Thursday, August 21, 2014

Chess Swindle vs Mario Marshall in Caro-Kann

To pull off a swindle in a slow tournament game is rare, but that is what I did in 2007 at the Southern Open. Mario Marshall had moved to South Florida from Jamaica. I wish I could describe the look on my opponent's face, but I did not dare look at him for fear that I would burst out laughing. That would be rude and very bad form. In a previous tournament, I myself was swindled in a winning position by an Expert. Not very funny.

The opening was a Caro-Kann Defence which I played since 1974, but this was only my third tournament game with it in 15 years, always getting a bad game and then always getting lucky with two wins and a draw! Mario Marshall told me after the game that he does not know the theory here. He said he just wanted to attack. That was obvious!

I got into deep trouble in this opening and was lost in the middlegame. A few days after this game, I asked Dan Heisman for tips on swindling when you are losing. He said the basic idea was to complicate. This is exactly what I did! Despite poor opening theory and middlegame strategy, once again a tactical idea decided the game. I did not play any FIDE rated games until I was well past my prime and over 50 years old, so this was a memorable win for me. Marshall was very kind to me after the game. We had a good time going over it and probably joked about the Jamaican Olympic Bobsled team.

Marshall (2038) - Sawyer (1946), Southern Open (2), 28.07.2007 begins 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.c4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6 [In the 1970s I played 5...g6 in Gruenfeld style.] 6.cxd5 [The main line is 6.Nf3 Bg4=] 6...Nxd5 7.Bc4 Nb6 [Attacking the isolated pawn on d4 and the bishop on c4, but 7...Be6 is better.] 8.Bb5 a6 9.Bxc6+ bxc6 10.Nf3 Bg4 11.h3 Bxf3 12.Qxf3 Nd5 [The knight feels good on d5, but my opponent told me after the game that every move I did not develop my kingside, he was happy.] 13.Bg5 Qd6 [intending to answer Ne4 with ...Qb4 attacking b2 and d4.] 14.0-0 e6 [Consolidates d5.] 15.Rac1 Be7 16.Ne4 Qb4 17.Bxe7 Kxe7 [17...Qxe7!? 18.Rxc6 0-0+/-] 18.Ng5 Nf6 [Plan B. My original intention was 18...f6 but here I saw that White was easily winning after 19.Nxe6!+- Ugh!] 19.Rxc6 Rhc8 20.Rfc1 Rxc6 21.Qxc6 [Even more powerful was 21.Rxc6!+-] 21...Ra7 22.Qc5+ Qxc5 23.dxc5 Nd5 24.Kf1 [24.Nxh7?! f6=] 24...Rc7 [We both had about an hour left. Clocks were: White 0:56; Black 1:22.] 25.a3 [Several people were now watching our game figuring that it would be over soon.] 25...a5 [Indeed, the game would end in less than one minute. Current times on the clock were: White 0:49; Black 1:19.] 26.Rc4 [Played after about a half minute's thought. Since he had not thought much, it felt like a good time to spring a cheapo. I had seen this combination earlier, but now with the rook on c4, it had a better chance.] 26...Nb6?! [Almost immediately I played for a swindle.] 27.cxb6?? [White lets the win slip away. He took about 15 seconds thought choosing to sacrifice his rook to get a queen, "thinking" I had blundered. White should try 27.Rf4+-] 27...Rxc4=/+ [I captured his rook while slightly faking disgust. My heart was beating very rapidly all of a sudden!] 28.b7?? [Instantly he advanced the pawn to glory, expecting that this move would be the coup de grace. But just as quickly I make my own crushing move.] 28...Rc1+!-+ [Everyone was shocked! What a rush!! Now he saw he was lost and resigned. Final clock times: White 0:48; Black 1:18. If 29.Ke2 Rc2+ 30.Ke3 Rxb2-+ and as soon as his new queen appears, she disappears.] 0-1



You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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2 comments:

  1. The main line may be 6.Nf3 Bg4, but according to the Chessbase Database, 6 Bg5 scores much better and against higher rated opposition.
    The best chess playing thing on the planet, the computer program known as "Stockfish," plays 7...Nb6.

    Michael Bacon
    http://xpertchesslessons.wordpress.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Michael! Yes, 6.Bg5 has always proven to be quite tricky with a debate for how Black should play.

      Delete

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