Saturday, 20 July 2013

The Northern Giga final

The Delancey UK Schools chess challenge is the largest chess competition in the world!  The idea is to allow as many children as possible to compete in their schools, or clubs.  Play is over 7 rounds and if you win 5 or more games you qualify for the local mega final.
The mega final is usual played in a county over 6 rounds banded into age groups.  Children who win at least 4 games qualify for the giga final.  There are two giga finals North and South, similar to the mega final play is over 6 rounds with children in age sections, often there are 3 sections for each age group.  The winners qualify for the tera final where all children compete for the £2000 prize!

Harry Wilson from Darlington managed to qualify for the Northern giga final played in Manchester on 13/07/13.

Harry won 2 games drew 1 and lost 3.  We had hoped for at least 3 points.  Having started well on 1.5/2 he met Adam Bennet who won the section with 6/6.  Harry actually played well in this game, but fell for a trick and then lost.  The margin between victory and defeat in chess can be very small.  Having lost it can be hard to recover.  The game follows:

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. Bc4 {I would prefer to see d4 here.  White develops the bishop which is good, but its exposed on c4.}
3... a6 4. O-O e6 5. Nc3 b5 6. Bd3 {Be2 seems more logical} Nc6 

7. b3! {A good solution to the dark squared bishop's problem.} 
7... Nf6 8. Bb2 Be7 9. Qe2 {White has all his pieces in play and has connected his rooks.  I'm pleased with White's play so far.} Bb7 

10. e5! {I like this move and in the game White gets a winning advantage.}
10... Nd7 {White has to consider the following variation.} (10... dxe5 11. Nxe5 Nxe5 12. Qxe5 {
Both sides have chances, which I would asses as roughly level.})
11. exd6 Bxd6 12. Ne4

{To play good chess you have to keep your pieces safe, play slowly and
consider all your options and try to get all your pieces involved.  White's
rooks don't have a roll and Re1 (either) could have been an option.    Any
generic rules in chess shouldn't be blindly followed you need to think about
the position.  Ne4 is a good move as it attacks Black's bishop, which is
unprotected while placing the knight on e4 where it enjoys a commanding
12...Be5 {There now follows a long sequence of exchanges.} 
13. Nxe5 Ndxe5 14. Nxc5 Nxd3 15. Nxb7 Qc7 16. Qxd3 Qxb7 

{This is the most important point in the game for White.  He's a pawn up, has a safer king and also the bishop should be better than the knight.  It is clear that White is better much better.    Now he needs a plan: How can he get the rooks into the game, how can he use his extra pawn. There are so many options, perhaps simply Rfe1 to place the rook on an open file, a4 at some point and notice that bishop and
queen can use the tactical focal point on g7 to gain time with ideas like Qg3 or Qc3.}
17. Qf3 O-O 18. Qc3 {I think this idea should be kept in reserve if needed}
18... f6 19. Rfe1 Rac8 {Black sets up a discovery threat.  White needs to consider Ne7 and Ne5.  Black does have a strong threat here, so White needs to either move the queen or defend c2 e.g Rc1.}

20. Rxe6?? Nd8 {White plays a greedy pawn grab which will cost him the excahange and a pawn or two.} 21. Qd4?? {White implodes clearly in shock and dismay at seeing a won game turn
against him in just one move.  Clearly Qe3 is better.} Nxe6 {The game is now
over...} 22. Qg4 Qf7 23. Re1 Rfe8 24. d4 Rxc2 25. Rb1 Rec8 26. h3 Rd2 27. d5

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