Friday, 29 April 2011

Member Games - Edward Farrington

Edward came to the Darlington chess club as a junior. He won the first junior trophy in 2004, which was the last time it was contested, until this season.  He has been coached on and off by Norman Stephenson and has gone from talented junior to a very strong club player while maintaining his studies at Oxford university.

He doesn't play that often for Darlington these days as hes away, but when he's back he pops in to say hello and help out with one or other of the club teams.

Here is a recent game he played for the Darlington B side.  The notes are provided by Norman Stephenson.  Read through the game, or scroll to the bottom to play through the game using GameKnot's ichess viewer.

Edward Farrington (167) V (188)

1. d4 Nf6 2. Bf4 {slightly unusual at the 2nd move ... I tried it once (unsuccessfully!) in a past British Championship after 1 d4 e6} e6 3. Nf3 c5 {The downside to getting the bishop out early is that white's Q-side is weakened. Black opens up the possibility of raiding it with his queen.}
4. e3 Nc6 5. c3 {White is playing The London System, named after the 1922 tournament, where it was played several times (this was Capablanca's first outing as World Champion and he demolished the field with +11/=4/-0)}
5…d5 6. Nbd2

6…Bd7 {This looks a little odd; normal would be ...Be7/ ...0-0. Perhaps black thought he would lose a tempo after 6 -Be7 7 dxc5 Bxc5 but white's usual plan against this black set-up is to play Bd3, castle and then choose between putting a knight on 'e5' or arranging Qe2/dxc5/e4. In the latter case, black could hardly  wait four moves with his king's bishop development.} 
7. Bd3 Qb6  8. O-O?! {White's 'book-move' in this sort of position is 8 Qb3 but, after 8 -c4 9 Qxb6 axb6 and 10 -b5, black cannot be prevented from undoubling his pawns. See Edmunds V Stephenson below} 

8...c4 9. Bc2 Qxb2 {Whoever says "A" must also then say "B" (German proverb)

10. Rb1 Qxc3 11. Rxb7 Qa5! {There is an old story (probably apochryphal, but who knows!?) of the
rich man who had three sons and, in his will, left the money to be shared by those sons who had never taken a b-pawn with their queen. Black knows the story and hastens to extricate the lady from harm's way.} 
12. Ne5 Qa6 13. Qb1 {Both players have chosen their best moves since white's daring decision at move 8 but now black plays a little too cautiously; better was -Nxe5 14 Bxe5 Be7 ... getting that bishop out at last.} 

13...Nd8 14. Nxd7 {It was better to retreat the rook but that would leave black untroubled and standing a
little better ... so white gambles.} 

 14...Nxb7 15. Nxf6+ gxf6 16. Ba4+ Kd8 {It was possible to capture the bishop and survive (-Qxa4 17 Qxb7 Rd8 18 Rb1Qd7) but playing chess often equates to "decision-making under conditions of uncertainty". Black keeps his advantage with this move but his king will now always be vulnerable to shots.}

17. e4 Bd6 18. e5 Bc7 19. Qb4 Qb6 20. Qc3 Qa5 21. Qa3 Kc8 22. Rb1 a6?! {For a while, black's best move has been to capture the pawn one5 but it is now essential.} 

23. exf6 Bxf4? {He had to guard his knight by -Ra7 or -Rb8}

24. Bd7+ {This could to a draw by perpetual check from white's queen, if that's what white wants.}
24...Kc7? {One of the biggest differences between masters and us amateurs is that
we get more wobbly when our kings are in danger! Black has to get both the B
and the R for his queen by  -Kxd7 when 25 Qe7+ followed by the Qb7+/Qe7+
repetition would be a draw. White could choose to try for more (at little risk)
by -Kxd7 25 Rxb7+ Kc8 26 Qxa5 Kxb7 27 Qb4+ with an unclear position (probably
the clock would then have a major role to play!)} 
25. Rxb7+ Kxb7 26. Qxa5 {Now white is winning comfortably} 

26...Rab8 27. Nf3 Rhd8 28. Ba4 Bd6 29. Ng5 {White will win more material now and black's only possible source of counter-play, the passed pawn on c3, is well covered by Bc2 if necessary} 1-0

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