Brian Valentine v Gary Trudeau
Bedfordshire v Cornwall, 2014/15 (Bd.11)
Given that Gary was not at all well this is a pretty good effort.
My last game at county level had been a pleasant romp but this was to be a very different type of game!
Unconventional but fully playable. Sensible continuations now for white include d4, Nc3, and, probably objectively best, the move white now plays.
The Steinitz Defence deferred. I like this because it's solid and a bit trappy. Unwary players of the white pieces sometimes lose material in the opening in this line ...
I was expecting Re1 and was surprised by this insouciance. After not a lot of thought I decided to stick with the closed line rather than take on e4.
Okay but 10.d4 is better
Deliberately being a bit provacative. I was hoping he might respond to this with an injudicious 17.a5? when after the knight goes back to d7 the a1 rook is tied to the a file for fear of dropping the a pawn if it ever moves elsewhere.
But no, he's too savvy for that.
Sloppy. I have opponents on the Internet play the knight manoeuvre Nf3 to h2 then g4 all the time in these kind of positions and during the game was kicking myself for missing such a stereotyped reply.
This proves to be very strong.
It is imperative that black maintain his strong point on e5.
Approved of by Fritz. Black remains under the cosh on the kingside for the rest of the game.
Black doesn't have time to save his rook because of the impending mate in two so I quickly played
The one sliver of hope for black in this position is that losing the exchange has transmogrified his black-squared bishop from passive to potentially rampant!
White can hardly afford to take this pawn because then ed in reply gives black a pawn roller but if he can't take then next move his bishop is going to be reduced to being just a bystander for the rest of the game.
Cornerising your knight is a necessary prerequisite for winning at chess. You mean you didn't know that?!
Black now has some serious positional compensation for his material deficit!
This constitutes the high water mark of white's initiative as, very curiously, it's all downhill for him from now on ...
Gets rid of the chief headache for black and the long term positional factors now favour him.
Necessary to stop any white queen encroachment at g6.
Still angling for the conclusive king-side attack; it's fortunate that black's defensive resources are adequate.
White's bishop might as well be a pawn for the prospects it has. Black, amazingly, is now winning.
40.Qg6+ looks better to me when he's still got some drawing chances.
With the idea 42..Qg3 and if 43.Qg4+ in reply then after the trade of queens Bc1 wins immediately.
43...Bc1 was very tempting but this threatens even greater mayhem so was preferred without too much thought.
Mopping up time.
Played immediately this really surprised me but is a reasonable last-ditch try I suppose. He can't play his queen to f1 to defend the bishop because of mate in two.
I can only plead general analytical attenuation as a consequence of battling 'flu for over two weeks by this time for missing that this can be simply answered by the opponent electing to save his bishop. It's just sheer good fortune for me here that black's positional dominance is now so great that he is able to win comfortably in spite of this boo-boo.
Yes of course!
Maintaining the pin on the e2 bishop and facilitating the further advance of the b pawn.
He might as well. Since I was comfortably ahead on the clock I spent the necessary few minutes here just ensuring that he doesn't have any way to weasel a draw by perpetual check on the kingside.
In fact this variation wins, while the move played is only good for a draw as shown below. (Ian George)
There is no weasel for white on the kingside here. You may analyse to your heart's content!
And white resigned because of the impending coronation of a new queen.
Notes by Gary Trudeau