I played a USCF rated game several weeks ago for the first time since the latter part of December 2012 when I played in the very first Thursday Throwdown. I played only one game, that being in the first round as a “filler.” My opponent was a young girl and although I “held the advantage” according to the Legendary Georgia Ironman, it was on the board and not on the clock. With difficulty I managed to draw. I may play again this coming Thursday night, if needed. The turnout has dwindled to the point of the possibility of this being the last Throwdown. I decided to offer my services because I well remember the painful look on the face of the players who had received a bye by being the odd man out while working at the House of Pain. The Ironman sprung for a three month membership in order for me to become the “houseman.” At my age there are worse things to be, I suppose…I opened the mail yesterday to find an envelope from the USCF in which was enclosed a nice plastic card, like a Barnes & Noble membership card, in which it is written, “W Michael Bacon is a member in good standing with the US Chess Federation.”
I made it to the “Chess Mess” for the meeting on the first Tuesday of the month, held at one of the most venerated bars in Atlanta, Manuel’s Tavern. When one of the officers of the GCA, Frank Johnson, came in he grinned, saying, “The infamous Mike Bacon!” Startled, I responded, “You could have said that to a mirror, Frank!” Good-natured laughter ensued. Then Frank said, “I meant because of the Armchair Warrior blog, which, by the way, I follow, and it is sent directly into my email inbox as soon as it is published.” I made a mental note to move Frank up in my book…Frank played in the World Amateur in Singapore recently, scoring seven points according to the FIDE website. He mentioned beating the player who finished first, the only blemish on his score. I had arrived early, hoping to be able to talk with Frank, while delivering flyers for the Ironman and his “Throwdown.” Former Georgia Senior Champ Mark Couvillion came early to set up the boards and I was able to talk with him while having my first beer in who knows when. It turned out to be a mistake as I had to leave early before playing even one game. Frank mentioned something about my not playing any chess, only writing about the game, and, although I felt bad about having to leave, the fact is I had eaten a rather large meal at one of my favorite places, “Eats.” It habitually wins an award in the category of “best cheap eats” in Atlanta. Besides, I had been on the go all day and missed my nap. At least that is my excuse, and I am sticking with it…
Earlier that day I had played a game of chess at a Barnes & Noble. I was minding my business, reading the Science section of the Tuesday NY Times and drinking my drink of choice, coffee, before breaking out the set and new copy of Chess Monthly. Before I could get the pieces set up, two young boys who had been sitting with their father, quietly reading, rushed up. “You gonna play chess?!” they asked excitedly. They looked crushed when I told them I had planned on maybe playing over a game or two from the magazine. Their father walked over smiling and we talked briefly before he took them back to the table. I learned they were home schooled and had played in the recent scholastic tournament at the Hyatt in downtown Atlanta, and that they are named “Bomar.”
I could not get into the magazine, thinking about how thrilled they had been, so I walked over and told the father I would be happy to play the boys after using the mens room and purchasing a refill. “Play ME!” said the youngest. “No. PLAY ME!” yelled the eldest. I offered to let them battle it out for the right to play, but the father said they would only be there about another half hour. “Besides,” he said, they have already played today.” I asked who won and learned the game had been drawn. “Who had Black?” I asked. The older one said his brother played Black. “Then he was the winner because it is more difficult to win with or draw with the black pieces.” The younger Bomar vehemently agreed with that! Fortunately the father determined I would play the oldest because the youngest one is the most aggressive. The young boy then went into a rap about how aggressive is his chess, but piped down when his father said he meant that the young one was the most aggressive when it came to getting older players to play.
