Academy.”

When young my “Scholastic Academy” was a Boys Club, where I listened to what was said, but watched what was done…Children are like sponges, soaking up whatever comes their way, positive and negative. If one wants better children it is only natural to accentuate the positive and attempt to eliminate the negative. Children learn from those to whom they look up for guidance. Children emulate those they look up to. They learn from and follow in the footsteps of the adults with whom they come in contact.

I question what kind of leadership is being shown at the CCC&SA.

During the time spent teaching Chess in afternoon school programs one young boy sticks in my mine. His name was Kube, who was from “the islands.” Although I have no idea which one, what is recalled is his distinctive voice, and his bright smile every time I saw him. Kube tried hard to play the best he could every time he sat down to play. Kube was not very strong, but was filled with desire to play better. What more can any coach ask of a child?

There came a time when I had to chose a team for a tournament. The choice came down to a privileged, and talented, child who could care less about the game, and Kube. I chose the latter, which caused an outburst from the obviously wealthy father of the young boy to whom winning, or trying to win, mattered not. I stoically received the verbal abuse from the wealthy father, listening until I could no longer tolerate his vitriol. “Mister!” I interrupted him speaking so loudly it caused him to shut up. “I chose the other boy because I know he will give it everything he’s got, win or lose. I chose him because he CARES. Your son could care less. If we were going into battle I would chose Kube because he could be depended on, something I cannot say about your son.” The man was taken aback for a moment before he opened his mouth to say something else. I cut him off, telling him the discussion was ended, and walked away. He exited with his son…

As it happened Kube had the last game going. The match depended on what happened in Kube’s game. I have never, ever, seen anyone more focused. It was obvious Kube was trying his best; giving it has all. Kube lost…

He cam running to me with tears in his eyes, saying, “I’m so sorry I let you down coach Bacon.” Then he did something totally unexpected. Kube put his arms around my legs and sobbed uncontrollably, like a baby. I was MORTIFIED! With things the way they are today, no coach EVER wants ANY kind of physical contact with ANY student! I stood there fighting back tears of my own because I knew Kube was hurting for real. I gently put my hand on the little boys head and pushed it back a little. “Kube,” I began, “Did you give it all you had?”
“Yes, coach, I did,” he answered. “Then you have no reason to be ashamed, Kube. All I can ask of any student is to give it all he has. There is no dishonor in losing, Kube. Dishonor comes to those who do not even try.”
“But I LOST, coach. The team lost because of me,” he said between sobs. “You were not the only player on the team to lose today, Kube. You just happened to lose the last game. You may have lost the game, Kube, but you have won more than you can understand at this point in your life. If this were war and we were a platoon in a fox hole I, and every member of the platoon, would want you there, Kube, so hold your head up high, and be PROUD of the way you played the game, young man.”

It was only then that I realized that everyone in the room, children and parents, were quietly watching the scene. As I looked into their eyes some of the Chess moms nodded; some even smiled. The faculty of the school did the same. Then the team members came to slap Kube on the back, saying things like, “That was SOME GAME!” Then his opponent said, “How ’bout we look at the game?” All the boys went to the board and they began analyzing. Then I was the one having his back slapped. The adults came over to talk with me, with all complimenting me on how I handled the situation. Was I RELIEVED!

Although I featured games from a previous tournament at the CCC&SA in a post titled, Charlotte Invitational: Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On (https://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/2017/11/30/charlotte-invitational-whole-lotta-shakin-goin-on/) and had not intended on doing so again, my mind was changed after receiving, once again, several emails concerning what kind of Chess is being played at the place. What kind of example is being set for the youngsters in Charlotte?

Some of the “games,” and I use the word loosely, “played” at the Spring 2018 CCCSA GM/IM Norm Invitational, by round:

[Event “Spring 2018 CCCSA GM/IM Norm Invitational”]
[Date “2018.03.28”]
[Round “1”]
[White “IM ANGELO YOUNG (2260)”]
[Black “FM GAURI SHANKAR (2315)”]

1. c4 g6 2. Nc3 Bg7 3. g3 e5 4. Bg2 d6 5. e3 f5 6. Nge2 Nf6 7. O-O O-O 8. d3 c6 9. b4 a6 10. a4 Be6 11. Ba3 d5 1/2-1/2

[Round “3”]
[White “GM ASHWIN JAYARAM (2484)”]
[Black “GM TANGUY RINGOIR (2541)”]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3 O-O 5. Bd3 c5 6. Nge2 d5 7. cxd5 cxd4 8. exd4 Nxd5 9. O-O Nc6 1/2-1/2

