Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Bruce Davis in Caro-Kann Allentown

Bruce Davis was already an active member of the Allentown, Pennsylvania chess scene when we met in round 3 of a tournament. By 1981 I was an expert in postal chess, but I had played in few live tournaments since 1972. I did play weekly in the Lansdale chess club near Philadelphia. Bruce Davis and I were about the same age, but my opponent was a more experienced tournament player. Playing with the White pieces and being rated a higher than me, Davis had every reason to fight for a win. Somehow I hung around long enough to win the ending. Back then I studied lots of endgame books.

I chose to play the Caro-Kann Defence which I had played since 1974. Usually I played either the 4...Bf5 Classical or the solid 4...Nd7 variation. Around 1978, I got a chess tape cassette by Raymond Keene on the more aggressive 4...Nf6 and 5...gxf6 Bronstein-Larsen variation. In 1978 I lost a postal game in this line as White. By 1979, I had taken it up as Black and scored a win and two draws. In 1981 I won all six games I played with 5...gxf6, five postal games and the Bruce Davis game below. By 1982, I played it vs stronger postal competition and started losing with it. That was no fun. By 1983, I had quit playing it until a lost to John Blood Sr. as Black in 1992. Then I lost with it again as White in 1994, see my Jeffrey Baffo game scheduled for October 2014. This variation still appears in my games from time to time.

Davis (1970) - Sawyer (1887), Allentown,PA (3), 13.06.1981 begins 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nf6 5.Nxf6+ gxf6 6.Bc4 [The main line is 6.c3 Bf5 7.Nf3+/=] 6...Bf5 7.Bf4 [More often White plays 7.Nf3 or 7.Ne2] 7...e6 8.Qd2 Nd7 9.Nf3 Nb6 10.Bb3 Bd6 11.0-0-0 Be4 12.Qe3 Bd5 13.Bxd6 Qxd6 14.g3 Bxb3 15.Qxb3 Qd5 16.Qxd5 cxd5 17.Rhe1 [17.Ne1 Nc4 18.Nd3 Nd6=] 17...Rc8 18.Nh4 Kf8 19.f4 f5 20.Nf3 Nd7 21.Kb1 Ke7 22.Rc1 Rc6 23.c3 b5 24.Re2 Rhc8 25.Rec2 h6 26.Ne1 R8c7 27.Nd3 Rc8 28.b3 R6c7 29.b4 Nb6 30.Nc5 Rc6 31.Re2 Rg8 32.Kc2 Rgc8 33.Kb3 R8c7 34.Rg1 h5 35.h3 Rc8 36.g4 hxg4 37.hxg4 fxg4 38.Rxg4 Kf6 39.Rg5 Rh8 40.Reg2 [40.Rge5=. I do not remember if either of us offered a draw in this game. Clearly White wanted to win. This led him to take risks that led to his loss.] 40...Rcc8 41.R2g3 Rh4 42.Nd3 Na4 43.Nc5 Rxf4 44.Nxa4 bxa4+ 45.Kxa4 Rxc3 46.Rxc3 Kxg5 47.Rd3 [White is lost after this. He might have better defensive chances after 47.Rc7 f5 48.Rxa7 Rxd4 49.Kb3 f4=/+] 47...f5 48.Kb5 Rh4 49.Kc5 f4 50.Kd6 Kf5 51.Rd1 f3 52.a4 Ke4 53.a5 f2 54.b5 Kf3 55.Rf1 Rxd4 56.Kxe6 Rb4 0-1

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