The young fellow pushed hi d-pawn forward two squares while continuing to talk about how they had studied all the openings and he was ready for anything, until I played f5, when he said, “Except the Dutch.” Nevertheless, he played a fine opening, castling on the queenside, while I castled on the opposite side. It was looking like a game in which both sides would attack on opposite sides, which he did prematurely, losing first a pawn, then allowing me to take his bishop, forking his King & Queen, bringing down the house. We discussed the game and when he mentioned something about “Attacking in the direction your pawns are pointing,” I asked who was teaching him. He responded it was his father, so I asked him, learning he is not a chess player, but had read some chess books so as to be able to teach his sons. I also learned they have a house in the Glorious Mountains of Western North Carolina and have been to the Rocky Mountain Chess Club, “held in a bookstore.” He was shocked to learn I have been to the gathering of the Dixie Chess Confederacy at the Blue Ridge Book Store on Thursday afternoons, and knew all of the players he mentioned, and one I mentioned, my friend Bruce Goodwin. It is truly a small chess world.
I have been following the Chicago Open online the past few days. In particular the games of the Frisco Kid. That would be NM Richard Francisco, a “product” of the scholastic movement in Georgia of the past decades. Richard is a personable gentlemen whom I admire greatly, and I always follow his progress in any tournament. I would like to share a couple of games he has played while carrying the colors of our Great State while in the land of the North. First I would like to mention a game annotated by the Frisco Kid on the new Georgia Chess News, an online magazine. The game is, Francisco, R – Baghwat, N USATS (Round 2), and can be found here: (http://georgiachessnews.com/category/topboard/games/).
Francisco, Richard (2263) – Kovalyov, Anton (2636)
23rd Chicago Open Wheeling, IL (1.2), 2014.05.22
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Bg5 Nbd7 7.Bc4 Qb6 8.Bb3 e6 9.Qd2 Be7 10.O-O-O Nc5 11.Rhe1 h6 12.Bxf6 Bxf6 13.Kb1 Bd7 14.f4 Qc7 15.g4 Rc8 16.h4 Bxh4 17.Rh1 Be7 18.g5 b5 19.a3 Qb7 20.Qg2 a5 21.gxh6 gxh6 22.Rxh6 Rf8 23.f5 b4 24.axb4 axb4 25.Nd5 Nxb3 26.Nxe7 Kxe7 27.Nxb3 Ke8 28.f6 Qc7 29.Rh2 Ba4 30.Qg7 Kd7 31.Rhd2 Bxb3 32.cxb3 Qc5 33.Rxd6+ Qxd6 34.Qg1 Qxd1+ 35.Qxd1+ Kc6 36.Qd4 Rfd8 37.Qc4+ Kd6 38.Qd4+ Kc6 39.Qc4+ Kd6 40.Qd4+ Kc6 ½-½
After going over at a game I go to the new Chessbase database (http://database.chessbase.com/js/apps/onlinedb/), and/or (http://www.365chess.com/) to see where the players have varied from the “book.” These are the sources I used to find the additional games.
Ootes, Lars (2340)
Burg, Twan (2462)
Event: TCh-NED Meesterklasse 2011-12
Site: Netherlands NED Date: 12/17/2011
Round: 4.4 Score: ½-½
ECO: B94 Sicilian, Najdorf, 6.Bg5
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bg5 Nbd7 7. Bc4 Qb6 8. Bb3 e6 9. Qd2 Be7 10. O-O-O Nc5 11. Rhe1 h6 12. Bxf6 Bxf6 13. f4 Bd7 14. Kb1 Qc7 15. Nf3 O-O-O 16. e5 dxe5 17. Nxe5 Be8 18. Qe3 Rxd1+ 19. Rxd1 g5 20. g3 gxf4 21. gxf4 Rg8 22. Ne4 Be7 23. Nxc5 Qxc5 24. Rd4 Kb8 25. a3 Ka7 26. Qe4 Qa5 27. Rd1 Bf6 28. Qd4+ Ka8 29. Qd6 Bxe5 30. fxe5 Bc6 31. Qe7 Qxe5 32. Qxf7 Re8 33. Qf2 Qc7 34. Qh4 e5 35. Qxh6 e4 36. Re1 Qe5 37. Qe3 Qxh2 38. Re2 Qh1+ 39. Re1 Qf3 40. Bc4 Rd8 41. Ka2 Qf6 1/2-1/2
Richard could well have won that game, and the same could be said for the next, heart breaking, game. It is possible in chess to play well and have little, or nothing, to show for it.