Round “3”]
[White “GM DENES BOROS (2429)”]
[Black “IM MICHAEL BROWN (2497)”]

1. Nf3 d5 2. d4 Nf6 3. c4 e6 4. Nc3 Nbd7 5. e3 Be7 6. b3 O-O 7. Bd3 b6 8. Bb2 Bb7 9. O-O c5 10. cxd5 exd5 11. Rc1 a6 12. Qc2 b5 13. dxc5 Nxc5 14. Ne2 Nfe4 15. Ng3 Rc8 16. Qe2 Re8 17. Bb1 1/2-1/2

[Round “4”]
[White “IM MARTIN DEL CAMPO (2357)”]
[Black “IM ANGELO YOUNG (2260)”]

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nd2 c5 4. Ngf3 Nf6 5. exd5 1/2-1/2

[Round “4”]
[White “IM STEVEN ZIERK (2482)”]
[Black “GM TANGUY RINGOIR (2541)”]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Bxc6 dxc6 5. O-O Bg4 6. h3 h5 7. d3 Qf6 8. Be3 Bxf3 9. Qxf3 Qxf3 10. gxf3 Bd6 1/2-1/2

[Round “4”]
[White “FM SAHIL SINHA (2246)”]
[Black “FM GAURI SHANKAR (2315)”]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. cxd5 cxd5 4. Nc3 Nf6 5. Bf4 Nc6 6. e3 Bf5 7. Bd3 Bxd3 8. Qxd3 e6 9. h3 Be7 10. Nf3 O-O 11. O-O Ne8 12. Rac1 Bd6 1/2-1/2

[Round “7”]
[White “IM JOHN BARTHOLOMEW (2477)”]
[Black “GM DENES BOROS (2429)”]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 dxc4 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. e3 e6 5. Bxc4 a6 6. O-O c5 7. Bb3 Be7 8. Nc3 Nc6 9. Qe2 cxd4 10. Rd1 O-O 11. Nxd4 Qc7 12. Nxc6 Qxc6 13. e4 b5 14. f3 Bb7 15. Be3 Rfd8 1/2-1/2

[Round “8”]
[White “GM DENES BOROS (2429)”]
[Black “GM ASHWIN JAYARAM (2484)”]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Qc2 d6 5. a3 Bxc3+ 6. Qxc3 O-O 7. Nf3 b6 8. g3 Bb7 9. Bg2 Nbd7 10. O-O Be4 1/2-1/2

[Round “8”]
[White “IM FELIX JOSE YNOJOSA APONTE (2390)”]
[Black “IM MARTIN DEL CAMPO (2357)”]

1. b3 e5 2. Bb2 Nc6 3. d3 d5 4. Nd2 Nf6 5. e3 Bd6 6. a3 O-O 7. Be2 Re8 8. b4 e4 9. Bxf6 Qxf6 10. d4 Qg6 11. g3 1/2-1/2

[Round “9”]
[White “GM TANGUY RINGOIR (2541)”]
[Black “GM DENES BOROS (2429)”]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. g3 Bb4+ 4. Bd2 Be7 5. Bg2 d5 6. Nf3 O-O 7. O-O Nbd7 8. Qc2 1/2-1/2

[Round “9”]
[White “IM ANGELO YOUNG (2260)”]
[Black “IM FELIX JOSE YNOJOSA APONTE (2390)”]

1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 d5 3. g3 e6 4. Bg2 Be7 5. c4 c6 1/2-1/2

[Round “9”]
[White “FM SAHIL SINHA (2246)”]
[Black “NM JOHN LUDWIG (2388)”]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 c6 4. e3 f5 5. f4 Nf6 6. Nf3 Bd6 7. Be2 O-O 8. O-O Ne4 9. Nxe4 fxe4 10. Ne5 Nd7 11. c5 Nxe5 12. fxe5 Rxf1+ 13. Qxf1 Be7 14. Bd2 Bd7 15. b4 a6 16. g3 g6 1/2-1/2

[Round “9”]
[White “IM JOHN BARTHOLOMEW (2477)”]
[Black “IM STEVEN ZIERK (2482)”]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 dxc4 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. e3 e6 5. Bxc4 c5 6. O-O Nc6 7. a3 a6 8. dxc5 Qxd1 9. Rxd1 Bxc5 10. b4 Be7 11. Bb2 b5 12. Be2 O-O 13. Nbd2 Bb7 14. Rac1 Rfd8 15. Ne1 Rac8 16. Nd3 Nb8 1/2-1/2

I include this game to show that not all players were “afflicted” by the draw disease in Charlotte.

