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

Georgia Chess News

The big news with chess in the Great State of Georgia (do not think for a moment this means Georgia is perfect; how can it be with a Governor named “Nathan” but called “Raw” Deal by We The People?! The few times I have thought of the man has brought memories of The ambassadors of Western Swing, Asleep at the Wheel http://asleepatthewheel.com/) ) has been the unveiling of the new website, “Georgia Chess News” (http://georgiachessnews.com/). It is to replace the “award winning” Georgia Chess magazine, formerly a print magazine, if one can call a pamphlet, as were the last few issues according to several sources who scorned the thing. I missed the issues circling the drain, fortunately. “You have not missed a thing,” I heard from some who perused them. It has just appeared and new articles have been slow in coming , as acknowledged by one of the GCA board members, Frank Johnson. Frank said he is hopeful more content will be forthcoming, and in a more timely fashion. Good luck with that! The State Championship was held three weeks ago and I was recently asked about when the wrap-up may appear, though I know not why I would be asked such a question.
There was an election during the business meeting at the recent State Championship, held in a tent type structure at a hotel. Long time board member Steve Schneider, on and off the board for decades, did not even make an appearance and was defeated by the lovely chess mom, Laura Doman. Both her son, Josh, and daughter, Rachel play tournament chess. A picture of Rachel graces the home page of the Georgia Chess Association (http://www.georgiachess.org/). Laura is the 1st Member-at-large and the third woman now on the board of the GCA, none of whom are shown rated on the USCF website. In addition, Tricia Hill is shown on the website as the Online Editor. Georgia chess has never looked so good! If you wish to condemn me for being sexist, go ahead and do so because I stand guilty as charged! For years I have written about the changes taking place in chess. Chess is not changing; it has changed. After dealing with an all male board, none of whom could have been mistaken for Robert Redford, or any other “hunk” you can name, even the most die-hard cynic would have to agree the board is looking better. For an example of what I mean, click on this link and take a look at a picture I call, “Beauties and the Beast” (http://georgiachessnews.com/2014/05/01/tournament-director-td-training-sessions/). The beauties are obvious. The beast is the Vice President of the GCA, Ben Johnson, who was unopposed in the election. I hung the moniker “beast” on him when his rating reached “666.” Unfortunately, his chess strength has yet to match his rating. The first time I met the man, at a chess gathering at a Barnes & Noble in Smyrna some years back, he, not knowing me from Adam, tried to argue over what constituted stalemate. How ironic this man is now pictured in an article entitled, “Tournament Director Training Sessions.” Ben also told me that evening, “I am in chess only for the money.”
These are some of the things that have so changed chess. When I first began playing rated chess back in 1970 there were few, if any, women involved with the game. Scholastic chess has changed that fact in a dramatic way. As for the men, it would have been unheard of for any man with a triple digit rating to even consider running for an elective chess office. Back then, as now among we grizzled veterans, a triple digit player had absolutely no credibility whatsoever. The men who administered chess were wily ol’ veterans who had been involved with the game of chess most, if not all, of their lives. Now members with a lowly triple-digit rating sit on the USCF board.
Most of the people involved with chess know little, if anything, about Twentieth-century chess. It is the job of we 20th century people to remind those coming behind us of those daze. After all, we “boomers” were going to change the world, or so sang Alvin Lee and Ten Years After (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJE5tvWiIQk). Then old snuck up on us and we came to the realization that The Who had it right when they sang, “Meet the new boss/Same as the old boss,” in the song, “Won’t Get Fooled Again” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zYMD_W_r3Fg).
My first road trip was with the strong Master Branko Vujakovic, an exchange student from Yugoslavia. We traveled to some city in eastern Georgia (memory fails) directed by an old codger named Robert Brand. In the first round he paired the highest rated player, Branko, with the second highest rated; number three with number four, etc. When some of the players objected, Mr. Brand said, “This is MY TOURNAMENT and I will pair it the way I want!” That was the end of the discussion and everyone took their seat. With that kind of memory, it is difficult for me to criticize the “next generation” too harshly. Maybe things were not better “back in the day.” It is possible that, like Carly Simon sang in her song, “Anticipation,” these are the good old days (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=67oN0YQVgdo&list=RD67oN0YQVgdo#t=1).
Gotta take a nap to get ready for the Thursday Night Throwdown at the North Dekalb Mall. The Legendary Georgia Ironman just came in informing me the room is cool with white paint on the walls, which bodes well for not only the TNT, but for the Atlanta Chess Championship starting tomorrow, Friday, night in the same room! Has it really been 38 years since I won the ACC? It seems like yesterday…
Here is a game played by Branko prior to coming to America. This is the last game of the four played and, granted, Karpov had won the first three. Still, how many players can say they drew with a future World Champion? Another thing to note about this game is that neither of the two countries who face off in this match now exist.
Branko Vujakovic v Anotoly Karpov
USSR v Yugoslavia Match 1968 game 4
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.d4 exd4 6.0–0 Be7 7.e5 Ne4 8.Nxd4 0–0 9.Nf5 d5 10.Bxc6 bxc6 11.Nxe7+ Qxe7 12.Re1 Bf5 13.f3 Nc5 14.b3 Ne6 15.Ba3 c5 16.Nc3 c6 17.Qd2 Rfd8 18.Na4 Qa7 19.Qf2 c4 20.Nc5 Bxc2 21.Rac1 cxb3 22.axb3 Bg6 23.h3 Rab8 24.Rc3 1/2-1/2