Richard T Francisco 2263 vs IM Aleksandr Ostrovskiy 2436
Chicago Open 2014 Rd 6 CK (B12)
1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.dxc5 e6 5.a3 Bxc5 6.Qg4 Kf8 7.b4 Bb6 8.Nf3 f6 9.Bb2 Nc6 10.Bd3 Bc7 11.Qf4 g5 12.Qe3 Nxe5 13.Nxe5 Bxe5 14.Bxe5 fxe5 15.Qxe5 Qf6 16.Qd6+ Ne7 17.Ra2 Kf7 18.0–0 e5 19.Qc7 e4 20.Be2 Qf4 21.Bh5+ Kf6 22.Qc3+ Qe5 23.f3 e3 24.Qxe5+ Kxe5 25.c3 Nf5 26.Re1 Ng7 27.Rxe3+ Kd6 28.Bg4 Bxg4 29.fxg4 Rhe8 30.Rae2 Rxe3 31.Rxe3 a5 32.Nd2 axb4 33.axb4 Ne6 34.Nb3 Ra3 35.Nd4 Nxd4 36.cxd4 Rxe3 0-1
Shaposhnikov,Evgeny (2543) vs Kornev, Alexei (2558)
Event: Tsiolkovsky mem op
Site: Kaluga Date: 2003 CK (B12)
Round: 6 Score: 0-1
1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 c5 4. dxc5 e6 5. a3 Bxc5 6. Qg4 Kf8 7. Bd3 f5 8. Qg3 Nc6 9. Nf3 Nge7 10. O-O h6 11. b4 Bb6 12. c4 dxc4 13. Bxc4 g5 14. Nc3 Ng6 15. Rd1 Qe7 16. Bb2 g4 17. Nb5 h5 18. Nfd4 h4 19. Qb3 g3 20. h3 gxf2+ 21. Kh1 Qg5 22. Rf1 a6 23. Rxf2 axb5 24. Bxe6 f4 25. Bxc8 Nxd4 26. Qd5 Rxc8 27. Qd6+ Qe7 28. Qxg6 Ne6 29. Rxf4+ Nxf4 30. Qf5+ Ke8 31. Qxc8+ Bd8 32. Rd1 Ne6 33. Qc2 Rg8 34. Qe2 Rg7 35. Bc1 Nc7 36. Qe4 Qe6 37. Qxb7 Qc4 38. Bh6 Rd7 39. Rc1 Qd5 40. Qb6 Qe6 41. Qe3 Nd5 42. Qd2 Ne7 43. Qg5 Nf5 44. Qh5+ Qf7 45. Qxf7+ Kxf7 46. Bf4 Rd4 47. Rf1 Ke6 48. Kh2 Bc7 49. g3 hxg3+ 50. Bxg3 Rd2+ 51. Rf2 Nxg3 0-1
White player Karen Asrian ARM
Black player Sarunas Sulskis LTU
Plovdiv ch-EUR 2008 (0)
1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.dxc5 e6 5.a3 xc5 6.g4 f8 7.f3 c6 8.d3 f6 9.b4 b6 10.b2 f5 11.g3 h6 12.bd2 d7 13.c4 e7 14.O-O e8 15.ac1 g6 16.c5 c7 17.d4 xg3 18.hxg3 g5 19.b5 f7 20.f4 h5 21.2f3 g8 22.c6 bxc6 23.bxc6 c8 24.b5 b6+ 25.d4 gxf4 26.gxf4 g4 27.xb6 axb6 28.fd4 a4 29.e2 g3 30.xh5 e3 31.fd1 h6 32.d6 axa3 33.c2 1-0