[Round “9”]
[White “FM GAURI SHANKAR (2315)”]
[Black “FM CHRISTOPHER YOO (2293)”]
[Result “1/2-1/2 (draw)”]

1. Nf3 Nf6 2. g3 g6 3. b3 Bg7 4. Bb2 O-O 5. Bg2 c5 6. c4 d6 7. d4 Ne4 8. O-O Nc6 9. Nbd2 Bf5 10. Nh4 Nxd2 11. Qxd2 Nxd4 12. Nxf5 Nxf5 13. Bxg7 Nxg7 14. Bxb7 Rb8 15. Bd5 Ne8 16. h4 Nf6 17. Bf3 h5 18. Rad1 Kg7 19. Qc3 Qc7 20. Be4 Kg8 21. Bc2 Rfd8 22. Qf3 a5 23. Rd3 Nd7 24. Rd5 Ne5 25. Qc3 e6 26. Rd2 a4 27. bxa4 Rb4 28. Bb3 Nc6 29. Rfd1 Na5 30. Rd3 Qb8 31. Rf3 Rd7 32. Rd2 Rdb7 33. Qd3 d5 34. Rc2 Nxb3 35. axb3 Rxb3 36. Qd2 Rb1+ 37. Kg2 d4 38. Ra3 Qa8 39. f3 R7b4 40. a5 Qa6 41. Raa2 e5 42. Qg5 Rxc4 43. Qxe5 Rxc2 44. Rxc2 Qxa5 45. Rxc5 Qa8 46. Qxd4 Rb8 47. Qc4 Qa3 48. Rc7 Rf8 49. Rc6 Kh7 50. Rc7 Kg8 51. Rd7 Qe3 52. Qd3 Qe5 53. Rd5 Qb2 54. Qe4 Qf6 55. Ra5 Rd8 56. Ra8 Rxa8 57. Qxa8+ Kg7 58. Qd5 Qb2 59. Qe4 Qa1 60. f4 Qe1 61. Qe5+ Kg8 62. Qe8+ Kg7 63. Qe5+ Kg8 64. Qe7 f5 65. Qe3 Kg7 66. Qf2 Qb1 67. Qd4+ Kg8 68. Kf2 Qh1 69. Qd3 Qh2+ 70. Ke1 Qh1+ 71. Kd2 Qg1 72. Kc3 Qa1+ 73. Kc4 Qa4+ 74. Kc5 Qa7+ 75. Kd6 Kf8 76. Kd5 Qd7+ 77. Kc4 Qc6+ 78. Kb3 Qb6+ 79. Kc2 Qg1 80. Qa3+ Kg8 81. Qb3+ Kg7 82. Kb2 Qf2 83. Qd3 Qg1 84. Kb3 Qb6+ 85. Kc2 Qg1 86. Kc3 Qc5+ 87. Qc4 Qe3+ 88. Qd3 Qc5+ 89. Kd2 Qg1 90. Qe3 Qg2 91. Kd3 Qb7 92. Qe5+ Kf7 93. Kc4 Qc6+ 94. Kb4 Qb6+ 95. Qb5 Qg1 96. Qc4+ Kg7 97. Qc3+ Kg8 98. Kb5 Qg2 99. Qf3 Qxf3 100. exf3 Kf7 101. Kb6 Kf6 102. Kc5 Ke7 103. Kc6 Ke6 104. Kc5 Ke7 105. Kd5 Kd7 106. Ke5 Ke7 107. Kd5 Kd7 108. Ke5 Ke7 109. Kd5 Kd7 110. Ke5 Ke7 1/2-1/2

Chess Death By Draw

It has been my contention for decades that more points should be awarded for a win or draw with black. For example, 1.1 for a win with black as opposed to 0.9 for white, and 0.6 for a draw with black versus 0.4 for a draw with white. Any numbers can be chosen as long as black earns more in order to suppress the urge players have to split the point. In the very first round of the US Championships Timur Gareev had white versus Gata Kamsky, and this is the game score of their “battle.”
1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 a6 5.cxd5 cxd5 6.Bg5 e6 7.e3 Nc6 8.Bd3 h6 9.Bh4 g5 10.Bg3 Nh5 11.Be5 Nf6 12.Bg3 Nh5 13.Be5 Nf6 14.Bg3 Nh5 ½-½
Gata Kamsky is the defending champion. This “game” has set the tone for the tournament. Since this was the very first game of the tournament and there is only one game played each day, fatigue cannot be used as an excuse. Could it be both players were filled with fear at the thought of losing the first game? Both players had many options rather than to repeat moves, and, if only one of them had more fighting spirit, maybe they would have actually battled rather than hugging each other before breaking a sweat. Chess will never be taken seriously as long as “games” like this take place.

The above was written yesterday with the intention of posting it prior to the second round. Unfortunately, a thunder storm with lightning, appeared. It was frightening, making me knock on wood, after turning the ‘puter off. The results of the second round, all draws, are now known. At least they were of longer duration with some of them having a chance of being decisive. Still, are games were drawn. The tone was set by the short draw made by Gareev and Kamsky. One cannot help but wonder if the game was agreed drawn before the first move was made…
On Tuesday, August 9, 1966, the Los Angeles Dodgers were in Atlanta to battle the hometown Braves. The Dodgers were 63-46, only a half game back of the Giants and Pirates. The Braves were seven games below .500, languishing in seventh place, ahead of only the two expansion teams of 1962, the Mets and the Astros, and the lovable losers, the Cubs. The pitcher called “The Left Arm of God,” Sandy Koufax, a future Hall of Famer, was to toe the rubber for the Dodgers, while fellow lefty Denny LeMaster was to take the hill for the Braves. Atlanta stadium, known as the “launching pad,” was full that night, and I was one of those in the stands. What most people do not know is that earlier that season, on Sunday, June 26, the Dodgers had faced the Braves with Koufax on the mound facing Denver LeMaster. Although not a sellout, there were 51,275 fannies in the seats. The series started with a Friday night game that drew 30,043. There was a day-night double header Saturday, with 32,063 attending the day game and 47,226 coming that night. The Braves had lost the first game, but swept the doubleheader. The Sunday game was tied at one apiece heading into the top of the ninth. After Koufax struck out (He may have been the left arm of God, but he could not hit!), Maury Wills reached on an error by Eddie Mathews, who was having his worst season in MLB, hitting only .199. The Braves manager, Bobby Bragan, decided to bring in relief pitcher Clay Carroll, who hit the first batter he faced, then allowed Willie Davis to double Wills in, taking the lead. In the bottom of the ninth Sandford Braun Koufax struck out two of the three batters he faced, allowing only a fly ball out to the CFer by Eddie Mathews, the goat of the game.
Fast forward to Monday, August 8, with the Dodgers back in the Capital of the South for a three game series. The Braves won a high scoring game 10-9, with 28,541 fans in the stands. That brings us to Tuesday, August 9, and a rematch of Koufax versus LeMaster, and a crowd of 52,270, the largest of the season. The excitement was palpable hours before the game.
The Braves took the lead on a Felipe Alou home run in the bottom of the first and the score stayed that way until the top of the eight, when Jim Lefebvre, the second sacker, hit one over the fence to tie the game. The Braves did not score in the bottom of the eight and the Dodgers could not score in the top of the ninth. In the bottom half of the inning Felipe Alou led off with a grounder to the shortstop for out one. In stepped the goat from June, third baseman Eddie Mathews. Eddie had turned 32 in 1966 and was not having a good year. As it turned out, this season was the beginning of the end for one of the greatest third basemen in the history of MLB. But on this night, left handed hitting Eddie Mathews sent the Braves fans home happy when he hit a home run to end the game. This was the first season in Atlanta for the Braves and the fans were delirious. One could have mistaken this night for a World Series game. It is still the most exciting MLB game I have ever seen.
The next night the Braves beat Don Drysdale 3-1 with 23,389 in attendance. The total for the weeknight series was 104,200, an average of 34,733. The average for the earlier weekend series was 40, 152, the most for any series that season, and Sandy Koufax was the reason. The Dodgers would go on to the World Series that year, losing to the Baltimore Orioles in four games. The Braves won 32 of their last 50 games, a .640 winning %, best in the NL, showing promise for the next season. It did not materialize until 1969, when the Braves won the western division. What were the Braves doing in the west? That’s Major League Baseball!
Now imagine baseball was chess and that after Jim Lefebvre hit his home run in the top of the eight inning and the Braves failed to score, the Braves manager offered Walt Alston, the Dodgers manager, a draw, and it was accepted. How many fans do you suppose would come back to watch baseball?